There were no nominations for a June 12 birthday celebrant but while I was researching for a future post I learned about a remarkable achievement by a former Amsterdam resident that I wished to share and wouldn’t you know it, today was her birthday. It all started when I came across the name of “Ernie Centerbar.”
That name was a familiar one around here, especially among folks from Hagaman, where Ernie used to live and was heavily involved in the village’s politics and youth sports programs. Ernie was married to Irene Calloway. Irene had a sister named Dorothy who was born on today’s date in 1932, but not in Amsterdam. The Calloway girls were born in Huntsville, AL. They moved north as teenagers, when their parents re-settled in Amsterdam. Dorothy was better known as Dot and she was a sharp, very confident young lady who graduated from Wilbur Lynch in the Class of 1951. One day after she got that diploma she went for a job interview at GE in Schenectady and so impressed her interviewer, she was hired on the spot. It was while working at GE that she met and fell in love with Howard “Pete” Connors of Mechanicville.
Pete and Dot got hitched and during the next twelve years they had what can only be described as the perfect marriage. She described her husband as her best friend and soul mate and they had eight children. That’s right, they had eight children in twelve years. Then tragically, Howard died. Stop and think what it must have been like to be in Dot’s shoes. A single Mom in the early 1960’s with eight young kids to raise, alone.
The remarkable thing about all good Mom’s is that regardless of how tough life becomes for them, they somehow find the strength and courage to go on for the sake of their children. If Webster’s Dictionary had a definition for the phrase “good Mom” it would include Dot Connor’s picture.