Gayle Charney wins chamber pageant in ‘56

June 27th, 2015 1:28 am

First Posted: 5/14/2013


What happened when a mysterious substance which first made its appearance in Dupont in 1953 vanished then reappeared in 1956?

1956 – 57 YEARS AGO

Gayle Charney, of Wyoming, was chosen as Miss Wyoming Valley in the beauty and talent pageant sponsored by the local Junior Chamber of Commerce. Also winning titles were Jacqueline Wargo, of West Pittston, and Marion Salvo, of Pittston Township. The contest was a preliminary to the Miss Pennsylvania Pageant. To see a list of the winners of the Miss Wyoming Valley contests held in the 1950s, log onto

The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer asked, “Do you think the present high school generation has lost some of its zip because the students drive to school instead of walking?” Mary Ann Pomichter, of Pittston, answered, “When I attended school I had to walk all they way from the Junction. You felt wide awake when you arrived at school.” Thomas McNulty, also of Pittston, added, “Youngsters of today have zip, I think driving helps them in the long run though.” James Switzer, of West Wyoming, stated, “I don’t think riding to school reduces your pep. If someone is lazy or tired there’s probably some other cause for it.”

1966 – 47 YEARS AGO

Officers of the West Pittston American Legion John D. Stark Post 542, Frank Houser, William Rule, Sidney Martin, Herbert Babcock and Gordon Meade were pleased that they could offer medical equipment locally to those in need. The Post invested $5,000 to supply 14 hospital beds, 13 wheelchairs, five sets of crutches, two walkers and miscellaneous items to the homebound. Presently Post #542 is named for 1st Lt. Jeffrey F. DePrimo who was killed in action while serving with the Scranton-based 109th Infantry. DePrimo had been commander of the lead convoy vehicle when it came under attack near Ghazni Afghanistan. The First Lt. Jeffrey Deprimo Memorial Golf Tournament will be held on June 8.

Stylish hats of straw and high quality wool trimmed in flowers and veils and the distinctive pill box fashion popularized by Jacqueline Kennedy were worn by the newly-elected officers of the West Pittston Women’s Club during swearing-in ceremonies. Mrs. Carl Weimer accepted the duties as president, succeeding Mrs. Thomas Llewellyn. Other officers elected were Mrs. Thomas R. Davis Jr., Mrs. Carlton Stauffer, Mrs. Paul Bubul, Mrs. Joseph Andaloro, Mrs. James McGinty, Helen Laderer and Mrs. Joseph Linskey.

Here’s how some items were priced in local stores in 1966: “Perfectly dyed pumps” of Peau De Soie or Satin could be purchased at Allan’s Shoes, North Main Street, Pittston for $5.99. The PX Meat Market in Exeter offered customers chuck roasts at 39 cents a pound and cooked hams at 55 cents per pound. The Dutchess Coat and Suit Store, William Street, Pittston stocked 007 spy coats for $12.

1976 – 37 YEARS AGO

Over 2,000 people lined the banks of the Susquehanna River to watch the first hydroplane races sponsored by the Greater Pittston Jaycees. The event was held to promote recreation on the river. Over 200 boats driven by professional drivers from the Eastern Marine Power Boat Association entered the competition. Congressman Dan Flood, who fired the starting gun for the first race, commented, “The Susquehanna was once one of the foremost bass fishing areas in Northeastern PA. The race is an effort to return the river to its former beauty.”

The Warriorettes of Wyoming Area took the Division I championship in the Wyoming Valley Softball League . Pitcher Cathy Pope held the opposing team to five hits while Sandy Selenski led the Warriorette hitters with a triple and a double. The next game on the agenda was against the championship team of the Lackawanna League in hopes of taking the district title. The rest of the Warriorette team consisted of Debbie Gross, Annie Galli, Karen Kitchilinski, Karen Rome, Nadine Greco, Gina Granteed and Becky Edmunds. Sandy Chiampi coached the team.

1996 – 27 YEARS AGO

Gold medalists Andrea Anushko, Laura Mudlock and Devon Roglish led the Pittston Area girls track and field team to a second-place finish at the district Ffnals held at North Pocono High School. Anushko took the gold in the 100 meter, Mudlock in the javelin event and Roglich in the discus. All three qualified for the state meet.

Lori Ann Guitson, of Pittston, realized her dream of playing on a Little League baseball team as she took up the catcher’s position for the First Bank of Greater Pittston team on opening day.


After a few years of relief, “housewives” on Lincoln and Smith Streets in Dupont were once again angered in 1956 over the reappearance of a smelly fluid spotting their freshly-washed laundry hung on backyard clotheslines. In 1953, when the substance first appeared on the clothes, the women pressured police sergeant Frank Palumbo to do something about the situation but the outcome of the investigation “never did come to light.” The women suspected the fluid was deposited across the area from passing airplanes landing at the Avoca Airport. Airport officials and pilots disagreed, saying “restrooms are locked fives minutes before planes land and do not release refuse into the air.” The women were instructed to save the laundry as evidence in preparation for laboratory tests of the clothing. If anyone knows of the outcome of this investigation, call me at 602-0168.

“Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday.” - Author unknown