Could everyone write one simple essay about something that once happened in Saltaire…that they saw or were a part of…and put it on one big website? Somebody should collect a lot of stories before we all forget. Otherwise it is like a line in “On The Beach” : The history of the war that now would never be written.” -(JO'H)

Saturday, August 26, 2017

LABOR DAY, 1946-1949 IN SALTAIRE: KODACHROME IMAGES BY THE LATE RICHARD GREER

















Pictures by Richard Greer
Pictures courtesy Sid Greer

(JO'H Ed. Note) : The promise of Saltaire from its very inception, to nurture “Healthy Happy Saltaire Youngsters” http://saltaire38.blogspot.com/search?q=Bungaliers was as much evidence in the post- World War II era as it is today. Kids here, kids there, kids everywhere.
Saltaire was never a resort where you went to get away from the kids—it was a place you went to live with the kids. And you never got to know just the kids: you got to know whole families. Bill Stillgebauer told us that his parents were close friends with the Greers, and Bill became friends with the Greers' kids, and grandkids and nieces and nephews. The Greers were cousins of the Glascocks who became good friends of the Stillgebauers, and so on. Growing up Saltaire, you knew people in the context of their families.
1950’s Mayor John Ludlow once said:
There is a word in our own language that I think has not been given due importance. The word is "sociability," which I'll take the liberty of terming "vocal, hospitable, friendliness." Sociability is friendliness of by word as well as by deed: it is when you enjoy having people in for supper equally as having supper at their house; when during a walk around the block you meet and have a friendly greeting from eight or ten people.Such is the type of life that we have at Saltaire. We are a small incorporated village of one hundred and ten cottages, a part of the Town of Islip,
---Mayor John Ludlow, 1954.

http://saltaire38.blogspot.com/search?q=polio

We are proud to introduce Richard Greer’s Labor Day pictures from 1946, 1947 and 1948 that show that sociability in context of a Village tradition carried on each year from the earliest years of the Village: the annual Labor Day races at the ball field and on the bay. Parents went down to the field to watch the kids run. And they got to do some running themselves—or at least jumping in potato sacks. The next day was on to the bay for the swimming races in the boat basin.

Then to watch the kids as they gore themselves, hands behind their backs, with blueberry pie, a tradition that goes back at least to the 1920’s in Saltaire, http://saltaire38.blogspot.com/2008/08/labor-day-in-saltaire.html

Finally, of course, came the great Labor Day awards ceremony at the Yacht Club. The Village turned out for what was Saltaire's version of the Academy Awards. The season's awards for sailing, swimming and track were awarded in a packed Yacht Club, topped off by the big awards: the Sailing trophies and "The Cup," a trophy given each year for the best kid in each particular class.

Greer's images capture a Village in an era of confidence: a Village that in the previous ten years had fought off the utter destruction of the Hurricane of 1938 http://saltairian.com/pages/history/1938/ocean-met-bay.html
http://saltaire38.blogspot.com/search?q=beleagured
http://saltaire38.blogspot.com/search?q=Joseph+Lynch
and then had seen its parents go off and fight and win the Big War.
http://saltaire38.blogspot.com/search?q=nancy+latham

48 -star American flags delineated the running course for the races at the field; red white and blue streamers hung on the Broadway fence.
And kids everywhere, and parents everywhere too: this was, after all, the earliest bloom of the Baby Boom. So thanks, Sid Greer, for saving your dad Richard's Kodachromes from that heady time: This was All American Saltaire at mid Century.
ALL PICTURES BY RICHARD GREER

CLICK ANY PICTURE TO ENLARGE
THE LABOR DAY TRACK MEET, 1947



















Not many people remember, but there used to be a cinder track around the ball field, as seen on left. By the 1950's it was covered up, except for the northern end of the field between the right field foul line and the the fire house. The fire house was farther back than it is today. It was torture to walk on that part of the old track in bare feet: there were big, chunky cinders.
































Note: fire alarm gong on Broadway. In the early days, there were similar alarms in strategic locations throughout the village. They were manually operated: just hit 'em with a big hammer to summon help. There was no electricity or telephone service until the 1930's. See an earlier fire alarm here: http://saltaire38.blogspot.com/search?q=Fire+Alarms

Note here the clear view across tennis courts to houses on Marine Walk.























































Note in this picture: there used to be basketball backboards along the right field line, a double sided one shownher incenter filed, and another deep in center field.
The house in the background is on Pacific walk.







THE SWIMMING RACES AT THE BAY




The track meet was one day, the swimming meet the next.












These swimming pictures were taken in two different years, 1946 and 1948 .

Look closely: the old grey headed man in the scow on the right is the famous old bayman/hermit , Captain Baldwin. Kind of creepy to see him there. To follow his legend, click here: http://saltaire38.blogspot.com/search?q=Baldwin


















































THE PIE EATING CONTESTS:








There is a Saltaire promotional brochure from the 1920's that shows a line of kids along Bay Prom participating in a pie eating contest. http://saltaire38.blogspot.com/2008/08/labor-day-in-saltaire.html These 1948 by images by Robert Greer show the tradition was strong. See, for instance Hank Stillgebauer's images from 1957: http://saltaire38.blogspot.com/search?q=messiness The pie eating contests continued at lest through teh early 1960's. Why the stopped this this tradition is anyone's guess, but there is no reason why it cannot be reintroduced in 2010.









































THE CUP:

This was it. The ultimate; the Oscar; the top award for top kid in each goup. Real hardware that looked great on the mantle.

















THE REASON THEY DID ALL THIS:

We have lots more Greer photos from that era: beach scenes; sailing scenes, scenes with lots of people old timers may recall, and a series of pictures of a baseball game between Saltaire aind Pont of Woods at Point of Woods in 1950.

Trouble is, we have not received YOUR pictures yet.

send them to:

5 comments:

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Anonymous said...

The early(19 teen's, etc) promotional brochures for Saltaire -
the children pictured in them were all the siblings of Capt Elmer Patterson whose father, Capt Herbert Patterson, was one of the original core of developers of Saltaire.

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Maciej Piszczek said...

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