This is a true story. A happening that occurred over forty years ago. It is my way, of remembering my friend and classmate, Tom Woodcock.
My bride and I with our two children at the time, went for an extended camping trip in and around New York State.
We had on our list of visits, a stop in to see old friends of ours in Herring's New York, just outside of Watertown.
They owned a hotel, restaurant and bar there. My bride and I just adored the wife, our main reason for the stop. Her husband was not a well liked man, and didn't have a nice reputation. He was fired from the Postal department for stealing, and also from two job's as a bar tender for similar reasons. Probably moving from our neighborhood because of embarrassment.
While there, I was walking up the steps of this hotel, and I herd my name called rather loud and with authority. I turned and who did I see but Tom Woodcock!! Needless to say, we were both surprised and thrilled. Of course we went into the bar and started drinking beer. The owner, "this" man, serving us. I even bought Tom and I a nice juicy steak. Needless to say, we brought back memories of our CCS days, the few hunting trips we were on together, and with laughter and genuine friendship renewed old times.
Tom had laid a 20 dollar bill on the bar, but I refused to have him pay for anything.
After our meal maybe the beer having some effect, we decided to go outside. Toms 20 dollar bill was gone.
If you knew Tom, he was a very powerful rather tall individual. Not anyone to cross for any reason. Tom insisted that his money was stolen, I even told him "I would give him his money out of my own pocket", Tom saying "Thats not the point, and I'm letting this go only because of you Alex". I said "Tom, I'll be forever thankful, I don't want to see this "jerk" incapacitated, and think of his bride and family". We both had a good laugh.
After some more conversation, Tom got in his vehicle and left. After another day, my family and I did also.
With all his strength and size, Tom was always quiet in school, always respectful of other's in class, and never tried to be anything but what he was, which in my opinion, was a good friend and classmate.
I have in my year book, written in Toms own hand,"Alex, we never did go hunting together.(but we did, twice"- a.d.) Your a swell guy, and we have had a lot of Joyous times. Good luck in the future" Tom.
Alex DeVito class of 56"
"Our 2013 All Class Reunion" My CCS and Alumni friends. I looked up the word "splendid" in Webster's. It said among many things. "Magnificent, deserving of high praise, excellent", well you get the point.
Anyhow, that's what I thought of our "all class reunion" the weekend of 20-21st July.
For me it started with Pauline who, when we saw each other, gave me a warm hug with a few encouraging kind words.
Because there was fear of rain, a decision was made to have it under the roof of American Legion Post # 634 instead of within the posts pavilion outdoors.
This may have been rather noisy for some(?) but not for me, in that, unlike the wide open area of the pavilion, it brought the tables closer for us former classmates and guests, and we were able much more so, to talk and renew old times a lot better with that closeness. If you think about it, this was the case.
For me who needs a cane now, it was perfect and I was able to spot people easily and walk to their table in comfort.
Some of you I haven't seen since graduation fifty seven years ago, some even longer.
Those that didn't attend, I'm sure had good reason and I feel sorry for that.
Those that didn't have reason I really feel sorry for you, as you missed something unique.
You missed, no matter where you would have looked in the room, the warm handshakes, hugs, pats on the back, the smiles and genuine laughter with warm conversation between old classmates and friends.
To put it mildly, you missed something "splendid"!!
There was history there also my friends, like Mr. John Weeks, sitting with the class of 57, who I poke to briefly. Mr. Weeks told me during WW 2, he flew the infamous P-38 in missions of combat!!
Mr Francis J. Lentz, half-brother of "our own" Fred Bovee, class of 54, who is a recipient of the converted "Bronze Star" in which I'll tell you of in another story.
What I’m trying to say here is, because of impending weather, the closeness of our meeting made it easier to congregate, mingle, talk, and be more genuinely familiar with each other, as I’m sure you will agree(?)
Why did I write such a long explanation of our all class Alumni reunion??
