Some of you have asked about my class reunion, which I wrote about when it was in the planning stages. I’m happy to report that it was wonderful.
Seventy-four classmates and their spouses arrived at Fox Hill ready to have a good time, and we did. One of the highlights of the cocktail hour was a visit from our class adviser, Rosella Fedor. Former students reintroduced themselves to her and thanked her for being an inspiration. Many who missed seeing her expressed their regret to me and said she was one of their favorite teachers. We always love the toughest teachers, though we never admit it at the time.
After a bit of mingling, attorney Bill Anzalone, class president, began the evening with a few stories from our days at Wyoming Area. We paid tribute to our deceased with a slide show and short blessing by the Rev. Dr. Janet Murdoch McCormack, accompanied by Ethel Shannon Sherman, Colleen Zavada Mattey, Gloria Musto Fumanti and Patricia Lepore Morgan. Brenda Welliver Nighbert played the alma mater and we all sang.
Dinner was followed with dancing to the music of Victor Gulliano’s band Sweet Pepper and the Long Hots. They were fantastic, playing music we all love, and suddenly, surrounded by the people who were our friends, or in our homerooms, or passed us in the hallway so long ago, we were kids again. We all felt 17.
I sat at a table of 10 with some of the dearest friends of my youth. Some I’ve remained close to and a few I lost track of but have now found. Susan Hazlett Ryf, Elaine Rhoades Rafferty, Janet McCormack and I reminisced about days at the Butler Street school where teachers like Mrs. Wilson and Miss Morris played pitch pipes and taught us songs like “Our Country ‘Tis of Thee” and “Shenandoah.” We talked about life before the merger and the cocoon we lived in before 10th grade, and Miss DiMirico’s art class, pajama parties and Teen Age Canteen. I was the kid in our gang who always had access to a car and Jan said I had a distinctive way of tooting my horn when I picked her up.
The morning after the reunion, some of us met for a tour of our old high school, now the Montgomery Avenue Elementary School. The first memory that hit me was that there used to be a phone booth in the hall. How odd that seems today. We laughed as we entered the “caf,” site of our auditorium, and recalled the assemblies, especially the first one of our senior year when we got to sit in the front rows. At Christmas season, we assembled to sing carols, though some of the boys had irreverent versions. There also was a pep rally in there every Friday during football season.
We peered into the principal’s office, where our skirts were measured if they were of suspect length, and thought about the more notorious of our class who always got called in for discipline. We went into the basement and saw ourselves eating bagged lunches at long tables, then we entered the upper level of the gym where we once leaned over the balcony to cheer our basketball team to victory. Making our way to the band room behind the gym, the thought of Mr. Marchetti loomed over the musicians in our group. We wandered upstairs to the top floor, and memories of teachers flooded our imaginations. Miss McGuffie’s class holds the record for most funny stories.
We imagined standing in the hallway outside Mr. Casterline’s office with notes from “our parents” to get out of school early. In the late ’60s, rock ‘n’ roll bands played in Wilkes-Barre in what is now the Kirby. For some reason, they did afternoon shows and we all wanted to be there. Faked notes got us excused for doctor, dentist, and optometrist appointments. We thought we were pulling one over on our truant officer, but I bet he knew. Mrs. Traher’s drama office was nearby, and we looked for Miss Francis’ and Mr. Brogna’s rooms. We glanced down the steps at the Wyoming Avenue exit and saw ourselves going out those doors, heading to Top Spot or the Italian Kitchen.
At the end of our tour, we took a photo of ourselves on the front steps of the building. Fifty years ago, we often posed there for photos taken by Rygiel of Buffalino. Someone remembered the band standing on those steps and playing the alma mater after every football game. The entire student body marched from the stadium with them and sang along before heading to Grablick’s for ice cream.
Class reunions are funny things. Many people dread them. I did for a long time, and my involvement in this one was accidental, but I loved every minute of the weekend I had with my old pals. We all met for one last time on Sunday evening and saying goodbye was bittersweet. I was so happy that we had time together, but as they left me I felt like a piece of my childhood, and my heart, was going with them. Time is precious, but we don’t realize it until we reach a certain age. I guess I’ve arrived and I’m grateful.
Thanks for asking.
