Indiana, PA - Indiana County

BILL HASTINGS' 'INSIDE INDIANA:' Spring, Charlie, Guerrino, James, etc.

by on March 21, 2014 10:50 AM

To whom it may concern —

YOUR WEEKEND CALENDAR

A halupki dinner to benefit the Home Service Program is set from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Elks Lodge, 475 S. 13th St., Indiana.

The Home Service Program is an Elks program that assists children and young adults with chronic illnesses that manifested prior to the age of 22.

The dinner includes two pigs in a blanket, potatoes, a veggie, salad and dessert.

Cost is $10, and takeout is available.

CONDOLENCES

Charlie Zbur, who earned 14 letters in four sports at Indiana High School and was inducted into the Indiana County Sports Hall of Fame in 2013, died March 6 at the age of 76 in Orlando, Fla.

Zbur starred in football, basketball, baseball and track at IHS, although it was as a running back in football that he garnered the most acclaim. The Ernest native led the county in scoring in 1956, still ranks in the school’s career top 10 in scoring and rushing, and was twice accorded honorable mention on the National High School All-America team, selected by a group called the Wigwam Wisemen of America.

“He could do almost anything he wanted to,” Indiana attorney Ed Clark, Indiana’s quarterback in Zbur’s senior season of 1956, told the Gazette’s Bob Fulton for Zbur’s Hall of Fame feature story in May. “Just a great natural athlete. He was probably as good a high school athlete as there was around.”

Zbur received a football scholarship to the University of Miami and eventually transferred to Sacramento (Calif.) State, where he earned two letters.

He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, and a son, Chuck.

BRAVERY HONORED

Two local natives — James Bronson and Guerrino Prola — will be among 15 veterans inducted Sunday into the Soldiers & Sailors Hall of Valor. The ceremony will take place at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall, in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. More than 700 Pennsylvania veterans have been enshrined since 1963.

Bronson, who was born a slave near Blairsville in 1838, joined the Union Army in 1863 and rose to the rank of first sergeant of Company D, 5th U.S. Colored Troops. He earned the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military decoration, for taking command of his company at Chapin’s Farm, Va., on Sept. 9, 1864, after all its officers had been killed or wounded and gallantly leading his unit.

Prola, 95, of Blairsville, was awarded the Silver Star, one of the country’s highest homages to bravery, and honored in Congress with the True American Hero Award. A medic with the 99th Division during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944, he entered a minefield to rescue a soldier who had trapped himself while trying to avoid German fire, setting off a mine and mangling his leg.

Under fire himself, Prola amputated the man’s leg and stabilized him for evacuation; as a result, the soldier survived the war.

GOOD NEIGHBORS

Thank-yous for the folks who plow out neighborhoods and shovel sidewalks are still trickling into the newsroom.

So add these folks to your list of good neighbors: Tom Fruehstorfer, Tom Miller, Jon Madill, Jeremy Yagle, Nick Zimmy and Marilyn Cramer, Indiana; and Mark Mortimer, Burrell Township.

SHOP TALK AT SIX

The St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store will be closed Saturday to prepare for Monday’s unveiling of a store full of spring and summer fashions. … Gas prices in the Indiana area today ranged from $3.65 to $3.69 a gallon for regular unleaded. … Even though spring’s been off to a slow start, Willie, our ex-shoeshine boy, took heart from musician Marty Robbins’ quote: “Every day is a good day to be alive, whether the sun’s shining or not.”

Good evening!



Bill Hastings is columnist for Gazette and a former longtime managing editor. His column, Inside Indiana, appears every Friday. hastings@indianagazette.net
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