The summer of 1882 was a bad time to be an inhabitant of Little Falls as sickness and death raged throughout the village. In those few months, an estimated sixty people died, with hundreds more sickened – over half of the deaths were of infants and adolescents. Cholera, typhoid fever and “brain congestion”, at the time often lumped together as “malarial disease”, were the culprits. Victims of cholera suffered severe cases of diarrhea and subsequent dehydration, with death sometimes occurring within hours or a few days from the onset of symptoms.
St. Mary’s Parish (now Holy Family Parish) had a new priest, and this was his first assignment out of the seminary. He was young, he was friendly, he had an easy smile, most of the girls liked him because he was good looking, and the boys liked him because if there was a basketball game going on, he liked to take off his collar and join the game.
I love Halloween. Always have. My earliest remembrance is dressing up in a cowboy outfit complete with flannel shirt, neckerchief, vest, chaps and the piece de resistance, a pearl-handled, silver Lone Ranger cap pistol.
“Around the back and up the stairs…” That’s how our mornings began.
The first time I heard that instruction, from my Uncle Morgan Carrig, it was about 5:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning, circa mid-June 1964. My older brother Kevin, who had previously enjoyed all the benefits and privileges of employment as a milk delivery boy for Morgan’s Dairy, was “unavailable” – no doubt due to a Friday night dance at Filipski’s bowling alley on the South Side.
I never thought about turning 80. Because I hadn’t. But now that I’m about to, I was asked by a friend if there was one word that could describe how I felt about becoming an octogenarian.
After the American Revolution, many New Englanders moved to New York State – specifically to the Royal Grant that had belonged to Sir William Johnson.
Two years into the Revolutionary War, the British three-prong campaign of 1777 sought to seize New York’s waterways and thus divide New England from the rest of the colonies.
I was asked recently my a friend- “Who are your heroes?” I answered based on my understanding that a hero is a person(s) whose effort or achievement goes way beyond the expected to the point of deserving to be memorialized for decades or even longer.
For the past 8 years I have had the privilege of conducting a history and storytelling tour, “Growing Up on The Southside 1957 – 1970.”
It is important to understand how and why this tour started. It was to have a better understanding of why the “Southside” of Little Falls, NY has such a very special and perhaps unique place in the hearts of each and all who have had the privilege of growing up there during the “baby boomers” period, and those who followed, up until perhaps the late 1970s, when it’s aura and special ethnic qualities faded away.
Little Falls has always been a great baseball town with this year marking the 70th birthday of Little League baseball in Little Falls.