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Readers bowled over with debate on championship

| Thursday, May 2, 2013, 12:16 a.m.

There's nothing like the subject of sports to stir friendly discussions among friends in this mid-Monongahela Valley.

A case in point is this note from “faithful readers” of The Valley Independent in North Belle Vernon.

“Why don't you write nothing (sic) about the championship bowling team from Belle Vernon Area High School?” they asked. “All of the attention is on football, basketball and the other so-called big sports, but BVA had a great bowling team sometime in the 1950s. It would be nice to recognize them.”

The double negative notwithstanding, the inquirers might be thinking of the Elks team in the Bellmar High School intramural bowling league of 1959.

Belle Vernon Area School District didn't come into being until the 1965-66 school year as the result of a merger between Bellmar and Rostraver, so Bellmar would seem to be a natural choice for the answer.

A photo on Page 5 of The Daily Independent on Tuesday, April 28, 1959, featured captain Dennis Delzangle, Charles DeHosse, Barry Stofan and Fred Vannucci proudly displaying the trophy awarded to them by the management of the CIO Lanes in Monessen, where the Bellmar league bowled that season.

Longtime teacher John “Corky” DeMillion coached the champion Elks keglers with assistance from CIO Lanes personnel, who made the presentation to Delzangle and his teammates.

A way with words

One day later, on Wednesday, April 29, 1959, The Charleroi Mail spotlighted the top three students who participated in a spelling bee sponsored by Catholic War Veterans Post 1796 at Mon Valley Catholic High School.

Jerome Simala, a student at Saints Cyril and Methodius School in Charleroi, led the field of 44 seventh- and eighth-grade competitors from his school, St. Jerome School in Charleroi and a school in Roscoe. Alexis Ciferno, a seventh-grade student at St. Jerome School, finished second, and Jean Mouyard, an eighth-grader at St. Jerome, was third. Simala, who received a $50 U.S. Savings Bond as the top speller, advanced to the state final championship bee at Johnstown on June 13.

Mrs. Andrew Clavir served as enunciator for the local event. Judges were Margaret Conner and Mildred Kruppa.

Up to par

Also drawing attention in the April 29 edition of The Mail was an advertisement announcing that the Simmons Golf and Baseball Driving Range in Rostraver Township is “now open for the new season.” The popular recreation complex is located on Route 51 across the highway from the Twin Coaches supper club. In addition to drawing participants of all ages from throughout the area, the driving range found national entertainers appearing at the Twin Coaches taking breaks before or between shows to practice their golf swings.

Another story noted that Barry Trew of Bentleyville had written a new chapter in the National Rifle Association's history. Trew, a senior at Washington & Jefferson College, where he was a member of the rifle team, became the first marksman to be named to the NRA's All-American team four straight years. The son of well-known Bentleyville residents Mr. and Mrs. C.W. (Buck) Trew, Trew also competed for the crack Frazier-simplex team in Washington and had his eye on the tryouts for the 1960 Olympics.

Meanwhile, The Daily Independent reported that Bobby Pastor, who managed the Donora CIO baseball team to the Mon Valley League championship in 1958, has officially accepted the job again this season. Under Pastor's guidance the CIOers rebounded from a last place finish in 1957 to win the title a year ago.

In other news

The state House of Representatives today approved a one-percent-per-pack increase in the cigarette tax to help finance payment of the $150-million Korean War bonus for Pennsylvania veterans. The proposed hike from five to six cents now goes to Gov. David L. Lawrence for his signature.

Patty Buchar, a junior from Monessen majoring in education, was crowned Spring Carnival Queen at California State Teachers College. Buchar, sponsored by Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, reigned over the celebration at the annual Coronation Ball. Her Honor Court comprised Ceil Zoretich of Monessen, Angela Aducci of Aliquippa, Kay Zinsius of Charleroi and Margaret Spino of Washington.

Jacqueline Namie, a junior at Donora High School and the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Namie of Donora, finished second in final competition for bicentennial soloist at the Syria Mosque in Pittsburgh later this spring. She sang the “Italian Street Song” in the weekend event.

The Rev. Father Francis R. Gresko, pastor of St. Timothy Roman Catholic Church in Smithton, was honored at a testimonial dinner. He received a special gift and a scroll signed by parishioners. The Rev. Ulcric Thanner of St. Vincent College and Monastery was the guest speaker and lauded Gresko for his 20 years of service at St. Timothy. Frank Buscanics, who served as toastmaster, and Ray Hoganmiller were co-chairmen of the event.

Some 250 relatives and friends gathered at Pricedale Union Church recreation hall to honor Offie and Agnes Patterson on their golden wedding anniversary. Offie Patterson and the former Agnes Easton were married 50 years ago yesterday – April 28, 1909 – by the Rev. Perrin Baker in the parsonage of First Presbyterian Church of Belle Vernon.

Charles L. Glennon of Webster was named senior industrial engineer at the Donora plant of U.S. Steel's American Steel and Wire Division. A graduate of Donora High School who attended Penn State University, has been employed at the Donora mill since 1939.

Rosemary Kent, 18, a senior at Elizabeth Forward High School, made a special appearance at the Donora PONY League Variety Show at Donora High School. Kent, who lives in East Monongahela, just returned from doing a show with Jimmy Durante at the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago. A student of Pittsburgh's Lou Starr, Kent is a specialist in tap, ballet and rock and roll jazz dancing. A photo in The Daily Independent showed her signing autographs for variety show chairman Don Novak and baseball players Dave Laughlin, Joey Mariani, Ron Campbell and Richard Carson.


Popular area disc jockey Dee Galiffa is gearing up for a busy schedule. He will spin the discs tonight from 8 to 11 at the Cougar Canteen in Charleroi, with Kenny Ambrose and Don Stefan as special guest performers. On Friday night, Galiffa will cue his turntables from 8:30 to midnight at the Italian Citizens Club in Monongahela. The El Quintos will offer live entertainment at that record hop.

The Village Dairy Store in Monessen Park Shopping Center has these items among its specials: wieners, one-pound package, 59 cents; grade A large eggs, 49 cents a dozen; Thick-A-Shake, 19 cents.

Dart Builders Supplies in Rostraver Township (Route 71 interchange next to the drive-in theater) is offering Dutch Boy Wonsover flat paint at $4.89 a gallon and Dutch Boy satin eggshell paint at $5.65 a gallon.

Berger Appliance is presenting a Sell–A-Bration with such bargains as Admiral refrigerators, $39.88 to $189.95, freezers, $179.95, and electric or gas ranges, $149.95.

The Kingston Trio, a popular folk singing group, will bring their voices and music to the Twin Coaches beginning Friday.

Villella Construction Company, 714 McKean Avenue, Charleroi, now has new Crown aluminum siding among its quality products. The firm said the Crown siding, “Will give you an all new looking home at the same address.”

S&Y supermarket in Rostraver Township is touting “King Size Savings” that include kolbassi, 69 cents a pound; iceberg lettuce, two heads for 29 cents; Heinz baby orange juice, 12 cans for 99 cents, and liquid Similac baby formula, four 13-ounce cans for 99 cents.

Ron Paglia is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media. If you have memories to share or story ideas contact Ron Paglia at or c/o The Valley Independent, Eastgate 19, Monessen, PA 15062.

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