Mr. Vladimir Geeza

Will he or Won’t he?

From the May 1987 Monthly Report

Two people reneged on their site visit and canceled with us at the last minute, both deciding that they preferred not to participate (for a variety of reasons). One person is an ex-publisher who has the backfile of his paper (1938 – 1945) “rotting in his attic and wishes to leave it so”. It’s a bitter pill to swallow. Finding these caches is difficult enough; locating them and being refused access is really hard to accept!

Partial Journal Entries

[During our visit to Lackawanna County]

Wednesday, May 20, 1987

Beck and I then drove to Carbondale where we planned to spend the rest of the day. First stop – Carbondale News Office. Arrived at 9:45 am and by 10:30 we were finished. While there, Robert Powell, Historical Society member and the person who was going to help us while there, showed up. Robert had brought along some of his own – which we inventoried and cataloged.

While working on Robert’s papers, Hank [Loftus], another Historical Society person, showed.

The four of us then walked over to the Carbondale Public Library where the Carbondale Historical Society’s bound newspaper collection was stored… by 5:45pm we came to our last volume.

Headed back to our room at the Best Western.

Back at the room, Beck called Mr. Vladimir Geeza in Peckville to confirm our visit for tomorrow.

Mr. Geeza said he thought about it and decided not to participate in the Project. True he had the 6 or 7 years of the Mid-Valley Journal in his attic, but just the thought of his publishing days brought back bad feelings and emotions. Beck urged him to reconsider but he said that he just wanted it to die in his attic – that it wasn’t really worth saving. Mr. Geeza was very emotional about it, so Beck just let it go at that.

Can a publisher make those kinds of decisions not to preserve a community’s news/history???

Certainly an interesting turn of events!!!


[Back in the Office…]

Friday, May 29, 1987

Last work day in May! Where does the time go?

Beck spent the entire day writing thank- you letters to the people of Lackawanna County. There were so many letters to out. Beck even wrote to those people whom we didn’t visit – like Mr. Geeza – who had papers but refused our visit. Beck wrote to him almost begging for him to change his mind…


From the June 1987 Monthly Report

On the bright side:

We mentioned in our last Monthly Report [May 1987] that two contacts had reneged on us. In a last attempt to see their collections, we wrote them an explanatory letter when we got back to the office [See letters below]. One responded, and I am happy to report that the file of the Mid-Valley Journal from Olyphant, 1938 – 1944, is now safely housed in the Carbondale Historical Society in Lackawanna County! A better fate than rotting in an attic in Peckville…

[Read on to see how it all fell into place…]

Letter to Mr. Vladimir Geeza from Becky Wilson asking him to reconsider his decision….

Geeza LtrJun 2 1987

Letter to Hank Loftus from Becky Wilson after site-visit, and w/reference to V. Geeza:
Geeza Hank Loftus Ltr Jun 3 1987
Letter to Becky Wilson from Vladimir Geeza, who has reconsidered… notice in particular his ultimate realization – many years later – that his newspaper, was, in the end, worthwhile!
Geeza Loftus Ltr Dec 12-1987 Pg.1
Geeza Dear Ms Wislon Ltr Jun 10 1987 p2
Partial Journal Entries

[Back in the Office…]

Monday, June 22, 1987

Spent most of the morning going through the stack of mail. Received a letter from Mr. Geeza, publisher of the now defunct Mid-Valley Journal (Olyphant). He will now allow us to see his backfile! GREAT! Seems he want to get rid of it. What a nice surprise – Beck and I thought Mr. Geeza was going to stand firm and not let us see it.

Will contact him to make arrangements for its transfer, etc. …


Handwritten notes from Becky Wilson to self…

Notes from telephone conversation Becky had with Hank Loftus, Carbondale Historical Society: 717-876-2612 Work


I told Hank:

I called Vladimir Geeza. He is willing to give or lend his papers to the Carbondale Historical Society. Hank will call him to arrange a pick-up. Hank wants to film them right away.

I then called Bill Hamill – Micor [Micrographics] can film the papers and have Hank pay for it. Hank would hand-deliver it. Bill will call me with a cost (we guesstimate $332.00 for 3 copies).

Let Hank know what it will be. Micrographics International from Hazleton did Hank’s filming (badly!) and they may do this again.


7/6/87 I called Bill Hamill.

Bill said: $500.00 w/copies. Wow!

No pick-up / delivery


Tuesday, July 7, 1987

…Hank Loftus called – he gave us cataloging information on the Mid-Valley Journal. He and Robert Powell went to Mr. Geeza’s house and picked them up. Thanks Hank!


Letter to V. Geeza from Becky, thanking him for his participation…

Geeza Ltr Jul 7 1997

Letter to Becky from V. Geeza, returning release form…

Geeza Dear Mrs Wilson Ltr Jul 14 1987


Letter from Hank Loftus, Second Vice-President, Carbondale Historical Society, to Sue and Becky December 12, 1987. Reprinted with permission received from Mr. Loftus on October 12, 2012.

Geeza Loftus Ltr Dec 12-1987 Pg.1

 Geeza Loftus Ltr Dec 12-1987 Pg.2

 [Post Script: October 15, 2012]

Mr. Vladimir Geeza’s paper backfile of the Mid-Valley Journal (Olyphant 1938 – 1944) housed at the Carbondale Historical Society was not microfilmed by the United States Newspaper Project (USNP). The original bound volumes are in archival storage in Room 303 of Carbondale City Hall, Carbondale, PA.

For holdings information, please visit Chronicling AmericaUS Newspaper Online Directory” for Mid-Valley Journal



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