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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Shirley A. Butka, wife of classmate Raymond Butka Passes

Published 7/20/2010

Shirley A. Butka
Devoted wife loved her family
Shirley A. Butka, 67, of Canonsburg, died unexpectedly Sunday, July 18, 2010, in the Canonsburg General Hospital emergency room, after a lengthy illness.
She was born June 16, 1943, in Washington, a daughter of John and Roseanne Constante Jubas.
Mrs. Butka was a 1961 graduate of Trinity High School and attended cosmetology school, where she received a teaching certificate.
Prior to retirement, she did medical billing for Emer Med.
She was a member of St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church.
Mrs. Butka was a devoted wife who loved her family, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and many friends.
Surviving are her husband, Raymond R. Butka Sr.; two sons, Raymond R. Butka Jr. (Tracie) of Canonsburg and Ronald R. Butka (Karen) of Youngstown, Ohio; a daughter, Sheri Butka Drabeck of Canonsburg; a brother, John Jubas Jr. (Sally) of Washington; and six grandchildren, Vincent Butka, Zoey Butka, Brendan Drabeck, Christian Drabeck, Raymond (Trey) Butka III and James Raymond Butka.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in Sollon Funeral Home Ltd., 30 East College Street, Canonsburg, J. David Sollon, supervisor, Phillip L. Sollon, director, where a blessing service will be held at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, July 22, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in St. Patrick Church, Canonsburg, with Pastor John J. Batykefer officiating. Interment will follow in Oak Spring Cemetery, Canonsburg.
The family suggests memorials in her name to National Kidney Foundation, 700 Fifth Avenue, Floor 4, Pittsburgh, PA 15219-3017. Please visit to view and leave online condolences.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Town Pool Crowd - 75th Anniversary Celebration

On Sun, Jul 18, 2010 at 6:02 PM, jtherron  wrote:
The pool birthday party was amazing. 
Possibly the biggest crowd in 25 years, possibly ever.  Sheryl Gadani said 1440 when there were people still coming in.  The mayor told me 1600.  They had to close the gate and allow people in only when somebody left. 

Pictures don't do it justice (at least mine don't) but one is attached.  Gary Mohler was there, so he'll probably post on Cbg. Friends.

Pete Kouklakis of the Four Townsmen said what a help your Friends site has been, so much so that they started their own.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Canonsburg Town Pool

Canonsburg pool to be celebrated with a splash
Festivities slated to mark 75 years
Thursday, July 15, 2010
In its earlier days, Canonsburg's Town Park Pool was the backdrop for ski demonstrations and motorboat races -- spectacles that regularly attracted hundreds of summer revelers.
"They even had a horse come off the high dive into the water at one point," borough manager Terry Hazlett said with a laugh. "You'd see people on both sides of that pool."

The celebration will be held from noon to 8:30 p.m. Sunday. The pool opens at noon, with a DJ from then until 5:30, a magician from 12:30-2, a palm reader from 1-3, a clown from 2-4, a juggler from 4-5:30 and a ceremony honoring former employees and volunteers from 4-4:30. The Four Townsmen will have a concert from 6-8:30 p.m.
Details: Terry Hazlett at 724-745-1800, ext. 14.

Canonsburg celebrates 75 years of memories at the pool from noon to 8:30 p.m. Sunday with a special admission price of 25 cents -- what it cost an adult to swim on its opening day on July 4, 1935.
Mr. Hazlett said Town Park's was the largest municipal pool in Washington County -- one that takes 60 hours to fill -- and that the borough felt it was important to honor what he said had long been a cornerstone of community pride.
"There is a heart and a soul to the community. One is the downtown and the other is the park," he said. "I don't know which is which, but they are both important."
Sheryl Gadani, who chairs the celebration committee, said a disc jockey, magician, palm reader, clown and juggler would perform throughout the day, and that a 4 p.m. ceremony would honor former Town Park employees and volunteers.
At that time, Canonsburg Council and its parks and recreation board will unveil a plaque to honor the late Frank "Fritz" Scarci, who was a longtime manager of Town Park.
Then at 6 p.m., The Four Townsmen will play a free show at the concert stage.
While Mr. Hazlett and Mrs. Gadani hope droves of residents turn out to help celebrate the milestone birthday, they concede that it would be difficult to trump the attendance it experienced when the pool was finally unveiled.
After being delayed several times in 1935, hundreds of people rushed in to be among the first to experience the new swimming hole -- a phenomenon that reportedly had someone call the police to report a riot.
By the end of that afternoon, Town Park was swarming with thousands of people. While some came to swim and sunbathe, others sat on the adjacent hillsides to picnic and take in the excitement.
"It is difficult for me to fathom 1,000 people up there on a daily basis," Mr. Hazlett said. "We had 700 people show up to swim on the Fourth of July, and it was packed."
But then, times have changed since 1935.
"These days people have their own pools or they go and do 100 other things that are available to them," he said. "Back then you didn't have computers and you also didn't have air conditioning. Now, every weekend there is an event."
Mr. Hazlett said that when the pool opened, it was so popular that the owner of a local shop, Gibson's Men's Store, set up a stand in Town Park that sold and even rented bathing suits, swim caps and rubber beach balls.
Although that stand shuttered decades ago, Canonsburg has continued to build its Town Park and invest in its pool -- thanks largely to grants from the state Department of Community and Economic Development.
The borough received $600,000 in grants last year, which paid for a new gutter and filter system. New side liners also were installed and a serious leak was repaired. The borough also kicked in money to install new slides.
"Some people might think that's superfluous, but we have to compete with the other pools," he said. "Kids don't care about history; they care about having fun."
And Mayor David Rhome said Town Park has fun cornered.
"For the most part, whatever you're looking for in a fun, relaxing day is right here in Town Park," he said. "And 75 years later the park and the pool are just as beautiful as it was back then."
And just to be clear, Mr. Hazlett added: "Sorry, there won't be any horses high diving or motor boats racing."


