Do You Remember This Building or the Surrounding Buildings? Answer

DFH Volume 1 Issue 12

Last week I asked you if you remembered this building.  I think probably only those born before 1960 would remember it.  The tabernacle was rebuilt by the time that most of us attended there, but it was similar enough to the old one that most of us knew what it is.  It is the West Chazy Champlain District Tabernacle located in West Chazy, New York. The following description of the campground came from the Sun, Jan. 12, 2008, WEST CHAZY “Since the turn of the last century, the Wesleyan Bible Camp has been a fixture in West Chazy. However, mounting finances and decreasing revenue have put the camp in danger of closing permanently. The camp, which was first established in its current location in 1901, consists of 145 private cottage sites, three dormitories, a tabernacle, dining hall, 16-room motel, maintenance directors residence, and 24 campsites spread over nearly 35 acres off West Church Street.”  I’m nearly certain that the campground actually dates to about the 1870’s.  Most of you attended there summer after summer but have amnesia when it comes to remembrances which others would enjoy hearing about.  Three of you have sent me some of your fond memories. Here are some of the favorites.

Priscilla recalls

  • standing by the open window in the girls’ dorm bathroom and hearing Keith play the piano in the nearby Youth Tabernacle.  I remembered how he played the previous year and very distinctly remember thinking, “Hmm.. the Tyler boy is coming along pretty well with his playing…must’ve practiced a lot this year.” I had no idea we would end up together.  (Keith and Priscilla were married in 1979.  Keith passed away in 2007).
  • wondering if Dorrie Lamos ever did anything else at West Chazy besides play the organ or piano for services. She was so faithful, always there to play for EVERY service. I’m sure her husband was there, too, but mostly I remember her always in position.
  • me trying not to touch anything in the ladies’ shower- it looked so gross from age and many months of non-use between camps although I know someone spent time scrubbing for the next season.
  • watching for UFOs because it seemed like such a logical place for one to be.
  • trying desperately to keep my eyes open during marathon meetings.
  • trying to get away with something—anything…!
  • hearing a little camper excitedly shout, “Look at the birdie!” as Robin Mattoon and I (Crusaders counselors) laughed and pulled the blankets over our heads because the bird was a bat and was flying around the dormitory.
  • wondering if the world was going to end when I went to bed… 1967, the 6-day War—is this IT?!
  • being on the 2nd floor of the Crusader dorm when a huge airplane skimmed the top of the trees. It was deafening!.
  • checking out the merchandise at the “book store” in the tabernacle (now I manage a Christian book store at church).
  • the day Dad was trapped under a lumber pile at the sawmill and The Hayes family came to the rescue….  I could go on and on, but I guess I have already.

Judy Dayton recalls

  • Listening to the metal box springs at night.
  • Peeking through the knot holes into the room next door.
  • Best hot dogs ever.
  • Listening to an etiquette “sermon” by Aunt Jo in the missionary tabernacle.
  • Having to wear dresses all the time (no gym wear).
  • Walking the back lanes of the camp grounds where there was no lighting holding hands.
  • Sleeping over the dining hall….wondering what to do if there was a fire.
  • Listening for the dinner bell…Pavlov’s dog training.
  • Looking over my shoulder to see what relative was watching me and reporting to my parents.
  • Going to the mail window to get any cards from home.

Jim Dayton recalls

Good, Good memories.  Memories that, in a small way, gave me some spiritual roots I have cherished for my lifetime.  I wouldn’t trade these memories.  I suspect you feel this way too. Why not join in the conversation?  After all, they’re our memories too.

