Welcome back to the 2017 edition of the Alumni Bulletin. Hoping everyone is enjoying the springtime sunshine and all those flitting songbirds.
Of important note: We’ll be hosting the convention a couple months later than usual this year due to bridge construction at the school. So this year’s alumni convention will be held this coming fall, over the weekend of October 6th, 7th, & 8th. In addition to the usual weekend activities, we may offer swimming at the school’s pool, if we can arrange a lifeguard. Work on that is still in progress.
The costs for attending the convention will remain the same as in previous years. Members who attend the entire weekend pay $56.00. That’s $50.00 for all weekend activity plus the $6.00 dues. Members joining us for Friday evening only, pay $10 including dues of $6.00 thus your total is $16.00. Members attending the banquet dinner Saturday evening pay $25.00 along with $6.00 for dues making the total $31.00. Some who attend Saturday meeting and lunch pay $5.00 along with the $6.00 dues. The information cost breakdown should eliminate any confusion. Please make checks payable to WPSBC Alumni and send them to Joanna Berkovic, 375 N. Craig St. Apartment 210, Pittsburgh Pa 15213.
I hope all of you enjoy the content we put in the Alumni bulletin as it is filled with school news keeping us informed of their happenings and current events. Again, thanks to the board members for giving their time and contributions throughout the year, as well as their work in planning and organizing all of our alumni activities, including the upcoming fall convention. Enjoy the bulletin, and let’s have a good membership showing in October. Have a wonderful summer in the meantime.
President Tom Hesley
(EDITORS NOTE) I don’t have a copy of the form we use to send out with the bulletin however, after talking with Joanne we would like to remind all members to please send a note along with your checks as to what you are attending on Alumni weekend. We need to know along with how many are going to show up on Friday night for the school to plan the right amount of food. This includes the need to know for the dinner Saturday as well. Finally we need to know an estimate of how many are staying at the school so the school knows they have enough room and beds available. Again please send a note along with your checks to Joanna Birkovic so we have an accurate head count for the various activities. Thank You!!!
Great News: Skybridge
I want to share some great news for our school community: The Governor’s Office included our Skybridge Project in the most recent round of funding announcements for a competitive grant program called the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) in the amount of $1,000,000. We wanted to wait until we actually received a confirmation letter in the mail before making a general announcement, but the Tribune Review is interested in doing a story of the various awards in the area, so I want you to know before reading it in the paper.
Given its competitive nature and the hundreds of applications forwarded for consideration, this award is truly a testament to how much regard officials at the local, county and state level have for our students and those who educate and care for them. Obviously, there are many people to thank who supported our funding request, and certainly credit should be directed to Sue McAleer for crafting a strong business plan (application).
We all look forward to the great things that will result from the faith the State has placed in us and their investment in our students.
Todd Reeves Resignation
May 19, 2017
Dear Parents and Friends,
Today I submitted my resignation as Superintendent and Executive Director of the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children to assume a similar position
at the Overbrook School for the Blind in Philadelphia. My last working day will be two weeks from today, June 2nd.
During my tenure, I’ve had the great honor of serving children, adults and families who’ve allowed me to bear witness to courage incarnate. My life has
been indescribably enriched and my gratitude is immeasurable. I can only offer you a sincere ‘thank you’ though more is deserved.
I leave with resolute confidence in the future of WPSBC and what it will offer to those it serves. I’ll follow with interest the Skybridge construction
progress and, more so, all the projects and programs, stronger than steel and glass, yet to be realized.
May 19, 2017
Dear Families, Staff and Friends,
It is with a mix of sadness and gratitude that the Board of Directors announces the departure of Todd Reeves from his position as Executive Director and Superintendent of the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children. Todd’s last day at the School will be June 2, 2017.
For the past nine years, Todd has played a critical role in the development and success of the School. The Board sincerely thanks Todd for his years of dedicated service. While we will miss him, we wish Todd the best of luck in his new endeavor as the Superintendent and CEO of Overbrook School for the Blind in Philadelphia.
