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May 28, 2014

Step Back in Time: May 28, 2014

50 years agoMay 28, 1964

A downtown Oneonta restaurant owner accused Oneonta’s Board of Education of going into “competition” with downtown business places Wednesday night.

LeRoy Turner of 51 Hudson Street, veteran city police officer and proprietor of Turner’s Oyaron Coffee Shoppe, a restaurant at 142 Main Street, charged that the “closed” noon hour at Oneonta’s Senior and Junior High Schools would take business away from downtown firms.

“I was expecting to lose some business when the new High School opened,” Mr. Turner said, “because it was so far away from downtown…but I didn’t expect to lose the Junior High business …”

“This is going to cost me money…when it hits in the pocketbook, it hurts,” he said.

Board of Education vice-president Harold Gage explained that, with the vastly expanded school curriculum now demanded of all schools, a closed noon hour was the one way in which the best possible use of student hours in school could be accomplished.

“…this type of program has worked very well in other places,” Mr. Gage explained, to which Mr. Turner shot back, “…probably…from the school system’s point of view.”

Mr. Gage said, “We aren’t in competition with anyone else,” as officials noted that school lunches cost 25 cents.

“Yes, you are too,” Mr. Turner insisted, “…this is personal with me…I still think you are in competition…”, to which Mr. Gage replied, “Maybe you’ll have them coming in after school…they’ll be hungrier then.”

“They sure will be,” Mr. Turner retorted, “…have you ever eaten one of your school lunches?” which drew immediate fire from several Commissioners who pointed out both that the closed system meant that many students, who have not been eating proper lunches, will now be eating a sufficient and nourishing meal with extra sandwiches available for the hungry. 

Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.

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