In June 1984, a notice that appeared in the Sunday Dispatch started off like this. “A group of people in Pittston have joined forces behind the idea of Pittston resident, etc… What idea had so many people excited?
1964 - 50 YEARS AGO
In 1954, the rope on the flagpole in West Pittston Cemetery had broken. To add to the situation, the pole had been hit by lightning, rendering it unsteady and unsafe. The flag pole remained unusable for 10 years. However, in 1964, the rope on the 90-foot pole was replaced and a new flag attached with the help of Pittston Fire Department Chief Francis McDonnell, aided by Gene Melvin, driver; James McCutcheon, tiller man; and Raymond Milne, fireman. After maneuvering the Pittston department’s new aerial truck into position, which by accounts was no small feat, West Pittston Hose Co. No. 1 president Ronald Dietrich, with the help of Chief Ray Smith and Roy Bratlee, foreman, climbed the extended ladder and installed a sturdy steel cable on the newly-secured pole.
The Christian’s Stamp Club organized by Rev. Joseph Sammon of St. Mary Help of Christian Church held its first exhibit. Those offering stamp selections were Rudy Forlenza, Ralph Tonte, Patrick Doyle, John O’Malley, Brian Petroziello, David Standarowski, Joseph Wascavage, Raymond Bulford, Richard Shoback, Kevin Clark, John Sheerer, Stephen Standarowski, Alan Conte, Joseph Donahue, George Joyce, John Jerrytone and Alan Quinn. Conte won the prize for outstanding collection of world-wide stamps, O’Malley had the best United States collection and Sheerer had best religious group.
In 1964, as part of the Pittston Redevelopment Project, The Roman Theatre was torn down. The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer asked, “As you watch the Roman Theatre being razed, what memories of the old theatre does it bring back?” Angelo DeSanto answered, “I can’t help but think of all the nice men who worked there. They are far too numerous to mention but right off I think of Paul Tigue, manager and George Mortimer, the doorman.” Joseph Clapps, of Pittston, added “I can remember standing to see the cowboy pictures and old serials. The line would extend from the theatre down to Dock Street. I remember the cost of the movies was only 11 cents.” George Coleman, of Hughestown, stated, “I am reminded my dad took me to Corcoran’s, The Four Brothers’ Saloon, which occupied the present site. When the Roman was established, we saw many good pictures.”
1974 - 40 YEARS AGO
Floyd Evans, president of the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce, imposed a 21-day salute to “Honor America” to commence on Flag Day and extend through July 4. All citizens were asked to display the American flag during the three-week event. The observance was sponsored by the American Historic and Cultural Society Inc. of Washington, D.C. headed by John P. Cosgrove executive director. President Evans stated, “We should all honor America on a daily basis.”
Just as in the American Idol auditions, competition was tough as young ladies auditioned at the Wilkes-Barre V.F.W. Post 6227 to represent their community in the 1974 Pennsylvania State Competition of the International Talent Pageant. Young ladies competed in three age division for six major awards and were judged on talent, personality, poise and photogenic appeal. Winners for Greater Pittston were Nicole Pavlico, of West Pittston, Miss Petite Talent; Michelle Eifert ,also of West Pittston, Miss Petite; and Michele Zang, of Exeter, Little Miss. All title holders of the state pageant were to complete in the world pageant.
1984 - 30 YEARS AGO
Eighth-grade students of the Wyoming Area Middle School participated in the District History Day competition. Sponsored by the Luzerne and Wyoming Counties Social Studies Council, the competition encouraged students’ interest in the study of history. The school had 22 entries and students won 10 awards in all six areas of interest. Listed winners included: Individual performance: Kim Weiss, Kim Pazdziorko, Scott Stephen. Group performance: Randy Spencer, Nicole Alu, Renee Dolfi, Berdena Beatty, Tanya Fetch and Collen Podwika. Individual project: Laura Taylor. Group project: Patricia Osticco, Susan Corridoni, Carol Maszeroski, Heather Abromavage. Media: Tom Turonis, Lisa Buchieri, David Hergan, Joe Guido, Historical research: Tom Butchko.
The following notice that garnered a lot of excitement appeared in a June 1984 issue of the Sunday Dispatch: “A group of people in Pittston have joined forces behind the idea of Pittston resident Val Delia to organize The Pittston Tomato Festival this summer. We think it’s a great idea and could bring some life to the city. The festival will be held on the large parking lot between Burger King and the post office on Kennedy Boulevard. At present, stands for the festival are being allocated to businesses and non-profit groups. We’d like to see this festival get off to a good start in its first year.”