Over the next few months, the Board will be conducting a search to find the new Executive Director and Superintendent who will best lead the School, while maintaining a caring educational environment for our students, staff and families. In the interim, the Board will appoint temporary management so that the School will continue to operate with our students as the top priority.
The Board eagerly anticipates the next chapter for the School as we fulfill our mission to be a leader in education and outreach for students with visual impairment, including blindness and other challenges. If you have any questions or concerns during this transition period, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President Board of Trustees
Jagoffs get new status, but perhaps not much to boast about | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
It is a day undoubtedly long awaited by Western Pennsylvania’s untold number of largely anonymous jagoffs — recognition by one of the world’s great authorities on language.
The Oxford English Dictionary has added “jagoff” to the hundreds of thousands of words it has been defining since the 19th century as legitimate use of the English language. It was one of more than 1,000 entries added this month by the dictionary, which updates its listings quarterly.
It defines the term in multiple ways online. In one dictionary section, it refers to jagoff as U.S. dialect “(chiefly in western Pennsylvania) a stupid, irritating, or contemptible person.” Elsewhere, it lists additional slang meanings, including “a person who steals items of little value” (evidently an archaic British usage).
We Pittsburghers who feel victimized by careless motorists, inept sports officials, rude line-jumpers and other scoundrels typically like the “contemptible” meaning best. You’re probably not a real yinzer, however, if you haven’t also joshingly addressed a friend as a “jagoff” when out for drinks or arguing about the Steelers.
Carnegie Mellon University linguistics professor Barbara Johnstone, an authority on Pittsburghese dialect, sees jagoff’s Oxford appearance as a milestone, even though she disagrees with some of Oxford’s interpretations of the word. She sees it as having Scots-Irish origins related to the poking or pricking done by a “jagger bush” — a sharp irritant, in other words.
Nonetheless, ”I think it helps people to know that a small regional dialect like Pittsburghese is really legitimate — that it’s not just a joke, that it has a history, that it’s a valuable part of our heritage,” she said. “The Oxford English Dictionary is the best respected historical dictionary of the English language.”
That British-based dictionary’s status is notable in that a group of Pittsburghers mounted an unsuccessful petition drive two years ago to win jagoff’s acceptance in the more American Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. A Merriam-Webster’s representative at the time said the term was not universal enough to be added.
John Chamberlin, an organizer of that effort and founder of the www.yajagoff.com Pittsburgh-centric humor website, is delighted that the authoritative Brits are the ones jumping on board now, even if he also disputes some of the listed meanings.
“In Pittsburgh I think we use it for someone who’s being a jerk, somebody who cuts you off in traffic,” said Mr. Chamberlin, a media and marketing consultant from Kennedy. “Or else as a term of endearment. It’s like you go to the family reunion and say, ‘I haven’t seen you in 20 years. Oh my God, how you doin’, you jagoff?’ ”
He credited billionaire investor and sports mogul Mark Cuban with winning national attention for the term in July when speaking at a Hillary Clinton campaign event here. The Mt. Lebanon native was widely quoted as criticizing what he called the loud, intimidating leadership style of Donald Trump.
He told the crowd: “You know what we call a person like that in Pittsburgh? A jagoff!”
An ironic footnote in jagoff’s status, perhaps, is its prominent usage in this very article. In May 2012, Post-Gazette executive editor David M. Shribman issued a memo to the newspaper’s staff directing that the word was, essentially, banned from further appearances in the publication.
Asked for an update Friday, Mr. Shribman said the term would still “not ordinarily appear” in the newspaper. The ban remains, he said, but with the possibility of exceptions.
“I recognize that ‘jagoff’ now has the imprimatur of perhaps the greatest authoritative work in the English language, but there are lots of words that are in the O.E.D. that we don’t use,” he said. “I realize I sound like a jagoff holding to this position. A jagoff, perhaps, but I hope a good-natured one.”
Gary Rotstein: email@example.com or 412-263-1255.
