This quarantine has been hard for a number of reasons. Sometimes I feel like the only key decision that matters that we make every night is “what should we eat?” God bless my mother. It takes someone very special to be stuck in a house with my father and me for extended periods of time. Lately her meals truly have been hit out of the park. But still I feel bad for her. She deserves a break. The thing is that some of West Pittston’s best restaurants weren’t open for takeout service. The key word there is “weren’t.”
As of right now, that fabulous West Pittston dining institution, Agolino’s, is open for takeouts, with a partial menu. The menu includes soup, salads, sandwiches, and a number of fan-favorite entrees, including my favorite, chicken franchaise.
Agolino’s means a lot to this town. Over Christmas, my best friend was in from Texas and wanted to meet for lunch. There was never a discussion as to where we would go. We would go to Agolino’s. Little did I know that was the last time I would sit down in a restaurant in West Pittston. And if I never got to sit down in one in West Pittston again, I would take a lot of comfort knowing that I went out on a high note with Agolino’s. It’s like Cheers in there. Everybody knows your name. Joe Agolino is always holding court at a table or sitting outside talking with patrons.
In a recent phone call I had with Mr. Agolino, I thanked him and his family for opening the restaurant back up for takeouts. I told him that Agolino’s was pivotal to West Pittston. The two names have become synonymous.
When I received the news that the restaurant was reopening for takeouts, I was very happy. It reminded me of a similar trauma that this town and the whole valley went through. The flood of 2011. The entire town was devastated and we began to wonder if anything would ever be the same again. Lo and behold, Agolino’s remodeled and reopened.
When they reopened after the flood, that was the first true sense of a return to normalcy that I had received. And I’m sitting here about a month and a half deep in a stay-at-home order feeling the same way. Do we have a long way to go before we fully recover? Absolutely. Maybe it will never be the same again. But piece by piece, slowly but surely, normalcy is returning to the world, and more importantly, to our little town. And it has never tasted so good.
Curbside and takeout delivery is currently available from noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Order by calling 570-655-3030. All payments will be taken over the phone.
Here’s what else is happening around town:
Corpus Christi news
Corpus Christi Parish has cancelled or postponed the following events: the Holy Name breakfast will be rescheduled for a later date, and all tickets will be honored at that time. If you prefer a refund, call the rectory at 570-654-2753. Twilight Bingo also has been postponed. The bingo will be held at a later date, so anyone who sent in sponsorships and those who purchased tickets are advised tickets will be good for the new date and sponsorship money also will be rolled over for the new date. If you prefer a refund, please call the rectory at 570-654-2753. Also cancelled are Heart Saver Class, religious education classes, confirmation classes, Soup & Scripture, First Eucharist retreat, Communion to the homebound and soup to the homebound.
In an effort for parishioners to stay connected to each other and to their faith, Deacon Jim will be offering a virtual Bible study using the Zoom application. The application can be used on smartphones or laptops. The group will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesdays for approximately one hour. Each Wednesday, participants will discuss the following Sunday’s readings. If you are interested, contact Deacon Jim at 570-239-2783 or firstname.lastname@example.org. And since it is virtual, snacks are on your own!
Sunday Mass is now on the website corpuschristinepa.com and Facebook at www.facebook.com/ corpuschristiparishpa.
The Office of Commonwealth Libraries and the Pennsylvania Department of Education have instructed libraries to extend their closures. Therefore, the West Pittston Library, along with all of the libraries in the Luzerne County Library System, will remain closed until further notice.
Books can be returned to the library book drop. No overdue fines will be charged on any checked out library materials during this time.
Keep checking back for updates.
Honor a veteran
If you or your family would like to purchase a banner for a friend or loved one who is a West Pittston veteran, past or present, you are encouraged to apply on West Pittston Tomorrow’s website, www.wptomorrow.com.
The banner is made of heavy vinyl and is 30 inches wide by 60 inches tall. The initial cost per banner is $200 and that cost includes the production, installation and removal and storage of the banner. Annual renewal fee of $25, which will go toward putting up and taking down the banners, also will be charged.
Plans are for the banners to be put up before Memorial Day and be taken down in November, to be stored until the next year.
To purchase a banner, fill out an application online.
Community garden spaces
Attention gardeners, West Pittston Tomorrow is accepting applications for its community garden. Three plot sizes are available, a small 4-by-4-foot plot for $10, a medium 4-by-8-foot plot for $20 and a large 6-by-12-foot plot for $40.
To participate, make a check payable to West Pittston Tomorrow and send it to 555 Exeter Ave., West Pittston, PA 18643.
John Bubul writes about West Pittston every week. To list an item in his column, email email@example.com or call 570-301-2187 by Monday.