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This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of February 25

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February 24, 1872 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

PEARL RIVER MATTERS
       A friend writing to us says, “As I passed through the Pearl River Station last week, my attention was attracted by a set of single harness just completed by our young enterprising friend, C. Wetzel, who has lately commenced that business in that neighborhood. The quality of leather and substantial workmanship reflected the greatest credit upon the maker. My attention was also attracted by the many improvements on every side, and particularly to the extensive stock of lumber and coal just laid in by that master spirit of enterprise, J. E. Braunsdorf, Esq. It is certainly one of the most vigorous spots in Rockland County.” In all which we fully agree with our correspondent.

ACCIDENT AT CLARKSVILLE
       On Tuesday of this week as Isaac S. Lydecker, Esq., of this village, was riding at Clarksville, with his son James Lydecker, the horse became frightened and unmanageable by a dog jumping out and barking, and ran away, breaking the wagon and throwing out both the occupants, inflicting several bruises on each, none of which, however, we are glad to learn, were of a serious nature.

February 23, 1922 – 100 YEARS AGO
Nyack Evening Journal

TWELVE-YEAR-OLD BOY STEPS ROCKING JAZZ — OVER 300 ATTENDED OPENING DANCE IN LINCOLN HALL HERE LAST NIGHT
       Over 300 people attended the opening dance over DeJong’s new garage on Burd street last night. Manager Evans Preston stated that he had sold four hundred tickets for the occasion and was much pleased with the response and the orderly manner of the dancers.
       Pete Quinn and his well known Jazz Orchestra of New York City furnished the music. Pete took the house with rapture several times with his freakish blowing of the clarinet. He masters the instrument perfectly. There were two girl entertainers who delighted the dancers.
       A feature of the occasion was the rocking jazz step by a twelve-year-old boy from Piermont. The lad had dispensed with his coat and was leading a girl, two or more years his senior, about the floor with the ease of an actor. He hied for home before eleven o’clock.
       The prevailing step seemed to be a knee dance, although a few were noticed enjoying the Varsity walk.

FREAKS LOSING GRIPS — PARK MANAGERS SAY FAT LADIES AND SKELETONS NO LONGER APPEAL
       The fat lady and the human skeleton of the side shows no longer draw exclamations of wonder, and new freaks must take their places, members of the Association of Amusement Parks, in convention, said the other day. Lilliputian families and giants were the general choice.
       The association was warned, however, against an expected influx of European sword-eaters, three-legged men, bearded ladies, and others, who are said to be living a precarious existence because of the unsettled conditions following the war.
       Present riding devices were also declared to have passed their heyday, members saying they offered little attraction because “most people got all the thrill they want from dodging automobiles in the city.” Something with more “pep” will have to be built, members said.

February 19, 1962 – 60 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

BLOUNT GETS BROTHERHOOD HONOR
[Image: The Annual Brotherhood Award of the Temple Beth Sholom Men’s Club was presented last night to Walter C. Blount, Jr., of Nyack at a dinner in his honor. Pictured, left to right, are Mrs. Walter C. Blount, Jr.; the recipient, Walter C. Blount, Jr.; Martin Hurwitz, men’s club president making the award; and County Treasurer Sal Ciancimino, principal speaker at the event. Staff Photo, Klein]
       “We call him Joe—the guy who does any job you really want done, and does it well,” said County Treasurer Sal Ciancimino as Walter C. Blount, Jr., of Nyack was given the annual brotherhood award of the Temple Beth Sholom Men’s Club at a dinner at Whelen’s Restaurant, Valley Cottage, last night.
       The county official said that he hears and reads much about breaking down barriers, “but by your life you have quietly broken down many. Yours is the quiet way, but it has been an effective way for the betterment of your county and country.”
       Blount, stating “this is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me in my life,” told the more than 100 people who turned out to honor him: “You have earned this award. I am the recipient, but you earned it by presenting it to me. Years from now I will be forgotten; but your actions assure that brotherhood will never be. I never had a flesh brother but tonight I can thank God I have so many real brothers.”
       Beaming proudly as the award was made were his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Blount, Sr., his wife, his son Walter Blount, III, and daughter Faith.
       Assemblyman Joseph F. X. Nowicki and Clarkstown Supervisor Paul F. Mundt joined in the plaudits for the guest of honor.
       County Judge Herbert Henion led the pledge of allegiance to the flag. Among the guests were District Attorney and Mrs. Morton B. Silberman, Spring Valley Trustee Pauline Brown, Clarkstown Superintendent of Highways Fred Seeger, Clarence Barracks, and Samuel Fisher, who made up the committee selecting Blount for the award.

Born in Nyack
Blount was born in Nyack and educated in the Nyack school system. He obtained a B.A. degree at Virginia State College and also studied law at Fordham University.
       At present he is vice-president of the Parent-Teacher Association of Liberty Street School, Nyack. A Sunday School teacher and a trustee oF St. Philip’s A.M.E. Zion Church, and a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
       A former Scout and scoutmaster, Blount is now vice-chairman of the Palisades district, Boy Scouts of America, and a member of the scouting organization and extension committee.
       Other speakers and participants in the the program were Rabbi Robert Miller of Temple Beth Sholom, and Rev. Roland Fernanders of the St. Philip’s A.M.E. Zion Church. President of the men’s club Martin Hurwitz acted as master of ceremonies and dinner arrangement were made by Isaac Benghiat, Ben Mesnick, and the entire men’s club board.
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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 www.RocklandHistory.org or call (845) 634-9629.


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