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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Wednesday, April 24 2002

Places to meet

Jim George's recent essay on his experiences in downtown Nanty Glo in the early 1940's inspired some thinking back about some of the hangouts of my own youth (1954-62).

The first experience of that kind of venue in my later childhood was Seece's candy store in Twin Rocks. As junior highers at Big Bend School, we went there at lunchtime, mostly to buy penny candy and, if really flush, a bottle of pop. I remember once buying a bowl of hot fresh-out-of-the-can soup and a milkshake for the princely sum of 30 cents. That was living. But Seece's wasn't about the comestibles; they were just a means to the end of being there where the action was. The "action" was on the dancefloor where the most made-up and grown-up-dressed girls from the seventh and eighth grade classes did jitterbugs, which were slowly becoming known as rock and roll, dances. There may have even, rarely, been a boy dancing among them, but I'm not sure of that.

I wasn't sure why I was there at the sixth-through-eighth-grade ages between 11 and 14, but by the time I graduated to Nanty Glo I knew why I was frequenting hangouts. It was to gather material for my column in the Journal, Teen Events. Hoping someone—between 13 and 20—would speak to me and give me a lead for a column or a paragraph in a column. It was still a bottle of pop—Sun Drop, now—now augmented with potato chips on flush days. Mitchell's was almost exclusively the province of teenagers at the time, so it was my favorite. But the K&B (formerly known as Hagen's) was the leading "established" restaurant in town and a hangout for people from 14 to 74. I remember being scared to death of asking the management to put a poster on the wall advertising and listing the "Teen Ten" feature that came out in the column. They agreed, to my great relief, and I updated it weekly for perhaps a year.

After we—the gang—had cars, we were always looking for other places to park them and ourselves. The Triangle (aka "Pinehurst") in Belsano was always good, and it seemed we made the scene there later, whereas K&B would be before and during the hop, we'd wait till afterward to drive out to Belsano.

Later John Golias (one of our gang) got acquainted with Bob Grata, who worked in a political office in Ebensburg by day and ran a pizza restaurant, with about the same easy-going ambience as the Triangle, in Vinco. But Bob was just a little older than we were, so it was a statement going there to support a peer on the way up. For a while we were there at least once each weekend. I've never heard whatever became of Bob Grata, but noticed that the restaurant, so much on it's way "up" when I'd been visiting it, had gone out of business not long after my moving out of the Valley.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Notes to God

A parochial school teacher asked her class to write notes to God. Here are some of the notes the children handed in:

Dear God: My brother told me about being born, but it
doesn't sound right. They're just kidding, aren't they?

Dear God: I would like to live 900 years just like the guy in the Bible.

—Sent by Sallie Covolo

Thought for the day

Where words are many, sin is not absent.

—Author unknown
Sent by James Ferrenberg

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