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HISTORY: Nyack Village Trustee upsets neighbors with his pet pig

BY JIM LEINER
You think you’ve got noisy neighbors?

I often get annoyed when I hear the blasting of heavy metal rock music or reggae from a neighbor’s I-pad. Yes to me it’s loud, but I recently came across a story almost a hundred years old making me think twice… It seems one of the Village Trustees in Nyack, Dr. George Writer, was given a little pink pig. The story is an interesting one; it seems the little porker was lonesome for the farm and his peculiar way of longing for home was shown in loud cries.  The “oinks” and “squeals” got on the nerves of the good doctor’s neighbors. Taking only so much of the noise as they could stand, his neighbors would go out on the porches and turn a main of righteous wrath toward the trustee’s home, but they could do little else as in 1919 there was no village ordinance against one keeping pigs so long as the animals and their home are cleanly kept – and Dr. Writer only had his pet for two days. How did he get a pig one might ask?  It happened this way.
A few days before arrival of the little pig the doctor was playing a game of checkers at the Hotel St. George on Burd Street. Manager Shafer ordered two saddle horses (remember there were few automobiles in town 100 years ago) from an owner of a horse farm up in Goshen. Dr. Writer expressed a desire to have a pig and the farmer promised he should have one with his compliments. Doc Writer looked through his tortoise-shell spectacles, with a glance of great virtue, and with a great deal of dignity and ferocity, he laughed.
A few days later Manager Shafer went to the Goshen farm to pickup of his two horses and reminded the farmer about the pig for Dr. Writer. The five week-old little porker was soon after delivered to the doctor’s office. The story goes on to tell how the doctor let out a squeal or two and then made friends with his new possession. Dentistry was put aside and he played with the pig for more than an hour.  He closed the office and proudly took it home and soon incurred the wrath of neighbors after the annoying loud oinks and squeals commenced. 
“Let ‘em kick about my pig all they want,” he deposed and said for publication, “Didn’t the State Food Commission tell us all to raise pigs and combat the high cost of living.” The noise continued and the neighbors called the cops and the local judge. They were hoping the judge, like Solomon with views on cutting up, will make short work of Nyack’s newest pig.

Researched and adapted by James F. Leiner from a Nyack Evening Journal story of November 20, 1919
Jim Leiner was born and raised in Nyack with family roots going back generations.
Lerner was a columnist for Nyack Villiager “Remember the Days?” since 2003.
Leiner graduated Nyack High School in 1963 and graduated Rockland Community College, and Saint Thomas Aquinas  before attaining his MBA from University of Michigan.
Leiner had a 30 year + career as New Business representative and manager with Orange and Rockland Utilities. Leiner was very active in Nyack Fire Depts., served in the US Navy, and is married to his High School sweetheart, Judy Polhemus, for more than 50 years.

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