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 – ‘Star Trek’ creator Gene Roddenberry makes first trip to region

Time Warp – ‘Star Trek’ creator Gene Roddenberry makes first trip to region

March 11, 1975:

Over the years, “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry visited our neck of the solar system to speak at a college and local “Trek” convention.
His “first contact” came in March 1975 when he lectured at Wilkes College in Wilkes-Barre. Prior to his talk, Roddenberry spoke with The Scranton Times’ TV/radio editor, Sid Benjamin, at the Hotel Sterling, also in Wilkes-Barre. Roddenberry discussed the current state of American television, calling it a “blot on the national scene.”
“It’s not going to get any better as it is dominated by the advertisers,” he added. “Anything I write still will be judged by whether or not it can sell toothpaste. You learn very fast that you have to write for the mass audience.”


Advertisement for the premiere of ‘Star Trek’ from the Sept. 8, 1966 edition of Scranton Times. TIMES-TRIBUNE ARCHIVES

The conversation then turned to “Star Trek.” Roddenberry said the show had 20 titles until they settled on “Star Trek,” although network executives felt “it wouldn’t stick in people’s minds.” The show started its voyage with the episode “The Man Trap,” which aired on NBC on Sept. 8, 1966, at 8:30 p.m.
The show ran for three seasons, during which Roddenberry said “we found ourselves competing with real dramas of the moon shots.”
“It also helped us in some ways,” he said. “We had the idea of showing how the planets looked from the orbiting spaceship. And the real thing demonstrated that we had done pretty well.”
According to Benjamin’s 1975 article, the original “Star Trek” series was airing in syndication at the time, playing in 142 television markets in the United States and in 54 countries.

Gene Roddenberry, right, producer of ‘Star Trek’ TV series, interviewed in Wilkes-Barre by Sid Benjamin, TV/Radio Editor of the Sunday Times on March 11, 1975. TIMES-TRIBUNE ARCHIVES

Roddenberry made another voyage back to Northeast Pennsylvania on April 12, 1986, to speak at a “Star Trek” convention at the Masonic Temple in Scranton. The convention also featured a showing of “The Cage,” the un-aired “Star Trek” original series pilot, Roddenberry’s private blooper reel, a costume parade and talk from Allan Asherman, author of “The Star Trek Compendium.”
Prior to this visit, Roddenberry did an interview with the Times’ Focus section editor, Lance Evans.
“The show was my first public attempt at doing science fiction, and as soon as I got into it, I found that there were some special problems,” Roddenberry said then. “For one thing, I think good science fiction demands a kind of ‘stream of consciousness’ approach; the reader has to have the ability to know what’s going on in the minds of the characters. You can do that easily enough on paper, but it’s more difficult when you’re dealing with television. The immediate answer would be to do some king of voiceover narration, but that, I thought, would have been totally contrived. I knew there had to be a better way.
“What I did was to create one whole character which embodied all of the characteristics I wanted on the show. Then I split that character into three, James Kirk, Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy. I felt that was the only way to make it work.”
“Star Trek” at this point has reached beyond television. The story of the original series continued in multiple movies and inspired the name of NASA’s first space shuttle. All 79 episodes of the original series and the show’s original Enterprise model are preserved at the Smithsonian Institute.
Roddenberry’s third away mission to our area was scrubbed. He was scheduled to speak on April 18, 1988, at F.M. Kirby Center as part of the center’s lecture series.
On Oct. 24, 1991, Roddenberry died at Santa Monica Medical Center shortly after suffering a heart attack at his doctor’s office, according to an article about his death. In the piece, “Star Trek” star William Shatner remembered Roddenberry by saying, “His stature was superseded by his towering imagination. … The ‘Star Trek’ phenomenon will be his legacy and will live on forever.” Leonard Nimoy remembered Roddenberry as well, sharing that “Roddenberry had an extraordinary vision about mankind and the potential of mankind’s future.”

