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Mark Simonson

April 1, 2013

Future city historian kept family busy for Easter and April 1958


“I know they’d like it,” Armstrong said. “Why, when I was playing in Berlin on tour, thousands of those cats from the Iron Curtain countries slipped over to hear me play. Music is music … that’s a universal language.”

As he walked up to the fieldhouse from dinner, many yelled “Hey Louie.” His only reply was a broad grin, slight wave and a throaty “yeahhhhh.”

Talk of traffic

Dad didn’t have to take Mom far to the hospital, as we lived nearby, so there were no wild scenes of Dad speeding in the car to get Mom to the delivery room on time. Probably a good thing, as it was reported Thursday, April 3, that an electromatic radar speed reader was brought into local use for the first time the day before by State Police Troop C.

The first meter was set up in Rockdale, north of Sidney. Several arrests had been made by late Wednesday afternoon.

Downtown Oneonta motorists had no such worries of speeding or getting caught that month, as much of the time there was plenty of traffic congestion. It was long before Interstate 88 existed, but discussions of building such a traffic by-pass were becoming frequent.

Downtown merchants invited a founder of the Downtown Idea Exchange of New York City, Laurence A. Alexander, to Oneonta on Tuesday, April 22, to help retailers and business services cope with recession problems of the time. Alexander had analyzed problems and suggested solutions facing downtown business districts in many cities.

This was a workshop held at the Elks Club on Chestnut Street. Alexander stressed how in studies where by-passes were constructed, it helped keep business downtown. It would help keep downtown appealing, along with other promotions and retail planning.

“If you don’t,” Laurence warned, “it could mean location of a shopping center out of town, drawing from the many customers who should be downtown creating foot traffic in and out of stores.”

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Mark Simonson

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