Peeking into the Past: World War I vets commemorate those lost in major battles


Peeking into the Past - Judy Minsavage



Pittston Little League All Stars, District 16 champions were honored by the Pittston V.F.W. in 1968. From left, first row, Jimmy Brown, Jerome Vantaggi, Mike McLaughlin, Eugene Pavlico, Tommy O’Malley, Bobby Zielinski. Second row, Billy Watson, Tom Puscavage, manager; John ‘Bozo’ Connors, manager; Joe Murphy. Third row, Jimmy Cefalo, Phil Castellino, Jimmy Connors, Junior Bellanca, Jerry Guarneri, Jimmy Castellino and Joseph Wieczorek.


Sunday Dispatch File Photo

Question:

In 1968 what newly opened Pittston facility was said to have 11,000 square feet of carpeting, 2,000 square feet of glass, 300,000 feet of wiring, 95,000 feet of conduit lines and 122 clocks?

1948 – 68 Years Ago

Little Dale Swanek, 2, wandered off from the Burke picnic grounds near Dupont and had been missing for seven hours. As darkness fell searchers combed the woods trying to find the young tot, but to no avail. At about 2:30 a.m. members of Boy Scout Troop 361 joined police and neighbors in the search. In a little more than an hour, the Scouts found the boy fast asleep 500 yards from the picnic area and returned the sleepy toddler to his father Frank. The Wyoming Valley Council of Boy Scouts commended the troop in a letter stating, “They have proven the Boy Scout motto ‘Be Prepared.’ They have also proven the value of a Boy Scout troop in a community.”

The hot topic around Pittston was who would be chosen the Junior Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year. Several groups throughout Pittston were going over choices of candidates for consideration for the honor. The person receiving the award would be one who performed outstanding community service or had done something outstanding, individually. One person, that some felt was the only person whose achievement stood out, was John “Slivers” Tigue. It was reported that he received wide publicity when he became a father at the age of 76. Many men qualified on personal and business achievements, but one Jaycee member stated, “Everyone has something at which he stands out above his fellowman, and although the item is sometimes trivial it still places him just a bit above his neighbor in one fashion or another,”

Many residents thought the Gibbons Brewery purchased the former Champ Brewery in Pittston. But it was established the reason for the belief was that Gibbons employee Ted Smulowitz was involved in the transaction. Smulowitz and “several others” purchased the brewery at an auction held many months after Champ went into receivership. It was believed the brewery’s purchase price was $68,000. Gibbons officials acknowledged they were not part of the transaction.

1958 – 58 Years Ago

Frank Loughney of Pittston hoped to strike gold on five acres of property he purchased at Keen’s Pond, now Keen Lake in Wayne County. The farmland, once belonging to Matthew Cody, a distant relative, was purchased by Loughney from then-owner Dr. Coursen and a group of investors. Great interest in the land was generated when Coursen found “particles of gold” on the property. But after hand drilling 100 feet, he did not uncover any more nuggets. Loughney planned on using more modern methods. If Loughney’s search for gold reminds one of the old west, it would be true to form as Loughney was a descendant of Wild Bill Cody, who toured with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. Keen Lake is year-round destination for fishing, camping and outdoor activities.

A “mother’s march” headed straight for the Avoca town hall was thwarted after garbage collections resumed in the borough. The ladies were angered over stoppage of collections due to late arrival of state liquor funds and tax receipts, leaving residents to deal with heaps of garbage. The mothers planned on bringing as much garbage as they could carry to the council meeting and depositing it on the front lawn of town hall. With garbage collection restored, the borough had to repair and put into service an old truck equipped with a snow plow in order to move the mounds of garbage.

1978 – 48 Years Ago

Former Pittston police chief Leo A. Tierney served as an executive officer of Battery B, 109th Field Artillery in World War I. In 1978, he paid homage to those with whom he fought side by side. The 109th, while stationed in France, participated in four major battles, Sismes-Vesle, Oise-Aisne, Meuse-Argonne and Ypres-Lys. The latter was commemorated in 1978 on its 60th year anniversary. Local men who were killed in action were Sylvester Sullivan, Joseph Fleming, Sgt. Thomas Gilmartin. and First Sgt. Joseph A. Houston of Avoca. Sullivan, Fleming and Gilmartin were memorialized in the naming of three local parks.

Ten years prior, Pittston’s Battery B held a 50th anniversary reunion at the Cinema Club in Avoca. Those attending were Jesse Weiskerger, Harry Boone, Elmer Corby, Martin Lynn, Michael Fiume, Charles Evans, Roy Huthmaker, Paul McNorris, Raymond Hale, John McEliece, Lewis Hufford, Edward Flanagan, Domit Shiner, Arthur Buffton, James Patton, Davie Norris, Dr. Robert Stroh, William Cain, William Bennie, Leo Tierney, Charles Siglin, Jacob Breese, Clarence Patton, Anthony Nadowadny, Carl March, Roland Huthmaker, Lester Gicking, Francis Homet, Willard Huthmaker and Russell Sears.

Answer:

In 1968, the new Pittston Area High School, complete with 11,000 square feet of carpeting, 2,000 square feet of glass, 300,000 feet of wiring, 95,000 feet of conduit lines and 122 clocks, was unveiled to the public prior to the beginning of the new school year. A visitors’ day was set for Sept. 1. The general contract for the school was $3,086,700 and would accommodate 1,757 senior high school students in the ‘68-‘69 school year.

This Date in History:

1886 – Geronimo surrenders.

1780 – Bravery of Swamp Fox wins recruits at Blue Savannah.

1957 – Edsel, a new automobile brand, arrives in showrooms at last.

1951 – President Harry S. Truman makes first transcontinental television broadcast.

1998 – Google is incorporated.

2002 – Kelly Clarkson wins the first “American Idol” singing competition on ABC.

http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/web1_Miss-Judy-2.jpg

Pittston Little League All Stars, District 16 champions were honored by the Pittston V.F.W. in 1968. From left, first row, Jimmy Brown, Jerome Vantaggi, Mike McLaughlin, Eugene Pavlico, Tommy O’Malley, Bobby Zielinski. Second row, Billy Watson, Tom Puscavage, manager; John ‘Bozo’ Connors, manager; Joe Murphy. Third row, Jimmy Cefalo, Phil Castellino, Jimmy Connors, Junior Bellanca, Jerry Guarneri, Jimmy Castellino and Joseph Wieczorek.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/web1_1968-DIST-CHAMPS.jpgPittston Little League All Stars, District 16 champions were honored by the Pittston V.F.W. in 1968. From left, first row, Jimmy Brown, Jerome Vantaggi, Mike McLaughlin, Eugene Pavlico, Tommy O’Malley, Bobby Zielinski. Second row, Billy Watson, Tom Puscavage, manager; John ‘Bozo’ Connors, manager; Joe Murphy. Third row, Jimmy Cefalo, Phil Castellino, Jimmy Connors, Junior Bellanca, Jerry Guarneri, Jimmy Castellino and Joseph Wieczorek. 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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