Article #94  - October 7,  2001


by Glenn Tunney

Brownsville Time Capsule looks back over the years

through the archives of the Brownsville Telegraph


Twenty-Five Years Ago - October 1976

* Brownsville General Hospital is not going to close.  That is the emphatic statement of hospital administrator Casimer Wieczorek, who was responding to rumors in the community that the institution's recent low occupancy rate is a prelude to a decision to close its doors.
    The recent decision to close the hospital's obstetrical unit has generated petitions that are currently circulating among the general public in an effort to have that decision reversed.  They will be presented by their sponsors to the hospital's board of directors at the board's next meeting.
    One community group that is very concerned about the rumored closing of the hospital is the Brownsville Ambulance Service, Inc., which convened in a special meeting this week to discuss the situation.  One member stated that it is already hard enough to keep some patients alive with basic life support treatment during the five-minute trip to Brownsville General Hospital, let alone attempt to transport critical patients on a 25-minute trip to Uniontown.  Representatives of the eleven area ambulance corps that take patients to the hospital have all echoed the concerns expressed by the Brownsville unit.

* Players on the Brownsville Area High School football team gave it their all this weekend, but the effort fell short as the Falcons were defeated by West Mifflin High School, 28 - 19.   Neither team had won a Big Ten Conference contest entering the fray, and Brownsville will have to wait another week to attempt to crack into the win column.  In the early going on Saturday night, it appeared that the Falcons might be on their way to victory on the opposing team's field.  Ken Shumar's touchdown run put the finishing touch on a 56-yard scoring drive, and Joe Rechichar's PAT made it 7-0 Brownsville.  The first half ended at 7-7, but West Mifflin scored three  unanswered touchdowns in the second half.  In the fourth quarter the Falcons threatened to make the game close as Jeff Opall fired a pass to Shawn Kelly, who outran the West Mifflin defenders for a 70-yard scoring play.  Another TD pass from Opall to Ray Stout culminated the scoring for Coach Tom Polosky's boys.

Forty-Five Years Ago - October 1956

* A new Army reserve training center will be built somewhere in the Brownsville area.  The increasing number of reserves in the Brownsville area has made it necessary for Brownsville to become a full reserve unit.  The training center, earmarked to be in operation by fiscal 1958, will cost between $250,000 and $300,000.  Major H. Ruppert, senior unit adviser, addressed the local Chamber of Commerce to inform community leaders of his search for a suitable site.  Immediately following the meeting, a group consisting of Major Ruppert, Burgess Paul Thomas, Ralph Campbell and Charles Snyder left to investigate a potential site located near the Hiller area, just on the outskirts of Brownsville proper.

* Students who attend Central Elementary School in the Luzerne township school district may be eating in style in the foreseeable future.  Students currently tote their lunches to school in brown bags or colorful lunch boxes, but pupils and staff are looking forward to the day when a cafeteria will be installed at the school.  A three member committee from the newly formed Central School PTA, headed by Mrs. Frank Direnzi, urged the board to help the PTA "get started" with plans for a cafeteria, since three-fourths of the 277 students attending the school arrive by bus.  The board agreed to form a committee to discuss the necessary costs and materials required to open a cafeteria.

* The "take-it-easy" music of popular Tommy Carlin and his orchestra will be featured at the charity ball of the Brownsville Rotary club on October 19, 1956.  The affair will be held at the Elk's ballroom, Water Street from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.  Carlin is joined by vocalists Frankie Vince, Sonny Dallas, Billy Sagone and the Take-It-Easy Trio.

* Baseball fans are invited to watch the 1956 World Series in color on the first color television in Brownsville.  Shelly's Inc. of Snowdon Square, Brownsville announces that it has installed the area's first set at the White Pillars Hotel, Route 40 east of Brownsville.  Series fans are invited to come and view the Subway Series, which features Walter Alston's Brooklyn Dodgers versus Casey Stengel's New York Yankees.

* Coulter's Hardware is having its fall "True Value" sale.  A Hotpoint automatic washer and dryer combination, normally $450 for the pair, may be purchased for only $300.  If you are preparing for winter temperatures, why not pick up a plastic screen door storm cover for 77 cents and a rubber strip door bottom for 23 cents?  Each plastic storm window kit is only 33 cents.  And if you're still chilly, an electric fan-heater is on sale for only $7.95.

Sixty Years Ago - October 1941

* It is the one-year anniversary of the opening of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and the 110-mile superhighway has proven to be a successful idea.  It appears that with tolls of over $3,630,000 paid in the first eleven months of operation, the pay-as-you-go highway will show a profit of nearly a quarter of a million dollars, enhancing chances that other similar projects will be undertaken across the nation.

* Among those tooling along the smooth pavement of America's first toll superhighway will be some lucky purchasers of the new 1942 Buicks.  The local General Motors dealer, Sidle Motor Company in Snowdon Square, is pleased to announce that the new models are now available for inspection and purchase.  Recognizing that production of new cars may soon be severely curtailed as the nation's defense programs escalate, the 1942 Buick is deliberately built to last for many years.  Stop by Sidle's today for a test drive, or phone 1094 for more details.

* Radio listeners will welcome the new fall drama season tomorrow.  Among the highlights of the season's first week on WJAS will be "Jane Eyre," a program starring the First Lady of the American Theater, Helen Hayes.  The play will be the first presentation of the new "Helen Hayes Theater" series.  WJAS will also feature James Cagney, Olivia DeHavilland and Jack Carson in "Strawberry Blonde," a special radio adaptation of the successful film.  KDKA radio will bring back Basil Rathbone for another thrilling season of "Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," co- starring Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson.

* Football fans were informed by Brownsville school district athletic committee member Robert DeLaney that there would be no increase in ticket prices for remaining home football contests this year.  Today a new 10 per cent defense tax goes into effect, which includes high school athletic events for which tickets sell for more than ten cents.  DeLaney said that the tax will be taken out of the ticket price for the remaining four home games.  This will cut deeply into the 1941 gate receipts, but school officials felt that since so many season tickets have already been fully paid for, it would work a considerable inconvenience to attempt to collect the tax.
   On the gridiron, the Brownsville Brownies clobbered the Charleroi Cougars on the winners' field, 34-7.  Halfback Johnny Daley scored three times and Bill Sutton and Joe Harvey each entered the diagonals once for Earl Bruce's Blue and White.

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