Penn Hills Potpourri

Favorite Memories of Penn Hills

Potpourri | Suggestions and FAQs | Discover... Penn Hills | Penn Hills Playlists | Old Mon Music | This is the T.L. Sound | Penn Hills Mugs (and other stuff)! | Penn Hills Miscellaneous | Pittsburgh Trivia Question | Pittsburgh's Familiar Faces | Where in the World Is... | Penn Hills Talent | Favorite Memories of Penn Hills | My Senior Prom | Penn Hills High School Sports | Signs, Scenes and Sounds Of Penn Hills | Kennywood Park | Does Anyone Remember... | Drive-In Memories | "You Know You're Over the Hill and From Penn Hills If": | Penn Hills Bulletin Board | Penn Hills People Chatroom | Penn Hills Mailbag | Penn Hills, The Board Game | Penn Hills Links | Donations to Penn Hills People | Front Page News

MY FAVORITE MEMORIES ARE OF OUR  HIGH SCHOOL MUSICALS! To Penn Hills  Alumni who participated in any way in our High School musicals! In the summer of 1993, a group of musical alumni decided to honor those teachers who had started and continued the tradition of the “high school musical” in Penn Hills.  Betty Jo  Wareham, Mildred Dunham and Thomas Bond started yearly productions in 1963 with  “Bye Bye Birdie”.  In 1993, we gathered alumni from around the US and produced the “Thirty Year Reunion Show” with scenes from many of the Penn Hills musicals with many of the original cast,  chorus and orchestra members.  This  spurred the Penn Hills Musical Alumni who since then have done numerous book  shows and revues. Now, almost  twenty years later, PHMA is again thinking to relive the past.

In 2013, it will  be 50 years since those shows began. They are currently building a new high  school so this summer will be the last time we could do this performance! This  will be one of the final performances ever in the Thomas A. Bond auditorium. Let's make this a super send-off as the final curtain goes down! The tentative plans include both a Friday and a  Saturday evening show on August 10 and 11, 2012.   We also plan to honor the “Hall of PHAME” recipients for PHAME at the performances – Mr. Thomas Bond, Mrs. Mildred  Dunham and Mr. George Maquire. Contact  for more information about participating or attending .

Does anyone remember the Woodchooper?  Can’t remember now where it was but I can remember being there a few times. Fun times at St. Bart's fair and dances. M. Vogt  

Thanks for posting those [Rosedale Pool] pics. Love seeing them! The faces are familiar but I certainly can't come up with any names that weren't already mentioned. So many good times there. My family lived on Homestead Road and our backyard and vegetable garden were adjacent to the parking lot behind the low dive. I use to wave to my family while they worked in the garden when I was at the pool and my folks would come up to the fence to watch me. I learned how to swim there and was in the synchronized swimming group that put on a show in the early '70's.  I remember the splash parties when they'd throw greased watermelons in the pool. One year, the melon slipped out of someone's arms, hit the side of the pool and broke before it hit the water. What a mess! My dad, Joe Carbone, was on the Board for a time and my family was friends with the pool's caretaker in the very early years: Bob Klepner. Bob and Bobbie lived in the little bungalo from the early '50's and it was located off the back right corner of the women's locker room. I remember Bob showing me the back way into the pool which was from under the locker rooms.  I remember when they put the tennis and basketball courts in and would flood them in the winter so we could ice skate there. Great memories at that pool! Karen Carbone Castaldo ('73)

Hebron School 1960-1965- Hello, anyone from Mrs Clause's 1st grade (in the old building)...she told us Santa was her husband to make us behave, the "cloak room.", having to go across to the NEW school for lunch..why would they do that to little 1st graders???? Can't remember. 2nd grade teachers names...3rd was Mrs. Berman...4th Mrs Kusick (in her class when Pres. Kennedy was shot)...Mr Grovey...only male teacher,,,5th, loved him.....We lived at the corner of Penny Dr and door to the Tynors....Names I can remember...Marybeth Hunter, Betsy Lenighan, Amy Plummer????anyone???? Thanks, Dana Anderson

