Big Lead Sports Bar


Christina Aguilera Was in the Neighborhood...Were You There?

Joe Hardy, owner of 84 Lumber, celebrated his 84th birthday on Saturday night at his Nemacolin Woodlands resort in nearby Farmington, PA. Apparently, my invitation was lost in the mail. But despite my absence, the show did go on.

Christina Aguilera sang Joe "Happy Birthday" and probably collected a ridiculous paycheck in the process. There were also performances from Robin Williams, Bette Midler, and the cast of A Chorus Line. Hardy's tablemates included Gov. Rendell, Troy Polamalu, and Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge. Just another run-of-the-mill Western PA birthday party if you ask me.

Believe it or not, I did have dinner with Joe Hardy once. It was probably 1993 or so, and my father's charity golf tournament was being held that year at Nemacolin. So our family ended up at Joe's table. He was actually a pretty cool guy, and told a few crazy stories throughout dinner. He's one of those people that has a definitive presence when they enter a room. He's definitely not the average "boring rich guy". In fact, he's said in the past that he wants to die broke. The guy's getting serenaded by Christina Aguilera when he's 84. Outside of Hugh Hefner, I don't see that happening for many other people on this planet at that age.

When people throw around potential ownership groups for the Penguins, I always wondered why Hardy never made a truly serious offer. I'd prefer Hardy over Mark Cuban 100 times out of 100. But with the cancellation of the 84 Lumber Classic, it may appear that now is not the best time to suggest a pro sports ownership group to the family. Although the article and pictures suggest he can still turn out quite a birthday party.


Meadowbrookalum1 said...

He won't die broke, because it was reported that the billionaire bought a scratch and win lottery ticket and hit the grand prize... one-thousand dollars a week for life. And the rich get richer.

The Duke from Dukes Court said...

Funny 84 Lumber Story also involving a father:

My father interviewed for the job as President of 84 Lumber back in the late 80s. After the interview my father didn't feel too good about the position, and eventually another canidate was offered the job.

The man who took the job showed up for his first day of work at 8:30am. The owner had left a note for him asking him why he showed up so late. The next day he showed up at 8am, again he found a note asking him why he showed up so late for work. His third day he showed up on the early side of 730am, again finding a note asking him why he was so late.

Needless to say my father was happy he never received an offer for the job.


From what i have heard from other people that is a tough place to work because they are very hard on their employees.

Mike Z said...

I used to live a block away from Joe Hardy and his family. I would deliver the newspaper to his house every morning. Most mornings I would see him as he left the house to go to work around 6:00am, sometimes he had left earlier. This was 1982-1985 era so while he may not have been a billionaire yet, he was certainly a multimillionaire. Although he owned a Rolls Royce , he drove a white 84 lumber Toyota Station wagon to work every morning. I would expect to do no less if I worked for him. He always had a reputation of expecting a lot from employees and why not? I certainly would. Hell, I was delivering newspapers in the morning at 6:00, didn't bother me in the least.

He was always a nice guy to talk to, but you don't get to be successful by being a slacker. He taught that to his daughter, too. She has more business sense than her brothers, and that is why she is running a lot of things at 84 and not them.