Retirement has finally arrived for Bialy  
Friday, January 13, 2012

WEBSTER ¡X John E. Bialy, the former Parks Commissioner and Webster Town Collector, now of Florida, says he is ¡§finally retired.¡¨

Leisure thoughts prompted John's relocation to Central Florida a decade or more ago, after a 25-year stint at Webster Town Hall. His wife, Linda, bought into the idea, and apparently adapted to Southern times more readily. John drifted into real estate sales, working for a major housing company. Things have changed, though. ¡§The real estate business here is so soft it was no longer worth the effort,¡¨ says Mr. Bialy.

¡§Friends from Dudley are spending five months up the road from us, and it has been great having company from up north,¡¨ he reports. He identified visitors through this corner at one time, but now shields them. Crooks read the papers, too.

People who remember when John and Linda lived on Boyden Street in Webster probably recall that they decorated their home every Christmas, and built up quite a display over a period of years.

¡§Life is a little different down here,¡¨ John says. ¡§Holiday decorations, both at individual houses and theme parks, are awesome and overwhelming.¡¨ He concludes: ¡§My decorations on Boyden Street could never have come close to how they show their Christmas spirit here.¡¨

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It looks as if work has been completed on reconstruction of the town-owned parking lot off Negus Street, offering a footprint to the former Webster Shoe Co. factory.

The plant, originally Corbin Shoe Co., and with a drive from Main Street, seemed much larger when 200 and more operatives produced ladies' shoes there, some 30 and more years ago. Production was in a three- and four-story building. Costs, moving everything on hand carts, and a transfer elevator, affected the bottom line.

The business failed because the factory had too many stairwells, among other shortcomings, a Webster Shoe Co. executives claimed at the time. In a way, this was an advance to Webster's manufacturing problems; i.e., trying to rehabilitate old shoe and textile plants.

Not exclusively, certainly, but emphasis on ground-floor accommodations, with ease of movement and good road access, became notable all those years ago, but too little was done, leaving the town with some irregularly shaped parking lots.

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Webster Town Hall has a new heating system: inverse heat pumps. The rotunda now offers a bit of warmth for probably the first time since the building was opened in 1928.

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John Guy LaPlante has been at home from the Peace Corps long enough to write a book, his fourth. The latest is about his volunteer efforts as the world's oldest Peace Corps volunteer. He's 80-plus.
Formerly a resident of Webster and then of Dudley and Auburn, John Guy lives these days in Deep River, Conn. He was in California at Christmas time, visiting family and friends, and finding time for a West Coast book tour.

Mr. LaPlante, once a features editor with the Worcester Sunday Telegram, will be in Central Massachusetts fairly soon, taking his book stops to a lot of his old haunts, including Assumption College, where he was in charge of public relations early in his career, long before he ever thought about the Peace Corps.

-Courtesy Of
Telegram & Gazette

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