Embracing a New Year:Winter at the Waverly Community House

The Waverly Community House has recently received some letters from afar. One in particular is from a former Waverly resident and good friend of The Comm who exclaimed: “Some local organizations are talking about a new community house for this town of 6,600 people. They have heard all about The Waverly Community House and have been asking me about it. I am asking you to send me one copy of your new by-laws, annual budget of any recent year, and annual report for any year. We appreciate any information you can send. I am trying to impress upon the people that the building of a community house is only the beginning.” How right he is and how essential it is to that particular community house’s future success that his townsfolk realize it as well. We like to think that here in Waverly, our community is aware of the need for active participation by many in the progress of our Comm (Waverly Community House Newsletter, January 1950).  

The Waverly Community House has always approached each new year with a sense of excitement for the new opportunities that accompany January’s arrival. From fitness classes, to health and wellness sessions, to children’s programming, The Comm offers something for everyone during the long winter season. Today’s blog post will highlight what makes The Waverly Community House so special during this time of year by taking a look at one of our archival newsletters from January of 1950. Enjoy!

Dear Friend of the Waverly Community House,

We sometimes wonder if the boys and girls who are away at school and college realize how much they are missed, and how often the home folks think and speak of them. With Christmas vacation newly past, we are mindful of our younger townsfolk and we thought you might be interested in hearing about some of them who we feel have gained special distinction in college.

Clara Cooner: Clara is now a junior at Pennsylvania State College and is working for a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Chemistry. She has been elected to Alpha Xi and Alpha Lambda Delta, the latter representing high academic standing.

Robert Dixon Jr.: Dixon was one of the 50,000 American boys to take the Navy’s ROTC competitive exams (written, oral, and physical), for a four year college course, plus required Navy subjects at the University of Miami. Of the 50,000 boys only 3,200 qualified, Dixon was one of them. After graduation, he will become Ensign in the Navy.

Lynn Healy: Lynn is currently in her freshman year of college at Colby Junior College. She is Vice-President of the Student Government Association.

James Johnson: James has played on the varsity hockey team at Harvard University for the past two years. He was also elected to the Hasty Pudding Club and to the Owls Club; he is currently taking pre-medical courses.

Barry Larowski: Barry was elected to two honorary fraternities this year at the Pennsylvania State College. Both organizations require not only high academic average, but also several extra-curricular activities. Among other activities, Harry plays on the varsity soccer team.

Harry Purcell: Harry Purcell is Waverly’s representative at the United States Military Academy at West Point where he is a second year cadet.

Karl David Rittenhouse: Karl graduated from Waverly High School in 1937, entered into the armed forces, saw active service throughout the war, and afterwards entered Lehigh University’s School of Engineering. He ranks 35th in a class of 565 students and will be graduated “with honors” this February.

Gretchen Von Storch: Von Storch is a member of the Sage Chapel Choir of Cornell University which recently presented a concert broadcast over a nationwide hook-up by CBS. This choir is preparing a festival of Bach music for the spring.

Ann Warren: Warren has been elected as Song Leader by the Vassar College Class of 1953.

We wish we could mention here all of the Waverly boys and girls who have distinguished themselves in school and college, but unfortunately space does not permit. To all of them we send special greetings and congratulations. Waverly and your Community House is proud of you kids, and looks forward to welcoming you home again. No matter where you are, don’t ever forget that this is “Your Comm.”

a25The Comm is still buzzing with activity of regularly scheduled meetings, classes,clubs and athletics. On Friday, January 27th, the second Square Dance will be held. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Eynon will serve as co-chairmen. The first dance was such a whale of a success, we again look forward to a packed floor. This dance has had to be arranged for a Friday evening because our first-rate orchestra, caller, and teacher have a permanent engagement for Saturday nights. January 27th will be a date for young and old, whether you are square dance experts or not.

We have run into difficulty renting roller skates, and have been recently unable to offer roller skating at The Comm. However, our Trustees and Special Activities Committee, headed by Mrs. Thomas Hardy are arranging to buy skates so that all of us can skate without complications. There will be roller skating soon!

Special salute to Walter Travis and Robert Staples who are doing outstanding work with Lyle Severance and the Boy Scout Committee. With the change in age limit from 12 to 11 years, and the resulting influx of young enthusiasts, the Boy Scout Troop has had to be divided into four patrols.

Readings, arranged by Mrs. Elizabeth Zinram and her committee will start January 30th at 8:00 pm with Mrs. J. Phillips reading “Arsenic and Old Lace.” In March, Mrs. Elizabeth Conrad will read a novel and in May, Mrs. Arthur Brown will read a book of non-fiction. Get your season ticket at The Comm, or from a member of the committee for these delightful events.

If you have never seen a basketball game played by some of our Midget Teams you are missing something. These teams are composed of 5th, 6th, and 7th grade boys with explosive energies and a burning desire to play good basketball. The games are usually played before the school games. We guarantee you an evening of entertainment and amazement. Midget Teams and their members are:

Devils- R. Spencer, J. Manning, T. Eynon, W. Hardy, D. Belin

Comets- G. Null, T. Phillips, B. Barkalow, M.Peck, L. Gow

Bulldogs- R. Ferraro, W. Williams, J. Peck, J. Sullivan, R. Smith, R. Simpson

Rockets- R. Stiepock, G. Thomas, J. Mastowski, T. Mayer, O.Gordon

The Devils lead, having won five games and lost one. The Comets are in second place. Congratulations to Warren Davis and Robert Dixon who coach them.

We know that congratulations are in order to William Fields, who has been transferred to Harrisburg as General Sales Manager of Bryer’s Ice Cream Company. We are sorrowful for his leaving so we are torn between cheers and tears. Best of luck Bill. We hate to see you and your family go. Waverly will miss you and hopes you will come back someday.

web1_waverlycommIt is never too late, we think, to wish the young and older friends of The Comm a new year of happiness and achievement.


The above newsletter from January of 1950 illustrates how important The Waverly Community House was to the community during this time period. The sentiment that no matter where life brings you, The Comm will always represent “home” is weaved throughout the building’s history and remains true in 2019. Happy almost one- hundredth birthday to The Waverly Community House. We have so much in store for the upcoming year and beyond so stay tuned!!!!

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