Lloyd Fuge Alumni…
Former mayor sells drilling rights he owns under Clairton for $2.7 million
loyd H. Fuge, mayor of Clairton from 1973 to 1977, purchased the oil and gas drilling rights under 506 acres in that Mon Valley mill town and seven surrounding municipalities 2½ years ago, for $1.
The retired attorney bought the rights from the St. Clair Improvement Co., a transaction signed off on by the company’s president, Lloyd H. Fuge.
Then, 4½ months ago, Mr. Fuge, who is 87 and in poor health, sold those same mineral rights underlying 2,360 homes, businesses and vacant lots — which include the rights to drill in the Marcellus and Utica natural gas shales — to EQT, a Pittsburgh-based natural gas drilling and development company, for $2.784 million.
Only the original owners of the local coke and steel mills, Henry Clay Frick and Andrew Carnegie, could have dreamed about turning that big a profit in that town, that fast.
Mr. Fuge said he first became aware of the SCIC in the “early 1960s,” before he was mayor, when he represented “individuals and corporations” that wanted to purchase property in Clairton. According to land deeds, he has held the title of company president since at least 1964.
Mr. Fuge said he owns almost all of the SCIC’s stock, but he declined to say how or when he became the majority stockholder. And he would not identify members of the company’s board of directors that, he said, approved the sale of the mineral rights to him for $1. He denied a request to view minutes of that meeting of the private company’s board.
Mr. Fuge said EQT, which contacted him about buying the mineral rights, conducted a thorough review of the mineral rights deeds involved in the transactions. EQT declined to comment on the purchase, which significantly increases the gas company’s already considerable mineral rights holdings in the Mon Valley, and enables it to drill horizontally under Clairton.
“[EQT’s attorneys] are convinced of the integrity, the legality, of it,” Mr. Fuge said. “Integrity is not the right word because that conveys a moral judgment, and I don’t think it does that, addresses that.”
But Clairton’s city manager, Howard Bednar, and Lee Lasich, the deputy mayor, still have questions about whether the mineral rights were Mr. Fuge’s to sell. They also want to know if the town Mr. Frick built around the world’s biggest coke-making facility should get more than the $13,920 in real estate transfer taxes those transactions generated, and whether extracting the gas will damage surface properties, homes, roadways and businesses.
“There’s no doubt [EQT] could drill under Clairton horizontally from drill pads in Jefferson Hills,” Mr. Bednar said. “A lot of Clairton has already been undermined and we’re not sure if extracting natural gas will have an impact on surface structures.”
The search for some of those answers will take them back to Jan. 1, 1901, when Mr. Frick established the St. Clair Improvement Co. to lay out streets and build residences for his workers and their families in the valley and on the slopes adjacent to his steel mill along the Monongahela River.
According to the original property deed, written in elegant longhand, Mr. Frick spent $90,000 to acquire land in the area in the 1890s. He turned it all over to St. Clair Improvement Co. to sell to developers and individuals for housing and commercial operations. A state incorporation document shows the company was run by a board of three directors, hand-picked by Mr. Frick. It had five stockholders, with Mr. Frick controlling 1,990 shares, and four shareholders holding the remaining 10 shares.
When the lots went on sale in July 1901, St. Clair Improvement Co. advertisements promoted Clairton as “the ideal home of the man of moderate means … (and) for everybody who wants a home away from the smoke and dirt of Pittsburgh.”
But the big draw was work in the mill, and according to historical summaries produced by the University of Pittsburgh Library System archives, the early 1900s were years of rapid growth for the company town.
During that period, the St. Clair Improvement Co., in which Mr. Frick maintained his initial large majority interest, sold many of its properties. But through a deed mechanism known as a “split estate,” the development company retained the mineral rights — including oil and natural gas — under those surface properties.
Mr. Frick sold the Clairton Works to the Carnegie Steel Co., and its successor, United States Steel Corp., in 1904. And in March 1914 he sold the improvement company to the son of a prominent Uniontown banker, Josiah Vankirk Thompson, who, despite his large inheritance, went bankrupt in 1916. His holdings, valued at $50 million including the SCIC, were sold to cover debts.
