Syracuse Herald-American, June 4
Solvay Plans 50th Birthday
A parade of military, fraternal and other organizations next Saturday with representatives of departments of the village will be one of the main events of Solvay’s celebration of a half century as an incorporated village.
The parade, with George L. Koehler as marshal, will move at 6 p.m. from Milton and Freeman Avenues. The line of march will be south in Freeman Avenue to Woods Road, then west to Milton Avenue to Center Street and east in Second Street to Woods Road, to the Village Park.
Addresses and an entertainment program will be given at the park. Frank Himpler, George Haaf, George W. Torrey, Edward D. Gorman and C. Jay Darrow are assistants to the marshal.
Solvay was incorporated May 31, 1894, with Frederick R. Hazard, president of the Solvay Process Company, as its first mayor. William Boyd, William Cross, James F. Mathews comprised the first board of trustees, with Charles O. Richards as clerk.
The present board includes Mayor John J. Degan, Louis Valletta, Stanley Duda, Roscoe Courlier, Walter O Scheiss, Norman F. James and George Bome.
The Solvay Process Company was the only industry when the village was incorporated, and to this have been added Pass & Seymour, Iroquois China Company, Frazer & Jones and Lipe-Rollway, with the Halcomb Steel plant and Church & Dwight just outside the village.
Solvay’s population now exceeds 8,300. It is one of the few villages in the state owning its power and light plant. It has modern schools and churches, a fire department headed by Chief Frank A. Willoughby and police department headed by Chief Blase Valletta.
Trustee Norman F. James was general chairman of the 50th anniversary celebration and Adrian J. Grobsmith, past state commander, Veterans of Foreign War, was the master of ceremonies. The national anthem was sung by Intermediate School teacher Mrs. Jean Blackmore, accompanied by the Solvay High School Band. There was an invocation by the Rev. Carl J. Denti of Saint Cecilia’s Church, an address of welcome by Mayor John J. Degan of Solvay and a talk by Mayor Thomas E. Kennedy of Syracuse.
The history of the village was given by Justice Daniel F. Mathews; John J. Bryers, president of the Solvay Board of Education, also spoke.
The program also included selections by the Solvay High School Band, conducted by Steven Carroll, and choral selections by the Solvay High School senior girls chorus, under Miss Mary Louise Shea, assisted by Miss Janice Donahue, pianist. David Duncan, the Misses Marjorie Wells, Belle Daniels and Janice Knapp, Miss Mary Cianci and John Louise also performed.
Edmund R. Vadeboncoeur, the WSYR radio executive, spoke about his recent tour of the South Pacific war zone, and this part of the evening concluded with a benediction pronounced by the Rev. Charles N. Ouderkirk, pastor of Freeman Avenue M. E. Church.
The evening concluded with dancing, music provided by the Christian Brothers Academy orchestra.
In attendance was Allen J. Herrick, 82, the only living signer of the application for a Solvay village charter.
Syracuse Herald-Journal, June 15
Congratulations to our busy neighbor, Solvay, on the fiftieth anniversary of its incorporation as a village.
Syracuse, more venerable, cannot look upon Solvay as a newcomer. For when one takes into account all that has been accomplished industrially in those 50 years in the village on the shores of Onondaga Lake, it must be admitted that Solvay has “filled the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds worth of distance run.”
The story of Solvay is two-fold. One concerns the great chemical plant of the Solvay Process Company, famed throughout the world. The other deals with Solvay as a community of hard-working, self-respecting, home-loving citizens with an abundant endowment of civic pride.
These two stories are closely interlinked. What is now a thriving community was only a salt yard in 1881 when the Solvay Process enterprise was launched. An engineer named Cogswell, representing Rowland Hazard, a New England capitalist, heard a paper read about the Solvay process of making soda ash, devised by the Solvay brothers, Ernest and Alfred of Belgium, in 1861. He interested Hazard in the idea of a plant in this area, visited the Solvay brothers in Belgium and won their backing.
The Solvay process has resulted in an astonishing advancement in the quality of soda products. Because soda ash enters into the manufacture of all the products of industry, the process has been of great benefit to the world.
It was Rowland Hazard’s son, the late Frederick R. Hazard, whose memory is cherished as the father of the village. President of the company, he was the first president of the village and occupied that post for a dozen years or more. Due to his gifts, the cooperation of Andrew Carnegie and the village’s government, it has had a good library since 1903.
Solvay had an assessed valuation of $2,000,000 when it was incorporated May 31, 1894, with a board consisting of William Boyd, William Cross, James F. Mathews and John H. Craig. Now its valuation is $8,500,000, its population is around 9,000. It has four schools in which 2,500 pupils are taught. It was one of the first municipalities in Central New York to own its electric lighting system. It also owns its water system, as few villages do.
Solvay owes only $190,000 on its $1,500,000 school system and only $240,000 on its $3,000,000 investment in streets, water and sewer systems. Bonds are being retired and predictions are heard that in five years it will be out of debt.
Surely a good outlook with which to begin the second half century!
