This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of September 22

2023-09-22 TWIR Image-BJK

September 22, 1853 – 170 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Messenger

       Those who think that in order to dress well it is necessary to dress extravagantly and grandly make a great mistake. Nothing so well become pure feminine beauty than simplicity. We have seen many a remarkably fine person robbed of its fine effect by being overdressed. Nothing is more unbecoming than overloading beauty. The stern simplicity of the classic taste is seen in old statues and pictures painted by men of superior artistic genius. In Athens, the ladies were not gaudily, but simply arrayed, and we doubt whether any ladies ever excited more admiration. So also the noble old Roman matrons whose superb forms are gazed on delightedly by men worthy of them, were always very plainly dressed. Fashion often presents the lines of the butterfly, but fashion is not a classic goddess.

September 24, 1923 100 YEARS AGO
Nyack Evening Journal

       Dr. P. A. Barnard of the Clarkstown Country Club has a detective hot on the trail of two men, who on Saturday night stole the new Buick roadster of Sir Paul Dukes and took it to Haverstraw where it was destroyed by dynamite and fire.
       Sir Paul Dukes and his wife are now in Paris and are not expected back until next week. They live on the former Duryea property adjoining the club house on South Highland Avenue. Until a week ago, the caretaker lived on the property but has moved to another building because his house is to be remodeled. Thus, the Duryea property is the only estate of the club’s property where a night watchman was not on the job.
       The thieves evidently knew it and chose a dismal, rainy night for their work. It is thought they entered the garage between the hours of 7 and 10 Saturday night. The Buick stood between two other cars. It was not locked, but the other two cars were. They had to depart by the front entrance.
       On the State road near Haverstraw they had an accident with the car about 1:30 o’clock Sunday morning. Andrew Kolb of the Highland Garage received a telephone call from a man purporting to be Sir Paul Dukes stating that he had had an accident with his auto and wanted it towed in. Kolb responded and by the time he reached the scene, the Haverstraw Fire Department was there.
       Motorcycle Officer Barbera, of Haverstraw, is of the opinion that a time fuse was used and that the car was dynamited. Several people heard the explosion. When examined, the motor was found locked with the key in it.
       There was no insurance carried on the car, Dr. Bernard said this morning. He added that they were going to get the thieves if it costs the price of three such cars.

September 21, 1973 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

       The women who were watching the “Battle of the Sexes” in the lounge at the Nyack Field Club on Midland Avenue Thursday night may not have been buying their own drinks or lighting their own cigarettes, but they were rooting for Billie Jean King all the way. And why not? The game had been promoted as more than a tennis match between two outstanding athletes; it was to be the battle between the “libber” and the “lobber.”
       “I doubt that the women (and men) who are rooting for Billie Jean are endorsing her views on the women’s movement,” remarked Joan Bracken of Tappan, a guest at the club. “Women just like to see other women win. Billie Jean’s opinions are her own business. This is strictly a sports event.”
       Amid shouts of “Billie Jean, you’re beautiful!” and “Bobby Riggs, Bobby Piggs,” the men at the Field Club kept their wives’ glasses filled and self-consciously joked about Riggs’ suffering from tennis elbow.
       By the time Billie Jean had won the second set, a few men had discreetly moved their chairs over toward the half of the room that was occupied predominantly by King fans, and a few others had taken their wives firmly by the hand and were heading for home.
       But at least one person who was heading for the door had no intentions of calling it quits. “I’m just going home to get my horn,” explained tennis enthusiast Charlotte Anderson of Upper Nyack. “I’m a housewife and I enjoy it, but sometimes I like to rebel. And I don’t like Bobby Riggs. He’s got a big mouth, and his ideas about a woman’s place being in the kitchen and women being weak are ridiculous!”
       The third set got underway and Mrs. Anderson had obviously returned with her horn and had joined several other women sporting noisemakers and bugles. Waving signs and cheering Billie Jean’s every move, the women were apparently feeling increasingly confident that Ms. King would win and that somehow her victory would help to show that they—mostly tennis players themselves—were serious athletes.
       Two conservatively dressed women jumped onto the bar and led the victory cheers. Another woman rushed over to her husband reminding him, “You owe me $4,” and still another handed her empty glass to her husband and demanded a refill.
       “You get your own drinks now,” he smiled, handing her the glass back. “You’re liberated.”

This Week in Rockland (#FBF Flashback Friday) is prepared by Clare Sheridan on behalf of the Historical Society of Rockland County. © 2023 by The Historical Society of Rockland County. #FBF Flashback Friday may be reprinted only with written permission from the HSRC. To learn about the HSRC’s mission, upcoming events or programs, visit or call (845) 634-9629.


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