Joe PizzutoBanana Joe and Baseball Joe, as he’s fondly known — is a national treasure and a local celebrity in Galveston County. Born on Jan. 3, 1921, in New Orleans, Pizzuto has never been one to sit on the sidelines.

He began working at the age of 12 delivering blocks of ice to homes and businesses. It was arduous work, with each block weighing between 50 and 70 pounds. Other early jobs included driving the famous New Orleans street cars and a 12-month stint working for the railroad. When different wars broke out, Pizzuto would be assigned to work in the shipyards to help with the wartime effort.

Carla Peoples covers the social and nonprofit scene in Galveston. Her column appears in the weekend edition. Contact her at cstayhouston@sbcglobal.net with “Seaside Scenes” in the subject line.

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