Plane crashes in Gere's Lock
On the night of July 2 a C-47 army transport plane, on its way back to the base located at the Syracuse airport in Amboy, crashed at Gere's Lock in the Belle Isle Road, a mile or so northwest of Solvay. The plane brushed against a tower atop the tallest building in the village, at the Solvay Process Company on Milton Avenue, seconds before it landed short of the airport and burst into flames. The three crew members were killed.
April 23-24: PTA presents minstrel show
A minstrel show will be staged by the Parent Teachers Association of Solvay High School to raise funds for playground equipment. The show will be presented Sunday, April 23, at 3 p.m. and Monday, April 24, at 8:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium. Ludwig Grube is director of the show, Mrs. Augustina Skapura is in charge of the dances, and Miss Mary Louis Shea will play the piano. Mrs. Edwin Pepin, president of the PTA. said Mrs. Grube, general chairman of the event, will be assisted by the following:
Mrs. John Cloonan and Mrs. Edwin Kennedy, advertising; Mrs. Carl Michelson and Miss Mary Weller, tickets; Mrs. James Russell, Mrs. John Pirong and Miss Anna Murtaugh, publicity; Mrs. Joseph Naughton, business manager; Ray Divers, stage manager; Clarence Dilthy and Cyril Divers, lighting effects; B. X. Brown and Miss Anna Boland, costumes.
April 23: Chief Valetta in the spotlight
A testimonial dinner honoring Solvay’s new chief of police, Blase Valetta, and the retiring chief, Thomas F. Brock, was given in the Hotel Onondaga last night, sponsored by a committee composed of business and professional men of Solvay, representatives of social clubs, the police and fire departments and others.
Nearly 500 person were in attendance, many of them leaders in police services throughout Central New York.
Chief Valetta is a veteran of World War I and is commander of Central New York Council, Veterans of Foreign Wars. He has served in the police department of Solvay since 1919 and is a member of Selective Service Board 471. Chief Brock retired December 31 after nearly 40 years of service. The office of chief of the department carries a salary of $3,060.
June 1: War dead honored at June Festival
Miss Retha Johnston will be crowned queen at the 23d annual June Festival of the combined schools of Solvay at the village field tonight.
Helen Rosenberger will crown the queen, with Dorothy Mortas as crown bearer and Harold Haight, James Ryan and Donald Roznowski as the queen’s escorts. Members of the June graduating class at Solvay High School will form the court.
Tribute will be paid the 12 alumni of Solvay schools who have lost their lives in the war, and taps will be sung by a chorus of more than 100 at the close of the program.
Hundreds of Solvay school children will participate in the program. The first grades will present a butterfly and rose dance, pupils of the fifth and sixth grades a Polish polka, and the Intermediate School children will present a program of tumbling and calisthenics, with boys of the high school taking part in a bicycle drill. Music will be furnished by the combined bands of Solvay schools.
Clinton H. Atwood, superintendent of Solvay schools, is general chairman for the festival.
Tasty ending to an unfortunate situation
Syracuse Herald-Journal, June 2 —
Patrolman James F. “Dip” Demperio of Solvay has been hunting deer for some 30 years. But, according to friends, he never saw a deer — to say nothing of shooting one.
Today Demperio got his deer, but his friends are ribbing him because he had the aid of an unidentified motorist and couldn’t keep his “kill.”
About 6 a.m. a young buck was struck by a car at Cogswell and Milton Avenues and was severely injured. The deer ran into a garage at the rear of Sherwood’s store at the corner.
Demperio was summoned and found the deer was mortally injured. He shot it with his service pistol. The carcass was removed to the Onondaga County Home, where inmates will feast on venison.
|July 1-2: Old Home Day at Woods Road Park
The annual Old Home Day of the Solvay Fire Department was celebrated at Woods Road Park. An athletic program of races and games was featured on Sunday, July 2, featuring a water fight between Solvay and Fairmount firemen.
The Great Mail Robbery
Syracuse Herald-Journal, July 28 —
Postal authorities and state police continued search today for mail thieves following the theft of six first class mail pouches and the wholesale rifling of some 9,000 letters.
Postal Inspector George E. Doran, in charge of the investigation, said the theft was the largest in the history of Syracuse and may be one of the biggest in the East.
So far postal inspectors have recovered from the mass of mail 75 checks, many of them family allotment checks, that would total several thousands of dollars. Several money orders also were found.
There was mail of ever description. Some is important military mail, some from draft boards giving decisions on appeals and some were induction notices.
The looted mail was found Tuesday night in an abandoned quarry on the Westfall farm, just west of Solvay village limits when Robert J. DeMond of 3209 Milton Avenue, Solvay, exercising his dog, came upon the slashed pouches. He telephone state police at North Syracuse. Investigators went to the old quarry, then notified Postal Inspector Ray L. McManus, who took the mail to the Federal Building.
Postal inspectors said from postmarks it was evident the mail was stolen between July 9 and July 13. It is though the mail was taken from the New York Central station platform or from trucks at the station. The thieves apparently were looking for money; every piece of mail in the six sacks was torn open and the contents strewn about. Locks on the sacks were not touched, the thieves merely slashed the bags with a knife.
Mail workers are going through the mail in an endeavor to match the letters with their proper envelopes and forward them to the addresses.
