This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of February 7

2020-02-07 TWIR Image-76 House

February 5, 1870 150 Years Ago
Rockland County Journal

PRESERVE THE OLD LANDMARKS  In this day and age, we are too apt to despise that which has grown old and venerable and has become to a certain extent useless. Whatever does not return an immediate profit in dollars and cents we often consider valueless, and cry, “Cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground!” Our national taste as in all new countries, tends to show and glitter rather than solidity. We gauge everything by the one question, "does it pay" pecuniarily, and neglect other often more important aspects, aesthetic or historical. Consequently, many most interesting relics of our Revolutionary history have been sacrificed to our selfish greed of gain.
     Many pieces that will long be celebrated in tradition, nothing save the name remains to tell their former renown.
     That some tangible, visible memorials of our forefathers' great struggle should be spared in our vandal march, no one who cherishes their memory will deny. We all often need to be reminded of the throes that attended our nation's birth, that we may the more highly prize the blessings that have fallen upon our day.
     These inanimate witnesses will speak strongly to our hearts of former days, and incite us to more of the sterling integrity, patriotism and self-denial of our fathers.
     But it may be said that it is too much to ask of a private citizen to set apart whatever portion of his estate may contain a house or field consecrated in former time by patriot blood. The cost of keeping such property in repair and preventing depredations is more than most can afford to lay even on the altar of patriotism. We would not ask that this be done. Let the State or the general government buy at a fair price such property and hand it down to the generations to come, as a sacred bequest to be always honored.— Let it be preserved as well as may be from the barbarous hands and knives of modern pilgrims and relic hunters, that our children learn for themselves where their ancestors considered their lives none too precious an offering to be hid on the altar of Liberty.
     We have been led to these observations in view of a memorial that has lately been drawn up which is now being circulated throughout this region, praying the Legislature of this State to purchase and preserve the old house in Tappan known as the Seventy-six House, together with the adjacent property.
     It seems eminently proper that a place associated with so precarious a state of our national history should be preserved. Here, Andre was confined; nearby was he executed. What sounds of rejoicing have echoed through its rooms at the discomfiture of the traitorous scheme, of Arnold! to what grave deliberations by the Father of our country and his noble associates has it not listened!
     The present proprietor does not feel competent to its proper care, and therefore desires that the State should assume the responsibility. Shall we not join with him in his desire and lend our endeavors to its accomplishment?

February 5, 1920 100 YEARS AGO
The Nyack Evening Journal

FIND ENFORCING PROHIBITION IS NOT DIFFICULT – Bootlegging Lags and Federal Agents Are Not Experiencing Much Trouble – Rockland County Crimeless Because Liquor is Hard to Obtain   Inauguration of strict prohibition enforcement under the eighteenth constitutional amendment, which became effective more than two weeks ago, is not proving difficult, Federal authorities declare. Two weeks of constitutional prohibition have convinced them that the main root of the liquor traffic has been torn forever from the soil.
     Two offshoots yet to be uprooted are the still business, holding over from former defiance of the revenue laws with little augmentation as a result of the ushering in of prohibition, and a bit of smuggling.
     Bootlegging is being dealt with to the satisfaction of the department and the prohibition commissioner’s office is not in receipt of any reports indicating that bootlegging is on the increase. Outside the department, the suggestion is generally that the bootlegging business was dealt a mortal blow by the recent tragic epidemic of wood alcohol poisoning.

February 7, 1970 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

AN OLD FRIEND RETURNS – JIM RIDLON’S WORK ON EXHIBIT AT R.C.C.  Once part of that "violent world" of professional football, Nyack native Jim Ridlon has practically divorced himself from the sports scene to pursue his blossoming art career.
     Ridlon, who emerged from Nyack High School in 1953 following a brilliant career on Rockland County gridirons, went on to stardom at Syracuse University where he co-captained the 1956 national championship team and eventually reached the pinnacle as an eight-year National Football league veteran. He retired after the 1964 season and at the time was defensive captain for the Dallas Cowboys. Jim had put in six previous years with the San Francisco 49ers.
     Now he’s engaged in such things as assemblages and collages, instead of zone defense or one on one coverage. A portion of Ridlon's work will be on display beginning Monday in the glass lounge of Rockland Community College.
     Since completing his art masters at Syracuse in 1966; and with his eventual appointment as an associate professor of art, Ridlon's association with the grid game has been waning.
     He was a member of Coach Ben Schwartzwalder's staff this past fall but now must devote more time to his art teaching and the advancement of his own art career. As a member of the Syracuse staff said Friday, "Jim's not listed on the coaching staff any longer but he'll probably be out there on the practice field every chance he gets."
     Ridlon has had showings of his work in such places as Geneva, Switzerland, San Francisco, and upstate New York. This is his first showing before the "home folks." The one-man show will run through Feb. 27 at RCC.
     Syracuse University officials said that Ridlon, due to his teaching schedule, would not be on hand for the opening of his local show. They were sure, however, that he would visit before the end of the month.
     Jim has left a lasting memorial with the game of pro football, however. He designed the Bert Bell Memorial Trophy which is awarded each year by the Long Island Athletic Club to the player-of the-year. The trophy, done in bronze, is a huge figure of a football player, helmet in hand, looking skyward.
     Ridlon, who is married to the former Doris Ann Palmatier, also of Nyack, is the father of four sons age 2 to 12. The family currently resides in Cazenovia, N.Y. So, if you're an art buff or a football buff who remembers Jim Ridlon in his heyday, you may want to get a look at his assemblages (sculpture in three dimension) or collages (sculpture on a flat surface) at Rockland Community College's Glass Lounge.

This Week in Rockland (#FBF Flashback Friday) is prepared by Clare Sheridan on behalf of the Historical Society of Rockland County. To learn about the HSRC's mission, upcoming events or programs, visit or call (845) 634-9629.


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