Now that the New Year has begun it is time to look forward to an early spring. We had our snow for a white Christmas. Now it can go away. Wont be long and we will be planning for Easter which is at the end of March this year.
A HEROES STORY I was saddened to learn of Edward Kawtoski’s death on December 26th. I had known Ed most of my adult life and had a lot of respect for him. His wife Catherine had died in 1969 and Ed raised his seven children alone keeping the family together. He had been injured in the mines and then had a successful career as an agent and sales manager for the American General Life Insurance Company.
He was also a WWll veteran having served with the United States Army as a recon scout. He had entered the service with Frank Funari, Homer Bradley and Patrick Cassidy, all of Lilly, and they were known as the “Four Muskateers”.
After training they were sent to Europe. Ed was with a recon platoon when he was captured by the Germans and became a prisoner of war during the Battle of the Bulge in December of 1944. His three friends also became prisoners. They remained prisoners of the Germans until April of 1945. In this span of four months they were marched back and forth across Germany in the very cold winter as their captors tried to avoid both the American and Russian Armies.
Frank Funari’s health was quickly failing and Ed learned how to make a potato soup for him from a New Zealand prisoner. Needing potatoes he would raid a German supply truck. Guards finally caught him and gave Ed a terrible beating breaking his nose. The soup had helped keep Frank alive. Both he and Frank survived the dangerous ordeal of being prisoners and finally escaped from their captors. They were hiding in a barn when German troops approached. Expecting the worst they were both surprised and relieved when the Germans seeing they were Americans raised their arms in surrender. Ed’s war was over. He, Frank, Grover and Pat all made it home. (Ed had made me promise during an interview not to release this story while he was alive.)
STORIES If you have a story to tell in Lilly Lines just call me at 814-886-4694. This includes visitors, trips, awards and any human interest tale.
CHRISTMAS BALLS I am told that the 2012 Christmas balls have arrived. There was reportedly a manufacturing problem. Collectors can get them at the Borough Building or at Galls Insurance Agency.
BIRTHDAYS On January 3 Sara Hurley celebrates her birthday along with my two grandchildren Derek and Laura Reed. Sarah Jane Latoche celebrates on the 4th. On the 5th it will be party time for Brett Dively, Mark Lykens, Ava Poborsky, Mario Crocetti and Gloria McGarry.
January 7th will find Ruth Boast, Mary Jane Lingafelt and Elizabeth McIntosh all celebrating birthdays as will William Walters on the 8th. Happy Birthday to All.
OLDTIMER You are an old timer if you picked elderberries to sell to Ollie Leap at his garage on Portage Street. Old timers also remember going into Rosie’s for ice cream and walking on newspaper that was covering her recently scrubbed floor.
Lilly Lines by Jack Barlick – (814) 886-4694