The Official Historical Society of Schuylkill County

August 2017


It was announced at the Board of Directors meeting of August 9th that the legendary Third Brigade Band will perform a concert on behalf of the Society’s World War I Exhibit on Tuesday September 19th. The concert will be at the Majestic Theatre starting at 7 PM starting with a power-point presentation of the history of the musical ensemble.  Before the show starts the World War I exhibit will be open for viewing as well as the gift shop.  It sounds like a really great time, mixing history and music together and hats are off to Executive Director, Tom Drogalis for arranging this.  Lee Wesner, a Port Carbon native, is the Band historian and will host at the Majestic.  The Band has a great history to tell! More details will follow.  At the meeting Board Treasurer and the Society’s earth mother J, Diana Prosymchak reported that the number of visitors taking a tour of the World War I Exhibit as well as the rest of the artifacts on display has increased noticeably.  She believed that many of the visitors are being attracted by the World War I Exhibit banners that are placed outside.  Hopefully if you drove on Centre Street you have noticed them.  If you have not yet seen the Exhibit, please put it on your list of things to do.  The Society is also a good stop for class reunion attendees that want something to do on a Friday afternoon or Saturday morning.  Call the Society and I am sure some special group rate would be arranged.

Other board members are getting motivated to push the Society forward and upward.  For instance, former president Dave Derbes is working hard on panels to adorn the Schuylkill Gallery depicting early history and lamenting that children now are not being taught local history.  Hats off to Dave for his efforts.  His concern with passing on the importance of history to future generations leads me to a humorous incident which indicates the lack of historical knowledge in “these young people.”  My wife just heard that Glenn Campbell had died and she mentioned this to my adult daughter, asking her if she knew who Glenn Campbell was.  The response was, “…..Yes, I know.  He was an American astronaut, wasn’t he?”  I never heard of a “Rhinestone Astronaut.”  Did you?  I doubt that John Glenn ever sang Wichita Lineman as he orbited the earth.  John Glenn Campbell, anyone?

Board member John Walsh and Director Tom Drogalis also presented some interesting future activities which could steer the Society into the future, but details on those ideas will wait for further development.  It is great when people brainstorm and bounce ideas back and forth.  If you have any suggestions, please do not hesitate in passing them along.  Tom Dempsey has been busy working on the Mollie Maguire Exhibit along with Joanna Chuba.  Retired General George Joulwan called the Society the other day, checking on how we are doing and looking ahead to the future.  The General has always remembered his home county and his loyalty is appreciated.  New brochures for the Society are being developed by Board member Al Frantz.  Dr.and Mrs. Ray Leidich of Tremont, longtime Society boosters stopped in during the summer.

I have to put a plug for up and coming events: Shenandoah will host its annual Heritage Day and Parade of Nations on Saturday August 26th starting at 10 AM.  The Shenandoah Historical Society is scheduled to be open, so stop by and say hello to our friends.  Sunday September 10th is Baber Day – not to be confused with Barber Day which was on February 6th J,  and I will hold my annual tour of the beautiful Charles Baber Cemetery at 14th and West Market Streets.  So stop by take a tour and have a hot dog.  The tour this year will focus on the section east of the Chapel.  The tour is a great way to meet some of historical local people of the past.

I hope your summer has lived up to your expectations.  I have been enjoying my summer pass at JFK Pool and hanging out at St. Nick’s Ukrainian Picnic and Seminary Picnics.  Those Ukrainian-Americans sure know how to throw great parties and their dedication, hard work and loyalty are much admired.  Hats off to all the volunteer workers there and elsewhere that carry on Schuylkill County’s tradition of summer “block parties,” “picnics” and “bazaars.”

With the solar eclipse approaching it’s time for a mix of astronomy and history humor:

Copernicus’ parents might deserve some of the credit for his great discovery. Apparently at the age of twelve they said to him: “Copernicus, young man, when are you going to realize that the world does NOT revolve around you.”

On August 21st enjoy the solar eclipse.

Jay Zane