This site was a blast to read.  I went to Hebron when it was an elementary school -  first thru sixth grade.  I remember Ms O'toole Ms Night, Ms Cherry.  I can remember walking through the woods behind St Bart and through the field owned by the Veterinarian.  What was the Pizza place called - I think they moved to the Penn Hills Shopping Center.  And yes the St Barts fair.  Every summer.  We would wake up early and get there before 6 am so we can find tickets and money.  We would go a few times during the week just because that is what you did when you lived there.  Everyone played Bingo.  I can remember hanging out at the school and having the sisters chase us away for smoking.  Thank goodness I have ask for forgiveness from my teenage years.  We built cabins in the woods, played kick the can, and even soaped peoples cars on Devils Night.  We played hard but we worked hard.  We shoveled show for money when we had a 2 hour delay, walked peoples dogs, raked leaves, what ever needed to be done.  We wore plastic bread bags in our boots, used gumbands around our ankles so our feet wouldn't get wet.  I remember a neighbors sister that had the loudest mouth.  She would call her brother for dinner (they lived on Jacob Dr and we would be on Elias and could hear her).  I remember tubing down the double hill at Church Hill Country Club.  I will never forget walking up hill a quarter mile every morning to the bus top.  Then we thought we were cool and would miss the bus so we could walk to Linton School or Penn Hills High.  We would go to the Pirates opening day every year.  I even remember swimming in the Allegheny River, surprised I didn't loose a leg from the bacteria.  I am a huge Steeler fan and I love when I would come home and see everyone wearing Steeler clothes on Sunday.  It is the official attire for every occasion.  Cindy Woods - Class of 1982

 Just ran across this sight & reading some of the post  from St Barts make me remember also. I went to Hebron 1st & 2nd grade half days in that old School, spent most of my time in the Cloak room still have 1st grade pictures of Mrs Clause & Miss Wilson. Mrs Mueller was my 2nd grade teacher.  Third grade went to St Barts, stayed there until 6th grade 1958 when we moved that Fall. I remember sliding down Paris dr on my lunch bucket I was the fastest. Broke my thermos many times. Spent many a day down Pentlong Pharmacy, walking up to Feterlines Taste freeze.  I remember Sister Cecilia she was the best 4 & 5th grade don't remember so much, still have our 1st communion picture. 6th grade I had Sister Caroline but I got caught skipping & going over to Bards dairy store with Jim Bentz during recess That was a NO NO. That got me sent over to Convent & then Sister Otillia's room. Wasn't she a sweet heart. I had a crush on Patty Noll that even made me madder when I had to leave.. I remember Regina Moore she used to help me with my home work, and we went out years later. Kathy Morris, Regis Ruane, I remember his nickname and we played on the same baseball team. Jim Flaherty ,The Kesiels, I Played on the Blackrige Bantams also. So many other things. I would have been in the first class that graduated from St Barts but we moved to a bigger house in Plum, moved to Florida in the 70s Jim Gazdacko 
I grew up in King of Prussia, not far from Villanova. The first milkshake I ever tasted was from the Mooo. I thought I had died and gone to heaven!
Steve Harlos Denton, TX

I remember the names of some of those who post here from your era, but can't quite remember the faces.I remember most of my old friends names, just not that one that seems to escape me, at least for a while, ike me, right now. She was blond, tall, great teeth, played (I think) Annie in Oklahoma (so now it comes to me, Shelley, although not her last name). You might know these names if you were around from 1962-66 -- Wayne MacKenzie, Jerry Weller, Dave Shiring, Tom Loughrey, Darby Jo Miller, Carol Hostler (who was, BTW a coupla blocks from the trade towers and escaped out the back door with her life). These were some of my friends. For those who care, Glenn Cannon did quite well in Pittsburgh as the director of the paramedics. Don't know where he is now.
I remember exploring the extensive woods that Penn Hills had in the 50s to 60s. There was much mining done in the area, and we found a caved in mine that we would dare to enter for at least a few feet. Grand adventure for us boys, or sometimes, me alone. In fact, I had an unusual acquaintance, Billy Busby, who came up with the idea of seeing how many snakes we could find in the woods. This was an interesting proposition, and we went out exploring. Resulted in 22 snakes, one of which I believe was a Copperhead, and another a blue-green beauty that I have not seen since.
I remember, just having been given my learner's permit in 1964, traveling down Rodi Road  with my younger brother in the passenger seat, the road rain slicked and slippery, hooking the right front tire over a 12 inch drop in the concrete (i.e. no berm), pulling back to get on the road, the inverse reaction throwing the car directly into the Ranch parking lot, doing a 360 across the road, slamming into a telephone pole on the passenger side door, then just sitting there and asking my brother, "Are you okay?." He was.

