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Mark Simonson

July 8, 2013

A relaxing Fourth of July weekend was enjoyed locally in 1958


This was a part-time business for the retired Mr. Chamberlain, and his four little assistant critters in the shop.

“I’m 73,” Chamberlain said, “and just can’t stop working. I closed my machine shop several years ago but got tired of just sitting around, so I have this small fix-it shop, where I can take just as much work as I want to keep as busy as I want.”

“I like to stop and feed my four little chipmunks during the day,” he said. Chamberlain tapped on the side of a door with a shelled peanut he’d taken out of a drawer, and within a minute or two, a small chipmunk climbed down a rain pipe. “They sort of expect me to give them a peanut every now and then.”

Days after the Fourth meant many were still ahead to get out to the Wilber Park swimming pool in the summer of 1958. If you couldn’t be there on the hot July and August afternoons, you could listen to it on the radio, WDOS.

The Oneonta Parks Board approved a request on July 7 by Harold E. Graves, WDOS general manager, to bring a mobile unit for programs at the pool.

“It is our intention,” Graves said, “to provide entertainment to the visitors at the park, conduct interviews, play request records … as a special attraction for our listeners.”

“We will also broadcast description of events adjacent to the pool, such as tennis matches if they take place during our planned broadcast period of probably two hours between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.”

July 1958 meant better sleeping nights for several residents of Goodyear Lake, unlike those in 1957.

“Mr. and Mrs. Clyde F. Bresee, Mr. and Mrs. Dewey Torrey and others were kept awake last year by the booming reverberations that came out of the lake under their docks,” the Star reported on July 12.

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Mark Simonson

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