Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown — The Top 10

This is the time of the year where people are posting all sorts of Top Ten lists for 2015, and so I thought you all might enjoy seeing what were the top ten “Youngstown” posts in 2015, based on number of views. I will just give the topic for each post without the “Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown”. Each topic is linked back to the original post. Enjoy!

Open_Hearth_bar

The Open Hearth Bar on Steel Street, Photo by Tony Tomsic, Special Collections, Cleveland State University Library

10. Neighborhood BarsWritten on the occasion of the closing of the Boulevard Tavern, I reflect on how bars were a rich part of the fabric of neighborhoods in Youngstown.

9. PierogiesOne of the staples of Friday night dinners during Lent. Numerous churches in the area sold them as fund-raisers.

8. SleddingI posted about a number of the places I went sledding growing up and you added memories like “Suicide Hill.”

7. The Three “F’s” of ChristmasJust posted. If you didn’t see it, can you guess what they were?

WHOT Good Guys6. WHOTDo you remember the Good Guys, who we not only listened to on the radio, but met at dances and WHOT days at Idora Park?

5. Brier Hill PizzaYou know you are from Youngstown if you know what a Brier Hill pizza is. I throw in some history and videos in this one!

4. Boardman RollercadeA favorite hangout for many of us growing up. Many of you shared memories of the Kalasky family who ran the place.

3. Front PorchesYour response to this one surprised me! So many shared memories of sleeping out on porches on summer nights or watching TV on the porch.

2. The Cookie TableAnother of those “you know you are from Youngstown if” kinds of things. Most people, other than those from Pittsburgh, don’t even know about this tradition, and nobody does it better!

And the top post of 2015, drumroll please….!

Bejgli2

Kolachi or nut rolls. By Hu Totya (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

1. Kolachi. We love these nut rolls, even though it takes a lot of effort to make them. And consistent with last year, a food post was the top post once again. We do love our food if we are from Youngstown!

I’ve loved interacting with so many of you on Facebook or on the blog. You’ve made writing about our home town such a blast. Happy New Year!

 

21 thoughts on “Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown — The Top 10

  1. Dear Bob
    Great list!
    Happy New Year to all of you who love Y-Town and have called it home now or in the past.
    Michelle

  2. Thoroughly enjoy reading all of your posts on Youngstown…such great memories are stirred. I especially enjoy them as I look forward to my 50th Rayen Reunion in September, 2016.
    I hope u will continue to write about Yoingstown. I also enjoy many of your other blogs, especially those on religion.

  3. Although I have been away for over 50 years, I still love to come “home” and long for the traditions of our Italian family…including Briar Hill Pizza (whoever heard of mozzarella on pizza??). And you can’t beat the food anywhere else. Love to go into Rulli’s and just smell the cheeses and salami.

    Patti Zitello Hripko

  4. I lived in Youngstown as a young child. I really enjoyed your blog on the top ten but was a little disappointed when you didn’t mention Mill Creek Park in the sledding section. I remember sledding there with my cousin Carol, whom some Youngstown residents may know her better as Sister Carol Ann. I also remember going on the rides at Idora Park. and the Christmas Parade at the square.

    • I did mention a couple hills into the park from S Lakewiew abd BelleVista as well as Rocky Ridge which was part of the park. I lived on the West Side and didnvt do Suicide Hill or some of the other locations. Others filled in my lack of experience in their comments. Great memories!

  5. Best hot sausage was Remedio’s, going to North Side Pool in the summer, St. Anthony festival, walking from Ryan football field after the game to Ursline high school for the dance. Summer time at Idora park, with Boots Bell to dance. Could go on and on!

  6. Youngstown born and raised!Kolachi (or nut rolls as they are called in other places) just dont taste the same as the ones you get in Youngstown. For better or worse, I ♥ my hometown!