  • Taking up residence in the unfinished boy’s dorm; the walls were half finished concrete block walls (about four feet high) and the roof was the starry sky.
  • Marching from the West Chazy tabernacle to the West Chazy church to attend bible school [see photo above]
  • “Dating” girls and holding hands during the evening service.  Then buying them a hot dog and coke at the snack bar— with sticky fly paper everywhere above the food and ice cream
  • Going to St. Armand beach and hoping we would see a French Canadian in a bikini (this was the 1950’s).
  • What counselor, in his or her “right mind” would take 50 to 100 kids on a mountain climb to a summit, where, if you walked a very short distance, to the eastern side, you could climb back down the mountain with one step?
  • US Air Force 8-engine B-52 strategic bombers [armed with a nuclear payload] flew directly over the tabernacle in the direct flight path to Plattsburgh Air Base. They were flying at perhaps 500 ft over the tree tops.  It was cool when it would disrupt the evening evangelistic service with a sound so deafening it had the potential to permanently damage your hearing.
  • Trying to find a dark place after the evening service where you could attempt to kiss your date. The campground had a militia that walked around with flashlights to prevent that very thing.  Rev. “stubby fingers” led the posse, and Rev. Ed “the peeker” Elliott was a pretty good hunter too.  I don’t remember the rest, but they had so many hunters that we kids didn’t stand a chance.
  • One year, rumors started to circulate among the younger kids that I had signed a contract with the New York Mets.
  • Trying to “score a date” with the coolest of the camp meeting girls.
  • Jackie Tyler and Mary Jane Murray wearing baseball gloves on their heads to the evening evangelistic service.
  • Dorrie Lamos playing the organ.
  • Carl Timpson playing a musical solo on the saw.
  • The bookstore in the tabernacle
  • Getting your meal ticket punched by Rev. “Stubby fingers” Chapman
  • Fund raising by uncle Chop during the service with public financial pledge commitments from the floor. “Dayton Brothers will give $1,000” brought gasps all over the congregation.
  • Saturday night was “Sunday School night” during the evening service.  It was “Statistics evening” and I loved stats…I still do. (Glens Falls had highest average attendance at X, with Corinth finishing at Y….rats, we’ll beat ‘em next year)
  • Sneaking out during the Sunday Ordination service to be first in the outrageously long dining hall line (always Turkey).
  • Buttering the toast with a paint brush.
  • Gary Tyler, Rich Cook, Dwight Hayes and a fourth, in a very good quartet singing Down by the River Side.
  • Roger Rounds, a teen evangelist with muscles bulging from one end of the platform to the other end— (A “wannabe” Arnold Schwarzenegger)
  • Don Klob – a pastor with a heart for youth and a very good man.
  • Rev. Ed “the Peeker” Elliott who never shut his eyes during prayer.
  • Rev. Howard Chapman’s VW pickup, the envy of all young boys
  • My heart throbbing over Judy Potter who was too popular (and uppity) to date me. She’s been my soul mate for 55 years and my wife for 51 years.  Thank you, West Chazy, for Judy Potter.
  • Teens vs. Preachers softball games in a cow pasture.
  • Dirt poor, dedicated pastors with hearts of gold.
  • “thou shalt not’s”  seemed to be the theme of every camp meeting.
  • Sword Drills…a race to be the first to find a bible verse and read it.
  • Praise ye, the lord, hallelujah.  During the evening service we played calisthenics.  Now that I look back on it, I cannot believe that grownups, did that during a church service.  It certainly seems like trivializing worship.
  • Shouts of “Amen” or “Praise the Lord” or “well, glory” during the service.
  • Scary altar calls with “tarrying”, “just one more verse”,  “with every eye closed raise your hand.” Altar call theme songs: ”Just as I am” and “Lord, I’m Coming home”.
  • Dirt floors, with wood shavings over the dirt to keep down the dust and dirtiness, and you were still expected to kneel.
  • Rev. Charles Alexander Dayton standing tall in the pulpit.
  • Trying 24×7 to get away with something.
  • I’m in the Lord’s Army” with hand and body motions.
  • Good food in the dining hall.
  • Bare naked men in the public restroom…there were two shower’s which were just shower heads mounted on the wall…no curtains or anything.  We boys stayed dirty for two weeks.
  • My dad ‘s largest cottage  located on “Board walk” (near Mediterranean Ave).
  • Doc Steven’s “mansion” including a TV.
  • Missionaries displaying poison dart blow guns, and 20-foot snake skins.
  • You knew you were at the end of a missionary slideshow because the sunset picture appears on the screen (sometimes you were glad and sometimes you wanted more)
  • “chalk artists” drawing the abracadabra black light sunset scenes during the offertory.
  • Youth night choir and youth dress up.  I got to wear my red sports jacket!
  • Accordions galore.
  • Dormitory pillow fights.
  • A knot hole in the floor of the boy’s dorm.  We poured sand on the bunk bed below.
  • Pauline Streeter…the camp meeting nurse dressed in her nurses’ uniform and staying in the infirmary near the tabernacle.