I remember taking surreptitious trips downtown to end up buying the latest Mad Magazine or paperback, really searching for Playboy. And I still remember the particular smell of a paperback book. It's clean and exciting. I also remember when my father came home one evening and told us we were moving to Chile, S.A. for two years, and we never missed Penn Hills until we returned home to Penn Hills Senior and everyone was fascinated by my accent, especially the girls. Greg McCormick, PHHS '66

I remember Taco Vista on Route 51 by Century III Mall. My parents would always bring me there as a kid and my mother said she and her friend used to go there as teenagers. I miss their tacos and special taco sauce. If anyone knows their recipe please email me at I'd love to taste a piece of my childhood again. Anonymous

I recently came across some old records from my grandparents who lived in Pittsburg.  I discovered that my grandfather proposed to my grandmother at the Cork and Bottle and all she could say to him was, "get up off of your knees!”  Anyway Grandpa has recently passed on but Grandma is still alive and lives in Maryland. Thomas Welsh

Talk about nostalgia.  Spending time at Rosedale Pool was one of the best times of my life.  I made lots of friends there, many of whom I still see today!  Being a lifeguard was the best summer job a guy could have!  The swimming team was great from the swimmers to the parents.  Super memories! Bill Hammill, Jr. 

So glad to have found your site while searching for a Schwartzels photo. I sent the link to my brothers and sisters. I noticed on another part of the sight that someone asked for a Schwartzels photo, so, I'm sending you the one I found and my Penn Hills memories:
The "Indian Trail" behind Faith Community Church and the two homemade ball fields between Jefferson Rd and Key Drive, Heck's Field and Hockey's Field. Taking dancing lessons at Faith Community Church with Mrs. Miller and that we started calling it the "new church" when they added an addition. Packing a lunch and playing in the woods all day during summer, swinging on "Tarzan swings" and going to our "Water Camp" which was a hole of water surrounded by trees. And that there were so many kids that played together, our parents didn't have to worry about us.Nickel a scoop ice cream cones at Schwartzels and buying my older brother cigarettes with a fake note from our Mom. Sorry, Mom.There were only 4 classrooms at Morrow School, 2 first grades on the first floor, 2 second grades on the second, and the giant doors between rooms that were pushed open for parties. Miss Hotter roller skating down the 2nd floor hallway. Mr. Hester was the janitor and I named every one of my pet turtles after him, or "Hester and Chester" if I had two at a time. They served porcupine balls in the basement cafeteria and the lunch lady made me an extra egg salad sandwich when they served them. The cafeteria became our gym when it wasn't lunch time, with the tables folded up against the wall. And a bunch of girls chasing Ricky Genday around the playground trying to kiss him, almost every day. Poor Ricky! All he wanted to do was play sports. Getting our school shoes at Patsy's Shoe Store on Frankstown Rd. and going to East Hills SC and later Miracle Mile before Penn Hills SC was built. Getting a chocolate chip cookie at Belotti's Bakery. Going to the Penn Hills Laundromat with my Mom and getting a Mission Orange Pop from the vending machine and glazed donut from the bakery next door. The dryers were 10 cents a cycle and, of course, only one temperature. When "Stoneledge" was first built and the houses seeming huge. When the Jefferson Highlands was built and it was the biggest plan ever. Walking on Jefferson Rd to Highlands Aqua Club, up hill both ways. Actually, everywhere we walked was up hill both ways! Learning to drive and avoiding Old Lougeay Rd and Lime Hollow Rd like the plague. My Mom speeding up going down hills and getting butterflies in our stomachs when we got to the bottom and almost left the road. When the families of Jefferson Road set up a human road block for a few days to get the township to fix it but can't remember what was wrong with it! Does anyone remember? Getting take-out pizza from Joe & Jenny's on Rodi Road when Mom was out of town and Dad had to feed us. Susanne Cook Schroeder, '76

