I was born and raised in Connellsville, and I have been following Laura Szepesi's recent articles with a great deal of pleasure. I am glad to see the old photos, read about the vitality of the Connellsville I grew up in, and read the interviews (which, incidentally, includes my aunt).
One article mentions that “the long list of 1940s' Connellsville businesses is amazing” and it truly was. Connellsville's past is rich with history and, in my opinion, a real slice of Americana. Growing from the frontier Mud Island visited by George Washington to a melting pot for travelers from around the world, thriving in the Industrial Revolution, suffering through decline, and then re-inventing itself as is characteristic of the American spirit, Connellsville is an indomitable town with good people as its backbone.
I graduated from Connellsville Area High School in 1975 and went off to college to discover that I was just as prepared, if not more so, than classmates from much bigger cities. The school's continued accreditation by the Middle States Association through all these years attests to the value of the educational system.
I certainly cannot complain about the education I received; it helped me earn a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in petroleum engineering, and I am now a petroleum engineering consultant in charge of assessing the oil and gas reserves of Saudi Aramco.
Thanks for publishing these articles, and I look forward to more.
Charles R. Vanorsdale
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
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