Sweet Jenny

38 years ago, Ethiopia dropped its diplomatic relations with Somalia, while at the same time President Carter and General Herrera signed the Panama Canal treaties. The Mary Tyler Moore show ended its deal with CBS and the beloved series closed with tears and laughter. The Cleveland Indians had just played the Yankees, just around the same time that Susan Perkins, a daughter from Ohio was crowned the 50th Miss America.


All Across the heartland “Rumors” by Fleetwood Mac could be heard in any Chevy Caprice that was driving down Belmont toward Youngstown Sheet and Tube. Its September 19th 1977, better known as Black Monday.


Bruce Springsteen sings a gut wrenching and telling tale about the end of the good ole days here in the valley. Check out video montage to the song here :


Before the GM engines cooled that brisk September morning, 5,000 sons of Youngstown were abruptly turned away from the Campbell works location. With no promise of work for any of the many mornings to come.


This was the first shock in a dynamite blast to the economy and soul of Y-town. Leaving blast furnace born families to look elsewhere for steel jobs that would decline with the decades to come as other steel mills closed. The sulfuric scent of rotten eggs and rushing city trains were a daily reminder of the steel demand, but that all seemed to blow away with the winds of change and slowly rolled on out with the Rust belt chimneys like “Sweet Jenny” on their backs.


Father Ed Noga of St. Patricks Youngstown’s South side paints a grim visual when he describes to Les Christie of a group of men watching as one of the oldest blast furnaces (Sweet Jenny) was demolished


“I saw these hard men, shot-and-a-beer guys, standing there crying,”


You can read the full article here :


One of the fundamental roots of Stone Fruit Coffee Company is their mission to “Pay Homage to the Grounds” the SF Team is not just talking about the quality of the coffee and where, and how, and by whom it is harvested. The “Grounds” also include the men and women who worked and burned to make the Mahoning valley a place to call home. As the business closed and the people left, those of us who have stayed remember that “Black Monday” and are working each day to keep Y-town alive and away from the sigma of “Murdertown USA”!


Stone Fruit has stuck its stake in the ground and come up with a line of Youngstown inspired coffee blends like “Black Monday” that remind its drinker of where these Youngstown families came from, their fight and struggle, that has brewed in their children a hope that was handed away on a pink slip back in 77.


I’m gonna raise a mug of Black Monday to Youngstown, listen to Springsteen and give thanks.

-Your Overly Caffeinated Blogger