I am Rusty Bracho, class of 71, but I moved in December of 69. I remember growing up on Azalea Dr., behind McDonalds with Tom Rosswog, Greg Botta, Don Deet, ... just a crazy bunch of baby boomers on the street of all ages. Then, we moved to the top of Leechburg Rd and I went to Seneca for 9th grade, Linton for 10th and PH Senior for 11th till I moved. My best memories are tied to playing basketball and baseball all of those years with George Karl, Donnie Wilson, Dave Bluestone, etc. There was nothing quite like running on the court with the varsity.... but I moved to Ohio, had a nice hoops career there, got a ride to Bucknell and played for Jim Valvano. Not bad... grew up playing with George and Donnie and played for a legend.    Azalea Dr., like most neighborhoods in Penn Hills, was just a great bunch of guys to grow up with.  I would love to catch up with everyone!    Although I moved to Ohio at Christmas of our junior year, Penn Hills was a great place to be raised back in the day! Its 2010 and I am just now finding this site. Great job putting it together! I remember a lot of the 'regulars' in here. I went to Hebron with Doug Gebhard, played baseball with Don Hoffman, I remember Donna Shaner, Paul Krafzig, Fred Carroll... bunches of folks.  Dennis Tovey owns Olas??  I played on the high school hoops team and I always wondered if Dennis got my uniform when I moved. I saw Vince Lilja talk about the Azalea Dr. guys I grew up with, saw a photo of the Bantam football team, photos of old gas stations, stores, etc. I would love to catch up with more people.  Rusty Bracho '71

Hi, my name is Vince Lilja. Class of 68. The earliest memories were waiting for the school bus at the end of the driveway down on Lime Hollow Rd. There was no lolly-gagging around, you got your butt on the bus quick or you had to get another way to school. After school (St Barts) we had to wait for the bus to make a trip or two then the bell would ring for our turn and off we would go home...after cleaning the blackboards or other chores. I remember a few of the classmates; Sheryn Thomas, James Werder, James Weber, Bill Mackey, Susan Daley, Claudia Falcone, Lynn McCarthy, Valerie Vanucci, Daniel Kelley, Joe Seneca, Edith Plunkett, Robert Atore, Joe Tysarzchek (sp?), and Steven Kirby. If I sat here for a while more would probably come to mind. These were people in my class. There were other classes in the same grade. Then there were always the fairs in the summer. One year I got up on the "Dunker". The first person up hit the bullseye and down to the water I went!! I was in the choir and played trombone in the band. In 7th grade I attended Seneca till Christmas break, then moved up to Azalea Drive (behind McDonalds) and went to Penn Jr High. My best friend in school was Rick Remai and at home was Dan Putteman. I still am amazed Dan and I survived skating from Frankstown Rd down Banyon, then Althea, and down Azalea drive. We did that on steel skates that you tightened onto your shoes with a skate key!! In winter we came down Azalea on sleds or cardboard. Senior year I was the one that had the molten aluminum explode all over the metal shop. I can still see quite well now, despite the burns to my eyes. Penn Hills finest took me to eye and ear hospital in Oakland in a Station Wagon squad car that doubled as an Ambulance! I was able to park my 64 Malibu Super Sport at the high school for the last couple months so I could get right home to help my dad with his business. I married a junior before I graduated and our son was born July 19, 1968 not long after graduation!! He'll be 42 this year. I survive a brother Andrew ('69) and a sister Jacque ('72). Both also graduated Penn Hills. Loved to cruise Eat-n-park, back into a spot and watch all the other muscle cars come through. We used to go out on 376 between Rodi and Monroeville and stop in the middle and right lanes and someone would get out and flag us off to race!! Ah yes, those were the days! Hang-outs were Bart Boyd's house and lot next door, Azalea Drive, and Universal Shopping Center...and bowling at Guy's and Doll's! We had only a few channels on TV and dad's remote was one of us kids!...if we weren't out playing on the street or in the woods building a tree house. My kids had computers before I got one, and I got that after much urging on their part. We lived outside as much as we could and socialized with all the other kids on the street. Casey's baked Italian Hoagie's are still the best, as well as Della Salla's pizza!! Mmmmm, got my mouth watering now! Vince Lilja. '68

