Peeking into the Past: Sports adversaries from Pittston schools reunite in Japan in 1953


Peeking into the Past - Judy Minsavage



Members of the West Pittston High School class of 1936 held its 60th anniversary reunion at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, Wilkes-Barre. From left, first row, Mary Scott Tompkins, Christine Davies Spencer, Josephine Shook Sims, Doris Thomas Knecht, Doris Fillmore Brown, Bettie Lewis MacCartney, Evelyn Gruver Delaney, Marion Reed Ramage, June H. Shea, William A. Hastie. Second row, Russell Elias, Clara Martin Orlowski, Richard A. Garman, Ruth MacGuffie Gallagher, Emerson Ramage, Evan Nicholson, Daniel Nicholson, Bill Curnow, Joseph Havard, George W. Dickinson, Patrick J. Cerza. Third row, Harold Crowther, George Dendle, Chalrent Detrick, Jim Hopkins, Stuart Ling, George Mercincavage.


Sunday Dispatch File Photo

1953 – 63 Years Ago

Mrs. and Mrs. John Borini of Pittston Township had three sons serving in the armed forces. Pvt. Stephen Borini served with the infantry at Camp Rucker, Alabama; Pfc. Louis Borini was with a combat engineer unit in Korea; and Cpl. Joseph Borini was in the Air Force, serving a two-year stint Okinawa. According to history.com, on July 27, 1953, after three years of war, the United States, the People’s Republic of China, North Korea, and South Korea signed an armistice, ending the Korean War.

At JCPenney in Pittston, women’s shoes were on sale for $2.88, and men’s sport shirts were $2. Peach and cantaloupe were the featured flavors of ice cream at Grablick’s Milk Bar in West Pittston, and girls could get their penny loafers and saddle shoes at the Globe Store for $4.95.

Pvt. James Kearney of Pittston entered the mess hall in Yokohama, Japan for the first time in 1953. It felt strange that he didn’t know anyone. After getting some food, he looked around for a place to sit. In the crowd of young soldiers, he noticed a familiar face and yelled, “Didn’t I see you some place before, buddy?” Pvt. Joseph Ardoline of Pittston turned around to find his old high school sports adversary approaching. Kearney played football for St. John’s High School in 1949 and Ardoline for Pittston High. The two had attended basic training together at Camp Gordon, Ga. in 1952, but were separated for further training.

1963 – 53 Years Ago

Sullivan Park defeated Upper Pittston Park 7-3 to become champions of the Pittston playground softball league. Members of the team were Tommy Tighe, Ronnie Homschek, Danny Trotta, Ray Morgan, Jim Touhill, Tommy Lyman, Joe McCabe, Jack Morgan, Frank McCabe, Butch Gavich, Ed Hobbs, Tommy Weiskerger, Joe Walsh, Tommy Finnerty, Paul Fearick and Bob Balbonis.

Glider Inn, Browntown, won the National Division pennant in the Greater Pittston Slow- Pitch Softball League. Members of the team were Billy Luke, Frank Pisano, Angelo Dellario, William Watson, Joe Yarina, Tom Shannon, Joe Ruane, John Connors, Marty Connors, Joe DeMark, Terry McGinty, Joe Dietrick, Yippy Shandra, Marty Micklas, Ed Cawley, Rocky Policare and Ed Haggerty. The team had yet to compete in a three-game playoff with the American Division to determine the league honors. Does anyone know the outcome of the the league finals? Give us a call at 570-991-6403.

1973 – 43 Years Ago

Jenkins Township Hose Company President Joseph Gorman and Stanley Heranza, picnic chairman, announced that Annette Lavelle of the Sebastopol section of Pittston reigned as queen of the Jenkins Township Firemen’s Parade.

