Luzerne County To Be Featured In ABC 20/20 Special With Diane Sawyer

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WYOMING -- ABC's 20/20 special report entitled "My Reality: A Hidden America" features several people and businesses in Luzerne County.

Inside The Avenue Diner in Wyoming, there's a bit of excitement leading up to the special broadcast.

"We can't really wait to see what happens with it," said Dave Krappa, the owner of the diner.

A little more than a month ago, ABC's Diane Sawyer interviewed employees and customers as a part of several stops in Luzerne County. It's all part of a special focusing on people struggling to cover their costs and working two or even three jobs.

"It rings very close to me as a single parent," said Patricia Lako, a waitress at the diner. "I had a kid at 16, and had to work two jobs. I worked a couple jobs, my fiance works two jobs all to make ends meet."

Krappa admits people are anxious and excited to see the final product. The diner has undergone major renovations since Diane Sawyer's visit in late November.

"It's exciting to see the change because they're looking forward to it," he said as a sign of hope for the community.  "With this area, it's so tough. You don't see a lot of things like that, especially at mom and pop type places."

One of the things that didn't change in the diner is a stool where President Obama and Diane Sawyer both sat. The owner plans to get a plaque to commemorate the occasions.

The special also features two firefighters from the Wilkes-Barre Fire Department, each working more than a job.

For Captain Mike Bilski, it means a lot for men in the department to be included and have their voices heard by millions of people.

"I was surprised that the big ABC was coming to town," said Bilski. "We're used to [Newswatch16] coming around to do interviews with the chief and stuff like that, but to have them come in to do a long story on our guys...and to actually follow these guys around and get a taste of how they're living, I thought that was pretty neat."

A special edition of 20/20 airs Friday at 10 p.m. on WNEP.


  • Norma Rath

    The upper 20% needs to see your show. I certainly hope Diane Sawyer is not in that group. How about addressing the discrimination against the older workers. After moving to Kansas City no one would hire me because of my age (59), and that was applying for low level jobs. I finally found a $10 per hour job, but my health care costs are more than half my income. So my take home is less than $300 every 2 weeks.

  • Tina Smith

    Great story that opens our eyes providing real life situations on how some of us struggle just to survive.Truly heartbreaking.

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