Hello.My name is David Fullerton.I graduated in 1973 from Penn Hills Senior High.I played in several popular bands thru the years that you might remember.  I'll start with  MOTHERS OATS. We rehearsed at All Saints Church in Rosedale and put together dances there so we could play our music.We were shortlived,but it was the beginning of my Penn Hills music career. PEGASUS,I believe was next,and amazing as it is,I saw a picture of us on one of your pages for Bands from 1971.We're standing by a huge tree,8 of us.I am the guy standing in front with my hand on the tree limb with long hair parted in the middle.I would love to know who got that picture.Next came MENAGERIE.We also rehearsed at All Saints Church.We played several dances in the area and actually became very popular at that time.We were playing music that was quite challenging and also did alot of original songs that I composed,We were an excellent horn band at the time,especially for our age.We had a fairly long stint but eventually dropped the horns,got a new drummer and became BAD COMPANY.Now this band rocked!We played alot of dances and St.Barts fair(remember that).We also did alot of oridinal songs that I was composing.We lasted a while but we eventually had to change our name because "THE"Bad Company arrived(I'm sure you know who I mean).We got a new bass player and changed our name to "THRILLS" Well If you remember any band at all I was in,you should remember THRILLS. We became very popular in the area,playing several clubs and climbing the ladder.We eventually moved to New York and became a very popular band on Long Island and recorded 5 albums along the way,coming back to Pittburgh periodically to play several venues supporting our albums.We played Stage One alot,outdoor concerts and many more too numerous to mention.Our biggest "Thrill" came when we acquired the No.1 spot on Pittsburgh radio station 96KIX.Hometown boys on there way to the top.Well unfortunately that all came to an end and we all moved on.I've left out some facts and info because this would get too long.I',m going to try and get some photos and misc.items together and get them posted for everybody.It should be really interesting for alot of people to see.Also I knew the guitar player in "The Electrons" His name was Jimmy Widman.I lived on the same street as him and my family and his were very close.He used to keep me up on all of the Electrons news and doings. He even gave me a copy of they're first 45 single(which I still might have), "Ain't no big thing"b/w "Midnight Hour".How's that for Penn Hills trivia?Well I gave you alot of info. Use it well. I will keep in touch and this Penn Hills thing is very cool. David Fullerton

I grew up on Prescott Dr. in the early ‘50’s across the street from my best friend then and now, Jim Talotta.  Jimmy and I started 1st grade at St Bart’s in 1955.  I had Sister Benigneta, followed by Sr. Felicitas in 2nd, Sr. Vioni in 3rd.  We had 3 classrooms per grade, about 60 kids to a classroom.  Nobody made a peep in class the first two years out of sheer terror.  I remember learning how to dance for our first boy-girl parties – Janet Reilly’s in 5th grade, Terry Haines in 6th.  I remember air raid drills where we went to the cafeteria and stood against the walls with our head buried between folded arms.  I remember the report cards – delivered by the priests, with the marks for self-control and conduct.  I remember the music – the Everly Brothers, the Platters, the Fleetwoods.  I remember the Bucs coming out of nowhere to finish 2nd in 1958, then winning it all in ’60.I moved away after 7th grade, but I remember my classmates and friends, most of whom I haven’t seen for close to 50 years – Jerry Catella, Vince Ruane, Denny Britt, Bernie Miller, Mike Colaizzi, Mary Pat Flaherty, Tricia Donahue.  I hope all are well. Jim Garland