October 1: Frazer and Jones changes hands
The 99-year-old Frazer and Jones Company of Solvay, manufacturers of malleable iron castings, has been absorbed by the Eastern Malleable Iron Company of Naugatuck, Connecticut, which has purchased all the stock.
The Solvay company, which has a capacity of 6,000 to 8,000 tons of malleable iron castings a year, employs about 300 men and does an annual business of $1,500,000, said Fred K. Frazer, retiring president and treasurer
Lewis A. Dibble, president of the Naugatuck firm, said he plans to expand the business of the Solvay plant, which will continue to be known as Frazer and Jones Company.
The local business, founded by Kasson Frazer in 1845, originally was located in Syracuse on West Fayette Street.
October 22: Calling all jitterbugs
The Solvay High School Art Club will sponsor a harvest frolic Friday night with a jitterbug contest and refreshments. Co-chairmen for the dance are Terese Windhausen and Joan Chrisfield.
Officers for the year 1944-45 are Miss Windhausen, president; Renard Nicolini, vice president; Miss Chrisfield, secretary; Miss Joan Banbas, treasurer, and Miss Edith Noble, advisor.
December 1: Classic case of bad news/good news
There are blizzards ... and there are blizzards. The one that hit Central New York on November 30, 1944 and continued into the next day was one of the worst in recorded history. More than two feet of snow fell over most of the area, closing schools, delaying work and, in general, making an incredible mess of things.
Three women from Marcellus — Mrs. Lucille Dorchester, Miss Barbara Bishop and Miss Helen Collard — somehow escaped serious injury when their automobile was struck by a New York Central train at a crossing on the Fairmount-Camillus Road.
They were on their way home from work at the Solvay Process Company. Their car was held up on the crossing by stalled traffic. The snow was so heavy the women said they didn’t even realize they were on the crossing. The train pushed their car along the tracks for 75 feet before automobile rolled over and down an embankment.
Incredibly, the women suffered only cuts and bruises and were sent home after they were treated by a doctor.
Some souvenirs required a bomb squad
Syracuse Herald-Journal, December 24 —
Another U. S. Army grenade sent home as a souvenir by a serviceman was turned over to Syracuse police yesterday and was found to be harmless when dismantled by a member of the military police stationed in headquarters.
The grenade was brought in by Leo Miles, 17, of 409 Fourth Street, Solvay, who told Sgt. George Easterly and Captain Irving Blanchard that he had read a story about the possible danger of such souvenirs in the Syracuse Herald-Journal.
Miles said the grenade was included in a package of clothing sent home from Camp Swift, Texas, by his cousin, Pfc. Joseph Cazzolli, 22, a ski trooper. Cazzolli makes his home with his aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Miles of the Solvay address, Leo’s parents.
The pin of the standard Army grenade was partially pulled out when it arrived at the station and looked potentially dangerous to Capt. Blanchard, a veteran of the last war.
Blanchard turned the weapon over to Corp. George Ehrhart, MP, for transference to Lieut. Jack Lacey, bomb disposal officer at the Syracuse Army Air Base. Lacey was officer of the day at the Air Base and could not come in to examine the grenade and he gave Ehrhart permission to dismantle the weapon.
Ehrhart carefully unscrewed the detonator and found the grenade lacked explosive powder.
Where there's smoke ...
August 7: Dense black smoke billowing up along the west shore of Onondaga Lake shortly after 11 a.m. today gave rise to alarm that a large fire was raging.
The smoke, however, was from chemical waste material of the Solvay Process Company in dikes along State Fair Boulevard. The blaze was extinguished in little more than half an hour by the Solvay Fire Department.
The waste beds lie along the west side of State Fair Boulevard between Willis Avenue and the Halcomb Steel plant. It was learned that workmen started to burn weeds along the railroad track, which crosses the boulevard on an overhead bridge about halfway between Willis Avenue and the steel mill. The grass fire got out of control and spread to the adjoining waste beds with the clouds of black smoke resulting.
Similar fires have occurred in recent years in the waste beds. During one such blaze about three years ago the smoke poured over a large section of Syracuse.
August 17: An investigation is being conducted into the cause of the fire which started in the pitch bay and loading dock of the Barrett Division, Allied Chemical and Dye Corporation, in State Fair Boulevard yesterday afternoon.
Great billows of smoke rose from the building in which the tarvia had been placed to harden, a steel and frame structure extending 100 feet along the railway and 50 feet deep, which housed motors and other equipment besides tarvia.
Burning rubbish from a nearby dump at the west of the plant was believed to have been blown upon the tar by the strong breeze.
The fire threatened tanks containing 200,000 gallons of the company’s product of tarvia and tarvia-lithic. The flames were confined to the one building.
The fire was most spectacular. The burning tarvia and chemicals used by the corporation in fighting it sent a huge column of black smoke high into the sky and visible for miles. The mass of burning product and chemicals turned into orange and red colors, making an unusually colorful fire. Fumes were acrid and filled the air over a considerable territory.
So spectacular was the fire that scores came from nearby points. Traffic was cut off at Willis Avenue and Hiawatha Boulevard West. Traffic was directed away from the scene. Solvay police and deputy sheriffs assisted.
