Amsterdam steps up yet again
To the editor:
Since June 9 we have been delayed inside Lock 11. Many concerned citizens have stopped by to offer assistance and take us wherever we asked to go. The people at Riverlink Park have been very generous.
The canal authority are doing their best to keep us comfortable by providing water and electricity. They check on us daily.
We have been especially impressed by the friendliness and helpfulness of the citizens of Amsterdam.
Galen and Rebecca Dunmire,
Aboard the Mooring Dove
Continuing the museum's mission
To the editor:
On behalf of the trustees of the Walter Elwood Museum Board of Directors, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Key Bank for their assistance on this year's Neighbors Make the Difference Day on May 22. Two teams of volunteers from both the Amsterdam and Glenville branches came and helped the museum move hundreds of boxes of artifacts for four hours from our temporary site on Division Street to our new home at 100 Church St. in the former Noteworthy complex and historic Bigelow Sanford Carpet Mills.
The teams arrived at noon ready to work and do whatever they could. They loaded a trailer up with boxes and then they unloaded it at our new location. Their great attitudes impressed me the most as we worked through a few rain showers with fun and laughter. We would like to personally thank each team leader: Patrick Ragucci of Glenville branch and Marcia Russo of the Amsterdam branch as well as their teams of volunteers, including Brent Pollack, Eric Etkin, Hamayun J. Faizy, Julia Schoonbeck, Lisa Krackow and Nicole Aurelia. These Key Bank employee volunteers demonstrated to us that "community is Key" by contributing their time and talents and muscles to the museum during our time of transition and need.
Key Bank absolutely made a difference for our organization on this day. Generous donation of time such as Key's on this day allows us to continue our mission and allows the community to connect to the heritage and culture of our region and the world around us. By taking the time to touch the past one can gain a clear and compelling value of our community's shared historical past, present and future in meaningful ways.
Ann M. Peconie,
The writer is executive director of the Walter Elwood Museum.
A tribute to Coach White
To the editor:
It was with great sadness that I heard of the death of Gene White on June 7, 2013. He died at the age of 77 and was described in the Saratoga newspaper's obituary as "peacefully." For those of you who did not know Gene White, I feel compelled to describe what Coach White meant to the city of Amsterdam in general, and me in particular.
Gene White came to Amsterdam in 1967-68 and inherited a football team that was called the Hilltoppers and had not been terribly successful in Capital District high school football. With much early resistance, he introduced his method of off-season weight training and in-season accountability. His enthusiasm was infectious and soon was embraced by his teams and the Amsterdam community. Before Gene White, Amsterdam football was an after thought. With Gene White and his coaching staff he assembled, Amsterdam football became relevant in the community -- a relevance which persists today and is embraced by the city. I would consider Coach White to be the re-founder of the Amsterdam football program and entirely responsible for the respect that our Rugged Rams have enjoyed over the years. Many of his ex-players and coaches went on to keep the Amsterdam "pride and spirit" alive as coaches after Gene left Amsterdam.
Coach White was probably the most influential person in my life other than my parents. I was a weak 150-pound player who Gene White transformed into a strong confident young adult. His lessons on the football field translated directly to my life and encouraged me to never back down and persist even when I was down or tired. I credit Gene White with molding my young life into the adult I have become. I am proud of my personal accomplishments, but, am actually prouder to have been an original Amsterdam High School Rugged Ram.
Please reflect on Gene White's impact on the city of Amsterdam and on the perennially successful Amsterdam Rugged Ram high school football program. Rest in peace Coach White. I will miss you and will always appreciate what you did for me.
Peter F. Diamond,
Mending fences; coming clean
To the editor:
Several weeks ago, I submitted a writing entailing the virtues of St. Mary's Hospital, both staff and management. I received a very warm letter from management thanking me. In my letter, I gave my wife's age and mine, the medication that we were receiving and the surgeries which we had undergone. I thought that would have covered everything.
Four days ago, the four of us were having supper -- my wife, myself, the cat and the dog, when I started to have chest pains. I'm 86 years old, but, I'm not ready to go. So I called my agent, T. McDermott, as to what I should do. He advised me that if I had anything I wasn't too proud of, I should let the world know -- sort of like mending fences, because when judgment day comes, I would like to have more plusses than minuses.
So, I present to you this crime I have avoided talking about for many years.
I have always had this thing about the Rialto Theater when it was in existence. But, due to budgetary constraints at a young age, I could never factor in the 50 cents required to gain admission. I had to figure out a method whereby I could gain admission free of charge.
