A Touch of Johnstown in Maryland

By   pwisor@hotmail.com

   A friend of mine was telling me about this Johnstown Journal and I had to check it out for myself. I really enjoyed reading all the articles from the various people who grew up in Johnstown and where they have relocated to.

    Yes, my wife and I still have friends that never left home but the Air Force did that for us. I graduated from JHS, class of 1960. Joined the United States Air Force and moved on. My wife graduated JHS, class of 1962, and we were married right after her graduation. In 1963 we were assigned to a base in Maryland and in 1964 upon my discharge we took up residence.

   In reading all the articles everyone had their favorite memories of movie theaters, pizza shops, Friday night football games at the Point Stadium, (I marched in the High School Band), Triple "A" baseball games, High School teachers, you name it and it was all there. My wife and I grew up in Coopersdale. I had a evening paper route in the neighborhood for several years and knew everyone that lived in the area. Some of the people are still there in the same houses but sadly enough, the grade school has been torn down, a lot of the houses as well have been torn down, the Church we were married in has been sold to another group to worship in and the gas station has almost vanished. My wife and I still go back to visit family a few times a year and Johnstown will always be home but it sure isn't the same.

   Here in Wheaton, Maryland there is a regional park that people can go to for play areas and picnics or just relaxation. The National Park Service has donated some acreage to a local group of "collectors". It is called the Trolley Car Museum. (to get an idea of what Dick is talking about, this is a link to pics we took on our trip to the Trolly Car Museum, in the "On the Road Inside # 2" are my wife and sister Janet, enjoying the trip.

Trolley 352 at the Station #1
Click picture for a larger view
Click here for additional pictures Trolly Museum

   Their hobby is buying old streetcars, restoring them, putting them on display and changing about $1.00 to take a ride on them. About 3 miles round trip. We have visited this place several times as it is just up the road from where we live. Yes, right there is an old, about 80 percent restored, Johnstown Traction Company Street Car. The one where the operator would operate if from either end, walk down the aisle and flip the seats so people were looking forward. What a pleasant site. Other street cars are from Washington, D.C., and about 6 imports from overseas.

   As well as being in the Maryland area and missing Johnstown, I am probably a lot better off with surrounded Johnstowners than most who have left home. At one time there was a "Johnstowners Club" with a few hundred members. I would say I have at least 20 to 25 class mates from the class of 1960 within about a 50 mile radius. Also a handful of cousins.

   So when I really need to feel like I'm In Johnstown and can't get there I just head out the road, take a look at or ride the street car. Now if we could just get some Coe's Submarine Sandwiches and Harris Boyer Gobs (can't believe they went out of business) and Sanitary Dairy Chocolate Milk (same here), we would be in business.

Dick Wisor
Wheaton, Maryland

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