This week in local history: Small-fry stars, wild cats, ‘underground’ cafe in 1960s news


Compiled by Elizabeth Baumeister - ebaumeister@timesleader.com



Young cast members from the Abington Players 1966 production of ‘The King and I,’ from left, first row, Carol Gruber, Tia Philbin, Randy Duckworth and Beth Haver. Second row, Suzanne Henning, Tommy Nourse, Parker Bagley and T. Jay Wetzel. Third row, Luanne Rippon, Kathy and Patty Lindsay and Angelo Devita.


Abington Journal file photos

Keystone Junior College students gather in an ‘underground’ cafe with a ceiling of aluminum foil and hanging toilet paper rolls in 1967.


Abington Journal file photos

A Lion dressed as a lion — that is, a member of the Abington Lions Club dressed as a wild cat — collects donations in 1968 on North State Street in Clarks Summit.


Abington Journal file photos

1966 — The Abington Players welcomed a cast comprised largely of children for its production of “The King and I.”

“Featured stage performers have long been apprehensive about sharing the dramatic or musical limelight with children, most of whom unconsciously prove to be natural ‘scene stealers,’” read the Journal article.

But in spite of the “small-fry” competition, the seasoned players described the cast as “one big happy family.”

The youngest member of the group was Tia Philbin, of La Plume, “a perky five-year-old who comes by her theatrical interest naturally.”

1967 — Keystone Junior College students opened a cafe in the basement of an abandoned house off the campus. The entrance was through a trap door painted with flowers, the ceiling was covered in aluminum foil and a mobile made of toilet paper rolls served as decor. Acid rock played in the background while students conversed with each other about “student problems (the administration is a favorite subject), universal problems (‘that Godhead thing’) and personal problems (‘But Jeff, life is one great big beautiful experience’).”

The “underground” cafe was named Cafe Vecch in honor of Dr. Hubert P. Vecchierello, who died the year before.

1968 — A lion was on the loose in Clarks Summit. That is, a Lion dressed as a lion. A member of the Abington Lions Club put on a lion suit to attract attention to the club’s fundraising campaign to aid the blind. The funds raised from the voluntary toll on North State Street supported the Lions’ Eye Bank to help those who were in need of glasses or eye exams.

Young cast members from the Abington Players 1966 production of ‘The King and I,’ from left, first row, Carol Gruber, Tia Philbin, Randy Duckworth and Beth Haver. Second row, Suzanne Henning, Tommy Nourse, Parker Bagley and T. Jay Wetzel. Third row, Luanne Rippon, Kathy and Patty Lindsay and Angelo Devita.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_ABJ-LH-1111-1966.jpgYoung cast members from the Abington Players 1966 production of ‘The King and I,’ from left, first row, Carol Gruber, Tia Philbin, Randy Duckworth and Beth Haver. Second row, Suzanne Henning, Tommy Nourse, Parker Bagley and T. Jay Wetzel. Third row, Luanne Rippon, Kathy and Patty Lindsay and Angelo Devita. Abington Journal file photos

Keystone Junior College students gather in an ‘underground’ cafe with a ceiling of aluminum foil and hanging toilet paper rolls in 1967.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_ABJ-LH-1111-1967.jpgKeystone Junior College students gather in an ‘underground’ cafe with a ceiling of aluminum foil and hanging toilet paper rolls in 1967. Abington Journal file photos

A Lion dressed as a lion — that is, a member of the Abington Lions Club dressed as a wild cat — collects donations in 1968 on North State Street in Clarks Summit.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_ABJ-LH-1111-1968.jpgA Lion dressed as a lion — that is, a member of the Abington Lions Club dressed as a wild cat — collects donations in 1968 on North State Street in Clarks Summit. Abington Journal file photos

Compiled by Elizabeth Baumeister

ebaumeister@timesleader.com

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal

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