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Hometown not rushing to honor actor Charles Bronson

Sunday, September 07, 2003

The Associated Press

EHRENFELD, Pa. -- The tiny hometown of movie tough guy Charles Bronson might honor him with a historical marker and a renamed street.

Then again, it might not.

Many residents of the borough of 234 people say Bronson -- born Charles Buchinsky on Nov. 3, 1921 -- rarely visited or looked up childhood friends.

"Someone asked for permission to have a sign put up at the entrance of town about a year ago, and borough council voted against it," said council president Albert Keller. "They said Charlie didn't do a damn thing for this town."

Charles Vizzini, of nearby Ebensburg, wants to honor Bronson with a $1,500 marker, half of which would be paid for by the borough, about 60 miles east of Pittsburgh, and the other half by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. He also would like to have Bronson's name on the street where he was born.

"We all should be proud that he was from Cambria County," Vizzini said.

Bronson, who died Aug. 30, was one of 15 children of a coal miner and his wife. The family lived crowded in a shack. His father died when he was 10, and at 16 he followed his brothers into the mines, earning $1 per ton of coal.

He was drafted in World War II, serving in the Pacific, and after seeing the outside world he vowed not to return.

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