1956 – 60 Years Ago
The Pittston YMCA held an annual dance featuring a waltz and jitterbug contest. Winners of the jitterbug contest were Steve Rinaldi, Dupont High School, and Judy Cunard, Pittston High School. Winners of the waltz contest were Janet Lucas, Pittston High School and Tony Bruno, St. John’s High School. Named king and queen of the dance were Fred Lebert and Rosalie Gilvickes, both students at Pittston High School.
The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer asked Pittston residents, “What do you consider the ideal way to spend a summer weekend?” Ross Valenti answered, “A nice cool spot in my back yard is the best place for me. I’d have a radio with a good ball game.” Rocco Policare said, “I’d say to go on a three-day fishing trip.” Floyd Gubitoso added, “Stay at home, watch a good ball game on television. If you don’t have a set, listen to it on the radio.”
1966 – 50 Years Ago
A billiard competition for teens was held in Avoca. Capturing first place was James Wilk, who defeated Martin Thomas by a slim margin of 50-47. Terry Joyce, Tom Hunter, Bob Lyons, Bill Hadley, Lee Sullivan, Bill Donovan, Bill Tigue and Michael Jumper also participated in the competition held at Meade’s Recreation.
In June, many local Catholic churches announced those who participated in the annual May Coronation exercises. At St. Rocco’s in Pittston, Mary Ann Scalzo was May Queen with attendants Ann Marie Scalzo, Susan Kaporch, Maria Sperrazza and Cal Cataldo. At Our Lady of Sorrow in West Wyoming, Nina Amato was named queen with attendants James Scravla, Barry Hadakowski, Pat Wedra, Mary Ann Pacovsky, Marie Brocolo and Ann Marie Franconi. At St. Michael Greek Catholic Church in Pittston, Arlene Lefchak was crowed queen with her attendants Ann Marie Golla, Joan Devlin, Carol Lefchak, Peggy Zapko and Charlene Morosky. Mary Ellen Fee was named May Queen at St. Mary’s Help of Christian Church, Pittston, her court included Mary Ann Posluzny, Lois Ann Tighe, Bernadine Sokolowsky, Cheryl Akulonis, Mary Rose Montagna, Eileen Gunning, Loretta Forlenza, Mary Lou Milazzo, Janice Danko, Patricia Howell, Thomas McFadden, Michele Skurla and Bruce Barbini.
At the final meeting of Cub Scout Pack 352 of the First Methodist Church in West Pittston, awards were given to the following Scouts: Robert Lewis, Howard Baird, Jeffrey Emanuel, Donald Griffin, Drew Whyte, David Emanuel, Keith Herron and Stephen Elko.
John B. Salek, Duryea mayor, initiated a project to improve and promote the historical value of the Mosier Cemetery on Foote Avenue and to honor many who fought in the Revolutionary, Civil and Spanish American Wars as well as World War I and II buried at the site. Salek was hopeful that all civic clubs, veterans’ associations, and churches would attend a scheduled meeting in order to enact a plan. The recently formed Duryea Betterment Committee is now seeking funds to create a Casualties of War Honor Roll memorial in the borough.
1976 – 40 Years Ago
Graduation exercises were held at St. John the Baptist Elementary School. Among the 29 students graduating were Margaret Bright, Lisa Zavada, Jeanette Zalepa, Mary Ellen Piertras, Alice Fino, Michelle Brogna, Cathy Ann Stasiak, Patrice Vetack, Debbie Bartashunis, Carmella Kobyiski, Patrick Haggerty Paul Dructor, Jeffrey Singer, Charles Sciandra, Richard Para, Joseph Milazzo, Stephen Kleback, David Gosser, Stephen Prokop, Jennifer Soltis. Mark Race, Simon Para, Anthony Burns, Robert Parrick, Sam Bellanco, Patrick Pribula, David Marriggi, Adam Hindmarsh, and Bart Chupka.
The China War Memorial Medal, known as the World War II “Lost Decoration” was considered to be a myth by those who had heard rumors of the medal, but had not seen one. At the end of the war, documentation of the existence of the medal had been lost. However, in 1976, Graham K. Kidd, who served in the 14th Air Force Headquarters in Kunming, Yunan, China, succeeded in locating a copy of the documentation. His investigation enabled Theodore H. Kratzke, a former resident of Exeter and high school football coach, among others, to receive the medal after 30 years. Kratzke served with the 14th U.S. Air Force. The medal commemorates service in China with the American Volunteer Group, the China Air Task Force or with the 14th U.S. Air Force, units which aided the Chinese in their fight against the Japanese. As recently as 2013, former Marine Pfc. James Lett was presented with the China War Memorial Medal after fellow veterans saw an article in Semper Fi Magazine about the medal and knew he fit the qualifications.
1986 – 30 Years Ago
As Flag Day approached, members of the newly formed Coleman-Krause Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 654, found there wasn’t enough funds to purchase a national, state and a chapter flag to display. When Carl Adonizio, Pittston, heard of the veterans’ plight he purchased a chapter flag along with accessories in honor of two relatives, Gennaro Adonizio and Robert Dominick, who were wounded in Germany during World War II. Mary Ann Anzalone and Michael Fino of Fino’s Pharmacy presented the veterans with a national flag and accessories in honor of anyone who fought and were wounded in battle. Mrs. Mary Publik, Old Forge, along with her daughters Mary Ann Solensky, Throop; Joan Mackowski and Elizabeth Badner, Old Forge, and Helen Rutkowski, Factoryville, donated a state flag and accessories to the organization in honor of her late husband Joseph, a World War II veteran who was active in local veterans’ organizations.
Reach Judy Minsavage at 570-991-6403 or on Twitter @JudithMinsavage.