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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

No trick on this Halloween - only a treat - Downtown Johnstown in all it's glory. Call me nuts - but sometimes I sit and think about what it would be like if Glossers and Gee Bee were still open - because if they were - I would still be working for Data Consultants and my life would be completely different.

Would Glossers have walk-in deals on things like the latest iPad - buy one and get one half off and while you wait - go get yourself a bag of roasted peanuts - because you were simply helpless against the enticing aroma - being drawn there against your will.... What kind of flat-screen HD TV display would Gee Bee have set up - I could see them having a row of second-rate tablet computers all lined up along a wall - with all the harsh lighting they had - bright enough to land aircraft.

I just want to jump inside the computer and walk along these streets...look inside the store windows...hear the traffic and car horns and music coming out from the car radios...follow behind people and listen to all the different kinds of conversations they are having....for instance the day this shot was taken - what were people most concerned about....I want to stop in some of the clubs and bars that used to call the downtown home - being a former bartender - I love how the old equipment looked and worked...I want to hop on a streetcar and take a tour of Johnstown....I want to hit the inside of every store and stop off at Tops Diner for a snack....I want to spend an afternoon at the old library - with the wooden floors and dusty smells coming from all the book shelves....and finally I would have my camera with me along with a 64GB card - because I would have to take a picture of every single store inside and finish my step back in time. But now it's time to take the streetcar back to reality.....but I can still wish and daydream about the city I call home.

Trolley Time

Reader Robert Schneider sent in this shot of the streecar at the corner of Chandler and Strayer in Morrellville.

German Day - 1904 - Part 7

More on the German Day 1904 Celebration sent in by reader Mike Mertle. For more on Part 6 - CLICK HERE. Hotel Pfarr - 319 Broad Street (Senior Life parking lot), G. Kriston - Hungarian Tobacco and Playing Cards - 216 Ralroad Street (not sure where this was), Albert Tietzel - Musical Director of the Cambria City Maennerchor and L.J. Csamer - Dry Goods and Groceries   - 322 and 324 Chestnut Street (Ace's parking lot) - 601 Broad Street (Best Window parking lot).
Charles Dickert - President of the Cambria City Maennerchor - (there building is still standing down on the lower end of Chestnut Street)
Chas. E. Vockerod - Mineral and Soda Waters of all Kinds - 720 Broad Street (Ozog parking lot - where Macy's Flower Shop used to be), Old Cambria CIty Maennerchor Hall - Destroyed in '89 Flood and Samuel C. Pollak - Strictly Choice Meats - 312 Broad Street (Car Wash parking lot)
Cambria City Maennerchor
Jos. Marchl - Merchant Tailor - 245 Franklin Street, Charles Martin - Musical Director of the Germania Quartett Club and T. Malbranc - Florist and Landscape Gardener - Greenhouse and Office - 130 Barron Avenue (St. Francis parking lot) - Store - 142 Market Street
George Studeny, Sr. First Musical Director of the Germania Quartett Club (their building used to be at the corner of Messenger Street - I used to walk pass that building all the time and always thought it must have been beautiful at one time)
Porch Bros. - Old Reliable Up to Date Music House - 242 Franklin Street and W.H. Strauss & Co. - Wholesale Dealers in Tobacco and Cigars - 442 Main Street (nothing says quality like a frog smoking a pipe)
Germania Quartett Club
First National Bank - 448 Main Street - The Oldest, Largest and Strongest in Johnstown
Chas. S. Ruth - First President of the Germania Quartett Club

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween - October 30, 1942

Vintage Repeat - my father Robert and Aunt Mimi (Mary Jane Adams) Cacicia are somewhere in this mix of kids in costumes - posing on K Street - October 30, 1942.
And here they are finishing up their parade around the neighborhood and heading back into our beloved Bheam School - now gone but not forgotten.

Tennis Anyone

Putting in the tennis courts at Roxbury Park

Trolley Time

Reader Robert Schneider sent in this shot.

Attention Johnstown Residents

Trick or Treat Night has been cancelled for October 31 due to Hurricane Sandy. It has been rescheduled for Saturday - November 3 from 6pm to 8pm.
Now as for the picture - that is brother Bob on the left as a bunny rabbit and me on the right in my Casper the Ghost get up. The only store bought costume I ever remember wearing. To this day whenever I go down Sheridan Street I think of that silly little costume because I somehow lost the mask (my mother was none too happy) on the way home from Chandler school. We were living in the Oakhurst Homes at the time. Funny how the stupidiest things sometime stick in your brain. 

