Sunday, May 10, 2009

Final Exam and Local Guys

Sign on Pavlov’s house: Knock - Don’t Ring Bell

Today is Mothers Day: We wish a Happy Day to all mothers, grandmothers, mothers-in-law, expectant mothers, adoptive mothers, and anybody else who qualifies even remotely for motherhood. This is a day to remember those special things about your Mom and to talk to her – even if she’s gone. As for me, I was born at a very early age and at home because I wanted to be near my mother when it happened. Both parents worked in the iron and steel business – my mother would iron, my father would steal. My how times have changed. As we were growing up, sailors were the only ones with tattoos. A popular one was “Mom” written across the muscle of the arm. Today the lexicon too frequently includes the word “mother” in a less than flattering sense and tattoos are everywhere. Athletes look like billboards and it is not uncommon for Mom to have a tatoo. But regardless if your Mom was Rosie the Riveter or Harriet the Housewife, remember to call her on this day – BUT NOT COLLECT!

This Clairton lad deserves plenty of ink: Joe Prince was the local insurance man when I was growing up in Clairton. He had a son, Ray who became interested in printing while still in high school. Paper and ink fascinated Ray Prince and before long he had his own business, Prince Printing on St. Clair Avenue. But Ray did more than business cards for local businessmen. His natural curiosity really changed the (type) face of the field over a half century. From his humble beginnings in the field Ray studied the problems and issues and devoted his career to helping other companies with their own productivity. His specialty is conducting Technical Plant Assessments then offering solutions for improvements. He’s done over 1,000 such assessments.

Oh, did we mention Ray is also a teacher? He has conducted nearly 800 lectures and seminars on every facet of the printing industry, from Troubleshooting to Error Prevention. And Ray is willing to share his expertise on the printed page as well. He writes a monthly column in the primary trade magazine, provides tips in the American Printer magazine, and is a regular contributor to printing-related blogs and web sites. He’s co-authored textbooks and written more than 200 articles. Ray is an award winning professional and leader in his field. He also gives back by sitting on scholarship boards. Ray is one of the most respected professionals in the field Graphic Arts. He’s come a long way from printing business cards in high school. Ray Prince, Clairton boy.

End of term – Semester History Exam: Okay boys and girls. Clear your desks. Get out your #2 Ticonderoga pencil and Clearfield pencil tablet. Your semester Final Exam is listed below. See how much you know about your old home town. NO PEEKING AT THE ANSWERS.

1. Clairton was incorporated as a third class city January 1, 1922. It included which boroughs?
a. Clairton
b. North Clairton
c. Wilson
d. All of the above

2. North Clairton’s other name was Blair.
a. True
b. False

3. Peter’s Creek was named for an Indian caled “Indian Peter.”
a. True
b. False

4. The Mendelssohn family erected one of the first factories in Clairton that made:
a. Car parts
b. Pianos
c. Frozen Yogurt
d. None of the above

5. Blair once touted a beach and amusement park.
a. True
b. False

6. The “Mill Mansion” at the top of Mitchell Avenue had how many rooms?
a. 20
b. 30
c. 40
d. 50

7. By 1947 what percentage of Clairton residents were foreign born?
a. 10
b. 15
c. 20
d. 25

8. The high and low populations of Clairton from 1922 to 2000 were (select two)
a. 8,000
b. 10,000
c. 15,000
d. 20,000
e. 30,000

9. Which family dairy delivered milk to Clairton residents
a. Snee
b. Heinrich
c. Kecks
d. All of the above

10. The original name for the Clairton High mascot was
a. Bears
b. Cobras
c. Cokeheads

Clairton boy minds his business: We never know what direction the winds of life will take us. Dave Harbst was one of the bus students who came to Clairton High School for the superb education offered – and because that is where he was zoned. After graduation he attended Washington and Jefferson and earned a degree in Spanish. He taught school and coached for a few years but left education to work in the oil business. After several years he got into the auto parts business, first with a store in Uniontown then adding another, and another and another until her had four. Twenty years later Dave sold the stores but stayed on as a consultant, while finally having time to enjoy his family. Dave and Ginny have two daughters – both educators. Dave Harbst, Clairton boy.

Time to say Goodbye: We don’t sing like Bocelli but we know his songs. The following is the answer key to your Final Exam. If you passed, you are REALLY a Clairtonian. Drop a comment if you have suggestions for the next exam.

1. D, 2. A, 3. A, 4. B, 5. A, 6. C, 7. B, 8. A&C 9. D 10. B

A little blogging music Maestro... “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper.

Dr. Forgot

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