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Monday, July 12, 2010

Canonsburg Sesquicetennial Booklet - 1952

Great memories from 1952

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Canonsburg Sesquicetennial Booklet - 1952

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Canonsburg Welcomes Bobby Vinton Home


 Bobby Vinton Returns To Canonsburg video

CANONSBURG (KDKA) ― Canonsburg native and entertainer Bobby Bobby Vinton was back in his hometown today as he helps the community celebrate this Fourth ofJuly weekend.
He received the key to the city from Canonsburg Mayor David Rhome
"He helped put Canonsburg on the map as a small town music capital," Mayor Rhome said of the 75-year-old Vinton.
Today's ceremony was held at the local McDonald's restaurant, located appropriately enough on Bobby Vinton Drive.

On Saturday, Vinton will serve as Grand Marshal in Canonsburg's July 4thparade, which officials say could attract anywhere from 20,000 to 70,000 people.
When asked about his success in the music business, Vinton told KDKA-TV: "I was just lucky. I picked the right material. I had a good background, and growing up in Canonsburg, you get some smarts."
He added jokingly, "You'd be surprised how stupid the rest of the country could be. We [Canonsburg residents] had values, morals and times were tough."
Vinton and three of his daughters will appear on stage Sunday night at the Meadows Racetrack and Casino.
(© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Canonsburg's real Bob Vinton is a fan of the singer

A newsmaker you should know: Canonsburg's real Bob Vinton became a fan of the singer
Thursday, July 01, 2010
Will the real Bobby Vinton please stand up?
If you are thinking of the famous crooner, guess again. The only real Bobby Vinton in the area is a 45-year-old local telecommunications engineer and entrepreneur who has spent a lifetime fielding phone calls and being pestered about "Mr. Lonely" -- who is not even a relation.

In fact, Canonsburg's own Bobby Vinton, whom we all know from classic hits like "Roses are Red (My Love)" and "Blue Velvet," was given the nickname "Polish Prince" for a good reason: His real name is Stanley Robert Vintula Jr. and he is the son of famous local bandleader Stan Vintula, also known as Stan Vinton Sr.
Tomorrow, Canonsburg Mayor David Rhome will declare Saturday as "Bobby Vinton Day" and will honor the famous Mr. Vinton with the key to the city, which in this case is actually a borough.
The 75-year-old Mr. Vinton will be on hand at the Canonsburg McDonald's restaurant, which was retrofitted several years ago as a tribute to Mr. Vinton and other famous local musicians, to accept the honor and will serve as grand marshal of the Canonsburg Independence Day parade on Saturday.
The parade is the second largest in the state -- only Philadelphia's is bigger -- and already, Mr. Rhome said, residents have been setting out lawn chairs to save their place along the parade route.
On July 4, Mr. Vinton is scheduled to perform a concert at 8 p.m. at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, which will include his drummer, Zelienople-native Roger Flugher. Mr. Flugher, 53, will be returning to his hometown from Nixa, Mo., where he currently resides.
The younger Bobby Vinton, of North Strabane, said he's used to answering questions about the famous crooner, though as a Generation X-er his musical tastes don't lean toward polkas and the circa 1960s and 1970s syrupy love songs that the older Mr. Vinton is famous for.
But, the younger man became a big fan of the crooner six years ago, when the singer declined an offer from Canonsburg to construct a statue in his honor. Instead, Mr. Vinton asked that the estimated $100,000 cost be put into more important projects for the borough.
"I thought more of him because of that," said the younger Mr. Vinton, who moved to South Park 40 years ago with his parents, Bob and Karen Vinton from Ebensburg in the Johnstown area. His parents now live in Dallas.
"Everyone here in Canonsburg loves Bobby," said Mr. Rhome, who hopes to eventually rekindle talks for a statue or other tribute to the entertainer.
Perry Como, another famous Canonsburg native, was honored with a statue in 1999 and the band The Four Coins also hailed from the borough.
"What better way to be called America's small-town music capital?" Mr. Rhome asked.
As a child, Mr. Vinton recalls the family receiving numerous phone calls from Bobby Vinton fans, including one from a Polish-speaking admirer.
One of his earliest memories was seeing Mr. Vinton's variety television show, "The Bobby Vinton Show," which aired from 1975 to 1978.
"I remember thinking, who is this person with the name that sounded like mine?" the younger Mr. Vinton said.
At the height of Mr. Vinton's popularity, in the 1970s, the younger man said he considered using his initials instead of the Bobby Vinton moniker, "but it didn't work," he said.
And, what perhaps could have been the best benefit, luck with the ladies, also never materialized due to the vast age difference.
"Most people didn't know who he was," he said.
The local Mr. Vinton did have one more coincidental tie to the singer, besides the name. The younger man married his wife Becky on April 16, 1994 -- the crooner's birthday.
North Strabane's Mr. Vinton no longer lists his number in the phone book, but he still gets inquiries about his name, including once from a man who was interviewing him for a job.
Of course, that man's name was James Brown.
"And neither of us could sing," the younger Mr. Vinton said.

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