Ask Joan: Even more follow-up fun for my mom’s birthday edition
I am trying my hardest to get caught up on some follow-ups to past Ask Joan columns. Here are two more! (Also, SPECIAL note today, it’s my mom’s birthday. She is the best mom ever. I hope every day that I can be just like her!)
1. Details on Dallastown plane crash
2. Music store at Market, Sherman
1. An Ask Joan way back in 2011 shared two questions seeking more information on a plane crash near Dallastown.
Some information I’ve received on the crash:
Marlene Morton writes, “As to the plane crash at the Innerst Dairy farm was 1960 – but I don’t know day or month. I was pregnant with my youngest daughter and we were caretakers at the Izaak Walton league grounds which is right over the hill from the Innerst farm. My other kids were playing outside and saw a wing fall off the plane. They came and got me and we went to the top of the hill and saw it. 3 people died in the plane, this was before cellphones and Ed Lincoln – WSBA – used our home phone as a contact for the radio station.”
I also heard from Greg Ness, who said, “According to Jay and Carolyn Innerst the date was May 2nd/3rd 1960. The C-119 Flying Box Car was out of Olmstead AFB in Middletown PA (now Harrisburg Intl. Airport & Olmstead Air Natl. Guard Base). The plane just missed the roof of the Edwin Innerst house, clipped the pine trees in front, then missed the cow barn and crashed in the meadow approx. 50 yards away. Needless to say the cows were in the barn at the time waiting to be milked and they couldn’t give up their milk until much later. The crew were all killed, which included the pilot, co-pilot, flight eng. (navigator), and a civilian engineer. They were on a maintenance test flight at the time. Myself and a friend Doug Attig were cutting asparagus in my dad’s field off S. Pleasant Ave. in Dallastown. We heard the plane flying very low down through the hollow past our church when some pieces flew off and we lost sight of the plane. Several seconds later we saw a plume of black smoke rising up in the distance and told my dad, who then pulled the fire alarm lever at the box in front of our house. We jumped into my dad’s car and he drove down to the Innerst farm (they are close family friends) and walked to the end of the barn to witness the scene. I vividly remember seeing the Nav still sitting in his seat at the window of the plane. What a horrifying sight. All this while fire sirens screamed and flames burned the plane to the ground. My friend and I were 14 years old at the time and that scene has stayed with me like it was yesterday. I guess it didn’t deter me though, because I have logged many air miles on both military and civilian aircraft since then and it’s still the best way to travel long distances.”
And Maynard Prall writes, ” In response to Greg Brenneman and his question about the plane crash: We were on the Dallastown High School baseball team and were practicing after school when we saw the plane’s tail fall off and start going down. We all jumped into our cars and found the plane on Innerst’s farm in flames and knew there couldn’t be any survivors. … I was a junior in high school so the crash occurred in the spring of 1960.”
Bob Riese notes, “I remember the crash of the plane near Dallastown High School just like it was yesterday. I was on the Dallastown track team and we were having a meet with with some team I don’t remember. A big military plane flew over the stadium slow and low. It attracted everyone’s attention because it seemed like it was in trouble and was looking for a place to land. A few moments later, I heard the engines rev and the plane was vertical to ground and then there were popping noises. We all feared it had crashed, but the plane was out of sight. Many of our track team members raced cross country over a mile of farm land to the scene of the crash only to find the plane destroyed and all crew members killed. The track meet was delayed until coach, Charlie Leber, could find enough members to finish the game. The plane’s crash date was May 2, 1960. I know this from my daughter’s finding the crash article on the front page of the May 3, 1960 edition of the Gettysburg Times.”
And longtime York Daily Record reporter Dean Wise, a wonderful gentleman now retired, wrote, “This event, which I personally covered for the Daily Record as a correspondent/photographer, occurred in the first week of May 1960. Here are my recollections of the incident: I was working in my home office in Dallastown sometime between 3 and 4 p.m. when the sound of a low-flying aircraft was heard over the borough. I had just received a police/fire monitor for my office the previous summer (1959) through Rescue Fire Co. in Dallastown. Minutes after hearing the loud sound of the plane, the York County Control monitor tones went off, summoning Station 35 (Rescue Fire Co. just up the street from my home) for a reported plane crash in the meadow of the Innerst Dairy farm near Red Front in an area known locally as ‘The Swamp.’ I immediately left my office and was among the first to arrive at the scene. The plane had burst into flames upon attempting a landing in the soft meadow land and flipping over. All three airmen aboard the plane perished either upon impact or from the fire that sent a huge black smoke plume that could be seen for miles around. The crash site is two miles southwest of Dallastown, next to the East branch of Codorus Creek.”
