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April 29, 2013

Job opportunities abounded in area 45 years ago


If you had a knack at selling automobiles, Steve Mason would soon want to talk with you, as he announced plans for a new $300,000 Chevrolet agency and service center, to be known as Mason Chevrolet. It was soon to be built at the site of the old Pond Lily Hotel, at the corner of Chestnut Street and Country Club Road.

Mason was a veteran auto dealer from the Schenectady-Scotia area and said the agency would be in operation in time for “the 1969 models.”

“All employees,” Mason said, “including sales, service and clerical, will be recruited locally, indicating an initial work force of from eight to 12 people.”

The dealership was later taken on by William Davis and Paul Donowick, and is now known as Country Club Chevrolet.

“Final plans for Oneonta’s new ‘Susquehanna Expressway,’ now estimated to cost $20 million and take up to three years to build, were unveiled for city officials Monday night,” it was reported on Tuesday, April 16. This would become Interstate 88.

While it would take until 1970 for work to begin on the project, it meant plenty of work was ahead for construction crews to relocate parts of the Susquehanna River, and build interchanges and bridges, among other tasks. It also meant some redesigning of lower Main Street, a new river bridge and a new viaduct over the D&H Railroad tracks.

Although the jobs were likely of a volunteer nature, some students at the State University College at Oneonta were hired for security and crowd control for what was then called “SUCO’s Spring Weekend ‘68,” held on Saturday and Sunday, April 27-28.

Concerts took place at the Hal G. Chase Gymnasium. On Saturday at 8 p.m., $2.50 got college students in to a concert by The Lovin’ Spoonful. On Sunday at 8 p.m., $1 was college admission to hear Richie Havens and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

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