Remembering Corinth, Part 6-Dirty Bucks and a Sawmill

DFH Volume 1 Issue 15

Remembering Corinth, by Dave Hayes, is a ten-part series about Dave’s remembrances of Corinth in the late ‘50s.  Dave, a retired elementary teacher and guidance counselor (36 years), and part time adjunct professor in the Counseling Dept. at nearby West Chester Univ. (24 years-8 after his “first” retirement) lives in Pottstown, PA.  He and his wife, Kathleen, had four children, Heather, Jeremy, Emily (d.2008) and Benjamin.  He descends from Wilber Sr. as follows: Wilber Sr., Rev. Charles “Chop” Dayton, Isabelle “Izzie” [Dayton] Hayes, David Hayes.

Part 6 – Dirty Bucks and a Sawmill

What makes a small town so compelling?  Sometimes it’s the time in which you find yourself there.  Or maybe it’s a local custom that is new and interesting.  And yet, perhaps it’s the location of a special place that keeps drawing you back time after time.  Corinth was all three of these things.  So here I am, a 5th grader in the late 50’s trying to find where I belonged in my adopted town and with the changing, rock-n-roll culture swirling around me.  I took a leap and begged my Mom to buy me a pair of dirty bucks.  Hey, if they were good enough for Pat Boone, they were good enough for me.  I strutted around in them until one day they got scuffed.  I panicked and then realized that they were supposed to be “dirty,” so I relaxed and enjoyed my venture into 50’s fashion even if I was way up here in northern NY.  I also discovered a unique custom in Corinth—May Day.  According to tradition, we would find little baskets, fill them with homemade goodies or candies to deliver to special people around town on May 1st.  But here’s the trick: it’s a secret who they are from.  So you sneak up to the door, deposit the May basket on the porch, ring the doorbell and run.  The idea is to hide nearby to see the person’s surprise to find the unexpected treat.  I remember, in particular, that we gave one to a very sweet lady from the church, Aunt Daisy, and she was so pleased to be remembered.  What a loving tradition…I still wish we did that.  My other remembrance was the times I spent just outside of town at the Dayton Brothers sawmill.  What an awesome place that was, with the tower of sawdust, the piles of wooden beams perfect for hide-and-seek, the sounds of the saw cutting the trees into long planks and, always, the friendly greetings from my uncles, Paul & Chip.  I adored those two men, and they returned my admiration with open arms and warm smiles.  My visits there were magical and I would go as often as I could. 

Dayton Brothers Sawmill 1955

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