Related –

William Shatner headlined Wilkes-Barre fan convention –

Time Warp – Burger shop chain attracts business, crime in Scranton

Time Warp – Burger shop chain attracts business, crime in Scranton

March 1, 1963:

A deal was finalized between Elmo and Leda Baldassari of Scranton and Holmes Realty of Allentown for a small piece of land adjacent to Preno’s Restaurant on Lackawanna Avenue.
Once home to a wing of Preno’s that was damaged by fire in 1957, the small property in downtown Scranton would be the future home of Stop & Go Restaurant.

The Baldassari family originally purchased the property as a possible location for a motel, but that idea later was dropped.
As this deal was being hammered out, Stop & Go was already operating on Keyser Avenue at the Keyser Oak Shopping Center Annex. Additional locations also opened in Wilkes-Barre and Kingston.


Image of the under construction Stop & Go Restaurant on the 600 block of Lackawanna Ave in June 1963. The burger shop was adjacent to Preno’s Restaurant. TIMES-TRIBUNE ARCHIVES

Over the years, the locations were popular with folks looking to grab a burger. That popularity also brought some unwanted attention from the criminal element.
A group of boys became angry over the fact that the Keyser Avenue Stop & Go was closed at 12:55 on a Sunday morning in May 1966 and decided to kick in and break a plate-glass window at the shop.
In September 1968, Scranton Police investigated two incidents of smashed windows at the Keyser location. First, a window was shot at, and then someone used a beer bottle to smash the window.
In December 1969, a Wilkes-Barre teen reported to Scranton Police that a group of boys smashed his windshield when he was leaving the Lackawanna Avenue location.
Bandits in October 1971 made off with over $180 in cash from the Lackawanna Avenue Stop & Go. Scranton Police reported that the bandits familiar with the restaurant aided in the theft.
In January 1976, the Stop & Go at Keyser Oak switched from serving burgers to seafood, and the shop rebranded under the name the Fish Net. It offered dishes such as a 1-pound Maine lobster meal with fries and cole slaw for $4.95 and the Fish Net’s Feast, which included five pieces of fried fish, four clam fritters, five orders of fries and five hot rolls for $4.99.

A fire damaged the Fish Net on May 5, 1977. According to Scranton Fire Bureau District Chief Richard Seymour, the fire started in the building’s A-frame roof. An ember fell into the deep fryer, igniting the grease.
In June 1977, Old Forge Bank bought the former Stop & Go on Lackawanna Avenue from M.S. and C.S. Holmes of Allentown for $100,000. The bank said it made the purchase “with an eye to possible future expansion.”

In 1980, Pearle Vision relocate from the 500 block of Lackawanna Avenue to the former Stop & Go, staying there until 1999, when it moved to the Mall at Steamtown.
Pearle Vision center along with the Hotel Casey, Preno’s Restaurant and several other buildings later were demolished as part of the downtown hotel and convention center project. The Hilton Scranton and Convention Center opened at the site in August 2003.


A clawed machine starts taking down the former Pearle Vision building on Aug. 11, 2000 on the site of the new $26 million downtown hotel/conference center. Advising Mayor Jim Connors, who sits at the controls, is Tom Shaffer. Prior to being a vision center, the building was home to a Stop & Go restaurant. TIMES-TRIBUNE ARCHIVES

Time Warp – Celebration marks opening of Kosciusko school playground

Time Warp – Celebration marks opening of Kosciusko school playground

July 25, 1951:

Four-hundred people were on hand for the official opening of the Thaddeus Kosciusko School (No. 44) Playground on a pleasant evening in July.
The opening ceremony was held following the completion of improvements to the school and playground that included the paving of the playground. The Technical High School Band and 11-year-old guitarist John Margis entertained the crowd.


TIMES-TRIBUNE ARCHIVES Richard F. McNichols, center, standing, chairman of the Municipal Recreation Commission, addresses the 400 people gathered for the dedication of the Kosciusko School Playground on July 25, 1951, on the 400 block of Wilbur Street in North Scranton. Seated at right in front of the playground band are, from left: School Director Norman Halprin; Mayor James T. Hanlon, the principal speaker; and Superintendent of Recreation Robert “Pop” Jones.