The Rotary Club of Wyoming will hold its annual Crabfest from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4. The event will be held at the West Wyoming Fire Hall, 926 Shoemaker Ave., West Wyoming, and will be limited to the first 175 reservations. Tickets are $45 per person and include all-you-can-eat Baltimore hardshell crabs, plus clam chowder, hot dogs, pizza, beer and soda. For reservations, email Debbie Sobeck at Debbie.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 570-239-1679, email preferred. All proceeds benefit Wyoming Rotary charities. Payment in full by check will guarantee reservation. Mail checks to: Debbie Sobeck, 2327 Lakeside Dr., Harveys Lake, PA 18618.
Kiwanis Hometown Hero Banner Project
The Wyoming Area Kiwanis Club is launching the Hometown Heroes Banner Program to honor residents and family members of Wyoming and West Wyoming who are serving or have served our country in the Armed Forces. Banners will be placed on street poles on Shoemaker Avenue, Wyoming Avenue and Eighth Street.
The banners will be displayed from May 2020 to Nov. 11, 2022. Cost is $225, which includes installation and removal. After the two years, the banners will be permanently removed and given to the service person or family member. To get an application, contact email@example.com.
WA scholarship program information session
Wyoming Area students, grades nine to 12, and their parents should plan to attend a scholarship information session/workshop at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, in the secondary center cafeteria.
Learn about the more than 80 scholarships available to students who will be attending trade schools, technical colleges, community or two-year colleges, and four-year colleges/universities. Students are selected by donors and may be chosen based on class rank, financial need, community service, club or sports participation, school activities, hobbies, etc. Donors, former recipients and parents will be available to answer questions. Go to the website www.wyomingarea.org to read about the scholarships. Follow the guidance link.
Wyoming Area Catholic School news
Wyoming Area Catholic School announces its events for September:
Wednesday, Sept. 18 — Family Mass at 6 p.m. in the auditorium. A special family event is scheduled after the Mass at the Scholastic Book Fair, held in the auditorium. Theme for the fair is Artic Adventure Book Fair, Snow Much to Read.
Monday, Sept. 23 — No school; Diocesan Teacher Institute. Also, at 7 p.m., Bishop’s Youth Award.
Wyoming Area Catholic is accepting donations of books to commemorate special events such as the birth of a child, a special anniversary, birthday, special achievement or as a memorial for a deceased loved one. Contact school librarian Theresa Sabetta at 570-654-7982.
Wyoming Recreation Board is back and in full swing planning great events.
Help out by participating in a fundraiser at Sabatini’s Bottle Shop from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3. Tickets cost $25 for three drinks (beer or soda) and all the pizza you can eat. There will be a basket raffle and a 50/50. Tickets are on sale at the borough building. Call 570-693-0291 for information.
The recreation board is organizing a Trunk or Treat event for Saturday, Oct. 26, at Pettibone Park. If you would like to participate and decorate your trunk, you need to fill out a registration form available on Facebook or at the town hall.
Wyoming street sweeping
Wyoming Borough Street Department will be street sweeping in the borough Monday, Sept. 16, and Tuesday, Sept. 17.
Residents are urged to utilize driveways, if available.
Wyoming Borough reminds residents of the following ordinances:
Responsibilities of Dog and Cat Owners — It is unlawful for any person who owns or keeps cats or dogs to allow such cat or dog to run at large in the borough. It is unlawful to own or harbor any dog or cat or other domesticated animal whose barking, howling, yowling, purring or making other loud noises or any other act which causes annoyance, disturbs the peace and quiet enjoyment of persons in Wyoming.
Property Maintenance — No person, firm, or corporation owning or occupying any property within the Borough of Wyoming shall permit any grass or weeds or vegetation whatsoever to exceed a height of 8 inches. Alleyways behind properties also need to be maintained. Any property owner in violation of the borough ordinance will be cited by the Wyoming Borough Code Enforcement Officer.
Residents also are reminded to please rinse jars, bottles, and cans for recycling. Greasy cardboard like pizza boxes cannot be recycled. Please only put out clean, flat cardboard.
Wyoming United Methodist Church news
Seats on the bus trip to Sights and Sound Theater in Lancaster are filling quickly. The show, “Queen Esther,” is a new production for the theater. The date is April 15, 2020, and already there are only a few seats left. The price is $121 and includes bus, show, dinner and all gratuities. Gift certificates are available if you would like to give this as a birthday or Christmas present.
The church is selling shepherd pies. Order shepherd pies by Thursday, Sept. 26, for pickup from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4. Call 570-693-2821 or 570-693-3700 for information or to place an order.
