I recently had occasion to walk by a dilapidated building on 18 Market Street, Pittston, that is scheduled for demolition.
To most people this is an event not to be any big deal, and rightly so.
However, this is where I spent the first 13 years of my life. The building was purchased by my grandparents, Donato and Guiseppa Grasiano shortly after arriving from Italy. It was where my father and two uncles grew up.
My grandparents opened a store on the front half and Sam Amico’s Barber Shop opened on the other side. Later on, my grandfather built an attached garage in Spring Alley for a fleet of coal trucks hauling coal from the mines and strippings.
At different times it housed a beauty parlor, bakery, and more recently an insurance company and dog grooming shop.
As time passed, Frank Roman built a cinder block building for his taxi business on one side and Sam Amico built a similar building on the other side for his barber shop.
The Laurel Line Station was about 100 yards away and a ticket to Rockey Glen was 10 cents, with many summers spent there.
The American and Roman Theatres were doing well - also a great retreat for a youngster interested in the cowboy movies and a 5 cent box of popcorn, and maybe a hot dog at the Texas Lunch.
We shopped at Rinaldi’s Butcher Shop, which sometimes had whole cows, fur and all, hanging above the sawdusted floor.
My dad operated a bar on Charles Street, and my uncle Tony had one on Warren Street.
There were two scrapyards where my friends and I would take scrap until we made 25 cents each for Saturday’s at the Roman.
Everything I mentioned in this letter is all gone how and soon will be the house that brought this all to mind.
After my grandparents death, the house and garage was sold to Mr. Frushon for his produce business. I went to the Garfield and Cleveland Schools, also gone.
If this letter gets published, I will say hello! To those who remember me, have a good day!
Thomas R. Graziano