Bygone Binghamton: Remembering People and Places of the Past Volume One

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AuthorHouse, Jun 15, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 616 pages
3 Reviews

Bygone Binghamton Remembering People and Places of the Past Volume One is a people’s history of some of the most memorable persons, events, and landmarks of the Binghamton area in modern times. It includes the personal memories – in their own words – of hundreds of people crosschecked, whenever possible, by letters, newspapers, scrapbooks, and personal files.

Its many chapters focus on well-remembered restaurants, Mom and Pop grocery stores, ice cream and penny candy places, dairies, and bakeries. It tells, for the first time, the origins of the famous sauce served at Little Venice, the secret wartime exploits of the man who founded Pino’s, the background of the Pig Stands, the long-repressed World War II horrors experienced by a young boy who grew up to own the Schnitzelbank, and the married couple who gave Pat Mitchell his start in the ice cream business.

Local companies like GAF/Ansco/Ozalid, General Electric, and the Erie Shops are profiled. The founding, heyday, and history of IBM in Endicott are explored. The chapter on Endicott Johnson is a small book in itself and provides information never before published.

The once-flourishing downtown shopping districts come to life once again in the words of those who remember them. The notorious “Clinton Street Run” lives again in the stories of people who attempted it. Drazens, Philadelphia Sales, and Lescron’s are among the highlighted stores. Former newspapers and magazines and some of the most beloved or controversial writers – Tom Cawley, Gene Grey, Lou Parrillo – are recalled.


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Love this book
I am a life long resident of Binghamton, I am an employee of the Binghamton zoo, and I absolutely love our local history. This book takes me to a time before my time. The author did a
wonderful job recreating the past. Now, I'd like to see a more in depth history written up about our local zoo. 

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Not Your Typical Coffee Table Book
Having a more than cursory interest in the history of Binghamton, particularly from 1940 until the mid 1990's, when I heard about this book (just a few days ago), I
thought it would be like the many others that have been published: historical photos with one or two line captions, leaving the reader with a thirst for more detail. This work fills that void. It's as if you were transported back in time to the Binghamton so many of us miss. Mr. Shay has combined facts and figures (readily available elsewhere) with the memories of real people (most of whom are still alive) who were actually there and/or had friends or relatives who can still recall details that are fast fading from the cobweb covered gray matter of most of us. While many subjects (restaurants for example) are mentioned in a list consisting of the name address,specialty df the house and perhaps a one liner flashback, Mr. Shay knew exactly which establishments to expound on in surprising detail as only a native Binghamtonian would. Mr. Shay muses in his introduction as to where this book will be in its own place in history. In this reviewers opinion, it will be not forgotten, but labeled 'A MUST READ'. 

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About the author (2012)

Shay is a former newspaper reporter and magazine feature writer. He is currently a freelance fiction and nonfiction writer.

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