After that, SCIC records are very spotty in the university archives and various Mon Valley libraries. Information pieced together through deed searches shows Robert Woods Sutton was company president in 1917, W. A. Seifert was president in 1933 and Harvey R. Worthington was president in 1944 and through at least October 1958. Mr. Fuge said he succeeded Mr. Worthington in the early 1960s.
In December 1964, however, a deed shows his Mr. Fuge’s wife, Dorothy, as the SCIC president who signed off on a transaction in which Mr. Fuge paid delinquent local and corporate taxes totaling $144 to acquire three properties on the east side of Miller Avenue in Clairton from the St. Clair Improvement Co. An “N.R. Fuge,” Mr. Fuge’s mother, Nancy, is listed as company secretary.
According to the deed, the sale was approved by “resolution of the board of directors” that was “passed at a regular meeting” of the board.” An easement granted in 1967 is signed by Mr. Fuge as president and N.R. Fuge as secretary.
There are a handful of St. Clair Improvement Co. property sales recorded in the county deeds office between 1967 and 2013. Mr. Fuge as company president approved one in 1989, with Dorothy Fuge listed as secretary.
Fast-forward to Aug. 18, 2014, when an oil and gas deed recorded in the county’s Real Estate Department memorialized the sale of all of the St. Clair Improvement Co. property rights — that is the mineral rights, including the shale gas formations — to “grantees” Lloyd H. Fuge and Dorothy M. Fuge for a dollar.
The deed is signed by “grantor” Lloyd H. Fuge, “who acknowledged himself to be the president of St. Clair Improvement Co., a Pennsylvania corporation,” and authorized to do so. The deed was attested to by Dorothy M. Fuge, identified as company secretary.
According to the document, in language similar to that found in the deed conveying three properties to Mr. Fuge in 1964, “This conveyance is executed and delivered pursuant to resolution duly adopted by Grantor’s board of directors, subsequently ratified at a duly held shareholders meeting.”
“That’s what happened,” Mr. Fuge said in a phone interview three weeks ago.
Asked the names of the board members, he said, “I don’t think that’s relevant.” He acknowledged that by not naming, or even confirming there are other board members, “That puts the target on me.”
In response to a question about how many board members voted to approve the sale, he again said, “I don’t think that’s relevant, and I’m not sure how much I want to discuss that with you.”
Asked why the board and shareholders would agree to sell him valuable mineral rights for $1, he said, “Because it was aware of how many services I performed for the company over the years. Fifty years ago I took that company out of the garbage and preserved its ability to do business. I paid a dollar, but provided other valuable considerations. I saved it from the trash.”
Asked to name the improvement company’s other shareholders, Mr. Fuge declined, and noted that he practiced law in and around Clairton for more than 40 years and “knows how to avoid disclosing confidentialities.” He then said he owns “almost all of the company’s stock, … 1,800 shares.” He said, “Only two shares are owned by others and no one has been able to find those owners.”
Those SCIC shares don’t quite add up to the number created by Mr. Frick in 1901, but the totals are close. It’s not clear, however, why the SCIC didn’t sell its mineral rights directly to EQT.
Conner M. Cogswell, a Pittsburgh attorney in private practice, prepared the $1 deed from St. Clair Improvement Co. to the Fuges, recorded it in August 2014, and prepared the statement of value, but declined to answer questions about St. Clair’s stockholders or board members, saying he was not authorized to do so by his client.
On March 5, 2015, the improvement company filed a “change of registered office” form to the Pennsylvania Department of State, naming Registered Agent Solutions Inc., a national firm that handles legal correspondence for business entities, as its new office provider.
Registered Agent Solutions declined to identify SCIC’s board members or acknowledge the company is a client, citing a confidentiality policy.
The rights are sold
On Sept. 9, 2016, Lloyd and Dorothy Fuge sold the oil and gas rights they’d acquired to EQT Production Co. for $2,784,100. Ira Weiss, a former law partner and longtime friend of Mr. Fuge, represented him in the transaction.
