I admit that I struggled trying to find the right words for my article introduction this week. The Greater Pittston community is mourning the loss of one of its most loved residents — Pat Solano. Worls War II veteran. Dedicated public servant. Loving father and husband. He was also my grandfather. And a terrific one at that.
Every single Sunday growing up, my extended family would go to my grandparents’ house for a delicious dinner. When I arrived my grandfather would always be sitting in his chair. I would say hello and sit down and watch whatever was on TV with him. Usually football or an old western movie that was turned up with the volume so loud that everyone within a one-mile radius would be able to hear it. Without fail he would ask me “What’d you write about this week?” I would tell him. The accomplishments of all of his grandchildren filled him with such pride. Even if it was just writing the West Pittston town news in a weekly newspaper. He thought that was something to be proud of.
So when I sat down to write the introduction to this week’s article, I sat for a while in front of a blank screen trying to find the inspiration for something to say. Then I heard it. Clear as a bell. “What’d you write about this week?”
My grandfather received many accolades and awards throughout the community in his 95 years and he never really liked all of the attention. He was humble until the end. But just like reading my article made him proud every week, all of his accomplishments made me unspeakably proud to be his grandson. And I hope that he wouldn’t mind if the response to his question this time around was “you.”
To my grandfather, family was everything. He loved when we would all gather around the table on Sundays or in the summer around the pool. To him the main course on Sundays wasn’t the most important thing. I remember times when members of my family would still be eating their dinner and he would say from his seat at the head of the table, “Where’s desert?” He was a sucker for desert. Anything with apples in it. And of course lots of ice cream. To say that the portions he cut were generous would be an understatement. The size of the dessert my grandpa served you would be enough to satisfy even the strongest of appetites. Even if you told him “Just a little bit.” He was generous with everything in his life. Not just the dessert portions. My grandpa was a man who dedicated everything that he had until his last days to his country, his community, and his family. And nothing brought him more joy.
Going forward, when I sit down to write the West Pittston news on the weeks that I have the right words to say and on the weeks where I need a little bit of inspiration, the words of one of my biggest fans will echo in my head. “What are you writing about this week?”
I hope you thought that this week’s article was a good one, Grandpa. I know you’re still reading it.
Here’s what else is happening around town:
Corpus Christi news
Parents who are homeschooling through the parish’s religious education program are reminded the Gospel weekly lessons through March 7 can be picked up at the rectory from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Students enrolled in eighth grade in a public school must be registered in the parish’s virtual religious education program to be eligible to receive confirmation. Students attending a Catholic school do not have to attend classes through the parish, but must contact Joyce at 570-654-2753 or firstname.lastname@example.org be eligible to receive the sacrament of confirmation. As of now, a date for this sacrament hasn’t been set.
The parish is offering drive-up Masses at both of its churches. You can remain in your car and listen to any of the weekend liturgies. Whether you choose to attend 4 p.m. Mass on Saturday or 7:30 or 10:30 a.m. Masses on Sunday at Immaculate Conception Church or the 5:30 p.m. Mass on Saturday or 9 a.m. Mass on Sunday at Holy Redeemer, you can do so by remaining in your car. To listen to Mass from the Immaculate Conception Church parking lot, tune your radio to FM 90.3. To listen to Mass from the Holy Redeemer Church parking lot, tune into FM 89.3. At the conclusion of Mass, you will be directed to receive Holy Communion without having to enter the church.
West Pittston Library announces the following upcoming events:
Take & Make: Pet Silhouette — 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4. Commemorate your favorite stay-at-home companions with a silhouette project of your dearest pet. Registration is required. Please stop in or call 570-654-9847. Pickup begins Feb. 1.
Felt Wall Hanging — 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9. A few cuts and some tied knots transform a plain piece of felt into a delightful decoration. Add a dowel and a few tassels and it’s ready to hang in your room. Register for your take-home kit full of all the supplies needed to participate.
John Bubul writes about West Pittston every week for Greater Pittston Progress. To list an item, email email@example.com or call 570-301-2187 by Monday.