Why because it happened in Cambridge with people I biblically love, that's why!!
God Bless you my friends, and pray we can all be together again in July of 2014!!
I remain your classmate.
The first time I came to Cambridge was in 1947. I could write a book with memories starting that year thru "1956" when I graduated CCS.
It didn't stop when I left that graduation year either, as I came back to visit every chance I had.
When I started staying with people back then in Cambridge, there were three families in particular that treated the young impressionable Alex DeVito like family.
Though I never lived with the Henry Wulff family, nor the Clarence McCart's, they like the Maxwells, treated me like one of their own.
This past time up to attend our Alumni All Class Reunion, I made it a valid point to go to Woodlawn Cemetery, and visit the resting place each, of these people I love.
Up to this year, I didn't know where Victor Maxwell was interned?
One of the many days I sat drinking coffee at the Coila garage, Fred Bovee, ha, leaving the doors on the garage wide open, the shop unattended, drove me to Woodlawn and pointed out Victor Maxwells grave. I shall Fred, be eternally great full.
With Patricia McCart, we went to these graves and put a single rosé by their headstone. Then I stood with some emotion, and told each in the silence of my mind, the fond memories I shall always have for these genuine, giving, people. I wish I knew, they knew??
Betty Wulff, every time she saw me, hugged me like one of her own children. Victor Maxwell, who cried when I left his farm. Bessie McCart, who always piled more food on my plate then I could possibly eat. There's a story I could write about every one of them.
For now, a single rose at the center of each headstone, will have to suffice.
A. D. Class of 56".
The 28th National FFA Convention
Welding was FFA President, I, Vice President that year. We were not only going to represent our Cambridge Valley Aggies, but more importantly, the town of Cambridge, our school, and the North in general!!
We boarded the train in Albany. We, as small town boys, were overwhelmed not only by this beautiful "Meat Packing Capital City of the US" at the time, but also of being witness to the thousands of FFA boys from every state in our Union at that time, all meeting in one place.
As a point of factual interest; Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher were there, to be our sole entertainment, and not only sang to us in this cities beautiful Convention Hall, but announced their "engagement"!!
Needless-to-say, we were given tours of the giant meat packing houses, and shown first-hand how millions of pounds of meat was prepared, and shipped not only to all parts of our United States, but all over the world!! An experience of a lifetime for Welding Griggs and Alex DeVito.
We made many friends, including two special FFA boys from Hawaii that we corresponded with for years to come.
Hah, one humorous, harmless incident worth mentioning was when about 35 FFA boys all wearing "Texas" FFA jackets stood up and sang "The Yellow Rose of Texas" which was popular at that time. Well, a bunch of us boys wearing FFA jackets from New York State, politely waited for them to finish, then we stood up and sang "Yankee Doodle", and when we finished, you could hear a pin drop. It seemed touch and go there for a few minutes, that is, until someone laughed, which started everyone laughing together. Then someone suggested we sing both songs at once, we did, then we all laughed that much harder, and with that, Texas and New York united there as FFA brothers, North and South became one, there in Kansas City, Missouri.
How can that ever be forgotten??
Class of "1956"
Well, you asked for it my friend, so here goes!!!
Back around my Junior Year (1956-57) we formed a small combo called The Cats. The group included Neal Laverty, drums; Kerry McKernon, piano; Dick Evans, tenor sax and I played trumpet. We played some of the old Classics but were known for Dixieland jazz and Rock & Roll. Our signature tune was "When the Saints Go Marchin' In". We wore neat brown plaid berets which were supposed to make us the "COOL CATS"
We used to play at the post game Canteens held upstairs in the old Grange Hall at the Red Light were the Rite Aid store is located. We also played some other venues in the local area.
