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Flying A Service Station, getting ready to cut the ribbon at the grand opening, Blasdell 1957

Shown here in the summer of 1957 at the opening of Pietrocarlo’s Tidewater Service Station from left are: a Tidewater company representative (name unknown), cutting the ribbon, Blasdell Mayor Lawrence “Bud” Schwindler, Blasdell Police Chief Dean Salisbury and Fermino Pietrocarlo, the station operator. The building had just been constructed.

The service station was located on the northwest corner of South Park Avenue and Milestrip Road in the Village of Blasdell. Today, the site is occupied by the popular Odyssey Family Restaurant. At one time, all four corners at the intersection had gas stations. Other companies included Esso, Atlantic and Sunoco. Jim McNichol’s Packard auto dealership had been on the site previously.

Pietrocarlo would continue in business at the site, until about 1965, when he went to work at Bethlehem Steel. He then would work at the steel plant until 1976, when he would retire.

Smokey Oszust would then run the station until the early 1970s, when the location became home to Lucky’s Texas Red Hots restaurant.

The building was expanded and renovated into an attractive full-station facility in the mid 1980s and is now the Odyssey Family Restaurant.

Lawrence Schwindler served as mayor of the village from 1957 to 1959. He had served as a trustee from 1938-40, before entering the U.S. Army and serving as a captain in the South Pacific.

While in the service, he married the former Virginia Griesinger. The couple had two children, Mary Lelito of Blasdell, who, with husband Brian and family, still live in the Village of Blasdell, and Larry, an Erie County Sheriff’s Deputy.

He returned to the village after the war and was elected to a trustee seat once again before being elected mayor in 1957.

Bud, as he was called by friends, was commander of the Harry Clifton American Legion Post and was a charter member of the Blasdell Rotary.

Dean Salisbury served the Village of Blasdell for 28 years in the field of law enforcement before retiring in 1964 as chief of police (he had replaced Fred Roth as chief in about 1950).

The 1950s was a decade of expansion for both business and government in Blasdell, as well as the rest of the town

In Blasdell, the Zuppinger building on South Park Avenue opened in 1950 with Dunne’s Pharmacy as a tenant, Blasdell Furniture opened in 1951, the Star Drive-in in 1950 and of course the Ford Plant was completed in 1950, bringing 3,500 new jobs to Western New York.

The decade also saw Blasdell High School become part of the Frontier school system in 1951, the new Frontier High School completed on Bayview Road in 1955 and the elementary school on South Park Avenue completed in 1958.

The modern Our Mother of Good Counsel Church was completed in 1953, The Lutheran Church dedicated it new education addition in that same year, the recently completed Blasdell Library was opened in 1954 and the bids for the new village hall were awarded in November 1958. The old hall was demolished later in that month, along with many memories. The new village hall opened in March 1960.

Photo– historian files donated from the Carlin Collection

This column is written each week by Hamburg Town Historian Jim Baker.

Anyone wanting to submit photographs and/or materials can call the historian’s office in the Hamburg Town Hall on either Wednesday or Thursday between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at 649-6111 ext. 2400.

Readers can also provide feedback by writing to The Sun and mailing it to The Sun, 141 Buffalo St., Hamburg, NY 14075.


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