Scranton Mayor James T. Hanlon delivered a speech to mark the opening of the playground that also featured a wading pool.
The playground was under the direction of Joan Green with assistance from Lou McIntrye.


Eleven-year old John Margis, 2807 Marvine Ave., standing at the microphone, scored a hit with his performance with the crowd at the opening ceremony of the Kosciusko Playground on July 25, 1951. Looking on, from left, are: Norman Halprin, Richard McNichols, James Gonan, Mrs. Leonard Ketz and Mrs. William Tomlin, members of the neighborhood committee; School Directors Doughlas Jenkins and Edward Popol and Dr. John Dyer, Superintendent of Schools. TIMES-TRIBUNE ARCHIVES

Because of declining enrollment, the Scranton School Board voted in August 1960 to close the Kosciusko school. Only 16 children were enrolled at the four-room schoolhouse on Wilbur Street at the time of the vote. In May 1984, the school board agreed to sell the grounds of the Kosciusko school to Eugene and Joanne Foley for $5,100.
A native of Poland, Kosciusko moved to North America and played an integral role in the military campaigns of the American Revolution. He died in Switzerland on Oct. 15, 1817, at 72. A memorial to Kosciusko sits on Lackawanna County Courthouse Square.

Plates from the Past – The Waymart Hotel and Wranglers BBQ Pit

Plates from the Past – The Waymart Hotel and Wranglers BBQ Pit

Plates from the Past’s loves barbecue and smoked meats. 

A few weeks back on Saturday afternoon, Plates journeyed up the Waymart Hotel and Wranglers BBQ Pit in Waymart with two fellow bbq enthusiasts. 

Wranglers BBQ Pit is a seasonal offering at the Waymart Hotel. According to their website they ware open from late spring to early fall. If you are going up for barbecue it is best that you check their Facebook page to make sure they are BBQing on the day you go.  According to a Aug. 10 Facebook post the Wranglers is operating on Tuesday and Wednesday, 4-9pm with limited menu; Thursday and Friday, 4-9pm with full menu; and Saturday and Sunday, 12-9pm.

Despite a large crowd we were seated fast in the outdoor pavilion. 

After reviewing the menu our group ordered the classics of bbq – ribs, brisket, pulled pork and barbecued chicken. 


Wranglers BBQ Pit sampler one – Smoked beef brisket, pulled bbq pork, corn-on-the-cob, onions rings, baked beans and cole slaw. BRIAN FULTON/STAFF PHOTO



Applewood smoked BBQ pork ribs with a baked potato from Wrangler BBQ Pit at the Waymart Hotel. BRIAN FULTON/STAFF PHOTO



Applewood smoked chicken (half chicken) with French fries and corn-on-the cob at Wranglers BBQ Pit at the Waymart Hotel. BRIAN FULTON/STAFF PHOTO

Following our meal and the picturesque drive back from Waymart back down to Scranton put Plates and his friends in the mood for ice cream. 

We stopped at Ice Screamers in Moosic, PA. The ice cream shop recently moved to a new location in Moosic at 3738 Birney Ave. next door to Jack Williams Tires and Auto.

Plates decided to try the special sundae of the day – Holy Cannoli. The sundae had vanilla soft serve, chocolate chips, cannoli pieces and fresh cannoli filling. 

ice cream

Holy Cannoli sundae at Ice Screamers is made with vanilla soft serve, chocolate chips, cannoli pieces and fresh cannoli filling. BRIAN FULTON/STAFF PHOTO

The Waymart Hotel and Wranglers BBQ Pit

Address: 205 Carbondale Road, Waymart

Phone: 570-488-6585

Established: 1848

Owners: Randy and Susan Thorpe

Cuisine: American, pizza and barbecue

Hours: Tuesdays through Thursdays, 10a.m. to 9p.m.; Friday and Saturdays, 10a.m. to 10p.m.; Sundays, 11a.m. to 9p.m.; temporarily closed Mondays

