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This Page by Phil Cronauer         
Growing-up in 1940s-'50s Nanty Glo

We moved to Nanty Glo in 1939 from the Loretto area. Our first house was on Wagner Street, across from what is now the Legion, then it was Heisley Company Store. If they didn't have you didn't need it. The company gas station was across Lloyd Street, a few doors down from Ben Fresh's market. The pumps were manned by "Jookie" Hawksworth. We used to hunt for Cherrio and Popsickle sticks, hoping for a "FREE" one. We also looked for "pop" bottles for the two cents deposit, our source of penny candy money.

We later moved to Walter Street. I recall sled riding from atop Sheago's hill down to the Moose parking lot. We could do only two or three of those runs; we were exhausted from the hike back up to the hill top. We never had to worry about cars. What with World War II gas and tire rationing, those who had cars kept them in the garage.

In the summer, we played "scrub" baseball; never had enough people to field two regular teams. We also used "tappie" balls. No one could afford a new $2.50 baseball. We also had fun playing in the woods, picking huckleberries, elderberries, etc.

After dad died, we moved to Lilly to be near my mom's mother. After about 10 months, we moved back to Nanty Glo. Mother (Ella) went to work as a waitress at Hagen's Restaurant and we lived across the street, above Shaddens Department Store. I remember Gib & Amber Wissinger, Wissinger's Market, the building next to the market which later became the Post Office; the Journal office, Herman Sedloff, Mike Bzydel, etc. The Divido family lived above the Journal office. Andy & Blanche Hagen lived above the restaurant. Dietrichs Hardware Store, A.A. Dietrich; Common's Variety Store-Market-Hardware Store, Russ Commons.

The other side of Roberts Street was Emery's News Stand, in the Miners Building, Miff Emery; the Ell & Gee store with Mrs. Moody. Then was the Acme Store, but I can't recall the manager; then Shaddens, the Nanty Glo Bank and Jess Edwards; above the bank was Leo Sidola Beauty Shop, the telephone switchboard, which I believe had two operators and was open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Next was Sam Suchmann's Jewelrey Store; another store of some kind, above which was Elizabeth's beauty shop; a dry cleaners, and John Casales barber shop.

Across the street was Levinson's Department Store, and on Shoemaker Street was "whiskey row," anchored by Mary Swigle's tavern on one end and the Wagon Wheel on the other. Just before the Wagon Wheel was the venerable Liberty Theater, aka the Ranch,or the Barn. Across from the theater was Grant Dino's pool room. The Wagon Wheel later became The Italian Club.

The other side of the bridge (Chestnut Street) was the Fire Station, Kovach's Taxi Stand, the Capitol Theatre, Kavanaugh's Ford Garage, Charlie Skalarsky's Shoe Repair Store, and George Brown's Esso gas station. Across from the fire hall was Jim Mehanic's candy store; next to that was a wooden building that burned down. I don't recall what was in that building, but when it was rebuilt (brick) Joe Tasky's pool hall was in the basement. I think a restaurant was on the street level, along with Barowsky's barber shop. The Little Wheel was around the corner. then there was Mike & Hanks bar.

Across First street was Rineharts Pharmacy, Praves Insurance Agency, and The VFW. On the Chestnut Street side was a furniture store , which I believe Tom Woodring managed, and The Victory Theater. Then there was Sparky Millward's gas station. Remember when he sold Kaiser-Frazer automobiles from this site? Then was A.A. Dietrichs home. At the bottom of High School Hill was Soyka's Market on one side and Fred Edward's store on the other. How many times I stood in front of this store hitchhiking to Twin Rocks; WOW!

More memories later, I've got to recharge my memory bank. I realize this is rather lengthy, but there are about 64 years of memories in here. Thanks for allowing me to relive some of them.

Phil Cronauer

May 11 2003


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