Knowledge is Power
The Lackawanna Historical Society presents “You Live Here You Should Know This!” A Local History Game Show
By Tom Graham
Who doesn’t love breaking a mental sweat and answering some brain- busting questions about the promised land formerly known as Slocum Hollow?
Did you know Scranton had the first successful operating electrified trolley system in the nation, earning the “Electric City” moniker, and that businessman Alex Grass opened his first “Thrif D Discount Center” on Lackawanna Avenue in downtown Scranton which evolved into the Rite Aid drugstore chain? Did you know William Scranton ran a campaign for President in 1964? Does anyone know the position he held under President Ford?* Did you know that The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons were named as a reference to the early minor league franchises in the area, the Scranton Red Sox and the Wilkes-Barre Barons?
Well, if you didn’t know these facts about Scranton’s past, don’t feel badly. We didn’t know them all either. But if you’re interested in expanding your knowledge of local history with trivia, look no further.
The Lackawanna Historical Society will present the 3rd annual “You Live Here You Should Know This!” local history game show on Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Shopland Hall in The Scranton Cultural Center. WNEP’s Ryan Leckey will host the event with Valley View student Brianna Florovito on Friday and Entercom Communications’ Tony Bartocci will have the honors on Saturday with Riverside student Brianna Gordon co-hosting. The games will begin at 7 p.m. and will consist of teams of four, in a Family Feud style game, answering trivia questions about events, people, and happenings throughout Lackawanna County.
“The Historical Society was trying to come up with a way to involve local students in a history project that would be fun,” said Mary Ann Moran Savakinus, executive director at the Lackawanna County Historical Society. “We had been talking about doing a game show for a while and thought it would be a fun thing to do with our members.”
The Lackawanna County Historical Society, with help from Northeast Intermediate Unit 19, joined forces with teachers Cindy Cerminaro and Kathleen Myers (Valley View), Shawn Murphy (Riverside), and their students. The students designed the format of the game show and conducted hours of research looking for suitable trivia questions. This is the third year for the show and students have had to step up their game to further challenge the contestants.
“This year, we really made the kids work harder,” Savakinus said. “We gave each student three to five towns and they had to come up with 10 questions for each. We learned more about some of the outlying areas that we don’t always hear about and some of the topics we don’t always hit on.”
Savakinus also sees the interaction with the student’s as an important building block for the future of the Historical Society. “We are getting them involved while they are young, and hopefully they will carry that (with them) as they move into their careers. They will have a better knowledge of their own history and an appreciation for it. That’s what makes the Historical Society valuable in a community.”
Friday night’s first game will be played between The Elm Street Revitalization Project (Jill Murrin, Gabriela Martinez, Martin Fotta, and Katie Kearney) and the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority’s Round Table team (Dan Perry, Cara Sutherland, Bernie McGurl, and Mary Garm). Game Two on Friday night will be played between the Azzarelli Family ( Dominick, Margo, Marnie, with special guest team member Larry Pugliese) and the McGuigan Family (Jack, Maureen, Conor, and soon-to-be-McGuigan, Andrea Talarico).
On Saturday night, game one will be played between NEIU 19’s (Catherine Cullen and Sunny Minelli Weiland with Everhart staffers Stefanie Bush and Nezka Pfeifer) and the Anthracite Museum team (John Krisa, Tony Bernardi, and William Rinaldi , plus Slats Grobnick (aka Fran Tartella). Game Two on Saturday night features the former champion Dom Keating and 2010 runner-up, former Scranton Mayor David Wenzel with their teammates David DeCosmo and Jack Carling versus Senator John Blake, Larry West, Bob Durkin and Margie Bisignani Moyle
“First and foremost, we hope the audience will be entertained by the teams that are made up of friends of the Historical Society and notable people in the community,” Savakinus said. “But at the same time, the audience is learning the same local history that the students have researched and gaining the same appreciation of their heritage in an entertaining way.”
The Lackawanna Historical Society presents “You Live Here You Should Know This!” 3rd Annual Local History Game Show Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12 at 7 p.m. in Shopland Hall in The Scranton Cultural Center. Food and drinks will be available for purchase on both nights and general admission is $10 and $5 for students. The event is open to the public and all are welcome to attend.
* U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
The contestants speak!
“I’m looking forward to competing against some really great people. In preparation, I’ve been secretly delivering bags full of cash to the judges. I’m confident that the UNC – Elm Street Revitalization Team will be victorious. – Martin Fotta
I am looking forward to facing the McGuigan Clan in our initial contest. I am hoping to do well for my team… I’m pretty sure I am the weakest link of the group. We had a cram session this week and I am reading over some notes prepared for me by Margo Azzarelli. I have 100 percent faith in the knowledge base of my teammates. I will be playing the process of elimination and percentage game most of the time I fear. I guess it depends on whether the weakest link of our opposing team (Conor) is weaker than me. - Lawrence Pugliese