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             Monday, October 28 2002  

Where are they now? Author and Vintondale native, Denise Weber

Denise Dusza Weber

Born Denise Dusza October 12, 1946, to Stephen and Agnes (Huth) Dusza, Denise joins a family of six brothers and sisters: David, 63, Lake City, Erie county; Daniel, 59, Nanty Glo; Diane, 57, Arlington,Virginia; Deborah McHugh, 52, Vintondale; Dennis, 49, Montoursville, Clinton county, and Donald, 46, Johnstown. A 1964 graduate of Bishop Carroll High School, she holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, earning her undergraduate degree in history education in 1968 and a graduate degree in arts and history in 1969.

Married to Altoona native Thomas Weber since October 4, 1969, she and Tom are the parents of three children: Heidi, 31, Rockville, Maryland; Gretchen, 26, a law student at the University of Albany, Albany, New York, and Michael, 23, a student at IUP. Denise is the author of Delano's Domain: A History of Warren Delano's Mining Towns of Vintondale,Wehrum and Claghorn,Volume 1, 1789-1930. "Delano's Domain is written for the local general audience, easy to read, and full of primary sources and photographs," Denise says.

When asked what inspired her to write Delano's Domain: she replied, "I decided in 1980 after completion of a continuing education class at IUP that Vintondale's history needed to be recorded before it was gone...and including Wherum was an afterthought. I started to write the book in 1980, thinking it would take a year...it took 11 years, and I'm 11 years behind in volume two! I wish I had started earlier, so I could have gotten the memories of some of the older Vintondale residents, some of the first families. I got a lot of cooperation from residents and other people as well and I traveled to the Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park, New York, to do research."

If the name Delano strikes a familiar chord, it should, as Warren Delano was the uncle of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President of the United States from 1933 to 1945. "I don't know how I got it done," Denise adds. "I had small children and a job, but luckily I had two sabbaticals." Opting to pay for the publishing of her 11-year endeavor out of her private funds, she says, "The sales of the book have paid for the publishing costs....it has sold out three printings." Delano's Domain is not available in bookstores, but copies are available and can be purchased from the author: Denise Weber, 219 Olive Street, Indiana, Pa. 15701. Phone:(724) 463-6361.

Her brother Donald says: "It's wonderful that she's taken such a diligent interest in Vintondale. I know that she spent years researching the different subject topics. Hopefully, her second volume will be coming out shortly and it will be as good as the first." Denise is now retired from the Indiana Area School District where she taught World History for 14 years at the junior high level, and 16 years of teaching secondary-level United States History and Advanced Placement European History.

Writing is not her only hobby. She's a passionate gardener, who says perennials are her favorite plants. "I had a baker's license for a while, but I had to give it up because I had a pet in my home, which is forbidden if you want to maintain your license."

Traveling is another hobby, Denise has been to the Greek Islands and has traveled to other European destinations several times. "Europe is my favorite, and I'll travel as long as I'm able." She is a member of the Cambria and Indiana Trail Council, on which she is the secretary. The C & I Trail Council's interest is the further development of the Ghost Town Trail, which incidentally Denise is credited with naming back in the early 1990's.

"Because of all the little ghost towns near the trail, I thought it should be called the Ghost Town Trail." She is also a member of The Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County. Describing her feelings about her hometown of Vintondale, she says: "There's just something about Vintondale that draws you back. I would be perfectly content to live there now. As a child, I remember being able to go anywhere you wanted,and you felt safe, you didn't have to fear your neighbors. I see a positive future for Vintondale, especially since they have new water and sewage lines. I think people will be moving back, and the Ghost Town Trail and the AMD Park will draw tourists."

Anyone desiring to send email greetings can find Denise at papessimist@hotmail.com.

If you have a suggestion for a subject for Where Are They Now, please write Judy Rose.

Simple logic

Returning home from work, a blonde was shocked to find her house ransacked and burglarized. She telephoned the police at once and reported the crime. The police dispatcher broadcast the call on the channels, and a K-9 unit patrolling nearby was the first to respond. As the K-9 officer approached the house with his dog on a leash, the blonde ran out on the porch, shuddered at the sight of the cop and his dog, then sat down on the steps. Putting her face in her hands, she moaned, "I come home to find all my possessions stolen. I call the police for help, and what do they do? They send me a blind policeman."

—Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for today

Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah's Ark... One: Don't miss the boat. Two: Remember that we are all in the same boat. Three: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark. Four: Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big. Five: Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done. Six: Build your future on high ground. Seven: For safety's sake, travel in pairs. Eight: Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs. Nine: When you're stressed, float a while. Ten: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals. Eleven: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.

—Sent by Bob Kennedy

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