This Week in Local History: Twins, townships and television

Compiled by Elizabeth Baumeister - ebaumeister@timesleader.com
North Abington Township officials at their 1978 reorganization meeting, from left, first row, Madalene Sullivan, secretary-treasurer; Carmin Catellano, outgoing chairman; Robert Hull, incoming chairman, and Chester Reynolds, vice chairman. Second row, Eugene Opsasnick, zoning officer; Raymond Stout, auditor; and Donald Cahoon, solicitor. - Abington Journal file photos
Katie Burcham, age 3, said her favorite television family was the Cosbys in 1988. - Abington Journal file photos
The Bellante twins, from left, Carl and John, 17 at the time, practiced at Abington Heights High School in 1968 for their first concert. - Abington Journal file photos

1968 — Identical twins, who were students at Abington Heights High School, were getting ready for their first concert as duo pianists.

“A phenomenon rare not only in Clarks Summit but in the world are identical twins who play four-handed music on two pianos,” read the Journal article.

“Rarer still are those who do it well, but that is the story of two brothers at Abington Heights High School, the Bellante twins, Carl and John.

“The boys are just 17.

“But in the last few years they have astounded local music teachers and musicians with their abilities, which increase year after year and at an even pace for both boys.

“Now they are getting ready for their first public concert of any length and it will be followed in a few months by a two-piano concerto with the Scranton Philharmonic.”

Their first show also served as a fundraiser benefiting Eric Sussman, a boy in need of a kidney transplant.

1978 Municipal meetings were front page news, with Newton Township pay raises, the passing of the Abington Township (now Waverly Township) budget, a new Factoryville Borough mayor and Newton Township taxes in the headlines.

News of North Abington Township’s reorganization meeting was also reported inside that week’s edition.

William Heen was sworn in as a Newton supervisor and John Austin was sworn in as Factoryville mayor. Robert Hull was elected chairman of the North Abington board.

1988 — The “Word on the Street” question for that week was “Who’s your favorite T.V. family?” Answers were as follows.

“The Cosbys.” – Katie Burcham, of Factoryville

“My kids watch ALF; I watch MTV.” – Dale Kinney, of Mill City

“I watch a lot of CNN, but I like Carol Burnett and Andy Griffiths reruns.” – Astrid Cassity, of Clarks Summit

“I don’t watch television very much, but I like Newhart and Cosby.” – Robert Dale, of Clarks Summit

“The Keatons.” –Mike Stumbers, of Clarks Summit

“I don’t watch much television, just the news, 20-20 and 60 Minutes.” – Chuck Wroble, of Factoryville

North Abington Township officials at their 1978 reorganization meeting, from left, first row, Madalene Sullivan, secretary-treasurer; Carmin Catellano, outgoing chairman; Robert Hull, incoming chairman, and Chester Reynolds, vice chairman. Second row, Eugene Opsasnick, zoning officer; Raymond Stout, auditor; and Donald Cahoon, solicitor.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_ABJ-LH-0103-1978.jpgNorth Abington Township officials at their 1978 reorganization meeting, from left, first row, Madalene Sullivan, secretary-treasurer; Carmin Catellano, outgoing chairman; Robert Hull, incoming chairman, and Chester Reynolds, vice chairman. Second row, Eugene Opsasnick, zoning officer; Raymond Stout, auditor; and Donald Cahoon, solicitor. Abington Journal file photos

Katie Burcham, age 3, said her favorite television family was the Cosbys in 1988.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_ABJ-LH-0103-1988.jpgKatie Burcham, age 3, said her favorite television family was the Cosbys in 1988. Abington Journal file photos

The Bellante twins, from left, Carl and John, 17 at the time, practiced at Abington Heights High School in 1968 for their first concert.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_ABJ-LH-0103-1968.jpgThe Bellante twins, from left, Carl and John, 17 at the time, practiced at Abington Heights High School in 1968 for their first concert. Abington Journal file photos

Compiled by Elizabeth Baumeister

ebaumeister@timesleader.com

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.