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August 3, 2013

Step Back in Time: Aug. 3, 2013

The Daily Star

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

25 years ago

Aug. 3, 1988

GREENE — Marsha Miller is not a farmer, doesn’t know anyone in Ohio and has never been in a drought, but she is organizing a hay shipment from Chenango County to Hancock County, Ohio, where there are plenty of farmers who know a lot about droughts and are short of hay.

Mrs. Miller and some 100 others in the Greene area are putting together about 4,000 bales of hay to send by train Saturday to Hancock County, in northwest Ohio, 40 miles south of Toledo on Interstate 75. Transportation will be courtesy of the Delaware-Otsego Railway from Brisben to Binghamton and by Conrail from Binghamton to Ohio, Mrs. Miller said.

It will be well received on the other end.

“The hay will definitely help,” said Steve Inbody, executive director of the Agricultural, Stabilization and Conservation Corp. of Hancock County in Findlay, Ohio.

The 4,000 bales of New York hay will feed nearly 4,000 Ohio cows for a day.

Mrs. Miller herself is a business owner, not a farmer, but she understands through relatives and neighbors the plight of farmers. “If cows don’t eat, they don’t produce milk, the farmer doesn’t get his milk price and the kids don’t have food on the table,” she said.

Each contributing farmer is giving an average of 100 bales of hay, she said.


50 years ago

Aug. 3, 1963

Four feet, nine inches of Caribbean island jungle crammed into a glass gallon jar lay on Carl LaMonica’s kitchen table at 420 Main St. one night this week.

The jar contained a young emperor boa constrictor accidentally shipped to Mr. LaMonica July 24. He is a wholesale banana distributor.

“It’s rare to have this happen,” said Mr. LaMonica in what you might think to be a rash understatement. But then he adds, “there’ve been three others in the 28 years I’ve been in business.”

Later that night the LaMonicas transferred the boa to a wire mesh cage that had just been completed in the cellar.

Dr. John G. New, professor of science at State University College at Oneonta, provided some general information about boa constrictors. He hasn’t seen this one yet, but felt the information would apply.

The snake may reach a maximum length of 12 feet when it grows up. It feeds mainly on mice and other rodents, possibly birds and “perhaps also amphibians,” like frogs, he said.

Mr. LaMonica is cautious. He has no plans to make the boa a pet.

This is the first boa Mr. LaMonica has tried to keep alive. Of the others, one died, one was given to the Bronx Zoo, and another was “given to one of the colleges,” he recalled.

“If I find it won’t eat, I’ll give it to one of the colleges,” he recalled.