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Andy Dobash

If you happen to be ATVing down the trail and meet up with a camo 330 Polaris Magnum, sporting a nice set of whitetail antlers and a name plate with "Andy" on them - you've just seen one of our oldest members (but youngest in years!), Andrew J. Dobash. Andy celebrates his 90th year on April 3rd and he has been a member for 10 years.

Andrew grew up in the Winburne area. His family had a Hungarian background and he spoke that tongue better than English when he started school. In 1938, he went to work for PA Coal & Coke, mining in cramped 3-4 ft. high conditions. From 1942-1945, he joined the Army/Air Force as an airplane mechanic in the CBI (China, Burma, India Theater) on the General Anderson troop ship. The Army discovered Andy also had a knack for teaching recruits how to shoot so they sent him off to fly over the "hump" (the Himalayan Mountains) to what the men jokingly referred to as "the forgotten country", China, to help teach the Chinese how to shoot. Sometimes Andy recalls being really lucky to have fresh eggs because the only meat in the rice was often bugs. Andy said he once asked if his parachute was guaranteed...and was answered, "bring it back if it doesn't work."

After earning his stripe, Andy returned home and married Norma Hartshorne, June 25th, 1949. He went back to mining at various operations. He and Norma have five children - sons Andy and David and daughters Beverly, Carol, and Norma Lee. Andy volunteered as a Scout Leader in the mid 50's and was Scout Leader to our very own Dick Rockey!!

After 41 years workin coal, 13 of which were for Rushton Mines, Andy retired December 31, 1981. It took 15 years to finally get black lung; but he says Norma should have gotten it too for having to wash coal crusted clothes for all those years.

Andy has one of the most extensive license plate collections; plates from every US state, Canadian, humorous and unique plates. One plate even states AJD-4929, a plate with Andy's initials, the year he married, and his age at that time!

Andy has high hopes to hop on the SSRT this year and visit Orviston when the connection is completed, fishing and hunting along the way. Watch out for that hidden telephone wire, Andy!!

Lastly, Andy and his wife are delightful people and thanks to the trail and a mutual love of the outdoors and ATVing, we've been lucky enough to meet and enjoy getting to know them.
Article by Trilby Mayes