The fire started about 1:20 p.m. and at 2 p.m. was under control.
Solvay sludge still simmers
Fallout from the 1943 Thanksgiving flood of Solvay Process Company waste increased even as clean-up efforts continued. Residents of Lakeland affected by the chemical mess formed a group in hopes of forcing Solvay Process to find another place to dump its sludge.
January 17: A broadcast, presented by the Syracuse-Onondaga Postwar Planning Council yesterday, favoring postwar industrial development of the shores of Onondaga Lake, brought sharp retort today from Walter Pope of Lakeland, chairman of a taxpayers’ association.
Richard Perkins, general manager of the Solvay Process Company, stated on the program that waste beds were unavoidable from an economic standpoint and do not pollute the waters of Onondaga Lake.
Pope, who heads a fight to use zoning legislation to restrict further dumping, said: “The Solvay Process Company was warned in September that the dike was going to break. I warned them. After that warning they continued to pour waste into the number 7 dike.
“It was on September 24 that part of the dike gave way back of the Lakeland restaurant. The Solvay Process Company sent a crew of men to shore it up; they drove a few boards into the ground and continued to pour tons of waste into it.”
February 12: Beautification of the west shore of Onondaga Lake will be included in the postwar plans of the Onondaga County Park and Regional Planning Board, according to Charles F. Ames, secretary. The board points out that the Thanksgiving Day break in the Solvay Process Company’s waste bed fixed public attention on a situation that must be faced some day. The board has made no specific proposals.
May 7: A demand for an overall reduction of property assessments in the town of Geddes owing to the extension of Solvay Process Company waste beds will be presented at the meeting of the town board Monday night in the town hall, Walter N. Pope, chairman of the Lakeland Taxpayers Committee, announced last night.
In addition, the Lakeland committee will ask for an investigation as to why the Solvay Process Company waste beds in construction, pipelines and dikes have not been taxed by the town in past years, Pope said. If they were taxed, the rate for the township would be much lower, Pope asserted.
September 10: The job of clearing Solvay Process waste from along State Fair Boulevard has practically been completed and highway conditions there are now normal. The 500-foot gap in the dike that broke last Thanksgiving Day to send tons of waste cross fields and highway into the State Fairgrounds has been filled in. The highway has been treated and is “like new,” officials say.
Syracuse Herald-Journal, February 22 —
Completely recovered from a leg fracture he suffered last fall in the crash of his bomber plane in Burma, Corp. Kenneth Dilling, 25, is enjoying a 30-day furlough in Syracuse with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ira K. Dilling of 331 Driscoll Avenue.
In service since mid-December of 1941, a few days after Pearl Harbor, Corp. Dilling says home looked better to him than anything else in the world.
He was one of a crew of 12 operating a big bomber in the Pacific and was injured during his 12th mission, his second over Burma. The previous 10 were missions against Pacific Islands.
His bomber had reached Allied territory when it crashed. Eight men escaped injury and four were hurt, three having broken legs. A rescue party reached him an hour after the crash, and within 48 hours he was on board a flying ambulance on his way to a base hospital.
His shin bone, fractured between the ankle and the knee, was treated with a sulpha drug as soon as he was safely on the ground, and he said no hospital patient ever had better care.
He was a radio gunner in his bombing crew, and while hospitalized he 9applied for appointment as an air cadet, intending to become a pilot.
A graduate of Vocational High School, he passed the test and when he was given a physical OK after discharge from the hospital he was ordered back to the United States and was assigned to the University of Mississippi Air Cadet School effective March 15, being allowed to remain on furlough.
Now he “has his fingers crossed,” hoping the curtailment of the Air Cadet program by the Army will not affect him.
Corp. Dilling is one of two brothers in the air force, his brother, Corp. Raymond Dilling, being stationed in Florida.
A familiar scene from 1944 was played out nicely in Dixie Dugan a popular comic strip that ran from 1929 to 1966. The character first appeared in two novels written by J. P. McEvoy, serialized in Liberty magazine. The novel was illustrated by John H. Striebel, whose original drawings of Dixie Dugan bore a strong resemblance to actress Louise Brooks. In time Dixie Dugan lost all resemblance to Brooks, and after a brief show business career the comic strip heroine pursued a variety of other jobs, kind of like soap opera characters do over the years.
Syracuse Herald-Journal, March 8 —
A soldier’s view of Italy includes rain, mud, impassable mountain roads, wounded and dying men, and the occasional welcome shelter of an Italian farmhouse, according to the letters received by Mrs. Catherine O’Leary of 144 Freeman Avenue, Solvay, from her son, Lieutenant Michael O’Leary, fighting with the infantry in Italy.
“My boys who are carrying rations up the mountain will have a tough time tonight, slipping and sliding and trying to hold on to the rations and water that are so valuable to the men on top,” he wrote.
“It is raining here and the ground is damp and cold. The roads have become stream beds for the cold, muddy water, making travel and movement of heavy vehicles difficult and dangerous.”
