S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE Continuation Page 1 keywords = Champlain college Associated ACUNY Plattsburg Plattsburgh SUNY Hamilton Harpur Endicott Cortland adirondack mountain north woods Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute RPI Marguerite van Bree

Updated:   01 Jul 2013, 15:30  ET
[Page created ca. 14 Aug 2001; converted 29 Oct 2012
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]

URL:  http://sbiii.com/champlc1.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/champlc1.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


Champlain College
Continuation Page 1

Plattsburgh, New York

[See further admonition below.]

S. Berliner, III's

Champlain College
Continuation Page 1

Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"
Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher
Popularizer of Science and Technology


of Plattsburgh*, New York

(the late, if unlamented - NOT the newer#
Champlain College of Burlington, Vermont,
nor any of the others that keep coming out of the woodwork!)

ACUNY Seal - B&W
The seal of ACUNY (not Champlain, alone), with Mohawk, Sampson, and Champlain,
left, center, and right on the scroll (from the title page of the Gilbert book).

* - The city in the far northeastern corner of New York State,
on the northwestern shore of Lake Champlain,
just south of the Canadian border and Montréal, is Plattsburg (no "h");
the Pennsylvania city far to the southwest, has an h on the end - Pittsburgh -
but Champlain College was located in Plattsburg
(no matter what they call it now!).

[Ah!  But see Spelling below.]

If you love the North Country or the Adirondack Mountains, you'll love the Adirondack Museum smack dab in the heart of the Adirondacks at Blue Mountain Lake, New York.  It tells the story of the Adirondacks far better than any book could.  I heartily recommend a visit!  If you can't get there, you may wish to visit my Adirondacks page.

You will find some yarns about my time at Champlain there.

note-rt.gif  ACADEMIC RECORDS {on Continuation Page 3}!

I reproduced many of the photos from Dean Gilbert's 1950 ACUNY book and moved them to (Continuation Page 2) .

To make room on the main CC page, I had to move the HELP! section to this page on 04 Dec 01.

Be sure to visit the main Champlain College page, the Continuation Page 2, and the Continuation Page 3   new.gif, as well.

note-rt.gif  I had recommended that you also see the Champlain College Website of Strat Simon, quite the capable photographer, who had put up six pages on Champlain on his photo site, where you could have clicked on the blue college seal at lower right, or you could have gone directly there by clicking but his sites are now gone.  I hope to be able to reproduce all, or at least most, of his old site here - stay tuned!   rev (01 Jul 2013)

Looky here, now! - putting an old tie clip away in my accessories box, I dislodged something and found this:

Ch. Coll. Award Key

{I couldn't find my close-up lenses but have since and reshot this.}   rev (09 Feb 2013)

This is an award key for something or other I apparently did (Yeoman of the Guard stage settings?); it is marked "CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE" above the SUNY seal and "AWARD" below it and is engraved with "HARLEQUIN CLUB / 1952-53" on the back.

Champlain Musings - continued (moved from main Champlain page 30 Sep 01 and 23 Jan 02):

I had some great automotive adventures up there in my 1939 Chrysler Royal sedan, matching stunts with a Model A; they were on my Chrysler page, et seq., but got lost.  I had the car up there on campus because of my status as a frosh with advanced standing (boy, did I pull a fast one to get that permission!).  Since the stories have more to do with the Chrysler than the school, I've put them on Chrysler Page 3.

The A driver was one Walter Gluck, Strat Simon knew him well; he had been last heard of living on a barge on the Amstel in Amsterdam, a famous artist (especially in the Netherlands) known as "Victor 1V"! {30 Aug 01}  Strat further advised {13 Oct 2001} that Walter died about seven years ago (~1994?) and that "the barge was literally his studio and living quarters and contained a vegetable garden on the roof, and, at one point, a goat for milk.  The authorities made him move it because it had become a tourist attraction for the tour boats, and hence, a bottleneck.  He drowned while replacing empty plastic bottles under his houseboat.  Possibly a heart attack as he was a strong swimmer and one time member of the George Washington High School (NY) swimming team.  He became a rather famous artist (primitive) with exhibitions in NYC as well as Amsterdam.  His work is now in a museum there.  Walter, aka Karl (the change due to his inability to stomach southerner's pronunciation of "Waaalta"), aka Victor 4, was an extremely interesting -- but not totally sane -- individual."  {Thanks, Strat!}

Oh, my, I'd forgotten to note the time we drove across the lake to UVM for dates in an amphibious truck (DUKW) we rented from the Ford dealer (we couldn't use his amphibious Jeep - it would sink if the motor quit) and a less-auspicious time we did so across the ice in the school garbage truck ("liberated"? "borrowed"?) and made it over and back safely (and without getting arrested), only to have the rear wheels break through just as we hit the beach below the dorms!