Asked how the sale to EQT came about, Mr. Fuge said the company approached him, but declined to speak of it further.
“They asked me to not discuss this,” he said. “They feel that they’re in business, and if I divulge things their competitors may have a better idea how to approach leasing and compete more efficiently.”
In response to detailed questions about the sale and its gas development plans, Linda Robertson, an EQT spokeswoman, issued a statement saying its land dealings with individual landowners, associations and organizations are confidential, and its well development and drilling plans for the area “have not been determined.”
In addition to the purchase of mineral rights from Mr. Fuge, EQT since August 2009 has bought or leased mineral rights under more than 4,000 parcels of land in Forward, Jefferson Hills, Elizabeth, West Elizabeth, Lincoln, Dravosburg, Liberty, White Oak, Plum, West Mifflin and Churchill.
In its 2017 “Operational Forecast,” a public document on the gas company’s web page, EQT said it plans to drill 119 Marcellus Shale gas wells with an average lateral (horizontal) length of 7,000 feet this year, 76 of those in its “core” Pennsylvania acreage. It already has drilled wells on three pads in Forward and has a permit for a fourth pad but has drilled no wells yet. The company also has permits to drill on pads in Jefferson Hills and Elizabeth.
The state Department of Environmental Protection has approved 11 as-yet-undrilled wells for EQT’s Bickerton well pad, located near a residential Jefferson Hills neighborhood and the Tepe baseball and soccer field. The pad, which could eventually contain up to 16 wells, is just 1,300 feet from Clairton’s western border.
Officials saw it in the newspaper
Notification of the big mineral rights purchase under Clairton first appeared on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s “Real Estate Transfers” list on Oct. 2, with a 10-word notice: “Lloyd Fuge to EQT Production Co., property, Shaw Ave., $2,784,100.”
“We found out about it in the newspaper’s deed transfers listing. We really didn’t know of any property on Shaw Avenue that was worth that much, or any 10 properties for that matter. Then we went and got the deed and saw mineral rights under more than 1,500 Clairton properties listed,” said Mr. Bednar.
“My main concern is that it will lead to gas development under homes and the city,” said Ms. Lasich, Clairton’s deputy mayor. “Clairton’s all undermined and if the drillers hit something there could be subsidence and worse. I don’t need to see any explosions in my ward of the city.”
Mr. Weiss, who grew up in Clairton where his father owned a butcher shop and grocery, said he wasn’t involved in Mr. Fuge’s mineral rights purchase. He added that records of a board vote approving the sale by the privately held company to Mr. Fuge aren’t part of any public record, and he doesn’t know who else is on the board of directors, saying, “That’s his personal business, and I wasn’t part of that.”
But Mr. Weiss confirmed that EQT “landmen” and deed researchers identified the improvement company as the owner of the mineral rights under Clairton and the surrounding area, and EQT attorneys approached Mr. Fuge, “several years ago” about acquiring those rights.
“All the title work was done by EQT. It’s a billion-dollar corporation and its lawyers did an exhaustive review of the titles and records, was satisfied with what they found and they paid him. That’s the long and short of it.”
Mr. Weiss defended Mr. Fuge, who lost his sight in a chemicals accident when he was a boy, as “an accomplished lawyer, one of the brightest I’ve known,” and said the mineral rights sale, except for its size, is no different than the thousands of others that have occurred since the shale gas boom began a decade ago.
“Whether people like this or are jealous, it doesn’t matter,” Mr. Weiss said. “He owned the property and he sold it. EQT is not complaining.”
Don Hopey: firstname.lastname@example.org,
Lou Schreiber, Alumi
Jazz is his life’s breath
Nearly 70 years ago, Lou Schreiber’s tiny lungs needed pure oxygen to survive. No one knew it was also stealing his sight.
In the late 1940s and early ’50s, he was one of an estimated 10,000 premature infants blinded by too much oxygen in their incubators. His twin brother Ed was affected, too, but he could see well enough to one day build houses for both of them in Bellevue.
