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.
… The Skaneateles Rotary Club placed an advertisement for an upcoming Halloween party at State Street Elementary School. The party was open to all children of the community and included a costume party as well as refreshments. Today, The Skaneateles Rotary Club continues to hold their annual Halloween party at State Street. The event begins at 7 p.m. and allows students to display their scariest, funniest, youngest, or most original costumes. For parents and other family members who want to get in on the action, there will be a best family group costume portion of the competition. Wear your best costume and anticipate a fun-filled family night with fellow members of the community.
… the Skaneateles high school was putting on the production “The Diary of Anne Frank” written by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. The Tony award winning play follows Anne Frank and her family during WWII, while they are hiding from the Nazis in an annex. This Pulitzer Prize winning production went in depth to explore Anne’s emotions and thoughts while she and her family were hiding away during this dreaded time. Today, the Skaneateles High school is putting on a production called “Peter and the Starcatcher”, based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. This production follows Peter Pan back to his past and his first encounters with pirates like “Black Stache”, a character who many will learn to know as “Captain Hook”. Watch Peter interact with swashbuckling pirates, mermaids, and vengeful island natives in this hilarious play on November 2nd, 3rd and 4th at the Skaneateles High school auditorium.
Decades before the development of cellular technology, people used other means of communicating long distances. While looking through the Oct. 31, 1958 edition of the Skaneateles Press we found an ad for payphones. During this time, payphones were the only convenient means of communicating long distances when you were away from home. And the want for such a convenience showed. In 1950, payphones truly took off, with 80,000 already in existence and the number growing. By 1960, there were one million. Today, with 95% of the American population owning cellphones the need for payphones has gone down significantly. Only 100,000 of the one million payphones from the ‘60s are left today, one fifth of which are in New York City. And while they are still seen frequently in pop-culture, usually in scenes from the mysterious noir-films, the implications of their disappearance, or rather, the proliferation of the cellphone, has had some human implications. The payphone, as its name implies, cost the user something to make conversation. Therefore, when one had to make a call, it was usually about something urgent, or to speak with a dear loved ones. In other words, conversations had much more value then. Now, however, the argument could be made that conversation is made over the phone with a kind of flippancy. The privilege of talking with people in faraway places is now, for around 95% of us, taken for granted. The point of this piece is not to discredit the enormous help that cellular devices have given to the millions of people who own them, but instead to merely point out what we give away for our conveniences.
… the whole town of Skaneateles observed Armistice Day to commemorate fallen veterans and families affected by World War I. Armistice Day is commemorated every year on the 11th of November to mark the truce signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the end of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I. The American Legion of Skaneateles held a firemen’s meeting 80 years ago for speakers to meet and talk to high school students at the time. One of the speakers, Searles G. Shultz, spoke to the entire high school at a special assembly about “Americanism”. Armistice Day is celebrated on the same day as Veteran’s Day, which is officially November 11th, but given that it is a government holiday it is always observed on a weekday. We urge those of you receiving a day off November 12th, to take time to celebrate and reflect on the holiday itself.
…..Skaneateles citizens were concerned about the possibility of rising food prices. In one particular article published in 1918, Skaneateles citizens were discussing how in the fifteenth century, a dozen eggs would only cost about a cent. At the time the article was written, a dozen eggs would cost about 35 cents. The increased cost was caused by the world war and widespread societal issues. At the end of the article, the writer concluded with “If this world-war shall effect prices permanently….are we to look for eggs at $2.50 a dozen and beef at $2 a pound?” This statement is extremely ironic because now eggs can cost $2.00 a dozen and ground beef can cost up to $3.70 a pound. So, in a way, extreme inflation was predicted and foreseen by Skaneateles citizens. Who knows, maybe in another hundred years, eggs may cost $5 a dozen and beef could be up to $6 a pound.