In 1929, Prohibition-era gangster Jack “Legs” Diamond bought a house in Acra, in Greene County, just west of Cairo. He moved in with his wife and his mistress, each of whom was wildly jealous of the other. They walked around the house armed, just waiting for the other to try something. But unbeknownst to them, neither of them may have been the other’s biggest problem.
Legs was sneaking out on both of them, to visit a girlfriend in Saugerties, on Montross St.— perhaps when he came to town to buy meat at Rinaldi’s Meat Market, at the foot of Partition St. The girlfriend was Myrtle Whitaker, and she survived the wild days to become quite a local fixture. Younger folks like Steve Dawson, growing up on MacDonald St. in the ’60s and ’70s, remember her well. And Don Hackett, who bought her house from her in 1989, remembers her as “a very sweet woman.” She died in 1995.