an occasional newsletter of the Nanty Glo Home Page
January 23 2001

 NGHS Class of '50 reunion photo added
Looking for family-tree help
The Nanty Glo Jonal gets a new start
New membership categories for Museum/Historical Society

Putting up or shutting up

Thus far, there have been no "bites" on the topic proposed yesterday, "wealth in poverty." So, it seems appropriate to put up or shut up, by sharing some of my own "depression" thoughts.

Growing up in a coalminer's household was always insecure. By the mid-50's, once-rich sources of employment like the Twin Rocks mine had closed and laid off hundreds of miners. Whole towns from the recent past, like Wehrum and Bracken, had disappeared, with only a few foundations left or, at most, in the case of Wehrum (several miles south of Vintondale on the Blacklick Creek), one or two buildings left standing. "Ghost town" was a term not only with romantic/exciting connotations, but fearsome implications. We might all be living in what might be ghost towns by the 1960's.

Not only were mines closing, the mines that were still working, like Vintondale, Cardiff, and, pre-eminently, Heisley-Nanty Glo, were subject to temporary closings based on orders. If the auto industry took a downturn, the steel industry would have temporary layoffs because Detroit wasn't using enough steel, and the mines feeding coal to the steel blast furnaces in Johnstown and Buffalo (as was the case of Vintondale's mine), would shut down until the economy got stronger. And of course, all the stores, restaurants, car dealerships and gas stations—even churches—felt the pinch, as well.

With that start, I could write another 1000 words, but I'll save them for the dialog of days to come. I hope they'll provoke some memories from your own household, or a neighbor's or relatives, from those days. (Lots of short daily newsletters are preferable to a few lengthy ones.) And of course, though I'm speaking from the perspective of my late '50's, this topic is just as pregnant for people in younger age brackets, as employment has continued to decline in the whole Johnstown metro area steadily since 1960. In fact, though we probably under-appreciated it at the time, the 1950s were perhaps the peak boom decade in Nanty Glo's century of existence thus far. (If anyone has any contrary facts or opinions, please speak up.)

More to come.

Profedural note: To help you recognize from the get-go whether the following item of the day is a joke or an inspirational item, the jokes will be marked by happy face icons ; the inspirational pieces by book icons .

Paradox of Our Time
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers;  wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.  We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less
wellness.  We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too little.  We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.  We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.  We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life, but not life to years.  We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.  We've conquered outer space, but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.  We've cleaned up the air and streams, but polluted the soul. We've split the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less; We plan more, but accomplish less.  
We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We have higher incomes, but lower morals. We have more food, but less satiety. We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication. We've become long on quantity, but short on quality.  These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships. These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.  These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw-away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet, to kill.  It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to make a difference, or to just hit delete....
As always, the Nanty Glo Home Page and all its departments are for and by the whole Blacklick Valley community. Your feedback and written or artistic contributions, also notification about access problems, are welcomed. Click here to reply.