(Evening Herald, Frackville Edition, April 3, 1976)

Since writing "Old Frackville Tales," I have received numerous phone calls and letters from people all over the state. It is impossible for me to answer all of them so thank you each and everyone. It is gratifying to know that the "Tales" are so well received.

Some residents have been surprised at seeing so many pictures printed. Everyone has been very generous and given me many pictures not only for their "Tale," but also pictures used in the "Do You Remember" columns. Whenever anyone stopped me and told me something I didn't already have, I jotted it down and accumulated many interesting facts about our town this way.

I have surprised many people by including group pictures from the good old days, and they have been surprised to see themselves in these pictures. Some folks remarked, "Now everyone in town will know my age!" Others said, "Lorraine, you publish all our old pictures and tell our stories; let's see some of your old pictures and hear your story." So, here it is!Lorraine Gibowicz at age 1

I was born in Frackville on April 20, 1926, the daughter of Joseph and Anna (Wasilewski) Gibowicz. I must have been a disappointment to my father because he called me Jasiu, Polish for Johnny, until he died when I was seven. He bought me all boy's toys, and I was a tomboy all my young life and could beat most boys at marbles and other games. I was the youngest of three girls. My oldest sister, Mrs. Dorothy Wabo, was always the serious one in the family; next was Mrs. Eugenia Scanlon, the most talkative; then me, a cross between the two. (A "cross to bear," they'll probably say.)

I was baptized and confirmed in St. Ann's Church and was a member until 1946 when I married and became a member of St. Joseph's Church. I was educated in the Frackville schools and, with a little help, remember my grade school teachers. Miss Eltringham was my first grade teacher, and Miss Cope taught me in the second grade, the year I had to start wearing glasses. I remember the taunts of the boys calling me a "four-eyed monkey." Perhaps that was why I excelled in boy's games -- just to get friendly with them! And don't you believe the saying, "Boys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses," because I know differently. My third grade teacher was Miss Margaret Schapple; fourth grade, Elizabeth Harris; fifth grade, Olive Coxon and Ethel Kienzle; sixth grade, Gladys Roberts; seventh grade, Elizabeth Shaffer; and eighth grade, Lettie Clark, Orval Palsgrove, Mia Frew, Mary Connelly and Frances Gottshall.Lorraine Gibowicz at age 5

I remember the orchestra we had in the elementary grades: sticks, bells and triangle played by children to the accompaniment of a windup Victrola record. I desperately wanted to play the triangle but always had to play the sticks. One day, however, one of my schoolmates was ill and didn't attend school. That day I got my chance to play the triangle.

During WWII I remember buying 25-cent savings stamps at school. All the children tried to buy as many as possible and were proud when they filled their books which were valued at $18.75. We saved toothpaste tubes and flattened cans for the scrap drives. Everyone in town gave up their rubber tire flower gardens and sent the tires off to help the cause. I was assistant air raid warden and recall the drills which put the town in complete darkness.

I was a member of the Red Cross bandage makers of St. Ann's Church, and we made bandages on the second floor of the Bohard Building with nurse Mary Neds in charge. I still have my Red Cross Badge.

I was May queen at St. Ann's Church on May 24, 1943. Each year the girl chosen was required to give a reading in the Polish language. That was disastrous for me because I could neither read nor speak the language, but I got by. I read the script "phonetically" with all the words hyphenated and accented in the proper place! I still have this reading in my scrapbook.

I remember my high school years with love and beautiful memories. I was class representative and business manager of the Classmate. I remember writing an editorial for this book during the war and recall the last sentence: "Let's BEET the Germans, SQUASH the Japs, and TURNIP victorious by growing victory gardens." I guess I was always corny!

Remember the assembly programs first period every Wednesday? Each high school section was responsible for one program a year, and we all performed in one way or another. I remember when all I had to do was open the program by reading a passage from the Bible -- and how I shook! Remember the red "America Sings" songbook we used and Miss Eisenhower leading us in songfest? I just bought one of these books dated 1935 at a flea market. I was never good at singing but do I sing loud!

Remember the Conga Line we formed, led by the high school band, after we won a game? We would "conga" all through town and met at the Hazle for soda or ice cream.

I graduated in 1944 and still have my corsage, dance book, felt hat, emblem and banner. Our class motto was "Enter To Learn; Go Forth To Serve." It was the Fifty-Seventh Annual Commencement in the Frackville High School, held on June 7, 1944. The graduates entered smiling and left in tears. It was a sad year because World War II was being fought. Several boys in the class already in the service were Robert Adamson, Paul Berger, George Dougherty, Thomas Green, Edward Slovick and James Stevens. They were not present to receive their diplomas.

