Here is a brief section of the Fonda, Johnstown & Gloversville Rail-Trail (FJ&G). This video of the bike path (once a rail line) passes through the cities of Johnstown and Gloversville. The trail passes by and behind many derelict houses, factories and warehouses which I find to be historically romantic and dolorous, full of wonder, dreams and surprise of a time gone by. These once opulent but now ramshackle properties give off an aura of opportunity to the right investor.
An octogenarian friend used to tell me stories about growing up on this rail line when it and the cities were thriving with industry and commerce. “Bums” were always knocking on their back door asking for food or water. Years later my friend found out that his house had a marking on it designating it as a place where assistance and compassion may be had.
My friend Cy told me how he and his dad buried 300 feet of pipe and installed a water fountain near the tracks for those thirsty souls walking the rails. Although poor, Cy’s mom never turned anyone away without a sandwich.
They found out about the marking when the police knocked on their front door looking for someone wanted for questioning. Cy’s mom asked how come the rail walkers were always knocking on their door and the police took her to the back yard and showed her where their house was marked. The police asked if she would like for them to remove it and she said no. I beleive at the time, the man they were looking for was actually in the kitchen and Cy’s mom didn’t turn him in. Cy’s mom – Saint or guilty of aiding and abetting?
Cy grew up to be a wonderful and generous man filled with infections joy and optimism. His final ten years were spent giving away everything he owned and sadly, being taken advantage of, which he acknowledged but still freely gave. He was a war hero and a recipient of the Bronze Star, Silver Star, Purple Heart, Victory Medal, European Theater Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Expert Marksmanship Badge and a shoulder patch of the 30th Infantry Division. Lest we forget.
fj&g, rail trail, gloversville, johnstown, fonda, malcolm kogut, bike path, nathaniel cyrus ingram,