First Posted: 5/22/2013
In 1949, in what “innovation” was Greater Pittston called a leader?
1949 – 64 YEARS AGO
In preparation of Memorial Day, grass was sown and hedges were planted around the World War Veterans Monument at Pittston City Hall, The beautification project was assisted by local “nurseryman” Henry Hall.
Quick-thinking members of the Sunday Dispatch newsroom would come up with a rhyming weather banner each Sunday. The Sunday before Memorial Day 1949, the weather banner cleverly stated, “Cloudy and warmer is the forecast today. The same holds true for Memorial Day.”
1959 – 54 YEARS AGO
Pittston City police officer Andy Schevets was often a guy whom residents didn’t like to see approaching, since it was his job to tag illegally-parked automobiles. However, to one woman, he was a hero. After realizing she’d left her purse on a Pittston City bus and not knowing where to turn, a woman unidentified in a Sunday Dispatch article , called the police station to ask for help. Shevets was assigned the case. He studied the bus schedule and figured when the bus would arrive back in Pittston. When the bus returned from its daily route, Shevets found the purse with its contents intact and returned it to the grateful woman.
The Wyoming Boosters, a club supporting athletics at Wyoming High School, wanted to have a presence in the borough’s Memorial Day event. What better way than to have a queen and her court riding in decorated convertibles for the club’s very first entry into the parade. Betty Godlewicz was named Miss Wyoming Booster. She and her court Margie Sapiego, Mary Ann Savitsky, Rita Shura and Dorothy Koslock were 1958 graduates of Wyoming High School and, during their senior year, aided the club at football games.
1969 – 44 YEARS AGO
Student Council presidents Mary Claire Finnerty, of St. John’s High School, Michael Butera, of Wyoming Area and Charles Bechtold, of Pittston Area, appeared on the front page of the Sunday Dispatch in a photograph taken on the River Common in West Pittston. The Dispatch was the first newspaper in the area to use “duo-tone” to process the color photograph showing the students in front of a bank of colorful cherry blossom trees. Dispatch “pressmen” Carl Rhodes Jr., James “Spot” O’Donnell and William A. Watson Jr. did the plate making and press work for the photograph taken by Ken Feeney.
Airman First Class Jerome J. Billick, of Duryea, received the Meritorious Service award as an aircraft maintenance mechanic while assigned to the 311th Special Operations Squadron. It was noted that Billick’s performance contributed to the success of the missions of the Air Force in Southeast Asia.
In Vietnam, the 311th flew cargo and passengers in support of I and II Corps. In addition, the unit flew flare, communications cover, air evacuation and search and rescue missions for downed aircraft.
1979 – 34 Years Ago
An $8,000 Morris Scholarship sponsored by the William T. Morris Foundation was presented to Wyoming Area senior David Tomaszewski, of West Pittston. Ranking in the top 10% of his class Tomaszewski planned to attend King’s College. William Thomas Morris was born in West Pittston on July 20, 1884. He was an officer in many companies in the United States and England but locally served as vice president and general manager of the American Chain Company, Inc. In May 1936, he was elected president of the company and held the position until his death in February 1946.
In 1952, seeing a need for a “mercy vehicle” a “group of Pittston area citizens” purchased their first ambulance from Harold Howell on April 4, 1953. The first officers of the newly-formed ambulance association were Chris Schultz, Pat Flannery, Edythe Walsh, Bill Murphy, Bill Watson Sr and Stanley Serino, captain. In 1979, after receiving certification from State Emergency Management Services, The Pittston Ambulance Association celebrated its 27th year. Tabulations revealed the Pittston unit was second only to Wilkes-Barre in total number of runs. The certification was based on standards of excellence and the purchase of a new state of the art ambulance. Officers and trustees of the association in 1979 were Mrs. Geroge Nagy, treasurer; Lou Calabrese, vice president; Frank Castellino, president; Mrs. James Clark, secretary; Edythe Walsh. Catherine Ardoline, Lou Alexander, George Nagy, Mickey McFadden, Joseph Caprio, Lucy Alexander and Joe Martino.
What name was The West Pittston Hose Company #1 originally known by ?
1989 – 24 YEARS AGO
The West Pittston Hose Company #1 which started in 1889 with a horse-drawn steamer celebrated its 100th anniversary. First members of the board were P.H. Pepp; O.C. Foster, Thomas Mitten, E.H. Williamson, C.H. Phillips, L.P. Holcomb, Henry Polen, S.E. Levi, J.H. VanBuskirk, William Dampman, A.V. Coleman and H.W. Weatherby.
In 1949, two softball games between Pittston Apparel and Rex Shoe and Catholic War Vets and DeFalco’s Cigar Store were held under the lights at a West Pittston stadium, making Greater Pittston the first in the area to offer the sport at night. Team managers were determined to have a successful season, so the evening recreational benefit would continue. Charles Zambetti, supervisor of the Greater Pittston Industrial Softball League, announced admission prices for “ladies and students 25 cents, adult males 50 cents.”
The first name selected for the new volunteer fire department organized in West Pittston in 1889 was Clear Spring Hose Company. During the second meeting, the board of directors changed the name to West Pittston Hose Company #1.
Let’s salute the men and women who proudly serve our country and honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.