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             Tuesday, February 4 2003  

Where are they now? Jerry Jacobsky

Born February 24, 1936, Nanty Glo native Jerry Jacobsky is one of three children born to John (deceased 1975) and Mary (Vargo) Jacobsky. Jerry's brother John lives in Ebensburg and his sister Irene Kovach makes her home in Fairmont, West Virginia. His 88-year-old mother enjoys good health and remains active.

Jerry Jacobsky
recent photo | high school photo

Married to Conemaugh native, the former Emily Pingatore since November 1964, Jerry and Emily are the parents of two grown sons; Jeffrey, 36, and Jason, 31. The Jacobskys have one grandchild, Justin, age ten. Like Jerry and Emily, their sons and grandson live in Greensburg. Both Jeffrey and Jason have earned undergraduate degrees in science and business administration from the University of Pittsburgh.

Jerry attended Nanty Glo High School. "I hated school," he says. "I was an independent thinker, so I left school and left Nanty Glo when I was 14-15 years old." Although he rejected formal education at a young age, he feels himself to be self-educated. "What I've learned, I learned from books...reading books," he says. He has taken psychology courses at the Greensburg Campus of Pitt.

"After I left Nanty Glo, I found work in Erie, Lancaster, and Johnstown...as I got older, I worked in Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Buffalo." He found his permanent employment nitch at the Uniroyal Tire Company where he managed several automotive supply stores until his semiretirement. He continues to work part-time as a car salesman in the Greensburg area.

"I've always loved cars," he says. His lifelong facination with cars began when he was a boy growing up in Nanty Glo. "I learned to drive when I was 12 years old," he says. "I got my driver's license when I was 13...I lied to the Justice of the Peace, he was elderly and nearly blind and he didn't know I was only 13. My first car was a 1938 black Chrysler coupe...as a matter of fact, I had my first car before I had my driver's license."

While I was growing up there, we had a small farm on Cardiff Road, we had cows, chickens...that's how we lived." He shared his memories of a boyhood filled with summers of bike riding, playing in the woods, and enjoying what Nanty Glo had to offer back then.

"When I was a kid, we used to hop the C&I coal trains and ride them into the Lincoln section of Nanty Glo and go swimming in Flick's Dam, running free in the hills and woods...kids don't do that kind of thing anymore. When I was a little older and had a car, I would drive around the Teen Canteen waiting for girls. I liked to gather up a gang of friends and go skating at the old Cicero's Roller Rink at the fairgrounds in Ebensburg. We always had something to do," he says. One particular memory of those days is of "Rudy the Wanderer."

"My grandfather was a violinist and Rudy would go to my grandfather's house where the two of them would play their violins...I remember Rudy very well." While doing some family research, Jerry says he found an old document that states his maternal grandmother was from a country called Ruthania...a place that doesn't exist anymore, and something he would like to investigate further. If anyone has knowledge of Ruthania, please get in contact with Jerry so that he can learn more of his family heritage that includes German, Slovak, Ukranian, and Polish ancestry.

In his spare time, Jerry likes to get together with his two sons and build computers. "I started building computers as a hobby...we buy the bare-bones kit and take it from there," he says. "I've been riding a motorcycle for the past 20 years," he says. "I have a Yamaha and I like to ride it through the hills and valleys of Pennsylvania." He gets back to the Blacklick Valley area frequently; his mother contnues to reside in the area and when he comes home to visit her, he'll frequently stop at St. Mary's Cemetery to visit the graves of family members. "As kids, we would go outside in the morning and not come home 'til dark and we never worried about ourselves and our parents didn't have to worry about us either...times have changed though; when I take my grandson to the mall or anywhere I don't let him out of my sight for a second."

"I miss being out in the open country...Greensburg was a small town when I moved here, but it's not like that anymore....

"I have no bad memories of Nanty Glo," he says.

Anyone wishing to say hello and renew old ties can find Jerry at jerryjay6@hotmail.com.

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

Click here for an index of all Where Are They Now profiles in this series.


In case you need further proof that the human race is doomed because of stupidity, here are some actual label instructions on consumer goods.

On a Sears hairdryer: Do not use while sleeping. (darn, and that's the only time I have to work on my hair).
On a bag of Fritos: You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside (the shoplifter special?).
On a bar of Dial soap: "Directions: Use like regular soap" (and that would be how?).
On some Swanson frozen dinners: "Serving suggestion: Defrost" ("just" a suggestion?).
On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom): "Do not turn upside down," (a bit late, huh?).

—Sent by Mike Harriso

Thought for the day

Fear can hold you prisoner; hope can set you free.

—Author unknown
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