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Amsterdam, NY ,



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Saturday, August 16, 2014 - Updated: 4:08 AM

It Sounded Phoney

When Charley Schenck left home to attend that meeting in Schenectady the other night, he told the missus he would be home early -- by 11 at least. He meant well when he said it (most husbands do) and to show that good intention he broke away from the meeting at an hour that should have enabled him to make good his intent. But fate, cruel fate, intervened to make his alibi sound as phoney as that old gold purchaser who operated in the Town of Charlton last week -- but more of that in the next yarn.

Charley was speeding toward home when he ran into a State Trooper car. The guardians of law and order were checking up on mysterious characters at a spot down the Amsterdam-Schenectady highway and all travelers were being halted and compelled to show their credentials. As luck would have it, the local Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce had enough credentials to satisfy almost anybody as to his identity, but in spite of the mass of data there was nothing to prove that he had authority to be operating that particular machine at that particular time. He did a nice act for the troopers, but they shook their heads.

An hour or so later he was telling the same story to a Justice of the Peace in that section and that official was pouring through credentials that covered about everything but the motor vehicle angle. Well, to make a long story short (something he tried to do and couldn't) he finally reached Amsterdam in the wee hours of the morning. And when he tried to tell the tale to the missus it sounded about as bad as it had down at the office. Something ought to be done about these things and it might be a good idea to equip State Troopers with blanks to be filled out at the demand of delayed husbands -- something to corroborate what they have to tell when they try to explain it at home.


That old gold purchaser that I referred to was a slick one. When he reached that farm house in the Town of Charlton, south of the Scotch Church intersection of the Amsterdam-Ballston highway, he shouted out such an interesting line that the good housewife decided to sell him a diamond ring that had been in the family for many years. The diamond business was rather out of his line, but he was alert to the possibilities. He would be only too happy to accommodate her by bringing the ring to Schenectady, where a ready buyer might be found. The plan seemed feasible enough to the family and he left with the ring and with the son, a young man of perhaps 21 Summers, who was to keep an eye on the man with the gem.

They met with no success in Schenectady. The diamond market is a bit dead down there, it seems, and so they went to Saratoga. Even that supposed center of opulence failed to disclose a person or place interested in buying diamonds (oats and hay being so expensive) and the old gold man and his guardian set out for Glens Falls. They had traveled far from the starting place and the pangs of hunger were felt, as the stranger suggested that they get a bite to eat. This was agreeable to his shadow and they entered a hashery.

Just as the meal was about to be served, the stranger arose. He had to see a man about a mule, or something or other, and he told his bodyguard that he would be right back. The minutes passed and finally the young man realized that something must have happened to his companion of the several hours previous. He also arose and began a search -- a search that has lasted for several days now and nary hide nor hair has been seen of the fellow.


It was unfortunate that the debate on Shorts vs. Clothing should have come up during the week that I was out of the game. There were so many ideas that suggested themselves in the reading of opinions from prominent women golfers who protest that they can never show their real form if they can't ... er ... a ... well, if they can't show their real form. It is a discussion that naturally lends itself to gags.

There seemed to be slight interest locally, however, and perhaps it is just as well I didn't tread on the toes of those who are in favor of scanties for outdoor wear. They are all right for children -- or should I say Childs? They tell me that the only male golfer seen wearing them at the Antlers was George, who made a real scene at the island hole when he was compelled to take off his knickers. But, after all, when a bee gets crawling around in a pair of jeans, the wearer doesn't worry over much about styles and conventions.


Two other Amsterdamians whose opinions on the subject of shorts should be worth something are Don Auspelmeyer and Jim Hogg. Don, Scoutmaster of Troop 11, and Jim, member of the lifeguard crew at the Scout Camp, Northville, took a group of scouts to Mass at Sacandaga Park and then strolled down to the station to make a purchase. As they were crossing the platform, a woman came up to them and said: "Boys, will you stand there a minute, please?"

Believing that the occasion for their daily good turn had come, they did as she requested. They stood there a minute, yes, two or three minutes, while she disappeared on some errand. Finally she returned with a young boy and pointing to the pair of local men; advocates of the much-discussed shorts, she said:

"Look, son, you, too, will grow up to be a fine big Scout like these boys if you eat your spinach and also your cereal every morning."

This was first published August 16, 1934.


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