Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.
25 years ago
April 1, 1988
WALTON — Former Walton town supervisor Bruce Budine was presented with a congressional proclamation and one from the New York Senate Thursday night recognizing his 12 years of public service.
Budine, a lifelong town resident, said, “To honor an old country boy like me, makes me kind of humble.” He received two standing ovations from 77 Delaware residents who attended a dinner organized by the Walton Republican Committee. As town supervisor, Budine also held a seat on the county Board of Supervisors.
Delaware County Republican chairman David Adams presented a plaque from state Sen. Charles Cook, R-Delhi, acknowledging Budine’s attributes and achievements, such as his willingness to listen to people.
Walton Republican Committee Chairman Christine Sholes presented Budine with a legislative proclamation from Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-25th district. She commended Budine for thinking of the future and starting a town planning board.
50 years ago
April 1, 1963
An Oneonta soldier, once celebrated as part of a group who used courage and ingenuity to stay well fed even though they were war time “forced labor,” prisoners of the (Japanese), has re-enlisted for another three years in the U.S. Army.
Sergeant Major Verner B. Marble, who first enlisted Nov. 28, 1939, signed up for his forthcoming “hitch” March 23, at Fort Richardson, Alaska, where he is currently assigned as Chief Ordnance Non Commissioned Officer of USARAL.
Sgt. Major Marble began his unusual adventure as a Japanese prisoner when the Japanese overran Corregidor May 7, 1942. At that time he was listed as missing in action, and it was not for some time that relatives in Oneonta learned that he had been taken prisoner.
When he was liberated after spending three and a half years as a prisoner, Sgt. Marble was, to quote a news article in The Star of Oct. 20, 1945, “a picture of health” in sharp contract to the horribly emaciated prisoners often shown in photographs of that era.
This seeming miracle was explained by Sgt. Marble on his return to Oneonta in 1945 as he related how he and fellow prisoners foraged for and stole foodstuffs from their Japanese captors right under the eye of prison guards.
Taking great care to leave no evidence of nocturnal visits (to small farms), the foraging parties dug into the sides of hills of potatoes, removing the tubers but leaving the vines intact and then filled up the holes, patting the earth into place to fool the farmers.