Several Mountainside residents recall casting ballots for FDR

Seventy years ago, a newly-elected president created a sequence of programs to provide relief for the unemployed, recovery of the economy, and reform of the economic and banking systems. Now, more than half a century later, the country faces many of the same problems with a brand new leader.
A number of residents at Mountainside Residential Care Center in Margaretville remember the era of FDR and its challenges that have some parallels to the world we face today.
Catherine Hatch remembers FDR coming to her hometown of Peekskill. “I remember him coming to my hometown, driving right down Route 9,” she said. “I saw his motorcade.”
Anne Danulevith remembers voting for Roosevelt. “He was a great man,” she said. “He was a very popular president – even I cried when the funeral procession passed by. He had a charm and a way about him; he did pull us out of the Depression. I think they all had confidence in him.
“Things were very difficult; that’s why they expected Roosevelt to get them out of the hole.”
Hatch added that when it comes to President-Elect Barack Obama, it’s a matter of time.
“We’ll have to see if he can change the country around,” she said. “Over time, it could happen.” She added that the 2008 presidential race was “historic, all around.”
“What we need is a man of intelligence that can help run the government and he’ll need good advice; he can’t do it all by himself,” Danulevith added.
Both Hatch and Danulevith voted in this year’s election, and agreed that there exists a sense of disillusionment about the government and the state of politics in the U.S.
Another Mountainside resident, a 98-year-old woman who preferred that her name wasn’t used, also offered memories of FDR.
“He wasn’t the type of man who ordered you to do things,” she said. “He wanted people to listen and do what was the right thing to do.
“With this election, it’s important to do what they want you to do. You’ve got to listen, and you can’t be hateful about anything. We’ve got a lot of work to do. The day is gone where you could say ‘I don’t care’; we’re in a serious problem.”
Mountainside Residential Care Center is an 82-bed long-term care facility located on the campus of Margaretville Hospital. For additional information, please call 845 586-1800.