With my fancy Chrysler and my regular trips to Montréal 60 miles to the north (sometimes just for lunch), I was always in demand for rides for "recreational" purposes.  I was a clean-living kid but I sure did a lot of ferrying to the seamier parts of that metropolis!

O.K., who remembers the little guy with the stunningly gorgeous girl friend who was a cryptographic whiz and was yanked off campus on an hour's notice by the OSS/CIA/????  He drove a ca.-'48 Pontiac and once we were in the woods near the rifle range when he spotted a rabbit, gunned the car to an insane speed for the dirt trail we were on, overtook the bunny, jumped out, and caught it in his bare hands!

As I recall (dimly), my dorm (Clinton?) was just north of the infirmary (which was opposite the Union?) and my girl friend lived in a dorm just south of the infirmary and I only remember telling my mother that she had a lazy eye (I believe I infelicitously said "cockeyed") and the horrifed reaction that brought!

Didn't the Union back up on Route 9 and wasn't it immediately south of the main entrance therefrom?  Does anyone remember the awful night when there was a long, long screeching followed by an awful smashup, a tinkling of glass, and then awful, absolute stillness?  We piled out of the dorms and ran across the quad onto Route 9, where some guy had plowed headfirst into the giant oak northwest{?} across from the gate and had gone into the windshield, leaving his brain sitting neatly on the dashboard.

The Engineering Department was in a low white wooden building at the south end of the Quad (?).  So was Chemistry.  I, who NEVER wear a hat, affected a beautiful Stetson; in the Chem lab, some jerk poured a bromine compound on the Stetson and it ate right through the crown.  Another idiot heated my ring stand cherry red as a "joke"; some joke!  As I unknowingly picked it up with my open hand, it branded my palm and stuck fast; I remember shaking it loose, telling the appalled instructor I'd be O.K., driving my '39 Chrysler madly across campus to the infirmary while shifting through the wheel with my left hand, and feeling no discomfort whatsoever (it turned out I was in total shock)!  I also was confined to the infirmary with some dread disease or another (in the north wing in a bed on the center of the east wall) when a fellow in the bed opposite came down with spinal menengitis and they did a spinal tap on me to test for the disease (tap? - more like a sledgehammer!).

Which reminds me of another yarn and yet others!  We went hiking up on the top of Lyon Mountain and felt a draft from the mountain and discovered a cave running through the top of the mountain.  I used to hike through the woods behind the rifle range early every Sunday morning; one morning some clown must have thought I was a polar bear (my white shirt?) and started shooting at me!  I shot back with a pellet pistol and chased (what a hero/idiot!) after him but he jumped in his car and got away.  Another time, I walked into a clearing with an old log cabin and the biggest dog I've ever seen in my life came at me, barking as loud as a volcano erupting; I could look down his mouth and see the inside of his tail!  The old hermit called off the dog but warned me never to show my face around him again if I wanted to live!  Game wardens disappeared with regularity around there!  There was the terrible day that a young couple necking under a tree was (they were) killed by a single shot dropping straight down from the sky - an errant round some imbecile had fired straight up!  Then there was the night I spotted two bright green lights in my headlights and stopped as a magnificent mountain lion (cougar, puma, catamount) stalked majestically past my headlights!  When I reported it to the game warden, and then to the state troopers, they laughed hysterically (what have you been drinking, kid?); hey, I KNOW a mountain lion when I see one and, within six months, they were being spotted all over the Adirondacks!

Some campus geniuses found an old abandoned farm building that straddled the NY-Québec border and set up an illicit cigarette factory, bringing materials in from Canada and taking product out in the U.S., and only got caught when they conterfeited tax stamps.

