The story of how the current Amsterdam High School got built up on Miami Avenue had enough twists, turns and sub-plots to make a good reality television show. Its too bad those shows didn’t exist back in the 1970’s because today’s Amsterdam Birthday Celebrant would have made a wonderful reality TV personality. Mollie Miller was smart, well read and fearless. You wanted her on your side of any issue because if she was against you, it was like having a bad toothache that never ever went away.
After she helped GAVAC get started in 1966 and ’67, she turned her attention to Amsterdam’s public schools. Mollie and her husband John were the parents of three kids in those schools and when their friend Frank Persico got elected to the Greater Amsterdam School District Board of Education in 1968, she started attending board meetings. Getting the high school built soon became the big issue on the agenda back then. Superintendent Tom Caton and a majority of the Board were determined to see it placed in the Town of Amsterdam. Persico was against that site. It seemed most of the public agreed with him because the referendum to build it in the town kept failing. Instead of scrapping the plan, Caton and most of Persico’s fellow Board Members kept revising the project’s cost downward until it passed. This enraged Persico and his most ardent public supporter, Mollie Miller. They teamed up…
I’ve already started work on the second volume of “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays” and Mollie Miller’s complete story will be featured in it. I will be sharing the complete posts of some of the Volume II birthday celebrants in future issues of the Amsterdam Birthday Blog Newsletter. If you are not yet a newsletter subscriber, you can sign up for free here.
March 13 was also the birthday of Amsterdam’s most famous Mormon.