Pages From The Past

Curated by staff librarian Brian Fulton, Pages from the Past is your outlet for regional local history stories, discussion and the treasures of the Times-Tribune archives.

Time Warp 1972: Scranton Soap Box Derby competitors race down Luzerne Street

Time Warp 1972: Scranton Soap Box Derby competitors race down Luzerne Street

July 16, 1972: Luzerne Street in West Scranton looked more like a racetrack then a residential street on a Sunday afternoon. The street was the location for the All-American Soap Box Derby, which originally was scheduled to take place in June but was postponed by rain.

After a day filled with racing, it came down to two competitors — Tommy Koes Jr. of Kingsley and Jerry O’Brien of West Scranton — for the Scranton championship. Koes won the race by a full car length and went on to represent the area at the national Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio, on Aug. 26.

According to the Akron Beacon Journal, Koes won his first and second races, but in his third race, he was defeated by Eric Raber of New Philadelphia, Ohio. After 267 races, Robert Lange Jr. of Boulder, Colorado, was crowned derby champion by defeating a racer from Detroit with a time of 27.33 seconds.

Contact the writer: bfulton@timesshamroc­; 570-348-9140; @TTPagesPast on Twitter

Images in this gallery are available for purchase

Time Warp – Placido Domingo delights Masonic Temple with opera hits

Time Warp – Placido Domingo delights Masonic Temple with opera hits

Feb. 12, 1969: Placido Domingo, rising star of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, brought his voice to Scranton on a Wednesday night.

The tenor’s appearance at the Masonic Temple was part of the 1968-69 Community Concert Series. The first part of Domingo’s performance was filled with a hit-parade of opera that included “Il Mio Tesoro” from Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” “Tombe degli avi miei” from Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor,” “E lucevan le stelle” from Puccini’s “Tosca,” “The Flower Song” or “La Fleur Que Tu M’avais Jetée” from Bizet’s “Carmen” and, for his finale, “Vesti la giubba” from Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci.”

Placido Domingo, Metropolitan Opera tenor, was featured performer at the Community Concert Association’s second concert for the season on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 1969 at the Masonic Temple. From left: George Eisner, Mrs. Leo Giombetti, Placido Domingo, George Posell, Domingo’s accompanist; and Mrs. Jerome Thier. Times-Tribune Archives

With Valentine’s Day just two day away, Domingo filled the second part of his performance with love songs. He delivered two romantic pieces from his home country of Spain followed by the Neapolitan ballad “Core ‘Ngrato” and “Ideale” by Tosti.
For his encore, he treated those gathered to “Amor ti vieta” from Giordano’s “Fedora.”

The reviewer of his performance wrote in The Tribune “that audience hung on every note” and that “the lucky members of the Community Concert audience will not forget the name Placido Domingo.”

Domingo’s star continued to rise. He performed around the world and later became the director of the National Opera in Washington, D.C., and the Los Angeles Opera. In the 1990s, along with fellow world-famous tenors Jose Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti, Domingo formed the trio known as “The Three Tenors,” which performed around the globe.

Tenor Jose Carreras, center, gestures while he and tenors Placido Domingo, left, and Luciano Pavarotti perform in front of thousands of people gathered on the Champs de Mars field, Friday July 10, 1998, in Paris. The Three Tenors are staging their third World Cup concert.(AP PHOTO/Remy de la Mauviniere)

Today, Domingo continues to perform and conduct. In late February and early March, he will conduct Verdi’s “Aida” at the Metropolitan Opera, and in late April, he will return to the Met’s stage to perform in Verdi’s “La Traviata.”

Contact the writer: (bfulton@timesshamro­; (570-348-9140; @TTPagesPast on Twitter

Placido Domingo: 50 Years at the Met

Shot In The Arm

Shot In The Arm

Back in early January, while searching for sledding images, I discovered a folder marked “Stop Measles.” I found it interesting and thought I could use this folder some day.

Vaccinations and measles have been in the news of late due to the outbreak of the disease in Washington state.

These images are from June 1977 when the State Health Department and the Scranton School District conducted an measles inoculation program at the Willard Elementary School in West Scranton.

