Granville Then & Now – May 1972 was active month in Granville

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By Erik Pekar, Town Historian

There was quite a bit of activity going on in Granville in May of 1972. The May 11 issue noted that the Indian River Nursing Home in Granville was holding an open house on May 21, commemorating National Nursing Home Week, which that year spanned from May 14 to 21. Mayor David Owens of the Village of Granville issued a mayoral proclamation declaring the week to be a nursing home week in Granville as well. Owens also encouraged “all [village] residents to show their concern for the elderly and ill by visiting a resident of a nursing home during Nursing Home Week”. The nursing home also had several events held during the week, it is unclear from the description of the events whether these were intended for nursing home residents only.

The theatrically inclined people of Granville were having a good time as well. The Granville Performing Arts Club was gearing up for a second performance of their play “Fiesta Time,” scheduled for May 12, at the Granville High School auditorium. The first showing evidently had been quite successful. The play was produced and directed by Joe Forcucci.

Business changes were happening as well. The Ritz Theater, which had been owned by Joseph Sherman of Fair Haven for several years, was sold. The buyers were Robert Shannon and William Shea, who were in business as S and S Theatres. The Capitol Theater in Whitehall village and the Whitehall Drive-In Theater, just north of the Whitehall-Fort Ann town line, were also sold in the transaction. Sale price was not disclosed.

A local Granvillian received a major political appointment. Albert Berkowitz was appointed by Gov. Nelson Rockefeller to the State Commission of Correction, the body overseeing the state’s correctional facilities (also called “state prisons,” although that had not been officially part of the names since the 1950s). At the time there was an effort to give more power and oversight to the Correction Commission. As part of the appointment Rockefeller noted that Berkowitz had “excellent background” for the position on the commission, having been an attorney, a Washington County District Attorney, and a member and acting chairman of the Senate Committee on Prisons during his time as a State Senator. Rockefeller added, “I am delighted that Al Berkowitz has agreed to serve … our state is fortunate to be able to call upon public-spirited citizens like him to undertake this responsibility. I have every confidence that his service will be a benefit to the people of the State.”

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Last weekend was the annual Granville Town Wide Yard Sale. As always, and again this year, it was a busy time here in Granville. Some began preparing their tables and items as early as Thursday. On Friday, more began getting ready, and there were several who began their yard sales that day. Saturday, May 14, was the big day of the weekend. The streets of Granville were packed with shoppers looking for finds at the yard sales. Quaker Street, Mettowee Street, Morrison Avenue, and Potter Avenue were brought practically to a standstill from all the traffic. There were several vendors at Veterans Memorial Park and in front of the high school. Granville’s eateries were busy, including the drive-ins and the dine-ins.

Sunday was much quieter in Granville; as far as the town wide yard sales are concerned, Sunday has always been more quiet than Saturday. The concern of being rained out held off shoppers and sellers from continuing, to an extent. However, the rain came overnight, and by morning there was only an overcast of clouds. By 1 p.m., the skies were sunny again, and feeling cooler than last week. There were several sales going about the town on Sunday, and one of the vendors on the high school lawn returned. A great example of the difference a day can make was seen around Granville; in most cases, what had been busy sale sites packed with cars and buyers on Saturday had returned to their usual appearance on Sunday, although some had a box or two of free items along the road or sidewalk. With the close of the day, Granville returned to its typical appearance for a Sunday. Overall, 2022’s Granville Town Wide Yard Sale was a success, and with the passing of months Granville’s yard sale buyers and sellers will look forward to next year’s event.