He also described a night in an old Italian farmhouse and his gratitude for four good walls and a roof, with a big fireplace in addition. A hot meal, gathered together by the cook who really “went to town,” a doughnut dunking contest, and some good music from a radio which had just been set up in the house, rounded off an evening which was this particular doughboy’s idea of heaven.
Lieutenant O’Leary said the owner of the farm was a man who had lived in Scotland for many years.
Lieutenant O’Leary, 26, has been in the Army three years. A graduate of the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, he went overseas last April,, and has been in Italy since September. He has three brothers in the service, Patrick and James, both Navy seamen first class, and Corp. Joseph O’Leary, who is in England with an Army Air Corps ground crew. James and Patrick are somewhere on the Atlantic, according to their mother, who have five other children to keep her company at home.
The story has me wondering, however ... how do you conduct a doughnut dunking contest?
April 30 —
A Flying Fortress Base in England (AP) — “It was the most ferocious fighter attack I have ever seen,” said Sgt. Harold G. Cleary, a Solvay High School graduate whose family lives at 104 Ostrom Avenue, Syracuse.
Sgt. Cleary is a waistgunner who told how American warplanes raiding Berlin yesterday fought their way through waves of 150 to 200 German fighters.
He described how the German fighters tore through bomber formations 10 at a time while scores of others hovered above and below, awaiting their turn to strike.
“After the second attack, our tailgunner counted 98 fighters getting together in formation again, and that was after we had destroyed a good number of them,” Sgt. Cleary continued.
He said the enemy formations held off over the capital itself, while Berlin’s massed ground defenses thundered up the greatest barrage yet encountered.
The Germans employed their old head-on tactics with attacks apparently timed to coincide with shifts in the Allied fighter escort formations, when protection was likely to be weakest.
The Germans did all they could to avoid contact with the American fighters, crewmen reported, but said they witnessed several red-hot dogfights.
Sgt. Cleary, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Cleary, not long ago underwent another dangerous and trying experience. A letter from him dated March 13 tells of his plane, the Thorobred, having been shot down over the English channel.
The crew managed to get into rubber boats and all were picked up by Allied ships. After that, the sergeant wrote, the crew members were given seven-days’ leave at an English mansion where they had servants to attend them, were permitted to take part in a fox hunt, play tennis, ride horseback and fish. The English gave them the best of food for a week after their experience.
Sgt. Cleary, 22, was employed by the United States engineer’s office in Syracuse before he entered the Army in October, 1942. At Solvay High he was active in sports. He went overseas in October, 1943, a year after he entered the service.
His father says his son has been on at least 22 missions. He holds the Air Medal and three Oak Leaf Clusters.
In another dispatch Sgt. Cleary is quoted as saying of the German fighter attacks over Berlin:
“They went right through out formation 10 times with 45 above and an equal number below, all attacking simultaneously.”
May 8 —
The first priest in the Catholic Diocese of Syracuse to volunteer for service as a chaplain, Capt. Joseph B. Delahunt, has been awarded the Order of the Purple Heart for shrapnel wounds in the arm.
Capt. Delahunt was wounded while serving in the South Pacific, according to word received at the Chancery office.
He was assistant pastor at Saint Cecilia’s Church in Solvay before going into service in 1940. He offered his service as chaplain for the 108th Infantry and when that group was mobilized for Federal service, he went with the men to Fort McClellan, Alabama, He was stationed in Hawaii for some time and served as chief district chaplain in the Hawaiian district.
The priest attended North American College at Rome, Italy, where he studied theology and philosophy, being graduated in 1933, at which time he was ordained to the priesthood.
May 16 —
Both sides of worker-executive problems in labor relations are treated by Ray W. Sherman, native of Geddes, in his first novel, “The Other Mahoney,” published by Washburn Inc.
A graduate of Solvay High School and Syracuse University, and a Syracuse newspaperman from 1907 to 1912, Sherman based the novel on his own experiences as a working man and an executive, describing conditions as he found them.
Syracuse Herald-Journal, March 6
By Jack Durkin
A forceful fivesome from the field of sport now in the service of Uncle Same is the battling Brostek brother array of Solvay. Before their acceptance by the military, Anthony, Bill, Frank, Henry and Joseph Brostek left an imprint as athletes. They’ve found sports competition fitted them better for the armed forces.
Lieut. Henry Brostek, a former football captain and blocking back at Catholic University, Washington, D.C., has already distinguished himself in brilliant fashion as a Marine dive bomber pilot in the South Pacific. Prior to his college athletic career, he had been a baseball and gridiron star at Solvay High School.
Sgt. Joseph Brostek is encamped at Savannah, Georgia, in the Army. He was an all-around athlete as a schoolboy, and readily agrees his background as an end in football, keen competition on the basketball court, and as a pitcher on the diamond, equipped him splendidly for service.
Also stationed in Georgia is Pvt. Frank Brostek. He had a spirit that also responded to the call of competition. Football, basketball and baseball brought out his versatility as an athlete. Ask him if there’s a greater physical conditioner than competitive sports, and he’ll shake his head, negatively.