Time Warp 1968 – ‘Candy’ actress maid of honor at Plymouth wedding

Time Warp 1968 – ‘Candy’ actress maid of honor at Plymouth wedding

Nov. 21, 1968: Eyes at the wedding of Bonnie Ruth Bassett, New York City, and Alexander Rebar III, Plymouth, were on the happy couple, but chances are they might have drifted to Bassett’s maid of honor, too.
Bassett’s close friend who held that role was movie star and former Miss Teen Sweden Ewa Aulin. John Shadow, aka Roberto Loyola, Aulin’s husband, served as Rebar’s best man. The wedding took place in St. Mary’s Nativity Church in Plymouth with Monsignor J.J. Podkul officiating.
During the nuptial Mass, Aulin fainted from exhaustion. She was revived, and the service continued.
While in Luzerne County, Aulin stayed with Rebar’s parents.
“She (is) just a sweet girl,” Mrs. Alexander Rebar Jr. said of Aulin. “She was so appreciative of everything.”
Alexander Rebar Jr. operated Paramount Photo Studio in Plymouth. His son was a director for Cinema Synchronization in Rome, Italy.

Ewa Aulin, second from left, Swedish movie star who plays title role in “Candy,” is maid of honor for Nov. 21 wedding of Miss Bonnie Ruth Bassett, New York City, to Alexander Rebar III, of Rome, Italy, formerly of Plymouth, in St. Mary’s Nativity Church in Plymouth. At left is John Shadow, aka Roberto Loyola of London, England, husband of Aulin, who was best man. In center is John Daley, who gave bride away. Submitted Photo Paramount Photo Studio.

Aulin starred in several films, but her biggest one was 1968’s “Candy.” The film was based on a book of the same name by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg. The sex satire centers around Aulin’s character’s “adult” encounters with men, who included Marlon Brando, Richard Burton, Walter Matthau, James Coburn, John Astin, John Huston, Ringo Starr and boxer Sugar Ray Robinson. Additionally the film’s soundtrack featured Steppenwolf songs “Magic Carpet Ride” and “Rock Me.”
The younger Rebar also went on to have a career in television and the movies. He starred as Vince Holliday on “The Young and the Restless” on CBS and as Steve West in the 1977 film “The Incredible Melting Man.”

Trailer for “Candy” Trailer (NSFW)

Trailer for “The Incredible Melting Man”

Contact the writer:; 570-348-9140; @TTPagesPast on Twitter

Archives at the Movies

Archives at the Movies

Once a month the National Archives proposes a theme for libraries, museums an archives to share materials from their collections based on that theme. This month is is Archives at the Movies. You can follow along on social media with the hashtags #archiveshashtagparty and #archivesathemovies.

Here is a collection of images from the Times-Tribune Archives dealing with the movies –


Celebrating Chinese New Year

Celebrating Chinese New Year

Billions of people will be celebrating Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival. To help you celebrate this international holiday, we would like to share some recipes from our archives. The recipes appeared in the Scranton Times in 1967 (The Year of Sheep) and 1987 (The Year of Rabbit).

From 1967 – Lotus Blossom Salmon Loaf, Far East Fruit Salad, Beef and Rice and Sweet and Sour Pork

From 1987 –  Porcupine Meatballs (Shrimp and Pork) with Peach Sauce

Be sure to check out Time Warp article from Jan. 25, 2017, It will take you back to Chinese New Year celebrations in 1984 and 1985.

Also here are images from Chinese New Year Celebrations in Scranton –

The Day the Music Died

The Day the Music Died

On Feb. 3, 1959, rock n’ roll legends Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and pilot Roger Peterson died in a plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa. According to the article, a spokesman for the local chapter of the Buddy Club (a Buddy Holly Fan Club), Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens both played the Catholic Youth Center in 1958.
Here is the front page coverage of there untimely deaths:

Jackie Robinson at 100

Jackie Robinson at 100

Today would have been Jackie Robinson 100th birthday. He died sadly at the age of 53 in 1972.