I lived on MacFarlane drive in the 50’s. I remember sled riding at the country club and playing in the woods behind it in the summer. Roy Face was on my brother’s paper route. He once heard him singing “Wyatt Earp” with his kids as the show came on tv. We knew he was a Pirate but never mentioned it to him. I was in the first grade the year that St. Bartholomew’s opened. The church was in the basement of the school. There were sixty kids to a room. I would love to hear from a classmate from those years at St Bartholomew’s. We had nuns for teachers and the priests (Father Helzehauer and Father McBride) lived across the parking lot in a house that faced Frankstown Road. Funny, I can’t remember the Sisters names. I remember my dad gunning our Chevy with the Bald Eagles up the gravel parking lot after a snowfall during church. I remember the view out the windows over the hill. I remember the Sister’s dormitory and the water tower. All this stuff is still there. The Double M Dairy was on Frankstown Road where the car parts place is now. I bought a lot of penny candy and baseball cards there. I really hoped for a Pirates Team card and got one a couple of times. My brother went to Hebron School. He was too old for Saint Bartholomew’s. We played behind Hebron School in the summer. They had a softball field there and other activities in the summer. I remember the A&P, the Moo Shop, Statlander’s, Marco’s Barber Shop, and a couple of toy and hobbie shops. I moved to McKnight Road in the Sixth grade. Chris Baker

I'm a little older.. but some memories are the same. I stumbled  across this great site Googling Hebron School - the old one. I attended first grade and part of second in that old building and remember being devastated - it was personal! - when it burned down. I can still remember how that school smelled - waxed wooden floors, chalkdust and some custard-y smell from the lunchroom. They say smell is the most evocative of the senses. I believe it; even traces of those old scents send me right back to being an excited and happy 6 year old. I guess today I was nostalgic for happy and excited ;o) If anyone has a photo, I'd love to see it.

Another absolutely treasured smell: the woods between Nelbon Avenue and Laketon Road. We spent endless days in those woods, having apple wars, building dams in the little "crik," building shacks and throwing "ammunition" plants at one another - finally slinking off toward home when the streetlights came on or someone's dad whistled their own particular "come home" whistle. The woods were part of the old farmland, by the original barn and orchards, that was left alone when Churchill Valley was developed. It was/is a child's paradise - complete with legends about crazed bulls in the old barn.  In winter we would sled-ride down the old farm road (Beulah Lane) and if we had a really good run, would end up in Roy Face's back yard! I have scars that bear testimony to those days and that place... an idyllic childhood.

I remember the bunch of us as teenagers ALWAYS hanging out at "the Rexall" - Stadtlander's -  at the top of the street and being invited to leave more than once! 10 cent bags of Wise chips and a vanilla phosphate at their old soda fountain after school... standing on the planter! Riding my bike or scooter down the double dip from Laketon to Beulah and not even slowing down crossing Lindburgh... the Nelbon Halloween Parades and being surprisingly disappointed at "just" trick- or-treating when they were discontinued... of course the Moo Shop, but also Walk-Away sundaes from the ice cream store in the Ritzland Shopping Center, and the fabulous filled cookies from the bakery there (what was its name?!)... Walking Frankstown Road to school when St Bartholomew's opened, no matter how awful the weather, or the traffic. We knew every pebble...