We received a request to perform at the Salem Talent Show. In those days, Cambridge and Salem were arch rivals in sports with the Indians winning out in football and the Generals getting the better of us in basketball. We accepted the invitation to perform at the Talent Show on the condition we were the final act to appear before the judging took place. Well, to put it mildly, we tore down the house!!! We played two rock & roll songs and the audience was screaming for more, so while the judges were tabulating the results we played an encore -- "When the Saints Go Marchin In"!! Now, at this point I should mention the Music Director at Salem HATED Rock and Roll and he was a major judge for the event. When the awards were announced, two Salem guys who did a good job of lip syncing "26 Miles" (Beach Boys) won 1st Prize and got booed by the home crowd. The 2nd Place winners also got booed! We won 3rd Prize and got an extended standing ovation from the crowd. Aside from beating Salem in football, it was one of the most satisfying moments of my 4 years in high school!! We donated the $10 Prize Money into a Class fund for purchasing a homeroom American flag so we could say the Pledge of Allegiance each morning.
Alex, I hope the above helps out.
Class of '58
This story was given to me, by Ed Cantwell. Ed resides in Wheeling, Illinois.
Hi Alex -
Well, since you asked for it, I will send you a remembrance that took place after I was out of high school. It has never faded from my mind.
At the alumni picnic two summers or so ago, I happened to meet by chance one of the daughters of our former high school principal, Charles Bowler. Among other things, she mentioned that she had heard nasty remarks about her dad. I told her that her dad helped me and she was glad to hear that. However, I did not have the chance to expand fully to her, so I will do that now.
My story starts in high school where I was an underachieving pain in the ass student. No sugar coating this. I wound up in Mr. Bowler's office often. He never chewed me out but was encouraging. However, his talks never stuck until we had one of our last "chats". He told me I had the IQ to achieve at a higher level. That stuck in my mind. I filed that in my "memory box".
I graduated (barely) and then entered the US Air Force for four years. I was stationed in Plattsburgh and England. While at Plattsburgh I "fell in love" with the college and knew I wanted to go there. While in England, I took a semester of college level courses.
Nice so far, but with my miserable high school record, could I get accepted? I believed I could do the work. Enter Mr. Bowler. After serving my four years I needed advice and help. I went to Mr. Bowler's house and belatedly realized that I had interrupted his dinner. That did not bother him. I told him what I wanted to do, he said he knew the director of admissions and would talk to him.
I didn't hear from Mr. Bowler again, but was elated when I got my letter of acceptance. It was conditional - doing at least C level work. I did 3.0 work and never looked back.
To his daughter I spoke to I want you to know this about your dad:
1. He was the kind of professional who could understand a misfit like me in school and see potential.
2. I became a teacher myself and approached my elementary students as he approached me - try to see the best in the students.
3. He did for others also: just ask Dan Severson for a great story of commitment on Mr. Bowler's part.
I hope Mr. Bowler's offspring read this. You will be very proud of your dad. I sure am.
Shailer Evans, Class of 1956
The Snowball Fight
This is a true story that happened to me almost thirty years ago.
"My Three Seasons and One Full
Year with Victor Maxwell"
Violet (Wulff) Clous gave me this story . Violet is a graduate of CCS 1960. Violet lives with her husband Holden in Cambridge.It is with her permission to have it installed on "The Memory Site".
In Oct of 1955 my seventh grade at Cambridge Central School our Art Teacher, Richard Dawson, assigned each student a window of business on Main Street. We were to paint A Halloween picture for a contest. Mr Dawson took us all out after school to measure our windows. He gave us each 3 pieces of graph paper to transfer our draft pictures over to. He explained to us how we were to transfer our pictures so they were in proportion. I was given the large right window of Ackley's Furniture Store. The window was the whole right side of the building. The window was the first story right down to the side walk. I thought it was a lot of fun. Our completed projects were judged by Grandma Moses.
I received the First Place Prize presented to me by Grandma Moses.
Her old black shiny car was driven up to Ackley's Store and her driver helped her out of the car. She was dressed all in black with a white ruffle down the front of her shirt-waist dress.