Lou, 69, still lives in Bellevue, and jazz is his oxygen. He exhales it through a saxophone or clarinet, and anyone can see how it brings an audience to life.
“You can just feel the energy by the way they applaud,” he says.
His father, Herb, a mechanic, taught him to play the piano when he was 3. He has perfect pitch, even better than his mother, Frances, who sang in the choir at Assumption Catholic Church.
In second grade, he learned to read music by braille, but that’s tedious for a pianist.
“You learn one hand at a time,” he says. “You read with one hand and play with the other. Then you memorize the other hand and put it together.
“I could learn much faster by ear. My ear was ahead of what my fingers could do.”
At the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, his music teachers scolded him. “They said, ‘You’re only hurting yourself by not reading the music.’”
In fifth grade, someone brought band instruments to music class. Young Lou chose the clarinet. His friend, Eric Kloss, who also has perfect pitch, chose the saxophone.
In the sixth or seventh grade, students began learning a skill. Boys usually picked woodworking or chair caning. He chose piano tuning.
In the summer between eighth and ninth grade, he learned to play the saxophone. Bob Koshan, one of the school’s piano instructors, turned young Lou and Eric on to a new play to play.
“We didn’t necessarily play it right, but we became lovers of jazz,” he says.
Learning by ear, the teenagers picked up three or four new songs each week. They formed a trio with fellow student Ray Lantz, 16, a drummer from Punxatawney. They were featured in a Jan. 6, 1963, Pittsburgh Press article headlined “Jazz From the Darkness.” Later that year, they traveled to Cleveland to appear on “The Mike Douglas Show,” with the Four Coins and Jayne Mansfield.
The trio played together throughout high school. They dreamed of music careers, but school officials, including superintendent Alton G. Kloss, Eric’s father, wanted to make sure they also possessed life skills.
“You graduated when you could pass a mobility test,” Mr. Schreiber recalls.
That meant a student was dropped off somewhere Downtown with a tactile map. He was given an hour to find Kaufmann’s department store. With his map and the help of passersby, he did it.
After graduation in 1967, Mr. Kloss put his dream of becoming a professional musician on hold to attend Duquesne University. His friend couldn’t wait.
“Featuring the young & fantastic Pittsburgher,” says a 1967 poster for the New World Restaurant & Lounge on the North Side. “Hear Lou Schreiber on the piano & sax. The New World’s contribution to the world of sound.”
The 19-year-old with a full head of hair had a special guest star that evening: trombonist Harold Betters. Years later, Mr. Schreiber returned the favor at The Encore.
“Harold was big at The Encore. He drew enormous crowds,” he says.
A few months after that North Side gig, Mr. Schreiber went on the road with Chuck Corby & the Entrees. He rocked the piano at evening concerts, but jazz on the sax and clarinet was his nightcap.
“I looked forward to sitting in with jazz bands at after-hours clubs,” he says.
When he returned home, he got a job with the Pittsburgh Public Schools, tuning and repairing pianos. That led to a job as a tuner for Baldwin Piano Co., where he met one of his mentors, pianist George “Duke” Spaulding.
One of the lessons his mentor taught him was that a Pittsburgh musician ought to have a day job. For six years, the two men tuned pianos during the day and played music together in the evenings on the local country club circuit. Mr. Schreiber also played regularly at local restaurants and nightclubs, including Christopher’s on Mount Washington.
In 1980, he heard that Johnny Costa was auditioning pianists to play in the lobby of the William Penn Hotel. He got the job and another mentor. “Johnny was better than anybody else. I really respected him,” he says.
Mr. Schreiber always knew when Mr. Costa, the longtime music director on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” was around. He could smell his Macanudo cigars.
For 18 years, Mr. Schreiber played piano from 7 p.m. to midnight in the William Penn lobby. Mr. Costa, who worked 5-7 p.m., died in 1996.
