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March 30, 2023

Teddy Roosevelt and The Carpet City

Maria Riccio Bryce in April on The Historians

The Historians with Bob Cudmore

Conversations and Interviews

Coming in April

Friday, April 7, 2023-Episode 469- Composer, choral director and pianist Maria Riccio Bryce, creator of a new work called Requiem: What Remains Is Love.  CD recordings are available at Amsterdam Free Library. On Friday May 26, the Requiem will be performed at St Paul’s Episcopal on Hackett Blvd in Albany; Saturday, May 27, at First Reformed on N. Church St in the Schenectady Stockade; and Sunday, May 28 at 3pm at Trinity Lutheran on Guy Park Avenue in Amsterdam.

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Amsterdam remembers Teddy Roosevelt

By Bob Cudmore

               Memories of Amsterdam’s Theodore Roosevelt Junior High on Guy Park Avenue where a senior housing project exists today continue to come in.

               Evelyn Riccio, retired schoolteacher and librarian, said that the song about junior high quoted in a previous column had a verse, which indicates the song was written specifically for the Amsterdam school.  Otherwise, the words—to the tune of “Stars and Stripes Forever”—could be applied to any junior high.

               Riccio said the verse went like this:

Other students may think their school’s the best

And serve it with loyal devotion.

But the school that is dear to you and me

Is this school of ours with colors blue and silver.

               Riccio said that longtime Roosevelt principal Fritz Heil compiled the lyrics, although another alumna recalled that a student named Barbara Casey wrote the words as part of a school contest.


`             Former student Paul Russo remembered that Heil addressed students on the first day of school in the auditorium, “He said that when he was a kid, Teddy Roosevelt came to town and Heil jumped up on the running board of Roosevelt’s car and shock hands with him.”

               There are 20 references to Theodore Roosevelt in Frank Yunker’s online database of newspaper headlines from the early twentieth century in Amsterdam (  Roosevelt spoke in Amsterdam in 1898, 1900, 1910 and 1914.  When he died in 1919, the city held a Roosevelt Day in which clergymen paid tribute to “the great statesman.”

               The junior high was dedicated to the former President on October 2, 1925 with the main address given by state education commissioner Dr. Frank P. Graves.

               At Roosevelt Junior High in the late 1950s, student reporter Elizabeth Dye Russo found a ladder sticking up into the attic of the building and covered the story for The Broadcaster, the school newspaper.

               “We got permission to go up in the attic and see all the old stuff and I wrote an article about it. I can't remember, however what was up there!”

               Several people informed me that the name of my eighth grade homeroom and art teacher was Marian Gode Carnwright, married to John Carnwright, the printing shop teacher.

               As Amsterdam was the carpet city, a shop course was taught in textiles, first by a Mr. Noble and then by Bill Fennhahn.  My mother was a sewing teacher and my father a carpet weaver so I felt pressure to excel in Fennhahn’s course.  I did all right on the sewing machine but, alas, my partner Tom Christman and I messed up the threading of our loom so much that it was beyond help.

               Another alumnus recalled that physical education teacher Richard Ruback, who passed away recently, coached a seventh grade basketball team sponsored by a private sports club, the Hurricana Club.  Some of the outstanding players in Amsterdam High basketball received a solid foundation in the sport by participating in that club.

               A popular student stop near the junior high was Eddie Doyle’s confectionery store, where Eileen Macvean of Amsterdam recalled the big item in her day was the Jo-Jo Pop.

`             Students bought school supplies at Sam Soula’s card and magazine store.

Former student Peter Betz said, “We also bought the little glass bottles of colored ink there which in the spring we loaded in our water pistols to shoot at each other as the class lines moved from room to room.  That brought a lot of parent complaints so there was a crackdown---locker inspections, confiscation of weapons, etc.

“Sometimes we put cheap perfume in them too but that was a give away as to who was 'armed' so we didn't do that much.” 

Tomorrow, Friday, March 31, 2023


Alan Maddaus is author of The Prestons of East Street, the Story of a 19th century American Family.  The lives of seven Preston family members from Galway, N.Y., were impacted by events including Civil War, the Second Great Awakening and the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, the natural disaster claiming the most lives on US soil.

