Daily News from New York, New York on December 25, 1974 · 334
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Daily News from New York, New York · 334

New York, New York
Issue Date:
Wednesday, December 25, 1974
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i f - DAILY NEWS, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER, 25, 1974 JL5 "fir News photo by Bob Koller' There was not the usual Christmas rush at Newark airport yesterday. Jerseyans Forget Troubles, Take to the Roads in Droves By JEAN JOYCE Overcast skies and gloomy economic conditions failed to dim traditional Christmas brightnes in New Jersey, where thousands of motorists were expected to take to the roads to celebrate the holiday with family and friends. The New Jersey Highway Au thority estimated that one mli-lion cars would travel the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike by midnight tonight. Meanwhile, the National Safety Council estimated that between 200 and 260 persons would die nationwide in traffic accidents. No. comparison could be drawn between the council's prediction this year and last year, when there was a four-day holiday period. But the council warned that an estimated 11,000 to 14,000 persons would suffer disabling injuries this year's short holiday period. Roadside Treats Parkway officials planned to 'offer free coffee, tea or milk at roadside restaurants In an effort to encourage "a safe and sober influence" on travelers. While drivers also were out In School Talks Still Stalled Contract talks between the Jersey City Board of Education and the school system's blue collar workers are still deadlocked. Negotiators for both sides broke off the latest round of talks early yesterday morning after more than eight consecutive hours of bargaining. Talks are set for 4 p.m., Jan. 9, at the Holiday Inn in Jersey City. force yesterday Irf shopping: centers and malls, Newark Airport experienced lighter-than-usual traffic, according to ticket salespersons there. At one of the busiest terminals, an airline employe estimated that ticket sales were down 25. Em ployes at other airlines said that the ticket decline could be . as high as 50. Merchants, however, amid a last-minute sales crush, said that business volume took a decided leap yesterday, the final shopping day before Christmas. Motorists went begging for pafking places in municipal business distress and outlynjj malls everywhere. As with Thanksgiving, the Salvation Army in Newark planned to offer free Christmas dinner with all the trimmings to about 250 persons. Theater producer St. John Terrell planned his 22d reenactment of George Washington's 1776 crossing of the Delaware River. Terrell and 20 others scheduled their departure today from Washington Crossing Park, Pa. to the New Jerseyside in two Missing Banker May Have. Taken ACab to Airport By PATRICK CLARK A Lyndhurst cab driver told police yesterday that ha may have driven Nutley resident John DeMars, a New York banker, to Newark Airport last Friday nisrht. the night DeMars' family reported him missing. The cabbie, who police said works for the Yellow Cab Co.. re called being dispatched by radio to pick up a fare at the corner of Ridge Road and Stuyvesant Ave. about 6 p.m. that night. The identification of the 6-3. 210-pound DeMars, an ex-Army intelligence officer who served in Vietnam, is being considered by police as tentative. Cabby Isn't Certain "'He's not certain it was De- Mars. But the time and the location match up," said Detective Anthony Intile. The cabby said he dropped off his passenger at Terminal B at Newark International Airport. Port Authority security police say the terminal handles domes tic flights, but a helicopter con nection to international carriers at New York's Kennedy Airport is available. Officials at the Chemical Bank of New York where DeMars,30, the father of two sons, has been employed for five years, said he had been paid the previous week. Family friends, surprised by the latest development in De-Mars' disappearance, said he carried a number of credit cards. Airport officials said a credit card could be used to purchase a fight to anywhere In the world. Broke the Pattern For four days, the missing man's family feared he was the victim of foul play as he commuted from lower Manhattan to his suburban home. However, an Erie Lackawanna Railway con ductor told authorities yesterday of an unusual incident involving DeMars, who is a corporate loan officer. The report seemed to rule put the possibility of violence. For five years DeMars followed a rigid daily routine commuting back and forth to work. His wife, Elaine, said her hus band never failed to call home if he were going to . be late or had missed his train. Last Friday night, DeMars broke the pattern. The conductor told police he remembered De Mars approaching him seconds after the train left the Lyndhurst station, four minutes away from DeMars' usual stop in Clifton. "What was that stop?" De- Pub ious EtecordT Dampens This lady Santa Linda Radice has mixed feelings about her 21 days as a