On Oct. 8, 1945, two years before the publication of the first issue of the Sunday Dispatch, the White King of LaGonave passed away after a lengthy illness. What was his connection to Greater Pittston?
1947 – 68 years ago
The former Dime Bank building at South Main and Dock streets in Pittston was acquired by the Kehoe Interest Group and would soon be named The Kehoe Building. Constructed in 1928 at an approximate cost of $500,000, the building was being prepared to house the Kehoe coal, real estate and insurance companies and Pittston Coal Sales and Pittston Publishing Company.
A headline in the Sunday Dispatch read, “Want A Brewery? Auction Sale of Glennon’s is Expected Soon.” The Champ Brewery, formerly Glennon’s on North Main Street, was up for public auction. The business was in receivership and previous bids during a court-appointed process were not enough to cover monies owed. Former employees were due approximately $75,000 in wages. Sale price estimates were in the $200,000 range. According to inflation calculators, today, that figure would be $2,184,297.67.
1957 – 58 years ago
John T. Moss of Hughestown served with the U.S. 7th Fleet aboard the aircraft carrier USS Kearsarge in Yokosuka, Japan. The ship is one of four to be so named. The first Kearsarge, a Sloop of War, named after Mt. Kearsarge in New Hampshire was launched on Sept. 11, 1861 from Portsmouth.
1967 – 48 years ago
Pittston Area High School students chosen to submit school news to the Sunday Dispatch were Kathy Tramontana, of Pittston; Dorothy Kolmansberger of Dupont; and Lorraine Yablonski of Avoca. Reporter for St. John’s High School was Barbara Ann Wozniak.
Staff Sgt. William D. Morgan Jr. received a Presidential Citation and Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam with the A Company second battalion, First Calvary division. He had also previously been awarded the air service medal.
Citing mounting labor and material costs and increasing taxes, the Sunday Dispatch raised its price from 15 to 20 cents per issue, stating, “It would not be fair to the people of Greater Pittston if mismanagement of the Sunday Dispatch endangered the existence of Greater Pittston’s only newspaper, one that speaks out for the residents of its home communities.” According the Bureau of Labor and Statistics Inflation Calculator, 20 cents at the time had the same buying power as $1.43 today.
Grablick’s Milk Bar in West Pittston offered customers burnt almond ice cream for an after-school treat. The Moonlite Drive-In in West Wyoming screened “Divorce American Style” with Dick Van Dyke and Debbie Reynolds. Insalaco’s on Water Street, Pittston, sold Delmonico steaks for $1.49/lb.
Stella Janicki, of West Wyoming, retired after 20 years as an employee of M-K Manufacturing. She was honored by friends Edith Hislop, Mary Berkant, Nellie Schmidt, Donna Randazzo, Carol Kelly, Susan Ligi, Marlene Lukacinsky, Alberta Wozniak, Mary Mekolichick, Mary Luke, Kathleen Moss, Ann Lumia, Alice Lopatto, Melinda Gelli, Vicki Saporito, Hermine Henderson, Ann Mooney, Gen Lumia, Anna Reback, Agnes Kay, Helen Blassi, Kathy Ninotti, Ann Giordina, Betty Christman, Irene Daveski, Josephine Pavidus, Carrie Lumia, Theresa Harenza, Eleanor Brunner and Rene Polini at a dinner at Perugino’s Restaurant.
1977 – 38 years ago
The 1977 Annual Pittston Area Homecoming was held at halftime of Pittston Area-Hanover Area football game at Charlie Trippi Stadium. Pictured are the queen and her court. From left, first row, Cindy Ghigiarelli, Jackie Musto, Carol Appnel, 1976 queen; Mary Lou Hizny, reigning queen; Joy Jakuboski, Rose Delconte. Second row, Charles Esposito, Timmy Carroll, Sam Montagna, Charlie Dominick, Joe Ferack and Jimmy Andrews. To see a photo log on to www.psdispatch.com and click on Peeking into the Past.
1987 – 28 years ago
Shocked was how Seton Catholic High School tennis coach Joe Suchocki described his reaction to winning the Southern Division of the NEPA Girls Tennis League championship. He described his team as “good athletes” who were willing to work hard, admitting that some of his players never saw a racket until they were in high school. Lisa Boos went through the season undefeated in singles. Karen Kondratick and Michele Bryk also added singles wins. Judy Jemiola andBryke, and Boos and Kondratick posted doubles victories in the competition.
In the 1930s, upon his return to Dupont after serving in the Marine Corp, Faustin E. Wirkus, a local breaker boy who once lived on Stanton Street put the borough in the national spotlight. During his service, Wirkus was assigned to LaGonave, an island located off the coast of Haiti in the Gulf of Gonave. Wirkus was declared by natives a reincarnation of their previous ruler, Faustin I, who, according to legend, disappeared after promising that a descendant of the same name would one day return to take the island throne. He ruled the tiny island from 1925 to 1929 but had to abdicate due to pressure from the Haitian government. Wirkus returned to Dupont to a tumultuous welcome with thousands turning out to greet him as he was driven through the borough by Michael Warbel of Duryea and Dominick J. Cocco of Dupont. Wirkus wrote a book of his experience entitled, “The White King of LaGonave” published in 1931. He died in 1945 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Reach Judy Minsavage at 570-991-6403 or on Twitter @JudithMinsavage