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The Summer Worlds of Saratoga

Saratoga Springs, NY
September 16–18, 1999



1999 New York Folklore Society Annual Conference

The Summer World of SARATOGA SPRINGS

Theme: The Summer Worlds of Saratoga Springs
September 16–18, 1999
Saratoga Springs, NY

The 1999 New York Folklore Society Conference got off to a wet start as Hurricane Floyd battered the east coast of the United States. However, after a rainy September 16th, the rest of the conference enjoyed beautiful fall weather.

The theme for 1999 was “The Summer Worlds of Saratoga,” and participants were treated to presentations in a variety of formats.

Thursday night’s kick-off included a narrated slide show of views of Saratoga Springs by Saratoga photographer, Tom Stock, who helped to locate the conference and gave participants a glimpse of Saratoga’s rich history as a resort.

Friday, the conference explored two of Saratoga’s most well-known pastimes: horse racing and “taking the waters.” A panel discussion moderated by Dick Hamilton and including retired jockeys Dave Erb and Lou Hildebrand started off the day, followed by a panel on gambling, its history and lore, moderated by Jay Portnoy. The afternoon saw presentations on Saratoga as a spa town by Bob Joki and Amy Godine.

Mary Ann Fitzgerald

Mary Ann Fitzgerald (foreground) explains the West Side Oral Narrative Project of Saratoga Springs at a dinner hosted by The Princepessa Elena Society, a westside organization. Also pictured from left: Charles Smith, Beverly Butcher, Vaughn Ward, Pamela Cooley, and Lee Signor.

The New York Folklore Society was hosted by Saratoga Spring’s West End Oral Narrative Project and the Princepessa Elena Society for Friday night’s dinner. We were formally and warmly welcomed by the Mayor of Saratoga Springs Mayor and by members of the Princepessa Elena Society.

Saturday’s participants began the day with an alley tour of Saratoga Springs, led by historian Ted Corbett, Chair of the History Department of Columbia Green Community College and author of a forthcoming book on Saratoga Alleys. After this enjoyable behind-the-scenes look at Saratoga, the conference convened at the Saratoga landmark, “Hattie’s” for a delicious buffet luncheon, followed by a presentation on African Americans in Saratoga by Dr. Myra Young Armstead of Bard College.

Myra Armistead presenting her work on African-Americans in resort towns

Dr. Myra Armstead of Bard College presenting her work on African-Americans in the resort towns of Saratoga Springs and Newport, Rhode Island (at Hattie’s Restaurant, Saratoga Springs).

The Annual meeting took place on Saturday afternoon. Re-elected to the Board of Directors of the New York Folklore Society for a second term were Madaha Kinsey-Lamb and Dan Berggren. Lynne Williamson, folklorist, was elected to join the Board. Following the annual meeting and dinner on one’s own, the Society was hosted by the famous folk club, Caffè Lena, for a program curated by Vaughn Ward and underwritten by Meet the Composer.
Mayor J. Michael O'Connell greets Brenda Verardi and Marion Faller at NYFS Annual Meeting
Saratoga Springs Mayor J. Michael O’Connell greets Brenda Verardi and Marion Faller at The Princepessa Elena Society dinner.

Ginny Sheer and Ethel Keshner at the buffet table. Princepessa Elena Society
Ginny Sheer and Ethel Keshner at the buffet table. Princepessa Elena Society.

NYFS President Todd DeGarmo
NYFS President Todd DeGarmo helps himself at the buffet table at dinner hosted by the Princepessa Elena Society of Saratoga Springs.

Saratoga Springs Mayor J. Michael O'Connell
Saratoga Springs Mayor J. Michael O’Connell greets Beverly Butcher while Robert Baron and Pamela Cooley look on.



QUESTIONS? Please contact: Dr. Lisa Overholser, info@nyfolklore.org, 518-346-7008

VIEW pages on previous conferences.

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Support was provided by
National Endowment for the Arts
New York State Council on the Arts
The Fund for Folk Culture Conferences and Gatherings Program, underwritten by The Pew Charitable Trusts, and
the Theatre Development Fund

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