WYOMING — Over 60 years ago, these friends enjoyed the afternoon lunch hour in a school cafeteria, talking about the events of the day.
Today, they still enjoy telling stories, just not in a school setting.
Member of the Jenkins Township High School Class of 1951 have formed what they call the Lunch Bunch.
A handful of former students meets once a month at a designated location within the Greater Pittston area. They most recently met at the Avenue Diner in Wyoming.
Among them were Jimmy Musto, 83 of Port Griffith; Louella Prutzman, 81, of Shavertown; Frances Mazeikas, 81, of Jenkins Township; and Eileen Burns, 82, of Pittston Township.
Burns, who organizes the monthly get-togethers, came up with the idea in 2001 after the 50th anniversary class reunion.
“I think we just thought it was a good idea that we would meet and keep us in touch after our 50th anniversary,” said Burns.
The Jenkins Township High School first opened in 1912 and its first graduating class consisted of five girls and two boys. The school was open for 50 years before merging with Northeast High School in 1962, and eventually into Pittston Area High School three years after that.
Each graduating class usually consisted of no more than 53 members — the class of 1951 had 49 members.
The Lunch Bunch consisted of 12 members when it first started but, over the years, some passed away while others are either dealing with health issues or have such busy schedules they don’t have time for lunch.
After graduating in 1951, the Lunch Bunch members all went separate ways but kept in touch and stuck close by.
“We were basically raised and born in the same area,” said Prutzman. “I didn’t go away; I just hopped on a bus and went back to Yatesville. I eventually went into nursing training, got married and moved to Shavertown.”
Musto left the area after graduation to join the Army and serve in the Korean War. He eventually returned to become an industrial electrician and volunteer with the Jenkins Township Fire Hose Company, something he continues to do today after retiring from his job.
Burns was a business teacher and Prutzman and Mazeikas were registered nurses. All are retired now.
While the four of them meet monthly, they still keep busy enough with their families gathering new stories to share during their lunches.
Burns is a mother of four with seven grandchildren, Musto is a father of five with five grandchildren and Prutzman is a mother of four with seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
“We just enjoy seeing each other,” said Burns.
“It’s also a good reason to grab lunch,” responded Musto.
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher