July 22 – Happy Birthday Ken Talmadge

talmadge1111“Great guy” and a “problem solver.”  That would be how I would describe the late Ken Talmadge, today’s Amsterdam NY Birthday Blog celebrant. I got to know him well when I was working for the Noteworthy Company in the late 1970’s. This was just before he became the first Supervisor of Buildings & Grounds for the Greater Amsterdam School District and he had accepted a temporary position with Noteworthy as a driver.

Ken could drive or ride anything imaginable including buses, horses, motorcycles and ski’s. He was a mechanical wizard as well, for many years operating a Mobil Service Station in Amsterdam and at one time teaching a mechanical design and technology class at Amsterdam High School.

He came to work for Noteworthy shortly after that company had divided its manufacturing operations into two different locations. Communications between the old and new plants were to say the least, not very efficient and production deadlines were being missed and tempers were often flaring. Then Ken showed up. His job was to act as the “go-between” for the old and new plants, in other words to make sure the right hand knew what the left hand was doing and make sure both had what they needed from the other to get it done. The results in just a couple of weeks were pretty startling. Not only was production flowing more smoothly, the yelling and screaming stopped too. That was the other thing about Ken I loved. Instead of getting angry or frustrated when something went wrong, he focused instead on becoming part of the solution.

I so hated seeing him go when the GASD Board of Education finally approved the creation of the district’s new b&g position. But a few years later, when I myself was elected to the Board, I was once again thrilled to have Ken Talmadge working for an organization I was connected with…

(This well-known Amsterdam cowboy was also born on July 22.)

My complete birthday post for Ken Talmadge 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. I also distribute an Amsterdam, NY Birthday Blog Monthly Newsletter that includes the full birthday posts for three of the twenty-to-thirty  people whose birthdays I recognize each month. Each newsletter also includes an Amsterdam Birthday Quiz that will test your knowledge and memory of people and events in your hometown.

The monthly newsletter is free. If you’d like to receive it, just make sure your name and e-mail address are included on this list.


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