  7. Wow, we grew up around the corner from Idora, French fries, the jack rabbit. I made my parents drive me to roller skate 3-5 times a week. Best food ever in Youngstown, My family( Goldich ) had the best life growing up there. Living in New York. Will always be a Youngstown girl!!!
    Linda Goldich Rappaport

  8. Bob,
    I’m catching up on your blogs which I did not have time to read till now. I love all that you write about Youngstown! Thanks for refreshing so many wonderful memories about growing up in Youngstown! I was back there for Thanksgiving this past year and proudly took my adult son on a tour while reminiscing about growing up in Youngstown! Of course, I had to explain how many things have changed since the mills closed. I am most thankful for my upbringing and education in Youngstown! Looking forward to going back for my 50th Reunion from Cardinal Mooney in Oct. 2016. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  9. Growing up in Youngstown, there were also OTHER good things to eat, like DiRusso Italian sausage at the Canfield Fair, Belleria Pizza, Wedgewood Pizza, Mt Carmel church’s monthly Spaghetti dinners, Plaza donuts, Jib Jab hot dogs, and going out to Whitehouse fruit farms to get their fresh baked pies and get some fresh produce . Having a family get together at The stone house in Mill Creek Park for weddings ,Christmas, or Thanksgiving, ect. Going to the old Mill in Mill Creek Park. And going to the flower gardens to have your pictures taken for your wedding day. And don’t forget Idora Park Amusement Park! So many concerts and ball games played there! And all those rides, the Jack Rabbit,Kooky Castle, tilt-a- while, catapillar ride, spider ,Merry-go-round, and so much more!My Aunt worked at St, Elizabeth Hospital and she would give my mom Tickets to go to St, Elizabeth’s company picnic. What fun! I still love Youngstown, although. I no longer live there. Youngstown will always be my true home!

  10. Growing up in Youngstown, there were also OTHER good things to eat, like DiRusso Italian sausage at the Canfield Fair, Belleria Pizza, Wedgewood Pizza, Mt Carmel church’s monthly Spaghetti dinners, Plaza donuts, Jib Jab hot dogs, and going out to Whitehouse fruit farms to get their fresh baked pies and get some fresh produce . Having a family get together at The stone house in Mill Creek Park for weddings ,Christmas, or Thanksgiving, ect. Going to the old Mill in Mill Creek Park. And going to the flower gardens to have your pictures taken for your wedding day. And don’t forget Idora Park Amusement Park! So many concerts and ball games played there! And all those rides, the Jack Rabbit,Kooky Castle,Wildcat roller coaster, tilt-a- while, catapillar ride, spider ,Merry-go-round, and so much more!My Aunt worked at St, Elizabeth Hospital and she would give my mom Tickets to go to St, Elizabeth’s company picnic. What fun! I still love Youngstown, although. I no longer live there. Youngstown will always be my true home!

  11. Having been moved by my parents to a small town in Florida at the age of 18, I thought my parents had brought me to the end of the world. Everything was SO strange. I missed The West side, Borts pool, the Schenley theater, Isley’s, HILLS (Florida has NO hills), Boots Bell, csardas’s, stuffed cabbage and pierogis, Idora Park, the Jack Rabbit, Friday & Saturday nights at The Cove at Idora Park, The Human Beingz, Mickey’s Bar, 3.2% beer, Catholics, Mill Creek Park, the Rose Garden, sledding down Hazelwood St, Rock Creek Park, nut and poppy seed rolls, and, yes, even black snow!! I felt the place my Dad moved us had no personality and no culture. Over the decades I have met quite a few Youngstown transplants in Florida, and we always enjoy reminiscing.

  12. Reminiscing (sp?) about all those things & more. Ice skating on Lake Glacier, ice skating on the tennis court at Borts Playground when they would flood it over in the winter, bowling at Gran Lanes. Idora Park was a weekly trip! Definitely Isaly’s & the malteds at Strouss’ downtown, banana splits at McCrory’s, triple-decker sandwiches at the Woolworth’s lunch counter, honeymooner donuts, best Chinese food at the Hong Kong Restaurant on Phelps Street (you had to walk upstairs to get there!). Please everyone, keep sharing & thank you so much.

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