Bill Fisher

October 17, 2023

Hudson, NY


Annie Reynolds

Annie Reynolds
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Bill Fisher was born in 1937. Bill begins this interview by describing some of his earliest memories in Hudson, including his time at Greenport Elementary School, where he remembers harvesting milkweed silk for lifejackets for the World War II military. 

After Bill’s home on Ten Broeck Row in Hudson burned down in elementary school, his family temporarily moved to Glenco Mills. Bill recalls his regular 20-mile round trip bike ride during these four years to attend the Hudson soap box derby; he describes his other homes in Hudson over the years.

Bill recounts his years at Hudson High School: he joined the National Guard at age 17 and completed training at the Armory (the Hudson Area Library building at the time of this interview), where St. Mary’s School dances and the Hudson Automobile Home Show were also held. He names some of his favorite establishments on Warren Street during this time: Johnny Ware’s, Generino Hot Dogs, and Don Frentino’s, where met his wife, Mary Jane Torchia, as a sophomore in high school. They got married in 1958 and were married for nearly 60 years. Bill recalls some memories raising his four children in Hudson. 

Towards the middle of the interview, Bill discusses his various jobs. He became a custodian for the Hudson River Trust Company at age 15, and worked at Hudson City Savings Institution for 38 years before retiring in 1998. In 2000, he began his current position as Fair Housing Officer for Columbia County’s Fair Housing Commission. He mentions working on housing issues during the Covid pandemic moratorium, and the housing crisis in Hudson in 2023.

Bill discusses commerce along Warren Street during his earlier life and names several of his favorite stores from that time. He mentions Hudson communities he’s been a part of, including Our Lady Mount Carmel Church, the American Legion Post 184, and the local baseball leagues as a coach, when his children were young. 

Bill shares early memories in nature, including fishing and watching frogs in the pond at Cedar Park Cemetery, exploring in the woods with his friends, catching pencil eels at the Hudson River waterfront, and watching boats go by on Promenade Hill. 

Towards the end of the interview, Bill speaks about his close friends, George and Harry. As a lifelong advocate for fair housing, Bill expresses his hope to see more affordable housing in Hudson’s future. He closes the interview with two stories of his early years in the Air Force.

Interviewer Bio:

Annie Reynolds

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