Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.
25 years ago
Jan. 8, 1988
WALTON — It has been two months since Walton’s Hubcap Man was served with papers to leave the property he occupies at the corner of Delaware and West streets. Yet he and his wares remain.
Gilbert Lane, 46, was handed a civil order Nov. 6 to remove his belongings from the corner lot within 30 days. No eviction order followed. The land is owned by Bettiol Fuel Service of Oneonta, which bought it from the state at an auction last April.
According to Joseph Pondolfino Jr. of Oneonta, attorney for Bettiol Fuel, the company plans to meet with Lane and work out a reasonable solution.
“Within a month, I hope everything will be resolved” he said.
Lane has said in the past he needs 60 days to remove his streetside hawking business. On Tuesday he said he will not leave with less than dignity.
“I made a commitment here and I’ve got to stay until that’s completed,” he said. He said his commitment is for people to appreciate and respect him.
He sells used merchandise ranging from snowplows to stoves to milk cans. He is best known for selling hubcaps and has a couple of thousand, he estimated.
He said his “buy-sell-trade” business depends mainly on people from around the state driving by on Delaware Street, which is state Route 10.
He said he enjoys the controversy over him in Walton. “It’s good for my ego.” But he admitted that sometimes it gets him down.
Yet he said it will never drive him away. It only encourages him to stay longer and fight harder, he said. “Actually, I’m very happy here with my life. I’m richer than anyone. For the first time in my life, I have peace of mind,” he said.
50 years ago
Jan. 8, 1963
“This is KED 515 calling …” said the Fire Captain in dead earnest. “It is now 7:27 and at 7:30 is the correct time.”
The seconds ticked by like minutes and the minutes ticked by like hours. Perspiration trickled on four tense brows.
Now … 7:30 … it happened. Twenty-eight fire sirens simultaneously shrieked through communities in Otsego County.
What was the reason?
Fire Captain Albert Naples of the Oneonta Fire Department gave the explanation that on the first Monday of every month a test is made of all the fire sirens and radios in Otsego County to assure that they are A-OK.
There are 28 fire companies in the county — 28 sirens — and a few minutes past the zero hour the report was given: “Everything is OK. Companies in county all responded with good siren and radio check.”