WITH Judy Minsavage
February 17, 2013
1952 – 61 years ago
Although just 12 years old, Pittston City Hall on Broad Street was in need of repairs. City council members decided they would have to spend a considerable sum of money to repair the roof, replace bricks and fix water damage to the second floor. In 1940, the city floated a $70,000 bond to pay the city's 55 percent burden of the cost of construction. The federal government paid an additional 45 percent of the cost. Due to the fact construction bills were not catalogued, council estimated the cost of building City Hall at over $1 million.
B.G. Dente, of West Pittston, celebrated his 40th year in the grocery business. He served the needs of the people of West Pittston with the help of his wife Josephine and his 10 children, Tillie, Mrs. Ray Bonita, Mrs. Orlando Biscontini, Mrs. Samuel Denesco, Mrs. Louis Marianelli, Anthony, John, Albert, Joseph and Ray. Born in Naples, Italy, Dente came to America in 1894, settled in Pittston, obtained employment at the Clear Springs Colliery and later at the Glen Alden Shops in West Pittston. In 1912, he opened his grocery store.
Held apart by two wars and thousands of miles of ocean, three Avoca brothers were all together for the first time in 11 years. Stanley, John and Walter Klepadlo, of Avoca, all met in Brooklyn, NY for the first time since leaving for the service in December 1941. Walter, a sergeant first class with the Army at Camp Atterbury, spent three years in Germany during WWII, then, reenlisted with the 109th Regiment of the State National Guard. Stanley served in World War II and reenlisted with the 109th Regiment as well and John was a chief engineer with the U.S. Merchant Marines.
1962 – 51 years ago
National Guardsmen of Greater Pittston prepared to observe Muster Day with an open house at the armory in West Pittston. It was noted the observance dates back to pre-Revolutionary days when colonial militia mustered on the village green to count off the number of able-bodied men available to fight in an emergency. Avoca Mayor James McLane signed a proclamation for the borough and presented it to two 109th veterans, Staff Sgt. Ronald R. Sherman and First Sgt. James Bucky Lavelle.
Donald Foster, Harvey Hudelson, George Voight, Reginald Ellis, Pat Adonizio, William Rule, Anthony Butsavage, Walter VanDuzer, Caleb Tompkins, Walter Smith, Arthur Weaver, John Salerno, C.A. Cunningham, John Eshelman and Anthony Saia, of West Pittston, and Robert Smith, Howard Naparsteck and Stephen Sokach, of Exeter, completed a five-week course in radiological defense, qualifying them to make computations and report radiation doses and rates. West Pittston Civil Defense Director Raymond Simonson commended the men for their interest and noted the importance of their participation in the training program. According to the American Civil Defense Association, the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, resulted in a rapid, three-month program to improve civil defense. The Department of Defense Civil Defense Office supplied communities with radiation monitoring devices and provided for instruction on their use and maintenance.
The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer asked, You are never too old to learn according an old saying. If you were given the opportunity to continue studies today, would you take it? Evelyn Saltz, of Pittston, answered, I started a course in beauty culture before I got married, but gave it up. I would finish my beautician course. I liked it. Ben Anselmi, of Exeter, said, Yes, even today I've had thoughts of continuing my former and first bit of talent in the cartooning field. Stanley Koes, of Duryea, added, I'm going to The University of Scranton majoring in psychology. I would get into a subject related to that course. Jack Davala, of Exeter, stated, I would like to take a course in heating and engineering; it would help to bring me to the top in my profession.
1972 – 41 years ago
In 1971, a group of young Duryea men had the idea of establishing a Scuba Search and Rescue Team. Starting with a handful of men, the group increased to 20, by 1972 purchased a truck and invested personal funds to obtain diving equipment. Through the efforts of Attorney William A. Degillio, the organization received its charter of incorporation from the State of Pennsylvania, after which the team was accepted for membership in the Northeastern Pa. Volunteer Firemen's Federation. With help from Duryea residents, the team was able to purchase equipment and continue growing and assisting in water rescue. According to the Germania Hose Company website, the Scuba Search and Rescue team is outfitted with the newest equipment. The Scuba Team serves all of Northeast PA and is capable of everything from open water to ice rescue.
The kindness of Samuel T. Falzone,of Pittston, shown to a visiting New Jersey woman brought a $5,000 donation to St. James Episcopal Church in Pittston. Mrs. Allan P. Kirby of the F.M. Kirby Foundation of Morristown, NJ wrote a letter explaining, Mr. Samuel T. Falzone, a resident of Pittston and one of your parishioners is in the garage business. I can tell you from my own experience that he is also a good Christian. One day last summer, I was just another older woman with mechanical trouble and an out-of-state license tag. To him, I was an opportunity for unselfish and magnanimous service. He was most courteous and helpful to me. In the course of our conversation, I became aware of his dedication to St. James Episcopal Church. Herewith is a check from the F.M. Kirby Foundation to St. James in honor of Mr. Falzone.
A large number of Wyoming Area High School students and parents and faculty members attended an awards night that included the presentation of three awards. The Wyoming Valley Football Conference trophy for the Warriors winning the 1971-72 football championship season and the WARM trophy signifying the number one football team in the Luzerne-Lackawanna area were presented to Frank Zavacki, senior high school principal. The Reverend Donald MacMillan Memoriam was presented to Mrs. Donald MacMillan in memory of her husband who dedicated himself to the service of the youth of the community. The memoriam trophy was placed in a display case in the foyer of the high school.
1992 – 21 years ago
Written in an article for the Sunday Dispatch by Richard Cosgrove, The borough of West Pittston had its inception on Aug. 19, 1857 when 55 freeholders took the necessary steps to establish the borough. Their action received court approval the following Nov. 23. In 1992, West Pittston celebrated 135 years as a borough and it was unclear whether residents were planning a celebration. In his column, Mr. Cosgrove detailed the events of the centennial observed 35 years earlier in 1957. Starting with a Little League Parade, there was a West Pittston High School Ball, homecoming services in borough churches, softball games, one that pitted Hose Company #1 against Goodwill, and a block party.
2002 – 11 years ago
Mike Dabbieri was honored at a dinner held by the Second Presbyterian Church of Pittston for his selfless dedication and faithfulness to the church as well as for his 54 years as its volunteer treasurer. A World War II Veteran, Dabbieri was also honored for his patriotism. Committee members included Michael Delconte, Karen Christen, Antoinette Ardieri, Murray Thompson, Michael Orlando, Jean Evans, Norman Evans, Lois Detato, Dawn Lazevnick, Marie Lucarella, Joseph Orlando, Janet McCabe, Julie Lucarella and Anthony Martinelli. Dabbieri and his wife Ethel celebrated 56 years of marriage in 2002 and had two children, daughter, Carol Lieback, and son, Nicholas. Upon his retirement from the treasurer's post, Mike planned to enjoy spending time with his granddaughter, Stephani,e and great-grandson, Troy, bowling and attending church.
Retirement has been a discovery of beauty for me. I never had the time before to notice the beauty of my grandkids, my wife, the tree outside my very own front door. And, the beauty of time itself.