June 16, 2000

Were you ever in line at a supermarket with one or two articles and the cashier waiting on a customer in front of you has one item that doesn’t have a price? Then she calls the desk and the line is busy; after 10 minutes, the desk answers; so they call a worker to go and see what the price is on the shelf. The worker comes back and says he can’t find it.

Another irksome situation is when you are in a hurry and you go to a bank or post office or any store and all the workers are on the telephone at the same time and half the windows are closed. Then you see sitting at a desk on his or her hiney the boss, not concerned. How about pitching in and helping!


How many of you remember Peter Bella, the oldest of the Bella boys? He was always full of mischief and he loved playing jokes on people.

Charles Bella, Peter’s father, had a grocery store across the street from where I lived. He had five sons in addition to Peter. They were Allen, Vincent, Joe, Sidney and one deceased. He also had one daughter who was married to Dominic Purpura.

Since Peter was the oldest, he was always playing jokes on people; he was full of energy and often “biting off more than he intended.”

There was a coal shoot on Seventh Street in Berwick where the trains used to fuel up with coal. When those empty coal cars passed by the store, Peter would throw rotten tomatoes at the hoboes who were riding in the coal cars. The hoboes would retaliate by throwing the coal back at Peter. Sidney and myself would pick up the coal for our fireplaces for the winter.

Peter was always up to a lot of shenanigans. I’ll never forget the time when Peter ran a Texaco garage at the Ferry Landing in Berwick. Captain Chick was a regular there, just to come and lounge around. One day when Captain Chick laid his pipe down and dozed off for a nap, Peter put some gun powder in his pipe. Well, when Captain Chick woke up and reached for his pipe and lit it, the pipe blew up in his face.

All that Captain Chick had in his mouth was the stem from his pipe.

Another time, Judge Ryan came to Peter’s garage and took a nap on the shoe shine stand. While he was sleeping, Peter painted his spectacles black. When Judge Ryan woke up, he tried to get up and fell off the shoe shine stand, yelling: “Somebody help me – I’m blind!”

* The End *