PEEKING INTO THE PAST: Pittston Twp-Yatesville Jr. Football Organizers donate equipment to Milton Hershey School in 1974

Judy Minsavage

Staff Columnist

West Pittston residents enjoy a day at the West Pittston Pool as summer temperatures rose into the 80s and 90s in 1974.

Pittston City residents enjoy a day at the Pittston Pool during a summer heat wave in 1974.

1954 – 61 years ago

In its third year, the Pittston School District added music instruction to its already popular summer playground program. Edward Venzel, music instructor at Pittston High School, taught advanced students of all ages at the school during the summer.

Greater Pittston, as well as other localities across Pennsylvania, observed its 15th “safe and sane” Fourth of July. In 1936, 17 instances of serious injury were chronicled with many more non-serious injuries, estimated by city officials, as treated at home. On July 4, 1939, the first non-explosive Fourth, inaugurated by the Pennsylvania Legislature, forbid the sale and use of explosives. The “no fireworks” law, passed when Arthur H. James was governor, was heralded by parents and health care officials as a “blessing.”

1964 – 51 years ago

Jackie Linskey, one of the top hitters on the Pittston Little League championship Moose Team, received a surprise package from a family friend. Jack Gilbert, of Kansas City, sent the young lad a Mickey Mantle autographed glove, along with an autographed photo of the famous Yankee outfielder. Mantle played for the New York Yankees as a center fielder and first baseman from 1951 through 1968. In 1964, Mantle hit .303 with 35 home runs, 111 RBIs and played center field in the All-Star game. In 1964, he broke Babe Ruth’s World Series home run record. Linskey decided he’d store the prized glove in plastic and continue using his old glove.

Grablick’s Milk Bar in Pittston offered fresh peach ice cream to its customers. “Lilies of the Field,” staring Sidney Poitier, was playing at the Moonlite Drive-in and the West Pittston School District held a summer event that displayed “pets of all sizes and shapes.” Prize-winning pet owners were Jan Aagard, Melissa Barnes, Dianne Garman, Jean Gilroy, Denise Tona, Kathy Hoover, Charlotte and Larry Harding and James Frushon. Proud owners of special category, ants and polliwogs, were John Hoover, James Hawk, Louis Palmeri and Harry Cutler.

1974 – 41 years ago

It was perhaps a sad time for the organizers of the Pittston Township-Yatesville Junior Football Organization. Due to “lack of interest,” the group had to disband. However, the immediate question was what to do with the over $7,000 worth of football equipment. The group decided to donate all of the equipment to the Milton Hersey School for Boys in Hershey. John Angelella, treasurer of the organization, received a letter of appreciation from Richard A. Rudisill, headmaster of the school, thanking the junior football organization for its “thoughtfulness and goodwill.” “I can assure you,” wrote Mr. Rudisill, “that it is well used and that many young men will profit from your kindness. We are grateful to you and the members of the PTY Junior Football Team for making such a magnificent presentation to our school.” In 1909, Milton Hershey and his wife Catherine, started the school on the 486-acre farm on which Hershey was born.

Lucille Maziarz was elected the first female director of the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce at a reorganization meeting. Maziarz, vice president of Zom Construction Company in Duryea, also served as a member of Duryea Council and Chief of Luzerne County Inheritance Tax Division.

In 1974, the temperature was well into the 80s and 90s each day. Both the West Pittston and Pittston City pools were filled with residents trying to keep cool. Log on to to see if you recognize any of the youngsters enjoying a summer afternoon in the pools.

1984 – 31 years ago

The Altar and Rosary Society of St. John the Baptist Church celebrated their 60th anniversary. The society originated in June 1925. First officers to serve were Mary Skrinak, president; Pauline Faltyn, treasurer; Anna Orzechowski,secretary.

Members of the first graduating class of Star Beauty School were Lori Dominick, Chris George, Bonnie Laverdi, Karin Altieri, Nanette Brogna, Nancy Piepole, Mary Ann Stach, Lynn Orlosky, Claire Kropa, Dave Amico, Donna Adrian, Janice Bryk, Mary Ann Bryk, Lynn Verbitsky, Diane Marriggi, Patrice Vetack, Terry Wilk, Denise Limongelli, Donna Waskiewicz, Pattie Kuloszewski and Kim Lupinis.

Members of the Pittston City Parks and Recreation Committee, Mimi Shovlin, Carmen Falcone, Maria Capolarella, Ken Scaz, Ann Marie Stelma, Vince Zerblas, Sandra Ostrowski, Bill Gladish and Vince Gubitoso completed plans for the inaugural two-mile Tomato Festival Run.

Reach Judy Minsavage at 570-991-6403 or email

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