The Last of the River Pirates

Tom Lehman TLehman at
Wed Aug 2 14:57:49 PDT 2000

Eugene Connelly the last of the Pittsburgh river pirates is about to be sent up the river on federal tax evasion charges.

Connelly and his late(?) brother John probably did more to clean up Pittsburgh's stinking polluted rivers than any other two high toned people alive. Back in the early 60's the Connelly brothers put together a fleet of party liners to ply the rivers around Pittsburgh. For the price of a movie ticket you could take a date and dance and drink to your hearts content as you rolled down the river. The drinks were cheap, good and plentiful and the music was loud. The boats were clean and I never remember any trouble on them; except for the occasional poor bastard hanging over the rail puking his guts out into the Ohio.

Before Connelly and the Gateway Party Liner, people wouldn't even consider putting their little toe in the Mon or the Ohio near Pittsburgh. It was like your toe might rot off from God knows what kind of pollution, sewage or disease was in the river. The Connelly brothers made the river cool and drew attention to what the rivers could be.

In the mid-1970's the Connelly's came up with the idea of a Three Rivers Regatta. A river extravaganza aimed at promoting the rivers. It was their idea and it went over in a big way.

A few years ago one of Connelly's employees who wasn't happy with Connelly and his business practices blew the whistle on the old pirate. Now he is facing 12 to 18 months in the federal joint on tax evasion charges. And a corporate management service has been hired to hold the Regatta.

The Connelly's were always generous with Democrats...

>From what I know of the Connelly's they are believe it or not descended
from George Washington's real estate agent in Western Pennsylvania.

Tom Lehman

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