To mark the centenary of his birth, I pulled a few items from his files here at the Times-Tribune Library –

October 24, 1945 – Signs with the Montreal Royals

April 12, 1947 – Dodgers Sign Robinson

Robinson signs with the Brooklyn Dodgers – April 12, 1947 – The Scranton Times

Dec. 1956 – Robinson traded to the Giants

Jan, 7, 1957 – Robinson retires from baseball

Robinson retiring from baseball – Jan. 7, 1957 – The Scranton Times

Oct 24, 1972 – Robinson dies at the age of 53

Jackie Robinson’s obituary – October 24, 1972 – The Scranton Times

Portrait of Jackie Robinson by Scranton Times cartoonist Lew Harsh – October 25, 1972 – The Scranton Times



National Pie Day

National Pie Day

Today is National Pie Day.

Here are a few pie recipes from the past few years that have been featured in the weekly Local Flavor: Recipes We Love feature in The Times-Tribune.


Dec. 9 – Shirley Wallace Swedish Apple Pie


July 2 – Rebecca Masci’s Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies

June 18 – Dolores O’Bell’s Lemon Meringue Pie


Dec 11 – Carly Rudzinski’s Peanut Butter Pie

Oct 5 – Wesley Mech’s Savory Pumpkin Pie

Jasmine Kowalski of Green Ridge is this week’s Local Flavor: Recipes We Love winner, thanks to her unique Dessert Pizza recipe. JASON FARMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER


Nov. 18 – Pat Mattei’s Crustless Pumpkin Pie

July 22 – Jasmine Kowalski’s Dessert Pizza

Feb. 04 – Susanna Haines’ Blueberry-Apple-Peach Pie

Sandra Mazzuca’s Coconut Cream Pie. JASON FARMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER


Dec. 03 – Connie Buberniak’s Grated Apple Pie

Nov. 12 – Jay Sochoka’s Pumpkin Pie Decadence

June 11 – Patty Esgro’s Pistachio Cream Coconut Delight

May 14 – Sandra Mazzuca’s Coconut Cream Pie

Judy Smith’s Crumb-Top Blueberry Pie Jake Danna Stevens / Staff Photographer


Nov. 20 – Janet Loewe’s Peace Pipe Pumpkin Pie

July 24 – Linda Patton’s Apple Rhubarb Pie

July 17 – Judy Smith’s Crumb-Top Blueberry Pie

May 29 – Peg Fox’s Rhubarb Custard Pie

Feb. 13 – Clara Stubbs’ Raisin Pie

Dorothy Riviello-Johnson’s chocolate peanut butter pie for Local Flavor. Michael J. Mullen / Staff Photographer


Nov. 14 – Aunt Bernie’s Cran-Apple Pie

June 13 – Fran Koloras’ Macaroni Pie

April 11 – Dorothy Riviello-Johnson’s Peanut Butter Pie

Jan. 11 – Liz Grier’s Pork Pot Pie

Throwback Thursday – Snow Day

Throwback Thursday – Snow Day

As our region readies itself for a string of winter weather, I pulled from our archives images from a snowstorm that hit our region on February 13 and 14, 1950.

The storm’s 60 mph winds on Feb. 14 created 11 feet snow drifts in some areas. It was reported that forty motorist took refuge overnight in two restaurants in Finch Hill near Carbondale because of the storm. Peter Orazzi, son of the Mr. and Mrs. Dante Orazzi, said of the storm “the worst we’ve had except for the Valentine’s Day blizzard of 1940.” The Orazzi’s operated the Blue Ridge Inn, where some of the stranded motorist took refuge from the storm. The Orazzi’s served their overnight guests a hot breakfast in the morning.

Related Links – 

Sledding on Marion Street in 1967 – January 2, 2019 

Ice Skating at Nay Aug – January 11, 2018

The Blizzard of 1993 – March 13, 2017 

Valentine’s Day Storm of 1940 – Feb 13, 2018

Valentine’s Day Storm of 2007 – Feb. 13, 2017

The Great Blizzard of 1888 – March 14, 2017

Scranton’s Weather Station – January 4, 2018