HISTORY IS COOL: 40 years ago

May 10, 1984

Smokey turns 40

Thousands of area schoolchildren, local dignitaries and officials from the state Department of Environmental Conservation gathered Tuesday to honor the birthday of that great conservationist, humanitarian and firefighter — Smokey Bear.

Perhaps no more important or widely recognized “mega personality” has ever adorned the confines of the Olympic Center.

“I don’t feel 40 at all,” Smokey quipped.

County bed tax

Essex County Publicity Director Luke Patnode is proposing the adoption of a bed tax which he estimates could garner an annual take of $840,000 for county coffers. But the idea has met strong opposition in the form of North Elba Supervisor Matt Clark. At least 55% of all tourist beds in Essex County are located in North Elba.

“If North Elba is going to have a bed tax, I feel the money raised in North Elba should stay in North Elba,” Clark said. “If the money is raised for the county, I don’t think it will be used to lower taxes – at least not based on what I see happening now.”

Drinking age

The editorial headline for the May 10, 1984, issue of the Lake Placid News was “Raise Drinking Age.”

“When talking about raising New York’s drinking age from 19 to 21, there is really only one compelling argument — saving lives.

Some say a decline in sales tax revenue, the financial losses of tavern owners or the difficulty in enforcement are valid arguments against increasing the drinking age.

But those factors seem cold and empty when stacked up against a simple fact. Raising the drinking age will save lives of the 19- and 20-year-olds.”

Ruthie’s Run sold

Looking over Mirror Lake and the Sentinel Range from the back office of Ruthie’s Run on Main Street, Cathy and Wayne Johnston, new owners of the leading Lake Placid retail store, said, “We are finally back to a smaller town where we can be more a part of things.”

Now commuting to Lake Placid from Lincoln Pond outside Elizabethtown, the Johnstons plan to move here permanently this fall.

They purchased the business from Ruth Prime last month in a transaction handled by Ed Brandt of Country Business of Lake Placid.

The Johnstons met in graduate school in the South where each was earning master of business administration degrees from the University of Virginia in Charlottsville.

Both had migrated from the North. Cathy, a native of Plattsburgh, graduated from Union College in Schenectady, where she majored in philosophy. Wayne grew up on Long Island before attending the University of Virginia for his undergraduate work in foreign affairs.

They were married in 1978 and job opportunities kept the couple in the South, where they settled in Greensboro, North Carolina. With combined backgrounds in dyes, textiles and inventory management, the opportunity to purchase Ruthie’s Run seemed a natural transition for the Johnstons.

Starting at $1.44/week.

Subscribe Today