The LuLac Edition #655, Nov. 30th, 2008
PHOTO INDEX: THE LATE COUNTY COMMISSIONER FRANK CROSSIN SENIOR, NFL STANDOUT LOU MICHAELS AND WILK TALK SHOW HOST ROB NYEHARD.
This weekend I was, as always listening to the WILK Sports/Talk show on Saturday morning. Rob Nyehard, a long time friend and former co-worker of mine at various radio entities in this market brought up a very interesting point about the Luzerne County Hall of Fame. It is located in a furniture store on Mundy Street, Mundy Street, that’s Mundy Street, yes Mundy Street! (Sorry I just was channeling the late Tommy Van Scoy from the 70s and 80s). Anyway, this establishment is/was located in the Country Junction Furniture Store that had a fire this week. Nyehard recounted how he accompanied his wife shopping one day and came upon The Hall by sheer accident. He spoke of yellowed newspapers and how he had to bend over to read some of the plaques of the enshrined. Nyehard then asked the question how did the Hall get in a furniture store and why wasn’t there any other sports facilities stepping up to the plate on this issue?
For years my broadcast cronies and I have been discussing a regional Broadcast Hall of Fame. But the discussions ended when none of us could come up with a suitable place. I mean if you are going to do something, do it right. Now I don’t fault the people running the local sports Hall of Fame. They are volunteers with limited resources. The intentions they had were golden to recognize men and women of this county who excelled in athletics and brought pride to this area long before the Penguins and the Barons ever were thought of. But this organization needs help to really find a suitable place for the enshrinement of our local sports heroes. I mean what if that fire at Country Junction was worse than it was? How can this memorabilia be recovered? Think about that.
My meager suggestions would be these:
1. Find a place that can be open on a daily basis. The Arena, the new Ice Rink on Coal Street, even the new visitor’s center proposed at the old Marvin Roth building, The Station. Have the hall in a place of business where there are regular hours. If there is space and funding, utilize one of the local libraries. A library would be a perfect showcase for The Hall and any interested fan would be steps away from books, computer programs or internet access on related sports figures or eras.
2. Charge a small fee so that the money can be plowed back into the Hall.
3. Get a God damn grant. It doesn’t have to be big but just enough to make the shrine a uniform entity. It’s not as if the State Reps can’t get anything out of the sports loving Guv.
This might not be a big thing to people in this Valley who are struggling with money but this is long overdue. The committee who thought up, implemented the Hall did their best as they knew it. And many thanks to them for making the effort. But now they need a little bit of help. The fire this week demonstrated that. I hope Nyehard’s suggestion as well as this Edition of LuLac provokes some thought…..and action before the guys who formed this wonderful Hall of Fame tribute all die off and it becomes nothing more than a distant memory.
Here are two members of the Luzerne County Hall of Fame and their statistics.
Frank Crossin: Luzerne High School. Averaged 24 points per game in high school basketball. University of Pennsylvania-set five scoring records. All-Ivy League in 1942-1944 and 1947 Associated Press All-American. Number one draft choice of Philadelphia Warriors (1947-1951). Played with Wilkes-Barre Barons. Inducted into PA Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.
Lou Michaels: Swoyersville High School-football (All State) and baseball. Stauton Military Academy, Virginia, and Kentucky University First team All-American junior and senior years 1958. First round pick of Los Angles Rams, spent 1961 with Pittsburgh Steelers, 1964 with Baltimore Colts. Helped Colts to several championships through 1969. On 1969 Super Bowl team which lost to N.Y. Jets. 1970-1971 with Green Bay Packers. Inducted into PA Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.
Given their credentials, don’t these two and all the others in that Furniture Store on Mundy Street deserve better?
I’ve been pretty quick to attack the greed of the corporate CEOs for taking advantage of their position to get more, more, more. But the actions of the American people, yes even some of our locals on Black Friday cries out for a reexamination of our values. It is not a wonder to me why Middle Eastern countries want to blow our sometimes obnoxious asses off the map. At Target in Wilkes Barre, one woman was shoved into a wall. In California, two guys shot each other and at a New York City Wal Mart, a part time worker was trampled to death by a mob entering the store like a pack of wild animals. And for what? Bragging rights to a claim that you saved $150.00 on an X Box? Only in America can store workers and shoppers fear for their lives when consumer hungry ignorant and blatantly lawless folk are on the hunt for their share of the goodies. They say in New York City they are looking at a store camera to finger the people who trampled the Wal Mart employee. I hope they are prosecuted to the full extent of the law and choke on their gadget that will be long forgotten by next Christmas. And maybe next year, some of those fellow employees should show up at the store and have a brief Memorial Service for their fallen employee. Maybe some of the shoppers would want to participate in the service? A beautiful at dawn candle light service that would highlight the life of the part time employee who………………………………NAW, the chemo drug is kicking in on me. It’ll never happen, the idiots would storm the place the same way they did this year.