She handed me the First Place Prize envelope and shook my hand. She said in a very quiet voice, "excellent work and good luck to you in the future".
.This story given to me by Joel Ketonen. Joel transferred to another school when the family moved. Had He stayed in Cambridge, He would have graduated CCS in 1963. Joel and His Wife Angela, reside in Garland Texas.
For a time, we lived above our store, Pelgas, on West Main next to Moors Garage. Not long after we moved in, my folks acquired an Irish Setter with the idea of making a little extra money off selling her pups.
Per her AKC papers, her name was Roddie Of Spring Vally. Now when a dog gets out, no one wants to go about hollering "Roddie, Oh Roddie of Spring Valley, come on girl, come on", nope, not on your last can of Strongheart. She an Irish Setter, she dark red even by Irish Setter standards, she was a stereo-typical "Penny", about an un-original a name as any Irish Setter ever had but she couldn't read so she didn't know.
What she did know was how to hunt. As setters went, she was such a natural, it was hard to believe she had never been formally trained. And she would hunt for any one with a shotgun meaning each fall the phone would go off the hook what the folks dog-less customers calling to reserve field days with her. These menu calls did cause domestic problems : Mom believed Penny should only be loaned to those who were paid up in full, a bonus as it were for being a "good customer".
Dad on the other hand believed in the "First -to-call, first- in-queue" school and of that pesky un-paid bill, a totally unrelated matter. He felt a hunter-customer denied Penny-day in the field would feel no guilt about letting the bill continue to ride, in fact would be ticked off and so be less inclined then ever to pony up a prompt payment.
In a lot of ways her bird-season popularity was funny, "Can Penny come out to play?" Never resolved, who Penny hunted with all depended on whether Dad or Mom answered the phone when a "Can Penny hunt ?" call came.
Alex DeVito, Class of 1956
I was told thru the year's, starting pretty early, "that loved one's never die if they are thought of in Mind and Heart".
Oh there are statues to important people, whatever, and the likes, but not too the unimportant, like Mrs. Brown.
Mrs. Brown wasn't well known other then Her association with family and friends, as she lived out her time here.
I met Mrs. Brown in 1949. Mrs. Brown was blind, as I remember, they said from small pox.
I came to the Maxwell's for the summer that year, and our relationship started. She was old then, like in her late nineties, but full of wisdom, and stories that were unending. Even song's like the one she taught me from the 1880 's, she sang as a child, entitled, "Won't You Come Over To My House".
Mrs. Brown was Violet Maxwell's Mother. All my time there, I don't remember Mrs. Brown leaving the house, other then to be led out side by the hand, usually by Violet, sometimes me, to her favorite chair on a nice summer day. There, under those ancient sugar maples, by that ancient house, we would talk, Mrs. Brown telling her stories, me listening, or telling of my short life on Staten Island till then.
One story she told me was of Indians, stealing a comforter from the Maxwell house, a well known story from the family's in the past, that were carried to this day. Violet later took me to a museum in Hoosick Falls, that is no longer there, and showed me the very comforter on display. There was a brass plate by the comforter that read in part, "This comforter was stolen from the Maxwell Household around the year 1777 by Indians, and donated by the Maxwell family".
Mrs. Brown had one child, Violet. To give some importance to this story, Violet was a niece of Grandma Moses, who came for Thanksgiving dinner in 1953, I was there.
One of Mrs. Browns only entertainment was, when Burnie Morache would come over to visit. Violet, who played the piano very well, would play, and Mr. Morache and I would sing. Mr. Morache and I sang at St Patrick's Church every Sunday together, as I went to church with the Morache Family. One of the songs for Mrs. Brown I sang being, "Won't You Come Over To My House". I'll write it here if you don't mind.
Won't you come over to my house,
Won't you come over and play,
I've lot's of play things, a Dolly or two,
I live in the house cross the way.
