Louis W DeLuria, “OMVWI”, 2 Jan 1956

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Louis DeLuria, a 41-year-old carpenter, was a responsible man. When he drunkenly took a corner onto West Washington street and hit two parked cars, he drove on for only half a block more before his conscience got the better of him and he stopped his car and walked unsteadily back down the road to look over the damage. A lot of guys would have kept right on going, especially if they’d been lit to the gills, like Louis was. In fact, Louis was so full of civic responsibility that, even if a policeman hadn’t observed the whole incident and arrested him on a charge of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, he’d probably have driven himself down to the station to make a report.

It was the evening of January 2 – the first working day of the first working week of 1956. The court decided that, in the circumstances, it was understandable that someone might want a little drink, and let Louis off with a fine.

Louis’s sense of civic responsibility survived his later relocation to Miami. In 1966, he was on a committee that organised a picnic for the 266 former New Castle families who had settled in Florida but missed their old Pennsylvania home. On 21 October, more than 600 people turned up at East Greynolds park, outside Miami, to play games and mingle in the hope of finding someone they knew or who might remember their families. Although it rained for much of the day, things seem to have gone pretty well, and a “New Castle day in Florida” picnic was held every year for the rest of the 1960s. The banners above the park, and the bumper stickers on the cars, read, “I’m from New Castle, Pa, and Proud of it.”

Sources: New Castle News, January 3, 1956; September 6, 1966.

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