I had a permit to carry a Colt Match Target Woodman .22 semi-automatic pistol with which I was quite good.  The town dump, which was somewhere around the rifle range,as I recall, was overrun with rats - they were getting into town and biting children.  I got into the habit of shooting rats there as a public service and even organized a slaughter once.  I developed a gross habit of walking around in the burning rubbish, watching for movement that showed where a rat was feeding, then shooting through the tin cans and plugging the rat behind/under the can; I used up hundreds of rounds this way, often having to cool the barrel before I could go on.  On that particluar day, I plugged a dozen or so rats, ran out of the dump, waited until there was a rat feeding frenzy (on each other) going on, and then joined in as about two dozen shooters, ranged around one quadrant of the dump rim, blazed away and decimated the dump's rat population (PETA - go on, have conniptions!).

Holy mackerel, Andy!  A lot of this, and more, has been on my Adirondacks Page 2 all along!

I must have done SOME studying in amongst all this; I was Dean's List at least the first semester and maybe the second.  I did, however, manage to rack up 20,000 miles on my car while supposedly going to Champlain full time!

Now, here (at long last) are those color bonfire pictures, from the rally we held to protest the closing; I only have these five stray prints that someone else must have taken (I never took slides and these appear to be prints from color sides):

Ch. Coll. Bonfire 1

Ch. Coll. Bonfire 2

Ch. Coll. Bonfire 3

Ch. Coll. Bonfire 4

Ch. Coll. Bonfire 5

These Kodachrome prints measure 5mm x 8mm (2-1/16" x 3-1/8") and clearly show that the sets we were burning were my old "Yeomen of the Guard" flats (together with old desks and chairs and such).  They are excellent color prints, in perfect condition, but scanned blue for some reason, so I adjusted them back as well as I could.

The envelope is marked "Champlain closing blast 1953" and was stuck in amongst a pile of old family photos I was showing a daughter.  They are stamped on the back by Kodak, "Week of Dec. 29, 1952" {emphasis mine}, so the rally was held a lot earlier than I remembered.

Does anyone recognize themselves or others?  Who's the photographer up on the ladder with her twin-lens reflex (remember them)?

Oh, my gosh!  I recognize the dark-haired guy in horn-rims and a leather jacket in the second photo down; I think he was from Long Island!  HELP!

Some random sightings on the Web:

Denton W. Elliott passed away Dec. 25, 1998.  Denny worked his way through Otterbein receiving a liberal arts degree.  He later served as Trustee and earned the Special Achievement Award in 1987.  - - - for six years after WW II taught chemistry at Champlain College in Plattsburg, NY [note spelling of city!  Ha!].

Also, from Harpur's page:

"I think it was 1950 when we were ready to have a Chemistry major program.  We never had trouble getting enough students to fill the classes we were prepared to offer.  That would take us just past 1950.  Max Hull came down to us [in 1953] when Plattsburgh [Champlain College of the Associated Colleges of Upper New York] was closed down."  Of ACUNY, not SUNY.  Double HA!

And from the Rome (NY) Sentinel:

"Sept. 23, 1946 - Richard J. Bird, son of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Bird, and Lawrence E. Davis, son of Mrs. Patricia Ann Davis, have been accepted by Champlain College at Plattsburgh, the first of three emergency colleges to be opened this fall by the Associated Colleges of New York.  Both will study engingeering."


"March 5, 1949 - Jack Boyce, 530 William St., has been elected secretary of the Psychology Society Club at Champlain College, Plattsburgh, where he is a liberal arts pupil."

Calvin Castine, dba Home Town Cable, has been been doing "Our Little Corner" for a little over three years (as of 2000), with Gordie Little.  As Gordie told me, it's a continuation of a show that the late Bob Venne and Calvin did for a little over seven years called "What's Going on Here".  In March of '97, the local historical association had an exhibit on "our" Champlain College.  Bob Venne was a 1952 graduate so they devoted one of their programs to the history of the college.

Calvin hadn't read my entire page, but wanted to point out that Plattsburgh is now and always has been correctly spelled with an "h".  The confusion lies with the U. S. Post Office.  For several decades, they misspelled the name and didn't correct it until the 1950s, at which time they supposedly also issued an apology.  Even during this period Plattsburgh was still Plattsburgh, except for the U.S. Mail (and the auto dealership).

