The Inspiration For This Site

Irene Caldwell O’Neill, Escondido, CA, c. 2013. [Photo courtesy of Judy McCracken.]

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, 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 of 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 me 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 and more have been added throughout the years since then.

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.

Click on the “Leave a Comment” link at the end of each story to submit your entries. Or send them in email attachments to bissella9@hotmail.com. Please include the author’s full name, city and state, high school and graduation year and email address. Only the writer’s name and city of residence will be shown in a published article.

To add your thoughts, additions, or corrections to an already-published article, also please click on the “Leave a Comment” link at the end of each story.

We reserve the right to determine the appropriateness of any submission and to edit it for readability and grammar. The authors of comments or articles published in the “Small Town Memories” site are solely responsible for the “facts” presented in the comments or articles.

Please Note

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: bissella9@hotmail.com

All possible efforts were made by the editor to secure permission and ensure proper credit was given for every entry within this blog. If any such acknowledgment has been inadvertently omitted or miscredited, receipt of such information would be appreciated.

Any advertisements that may appear on this site are placed there by WordPress.com. The ads you see are determined by your location, browsing history and other factors. They generate a small amount of revenue which helps to partially cover expenses when the viewers of this site click on the links in the ads. This website has no control over the ads placed by WordPress’s advertising software. The presence of any ads on our site should not be viewed as an endorsement by us of any advertiser, their product or their agenda.

Any internet addresses (websites, blogs, etc.) in the stories on the “Small Town Memories” website are offered as resources. They are not intended in any way to be or imply an endorsement by us for the content of these sites.