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|| Did You Know?
|| August, 2008
Did You Know?
By Al Owens
Did you know that it doesn’t pay
to leave your wife for nearly three decades, and then return with the hope that
nothing has changed?
That’s the experience of a
Uniontown man, who left his wife for 27 years. What he found when he got home –
made national news.
In the October 7th, 1937 edition
of the Anniston (Alabama) Star, it was reported that the husband returned to
Uniontown to discover that his wife had remarried twice, and that he’d actually become the step-father of eight children while he was away.
He did make his way to the garage
where he found his real son. He introduced himself, but his son’s reply was
simply, “You’ve had one too many mister. My father’s dead.”
Did you know that if you pitch a
no-hitter, you’re supposed to win? Well, in July of 1939, Bruno Vitz of Lambert
in the Frick League did, indeed, pitch a no hit, no run game – but he still
didn’t win the game against the team from Smock.
The game was such an oddity, that
an account of it made it into the Modesto (California) Bee
The reason the game got that kind
of attention across the country, was that the pitcher from Smock didn’t give up
any runs either. The game was called after the ninth inning due to darkness, but
without Vitz’ no hitter producing a win.
Did you know that a professional
basketball team once battled a local team – and lost?
In fact, pro teams made Fayette
County a frequent barnstorming stop during the first half of the 20th century.
In January of 1927, for instance,
the defending world champions – the Cleveland Rosenblums - beat Uniontown’s
sandlot team, the Five Horsemen by a score of 37-21 at Gallatin Gardens.
It was a game that was marred by
The account of the game the
following morning in the Uniontown Morning Herald claimed the Rosenblums weren’t
in world championship form, but rather they “looked like champions of Pea
Despite the hostilities in 1927,
there were a number of subsequent games involving pro basketball teams in the
In January of 1930, the
Rosenblums needed a strong second half to beat the Scottdale Buicks at the
Scottdale Armory by a score of 49-38.
One of the Rosenblums, Joe
Lapchick, would eventually become a basketball hall of famer, and he’d gain as
much fame for being one of the first athletes to endorse a product.
The Joe Lapchick canvas shoe was
once every budding basketball player’s staple.
While many of the attempts by
local athletes to defeat pro teams were unsuccessful, in December of 1939 the
New York Celtics (not affiliated with the Boston team with the same name) faced
the Uniontown Independents at South Union High School’s gymnasium.
Uniontown jumped out to a 10-2
first quarter lead and never looked back. Finally, it was a victory for local
amateurs against the pros. The final score: 51-34. Uniontown’s future coaching
legend, A. J. Everhart, Jr. scored 13 points for the home team.
Did you know that people around
the world learned about a Uniontown kidnapping in 1991?
According to the March 21st
Pacific edition of the military newspaper Stars and Stripes (Japan), pranksters
“abducted” a seven foot tall plastic Big Boy statue from the top of the Elby’s
Big Boy restaurant on Route 40.
The thieves put it in their truck
and dragged the head on the road for about two miles before they released the
statue. The police followed the tracks made by the dragged head and retrieved
Did you know it’s never too late
to find marital bliss? In 1979, readers of that Pacific edition of Stars and
Stripes were made aware of a wedding in May of 1979 that may have broken some
kind of record.
It seems that a 91 year-old man
who lived on a farm near Uniontown, Lee Harbarger, had tied the knot with an 89
year-old widow from Miami. They’d met by corresponding through a lonely hearts
club, and “didn’t want to live out their last days alone.”
Did you know that Stars and
Stripes seemed to have had a fascination with marriages, in general, in Fayette
County? In the German edition of that paper there was a story on February 15th,
1950 about a 79 year-old mountaineer from near Uniontown who’d married a 17
year-old from the nearby hills of West Virginia
He told a reporter they “found
the love we have sought so long.”
Did you know that a Uniontown resident’s failed fight for equality made
It’s true, and I’ll fill you about it next week.