Sen. Robert Kennedy visits

Sen. Robert Kennedy sits in a chairlift at Big Tupper Ski Area. (Provided photo — Kathleen Bigrow)

It was a big headline in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise in February 1967 when Sen. Robert Kennedy visited Saranac Lake. He had to make an appearance here, but I believe the whole purpose of the trip was to ski at Big Tupper, which he did quite often.

The 72-point, eight-column headline above the Enterprise logo on page 1:

“Welcome and good skiing, Senator Kennedy!”

During earlier visits by Sen. Kennedy I was privileged to meet him (I was Saranac Lake mayor in 1967) at the airport with his entourage and drive him to Big Tupper. He would usually go to the home of Tupper Lake Mayor Adam Palmer to change into his ski clothes. On many of those visits I drove the press corps that always traveled with him.

Ruth and I were having lunch recently at the Well Dressed Foods restaurant on Park Street in Tupper Lake, where they have a flat screen that constantly runs a loop of still photos. Ruth looked up said, “There’s a picture of you and Sen. Kennedy taken at Big Tupper!” What a nice coincidence.

Lake Placid politics

It seems that I was not running for office that year because the mayor contests were carried on page 1 for Tupper Lake and Lake Placid, but nothing about Saranac Lake.

“The first Democratic caucus in Lake Placid in 20 years was held Tuesday night in the North Elba Town Hall giving the village voters a full slate of Democratic candidates for the March 21 election.

“Joseph McKillip (my cousin), presently a trustee, will be vying with incumbent Mayor Robert Peacock for his chair. Jack LaHart, incumbent trustee, will seek a two-year term as trustee, as will Michael Foley, motel owner and merchant. Jack Irvin, purchasing agent at Holiday Harbor, will seek the one year unexpired term created by the resignation of Trustee Jerry Cassidy and now being filled by Jack LaHart.

“McKillip twice joined with Peter Darlington, Republican trustee, in voting for a referendum on the sale of Lake Placid’s electric system while LaHart, along with Mayor Peacock and trustee Jack Barry, opposed the referendum and the sale to Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation.”

Tupper Lake politics

“Charles Murray, Tupper Lake attorney, was nominated at the Republican caucus by Mayor Marcel Richer, for the post of mayor last night and from all indications will be unopposed.

“Mrs. Ethel Williams, past president of the Women’s Republican Club, seconded the nomination.

“Approximately 60 Republican party members attended the caucus and nominated Jerry Garrelts and John Sparks for trustees and Fred Girard fro Police Justice. Sparks and Girard are incumbents.

“The Democrats, meeting at 8 p.m. one hour prior to the Republicans, nominated two men for the mayor’s position, Eugene Gagnier and Albert Bigrow, both of whom declined. Nominated to fill the trustee spots were Victor LaMora and Frank Tice and for Police Justice, Kenneth Bluteau.”

Petition on T.L. fire truck

“Alfred Furnia, local contractor and pilot, is circulating a petition calling for a public referendum on the purchase of the proposed fire truck.

“The cost of the truck is $26,847 and will be financed over a ten-year period.

“Mr. Furnia has opposed the purchase of a diesel powered truck which he claims is an expense not justified by usage. He also claims that the village is well enough equipped with trucks and what is needed is water pressure.

“The petition must carry 10 per cent of the village property owners and must be filed within 30 days of the February 2 deadline.”

There is some error in the date here because this issue of the paper is Feb. 22.

Also it is interesting that it is only property owners who could vote on the petition. In 1967 one had to be a property owner to run for village office. There was one piece of vacant land in the village that changed ownership many times back then when someone wanted to run for office who was not a property owner … but could quickly become one.


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