Capital Region Scrapbook: Summer meant ballet, chess, teen pageants and bikes in ’70s

Art, beauty and motorcycles were just part of the summertime diversions in the 1970s.

Arts and beauty were part of summer for some people during the 1970s. Playing chess and playing it safe on motorcycles represented July diversions for others.

The arts meant New York City Ballet at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Kitty Bender and daughters Karen and Susan, attended the troupe’s opening night in July 1974. Beauty was in the eyes of people who beheld 10 young women competing for the title of Miss Black Teenage America in 1973.

The ladies were tested for talent, poise and wit. Pamela Stevens was chosen as the ideal teen. She won a trip to Rochester, and participation in the state pageant held July 28 and 29.

Chess was big during the early ’70s, thanks to Bobby Fischer’s celebrated, cerebral bouts with Boris Spassky for the world chess championship in 1972. Jeff McGee wore a game face during his game with Julia Sidoti at the Mumford “Tot Land.” Only the participants know who finished on top in the 1974 match.

Motorcycles were safer when riders knew how to keep safe. That’s one reason Yamaha dealers gave people quick educations in July 1973. Bikes, helmets and the law — in the person of Schenectady County Sheriff Barney Waldron — were part of the scene at the former Mohawk Mall.

Categories: Life and Arts

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