Only in York County

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Even more memories of York Haven

Ah, York Haven, an area we’ve talked about in some past posts. Today, I have more memories to share of this town, received by mail and email since we last talked about it in May.

In case you missed them…

May 5, 2015: Memories from the York Haven area
Feb. 5, 2015: Ask Joan: Memories from York Haven
Jan. 22, 2015: Tom Thumb weddings in York Haven and York County
Oct. 23, 2012: Ask Joan: York Haven, Star Spangled town

And now, for some new thoughts on this area!

Reader Dave DalPezzo emailed, telling me that his family moved to York Haven in 1963, just before he turned 2, and he moved away when he joined the Marines in 1979. His parents, Geno and Mary DalPezzo, lived there until their deaths.

He wrote, “We also had a very special person living in York Haven – ‘Bumps’ (Charles Repman). Bumps was quite an artist and I used to get lessons from him in his ‘home’ in the basement of the community building. In 5th grade (Miss Kozero), Bumps filled 2 of the 4 blackboard squares (half the blackboard) with a color chalk nature scene. It remained there, untouched, until Bumps himself erased it. We kids respected his art and weren’t about to violate it.”

He continued, “My parents were involved in the town council and police department and Mom started the community Halloween parade and party after receiving two apples with embedded razor blades one year. That’s when trick-or-treating was banned in favor of the party. I remember Johnny’s Pool Hall – I delivered the York Dispatch for 4 years and spent WAY too many evenings playing the nickel pinball machine in the middle of my route, making for some very unhappy late-served customers! We also used to hop the PP&L coal trains for a ride to the railroad bridge which was a favored swimming location (I never jumped from the bridge, but did swing on the rope off the pier!). I was there when York Haven bought their converted milk truck for a tanker and there when they replaced it with the yellow tanker (the one with the huge pump on front). The firemen also went around with Santa on Christmas morning and gave out oranges. They also had their annual ‘block party’ – the fireman’s carnival. My dad used to work the penny pitch and was pretty liberal with declaring winners so people had fun and came back. All the guys and Ladies Auxiliary worked to make that event a success. I was there during Three Mile Island and our fire department became a command post in the area. I was forced to drive my younger brother and sister to Baltimore to my aunt’s when the state police handed out M16s to the troopers because of the looters (that’s when Dad, who was the mayor, decided we needed to get out of Dodge!).”

And, he concluded, “We kids had a huge playground there – not the ‘real one’ (which was boring to us kids), but streams, a creek, the river, and 4 active train lines! We made our own fun. Oh – Charlie the Barber also had balsa wood airplanes for sale – 15 cents for the one without a propeller, and 25 cents for the one with. … Good memories!”

Good memories indeed, Dave!

From reader Ron Malehorn, I heard, “Thank you for the article about my old home town of York Haven. Remembering all the places described by Brad and the Garman’s made me feel like I was 10 years old again. My family left York Haven in January of 1970, one month before I turned 16. We moved all the way to Mount Wolf, three whole miles! My maternal grandmother, Amanda Kohler, lived right across the street from Mead Bros. store. We lived next door up close to a previous couple you featured about York Haven, Maxine and Larry Clemens… What great memories were brought back.”

Harriet March wrote to me some time earlier and said she lived in Newberry Township the whole time she was growing up. “We went to York Haven for groceries many times,” she noted. “The store operated by Latshaws to my knowledge was called Latshaw’s. There was a large freezer at the rear of the store where families could rent spaces. My parents rented spaces, as we did not have a freezer at home.”

She also recalled, “My mother, Mrs. Studebaker, was a teacher in Newberry Township in the 1940s-’50s She taught at the one room school on Cassel Road. It was called Cassel’s school. I believe the schoolhouse is now a residence. I went to a one-room school near Pleasant Grove called Hay Run. All eight grades were in one room. We had no running water, outhouses, and a large stove in the back of the room. There was a blackboard across the front of the building.”

And finally for today, I heard from Lynda Pendergraft, who was one of the people to originally ask for memories from this area. She writes, “Thank you so much for printing those responses to my questions about certain places in York Haven. I remember attending elementary school in the ’50s at the old school in York Haven. In 6th grade, I remember going to school in the fairly new Newberry York Haven Elementary… In 1960, then I traveled by bus to the newly opened Northeastern High School in Manchester. While attending school in York Haven, my siblings and I walked to school. We lived a short distance beyond the York Haven borough line going toward Pleasant Grove.”

Thank you all, again, for sharing these memories from the York Haven area!

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