“Meet You Up The Gassy”
Yeah, that’s what we all said in the 50’s and 60’s! That was our “hang around place.” While many of the Acapella groups practiced their singing down in the last Gassy, our guardians would be in the top Gassy mingling, playing cards, telling jokes and “ranking each other out” in a fun way. It was like tuning into the Late Night Show; entertainment every night!
We were just “stand bys,” but faithful companions that grew up with that generation of “baby boomers.” There was “Missie” Ciampa, a black and white highly animated Border Collie who managed to escape her Snowhill St. home every time there was an event that included fireworks! Meet “Duke” D’Amico, the “stud dog” of the North End.
There was the black lab mix that we nick-named “the wanderer.” We lost track of how many puppies he sired! Somewhat scary to some, but beautiful to others, was “Lucky” the black and tan German Shepherd, who guarded and protected Rocky’s Garage, which then was located where the funeral home now exits. “Chico” Riciotti, truly a 57 Heinz variety, was the dog father of Snowhill, Sheafe and Hull Streets. No one messed with him because he was a seasoned veteran dog. “Tippy” Lauretano was a handsome tri-color Beagle who had an appetite that was unmatched! Independently, Tippy would visit one of the butchers on Salem St. and drag a beef bone from there to the top tier of the Gassy, were he would dine for the remainder of the day. Invariably that bone was at least two times larger than this tenacious little dog! Last but not forgotten was a silver sable shepherd named “Lady” owned by the Billitti family, but was housed in the roof top office of the Brink’s Parking Garage. Some of our human neighbors along with parking garage employees would take bets and keep a score board posted of how many puppies “Lady” would have in one season. Those were the dog characters that inhabited our little corner of “the neighborhood.” Few were spayed or altered, less were on leashes and, who knew where any of them performed their daily “functions”!
Now, thanks to the members of R.U.F.F. there will be a cadre of new players at the Gassy. It’s a more gentile atmosphere where members and non members can gather with the next generation of dog companions. On May 1, 2015, R.U.F.F. will officially open our new North End Dog Park. Many responsible humans will take guardianship over the Gassey/Flights; now a clean and safe place for my kind.
Come by from 5-7p.m. and meet some of the new players! Trot will probably be the gate man. You’ll recognize him as the Old English Bull dog who looks like he should be smoking a cigar!
A.K.A. Canine from the Post Gazette.