The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

April 10, 2013

Readers' Forum 4-10 | Another attack on American way of life?

— I read with amazement the articles in Sunday’s Tribune-Democrat concerning the proposed death of cursive writing. The newest national education standard no longer requires it.

It may be exaggerating a little to say this is just one more attack on the American way of life, but think about it.

As electronic devices continue to evolve, will it no longer be necessary to teach the alphabet? As the up-and-coming generation begins taking over business and banking, will it be necessary for us old-timers to revert to our first-grade block printing so our “written” word can be understood?

Will a person’s signature lose all legal meaning?

I realize that it is important to prepare students for the electronic age, but should it be at the expense of other necessary skills?

Barry J. Orner

Johnstown

Coach Matsko was one of a kind

Coach Mike Matsko of Salix/Sidman died on March 21 at the age of 91, but his spirit lives on. He was a devoted family man, teacher, coach and community leader.

My dad died when I was 11 years old and coach Matsko took over a big part of my life at that very needy time. He was the leader of our Little League Baseball program in Salix, Sidman and St. Michael. Coach Matsko was the organizer (general manager), equipment manager, umpire and coach for all four teams. No parents were involved, other than our mothers cleaning those heavy, wool uniforms.

On our first day of practice, we all cleaned the field and kept it that way all season long. We learned a lot of baseball, and some of the boys went on to be all-star players in high school and college.

The names are many, but a few I remember are the Poldiak boys, Sivec, Slonac, Danel, Bailey, Kushner, Nalepa, Drobnick, Bertolino, Nagy, Matsko, Meyers and many others.

I was never that good, but it didn’t matter because coach Matsko treated everyone alike. He taught us, disciplined us, laughed  with us and, most importantly, he loved us.

He truly was a one-of-a-kind man who gave greatly to his community. I thank God that he was a big part of my life and the lives of hundreds of boys in that area in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.    

Pat Walsh

Friedens, formerly of Sidman

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