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Retrospective

Twenty years ago — 1999

The Dunkirk Kiwanis Club’s 32nd annual Geranium Sale is being held this month. The annual fundraiser enables the Kiwanis to sponsor youth soccer, hockey and baseball teams, as well as assisting the Dunkirk Youth Bureau’s Summer Day Camp, and library and scouting programs. Gugino Nursery in Fredonia supplies the club with the more than 8,000 plants for the fundraiser.

Thirty years ago — 1989

Toby Halicki, a Dunkirk native turned movie producer, writer, director and actor, will return to Dunkirk for a Recognition Dinner at the Holiday Inn this month sponsored by the Historical Society of Dunkirk. With a long history of building exotic cars, in 1963 he invented the “Toby Cart,” a motorized skateboard seen on the Johnny Carson show, Lucille Ball show and The Monkees television show. When the 1968 movie “Bullitt” was widely billed as the best chase film ever, Mr. Halicki, with no film experience, decided he would do even better, which resulted in his classic cult film, “Gone In Sixty Seconds.” The January 1989 issue of Car and Driver Magazine listed “Gone In Sixty Seconds” as the third best car chase film ever done, surpassing the film “Bullitt.”

Forty years ago — 1979

The recent demolition of the gymnasium at the rear of the Old Main building in Fredonia as part of a project to convert the 76-year-old structure into 91 units of senior housing, closed a chapter in the history of the village, but also indicated a rebirth for the long abandoned building. Old Main was abandoned in the summer of 1973 by the State University due to high maintenance costs. It sold on the auction block in 1975 for $85,500 to Henry Sysol.

Fifty years ago — 1969

St. Paul Lutheran Church on Temple Street in Fredonia has reached completion. The worship area will accommodate ths congregation for the first time at the 10:30 a.m. Sunday worship service with the Rev. Paul Dorn, pastor. Formerly located at 316 Eagle St., Dunkirk, the church was moved to Fredonia to provide the village with its only Lutheran church, to be near the college community and to achieve more space. The congregation had been centered in Dunkirk since 1887.

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