This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of May 1

2020-05-01 TWIR Image-Lacrosse Image

April 28, 1870 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Messenger

How to Act in Event of Burglary
1. Lie very still and draw the bedclothes over your head.
2. Sit up and listen.
3. Pinch your wife and tell her she ought to be ashamed of herself.
4. Tell her to go down-stairs and see what’s the matter.
5. Call out for the servants to order the robbers off the premises.
6. If the burglars still persist in their nefarious occupation, go on the landing, and ask them if they know what they’re about.
7. If they don’t desist now, make your wife tell them that in your opinion they are wicked men, and that you have a great mind to be very angry.
8. Say you are very dangerous when you are once roused.
9. Beg them to leave quietly, and so obviate the necessity of a disturbance in the house.
10. Ask them if they wouldn’t like some cold meat and pickles, and a glass of beer and a pipe.
11. Let them have what they like, do what they like, and give them a dollar each besides. When they’ve gone, bring out your pistols and send for a policeman.
12. Go to bed again, and say that the a only reason why you didn’t go downstairs at first and punch all their heads, shoot them, and take them prisoner, was that you didn’t want to disturb the neighbors.

April 27, 1895 125 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

JUMPER FROM A WINDOW – Burial of a Resident of Garnerville Tuesday  Edward Brooks, a well-known resident of Garnerville and at one time President of that village, was buried Tuesday in the presence of a large number of friends.
      Mr. Brooks went to a hospital in New York about four weeks ago to be operated on for a cancer on the tongue which, it is thought, was produced by excessive smoking. The cancer was removed, and one day last week, while, doubtless, out of his mind, he jumped from a third story window and broke his leg, besides receiving other injuries.
      On Friday Mr. Brooks died and his body was brought up that night and placed in the charge of Undertaker McGowan, of Haverstraw, under whose direction the funeral was held today.
      Mr. Brooks was well known and much respected in the community where he lived. During the late war he was a drummer boy in the Union army, and it was a proud boast of his that he was the youngest drummer that went out that year from New York State. He belonged to a number of organizations in Haverstraw. For about ten years he kept a grocery store in Garnerville, in which business he was engaged up to the time of his death.

April 25–May 2, 1970 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

[Image: Clarkstown midfielder Pete DiGiulio (45) scoops up the ball and tries to outrun Nyack defenseman John Palmer (51) at the Clarkstown field. Photos by Davis and Murphy] 
      America's oldest sport is Rockland County's newest. Lacrosse is the name of the game and the sport, originated by the American Indian, has started to generate interest in the County.
      Clarkstown was the first in the County to field a lacrosse team four years ago and since that time Nyack and Suffern have followed suit. The varsity teams compete in the tough Hudson Valley Lacrosse League with New York Military Academy, Storm King, and several Westchester teams, including powerful Yorktown High School.
      There are ten players on a lacrosse team (three defensive men, three midfielders, three attackman and a goalie) and the ball is advanced primarily by the use of the netted sticks each player has. The game combines many of the elements of basketball and soccer (e.g. man-to-man and zone defense, give-and-go) and the toughness of football.
      There are some 153 players from these schools competing from the eighth-grade level up and, if coaching enthusiasm end dedication are criteria for growth, this number should swell in the next several years. Coaches Mike Goetz (Clarkstown), John Whisker (Nyack), and John Orlando (Suffern) are all vigorous exponents of the game.
      "Lacrosse is one of the few sports which combines speed, strength, and finesse and where the big man is not necessarily dominant," Goetz said. "There is team play but on offense, it's primarily a free-lance type game."
      Whisker points out that lacrosse is like any good sport in that "it requires a skill (stick-handling), good condition and toughness."
      Orlando, who had a major role in developing West Point's great lacrosse program as Plebe coach for five years, puts it this way. "I think lacrosse is the best sport in the world. It has everything," he said. "It's action filled and has team and individual play as well. It's dynamic and fast moving and the player has to think for himself."
       O.K., so lacrosse is Canada's national sport along with hockey. It's "the fastest sport on two feet"; it's action packed and enjoyable for the spectator, the next question is, if lacrosse is such a great sport why are there only 300 high schools playing the sport?
      Part of the problem is in finding qualified personnel willing to coach lacrosse.
      "Many coaches don't feel they can teach things like stickhandling, but most of the principles are the same as basketball. We need coaches, and how quickly lacrosse develops will be due in part to how many coaches we can get," Orlando said. A second factor is cost. The initial cost of lacrosse is somewhat restrictive, although it's probably a good buy in the long run.
       "The actual cost may be overstated" Goetz said. "There are loans available to help defray the expense and we started off using some equipment from other sports. Our kids buy their own sticks, and this cuts down on the cost considerably. Cost really shouldn't be that much of a factor.'"
       Although the game is relatively simple (score more goals that your opponent), it isn't the easiest game to follow. The ball moves around so quickly lacrosse could probably never be successful on television. Other than Long Island and Maryland, the two hotbeds of lacrosse, the game just hasn't had the exposure of many other sports.
      In spite of these handicaps, all three coaches predict a decided lacrosse growth in the area.
      "I think the future of lacrosse is bright," Orlando predicted. "Once you start playing lacrosse you don't want to give it up. There are so many kids doing nothing in the spring and a full lacrosse program could involve at least 90 kids."
      Goetz plans to organize a Hudson Valley Lacrosse Club team this summer. "Lacrosse has been growing. Our kids really love the sport and there are tremendous opportunities to win a college scholarship in lacrosse," he stated. "If people are looking for excitement in the Spring, this is it."
      Whisker says, "I understand both Spring Valley and Ramapo have club teams this season and eventually we're hoping each school in the county will adopt a lacrosse program. There is potential for growth and I think once people see lacrosse it will catch on."
      Lacrosse is not a sport for the meek. There is rough checking and plenty of contact. "The people that were afraid are no longer with us" is the way Orlando put it.
      The sport of lacrosse has a way to go before it can be considered a major Rockland sport, but it's come a long way in a short period already. The fans that see the game keep coming back and some of its early detractors are now its biggest boosters.

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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