First Dunbar Community Fest this Saturday
Dunbar Borough tax collector, Charlene Lafisca, announces new Friday hours beginning Sept. 13. Hours will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and Saturday hours will remain the same from 2 to 4 p.m. Please make a note of this change.
The Franklin United Methodist Church is now taking orders for "The Family And Friends Cookbook." The cost of the cookbook is $8. Anyone wishing to order one, please contact Diana Homer at email@example.com or 724-529-0215 after 6 p.m. or call Tammy Renzi at 724-277-8705 All books must be paid for by tomorrow.
There will be a table set up on Connellsville Street during the community fest for anyone wishing to order a birthday calendar from the Dunbar Historical Society. Forms will be available to list birthdays, anniversaries and in memory names so please make sure you bring along the dates. Calendars cost $5 each and include five listings. Additional listings are 50 cents each. Calendars ordered on fest day must be paid for at the time the order is placed.
The Dunbar Presbyterian Church will be sponsoring a Watkin's Party at the church on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. So check your cupboards and come on down and enjoy the evening. Outside orders are welcome.
We can only think of Steve Martin's role in "The Jerk" when he excitedly exclaimed "the new phone books are here, the new phone books are here" as we exclaim, "fest week is here, fest week is here!" As hard as it is to believe the week that so many have worked so long and hard for, has finally arrived. All our readers are invited to come and visit Dunbar this Saturday for our First Community Fest. This day is to foster community pride so please come visit all of the booths, churches, entertainment areas and fire department. Fest maps will be available at several locations detailing specific activities.
Ready, set, go! The Pechin 5K Run/Walk will begin on Saturday at 8 a.m. The course is a rolling 3.1 mile course through the Borough of Dunbar, starting and finishing at the fire department. Come and take part in this event and stay for the entertainment, food and fun during the day! Some of the draw prizes offered at the 5K will be an overnight stay at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Tide racing jacket, $50 U.S. Savings Bond and many more prizes. A 50/50 raffle will also be drawn at the conclusion of the award ceremony. Pre-registration cost is $13 and $15 on race day. If you have questions or need an application, call Cindy Moag at 724-626-8882 ext. 103. See you Saturday!
The Cub Scouts will be selling the American disaster flag designed by Donna Martin at their table on Connellsville Street this Saturday. The cost of the flag is $16. The Boy Scouts will also be selling birdhouses. So please stop by and support your local boy scouts.
The Library table will have new, all cotton, 3- x 5-foot U.S. flags for sale for $10. Some great items already donated for the flea market include bike helmets, hockey pads, games, puzzles, videos, crafts, glassware, silver items, picture frames, baskets, bookends, highchair and stroller, and much more. Hundreds of books will also be available. Donors may deliver items to the library between noon and 5:30 p.m. all week or to the porch at 139 Connellsville St. anytime.
Residents are reminded that Connellsville Street from the white church next to the post office to the bridge and behind the old fire station will be closed all day on Saturday for the flea market, school bake sale, scout sale and library activities. Railroad Street will also be closed for the car show, which also has some great items to be handed out.
The Sportsmen Club will be featuring fly tying, muzzle loading demos, wildlife display and trap shooting at the club grounds.
Residents are asked to stop by the Street Mural area and help us create a masterpiece. Remember to stop by the entertainment tent to see the humorous "Dunbar Style Fashion Show."
Anyone loaning an item for the historical display should stop by the Presbyterian Church before 9 a.m. Saturday.
Visitors are asked to sign one of the fest Guest Registers which will be placed at the fire hall, Franklin Methodist Church, Entertainment area, Library and Presbyterian Church.
Our thanks this week to the following patron donors: Louise Riggin and family in memory of husband; AOC Jack W. Riggin, Sr. U.S. Navy; John and Angel Herchko in memory of James and Rose Caruso; Linda Speight Fosbrink and family in memory of Clyde and Irene Speight and Andree Lee Speight Sandusky; Nora P. Eden of Pensacola, Fla.; Don and Carmella Hardy in memory of Carrie Etta Wilhelm and Joseph and Lucy Cope of Pechin Hill; Josephine McCune; Pat Caruso; and Fred and Doris Lizza. Your support is greatly appreciated. Fest souvenir booklets will be on sale at the Presbyterian Church on Saturday. Cost is $3 each and supplies are limited.
The teachers and staff at Dunbar Borough will be sponsoring the Community Fest bake sale scheduled for this week. All money raised will be donated to the Dunbar Community Library. So please visit their tables on Connellsville Street this Saturday.
This week we had the pleasure of sitting down with a truly wonderful person, Mary D. "Mamie" Ryan, who was born and raised in Dunbar. When Mary was first approached to be in the "Meet Your Neighbor" column, she was reluctant. But after several of her friends twisted her arm, she decided to grant us an interview. And we can only say a big thank you to those who helped persuade her to do this article. One cannot help but be impressed by her wit and charm, especially when talking about her life in Dunbar. She grew up and still lives in her homeplace with its eight rooms on Hardy Hill.
But, she says many changes have been made. She recalls a large coal stove in the kitchen, a grate fire, two potbelly stoves and in later years, she says they even had a heatrola! Her grandfather, James T. McVey, came from England specifically to work at the Semet-Solvay byproducts plant, where he was a boss. He was considered a "company man" and she reports when Semet Solvay put bathrooms and furnaces in the homes of other bosses, he refused to have them put in his own home so he could save the company some money! She said, "When Mother Nature called, believe me, this was the worst experience, especially in the winter months. That outdoor toilet was necessary but exasperating!" Words cannot convey the humor with which she told this story and we were in stitches!
