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Question 1 When former Pittston area resident Robert McCawley returned to his hometown for a visit what did he have difficulty finding?

Peeking into the past With Judy Minsavage

was frequented by city visitors and touring performers. It was said that heavyweight champion Jack Johnson was once employed as a porter there. Operators of the hotel included Joe Keating, Thomas Kehoe, J. Hefron and Jim Galasso. US Navy Seaman apprentice Joseph Chonka, of Wyoming, and Seaman Edward T. Carey, of Pittston, were crewmembers aboard the guided missile cruiser USS Little Rock. The cruiser was set to embark on a training exercise then set sail for the North Atlantic. The Little Rock began a three-year conversion from a Cleveland-class gun cruiser to a Galveston-class guided missile cruiser at New York Shipbuilding Corp in 1957, in Camden, NJ. The vessel was reconfigured to carry 48 of the long-range Talos missiles. 1974 – 38 Years Ago The John D. Stark Post 452 American Legion of Greater Pittston Firing Squad participated in the 196th Harding Massacre anniversary program. Members of the squad were William Rule, detail commander; William Detato, Paul Minnelli, William Pikonis and Donald Carey. The program was to take place “a short distance north of the Harding Fire House.” According to a published genealogy of Captain Stephen Harding (1723 – 1789), “Stephen moved with his family to make a permanent settlement on the west side of the Susquehanna River, near ‘falling spring.’ This settlement was named ‘Harding Settlement’ and is now the village of Harding. “Stephen commanded Fort Jenkins during the Wyoming Massacre. Two of his sons were among the first killed in the massacre. Captain Harding, his wife Amy and two of his sons are buried in the Jenkins-Harding Cemetery located at the corner of Wyoming Avenue and Linden Street in West Pittston.” Wyoming Area seniors were presented awards at a special ceremony. Donald Shemanski received the ROTC scholarship as one of only 56 recipients in the State.

Question 2 What was missing in 1984 that Dupont officials believed belonged to the borough? 1984 – 28 Years Ago Over 300 sixth graders entered the annual Greater Pittston Jaycees Father’s Day Essay Contest founded by Wil Toole in honor of his late father, Edward. Out of the many entrees, 13-yearold Adam Norwig took the top prize for his touching essay dedicated to his adoptive father Bill Norwig. Bill and his wife Carol, who had adopted a Korean girl, Tamara, two years earlier, opened their home and hearts to Adam who was born in Seoul, Korea. For his prize-winning testament, Adam received a $50 savings bond and plaque. In an excerpt from his essay, Adam wrote, “This weekend dad took me on a fishing trip with a few men from our church and they all made me feel special because dad tells me I am much more than adopted. I am accepted and loved. I am one of the family and part of each one.” Dominic “Rabbits” Perconte of Wyoming was elected to a state office at the convention of the Fraternal Order of

Eagles at Mechanicsburg. Mr. Perconte held many positions with the Eagles and dedicated many hours to assist in fund drives and charitable functions held by the club. The Sunday Dispatch “rhyming weather forecast” on Sunday, June 17, 1984: A little cool, rain on the way just enough to dampen Dad’s Day 1994 – 18 Years Ago The Dispatch Student-Athlete award winners of the year were highlighted in the Sunday Dispatch. Winning the top honors were Pittston Area’s Vince O’Hop, basketball and volleyball; Denise Insogna, Pittston Area, track and basketball; Jim Pizano, Wyoming Area, football and track; Christy Dreabit, Wyoming Area, basketball and track; Erin Brennan, Seton Catholic, basketball; and Kevin Silinskie, Seton Catholic, baseball and basketball. William Watson, founder of the Dispatch, created the award in 1970. Answer 1 Former area resident Robert McCawley traveled from Ashville, N.C. without getting lost. Due to new highway construction at the Dupont exchange, he could not find the familiar roadway to the Browntown section. The Sunday Dispatch asked Township Supervisors Jim Murphy, Patsy Salvo and Tom Fino if perhaps a large sign stating “this way to Browntown” could be installed. Answer 2 Dupont Borough Officials filed papers to reclaim properties they believed belonged to the borough. The issue, which had been disputed since 1953, concerned 12 homes whose owners paid taxes to Avoca and Pittston Township. However, the Packer Street properties appeared to be within the Dupont Borough line. Dear Dad, you are a very special person to us, not only as our father, but as a good friend. Whenever we need a helping hand, you are always there. Thank you, Dad, for being the Dad you are. We love you. Happy Father’s Day. The William Paoloni family, in an open letter to be read at the 1974 St. Anthony’s Parish Father’s Day Liturgical celebration.

