Coming Up in Italian America: Scribbles From My Days in Hays

Apr 08, 2022 404

BY: Ed Manfredi

While thinking back on Hays, my old Italian-Pittsburgh neighborhood, I was suddenly reminded of the many vendors who would go door-to-door, as well as the small businesses that thrived around us. In the 50s and 60s, many vendors would find themselves on our porch, looking to buy or sell goods.  These local hucksters and proprietors dealt in brooms, rags, junk, umbrellas, knives, pots and pans, sweepers, milk, and my favorite, Joe the “Macaroni Man.”

Joe would drive up to our house in his Cadillac. He was dressed in a three-piece suit, topcoat, and hat. He was the owner of an Italian grocery store in the Strip District of Pittsburgh. Once a month, Joe would deliver an order of olive oil, pasta, cheese, salami, and pepperoni to my grandmother. We never bought tomato sauce from him because we made our own.

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