She remembers Monday was wash day and a copper boiler, that she still has, was placed on the kitchen stove to heat the water in order to get the bedclothes clean. If the weather was nice, they got hung outside, if not, they got hung in the dining room and that she says was unpleasant. This columnist will never complain about doing the laundry again!
The daughter of Beatrice and James Ryan, she was one of five children. Her only living brother, John, also still lives in town. She graduated from Dunbar Township High School in 1940 and returned the following year for a post graduate course. As a teen, she was a Girl Scout leader for seven years with Ethel Reynolds. Right out of high school, she worked at Burn's Store for six months. She was then hired in 1942 by the Dunbar Corp., which she says should have been called the Dunbar Sand Corp. since that's what they made, as a stenographer and a billing clerk.
The Dunbar Corp. manufactured sand, which was shipped to Anchor Hocking Glass Corp. in Connellsville. Trucks from the local mines also came daily for sand to be hauled to other parts of Fayette and Greene counties. She says, "We produced the best sand, it was finer than sugar."
The Dunbar Corp. had a subsidiary company, a small short-line switching railroad known as the New Haven and Dunbar. At the time she worked there, they had six miles of track. The railroad hauled in raw materials for the Pennsylvania Wire Glass Co., Interstate Amiesite Co. and New Castle Lime and Stone. The NH&D delivered their manufactured products to the B&O for shipment to their customers. After working at the sand plant for 12 years, she received her termination letter in April 1954, due to the company's declining business. She showed us her letter and talked fondly about the sand plant and little railroad along with John Dowds for whom she worked. Upon mentioning his name, I remembered purchasing some paper items about the NH&D from a man in the state of California on Ebay. Upon showing her the letters and schedules, she quickly pointed out her initials at the bottom that showed she had typed the letter in 1945! How many miles it had traveled to end up back in Dunbar in the hands of the lady who originally typed it! She worked from 1954 until her retirement in 1983, at Anchor Hocking Glass where she was a billing clerk and switchboard operator.
As with so many other neighbors, she remembers Rose Ann's Candy Kitchen and square dancing at the Sons of Italy. But the townspeople owe her a debt of gratitude for her favorite hobby, that of photography. She says, "I never left my house without my Argus C3 camera." Through her photos so much of Dunbar's history has been preserved. From her pictures of minstrel shows, parades, people and local industries, we have a record of Dunbar in picture form that can never be replaced. All because she loved to take pictures.
Now, she spends much of her time working at her church, St. Aloysius. She is the secretary for the St. Vincent DePaul Society, which has a food pantry that helps to supply boxes of food for the needy in our area as well as providing other services to those less fortunate than ourselves. Through the efforts of several of the Dunbar churches, food and monetary donations are made to the food pantry whose volunteers pack the boxes to be given out. She says, "Our motto is, see Christ in the poor." She certainly practices what she preaches by spending hours volunteering her time. We should follow the example she has set in our community.
We would like to offer our sincere and heartfelt gratitude to her for taking the time to share so many of her wonderful memories and pictures with us. If we are lucky, we may have a Mamie, Part Two!
Birthday wishes go out this week to Ike Nedrow, Casey Ramage, Rob Blystone, Ted Speeney, Freda Piret, Timmy Smitley Jr., Kim Blackstone, Beverly Owens, Emma Crocetti, Thomas Dolan, David Basinger, Pauline Dynes, Connie Anderson, Dorothy Lizza, Lee Maley, Eric Rankin, Mary Wolfe, Monica Maddas, Ronna Breakiron, Taylor Phelan, Robert Bell, Doris Rockwell, Brittany Roll, Bethany Roll, Ivy Newton, Beth Misch, Wyatt Frick and Tut Demott.
Anniversary wishes go out this week to Russell and Ann Gradish, Derwood and Kathy Dynes, and Chad and Tabitha Gallis. A belated happy 60th anniversary to Willie and Ellen Lizza. May you both enjoy at least 60 more years together. From your friends and neighbors in Dunbar.
Congratulations to Pfc. Richard Anthony Renzi, son of Rich and Tammy Renzi of Dunbar, who recently completed basic training at Parris Island, S.C. Renzi was selected to specialize in the Intelligence field in Cryptologic Linguistics at Monterey, Calif. Renzi's platoon graduated fifth highest in the history of training at Parris Island. Renzi is the grandson of Donald and Betty Lowry, Robert Quairiere and the late Janet Quairiere. He is a 2002 Connellsville Area High School graduate.
How did you do on last week's trivia question, "Who was the young Marine from Dunbar who was wounded in front of the German line in World War I on July 19, 1918, and was taken care of by two German soldiers who also were wounded?" The answer is: Sgt. Donald E. Patterson, son of J.W. Patterson. He returned to the states aboard the ship Finland on Jan. 10, 1919.
This week's question is: "In November 1903, there was an explosion at the Ferguson mine where 18 men lost their lives. Do you know the name of the miner whose remains were found 18 years later in 1921?"
Phone us at 724-277-8448 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com . All announcements for this column should be received by noon Saturday for publication the following Wednesday. Until next week, remember to say "hello" to your neighbors!
Zurick and Myers are Dunbar-area residents.