Drop down below Georgia a bit into Florida and you’ll find another Brostek, who is making a splendid soldier. He’s Pvt. Anthony Brostek. He made a name for himself as a baseball and softball pitcher, before he donned uniform. “I’m glad I had athletic competition in my civilian days,” he says. “It ha been a real lift don here.”
Accepted by the Marines, Bill Brostek is the last of the brothers to enter service. He expects to leave soon for training as a “Leatherneck,” after having been a Herald-Journal Baseball Leaguer. “I’m ready!” he says, typical of the brothers’ response to a challenge of competition.
Syracuse Herald-Journal, June 14 —
One of five sons of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Brostek of 1204 Woods Road, Solvay, in the service, Capt. Henry A. Brostek, 25, arrived home this week after a year in the Southwest Pacific, bringing his bride of two weeks with him.
His wife is the former Miss Betty Hanahan of Los Angeles, California, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Thompson of that city. They were married June 1 in Saint Michael’s Church, Los Angeles.
Capt. Brostek met his wife a year ago while stationed at North Island, California, awaiting shipment overseas. At that time Brostek was engaged in a friendly argument with another Syracusan, one from the west side, or “Tipperary Hill.” Brostek held out for the superiority of Solvay or Tipperary Hill, and his wife-to-be, of Irish extraction, joined the argument on the side of the Irish Syracusan, her date. “And so we were married,” Brostek said.
It was the first visit home in two and a half years for Capt. Brostek, who joined the Navy a few days after Pearl Harbor while he was a member of the Shamrocks, a professional football team, at Norfolk, Virginia.
Capt. Brostek was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Air Force at Pensacola, Florida, in November, 1942. After further training in this country he was sent overseas slightly over a year ago.
A pilot of a Marine dive-bomber, Capt. Brostek took part in “60 or 65 missions” in the Solomons, driving the Japanese from Munda to Rabaul. He holds a presidential citation awarded to his group for their work in the Munda area, and also has been commended for knocking out enemy guns in that area, which were holding up the American advance.
“Japanese air resistance is weak,” Brostek said,, “but they still put up strong anti-aircraft defense. My most horrible experience was being attacked by a Japanese dive-bomber. That would scare anyone.”
Most of the work of the Marine dive-bomber group was routine, Brostek said, in describing his many engagements with the enemy, and bombing and strafing attacks on enemy installations and shipping. He did reveal that he had lost one plane in a crackup on an American aircraft carrier. He escaped unhurt. Brostek has not been injured in his year’s active service as a pilot against the enemy.
His bride is a graduate of the University of Southern California where she studied journalism. She will accompany her husband back to Cherry Point, North Carolina, where he reports at the end of his month’s leave.
Brostek is a member of a widely known athletic family, all graduates of Solvay High School, where they played football, basketball and baseball, and were track stars.
Capt. Brostek also attended Catholic University of America at Washington, D.C., where he was elected captain of the football team in 1940. He also played basketball at the university. He was graduated in 1941.
Arriving home this week, it was the first time in two and a half years he had seen his brother, Pvt. William Brostek, 18, who is home on leave from Camp Pennell, California, before being sent overseas.
Capt. Brostek has three other brothers in the service. They are Sgt. Joseph Brostek, a crew chief in the Army Air Force at Hunter Field, Georgia; Corp. Frank Brostek, with the Army in the European theater of operations, and Corp. Anthony “Lefty” Brostek at Drew Field, Florida. In addition, his brother-in-law, Cadet Don Brown of Fayetteville, husband of his sister, Jane, is studying for the Army Air Forces in Mississippi.
Syracuse Herald-Journal, July 9 —
Solvay was host last week to an old-timer, Dominick Vairetta, who at the ripe age of 99 made one of his frequent visits to the village.
He traveled from his home in Cleveland, Ohio, accompanied by his son, Louis Vairetta, to attend the wedding of a great-granddaughter. Trains were crowded, he admitted, but that didn’t bother him much because a soldier offered him a seat and he rode in comparative comfort from Cleveland to Syracuse.
A guest for the last week of his grandson, Frank DiBiase, 115 Alice Avenue, Solvay, Mr. Vairetta renewed acquaintances with friends he has made in other years.
He speaks little English, but with his 4-year-old great-granddaughter, Theresa Di Biase, as interpreter, he gets along well in the neighborhood. They take long walks together, visit Alice Avenue residents, and sit in the back yard of the DiBiase home.
Vairetta’s health is excellent, despite his years, say family members. He has lost few teeth, does not wear glasses, smokes cigars, but not cigarettes, and enjoys wine or beer, but never liquor. His greatest enjoyment, outside of traveling, is a friendly game of cards.
Born in Campobasso, Italy, on January 13, 1845, Mr. Vairetta was a farmer in Italy for many years. He crossed the ocean nine times, but did not take up permanent residence in this country until 1935. Then, at the age of 90, he traveled alone to make his home with his son in Cleveland.
He is the father of nine children, four living — Thomas Vairetta, who lives on Burnet Avenue, Syracuse; Mrs. Alice Giarusso, North Beach Street, and Angelo and Louis Vairetta in Cleveland. He has a large number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, some of them serving in the American Army, others in the Italian.