Online: and Waymart Hotel Inc. on Facebook –

Ice Screamers 

Address: 3738 Birney Ave., Moosic, PA 18507

Phone: 570-881-3487

Cuisine: Ice Cream

Hours: Seven days a week 12pm – 10 pm for the season

Facebook –

Related – 

Waymart Hotel continues tradition begun more than a century ago – Laura Rysz/Staff Writer

Plates from the Past  – B3Q Smokehouse –

Scoops from the Past – Blue Ribbon Farm Dairy –

The Bobbed Hair Debate

The Bobbed Hair Debate

Back 100 years ago, the bob or the bobbed hairstyle was in the national news thanks to remarks made by a the president of Aetna Insurance 

On July 6, 1921, F.K. Daniels, president of Aetna Insurance, said the artificially blonde hair women and bobbed hair women have no place in the business world. At the time, his company employed 3,000 women nationwide. 

07 Jul 1921, Thu The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pennsylvania)

His comments hit hard, Mable Johnson, an 18 year old with bobbed blonde hair, responded by saying bald-headed men look less business-like. 

08 Jul 1921, Fri The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pennsylvania)
On July 16, 1921, the Scranton Times wrote an editorial in support of the “bobbed hair girl.” 

16 Jul 1921, Sat The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pennsylvania)

The debate continued. 

On Aug. 10, Helen Armstrong, an employee in the carpet department at Marshall Field department store in Chicago was fired for her bobbed hair. 

10 Aug 1921, Wed The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pennsylvania)

Following the bobbed hair rule, Marshall Fields instituted more appearance rules such as no rolled down stockings, no rogue or dresses with embroidered parts. 

15 Aug 1921, Mon The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pennsylvania)

The Scranton Tribune wrote an editorial on Aug. 16 in support of bobbed hair style – 

16 Aug 1921, Tue The Tribune (Scranton, Pennsylvania)

On Aug. 24, the Scranton Times featured a cartoon from artist Bushnell that dealt with how the bobbed hair style came to be. 


The origin of bobbed hair was presented in comic strip form by artist Bushnell in the Aug. 24, 1921, edition of The Scranton Times. Hostility against bobbed hair had been growing across the country, and in some cases women were denied employment due to their hair style. In a Scranton Republican editorial on Aug. 16, 1921, it was the opinion of the paper that “bobbed hair is now common. It is ridiculous for any few persons to try to put a stop to the more general use of the scissors by denying employment to girls who affect the new fashion.” TIMES-TRIBUNE ARCHIVES

The debate continued. In Oct. 10, 1921 edition of the Scranton Republican ran an article summarizing readers opinions on the hairstyle. 

10 Oct 1921, Mon The Tribune (Scranton, Pennsylvania)

The debate on bobbed hair would continue for years until styles changed back to wearing your hair long.

Historically Hip – The Mankiewicz Brothers Go to Hollywood

Historically Hip – The Mankiewicz Brothers Go to Hollywood

Historically Hip is back and we are taking a trip to Hollywood.

This episode deals with the the screenwriters Herman and Joe Mankiewicz, Louis Weitzenkorn and Samuel Hoffenstein. All of whom lived in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Collage of ‘Citizen Kane’ advertisements from the pages of the Scranton Times. Times-Tribune Archives

To read more about the Mankiewicz Brothers, check out this article from Dec. 7, 2020 –

For those who have seen the film “Mank” here is a bit a background into how Upton Sinclair fit into the movie and “Citizen Kane” –

Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events just announced in celebration of the 80th anniversary of Citizen Kane they will be showing the film in the theaters on Sept. 19 and 22 –

Headline from Scranton Tribune from Feb. 7, 1943. Times-Tribune Archives

As mentioned here is more information about playwright/screenwriter Louis Weitzenkorn

Here is the obituary from screenwriter Samuel Hoffenstein

07 Oct 1947, Tue The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pennsylvania)

For more on the career of Hoffenstein, check out his link to his page on Turner Classic Movies website –

Mixed drinks inspired by ‘Citizen Kane’

The Citizen Kane


  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounces Iconic Mulberry Rose
  • 1/2 ounce orange liquor
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice


  1. Combine all and shake with ice
  2. Strain into a chilled martini glass
  3. Garnish with an orange twist


The Rosebud


  • 0.75 ounce Cointreau
  • 1.5 ounces vodka
  • 0.75 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 2 slices cucumber
  • 5 leaves fresh mint
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash rosewater
  • 1 pinch sea salt


  1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker and add ice.
  2. Shake and double strain into a coupe glass.
  3. For more pronounced flavor, muddle cucumber and mint together with simple syrup in shaker before adding other ingredients.

