Lookback: Week of Dec. 9 to Dec. 16

PRESS-REPUBLICAN ARCHIVESLike many children throughout the North Country, Julie and Jessie Bola (from left) of Jay are spending some time on Santa’s knee this holiday season. Here the sisters tell Santa about their wishes for Christmas at the Jay Fire department annual holiday party for the village children. (1994)

25 YEARS AGO — 1994

• Congressman John McHugh (R-Pierrepont Manor) will meet with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman this week to talk about, among other things, getting BRACC to review the Plattsburgh Air Force Base closure. Will Fogleman go along with the idea? McHugh, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, isn’t sure, but says it’s worth a try. “The Air Force supported Plattsburgh Air Force Base (during BRACC ‘93) but the question will be: How willing is (Fogleman) to re-open old wounds?” McHugh said last week.

• After you’ve sat and broken bread with people for more than 30 years, it’s hard to say goodbye to, well, family. That’s the sentiment of local organizations such as the Plattsburgh Barbershoppers and Plattsburgh Lodge No. 621, who have generously provided food and their time over the years for the United Service Organization (USO) Sunday Suppers attended by active-duty enlisted personnel and their families stationed at Plattsburgh Air Force Base since World War II. “Due to the base closure, it’s unfortunate that this year will be the last one,” said Barbershopper Tim Haley. “The last of a good tradition.”

• A small dose of radiation was released into the CVPH Medical Center sewer system Tuesday, but officials say it did not pose a health threat. The source of the radiation — called cesium 137 — was being used as a cancer treatment and was accidentally flushed into the system by a patient at around 7 a.m. The pellet, less than the size of a pea and weighing 50 milligrams, was encased in a plastic cylinder about three inches long and less than an inch wide. Using radiation-sensing equipment, hospital personnel found the cylinder in pipes underneath the facility’s kitchen. Workers reached the pipe and retrieved the capsule later that day. Dr. Anthony Vaccaro, the radiation oncologist in charge of the implant procedure, removed the device and returned it to the Cancer Center, where it is kept in a radiation-proof safe.

50 YEARS AGO — 1969

• The City of Plattsburgh has received the main part of a gift of over $800,000 — along with the express wish of Clyde Lewis “that in the not too distant future, the proposed (Crete Memorial) Civic Center be constructed.” Lewis is chairman of the Crete Civic Center Commission, the group to which Arthur H. Crete left control of the civic center bequest for the first 18 months after his death. A provision in Crete’s will called for turning the gift over to the city if a civic center were not under construction within the year-and-a-half period.

• Three PSUC students who attended the moratorium in Washington D.C.staged by the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam on Nov. 15 shared their experiences at the Unitarian-Universality Fellowship of Plattsburgh’s regular meeting. Estimates made by police set the Washington crowd at a quarter million, but the Mobilization has claimed that as many as 800,000 were there. Student Barbara Martinaux gave great praise to march marshalls who helped keep order and keep up the spirit of the demonstrators. Student Thomas Brown said that a great many of the people at the march were demonstrating because they are proud of their country and wish it to regain its greatness that they feel it is loving over the Vietnam policy.

• The advisory board to Plattsburgh State University College’s “Project New City” is seeking a director for the program. The program, proposed last spring, came into the limelight when a list of ten demands were presented to PSUC President George W. Angell by members of Black Onyx. The proposal is a program to recruit, under relaxed admission standards, disadvantaged students from both rural and urban areas.

75 YEARS AGO — 1944

• “It’s all the fault of Frank Sinatra,” said the father of one of five girls, ages 10 to 17, found huddled together near a freight train which they had planned to hop in Outremont, a suburb of Montreal. The group was passing through Plattsburgh, homeward bound aboard a D&H railroad coach. “The girls were just crazy about him,” explained the tired but happy father. When they saw in the newspapers that he was appearing in Montreal, they decided to follow. They told Montreal police they were planning to go to Hollywood after they found out Sinatra had visited and left the Canadian city.

• There was a pounding on the outer steel doors of Clinton prison at Dannemora about eight o’clock Sunday night. “Let me in, let me in! I want to come home,” a voice cried as the gatekeeper peered through his little slide door to ascertain the reason for the disturbance. James “Baltimore” Jackson, sentenced to a prison term for burglary, was recently transferred to the state sawmill just off the Ellenburg road to work out the remainder of his maximum term there. What happened at the sawmill, if anything, is not known. The fact remains that last Sunday at dusk, “Baltimore” was found pounding at the prison gates, seeking admittance and wanting to “come home.”

• The Junior class of Plattsburgh High School, under the leadership of its president, Leonard Blake, held its first event of the season on Saturday night, at which time about 200 boys and girls from all classes in PHS and other schools in the city, enjoyed a pre-Christmas dance. The gym, attractively decorated with gay Christmas lights and a beautiful, brilliantly lighted Christmas tree, was the scene of much activity at this gala affair. Music for the dance was provided by a jukebox and was greatly enjoyed by all.

100 YEARS AGO — 1919

• The sugar situation about the city is very grave and much more the prospects of getting more at present is very small. At present, it is almost impossible for the wholesale dealers to get any sugar from the importers and refineries. As yet, this city has not suffered from the lack of sugar as much as some of the larger cities. So far, it has been possible for anyone to get what sugar they need from their grocers, and will probably be able to do so through the shortage if they buy only what they need and not try to store up a supply for future use.

• The dance given by the Normal girls to the boys and faculty last evening proved to be a success in every way. The gymnasium in which it was held was very prettily decorated with streamers of red and green. The soft red tint given the hall by the lights covered with red paper added greatly to the looks of the floor. The music was furnished by the Lynch-Bordeau Orchestra.

• At the roller skating rink last night, free passes for one week were given to the girls who received the lucky number. A total of five lucky ladies were awarded the passes.

— Compiled by Night Editor Ben Rowe

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