Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Fond Farewell to Nat Melamed

Sad news. Nat Melamed, a club founding member, died over the weekend. He was still serving on the club's board just a few years ago. His obituary is here and below. A fairly quick skim through the club's archives shows that Nat was a very active board member, serving as Vice-Chairman in 1968 and Treasurer in 1975, for example. He also chaired the club's fundraiser in 1977, which was held at the Irene Kaufmann Settlement (now the Jewish Community Center), at Forbes and Murray Avenues. There's even a brief letter, typed on onion skin in 1966, from Nat to Robert Wholey, owner of Wholey's Fish Market in the Strip District, thanking him for his "assistance" and extending four complimentary tickets, presumably for a club fundraiser.

Dorothy and Nat Melamed - 2005 (I've contacted "Blacktie Pittsburgh" to purchase the photo.)
At a board meeting last night, club President Kathie Smith reminisced about a vacation that she spent at Nat and his wife Dorothy's home in Spain. Nat had donated a week's stay at the exotic locale for a fundraising auction for Just Harvest.


Age 89 of Squirrel Hill, passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 9, 2013. He is survived by his beloved wife, Dorothy; and his sons, David, Peter, and Paul, whom he loved very much. He was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1923 and emigrated to New York City in 1929. He attended Townsend Harris High School, City College of New York, and Brooklyn Polytechnic. After college, he worked on the Manhattan Project and later worked as a scientist at the Westinghouse research labs in Churchill, PA. He was a long standing board member of the PA chapter of the ACLU, a past president of the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society, and a founding member of the 14th Ward Independent Democratic Club. He loved cooking, folk dancing, and travel. A celebration of his life will be announced. Private memorial. Arrangements by THE RAPP FUNERAL HOME, 412-241-5415. Contributions may be made to the ACLU or the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society.
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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Newsletters - 1965

Barbeque Fundraiser - 1966

Barbeque Fundraiser - 1965

The Club Presents "Death of a Salesman" - 1965

The classy invite below reads: "The 14th Ward Democratic Club requests the pleasure of your company at a benefit performance of the American Conservatory Theater Production of Mr. Arthur Miller's "Death of as Salesman" ... (click on the image to read more)"

According to Wikipedia: "American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) is a large non-profit theater company in San Francisco, California that offers both classical and contemporary theater productions. A.C.T. was founded in 1965 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Playhouse and Carnegie Mellon University by theatre and opera director William Ball. By invitation from San Francisco philanthropists and officials, Ball relocated the company to San Francisco."

Under Ball's Wikipedia entry is says that he "had a falling out with ACT's financial benefactors in Pittsburgh and took the company on the road."

I wonder if the club's event, which was scheduled for late October, actually went off. There are no other records in the archives about it, and the only thing listed at the history page on A.C.T.'s website for 1965 is this: "The first performance of Tartuffe at the Pittsburgh Playhouse inaugurates A.C.T. as a new resident theater company in Pittsburgh under the direction of William Ball."Actually, maybe it did happen. Actor David Margulies lists the production among his stage appearances on his website. He's been in a ton of movies and TV shows, including two Ghostbusters and 8 Sopranos

And Lynne Connor wrote a history of Pittsburgh theater that says that the play featured Richard Dysart. He's been in a bunch of movies too, like Being There, and The Day of the Locust.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

All the Way with LBJ

This campaign freebie was intended to be worn as a fake breast pocket handkerchief--"Manufactured and sold by Hav-A-Hanky, Route 30, Irwin, PA".

Note the candidate at the bottom of the slate card - Club co-founder Molly Yard Garrett, for Representative in the General Assembly, 5th District. Not to mention two other women, endorsed for U.S. Senate and state Auditor General.

Running for State Rep in the Swingin' 60s