The APA — no, not that APA!

Readers could become really confused if they came across a copy of the Enterprise, say, from February 1959 — at least, that is what happened to me. [Other stories from that same edition will follow that are not at all confusing.]

Here is the lead story, with a 40-font headline reading: “COMMISSIONER WILM OFFERS 6-POINT PROGRAM AT BIG APA DINNER HERE.”

Now let me get this straight — the APA we all know and love was not created until 1971, by an act of the New York State Legislature, “to develop long range public and private land use plans for the largest park in the Continental United States.”

As a reporter I covered the first meeting of the real Adirondack Park Agency.

New York State’s new Conservation Commissioner, Harold G. Wilm, was speaking at a dinner attended by more than 200 at the Hotel Saranac on that cold, below zero night, a mere 63 years ago.

The dinner was hosted by the Adirondack Park Association — aka the APA.

“Arthur Benson of North Hudson was elected the new president of the Adirondack Park Association to succeed Roy Higby of Big Moose, proprietor of Frontiertown, who has served in the position for four years.”

Also speaking at the dinner: Apparently the commissioner gave a long speech and emphasized “wise forest land management” and said, “this means the use of the forest resources for maximum benefit of all the people concerned.”

The group then heard from state Sen. Robert McEwen (later Congressman McEwen), a member of the Joint Legislative Committee on Natural Resources; Assemblyman Bob Main, chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee on winter tourism and Assemblyman Grant Johnson of Essex County spoke briefly.

“Land Use Review Presented by the APA”

“A review of the state land use policy in the Adirondack Forest Preserve, improvement of state highways within the Adirondack Park, increased appropriations by the state for tourist promotion and setting up of gateway entrances on main roads into the Adirondacks were urged yesterday afternoon at the annual business session of the Adirondack Park Association.”

“Faker” Gerald LaFountain sets jump record; m10,000 spectators watch — LP wins 6 of 9 trophies

“Gerald LaFountain, a Saranac Lake High School freshman and member of the Lake Placid Ski Club, set a hill record of 49 feet and he gained the best overall point score of 140.6 in the New York State and United States Eastern Amateur Ski Championships held at Bear Mountain yesterday afternoon. [Thursday, Feb. 12, 1959.]

“More than 10,000 spectators watched the Lake Placid Club walk away with six of a possible nine trophies.

“LaFountain blended a 44-footer with his record 49-foot jump.

“His efforts overshadowed the consistent performance by Bob Birk, a newcomer to the sport from Bloomingdale, who jumped 48 feet and 47 feet for 138.6 points in the 15 to 17-year-old division.

“Lake Placid competitors completed the sweep with 8-year-old Jay Rand, Jr., topped the division for pee wees under ten. [Jay went on to compete in the 1968 Olympic Winter Games in Grenoble, France.]

“Bobby Peacock gave Lake Placid the top two places in the 10 to 14 division when he jumped 45 and 44-footers for 137.3 points.

“The lone girl entrant, 12-year-old Sandra Vitvitsky, a sixth grader from Lake Placid, executed twin 39-foot efforts for 128.6 points, eighth among 27, 10 to 14-year-olds.

“Other jumpers who represented the Lake Placid ski Club and their two jumps were: Age group 15-17 — P. Greghorn of Lake Placid (44-43), placed third.

“In the 10 to 14 group — A. C. Wetherill of Lake Placid, (42-43) fifth; J. Colby of Lake Placid (38-42) seventh; L. Adler of Lake Placid (39-38), ninth; J. Munn of Saranac Lake (36-37), tenth; J. Nugent of Lake Placid, (39-38), eleventh; T. Colby of Lake Placid, (35-33), thirteenth.

“Under 10 — D. Jesmer of Lake Placid (32-33), third; E. Hess of Lake Placid, (39-37), tenth; [didn’t Hess beat Jesmer with two longer jumps?]; W. Stanton of Lake Placid, (29-27), eleventh.”

[Man, I’ve given the LaFountain family a lot of ink lately. Gerald is the son of Bea and Mose LaFountain whose big Christmas bash for kids at their nightclub was featured here a few weeks ago. “Faker” is the brother of Lorraine “Peppie” Fobare and Jim and Mose LaFountain.]

World Bobsled championships

“ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (AP) — The 1959 world four-man bobsled championships open here Saturday with a dramatic battle between the United States, West Germany and Italy expected to feature the competition.

“West Germany’s Franz Schelle and his crew are favored. Schelle broke his own record three times in five trial runs this week.

“The American’s, Art Tyler of Weston, MA., and Stan Benham of Lake Placid, N.Y., also bettered the old record in practice runs.”

[By coincidence, John Morgan of the Morgan family bobsled dynasty and commentator for the ABC Bobsled Races all over the world is in Switzerland right now. Hey, you heard it first.]


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.75/week.

Subscribe Today