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1964 – 48 Years Ago A2C Joe Makala of West Pittston was selected Outstanding Airman of the Month out of 5,800 airmen at Charlestown Air Force Base, South Carolina. An Air Force radar operator, he was honored for his exemplary conduct and performance of duty for working 10, 18-hour days during the Panama Crises. He was awarded an all-expenses-paid fishing trip to Lake Moultrie, South Carolina. Martin L. Mattei, supervising principal for the Northeast School District, announced the inaugural summer school program for students in grades seven through 11. Resident students were charged a $5 refundable fee and non-resident students $25 for a two-hour course and $40 for a four-hour course. The Pittston Township V.F.W. Bowling League sponsored a trip for local baseball fans to attend a Phillies-Giants baseball game at Connie Mack Stadium. Enjoying the trip with fellow league bowlers were Bruno Migliosi of West Pittston, Dominick “Maverick” Nardone, Al Mecadon and John “Bozo” Connors. At this point during the ’64 season, the hopes of Phillies fans couldn’t be higher. And they would stay that way most of the season. On Father’s Day, future Hall of Famer Jim Bunning threw a perfect game against the New York Mets. Come September, the 1964 Phillies held a six and a half game lead with 12 games to play. They then lost ten straight games (the first seven played at home) and fell into a second place tie. The Phillies finished in a secondplace tie in the National League with the Cincinnati Reds, while posting a record of 92–70. The teams finished one game behind the NL and World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, and just two games ahead of fourth-place San Francisco. The former Wyoming Valley Hotel, also known as the Valley House, was in the process of being demolished to make way for area redevelopment projects. The hotel dated well before 1900. The Boyle Family of Pittston purchased the hotel at the turn of the century and it

Following graduation, Donald would be commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army. Deborah Anzalone and Dominick Mazzarella received jackets from Chief Petty Officer Thomas Conroy of the U.S. Navy for outstanding performance in their physical education classes. Rita Weiss received the Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow Award awarded to outstanding girls in the field of home economics. George Oschal was given the Daughters of the American Revolution award for Good Citizenship and Karen Puza received the Rensselaer Medal for highest average in math and science. St. Anthony’s Parish in Exeter enlisted the help of wives and children of men in the parish to contribute ideas for their Father’s Day Liturgy. Janine Oliveri composed lyrics for a song. Ann Marie Ferrara, Angelo and Lisa LaNunziata, Sandra Clarke, Karen and Joseph Serino were scheduled to take part in the readings for the Mass. Helping in the arrangements were Mrs. Michael Zaboski, David Pizano, Sandra Clarke, Jeanne Pizano, Rev. Enrico Giovetto, O.S.J. Regina Meshini, Gerald Zaboski, Mrs. Chester Shimko, Sam Baldo and Rev. Lawrence Pio, O.S.J.

