Any memories of the Heisley Company Store?
Letter No. 88 | March 14, 1999
Hi again, Jon,
In reply to Paul Simendinger...Thanks for fitting in a piece of the puzzle about Nanty Glo theaters and confirming that a Grand Theater existed. Also the name correction from Hagen to Hagan's Restaurant. The Grand Theater kept resurfacing on the web site for a while like the "Phantom of the Opera." Another forum letter from Mr. Tom Dongilla was further validation. As a grade schooler, I remember attending serial movies there and vividly recall actors Reed Hadley as "Zorro" (1939) and Victor Jory as the "The Shadow" (1940). (I was pleased to confirm these findings with some library research). Apparently their serials impressed me, because I never forgot them. At the end of each chapter, the hero was always left in a life-threatening situation from which there was no escape. You were kept in suspense for a whole week waiting to see how the hero escaped. Also the Nanty Glo High School sponsored a minstrel show at the Liberty (Grand) Theater. I participated in this show where the performers, called end men, painted their faces in black, exchanged jokes, and sang a solo. Mr. Interlocutor was the man in the middle of the line who questioned the end men. Fellow actors were Tom Mackall (the Interlocutor) and John Dropcho. Others were Nick Kalenak, Rome Rudolph, and Leonard Stager. Sorry to say, the last three died at relatively young ages. Minstrel shows were banned long ago because of the easily visible racial implications.
My wife's maiden name was Rose Olenick. A brother, Andy, worked in the Revloc Company Store and is deceased. On the subject of stores, the Heisley Company Store would be a good topic to bring back old memories. On a present day visit to Nanty Glo, one sees a mostly deserted downtown on a Friday or Saturday night, compared to the "Happy Days" crowd that surrounded Andy Hagan's Restaurant back in the forties and fifties. (Incidentally, Andy Hagan's final resting place is in the Holy Name Cemetery in Ebensburg, close to my wife's family plot). The downtown may be gone, but it looks like Jon's web site is letting a lot of people recapture the old days.
Webmaster's note: I for one would be interested in memories of the Heisley Company Store. I have no memory of it at all. I remember when the "American Store" was on Roberts Street, before reopening as the Acme Super Market, and I remember Commons' grocery with its meat department upstairs and I believe there was a five and ten connected with it in the front lower level. But I don't know what building the American Store was in, or where the Heisley Store was located. Jon Kennedy
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