Cammie Luckey had a different perspective on Camp Meeting life because her father [my uncle Chop AKA Rev. Charles Dayton] oversaw the Camp Meeting facilities, its conference meetings, the overall administration and much of the physical labor for keeping the camp meeting apparatus functioning properly and dynamically.  Chop was “the glue that held the thing together.”  He did the job well, and Cammie had an eyewitness view of the “goings on.”  Here some of her remembrances:

That West Chazy tabernacle roof was a lot higher and steeper than it appears from the photograph’s perspective.

I was up there on the upper roof, once to shovel off the heavy snow that threatened to bring down the entire structure, and at least once to shutter tight (slide- and wing-bolts) those square roof vents, not visible in this front-on photo, that ran along below  the soffit on both sides of that upper roof and were only open during the campmeeting season.

These were just two chores unseen by typical camp-goers. Most campers left West Chazy on Sunday to return to their 9-5 lives in Watervliet or Glens Falls or Springfield or wherever, oblivious to what happened on the WC grounds the rest of the year. Only a few, mostly clergy, for whom 9-5 lifestyles were rare, waited till Monday to pack and leave.

So what may have been the camp season’s most holy moment, an annual sacred rite even if the participants would probably be appalled at that four-letter “r” word, was never experienced except by a relative few. Most people remaining on the grounds late Sunday night, the hour of that sacred rite,  were scrambling to pack or were saying sentimental farewells or, if they were of a certain age, trying to catch one last canoodle behind some bush as far away as they could get from the tabernacle.

The rite was not begun until after the final “seeker” arose from the altar bench (originally sort of like a chopped-off saw horse and only eventually a genuine, polished rail) but before the lights went out for another year. Then, a circle was formed.  Shoulder-to-shoulder, hand-in-hand, the circle followed the inside perimeter of the tabernacle. The circle stretched across the entire front, between the altar benches and front pew, from side door to side door. It went along both sides to the rear, actually the front, the main-entrance wall as shown in the photograph, where one corner held Rev. Ross’ Bible shop full of enticing biblical toy paraphernalia effective at keeping little kids quiet during long sermons. A personal favorite was the 2×2” flat square on which you slid little squares the size of Chiclets until you formed the verse John 3:16. Today it would be Rubic’s Cube.

Anyway, the circle closed ranks and stood still, waiting at attention. These were the league’s team captains, so to speak. This was end-of-season wrap. A few solemn words were given by “names of note” such as Ray Smith of Watervliet, who regularly delayed his own 9-5 electric utility job for this higher, holy priority. Or he drove home to Watervliet in the wee hours of Monday morning. Sometimes these were words of victory, sometimes triumphant resolve. Often they included knowing phrases of foreboding, experience having taught that the circle would never be exactly the same twice. Who would fall?

After a few shared memories of sad moments and spiritual highlights, someone,  such as John Lamos, husband of Dorrie Dayton Lamos, sounded the first note of the two songs traditionally sung. “Will the circle be unbroken, by and by, Lord, by and by?” Everybody knew the answer when it came to the matter of this earthly tabernacle circle;  but everyone in this holiness circle also was well aware of other ways to fall. They usually had to deal with a fall or two every year at the “annual conference” that preceded the campmeeting.

The final song was always “God Be With You ‘til We Meet Again.”

These lines sound like something straight from John Boy Walton, a family-values TV icon circa 1970. But I could also reminisce about other “nearby structures,” as Jim referred to in his request for recollections. I recollect the Sunday afternoon I, the conference president’s (aka district superintendent) daughter spent “making out” with Steve in the Special Speaker cottage behind the tabernacle while Steve’s dad stood a few dozen yards away, at the pulpit.

(In those days there were three services daily. Typically only the evening and Sunday services featured the altar-calls that perhaps unfortunately defined the campmeeting experience. The other services were for those who wanted to “go deeper,” for folks such as Ray Smith and various little old ladies, the unappreciated, anonymous spiritual powerhouses.)