Antonio Ascioti, 65, retired meat market proprietor, died January 17 at his home, 2239 Milton Avenue, Solvay. He had lived in Solvay 30 years. Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Catherine Ascioti; four sons, Joseph, Dominick, Louis and Pfc. Demetrio Ascioti, overseas; six daughters, Mrs. Peter Vilasi, Mrs. Paul Quattrone and the Misses Caroline, Frances, Fanny and Rosina Ascioti, all of Solvay.
A pioneer organizer of a grocery store chain, Charles Henry Papworth, 76, died April 7 at his home, 406 Milton Avenue, after a long illness. He had been in the grocery business 59 years before he retired in 1941. Papworth was born in Baldwinsville and went to the town of Geddes as a boy for an apprenticeship in pharmacy. After receiving his license he engaged in the drug business in Geddes with a branch store in Solvay.
As the drug business expanded he added groceries, and from this evolved the chain of Cash Papworth Grow-Sur stores with branches outside of Syracuse. At one time Papworth operated 45 stores in Syracuse and 20 stores in other cities and towns. He also conducted a mail order business.
|William Blickley Jr., 61, water commissioner for the Town of Geddes, died April 16 while he was removing Solvay Process Company waste from around his home at 552 State Fair Boulevard. Deputy sheriffs F. J. Armstrong and Ray Dear carried the body half a mile through the waste before it was removed to the morgue. An employe of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Blickley lived alone.
|Miss Ann V. McGrath, principal of Belle Isle School, Solvay, for 14 years, died May 26 at her home, 210 Rich Street, after a short illness. A native of Union Springs, Miss McGrath had lived in Syracuse 20 years.
Edward Needles Trump, 86, internationally known engineer and last survivor of the men who were pioneers in the Solvay Process Company, died early June 22 at his home, 1912 West Genesee Street. He had been ill about a week.
Trump had been chief engineer of the Solvay Process Company for 50 years and prepared the plans for development of the plant. Besides his many works as engineer, Trump was active in business and community projects. He was a member of the Central New York Parks Commission.
He was born in Philadelphia in 1857 and attended Cornell University. In 1893 he was appointed chief engineer and general manager of the Solvay Process Company, and in 1913 was elected vice president. In 1921 he stepped aside and became a consulting engineer.
Last November, after Solvay Process waste broke through a dike a flooded a large area along State Fair Boulevard, Trump recalled his studies of the waste and declared that 75 percent of it could be reclaimed and used again in manufacturing cement.
He is survived by two children, Miss Marjorie Trump and Charles C. Trump.
|The death of Nicholas Ellard, 56, of 105 Freeman Avenue, Solvay, who suffered a fit of choking June 21 while eating in a Midland Avenue restaurant, was due to “food in the respiratory tract,” according to Coroner H. Ernest Gak. Ellard died while he was being driven to the office of Dr. George T. Boycheff, who said Ellard had suffered a similar spell of choking while eating in a restaurant a week ago. Ellard was a native of Ireland and a veteran of World War I. He was employed as a rigger at the Solvay Process Company.
|Grove C. Hutchings, teacher of printing at Solvay High School for several years, died August 26 of a heart ailment while visiting Fort Plain. He was a native of Tully and resided in Syracuse 43 years. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Bertha L. Hutchings.
September 1 —
Search continued today for the body of Robert Mielnicki, 13, son of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Mielnicki of 330 First Street, Solvay, who was drowned in the Seneca River at the Willows, one and a half miles south of Cold Spring yesterday afternoon. Robert had gone on a fishing trip with two other boys, John Bailo, 13, of 116 Second Street, and Richard Laury, 14, of 2409 Milton Avenue, Solvay, and had told his companions he thought he could swim across the river.
Two girls in a rowboat heard his cries and tried to reach him, but he sank before they could get near enough to save him. He was about 25 feet from shore when apparently he suffered cramps. The boy dove into the river after removing his shirt and shoes and rolling up his trousers. He sank in more than 20 feet of water.
Bailo ran to Dawson’s Hotel at Cold Spring bridge and telephoned the sheriff’s department. Three deputies responded and soon a dragging operation was set up. Robert’s father sat near his son’s clothes on the river bank for hours as the search for his son’s body went on.
|James O. Fay, last surviving veteran of the Civil War in Onondaga County, died September 13 at his home in Taunton. He was 96. Fay was employed as a stone cutter and mason by the Solvay Process Company until he retired several years ago.
A fall into the waste canal of the Solvay Process Company at State Fair Boulevard and Willis Avenue led to the death September 23 of Angelo Greco, seven-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Greco of 412 Chemung Street.
Onondaga County deputies used grappling hooks to drag the canal and then, convinced the boy’s body had been washed into Onondaga Lake, they obtained boats from Liverpool to search the lake. The search continued until about 10 p.m. when darkness made further operations impractical. The search was renewed today.
The canal, a man-made sewer for Solvay Process Company waste chemicals, is 1,500 long, eight feet wide and 14 feet deep where the boy fell in. His companions saw him slip into the murky water and disappear, but, frightened, they returned to their homes without mentioning the accident to their parents. Finally, at 6:30 p.m., an hour after he returned home, John Carocci, 8, of 1209 Milton Avenue, told his father what happened. Mr. Carocci immediately calls Syracuse police, who notified the sheriff’s department.
