Thursday, April 9, 1959   Vol. C719



East Farewell – It was a typical early morning at the Lost Oasis Café and bar. A few guys from the morning shift from the Iron Works had stopped in for some breakfast and maybe a shot; after all it was their 5:00. Being a Tuesday the collector for Cranberry Vending was in to retrieve the change from the jukebox and pinball machine. The collector, Jimmy Corelli, had a route that took him through the region to almost all the local bars, restaurants and even some corner stores anywhere Cranberry was able to place one of their vending machines. He would stop in during slow time so as to not attract attention, empty each machine and count all the change. He would give the owner his split and put the other half in a safe in his car. He would also do any service on the machines if needed. The amount of money that Corelli handled was never discussed and he tried to keep a low profile trying not stand out.

            On this Tuesday Corelli had finished his count and service and was finishing up with bartender-owner Charles Wenz when a young, unkempt youth came into the bar. No one paid much attention to him thinking he may be with the Iron Works crowd. Suddenly, the youth ran over to Corelli and demanded his bag of money while holding his hand in his pocket as if he had a gun. Everything stopped. The Iron Works crowd turned from the bar but didn’t move. “He’s not with us,” said one.

            “Give me the money,” shouted the youth at Corelli.

            Corelli did not panic, in fact he was very calm. He stood up with his hands raised looking at the bag of money. “Calm down son. You can have the money. We don’t want anybody to get hurt.”

            As the youth reached for the money Corelli said, “Of course, you know this is really Lou’s money, not mine. When Lou finds out you took his money he is going to want it back and Lou always gets what he wants. You know Lou don’t you? Lou Vanzetti, he owns Cranberry Vending but he also runs all the local, how do you say it, enforcement around here. I’m not talking about the police; you know what I’m talking about. Let me tell you something the last guy who crossed Lou was found wearing cement overshoes at bottom of Lake Charles. Now, you can take the dough, it’s not on me. But Lou will track you down and, well, I wouldn’t want to be you when he finds you. But, go ahead, take the money if you want.”

            The youth looked at Corelli, looked at the bag, looked at Wenz, who shrugged his shoulders, looked at the Iron Works crowd, one made a slicing movement across his neck with is finger, then back at the bag. He then threw his hands up, turned shouted an obscenity and ran out of the building.

            “I’ll tell Lou you were looking for him,” said Corelli as the youth ran out.

            “Don’t you say anything,” shouted the youth as he ran down Lakeshore Drive.

            “Well that was close,” said Corelli, “Man if there was a Lou, he would be proud of me.”

            Everyone in the bar let out a relieved, nervous laugh and Corelli closed up things gave the crowd a bunch of free games of pinball and some free plays on the jukebox. Wenz called the police to report the incident but not much more than a report was issued.

Lost Oasis Bar and Restaurant



Fort Lee – The Cougars played a great game against the Corning Devils unfortunately the Devils played a greater game and won the league championship, 48-46. This is Corning’s second title in two years and some Corning fans are spreading talk of a dynasty. While that prediction may be premature, the Devils have been the best team for two years and their team only has one senior on it. That means there will be at least one more season that they can expect to be dominant. Throughout the past season the Devils led the league but did not always lead and by no means run away with first place. Back in December at the start of the season the Cougars defeated them in a thrilling last minute win 40-38. That was Corning’s last loss until they fell to Riverview mid-season, 50-48. The Devils have not lost this season when they scored 50 points or more. They did not score 50 points in the championship game but the prevailed anyway.

            Both teams came out shooting and matched each other point for point. The big difference was the Cougar’s “big three” were their driving force while the Devils relied on their backcourt to do the high scoring. Either way both teams were sharp and disciplined. There was only one turnover in the first half and only three fouls. The first half ended with the score knotted at 34.

            The second half saw the Devils start with a full court press in an attempt to throw off the Cougars. It worked for two series and the Devils were able to build their biggest lead of 6 six points. A quick timeout resolved that and the Cougars not only were able to break the press but they closed the gap and took a two point lead. In the center Hawkins was very powerful but he really shown in his assists to both Tasker and Mitchell. Mackenzie or Fox would feed Hawkins, he would make a move toward the basket and then dump it off to either Tasker or Mitchell who would shoot or drive for the score. The Cougars were able to pull that off for most of the second half but they were unable to stop the Devils at the other end. The Devils back court, Matt Drew and Leo Scanlon, were very impressive. Drew is the Devils leading scorer and Scanlon has almost magical ball handling skills. Together they were able to keep the Cougars off center and score almost at will. Finally the Cougars started double teaming Drew but Scanlon was still threatening and scoring. The second half went back and forth with each team taking a small lead then relinquishing it as the other team came back. It came down to the last ten seconds with the score tied 46 each. The Devils had possession on the inbounds. The Cougars threw up a strong press and as the teams broke the Devils split and Devils forward John Iota stepped out over the end line and Maxwell, the original in bounder passed it to him out of bounds down the end line. The Cougars were caught off guard and Iota was able to make a clean, half court pass to Drew who was streaking past Mackenzie. Drew was able to drive in for the score with three seconds left. The Cougars tried a court long in bounds to Hawkins but the pass was off target forcing Hawkins to flair out to catch it. He had to shoot awkwardly falling away from the basket. The ball hit the rim a clanked off to the side as the buzzer sounded. The Devil fans rushed the court as the Cougars lined up to shake hands.

            It was a very good season for the Cougars. They ended the season 10-5 and in second place. At the beginning of the season the Cougars were not picked to finish in the top half of the league. The Cougars will lose Fox, Tasker and Mitchell to graduation but Hawkins and Mackenzie are back and there are strong players from the bench to step up. Walter Ferguson and Robby O’Shea are juniors and a surprising standout Wendell Williams is only a sophomore. The Cougars should be able to stand their ground next year. Congratulations to a great team this year. A season well played, gentlemen.



Vice President Nixon will have an informal meeting with Fidel Castro, during the Cuban premier’s unofficial visit here.  He arrives in Washington Wednesday at the start of an 11-day visit and will address the annual meeting of the American Society of Newspapers Editors.


America blasts its second Discoverer satellite into polar orbit from Vandenberg Air Force base in California. Meantime, an attempt to put three satellites into orbit with a single Vanguard launching fails at Cape Canaveral, when the second stage failed to ignite.

A Senate rackets committee witness swore that Detroit juke box operators paid teamster boss James Hoffa and an associate $6,000 to keep underworld-backed competitors from getting a teamster union charter.

During a three-day tour of Wisconsin Senator John F. Kennedy challenges American Negro colleges to train students for “global responsibilities” in the light of the fact that the vast majority of the people in the uncommitted countries were colored.

Master architect Frank Lloyd Wright who fashioned a world reputation for brilliant design passed away this week. He was 89. His major works include the Guggenheim museum and Tokyo hotel.

The Republican National Committee picks Chicago’s International Amphitheater as the site of the next COP convention, to start July 25, 1960.

Many, many thanks to www.mrpopculture.com for contributing to this section of The News.


Published by JD Carroll