Derby History Quiz
Some of the regulars and not so regulars at Storks on a Thanksgiving morning.
Stork's Tavern on Hawkins Street was a Derby landmark for decades. A true tavern that did not serve hard liquor, only beer and wine, it was a popular neighborhood institution that attracted generations of Derbyites.
In 1977, the New York Times featured the tavern in a story about John Pagliaro, an All American football player at Yale, who lived right around the corner on Eighth Street and was a nephew of the owner of Stork's Tavern - Anthony "Stork" Mastrianni. The less than flattering article about the city cited the nearby Yale boat house where, "oarsmen from wealthy families bearing names like Whitney and Rockefeller have for decades rowed in Yale crews on the Housatonic....A few blocks up the hill from the boathouse is Stork's Tavern where no Whitneys or Rockefellers have ever set foot." Maybe that was too bad for the Whitneys and Rockefellers because they might have really enjoyed themselves and learned some real lessons on life. Stork's was one of the smallest taverns on the planet, but it had a very loyal following. The group pictured above included a morning stop at Stork's Tavern on Thanksgiving morning before heading on to the traditional Thanksgiving morning football game between Derby High School and cross-river rival Shelton High School.
This quiz not only brought a large number of correct answers, but also some great memories. We printed a few of them anonymously below:
A little more background on the Stork's photo. As you may know, I've covered local sports (photos) from the sidelines for many years. After graduating high school, a tradition of meeting at Stork's early Thanksgiving morning with people throughout the Valley and people returning from out of state was started. We would meet there then go to Connie's on Main St. for breakfast then return to Stork's before going to the game.
One year, I took a picture of the real early birds on the front steps and people found out about it and it turned into the tradition it had become, with people coming just for the photo and even bringing young ones to be a part of it. I eventually had to cross the street because of the size of the crowd, set the timer and run to get in, in between cars coming down the street. And actually, as difficult as it was, sometimes all those people squeezed into the Tavern for a minute or two before leaving. Why not, an 8oz beer was 25 cents. Thanksgiving morning was the one time we were allowed to were a hat behind the bar, otherwise we had to buy a round for everyone. But then again at 25 cents, it didn't break you. Another Stork's tradition was hotdogs cooked in beer which cost 50 cents, delicious. I remember as Stork would "break in" people to help serve beer (volunteer) while he sat in the corner, I had said but Stork, I never did this before. He said remember two things, "don't spill the beer" and "get the money." Sounded simple enough to me. And in no time you were also accustomed to hearing someone tapping their glass on the bar which meant they were ready for another.
There was the Friday the 13th club where whoever joined, put in a dollar a week until a Friday the 13th came along then we drank and ate off the money raised.
It was a heartbreak when Stork (Anthony Mastrianni Sr.) had to raise prices to 35 cents. I remember another story of when I worked for the C.E.T.A. Program and we had a line painting machine and to test it, we (the guys) painted a crosswalk from Stork's to the Over The Hill Tavern. Someone complained that we made the crosswalk from bar to bar and so the guys were sent out to paint the white lines to black, which for a time stuck out even more. Ah the good old times........... (and these are only a few stories)
I watched the 1986-1987 ncaa basketball final at stork's when Indiana led by the great Bobby Knight and the famous shot by Keith smart beat Syracuse!
When I was a kid, my grandfather, ............, used to
take me to Stork's all the time! Stork would always offer me a hot dog, but
my grandfather would never let me have one. He would laugh and tell me Stork
made those the weekend before, and he was probably right. I wonder if those
pickled eggs are still on the shelf behind the bar? I had a Stork's T-shirt
that I wore until it fell off my back. It had a picture of an outhouse with
a vulture on the roof. I'm sure there are still a few floating around Derby
today! This picture brings back memories. It really made my day!
Storks hosted the friendliest social group to be found. One could get the latest news, and enjoy a good laugh, which was most welcome after a hard days work in any of the local mills.
Huck, Yans and $.25 beers
MY 1st drunken stuper was laid here, oh maybe 14 years
old with a thick layer of no.2 pencil lead on the upper lip to give me that
mature look. Then came the pickles and famous hard boiled eggs... I almost made it to the
sack till the house was full of 2nd and 3rd hand smoke. BUSTED!!! Cost... 14
quarters or so.
Correct answers were received from: Fred Grant, Raymond Petrillo from Saudia Arabia!, Marc J. Garofalo, Robert Loftus, Brian McMahon, Mark from Bristol, John Rak, Edward Baclawski,Ken Dupke,LEO the GRAPE, Jenniegrace Finch of Cheyenne, WY (A Derby Native), Joe Dedo, Dave DeRosa, Julia Romano, Eddie Calvert, C.F.Douglass, Frank from St. Pete, Robert Hyder, Ronald Luneau Jr., nick ?, Jay B, Bernard Williamson, Ron Sill, Mary Bennard, DS, Mike Guluzzy, Eric Carpenter, Cyndi ?, and Jack Sheehy.
To see our other earlier quizzes and learn more about Derby's unique history, click here.