SUNDAY DISPATCH, SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2012

Shemanski gets ROTC Scholarship in ‘74


Peeking into the past

A Mystery In 1949, Pittston Township approved the purchase of a new fire escape for the Barry School in the Browntown section With Judy Minsavage replacing the one that had been stolen. Meanwhile in HughClaire Burke, chaplain and Nora Murestown there was another mystery evolv- tha, social chairman. The club began as ing, the case of the missing... a civilian defense unit and after the war 1949 – 63 Years Ago The end of World War II began with the surrender of Germany on May 8, 1945, and concluded with the surrender of Japanese forces on August 15, 1945. According to an article published on January 9, 1949, “when most people had forgotten the servicemen and women and their sacrifice” the Dupont Hose Company continued to honor the veterans by offering free admission to them for their many dances and events. The invitation included new enlistees as well. The Jenkins Township Women’s Club was entering its ninth year as a community activity with Mary Mangan as its new president, Mary Lynch, vice president; Pauline Spadi, secretary; Phyllis Zebretsky, treasurer; Mary

converted to a charity organization with 45 members. The men of the Niagara Hose Company were proud of their fire truck even though it had been in service for about 25 years. The American LaFrance pumper had a gold trim design on the body and fenders. Although the men admitted they would have liked a new truck, they did not want people to complain about their “old faithful”. The LaFrance Manufacturing Company joined with the American Fire Engine Company to become the American LaFrance Fire Engine Company. Many of the models produced during the early to mid-20th century are considered prized collector’s items, and have found proud places in museums and private displays all over the world. The compa-

ny, still in operation today, celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1973. To read more about the company’s history go to americanlafrance.com. 1959 – 53 Years Ago Joseph Taylor of Duryea received designation as a special aide on the staff of United Spanish War Veterans Commander in Chief, Thomas H. Hammon. Mr. Taylor served in the army for three years and in the navy for four. During that time, he saw duty in China, the Philippines and Cuba. He was awarded a citation for his participation in rescue efforts after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, logging 72 straight hours aiding firefighters. The earthquake, which registered between an estimated 7.7 or 8.25, is perhaps remembered most for the resulting fire that devastated the city. The economic forecast for Greater Pittston was not so rosy in 1959. Fred Peters, Manager of the Pittston Bureau of Employment Security, announced that unemployment rose 10.1 percent in 1958 bringing the total figure to 16.8 percent. In comparison, the unemployment rate for state leveled off at 9.7 percent and the national average posted at 7.1 per-

cent. New businesses such as Jenkins Sportswear, Alma and Pittston Fashions, Gar-Wood, JoNita Dress Co., Earle Hardware, Universal Electronics, Marvell Kitchens, Prospect Iron Works, and Duchess Coat and Suit Company were expected to create a turn-around in the local job market. Residents were concerned with the number of indecent motion pictures showing in area theaters. The Knights of Columbus on South Main Street decided to hold a forum on movie censorship, invited the public and WPTS radio to broadcast.

SUNDAY DISPATCH, SUNDAY, JANUARY 8, 2012

Local unemployment rate 16.8% in 1959

1969 – 43 Years Ago At a time when calendar girls were the norm, Henry Burke of Avoca changed the trend. After traveling 3,000 miles to Canada on a fishing expedition and pulling in four Arctic chars, a representative of outboard motor manufacturer Kiekhaefer Mercury snapped a photo. The photographer quickly identified himself as a representative of the company and stated his wish to publish the photo on the company’s upcoming calendar. See PEEKING, Page 24

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Peeking Continued from Page 23

Arctic char or Arctic charr is both a freshwater and saltwater fish in the Salmonidae family. Elmer Carl Kiekhaefer, a consummate inventor, resigned as president of the company in 1969, the company name changed to Mercury Marine. One of the fish weighing 20 pounds and measuring 40 inches was displayed at Zambor’s Sporting Goods in Pittston. Paul Cadden, manager of the Bureau of Employment Security, announced that the economic picture was bright citing 3.3 percent unemployment in the Greater Pittston Area. A significant increase in wages offered by local industries contributed to the positive outlook for 1969. John P. Corcoran, Employment Service Manager, stated a demand for workers was at an all time high. Many businesses implemented on-the-job training to entice applicants. The bureau in cooperation with the Pittston Area School District offered vocational training. The project was financed under the Manpower Development Training Act of 1962. The Act authorized a three-year program aimed at retraining workers displaced by new technology, 200,000 people were recruited. Rather than renewing MDTA, Congress passed The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, which created the Job Corps and the Work Incentive Program in 1967. Ninth grade students Karen Pliska, Mary Ann Pintha,

