Retirement stuck for Mr. Baseball

June 27th, 2015 1:51 am

First Posted: 3/19/2013

In last week’s Peeking into the past, I asked if anyone could tell me if the prospect of reviving the Avoca sandlot baseball league in 1968 would bring Mr. Baseball, Anthony “Daddy” Gilrain, out of retirement from his beloved sport. Gilrain’s daughter, Mrs. Nora Gilrain Orlosk, of Dupont, called to let me know that her father did not come out of retirement to manage the league and she believed the league never formed. Gilrain, who worked for the Lehigh Railroad, passed away in 1972 at the age of 57.

1957 – 56 years ago

Members of The Pittston Kiwanis Club hosted their 16th annual Vocational Guidance Conference for regional high school students. Approximatley 1200 students attended the event at West Pittston High School. Programs such as airline stewardess, telephone and telegraph operator were of interest to the girls. Career programs for morticians, verterinarians and lawyers were of interest to both girls and boys. Marc L. Ruck, Lt. Governor, Kiwanis District 15, Andrew Lewis, superintendent of West Pittston School, Kiwanis Club members Robert Morgan, Atlee Schoner, Steryl Serfoss, Edmund Garrahan, William Norris, Nelson Stockton, Carmen Falcone, Edward Spohrer, Harry Schmaltz, Harold Traher, Philip Harris were the gentlemen responsble for the success of the clinic.

St. John’s High School baseball team prepared for their diamond season. Ready to take the field were three holdovers from the previous Johnnies’ season, Mike Buckley, outfielder; Ned O’Malley, pitcher-outfielder; and Joe Snopkowski, infielder. Other candidates included Frank Rader, first base; Joe Santo, George Loyack and John Mathewson, infielders; Faust Valenti, Andy Zalewski, Tom Jordan, Francis Gubitose and Charlie Galinas, outfielders; and Charlie Parente and Charles Adonizio, catchers.

1967 – 46 years ago

Sixteen students from St. John the Evangelist High School participated in the Junior Academy of Science competition. Winners Ronald Waxmonsky, Joan Hoffman and Lisa Pupa were then eligible to represent Northeast Pennsylvania in the state contest. Others who received honors were Margaret Heffers, Angela Meehan, Anne Gavigan, Mary Theresa Gavigan, Anthony Markowski, Ellen Diana, Judith Gull, Mary Mullarkey, Marianne Spohrer, Mary Ann Ruda, Gerald Paddock Justin Gustainis, Larry Ofcharsky, Frederick O’Brien, Rosaria Aquilina, Colleen McNevin and Linda Renzi. State delegates from 14 high school science clubs met in Reading on March 31, 1934 to approve a constitution for the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science. Over the years, the number of participating schools has gone from the original 14 to over 500. This year’s regional competition was held at King’s College on March 2 with 750 students representing seven Northeastern Pennsylvania counties.

Army First Lieutenant Michael Winslow, of Pittston, received the Bronze Star Medal for outstanding meritorious service in cambat operations against hostile forces in Vietnam. Winslow entered the Army in February 1964 and served as a project officer with the Research and Analysis Division Gunnery Department of the U.S. Army Artillery and Missile School.

1977 – 36 years ago

Karen Ann Kizis, granddaughter of Mr. And Mrs. Peter Kizis, of Pittston, was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force Nurse Corp. The original Air Force Nurse Corps emerged from the Army Nurse Corp when 1,199 nurses were brought over to the Air Force branch. Major achievements were noted in the 1970s when the first Air Force Nurse Corps chief was promoted to brigadier general and women were able to remain on active duty after becoming pregnant. The corps celebrated its 60th year in 2009.

Organized on Dec. 21, 1877, the First United Presbyterian Church of West Pittston began planning its year-long centennial celebration. The church hosted a meeting of the Lackawanna Presbytery which, according to its website, “represents seven counties of Northeast Pennsylvania with 57 congregations that range from small rural churches to urban-centered Christian communities.” Members of the planning committee were Andrew Kuffa, Mrs. Reginald Ellis, William Todd, Mrs. Robert Comstock, Rev. Maynard Grunstra, Mrs. Harold Young, Raymond Crisci, Mrs. Andrew Whyte, Mrs. William Todd, Mrs. Evert Sharkey, Louise Scrimgeour, Mrs. Charles Earley, James Melberger, James Woods, Mrs. Glenn Carpenter and Lawrence Jimmie.

1997 –16 years ago

Not only was Josette Fedor, of West Pittston, at the top of her class at Wyoming Area High School, she had also been accepted by the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis and was selected to be a Pennsylvania Delegate to the United States Senate Youth Program. She was one of 170 students across the state to submit applications for the program funded by the William Randoph Hearst Foundation. During her week-long stay in Washington D.C., one of the many politicians she met on the trip was Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the first youth delegate to become a senator. The Youth Program was established in 1962 by a Senate resolution. This year’s program, which was held from March 9 to16, enabled two student leaders from each state to spend a week in Washington, experiencing their government in action.

The Frances Dorrance Chapter of the Society for Pennsylvania Archeology and Duryea native Al Pesotine and Dawn Griffiths of Pan Cultural Associates, joined forces to engage in a five-year excavation plan at the confluence of the Lackawanna and Susquehanna Rivers. Pesotine’s discovery at the site of artifacts of the Adena culture aroused the chapter’s interest. According to, Adena culture was evident in various communities of ancient North American Indians, about 500 BC to AD 100, centred in what is now southern Ohio. Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The Frances Dorrance Chapter #11 meets monthly at Duryea Municipal Building and at the Conrail Site on the last Tuesday of the month during March through November.