The body of Angelo Greco was found two days later on the other side of Onondaga Lake. The discovery was made by two 13-year-olds who were walking along the shore.
The 1943-44 season was disappointing, though Solvay lost only four games. Two of those, unfortunately, were against Camillus, the second was one of the most humiliating defeats Solvay ever suffered, and it happened in the Onondaga County League's Western Division playoffs, yet.
Solvay was led by Casper Mozo, Jim Ryan, Walter Wysochanski and Joe Zamiarski. The team bounced back from an early season loss to Camillus and rolled over Skaneateles, Jordan, Baldwinsville and Split Rock in preparation for a rematch with the team that had beaten them in December. Camillus went into the February 4 game undefeated, but Solvay spoiled their perfect record with a 33-29 win, and moved into a first place tie.
Then came a strange turnaround — back-to-back losses. North High of the Syracuse City League beat Solvay, 47-37, and the next night Solvay went to Marcellus and lost, 38-20. Turns out this was a sign of things to come, at least for the Solvay varsity. The junior varsity was having a championship season.
The varsity bounced back, beating Jordan, Skaneateles and Baldwinsville in league games, and avenging its loss to North, 42-33, at the Solvay gym.
Then came another game with Camillus, this one in the league playoffs on March 9. Wysochanski and another Solvay starter, John Mosher, did not play, something not mentioned in the newspaper account. Not that this made much difference because Solvay scored only 13 points, while Camillus tallied 40. It was small consolation that the Solvay jayvees beat Camillus, 16-11, in the preliminary contest.
Two weeks later Camillus beat Fayetteville to win the overall league title, while the Solvay jayvees beat Minoa, 19-16. (In an unusual display of balanced scoring, the Solvay high scorers were Mike Gasapo, Nicolini, Doran and Tarolli, who had four points each.)
On March 25 the Syracuse Herald-American announced its All-County basketball teams. Solvay's Casper Mozo made the first team, Western Division; Jim Ryan was on the second team. Zamiarski and Wysochanski received honorable mentions.
Ryan, Mozo, Harold Haight and Jim Farrell were part of the Solvay All-Stats that entered the annual Boys' Club Tournament. After winning their first game, 29-22, against a team called the Irish Five, Solvay went down to defeat against the eventual tournament champions, the Y All-Stars, 50-32.
Pitcher Manuel Garcia led Solvay to the Onondaga County League championship, which was won on June 10 when the Bearcats beat Fayetteville, 10-1. Solvay scored nine of its runs in a wild fifth inning when Fayetteville committed four errors.
Solvay had opened its season auspiciously, overwhelming Skaneateles, 21-1, as Garcia, Mike Gasapo and Harold Haight all hit home runs. A week later Garcia allowed just four hits and Solvay played errorless ball in a 7-2 win over Camillus. Next came a two-hit, 3-0 win over Jordan.
Even when Garcia surrendered nine hits, as he did May 26 against Marcellus, Solvay continued to roll, 13-4. Good fielding made the difference; rather it was poor fielding by a Marcellus team that made seven errors.
After clinching the Western Division title the Bearcats were upset in a meaningless game against Baldwinsville, noteworthy mostly for the score, 13-10, which was higher on both ends than most of Solvay's football games that fall.
Fayetteville turned tables on Solvay, beating the Bearcats, 19-0, on October 27. Both teams entered the game undefeated. A year earlier they had played to a 7-all tie. Fayetteville remained undefeated and won the County League championship. Solvay and North Syracuse tied for second place and, fittingly, tied, 6-6, when they played each other in the last game of the season.
Manuel Garcia starred in football, just as he had in baseball. The usual starting line-up for Solvay had Francemone and Joe Cilani at ends; McCadden and Fabrizzio at tackles; Armani and Calligaris at guards; Colelli at center; Forger at quarterback; Baichi and Garcia at halfback and Sharkey at fullback. Against Fayetteville the only Solvay substitute used was Matt Grabowski.
December 6: In the season opener Solvay beats Baldwinsville, 40-25. Mike Gasapo has 16 points. Other names on the team: Mozo, Doran, Alexander, Nicolini, Garcia, DeCosta, Kinder, Zollo, Amelia, Carnola.
December 8: Solvay beats Elbridge, 39-29, at Elbridge. Garcia scores 14, Mozo 10.
December 18: Solvay beats Marcellus, 30-11, avenging an upset from the season before.
The season continues ...
August 31: Johnny Montreal, hard-hitting Solvay junior lightweight, will fight eight-round bout with Petey Virgin, slugging Schenectady featherweight.
Montreal lost that fight on points. He continued to fight until 1948, finishing his professional career with 16 wins, 13 losses and one draw. His final fight, at the State Fair Coliseum, was an unusual second round knockout. Both Montreal and his opponent, Fern LaChappelle, were knocked down simultaneously. Montreal got up, LaChappelle didn't.
|Items are taken from stories in the Syracuse Herald-Journal
and its Sunday edition, the Herald-American.