Calvin advises that "Nitzie's" is no longer in operation; it was bought out by McSweeney's, and Michigans are still their main menu item.

Calvin and Gordie were scheduled to meet with Richard Coffey and a few other CC grads on the Friday of the reunion at the OVAL for an "Our Little Corner" episode on the history of CC and hoped grads would bring along photos.

Calvin suggested that I mention that the large historic brick homes that surround the oval will be up for sale in the near future, as soon as the wording can be worked out so that the new owners will be obliged to preserve their historical significance.  You might want to check out the Press Republican web pages to follow this story.

YEE-HAH! - I'm not TOO hung up on that damned "H" in Plattsburgh, am I, eh?  The original 1952-53 envelope in which the photos of Clinton and the lake have been stored for 50 years turned up and it is from Larkin Camera & Sports Shop ("Adjoining Larkin Pharmacy"), at "7 Bridge St.", "Phone 599"{!}, AND just guess where they said they were located?  No fair; you guessed:  PLATTSBURG, NEW YORK (no "h")!!!  Here's the envelope and a detail to prove it:

Larkin P'burg env Larkin P'burg detail

Just how picayune can one get?  VERY!  Don't nobody tell ME I don't know how to spell Plattsburg!

(I assume that the address "C-B89 CC" means "Clinton-Box 89 Champlain College".)

HOWEVER, Plattsburg(h) has an "official' story of that damned, elusive "H" up on their municipal Website, "The Story of the [H]", written by Keith Herkalo, Plattsburgh City Clerk.  He is, no doubt quite right, but, when New York State, the State University, the local Chrysler dealer, and the camera store-cum pharmacy (Larkin) did NOT use the "h", that was good enough for me!  Revisionists - HA!

On 13 Aug 2001, I got a neat message from Thomas C. France, excerpted and only slightly edited here, who started at CC in March of 1947 and graduated in June, '49, with an ACUNY certificate in Pre-Engineering {emphasis mine}.  "Everything started with the Legion Hall, where draft beer was a dime a glass.  My choice for good food was "Jims" restaurant across from the gate; not to be confused with "Charlie's", which was directly across Rt. 9 from the gate.  It was really an old soldier's bar with greasy hamburgers and indigestible food but the coffee was the best, served in dirty mugs.  They never quite accepted students in Charlie's so not too much fraternizing took place.  They liked our paltry money but we definitely intruded upon the drinking time of some of those retired, grizzled old 26th Infantry guys from the bygone days of Plattsburgh Barracks."

Tom adds that he "attended the Reunion of 9/2000 and did enjoy it.  They opened the campus for us to visit and walking through some of those old buildings again after so many years was really strange (the gym, Valcour Hall, Saratoga Hall, the theater, the old brick chapel at the north end of the oval).  It was just a temporary college (one of five comprising the ACUNY.  Mohawk and Sampson were two others {emphases mine - SB,III}) but I can attest to the credibility of the engineering education I received there."

"I'll bet you don't remember when some guys came in smashed one night and hung a HUGE Nazi battle flag from the 110 ft. flagpole in front of the Student Union.  No one noticed it until the sun rose and the word spread through the barracks like wildfire.  A brilliant red flag with a huge black swastika in the center.  They had cut the lanyard under the flag so there was no way to pull it down {sounds like my kind of idiocy - SB,III}.  Of course it took about three days to locate a steeplejack to climb the pole.  In the meanwhile, the Administration, the Police, the local Politicians, the newspaper and radio were enraged at this blatent display of patriotic insult.  I was in the large crowd waiting for the steeplejack to arrive and there were many conflicting ideas of the meaning of this devious "message."  Finally, the man of the hour arrived an hour late and, in true North Coutry fashion, he was bombed.  He did, however, work his way to the top, where he removed the clip and, in grand fashion, shouted as he hurled the flag into the air, "Heil Hitler."  There was great applause mixed with catcalls from the crowd as we headed down to the Legion to close out this magnificent moment in the all-too-short life of the inimitable Champlain College."

"Respectfully submitted, Tom France (tcfrance@webtv.net)"

"Respectfully submitted"?  Oh, come, now, Tom!  Ain't nothin' respectful about those yarns!  :-)  Now, did I eat my meals at Jim's or Charlie's, I wonder.  Low, smoky, but cheap and good.  I think it was the first place I ever saw a plaque offering "Roadkill Stew" on the wall behind the counter; $2.50, as I recall.

