HOMETOWN HISTORY, June 21, 2013
100 Years Ago
Local News – Frank Pierce of Otego has purchased of Arthur M. Butts the local agent, a new Cadillac touring car. Mr. Pierce will never have reason to regret his selection. While there are many good cars being made these days there are none better at the price than these same Cadillacs.
One of the largest regular passenger trains lately over the D. & H. through this city was No. 303 Wednesday morning, which consisted of ten cars drawn by two locomotives. The train, besides the regular equipment included three cars occupied by the Scranton, Binghamton and Troy baseball teams, a tourist sleeper and an extra Pullman.
A model locomotive constructed entirely of wood by Thurlow Smith was on exhibition yesterday in the display window of Bresee’s Department Store and attracted much attention from passersby. It is a very clever piece of work and every part of the exterior of a real locomotive is found in proper proportion on the miniature model.
80 Years Ago
Four grades at the Oneonta Plains School, together with their teachers, held picnics at local parks yesterday, and the other four will hold outings Thursday. The first and second grades, under the direction of Mrs. Helen Murray and Miss Frances Pennybacker, had dinner at Neahwa Park. Seventh and eighth grade pupils, with Mrs. Ruth St. John and Mrs. Blanch Loucks in charge, had supper at Wilber Park where a number of boys and girls went swimming in the park pool. Thursday’s program will include a picnic at Becker’s Grove near the school for the third and fourth grades under the supervision of Miss Gladys Church and Miss Grace Wilbur. The fifth grade outing will take place at Wilber Park and the sixth grade will go to Goodyear Lake. Miss Margaret Slade and Miss Geraldine Wall, respectively, will have charge of these two groups.
60 Years Ago
“Little Bertha,” a World War I artillery weapon that withstood the rigors of climate and scrap drives for nearly 30 years in front of the National Guard Armory, went to the scrap heap yesterday. Like an old soldier fading away, the howitzer-like cannon creaked and groaned a little before finally submitting to the junk man’s hammers. There was no fanfare – just a sigh of relief from National Guard officials. “That thing was getting a little dangerous,” a sergeant said. “The kids were playing around it and they might have gotten hurt. It was falling apart anyway. It was an eyesore.” The cannon, a 1917 one-ton Austrian field piece came to Oneonta in the early 1920s as part of a U.S. shipment of war souvenirs to state armories. Adrian Jenks, an armorer recalls unloading “Little Bertha” from her crate and paying the freight charge of $40. Jenks took care of the gun until he retired two years ago. Jenks was proud of her. When WWII scrap drives threatened “Little Bertha” the veterans of the first war banded together to save her. “They didn’t want her scrapped,” he said. “They wanted people to remember.” Along with five old machine guns, “Little Bertha” fetched a grand total of $21. A flower bed is planned for the area the cannon once occupied.
40 Years Ago
Hank Majeski, Dave O’Brien and Nick Lambros once again had to face the toughest job in baseball Tuesday when they had to tell free agent Geoff Wright he wouldn’t be with the 1973 Oneonta Yankees. Wright, a graduate of Ithaca College was working out at second base with the O-Yanks along with Randy Braxton from California. Free agents Pete Wyso and Don Anderson, fresh out of Hartwick College, remain with the club. Anderson is one of ten pitchers and Wyso is one of three catchers at Damaschke. Tim Grice, a graduate of Minnesota University, arrived in camp yesterday and is a good looking catcher. He just got through playing in the College World Series at Omaha, Nebraska where the Golden Gophers placed third behind Southern Cal and Arizona State universities.
30 Years Ago
Oneonta police are not kept very busy by serious crimes, but that allows members of the department to assist local residents in a variety of ways, ranging from retrieving keys locked inside cars to chasing bats out of houses. Motorists who lock their keys in their cars are the most frequent problem according to Police Chief John Donadio. “We get a lot of those – maybe 30 a month,” he said. “That’s almost one a day.” During the first two weekends this month, police handled only two criminal offenses and five criminal investigations, such as burglaries, thefts, trespassing and vandalism, in which no arrests were made. Meanwhile, there were more than 20 miscellaneous calls including parking, littering, loitering, under-age drinking, excessive noise, and reports of suspicious persons.
20 Years Ago
School lunch menu for the Oneonta City Schools – Monday: Spicy Mexican tacos, seasoned rice, buttered vegetables, fresh fruit, milk. No alternate. Tuesday: Spaghetti with meat sauce, bread and butter, tossed green salad, assorted fruit and milk. Alternate: Tuna salad sandwich. Wednesday: Chicken nuggets with dip sauce, creamy mashed potatoes, buttered vegetables, fresh fruit and milk. Alternate: bologna sandwich. Thursday: Free Icee Jucee, creamy macaroni and cheese, carrot salad with raisins, bread and butter, assorted fruit and milk. Alternate: Southern fried chicken. Friday: Homemade pizza, tossed green salad, assorted fruit and milk. No alternate.
10 Years Ago
Oneonta Tigers’ manager Randy Ready and his team are off to a flying start for the 2003 NY-P season as they completed a three-game opening sweep of the Vermont Expos with a 3-1 victory at Damaschke Field before 401 fans. Gilberto Mejia’s two run triple in the third inning keyed the Tigers’ offense and starter Luis Diaz scattered eight hits over five innings. “The pitching’s been good,” Ready said. “We’ve been playing good defense the first three games of the year with just one error and that was made in the outfield. It’s a bonus when the infielders can make the plays.” Diaz said he’d never allowed more than five hits in a game before.