1955 – 61 Years Ago
It wasn’t from lack of trying that the Avoca High School basketball team didn’t make it to the Jaycee Tournament in 1955. Starting team members Jay Goskoski, Thomas Dwyer, John O’Malley, Donald Ryan and Thomas Clifford were seasoned players and during the season coach Joe Kennedy and his team had put a stop to a 31-game losing streak beginning in 1952. All felt that this was their year. A major drawback for the team was they did not have their own court on which to practice. Avoca shared the Avoca American Legion Hall court with a Moosic team, which virtually cut their practice sessions in half. The team was knocked out of contention by Pittston Township. Other members of the team were Norman Ostrowski, William Metachek, Leo Ruda, Pat O’Brien, George Boone, Eddie Carlin, Francis Leshingski and Michael Carroll.
1965 – 51 Years Ago
The sixth grade English class of the Lincoln School published the first edition its class newspaper, The Lincolnette, under the direction of teacher, Mrs. Paul Grace. It featured original poems by Florence Louden, art work by Anthony Paltonavage, Ronald Karska and Catherine Caprari.
After Duryea Borough employees and “others” were almost shot by adults and children targeting rats at a local garbage dump, borough council stated no one would be permitted on the site or to discharge firearms in the area. A heavy fine awaited anyone who “failed to obey the law.”
The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer asked, “The New York News has launched a campaign to eliminate the sale of indecent literature from newsstands. Do you think a program should be established here?” Leonard Charney, West Pittston, answered, “Such a campaign would be good. Being the father of three children, I would not want my children to have easy access to this type of reading matter.” Mrs. Wilbur Lawler, added, “It is up to the citizens of each community to set the standards. Experts say there is enough of this material available to pervert an entire generation.”
March 7 to 13 was proclaimed Business Women’s Week in Greater Pittston. Catherine Kirshon, Carolyn Clark, Nadine Holleran and Margaret O’Boyle, officers of the Pittston Business and Professional Women’s Club, joined more than 3,600 other women’s organizations across the country in tribute. According to its website, The National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs Organization was founded on July 15, 1919 and was born of the government’s need to “identify women’s available skills and experience during World War I.”
1975 – 41 Years Ago
Wyoming Area Catholic School Cougarettes basketball team took first place in the Wyoming Valley eighth grade basketball league championships. Members of the team were Suzanne Christian, Juliann Ristagno, Mary Beth Ciarmatori, Liz Kelley, Marie Harzinski, Patti DeGuglielmo, Linda Rees. Jennie Golden, Gloria Mozal, Diane Insalaco, Jo Ann Rees, Debbie Gadomski and Patty Brannon.
The first National Music in Our Schools Day was observed on March 13, 1975. In observance of that day, the Wyoming Area School District music department planned music events for every grade in the district throughout the day which ended with an evening concert. Beginning in 1985, the observance, sponsored by the National Association for Music Education, became a month-long event.
Thrift Drug at the Pittston Plaza advertised Geritol tablets for $2.19, Final Net hair spray for $1.44, and Janitor in a Drum for 79 cents. Nardone’s Restaurant was serving Salisbury steak with potato and vegetable for $1.50, lasagna or baked haddock for $1.75.
The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer asked, “Do you think the United States should get involved in the conflict in Cambodia?” Bob Licata of Pittston answered, “No I hope we learned a lesson in Vietnam.” John Straub of Exeter added, “We have enough right here in our own country to take care of first. Poverty, for example.” From 1975 to 1978, Cambodia was ruled by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge who, according to historyplace.com, systematically killed his countrymen in order to “cleanse” the country of the wealthy and the educated and anyone with Western influence in order to set up a form of “peasant communism.”
1985 – 31 Years Ago
The Heidelburg Bridge was in the midst of repairs. Over the years the bridge became known as the Avoca-Dupont Bridge. It was also well-known fact that it depended upon which side of the bridge a person lived on that would determine how they would reference the bridge. Dupont residents called it the Avoca Bridge, Avoca residents called it the Dupont Bridge. Those from other areas called it the Pittston Avenue Bridge. The span is also “in an area that had been mentioned in Ripley’s Believe It or Not.” The Delaware, Hudson, Lehigh Valley Laurel Line Railroad bridges stood near the site of the Heidelburg span. Three of those bridges were unique in the fact they were built “over each other.” Prior to 1917 Dupont was known as Heidelburg.
A double overtime pin thrilled the Wyoming Area fans in attendance at the District Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Wrestling Meet. Marv Gilpin helped Wyoming Area achieve a second place finish by taking the gold in a bout against Carl Sheperis of Pittston Area. Sheperis took the silver in the competition.
This Date in History
1884 – Over 100 suffragists, led by Susan B. Anthony, present President Chester A. Arthur with a demand that he voice support for female suffrage.
1960 – The Swiss grant women the right to vote in municipal elections.
1965 – The United States announces that it will send 3,500 troops to Vietnam.
The eighth grade girls and boys basketball team members and cheerleaders of St. Mary’s Assumption School on Church Street, Pittston, celebrated team jacket day. Pictured from left, first row, Renee Remsky, JoAnn Policare, Kelly Prior, Chrystl Kozloski, Colleen McGarry. Second row, Lisa Medico, Alisa Barrett, Lee Ann Scarantino, Ellen Leonard, Kelly Curtin, Mary Christine Grimes. Third row, Mike Turco, Joe Rincavage, Bobby Quinnan, Sean Walsh, Kenny Feeney, Sister Mary Mark, principal. Fourth row, Andy Connell, assistant coach; Tom Healey, Theresa Healey, coach; Charlie Pahl, varsity coach.
Reach Judy Minsavage at 570-991-6403 or on Twitter @JudithMinsavage