My dad did what? Said what?

labor relations and safety coordination

Les Green.age 5I’ve mentioned that I’ve been pouring over my 1972 diaries. Mostly, I’ve noted my foibles. But now and then, I say, “My dad did what?”

Tuesday, August 1: Premiere of Compendium on CV7 (I assume public access cable) at 10 pm. “Barbara and Dad were hosts.” Surely, Barbara was the very active Barbara Oldwine, who died in 2014. the topic was The Black Family. I have ZERO recollection of this.

Friday, August 4: In the presence of his friends John and April, who had come over for dinner, he announced he would run for mayor of Binghamton in 1973. Three young black men from Highland Falls, Orange County, came over. Nope, don’t remember that either. And since he had JUST moved to Johnson City, I don’t know HOW he could run. Ultimately, he did not.


One of my sisters suggested I look up to see if he ever made any overtures toward the political office. I searched for him on for 1972 and 1973. He was elected to a couple of boards involving the Broome County’s Red Cross and a group involved with housing for children.

He became the labor relations and compliance officer and safety coordinator for Edward L. Nezelek, Inc. around 9 Jan 1973.

Several articles about difficulties between the State Division of Human Rights and its Binghamton-Broome advisory committee, chaired by Les Green, were reported. By 17 March 1973, things were getting better. Dad was one of those “trusted voices” asked to comment on whatever racial tension occurring in Binghamton.

The house fire in August 1973 at 29 Ackley Avenue in Johnson City was reported. My sister Marcia’s name is misspelled as Marsha. The fire marshall said a “cigarette from an ashtray emptied into a trash basket next to the stove may have caused the fire.” There was damage to the kitchen, bathroom, attic, and roof.

No mention of political ambition. But what’s this? Here’s a classified ad for 28 July through 1 August 1973: “GOOD SLIGHTLY USED folk guitar, price negotiable.” He was going to sell his beloved 1958 Gibson guitar? THIS shocked me. As it turned out, he didn’t sell it but took it to Charlotte, NC, when he, mom, and Marcia moved, and it stayed with him until his death. My sister Leslie now owns it.

The picture

This is a picture of my father, approximately at age five, in Binghamton, NY, circa 1932. I had never seen the photo until February 2022. It is the earliest pic I have seen of him by about a decade. But I don’t know where it is except for the word Calvary. A church? A daycare?

There is a Calvary Baptist on Chenango St, which had a kids program. But what’s with the outfits? Christian service brigade and/or pioneer club? Binghamton history folks: do you have any thoughts? He was probably living at 339 Court St at the time; he was there two years earlier. Or he could have been at 10 Tudor St, off of Susquehanna St.

BTW, tomorrow, my father would have been 96.

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