June 3 – Happy Birthday Ron Hopkins

Ronald-Hopkins-1416591880Once rug manufacturing abandoned Amsterdam in the 1950’s, the General Electric Company in Schenectady became the primary go-to spot for private sector jobs with decent benefits. But GE wasn’t the only world-class company within a half hour’s drive from Amsterdam. Twenty-six miles west of here, the Beech-Nut Packing Company was humming on all cylinders, putting all kinds of food products into jars, cans and wrappers and distributing them to grocery stores around the world. Today’s Amsterdam Birthday Celebrant, Ron Hopkins used to live right behind my grandmother’s house, on Clinton Street with his first wife Dolores and their two children, Doug and Debbie. Born on June 3, 1933, Ron was a 1951 graduate of Amsterdam High School and had served his country as an Air Force MP during the Korean War. After his discharge, he went to work at Inman Manufacturing where he mastered mechanical drafting. He then got a job as a draftsman for Beech-Nut in 1963. When he retired from the Canajoharie company 35 years later he was Production Manager. You don’t get that kind of job with an organization like Beech-Nut without being very good at what you do. Ron Hopkins was better than good, he was pretty much a mechanical genius…

My complete birthday post for Ron Hopkins will appear in the new second edition of A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam, NY Birthdays, which will be available before the 2016 Holiday season. On June 30, 2016, I will also once again begin distributing an Amsterdam, NY Birthday Blog Monthly Newsletter that will include the full birthday posts for three of the twenty-to-thirty  people whose birthdays I will recognize each month. Each newsletter will also include an Amsterdam Birthday Quiz that will test your knowledge and memory of people and events in your hometown.

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