Things I Think I Think

I spent a little time this morning clearing out the old memory bank and discovered that I had a lot of  things stuck in my head that must have been important to me at one time or another. In no particular order, here’s some old stuff and a few new wishes for the day.

Pocket WatchI noticed last week that someone is demolishing the old Tullio’s Terrace on 819 across from the Scottdale Manor Rehabilitation Center. Tullios’ was a restaurant/bar that operated way back during my childhood. I don’t remember much about it because I never got to go there, but my impression as a young kid was that it was a pretty popular place. Even though it was always right off the edge of the road, I always felt like it was some sort of secluded hideaway. Anyway, the only thing left there now is some rubble, but it got me to thinking about a lot of things that aren’t there anymore. (Yeah, I ripped that off from a show on Pittsburgh public TV)   A few hundred yards up the road, right where the Laurel Highlands Shed facility is located, was another restaurant that was called Pogo’s. Again, it was right when I was just getting old enough to almost do ‘adult’ things, but if I recall correctly, it was the second location of the original Pogo’s that was located in the area of the Wash N’ Tan now sits. It was one of the first drive-in restaurants that I had ever seen and the building, at least for a short time, was painted a horrendous color of orange.

Right over the bridge in Everson, everything that was familiar to me as a child is also no longer there. When I was little, we would go to either Marion’s Market or John the Butcher for food. Marion’s had a larger selection of grocery items, but John’s tended to have more meat products. The stores always seemed so large to me but the reality was that they were fairly tiny. The neat thing was that Marion and John owned and operated their little stores. You could always count on one of them to be there to help whenever you went in.

Bob and Joe’s Restaurant was the first place that I got to play a pinball machine. Years ago, children had to be a certain age to play a pinball machine. I think they may have broken eight or ten different laws but one day they let me play. I could barely see the top of the glass. They also made what quite possibly could have been the greatest hamburger EVER in that place. The building is still there……in fantastic shape…..and I believe that the current owner still has many of the old artifacts from the restaurant on display.

Everson even had a pretty good pizza shop at one time. How many can remember Chappie’s?? As I recall, the pizza was OK, but the hoagies the guy made were killer. They weren’t on a traditional sub roll, but instead were on something that I can only describe as an over-sized hamburger roll. I think he may have put some sort of ‘secret sauce’ on them, but more than likely it was just Italian dressing.

As you headed out of Everson, how many people can remember Pogo’s Nightclub, the White House Inn, and the Coop?? Pogo’s (yeah, there’s that Pogo guy again) was owned by the son of the owner of the drive-in in Scottdale. As I recall, that’s where people went to dance to live rock ‘n roll music every weekend. The White House Inn was more ‘upscale’ as they occasionally had live musical entertainment…but of a more ‘sophisticated’ nature. I believe one the big performers that played there was “Mickey Sharp at the Organ. Hahaha…..oh, and I forgot Nitro the exotic dancer. The food at the White House was pretty fantastic though. Then we have the Coop. I never hung around the Coop, but I have heard many a tale about the shenanigans that took place there. I’m sure it was all legal and good clean fun.

Now that I think about these places, I’m pretty certain I just described every other small town in the country.

Still, sometime I wish those places were still here.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that welcomed the news that the old Eagles building is going to be demolished sometime this year. That old place outlived its usefulness years ago and it can’t be gone soon enough. I’m not sure if anyone has plans for the lot, but it will be much more appealing once it’s gone. It will make driving into town from the South Broadway side a little more appealing.

Unfortunately, if you look at the other side of the street, you can admire the two or three diesel engines that are seemingly parked there every waking moment of the day or night. Don’t get me wrong, if you grew up in Scottdale, you are more than familiar with trains, but to have a railroad siding right as you enter the main part of town is kind of jarring. I’ve always wished that there were a few more feet of real estate available along the sidewalk right where everything is parked. A nice row of trees to obstruct the view of the trains might make it a little more bearable.

One last thing……I’ve seen that many people think that a dog park would be great for the town. I’ve also read the suggestions about where the park could be located. There is one place in town that has never been mentioned, and would be perfect for just that sort of thing. Unfortunately, I don’t know about the availability of the land. If you travel down to Garfield Park and look down Garfield Ave., the left hand side of the street for about a hundred yards or so has been overgrown with trees for all of my adult life. It stretches from the street down to the sewage right-of-way along Jacob’s Creek. To the best of my knowledge nothing in that tract of land has ever been developed. I have no idea who might own it, but I suspect it might be the railroad once again. (There used to be an old railroad siding that ran the length of Garfield Ave. the whole way to Everson Bottoms.) I always thought that if the land were cleared, it could be a nice extension of Garfield Park. There’s off-street parking available and you would be away from heavily traveled Broadway. Even if a dog park were not an option, it would be nice to see that land utilized for something.

Just my two cents.

There’s a room where the light won’t find you……

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