One particularly poignant letter came from “Marshall T. from Delhi.” He wrote, “Big Chuck, Sampson took a no nothing farm boy from Delaware County like me and turned him into a man. For that I will always be grateful.” I loved that letter, Marshall. For that I will always be grateful.
On Feb. 25, I wrote about an 11-second home movie someone had sent to me showing downtown Oneonta in the 1920s. I had so many people stop me on the street and ask me about that video, it was amazing. The video showed Bresee’s Department Store, old cars, women’s fashions and more, all from nearly a century ago. More than 5,000 people clicked onto my Facebook page to view this precious sliver of our history. Many tried to guess who the woman with the little children was; who was the barber who owned the shop on Main Street, what were the makes of the cars seen in the video and more. Even Sam Pollak, the Daily Star editor, wrote me as to his imagined scenario for the family scene coming down the sidewalk in the video. It was fun (and you can still find it on Facebook, just search Big Chuck).
Many enjoyed one of my most recent columns, from March 11, regarding the 1961 Oneonta visit of the legendary singer Marian Anderson. It certainly must have been one of the most unforgettable evenings in Oneonta’s long history. And how lucky was I to find someone who was actually there, Marilyn Roper. Her memories of that night really enthralled my readers.
Beverly White, who reads the Daily Star online, wrote me from Chicago. “I was actually supposed to go to that concert but unfortunately my grandmother passed away and my family had to go to her funeral in New York City. I was just a teenager and during the ride to the city I tried to imagine the concert going on back home in Oneonta and what I was missing. I finally was able to relive it (a little bit) by reading your column and Miss Roper’s experience. Thanks for that!”