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'Yesterday and Today' calendar tradition lives on

December 02. 2012 11:04PM

MANCHESTER - Dan Biron is the new owner of Keystone Press, but he said he's a "big believer in tradition."

So have no fear, the Manchester Yesterday and Today calendar to benefit the Union Leader Santa Fund for the Salvation Army is available this year.

"It's a great cause," said Biron. "After all, Christmas is all about the kids."

A previous Keystone Press owner, the late Ron Szarek made the calendars a fundraiser for the Santa Fund beginning with the 1993 calendar.

The tradition was continued after Peter and Linda Church bought Keystone Press, 9 Old Falls Road; now Biron is carrying on the tradition.

Biron, who bought Keystone Press in September, said that Dick Duckoff has continued to "curate" the calendar, utilizing many photos from his own collection of historic images as well as those loaned by other collectors.

The inset "Today" photos are taken by Keith Raiche.

Duckoff said some of the pictures in the 2013 calendar illustrate haberdashery trends. One is the photo of the crowd at Elm and Hanover streets in February 1949, when the Merci Boxcar, a thank-you gift from France, arrived.

"Men are wearing hats," said Duckoff.

The photo of shoppers on Elm Street at Hanover, taken Veterans Day 1961 to show the contrast between New Hampshire and Massachusetts - where Blue Laws were still in effect - illustrates that some women still wouldn't go out without a scarf or hat covering their hair. Skirts, rather than pants, were also clearly the rule.

A steep increase in the price of gasoline, to 17 cents a gallon, was reported about the same time as a circa-1924 photo of the Jenney Gasoline Station at Elm and Brook streets. A 1923 news report, however, lamented the existence of the gasoline station "in this choice residential section of the city," blaming the lack of a city ordinance.

Duckoff said he's scanned 150 rare photos for the calendar and returned them to their owners. Sometimes he thinks he will eventually run out of pictures, "but they keep coming my way," he said.

In addition to Keystone Press and Clam King on Second Street, where there have been calls and inquiries about the 2013 calendar since October, the calendars are available at From Out of the Woods Antiques, Granite State Barber Shop, William B. Cashin Senior Activity Center, Manchester Historic Association, The Wine Studio, With Heart & Hand and at the New Hampshire Union Leader, 100 William Loeb Drive.


The generosity of Santa Fund donors makes it possible for the holidays to still be a joyful time. The Santa Fund makes food, clothing and gifts available during the holiday season so financially stressed families can put their resources toward paying bills for basic needs.

Santa Fund donations may be made by sending a check to the Union Leader Santa Fund, in care of the New Hampshire Union Leader, P.O. Box 9555, Manchester 03108; or by placing a donation in the Santa Fund box in the lobby of the newspaper, at 100 William Loeb Drive, Manchester, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Donations can also be made online at

Every effort is made to promptly publish Santa Fund contributions. Donors who wish to see their contributions listed before Christmas are encouraged to submit them as soon as possible. The Union Leader publishes photos of donors of $1,000 or more.

For more information, call Christy Detrude at 668-4321, ext. 507.

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