Won't you come over to my house,
I'll put you hair in a curl,
Won't you come over to my house,
And say that you'll be my best Girl.
Mrs. Brown had other stories, of attending one room school houses in the area, riding to church in a horse and carriage, watching workers cut ice from the lakes in winter, getting ready for the coming summer, witnessing parades in Cambridge on the Fourth of July, as former soldiers from the Civil and Spanish American War marched by. Oh, it must have been grand!! I got chills listening then, and have goose bumps as I write of it now!!
I loved to listen to Mrs. Brown. Even blind, in her soft crackling voice, her face would transform in the telling, and seem almost young, as I sat intently listening.
I finally had the opportunity to come to the Maxwell home to work for room and board in 1953, and my association with Mrs. Brown only intensified. Unfortunately for only that year. Another story.
Though I returned from time to time to visit, it was never as it had been. Then after graduating from CCS, I didn't have the chance to go back until 1972. Mrs. Brown was gone.
At that time in youth, I didn't realize the impact her stories would have on me, nor the relationship that we had, between a lady in her in late nineties, and a thirteen year old boy.
I don't even know where Mrs. Brown lies in Her eternal rest, as I would go there and stay for a little, and maybe bring flowers and think of the days she lived, and excitedly told me the memories she had of days gone by in her youth, right here in Cambridge.
There are a few others that in memory I have grown to love as it were, and I wish I knew where I could bring the flowers?? Maybe I could stop at the end of Maxwell lane where it nudges Rt 372 to Greenwich, and put flowers there?
No, M's Brown is not very important, only to me. Just an old lady with a young mind, that loved to listen to me sing, and have me near to tell her stories..
I'm very sorry they weren't taped, as I've forgotten the details that she so exactly mentioned. I'm very sorry also, I didn't spend more time with this delightful matron of the past, that captivated me in my youth with her stories, passionate, intensive, in the telling.
I was told thru the years, starting pretty early, that loved one's never die if they are thought of in Mind and Heart.
Mrs. Brown then, you shall never die, as long as "I" live.
A.D. Class of "56"
Alex DeVito, Class of 1956
I attended a "Double Birthday Party" for Hokie and Violet (Wulff) Clous on 9 June. Tom Heaney, class of "56" was there. Of course we got together and talking, brought back old memories from CCS days. Tom reminded me of the time in 1956, when he and I swam around Hedges Lake. I wonder if we were the first? Anyhow, in June of that year, we were in the middle of taking our final's, and there were kind of crazy hours. For some reason, we had the time to go to the Lake. Tom and I both had snorkel face masks, and swim fins, mine a "Twin" snorkel. We entered the water as I remember, around 9:30 or 10:00 am, from the float by Nesbitts(?) pavilion. As anyone would know that has experience with fins and snorkel, there is no effort what so ever if not needed, and we both side by side, literally, lay on the surface, and slowly, with only our fins in action, propelled ourselves forward. The water was clear, and seemed we could see for a hundred yards. Once in a while, one of us diving to the bottom to take a closer look at a Cat fish, or something of interest. We didn't get back to the float until 2:30 or 3:00 that afternoon. Tom also reminded me of the time, my 1941 Chevy, "vacuum shift", had the habit of sticking in reverse as I remember, in which "we had to drive it backward, from Cambridge to the Walsh farm. A.D. Class of "56"
JOHN “MTN JACK” SHAY ---CLASS OF ‘56
EVERYBODY TALKING ABOUT WORKING AT SEED CO. MADE ME REMEMBER WHILE IN THE
SERVICE (NAVY) I WAS IN PEARL HARBOR . WENT OVER TO THE UNIFORM SHOP FOR SOMETHING
AND I SPOTTED THIS FRAMED PICTURE ON THE WALL , TRIED TO BUY IT BUT “NO SALE” .
IT WAS A REPRODUCTION OF J B RICE SEED CO. CAMBRIDGE , NEW YORK !!