On May 5, 1946, I was married to F. R. Stanton and eventually became the mother of three children: Robert, and twins Dennis and Deborah. This marriage was dissolved and the children and I lived at 158 South Nice Street until April 1969 when I rented an apartment in the Law Building.

I was Den Mother for Pack 92 of St. Joseph's Church for six years when my sons were Cub Scouts and enjoyed every minute of it. Our den performed many skits during the monthly pack meeting, and these proved hilarious. I found being the leader of a group of young boys refreshing, and they certainly kept me on my toes! They never refused to comply when I directed these skits. I can never forget Mike Kokinda, dressed as Minnie the Mermaid, when my son, Bob, sang the song. When Cubmaster Bob and Lois Berg were engaged the Cub Scouts performed a "mock wedding" and some of these boys made the cutest "bridesmaids." An Easter fashion show with the boys dressed in female attire also proved hilarious. If you want to have a good chuckle, have your Cub Scouts do the Hokey-Pokey! These boys are now lawyers, doctors and engineers, and whenever I see them up town, I get the biggest smile and a "Hi, Mrs. Stanton" from all of them. I shall never forget my Den Mother days!

From that I graduated to being a Little League Mother with both boys on a team. I don't know who yelled more, the managers or me. My dishes were never done until late evening because there was always a game to attend. When my daughter became a Brownie, I became involved there. I guess I finally grew up with my children.

I was employed in the office of the Model Garment Company for eleven years before accepting a position as Library Assistant at Penn State Schuylkill Campus in January 1969. It was here I found my "niche" in life. My children were at college, and the library work filled the void in my life. I realized how much I didn't know, and I became a history buff on our town.

We are the typical small town family and share a great sense of humor. I couldn't have named Dennis any better! He was the All-American Dennis the Menace! When anything was broken in the house, it was always Dennis. When bones were broken while playing, it was Dennis hospitalized. While he was in Vietnam, I wrote to him each week and enclosed the Frackville edition, but he wrote to me only six times that year. How worried I was! But I forgave him! This past year he sent me a birthday gift from Oklahoma; the only hint he gave me was that this gift was something I always was to him. When I opened the package, it was a large statue of the Oriental Goddess of Mercy, Kwan Yen! I forgave him for 26 years of being Dennis the Menace!.

We laugh about the Christmas my son-in-law asked for my daughter's hand in marriage. The song, "Partridge in a Pear Tree" was the last song on one long playing record and the first song on the next record. He was very nervous as it was, and it seemed that each time he had something to say the partridge, the hens, the birds, the rings, the geese, the swans, the maids, the lords, the ladies, the pipers, and the drummers kept singing on and on. Finally, I consented to have Barry for a son-in-law, and we laughed about the accompanying music to his proposal!Lorraine Gibowicz in the 1945 Victory Parade

We laugh about the time Bob worked at Oak Ridge Nuclear Lab at Tennessee and decided to go to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for a few days vacation. I didn't know his plans, and as I tried calling him - and getting no answer - I was ready to call in the State Police when he showed up in town, tanned and rested!! I hadn't slept in three nights! We enjoy our family get togethers and reminisce a lot.

Our Commencement program booklet was different in that it listed an honor roll of all FHS graduates in the service with the year they graduated. This is valuable to anyone interested in history. This list was compiled by Miss Alice Morgan, Mrs. Constance Blanche, and Walter Lash. Our Class Day Pageant was a minstrel, and I remember the fun we had at rehearsals. Miss Pauline Fennelly did a great job of writing and directing. Naturally, we cried when we sang the Song of Farewell! Remember?

I remember the Frackville Victory Parade on September 26, 1945. There were eight divisions, and the Charles Rabin Girls had the largest marching group with two hundred participating. Remember the fun we had making our outfits? Mr. Mucci donated all the material, and we girls stayed after work to sew the skirts, ties and hats. The patterns were cut in lots by the cutting department, and whatever operation a girl was experienced in that's the part of the garment she sewed, Some outfits were of blue botany, and others were wine color, and we wore white shirts. I recall that I was one of the girls to carry the banner with the company name. We, had so much fun in that parade that we also marched in the Shenandoah Victory Parade a few days later. The hose companies of that town served refreshments, and we all had a great time. I only worked for the Rabin Company a short time, but I have fond memories of the girls there. In fact, Mabel Schillo and the Hreshko sisters are still with the Rabin Company office force.

