CGP Community Stories

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In 1943, at the age of two, Robbie Dancy moved from Alabama to Utica, New York with her grandmother, mother, and uncle. They were part of the mass movement of black individuals and families from the rural South to the urban North and West during the…

Kathryn, or Kathy, Allen (née Clark) was born in rural Illinois in 1929. As a child, she lived through the Great Depression and experienced the rural home front’s response to World War II. An agricultural specialist, her father worked as a soil…

Margaret McGown is a member of one of the oldest families in Cooperstown and remains very involved in the community. She was born in Binghamton, New York, on April 29, 1947 but spent her childhood in Cooperstown, where her father’s family lived.…

Jay Harrison is a lifelong resident of Otsego County. He grew up in Mt. Vision, a hamlet in Laurens, NY, and moved to Milford, NY as an adult. The Harrisons have been a prominent family in the region of New York since the 1700s. In fact, the hill the…

Mr. Keith Willcox, born in Groton, NY in 1947, was raised on his family’s dairy farm. After attending Harpur College, at Binghamton University, he married his wife, Nadene, and began a new chapter in his life. A conscientious objector to the…

Juanita Bass, née Holmes, was born in Bridgewater, New York, on May 19, 1935. She is the daughter of Everett Holmes, who was the first African American to be elected to the position of mayor in New York State. Juanita grew up on a farm; her father…

Elliot Brodie has lived the majority of his life in the area of Roseboom, NY. Born in the mid-nineteen-twenties, Elliot grew up on a farm and went to school for the duration of the Great Depression. In his adult life he would work as both a trucker…

Hanka Grabovica is a resident of Utica, New York. She was born in Bosnia in 1985. After the Bosnian War ended, she came to America with her parents and her brother in 2001. Grabovica is a black belt in karate and traveled to Japan in 2004 with the…

Norma VanBuren was born Norma Johns in Cobleskill, New York on May 28, 1947. She married her husband, Jack VanBuren, in 1965. The couple lived in Richmondville for a few months and later moved to Mr. VanBuren’s hometown in East Worcester. They…

Esther (Mathewson) Brooker was born July 16, 1930 in her grandparents’ home near Westford, NY. She grew up the third of six children on a dairy farm of about one hundred acres near Westford. In addition to dairy production, her father also grew…
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