Carol Salvo, Maureen McLaughlin, John Russin, Patricia Gross, Eileen McAndrew, Glenn McArdle, Mary McLaughlin, Arlene Cellucci, Joseph Iannuzzo, Pamela Pokorney, Cynthia Heffron and Mary Novak were awarded certificates for performing in the top ten cent on the National Educational Development Tests. 1979 – 33 Years Ago Insurance agent Cyril M. Bosak presented a check for $10,459 to assistant fire chief, William Yedesko, vice president Stephen Scoda and president David Polak of the Duryea Excelsior Hose Company. The firehouse, four trucks, and equipment were lost in a devastating fire. Hose company officials were scouting possible sites to rebuild. Area men, Joe Gorman, Dan Conte, Allan Glodzik, Rick and Walter O’Haire decided to form a hunting club, which brought them some luck. The men bagged four bucks ranging from four to ten points in the Mt. Springs area of Red Rock. Bill Pope had carried mail for the Pittston Post Office for 35 years and was training a substitute for his job. He didn’t mind though, the substitute was his daughter Cathy who became the first female letter carrier at the Pittston Post Office. . 1989 – 23 Years Ago A new wing of the Holy Rosary School was dedicated accommodating kindergarten,

“All Americans really have quite a lot to be thankful for, I know I am! I am glad that I was able to reach this conclusion at such an early age. I will cherish this experience as long as I live.” Tretha Milkanin,, My Impressions of the Soviet Union, Straz Magazine

Senior centers menu Senior Citizens Centers, sponsored by the Area Agency on Aging for Luzerne and Wyoming counties, offer hot noon meals Monday through Friday to people 60 years of age or older. Donations from participants are gratefully accepted and needed in order to expand this program. The following is the menu for the week of January 9: Monday - Meatball stew (carrots, peas & potatoes), whole wheat dinner roll, buttered noodles, fruited Jello, margarine, milk and coffee. Tuesday - Herbed whitefish, broccoli/cauliflower medley in cheese sauce, multi-grain bread, wild rice pilaf, tangerine, chocolate chip cookie, margarine, milk and coffee. Wednesday - Meatloaf w/chunky tomato sauce, green beans, au gratin potatoes, rye bread, cinnamon applesauce cake with raisins, margarine, milk and coffee. Thursday - Martin Luther King Special Dinner: Beef bracciole, mashed potatoes, mixed veggies, dinner roll, Boston crème pie, margarine, milk and coffee. Friday - Sloppy Joe’s, chicken noodle soup, carrot raisin salad, sandwich roll, crackers, orange, Oreo cookie vanilla pudding parfait, margarine, milk and coffee.

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first and second grade students. The school opened in September of 1934. Its first teachers and administrators were “drawn from” the Bernardine Sisters. As enrollment steadily increased, the school switched to a full day kindergarten In September of 1988, and worked toward a seamless transition to upper grade levels. Tretha Milkanin of Plains and 15 other students of Wyoming Seminary traveled to Russia for a two-week tour. She noted the people seemed “tense” and not very friendly in the capital city of Moscow. In Uzbeckistan, she found the Soviets more responsive to American tourists. Tretha enjoyed the culture and warmth of Leningrad where she and a friend were invited unexpectedly to join a wedding reception held in their hotel. The cleanliness of the cities and the people’s curiosity of anything American impressed her the most. The Prime Bishop of the Polish National Catholic Church asked Tretha to write an article of her experiences, she did and it was published in Straz the Polish National Union weekly.


