The faces on the “Inspiration: Pittston” mural are the faces of figures from the annals of the town’s history and of the people walking the city’s streets and working to revitalize it today.
The mural on the side of Newrose building on Main Street in Pittston features more than 40 local historical figures and everyday heroes. Set to be unveiled this weekend, the mural centers around the artist Michael Pilato’s rendering of the “spaghetti story,” the tale of how former Miami Dolphins player Jimmy Cefalo chose to attend Penn State University when he was on the verge of graduating from Pittston Area High School. That section includes Cefalo, his parents, Joe Paterno, Coach Bob Barbieri, team doctor Joseph Lombardo and Heisman Trophy winner John Capelletti.
Committee members separated the mural’s subjects into two categories — famous Pittstonians and everyday heroes/inspirational Pittstonians.
Lou Butera, known as “Machine Gun Lou,” a professional pool player and member of the Billiards Congress of America’s Hall of Fame
Bucky Harris, Baseball Hall of Fame member and Hughestown native, known as “Boy Wonder” for managing the Yankees during their 1947 championship season at a young age
Hughie Jennings, Baseball Hall of Fame member who played in the late 1890s and early 1900s and later managed famed outfielder Ty Cobb
Shawn Klush, a nationally recognized Elvis tribute artist
Min Matheson, a labor leader and women’s rights activist
Charley Trippi, Heisman Trophy winner, member of the College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame, and namesake of Pittston Area High School’s stadium
Gene Guarilia, former basketball player for the Boston Celtics who played on four championship teams and later coached basketball at Pittston Area High School
Stephanie Jallen, a Paralympic bronze medal winning skier
Lois Reed, star of popular television program “Hatchy Milatchy”
Edgar Patience, a sculptor who worked with anthracite coal, known for sculpting the two-ton anthracite altar in the King’s College chapel
Everyday heroes/inspirational Pittstonians
Mayor Jason Klush, current mayor of Pittston and youngest mayor in city history
Bob Conroy, co-founder of the annual Pittston Tomato Festival
Val D’Elia, co-founder of the annual Pittston Tomato Festival
Maria Capolarella Montante, lifelong volunteer for city organizations and events and former city councilwoman
Joe Borini, muralist who painted works hanging in buildings throughout Pittston that chronicle the area’s history
Alex “Ace” Brogna, former King’s College baseball coach and head football official for Wyoming Valley region
Dr. John Callahan, volunteer at Care and Concern clinic at St. John the Evangelist
Richard “Dick” Cosgrove, former advertising manager for Sunday Dispatch and columnist for The Citizens’ Voice, known for his “As I Was Saying” columns
Joseph Infantino, a local musician, trombone player and band leader of Pacci’s Band and former chair of the Pittston Housing Authority
Sandy Insalaco, co-founder of Insalaco’s grocery business. The Insalaco family started with a small market on South Main Street, developed a local chain and later formed Insalaco Development Group.
Michael Insalaco, co-founder of Insalaco’s grocery business
Joe Joyce Sr., who purchased the former Woolworth’s building on Main Street and renovated it and is credited with starting revitalization process on Main Street
Francis “Bunny” Linnen, former police officer known for helping people cross Main Street safely in the 50s and 60s
Angelo Marcino, former Pittston Area High School teacher who helped raise money to erect the coal miner statue on Main Street and was known for leading pep rallies at the high school
James “Socks” Ruane, lifelong volunteer with Pittston Ambulance Association and Hose Companies
Francis Swingle, former King’s College professor who helped Pittston residents obtain a college education
Esther Tinsley, hospital administrator at the former Pittston Hospital who received an award from President John F. Kennedy. A woman’s rights advocate and suffragette, Tinsley is pictured with a baby that was left at the hospital’s door in 1924. She adopted the child and raised it as her own.
William “Pidge” Watson, original editor of the Sunday Dispatch. Watson’s son, John Watson, was accidentally included in the mural, but the artist plans to leave him there. John “Chickie” Watson also wrote for and later edited the Sunday Dispatch.
Lori Nocito, leader of the Pittston Tomato Festival Committee and Executive Director of Leadership Wilkes-Barre
James Clark, longtime teacher at Pittston Area
Biagio Dente, founder of Dente’s Catering & Rental Company in Pittston and former president of the Professional Chefs of Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Culinary Federation
Gloria Blandina, volunteer at Care and Concern ministries
Kevin McGroarty, artist, muralist and operator of advertising firm Rhino Media. McGroarty painted several murals in downtown Pittston and became widely known after his passing when the obituary he wrote himself went viral
Justin Burns, known as “Thon Boy;” Pittston residents rallied around his fight against childhood cancer