In 1990, Mr. Schreiber joined 5 Guys Named Moe. He still plays with the band occasionally and is a regular performer at Zion Christian Church in Carrick. On every second Sunday from September to May, Mr. Schreiber plays at a 5 p.m. jazz vespers service at Emmanuel Episcopal Church on the North Side.
In 1999, he began playing at Christ Church at Grove Farm in Sewickley. There he met Christine Kunzmann, who sang and played keyboards.
“I had never been around blind people,” she says. “I was amazed at his spirit and independence and abilities…. Someone said, ‘This guy needs a ride…’”
“And she had a job for life!” Mr. Schreiber interjects.
They were married at the Christy House, part of St. Stephen’s Church in Sewickley, on Aug. 27, 2003. A photo shows the groom playing clarinet as his bride comes up the aisle.
“Music is Lou’s true voice,” she says. “He communicates his thoughts and feelings more fluently and effortlessly in his playing than he does verbally.
“Music isn’t something he does. It is very much a part of who he is.”
Mr. Schreiber, who was inducted into the Pittsburgh Jazz Society Hall of Fame in 2014, still lives and breathes the music he loves.
“Everyone should listen to it,” he says. “Jazz is food for the soul.”
Kevin Kirkland: email@example.com
James Thomas Musto, Alumni
Jim was born on October 20, 1952 in the East Carnegie area of Pittsburgh. He grew up with two sisters and one brother. Their father owned his own truck and worked as an independent contractor transporting merchandise throughout the area.
Jim is an inspiration to all who know him. Although he is blind, he has never allowed that to curtain how he enjoys life.
His niece, Victoria, taught him to play the piano and he picked up that skill very easily. From there, he taught himself to play the accordion and he was a frequent entertainer here at PRIME TIME. Clients enjoyed both his musical skills as well as the big, beautiful smile he always shared with everyone. (He entertains us still with his music and smile on days he attends.)
Jim has a favorite summer memory that is on-going still. He travels to Lewistown, Pennsylvania to stay at the Beacon Lodge for the Blind. While there he participates in swimming, hiking, kayaking and dancing. Attending this summer will make it 50 consecutive years of this experience!
Jim also enjoys trips to Kennywood where his favorite activity there is riding all of the rollercoasters.
Jim attended the School for the Blind in Pittsburgh and after graduating, he trained to become a masseuse. After 10 years into this training, his mentor died and Jim was not through with his certification so, unfortunately, he was unable to practice that skill.
He later attended the Guild for the Blind in Bridgeville and attained many life skills there, as well. Besides being a popular musical entertainer, he also worked at Steak ‘N Shake assisting everyone there by wrapping the silverware needed every day.
Everyone enjoyed Jim as a PRIME TIME entertainer, but now everyone enjoys him more as a client where there is more time to appreciate his wonderful personality. Jim says he enjoys playing games, exercising, sharing his music and time with his new friends here.
When Michael Malley and his wife, Gill, rented their first house in Pittsburgh they had little money and no stuff. They looked to auctions and flea markets to furnish their space “and then we got too much, because we loved it,” she said.
They took their surplus wares to an open flea market at a drive-in movie theater and thus begun Mr. Malley’s career as an antiques dealer and expert.
One of the foremost antiques appraisers in the Pittsburgh area, Mr. Malley died suddenly at his Regent Square home Saturday of what is believed to be a heart attack. He was 77.
In 1980, he opened the East End Galleries antique shop on Clyde Street in Oakland.
“Michael was really the go-to antique appraiser from those days through his entire life,” said the store’s co-founder Harley Trice, noting that Mr. Malley had been scheduled this week to appraise Arnold Palmer’s house.
The store, he said, “really tried to focus on things that were made in Western Pennsylvania because nobody seemed to really know or understand the antique heritage in this area.”
Mr. Malley was particularly knowledgeable on the region’s antique silver and served as an appraiser when the PBS program “Antiques Roadshow” came to the Heinz History Center.
He grew up in North Braddock, the youngest of five children and the first in his family to attend college. He graduated from Franklin & Marshall in Lancaster and signed up for the Peace Corps, serving in the Philippines as one of the program’s first 1,000 volunteers.
