AROUND TOWN: Mural big hit in Dunmore

·4 min read

Jul. 24—In Dunmore, the popularity of the high school football team is unmatched, but even Tom DePietro didn't expect this kind of reaction. Same with artist Eric Bussart.

"You can often see the cars slow down and look," DePietro said of the mural of Dunmore football players on the side of his pharmacy on Wheeler Avenue. "It's great. It's a remarkable piece."

That remarkable piece features Dunmore football players bursting through a banner onto the field. While Bussart estimates he's done about 70 murals, none has received the attention of his most recent creation.

"The response to that mural was incredible," said Bussart, a 27-year-old who graduated from Marywood University and lives in Clifford. "The amount of enthusiasm the community has toward their local team, it was one of the most well-received projects I've ever done.

"As soon as I started drawing football helmets, people were stopping. I've never had people that enthusiastic for a project before."

The genesis for the project came from Liz Naro of the Mosaic Project, who had been reaching out to DePietro for some time to use the side of his building, as Ragnacci's Restaurant did, for a mural.

"I never thought it would look like that," DePietro said. "It's crazy, all of the feedback. On Facebook, we have tons of people commenting and sharing, but in person, they're all saying it's beautiful. It really is great and it lifts their spirits up because I feel like everybody is in this rut.

"Obviously, Dunmore loves their football team, but they love their school as well. That image, 20 people could look at it and have a different memory jogged. Everyone can pull something different away from it.

"The kid's impressive."

Much of Bussart's work is done at night, sometimes working well beyond 1 a.m. That's because one of the final steps of his process is taking his computer-generated rendition and projecting it onto the wall of the building and then tracing it before he paints.

"It took seven days. I thought I could do it in four, but I was delusional," Bussart said. "I guess it was more detailed than I anticipated."

The work has Bussart looking for more inspiration from within not only Dunmore, but other

communities.

"I realized I kind of tapped into something when I painted the Bucks," Bussart said. "When you pick the right subject matter, people that don't necessarily care about murals are interested in it. Now you're getting way more people excited about the artwork than if you just painted something pretty.

"If you paint something meaningful to your area, you engage a lot more people in the community in a more meaningful way."

He's also looking for more locations, even as other businesses, some outside Dunmore, are looking to add one of his murals.

"There's a couple walls in Scranton that are just gigantic white canvases that I've been meaning to chat somebody up about," Bussart said.

Time to celebrate

Congratulations are in order to a couple of couples. Former Valley View and Mid Valley football coach Frank Pazzaglia and his bride, Diane, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary Thursday.

Scranton Prep cross country coach Jeff Dorunda and his number one assistant, wife Tia, welcomed a son, Wilson Jeffrey, on Monday. He hit the starting line at 8 pounds, 12 ounces and joins older sister, Camilla, at home.

Hall of Fame inductees

Local basketball trailblazer John Bucci will be honored posthumously and heads the list of inductees for the 2022 class of the Northeast Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

Bucci led Bishop Hannan to three state finals, winning one, and a semifinal. He also laid the groundwork for AAU basketball in the area.

Joining Bucci as inductees will be Old Forge High School and Misericordia University softball pitcher Jess Armillay, Holy Cross High School and Duquesne University cross country and track athlete Rico Galassi, Old Forge and Franklin & Marshall College basketball and baseball player Mike Lucarelli, Lackawanna Trail and Syracuse University field hockey standout Laura Fitzpatrick O'Malley, high school and college basketball official Bob Timlin, Carbondale Area and West Chester University basketball star Natalie Winters Aniska, and Ross Zanghi, a three-sport athlete at Scranton Tech and Wilkes College, playing football, basketball and baseball, as well as working many years as a PIAA official.

The Service Award will be presented to Michael Serino for his 65 years of service to Little League. Scranton Times-Tribune sports writer Donnie Collins will be the Media Award recipient.

The awards dinner will be Oct. 2 at Fiorelli's in Peckville. Other details will be coming in the near future.

MARTY MYERS is a Times-Tribune sports writer. His Around Town column appears on Sundays. To contact him, email mmyers@timesshamrock.com, call 570-348-9100, ext. 5437; or follow him on Twitter @mmyersTT.

MARTY MYERS is a Times-Tribune sports writer. His Around Town column appears on Sundays. To contact him, email mmyers@timesshamrock.com, call 570-348-9100, ext. 5437 or follow him on Twitter @mmyersTT.