Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Seniors in Fayetteville Reminisce on Village's Past

The Fayetteville Senior Center was founded in 1980, but today it went back in time way beyond then. Village Historian Barbara Rivette presented 'Just Yesterday' at the senior facility today, during which many audience members shared memories of the Fayetteville of the past.

One year in particular that came up frequently was 1969. "In some ways, 1969 was unusual because of the phone disruption. The other things that happened were part a continuing pattern where there are changes," Rivette said.

The phone disruption she refers to occurred in December 1969 when the Fayetteville Phone Station went on fire and burned down. During the slide show presentation, Rivette told how the village was without any sort of phone communication for about 24 hours until three manual switch boards were shipped from Michigan and retired switch board operators were brought in to work them again in a trailer. Eventually, high school kids and others were trained to operate them, asking those making phone calls for the phone numbers they were trying to dial.

Rivette's presentation focused on aspects of Fayetteville that everyone in some way or another can relate to. "It was mostly about things that they can see every day, places that they go by every day."

At one point, she mentioned Erie Canal State Park, which she says is the most used park in the state park system despite it being closed in the Governor's proposed budget plan. She declined to comment any further on the issue.

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