Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.
25 years ago
Aug. 20, 1988
BAINBRIDGE — Thomas Stephens, of Bainbridge, said his lasting impressions of Moscow won’t be his respectable three-hour, 45-minute finish in the Moscow International Peace Marathon or the cold, stark, even “ugly” look of the Soviet Union’s capital city.
Instead, he said he will remember sitting in the Belgrad Hotel, “deep in the heart of communism,” completely at ease without feeling threatened or intimidated. He said that helped him realize the differences between the United States and the Soviet Union are political and ideological, not person-to-person.
He got much of his person-to-person, American-to-Soviet experience through Sunday’s race, which included about 6,000 runners, 1,000 of whom were women. The race also included 600 members of World Runners, an international group which has raised over $4 million in the last 10 years to fight hunger throughout the world.
A World Runners member himself, and the only upstate New York representative for the group, the 33-year-old Stephens brought in almost $2,400 in sponsorship to help fight hunger. In return, he said he received “the most incredible experience” during the race and his weeklong stay in the U.S.S.R.
50 years ago
Aug. 20, 1963
E. Lewis Curtis, college professor, humanitarian, traveler and outspoken critic of what he feels wrong, is leaving the faculty of the State University College at Oneonta.
Literally he has retired but balks at the word because at 60 he is continuing his college professor career at the College of Guam in the Pacific. “So you might say I’ve resigned,” he said.
He and Mrs. Curtis leave Oneonta for two years on Sept. 6.
This means that for the first time since 1895, there is no Curtis on the roster at SUCO.
Mr. Curtis’s father, Arthur, began teaching at the local college in 1895. In June of 1933, he retired. But when the September semester began another Curtis was on the faculty — young Lewis.
The tall, lean college professor with the boyish enthusiasm has been regarded as “an excellent teacher by his colleagues and a stimulating person by his students.”
The Curtises are cosmopolitan.
The two have been leaders of summer courses and tours in Europe and the Middle East in 1938, 1949, 1951, 1956, 1957, 1961 and 1962.
The Curtises have entertained foreign guests in their home since the ‘30s.
If you enter his Ford Avenue home now there is a sign in the window that reads, “This house does NOT have a fallout shelter … peace is the answer.”
Mr. Curtis said he first learned of the rigors of war when he taught at Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey, from 1926 to 1929.
“I saw the results of war … the poverty of the people … what war did to the land,” he said.
When this writer left the two Curtises, they were readying for their trip to Guam with the same enthusiasm as a college freshman attacking a new job.