Friday, October 19, 2007

Town of Olive Luminaries, William T. Golden; Al Higgly; Bruce Ratner; Mary Margaret McBride

Al Higgly, a Shandaken fruit stand operator, restaurateur and real estate investor, mentioned to me that his "birthday buddy" William T. Golden had died on October 9, 2007, just a few weeks before his 98th birthday. Higgly and Golden were both born in the last week of October. Mr. Golden owned more than 10,000 acres in Olivebridge, not far from my West Shokan home.

According to the New York Times Mr. Golden was an investment banker who, after retirement, was on the boards of nearly 100 organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology and Government (as its chairman). Mr. Golden was an advocate for science policy and helped create the National Science Foundation. He worked on the Atomic Energy Commission at the time of its founding in the late 1940s. His neighbor in Olivebridge was his former boss, Harold Lindner, former president of the Export-Import Bank and ambassador to Canada. William T. Golden, RIP.

Another famous New York business figure recently moved into the Town of Olive. Bruce Ratner has purchased an estate also not too far from West Shokan. The Town of Olive has always welcomed many interesting people. Jimi Hendrix lived on Traver Hollow Road, about three miles from where my cabin is now located, in 1969, the year of the Woodstock concert and also a year before Hendrix's death.

Al Higgly once told me that when he was a youngster in the 1940s he used to say "hey" to Eleanor Roosevelt, who was a weekly visitor to the home of Mary Margaret McBride in West Shokan. According to Wikipedia McBride, originally from Missouri, was a radio personality from 1934 to 1940 on WOR in New York City. Also, she appeared on NBC and ABC radio until 1960. According to Wikipedia, "during World War II, she began 'breaking the color line', mixing in African American guests." Ms. McBride died in West Shokan in 1976.

The West Shokan curmudgeon blogs that there are differences between the nearby Village and Town of Woodstock versus West Shokan, in the town of Olive:

Woodstock: hippy
West Shokan: hippless

Woodstock: tie-dye ear-muffs
West Shokan: coffee (coming soon)"

Actually, the coffe is going soon as I have heard a rumor that the only store in town, the American General Store is closing on December 1. Alas, West Shokan is a small town, but there are those who love it. The curmudgeon doth protest too much, methinks. The Town of Olive has a population of 4,579 and West Shokan has 760 or so. It is a privilege to live in a special place.

1 comment:

Ray Faiola said...

I live in Ellenville and I recently acquired a 16mm print of a television pilot that Mary Margaret McBride filmed in her West Shokan home. I've uploaded it to youtube: