Words of Wisdom: Jack Corbett

John “Jack” Corbett was born in 1918. As a child he labored in the local mines of Old Forge as a breaker boy. He worked his way out of the mines by taking a correspondence course in electricity and became the owner and operator of Corbett Electrical Co., Old Forge. He is a former employee of Maxon Corp., and prior to retirement he was employed by the General State Authority. A lifelong member of the NRA and avid hunter, he has always possessed a deep concern for the integrity of our environment in Northeastern Pennsylvania. During the 1980s he was especially critical of the new landfills that began to dot the area. Here are his own words expressing his concerns:

“I think we are fast coming to the point of no return in this area as far as pollution is concerned. This area has suffered from the coal barons who ruined our land by taking out all the coal and left us with big voids, caves; and they ripped up the surface for strip mining. Now the area is at the mercy of the garbage [and gas] men. They do whatever they please, even if it is against the will of property owners or the citizens’ wishes. We’ve lost control of self-government, it seems, in this area. I cannot understand for the life of me why this area should have to suffer every time there is a change. The people who make all of the money from exploiting this area’s resources don’t have any consideration whatever for the average citizen. When they’re finished here, they move on to another state with clean water and air. This is nothing but greed. It seems to me that the smarter we’re getting, the worse we’re getting. And I believe that man is getting so smart that he’s eliminating himself. I cannot understand why so few can make so many unhappy and hurt them through poor representation in as far as the environment is concerned.”


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