Penelec - Flood 77

I forgot I had this booklet: Penelec Flood 77 - something they printed up for themselves. Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Thorofare Shopping List

On the heels of Sandy thought I'd better stock up on a few things from Thorofare - thanks to reader Robert Schneider. Some vanilla ice cream - can't go wrong there.
Thorofare Black Cherry Pop - which I like
Thorofare Lemon Lime - which I don't
Thorofare Instant Coffee
Thorofare cartoon when workers went on strike.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Stonycreek River - 1885

Spending a nice and relaxing sunday afternoon on the Stonycreek River in 1885. 

Trolley Time

Johnstown Passenger Railway - Car 55. All the track for Johnstown and for that case most of the United States was made at the Johnson Company (U.S. Steel) in Moxham.

Watch and Wait

As I sit here writing this with Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the East Coast - I have to admit I am a bit on the scared side - especially this time of year. This is my father Robert standing next to our crick. Those of you that live near streams like this - the worry about it overflowing after a rainstorm is always in the back of your mind along with falling trees from the hillside. But the #1 fear - that shows it's ugly head at times like this - is memories of the '77 Flood seeping in to your brain and just how quickly things can go downhill in a heart beat - we are all helpless against the power of water. But having said that - the Flood taught a lot of us how to better plan ahead for times like this and how you can live for days on very little but the clothes on your back.

Some people would say you're stupid for living there. But I say for the most part - you can't help what neighborhood you live in around the Johnstown area - you live where you live and that's that. When you stop to think about - the '77 Flood proved that no neighborhood is really as safe as folks living there think it is anyway.

For those of you on Facebook - Hurricane Sandy has her own page: CLICK HERE.

Happy Anniversary - Vintage Johnstown

Hard to believe, because it seems like I have been doing this forever. But today is the Second Anniversary of Vintage Johnstown. Through thousands of posts and hundreds of comments in the past two years - I have learned that even in this modern 24/7 connected at the hip age...folks still love and want to learn more on the history of the area. This is my grandfather - Walter Lenz around 1915 posing on a rock in what I believe is the Stonycreek River. Most of the really older stuff comes from Walter - who saved everything he ran across that was interesting in his job as a garbage man in the 1930's and 40's.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Civil War Draft - December 1864

Upper Yoder Township - John E. Smith - from Laurel Hill (Browns Farm).

Benscreek Gas Station

This is the old Gulf Station at the intersection of old Somerset Pike and Franklin Street - sort of right across from St. Andrews Church.

Trolley Time

Downtown Johnstown

The Klug & Hornick Block - Clinton Street

The Klug & Hornick Block - Clinton Street - Downtown Johnstown

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Conemaugh Dam - 1977

Conemaugh Dam - 1977 Flood

Slovak Union - 1953

Back on May 15, 1935 when the above picture was taken, this group comprised a Junior Order of the Slovak Evangelical Union of America. Now many of the same members are affiliated with a senior assembly of the union.
Front Row - left to right: Joseph Hrivnak, Joseph Adamy, Stephen Adamy, Robert Forgas, William Pasternak, John Hudak amd Margaret Hudak.
Second Row - left to right: Joseph Kline, Andrew Pasternak, Paul Pasternak, Bernand Forgas Jr., Paul Hudak and Mildred Kolesar. In the rear is Paul Payerchin. 

Pre-1889 Johnstown

This is Downtown Johnstown Pre-1889 Flood. This is a section of the old Canal that made it's way down thru Johnstown to Pittsburgh. I believe that the location is currently where the old Harvey's Supply building is on Washington Street. The bridge is sort of where the Johns Street bridge is now.

Gately & Fitzgerald Furniture

Clinton Street - near Main - Budget Terms Arranged - Johnstown

Friday, October 26, 2012

Abandoned Johnstown

This is one of those houses that I have watched go downhill for years - it's located on Garfield Street. It's a shame - because this was once quite a beautiful home. It's one of those houses that I have always thought to myself "Gee, I could have lived in a house like this".