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‘It’s South End Thing’ as neighborhood celebrates

August 25, 2013
By DAVE GOSSETT - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

STEUBENVILLE - Dorothy Clancey McDonough has been a South Ender all her life.

"I was born on what was the old Dieckman Farm at the top of Coal Hill. My parents' home was on Clancey Lane. Then my parents moved to McKinley Avenue and in 1968 we moved to Lincoln Heights. And that is where we raised our daughters and where I still live. I have always been and still remain a South Ender," McDonough explained.

McDonough and two of her daughters joined more than 130 people who participated Saturday in the 2013 South End Reunion at Beatty Park.

Article Photos

SOUTH END MCDONOUGHS — Carla McDonough Milosovich, left, and Connie McDonough Cunningham, right, join their mother Dorothy McDonough at the South End Reunion Saturday at Beatty Park. Dorothy McDonough is a life long resident of the city’s South End and raised her daughters on Lincoln Heights. - Dave Gossett

"Seems like there are a lot of faces I don't remember but they remember me, and that is good," she said.

The reunion has been in the works since Lynn Bell Haines started to talk about the idea of a reunion on Facebook.

Police Captain John Young, a former Lincoln Avenue resident, was planning to attend the reunion and was asked to serve as the official police security for the event.

"Its nice to be here and hear people reminiscing about the old South End. I have heard stories about the businesses that were here, the schools and the friendships people made back then that are still strong today," Young said.

"I knew every tree and hole from Beatty Park to the Country Club. And as far as the businesses, you had Carfagna's, Stern's Grocery Store, Bill's Confectionery and Ravasio's store. There's not too many of the older folks left now. There are a lot more younger people here who grew up in the South End. I'm glad I came today because I was born and raised in this neighborhood," said Bill Kerr who had a white L pinned to his t-shirt.

"This was my Lincoln School letter I got in 1945. I still have it and wore it today" added Kerr.

Kerr also talked about growing up in the South End and spending summer days and evenings at Beatty Park.

"It's where we all came all day long. We ran home and ate dinner and then came back until the park closed and the caretaker would make us leave. In the winter we would sled ride on McKinley Avenue. The city would bring a steel barrel, some wood and coal and we built a fire to stay warm. We started in Billy McKee's field and came down Harding Avenue. We usually went home when our clothes were so frozen we couldn't take it any longer," recalled Kerr.

Fred Antill was born in the original caretaker's house at the entrance to Beatty Park.

"My grandfather, George Brady, was the caretaker, and my parents moved in with him when my dad was laid-off from Wheeling Steel. Dr. Max Rosenblum delivered me on May 25, 1935, and I never heard the end of that story for a long time," Antill remarked.

"This park was everyone's playground. It was the place where all the kids in the neighborhood came to swim or play. After my dad went back to work we ended up moving to Merriman Avenue still here in the South End. I'm glad I came back here today because this was the coolest place in town. No one in the South End really had anything, but we had everything. I can remember Beatty Park being full of people every day. It was a great time in the neighborhood," said Antill.

Debbie Tempest Booth still lives in the Lincoln Avenue home she was born and raised in.

"Everyone's parents were your parents. The parents watched over all of the kids and treated every kid like they were their own. And everyone in the South End are always willing to help each other out. My father grew up here. Most of the men who lived in the South End worked at Wheeling Steel. They didn't always have a car so they lived close enough where they could walk to work," Booth explained.

"We once had three slaughter houses in the neighborhood plus the different stores. It was a great place to grow up. No one cared if you were rich or poor. We were all one family. You can look around and see the camaraderie here today. We are all very proud to be from the South End. It's hard to explain to someone who didn't grow up here. We considered the area from the railroad underpass to the bus turn around to be the South End," declared Booth.

Jim Trimmer has been a South Ender since 1926 when he was born in a house across the street from the Beatty Park entrance.

"Growing up in the South End was wonderful. I went to the old Lincoln School and belonged to Finley Methodist Church. Later on when I got married, my wife and I moved to a house on Tweed Avenue and raised our family in the South End. The South End is my home," Trimmer said.

Helen "Tubby" O'Malley McGuigan was born on South Fourth Street but soon lived on Lincoln Avenue, Harding Avenue, Wilson Avenue and McKinley Avenue.

"There were a lot of Scottish families in the South End back in those days. Coming here today brings tears to my eyes. It is hard to explain what it was like to live here," she said.

Terri Smogonovich was wearing a black t-shirt that proclaimed, "Its A South End Thing, you wouldn't understand.

"I was born on Lincoln Avenue and grew up here. My mother still lives on Lincoln Avenue. Growing up here was the best. Someone always had your back. Everyone knew everyone else. And it is still that way today. You can take a person out of the South End but you can't take the South End out of the person. It is so nice to see all of these people here today," Terri Smogonovich.

"I can remember we would all walk through the park and through Union Cemetery to see the Big Red football games. No one worried about us. We went as a group and no one was scared. We took care of each other," said Terri Smogonovich.

Her brother Bob lives in the house next to the Beatty Park entrance.

"It was great growing up down here because we had Beatty Park. The entire South End was a great place for kids. Some of the places have changed since I was a kid. But we still have a really beautiful park," said Bob Smogonovich.

But Terri Smogonovich had the best childhood story of the day when she was joined by her life long friend Molly Talbott Paolisso.

"We would climb down into the creek in the winter and rescue frozen starlings. We took those bird's back to Molly's house where we thawed them out. Molly's mother was in the kitchen baking when those starlings started flying around her. She got so mad at us. But we didn't know those starlings would thaw out so fast," Terri Smogonovich recalled.

"Molly and I have been friends since kindergarten and she is still my best friend," she added.

Former Capital Avenue resident Ed Morehouse along with his wife, sister and nephew traveled from Port Orange, Fla., just to attend the reunion.

"The house we grew up in is gone now. But it was a great part of the South End neighborhood. Except in the winter when the street wasn't cleaned and we had to walk up that hill. I can remember my mother playing Christmas music on the front porch, so everyone around could get in the mood. I believe we had 44 kids living on Capital Avenue when we were growing up. There was always someone to play with. Making the trip here was well worth it. This is a great reunion," Morehouse said.

Mike Ravasio, along with his sisters Patty Ravasio Cramblett and Pam Ravasio Wright laughed when asked about their father's grocery store on Lincoln Avenue.

"He was always yelling at the kids to get off his steps in front of the store. But he had the best penny candy in town. There were always kids coming in to buy that candy," recounted Mike Ravasio.

"The South End was a special place because everyone knew each other. And we were at Beatty Park from the minute it opened until when it closed. It was a great neighborhood and everyone always had fun," he added.

Connie Strachan Creek said she was pleased with the turnout at the reunion.

"Lynn Bell Haines started this idea on Facebook and we should all pat ourselves on the back. We want to do this every year to bring people together and to show our South End neighborhood and Beatty Park is still a pretty good place," stated Creek.

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