Friday, March 31, 2017

A Genealogy Artifact for Others -- The Atlantic Division Little League Tournament, August 12 - 15, 1964 in Concord, New Hampshire

When you are a card-carding member of the fictitious International Order of Packrats (IOOP), you never know what you might find when it is time to do some long-delayed spring cleaning. And so it was that -- procrastinate as I might -- when spring arrived on March 20th this year I just stared at some boxes of "stuff" that my father shifted back to me years (and admittedly maybe more than a decade) ago when my parents sold the home they had lived in for more than 30 years and had to empty their attic.

Finally, just before March turns to April I could stare no longer and sat down to sift through the boxes and make those impossibly hard decisions about what was a genealogy treasure and what was really just accumulated "stuff." Of course the ever patient Molly (who is not a card carrying member of IOOP because she has not quite reached the level of accumulation needed for membership) would have had no problem deciding for me and the whole process would have been over in less than the time it took to bag it all up for the trash; whereas for me it took literally hours to go through two small boxes a little larger than a shoe box. But what treasures there were to mull over, to generate memories, and to place in the "Definitely Keep" pile!

Above is Exhibit A from August 1964. It is the front and back pages of the program for the 1964 Atlantic Division Little League Tournament held in Concord, New Hampshire -- where my family was living at the time.

Neither I nor any member of my family is mentioned in the program, but as will be shown below, the program does list the individual players on the competing teams from: Smithfield, Rhode Island; Waterville, Maine; Laconia, New Hampshire; Vermont; and Puerto Rico. In addition, the sponsors, patrons, and local advertisers are also listed along with the Director, Deputy Director, and Chairman of the tournament.

Among the twenty-nine listed sponsors of the tournament is Sears, Roebuck & Co. My father was at the time the Assistant Manager of the Sears store in Concord and usually handled requests for such donations or sponsorships on the part of the local Sears store. I honestly have no recollection of attending the tournament, but it is quite likely that my father and I and perhaps the older of my younger brothers did attend as an extended part of Sears's sponsorship. [My Little League participation began and ended in Concord, but that is an entirely different story.] 

Another reason I might have this program is that I believe the tournament Chairman, John Fraser, was a neighbor who lived two houses down from us on Essex Street Extension in Concord -- and so he might have enlisted boys from the neighborhood to attend.

So why did I place this old, stained, 53-year-old, 10c program in the Definitely Keep pile if the connection was so tenuous for me or anyone in my family?? It was for three reasons: (1) It brought back some memories of Concord for me; (2) It preserves the names of people, local businesses, and local advertisers who acted as officials, sponsors, or patrons for the tournament . . . and many of them might no longer be around; and (3) It states the names of all the individual players on the competing teams who surely must remember this event as one of the highlights of their young lives! It is not very likely that many of these 10c programs exist anymore. It is even possible that this could be the only one. So while this might not rise to the level of "genealogy gem" for me personally, it could be just that for some of these players now in their mid to late 60s. It could also be just that for those connected to the many local businesses mentioned that might have passed out of existence or passed down to family members. And it might for similar reasons be a minor "historical nugget" for the business history of Concord, NH in the early part of the 1960s.

How many items like this get tossed out without any thought to what they could mean to others? The memories things like this could restore to others is worth the honored place in the Definitely Keep pile -- even if it is only for so long as it can be shared here to perhaps bring some joy to others. [But shhh, don't tell Molly. It has already graduated and found its way into one of the permanent (?) genealogy artifact boxes!]   😀

So, for all those boys of summer who so long ago earned their way onto one of the five 1964 Atlantic Division Little League Championship Teams, here are your names and one of your moments of glory preserved on a 53-year-old 10c program. Show it to your children and grandchildren and regale them with some stories to prove you were once a boy and enjoyed baseball so much you earned your way onto one of five teams to compete for the Little League Atlantic Division championship in Concord, New Hampshire during a few August days more than half a century ago!

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Scan from an original program in the Definitely Keep/genealogy artifact collection of the author.
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Copyright 2017, John D. Tew
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