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What you need to know for 01/23/2017

In July 1969, groups shared in fun times

In July 1969, groups shared in fun times

Billy Lopata put on some hot dogs during the summer of 1969. Lots of them. Others put on a play in t
In July 1969, groups shared in fun times
Billy Lopata (second from right, in cap) has his arms full of kids during the annual Lopata summer picnic on Madison Street during the early summer of 1969. Billy treated neighborhood kids to 1,500 hot dogs and more than 50 cases of soda.
Photographer: Gazette file
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Billy Lopata put on some hot dogs during the summer of 1969.

Others put on a play in their neighborhood. And some people put on moon costumes to salute the crew of Apollo 11. Still other folks put on canvas bags to sell newspapers.

Lopata used to host a summer party on Madison Street. Billy had been playing big brother to kids for years, grilling hot dogs and serving ice cold soda to young friends. Music and games were other parts of Billy’s big deal.

People living in Rotterdam’s Continental Road neighborhood saw a show in July 1969. Kids adapted the story of gold-spinning elf Rumplestiltskin for a play in Beth Ann Flatt’s backyard. The actresses charged for their performance and donated the dough to the Cerebral Palsy Association.

Kids on Princetown Road in Rotterdam were more interested in science fact and science fiction. Kids at the YMCA’s former summer Camp Tippecanoe dressed in homemade moon costumes and pondered a trip to the stars on Monday, July 21, 1969. Everyone was talking about Apollo 11, which had landed on the moon the day before.

Schenectady Jaycees put on newspaper bags and sold the Schenectady Gazette to raise money for youth projects and other programs. And some kids put on happy faces in Latham — the John Clark family hosted two guests from New York City as part of the Colonie Friendly Town Fresh Air Program.

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