The Inspiration for This Site
Several years ago, I received a surprise email from the younger sister of my childhood friend, Judy Caldwell (Nelson). I remembered her as a little skinny blond kid that sometimes tagged along with my girlfriend and me as we did the things that teen girls did in the 1950s. Her name was Irene Caldwell, later acquiring a married last name of O’Neill. Irene was a 1960 graduate of Sharpsville (PA) High School.
Now I had to imagine her as all grown up, with not only with two daughters, but grandchildren as well. Even after many years of living on the west coast, she had not forgotten the small western Pennsylvania town that we spent our youngest days in, the Borough of Sharpsville.
Irene’s emails described her strong desire to write about her memories of living in Sharpsville in the 1950s and 1960s and to invite others to add their own stories as well. Here are her words in a March 2012 email:
My idea for writing about Sharpsville may have originated in part from homesickness, for no matter how well I’ve adjusted to being a California resident, those wonderful summers in a small, safe and lushly green little town still hold a very warm place in my heart.
She approached the right person with her plan, as I was eager to join in. I sent her several essays and, along with those from a few other former Sharpsvillites including her sister Judy (SHS 1958), she was building up a collection, maybe not book-size but enough for a presentation yet to be determined. Some topics were covered more than once, as different writers had different memories about the same subject.
Sadly, Irene was battling breast cancer, and passed away in July 2013 without seeing her dream of a Sharpsville memory book to completion. Knowing that she would want the project to become a reality, Judy gave Judy McCracken (SHS 1960) and myself, both of whom grew up in Sharpsville, permission to pick up where Irene left off.
In honor of Irene’s goal to preserve memories of Sharpsville before they are lost, the essays that were submitted to Irene are now gathered at this website.
In most cases, the names of any possibly living individuals have been removed and replaced with blank spaces, unless those individuals provide written permission to print their names. This site is copyrighted as of 2014.
– Ann Angel Eberhardt (SHS 1958), Goodyear, AZ, March 2014
Send Us Your Story
Would you like to transport yourself 50-plus years back to life in our little town and the surrounding area? An excellent way to relive those days is to put together a story for our collection. “Small Town Memories” welcomes writings and/or photographs about Sharpsville and its environs in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.
Use the Comment form below to submit your entries or send them in email attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the author’s full name, address, high school and graduation year, telephone number and/or email address. Only the writer’s name and city of residence will be shown in a published article. Submissions without the requisite identifying information will not be published. We reserve the right to determine the appropriateness of any submission and to edit it for readability and grammar. The authors of articles published in the “Small Town Memories” site are solely responsible for the “facts” presented in the articles.
To add your thoughts, additions, or corrections to a published article, please use the Comment form located at the end of each page. Please remember to include your full name, your high school and graduation year, and your current city and state.
All photos, documents and graphics contained in the Small Town Memories pages are copyrighted by the submitter and by this site. You may not use them elsewhere, whether in print or electronically, without written permission. Contact: email@example.com