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A Tribute


This section is excerpts of conversations with Charles Sinz taken in his later days, describing events from his life that he remembered fondly and often related to his family. This tape was made by his granddaughter Veronica and graciously sent to me to be transcribed. I hope you enjoy it as I have!

The Train

"Uncle Bobby and I had a wind up train together, and I said it was my turn to wind the engine and Uncle Bobby said it was his turn. So we got in an argument and he picked it up and hit me in the head with it. Cast iron it was, too!" (Hear it here!) (This file requires Real Player)

First Job

Veronica: What was your first job, Grandpa?
Chuck: Working at the meat market, delivering packages, cleaning up the shop.
Veronica: How old were you?
Chuck: 13
Veronica: How much did you make?
Chuck: 50 cents a week.
Veronica: What did you do with your money?
Chuck: Well, I gave most of it to my mother. Then when I turned 17 I asked my mother and dad if they would co-sign with me for four or five hundred dollars to buy a car that I wanted. My mother said I didn't need to borrow the money. She went and got a bankbook. She had been putting the money away for all those years.

First House

Veronica: What is the first house that you remember as a kid?
Chuck: That was on Donaghee Avenue in Butler. There was no furnace. There was no bathroom. I helped my dad put in the bathroom. I helped him put in the furnace. And if you didn't have your coal shoveled into the cellar, it was a penny a bushel cheaper, so grandma used to have it dumped 175 feet from the house. We kids wheeled it up in the wheelbarrow and put it in the cellar. That probably saved fifty cents, I don't know. That was a lot of money in those days.

Grandma Alice and Grandpa Charlie

Veronica: What did your dad do?
Chuck: Worked at the steel mill. He was assistant foreman of the pipe shop, and then whenever the superintendent or the foreman retired Papa was made foreman.
Veronica: Did Grandma Alice work?
Chuck: Yes. No, she didn't work; she had seven kids.
Veronica: Was your house big?
Chuck: Yeah, we had a huge kitchen, we always ate in the kitchen. We had a diningroom but we didn't eat there very much.

Easter Egg

Veronica: Do you remember the egg, the Easter egg?
Chuck: Yeah, that was Uncle Raymond. Somebody put a raw egg, colored a raw egg, and put it in his Easter basket. He always had the habit of breaking the eggs on his head. So he picked up the raw egg and I started to leave and he busted the egg and then I did leave.
Veronica: Now, Grandpa, who put the egg in Uncle Rays basket?
Chuck: The Easter bunny.

Old Butler

Veronica: What was Butler like back then?
Chuck: It was pretty nice, a lot nicer than it is now. The southside was a pretty nice part of town. There were 2 beer joints, 2 meat markets, 2 grocery stores and a bakery.

On Quitting School

Chuck: I quit after 3 1/2 years of High School because I got mad at the Chemistry teacher.
Veronica: About what?
Chuck: Well, we had chemistry for two periods. One period was supposed to be to set up your apparatus and do your expriment and then you were supposed to have time before your second period to write it up. So he, Mr Atwell, George Atwell, he thought he was quite a ladies man. So I went over; I told him, I said Craig and I are ready for you to check our apparatus, because he had to check it before you blew the whole school up. I went and asked him again. I knew him, because he used to deal at the meat market, I knew him real well. So after about three times I got a little impatient. I says Hey George, we're ready when you are. So I ended up at the principals office and then I ended up at home.
Veronica: What did Grandma Alice say?
Chuck: I don't rmemember
Veronica: Was she hot?
Chuck: No
Veronica: What did Grandpa Charlie say when he found out you quit school?
Chuck: Well, I was only the sixth one to do it, so he was pretty used to the fact.