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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
              Wednesday, September 19 2001

Responses to "our inferiority complex"

Since yesterday's entry was mailed, I've received three on-list responses speaking to the topic introduced on Monday, the Greater Johnstown area's alleged "inferiority complex" (to recap the original articles, click here). Replies came from M.B. Hackler of Oklahoma, whose late father was from Nanty Glo; George Dilling, the list member who has the longest memory among us, having lived for 73 years in Nanty Glo and now residing in retirement in Plum Township, near Pittsburgh, and David Caldwell, who lives in Nanty Glo and fills this space each Saturday and Sunday. The members of the list have all seen the letters those list members sent and also the response George sent to a question I asked him about the 1936 Johnstown Flood, which he mentioned remembering. Those who are reading this online can check out all those letters at the list's archive page.

A fourth letter was received off the list, and I include it here:

I agree with you that the national TV networks completely ignored mentioning Johnstown during the crash of the hijacked plane in Somerset County. All we heard was that the plane was downed 85 miles east of Pittsburgh. I was visiting in Cambria County on the morning of September 11, and viewing the horrendous sights occurring in New York on the Johnstown WJAC TV Station. Upon hearing of a plane downed in nearby Somerset County, the TV station immediately began to provide up-to-the-minute coverage of the crash near the small town of Shanksville, and soon showed pictures of the crash site and interviewing of witnesses. WJAC announced that the Johnstown Airport was immediately secured by the authorities, the Johnstown Galleria and schools and businesses were closed for the day, and Route 219 was shut down in the vicinity. The sirens of fire companies in places like Revloc and Ebensburg sounded, and they and other fire companies responded to the emergency call to assist at the scene.

Why wasn't Johnstown mentioned? It's certainly is a sizable city that most people have heard about. Although some people may not know it's precise location, the city does immediately ring a bell when people hear the word "flood." They may not know any of the details of the inundations of 1889, 1936, and 1977, but "Johnstown" and the word ''flood" are almost synonymous to people. Perhaps the national networks thought Johnstown was too tragic-prone from years past and didn't need the added publicity of a hijacking by some crazies.

Frank Charney

I like that theory, Frank. And I have another, which is that the name "Johnstown" works against the city's being given due recognition. Being a "John" myself, I've always been aware that "every Tom, Dick, and Harry is named John," and the commonness of the name tends to denigrate its bearer. Likewise, being "town" rather than "burgh," or City, compounds the problem. It's probably too late to change it now and doubt that it would have much effect, but I say as I have before, Conemaugh would have probably worked much better.

Also new and coming out of this discussion is a paper written by Nanty Glo native Joseph Kozlovac for a graduate course at Johns Hopkins University about Johnstown's floods. It is very informative and readable; I think you'll enjoy it. To read it, you need Adobe Acrobat on your computer.

If it's already on your computer, the paper should open automatically
when you click the link. If it doesn't, click here to get Acrobat FREE:
Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Husbands, wives

A good wife always forgives her husband when she's wrong.

—Milton Berle

Sent by Mike Harrison

Food for thought

"Churchgoer" wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper complaining that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. "I've gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all."

This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks, until someone wrote this:

"I've been married for 30 years now. In that time, my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this: They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today.

"Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!"

When you are down to nothing.... God is up to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible! Thank God for our physical and our spiritual nourishment!

Sent by Ed and Arlene (Drabbant) Warzel

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