“Welcome to the childhood of Catherine McClure Gildiner. It is the mid-1950s in Lewiston, New York, a sleepy town near Niagara Falls. Divorce is unheard of, mothers wear high heels to the beauty salon, and television has only just arrived. At the tender age of four, Cathy accompanies Roy, the deliveryman at her father’s pharmacy, on his routes. She shares some of their memorable deliveries-sleeping pills to Marilyn Monroe (in town filming Niagara), sedatives to Mad Bear, a violent Tuscarora chief, and fungus cream to Warty, the gentle operator of the town dump. As she reaches her teenage years, Cathy’s irrepressible spirit spurs her from dangerous sled rides that take her “too close to the Falls” to tipsy dances with the town priest.” www.goodreads.com
These two books follow the fascinating, and at times astonishing, childhood and young adulthood of Catherine Gildner. Gildner grew up just a few miles from D’Youville in Lewiston NY. She describes what it was like to grow up in Western NY in her relatively eccentric family during the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s. Her tales take you through many Buffalo area landmarks and various historical happenings including; Love Canal, The Albright-Knox, Amigone Funeral Home, Amherst High School and an encounter with Marilyn Monroe during the filming of Niagara (1953). They are both highly recommended reads for anyone interested in a fun and intriguing narrative describing day-to-day life in the Buffalo area during the mid century, or perhaps just looking to step back in time for a little while.
You can find several copies of Too Close to the Falls in the DYC library. Here is a link to the Too Close to the Falls catalog record. After the Falls has not yet been added to the collection but you can read more about it here.
While poking around the archives I came across an interesting newspaper clipping from 1951. The clipping is titled:
D’Youville Graduates a Bride As Tradition Loses to Romance:College Comes to Rescue of Student After Army Upset Plans to Wed Office Candidate
I was immediately intrigued… tradition vs romance? Sounds dramatic. Tell me more!
According to the article a student by the name of Nancy, was to be married two weeks after she graduated from D’Youville. Unfortunately, her soon-to-be husband was notified that he had to report for military duty the Monday after Nancy’s graduation. What was Nancy to do? No married woman had ever graduated from D’Youville before! Fortunately the Grey Nun’s ‘came to the rescue’ and allowed her to break tradition. She was married the Friday before her graduation. She even attended her Class Day Exercises in her wedding dress!
It’s interesting how traditions have changed drastically over the past 50+ years. Regardless, I still found this to be a fun and interesting piece of D’Youville College history.
It’s throwback Thursday here at the DYC Archives! And man do we have a lot of old pictures to show you…
Every Thursday we will be posting our newest #TBT here and on the library twitter page @dyclibrary
DYC Cheerleaders circa 1961
While processing records on campus buildings, I couldn’t help but notice the fine examples of early twentieth century letterhead. Mainly from the Buffalo and Niagara Falls vicinity, these companies bid or worked on the addition to the Koessler Administration building. This selection is from 1907.
The D’Youville College Archives counts local history items in its rare book collection. Most are pictorials of Buffalo and many include advertisements for local businesses. This ad is for Town Tidings, a local journal. At seventy-years old this advertisement is still relevant today!
Advertisement text detail.
Source: This is the Story – in Pictures and Words – of Buffalo, One of America’s Truly Great Cities, published by Otto Retter, 1932.