Mountaintop Facebook Page Recalls The Early Days
By ANDREA O’NEILL
Correspondent
MOUNTAINTOP HISTORY BUFFS Scott Druby and Steve McGinnis have pooled knowledge of the community and memories to create a Facebook page reminiscing about the “good ole days” of Mountaintop.

Meadow Brook Stables The Skylark Hotel The Crestwood Motel

The ball field behind St. Jude School

If the names of any of these places suddenly transport you back in time, there is a Facebook page floating around the World Wide Web that may be of interest to you.

In 2011, former resident and Crestwood graduate, Scott Druby stumbled upon a Facebook page that reminisced about the early days of Wilkes-Barre and had the idea that it would be a good idea to start one for Mountaintop. His father had moved to the mountain in 1954 and Druby thought that it would be fun to reminisce about the “good ole days” growing up here. Thus the Facebook page “You know you were the first ones to live in Mountaintop when you remember…” was born.

“I’m not a computer guy, I just thought it would be fun,” said Druby. “After a year, we only had about 10 members on the page. Then George Alizewski approached me about it and in two days we had 500 members. It just blossomed from there. “

Steve McGinnis was one of those 500 and has become affectionately known as “the historian” on the page. He makes it a habit to post regularly, sometimes every day, anything from old photos to articles to newspaper advertisements. McGinnis has collected every Mountaintop newspaper, from the Mountain View and the Mountaintop Star to the Mountaintop Eagle and Mountain Peaks since 1961.

“My mom kept scrapbooks and worked at the Grove Theatre, so she has all the programs. I inherited all of that,” explained McGinnis. “Now I know what to do with all the junk I’ve acquired in my attic.”

McGinnis relates that, at first, he thought he would run out of material if kept up the daily posts, but now he isn’t sure he’ll every get everything he has posted online. He says he tries to post things relevant to what is currently happening in the community. For example, on the day the old St. Jude Church was razed earlier this month, McGinnis posted the 1950’s newspaper announcement of the groundbreaking of that church. He added that he can even find things on request if he has the right time period.

“I lived it,” said McGinnis. “I grew up with these people in the local papers so you remember them. I get a kick out of people saying ‘thanks for the memories’ or ‘I remember this’ or ‘I don’t remember that.’

The page now has over 1300 members who ask questions, post memories, and reminisce over old photos and newspaper articles. Michele Eroh and Renee Duber-Janis are members of the page and say they enjoy taking that trip down memory lane.

“My family and my husband’s have lived in this area for several generations [and] it’s so nice to see the old pictures to match up with the stories I’ve heard over the years,” said Eroh. “I for one have been addicted to this page from the day I joined and read the posts daily!

“I moved out of Mountaintop in 1994,” said Duber-Janis. “I love seeing all the nostalgic posts that bring back memories of my childhood”

Druby relates that is exactly what he was trying to accomplish. “Steve posted once about how the post office used to be on South Main and the old pictures of what it used to look like. It’s really neat to just taking a step back, reminisce and have a laugh.”

But the page has accomplished more than that, and completely by chance

Former Fairview and St. Jude Elementary teacher, Aneda Kaplan was mentioned several times in the comments of a post asking about a favorite teacher from childhood. As the thread continued, it was brought to the group’s attention that Mrs. Kaplan was ill. In the final days of her life, former students from her forty-year teaching career were able to tell Aneda Kaplan what she meant to them. A page member close to her was able to read her the posts -all thanking her by sharing stories of the songs she sang, lessons she taught, kisses she gave, their school projects and nicknames, and even how some had become teachers because of her.

Situations like Mrs. Kaplan’s are a reminder of the power of a community when given a platform to share ideas. For his part, Druby explains the page is not difficult to maintain, although he does try to keep the page free from advertisements and arguments –including, whether Mountaintop is spelled as one word or two. “That is the biggest bone of contention. People get really into it and the page isn’t about that. “

He credits McGinnis for a lot of the page’s popularity. “It’s the peoples page, I just started it and it took off. Steve does most of the work.”

I just post, he’s the administrator,” said McGinnis. “I enjoy doing it. It’s fun to see who likes and comments on the things I post.” “I have seen memories from loved

ones past, along with articles that family members never even knew they were included in,” added Eroh. “I enjoy this virtual walk down memory lane! As long as people keep posting, I will keep reading!