The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Mark Simonson

December 24, 2012

Non-violent toys were promoted locally for Christmas 1987


As for gift-giving and toys in general in 1987, the Star said, “Toy shoppers are seeking out both the traditional and the ultramodern, according to local store managers.”

“On the traditional side, people are buying Tonka Toys at Ames, board games at Jamesway Discount Center, play kitchen sets at Kmart ... and Nichols ... and Barbie dolls plus accessories at Bresee’s Oneonta Department Store.

“Probably the star of the Christmas season is the television character Alf, which is available in several different models including one that talks.”

Besides toys, coffeepots, microwaves and videocassette players were selling well at most of the stores. A new model of the Dust Buster was a hot item at Bresee’s, as were woks.

If one needed relief from shopping, a short journey to Otego might offer such respite.

“Lynwood and Irene Simonds thought they might break tradition this year and not make the hay wagon Christmas caroling tour of their Otsdawa neighborhood, passing out cookies and candy and singing Christmas carols,” the Star reported Monday, Dec. 14. During the past March a fire had destroyed the Simonds’ home and they weren’t settled in their new place.

“But their children and neighbors wouldn’t let them get away with it, and organized the ride themselves in just two days’ time.” The Simonds led the ride of about 25 local children and adults on Sunday afternoon, with Santa Claus as a special passenger.

“About halfway through you wonder why you’re doing it,” said Irene Simonds, “and then you see people’s faces and you know.”

This weekend: Oneonta stepped up its cultural life in 1887.

City Historian Mark Simonson’s column appears twice weekly. On Saturdays, his column focuses on the area during the Great Depression and before. His Monday columns address local history after the Great Depression. If you have feedback or ideas about the column, write to him at The Daily Star, or email him at His website is His columns can be found at

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