This column is a revitalized weekly addition to the paper. The following moments in history are selected, researched, and edited by Skaneateles High School students enrolled in Kate Hardy’s 10th grade Honors English class. For the next school year they hope to celebrate the past and remember the days from years ago. Thank you to the Skaneateles Library and the Historical Society for providing the Press archives.
In 2007 the Grove Gallery in Auburn opened its season on May 4 with “Art in the Family,” an exhibit of work consisting of landscape paintings, abstract art, whimsical paintings, and sculptures from artists Margot Datz, George Dugan, Rachel Harms, and Stephen Datz, all from the Datz family in Skaneateles. The article tells of the family’s collective appreciation and passion for art, including Stephen Datz and Rachel Harms’ 7-year-old daughter and aspiring artist, Lily Datz who now attends Skaneateles High School where she continues to pursue her passion for art. In fact, Lily was recently recognized for her work in the 18th National Telling it Forward, the Annual Holocaust Art and Writing Contest.
Twenty five years ago a gym teacher in Marcellus came up with a creative way to get kids exercising and help the Food Pantry. He had each student in kindergarten through third grade bring in two cans of food. For three weeks the students exercised using these cans as weights, and then the cans were donated to the Food Pantry. Besides promoting physical fitness, the “Cans For Fitness” program collected and donated over 1,000 cans of food to people in need.
Everyone knows about the yearly Miss Universe competition. 50 years ago three women from Skaneateles, Auburn and Syracuse competed at the local level in the hope of continuing on to the world level. After being selected as Miss Skaneateles, Miss Auburn, and Miss Syracuse, they then went on to compete at the state competition which started by getting fitted for costumes in New York City. They had to compete against other girls from New York and eventually other states and then hope to go on to compete for Miss Universe. The US has won a total of 8 times since the competitions start in 1952; our first win in the year of 1954.
Seventy five years ago, during World War II, the New York Telephone Company published a list of suggestions in The Skaneateles Press on how to talk on the telephone. It was necessary to have short conversations during wartime to keep the lines clear for government calls. The first suggestion recommended not saying hello, as it took too much time. The second suggestion included, looking up numbers that you were unsure of before calling “Information”. The third advised keeping a pad of paper and a pencil handy during the call, having to look for these items during your call would take time and hold up the rest of the callers. The fourth and final piece of advice included hanging up the receiver carefully to ensure the line didn’t go “OUT OF ORDER”. Next time you pick up the phone, be thankful that you don’t have to worry about keeping the lines clear.
Leather is a very popular material to wear today, just as it was 100 years ago. In 1917, people were looking for new ways to access other raw materials for leather production. Leather producers were testing different species of fish, sharks and stingrays in the hopes of producing genuine leather. Residents of Sanibel, Florida were known to have a shark tanning business which is where they treated the shark skin with chemicals and dried it to make it into leather. Most of the leather we have today comes from cows, as a lot of fish and shark species are under protection from hunting, but there are still some places supplying fish leather. One company known as Fiskur (Icelandic for fish) Leather was started in 2011 and is providing products for clients in the U.S.