Bridgeville's Octogenarian Club enjoys an annual event, with a twist
The Octogenarian Club deviated from its regular routine this month and met for lunch at Sammy's Pin High Pub at Hickory Heights Golf Club, instead of brunch at Bob Evans.
This is becoming an annual event for us, one that we all enjoy.
“Sammy,” of course, is Sam Depe III, owner and manager of the golf club. Our first visit to the club was for a surprise 80th birthday party for Don Toney three summers ago. I'm glad Don suggested we continue this tradition.
Don, Sam Capozzoli, Lou Kwasniewski, Dick Rothermund, and I are the remnants of a group of eight members of BHS Class of 1949 who began having brunch together about 15 years ago. Ray Fagan, Don Schullek, and Jack McGrogan are no longer with us. We miss Dick in the summer when he is at his summer home at Van Buren Point, near Dunkirk, N.Y.
Fortunately, his absence is filled by the arrival of another ‘49er, John Rosa. John lives in Arizona, but returns to Bridgeville each summer to see his friends and relatives here. It is always a pleasure to see him and to get his perspective on the problems of the world that we attempt to resolve.
The Octogenarian Club also has associate members, younger guys yet to achieve the maturity of eight decades. We welcome the attendance of Dale Deblander, Russell Kovach, and my brother Joe. Russ mentioned this time that he soon will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of his moving to Lafayette Street, where Joe, Dale, and I lived when we were young. I was pleased to hear him say that neighborhood kids still play together on the street; recently a group played street hockey in front of his house, with a gang from Elm Street as opponents.
Regular readers of this column will be aware of Sam Depe and his remarkable story – rehabilitation following a disastrous automobile accident, and the acquisition and transformation of Hickory Heights into a vibrant, viable golf club. It is always a pleasure to meet Sam; his optimistic outlook on life makes the term “handicapped” seem absurd.
Standing on the deck of the clubhouse and looking out over the golf course, it was easy for us to wish we were all 50 years younger and preparing to tee off in a game of “skins.” Turning back the calendar wouldn't have worked; in 1963, this was the top of a ridge with nothing but woods and farm land in sight. Ed Weise and I hiked up Coal Pit Run to its source in the 1940s, and that's how I remember this area.
We eavesdropped on an interesting conversation between Sam Depe and Sam Capozzoli. Sam Depe remembered Mrs. Capozzoli making pizza for the whole neighborhood when he was a young boy, and everyone thinking she should go into the restaurant business. This, years before pizza shops became popular.
Don Toney and Sam Capozzoli had stopped at the Bridgeville History Center on the way to lunch and were quite complimentary regarding the exhibit on Bridgeville schools. We have agreed to help put together a future exhibit focusing specifically on Bridgeville area sports teams and individuals. This generated a lot of suggestions regarding things and persons to be included. We are interested in feedback from readers of this column regarding this subject, especially people with things they would like to loan the society for such an exhibit.
Lou Kwasniewski had to leave the gathering a few minutes early. Some of their children were coming that afternoon to help him and his wife celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary the next day. Even for an octogenarian, a 60th anniversary is impressive.
Next time, we will revert back to our normal schedule — first and third Wednesdays at 10 a.m. at Bob Evans. Anyone wanting to join us is welcome. Just look for several tables pushed together in the back corner and a group of guys who appear to be on leave from a rest home.
My personal love affair with the Bob Evans restaurant chain has been strained since they replaced their photographs of old days in Bridgeville with a collection of nondescript bucolic scenes. When I complained, I was told this was a corporate decision, aimed at pleasing a younger clientele. Too bad, I enjoyed visiting their restaurants in other locations and examining their historical photos.
The good news is that they donated the pictures to the Bridgeville Area Historical Society. I wonder what happened to the ones at the Bob Evans in Zanesville; I always admired their picture of the old “Y” bridge.
John Oyler is a columnist for Trib Total Media. He can be reacxhed at 412-343-1652 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Town Talk: Carnegie family plans May 2015 wedding
- Fundraiser in Bridgeville to help family after liver transplant
- Carnegie library brings Broadway flair to fundraiser
- Carnegie looks to address borough’s flooding trouble spots
- Oyler: Vacation allows family bonding, exploration of new places
- South Fayette Giant Eagle open for business
- Bridgeville, South Fayette libraries look to replace director
- Family rolls into Bridgeville with ice-cream truck dream