Category Archives: Charboneau

Recap and Reflections on “Endwell: My Early Teen Years” #AtoZChallenge

Recap and Reflections on “Endwell: My Early Teen Years” — Including all 26 posts in the April 2021 Blogging from #AtoZChallenge. Thanks for joining me on the journey and commenting along the way!

Now that the April 2021 Blogging from #AtoZChallenge is over, I am happy to be among the winners who completed the online marathon — for the fourth time!

After a frenetic month of blogging six days a week, I’ll be relieved to return to weekly blogging as I continue to explore my ancestors’ lives and the research techniques I used to find them.

Endwell, N.Y., 1965: In our willow tree at age 15 — I had survived my early teens and was headed to High School. Photo by Norm Charboneau

Yet it was fun taking a deep dive into my early teens in Endwell, N.Y, during the early 1960s. Stay tuned — I’m considering a sequel about my late teens next year!

RECAP OF “ENDWELL: MY EARLY TEEN YEARS”

Below are links to my #AtoZChallenge 2021 posts about Endwell: My Early Teen Years, adding my story to the family history mix. Please check out any you may have missed. Comments are still open on the later posts and I love hearing from readers!

Malverne Rd. and Shady Dr. Home base for “Endwell: My Early Teen Years.” Photo: Amy L. Williamson (2020)

REFLECTIONS ON THE 2021 #ATOZCHALLENGE

Busier than last year. Overall, I found this A to Z was busier than last year — in part because I went all-in on trying to comment regularly. The participant list identified genealogy and family history bloggers to help me focus my visits/comments — but I visited around a bit, too, making it a true blogfest!

Great camaraderie. Overall, I learned so much from the meaningful camaraderie and thoughtful comments I received — and from the blogs I visited. I was gratified by the positive feedback and parallel experiences that visiting bloggers shared. And it was nice to catch up with bloggers from previous A to Z Challenges.

Embracing memoir. My blog focuses on ancestral research — but it’s also important to include ourselves in the mix, leaving an online diary like the ones we wish our ancestors had left. That’s why I followed up earlier A to Z themes on my early childhood (2017) and my  elementary years (2020) with a series this year about my early teens.

Many thanks to everyone who visited, subscribed, followed and commented on Molly’s Canopy. You made my fourth #AtoZChallenge so rewarding. Please join me throughout the year as my genealogy journey continues!

Up next: After a brief break, regular blogging resumes at Molly’s Canopy. Please stop back!

 © 2021 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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Zip Code scares and Zap: A power outage! #AtoZChallenge

Z is for Zip Code scares and Zap: A power outage! Last of 26 posts in the April 2021 Blogging From #AtoZChallenge. Theme: “Endwell: My Early Teen Years”— adding my story to the family history mix.

So much of a teenager’s life is in the hands of adults — and that was certainly true for me, my classmates and the kids on my block in the early 1960s.

Even where we lived was up to our parents — and that resulted in some Zip Code scares for many of us during Junior High.

Getting ahead in corporate jobs often required parents, mostly dads back then, to accept transfers to faraway places. So you might bid a classmate goodbye at the end of the school year — then return in the fall to find her gone, through no fault of her own.

https://localhistory.boulderlibrary.org/islandora/object/islandora%3A33893
Part of the IBM complex in Boulder, Colorado (1965-70). Getting ahead in corporate jobs often required parents, mostly dads back then, to accept transfers to faraway places. This resulted in zip code scares for many of us during Junior High. Photo: Boulder Library

“Where’s Sue?” you’d ask.

“Oh, she moved to Boulder, Colorado,” would be the reply.

Boulder was the location of a big IBM complex that many local dads transferred to — and quite a few of my classmates had pen pals there due to these surprise Zip Code changes.

My 1964 Zip Code scare

I arrived in Endwell in 1957 as a result of my dad’s General Electric transfer.

So I was familiar with the discomfort of being the “new kid” in second grade and having to adjust to an unfamiliar town, neighborhood and school.

I was definitely not eager to repeat the experience as a teen — yet according to my diary, a Zip Code change nearly happened when I was 14.

April 18, 1964. We might have to move to Utica! I hope not!

April 19, 1964. We might have to move to Phoenix, Arizona! Ugh! If Dad switches to IBM we can stay here! He wants to stay here, so he may switch! I HOPE SO!! I DON’T WANNA MOVE TO ARIZONA!!!!

Phoenix, Arizona (c. 1965). My Zip Code scare happened in 1964, when my dad was considering moving us to Phoenix, Arizona. I did not want to go — and was relieved when the move did not take place. Photo: Pinterest

In the end, neither move took place and my family remained in Endwell until my freshman year of college — when, alas, my siblings had to suffer the dislocation of moving to Syracuse, N.Y., during grade school and high school.

Zap: A power outage!

As my early teens drew to a close in 1965, a major event dropped the curtain on this phase of my life — and ushered me into my later teens and High School.

That event was the Northeast Power Outage of 1965. The video below shows how it looked in New York City — and we experienced it in Endwell, too.

At 15, I was talking on the phone in our dining room when the lights went out — and I remember looking across the Susquehanna River toward Vestal, which was normally dotted with house lights, to see only inky darkness.

The power outage was unexpected and massive — triggered by some electrical glitch in New York City, then zap New York State and beyond went dark.

