York Town Square

Part of the USAToday Network

York New Salem resident: ‘I told you I was a little nutty’

John Robinson of York New Salem wrote York Sunday News columnist Gordon Freirerich remembering days growing up in a small town in Dutchess County, N.Y.
And he draws some comparisons to York New Salem – officially New Salem borough – today. (York New Salem is the post office, but that’s how everyone refers to it.)
Here are some excerpts:

The town was set up perfectly. No matter where you wanted to go, or do, it was within walking distance…groceries, post office, doctor, library, the veterinarian, (he once stabled Tommy Johns horses…Tommy Johns was a NY Yankee).
The drug store was great, with one of those soda fountains with the stools you could twirl around on. I remember the tulip shaped glass and the long-handled spoon, which the guy behind the fountain would use to stir the syrup and seltzer water into a great tasting cherry coke. And these soda’s had extra syrup in them.They cost about a quarter… .

When weather was hot, or if the days became boring, we would “invent” things to do, such as… walking through the woods, or through a farmers field looking for arrowheads or other treasures; we would make bows and arrows out of sticks and string; in the evening we could grab a small pile of sticks together, then at the right moment and time of day, through them up in the air and watch the bats swoop down towards them. We could take bike rides around town, or go swimming at “Stissing (mtn.) Lake.”
Kids today don’t seem to do these type of things anymore. Of course, this was before cable tv and computers. I wish they would. I remember one adventure whereby two of my friends and myself got on our bikes and took a ride to the next nearest town: Ancramdale, NY. The town consisted of a general store, post office and church. Once there, we would buy a soda and sit on the steps of the store, then ride back home. It took most of the day. But what a fun adventure!
Anyway, thanks for letting me go on and on. What brought this up was this:
I took a walk to our local post office here in York New Salem, and didn’t see one kid out on their bikes, or playing in their yards. I now own a former general store and post office building (W.A.H. Schwartz”s). I am also owner of a former soda fountain pump cabinet from the Haines shoe house, when Dave Keller owned it. I bought it from him, and now use it for my kitchen sink. I told you I was a little “nutty!”