timesleader.com

Peeking into the Past

Judy Minsavage

September 7, 2013

1955 - 58 YEARS AGO


Over 2,000 men strolled the grounds of the Kehoe mansion “along the Sullivan Trail in Harding,” sharing fresh corn “from the Kehoe farm,” steamed clams, clam chowder, hot dogs, soda and beer. It was the annual Old Timers Clambake hosted by John C. Kehoe and the “order of the day” was no politics. Attending were former Pennsylvania governors John Fine and Arthur James, as well as plenty of local dignitaries. Men aged 60 to 90, were given seats of honor as they were entertained by the John D. Stark Post Band and vocalists John Boone, Frank Conahan, James Jennings Walsh, Thomas Brogan, Robert Hoban, John Graham and Bill Montone. “Storytellers” were Arthur P. Thomas and Con McCole.


Jacqueline Wargo, of West Pittston, won the Lady of the Lake Contest held annually at Harveys Lake. It was the first beauty contest for the Pittston Hospital Nursing School graduate who competed against 34 other contestants. Rosemary Stella, winner of the contest in 1962, was the second-place winner in 1961. The third-place winner in 1962, was Johanna Sincavage, of Exeter, who went on to win the title of Miss Sandy Beach in 1964. Gloria Wright, of Pittston, who was named Miss Northeastern Pennsylvania in the Miss Universe contest, took first runner-up in the final year of the contest.


1965 - 48 YEARS AGO


Georgia Lyn Roberts, of Avoca, was one of 135 applicants chosen to receive training under the new Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing Program. In its second year, the program allowed trainees to attend the college of their choice for two years and then transfer to the University of Maryland and Walter Reed Hospital for their final two years. Those graduating received a bachelor of science degree in nursing and were commissioned as second lieutenants in the Army Nurse Corps. According to the University of Maryland web site, between 1968 and 1978, “1,100 women and men graduated from WRAIN and became commissioned officers in the Army Nurse Corps.”


1985 - 28 YEARS AGO


“It’s a great find” said John Orlandini, president of the Frances Dorrance chapter of the Society for Pennsylvania Archeology. He was speaking about the artifact site that yielded Indian arrowheads, yellow jasper and tool pre-forms which archeologists say were over 1700 years old. Seventeen-year-old Dominic Anastasi, of Pittston, discovered the site on a fishing trip along the river. After inspecting the site, Dominic’s father Angelo contacted Orlandini and Dave Kohler, a Carnegie Museum representative. Keeping the location a secret in order to keep the cache intact, the four men spent 13 months digging to uncover the more than 300 artifacts which they planned to assemble in a public repository for future generations. Copies of the book, “The Ancient Native Americans of the Wyoming Valley: 10,000 Years of Prehistory,” written by John Orlandini, can be found online.


2001 - 12 YEARS AGO


Here’s what was published in the Sunday Dispatch on the second Sunday of September 2001.


The Dispatch reported the Pittston Bypass was renamed James A. Musto Bypass in honor of the 12-term president of the Pittston Area School Board. Musto was born in 1899 in Pittston Township and worked at the Butler Colliery located on the site of Pittston Commons. He worked as a barber and merchant and was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1948.


The descendents of the late Assunta and Mazzareno Augstine family gathered for their 24th annual family reunion.


Things that were scheduled for Sept. 11, 2001:


Duryea Scout Pack 3375 scheduled its sign up night.


Duryea Lions planned a meeting to discuss their White Cane Day.


Bingo and Free Pizza were offered at the Germania Hose Company.


First-grade Parents Night at Pittston Primary Center.


Flag football at Wyoming Area Catholic.


A much-anticipated volleyball game between the Lady Patriots and Lady Warriors.


Industrial Golf League playoff between Quality Beverage and Cheers Cafe.


Pittston Area cross country seniors C.J. Remaley, Katie Conlon, Joe Meranti, Matt Felter, Ed Renfer, Mike Echalk, Steve Barnak, Joe Gentile and Joe Constantino were gearing up for their Sept. 12 opening day.


And then, at 8:46 a.m. on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers flew an airplane into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, beginning a day filled with unimaginable events that changed all of our plans, our world, our lives.


“There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn and people we can’t live without but have to let go.” -Author Unknown