1952 – 63 years ago
There was bad news in 1952…
A recently separated mother along with her four children were discovered living in squalor by a Sunday Dispatch reporter who was tracking another story. An article published in the Dispatch asked anyone who had something to give in the way of food or clothing to call a local charity representing the family.
Ten people were hurt in a head-on collision in the block of Main Street, Old Forge.
Employees of the Pittston Gas Company planned to strike for higher wages.
The local draft board received notice that quotas would rise more than 100 percent in the Pittston area.
But there was also good news…
Playing at the American Theater in Pittston, “The Story of Will Rogers.” The Comerford Drive-In was offering “Lost In Alaska,” starring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. Duryea Clothing on Main Street advertised women’s dresses for $1.99 and denim pedal pushers for $1 a pair. William P. Bonser in West Pittston advertised Firestone Tires, the first tire at $20, second $10 off. Men’s flannel suits were on sale at The Globe Men’s Store for $50 and Penney’s advertised girls corduroy jumpers for $4.98 and Gingham plaid dresses for $3.98.
The Musto family of Yatesville found a prized South American parakeet belonging to Mr. And Mrs. Sol Schellhammer. The bird escaped after a strong wind knocked its cage off the Schellhammers’ porch. The Mustos took care of the little fellow and placed a photo of the tiny bird in the Dispatch. Upon seeing the photo, The Schellhammers were grateful and thanked the Mustos and the paper for their kindness.
1962 – 53 years ago
Walter Nestorick, John Grochal and John Bauman, three young men from Duryea, were on their way to San Diego, California after enlisting in the Navy. Nestorick and Bauman were members of the 1962 Duryea High School graduating class.
A young Pittston lad was in hot water after not appearing in juvenile court for stealing a case of beer and other offenses. Officers Bill Leppert and Lou Mantione picked the boy up and returned him to his home to dress properly for court, but while there, he escaped through an open window. The officers gave chase. After catching the lad, the officers realized they had both lost their blackjacks. The boy’s family agreed to replace the blackjacks at a cost of $3.50 each. Perceived as an offensive weapon as of late, many police departments across the country have removed the blackjack as part of a policeman’s uniform and replaced it with pepper spray and Tasers.
Ernie Baccaris, proprietor of Ernie’s Men’s Shop in Pittston, awarded Ann Marie, James and David Chmielewski of Port Griffith their “very own space missile toy” after they were chosen winners of a store contest.
Over 6,500 people signed up to win a $100 savings account at Liberty Bank in Pittston. It was then up to 2-year-old Jeffrey Klime to draw the winner. His pick: J.J. Kearney of Pittston.
Officers of the Goodwill Hose Company, West Pittston, could not receive monies from a state relief fund, because they felt the borough was withholding formal recognition of the department. Over $20,000 was collected from a 2 percent tax paid on foreign fire insurance premiums over a 10-year period. The hose company was determined to renew their efforts to be sanctioned.
The Pittston City School Board adopted a set of stringent rules affecting students’ conduct, studies and activities, and placed limitations on the amount of students driving to school. Pittston residents asked by the Dispatch for their opinion were in favor of the more disciplined approach. However, one rule that required teachers to sign in and out each day was collectively opposed by the teachers.
1972 – 43 years ago
A photo published in the 1972 edition of the Sunday Dispatch shows a group of Pittston ladies in various styles of floral print dresses ready to board a bus for the Allentown Fair in 1950. Some of the women traveling to the event were Maria Cefalo, Tine Tabone, Margaret Amico, Connie Andalora, Marie Mack, Elizabeth DelPrior, Elvita Marzola, Antoinette Cefalo, Grace Delorenzo, Rose Blandina, Mary Casale, Leona Sperrazza, Marie Leonardi, Maria Faciana, Maria Stuccio, Rose Andalora, Lena Andalora, Angeline Graziano, Marie Mogavero, Bridget Cipolla, Carmela Cumbo, Josephine Andalora, Josephine Talipan and Theresa Arnone. To see a photo log onto psdispatch.com and click on Peeking into the Past. The Allentown Fair is celebrating its 163rd anniversary this year.
Rev. Charles Gommer, pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Pittston, was shocked when three little girls entered the church and handed him $16.40. Inquiring as to the reason for the donation, Marie Wynne, Marita Boos and Debbie Dempsey informed the pastor their stage name was the Coconut Bars and their reason for the donation, “to benefit the flood victims.” It had been a little more than a month after devastation rocked the Wyoming Valley in the form of Hurricane Agnes. After hearing of so many families in need, the girls planned a variety show with songs and comedy and presented it to their neighbors.
Top 10 songs of 1972
1. “Brandy” by Looking Glass
2. “Alone Again” by Gilbert O’Sullivan
3. “Too Late to Turn Back Now” by Cornelius Bros & Sister Rose
4. “Go All the Way” by Rasberries
5. “I Don’t Want To be Right” by Luther Ingram
6. “Hold Her Tight” by The Osmonds
7. “Goodbye to Love” by Carpenters
8. “Looking Through the Window” by Jackson 5
9. “Rocket Man” by Elton John
10. “Guitar Man” by Bread
This day in history
1869 - Edgar Lee Masters, author of “Spoon River Anthology,” is born
1902 - Fannie Farmer opens cooking school
1989 - Pete Rose is banned from baseball