Monday, February 6, 2012
Tales of Kittanning
I was born in Kittanning, way back in 1955. When I was growing up, the Armstrong County Court House was overseen by Judge J. Frank Graff, the hanging judge of his day. I haven't been able to confirm it, but when I was growing up, we were led to believe that Judge Graff had condemned more men and women to death then any other judge in American history. When I was in college, one of my classmates liked to hang out on the Allegheny River just a few miles north of Kittanning. A good place to smoke marijuana and get stoned. Or so he thought. I warned him that Armstrong County was not a place to break even minor laws. He thought that I was being silly. The worst that would happen for a minor, first time, marijuana bust would be probation. He got caught, and Judge J. Frank Graff sentenced him to a year in county jail. On the postcard, it's the squarish tower on the left. He served the full year, never returned to college. I don't know what happened to him after that.