The response to my column two weeks ago about the cigar stores and bookie joints in the back of them was overwhelming. I keep getting e-mails, letters and telephone calls on almost a daily basis.
I almost forgot how many transplanted ex-Steubenville-ites (what a recent responder, Ed Casuccio) called himself. When I lived back in the "Ville" Ed was my shoemaker. Nowadays when your shoes get a little dirty, let alone the heels get worn down, you just go buy a new pair. Back then you took them to Eddie and for a couple bucks they came back as good as new.
In his letter Mr. Casuccio reminded me that not only did people come to the "Ville" for the open gambling but also for the top class entertainment. There was this club on 3rd Street called Walker’s and you could catch almost anyone there. In the late 40s and early 50s, Dean Martin sang on a nightly basis. On Sundays when the big acts had performed in Pittsburgh, Steubenville was their stopover before heading to Cleveland or Columbus.
Wow, those were definitely the days my friend as the song went.
Well everything changes, some for the better and some not so much. The other day I thought I would catch a movie so I stopped at the ATM to get a few bucks because I needed to put a little fuel in my tank ”” and I mean a little.
Well, I got $20 dollars worth of gas (half a tank) and headed to a movie. It was after 4:30 p.m. so I missed the early bird price and had to pay $11, then another fin for some stale popcorn and $2 for a bottle of water. To make things even worse, the people behind me were talking on the cell phone.
It didn’t matter because the movie stunk, so I left. The only good thing about the entire evening is that I made a $2 dollar bet on a horse, cause I liked the name and he somehow won and paid $20. On the way home I started thinking about how it used to be and the only things that hadn’t changed was betting a horse for $2 and laying 11/10 on football and hoops.
What a bargain, and I didn’t even realize it.
Then all I wanted was a dime bag (no not what you’re thinking) of popcorn. There was this 10 cents store ”” that’s what they were called in those days. McCroys was the name I believe and they sold these big bags of great fresh popped corn for one thin dime. So when we were going to the movie at the Grand, we would get our corn there and save 15 cents. It was a quarter at the movie.
What I really miss are those French fries, brown gravy and milkshakes in the metal containers. Never again.
Sometimes if you save your old clothes they could make a little comeback, bellbottoms for instance have made their way back. I like those bell-bottoms but I guess I’ll stick to my $2 on the ponies and lay the 11-10. Keep those responses coming, I really like to here from everyone and thanks for the memories.