“From the person to whom much is given, much will be required.” At the time and for many decades I resented that I was not among those who packed up and pulled out on Sunday to a life far distant from West Chazy. I did not appreciate the feast table at which I was feeding despite myself,  reluctantly living fifty-two weeks of the year in the three-century house known as the “President’s Home” (burnt to the ground by a hair dryer) adjacent to the campgrounds. I regret how long it took me to realize the rare, rich and eternal significance of those acappella voices rising to the rafters and roof vents and way beyond.

by Cammie Dayton Luckey, May 2019

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Remembering Corinth, Part 3, Geography Lesson

DFH Volume Issue 12

Remembering Corinth, by Dave Hayes, is a ten-part series about Dave’s remembrances of Corinth in the late ‘50s.  Dave, a retired elementary teacher and guidance counselor (36 years), and part time adjunct professor in the Counseling Dept. at nearby West Chester Univ. (24 years-8 after his “first” retirement) lives in Pottstown, PA.  He and his wife, Kathleen, had four children, Heather, Jeremy, Emily (d.2008) and Benjamin.  He descends from Wilber Sr. as follows: Wilber Sr., Rev. Charles “Chop” Dayton, Isabelle “Izzie” [Dayton] Hayes, David Hayes.

Speaking of geographical influences, here’s a story that involved my brother Keith and me and reminded us that not all areas of the country observe the same customs.  In Texas, where there wasn’t much rain, when it did come it was fast and furious with lots of run-off.  There weren’t a lot of swimming pools in the neighborhood in the late 50’s so

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when it started raining all the kids would run inside, change into their swim suits then lie in the gutters beside the streets to pick up the rain water that would pour over them.  Being on a hill was the best way to experience the rushing water flowing over you.  Great fun, eh?  Well, apparently that’s only in Texas because when it started raining in Corinth that first summer, Keith & I ran in to get into our swim suits and proceeded to get into the gutter.  Our friends stared at us as we tried to explain what we were doing.  They thought we were crazy, so we climbed out and slinked inside to change.  Lesson learned: what they do in Texas, they might not do in New York. In our nomadic experience, we learned to use our pertinent geographical

The Mysterious Alexander White

DFH Volume 1 Issue 12

Until this article, we have focused our stories on the Dayton family and for no one older than Wilber and Jessie.  However, Alexander White’s life and death is so intriguing that what I know of it must be told.  I asked Chester, Wilber, Jr and Paul (three of five of Jessie’s children) what they knew about their grandfather White, and the answer was a resounding nada, zip, zero, nothing.

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Don’t you find it curious that Alexander lived until 1906, when Jessie was 26 and knew her father well, yet she spoke nothing of his life or death to her children?  In fact, Jessie had been married two years when her father died, and yet she spared her children from knowing about him.  It seems that most mothers would want to let their children know about the grampa they never knew—-unless there was something to hide.  It seems that there was something, and I’ll now tell you about that. While doing research for something else, my brother Steve stumbled onto an article about Alexander White.  We began pouring over old newspapers and found the following two newspaper articles which were 10 years apart:

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John Costello was an Irish immigrant who married my gramma Dayton’s aunt Martha.  John and his brother-in-law, Alex,  apparently had difficulty getting along.  We found two occurrences of confrontations which were significant enough to be reported in local papers.  There were undoubtedly other unfortunate confrontations between the two men not significant enough to be reported in the newspaper.  Costello nearly died in one altercation, and my great-grampa, Jessie’s dad, appeared to be the aggressor.  There was a great prejudice in America against the Irish in those days, and the establishment considered the Irish to be monkeys and apes. Today, it would be considered a hate crime.  It could be that the altercations were a simple derogatory remark against Costello.  Whatever the case, both men were incarcerated in the jail in Ballston Spa, after at least two of these fights. At the time of the first fight,  Alexander White was 28 years old and John Costello was 42.  The fact that Alexander White was the aggressor in these fights, and that he was incarcerated in the county jail suggests that the White family had something to conceal from future generations.  If not for the press, he would have.  Ironically, Alex’s wife, Anna Marie Flansburg, was the daughter of a minister in the first generation of Wesleyan Methodism, and a godly, Christian woman, a saint.  More will be said about her minister- father in a future issue.

NOTE: I have concluded that Alexander White may have been an evil man.  If you would like to weigh in with your own opinion of this scenario, I would love to publish it, and certainly respect your opinion.  Next week I will publish the circumstances of Alexander’s death, which is equally fascinating.

