Retrospective

Twenty years ago — 1997

Walter Falvey of 20 First St. in Westfield, is the oldest surviving veteran in Chautauqua County and possibly in New York State. Born to David and Clara Lavinia Falvey on Nov. 24, 1893, Mr. Falvey will soon be 104 years old. He was among the first American troops shipped to Europe during World War I. Mr. Falvey served at the front in the Argon sector in France, but not in the trenches. He was a member of the U.S. Army Band. “I never had a gun in the Army,” he said. “As a musician, I had to depend on my ability to run like hell.” Mr. Falvey also said that he was the patriarch of music in Westfield, playing in the drum corps, the Westfield Concert Band, the Legion Band and the Deutschmeisters.

Thirty years ago — 1987

Ron “Gus” Gustafson, OBSERVER newswire editor, has been named winner of the Associated Press (AP) September photo incentive award. His prize-winning photo shows some wiggly double-yellow traffic lines on West Eighth Street in Jamestown. City street officials explained that the tape (not paint) lines shifted to the zig-zag position because of a movement in the pavement. His photo is now eligible for the annual Bruce Cromie Award for 1987-1988. Mr. Gustafson resides in Cassadaga with his wife Nancy, son Lynn and daughter Amber Rebecca.

Forty years ago — 1977

New York Assemblyman Rolland Kidder (D-Jamestown) spent most of the afternoon in Erie pressing his investigation of the possibility that a “mystery ship” is illegally sucking sand from the bottom of Lake Erie in the waters off Van Buren Point in Chautauqua County. Thomas Ambrose, a resident of Van Buren Point, witnessed this action taking place early in the morning.

Fifty years ago — 1967

Damage has been estimated at about $35,000 in an early morning fire at the Main A-Go-Go dance hall, 210 Main St., Dunkirk. The one-story cement block building, which was also damaged by fire in 1964, suffered the heaviest damage in the dance hall portion with the lounge suffering heavy smoke damage.

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