Looking Back: Franklin County’s history June 7th
Take a look back at Franklin County’s history through news and photos that appeared in local newspapers 25, 50, and 100 years ago on June 7th.
25 Years Ago
June 7, 1996 – Fridayc
“Chambersburg teacher bids farewell after 41 years”
Sal Russo can’t jump rope like he used to, and he struggles to keep up with his students in gym class.
Retirement is beckoning.
Today, he will say goodbye to his fans and walk out of Corpus Christi Catholic School and education for good.
“You lose your patience a bit and you don’t have the get-up-and-go,” said Russo, 67.
“I got into the business not for the money, it was the compassion. I loved kids and it was fun for me.”
This comes after 41 years teaching in Chambersburg area schools and impressing “brains over barbs” on thousands of students.
It comes after nine years of kindergardners wrapping around his legs Monday morning to tell about their weekend.
And it comes after years of following the philosophy: teach by example and treat everyone equal.
Students were drawn to him and talked about his success over the years.
“Are you Mr. Russo?” asked one young kindergardners woman, spotting Sal and his wife, Nancy, in the Butcher Shoppe.
“You don’t remember me, but you were the best teacher I ever had.”
A few weeks ago, six Corpus Christi boys approached Russo in gym class. “We want to use you as a role model,” they told him.
Tears welled in his eyes. Even now, retelling the story, he is obviously emotional.
“I had role models. I know what it feels like.”
Here’s a rundown of Russo’s career:
He graduated in 1948 from Butler High School near Pittsburgh, where he was a star football player and runner. He also danced and acted in local theater.
At Clarion State College, now Clarion University, where he was named Twinkle Toes for his dancing, he prepared to teach.
Russo moved to Chambersburg in 1954.
He taught history in Chambersburg Area Senior High School for 30 years.
Students loved his antics: tap dancing on the desk to hold their interest, and dropping metal tins in class to catch students sleeping.
He “retired” in 1984. But lessons were in his blood. He substituted two years, then jumped to Corpus Christi, where he had to learn to talk on the level of kindergartners.
He endured light ribbing as the only male faculty member. Students used to call him Mrs. Russo since they were so used to female teachers.
“It’s a sad day for us that he is moving on, but I wish him well in his retirement. It’s time,” said Barbara Herter, Corpus Christi principal.
The two started at the school the same year. She also is leaving this year, since her husband was transferred with DESCOM.
Herter said Russo has been gung-ho about his job as physical education teacher from the beginning. He launched the school’s participation in the Presidential Physical Fitness program and built a new curriculum for kindergarten through eighth grade.
In retirement, he will travel with Nancy, spend time with his children and grandchildren, and return to Chambersburg Community Theatre.
He may start an aerobics class for senior citizens and will try out for the Chambersburg Hospital Auxiliary’s Red Stocking Revue.
50 Years Ago
June 7, 1971 – Monday
“60 Year Old Steamer”
The 1903 La Franc of the Cumberland Valley Hose Co., still in excellent operating condition, is included in the exhibit of the company at the Broad Street fire station.
100 Years Ago
June 7, 1921- Tuesday
Urge Health Inspector to Inspect Milk and Met Rigidly
“Garbage Plant Discussed by Health Department”
The practicability of establishment of a garbage Incinerator for Chambersburg was discussed by the board of health last night when it was brought out that flagrant violations of health measures are being practiced as the result of a lack of uniform method of disposal.
It was pointed out by’ members of the board that, in many cases town residents are paying to have their garbage removed and that a slight increase In this amount would justify investment of capital in erection of an incinerator. One citizen was reported as having expressed willingness ‘to place 116,000 In the proposition If he were sure all town garbage would pass through the plant.
Members of the board urged Health Officer Fahnestock to exact a more rigid Inspection of milk and meat within the borough and took a firm stand in declining to show lenience in cases of citizens who do not obey orders to connect with the sewer system.
Seventy-five connections were made last month, it was reported .