Wilbur Vs. Wilber

I had seen my Grandpa Dayton’s name spelled Wilber and Wilbur, and it always confused me. Recently I set about to settle,once, and for all time, which way was right.  I wish I hadn’t.  Now I’m more confused than ever.  I remember my dad insisting that it was spelled Wilb(ur). However, Wilb(u)r’s son, Wilb(e)r Junior, always spelled his own name with an “e”, suggesting that Senior’s name must have been also spelled with an “e”. That seems logical, but nothing about his spelling is logical.

There is no document of his name at birth since he was born before NYS required birth certificates.

Three different deeds (1898,1908, and 1909) each show his name as Wilb(e)r.  Yet a purchase of property in 1942, spells it with a “u”. Three news articles, during the early 1900’s, report his name as Wilb(ur). They are a Hadley news article from the Daily Saratogian Newspaper, Nov. 1, 1904; the New York State Department of Agriculture record of his farm being for sale in 1914 as Wilb(u)r; and a 1915 Saratogian Newspaper announcement of the relocation of his household, recorded his name as Wilb(u)r.

Near the end of his life, his name was usually spelled Wilb(e)r. Those included the Town of Corinth registry of Deaths, Jessie Dayton’s obituary, and Wilb[e]r’s own obituary.

A surrogate court judicial settlement, in 1939, spelled his name as Wilb(u)r. His daughter, Flossie’s genealogical notes from 1960, spelled his name with the “u”, yet in a short biography that she wrote about him, in 1986, she spelled it with an “e”. A 1986 correspondence from Wilb(er), Jr. spelled his name with a “u”. His employment record, at International Paper Co., spelled his name with a “u”. His guest signing book at his funeral spelled his name with an “e”. 

Where does this leave us? Totally confused!  I bet my grandpa was just as confused as I am. Spell it either way you want. You’ve got a 50% chance of getting it right!

Part 2 Going North, Y’all

DFH Volume 1 Issue 11

By David Hayes

One of the biggest adjustments for us was the difference in the flora and fauna.  We couldn’t get over all the trees and mountains and greenery. Accustomed to the arid climate with little rain in Texas, we mostly ran around in shorts and tee-shirts, barefoot, catching horned-toad lizards and stuffing them into our pockets.  In Corinth there were actual seasons, and the winter was certainly something to adjust to.  We were enamored with the majestic Hudson River and adjacent waterfalls and that HUGE pile of wood, just down the street from us, that dwarfed the nearby buildings.  It was easy to tell when you were at the southern end of town by the sight of that enormous mound of cut logs—a reminder of one of the chief industries in town, the International Paper Co.  In Texas we were aware of the possibility of tornadoes and in New York, we quickly got used to navigating in a snow storm.  We were immediately aware of the distinction of four seasons. Where we had come from, there were only two—wet and dry.  One last thing to get used to was the north-country dialect.  No more of the southwestern twang mixed with a bit of Dixie…no, this was definitely a different way of talking and, again, it took us awhile to figure out what our relatives and friends were trying to tell us.

The Charles Alexander Dayton Family

DFH Volume 1 Issue 11

Much has already been written in previous publications of this newsletter about the Rev. Charles A. “Chop” Dayton, long-time pastor and administrator in the Wesleyan Methodist Church.  However very little has been written about the rest of his family.  Charles married Gladys MacDonald Feb 3, 1926, in Corinth.  Gladys was born in Schroon Lake.  They had daughters Isabel “Izzie” (1926) and Doris “Dorie.” (1930).  The young Dayton family moved to Chittenden, Vermont, in 1932, when Charles entered the ministry.  Chittenden was a small, out-of-the-mainstream, church where unproven pastors were sent to be tested.  He proved himself very quickly.  Three years later, he was called to Glens Falls, New York, the largest church in the Champlain Conference.  The family also pastored in Watervliet, New York, and Springfield, Massachusetts, before Charles became Champlain Conference President of the Wesleyan Church in 1946. His wife Gladys, a loving partner in his ministry, was never physically very strong and passed away in 1949 at age 43, due to “heart failure”

In 1948, Izzie and Quentin “Kent” Hayes were married in West Chazy, New York.  Kent began Marion College in Indiana, where both sons, David and Keith were born. Seminary then took the young family to Wilmore, Kentucky, for three more years. Following his commissioning in1957, it was on to Fort Hood,Texas, as a career officer and chaplain in the U S Army. The Hayes family moved a lot. Among other places, the family spent three wonderful years in Italy in the 1960’s. Kent served a one-year tour in Greenland, while his family stayed behind in Corinth. Dave Hayes speaks to their military adventures in the series “Remembering Corinth” elsewhere in this newsletter. Izzie was graduated from Houghton College before her marriage, did graduate work at several universities and enjoyed three exciting careers: social work, teaching and editorial work on a Chesapeake Bay magazine.

