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Article #279 – May 1, 2005


by Glenn Tunney 

Brownsville Time Capsule looks back over the years
through the archives of the Brownsville Telegraph




25 Years Ago – May 1980


* Several months of fighting for an earlier graduation date may have been in vain for senior students at California Area High School.  A teachers’ strike this past fall pushed the last day of school to June 27.  Earlier this year the school board decided to allow seniors to graduate on June 20, although the last school day for the district’s non-senior students would remain June 27.

        This past week, the Commonwealth Court ruled in a case involving Mount Union Area School District, which also had a teachers’ strike, that 180 school days is required “notwithstanding interruption of adopted schedules by strikes or other causes.”  It remains to be seen whether the ruling in that case will mean that California Area School District must graduate its seniors on June 27.


* Gold and silver are bringing big money to those who turn in their precious metal items for cash.  A firm will be buying silver and gold coins and other items this week at the California borough building, next to the Hollywood Theater.  A silver dollar (1935 or earlier) will bring the seller $13; a quarter (1964 or earlier) is worth $2.75; a half dollar (1964 or earlier) will yield $5.50 to its owner.  Gold thimbles, broaches, chains, watch cases, bracelets, rings, and spoons are also being purchased for premium prices, which are guaranteed not to fluctuate.


* Brownsville Area rolled to an easy 109-36 triumph over Waynesburg in a dual track meet.  Coach Jack Henck’s Falcons were led by Jim Watkins, Jeff Gibson, and Larry Landman, each of whom captured double victories.  Watkins won the high hurdles and intermediate hurdles, Landman captured the discus and shot put events, and Gibson blazed to victory in the mile and 880-yard runs.

        Other first place finishers were Jim Vasiloff (100-yard dash), Gregg Downer (440-yard run), Carl Pace (220-yard run), Carl Blakey (2-mile run), Dave Golembiewski (long jump), Chuck Smith (high jump), and Greg Duke (javelin).  The mile relay team of Kevin Kelly, Keith Hewitt, Mike Brown, and Downer was victorious, as was the 440-relay team of Vasiloff, Larry Sabatini, Pace, and Watkins.



45 Years Ago – May 1960


* The State Theater in Uniontown has closed.  Movie operations were suspended following the conclusion of last Saturday’s performance.  The theater is owned and operated by Manos Enterprises, Inc.  Ted Manos, an official of the firm, said that the five per cent amusement tax on theater admission is one of the major reasons for the closure.  He said the theater has been operating at a loss.


* Brownsville General Hospital today, as in past years, has probably the highest occupancy rate of any hospital in the state.  Occupancy at the local hospital, located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Church Street, is at about 99.5% of capacity, a slight increase over last year when occupancy was at 99.3%. 

        The state recommendation is that only 80% of a hospital be occupied by patients so that the remaining 20% is available in the event of an emergency.  However, the local hospital has to make use of practically every bed daily to meet the medical needs of district residents.  Clark P. Brown, administrator of the Brownsville hospital, revealed that approximately 20 to 25 patients are waiting daily to be admitted for surgery or treatment.


* J. Brent Burkey, 13, eighth grade student at Brashear Junior High School, has won the annual oratorical contest held by the Brownsville Optimist Club at the Barr House dining room.  Second place finisher was Wilbur T. McIntosh, 16, a sophomore at the high school.  Placing third was Paul Coleman, 13, an eighth grade student.

        Judges for the contest were Frank T. James, pastor of South Brownsville Methodist Church; Alonzo Y. Cozard, executive secretary of the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce; and Attorney John A. Matta.


* Brownsville has lost a total of 1,647 people since 1950, according to the 1960 census.  In 1950, the borough’s population was 7,643.  Today it is 5,996.


* In high school baseball, Alan Sepsi allowed seven hits as Brashear downed Redstone, 10-2, on the Republic diamond.  Mike Matty, Harold Fulmer, and Sepsi each collected two hits for Coach Charley Slick’s Brownies.  Jack Marbury and Freddie Mazurek led the hitting for Redstone.

        At California, Coach Larry Papini’s Trojans suffered a stunning 13-4 setback as Monongahela knocked California out of a first place tie with Donora in the Section 16 race.  Bucky Weaver continued his heavy hitting for California in a losing cause. 



60 Years Ago – May 1945


* President Truman has announced the unconditional surrender of all German forces in Italy as of May 2, 1945.  Meanwhile, Nazi radio at Hamburg, Germany, has announced that Adolph Hitler is dead, but the Allied world remains skeptical due to the German broadcast’s noted past unreliability. 


* Displaying the same form that they have in their past games, the Brownsville Brownies remained in a deadlock for the Section 7 leadership by trouncing the California Cubs, 15-0, at the Woodward Plan stadium.  Paul Simon again showed his effectiveness on the mound by allowing the Cubs only 5 hits while striking out 14 California batters.  Freshman “Red” Simpson led the batting attack for Coach Earl Bruce’s nine with a two-run single and a three-run homer.  Johnny Bohna also showed life at the plate with two bases-loaded singles.


    These articles appear weekly in the Sunday Uniontown HERALD-STANDARD.  If you enjoy reading them, please let the editors know.  You may e-mail your comments to Pete Skirchak (Editor - Brownsville edition) at [email protected]

    Readers may contact Glenn Tunney at 724-785-3201, at 6068 National Pike East, Grindstone, PA  15442, or by email by clicking here.  If you would like to receive these articles free each weekend via email, please email your name and present home town to Glenn Tunney by clicking here.

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