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Lake Placid, February 1968

February 26, 2011

My pal, Barbara Kent, who can be seen daily at E&M Market in Saranac Lake, has loaned me two copies of the Lake Placid News from Feb. 22 and 29, 1968.

Now, with the 2011 toboggan races being delayed because of the weather, a page one story with a 30-point headline caught my attention: "Mayor Riley Will Defend His '67 Cup," when my team consisting of Bill McLaughlin and Jim Lamy won the first ever Pabst Brewing Company trophy in the Lions Club sponsored event.

A follow-up story (were things more fun back then?) related that there was a flare up of tempers because Mayor Riley was accusing Mayor Bob Peacock of Lake Placid of practicing at night and on days when the toboggan run was closed to the public.

Article Photos

Pictured in the top row are King Frank Gifford, Queen Patty Paulson and Archbishop Jean Guy Chartier, the mayor of Lachine, Quebec. Just below the king and queen, from left, are Deborah Allen, Deanna White, Brenda Reid and Master Andy Preston. The caption further reads, “the tired gentlemen on the bottom row are, from left, Bradley Colby, Tom Patnode, Jimmy Patterson and Scott Wood. (Those boys look to me like they would rather be somewhere else).
(Kopf photo)

Mayor Peacock, of course, denies the accusation and claims that the picture of his team allegedly sneaking in a few twilight practice runs was either a doctored photo or a photo of someone else. How could anyone even think that the Enterprise would carry a "counterfeit" photo when ace photographer McLaughlin was working alone in his very own, very dark darkroom?

Jerry Cassidy was head honcho of the event for the Lions Club and Mayor Peacock's team was Village Attorney Norm Hess and Village Trustee Harry Fregoe.


Big news, big newspaper

So, back in 1968, the Lake Placid News then published by Jim Loeb and Roger Tubby and edited by Faye Fishel Howard was only six pages but what it lacked in pages it made up in width, 16 inches wide. The pages are now 11 inches.

The lead story was about snowmobiling on Mirror Lake revealing that the board "came under fire" again Monday night about the issue. A special committee of the village board, the chamber of commerce, the Sports Council and the Fish and Game Club were to make a recommendation of the issue.

I have no idea where the men were hiding but the following were the protesters at the meeting: Mrs. Harold R. Soden, Mrs. Dean Wikoff, Mrs. Warren Witherell, Mrs. Robert F. Madden and Mrs. Rene E. Bloch.

Mayor Peacock said: "We have a lot at stake here. Snowmobiling is here to stay and it would be unwise to ban their use on Mirror Lake until they have another alternative to offer the snow machine enthusiasts." Another board member pointed out that there are 800,000 machines in use now and a place for their use is imperative.

In other business, Wes Moody of Moody's Marina appeared before the board to explore the possibility of renting sailboats on Mirror Lake for sailboat racing. It was suggested that he explore the idea further with the Chamber of Commerce.


Other headlines

It was the 14th North American Festival (in its 6th week) and James C. (Bunny) Sheffield returned early from a meeting in Grenoble, France to finalize details in the Festival program "that builds in intensity" as the winter season progresses. Football great and WCBS Director of Sports Frank Gifford was crowned king of the festival and Patty Paulson, who was crowned Queen of the World's stewardesses earlier in the year at an international ceremony in Uruguay, received another crown as queen of the Lake Placid festival "Bob Allen, Olympic Arena impresario, is particularly proud of the fact that the Ann Arbor Figure Skating Club, will be sending their 'Hockette Chorus' of 36 beautifully costumed girls to skate in the show."

Then there was this story: "Because of the Adirondack Mountain Authority's financial difficulties the State of New York may take over the operation. The semi-independent agency, which operates skiing facilities at Whiteface and Gore mountains and operates a toll highway on Prospect Mountain, has not been able to repay money borrowed from the state."

News from the Olympic Bobsled run: "In the national Diamond Trophy Races Fred Fortune (in sub-zero temperatures) drove the new Cleveland Bobsled's Club team to victory in 2:19.92 with his team of Andy Kanaby, Ken Kesterman and Jim Lord braking. Les Fenner piloted the U.S. Air Force Podar to second place. A local team with Harley Web at the wheel, with his team of Kerry Kelly, Dick Toohey and Giles Miron on brakes, placed third.



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