Brookline Personalities

Over the years there have been many individuals and organizations that have left an indelible mark on the community of Brookline, either through their volunteer efforts, professional accomplishments, athletic achievements, or their dedication to the neighborhood.
There are so many worthy of mention. Below are but a few:


South Pittsburgh Development Corp
Brookline Area Community Council
Brookline Chamber of Commerce
Our District Justices
The Anderson Family
Bud Auen
Salvatore "Big Sal" Bondi
Doug Brendel
Dr. Michael Brendel
Orville Bryant
Sam Bryen
Gerald Anthony Bucciarelli
Porky Chedwick
Vic Cianca
Raymond Cronin
Tommy Cullison
Frank F. DeBor
Frank D. DeBor
Thomas Delahanty
Bobby DelGreco
Bernard "Barney" Diehl
Walt Evans
The Fisher Family
Jack Flavin
Rob Frank
George Gilfoyle
James Gormley
Tony Greco
Robert "Muscles" Healy
Jack Henry
Officer Alex Hogel
Colonel James Irwin
Jim Klingensmith
Richard Knowlson **

Jack Lombardi
Joseph Loy
Angelo Masullo
Kathy McConnell-Miller
Suzie McConnell-Serio
Tim McConnell
Danny McGibbeny
Elva McGibbeny
Dan McGibbeny/"Mas Neyrb"
Charlie McLaughlin
Professor Joseph Moore
Evelyn Nesbit
Joe Nicholas
Dale Noah
Frankie Passaro
Joe Power
Decio Rapale
The Reitmeyer Family
Robert S. Sallin
Chuck Senft
Bob Schwemmer
Julius "Moose" Solters *
Reverend Archibald Stewart
Johnny Unitas
Leander "Lee" Weet
Carroll Westfall
Mickey White
Ted White
Norb Winters
James Wonn
Nat Youngblood
The Brookline Royals
"Charlie's Angels"

* Julius Solters, a former AL power hitter that went blind, posed for the making of the iconic Honus Wagner statue (due to Wagner's ill health) that has stood outside Forbes Field, Three Rivers Stadium and now PNC Park. He spent his final years living in his home in Brookline.

** Richard Knowlson was a former large landowner in Lower St. Clair and then West Liberty Borough. An immigrant from England and local farmer in the mid to late-1800s, Richard is credited with coining the name "Brookline" for this area.


  
Louie DeFelice, a master chef from Italy, opened the Moonlite Cafe in 1997. The bar and restaurant is one of the
premier boulevard establishments. Little Sal Bondi took over the reigns of Sal's Barber Shop from his father
Big Sal in 2005. Sal's is the community's oldest commercial establishment, in business since 1947.

  
Fiorentino Mosticiello and Giuseppe "Joe" Pepe opened Fiori's Pizzaria on Capital Avenue in 1979. The dynamic duo
have been churning out their pies ever since. Fiori's is constantly ranked among the best pizza in Pittsburgh.

  
Kevin Siebert joined the Fiori's Pizzaria staff in 1982 and has been the silent partner ever since. Rudy Lopez, an
expert mason, was a regular for years at the Brookline Recreation Center. Known for his unorthodox shooting
style, Rudy was also a regular team sponsor and was part of the construction crew that built the
Recreation Center back in 1970. Sadly, Rudy Lopez passed away on March 30, 2018.

  
Pietro "Papa PV" Veltri (left) sits beside produce at Patti's Old Fashioned Deli. For many years he owned PV's Pizza;
Bernie Meyers, shown here in 2001 cutting Ray Korzeniowski's hair, opened Meyers Boulevard Barber Shop in 1954.

The Wurms - 1983  The Wurms - 2014
Original band members Jake and Mark Zucco founded "The Wurms" in 1979 with Gary Fischer and Joey Bruno.
By 1983 they were a hit in the Pittsburgh area. They disbanded in the mid-80s but reformed in 2011
with Joe Gordon and Jeff Fetterman. Brookline's Wurms are once again a hot act around
the "Burgh, and they played at the Brookline Breeze from 2014.

Grace Garofalo  Caitlin McNulty
Mrs. Grace Garofalo (left) owned and operated the Star Shoe Service and Repair Shop, along with her husband Frank,
at 712 Brookline Boulevard for over fifty years; Caitlin McNulty, shown at right receiving a proclamation from City
Council for her work as administrator of the Brookline Teen Outreach Center at 520 Brookline Boulevard.

