Peeking into the Past: Duryea Wildcats junior football league celebrated 25th year

Peeking into the Past - Judy Minsavage

1955 – 61 Years Ago

Pittston Mayor Joseph F. Saporito signed a proclamation for residents to join the American Legion in celebrating “I Am an American – Citizenship Days.” Forty Legion posts joined in by sponsoring ceremonies marking the occasion. Also attending the signing were Louis Greco of the West Wyoming Legion Post, Patrick Trischitta, commander of Charles V. Falzone American Legion Post 838 Pittston and Sam Reggie, commander elect of Falzone Post.

Karen Ann Conte, of Pittston, won the first round in the $85,000 Singer sewing machine junior dressmaking contest. She moved on to New Jersey where she competed with 33 other regional winners. Out of those entries, judges would choose four winners who would be treated to a trip to New York, a gala fashion show, and prizes.

Spanish War veterans Bob Fox and Tom Boshard of Pittston traveled to Los Angeles to attend the 57th National Spanish American War Veterans Convention. Upon arriving, however, they disembarked their train at the wrong station. Their original plan was to meet up with former Pittston resident, Phil Morgan, at another station down the line. Somehow the three men managed to make connections and Morgan was then able to pick up the two men and take them to his home for a night. The next day, Morgan transported the two men to their final destination, the home of Army buddy and former Pittstonian, Frank Miller. The United Spanish War Veterans Organization existed until 1992. The last member, Nathan E. Cook, died one month before his 107th birthday at the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center in Phoenix, Ariz.

With $5 down, one could buy an ABC Model 409 wringer washer with “giant capacity tub, easy-roll casters and modern deep skirt” at Radio City on Broad Street in Pittston. Barton’s, South Main Street, Pittston advertised a five-piece chrome dinette set with Formica top for $1 per week or $79.95.

1965 – 51 Years Ago

The Wyoming-West Wyoming Little League held a dinner, at which Joseph Barush, Ben Drozalis, Art Pocceschi, Frank Banko, John Korpusik, Rocky Confletti, Henry Morgantini, Delbert McDermott and Richard Roote, officers of the league, burned the mortgage for their new field. According to the article written in the Sunday Dispatch, “The Wyoming Little League was started by a small group of men and was situated on the flats near the Wyoming Bridge. But, because of recurring flooding, it was necessary move the field to the rear of Sixth Street in West Wyoming. The new field was valued at $15,000.” The Wyoming-West Wyoming Little League original board of directors were Angelo Gatrone, Joseph Kleback, Peter Rutski, Daniel Zuba, Edmund Zekoski, Ernest Maruca, Chester Jendrzekewski, Dr Robert Stroh, Edward Cuba, Frank Zavacki, Dr. Sidney Beich, William Ridgley, Walter Suza and C.H. McCracken.

Caroline Eckrote, Diane Dessoye, Ann Foster, Roberta Nolan, Sharon Stodlaski, Jeanne Runsky, Noreen Heffron, Linda Grabowski, Mary Jule Dessoye, Ann Reynolds, Sharon Boos, Sheila McLaughlin, Kathryn Sowa, Betty Scarmastro, Martha Heffers and Mary Ellen Reedy were busy knocking on doors throughout Greater Pittston seeking donations for a drive to combat leukemia. For participating in the drive, the teens were rewarded with free tickets to a Bobby Rydell concert. Rydell had numerous hit records on the Billboard Top 100 record chart. His recording career earned him 34 Top 40 hits, placing him in the Top 5 artists of his era.

Members of the West Pittston High School cheerleading squad, Diane Serfoss, Mary Ann Evans, Bonnie Brodbeck, Sharon Cravatta, Roseann Russo, Lorraine Wisnosky, Sally Fear, Nadine VanTuyle, Roseanne Naples Erma Menn, Jane Trianni and Judy Starna, were preparing to cheer their Rams teams to a winning season.

1985 – 31 Years Ago

Both Pittston Area and Wyoming Area school districts faced declining enrollment, leaving Pittston Area Superintendent Gerald Musto and Wyoming Area Superintendent Joseph Olesky considering teacher layoffs. Both schools, however were planning to move ahead on instructional improvements. Wyoming Area had received a grant from the state Department of Education to fund a computer program. Over 300 school districts applied for the $39,775 grant.

1995 – 21 Years Ago

The Duryea Wildcats junior football league celebrated its 25th year. Frank Brosso one of the original incorporators and first league president, and Woody Wudarski, Robert Ryzner, Richard Queeney, William Smaltz and Mike Pearage attended a junior football conference in Scranton cementing their decision to organize the teams. Money donated by businesses and residents was used to purchase 52 blue and white uniforms. The colors chosen were in honor of the former Duryea High School Wildcats. Members of the first A team were: Fred Tonkin, Ray Scoda, Danny Nawrocki, Joe Haduck, Ken Budnovitch, Ken Hodick, Ray Pintha, Robert Frutchey, Steve Swantkowski, Joe Giuntkowski, Alan Hoover, Ed Winn Andrew Vanyo, Joe Fahey, Mike Guarilia, Bob Moluski, Joe Chipolis, Kenny Guntkowski, Sam Capitano, Joe Grebeck, Harold Hatter, Peter Duncan and Mark Breymeier. A Team coaches were Bob Galuska, Carl Luder, Sam Capitano and Joe Murphy. Members of the first B Team were: Sid Booth, Mike Birochak, Dave Rugletic, Robert Szewczyk, Dan Doran, Paul Lojewski, Ken Webb, John Martinelli, Tony Martin, Neil Orenich, Tony Lovenduski, Jim Balchune, Andy Gorzkowski, Danny Webb, Rick Duncan, Clarence Van Ness, Rich Vrable, Mike Carlin, Steve Chipolis, Neil Orenich, Bruce Moluski, Mike Mlodzienski, David Mlodzienski, Lonny Graziosi, Chris Balchune, Kyle Lambert, Bob Mehal, T.J. Hoeffner, Leonard Vrable, Ed Folckomer, Jerry Langan, Skip McGlynn, Paul Booth, Billy Scoda, Joseph Pakutler, Nick Radle, John Anderika and Roger Wesenyak. Coaches were Gary Sworen, Woody Wudarski, Bob Ryzner and Ron Rugletic.

This Date in History:

1775 – British troops capture Ethan Allen, the hero of Ticonderoga, when he and a handful of Americans try to invade Canada.

1918 – Brazil declares war on Austria.

1942 – The War Labor Board orders equal pay for women in the United States.

1981 – Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female Supreme Court Justice, is sworn in.

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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