Frank Charney's Sunday Postcard
February 17, 2008
Interview with a former Nanty Glo senior/teacher
In recent months I've written about the background of several Nanty Glo seniors, namely, Bob Kelly (deceased in 2005), Victoria (Castelli) Law, and John Kupchella, all older townspeople who have lived most of their lives in the town. Now I finally discovered the reason why the Nanty Glo Journal published articles about these people in 2003. The Blacklick Valley Elementary School teachers had assigned students to conduct these interviews. The interviews were done in connection with the class having viewed the CD-ROM entitled "Life in the Valley," produced by the Nant-Y-Glo Tri Area Museum and Historical Society. These students wanted to obtain a knowledge of the rich history of Nanty Glo.
One such student, Alia Seeley, interviewed Augusta LaMantia, a retired teacher in the former Nanty Glo, Nanty Glo- Vintondale, and Blacklick Valley School Districts and a senior volunteer at the school. Alia titled her article "Nanty Glo Back in the Old Days." Alia's interview is very brief and is as follows:
"I interviewed Ms. LaMantia about living in Nanty Glo. She told me that the water was orange from the mine and it was called sulfur water. Students had to walk to school and back. They had to pull their feet out of the mud and snow, which is why they had to wear mudboots."
"When they were kids - again referring to Ms. LaMantia's generation - they used to take the streetcars. It was across the river from the school now, next to the bridge. Their school had no carpet on the floor. The teacher had to teach in one room. There were three theaters in Nanty Glo. There was no gym class and for fun kids would jump rope."
This final statement ended Alia's interview. Writer's Note: I recall Ms. Augusta LaMantia when I attended Nanty Glo High School in the late 1940's. Her looks and appearance have always belied her age and she could easily pose for "Oil of Olay" commercials.