Delivered the sad news: Although he wasn’t actually reporting the news 50 years ago when John F. Kennedy was killed, Don Mathisen was very closely in touch with it — since he was delivering it. He was a paperboy for Newsday, which was then an afternoon, primarily subscription newspaper, on Long Island. Mathisen was in school in Lindenhurst when he heard J.F.K. had been shot. School let out, he went home, dropped off his schoolbag, then delivered the regular paper on his bicycle, then went back out on another round to deliver the extra on the assassination. Mathisen, who lives on Grand St. and is a longtime video and radio journalist, brought this old copy of the extra edition, above right, to our office last Friday, Nov. 22, the five-decade anniversary of Kennedy’s death. “It might have been Newsday’s last extra, I’m not sure, but it was the last one I ever saw,” Mathisen said. “I didn’t keep a copy. I was 13 years old, I didn’t care. But one of my uncles kept it, it was in his attic — we found it when he died.” As for what Mathisen did after delivering the extra — not to us, but to the Long Island readers back in the day — he recalled, “There was a Boy Scout camping trip planned that day. There was some question as to whether the camping trip would be canceled, but we went, and then came back early. … I was very interested in the news then and John F. Kennedy,” he recalled. “He was young, he was new. Eisenhower was old. My dad liked Eisenhower — he was in Patton’s army. He hated Patton but he liked Eisenhower.”
Holiday spirit of giving: Once again, Le Souk and BAMRA are teaming up to offer a delicious community dinner on Thanksgiving Day. A special invitation is being made to those who find themselves without close family or companionship to share the holiday. There will be two seatings, at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., at Le Souk, 510 LaGuardia Place, just south of Bleecker St. It will be a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixin’s, compliments of Le Souk and the Bleecker Area Merchants’ and Residents’ Association. Morton Williams supermarket is providing the pies. The meal is free, but contributions will be gladly accepted, and Le Souk and BAMRA will match any contributions, with the proceeds donated to Visiting Neighbors. Please R.S.V.P. by Nov. 26 at 212-777-5454.
Photo by Scoopy
I’m dreaming of a white displAAay…: Fabio Otalora painted display shelving, above right, during the first setup day for the Union Square Holiday Market on Tuesday. The annual outdoor vendors market opens Thurs., Nov. 21, and runs through Dec. 24. Otalora’s booth is in a primo spot, right by the subway entrance, for which he had to pay a bit more. His Insiders 1 leather goods include wallets, bags and gloves with urban photos artistically printed on them. The market is open till 8 p.m., extending to 9 p.m. closer to the holiday season. His wife works at an Insiders 1 location in Grand Central, but he prefers Union Square. “It’s wild down here,” he said. “I like it.”
The Cincinnati Kid: Josh Rogers, editor of The Villager’s sister paper Downtown Express, his wife Sarah Wolff, and their son Isaac, 3, drove to Cincinnati two weeks ago to meet the newest member of their family, Eleanor Kate, born Nov. 6 at 6 pounds, 4 ounces, 19 inches. The happy parents held their daughter on her birthday and the expanded family returned home last week. They expect to finalize Eleanor’s adoption in six months.