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Columnist takes trip down Memory Lane

| Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

We'd like to say today's format is back by popular demand but that might be a bit of a stretch.

However, it does offer a familiar journey through the archives of The Valley Independent, The Charleroi Mail and The Monessen Daily Independent for a look at Yesteryear.

70 years ago

Monday, Aug. 2, 1943

(August 1 was a Sunday.)

Those persons who have not yet registered for canning sugar this year may do so by applying at the Charleroi Municipal Building starting Wednesday. Applicants must present in writing a statement of the number of quarters to be canned, together with their War Rationing Book No. 1 for each person in the family. The Rationing Board said the allotment is the same as before – 15 pounds of sugar for each person.

Acme Markets (Do A Good Job Feeding The Family) emphasized that “Coffee is off the Ration List” by touting these specials – ASCO Blend, 24 cents a pound; Win Crest, 21 cents a pound; Acme Blend, 29 cents a pound. Other bargains include Princess Oleo, 16 cents a pound; and Betty Jane Apple Butter, 16 cents for a one-pound can.

Frederic Feldman, supervisor of Ninth Street Park in Monessen, announced that the Hilltop Midgets have been named champions of the Playground Softball League with a 9-1 record. The team comprises Amil Beck, Nick Alatsis, Dean Cheesebrough, Silvio Dodaro, Delmar Frew, John Almasi, Junior Almasi, Lawrence Bellora, Roth Bellow, James Tucci, Joe Salay and L. DiBiaso. Cheesebrough was honored as Most Valuable Player in the league, and Allen Faye of the Knox Sluggers received the sportsmanship award.

60 years ago

Saturday, Aug. 1, 1953

Plans have been announced for a Miss Mon Valley contest to be held at the Manos Theatre in Monessen beginning Friday, Aug. 14. The beauty pageant is being staged in conjunction with the showing of the Jane Russell/Marilyn Monroe musical, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” according to Manos manager Anthony Askounes. Other communities in the Valley are invited to participate. Each community queen will receive a $25 gift and Miss Mon Valley will be presented with a $250 cash prize.

Approximately 100 members of Webster Methodist Church gathered in the church's social hall to honor the Rev. Mary Richey, who was celebrating her third year as pastor. The Youth Fellowship presented Richey with a cash gift and a large decorated cake. Elaine Ahlborn was toastmaster and Alberta Buck led group singing. Nancy Buck also sang and Odessa Smith entertained with piano selections.

The Monessen Ozarks defeated Charleroi 5-3 to allow Whitsett to climb into first place in the Mon Valley League on the strength of its 5-1 victory over Fayette City. Maynard Preston tossed a four-hitter for the Ozarks. Rod Simpson and George Lemon led the Ozarks with two-run homers. Whitsett manager Joe Matty was the winning pitcher against Fayette City and helped his own cause with two hits including a two-run home run.

50 years ago

Thursday, Aug. 1, 1963

The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare disclosed today that Donora has been selected as the “most strategic” location for an additional office of the Washington County Board of Assistance. Secretary of Welfare Arlin M. Adams said Donora was chosen after an “extensive study” of possible sites in each of the Mon Valley communities. He did not disclose a site for the new office but reliable sources said it would be in a building on McKean Avenue.

Bob Rozycki of Charleroi was installed as governor of the Pittsburgh Junior District of Federated Russian Orthodox Clubs. Other new officers are Paul Zolak, Donora, lieutenant governor; Sandra Sabol, Charleroi, secretary, and Vera Kraynek, Donora, treasurer.

Monongahela upset first place Wyano 6-5 in Mon Valley League play. Ray Leach and Steve Lomago shared pitching duties for the winners and scattered eight hits. Larry Keenan led the offensive attack with two hits while Bob Gondos and Bud Fusco belted doubles.

40 years ago

Thursday, Aug. 1, 1973

Patrolman Robert Capicotto, a 17-year veteran of the Monongahela Police Department, has been promoted to lieutenant, Mayor Thomas Wilson announced. Capicotto was appointed to the post by Wilson to fill a vacancy created by the death of Lt. Dino Pala.

Washington Township Volunteer Fire Company held its annual memorial service for deceased members. The Mon Valley Barber Shop Chorus, directed by Ernie Jackson, offered the opening hymn, followed by invocation by the Rev. Hartzell A. Michael, pastor of Lynnwood Lutheran Church. Chaplain Fred Tonarelli read a memorial prayer and others participating in the solemn ceremonies were Robert Matson, fire company president; fire Chief Ron Sotta, and Hazel Zaph of the department's auxiliary.

Harry Crosser, an All-Big 10 (Mon Valley) Conference tackle at Belle Vernon Area High School, announced he will attend Salem College in West Virginia in the Fall. Crosser, a 6-2, 239-pound tackle, also wrestled for the Leopards.

30 years ago

Monday, Aug. 1, 1983

A heavy downpour was welcomed by Mon Valley residents today as they sought relief from a heat wave that drove temperatures to the 100-degree mark yesterday. The rain was the first in more than a week and helped ease the muggy conditions.

The California University of Pennsylvania Council of Trustees and Mon-Vale Health Resources Inc., parent company of Monongahela Valley Hospital, announced an agreement for introduction of a new health services program for students at the university. Plans call for an urgi-center on campus and enhanced services for students, according to Donna Oreski, chairman of the council of trustees.

Monessen native Andrew G. Dzurinko has been named regional director for American United Life Insurance Company. In this capacity he will recruit and counsel new agents and act as liaison between the AUL agencies in Indiana and the home office.

20 years ago

Saturday, July 31, 1993

(August 1 was a Sunday.)

Jerome's famous barbecue will offer delicious ribs and pork chops tomorrow from 9 to 9 at the WESA Classic Car Show behind Montgomery Ward store in Charleroi.

Amanda Strickland, soccer standout at Ringgold High School, is leaving for London today as part of an elite group of 43 players chosen for intense training in the Olympic Development Program. The senior-to-be will be accompanied by her coach, Jim Rue, one of seven coaches selected for the program.

Sipio White concluded 41 years of service with the U.S. Government as he punched out for the final time at the Monessen Post Office. White worked 36 years for the Postal Service and with his military time he is credited with 41 years of service with the government. White began his career as a postal carrier in July 1947 and served under five postmasters.

10 years ago

Friday, Aug. 1, 2003

Newly adopted election reform mandates could cost Washington County as much as $4 million over the next three years, election director Larry Spahr informed the county commissioners in a five-page memo. Spahr said the changes are designed to create a “more voter friendly system that is less prone to errors.”

The Mid Mon Valley Transit Authority has introduced fare increases of 20 percent. The Authority said the cuts and fare hikes are needed because state and federal government funding has not kept up with rising costs of providing transit services in the Mon Valley.

Steelworkers overwhelmingly approved a five-year contract with Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. that should allow the company to emerge after almost three years of financial problems. United Steelworkers of America officials said members voted 875-546 to ratify deal. At the Allenport plant, members of USW Local 1187 approved the pact 195-65. W-P Steel employs some 3,800 workers at plants in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

Ron Paglia is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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