When he returned to Pittsburgh, he took a job teaching at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Blind, where he worked for 10 years before starting East End Galleries.
He donated both his time and artwork that he’d acquired to museums in the region, particularly the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Westmoreland Museum of American Art.
“He was a dear friend of the museum and really was so free with his expertise,” said Barbara Jones, chief curator of the Westmoreland museum. Monday, the museum placed a memorial in front of a life-sized portrait he’d donated to their collection, reading in part, “His advice resonates in the galleries today.”
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Elizabeth Malley of Squirrel Hill, and Anne Fox of Darien, Conn., as well as a sister, Alice Esposto of Avella, and three grandchildren.
He was buried Tuesday in a private ceremony at Monongahela Cemetery.
The family requests that memorial donations be made to the Carnegie Museum of Art or Goodwill Industries.
Anya Sostek: firstname.lastname@example.org
Philagonas (Keberly) Evancic
Philagonas (Keberly) Evancic, age 82, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016, at her home in DuBois, Pa., following a lingering illness.
She is survived by her husband, Anthony H. Evancic, and two brothers, Charles (Carolyn), Livonia, Michigan, and Paul (Geraldine), Lake City, Michigan. Born in Merrittstown (Fayette), Pa., she was the daughter of the late Harold and Kathryn Keberly.
A brother, Edward, and a sister, Charlamagne Brandt, preceded Philagonas in death.
Philagonas was a graduate of the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, Pittsburgh, where she was a student from kindergarten through grade 12.
Soon after graduation from the school for blind children she was employed there as a House Mother. Later, she was elevated to the position of classroom
teacher’s aid. While working at the school during the day she attended night classes at the University of Pittsburgh where she earned a bachelor’s degree
in elementary education. She was then advanced to the position of classroom teacher. She worked in that capacity until her retirement in 1983. Following
her retirement she moved to Michigan where she lived near her brothers for a number of years. In 2002 she returned to Pittsburgh and married Anthony Evancic where they lived until moving to their present residence at The Cottages, Christ The King Manor, DuBois, Pa.
She will be remembered for her passion for baking fancy cookies during the Christmas season made from family recipes handed down through the generations from the Old Country. Although legally blind, Philagonas was very skillful with needle and thread and everyone in the family remembers when she made them something nice to wear. She also made many of her own clothes.
Brothers Charles and Paul will forever remember that as youngsters, on Christmas Eve Philagonas would read to them in Braille the story of Lionel Electric Trains.
Necrology report for 2017
Joanne Iannuzzo class of 1954 died in July of 2016.
Mary Margret Leydig Nye class of 1970 died in August of 2016.
Philagonas Keberly Evancic class of 1953 died in August of 2016.
Clarence Gilbert class of 1959 died in September of 2016.
Richard Mcstraw class of 1958 lost his wife in 2016.
Lorraine Brooks class of 1950 died in November of 2016.
Donna Hazen Inks class of 1963 died in December of 2016.
Richard Miller former student died in December of 2016.
Ida Cramer wife of the late Ed Cramer died in January of 2017.
Jim Nornhold class of 1958 died in January 2017.
Carl Kochik former student died in February 2017.
Jack Feltenberger class of 1954 died in March of 2017.
Bill Greenlee former student died in April of 2017.
Michael Malley former teacher died in 2016.
Now some sad news via email provided by Joe Wassermann.
Just had a very long talk with Liz DePiero. Two weeks ago, she finally had to place Sam in the dementia unit at Asberry Heights. The Hospice people visit him daily, and one of the workers happens to like jazz; so does Sam so those days are very enjoyable for him. Liz tries to see him every day to help him at supper time. Please send all your prayers and thoughts to both of them. It’s been a long haul for Liz over these past years. Posted by: jcwchess <email@example.com
In other news:
DR. Simon broke her ankle last year as a result of an accident in the kitchen at her residence. She is reported to be doing fine now and has recovered nicely from the incident.
Thanks for your time in reading the bulletin and have a wonderful summer!