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Columns

August 31, 2013

Value of education stressed at 1923 Back to School Picnic

(Continued)

The Rotarians had lined up three speakers for the early afternoon.

Professor E.W. Anibal, formerly of the Oneonta Normal School and still well-known in the community, spoke of his experience concerning the need for every boy to get all the education he could acquire. Anibal quoted statistics to prove how much better able high school graduates make progress than boys who drop out of school.

Al Bridwell, manager of Oneonta’s baseball team, spoke of the necessity of clean living and thinking for success in athletics or any venture. He told the boys that the best players were those who took care of themselves physically and morally. Bridwell spoke with regret that he hadn’t gone farther in school than he had.

City Judge Frank C. Huntington reiterated the value of education and advised the boys “to set a mark for themselves and to move straight forward to it.” He referred to the careers of men he’d known in college.

With the food having settled and speeches completed, the boys “disported themselves for two hours with athletic events which occasioned much rivalry and a tremendous amount of fun.” These included 50- and 75-yard dashes, standing broad jumps, sack races, a peanut race and a baseball throw. Winners in each contest received prizes.

Shortly after 4 p.m. the boys were ushered into the scheduled baseball game at Neahwa Park Field, today’s Damaschke Field. Members of Rotary and youngsters witnessed the game between the Oneonta Giants and Tannersville as guests of the Oneonta Athletic Association.

The Star had a recap of the day on Friday, Aug. 24, that stated, “You don’t need to take our word for it that the picnic was a success. Ask any boy who was there, or any Rotarian for that matter for the men enjoyed the affair just as much as their young guests. Maybe there’ll be another picnic next year. If so, it’s a safe bet that nothing short of an earthquake will keep a certain 160 boys away.”

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