This week in local history

First Posted: 4/30/2015

1962 — Some 200,000 dresses were assembled per year at the Penn-Can Manufacturing Company, 402 State St., Clarks Summit, which employed 70 local women.

“At least eighty percent of these workers are married women in their late thirties or forties,” read an article about the business in that week’s Abington Journal. “All appear happy at their jobs, most of which are sewing by power machines.”

The company was founded in 1959. Betty Houser, of Chinchilla, a graduate of CS-A High School, was office manager for the shop. Managing the operation was Lawrence Newman, a veteran of World War II in the Pacific, where he served on a PT boat.

1968 — The Dalton Little League readied for openers with a ceremony at Dalton Grade School. Mayor Edward Thomas threw the first ball of the season and Joseph Rappenglueck, president of Dalton Borough Council, gave a welcome speech. Other activities were sponsored by the Dalton Lions Club and Dalton Fire Co.

The league, which was officially formed that year, was coached by Mike Kerzetski and the farm teams were coached by Stan Caughney.

1977 — A Clarks Summit woman won $10,000 in the state bingo lottery.

Barbara Scheir purchased the winning ticket at Betress Market in Green Ridge. When she saw she won, she had it verified at a liquor store, which notified the Harrisburg lottery office.

When asked what they planned to do with the money, her husband, Donald Scheuers, said they would probably invest it.

She had other ideas, however.

“Oh, think of something exciting, Donald,” she said. “Something to put in the paper.”

1981 — “Ballooning” was the newest craze.

“If you thought you saw a clown driving an old blue Oldsmobile full of bobbing balloons recently, you weren’t hallucinating,” an Abington Journal article assured readers.

“Ballooning” people began in major cities like Boston and San Francisco and it was Uplifting Experiences by Kate that brought it to Scranton and the Abingtons area. Dressed in her clown outfit and sometimes assisted by her 6-year-old daughter, Kate Keating, otherwise known as “the balloon person,” delivered brightly colored helium-filled balloons, tied with ribbons and attached to a gift card.

The balloon bouquets were offered for adults and children alike and could be sent for any occasion, from birthdays to anniversaries.

1995 — Newton-Ransom Elementary students raised $528.50 via a flea market to benefit victims of the April 19, 1995 Oaklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people in the Alfred Murrah Federal Office Building.

The idea for the fundraiser came from Jamie McDonough, who went to his fourth-grade teacher Barbara Frutchey, saying he was considering selling some of his old Game Boys to help the victims. The other students got excited about the idea and the class soon asked the third-graders to pitch in, as well.

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