Friday night was my answer. There were two shows. One at 7 p.m. and one at 9:05 p.m. If you went to the 7 p.m. show, you saw previews of coming attractions, then a cartoon followed by the feature film. It was customary that once the feature film had been shown for about 10 minutes they shut the doors. No one wanted to see half of anything. The public was aware of this.
So, if you were going to the 9 p.m. show, you arrived about 8:55 p.m., purchased your ticket and went into the vestibule for popcorn and candy. There was a line of 30 to 40 people waiting to get into the theater. I was in the middle of that line. No ticket and no money. The man who was collecting the tickets was named Sailor Baron. He was dressed sartorially resplendent.
Mr. Schine had all his ushers dressed appropriately. Sailor used his income from the theater to augment his outside wages. He was a professional prize fighter. Now you don't want to give this guy too much grief. He had a short fuse and if you weren't careful you might end up gumming your pork chops. All of a sudden, at 9:01 p.m., the lights went on and both doors opened. Sailor was taking tickets, and from the other door, there was a mass exodus of 70 to 80 people. I was in the middle of the line going in. I simply took two steps to my left and immersed myself in the line going out. I then turned around and walked backward until I was inside the theater where I claimed a seat.
Sailor was busy taking tickets. He saw the movement, but thought that it was everybody leaving. I was successful four weeks in a row. I think someone blew the whistle on me, because on the fifth week, I took my two steps to the left, turned around, walked backward, and when I had reached a space that I thought was safe, I turned around again only to be confronted by Mr. Kelly, the manager. He escorted me, rather forcefully, with a small deal of profanity in which he questioned my birthright. He put me out on Market Street. He advised me that if I liked movies to please try the Strand or the Regent.
I then called my agent, T. McDermott, for his advice. This was just recently he advised me that the statute of limitations had expired and I could not be prosecuted. He also said being catholic, this sin would be delegated as a venial sin, rather than a mortal one. He also said that the monetary value of four 50-cent tickets would not have had an adverse effect on Schine Enterprises. Further, should they seek litigation in civil court, he would advise them of my net worth. At the time, I had a third party from an out-of-state bank for $26, and a drawer full of Japanese war bonds. Just chalk it up to experience.
The chest pains bothered me to the extent that I drew up blueprints for my tombstone. In the upper left hand corner would be the year that I was born. In the upper right hand corner would be the year I passed away. Next would come my full name, James J. Sheridan, and then would come my epitaph as follows, in carved old English print: "I told you I wasn't feeling too good!"
No matter what your status in life, you must have a certain degree of levity. If you're going to walk around with a long face barking at everybody, it's not worth the trip.
Next week, we'll visit a home that no longer exists -- Mount Loretto.
I'm sorry. I can't sing, I can't dance, I play no musical instrument, but this is all I've got. I know that I left out a few names, but I'm 86 years old -- give me a break.
Bypassing the bypass study
To the editor:
It's hard to believe that Montgomery County won't contribute to the Fultonville-Johnstown bypass-connection study. Why should Fulton County be concerned about Fultonville and Fonda" After all, these two villages are located in Montgomery County. The concern for Montgomery County is about trucks not going to the truck stops in Fultonville is a lot of hog wash. The reason lots of trucks get off the Thruway is to stop at the truck stops. Properly placed signs would let others know about these truck stops and other businesses.
Fulton County should be trying to alleviate the traffic problems on Route 30A near Route 29. It seems the way to fix this situation is to terminate the bypass-connection at Route 29 near Harrison Avenue with a tap to the Industrial Park.
Also why isn't the state of New York, the principle governmental body, behind this project?
Thanks for Memorial Day support
To the editor:
On behalf of Morris J. Edwards American Legion Post 168 I would like to thank parade chair Tim Rice, Charlie Weaver, Dan Matis, Donnie Schoff, John Tennis, Walt Brown, Dawn Lamphere and Ken Conklin Jr. for their support and participation with the Memorial Day parade and attendant service.
We are also profoundly grateful to everyone who lined the parade route and gathered in Soldiers and Sailors Park for the ceremonies. Every year it is gratifying to see generations of families showing their respect, care and commitment for our members while sharing in our memories of those we have lost.
Finally, it would be remiss of me not to comment on the outstanding turnout by my brother and sister veterans. Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf once said, "It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle." Each and every one of you exemplifies that. Truly, I am humbled by and proud of your service to our community, our post and our nation. God bless you all as He continues to bless these United States.
The writer is commander of Morris J. Edwards American Legion Post 168.