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(The Enterprise, July 12, 1966)

The salary scale was just a tiny, little bit different 57 years ago in Saranac Lake and around the U.S … read this page one story.

Whoops! Before you rush down to apply for this position — that was then, this is now:

“The Chamber hopes to pay a minimum salary of $5,500 for area experience counting less than learning potential.”

Just so there is no misunderstanding, the $5,500 salary mentioned is a yearly salary. I was mayor in 1967, and my yearly salary was $1,500.

“The Saranac Lake Chamber of Commerce last night announced its new budget for the year 1966-67 and a raise in the dues rate for many of its members. The purpose of the raise, chamber directors said, is to cover the cost of a new executive secretary office as well as expenses involved in a publicity increase for the Saranac Lake area.

“The new budget of $26,320 includes an increase in the desired minimum dues to total $9,820 over $6,500 last year. With the additional funds, president-elect James Murray said, ‘the chamber hopes to satisfy the increasing requests from members for a full-time executive secretary in the chamber office.’

“In a further note for the record, President Murray pointed out that all chamber directors must pay at least $50 in dues.

“Besides consideration of the budget, the chamber awarded appreciation plaques to former directors Joseph Reilly, (he had also served a President of the Chamber); Col. Reginald Bedell; Mott Chapin and retiring President Phil Hyde.

“Attention was called to the new publicity brochure for Saranac Lake, and directors voiced their enthusiasm for the ‘fantastic job done by Joseph Hanning and Bob Kampf.'”

Rene LeBlanc has vital role in Vietnam

“Senior Master Sergeant Rene C. LeBlanc of Tupper Lake has had a vital role at the U.S. Air Force’s now fully operational Binh Thuy Air Base near Can Tho in the Mekong Delta.

“Sergeant LeBlanc, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward LeBlanc of 19 Pleasant Avenue, Tupper Lake, was a member of the advance party sent to activate the base some eight months ago.

“Using an empty 6x8x6-foot container for their first office, ‘we controlled the base during the day and it belonged to the Viet Cong at night,’ the Sergeant recalled.

“Sergeant LeBlanc is flight line maintenance superintendent with the prime task of keeping O-1E Bird Dog aircraft in top flying condition for missions over the delta.

“These planes are the small spotter aircraft that are flown over a 21,000-square-mile military district by forward air controllers to locate and direct air strikes against enemy activity.”

Area receives $100,000 grant

“The North Country Economic and Cultural Council Inc., to which the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce recently given a grant of $100,000 will meet here next Friday at 10:30 a.m. at the Hotel Saranac.

“The purpose of the grant is to finance research and planning for the nine-county area of the North Country, with two centers of research activities at the State University College at Plattsburgh and at St. Lawrence University in Canton.

“Dr. George Angell, president of Plattsburgh College, is acting president of NCECC.

“At Friday’s meeting the status of the organization will be reviewed and specific plans will be made to receive the grant and to start the research projects.”

Sterling Game Farm Opens

Jumping way ahead to the Lake Placid News of May 27, 1971, the Sterling Animal Farm in Lake Placid was opening for its 51st consecutive year. It must have opened in 1920. It is located at the corner of Whiteface Inn Road and Saranac Avenue (Route 86).

“This coming Memorial Day weekend, as usual, the Sterling Alaska Fur and Game Farm at Lake Placid will be opening for visitors. This time it will open for its 51st consecutive season of successful operations.

“Opening of this unusual Fur and Game Farm, commonly known as ‘Home of 1000 Animals’ coincides with the time when the young ones begin to arrive. This spring’s arrivals already include a pair of baby Himalayan bears, a brand new baby buffalo, baby moufflons and with otters arriving daily, attesting, said owner Peter Tombillis (spelling), to the proper care and well being of the animals in somewhat confined conditions of a game farm …”

The “farm” is now owned and operated by Greg and Bob Peacock and is named the “Home of 10,000 Antiques.” Just kidding. It is named “TRADITIONS — Rustic Adirondack Goods.”

Take a look inside. Maybe you’ll think I was not kidding about that fictitious name.

Their dad, Mayor Bob Peacock, was a super nice guy; always calm, letting others speak first and then quietly giving his opinion. He was mayor for 34 years, from 1959 to 1993, and at one time president of the New York State Conference of Mayors.

I believe the only longer serving mayor was Erastus Corning of Albany, who served for 41 years.


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