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Remembering Blanche Griswold Carr

July 28, 2012
By HOWARD RILEY (hjriley@adelphia.net) , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

My friend and fellow historian, Phil "Bunk" Griffin, has given me a booklet written, probably about 1982, by Blanche Carr, about the history of her life, with a foreword by Bill McLaughlin.

You see, I am anxious to use this information about Blanche because I would not want readers to believe that the only reason that Blanche should be remembered was for boarding the Robert Kennedy family airplane at the Adirondack Airport in Lake Clear.

This happened in February 1965 when Blanche went out to catch her flight, checked her luggage with Mohawk Airlines and then walked out to the runway and boarded the Kennedy plane.

Article Photos

Blanche Castle Carr
1970: From Life Insurance Magazine

Now how about this: Today, July 23, 2012 at 10 a.m. I am having coffee in the cafe at the airport with a few other members of the Liars Club, of which I am President, and Bengt Ohman asks what I am going to write about this week. I mention Blanche, and Jack Finegan, former airport manager, tells me this story

He said as he looked out at the parking ramp that day, Kennedy's plane was to the left and the Mohawk Airlines plane to the right. Blanche walked past New York State Trooper Ken O'Dell, who was providing security and boarded the Kennedy plane. Jack said Ken must have thought the Kennedy's invited her to fly with them. Kennedy was then the U.S. Senator from New York.

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By McLaughlin and Lawrence

An excerpt from the foreword by Bill McLaughlin:

"Everyone who has lived out a full life expectancy and retained a basic ingrained trust in his fellow men without floundering on the rocks of despair will experience an insatiable desire within themselves to set down on paper, the events which shaped their lives. Blanche Carr has infused this quality in a message for all of us to share."

An excerpt from what Judge Ellsworth Lawrence of Malone wrote in the book:

"Mrs. Blanche G. Carr was a fellow student of mine in the Malone Schools in the period around World War I. I knew her well.

"She keeps alive the spirit of youth, which comes through in her writings. Much of the material she has memory touched, will be of historic value."

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Blanche's own story

Highlights of her life, edited, but in her words:

"John Bateman came to America and participated in the siege of Quebec in 1759. He married Elizabeth Cocklin of Marblehead, Mass. They had three daughters and the family descended from the oldest girl, Mary, whose husband David Smith was an officer in George Washington's army at Valley Forge. My father was the child of Eliza Smith Dream and Henry Castle and my mother was the daughter of Abram Bush and Mary Ann O'Neil, born right in the village of Malone.

"During my first marriage I lost my only child, but fate leads me to a dear little girl of two years. We adopted her, but it was inevitable that my marriage could not work.

[Blanche later married J. L. Griswold, a widower, who owned an x-ray laboratory in Saranac Lake.]

"I acquired a newspaper job with the Syracuse Post Standard and a teletype was moved into my home. I worked at newspaper writing for the next 20 years.

"My husband Larry Griswold died in 1962 and the great loss of my mother came in 1963.

"By 1952 my daughter was in college and I tackled Life Insurance and passed the New York State examination at the College of St. Rose in Albany in 1952. Two years late I was pleased to be listed as one of the 'Top Ten' women producers of the entire John Hancock Insurance Company. This honor made me eligible for a year of advanced schooling at Purdue University and graduated from this course with honors.

"In 1953 I had been elected Worthy Matron of the Masonic Order of the Eastern Star and also appointed to the executive committee of the Franklin County Home Bureau. In 1956 I became a member of the Tri-Lakes Underwriters Association and after two years was elected president of the Association. The Association included all the Insurance men from Lake Placid, Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake and I was the only woman president in the field at that time.

"After six years of lonely widowhood, I married big, rugged Les Carr in 1968. He died in 1979."

The book also has much history of the Village of Malone. There is a story about members of Troop B of the New York State Police moving into the recently completed barracks in Malone 1923. The Captain of the Troop was Charles J. Broadfield commanding 69 men which included a blacksmith and a saddler; and that horse patrols were first used at the Syracuse State fair in September 1917.

This is a simple tribute to Blanche who had a tough, but interesting life.

 
 

 

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