The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Columns

December 1, 2012

South Kortright woman threw a heck of a party in 1940

“This little hamlet of South Kortright Saturday night was the scene of a party such as Delaware county had never seen before,” reported The Oneonta Star of Monday, Sept. 23, 1940.

“Undaunted by ever threatening skies which often opened up and unleashed heavy showers of rain, 6,000 men and women and children jammed the grounds of Mrs. Alice T. McLean’s estate and consumed quantities of food which will be talked about in that area as long as any of those who attended it remain alive.”

Something tells me there are still a few around today who recall this grand event. They were pretty young in 1940 and probably got their very first taste of barbecued food. I’d sure enjoy hearing stories about it. This party was documented by photographer Bob Wyer, who did some work for the Star at the time. These and many other photos by Wyer are on display, now through Jan. 31, 2013, at the Delaware County Historical Association museum, on state Route 10, just north of Delhi.

This barbecue was believed to be the first of any appreciable size in this area, and was given by Mrs. McLean as a public relations function for the American Women’s Volunteer Services Inc., a philanthropic organization for which she was the director.

What drew the incredible numbers was the fact that the party was free. No collection was taken, much to the amazement of some skeptics. People came from a radius of nearly 50 miles. They were farmers, bankers, judges, doctors, lawyers, WPA workers and others. As described by the Star it was, “A more heterogeneous group…never assembled.”

Mrs. McLean had put Lawrence L. Walker of Hobart in charge of this big party, which logistically went on without a problem. David Parker of Morris, called an “experienced barbecue man,” oversaw the cooking for the meals served. The Star reported that he took the job reluctantly and after a lot of coaxing because he had never attempted anything of such magnitude.

Text Only
Big Chuck D'Imperio

Cary Brunswick

Chuck Pinkey
Guest Column
Lisa Miller

Mark Simonson

Rick Brockway
Sam Pollak
William Masters
  • Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues

    As the time to vote draws near, we need to remember how money can run politics more than we can. Raising funds is a prominent (if not the dominant) task of getting elected. Raising issues is also crucial, but those efforts are subject to distortion and fear-mongering.

    September 18, 2012

  • Republicans feelentitled to allthey can garner

    An entitlement is a legal benefit available from the government to individuals who are within a defined category of recipients, such as needing insurance for unemployment or health services.

    September 4, 2012

  • Romney focuses on self; Obama emphasizes unity

    Mitt Romney criticizes President Obama for saying a person's success is rooted in his community, and is not all his alone. Romney belittles this with his belief in individual initiative. He is better at the put-down than the push-up.

    August 21, 2012

  • Romney shows little regard for common man

    The Republicans in Congress have voted over and over, 33 times, redundantly and uselessly, to rescind what they call Obamacare.

    August 7, 2012

  • Scouts' gay ban creates problem where none exists

    The Boy Scouts of America's "emphatic reaffirmation" of its vow to exclude any and all homosexuals from its hallowed ranks is ill-considered and pathetic, especially in view of its having reviewed the matter for two years.

    July 24, 2012

Additional Content
Join the Debate
Helium
Additional Resources
CNHI News Service
Poll

Are you more or less religious than your parents?

More religious
Less religious
About the same
     View Results