This story was given to me by Jack Shay, who was stationed at The Pearl Harbor Base around 1970. Jack held the Rank of an E - 6. I hope He doesn't mind my telling this but, I "never" saw Jack Shay "without a smile on His face" no matter what the situation. Jack resides in Cambridge N.Y. A.D. Class of "56"
Shailer Evans Class of '56"
I just read your "memories" column and thought I would add a few memories of mine. This may be somewhat disjointed as it is not a narrative per se but a collage. I also worked in the seed company for a few weeks upon graduating and while awaiting induction into the air force. It was dangerous work as we handled poison tomato dust. One of my coworkers was coughing blood so I decided it was time to exit that job.
I also recall taking the Eagle Bridge -Troy train to NYC; that was many moons ago.
For those who remember Robertston's Barber Shop right
beside the tracks it was quite a thrill to be in that
barber chair and have the steam engine etc. rattle past.
Dick Davis and I both had a ride in the engine as far as
the overpass about a half mile up the tracks. These days
somebody would have sued AMTRAK or whoever it was, but
then it was a Mark Twain existence. That is without a
doubt what I miss most about Cambridge; the elemental
living style which did not consist first of all about
worrying about law suits.
I recall Halloween and the bridge in front of the seed company; but then I better not get into that.))
I remember Chief Cantwell when we built carbide bombs and lit leaves on the street. He would cruise up unseen, because there was so much smoke, and nonchalantly ask: "What's going on boys?" He understood Huck and Tom and always just talked to us. A good guy.
I have more memories but I have contributed enough. Well, just one more. When Dick Record passed away I thought of some of the stuff we did together. Not a lot of stuff, but of excellent quality. We raced down the hospital hill in red wagons and when we neared the bottom I passed him and then heard a crash. I ran back to see if he was ok. His wagon was a mess and Dick was laying on the ground. I did not know what to think. As I got closer I saw his gut going up and down and realized he was laughing hysterically. I joined in because I was glad he was ok and it sure was funny to the both of us dunderheads.
Shailer resides in Claverack NY, Columbia County
Alex DeVito class of "56"
In my Senior year at CCS, Miss Brown, our English teacher, was having our class read the play, Julius Caesar. She was looking for different pupils to read the various character parts. When the part for Caesar came up, every boy in the class raised their hand, for one reason, and one reason only." Every boy wanted to say the words "Et Tu, Brute".
Miss Brown picked Richard McKernon, much to all our dismay. Richard of coarse was pretty proud of himself, you know, with the thumb under the arm pit wiggling His fingers. The reading went on, everyone following their part dutifully, and paying strict attention. Richard reading the most important part with a smug smile on his face, doing an excellent job, all us boys silently reading with him. Then up comes that World Famous Saying, when all the boys in the class, and maybe a few girls in UNISON say, "Et tu, Brute? !! Miss Brown laughed, in surprise, while all of us laughed with glee, while Richard with a coy smile was a little disappointed He was never heard, but took it like the true sportsman he was. Alex DeVito class of "56"
Marcia (Watkins) Logan class of "56"
Just read your additions to the website which brought back a couple of memories.
In the summer of 1955, at the age of 15, I had my first job working at Asgrow. i was one of several high school kids that they hired for 75˘ an hour. Our job was to sit on a stool with boxes (dozens of them) stacked around us in a U-shape and we sorted seed packets that had been returned to the company by stores. (These were probably the packets Tom Loren picked up from dealers when "out on the road.") It was pretty boring but it improved a bit when someone brought in a radio so we could listen to area (Schenectady or Troy) radio stations while we did the brainless sorting. At the time my younger sister was 5 and hadn't been to school yet but I went home and told her she could do my job as you didn't have to know how to read, only recognize the pictures. As that was my first job, that was when I applied for and received my Social Security card; now newborns get their SSNs.
