My Mom moved us into a house on the corner of Guy Park and Bayard Street in 1967. The garage and tiny driveway were located right behind it and right behind that was an old pretty run-down Victorian two-family place that I thought was empty and possibly haunted. One night, I got home late and had just put my bike in the garage and was heading to the back porch when somebody from somewhere in the darkness said “Hello neighbor.” I just about jumped out of my Converse sneakers and pee’d my pants at the same time.
I turned around to try and determine where the greeting had come from and all I could see was the glowing end of a cigarette up on the side porch of that old Victorian I thought had been empty. The next thing I know, that glowing cigarette end was moving down the stairs toward me. I probably said a decade of Hail Mary’s waiting for that cigarette butt to get into the glow of the streetlight so I could finally see a face. That’s how I met today’s Amsterdam Birthday Celebrant.
Bill Case was wearing cutoff jeans and a sleeveless sweatshirt that night and as he reached to shake my hand I remember noticing his softball sized biceps and thinking to myself, I hope this guy doesn’t have a temper. He introduced himself and I did likewise. He said he had just moved into the house and didn’t even have the power turned on yet. He told me he had just gotten out of the Navy.
Within the next few days…
The rest of Bill Case’s birthday post will be published in the second editionof A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam NY Birthdays, which will be available for sale right after Thanksgiving. To make sure you get your hands on one of the first copies, join my mailing list here.
The first edition of A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam NY Birthdays, which features my birthday posts for 320 current or former Amsterdam residents, is currently being sold at Liberty Fresh Market, on Route 30 in Amsterdam. You can also purchase it online here.
This once very well-known Amsterdam-born educator and inventor was also born on March 25.