Peeking into the past

June 27th, 2015 1:44 am

First Posted: 7/1/2013

Question #1:

In 1950, what did Celia Bocci, Pittston Twp.; Ann Marie Butera, Pittston; Shirley Ann Pizano, Exeter; Anita Drexinger, Exeter; Jean Mariani, Pittston; Joan Hannon, Pittston; Lena Ross, Yatesville; Lois Kane, Pittston and Joan Oncay of West Pittston, have in common?

1950 – 63 YEARS AGO

In 1950, Anthony Rinaldi Jr., of Avoca, did something no one else had done. The Avoca Little Leaguer pitched the first no-hit/no-run contest since the organization began and was named to the Hall of Fame. The 11-year-old allowed five walks, striking out 13. Rinaldi’s team, the Pop’s Rink Nine beat Coffee’s 5 & 10, 13-0.

Embarking on a six-week journey, Joseph Pupa, of Pittston Township, owner of Interstate Home Improvement Company, James Polka, co-owner of the Twin Diner, and Frank Roman, owner of Roman Taxi and both Pittston residents, planned an extensive tour of Italy, France, Switzerland and Ireland.

All three men were expected to journey to the Province of Contanzaro and visit relatives in their ancestral village of Calabria Italy. The men were passengers aboard the SS Atlantic.

1960 – 53 YEARS AGO

Martin Melvin, of Pittston, wrote a note on his garbage payment voucher “Garbage collection system as planned was a good thing for everybody in the city.” This gave a boost to the employees who worked diligently to implement the new system installed by the city.

Assistant City Engineer Leo Fasciana “had charge of mimeographing 4,000 sets of letters for each tenant and homeowner. Barney Cumbo, Joseph McNamara and Margaret Mancini addressed envelopes, while police officers Angelo DeSanto and Joseph Delaney stuffed, boxed and delivered the bills to the post office.

As the Bell Telephone Company planned to switch to the direct distance dialing system, it was announced in the Sunday Dispatch that “It would be as easy to make a phone call to San Francisco as it now is to dial another phone in Pittston.”

In 1960, the United States was divided into 100 dialing areas each with a three-figure code. At the time, the code for Pittston was 717. The cost of the direct dialing system was projected to cost Bell $800,000. Pennsylvania originally had four area codes when the numbering system was established in 1947. These four area codes were sufficient for 47 years until 1994 when area code 215 was split to form area code 610. Between 1994 and 2001, six new area codes were put into service.

Today, there are over 275 area codes in the United States which are assigned to specific geographic areas and 13 that are not assigned to a geographic area. Pennsylvania area code 570, covering towns and cities such as Carbondale, Mountain Top, Plymouth, Scranton or Wilkes-Barre, will be overlaid by the new area code, 272, starting Oc. 21.

1970 – 43 YEARS AGO

Question #2

In 1970, it was noted in the Sunday Dispatch that the Charge family of Pittston Township was winning, but not by much. A competing family, the Menichinis, also of Pittston Township, complained the Charge family had an edge. What was going on here?

With the first half of the West Side Slow Pitch League season under its belt, Shangri-La Cafe of West Wyoming heralded a 7-1 record. Gorki’s A.C. was the only team to beat Shang-Ri-La and took second place at 6-2. Members of the Shangri-La Cafe team were Robert Foy, Bobby Knowles, Bob “Scooter” Nardone, Leo Hiedacavage, Joe “Bam” Rutski, Bernie Cagelka, Nate Webb, Jack Beacham, Frank Conniff, George Risko, James Dennis, Bob Gadomski, Paul Gibblets, Joe Ford, Frank Risko. Joe Fischi, Joe DeLucca, John Lukasavage and Bill Morgan.

Top 10 songs of July 1970:

1. The Love you Save – Jackson Five

2. Ride Captain Ride – Blues Image

3. Mama Told Me – Three Dog Night

4. Mystery of Love – Leer Brothers

5. Wonder of You – Elvis Presley

6. Band of Gold – Freda Payne

7. Lay Down – Melanie

8. Song of Joy – Miguel Rios

9. My Baby Loves Lovin – White Plains

10. United We Stand – Brotherhood of Man

Answer #1:

Celia Bocci, Ann Marie Butera, Shirley Ann Pizano, Anita Drexinger, Jean Mariani, Joan Hannon, Lena Ross, Lois Kane and Joan Oncay were the first women to be chosen to compete in the inaugural Miss Greater Pittston Pageant. The winner went on to compete for the state title in Harrisburg on Aug. 8, 1950. The two-hour extravaganza held at the American Theatre was hosted by Larry Woodin, Pennsylvania Director of the Miss American Pageant. The Glen Michael’s orchestra performed and the Lions Club Choral Group under the direction of Prof. Bronis Voveris entertained. Does anyone know which one of these women won the Miss Greater Pittston title in 1950? I’ll post the answer next week.

Answer #2:

Mr and Mrs. Michael Charge, along withTony Lombardo, and Joe and Angelo Menichini set about painting their respective homes in July 1970. Lombardo set up the challenge of a race between the two families. The Charges took the honors of finishing first by nearly half of a house, but the Menichinis lodged a protest stating the Charges’ home was smaller than the Menichinis’ two-story double-block.

“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”

Mary Engelbreit