1953 – 62 years ago
The big news story in the Nov. 8, 1953 issue of the Sunday Dispatch was the 10 inches of snow that residents had to deal with in amounts that rivaled late fall storms in 1935 and 1936. Children were building snowmen, while their parents shoveled out from a two-day storm. Louis Alexander and Leroy Mitchell of Yatesville, volunteer ambulance drivers, transported a patient from Pittston to Danville, but on the return trip the snow had covered over the roadways. The ambulance slid into a “depression” and Alexander and Mitchell were stuck. A tow truck arrived on the scene but an axle broke under the strain of trying to remove the ambulance. Shivering and hungry, both men spent the night in the back of the vehicle. After the snowstorm, Pittston police officers Frank Valeski and Sandy Lafoca discovered a Chapel Street man beneath a parked automobile. They carried the man to an ambulance that transported him to Pittston Hospital where he was treated for exposure and “shock.” Police reported it was a mystery as to why the man was under the car.
Eight young men who spent idle hours socializing at Eddie’s Service Station in Dupont decided to set a record building the largest snow man and show the passing motorists “young fellows of Dupont have old fashioned spirit.” Vince “Shula” Shuleski, Mike “Fiko” Lis, Joseph Shuleski, Freddie Thomas, Stanley Dulny, John “Janiu” Chmiel and John “Mitchum” Starinski set about building a 16-foot snow man topped with a used tire for a hat.
1963 – 52 years ago
Pittston Area seniors Ruth Howley, Anne Mulhern, Jerry Fitzsimmons, Chris Cunningham, and John Nardone presented a Veterans Day program. Pittston juniors Martin Sowa, John Richards, Richard Reggie, Michael Sperrazza, Betty Wrubel, Kathleen Ramage, Elizabeth Pavlico, Sally Ann Falcone, Patricia Mazzeo and Judy Shaffter contributed to a portion of the tribute. Originally called Armistice Day, Veterans Day marks the anniversary of the end of World War I at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an Act of Congress removing the word armistice and substituting veterans as official title of the day that serves to honor veterans of all wars.
1973 – 42 years ago
A number of Wyoming Borough residents attended a council meeting to find out the legitimacy of a report which detailed the selection of certain homes in the borough that were presumably scheduled for demolition. A photo copied map obtained under mysterious circumstances showed properties blacked out and labeled they did not meet borough qualifications. Council members assured the residents the report was erroneous.
The West Pittston Library celebrated its 100th year anniversary. The library offered current best sellers, children’s books, periodicals, reference books, a photo copy machine and record albums. Members of the library board were R.M. Bierly, Mrs. John Williams, Richard A. Garman, Mrs. Thomas Kearns, Norine MacGuffie, Mrs. Thomas Davis, Raymond Crisci, Robert Barber, Mrs. Joseph Linskey, Carlton Stauffer, Clifford Melberger, Mrs. Reginal Ellis, Mrs. Joseph Ward, Mrs. Richard Jones, Mrs. John Scrimgeour, Charles Bufalino and Mrs. Sterling Simons.
1983 – 32 years ago
Competing against six local top high school marching bands, the Wyoming Area Marching Band won the Tournament of Bands, Group II Chapter VII Championship for the first time. Undefeated in all band competitions up to the championship, Wyoming Area was set to travel to Bucks County to compete in the Chapter VII Group II Atlantic Coast Championships. Attributing the win to long hours of practice, Wyoming Area band director Donald Butz also cited his staff, Judey Pambianco and Sue Reilly. Butz felt the strongest points during the competition were scored for the repertoire, maneuver difficulties and showmanship. To see some great photos of the band in formation, staff and band officers log on to psdispatch.com and click on Peeking into the Past.
The Veterans Council of Pittston consisting of VFW Post 635, DAV Chapter 46, Vietnam Vets No. 2 and American Legion Post 477 finalized plans for its second annual Veterans Day Parade. World War I veteran Charles Sewatsky was selected as grand marshal. Those serving on the planning committee were Jack Naugle, American Legion; Norman Gayz and Jim Campenni, VFW; Stanley Cwiek, Octavius Argenio, Angelo Saia and Joseph Nardone, DAV and Richard Mooney, Vietnam Vets.
“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” — Elmer Davis
Reach Judy Minsavage at 570-991-6403 or on Twitter @JudithMinsavage