Ours was the first 8th grade class at St Bart's and the first entering sophomore class at the "new" Penn Hills Senior High School -- overcrowded from the day it opened! I remember Sr Conrada, Sr Leona, Sr Otillia (who lived up to her name!) and Sr Laurentia, who took it upon herself to fill us in on the facts of life; being whapped open palm with a metal ruler for class indiscretions (the boys got it on the knuckles) and 50 kids to a classroom. (No wonder they whapped us.) I remember putting on my Rhythmette uniform for the first time and being shocked that I looked like that - I had a figure!  I think they were still wearing those same uniforms 10 years later... Football games at Seneca... the click of 40 pairs of boots hitting concrete in unison. And to this day if someone says "What's the word?"  I answer unthinkingly, "Beat the 'Burg!" So much more! - thanks to all for sharing your memories. You've brought back so much that I haven't thought of in years and will treasure once again. It was SUCH a great place to grow up in!
Susan Speakman Walsh '64

 My name is Mark Bischoff and lived in Penn Hills for a couple of years in 68-70? Moving from Detroit, I remember all of the hills and playing kickball behind Forbes grade school. It's been a long time but I remember not wanting to leave and the short time that my family was there were very memorable.One day I hope to make it back. If anyone remembers me, please email. I lived on National Drive and hung out with Ron Calfo, Bobby Connell and a few others if anyone remembers them. Penn Hills Pizza was great !!!!!! Mark Bischoff

Dear Penn Hills Students:
I enjoyed reading your comments about Penn Hills. I taught there for 32 years - Driver Training & Social Studies. I had great students over the years and was very proud to teach all of them. Jim Kuczek 65-97

I am not from Penn Hills, but from Forest Hills, and graduated from Churchill Woodland Hills. I remember when we were Churchill seniors, and we planned and planned for the Saturday night we were to drive to the Penn Hills Eat'nPark, and hang out with the Penn Hills kids...the coolest kids! That was a teenage highlight that we will never forget, and we talked about it all of the time! And how we would marvel when our Penn Hills pals told us how many kids were in their senior class and how long it took for graduation! Those were the years! God bless all...Carole Peticca Pollen, Churchill Class of '65

I cannot believe I found this page but Google is amazing.  I saw the picture of LaBarbe’s restaurant and memories flooded back.  My father built LaBarbe’s way back in 1920’s and finally sold it either in 1972 or 1974, I cannot remember which it was. Since I was either 4 or 6 years old.  I was not alive during the heyday of the restaurant in the 1940’s and 50’s.  I have some pictures of the bands and the singers that played there.   Lawrence Welk I understand was a big draw there as was Harry James, Tex Beneke, Doris Day sang there too, just to name a few. I also have an old menu or two from the place and the prices back them would make you shake your head in amazement. Love to hear from people who went there regularly. If anyone has any questions or memories, please feel free to contact me at Brian

My favorite memory of growing up in Penn Hills is the St. Bart's fair. Not so much the fair itself, but the skydivers and the fireworks. I didn't have to leave my house to see either one! I remember the skydivers jumped on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On the first night the plane would swoop down over the place where the skydivers would land (where Penn Arbors is today). Naturally since I only live 2 blocks from the landing site they would be swooping down over my house. I still remember that for years I tried to get a good picture of the plane swooping. I finally managed to get a pretty good one in 1980. While the plane was spiraling up to the altitude it had to get to before they jumped, every so often they would throw out 2 yellow streamers. I guess to see which way the wind was blowing. It became a big deal with all the kids around here to try to get one of these streamers. I never was able to get one. One time, back in the early '70s one caught in the electric lines on a telephone pole on the street. Danny Seibert (class of '74) tried to climb the telephone pole to get it. I don't remember now who it was who finally got him down before he was electrocuted! It seemed like such
a painfully long time until the plane got high enough. Then we would hear that the pilot turned the plane's engine off. We knew then that they were about to jump. It was so awesome watching them come down. I remember as each one landed hearing the people up at the field cheering. I also remember the one year, I think it was about '72, as I was 9 or 10 when it happened, one of the diver's parachutes didn't open. I can still remember seeing the black silhouette of a man falling. I was hysterical. I was old enough to realize that he would be killed if he hit the ground. And also old enough to realize that he would most probably land REALLY close to where my family and I were standing. Finally (thankfully) his reserve chute opened. I can't remember if it was Linda Weale (class of '79) or Rose Merola (class of '80) who told me that they heard he broke both legs when he landed. They were both members of St. Bart's, and heard at church what happened. Then on Saturday night waiting for midnight for the fireworks display. We sat on lawn chairs in our driveway and watched them. My family would only go to the actual fair one evening. My mom liked to hit up the white elephant sale. The rest of us would go do the games after we checked out the stuff at the white elephant. Sherry O'Neill (Class of 1980)

