Displaying items by tag: Matt McCabe
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Two proposals to honor former city officials were fulfilled by the outgoing council during the holiday break.
Following up on a city Recreation Commission recommendation in 2020, city Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan in late 2021 brought a resolution to the council table, which was unanimously approved, to name the southside facility the Scott T. Johnson Recreation Center.
Johnson, who served three two-year terms as Saratoga Springs mayor from 2007-2013, is largely credited for helping make the long-talked-about recreation facility a reality. The near-34,000 square foot building was completed for about $6 million and following 16 years of feasibility studies opened in the summer of 2010. The city turned to the center as an emergency location to site operations in 2018, after City Hall had been rendered inoperable due to a lightning strike and flood damage.
Inside of City Hall meanwhile, a “Foy Foyer” depicting images of Remigia Foy was set up at the city’s Finance Office. Foy, who died in June 2020, served as city finance commissioner for three terms, two in the 1970s and one on the 1990s.
Remigia Foy foyer at City Hall. Photo: city of Saratoga Springs.
Outgoing city Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan announced in late 2021 that commemorations would be set up to honor former Finance Commissioners Remigia Foy and Matt McCabe. McCabe served as city Finance Commissioner from 2004 to 2007, as well as operating the popular Saratoga Guitar shops in the city for a quarter century. Jan. 12 marks the one-year anniversary of his passing due to complications from COVID-19.
A double-bench with plaque honoring McCabe will be unveiled in the spring adjacent to City Hall and where Saratoga Guitar shop stood, Madigan said this week.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Caffe Lena presents a free live stream at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20 in a celebration of the life and legacy of Matt McCabe, longtime owner of Saratoga Guitar and dedicated member of the local music scene.
Friends and family have submitted tributes, photos, and performances dedicated to McCabe, which will play as a live stream, hosted by Matt’s close friend Rick Bolton. The city has officially declared Feb. 20, 2021 as Matt McCabe day in Saratoga Springs.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — In this city, the guitars have all gone silent. Matt McCabe has passed away, COVID-19 taking from the city one of its most endearing souls.
“June 14, 1994. Flag Day. I started in a little 160 square-foot hole-in-the-wall space on Caroline Street,” he recalled with a smile, on a weekday afternoon 25 years later, celebrating a quarter-century in this city.
“That was my first real business venture. I opened with 48 used guitars and 10 used amplifiers. There was a lot going on and I’ll never forget it.” It was a week when he had watched his beloved New York Rangers hockey team win their first Stanley Cup championship in 54 years, and experienced the buzz among all the other storefronts on Caroline Street as O.J. Simpson slinked in the back seat of a white Ford Bronco, leading a low-speed chase by police through Southern California.
A quarter-century later, he had opened a number of Saratoga Guitar shops, where he sold new, used, and vintage instruments, a plethora of accessories, sheet music, vinyl records, and conducted instrument repairs. For a generation he hosted The Capital Region Guitar Show – which became one of the longest running guitar shows in the country - drawing dealers, musicians and fans from across the northeast to the Spa City. On occasion, he made the time to take to the stage – “playing and singing with whoever will have me, me and my guitar compadres.”
The shop served as a musician’s meeting place, and he often played host for some of the biggest ones coming through town.
“Over the years we’ve seen Graham Nash and Stephen Stills, John Fogerty, Joe Bonamassa. Beck stopped in. Dave Matthews has always been very nice to us. Sam Shepard, the actor. We’ve met some nice people over the years. They come here, they love Saratoga and they like that they don’t get bothered here. We always take the low key, engage as they want, but you have to know that they’re working people too.”
As a young man, McCabe had fancied becoming a veterinarian or a baseball player. “Everything else since then happened by accident,” he said. “Thanks to family and friends I’ve been able to make it work over the years. The city’s been very good to me. The kids were all born here. And the downtown vibe is great.”
From 2004-2007, McCabe served as city Finance Commissioner. He was a popular member of the council and independent of any political party.
“You learn a lot about your fellow citizens, and what I learned was: how smart I wasn’t. At those meetings when people come up and speak – people from all walks of life and from all over our city – you see how varied our population is. When you listen to the public comments you realize: My goodness, how many passionate people there are; How many qualified opinions there are. And from people out there who are smarter than you. Just because you’re in office, it doesn’t mean you’re smarter. It was a life-learning experience for me,” he said.
“I certainly look back on it fondly. It was a challenge, but I thoroughly enjoyed working for the people of Saratoga Springs. I did my best.”