Dad’s life revolved around hunting and fishing, especially when he was younger. Grandma was a waitress and Grandpap and Great Aunt Vie and pretty much everyone else on the Reed side worked at Alcoa Aluminum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Not sure where Dad worked before he was 18 but I heard he had a lot of jobs from paper boy to pin boy at the bowling alley before they had robots and machines take over his jobs. Later on he would join the Air Force Reserves to pay for college where he went to Penn State Extension majoring in Chemistry. He became a chemist at Koppers in Chicago, ILL and when my sister was born he decided to go into sales and became a Chemical Salesman at Koppers. He was the number one salesman for many years and won many trips to exotic places like Bahamas and St. Thomas Island area.
I believe the Alcoa No Trespassing sign found in Dad’s basement when he died came from the just before going to the Air Force Reserve during the time Grandpap was working at Alcoa. They only needed to steel one or two before Alcoa quit putting those stupid signs up as that’s all the signs Dad had. There must have been a lot of hunters in that area because I do remember Mom saying that was where Dad first heard Kennedy got shot and then he told her. I assume they just hunted deer and such although Dad would hunt pretty much anything from ducks, rabbit, squirrel, and the like. It must have been a pretty good hunting spot to go through all the trouble. Maybe it was just a joke against Alcoa or just a place for Grandpap’s buddies to get together. Alcoa gave a lot of things to Grandpap from pots and pans to ashtrays. I have a couple of Alcoa ashtrays sitting on my sewing machine desk right now. Not that I use them but maybe someday if I ever invite a smoker to my apartment. I could say, “Here these are my Grandfather’s ashtrays. Smoke on these!” But mostly they will be a reminder of my Grandparents and their days gone by.
No Trespassing signs seem to wind up in the most convenient places. When I was young we had a good short cut we would take to C & G, the convenient store to buy candy and pop and the like, it would take about 5 minutes as opposed to 20 minutes the other way. Now, there is no C & G but a garden store, kids can’t take that short cut to town because a no trespassing sign and a softball field but I am sure they do anyway. It’s just a matter of getting caught. But it feels better if there were no no trespassing signs around and just be able to take the short cut.
Another place that has become hard to explore but not so when I was younger was the mouth of the Allegheny Mountains. Dad, my sisters, and my cousins would all walk up there. Just before entering we would yell, “Chief Cornplanter! We are coming through!” and then we would explore the Allegheny Mountains. Now, without Dad, the neighbors make us turn back because it’s their property and they feel it is too dangerous. I guess we would have to go without their permission and trespass!