Fond memories of Vintondale/rs

Letter No. 280 | December 30, 2001

Just a note to tell you how nice it was to be able to see my old home town again (Vintondale). I was born and raised there until Vietnam came along (1947-1965.) My name is Michael Smith, my Dad's name was John and we lived on Third Street (where Duzsas live). I'm sure that you probably knew one of the Smith's as there were ten in the family.

We bought a company house on Second Street (Grosiks). Mom still lives there to this day. Dad worked in #6 till it closed down and then went to work in Bethlehem #33. I just want to thank you for not forgetting such a great town.

My fondest memories were of all the "oldtimers" in town: Whiskey John, Dirty Mike, Shakey John. Jim Buckeye, etc., etc. I can still see them on a payday Friday night down at Duzy's and Joe Abromovichs. Still remember Biff Cresswell and Blues Lonetti. That was a wild bunch. I could not think of a better place to have been born and bred. There are times when I wish I could hear that mine whistle blow one more time.

Thanks for not forgetting where you came from. Ain't a bad place, all things considered.

Michael Smith
By way of Greenville, TX (not my choice, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Learned that growing up in Vintondale.) Go STEELERS!!!!

PS I think you used to write/editor for the Nanty Glo Journal, right? Think so.

Webmaster's note: It's always great to hear from Vintondale folks. Our family moved out of town when I was four, so I don't remember any of the V'dale Smiths, though maybe you were related to our next-farm neighbors, the Tom Smiths, on Redmill Road, near Belsano? I do remember a Mike Coco who might have been one of the "oldtimers." And yes, I wrote the teen column for the Journal from 1957-62, did lots of independent news articles and features, especially about Blacklick Township, from '59-'62, and was its editor from spring '62 to spring '64. And as for doing what you gotta do...I hear you; Silicon Valley is no Blacklick Valley.—Jon Kennedy


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