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Tuesday, March 22 2005 

Where Are They Now?
Longtime 'Vintondalian' Zoltan Antol


Zoltan Antol was born in Wehrum on June 9, 1913. When he was five years old, his family moved to Vintondale. Because he spoke only Hungarian when he started school, he had to repeat first grade. He graduated from Vintondale High School in 1933. For the next year and a half Mr. Antol worked in #6 Mine. On his last day at work, Mr. Huth, his supervisor, being unaware that Mr. Antol was leaving the mines, complained about the amount of "dirty" coal Mr. Antol had brought out. Knowing Mr. Huth was unaware that he was leaving, Mr. Antol said, "Mr. Huth, I'll never have dirty coal again!"

Zoltan Antol in a 1978
yearbook photo.

After graduating from Waynesburg College, Mr. Antol completed his post graduate studies at the University of Arizona, Penn State University, and St. Francis College. While attending the University of Arizona, he researched the effects of radiation on nocturnal mammals. His paper was presented at an Academy of Science seminar in Pittsburgh by Dr. Caldwell, then head of the university science department.

Having earned a certificate in taxidermy while in Omaha, Nebraska, Mr. Antol used his skill to mount 350 mammals and birds. Many of his mounted specimens remain at Waynesburg College and some are in the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh. In addition, Mr. Antol prepared a permanent collection of wild Spring flowers and leaves from every tree native to Pennsylvania.

Along with his many other interests, Mr. Antol raised honeybees. He had 35 hives in his yard and 10 observation hives in the sun of his home. There were three species of honeybees: Yellow Italian (aggressive), White Caucasians (very docile), and Carne Olams (docile). He raised queen bees and introduced them into different hives in order to develop a more productive bee. He bought his supplies from the Stewart Hardware in Indiana, Pa., owned by the parents of movie star Jimmy Stewart.

An outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, Zoltan bred and trained beagles. In one day of field trials, his beagles took three out of five trophies for performance. In 1948, he became interested in Weimaraners and they eventually became his pet of choice. He notes that in 1948, when he became interested in the huge, highly intelligent canine breed, there were only two available pups in the United States.

Weimaraners.

Zoltan was teaching at Vintondale High School when he was called to military service, serving in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1946. He rose quickly through the ranks, earning the rank of sergeant before he had time to sew on his corporal's stripes. He made staff sergeant after delivering a lecture about land mines to a group of officers. He later earned the rank of first lieutenant while serving in the South Pacific. He was stationed on Okinawa when the atom bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Returning to Vintondale and teaching after the war, Zoltan taught five different subjects daily at Vintondale High School. As head of the school sportsman's club, he allowed the students to bring their rifles to school one day a week and during their free period, took the boys outside to practice target shooting.

Vintondale High School eventually closed and the district merged with Nanty Glo and later with Blacklick Township to become Blacklick Valley School District. Zoltan Antol continued teaching within the Blacklick Valley School District until his retirement in 1978. He considers having his daughter Zolinda and three of his grandchildren as students a high point in his teaching career.

In 2002, Zoltan was honored with a party to celebrate his ninetieth birthday with three members of his high school graduation class in attendance.

Zoltan Antol at the 2004
Vintondale Homecoming.

These days, Zoltan Antol makes his home in Florida with visits to Pennsylvania each year for the Vintondale Homecoming. He says the Pennsylvania winters prevent him from staying year-round in Home Page Country, but he still considers himself a "Vintondalian."

(Information taken from an article provided by Mr. Zoltan Antol.)
 

Judy Rose

If you have a suggestion for a subject for Where Are They Now, On Their Way, or "Mom and Pop Businesses," please write Judy Rose. Click here for an index of previous Where Are They Now profiles.

Too literary?

An English professor was reading Canterbury Tales to his class and noticed that one of his students had fallen asleep. The professor was annoyed enough to send the book spinning through the air and bounce it off the sleeper's skull. Startled awake, the student asked what had hit him.

"That," said the professor, "was a flying Chaucer."

Thought for today

Christian one-liners:
Don't wait for six strong men to take you to church.

Sent by Carl Essex  

 
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