TheHytrolStory_19 (1)

Ralph Pocobello was born in Buffalo, New York, on May 20, 1914. In his younger days, he was a Vaudeville entertainer and acrobat and even played on Broadway. For a while, he worked for the Tom Mix Circus. He played the banjo and worked with a partner who played the violin. Ralph’s partner was a big, husky, tall fellow. In their act, he would stand on his partner’s shoulders and, while playing the music, Ralph would do a complete back flip and land without missing a single beat on his instrument! Ralph later tried running a small machine shop but that business didn’t work out. Ralph’s wife Jean helped him secure a job in another company. As it happened, her brother worked for one of the three companies that included Speedways Conveyor Company in Buffalo, New York. In one of the plants, there was a very serious fire, and Jean’s brother was badly burned. The owner of these three companies was very sympathetic and helped him with his hospitalization and other bills. He eventually recovered. During her brother’s recovery, Jean asked the owner of the three companies if he could find a job for her husband, Ralph. Ralph was hired and began in one of the companies that sold used equipment for the bottling and brewery industry. Later, some problems arose at Speedways engineering department and Ralph was brought in to assess the situation and help in the engineering area. Sam Leone who was, at that time, Acting Director of Sales, observed Ralph’s strengths, namely that Ralph had a knack for working with people. And so, when Marney Leone mentioned the name of Ralph Pocobello, Tom Loberg asked about his qualifications. Sam replied that Ralph’s job at Speedways had been generally in the engineering department. Tom asked Sam if he thought Ralph could run a production shop. Sam replied, “I don’t know if he can run a shop, but he can handle people.” In Tom’s eye, that was a very good qualification so he decided to call Ralph. At this time, Ralph and Jean were living in Hollywood, Florida, and he was working as a sales representative for Speedways. Tom dialed the number. It just so happened that Ralph had just finished a round 9 r a l p h p o c o b e l l o