a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Don't Mess Around Monongahela Sal

The following excerpt from an article in the Observer-Reporter helps to explain the purpose of the silly skit in the video captured at the Noble J. Dick Aqautorium in Monongahela, Pa.:

The four-day celebration, sponsored by the Monongahela Area Chamber of Commerce, will include a rededication of the 40-year-old riverfront park featuring Susan Withers’ performance in “Monongahela Sal.”

“This takes nerve,” said Lorys Crisafulli, who owned a consignment shop in neighboring New Eagle.

The folk song, whose composer is unknown, is about a Sal, a “typical” Monongahela woman who was born in an old alley. One night she happened to notice a handsome riverboat captain, Mote Stanley, piloting the Jason down the Monongahela River. Crisafulli’s nephew, Doug Wible of Monongahela, will portray Stanley.

He pulled ashore, Sal stepped aboard and the two made passionate love. Mote promised his enduring love and marriage, but ended up pushing Sal overboard near Emsworth Dam. Sal later meets up with him after swimming to safety and shoots him to death.

The lyrics end with this line, “So let all you pilots take warnin’, don’t mess around Monongahela Sal.”

(NOTE: "Monongahela Sal" was written and recorded in 1947 by Robert Schmertz)

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