Younger sister Doris “Dorie” was married to John Lamos in 1951. John joined the US Army a./ s a band member for General MacArthur in Post-War Japan. Following his graduation from Marion College in Indiana and his ordination, he served several churches including Springfield, MA, Plattsburgh Turnpike Church and Corinth, NY. Dorie’s career choice was nursing. After earning her R.N. and B.S., she worked for a time in several hospitals. She was probably known best as the mother of five lovely children, four of whom have served, or are still serving, as pastors in the Wesleyan Church.

Charles’ first wife Gladys, a loving partner in her husband’s pastoral work, was never physically strong. She succumbed to heart failure in 1949 at age 43 .

The following year, Charles married Josephine Fisher.  Josephine was the sister of Donna Fisher who was Wilber Jr.’s wife. Yes, the Fisher sisters married Dayton brothers.  Jo graduated from Asbury College in Wilmore, KY, and taught elementary school before joining the flood of young professional women to our nation’s capital during WWII, to help the war effort. She got her master’s degree at Northern Baptist Seminary in Chicago and taught at Nyack Missionary College. In 1951, Camilla was born to “Chop” and “Jo”  during Charles’ time as pastor in Springfield, Massachusetts.  A year later, the family moved to Corinth, New York, where Charles pastored the Wesleyan Methodist Church.  Charles had come full circle, and he was home again.  The family remained in Corinth until 1960, when once again, he was elected to another term as President of the Champlain Conference. 

Cammie graduated from Houghton College, where she met her future husband Jack Luckey. Following their marriage, they moved to Washington, D..C.; Jack completed law school and began his career as an attorney at the Library of Congress. Two children were born to that marriage, J.C. and Alexis. After a Peace Corps assignment in Africa, Alexis, the younger daughter, will be married this fall. J.C. has a very rewarding career as a spokesperson for a conglomerate of hospitals in the Tampa, Florida, area. It was those two young sons, Hayden and Joe, that influenced Grandpa and Grandma Luckey, i.e., Jack and Cam, to locate in retirement in nearby Clearwater. Cammie spends large blocks of time in Israel where she is cataloging and writing a book about antiquities at the Jerusalem Library. Jack, despite a heavy-though-delightful commitment of time

to his grandfatherly duties, recently published a book of his spiritual journey. It’s well organized, extremely readable and one tender description of a man’s seeking and finding truth and meaning in life. Despite my short attention span, I didn’t want the book to end. The title: Relationships, The Real Estate of Heaven. The author: John Luckey.  Address: 1828 Union Street; Clearwater, FL 33763 Ave. (amazon.com)

1998 Dayton Family Reunion-Charles Dayton Family

DFH Volume 1 Issue 11

In 1998, Daytons from throughout the USA, gathered in Corinth New York for a reunion celebration.  A portrait was taken of the descendants of each child of the Wilber T Dayton family,  Here is the Charles Alexander Dayton family. Back Row: John “Jack” and Camilla “Cammie” [Dayton] Luckey, Isabelle “Izzie” [Dayton] [Hayes] and Hank Bischoff, Doris “Dorie” {Dayton] [Lamos] and George Melvin.

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Remembering Corinth, Part 2-Going North, Y’all

DFH Volume 1 Issue 11

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Rmembering Corinth is a ten-part series about Dave’s memories of Corinth in the late ‘50s.  Dave, a retired elementary teacher and guidance counselor (36 years), and part time adjunct professor in the Counseling Dept. at nearby West Chester Univ. (24 years-8 after his “first” retirement) lives in Pottstown, PA.  He and his wife, Kathleen, had four children, Heather, Jeremy, Emily (d.2008) and Benjamin.  He descends from Wilber Sr. as follows: Wilber Sr., Rev. Charles “Chop” Dayton, Isabelle “Izzie” [Dayton] Hayes, David Hayes.

