Aug 25, 2010

Saratoga: 1961 news reel scenes

A look at Saratoga Springs in 1961, with some great views of downtown Broadway and the 1961 running of the Travers Stakes, the Midsummer Derby (although it wasn't referred to it in that manner in 1961; it being the Travers was good enough).

The next time local revisionist historians try to sell you on the idea that 1960's era Saratoga was a near ghost town; show them this reel. Then tell them to get real.

Click here for the prior story on this matter.

An interesting note to the race: the announcer notes that the winner Beau Prince was coming off a win in the American Derby in Chicago -- just one week earlier! You'll never see that in today's modern day world of the tender, fragile, lasix-fueled thoroughbred.


Citizen Nancy said...

OK!!! YOU GOT ME! It wasn't a ghost town as some have claimed. You are right! I was wrong.(which almost never happens)by the way.

Ms Diane said...

This is a great find. Thanks for sharing. I LOVE IT.

Anonymous said...

Marvelous. I kept pausing to see if any of my relatives are the faces in the crowd. Not yet.

Broadway Billy said...

Revisionist historians; right on, bro. We know EXACTLY what you're talking about here.

The WE, of course, being anyone who grew up here in either the 60's, 70's or 80's.

We know the truth, and we know that the BS peddled by The Gang is far from it.

But the newcomers won't know what we're talking about. Nor will they even care, for that matter.

The problem is that it is too far gone to do anything about it. The unfortunate truth is that they won.

The city is a rat hole -- albeit a pretty rat hole -- but still a rat hole. But the blind sheep are too dazed to know the difference.

And it is all one big god damn shame. Tsk tsk.

Saratoga is gone. Long live Saratoga

Anonymous said...

Actually, it was the 70's that are often pointed to where the city was in disrepoar and a run down state.

Superman said...

Not mention it is filled with those NXIVM cult followers.

Nanoburgh? said...

To Anon @ 1:25PM:

Your point is well taken, but I think it's fair to say that both the 60's and 70's are painted by some as decades of squalor and ruin for the city of Saratoga Springs.

As I've rambled on about here and elsewhere, such observations are generally made by three groups of people:

1) those who define a community's health and vitality strictly by the yardstick of its building stock's visual appeal;

2) those standing to personally benefit from perpetuating that interpretation of history;

3) those inclined to take a passive view of history; relying on the dominant and most heavily 'marketed' interpretations of others (i.e., #1 and #2, above) as their reference. A self-feeding beast, if you will.

As said, I personally reject all three notions.

As long as we're talking about the value of historic imagery in settling these types of debates, I might suggest this exercise:

- Let's hunt for and round-up some old photos and home movies of daily life in the East and West Side neighborhoods, 1960 to 1970.
Notice the vibrant steet life, the random interactions between members of the community, the kids running freely and safely in packs to explore the world on their own terms.

- Now go take photos and videos at the very same exact locations today, and tell me what's missing?

One potential opportunity for the city: it would make a great setting for a Hollywood doomsday movie. Its theme: radiation wipes out the human species' ability to reproduce. The result is a world with no children.

There ya go.

William Walsh said...

This was a most interesting and enjoyable news reel short. I would guess that these were shown at movie houses? I am surprised to now learn they were still be being produced as late as 1961.

I read your older post and I would dare say that it is the most well written and thoughtful opinion pieces on local (Saratoga) matters I have read in a very long time. The same for your follow thru comments that are right above me here.

What woudld it take to get you writing a weekly editorial for the Saratogian?

Nanoburgh? said...

Mr W,

Your compliments are much appreciated.

To answer your question: one or more of the following would need to first happen:

1) I get in an accident and suffer serious head damage

2) I lose my moral and ethical bearings

3) The Journal Register Corp's new CEO (who actually seems like a pretty sharp guy) completely cleans house at our local rag, and then tosses me the keys

4)Hell freezes over

If any of the 4 happen, we'll talk about the possibility some more...

Anonymous said...

Good one.

Speaking of the failures of local journalism, there was the motto of I-Saratoga blog.

Do you know what became of that and the disutopia blog?

We miss both.

KK said...