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Valentine's Day gets right to heart of Yesteryear trip

| Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Here's a reminder to those who tend to procrastinate: You still have time – albeit not much – to buy a Valentine's Day card, flowers or candy for the love of your life or make a last-minute attempt to book reservations for dinner.

With that unsolicited PSA firmly in place, let's take a random sentimental backward glance at some of the news that grabbed the attention of readers on this date in history.

100 years ago

Friday, Feb. 13, 1914

Might's Book Store in Charleroi posted the lone holiday advertisement with a basic reminder that read: “Don't forget your Valentine.”

A special notice, however, announced that a Valentine Social is to be held Saturday, Feb. 14, in Kelly's Hall on Donner Avenue in Monessen for the benefit of the Trinity Mission of the Episcopal Church. An especially interesting program will be rendered at 8:15 p.m., with refreshments, and admission will be only 15 cents.

Meanwhile, the lead story on the front page of The Charleroi Mail advised sports fans that “the biggest crowd that has attended any basketball game here is expected to be present tonight as the Charleroi and Monongahela high school fives clash at the CHS gymnasium. Extra seats have been installed and as far as possible, the Monongahela and Charleroi rooters will be seated at opposite sides of the auditorium.”

Entertainment included movies at the Coyle, Palace, Lyric and Star theaters in Charleroi and the Bijou in Monessen. Fred Lindauer was heralded as the pianist for the films at the Bijou – “Personal Magnetism,” a hilarious comedy, and “The Pitfall,” a two-reel drama.

Other ads in The Charleroi Mail and The Daily Independent of Monessen included:

J.A. Lucas, two of the best leading meat markets in Charleroi (521 McKean Ave.) and Monessen (435 Donner Ave.) Sirloin steak, 20 cents a pound; chuck roast, 15 cents a pound; lard, 15 cents a pound, and bacon, 18 cents a pound.

Collins, The Big Store, 517-519-521 Fallowfield Ave., Charleroi. After-inventory sale, savings on all men's, boys and children's suits and overcoats.

Moore's Furniture Store, 545-547 Donner Ave., Monessen. Reduced prices on carpets, davenports, tables, sideboards and other inventory.

Monessen Cash Market, 401 Donner Ave. Beans, three cans for 25 cents; Moss soap, 10 bars for 25 cents; large bananas, 15 cents a dozen; loose coffee, 21 cents a pound. We welcome telephone orders; Call Bell Phone 241.

61 years ago

Saturday, Feb. 13, 1943

Roscoe's new air raid warning system arrived this week and is being tested today. Chief Warden Robert Lytle has asked residents of different sections to report on how the signal was received. Lytle said the new air raid system will go into effect at midnight Tuesday.

A United Press wire dispatch emphasized that British military forces were reported today to have turned back a major German tank thrust in the Ouseelain Valley of North Central Tunisia, while in the southeast the British Eighth Army and the Nazi Afrika Korps sparred with armored patrols and artillery.

Coach Pete Koma's Belle Vernon High School Wildcats moved closer to the Section 17 basketball pennant last night as they walloped supposedly tough Perryopolis, 39-22, at the BV gym. Jim Cramer led the winners, who are now 5-1 in section play, with 16 points.

Friedland's Fashion Center, 515 Donner Ave., is offering Joan Miller cotton dresses for Valentine's Day from $3.95 to $7.95, sizes 9 to 15.

49 years ago

Saturday, Feb. 13, 1965

Stores throughout the area were touting sweetheart deals on delicious Russell Stover Valentine candy.

A picture by Valley Independent photographer John Hurrianko showed lovely Lisa Marie Clark, 3½, with a special Valentine greeting for her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth R. Clark of Belmar Acres. Lisa and Hurrianko utilized a unique setting created by Paul Lucas.

The newspaper said Lisa, who has an older sister, Kimberly Ann, “personifies Valentine's Day around the world with her message of love.”

Moderator Sister M. Aquina spoke to members of the Senior Sodality of St. Dominic Roman Catholic Church in Donora at their monthly meeting. She focused on the theme of “Love Your Neighbor” and gave the girls illustrations on the subject of charity, urging them to follow these ideals.

Prefect Cathy Palchak conducted the business meeting, and treasurer Susan Gaydos reminded members that dues are due.

Gary Amodei's sleek, hand-crafted vehicle won first place honors in the annual Pinewood Derby of Fallowfield Township Cub Scout Pack 220. James Holler was second and Kenneth Ballentyne third in the traditional competition.

Monongahela Valley Catholic High School scored more than 100 points last night but it wasn't enough as Brashear High School edged the Spartans, 105-103, in basketball action at the junior high gymnasium in Brownsville.

Four records were set in the free-wheeling affair: Most points by two teams, 208; most points in one period, 64 in the final quarter; first time both teams scored over 100 points; most number of field goals, 86.

Bob Stankovich of MVC and Chuck Dennis of Brashear shared game honors with 30 points each. Others in double digits were Don Law (27) and Roger Johns (12) of Brashear and Joe Dzurinko (20), George Salsovic (19), Joe Hornak (15) and Jake Kovalcik (11) of the Spartans.

Valentine dances tonight include: Friendship Lounge, Richeyville, The Invictas; California Eagles Club, The Twi-Nites; PNA in Monessen, sponsored by the St. Hyacinth CYO, the fabulous Mystics; American Legion, Belle Vernon, The Casuals; Blue Top Hotel, Perryopolis, Ed Olesh and his orchestra; Stockdale Fire Hall, Cupid Approved Teen Record Hop.

25 years ago

Monday, Feb. 13, 1989

Fantastic Sam's, located at Kmart Plaza in Rostraver Township, is holding its grand opening today. Specials include an adult style cut, $6.95; kids' style cut, $4.95, and permanents, $21.95.

All customers receive a shampoo, rinse, precision cut, styling and finish.

The opening day festivities offer prizes including a gas grill as well as games, balloons and entertainment by clowns.

Scene This Morning, a popular feature that began in The Charleroi Mail at the turn of the last century, has been moved from the front to Page 3.

Students from South Hills Christian School in Finleville toured The Valley Independent. Managing Editor J. Frank Jaworowski led the budding young writers through the newspaper's plant. Other employees complementing the tour were advertising manager John J. Bennati, sales representative Patty Frost, accountant Violet K. Minjok, receptionist Kathy Way, Joe Tretter of the mail room, and Gerald Jackson Sr. of the production department.

Keystone Bakery offered this timely reminder: Say I Love You With A Treat from Keystone.

City Heat will take the bandstand for a Valentine Dance tonight at the Brass Saddle near Smithton. The dinner/dance is open to the public at $14 a couple.

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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