Dean continued, “Equipped with my Speed Graphic camera, normal issue to reporters of that era, I was on-scene snapping pictures before police, firefighters or other responding officials arrived. Dr. John Smith of Jacobus arrived later as a deputy coroner to pronounce the victims dead. All was going well for me until the military police arrived. They ordered me away from the crash site and even seized a number of my film plates. The Graphics could be used to take only two pictures at a time and, each time you took a frame, you had to return the slide cover and reverse the plate to take the next shot. What the MPs did not know was that the earlier pix. of the crash scene had already been returned to my car parked along Route 214 (the Dallastown-Loganville Road) as I had to replenish my film supply. Those were the most important shots anyway as, by the time the MPs arrived, all that was left was the smokeless debris of the twisted metal wreckage as firemen pumped water into the burning craft to make certain all fire was extinguished.”
He concluded, “I don’t recall the exact date of the crash but it was one of the first days in May of 1960, one of the highlights of my 47-plus years of news writing for the Gazette and Daily (until 1970) and then the Daily Record until my retirement Aug. 31, 2001. I’m certain the librarians at York County History Center could quickly find the front page coverage of this event now that the time frame is narrowed to a 7-day period.”
Many thanks also to Beatrice Sweitzer and Deborah Bentley for sharing their recollections of the date of the crash. Jim Fahringer had also written and wondered about this crash, so hopefully this info is of help to him as well!
Finally, Gail Stein mentioned another crash. She said, “There was also a plane crash near Dallastown High School and S. Pleasant Avenue extended in the early ’70s. I don’t think anyone was killed, but do remember going to ‘see what we could see’ of the crash. I think it was in 1971 or 1972, but not exactly sure.”
2. In another follow-up (ALSO featuring a former YDR employee and a current York Newspaper Company one!) I heard several responses to an inquiry about a music studio on Market Street near Sherman Street.
Ivan writes, “The music store on the south side of East Market St. east of Sherman was Keyboard Studios. It was the business home of the Shepherd sisters who taught accordion to many school students in the early ’50s.”
Connie Morningstar recalls, “Keyboard Studios was a great place; it had 3 floors. It was next door to the funeral home (not Workinger’s, the other side) across the street from the Goodwill firehouse. I had class upstairs on the second floor for many years.”
Nancy L. Reever said of Keyboard Studios, “I took accordion lessons there in there in the 1950s. They were on West Market St (in the building that is currently being renovated into apartments) prior to moving to the address on East Market Street.”
David Adams and Bob Horn also both remembered the Keyboard Studios era; David gave the exact address as 830 E. Market St., and Bob recalled taking music lessons there in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Other memories came from Vickie Reynolds, who took various music lessons there as a kid and then worked there as a teenager for her first job; Dick Forscht, who took clarinet lessons there in the mid-1950s from Rudy Reese; and Joanne Hughes, who took accordian lessons there from Johnny Pickard (and who says, “My dad, Grover Kline Jr., a painting contractor, took me there and then went to Connolly’s Paint Store on Sherman St. for his supplies and to pass the time waiting for me. I have many fond memories of my time spent at that music store.”).
Pat “Trish” McDowell also recalls the music lessons, as she taught some! She writes, “Some teachers were Brian King (cello – Diane Sussex’s father and Brian King Jr. with Magnificent Men?), Anthony Arcuri (guitar), Richard Truax (flute), Alice Mae McDowell (piano-organ-accordian – my mom), Trish McDowell (flute/clarinet; I also substituted on piano, organ and accordion), Anna Steigelman (piano), Don Frey (drums), Johnny Pickard (accordion). Moved there from a West York location before 1960 and then moved to Rt. 83 under name Big Z. Sleeger Funeral Home was next door and Keyboard building now has signage down to original sign of Sleeger Funeral Home.”
She added, “I don’t remember who taught trumpet and trombone or other instruments. Most of the previously listed instructors had the longest term of teaching there. They had a large selection of pianos and organs but also sold accordions and all band and orchestra instruments. They also sold sheet music and lesson books and also service instruments.”
Dean Friend, former sports clerk at the YDR and longtime local musician, notes, “I’m sure you’ve gotten a bunch of answers about the music store question, but I think the answer is Keyboard Studios. My Dad bought me my first drum set there in 1966, and it is the drum set that I was playing on the night you saw us at Brenn’s Pub. In fact, I think the address was 830 E. Market St.” I LOVED seeing Dean and his band, and how cool that it tied in to this question!
Terry Zellers, who in addition to be a big fan of all things York is an amazing transportation manager for the newspaper company (figuring out carrier routes and more), mentioned as well another store. He said, “May have been the late ’60s or ’70s but the music store I remember on Market St. was Julius music store.” Trish noted that that was on West Market between Beaver and Pershing, she recalled. She had taken flute and clarinet lessons there from Rudy Riese in the 1960s and 1970s.
And finally, Lew Williams remembered the later incarnation, the “Big Z” we talked about earlier. He said, “The music store on Market St. close to Sherman was Zeswitz. It had been and presently is based in Reading, Pa. We had moved to York from Reading in 1968 and had patronized Zeswitz in Reading.”
Got any questions? Ask Joan using the form at right. I’ll attempt to answer them in a future “Ask Joan” column on this blog. I get a large volume, but I will feature three each week and answer as many as possible!