SUNDAY DISPATCH, SUNDAY, APRIL 1, 2012 PAGE 26

West Side Youth Center place to be in ‘53 Peeking into the past

Question Many in Pittston mourned the passing of Jim Thorpe, most revered as With Judy Minsavage the best and most versatile athlete in the world. Jarrett Miller entertained To what Pittston athlete did while couples danced the night Thorpe pay homage? away. 1953 – 59 Years Ago After a record 44 years as Jenkins Township auditor, Pat Burke retired from politics. Pat was born in 1884 and moved to Sebastopol in 1900. He started work at the age of nine in the coal collieries, working his way up to “weighmaster” for the Valley View Coal Company. He was an ardent fan of St. John’s sports teams and especially liked the St. John’s Pittston High School match-up on Thanksgiving Day. Pat married the former Anna V. Williams. The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer asked Pittston residents, “If you received an all-expenses paid trip, where would you go and why?” Philip Medico, answered, “Italy, where I could look up my father’s relatives.” Joe Rucco added, “Bermuda, by what I see in the movies, it seems to be a beautiful country.” Nancy Mullery, Avoca, stated, “Honolulu, I’ve read about it, heard about it and seen it in the movies. Of course, I don’t suppose it will ever happen.” If it was Saturday night, then the place to be was the West Side Youth Center which offered youngsters ping pong, games, music and refreshments. The West Pittston High School and Student Council officers Ken Darby, Shirley Sandlock, Jimmy Jones and Andrew Dovin operated the center. The Lettermen’s Club, a group made up of Garden Village residents interested in providing a recreation facility for the area, founded the center in 1945. Dance band members Ken Weiskerger, Andy Dovin, Francis Margantini, Lee Owens, Jack Robbins, Palmer Norris, Alex Slusser, Tommy Dreisbach, Charles Stein and

1963 – 49 Years Ago The Easter holiday was fast approaching and many residents had placed their orders for chocolate bunnies, marshmallow eggs, jellybeans and the like at the Sweetland Restaurant and Candy Shoppe. Proprietors Chester Sobuta and Al Forlenza, along with their wives, spent months preparing and filling orders for many area residents. However, in one moment all was lost. A devastating fire destroyed the business and the delicious chocolate concoctions inside. The owners vowed to re-open. Carmella Kasulis, a woman of Italian descent living in the Oregon section of Pittston, walked into city hall where she attempted to explain to patrolman Angelo DeSanto her dilemma. DeSanto was, fortunately, fluent in Italian and understood. Kasulis discovered she had accidentally tossed into the trash a bag containing personal items and a wallet containing her weekly salary of $40. DeSanto remembered that Fred Kause, a Pittston truck driver, serviced the Oregon section and called him for as-

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sistance. After taking Mrs. Kasulis home, Kause and Mr. Kasulis went to the city dump and went through the garbage dumped earlier in the day. The bag was found with the family photos, paperwork and wallet but not the $40. The Kasulises were happy to have retrieved their personal items. The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer asked, “When Pittston City finishes its redevelopment work, what would you suggest be started next?” Peter Morganti of Pittston answered, “East Columbus Avenue and work up to the east and north toward the forks of the road.” Cataldo Andaloro of Pittston Twp. stated, “Develop a place for the kids to go it might keep them out of trouble.” Chick Colarusso of Pittston added, “The side streets need repair, sidewalks need replacing, the way they did in the Oregon section.” 1973 – 39 Years Ago Pittston Area High School hosted the General Motors Previews of Progress Science Show. Students witnessed nine “science-in-action” demonstra-

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1966, compiled the best wonloss record in the nation in guiding the Nittany Lions to post-season bowl games. From 1966 through 2011, he held the record for the most victories by an NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision with 409 and was the only FBS coach to reach 400 victories. Samuel Salvo, of Avoca, received the Navy 30 Year Length of Service Award in recognition of three decades of service. Salvo served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and was later employed at the Tobyhanna Army Depot. According to the Army Air Force Historical Association, shortly before World War II the

tions, including that of an unmanned Moon rover, 10-button solar cell, various new materials and products and a laser beam to translate sounds into visual patterns of light. Started in 1936, GM believed its free road show would promote the company’s message of innovation. The caravan of vehicles, personnel, exhibits, props and tents took the form of a parade when it entered a town, but by 1977, the Previews of Progress show consisted of a dozen GM station wagons that traveled to high schools across the country. It was announced that Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno would be principal speaker at the High School All Sports Banquet. Paterno, who began coaching at Penn State in