Who of us, who attended grades 5 & 6 in that 2 room "building" behind William Penn Elementary School on Verona Rd., will ever forget those "cloak rooms' for our coats & boots (then commonly referred to as our "wraps & galashes" !!! ) And how about those wood burning, pot-bellied stoves which supplied us our heat---& oft times our smoke!!!   Mrs. Lorenzo taught us 5th grade, & dear Mrs. Dible our 6th grade.  And blackboards were BLACKboards, not green chalkboards! Bev Weaver

My favorite memory was that of being a Penn Hills Rhythmette!  We clicked our boots down the long pathway to the football field.   Following the game we went to Eat N Park and we were required to wear raincoats over our uniforms to cover our short red skirts.  Mary Badali Dolan '72

One of my favorite winter memories from Penn Hills is sled riding at night over at Green Oaks down hill seven. Denis Altenburger '70

My favorite memories of high school were when we would play football against Churchill and we beat their butts.  Going to the finals for the championships.  Then going to McDonalds and hanging out with friends. david behm

Remembering smoking in the new wing girl's bathroom and Ms Sherrie. making her rounds to see who was smoking. You always had to report to Ms Sherrie when you were late for school or class...oh she loved handing out those detention slips.  Girls were finally allowed to wear pants to school. Believe it was my senior year "70" but no type of jeans.  You went to Kennywood wearing matching shirts with your boyfriend or even girlfriend and no one thought anything of it.  No one can forget the Spaghetti fight in the Senior High Cafeteria after we had a radio installed. The Senior and Junior presidents kept switching the radio stations from WAMO to KQV. The food fight started and spaghetti was everywhere!!!  The radio went "bye bye" and was removed after that. A float was coke and ice cream at Statlanders. I miss chipped ham! You can only buy it in the Pittsburgh area. Skipping school, riding the bus to Pittsburgh, walking through all the stores. Does Kaufmann's still have the best decorations? Hornes was an elite store in the mall.  The Eastwood, Ritzland and Seneca gangs would tumble with one another unless we were playing Wilkinsburg football game. Then three gangs became one "Penn Hills gang" Stocklines bakery by Hebron school.  Talking about bakeries "Belotti's on Rodi Road. My one daughter graduated from Penn Hills and worked in the office and during that time, she looked up my school records. She called to inform me what my grades were and stated "mom, do you know how many days of school you missed?"  That was before the new rule was written that you could only miss 7 days. By the way, what was the name of the truant officer? Colleen "Long" Holmes '70

One of my favorite memories of Penn Hills include Davidson Grade School with crazy teachers like Mr. Lopata, Mr. Patterson (current member of the school board), Miss Stilson. In those days, you feared being called/sent to the office because I don't think CYS existed and if you was open season on your butt!!! Then you got it again when you got home !!! OUCH David Banner '85


A few of my favorite memories include: as a kid playing wiffle ball and bounce off the wall with Jimmy Brown '70 and Jimmy Talotta '67 or '66 ?; in high school the garage band with Ray Cutler '69; hanging out at John Litz's '70 house (the coolest bedroom ever); listening to Seals and Crofts forever with Gary Boyle '70, being terrified every time Rick "Mel" Cortez '70 drove; road trips with Al Felman '70 and Lee Ball '71 down to Shadyside; after high school fun filled laughter with Bob Monheim '69, Kenny Fischer '69, Earl Finch '68, and Tom Frank '69. I especially loved playing "Chicago" on the piano with Laurel's '72 brother Bernie in the family room, and learning more songs with Lisa Cooper '70.  And now, my memories of my dad, and my dear family. Sonny Derdock '70  


 us at with your favorite memory and we will add it to this page.

If you would like to donate to Penn Hills People, please click on the PayPal icon.

2006-2008, PHP