Note: Color of cocktail may vary.

Time Warp – Rock ‘n’ Roll performance full of Heart

Time Warp – Rock ‘n’ Roll performance full of Heart

Aug 17, 1977: Ann and Nancy Wilson showed off their rock ‘n’ roll chops as they performed with their band, Heart, at the Scranton Catholic Youth Center.
The stage lights often centered on Ann, the lead singer, who displayed her vocal talents by belting out hits such as “Magic Man,” “Barracuda” and “Crazy on You.”
During “Crazy on You,” the spotlight moved from Ann to her sister, Nancy, who played lead guitar. Nancy, standing in a classic guitar power stance, gave the crowd a brief guitar solo.
The 4,000-plus crowd enjoyed the show and the band so much they called Heart back for three encores. During the final encore, Heart performed the Mötley Crüe power ballad “Without You.”
Heart’s appearance came the day after the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Elvis Presley, died at age 42. President Jimmy Carter released a statement upon Presley’s passing, saying that his “death deprives our country of part of itself. He was unique and irreplaceable.”
Heart returned to the area several more times over the years. In 1990, the band performed at the Lackawanna County Multi-Purpose Stadium (now PNC Field) before a crowd of more than 8,000. In 2008 and 2011, it performed at the Pavilion at Montage Mountain. Cheap Trick and Journey joined them on stage in 2008, while they shared the stage with Def Leppard in 2011.

Time Warp – Hometown grocer opens shop in Abingtons

Time Warp – Hometown grocer opens shop in Abingtons

January 1954:

Before transforming into a Rainbow – and long before its current redevelopment – a South Abington Twp. grocery store dominated the area as a Giant.
Located in the Chinchilla area, the store opened in January 1954 as the ninth Giant Market operated by M.L. and Sam Hodin. Giant Markets was an independent grocery store chain based in Scranton.
In 1982, Giant Markets was struggling, though. The company announced in October that it wanted to close and sell its stores in West Hazleton and South Abington Twp. Within days of this announcement, however, two longtime Giant Markets employees, James Size and Steve Kutch, bought the Abingtons store. By the end of November, it had reopened with a new name: Rainbow Market.


TIMES-TRIBUNE ARCHIVES A view of the Rainbow Market on Northern Boulevard in South Abington Twp. in 1986. The store closed in September 1998.

Just three years later, the store had landed on the Honor Roll of Outstanding Independent Grocers, presented by Progressive Grocer, an industry publication. The honor roll recognized 200 grocers.
“We have a nice position in the community,” Size told the Times. “We support a lot of things that go on here, and I’ve got plaques all over the walls from places like the South Abington Fire Company and others.”
Rainbow offered a large variety of products that went beyond a typical grocery store, such as real durum semolina, used in making homemade pasta. It also rented videos and had fresh coffee for customers to enjoy while shopping.

Rainbow’s business started to fade in 1998, however, after Walmart opened in Dickson City. Rainbow joined the Independent Grocers Alliance in March in hopes of offering prices to compete with Walmart.
In late September, though, Size and Kutch decided to close the store; Size noted that their overhead was too high.
“We tried everything we knew how to do,” he said. “We worked hard, but we just couldn’t make it.”
The Rev. Nancy Pitely, pastor of the United Methodist Church in Chinchilla, told the Times that Rainbow “was like a family.”
“People in my church are heartsick,” she said. “We had prayer for them today, you know, for the owners and for the people losing their jobs.”