The Avoca Recreation Committee sponsored a rock concert in hopes of raising enough proceeds to complete a “much needed” recreation area for the young people of the borough. Although only 650 people attended, the committee vowed to keep up their efforts to complete the project. The committee thanked those who helped to make the event possible: Joe Ostrowski, A. Gorzkowski, D. Williams, Mr. and Mrs. Bill McAndrew, Ed Wanalista, Walter Tetlak, Vicki and Lou Bau, Bill Marsh, Irene McDonald, Mike Dessoye, Valerie Babiarz, Ken Rosa, Robert Butts, Danny Llewellyn, Marlene Justick, Mark Justick, Marion Babiarz, and the band, Ralph, for performing.

1983 – 33 Years Ago

Debbie Polkovitch of West Wyoming received an invitation to try out for the Pennsylvania State Championship High School Girls East volleyball squad. After surviving three difficult try-out sessions, she won a spot on the team heading to the Keystone Games. Occupying the “middle hitter” spot was a challenge competing against the aggressive West, Central and Southeast teams. But Polkovitch and her teammates prevailed and she, along with her fellow teammates, was awarded a gold medal at the end of the competition. Polkovitch looked forward to the volleyball season at Wyoming Area, where she was slated to captain the 1984 squad.

Originally built in 1920, the Jenkins Viaduct was being dismantled. The roadway was, for many years, used to travel from Greater Pittston to Wilkes-Barre. The Viaduct was built to elevate traffic over the many railroad lines which passed through the area.

The Polish Women’s Alliance of America Council 4-B planned its annual Bal Poloniase. Members of the committee were Mary Kivak, Bertha Kuckla, Dorothy Wisneski, Lottie Maleski, Sophie Dopkin, Marie Balent and Joan Bryk. According to the Women’s Alliance website, “The Polish Women’s Alliance of America is a fraternal benefit society founded in 1898 to serve the financial and social needs of the Polish and Polish American communities.”

This Date in History

1959 – Hawaii is admitted into the Union.

1963 – The South Vietnamese Army arrests over 100 Buddhist monks in Saigon.

1972 – U.S. orbiting astronomy observatory Copernicus launched.

1976 – Mary Langdon in Battle, East Sussex, becomes Britain’s first fire woman.

1989 – Voyager 2 begins a flyby of planet Neptune.

2000 – Tiger Woods wins golf’s PGA Championship, the first golfer to win three majors in a calendar year since Ben Hogan in 1953.

http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_Miss-Judy-2-2.jpg

Members of the West Pittston High School class of 1936 held its 60th anniversary reunion at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, Wilkes-Barre. From left, first row, Mary Scott Tompkins, Christine Davies Spencer, Josephine Shook Sims, Doris Thomas Knecht, Doris Fillmore Brown, Bettie Lewis MacCartney, Evelyn Gruver Delaney, Marion Reed Ramage, June H. Shea, William A. Hastie. Second row, Russell Elias, Clara Martin Orlowski, Richard A. Garman, Ruth MacGuffie Gallagher, Emerson Ramage, Evan Nicholson, Daniel Nicholson, Bill Curnow, Joseph Havard, George W. Dickinson, Patrick J. Cerza. Third row, Harold Crowther, George Dendle, Chalrent Detrick, Jim Hopkins, Stuart Ling, George Mercincavage.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_60TH-REUNION-WPHS-96.jpgMembers of the West Pittston High School class of 1936 held its 60th anniversary reunion at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, Wilkes-Barre. From left, first row, Mary Scott Tompkins, Christine Davies Spencer, Josephine Shook Sims, Doris Thomas Knecht, Doris Fillmore Brown, Bettie Lewis MacCartney, Evelyn Gruver Delaney, Marion Reed Ramage, June H. Shea, William A. Hastie. Second row, Russell Elias, Clara Martin Orlowski, Richard A. Garman, Ruth MacGuffie Gallagher, Emerson Ramage, Evan Nicholson, Daniel Nicholson, Bill Curnow, Joseph Havard, George W. Dickinson, Patrick J. Cerza. Third row, Harold Crowther, George Dendle, Chalrent Detrick, Jim Hopkins, Stuart Ling, George Mercincavage. Sunday Dispatch File Photo

Peeking into the Past

Judy Minsavage

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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