Bicentennial Wraps Up
Following two of the most difficult weeks in Putnam County history with Hurricane Sandy and a freak autumn snow storm, Mother Nature cooperated wonderfully Sunday by showering the county seat in golden sunshine and warm temperatures as Putnam's 200th birthday celebration came to a close with the entombing of a red, white and blue capsule that will be opened 50 years from now.
Executive Mary Ellen Odell looked around at a crowd estimated at more than 300 who crowded in front of the historic Putnam Courthouse and said: "Thank you God! We are blessed."
The day marked the first anniversary of Odell's taking office on 11/11/11.
In her remarks, the executive asked the crowd: "How will 2062 be different from 2012?"
She said, "50 years ago, the first Walmart and K-Mart opened. John Glenn was the first man to orbit the earth. Johnny Carson took over the Late Show. The Cuban missle crisis unfolded; polio vaccine was created and the Yankees won the World Series."
Odell looked around at the young people in attendance and asked: "I hope Putnam County 50 years from today will be as great a place as it was 50 years ago. For me, I hope to be around for the opening of this capsule. I'll only be 102!"
She called Putnam County a "fantastic place to work, live and raise a family. There is so much love and opportunity offered here. I hope 50 years from today when that time capsule is opened, the same feeling of love and understanding will be found."
In her remarks, New York's former First Lady and current Putnam Director of Tourism Libby Pataki of Garrison said that Putnam hadn't "changed that much during the past 50 years. Its values have resonated through times. People of Putnam rise to the occasion by helping each other and pulling together when crisis arrives."
While the capsule's contents were kept secret, the Courier learned that the 150 pound well casing manufactured and donated to the county by Henry Boyd of Kent consists of a piece of steel from Ground Zero, memorabilia from veterans and legion posts as well as a variety of other community groups, local newspapers and other items that speak to what Putnam County is all about.