We are always happy to hear from our readers regarding a story. Just this past week, we heard from Lou Tribbett, formerly of Pittston now living in California, regarding our mention of the Pittston Little League team getting a shot at the state championship title in 1963. We asked if anyone knew the outcome of the tournament. Tribbett, a member of that team, told us Pittston lost to Connellsville, 3-2, in seven innings. Tribbett pitched the entire game and noted that Bob Bailor, who, in later years was a Major League player; scored the winning run for Connellsville. Tribbett added, “The next day, Charlie Turco pitched a no-hitter and Louie Loquasto hit a 300-foot home run, beating Beaver Falls to clinch third place.” Tribbett also wanted to be sure we gave credit to coaches Jim Barrett and Eddie Strubeck. “They really made the team who we were; they are forgotten heroes in our city. I just want to thank those guys for their effort.” Along with Tribbett and Turco, other members of the team included Michael Sperrazza, Michael Costello, Barry O’Boyle, John Richards, Louis Loquasto, Ed Murphy, Marty Walker, Charles Graziano, Brian Doyle, Mickey Cannella, Anthony Testa and Billy Howley. Sam Charelli and Joseph O’Malley were alternates.
1948 – 67 years ago
Champ Brewery, Pittston’s last brewery, was being dismantled and the owner’s plan was to ship the salvage material overseas. Located at North Main and New streets, Champ employed approximately 50 men with an output of 100,000 barrels of beer a year. The brewery was purchased by Ted Smulowitz and “several associates” for $68,000. For weeks after the purchase, city officials had hoped that the brewery would reopen and continue its operation in Pittston. However, the decision was made that the plant be closed.
The bodies of Pvt. William Barrett, Pittston, and technician fifth grade Arthur Firth, Wyoming, were returned home after World War II. Barrett was killed at the Battle of Anzio on Feb. 18, 1944. He previously saw action in North Africa and Sicily. Firth died of wounds received at Cassino on May 30, 1944. He was a native of England, but came to America with his parents in 1929.
1958 – 57 years ago
The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer asked, “Thirty-eight years ago women were given the right to vote. Do you think it has proved good or bad for the nation?” Beverly Narvel of West Pittston answered, “Why, naturally, it was a good move. Women have as much at stake in this country as men.” Michael Delaney of Pittston added, “Women would have their say regardless of whether they voted or not. If they didn’t have the vote, they would probably spend most of their time telling their husbands who to vote for.” Leo Earlly of Pittston stated, “I don’t think women should have been allowed to vote. There are enough men to handle the operation of the country without bringing women into the act. Of course, I couldn’t say it’s been bad for the country.” Carmelita Maira said, “Women have a lot of good ideas, I think it has improved the country.” The 19th amendment, ratified on Aug. 18, 1920, guaranteed all American women the right to vote. The movement, supported by women who sometimes practiced civil disobedience to gain the right, took decades. Several generations of woman suffrage supporters campaigned throughout the country to achieve what many Americans considered a radical change of the Constitution. Not many early supporters lived to see final victory.
Students of St. John the Evangelist Grammar School performed in the musical, “Sailor’s Fiesta.” Members of the cast were Kathleen Gavigan, Jean Rader, Sheila Sheridan, Joan McFarland, Colleen McGarry, Mary Cotter, Virginia, Mullen, Diane Julio, Dorothy Reed, Thomas Cotter, Mary Margaret Lenahan, Mary Ellen Cummings, Rosina LaTorre, Ann Langan, Patricia Quinn, Marie Flannery and James Bruno. To see a photo of the cast in costume, log onto psdispatch.com and click on Peeking into the Past.
1968 – 47 years ago
The twin steeples of St. John Evangelist Church needed to be painted, and it was up to steeplejacks James McDonald and Louis Auriemma, both of Scranton, to ascend 200 feet in the air to complete the job. Passersby witnessed the men retrieving the two 70-pound copper crosses from atop each steeple and lowering them to the ground. Each were to be primed and covered with gold leaf. Next, each steeple was painted and made ready to receive the crosses. McDonald and Auriemma, both rigging experts, admitted the two steeples were, “probably the toughest they’d worked on” because the ornate metal work at the base of each steeple created an obstacle not usually encountered.
1998 – 17 years ago
The 15th Annual Pittston Tomato Festival was about to start. The organizing committee included Sam Miceli, Mike Lombardo, Lori Nocito, Bob Conroy, Judy Strelish, Maria Capolarella-Montante, Janet Delaney, Mary Lombardo, Susan Lombardo, Joe Casale, Sam Valenti, Charley Geib, Ethel Delia, Val Delia, Jerry Mullarkey and Tom Sewatsky. Performing on stage over the four-day event were Shirley Reeves, original lead singer of the Shirelles; The Poets, Somthin’ Else, The Buoys, Hi Lites, Gail Barbrie Productions, Joey Dee & the Starliters, Flaxy Morgan, RPM Old Stars, Mere Mortals and the Badlees. Those competing for the title of Tomato Festival Queen were Leanne George, Alycia Palsha, Courtney Dombroski, Cindy Morris, Jessica Taroli, Jennifer Forlenza, Winter Rusiloski, Angel Webby and Heather Olszewski.