Evelyn Nesbit - 1902.  Evelyn Nesbit - Queen of Hearts.
Evelyn Nesbit, arguably the first pin-up model, and one of the famous Gibson Girls, lived off and on with her mother
in their home at 550 Berkshire Avenue. She was the subject of the 1955 movie "The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing."

Linda Boss, owner of A-Boss Optical.  Portrait of Albert Boss,
founder of A-Boss Optical.
Linda Boss (left), owner of A-Boss Optical. To the right is a portrait of her father Albert Boss, founder.
A-Boss Optical has been located at 938 Brookline Boulevard for over forty years,
offering quality frames, lenses and repairs at affordable prices.

Rose and Leo Demma.  Butchers John Seiler, Leo Demma and Dom Coricelo.
Leo Demma and his wife Rose ran Demma's Market, located at 934 Brookline Boulevard, from 1946 to 1985.
The Demma's Market butchers, shown in 1973, are John Seiler, Leo Demma and Dom Coricelo.

Suzie McConnell-Serio.    George Gilfoyle.
USA 1988 Olympic Women's Basketball Gold Medalist Suzie McConnell-Serio (left)
and "Brother" George Gilfoyle, Brookline's most beloved honorary fireman.

Nino's Barber Shop.  Angie's Barber Shop - 1937.
Anna and Anthony "Nino" Rigano in front of "Nino's Barber Shop" at 1011 Brookline Boulevard (left) and Angie Capuano
with his daughter Jackie in front of Angie's Barber Shop at 956 Brookline Boulevard in 1937. The Riganos moved to
Brookline and operated their shop for over for over forty years. The Capuano family moved into their building
in 1914. Angie became a legend in the softball community and later owned the Brookline Young Men's Club.

Mr. Charles Haley  Mrs. Lois Haley
Charles and Lois Haley, long-time owners of Brookline Pharmacy, located at 502-504 Brookline Boulevard, where
the present CVS Pharmacy stands. The Haley's ran the drug store for forty years, from 1946 to 1986.

Joe Chahine (left) in 1985.  Joe Chahine in 2016.
Joe Chahine, the owner of Pitaland Bakery at 602 Brookline Boulevard, came to America from Lebanon in 1974 and
settled in Brookline. He worked for his brother George Chahine at
Chahine Bakery. A few years later he bought
the bakery. In 1990, the business moved to a new location on the boulevard and was renamed Pitaland.
Now a bakery, market, delicatessen and restaurant, Pitaland is one of the most successful
businesses on Brookline Boulevard and ships its bread across the country.

Raffaele the Barber - 1975.  Raffaele the Barber - 2007.
Raffaele's Barber Shop, shown in 1975 (left) and in 2007, was located at 966 Brookline Boulevard.

Michelle Trapolsi in 1978.  Michelle Trapolsi in 2014.
Michelle Trapolsi-Underwood, shown in 1978 and 2014, began her Parks and Rereation career at the Brookline
Recreation Center at age sixteen. She spent the majority of her time in Brookline and served
as Center Director from 2005 to 2014. She retired from Citiparks in 2017.

Al Quaill  Tommy Zucco - 1985
Al Quaill (left) of Brookline was a professional boxer from 1934 to 1939. His record was 31-16-3 and at one time he
was ranked as the #7 middleweight contender nationally. He often sparred with Teddy Yarosz and later Billy Conn.
Later, he opened a gym on the Southside, where he trained a successful team of amateurs. He later became
a local police officer and co-owner of Quaill's Cleaners. Al Quaill passed away in 1967; On the right
is Tommy Zucco, a Brookline softball legend who also spent time as a wrestler and photographer.
He worked as a security guard at South Hills High School for many years.

The Grand Opening of Blue Bonnet Bakery in 1946.
The interior of Blue Bonnet Bakery during the Grand Opening in 1946. The bakery was owned by Laura Mae and
Gus Mantsch. Behind the counter is Lottie, who worked at the bakery until the day it closed.


For an interesting site with memories of Brookline from the 1940s, visit The Short Cut, a page built by friends from the Birtley-Beaufort-Berwin area.

This is a growing list, so if anyone out there has articles or publishable information on a special Brookline person, please notify us through our guestbook and we will contact you.

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