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My friends are well aware that music plays a colossal role in my life. You’ll never see me walking through the neighborhood without my headphones.

It helps me blow off steam. It’s there for me in the morning when I’m not sure if I have the strength to make it through the day. It’s there for me on my drive home from work as I marvel how I made it through the day. It’s there for me in the evening when I’m ready to close the book on all that the day had to offer and wake up the next morning and do it again. Music is always there for me.

Even when I was very young, I loved music. I remember the first CD I bought with my own money was “Piano Man” by Billy Joel. I loved Billy Joel and Elton John. Those two piano virtuosos even inspired me to tickle the ivories myself for a year or two. I was under the impression that I would just be able to simply sit down at the piano and be able to plunk out piano riffs that would put them both to shame. The fact of the matter is before you can be “piano man” you have to first play “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

Apparently at that age I had never heard the adage “How do you get to Carnegie hall?” I was under the assumption that the answer was play video games and put off practicing as long as possible. The answer, as we all know, is practice. I just didn’t have the patience to make the effort. Which makes it all the more necessary to applaud when the piano virtuosos of tomorrow have the patience to put in the effort.

For some, it seems almost effortless. My 12-year-old cousin is flawlessly playing sonatas at the skill level of someone twice his age. At his age I was struggling to just play scales. He once told me he dreams of playing on the stage at Carnegie Hall in a tuxedo. He has the skill, and he has the determination. I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if his dream one day becomes a reality.

My cousin is not the only one, however, who is on the trajectory of greatness. West Pittston’s own Dominic D’Alessandro won first place in the Anne Vanko Liva Piano Competition, sponsored by Northeast Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association on June 4. He will begin his studies in piano performance at The Catholic University of America in Washington this fall.

Best of luck, Dominic. I know you will continue to make West Pittston proud.

Here’s what else is happening around town.

Corpus Christi Parish news

Corpus Christi Parish’s Social Concerns Committee will hold a Back to School Drive. The Social Concerns Committee is collecting back-to-school items for students in grades K-12 once again this year. Donations may be left in the vestibules of the churches or dropped off at the rectory. If you prefer, you can make a monetary donation to Social Concerns to purchase supplies. Supplies will be given to children in the parish and the surrounding communities. Suggested items include new backpacks, binders, notebooks, lined loose-leaf paper, binder dividers, scissors, rulers, glue sticks, washable markers, pencils, erasers, crayons, highlighters, pens, pouch pencil cases and 512 MB USB drives.

From 5 to 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 28, in Immaculate Conception Hall, members of Social Concerns will be distributing the back to school supplies to area families. If you or someone you know could use help with school supplies, call the rectory at 570-654-2753 or email Joyce at jcecco-ni50@gmail.com.

Deacon Jim Meizanis is presenting Adult Vacation Bible Study, “The Gospel According to Matthew.” Sessions are held at 7 p.m. Thursdays at the Immaculate Conception Church hall. Join the group for an informative and fun-filled scripture study series. For information or to register, contact Deacon Jim Meizanis 570-239-2783 or deacon.meizanis@gmail.com or Donna Valenti at 570-885-5432 or d_romo251@hotmail.com.

The new ministry schedule will run from Aug. 5 through Nov. 26. The new schedule can be picked up in the sacristy of the church.

Corpus Christi Parish is now offering communal baptism. The first communal baptism will be held at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, at Immaculate Conception Church. During these celebrations, the sanctuary will be adorned with a balloon bouquet depicting “We Celebrate Life at Corpus Christi Parish” and after the ceremony the balloons will be given to all children present. The altar will be decorated with personalized candles and bibs for each of the children to be baptized. Members of the Baptism Ministry will welcome the child and family and at the end of each ceremony, they will give each child a beautiful baby afghan handmade by the parish’s St. Clare Sewing Ministry, “My Baptism Book,” a gift from the Holy Name Society, and a bib and candle.

First United Methodist news

First West Pittston United Methodist Church holds worship at 10 a.m. Sundays.

Trinity yard sale

Trinity Episcopal Church will host the Great Neighborhood Yard Sale from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5. Spaces are $10 each. Call 570-654-3261 to reserve a space.

Library news

West Pittston Library lists the following programs:

Check Out a Librarian — Are you in a book club and looking to shake things up? Have librarians Anne and Jen join you when you schedule your next book club meeting at the library. Jen will schedule your book club and offer a list of current novels to get you talking. Contact the library for availability.

Kindergarten readiness — Is your child ready for pre-k or kindergarten? Do they need structured time for socialization, learning letters, letter sounds, scissor skills and fine motor skills? Are there things you can do at home to prepare them for the classroom? Become a regular at this Friday afternoon early literacy program designed to introduce children to the library, get them interested in books and develop the skills needed for school. Spend some fun one-on-one time with your child or grandchild as you read books, sing songs, play games and make crafts centered around the weekly, kid-friendly theme. Learn pre-reading techniques that you can do at home to enhance their skills. Please register by Wednesday of each week.

Local Author Sean Carroll’s baseball poetry reading and book signing — Monday, Aug. 14, at 6:30 p.m. “Caught Looking” by West Pittston resident Sean Carroll offers a broad view of the human condition through the lens of our national pastime — baseball. Divided into the seasons in which baseball is played, the poems represent a gradual shift from early themes of innocence and nostalgia to the more realistic — and often disillusioning — facets of experience. The author will sign books and read select poems. Registration suggested. Call 570-654-9847.

Community benefits

The ninth annual Jeffrey DePrimo Memorial Golf Tournament will be held Saturday, Aug. 12, at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Golf Course. Registration is 7 a.m. with a captain and crew format. Tee off is 8 a.m. Cost is $75 per golfer includes cart, golf, dinner and awards. To register, visit www.deprimogolf.com.

The fifth annual Dr. Jen’s Hope Memorial Ride and Block Party will be held Sunday, Aug. 13, at Cooper’s, 304 Kennedy Boulevard, Pittston. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. and ride is at noon. Cost is $20 per rider, $10 per passenger and $20 per car. Kids under 10 are free. Free coffee and donuts will be provided before the start of the ride. All proceeds benefit local charities.

Community garden

Last call for plots at West Pittston Tomorrow Community Garden at 225 Race St. Since the garden got a late start this year, the fee will secure a plot for 2017-18. Anyone interested in helping or doing some planting of their own, contact the garden committee at wptomorrowgarden@gmail.com.

West Pittston Tomorrow

West Pittston Tomorrow meets at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14, in the borough building.

Electronics recycling

Those who have already purchased stickers are reminded the electronics recycling event will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 5. No stickers will be sold Aug. 5.

Recycling reminder

The recycling containers at the Public Works Building on Delaware Avenue are open from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays. 

Curbside collection of recyclables remains the first and third Thursday of each month. The Public Works Department asks that residents place recyclables in front of their homes Wednesday evening prior to recycling collection on Thursday morning.

Yard waste

Yard waste is picked up Mondays from Erie Avenue to Montgomery Avenue and Tuesdays from Montgomery to Susquehanna Avenue. 

 

See you around town.

John Bubul writes about West Pittston. To include an item in his column, email jbubul@pittstonprogress.com or call 570-301-2187 by Monday.