Wanda and her husband Steve ran Teddy’s Dairy Bar at 130 West Long avenue. They were arrested twice in 1950: once in the spring for disorderly conduct (when their mug shots were taken); and once in the summer for selling liquor without a licence in the milk bar, for which they received a small fine.
A decade later, after Steve turned fifty and Wanda turned forty, they began using Steve’s family’s original name, Zoccoli, and became active in local politics. Wanda was elected head of the Progressive Democratic Women of Lawrence County and raised funds for the Kennedy campaign, while Steve ran for local office on a platform of free college education for all, low taxes and strong law enforcement.
Steve campaigned for years for the lake-to-river canal, which would provide a waterway from Lake Erie to the Gulf of Mexico and would run right by the 25th district, the area he wished to represent. His election adverts declared, “We live in one of the richest valleys in the world, but it will have to be cultivated to enable us to enjoy these riches. The Lake to River Canal is one sure way to bring this about. Without the canal our children no longer will be assured at jobs when they attain adulthood.”
None of Steve’s campaigns for elected office was successful. After failing to become the local party chairman in 1976, he retired from politics and he and Wanda spent the rest of their lives running a trailer park to the west of New Castle, on what is now called Zoccoli road. The canal was never built.Sources: New Castle News (15 Jul 1950″ Violations Of Liquor Laws Are Charged”; 25 Jul 1950 “Six Are Held On Charge Of Liquor Violations”; 10 Aug 1950 “Appeal Dismissed”; 13 Sep 1950 “Court News”); Beaver County Times, 20 April 1966, “Steve Zoccoli” campaign ad; Youngstown Vindicator, 21 Jan 1980, “Steve Zoccoli Dies’ Operated Trailer Court”).
Ha! my biological father was friends with Steve Zoccoli and I remember him coming to my house when I was just a youngster. He wore pin striped suits with a red carnation on the lapel and he always gave me candy he had in his pocket. This was in the early 70’s and my father was also in local politics…they were both shysters! 🙂 When I worked for the U.S. Federal Census in 2000 I enumerated the Zoccoli Trailer Park.
Excellent! I see he has his pinstriped suit on in his mug shot, but where is his red carnation? Maybe he hadn’t started wearing one at that point. Or perhaps it was lost in his drunk and disorderly affray.