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Amsterdam, NY ,



Main Street

Saturday, March 15, 2014 - Updated: 4:08 AM

They're Off

Amsterdam's "Better Times Drive" got off to a start today and you boys and girls who would be agreeable to a free trip to Bermuda or the World's Fair would do well to get under way without delay. Winners of last year's campaign and employes of merchants participating are barred, but other residents of Amsterdam and surrounding territory between the ages of 16 and 30 are eligible. If I remember correctly, married women were out of last year's contest, but this event will offer no particular handicap on the group that has promised "I will." The drive ends on April 28.

The plan has worked well as a business stimulant other years and with things somewhat on the up-and-up, there is every reason to look forward to an interesting popularity campaign. Personally I am inclined to favor the "booster contest" idea used in the up-county villages. This is in the form of a free-for-all, where every purchaser gets a number with each purchase and the lucky one in the raffle (beg your pardon -- "auction") gets a car or something like that.

The desire to "take a chance" is strong in human nature and the gambling laws of the country are being violated without qualms of conscience by citizens law-abiding in every other respect. It is not a bad plan to utilize this motive power to stimulate trade. After all, every business venture is a gamble.


Among the really embarrassing moments of life is that occasion when the president of an organization calls on you, as chairman of a committee, to make a report on something that you are far from prepared to discuss. It happened at yesterday's meeting of the Rotary Club and the victim was Principal Frits Heil of the Junior High. After making a bluff through asking that the matter go over to another meeting, on account of its length, (he had a voluminous sheaf of papers later discovered to be song sheets, etc.) he was finally instructed to make a report of some kind. And he did, including the following nifty:

"The work of the committee is not completed, but our preliminary investigations have shown that Amsterdam needs an airport. We have found that fly-by-night corporations have always done well here although some that landed did not take off with much."


It was at the same session that another poll to determine sentiment on the proposed filtration plant was taken. The question put and those in favor instructed to say "aye," there followed what appeared to be a unanimous shout. It seemed hardly necessary to add sad those 'no'," but the formality was complied with and the members were surprised to hear one determined vote in the negative. All heads were turned in an effort to learn the identity of this courageous individual.

It was an undertaker. "We undertakers have decided to oppose all sanitation improvements," he explained so solemnly that the club visitors thought he was really sincere.


Crager's All Stars are taking on the Hawthornes at Hagaman for another game Saturday night and it should be a humdinger. The All Stars were trimmed last time, but they are counting on the breaks in the coming battle. They play a gentleman's game up there and rules don't count for much when they want to give their opponents fair treatment.

By way of explanation: In last Saturday night's court tilt, the Hawthorne star, Buchanan, was at his own end of the court when he got the ball. So what did he do with it? Why, he tossed it in the basket overhead, of course. And then, the ball still in play, he grabbed it again and rushed down the court to drop it through the basket of the opposing team. It all happened within seconds, they say.

If this yarn is really true, and it came from a very reliable source of information, then it probably marks the beginning of a new era in basketball. Court ethics of the future will probably mean that it will be unfair to shoot a basket until one has been made for the opposition.


One of the "shorts" shown at the Orpheum during the first part of the week demonstrated the clever entertaining ability of Rika Culick, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Albert N. Culick, formerly of this city and now of Yonkers. The five-year-old miss was seen and heard in "Station TOT," for which she did a solo number. She has had considerable experience before the mike also, and is heard regularly in a children's broadcast from WNAC.

This was originally published March 15, 1934.


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