Press & Sun Bulletin, Nov. 10, 1965.

And with that, my early teens drew to a close. When the lights came up, daily life resumed — and a couple of months later I turned 16.

Happily, I had survived Junior High and my early teens, and I was headed to High School — where new and different experiences awaited on the road to adulthood.

Congratulations to my fellow A to Z Challenge bloggers and many thanks for joining me on this year’s journey! Please leave a comment, then stop back on May 3 for “Recap and Reflection on Endwell: My Early Teen Years.”

© 2021 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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Youth job at the Altamont Fair #AtoZChallenge

Sepia Saturday 570. Y is for Youth job at the Altamont Fair. Twenty-fifth of 26 posts in the April 2021 Blogging From #AtoZChallenge. Theme: “Endwell: My Early Teen Years”— adding my story to the family history mix. Please join me on the journey.

The World’s Fair was a special event in 1964, but my regular summer stop was the Altamont Fair in Albany County, N.Y. — the highlight of annual trips to visit my maternal grandparents Boom and Gramps.

When I was younger, I just had fun at the fair. But in 1964, when I was 14, Boom got me my first youth job at the Altamont Fair — in the Arts and Crafts Building where she exhibited and won ribbons for her Early American Tole Painting.

Altamont Fair in 1955. The Altamont Fair had been part of my life since childhood. In my early teens, thanks to my grandmother Liz (Stoutner) Laurence, I got my first payroll job there. Photo: Friends of Albany History

Fun at the fair in 1963

At 13, during my last hangout year at the Altamont Fair, I’d meet up with my childhood friend Kris — who lived near the fairgrounds.

Boom let us go to to the midway, where we basically lived on the Octopus ride — whirling, plunging and screaming our heads off, and buying so many tickets that the operator just left us on for multiple rides.

When we weren’t there — or watching the dare-devil car show from the grandstand — we were hanging out with Barry and Bob, two handsome brothers we met that year.

Aug. 16, 1963. Met two guys! Barry & Bob! They run a spin paints outside the Arts & Crafts building! I LOVE Barry, but I never saw him again after Tuesday! I’ll always love him a little in my heart! Barry was 16, Bob was 20…They may be at the Fair next year.

I had a crush on Barry, but I was self-conscious about smiling because I still had my braces. So of course, being guys, they kidded me about. How embarrassing!

My job at the fair in 1964

Arts and Crafts building at the Altamont Fair. At 14, I was thrilled to actually be working at the Altamont Fair — at least until it turned out I had a strict boss! Photo: AltamontFair.com

Yet as with so much during my teen years, life moved on and new experiences beckoned. So the following year, I was thrilled that I would actually be working at the Altamont Fair — at least until it turned out I had a strict boss!

July 3, 1964. I’m gonna work at the fair for $1.25 an hour. I can hardly WAIT!!

Aug. 16, 1964. Dull day. Worked like a horse at the fair!! Saw Kris for about 5 minutes! ‘Cause Mrs. T. [in charge of Arts and Crafts] kicked her out! Kris saw Barry and Bob at Rye Beach about 2 weeks ago! Hope they come to the fair!!

Altamont Fair, Gate 4 (2001). My sister Amy and I made a family history trip to Altamont and the fair in 2001. Here I am at Gate 4 where, at 13, I used to meet my teen friend Kris for fun at the fair in 1963. Photo by Amy L. Williamson

More long-distance friendships

Alas, Barry and Bob were no-shows — but there was a steady flow of other teen boys in and around the Arts and Crafts building. And after a hard days work, Boom let me go to the nightly dances in the tent across the fairgrounds.

There, I met DJs from WPTR radio, got to know even more teens and — of all things — ran into my old nemesis, the school bus bully!

Aug. 18, 1964. Met Dale “Bob” Lane (semi-pro D.J.) and Larry “Quack” Quackenbush. Dale (Bob) likes Martha (met her, too). She’s real nice. Craig, who used to pick on me on the bus in 1st grade, was at a dance. He’s a DOLL! Looks like Cliff Richards.

Altamont Fair Midway (2001). Here I am at the midway, where my friend Kris and I basically lived on the Octopus ride in the summer of 1963. Photo by Amy L. Williamson

Sadly, when the Altamont Fair ended, we teens had to go our separate ways — back to school and to our regular lives after our summer of fun, but promising to keep in touch.

Sept. 10, 1964. Guess who wrote me! Bob Lane. I kinda figured he would. He & Linda are goin’ steady and Sharon and Larry are nearly goin’ steady! I’m realll glad! He’s gonna write me again I HOPE (as soon as I get the [Dave Clark 5 Fan Club] cards to him!)

Bidding adieu at the Altamont Fair (2001). When the 1964 fair ended, we teens who’d met there went our separate ways — back to school and to our regular lives after our summer of fun, but promising to keep in touch and meet up the following year. Photo by Amy L. Williamson

And thus, through letter writing during the year, we teens kept the Altamont Fair magic alive — hoping to meet up again at the fair when the following summer rolled around.

Final post, Zip code scares and Zap: power outage! Please leave a comment, then join me for Endwell: My Early Teen Years Recap and Reflection on May 3! Meanwhile, please visit this week’s other Sepia Saturday bloggers.

© 2021 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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