This is what’s left of the former Rainbow Market in Chinchilla as of Friday, Feb. 19, 2000. The building appears to be about half or more torn down; the old sign lies in the forground. TIMES-TRIBUNE ARCHIVES

For many years following the building’s demolition in early 2000, the property lay unused except for when it hosted the seasonal Abington Farmer’s Market.
In 2019, Mike Noto of Rainbow Land Co. bought the site and then worked with the state Department of Environmental Protection to remediate the property, which was contaminated by gasoline. Noto’s company recently started additional work on the property.

Throwback Thursday – Summer School Field Trip

Throwback Thursday – Summer School Field Trip

It’s Thursday, time to look back into the Times-Tribune Archives for a bit of fun..

Today we have a picture of a Summer school field trip from the July 25, 1951 edition of the Scranton Times.

field trip

Members of the Marywood College Summer School went on a field trip to the Marvine Colliery on July 25, 1951. TIMES-TRIBUNE ARCHIVES

Forty members of Marywood College’s Summer School classes, most of whom were members of religious orders, went on a field trip on July 25, 1951 to the Marvine Colliery of the Hudson Coal Co.. The group toured the colliery, surrounding buildings and then traveled some 500 feet underground to see the mine.

The group was accompanied by Charles M. McHeffey, George Hughes, Milton Davis and Donald Isberg, all colliery employees.

Time Warp – Voice actor Mel Blanc helps celebrate Capitol Records’ anniversary in Scranton

Time Warp – Voice actor Mel Blanc helps celebrate Capitol Records’ anniversary in Scranton

Aug. 1, 1952:


TIMES-SHAMROCK ARCHIVES Mel Blanc, known worldwide as the voice of Bugs Bunny, entertains the crowd at Capitol Records’ 10th anniversary celebratory luncheon on Aug. 1, 1952, at the Scranton Chamber of Commerce.

The City of Scranton and the Scranton Chamber of Commerce hosted a day-long celebration to mark the 10th anniversary of one of the city’s bigger employers, Capitol Records.
Johnny Mercer, Buddy DeSylva and Glenn Walichs started the record company in 1942, focusing on young entertainers, and found their first hit record with Ella Mae Morse’s “Cow Cow Boogie.”
As the company grew thanks to artists such as Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee and Margaret Whiting, it needed some help with shellac supplies and reached out to the Scranton Record Co. Capitol Records went on to buy Scranton Records for $2 million in 1946. In 1952, more than 700 people worked at the Scranton facility.

For the anniversary celebration, the plant on Brook Street in South Scranton hosted an open house for the community starting at 10a.m. Each visitor received two souvenir recordings, “Cow Cow Boogie” and the 1952 hit “Wheel of Fortune” by Kay Starr. Plant officials reported that some 15,000 people visited the facility.
At noon, 250 guests attended a luncheon and reception at the Chamber of Commerce building. Capitol Records officials attending included President Glenn Wallichs, General Counsel Dan Bromlight, Scranton Plant Manager MacVal Hardy, Vice President and Promotions Manager Hal Cook, Vice President of Merchandising Floyd Dunn and New York Sales Manager Al Levine.
All great celebratory luncheons need outstanding entertainment, and this party hit the mark. World-renowned voice actor Mel Blanc entertained the guests with many of his famous impressions and characters. Blanc also was a Capitol Records artist.
During the festivities, telegrams from those unable to attend were read. Yogi Yorgensen – a Swedish dialect comedy singer character portrayed by comedian Harry Stewart, who also was signed to Capitol Records – expressed regret about missing the luncheon but said he would attend the nighttime reception.
That event took place at the Scranton Club and was for employees of the Scranton plant, Capitol Records executives and local government officials. Wallichs presented 106 plant employees with 10-year service awards. It was noted that, in other parts of the record company, only five people had been employed for 10 years, including Wallichs.
Days later, on Aug. 9, the employees of Capitol Records’ Scranton plant held another celebratory event: their annual clambake at Phillips Manor in Cortez.

From Hollywood to Scranton and the World
The old Capitol Records slogan “From Hollywood to Scranton to the World” is played out in a short film starring Mel Blanc that depicts how a record gets to the record store. The portion dealing with Capitol Records’ Scranton plant starts at 18:54.