Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.

25 years ago

May 19, 1990

WORCESTER — Frank Valentine remembers rushing to a fire before putting on his uniform.

That was long before the state’s rules and regulations on fire safety. In fact, it was only several years after the first motorized fire truck was used.

Since 1920, Valentine has been a volunteer firefighter. “It’s still in my blood,” said the 86-year-old Worcester resident.

Valentine was honored Friday night at the Worcester Fire Department’s annual banquet for his 70 years of service. He received a plaque from the department, a citation from Assemblyman Anthony Casale, R-Herkimer, and recognition from Sen. James Seward’s office.

“The energy of this man is unbelievable,” said Gerry Coombs, second lieutenant of the Worcester Fire Department. “He’s phenomenal.”

50 years ago

May 19, 1965

The Mayor’s Committee to Promote Urban Beauty asked Common Council Tuesday night for action on having an old house on Ford Avenue condemned and torn down only to find that city officials already have the project under way.

William A. Clark, chairman of the Mayor’s committee, appearing before last night’s Common Council session said,

“I have been authorized by the Mayor’s Committee…to ask the Council to inspect, condemn and have removed the house at 2 Ford Avenue…the Keyes property.”

Mayor Albert S. Nader immediately said to Acting City Engineer Vito Molinari, “Vito, this falls into your category,” and Mr. Molinari shot back, “…it’s already underway.”

The property in question, city officials said, is a house close to — and immediately at the rear of — the J.C. Penney store.

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