Monessen graduates host oldies reunion dance
By Ron Paglia
Published: Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012, 8:56 p.m.
Monessen High School's Class of 1960 is getting ready to turn back the hands of time, and all former Greyhounds are invited to join the festivities.
“We feel this is a good way to have a true Greyhound reunion,” says Patty Foster Bukowski, member of the celebration committee.
They are hosting an oldies dance from 7 to 11 p.m. Sept. 15 at the Monessen Firemen's Social Hall in the Eastgate Plaza area of Monessen.
Foster says MHS classes from 1955 to '65 have been invited to attend, but emphasized that “any Monessen High graduate is welcome.” All other interested persons are invited.
The Front Page, a Western Pennsylvania vocal group specializing in the oldies and doo-wop harmonies of the 1950s and early 1960s, will provide entertainment, and a DJ will play music between the group's shows.
Admission for the BYOE (Bring Your Own Everything) event is $15, and the Class of 1960 will provide pizza and salad at 9 p.m. as part of the package.
Foster says the committee will designate a special area for Monessen High graduates to “sit and socialize” with each other.
Reservations are requested for the dance. Additional information is available by contacting Foster at 724-684-7081 or 724-518-4592.
Other committee members are Carl Borriello, Roy Chromulak, Lydia Santoro Ciliberti, Tom Hawkins, Judy DiBuono Paglia and Christine Mykovich Zerambo.
“We're sure there will be a lot of reminiscing that night,” Foster says. “In addition to enjoying the live entertainment and the DJ's music, those in attendance will have the opportunity to relive the days of those great record hops at the Italian Hall and the Stockdale Fire Hall, as well as dances at the Sons of Italy and the Vets club in Charleroi and those unforgettable lunchtime tea dances at the high school. It will be a wonderful journey down memory lane.”
The Front Page will be making its second appearance in as many years at an oldies affair sponsored by the MHS Class of 1960.
“They were well received last fall, and we are very pleased to have them return for this special night,” Foster says.
The trio inclues Clyde Pearsol, David “Sarge” Gardner and Mickey Carr. All are accomplished musicians, but through The Front Page their vocal talents are brought to the forefront. Pearsol, whose Elvis Presley impressions are replete with a sparkling rhinestone costume, light-up sunglasses and special hair adornment, sings second tenor; Gardner adds a bluesy bass sound to the group; and Carr offers a strong first-tenor voice.
“All of them are lead-singer quality, but it is their distinct harmonies and renditions of songs that set them apart in today's oldies music scene,” Foster says. “Throw in some stand-up comedy and audience interaction, and you have a performance that will take you back to the days of The Vogues, The Lettermen and The Four Lads.”
In addition to myriad engagements throughout Western Pennsylvania, The Front Page — individually and as a group — has performed on the national scene with many top name acts and on television.
The Sept. 15 oldies dance is part of a busy three-day traditional celebration of the collective 70th birthdays of the Monessen High Class of 1960.
“Times does fly by quickly,” Foster said. “It seems like only yesterday when we thought we would never turn 18 and graduate. And now, well, we're ready for another milestone in our lives.”
The 70th celebration will begin with an ice-breaker Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. at the Italian Club on Seventh Street, Monessen. Food and a cash bar will be featured.
A 70th birthday picnic will be at 11 a.m. Sept. 15 at the Herman Mihalich Memorial River Launch on Monongahela Street (behind the former Giant Eagle building), Monessen. Food will be provided and, in the event of inclement weather, the event will be moved to the Monessen Firemen's Social Hall.
Activities will conclude with breakfast at 9 a.m. Sept. 16 at Alex's restaurant on Sixth Street at the site of the former Johnson's restaurant.
Ron Paglia is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
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