The mention of the train to Eagle Bridge reminded me that when I was attending Russell Sage College in Troy from 1956 to 1960, I often took the train from Troy to Eagle Bridge where my parents met me and we drove to our home on Rt 22 just north of Cambridge. The drive from Cambridge to Troy was considered a pretty long trip in those days although gas was probably less than 25˘/gallon. I wish I could remember what the train fare was!
Marcia and Her Husband Chuck, reside in Central Oregon, a town called Redmond.
Hi Alex, this is a fairly simple story from the early years of my life in Cambridge.
I quite often see the old wooden Rice Seed Company seed boxes and racks for sale on e-bay, for quite high prices. When Asgrow took over, they got rid of them. My Parents needed kindling wood for the coal furnace. One afternoon when I went home from school, I found two big truck loads of these boxes in our back yard. My friend's and I had great fun building things from them, until they were broken up. Some were those beautiful boxes, others were just racks. What a shame this was, as Asgrow used wire racks.
My first job at Asgrow, was working in the cellar of the plant with Frank Thompson. Our job was repairing, welding, and repainting the racks and signs. I learned a lot that year. A few years later, I went out on the road with Ed Snyder. We picked up the left over seed packets, and checked them out with dealers and brought them back to Cambridge. We always had a large load on the way back.
When the packets were returned to the plant, they had to be opened and the seed removed. The larger seeds, like corn, were run thru the milling machine. I also ran that machine at times. We also milled corn and other grains for the farmers in the area. Most things had to be done the way the older workers did, unless you could find an easier way, which wasn't usually accepted anyway.
This story as told to Me by Tom Loren, class of 54. The year this story took place, was 1949 thru 1954. Tom and His wife Mary, reside in Manassas VA.
Alex DeVito, class of "56"
In the early Fifties, the main route from NYC was Rt 22. I've forgotten how many times I came to Cambridge that way by car. Once, as I remember, I also came up by train in the early fifties, from Grand Central Station to Albany, then changed trains to Eagle Bridge, where I was picked up by Violet Maxwell. This was before I lived with the Maxwells and worked room and board for them. My Dad thru Burnie Morache, made the contact, and of course paid for my being there thru that summer. Probably the year 1949, 1950?
In addition, my Dad let my Cousin and I come up by Steam Boat. From again, NYC to Troy. We made the trip twice, on two different boats. One was, The Henry Hudson, the other, The Robert Fulton. One a Side Wheeler, the other a Rear Wheeler. I've forgotten which was which. Inside there was an enormous glass window for safety, that let people look at the Giant pistons and shaft, that powered the boats. When they stopped for passengers, mostly Young African Americans would swim right up to the side of the boat, and we would throw coins, and they would dive in that muddy water, and somehow, come up with the coin.
These are memories of a slower, peaceful time in my past. How can they ever be forgotten? A time when the small one, two milk can, and more farmer, ruled this quaint, quiet. peaceful, area, before "Bulk Tank" pickup and stable cleaners, and enormous milk tank trucks, roared thru the area. Oh, you that weren't there, it's a pity really.
|Robert (Bob) Paxton Wright, class of "56"
Dorothy Dusha and I grew up on East Main St. in Cambridge just three houses apart. Kirby White lived next door to Dorothy. When we were in grade school there were a lot of kids in our neighborhood, Kirby's younger brothers Duffy and Ben, Dick Davis, Mary Ann and Joe O'Malley. We all lived within a stone's throw of each other but we seldom threw stones mostly snow balls. But, that is another story. Dorothy had two older brothers. She didn't have any girls to play with on our side of the street as Mary Ann lived across the street. As a result becoming one of the boys became important to her at age 7. Dorothy, being resourceful, took on the role of a tomboy and joined in our boyish activities whenever possible.
However, there comes a time in every young man's life when the company of girls is unwelcome and must be limited as much as possible in order to maintain the respect of your peers. It was during this time that the following event occurred.
