I wasn't surprised to learn
there was a Solvay connection
Several years ago, when my sister, Mary, and her husband lived in Westvale, New York, just west of Syracuse and a stone's throw from Solvay, her daughter (and my niece) Danielle worked a checkout lane at a Wegman's Supermarket.
Danielle told her mother that one of her regular customers was Alec Baldwin's mother. Mary and I couldn't understand how this could be true. Not to make a big thing out of celebrities or their families, but my sister and I thought Alec Baldwin and his brothers grew up on Long Island. And they did.
So why was their mother living near a Wegman's in the Syracuse suburbs?
The reason continued to elude us, but the fact of the matter was, yes, Carol Baldwin, who gave birth to the acting Baldwin brothers, lives in the town of Camillus, New York. As years went by, she told Alec she would not move because she would not give up her Wegman's.
The story was widely circulated, and prompted Alec Baldwin to do television commercials for the highly regarded, regional supermarket chain.
I recently stumbled into the reason Carol Baldwin moved to Syracuse's western suburbs when her husband, Alexander, passed away. Imagine my surprise when I found a Solvay connection. In truth, I was not surprised at all. Once I discovered the woman's background, the whole thing made perfect sense.
My journey to discovery began when I renewed my research into Solvay history via old newspapers on the website fultonhistory.com. For no reason in particular, I picked the year 1920 as my next project.
Along the way I found a story about Roy Martineau, identified as "a football star at Solvay High School" in 1919, and a member of the 1920 freshman team at Syracuse University.
I could find nothing more about his football-playing days at Solvay, but had he been a member of the 1919 team, he would have played alongside my father, Stanley "Buster" Major.
Anyway, Martineau apparently was a versatile athlete, but he did not shine as a football player at Syracuse, though he rowed with the SU crew for three years and was a member of the school's wrestling team.
There was, in 1923, a story that he intended to transfer to Bucknell after his junior year. Instead, it seems he switched to the University of Buffalo, but the football he played that fall was with the Buffalo All-Americans, one of 20 teams in the fledgling National Football League. Though normally a lineman, Martineau scored a touchdown that season as a running back.
Martineau was good enough to play in the NFL for three seasons, the last two with the Rochester Jeffersons, who went winless both years (as well as in 1923).
On September 6, 1924, the Syracuse Journal reported that Martineau was engaged to be married. The bride-to-be was Marion Sidnam, a Solvay girl, it turned out, and a graduate of Syracuse University who was teaching English at Newark (NY) High School. She was the older sister of David Sidnam, who would go on to become a doctor, with his practice in Solvay. (One of his patients was my mother, Helen Major.)
Later Roy Martineau became parks director for the city of Syracuse. A small park was named in his honor. He and his wife had six children, five of them daughters, one of them named Carol. (One website identified her as Carol Newcomb, but Newcomb is her middle name — and was the maiden name of her maternal grandmother.)
Carol Martineau married Alexander Rae Baldwin Jr., who became a high school teacher and football coach. They met while they were students at Syracuse University. They settled in Long Island. Among their six children were sons Alec, Stephen, Daniel and William.
Alexander R. Baldwin died in 1983, and Carol Martineau Baldwin went back to Central New York. After all, it was her home. Besides, there aren't any Wegman's on Long Island.