Mountaintop Residents Share Their Stories In 2016
By NICOLE FAY BARR
Correspondent

Residents from all over Mountain Top shared their stories with The Eagle in 2016 and many gave inspiration with their bravery. The stories showed just how diverse this community is and how there are many here who strive to make this area a better place.

Diverse community

Many residents from all walks of life shared their stories with The Eagle this year. From a young ballerina who overcame a hearing disability to a veteran of World War II recalling the horrors of war still fresh in his mind, each story came with inspiration and lessons to be learned.

Amanda Stopper grew up in

a family that provided her with unwavering love, support, and confidence. It was because of that strength that, Amanda, who was born almost completely deaf, had overcome many obstacles. Unable to hear melodies, she still became an accomplished ballerina. Talented in art, she is now studying her passion at college. As each challenge was placed before her, she faced it all unafraid.

John Henry, the definition of bravery and modesty, reluctantly told his story after he was honored for his 70-year membership in the American Legion. He admitted that he didn’t have to go to war in 1942; he was actually rejected by the draft board for having a missing toe. But, he enlisted anyway and served on the now-infamous naval ship, the USS Intrepid, experiencing first-hand the extreme horrors of World War II.

“It was quite the experience for a boy who was 17 years old,” Henry related. “I didn’t know anything. They made a man out of me.” Of fighting in World War II, as difficult as it was, Henry said he had no regrets; he was honored to do his patriotic duty.

Ronald Swank felt a duty many years ago too, to serve the people of Mountaintop. As he entered retirement, the popular judge, who’d ruled on everything from disorderly conduct to homicide during his 40 years on the bench, spoke about his career. He described striving to treat each defendant before him with respect and dignity and hoping that his rulings would contribute to the betterment of the community.

“I’ve really enjoyed it,” Swank, one of the longest serving magistrates in the state’s history, related. “Some days weren’t easy and some cases were very sad and tough to deal with but, in general, there’s some satisfaction involved with helping people.”

See Residents page 4