The Glove Theatre 

...Board of Directors released their schedule through June, with more programming, productions, and events to be announced ranging from concerts and live theatre to film series and dance parties.
March 2023 marks one year that The Glove Theatre has been open at least one day per week with no interruptions, the first time in recent history. The Love The Glove Film Series,  generously underwritten by John and Sunday Blackmon as well as the Perrott and Peck Families, will continue free screenings of modern and classic movies every Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Additionally, the hit Family-Friendly Movie Matinée Series, in partnership with The Gloversville Recreation Commission, will continue its free screenings of family-friendly classics every Sunday at 2 p.m. through May 7.
This Weekend on Saturday
Saturday, March 25: ‘Cuz They Said I Couldn’t! – Capital Region-based music label Corner Lyfe Music Group returns with their new show, which will showcase original rap, hip-hop, and R’n’B from the Capital Region and beyond.

Mohawk Valley Weather, Thursday, March 30, 2023

Mostly sunny, with a high near 37. West wind 15 to 17 mph.
Partly cloudy, with a low around 22. West wind 5 to 8 mph becoming calm in the evening.
A slight chance of snow before noon, then rain. High near 42. East wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
Mohawk Valley News Headlines, Thursday, March 30, 2023
Daily Gazette
Paper-Paper, On-line and e-edition
When Credibility Matters
‘Indians’ no more: Schoharie Central School District to soon name mascot successor
SCHOHARIE — Schoharie Central School District will soon find a replacement for its decades-old warrior mascot. Potential substitutes for the…
Amsterdam proposal would prohibit feeding crows

Leader Herald Make Us A Part Of Your Day

March 24, 2023

Charles Morgan Evans

Friday, March 24, 2023-Episode 467-Charles Morgan Evans is author of Helicopter Heroine--Valerie Andre, Surgeon, Rescue Pilot and Her Courage Under Fire. Andre piloted primitive helicopters to rescue wounded soldiers in the 1950s for the French army in Indochina. She became the first woman in the French military to be promoted to General.

March 22, 2023

Dr. Mahvash Majeed

...Dr. Mahvash Majeed has been a pediatrician at St. Mary's Healthcare in Amsterdam for 8.5 years. She has created the podcast Welcome to the Village since she says it really does take a village to raise a child. In March, Bob Cudmore, host of The Historians Podcast, was interviewed by Dr. Majeed for her podcast, Welcome to the Village.

March 17, 2023

Kate Fagan

Kate Fagan is author of HOOP MUSES-An Insider’s Guide to Pop Culture and the (Women’s) Game an Adventure through Basketball History. Fagan is a native of Schenectady. She writes for Sports Illustrated.

March 10, 2023

Denise Doring VanBuren

Friday, March 10. 2023-Episode 465-Denise Doring VanBuren is president of the Beacon New York Historical Society and author of two books about Beacon’s history. Dia Beacon, a modern art museum revived formerly industrial Beacon starting in 2003.

March 03, 2023

Steve Haggerty

Friday, March 3, 2023- Episode 464-Steve Haggerty is author of Norman Rockwell’s Models: In and Out of the Studio. In 1940, illustrator Norman Rockwell, his wife Mary and their three sons moved to West Arlington, Vermont. The artist discovered a treasure trove of models. Haggerty’s book‘details these models’ lives, friendships with the artist and experiences in his studio.

February 24, 2023

HighLights 2023-1

Friday, February 24, 2022-Episode 463-In this first Highlights Edition of 2023 we revisit: Bill Buell’s Schenectady stories from the 1920s, NY State Historian Devin Lander, Jerry Snyder of Historic Amsterdam League, Jon Sorensen’s book When Mommy Was a Commie, Alan Maddaus on a jet bomber crash in New York’s Adirondack Mountains and Mark Dawidziak on Edgar Allan Poe.

February 17, 2023

Mark Dawidziak

Friday, February 17, 2023-Episode 462-Author Mark Dawidziak investigates Edgar Allan Poe’s strange death in Baltimore, and revisits the moments of his storm-tossed life in his book A Mystery of Mysteries: The Death and Life of Edgar Allan Poe.

