High School minstrel show
at Liberty Theater, c. 1940

The original version of this photo was sent to the Home Page by Lynda Yale of Kingwood, Texas, who reports it was taken in front of the Liberty Theater “probably about 1939 or 1940. It is of the students who participated in the Nanty Glo High School 'Red Hot' Minstrel Show.” Howard Mowcomber, a science teacher at Nanty Glo High School until his death in 1941, put on these minstrel shows, I understand. I scanned this photo from an album belonging to his widow (my aunt), who is still living (at age 96).” The marquee says, “Hear ye, hear ye, red hot minstrel.” Who remembers the minstrel shows? Surely someone in the community remembers performing, and perhaps even some of the faces in the group. The Liberty, nicknamed “the Ranch House” because of its concentration on western movies, was an early casualty of television and drive-in theaters. The building still stands on Shoemaker Street across from the upper level of Commons Hardware.

UPDATE on April 1 2001, from Frank Charney: “Ms. Irene Gebacz of Nanty Glo graciously copied a picture from her 1942 NGHS Yearbook, The Echo, that identifies all the students and teachers who participated in the 1942 Minstrel Show. She herself appears in the third row as described in the photo, but I originally identified her as one of the gowned ladies at the extreme left of the picture. I was correct about the lady at the extreme right being Rosemary Patterson, a Nanty Glo teacher in later years. Perhaps I would have done better if I had tried to identify several of the black-faced minstrel men in the picture.”

The rest of the yearbook page is reproduced below:

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