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The way things were by Anne Weaver

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - Updated: 7:59 AM

ABOUT THE WEEK OF DEC. 12, 1963, once again it was time to think about shopping for the family Christmas tree. Everyone wants a freshly cut, well-shaped tree that looks attractive and will last well indoors without shedding.

The College of Forestry at Syracuse University offered some tips for Christmas tree shoppers. First of all, select the right kind of tree. In New York state there are about 10 species of trees used as Christmas trees.

A fresh-cut tree retains its needles best. Trees grown in your own locality are usually the freshest. The best “housekeepers” are pine and fir trees. Their needles stay on, which is an advantage especially appealing to busy housewives during the holiday season.

The fir tree’s soft, blunt needles also make it easier to trim. The spruce, though usually a well-shaped tree, has sharp needles and sheds quite rapidly. Choose a tree of proper size and shape to fit your household space.

Any species of Christmas tree can be kept safe and in good condition if given proper care. First, make a fresh diagonal cut across the bottom of the trunk. Then place the tree in a stand with a water receptacle. These two operations will help keep your tree fresh. A moist fresh tree does not catch fire easily.

Make sure all wiring and electrical connections to be used on or near the tree are safe and in good condition.

At HAMILTON COUNTY, the death of William C. Hyde, 45, of Sauquoit, had been ruled accidental by Hamilton County Coroner John M. Sullivan, Glens Falls, who said Mr. Hyde died Nov. 16 of injuries suffered when his boat struck a submerged rock in Raquette Lake.

Sullivan said the death was caused by a laceration of the liver. He added that the nature of the accident might have caused Hyde to suffer a thrombosis at the same time.

Mr. Hyde’s body was found Nov.6 in a 16-foot outboard boat off a small island in Raquette Lake. The nature of Mr. Hyde’s death was determined, Sullivan said, by a post-mortem and microscopic examinations in Utica State Hospital.

At BLUE MT. LAKE, the U.S. Postal Service was seeking competitive bids for new quarters to house its postal operations at Blue Mt. Lake, Postmaster General John A. Gronouski announced. Under the department’s Lease Construction program, a contract would be awarded to the bidder who designated a building suitable to the department’s needs and then leased it to the department for a basic period of five years with three separate and consecutive two-year renewal options.

The department’s capital investment would be limited substantially to postal equipment. The building would remain under private ownership with the owner paying local real estate taxes.

Bidding documents could be obtained from Mr. Thomas D. Noonan, Regional Real Estate Officer, Albany. He would supply bidding forms building specifications, lease provisions and other information. Bids had to be submitted to him.

At INLET, the Rev. Donald Milnes, new pastor of Inlet Community Church, would light the Christmas tree in the center of town. This would be followed by carol singing. The Ladies Auxiliary of the Fire Co. would then serve refreshments in the fire hall.

The advent of December marked the start of the annual race against time at Inlet Post Office as its Christmas mail rush went into high gear. The USPS anticipated nationwide record mail volume for the Christmas season of nearly 12 billion pieces during December.

“Shopping and mailing early benefits everyone,” the postmaster observed. “Early mailing also gives us time to get gifts and cards in the hands of addresses in good condition with less chance of damage or delay due to human error. Our employees need public help to run this race against time, and patrons of the Inlet post office can assist us by shopping and mailing right now.”

A fire of undetermined origin destroyed the two-story lakeside Nathan summer home on Old Forge Lake as Old Forge firemen poured water on adjacent buildings to keep them from going up in flames. Estimate of the damage was placed at $40,000.

The Central Adirondacks got another sampling of real winter weather this week as more than a half-foot of snow fell on the area. The snow, at times accompanied by strong gusts of winds, kept falling most of the day.

Highway and sidewalk plows were out early in the morning to clean local streets but they filled up rapidly as the snow continued. Temperatures, which had been mild all week, dipped to near zero that night.

At LAKE PLEASANT, Oak Mountain Ski Center now had two Hall T-bar lifts, which more than doubled the capacity of the original T-bar. These two new lifts were erected in order to handle Oak Mountain’s greatly increased patronage of recent seasons.

Now 2,400 skiers per hour could be accommodated, and waiting time on lift lines was practically eliminated. Like the original T-bar, the new lifts have level approaches, so skiers do not waste time and energy by having to sidestep upward. Instead, they move forward, quickly and smoothly, to the loading stages.

One of the new T-bar lifts, serving 1,000 skiers per hour, is 1,170 feet long, with a vertical rise of 278 feet. The other replaced the rope tow formerly used on the practice slope. It is 465 feet long and carries 600 skiers per hour.

Two new trails had been opened and new approaches completed to three others. Sugar Bush Trail had been widened and graded and Fifth Avenue Run had been seeded. All trails had been improved and groomed.


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