March 27 – Happy Birthday Clarence Hawker

bus_GWhen Clarence Hawker graduated from Amsterdam’s Lynch High School, the inscription he selected to be posted alongside his senior picture read, “There’s a place and means for every man alive.” After serving his country during World War II, Clarence found that his place in life was meant to be in the driver’s seat of a bus, specifically a school bus, where over the next four decades, he became a local celebrity.

He drove the Cranesville route for the Greater Amsterdam School District for many years and if you ask any of the students he transported what they thought about “Hawker” many would tell you that those daily rides to and from school were among their fondest memories…

You can read the rest of my story about this popular former school bus driver in my new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.” To order your copy, click here.

February 2 – Happy Birthday Fred Bryce

fred_bryce_weightlifter_oldtimestrongmanWhen you got off an Amsterdam City bus that was  being driven by today’s Amsterdam Birthday Blog Celebrant, thanking him for the lift took on a double meaning. Though Fred Bryce was born in Broadalbin, he made a name for himself as our town’s most prolific weightlifter. In 1952, the then 32-year-old strongman travelled to New York City to try out for the US Olympic weightlifting team and finished in fifth place in the middle-heavyweight division. That same year, Bryce won the New York State…

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