My ambition is to travel to as many countries as possible and, in this way, learn about the different cultures of the world. I also appreciate my own country more when returning from such a trip. My desire is to travel to farther points first and, as I get older, travel closer to home! I visited seven European countries but hope to travel more.Lorraine Stanton on a camel in Africa

Prior to writing the "Old Frackville Tales," a good deal of interest on my part was my home and my family. In the past few months, however, I have neglected both. I once had a livingroom full of thriving plants but, in my enthusiasm over the interesting events and people I'm researching, I've forgotten all about them. I finally noticed them one day and realized how desperately they needed water. Their drooping leaves indicated how long I had forgotten them. I also neglected my mother. If you know her, you know what a delightful person she is -- very witty but sometimes tactfully sarcastic! As she said to me one Sunday after not visiting her for three weeks, "Lorraine, you're out visiting all the old folks in town, but you don't come to see your own mother!" I am now back to my weekly visit!

Although we frequently call each other, I have neglected my children by not writing to them in months. I send the Frackville Edition page and leave it at that! I'm proud of my children. Robert received his Ph.D. in mathematics at Cornell University and is associate professor at Rice University. He is married to the former Betty McCool, and they have a son, Jonathan. Dennis attended Penn State and graduated from Spartansburg College. Debi graduated from Ford School of Business and is married to LT Barry Janov. They have two children, Marc and Jessica.

I strongly believe in keeping local and national events historical. When Schuylkill Haven celebrated its 225th Anniversary on August 28, 1975, I was chairperson for Open House at the Schuylkill Campus Library where we exhibited many antiques through the courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Schnerring; antique cars by Walter Baran; specially painted Bicentennial paintings by Mr. Karl Lachler; and Busts of Presidents borrowed from Mr. Carl Raring. The uniforms of the Army from it's beginning to the present time were in charge of the R.O.T.C. of this Campus. We also showed films of the noted American Painter, Charles Wilson Peale, whose great-great-granddaughter, Ethel Peale Lennox, resides in Schuylkill Haven. Programs were given to guests with the poem "My Own Pennsylvania" by Walter Farquhar of Pottsville and the song, "Schuylkill County We're Coming Back to You", written by Robert Braun in 1934.

On November 20, 1974, I presented a format for a book I would have chosen for our Centennial year, but the committee vetoed the idea. I withdrew from that committee the following week and started writing "Old Frackville Tales." My motto in life has been "To get along with others, go along with others; to progress, think for yourself!" Lorraine Stanton at Penn State Schuylkill Campus

One way to keep warm when slowed down by any fuel crisis is good old-fashioned friendliness, and that is what I found in the homes of all the residents I have interviewed. I can truly say I never worked so hard at anything as I have in researching material for this series, but I have never enjoyed anything more! It proves the more you put into something, the more you get out of it. I have found many new and loyal friends, and we have the same thing in common -- our love for Frackville. The residents interviewed were quiet, unassuming folks who give our town its true value.

Many folks are guessing my age. The story is told of a gentleman who saw me at the Elks one Saturday night. He mentioned to the person next to him, "You know, Lorraine Stanton looks good for her age! She must be in her late sixties to remember all that she writes about!" Thank goodness he was informed that I am not that old and that I write what other people tell me. In fact, no one is more surprised than I am at some of the "Tales" I hear.

I will share a celebration with our town this month. On April 10, 1976, our lovely town will be one century old. On April 20, 1976, I will be one-half century old! Now, I've said it! But I had to! Everyone thought I was older than I really am and that will never do.

Some people say they have nothing to do. I find I have so much to do and not enough time to do it. I have identified all my pictures in the family album, kept the family tree up-to-date, and now I've written my story for my children. I wish everyone would do the same for their children. Try it-They'll like it.

Perhaps the reason I feel our country is so great is because my three children received their education because of their scholastic abilities and the fact that the United States grants many such awards to young people in financial need ... and everyone in town knows the financial need we were in at that time! After completing these historical tales I am now looking forward to attending all the bicentennial activities throughout the state. My walking parasol is an antique which I recovered. It was used by husband and wife as they drove along in their horse and wagon on their Sunday outings.

I will continue "Old Frackville Tales" until the end of August. Many residents of town have suggested that these "Tales" be compiled into a book. When I have done so, I will probably get back into the old routine and have plenty of time on my hands.

You asked for my story... and as the famous TV Commercial goes... That's The Story!

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