Saturday, May 30, 2009

Genealogists do the darnedest things

People who have spent time in public archives have probably noticed that some of the busiest bees in keeping parts of our historical record alive are the genealogists. Following a link, I just came across a page where genealogists transcribe (with a few typos: they're not simply scanning articles!) newspaper stories from the Brooklyn Standard Union of May 1931.

This is a little window into a time when ordinary people were willing to go first in exploring or renewing (covenantal) models of human reciprocity, and punishing those who weren't. In other words, 1930s New Yorkers were not, like us, so fearful that they might come to be seen as guilty for negatively affecting some representative of a designated or potential victim group by taking the lead in modeling or inflecting some new state of affairs that might create some (temporary) inequity, and hence "victim", with which the more privileged or first-on-scene might be charged with guilt. Rather, instead of looking to some big man saviour to dictate or recognize the terms of history's inevitable flow, in the name of imposing equality for all, they practiced more promising ways of hope and change in the cause of a shared freedom, and so they looked for humble leadership in the difficult times of the Depression. Instead of replacing god with the victim-group identity, they were not afraid to love the normal and the sacred but ordinary individuals on whose acts of creation and seconding the coming into being of the normal always first depends...
Once a Copy Always a Copy, Says Capturer of Gunmen
"Once a policeman always a policeman, whether or not you are in the department"

This was the comment of Salvatore L. FRANZES today. He is out of the department after a four months probation period. But he is waging a warfare, all his own, against gunmen.

After successfully passing the examination and making the list, he was sent to the Police academy. It was while there he was dropped because of some flaws discovered in his application. He was let out on May 5.

Last Friday while in the vicinity of Metropolitan avenue and Rodney street he saw three men acting in a suspicious manner. He saw Patrolman James FERRARA, of Central Park station, who was on his way home and in civilian clothes. He told FERRARA of the action of the three men. FRANZES and FERRARA got Police Sergeant Francie GILL, of Bedford avenue station. The three men were arrested. Two of hem had guns.

They were charged with violating the Sullivan law and attempted robbery. A payroll of $1,200, it was learned, was to be delivered at a nearby factory. It is said the three men were waiting for it.

"This shows that FRANZES was alert, prevented a holdup and probably saved the life of some policeman or one of those carrying the payroll," said Ernest GILMORE GARDINER, who heads a committee of FRANZES neighbors who will make an effort to have him reinstated in the department.
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Borie DU VALL were honeymooning somewhere in New York to-day - the first television bridal couple ever to have their wedding both heard and seen over the air.
Miss Grayce Lillian JONES, a 21-year-old secretary, and DU VALL, 25, a television engineer, stood before the flickering lights of the television while thousands of persons listened and as many as are equipped with the sight device watched the Rev. Dr. A. Edwin KELGWIN pronounce them man and wife.
Astoria police are watching a cave in the New York Connecting Railroad embankment at Twenty-fifth avenue and Forty-eighth street, Astoria, to see that John FLECKENSTEIN, an old hermit,oes not return to it.

The hermit was ordered to keep away from his underground retreat when police received complaints from neighbors who said his un-kempt appearance frightened the children. He was ordered to clean himself up and to get a room when Lieut. August COOK and Patrolman STEFANIA discovered that he carried three bank books which listed aggregate deposits of $9,000.
Swarm Hums "Something to Remember Us By"
An air fleet - and not the Army's - mobilized over East Fourth Street and Avenue C this afternoon and picked on "enemies" far from theoretical.

The general impression was that from 5,000 to 5,000,000 bees had taken a dislike to the neighborhood because it was between seasons and there were no buttercups.

At 2:30 they attacked the residents, sparing neither the rich nor the poor, stinging right and left and in several cases the rear, so that within fifteen minutes the telegraph bureau at Brooklyn Police Headquarters was flooded with calls for assistance.

Sixteen calls came in together to Acting Captain Michael GLEASON during the distress peak. "They're stingin' little children now," one of the scouts pleaded. "They're flyin' in and outa windows looking for families. Nothin' seems to satisfy 'em. Could you send some detectives?"

Acting Captain Michael GLEASON tried to reassure his callers, but admitted privately he was in something of a dilemma. Detectives do not have training in catching bees, and although the department was recently equipped with extra machine guns, armored motorcycles and tear bombs to war on gang-sters, none of these were regarded as particularly effective against bees. It is not known which way tear gas bothers bees most. What if it made the bees madder, said Captain GLEASON.

Where the bees came from no one off the scene could guess, and those on the scene were too busy to think.
Seaman, Jobless, Broke, Returns $11 He Found
The lobby of the Seamen's Church Institute, at 25 South street,Manhattan, is filled these days with hundreds of merchant seamen looking for jobs. They were willing to go on tankers, oilers, coastwise vessels, even to take land jobs in order to keep body and soul together. Such a seaman is Anton KONDORE, Italian, who, in more prosperous times, worked on transatlantic ships as a fireman, but who has been out of work for the past five months. KONDORE was waiting in the lobby, just outside the free shipping office, his eyes alert for notices of jobs to be posted. Chancing a glance on the floor he was a ten dollar and a one dollar bill.
Stooping to pick up the money, he hurried to the officer on duty at the main entrance and turned in the eleven dollars.

1 comment:

Dag said...

We're leaving our footprints in the mud as well, and more deeply than most would imagine, I think. Video surveillance will record us all for posterity, as will whatever else comes to record our shuffles as we strut and fret our hour upon this stage. Not so easy to be nobody these days and to live in comfortable anonymity when that's what one wishes for. Records of each minor transaction in Everyman's daily living will be available for the archeologist to come snoop into, digging up the brave departed souls who just lived and died and were content to do so privately.

So, for the eternal record, I'm a 30 year old six foot something blond Dutch guy with a great job at the U.N. where I have lots of influence and make a great salary travelling around the world solving major problems for poor people who can't figure it out for themselves.

When I told that to the girl I was hitting on, she looked at me like I'm some kind of idiot, and she told me it only works one does it do it on the Internet. So, here's hoping.