We boys had explored a field that was located between East Main Street and Spring Street. In a hedge row of that field was a tall pine tree with many strong outstretched branches. Wanting a secret hideout where we could look down on the rest of the world, we hoisted a number of boards about 25 feet up into that tree and nailed them in place to form an observation deck. There we spent some happy hours feeling proud and exclusive. Even when we were not actually in the tree it was a delight knowing that such a place existed just a short distance away. What happened next was related to me by Dorothy's brother Don about 54 years later as it had slipped my mind. Dorothy apparently got wind that we had a hideout and being an undaunted female followed us undetected to its location. While we were arranging our cookies and other snacks on the deck Dorothy came climbing up the tree to where we were. Apparently being too proud to ask admittance to our party she just calmly kept on climbing up the tree until she found a suitable limb about 10 feet over our heads. There she sat listening to everything we said. Needless to say this made us uncomfortable to the point that we ate our cookies and went home in the middle of the afternoon.
After listening to Don I did recall the above but the following I don't think was revealed to us boys. Dorothy's mother started calling her for supper that evening and got no response. She waited a while and called again. At this point she thought she could hear a small voice off in the distance. She followed the voice to find Dorothy about 35 feet up in a pine tree unable to get down. Dorothy's mother summoned Dorothy's father, Charlie, who being a Cambridge Fireman called out his friends and the hook and ladder to rescue Dorothy. I think I can safely say that this brief episode did not negatively affect Dorothy's life as she became a well respected school teacher, mother and mountain hiker in the Adirondacks. This episode happened on East Main Street in the late 1940's.
Ed Cantwell Class of '58
The Pedersen farm raised and sold turkeys all over the country. One time, they even shipped a turkey to President and Mrs. Eisenhower for Christmas dinner! My Dad (who was the Cambridge Chief of Police) would work at the farm prior to Thanksgiving and Christmas dressing turkeys. He could take a plucked turkey and in 1 minute have a completely dressed bird ready for shipping! Perhaps some of the other alumni can expand on the Pedersen farm.
Every time I am on Rt. 372 and go past the Jackson Road intersection I recall the fond memories of the Pedersen Turkey Farm.
Anne Thiessen Class of 1960
Alex DeVito, Class of 1956 Every other Saturday was my day off from the
Walsh Farm. To earn extra money, I was helping bring in Hay on the
McCart Farm. Stacking bales in the loft, I noticed writing on the
wall, street side of the Barn. On closer inspection, I saw that it
was in print burned into the wood? It read, "Pressed 72 Bales of Hay
this day of (??) 1876."That was the year GA Custer and 263 Men of
His command, died at the hands of the Sioux Indians at the Little
Big Horn. This Barn, in White Creek NY, was standing during that
Battle. Can you ever Imagine!! Alex
Alex DeVito, Class of 1956 As all farmers know, once a year after
plowing, we would go to a field pulling what was called a "stone
boat, or sled" and pick stones. A stone boat was like a sled, no
wheels, that was dragged, made very sturdy of wood. When full we
would go and empty it and come back for another load. One time I saw
something that caught my eye and picked it up. Victor took it from
my hand and told me it was an "Oxen Shoe". He had one hanging in His
barn already. How old is it I asked? "Alex, they plowed with Oxen
200 years or more ago, this is a shoe one of them Oxen Dropped" He
told me, Imagine that!! Alex
|Alex DeVito, Class of 1956 In 1953, I was living at the home of Victor and Violet Maxwell, a hired hand you might say, and attending CCS. Grandma Moses was invited for Thanksgiving, and She came with two Men. I've forgotten who. I sat on Grandmas right. Every once in a while as I brought a fork or spoon to my mouth, Grandma would say to me, "Put it in your pocket Boy, put it in your pocket". It wasn't till years later that I found out from Dorothy Morache, class of 54, that Grandmas association with the Maxwells was that, "Violet was Grandmas Niece. Alex|