PEEKING INTO THE PAST: Wyoming resident attended papal visit to White House 36 years ago


Peeking into the Past - Judy Minsavage



In 1989, the members of the Wyoming Area Band sported a new look after the school district purchased new uniforms. Leaders and band officers are, from left, first row, Justine Bone, drum major, Laura Best, drum major. Second row, Nadine Orlandini, band front captain; Kristen Bartashunas, vice president; Carla Answini, secretary; Michael Robbins, drum major; Melissa Lipski, senior representative; Dean Kummel, president; Robert Schultz, treasurer; Diane Menhannett, band front captain.



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    Did you know

    Fort Pittston, completed in 1774, was situated on the east bank of the Susquehanna River. Construction began in 1772, but the fort was not completed until years later. In 1778, all families living in Pittston and its neighborhoods were assembled within the enclosure during the Battle of Wyoming. The Garrison consisted of 40men under the command of Captain Jeremiah Blanchard. After the battle, many settlers returned to their homes in New England and the fort was partially burned by Indians. Two years later, the settlers returned and repaired and finished the structure.

    Taken from ‘Happy Birthday America,’ a special commemorative bicentennial edition of the Sunday Dispatch, July 4, 1976.

    1949 – 66 years ago

    Magno was a championship horse owned by John C. Kehoe. Magno led in national honors in the working hunter class at various horse shows, including the Bryn Mawr, Chester Horse Show near Philadelphia and at Wilmington, Delaware. According to the American Quarter Horse Association, “A working hunter is, ideally, a horse that could be ridden through fields and woods, over brush and fence, following hounds chasing a fox. To do that requires a bold, athletic horse that responds willingly and obediently to its rider, one that uses its ears and meets each fence or obstacle squarely, and drives from behind with sufficient impulsion at the correct spot for a perfect takeoff and arc over it, with the forearms held parallel (or slightly higher) to its body and the front legs tucked neatly in front of the chest, the neck and back rounded, with the rhythm, pace and cadence suited to to the course.”

    1959 – 56 years ago

    Fifteen young men from Greater Pittston enlisted into the Army and prepared to travel to Fort Dix, New Jersey for processing. Enlistees were Barnard Bartashunas, William Stead, Harry Davies, Paul Wasta, William Doran Jr., Andrew Schultz, Richard Kovaleski, James Singerhoff, Frank Baloh, Edward Matushek, John Chipego, Chester Innamorati, Richard Zim and Frank Yoschak.

    The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer asked Pittston residents, “A proposal has been made that autos in Pennsylvania be equipped with colored exterior lights to indicate the vehicle’s speed. What do you think of this idea?” Carmen Gubitose answered, “It sounds real good to me; if it only saves one life it will be worth it.” Salvatore Sperrazza added, “It would certainly be worth a try; the death rate on the road is rising.” Thomas Judge stated, “It would have to be a national plan, otherwise Pennsylvania drivers would be sitting ducks.” According to some car enthusiasts, other nifty ideas auto makers proposed in the past were not necessarily good, such as the glove compartment mini-bar, a dog sack transporter which hung on the exterior rear car door, a dashboard record player, and an idea some liked but didn’t see the point, a flower vase attached to the dashboard of the Volkswagen Beetle.

    1969 – 46 years ago

    It sat silent for 18 years, but on Sunday Sept 28, 1969, the mellow sounds of the St. John the Evangelist R.C. Church pipe organ were once again heard by the congregation. Retired in 1951 due to wear, the pipe organ was replaced by an electronic model. Raymond J. Paradis, of Pittston, choir director at the parish decided to look into restoring the original organ. Paradis enlisted the aid of John J. Portelli, a musician and electronic engineering student at Penn State. After just five weeks, the organ restoration was 2/3 complete. Both men were hoping to continue the cleaning and replacement of the pipes with donations given by parishioners. The original organ was donated to St. John’s Parish in 1930 by Rt. Rev. Msgr Peter C. Winters.

    A brand new American Motors Hornet could be purchased for between $1,994 and $3,589 at Luchetti Sales and Service in Exeter.

    The First Congregational Church in West Pittston held an Interesting Hobby Night and covered dish dinner. Mrs. George Miller displayed her collection of antique glassware, Henry Kocher, guns and motors; Rev. James Williams, trains and circus wagons; Mrs. William Allford and Mrs. Hazel Huffsmith, quilts and pillows; Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Howells, collection of polished stones; Mrs. James Williams, antique spoons; Charles Huthmaker, old Lionel trains and German equipment; Mrs. Frank Belmont, ceramics; J. Craig Williams, collection of rocks; Mrs. James Walker, handkerchiefs from all over the world.

    1979 – 36 years ago

    Wyoming native Rev. Paul E. Lavin, a graduate of St. John’s High School, was invited to be present at the White House when Pope John Paul II arrived for the first of six visits the pontiff would make to the United States between 1979 and 1999. Lavin was selected to attend the event by the Catholic Daughters of America for his service as spiritual advisor. In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI, on the occasion of his 81st birthday, was welcomed by President George W. Bush, making the visit the second time in history a pope visited the White House. The first pope to visit the U.S. was Pope Paul VI in 1965 who met President Lyndon Johnson in New York City. This month, Pope Francis becomes the fourth pope to travel to the U.S.

    In 1989, the members of the Wyoming Area Band sported a new look after the school district purchased new uniforms. Leaders and band officers are, from left, first row, Justine Bone, drum major, Laura Best, drum major. Second row, Nadine Orlandini, band front captain; Kristen Bartashunas, vice president; Carla Answini, secretary; Michael Robbins, drum major; Melissa Lipski, senior representative; Dean Kummel, president; Robert Schultz, treasurer; Diane Menhannett, band front captain.
    http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_WA-BAND-UNIFORMS-1989.jpgIn 1989, the members of the Wyoming Area Band sported a new look after the school district purchased new uniforms. Leaders and band officers are, from left, first row, Justine Bone, drum major, Laura Best, drum major. Second row, Nadine Orlandini, band front captain; Kristen Bartashunas, vice president; Carla Answini, secretary; Michael Robbins, drum major; Melissa Lipski, senior representative; Dean Kummel, president; Robert Schultz, treasurer; Diane Menhannett, band front captain.

    http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_Miss-Judy-21.jpg

    Peeking into the Past

    Judy Minsavage

    Did you know

    Fort Pittston, completed in 1774, was situated on the east bank of the Susquehanna River. Construction began in 1772, but the fort was not completed until years later. In 1778, all families living in Pittston and its neighborhoods were assembled within the enclosure during the Battle of Wyoming. The Garrison consisted of 40men under the command of Captain Jeremiah Blanchard. After the battle, many settlers returned to their homes in New England and the fort was partially burned by Indians. Two years later, the settlers returned and repaired and finished the structure.

    Taken from ‘Happy Birthday America,’ a special commemorative bicentennial edition of the Sunday Dispatch, July 4, 1976.

    Reach Judy Minsavage at 570-991-6403 or on Twitter @JudithMinsavage

    Reach Judy Minsavage at 570-991-6403 or on Twitter @JudithMinsavage

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