Sunday, June 6, 2010

Clairton Cops and Athletes

Clairton Then and Now

Daddy’s Moonshine Still (a song by Dolly Parton): Clairton Police chief Kell and his trusty Constable John White paid an unexpected visit to Raphael Bernardo’s home down on First Street, near State. Although they did not have a warrant they searched his residence and behind a false back in a closet discovered a nicely concealed hiding place for a 25 gallon still, two barrels of mash and a barrel of moonshine. Mr. Bernardo was taken to the hoosegow and booked into the court by Alderman Patterson pending $1,000 bail.

But Constable White was not finished. He went to the 340 Crest Street home of Mike Pelkovich and conducted another raid. Hidden in a corner behind a baby buggy of the Pelkovich home was another still, more mash and moonshine. Pelkovich was also hauled off to the hoosegow and booked for court by Alderman Patterson pending a $1,000 bail.

But wait, there’s more! Constable White then stopped by the Crucible Hotel where he arrested John Kujvinski, George Todd, Oscar Nixon, and Earl Toner on gambling charges. They paid fines of $10 and court costs and were released. Clearly gambling is not as serious as making moonshine. But make no mistake, all moonshine charges are not created equal. Mayor Farnsworth held George Zofchak of Waddell Avenue in police court under $105 bail to await a hearing on moonshine charges. We’re not sure how everything came out on the charges, as they were filed 84 years ago in August 1926, according to an article in the August 26, 1926 Clairton Progress. (Thanks to Jim Hartman and the Mifflin Township Historical Society for a copy of the Clairton Progress. Drop by and read more. The link can be found at the end of this post)

Clairton man King of Kennywood: Sharp eyed reader Calvin Sabo forwarded to us a story of a Clairton resident who just scored big on the Racer, Jack Rabbit, and other Kennywood rides. Aaron Maricic, 25, is a typical Clairton guy who enjoys spending time at Kennywood Park in West Mifflin. So when it was announced that for the first time in 113 years Kennywood would offer a season pass, Aaron let his fingers do the walking, making tracks to purchase one online March First. His magic fingers were like lightning as he hit the "Enter" key and as it turned out, he was the first one to purchase the season pass. 'Twas an excellent investment for Aaron as he was the very first to make the purchase and that made him “King of Kennywood.” The new king’s spoils include a lifetime pass to Kennywood as well as Sandcastle Waterpark, and Idlewild Park.

For his part, Aaron, who has been a Kennywood visitor since he was a kid, was excited and surprised and will no doubt have a few places to hang out this and future summers. When he is not avoiding the lines for the roller coaster and other rides Aaron serves as the technology director of the Clairton City School District. Way to go Aaron.

Sky Rockets in flight... Afternoon Delight: One of the perks that being King of Kennywood includes is a line pass that allows Aaron to avoid the lines at the roller coasters. Time will also be shortened once he gets on the new Sky Rocket that will soon reach speeds of zero to 50mph in three seconds and continue at breakneck speeds through 2,100 feet of curves, twists, and barrel rolls.

Zero to 50 in a heartbeat: In another zero-to-50 development, the Clairton High School class of 1960 will celebrate their 50th reunion this month. Well over 100 grads and their escorts plan to attend the festivities. The class of 1960 was unique in that as sophomores, it was the largest class ever at CHS. So many students were squeezed into the school that the short term solution was to convert the auditorium into a study hall. Of course, the young kids with raging hormones and clever minds figured out multiple ways to drive study hall proctors crazy including rolling marbles down the wooden floor that slanted toward the stage. The marbles made an awful noise and caused raucous laughter.

That huge sophomore class of some 600 students was eventually split in two and those who lived closest to the school got to stay while those who were bused in from Jefferson Borough were sent to the brand new Thomas Jefferson High School. Thus, the classes of 1960 from two schools share a common heritage of Clairton High School. More than 50 of the 1960 graduating class of CHS have perished over the half century since they walked across the dais at the football field to receive their diploma. We raise a glass to toast those who have passed as well as those who continue the proud legacy of Clairton High School.

Hot Coles burns competition: Clairton High School has always had successful extra-curricular activities. The band, the majorettes (Honeybears), the athletic teams, and other representatives of activities from the student newspaper to the school yearbook have won awards. Athletics have played a large part in molding young leaders and athletes. Today we feature CHS sophomore sprinter Trenton Coles who has been winning races and being named the MVP at various meets all school year. He has running in his blood. Not only was his mother, the late Marla Puryear Smith one of the greatest sprinters in WPIAL history, his grandfather and part time coach Norman Jones was the 1971 PIAA champion of the 100 year dash at Clairton. Trent Coles was also the field goal kicker on the football team whose toe helped the Bears to the state championship. Thanks to blog reader and CHS Alumni Tom Nixon for the tip about Coles.

A little blogging music Maestro: Chug-a-lug” by Roger Miller

Dr. Forgot

1 comment:

PennStater said...

Thanks, Andy! :-)

--Aaron Maricic