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One of the biggest adjustments for us was the difference in the flora and fauna.  We couldn’t get over all the trees and mountains and greenery. Accustomed to the arid climate with little rain in Texas, we mostly ran around in shorts and tee-shirts, barefoot, catching horned-toad lizards and stuffing them into our pockets.  In Corinth there were actual seasons, and the winter was certainly something to adjust to.  We were enamored with the majestic Hudson River and adjacent waterfalls and that HUGE pile of wood, just down the street from us, that dwarfed the nearby buildings.  It was easy to tell when you were at the southern end of town by the sight of that enormous mound of cut logs—a reminder of one of the chief industries in town, the International Paper Co.  In Texas we were aware of the possibility of tornadoes and in New York, we quickly got used to navigating in a snow storm.  We were immediately aware of the distinction of four seasons. Where we had come from, there were only two—wet and dry.  One last thing to get used to was the north-country dialect.  No more of the southwestern twang mixed with a bit of Dixie…no, this was definitely a different way of talking and, again, it took us awhile to figure out what our relatives and friends were trying to tell us.

Remembering Corinth-Part 1 How we Came to Corinth

DHF Volume 1 Issue 10

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Remembering Corinth, by Dave Hayes, is a ten-part series about Dave’s remembrances of Corinth in the late ‘50s.  Dave, a retired elementary teacher and guidance counselor (36 years), and part time adjunct professor in the Counseling Dept. at nearby West Chester Univ. (24 years-8 after his “first” retirement) lives in Pottstown, PA.  He and his wife, Kathleen, had four children, Heather, Jeremy, Emily (d.2008) and Benjamin.  He descends from Wilber Sr. as follows: Wilber Sr., Rev. Charles “Chop” Dayton, Isabelle “Izzie” [Dayton] Hayes, David Hayes.

Our family moved to Corinth in the fall of 1958.  My father (Quentin “Kent” Hayes), a new Army chaplain, had been stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, for a year and a half when he got orders to report to Thule, Greenland, for twelve-month unaccompanied tour.  In the service, this is considered a “hardship assignment,” since the family cannot be there with him.  So we (Mom—Izzie Dayton Hayes, my brother Keith and I) needed to live somewhere for a year.  It seemed only logical to relocate to Corinth since Mom’s father was then the pastor of the Wesleyan Church there, and she had other relatives in the same town.  Besides, that’s where she had been born, so it really was like “coming home.”  The three of us moved into a recently-constructed apartment at the bottom of the hill on Walnut Street and settled into our new home-for-a-year in Corinth.  I was in 4th grade, and Keith was in 2nd . We entered Corinth Central School as the “new kids” half way through the year.  Mom got a job as a case worker in Ballston Spa with the Saratoga County Social Services Dept., returning  to the work she had done in Clinton County near Plattsburgh, NY, following her graduation from Houghton College and subsequent marriage.  We settled in, and became absorbed into small town life in Northern New York State, while Dad was north of the Arctic Circle in frigid Greenland.

Next week Part 2-Going North, Y’all

The Apocalypse

DFH Volume 1 Issue 10

by Jim Dayton

The scariest moment of my life was about 1958 near the height of the cold war with Russia (U.S.S.R.).  I was about 10 years old.  We used to have bomb drills at school, a getting-down-on-all-fours spell under our desks.  I guess the theory was that if we were going to be vaporized, debris wouldn’t hurt us during our bodily meltdown.  During that same era, the camp meeting evangelists took advantage of our fears during altar calls.  They would do their best to scare us to the altar.  A car was going to crash, a train would derail, a boat would sink, the Russians would attack, and we would “slip into eternity” without Christ.  It left us kids shaking in our boots.  Nowadays the evangelist would be arrested for felony emotional child abuse.  After a particularly frightening altar call, my mom tucked me into bed.  I think she could sense that I was worried and afraid.  As I lay there in the blackness of the room, in a flash, the room was bright with light shining through the window.  My heart started to pound so hard I thought it was going to jump out of my chest and start running.  I was certain the Russians had just started the apocalypse.  Within a very short time, maybe 10 seconds, I realized that my mom was on the back porch hanging out the wash on the clothes line.  I had survived to face another evening of Stony Creek camp meeting horror.  Apparently my friend, Carl Timpson, had the  jitters even worse than  I did.  He went “forward” every time there was an altar call.