October 16 – Happy Birthday Joe Jacobs

jacobs2I used to work at Ralph’s Delicatessen on Amsterdam’s Market Street in the 1970’s. Amsterdam attorney, Joe Jacobs used to stop in all the time and sit at a table, usually all by himself but never for long. It seemed as if ninety percent of the customers in the place would eventually make there way over to where he was sitting. Most would simply say hi but a few would have questions, sometimes legal in nature but most often involving Amsterdam city government. It was the early seventies and Jacobs was serving as Mayor John Gomulka’s Corporation Council. There were arterials getting built, buildings getting demolished, sewage treatment systems going in, the City was taking over the bus system, the Teamsters were negotiating for Amsterdam Police and Firemen. Every night in the Recorder it seemed like one issue or another involving a City Hall dispute of some sort flared up and in the middle of them all was Joe Jacobs. No wonder he always looked tired to me. But the thing I remember best about today’s Amsterdam Birthday Celebrant was how calm he always remained sitting at that table trying to finish his sandwich and coffee while one person after another prevented him from doing so.

That’s why I was so surprised to find out this was the same guy who threw himself smack dab in the middle of this City’s fiery electoral politics in the 1950’s. He was the Democratic Party’s candidate for Mayor two times and…

You can read the rest of my story about this well-known Amsterdam public servant in my new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.” To order your copy, click here.


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