department store Santa Claus. Among the hardships of the job were 15 children who "wet on me" and parents who blurted out, "That's a lady!" "I love the kids, but the parents were too much,'r said Mrs. Radice, 22, who was one of five full-time Santas trained this year by Western Temporary Services Inc. to work in New York and New Jersey. Mrs. Radice, who describes herself as "heavy, not thin," has dressed up in a red velvet suit, a white wig and beard and black boots six days a week since Thanksgiving to play Santa in the Mddlesex Mall. Usually, it was the mothers who recoognized the woman behind the costume. Call Beard Fake "I had people stand there with a million little kids around and say, 'Look at how fake the Santa's beard is,' or 'That' a lady!' I could have killed them.. "About 15 times kids - wet .a-me.-1 - think I hold the record at Western. They gave me a new pair of pants after a few weeks," Mrs. Radice said. The first problem Mrs. Radice faced a sSanta was learning to walk and sit like , a man. She stuck out her padded stomach, kept her legs part and lowered her voice. "With a woman it's hard. You have to have a stomach and not a bust. But when you put on the suit, you experience sort of a transformation." It's an acting job, but I'm a iham anyway," she said. Likes Kids 2 to 6 Mrs. Radice, who ha3 a 2-year-old daughter of .her own, said she had an advantage over men playing Santa. She said women naturally have better rapport with children and are not afraid to handle them. "With little babies, they'd feel natural if I. spoke wibh my own voice," she said. The best age group wa3 children from. 2 to 6 years old. "You could look at their eye3 and tell thsy really believed you were Santa," she said. Na.aoy Cwrison,- who directs -Wastera'a Santa training program, said there was one instance this year when a department store asked to have a female Santa withdrawn. And in that case, there was a problem with dressing rooms, she said. In order to be selected, a woman must have "that combination of looks, voice and even the swagger walk" to "pull off tb.8 Santa role," Ms. Carlson said. Few employers objected to female Santas, partly because they are aware of the equal opportunity laws, she added. There was only one time when Mrs. Radice said she found it impossible to maintain her rote"" as Santa. That was when a boy named "Jimmy," who was paralyzed from the waist down, sat on her lap. "He was so joyful. He really believed in me. He put hu arms around me and said, 'You know, Santa Claus, I love you.' "He made me cry. Hhe really made Christmas f or me this year," Mrs. Radice said." - '---- Mars asked, according to the conductor. Told it wasn't his station, the conductor recalled that De-Mars insisted: "No, that's th stop I want." The train had to be backed up toward the station. Because the second stop was unusual, a report was logged with the trainmaster'! office in Hoboken. A close friend of DeMars, Frank Ventura, learned of the incident while searching area hospitals, police stations and train stations. He notified police, he said. Had Bowling Date "I was supposed to pick up John that night. We had a bowling meet," Ventura said. The latest development in the story shocked the banker's close knit family, . who were relieved all the same, to hear he was not a mugging victim or worse. "We're hoping somebody rec ognized him at the airport," aaid his mother, Alice DeMars. He must be suffering from amnesia." Byrne Reason For Authority Packing Is Hit By john Mclaughlin The chief Byrne administration argument in behalf of packing the New Jersey Highway Authority with Democrats that the party must move now to insure a harvest of part-time jobs next summer is "ludicrous," accord-to John P. Gallagher, the agency's executive director. Last week, the Assembly approved a bill expanding membership of the authority, which operates the Garden State Parkway, from five to seven. Senate approval is certain, and once the governor signs the bill into law, he can quickly name two members, giving the Democrats a 5-2 majority. Byrne's official line 13 that the authority is "unresponsive" to the wishes of his administration. But Donald Lan, Byrne's executive secretary and the man who lobbied the bill through, told Democratic legislators that they should vote for it to make sore that Democrats get the lion's share of the 120 jobs that will ba available to students this summer. Scores Gallagher According to legislators approached by Lan, the governor's secretary charged that Gallagher, who is a Republican, refused to consider applicants sponsored by Democrats, Each summer, the parkway employs about 120 students to cut grass and to fill in for vacationing toll collectors. They earn up to $52.80 an hour and, accord ing to Gallagher, average about ?100 a week. "It just isn't true that we've been turning away kids recommended to us by Democratic leg islators or the secretary of state's office. The truth is that just anyone at all who3 applied hai bean given job.

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