Peeking into the past

June 27th, 2015 1:20 am

First Posted: 4/22/2013

In the April 14 Peeking Into the Past, we published a photo taken in 1968 of Boy Scout Troop 303 of Pittston embarking on an overnight canoe trip to New York. We asked, “Can you recongize anyone?” Michelle Stark, of Wyoming, called to identify the last young lad in the first row on the very right as her brother, Jerry LaMark, formerly of Pittston, now of Forty Fort.


What information released in 1961 reflected something that had not been evidenced in Pittston for decades?

1961 - 52 YEARS AGO

The Wyoming Booster Club held its annual banquet to honor outstanding Wyoming Area senior athletes. In 1961, the club itself was honored with a Meritorious Achievement Award by the Queen Esther American Legion Post for its years of service. Charles Van Camp accepted the award from Post Commander Len Zavada. During the event, trophies were presented to Angelo Ardo, outstanding football lineman; Ronald Klocko, outstanding basketball player; and Pete Rutski, outstanding football backfield.

The Greater Pittston National Guard’s acquisition of an M56 full-tracked tank with a 90MM gun required the unit to look for a few good men with specialized skill and mechanical know-how to staff their newly-organized Assault Gun Platoon. Staff Sgt. Ronald Sherman and SP5 Henry Jackett of the Combat Support Company were in charge of manning the vehicle which could be viewed in operation during evening demonstrations at the armory. Primarily manufactured for airborne units, the the M56 was manufactured from 1953 to 1959 by the Cadillac Motor Car Division of General Motors.

1971 - 42 YEARS AGO

The first West Pittston Cherry Blossom Festival was in the planning stages. Scheduled to perform were an Ecumenical choir from all churches of Greater Pittston in conjuction with an arts festival. Members of the first planning committee were Mrs. Nick Anselmi, Mrs. Tom Opeka, Mrs. Tom Obrzut, Mrs. Drew Smith, Mrs. Sam Ferrara, Mrs. Edward Wicks. Mrs. Joseph Andaloro, Mrs. Thomas Davis, Attorney Charles Bufalino, Ray Ramage, Ray Crisci, Darwin Llewellyn and Ernest Pahl. The 42nd annual festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 4 and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 5, rain or shine.

Three high school seniors, Francis Solano, Wayne Bechtold and Thomas Pepe representing St. John’s High School, Pittston Area and Wyoming Area, respectively, were honored by the Pittston Rotary Club. During a program entitled “Teenage Viewpoint,” the three young men were asked their impressions on subjects such as drugs in schools, attitudes toward boys hairstyles and politics in the school system. The purpose of the program was to encourage a better “understanding between adults and young people.”

Top 10 songs of 1971

1. Stay Awhile – The Bells

2. Another Day – Paul McCartney

3. Joy to the World – Three Dog Night

4. Just My Imagination – Temptations

5. Superstar – Murray Head

6. Never Can Say Goodbye – Jackson 5

7. One Toke Over the Line – Brewer and Shipley

8. I Am I Said – Neil Diamond

9. What’s Goin’ On – Marvin Gaye

10. For All We Know – Carpenters.

1981 - 32 YEARS AGO

Brian Doran and Robert Reed, both of Duryea, were the newest members of the Plectrum Orchestra. Under the direction of Charles Masters, the orchestra performed at nursing homes and local events. Both boys were proficient on guitar, for which a plectrum, or what is more commonly known as a pick, is used.

In 1956, 15 men gathered at the home of Jim Dillon in Jenkins Township and planned the beginnings of the Jenkins Township Little League. Starting with a four-team league with 15 players on each squad, the men were able to field a minor league with four more teams, build a stadium behind the old Jenkins High School and raise over $1,200 to purchase “first-class” uniforms for the players. In 1981, the league celebrated its 25th successful season. Some of the men who worked diligently for the league over the years were Gene King, Jim Norris, Simon Struzzeri, Bob Miller, Jim Musto, Al Yanushavich, Sandy Gubbiotti, Jim Dillon, the leagues first president; Joe Vetack, Joe Balberchak, Charles Falcone, Joe McDonald, Any Karaffa, janet Dunn, Ron D’Elisio and Bill Gaffney.

Frank Zavrotny helped draw up the Duryea V.F.W. Post 1227 charter on July 7 1924. In 1981, post members Joe Butrymowicz, Michael Tetlak and Al Grabosky honored Mr. Zavrotny with a life membership card.


Figures released in April 1961 showed that Democrats had gained a lead in registrations in Pittston for the “first time in decades.”

Of the 7,516 registered voters in Pittston, Democrats numbered 4,121 and Republicans 3,395. Just five years earlier, in 1956, records showed that not one ward or voting precinct in Pittston favored Democrats in registration.

“Follow the seasons. Follow your heart. Lead by example. Lead with love, alongside simplicity and courage, embracing duty, shunning fear.”

Terri Guillemets