Capital Region Scrapbook: Fall, 1968
Plans for new library, car raffle and fancy footwork made news
Punts, pirouettes, a Plymouth promotion and Polish pride were all on point in Schenectady in October 1968.
Football season had arrived, and kids were punting, passing and kicking brown balls in Scotia. Dean Baker was tops among the 8-year-olds who suited up. Bobby Conover, at 13, led the older players. About 80 kids competed.
Pirouettes and other fancy moves came from Joe Messier and his fellow fencers at the YMCA. Fencing, under the guidance of the Tri-Cities Fencers Club, was taught every Thursday night at the big gymnasium on State Street.
Downtown Schenectady merchants wanted more customers, so “Downtown Discovery Days” began on Oct. 10. Shoppers played the raffle game — merchants had decided to give away a 1969 Plymouth Valiant. Young women from the Louise Boyka modeling agency helped spread the word.
Other young women were dancing. The Polish National Alliance Senior Dancing Troupe prepared for the Schenectady Elks Polish Night on Nov. 2. The girls danced in native dress.
Native outfits were also big at Van Corlaer elementary school, where children learned about America as a melting pot of many countries. There were books about the topic at the Schenectady County Library on Union Street, which was preparing an eventual move to a new building under construction at Liberty and Clinton streets.
The new library would be all about self-service. “You put the books before your customer’s nose, make them attractive and as easy as possible to obtain,” said architect James D. Schmitt.
Kids at King elementary school found their new hot lunch program attractive. There were new aromas and big smiles in the cafeteria when the program began during the middle of October.