Last updated: December 14. 2013 3:30PM - 2753 Views
By JUDY MINSAVAGE Contributing Columnist

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In going through her memorabilia, Lois Detato, of Pittston, came across a yellowed flier advertising “Come One, Come All and join the fun, The Y dances have again begun.” After a few months break and to the delight of area youngsters, the YMCA restarted the dances on Saturday, Dec. 6, 1958. The weekly dances featured “the most popular records to be played and a good time to be enjoyed by all.” Boys and girls gained admission for 35 cents and could dance from 8 to 11 p.m. on one condition prominently posted at the end of the flier - “Please no dungarees.” Pittston teens gathered at the Y and at Monday night dances held at St. Rocco’s Church.

1947 – 66 YEARS AGO

George Bone, Pittston Junior Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year in 1947, flooded an existing playground and field at his entertainment complex, Bone Field, to create a skating surface 150 x 400 feet. He also installed lights and a sound system for accompanying music. Bone planned a lighted toboggan and sledding site that would extend 2500 feet from the “rear of Panama Street to Bone Field.” The activities were offered free of charge.

George Teter, Luzerne County superintendent of schools, announced a drop in student enrollment in county public schools. The office announced that of the 11 schools in the Pittston area, enrollment was just under 6,000. Pittston and West Pittston High Schools were not under the county jurisdiction at that time, but reported 2,925 students enrolled. Teter cited smaller family units and increased development of parochial schools as the reason for the decline.

1977 – 36 YEARS AGO

Diane Regis, of West Wyoming, and Janet Taylor, of Falls, were chosen to represent Wyoming Area School District at the annual District IX Chorus Festival in Montrose. The Chorus Festival is currently sponsored by the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association. According to the PMEA website, “The present membership evolved from a small group of band directors dating from 1933.” Presently, the organization includes instructors at all levels, from preschool through college and university, as well as those in the music industry, merchandising and publishing.

In 1977, when, according to the website peoplehistory.com, the average cost of a new house was $49,300 and the average income per year was $15,000, many local clubs and organizations were planning parties to ring in 1978. The Staircase Lounge at Pittston Plaza advertised a package deal that included music by Museum and a fifth of whiskey, gin, vodka or scotch which was $2 extra. A smorgasbord and continental breakfast were included for $45 per couple. Mayfair Supper Club in Laflin offered the Bruce Kryger Polka Band and Phase IV with dinner, a “pint” of your choice and ham and eggs for breakfast also for $45 per couple. The Young Men’s Society of Resurrection Hall (YMSofR) Hall in Duryea advertised Third Generation – polkas, waltzes, jazz and rock with food and special beverages for $25 per couple.

1987 – 26 YEARS AGO

Michael Milne, of Pittston, founder and National Commander of the Veterans of the Vietnam War Inc., was presented the National Vietnam Veterans Coalition Leadership Award in Washington D.C. The award honors veterans who have shown exemplary service to Vietnam veterans. He was presented the first flag of the National Vietnam Veterans Coalition. Milne served in the U.S. Army from 1962-69 and passed away from complications associated with Agent Orange at the age of 63. He left behind a nationwide organization that assists veterans with adapting to civilian life and receiving professional services.

Joseph Backo and Joseph Clark, of Exeter, thanked the community on behalf of the Exeter Lions Club in making their annual Bell Ringing project a success. Club members spent four days as ringers for the Salvation Army while collecting canned goods for the organization.

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap, the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” - George Bernard Shaw

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