I got a call from Jerry Stofko, chairman of the Wyoming/West Wyoming Memorial Day Parade committee. He asked me to mention that it’s not too late to get your organization in the parade line up. Antique cars are also welcome. His call reminded me of when the parade was a really, really big deal. Everyone in town was either in the parade or watched from the curb. Friends and relatives who had moved away returned for the annual event. The sidewalks were packed, and long-lost friends were happy to see each other again on Wyoming Avenue.
It prompted me to get out old home movies shot by my father in the late 1950s. Oh the memories of bygone days. The color guard, dressed in Wyoming’s maroon and white, led the way with flags and rifle, followed by cheerleaders and majorettes. The high school band came next and then the students. Every elementary class marched, with their teachers and the principal. The children were all dressed up in their Sunday best and each had a little flag. I had been out sick when they practiced and had no partner, so I got to walk with our teacher, Mrs. Wilson. I was thrilled. Some children rode bikes with wheels decorated in red, white, and blue crepe paper. Scouts, boys and girls, were there with their troop leaders dressed in uniform.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars and veterans were represented, with John Basta in his Marine uniform at the front. Little League, only boys allowed at the time, and coaches came next. The Stegmaier Gold Medal Band preceded the VIPs, mayors and councilmen, waving from cars. Mrs. Pennsylvania and various beautiful girls in either gowns or bathing suits were perched high up on the backs of convertibles. I’m not sure what contest they may have won, but I think their good looks earned them a special place in the town celebration. Clem Lyons rode in a vehicle pulling a float carrying attractive girls representing the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union.
There were horses with riders dressed like cowboys and girls, and a group of KIOWA Indian Dancers, which may now be defunct. An ambulance and fire trucks overloaded with passengers, some hanging off the side, brought up the rear. Everyone wore broad smiles and waved to the crowd, who waved right back. People yelled hello to passing friends, neighbors, and relatives. Although not in my home movie, the big finish was a trick from Victor Dickson on his bicycle. In later years, I remember him dressed as Uncle Sam. No one can replace him.
I know these memories are shared by many my age. There was a community spirit that moved us to be in those parades, a spirit that still exists in our hearts. I’d love to see that kind of enthusiasm return. If you belong to an organization that hasn’t committed to marching in the parade, it’s not too late. Contact Jerry at 570-507-4656. Let’s give our kids and grandkids a parade to remember.
Happy Mother’s Day
A very Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. My kids are grown, but I clearly remember how ragged I was worn caring for them, working, tending to home and husband. I see my daughter-in-law, who never stops to rest or do anything just for herself. Motherhood is truly a labor of boundless love. I hope you get the pampering you deserve today.
Wyoming Area Mini-THON set a new record and raised $31,793.44 toward the battle against pediatric cancer. In three years of hosting Mini-THON, WA has raised $89,144.35. Congratulations to the kids and their teachers!
Wyoming U.M. Church news
Wyoming United Methodist Church has only a few seats left on its trip to the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse in Hampton, New Jersey, on Friday, May 17, to see “Over the River and Through the Woods.” Cost is $98 and includes bus, show, meal and gratuities. For reservations, call Audrey at 570-693-0905 or 570-693-2821.
Wyoming Free Library is planning a Summer Reading Club. Registration will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, June 17. Theme is “A Universe of Stories.”
The library is soliciting donations to replace its eight public computers. Computer use is free to all who need it. Donations can be made on Facebook or mailed to the library, 358 Wyoming Ave.
Kiwanis movie night
Wyoming Area Kiwanis is getting ready to kick off free summer movie nights. The first outdoor movie will be held at 8 p.m. Friday, May 24, in the park next to West Wyoming Hose Company No. 1.
WWWE Panthers registration
WWWE Panthers mini football/cheerleading will hold registration at the Panther field, behind St. Cecilia’s Church in Exeter, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 18, discount day, with a registration fee of $65 for the first child and $10 for each additional child; 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 30, and Monday, June 10, and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 22, $75 for the first child and $10 for each additional child. After June 30, cost will be $85 for the first child and $10 for each additional child.
Cheerleading is open to children 4 to 12 years old. Football players must be 5 to 12 years old to register.
Each family is required to sell a packet of raffle tickets worth $50 to help fund the organization.
Wyoming garbage fee
The 2019 Wyoming garbage fee is now due. Face value of $200, $190 for seniors, is in effect until May 15. After that, the cost will be $250. Please mail checks or money orders to: Wyoming Borough Sanitation, 277 Wyoming Ave, Wyoming, PA 18644. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. A secure payment box is located outside the entrance. Call 570-693-0291 with any questions.
Residents are reminded to rinse jars, bottles and cans for recycling. Greasy cardboard like pizza boxes cannot be recycled. Please only put out clean, flat cardboard.
West Wyoming sanitation fees
West Wyoming reminds residents sanitation fees are now past due and the penalty fee of $300 is in effect.
Exeter refuse stickers
Exeter refuse stickers for 2019 are now available. The penalty phase is now in effect and the price is $250. Stickers can be purchased at the Exeter Borough Building from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Stickers also can be purchased by mail by sending a self addressed, stamped envelope to Exeter Borough Refuse Department, 1101 Wyoming Ave., Exeter, PA 18643. Please use a long business size envelope. For information, call Lynda at 570-654-3001, ext. 2.
Barbara Bullions writes about Exeter, Wyoming and West Wyoming. To include an item in her column, email email@example.com or call 570-301-2185 by Monday.