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Peeking into the Past Continued from Page 26

Corps was renamed Army Air Forces, but many Corps personnel had a strong sentimental attachment to their branch. According to the website, aafha.org WW II servicemen “still proudly identify themselves as veterans of the Air Corps.” “Not Just Words – But Action” was written on the Field and Stream Environmental Action Award certificate presented to the Wyoming Area Environmental Problems Class. Jack Samson, editor of Field and Stream Magazine, recognized class director David Dembowski and students Mark Arkromas, David Amico, Raymond Bjorheim, John Borzell, Dolores Brozzi, Diane Cupano, Jack DeFaveri, Louis Degnan, Jeff Dymond, John Genelow, Frank Goryl, John Grochal, Mike Hronich, Charles Huthmaker, Dan Kepick, Dotty Martin, Raline

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Mastruzzo and Rosemary Migliosi for their work in preserving, protecting and improving the environment. 1983 – 29 Years Ago Leo Butsavage, Fred Sickler, Nello Ferretti, Frank Belmont, Walter Breymier, Fred Melvin, Octavius Argenio, Tony Denisco, John Champi, Tom Morratti, Joe Gentile, Frank Brocconi, John Dwyer, Jerry Venetz Dante Bovani and Webber Schwartz were sworn in as West Pittston Auxiliary Police. 2003 – 9 Years Ago Matt Rynkiewicz, of Exeter, took the title of State Champion in the 100 Yard Breast Stroke, logging a winning time of 1:02:93 at the 2003 Pennsylvania State YMCA Swimming

Championship at Penn State University. Rynkiewicz represented Pennsylvania in the National YMCA championships held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. To honor Jean Yates of Pittston and her generosity and contribution to the building of the new Pittston Library, a statue of a young girl reading a book was unveiled by Pittston Mayor Michael Lombardo, Ellen Mondlak, president of the Library Board, and Brenda Lispi president of the Friends of the Library. To mark the beginning of National Library Week, a fundraising campaign headed by John and Annmarie Adonizio was introduced at the unveiling. Although states such as Michigan, Ohio and Missouri celebrated a form of Library Week as far back as 1913, the event did not become national until May 1958. To read the history of libraries, read the “History of Libraries in the Western World by Michael H. Harris. Answer Sports legend Jim Thorpe called Charley Trippi “the greatest football player I ever saw.” A popular star during his heyday and a good guy, Charley Trippi was elected to Pro Foot-

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ball’s Hall of Fame in 1968 and is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. To read more about Trippi log onto www.footballhistorian.com - Archives - Pro Football History. The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers,

Briefs Continued from Page 29

are Hall – George Miller, Angela Pellicotti, Carmella Dixon; Menu – Carmella Dixon, Marie Melvin, Janet Dymond; Publicity – Jasmine Mikita, Janet Dymond, Muriel Allford; Pizza party – George Miller, William Prebola, Jasmine Mikita; Program – Paul Minnelli, George Brown, Angela Pellicotti; Mailings – Angela Pelicotti, Paul Minelli, Muriel Allford. Soup, Bake, Book Sale

Exaltation of the Holy Cross Church, Buttonwood, Hanover Township is having a soup, bake and book sale on Thursday, April

drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries. Carl Sagan 19 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Piggie Soup is soup of the month. Cost is $7 per quart, take outs only. Pre-order by calling Judi at 8256914 or Barry at 831-5593. Pittston nurses

The 1982 class of the Pittston Hospital School of Nursing is planning a 30th anniversary class reunion for the fall of 2012. Members of this graduating class are asked to contact either Ted Kross or Janet Kelly (Endres) to gather contact information and help plan event. Kross can be reached through email at tedandgina9@comcast.net or 655-4952. Kelly can be contacted through e-mail at janetakelly@aol.com or 6934165.

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