The church will sponsor an AARP driver safety class, called Smart Driver Course from 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, and Wednesday, Oct. 2. Cost is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members. Call the church office at 570-693-2821 for information.
First United Presbyterian Church news
B.J. Ahearn, from the Center for Public Safety, will present information on first aid and bleeding control at First United Presbyterian Church from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18. You can learn how to react in an emergency.
The program offers instructions and practice for determining the best course of action until professional help is available.
The event is free and will be held at the Wyoming Institute, 40 Institute St. in Wyoming.
St. Barbara’s chicken dinner
A roast chicken dinner will be held at the St. Anthony Parish Center of the Parish of St. Barbara on Sunday, Sept. 29. Cost is $10 for Arcaro and Genell’s Italian roast chicken dinner, which includes half a chicken, potato, vegetable, salad, roll and dessert. Takeouts will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. And eat-in dinners will be served from noon to 3 p.m. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are available at the rectory, 224 Memorial St, Exeter. Call 570-654-2103.
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) Club Saturday is set to begin for the fall season at the Wyoming Free Library. Session 1, on Sept. 28, will focus on engineering. The topic is Keva Planks and Marble Mazes. Oct. 26 will have a Halloween theme, Candy Structures and Puking Pumpkins. Nov. 30, the title is Legos. The club is open to all children ages 7 and up. All programs begin at noon. Only 10 spots are available per session and registration is required.
Fill a bag book sale will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5. Books are $5 per bag; $10 for larger bags. Donations of books are being accepted now.
The library is sponsoring a Halloween Party in the Park from noon to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13. Children will enjoy activity stations, refreshments, trunk or treat, raffles, and a parade from the West Wyoming Borough Building to the Ralph Daley Park, starting at noon. There is no charge and costumes are optional. Contact the library to sponsor a trunk.
West Wyoming Borough, in conjunction with the Luzerne County Recycling Office, will hold a document shredding event for West Wyoming residents only, from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 21, in front of the Department of Public Works building, rear 926 Shoemaker Ave., West Wyoming. There is a three-box limit and proof of residency is required. Various confidential documents can be shredded free of charge, including, for example, old medical records, insurance records, bills, legal and tax documents, and other sensitive paper documents.
West Wyoming reminders
West Wyoming Borough reminds residents sanitation fees are now past due and the penalty fee of $300 is in effect.
Residents are reminded to please wash out containers before placing them in your recycling.
Cub Scout registration
Cub Scout Pack 310 will register boys and girls in kindergarten through fifth grade from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16, at the Exeter Scout Home, 53 Lincoln St. Call Wally Janoski at 570-693-1930 or Lorraine Backo at 570-693-3724 for information.
Exeter Event Committee’s fall festival
Exeter Events Committee will host its second annual Howl at the Moon Fall Festival from 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, at the St. Cecilia’s Church Grounds on Wyoming Avenue.
Live music and entertainment will include the Music Box Theatre, Broadway on the Boulevard, Rockology, and the Bus 5 Band. In addition, enjoy local food trucks like Noti’s Gyro King, Dominic’s Pizza, PananaMan, Giddy Up and Go, homemade potato pancakes, and of course the SBC Beer Truck! Children’s activities like face painting and a bounce house will be available. The event also will feature a basket raffle, various vendors selling jewelry, Scentsy, handcrafted candles, craft dips, home goods and Champi’s Greenhouse offering corn stocks, mums and more. The committee also will sell Exeter T-shirts.
The Exeter Events Committee is a non-profit committee that was created to give back to the community. The committee’s goals are for the community to come together to celebrate the place they live, to raise the spirits of citizens of Exeter, and to help build community pride.
Exeter trash reminders
Exeter Borough is now using Waste Management for garbage collection. Garbage still has to be placed curbside by 6 a.m. Wednesday morning. Trash can be placed curbside Tuesday night.
Missed garbage may not be picked up until the following week, depending on the circumstances.
Extra bag tags are $3.25 each. Bulk tags are $33 each. A list of acceptable bulk items suitable for collection is available at the Exeter Borough Building.
The penalty phase is now in effect for refuse stickers 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, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
State office hours
State Rep. Aaron Kaufer’s Exeter office, 1101 Wyoming Ave., is open from noon to 2 p.m. the third Friday of the month.
Barbara Bullions writes about Exeter, Wyoming and West Wyoming every week for Greater Pittston Progress. To list an item, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 570-301-2185 by Monday.