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Letters to the Editor: Winter 2017

Bly on the Back Roads

While visiting my aunt, Sara Shafer Meighen (Class of 1949), I was reading IUP Magazine and took another look at Bob Fulton’s article, “The Gift of Nellie Bly.”

On the way home to York County, I took a few back roads I had never been on before. While admiring the beauty of the countryside, I noticed two monuments along the road, miles from the main roads. One was a Daughters of the American Revolution monument to a militiaman from the Revolutionary War. The other—and this is what caught my eye—was a monument [dedicated by a local chapter of the Nellie Bly Questers] honoring Elizabeth Cochrane (Nellie Bly).

The monument is located along Garretts Run Road, several miles west of 422 at the upper traffic signal in Elderton.  

Charles Yost ’74
Etters, PA

Editor’s Note: The monument is near Bly’s birthplace, Cochran’s Mills, although the town no longer exists.

Filling In the Gaps

I read the Summer 2017 issue with great interest.

On page 6, Jane Butler Englert M’74 wrote about her late husband John Englert’s work on Nellie Bly with Brooke Kroeger. I knew John quite well. In fact, it was he who invited me to speak on Nellie Bly and other Pennsylvania women journalists in Armstrong County. My talk was titled “Nellie Bly Lives: Great Women of the Press” and was held April 24, 1997, in Garretts Run, at Heilman Church. Heilman Church is the family church of my husband’s ancestors. That talk was sponsored by the Armstrong County Historical Society. In addition, John and I worked together to try and get another western Pennsylvania woman journalist, Jane Grey Swisshelm, inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Our two early attempts failed, but I will persist in John’s honor.

On page 4 of the magazine, you wrote about “Pizza House: Through the Years,” and you referenced a November 9, 1974, story in the Indiana Evening Gazette. Well, I was the author of that story (Kluss was my maiden name). I was hired by IUP in September 1974 with first assignments on the history of IUP for the university’s centennial-year celebration. I remember going to the Indiana County Court House to track down deed records for the parcel where the “college hangout” was located. However, there were some gaps where one person owned the property but was leasing the building to someone else. That’s where IUP’s Rhodes R. Stabley Library and the University Archives came in (Stapleton Library was but a gleam in the late state senator’s eye at that time). By using IUP yearbooks and methodically viewing the ads, I was able to find the names of the establishment in the gap years. Then, I contacted the Alumni Affairs office to find names of alumni who were students during those years to interview about their memories of the hangout.

Thought you would be interested in the “history” of these two items.

Patricia Kluss Heilman M’83, D’87
Indiana, PA

Editor’s Note: Pat Heilman retired from IUP in 2013 after nine years as an administrator and 30 years on the Journalism Department faculty.

‘We Lived like Kings’

When reading the Summer 2017 issue, many memories came back, but especially from the pictures of the Pizza House restaurant on Oakland Avenue. Thank you for reminding me of the three years we lived in the apartment above what was then the Wigwam.

We four music majors (Neil Justice, Ed Kellogg, Dave McMurray, and I) each paid Harry Barclay $11.25 a month to live there, close to Elkin Hall, which was then the Music Department building. That was September 1957. We were close to all the action. I remember seeing crowds of familiar students coming to the restaurant for lunch or just a cup of coffee between classes. And what a view we had of three Homecoming parades from our apartment.

At various times in those three years, I shared the apartment with Larry Vittone, Fred Brumbaugh, and Dave Davis, as the rent went up to $20 a month for us! That was, for a three-room apartment, the princely sum of $45 a month, then $60, to be split among three or four men. We lived like kings, even had a dog for a little while. We named her Gretchen, but she was too much trouble to keep, so she went to the animal shelter.

It was so close to campus, we could get out of bed at 7:45 and get to class in McElhaney Hall at 8:00. Those were the days!

Roger Knepshield ’60
Edinboro, PA

Editor’s Note: The building now known as Breezedale was called Elkin House in the late 1940s and Elkin Hall in the 1950s and early ’60s. It housed the Music Department from 1953 until Cogswell Hall opened in 1960. The current Elkin Hall, along Oakland Avenue and School Street, was built in the early ’60s as a women’s dormitory and took on the Elkin name in 1965.

Beaneries Beloved

I just had to send you a note about the hangouts article in IUP Magazine’s summer issue.

My mother, Janet Fark, worked at several of those old restaurants intermittently from the ’30s to the early ’60s. She worked at Hess’s and the Dairy-Dell and briefly at the Capitol. In addition, she worked at two beaneries you did not mention in the article. 

One was Lewis’s Diner, which was located next to the old Montgomery Ward store across from the Indiana Theater and the Dairy-Dell. That place was an old streetcar from the railway line that ran between Blairsville, Indiana, and Clymer way back when. Lewis’s Diner is not to be confused with Lewis’s Teahouse, which was opened later in a residential home on the western side of the B&O tracks along Philadelphia Street and was owned by the same family. It was rumored that the diner car was the same one that was robbed back in the ’20s when it was on the way to Clymer with the payroll for the miners in the Clymer mines. There were supposed to be a couple of bullet holes in the ceiling.

