Frank Charney

Frank Charney's Sunday Postcard

Stanley Strapple, Jr., an old friend

I was sorry to see the obituary of of an old friend, Stanley Strapple Jr., who passed away on February 20, 2006, at the age of 76. It was in the 1950's that Stan, myself, and several buddies would make our rounds of the area night clubs that were so ubiquitous in the area. Stan had been recently discharged from the Navy and had the "wheels" to get around. Since he was kind and generous in transporting us, he was our best friend. Especially on Friday and Saturday nights, it was great to get out of town, and not have to mill around Hagan's Restaurant for the entire night. Instead we enjoyed ourselves at the various clubs with the music, dancing, attractive girls, and entertainment, thanks to Stan. I recall Stan as having tireless energy, and we would even venture to places like Barnesboro, Cresson, Portage, and Johnstown-area sites. It was a memorable time. One item to note: Stanley Strapple Sr., the father, lived to 87 years of age; the mother, Alice, 97; but a son John, with whom I was acquainted, died at 58 years of age in 1989, as did another son, Don, before he was 60. Now with Stan's demise, the theory of natural, inherited parents longevity becomes questionable.

It is interesting to note that the Strapple homestead, once located beside St. Mary's Church Rectory, was razed and the property now serves as the church's picnic grounds. Stan's obituary was as follows:

STRAPPLE - Stanley Joseph, 76, Nanty Glo, died Monday morning, Feb. 20, 2006, at the VA Hospital, Oakland, due to an extended illness. Born Jan. 15, 1930, in Nanty Glo, son of Stanley John and Helen Alice (Strenko) Strapple. Preceded in death by parents; stepson, Christopher Strapple; four sisters: Helen Clouser, Pauline and Frances Strapple and Marcella Maslyar; and two brothers, John "Jack" and Donald Strapple. Survived by two sons, Stephen J. Strapple of San Antonio, Texas, and Jeffrey M. Strapple of Laurel, Md.; two brothers, Edward, Monroeville, Pa., and Eugene Strapple, Hernando, Fla.; four grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. Member of St. Mary's Catholic Church, Nanty Glo. A 1947 graduate of Nanty Glo High School and Shippensburg University. Retired in 1977 as a teacher at the Johnstown Rehabilitation Center. U.S. Navy veteran of Korean War. Member of Moose Lodge 207, VFW, American Legion, Polish Club, all in Nanty Glo. No viewing. Arrangements by the Good Funeral Home Inc., located at Alto-Reste Park, Altoona, Pa. Funeral Mass will be held Friday, Feb. 24, 2006, at 11 a.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Nanty Glo, by Father David Peles. Interment at St. Mary's Cemetery, Nanty Glo. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the St. Mary's Catholic Church, Nanty Glo.

 

I had not been in contact with Stan in recent years, except that I saw him once in Nanty Glo several years ago and he was sporting a long beard. He reminded me of "Uncle Jesse" who had a role in the "Dukes of Hazard."

On a final note, I will always remember Stan driving my parents and myself to Pittsburgh where we attended my University of Pittsburgh evening graduation exercise a half century ago. With the traffic and congestion that my father dreaded, Stan volunteered to go and use his car. I faced induction into the US Army the following morning and remained in Pittsburgh to leave for the service. Stan's obituary reads that he died at the VA Hospital in Oakland, also the nearby site of the University of Pittsburgh. Philosophically, it might be said that it was a point of departure for a landmark event in each of our lives.

— Frank Charney

 

 

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Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

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