[I remember clowning one night with a waitress somewhere in central Pennsylvania who didn't know me by ordering a portion of Roadkill Stew as if I didn't know the gag; not wanting to offend me, she stammered and stuttered until I couldn't keep a straight face any longer and 'fessed up.]

Please let me know if you have anything to add.

Overload!  Reminiscences continue on cont. page 3.


(moved from the main CC page on 04 Dec 01)

{this page overloaded - HELP continues at the end of the newest page
(follow arrows, below)}

I asked if anyone had, or knew how to find, a book written by Dean Amy M. Gilbert about ACUNY?  Tom Metzner reported that it is titled, "ACUNY, the Associated Colleges of Upper New York - A unique response to an emergency in higher education in the State of New York" and was published by Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, in 1950.  He then advised he'd located a copy which I then bought from a Vermont bookseller (The Eloquent Page) in mint condition for little more than a song; it arrived on 25 Oct 2001 and is a veritable jewel, a treasure-house of pictures and data.  Dean Gilbert was then a Professor of History and Political Science and also the Official Historian of ACUNY.  It even depicts "Kilroy's Castle, the Barracks/College coal silo; I well remember that (that's where Walter drove over the coal pile and and I rammed into it)!

Ha, HA, HA!  Dr. Gilbert spells the name of the city, "Plattsburg", without that fool "h!!!"  The 21 Aug 1946 legal contract between ACUNY and the State Education Department, quoted therein, does not use the "h" but that of 15 Jul 1946 (executed 19 Nov 1946) with the State Housing Authority does!  Photocopies of formal financial documents included in the book do not have the "h" and the Barracks were the Plattsburg Barracks.

A Feb 1952 graduate, veteran Malcolm H. Levin, seeks Dean Irving Cannon, "an inspired teacher" who taught him History of Art and "transmitted the love of the subject to his students", which puzzled me greatly as there was no Art Department of which I'm aware, as confirmed by Dean Gilbert's 1950 book, which lists Irving Cannon twice, heading the Office of Pre-Engineering as "Dean of Pre-Engineering" and in co-command of the Department of Engineering Drawing (hardly art) and Pre-Engineeering as "ACUNY Head of Pre-Engineering" (no wonder he sounded familiar to me).  Both listings include symbols indicating he served 1946-1947, 1947-1948, and 1948-1949; there is no symbol indicating he served 1949-1950, yet the name clicks and I was there 1952-53.  Anyone with any more info. on Dean Cannon, please contact Malcolm at mlevin3pi@aol.comOOPS! - there it is on page 484 - "FINE ARTS, Irving Cannon, ACUNY Head", with a symbol indicating he served in that capacity in 1949-1950, but there is no faculty to work with him!

Tom Metzner chimed in on 25 Mar 2002 that "Irving Cannon did indeed teach art history.  I took his course and enjoyed it.  The Dean had a great love for art."  Can't get much more specific than that!

Further, Mal himself added (and I quote with his specific permission), "Cannon was one of the most dedicated professors I ever had the pleasure to know.  - - - Did you ever meet his wife or daughter?  Any idea where they might be?  I just want to touch bases with him, or them, to say how much I think of him."  Now, THAT is quite a tribute!  Can anyone help Mal?

Champlain Pictures from Dean Gilbert's 1950 ACUNY Book

To make room on the main CC page, I had to move the HELP! section to this page on 04 Dec 2001, and, to make room for more musings on this page, I also moved the material about Dr. Gilbert's book to a new Continuation Page 2 on 23 Jan 2002.

This page is about the CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE
that was in Plattsburgh, New York.

{Save yourself a lot of embarrassment}

Don't even think of it!
(especially if you don't even know the meaning of the word "defunct"!)

[If you still insist on applying, click here.]

If you think this admonition and the one at the top of the page are a gag, think again!
I have had a steady trickle of requests for application forms - really, truly.
[See further admonition on the main page.]

Be sure to visit the main Champlain College page, the Continuation Page 2, Continuation Page 3, and the Continuation Page 4, as well.

prevpage.gif  =  frstpage.gif  nextpage.gif
of this series of Champlain College pages.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


See Copyright Notice on primary home page.

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