Bill Minnick-Frowing Up in the 1930&40's-TDN-6 Jan 2007-p.13
THE DAILY NEWS, HUNTINGDON, PA. ALONG THE JUNIATA SATURDAY, JANUARY 6, 2007 Section B — Page 1 A time to remember: Growing up in 1930s, 40s in Mount Union By POLLY McMULLlN News Editor Some time ago, Bill Minnick of Harrisburg, formerly of Mount Union, sent this article he composed composed with Charles Pagana on "Water Street during the Depression Depression and World War II." I promised promised that sooner or later, when the time seemed right, I would use it .in a column. The time seemed right, especially especially since Bryan Donaldson, well-known Mount Union barber, has published a pictorial history of the borough. It can be seen at his shop at 8 South Division St. Minnick graduated from Mount Union High School in 1946 and then went to the Navy. He said he "saw action right away." Because of the GI Bill, he was able to take up his post-secondary post-secondary education at Shippensburg. Shippensburg. Minnick was a high school teacher and coach and maintained maintained his tie to Shippensburg University as a member of the board of trustees. Minnick said in those early days of growing up in Mount Union, "people learned to live with one another ... you couldn't find that in other communities; the nationality factor was established." established." Minnick said, "Charlie drew up a map and sent it to me. There may be errors because both of us are up in years and the memory isn't what is once was. If a reader reader finds an error, don't hesitate to correct us." (Write to Along the Juniata, 325 Penn St., Huntingdon, Huntingdon, PA 16652, or e-mail to d- firstname.lastname@example.org.) Here's their story: Growing up in Mount Union in the 1930s and early 1940s had its advantages. Far and away was the nationality factor. "Bricktown" "Bricktown" was truly a United Nations, what with immigrants and their children primarily living living in the Flat, Gannister Hill and the eastern part of Water Street. As a young boy, I was of the opinion that the high school football football players came from Water Street and the Flat. Names such as John Sweatlock, Joe Giacobello, Giacobello, Wedi Ambrosino, "Bumba" Meloni, Bob Francis, Steve Give silence an inch, get a mile By DAVE HURST This particular November afternoon was a good one to be in the woods because there was no reason not to be — no frigid temperatures, no biting biting winds, no cold rain or blowing snow. Picking my way up a hillside that forms part of the north rim of the Conemaugh Valley, I settled onto a stone stool next to a tumbling, nameless run val" between man-made noise intrusions of all the spots he has surveyed. He puts this kind of effort into identifying one square inch of silence, because — when it comes to sound — if you get an inch, you get miles. Holesa, Andy Bodnar, Mike Dimoff, Charles Roll, Fred Cholowinski, "Doc" Fortson and Adam Mitchell. A few weeks ago, I phoned Charlie Pagana, who lives in the Mechanicsburg area, and asked him to draw a map of names of the people inhabiting Water Street during the Depression and World War II. Charles was once a resident of Mount Union and, with a college degree from Juniata Juniata College, I figured he would be knowledgeable. Pagana was a team mate on the first Trojan football team of which I played. That team was so bad that in a Lock Haven game, a halfback refused to run the ball twice in succession because of being clobbered the first time. I digress. Here's Charlie's map: Southern part of Water Street, starting at Division and Water streets: Gysbe Pagana and wife, Mary, Sicilian, World War II veteran Pete Longacer, McDevits, English-Irish, Bill McDevit, Korean veteran Sam Francis, Italian, Bob and Omegene, Bob was a WW II veteran, Army Air Force J.S. Giacobello Beer Distributor, Distributor, Sicilian, Joe and Grace, Joe was a well-decorated WW II vet Blazevich, Croation, Ambrosino, Italian, Wedi, a Marine veteran of World War II, and Mary Meloni's, Italian, Bumba, a Marine WW II veteran; Pete Peters rented one side and had two daughters Max Cramer, German, disabled disabled with arthritis, honorary fire chief Bodnars, Slovaks, Joe, Steve and Andy, all WW II vets Paganas, Millie and Basil, Charles, WW II vet, Basil, Pete, Mount Union's bon vivant, Mary Jo, Agnes and Catherine Singers, Ray, U.S. Army vet of WWII The Heltons Joe Loner, neighbors call him "Fat Man" Northern part of Division and Water streets Imperioli, John, Sam, Mary and Lena, Italian Stake, worked on railroad, double block house, Charlie, Giano and Rose, Italian, WW II veterans, U.S. Navy Small business during WW II, Giacobellos owned the property Double block, Sweatlocks, John, "Doodle," "Jiggs," a Navy veteran of WW II, Slovaks; Kenny Cullen rented one side Hayduks, Slovaks, John, Mike, a U.S. Army veteran of WW II, and Paul, Army Air Force in WWII Bodnars, Slovaks, Mike, Kate and Mary Homolash Family, Slovaks, Tommy, Air Force WW II vet, George, U.S. Army WW II vet, and Tommy, retired state police Boiters, Ukrainians, John, Navy veteran WW II Ruhas, Romanians, George, U.S. Army veteran of WW II Waste Management Landfill Roll's business, John, Steve, Mike and Charles, WW II vets; Frank, Walter, WW II, Merchant Marines, Olga Around the corner, Dimoffs, Macedonians, Mike, Navy vet of WW II, Kero "Kitty" and Wanda; Marie, "I've dined all over the world; I have yet to find a waitress waitress who could match this lovely woman." College: Joe Giacobello, John Sweatlock, Bob Francis, Mike Roll, Frank Roll, John Helton, Andy Bodnar and Agnes "Duck" Pagana who attended nursing school. -atj- Signs of spring Earlier this week, a caller reported the warm weather brought a flock of robins out into the sunshine. Robin sightings are always welcome in later winter, but that is one of the earliest robin calls in some years. Karen Fish of the Spruce Creek area reported Wednesday evening that two pairs of bluebirds bluebirds were basking in the sunshine sunshine at her home. Karen said she was warmed by the sight of the birds so early in the year.