February 10, 2023

Alan Maddaus

Episode 461-Alan Maddaus is author of Wright Peak Elegy: A Story of Cold War, Nuclear Deterrence and Ultimate Sacrifice. The book tells the story of a U.S. B 47e jet bomber that crashed into Wright Peak in New York’s Adirondack Mountains in in January 1962.

February 03, 2023

Jon Sorensen

Episode 460-“When Mommy Was a Commie” is a comic novel set in Schenectady in the early 1950s, inspired by real-life episodes from America’s spy war with Russia. Author Jon Sorensen was a newspaper reporter covering government and politics for The Schenectady Gazette, Buffalo News and New York Daily News.

January 27, 2023

Jerry Snyder

Friday, January 27, 2023-Episode 459-Jerry Snyder was one of the founders of Historic Amsterdam League, which focuses on the history of Amsterdam, N.Y.

January 20, 2023

Devin Lander/NYS Historian

Friday, January 20, 2023-Episode 458-New York State Historian Devin Lander. 250th American independence anniversary coming in years ahead.

January 13, 2023

Bill Buell

Historian and Daily Gazette reporter Bill Buell on Schenectady in the 1920s

January 06, 2023

Gazette History Topics 2022

Friday, January 6, 2023-Episode 456-The historic Fulton County courthouse, Ukrainians who settled in Amsterdam, Lafayette in Fort Hunter and other 2022 topics from Bob Cudmore’s Focus on History columns in the Daily Gazette and Amsterdam Recorder.

December 30, 2022

Buddy Levy/Ice and Stone

Friday, December 30, 2022- Episode 455-Buddy Levy author of Empire of Ice and Stone: The Disastrous and Heroic (1913) Voyage of the Karluk. Levy, who lives in Idaho, is a go-to author for Arctic history.

December 23, 2022

Stephen Blauweiss/Historic Kingston

Stephen Blauweiss is co-author of the book “The Story of Historic Kingston: Featuring 950 Images and Connections to the Catskills and New York City.”

December 16, 2022

Last HighLights 2022

Friday, December 16, 2022-Episode 453-2022 Highlights Edition with excerpts from the secret role of Japanese Americans who fought in the Pacific in World War II; Bob Gumson’s memoir In Blind Sight; Amsterdam’s Guy Park Manor; Anita Sanchez on the history of glaciers and Jim Kaplan on the life of of Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette.

December 09, 2022

Jim Kaplan/LaFayette

...New York City correspondent Jim Kaplan looks at the importance of French aristocrat Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette in the American Revolution.

December 02, 2022

Anita Sanchez

Friday, December 2, 2022-Episode 451-Environmental educator Anita Sanchez is author of Meltdown: Discover Earth’s Irreplaceable Glaciers And Learn What You Can Do To Save Them.

November 25, 2022

Amsterdams Oldest House

Episode 450-Bob Cudmore takes a look at Guy Park Manor, arguably Amsterdam’s oldest house. We also look at the leather business.

November 18, 2022

Bob Gumson

Friday, November 18, 2022- Episode 449-Bob Gumson of Albany, author of In Blind Sight: From Canarsie, Brooklyn with Love, Music and Mischief", his autobiography about living blind.

November 11, 2022

Bruce Henderson

Bruce Henderson, author of “Bridge to the Sun: the Secret Role of the Japanese Americans Who Fought in the Pacific in World War II.”

November 04, 2022

Highlights Edition5

Highlights Edition with excerpts from Joe Collea on Ilion, N.Y.; Giovanni Ruscitti visits his Italian roots; Chris Carola discusses Mohawk chief Joseph Brant; Alyson Richman on writing historical fiction David Pietrusza dissects FDR’s landslide 1936 victory; Norm Bollen meets filmmakers interested in Mohawk Valley; Rod Correll on learning to be a Leatherman.

October 28, 2022

Rod Correll

Episode 446- What’s it like to be the boss’s son? Rod Correll is author of the memoir “Learning to Be a Leatherman-A Rite of Passage.” Correll lived in the leather business for 50 years, from childhood up to when he left the business to return to Yale for an MBA.
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