NEW CASTLE —
BEFORE THE WAR
Originally from Sharpsville, Adamczyk attended a one-room schoolhouse for a few years before the family moved to South New Castle Borough. He attended New Castle schools through 11th grade. Residents of South New Castle were assigned to Shenango schools the following year, and Adamczyk graduated from high school there, playing on the Wildcats’ football team in the fall of 1938.
He began playing the harmonica at age 6, and that evolved into violin lessons. He developed a love for country music and listened to the Grand Ole Opry on radio every Saturday night. He bought a used fiddle for $5 and began to imitate what he heard on the radio.
He formed a band with two neighborhood boys and soon they were playing parties and square dances around the area. In 1938, WKST went on the air from the Scottish Rite Cathedral.
“They held tryouts and we won,” Adamczyk said.
After joining with a country singer from Wheeling, W.Va., they became known as Sis Simpson and the Rhythm Ramblers, playing five days a week on the local station. He gave that up to join the Army, but he remains a lover of blue grass music and still plays at various festivals.
After the war, Adamczyk remained in the service through 1947. He returned to Lawrence County and worked at Johnson Bronze for a few years before re-inlisting. “I just liked the Army life,” he explained.
A decade later he was was recalled to active duty as a member of the Air Force reserves. He lived in many exotic places, including Okinawa Island, Guam and Japan.
On Aug. 31, 1967, after more than 22-plus years, he retired from the military. Once again, he returned to Lawrence County.
“We finished (building) our home in Scott Township and I went to work for the postal service,” said Adamczyk, who started in the New Castle office and later transferred to Slippery Rock, where he became the assistant post master.
He and first wife, Dorothy had six children. Dorothy, died in an automobile accident in 1981.
Adamczyk lives on Eastbrook-Harlansburg Road now with his second wife, Suzie. Adamczyk and Susie have been married for 28 years. Susie, who was born in Germany, was a nurse for her native land during World War II.
“I married the enemy,” Adamczyk says with a wink and a smile. “But it’s workin’ out pretty well.”