Grant Dino, Mary Bezek, and
Steve Olenick remembered

Letter No. 287 | March 21, 2002

I was stirred by memories of Nanty Glo from more than 50 years ago when I saw several recent obituaries.

One was the recent death of Grant Dino, 88, of Ebensburg, who died March 4, 2002. Grant was a self-employed barber in Nanty Glo and Ebensburg for more than 70 years. He once operated Grant's Pool Hall in Nanty Glo, a popular place for older adolescents back in the '40s and early '50s. Grant's combined barber shop with rear pool hall was on Shoemaker Street across from the Liberty or Grand Theater. For a small fee per game, one could shoot pool or play ping pong at the tables provided there.

I especially enjoyed the game of ping pong and became an adept player. It was fun to “slice” or backspin the ball back whenever an opponent thought he had the advantage by killing the ball. On the other hand, pool or nine ball is a game of great skill. I preferred to leave that game to the pool sharks, who were ever present at Grant's pool hall.

I met Grant in Ebensburg on the street several times in later years, and we spoke about the Old Times. He was an American contract bridge player. Bridge is a game that should sharpen any individual's mental capacity and add to one's longevity.

Grant is survived by his wife of 68 years and two sons and a daughter, plus numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Another personal flashback occurred in January, 2002, when I saw the obituary of Mary Bezek, 90, of Nanty Glo. As a youngster, I recall Mary working as a clerk for many years at Levinson's Department Store, a landmark discussed several times on the Nanty Glo web site. Mary never married. She was preceded in death by five brothers and two sisters. One brother still survives.

Finally, I would like to mention the passing on March 5, 2002, of my brother-in-law, Steve Olenick, 80, of Boardman, near Youngstown, Ohio. Only 5' 2" tall, Steve was a jovial, fun-loving person and deeply religious. He left Revloc in 1941 to go to the Army and worked over 40 years in the Youngstown steel mills. Upon learning of my family's return trips to Pennsylvania, Steve, alone mostly, would drive from Ohio to join us. Although residing in Ohio for most of his life, he always loved returning to his roots in Revloc and Pennsylvania. He is survived by his wife, one daughter, and three sons, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Best regards,
Frank Charney

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