The other one was Dean’s Diner, which changed owners and was officially Dean’s Restaurant in the ’50s. Those of us who worked there always called it Dean’s Beanery when the owners (Mr. and Mrs. Garrison) could not hear us. I worked at Dean’s for several summers in the mid- to late ’50s as a dishwasher. Before the Garrisons, it was owned by the Dean family that also owned the one in Blairsville that is still in operation. The Garrisons had the really poorly rhymed slogan: “Dean’s is great; Dean’s is good. Dean’s is where you get good food.” 

Bob Fark
Pittsburgh

Editor’s Note: The writer is the husband of Iris Vizzini Fark ’67, M’71.

Dad’s Business

My brother Kenny sent me the pages in IUP Magazine, “Historical Hangouts.” I was curious if you came across any information on my dad’s business, the Corner Dairy? Not only did Dad own and manage the Corner Dairy at Fourth and Philadelphia Streets, he also owned Ninth Street Deli and the Corner Dairy 2 in the lower level of Leininger Hall. 

The businesses not only attracted a large number of IUP undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty, but Dad (and Mom) employed a large number of undergraduates during their nearly 40 years in business. The businesses, particularly the Fourth Street and Leininger Hall locations, produced thousands of Dad’s very popular submarine sandwiches for sorority, fraternity, student club, and Homecoming fund-raisers. He was also well-known for his vegetable soup, spaghetti sauce, and Friday night fried fish and tartar sauce, as well as the many house-made offerings in his deli case. There are, I’m sure, quite a few graduates still around who learned the fine art of managing a grill, making milkshakes and banana splits, slicing deli meats, and making submarine sandwiches from Dad.

You may have heard about these popular items and about the Capitol Roll. After the Capitol Restaurant closed, Dad hired one of its original bakers to produce that roll. The small, close-quarters bakeshop that Dad created behind the laundromat at Leininger Hall (which he also owned for a time) produced 300 to 500 cinnamon rolls a week. My parents were Joe and Marie Setlock. Mom passed in 1997; Dad passed in 2015.

In the years since leaving Indiana, I have encountered IUP graduates everywhere I have lived, including Germany, Russia, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, and California. My spouse and I even met two IUP graduates living in this area. One shared her memories of living in Leininger Hall, “the friendly owner of the place,” and the wonderful aroma of cinnamon rolls that filtered through the dormitory rooms.

There is a good bit of history lost or rewritten with every passing decade, but I thought you should know about another place in Indiana that was a hangout, and possibly a historical one at that.

Randy Setlock
Mendocino, CA

‘A Brave Heart’

IUP Magazine always brings back happy memories of days at Indiana. But last December, I was so saddened to read of the passing of a dear friend, Dan Deaton.

Many alumni who walked Indiana’s campus during the early 1970s will remember Dan. I remember the cheerful Lambda Chi with a beautiful smile and a kind word for everyone. He was a true gentleman who loved the Lord even during his early years.

Dan was a very humble man, so not many would know of his brilliant career. He studied at Gordon-Conwell Seminary and Princeton Seminary and went on to become Captain Daniel E. Deaton, US Navy chaplain. He served with great caring, compassion, and courage—such a brave heart.

During the last years of his career, Dan served in the Pentagon with the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

So, we salute you, Dan. Your life is so inspiring. Thanks for “brightening up” our days at Indiana.

Jan Hochgertel ’73
New Kensington

‘Excellent Launching Pad’

Just finished reading the latest IUP Magazine. In doing so, I was flooded with a wave of warm memories of my halcyon days as an IUP student in the 1960s.

In some ways, it was a simpler, more innocent time then, although hanging over our heads was the fact that there was a war raging in Southeast Asia.

I was an English major and spent most of my time in Leonard Hall. My mother, the late Josephine Lambert, was the English Department secretary for the department chair, Dr. James Green. I can still see Jim Green walking around the office with a demitasse cup of coffee. 

My professors of English were world-class and clearly devoted to the art of teaching. The amount of reading and writing I had to do at IUP served me well over the years. I am forever grateful to them for instilling in me a love of literature and the written word.

I was particularly inspired by the teaching of William Betts, David Cook, Maurice Rider, George Wiley, and Craig Swauger. They were outstanding teachers with warm personalities.

I once wrote a magazine piece on the most memorable college lecture I ever experienced. It was a class on Milton, delivered on a warm spring day in Leonard Hall and taught by Professor Maurice Rider, author of the wonderful travel book, This Blessed Plot, This England. Dr. Rider walked into the classroom, looked out the window at the glorious day, and intoned, “Class dismissed. The hawthorns are in bloom.” 

IUP was an excellent launching pad for me in more than just academics. I was fortunate enough to be named the ROTC brigade commander in my senior year, and this got me off to a good start in my four-year stint in the Army reserve in the Quartermaster Corps.

I received a great experience at IUP. This in turn helped launch me on a career in higher education accreditation which lasted over 41 years. I was the executive director of the agency [Distance Education Accrediting Commission] from 1992 until I retired in 2013.

And believe it or not, thanks to my IUP studies in English, I have recently launched a modest career as a fiction writer.

My wife, Carol [Kofmehl Lambert], an art major, graduated from IUP with me in ’68, and one of my three sons, Christopher, is a 1995 IUP graduate. He is now a senior executive at a higher education accrediting agency.

This recitation is surely more than you want to know, but suffice it to say that my regard for my alma mater grows with each passing year. I owe much of my success in life to the sound education I received from some truly wonderful people and a truly wonderful educational institution.

Michael Lambert ’68, M’69
Bruceton Mills, WV