My Corner, Your Corner: There’s always something going on during a Greater Pittston summer

My Corner, Your Corner - Tony Callaio | July 8th, 2016 3:55 pm

This past week was a busy one. It started with the sad goodbye to Fr. Joseph Verespy of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Dupont last Sunday.

Fr. Verespy has been a mainstay at the church for 17 years and really loved that parish. At his last Mass, I could tell his parishioners really loved him, too.

I’ve covered church closings in the past, and those final Masses can be very sad, especially for parishioners. As I stated to Fr. Paul McDonnell at the first church closing I covered, it was like attending the saddest funeral ever.

Fr. Verespy’s final Mass was just as filled with emotion.

New priest Fr. Tom Petro, who started this week at Sacred Heart, has big shoes to fill. But with the help of parishioners, Sacred Heart will be as strong as ever.

My advice for Fr. Petro – don’t change the potato pancake recipe!

Good luck to Fr. Verespy at St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Church in Wilkes-Barre and to Fr. Petro as you lead your new flock in Dupont.

The next big event of the week was the Fourth of July or as I call it, “Festa la BoomBa.”

If you ever stand on either the Fort Jenkins Bridge or the Water Street Bridge at 10 p.m. on the night of the Fourth, it looks and sounds like World War III.

There’s a lingering cloud of smoke hovering over the Valley and some of the fireworks set off in local neighborhoods can rival the display at Kirby Park.

In Exeter, people gathered around Grant Street for a huge fireworks display. However, it was in a residential area and shortly after the display started, local authorities shut it down.

I get it. Even though the fire department was on hand just in case, it could have been the perfect storm. The “what ifs” started to fly and wiser heads prevailed.

Years ago, so many fireworks were illegal that just about the only thing you could set off were sparklers, and even that could be dangerous. “Good Morning America” did a piece on fireworks which suggested you use an oven mitt to burn sparklers.

Use an oven mitt?

Here’s an idea for next year – why can’t a central location be found where everyone can set off their fireworks and no residential properties are in peril?

There has to be a football field or a section of the riverbank or even a parking lot where this could be done safely.

Perhaps each municipality can deem certain areas of their borough or town to set off fireworks. I’m all about safety and fun, so why not work together to create a neutral site to accommodate both?

The heat wave of 2016, which predicted three days or more with temperatures in the 90s didn’t materialize like the weathermen predicted. Thursday’s clouds came in and kept the temps down, so no official heat wave just yet.

It’s hard to believe the middle of July is just about here. I could remember saying I wanted June to last forever, but in the blink of an eye, July is half over.

Summer has been great so far and there is always something to do. Bazaars will be happening all over Greater Pittston in the coming weeks, and then it all comes to a great big crescendo in August with the world-famous Pittston Tomato Festival.

At the end of this past week, I had the honor of photographing Jim Zarra, who was chosen as this year’s Tomato Festival parade grand marshal.

Jim is one of those guys that sits in the background and gets a lot of things done. His actions speak louder than his words, and that’s OK with him. You see, he is the ultimate jack-of-all-trades. He knows a lot about a lot of things and I’m sure if you ask Mayor Jason Klush, former mayor Mike Lombardo and Lori Nocito, they would be lost without Jim’s knowledge and insight.

Hats off to you, Jim — well-deserved recognition!

Quote of the week

“In our life there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love.” – Marc Chagall, French artist.

Thought of the week

“Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” – Robert Heinlein, American writer.

Bumper sticker

“Come live in my heart and pay no rent.” – Samuel Lover, Irish composer, poet, painter.

My Corner, Your Corner

Tony Callaio

Tony Callaio’s column My Corner, Your Corner runs weekly in the Sunday Dispatch. He can be reached at