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Book Chat and Rededication

On Saturday, I attended a “Book Talk” about the book “Madness at the Horn “ written by Dave Shive. The discussion of the book was held at the Town of Deerpark Museum and tells the story of the murder of Johnny Dudko, a young boy killed 65 years ago. The murder shook our community to its core. I remember it well, as I was his neighbor and friend and only a year older than him.

Johnny was an active ten-year-old who liked baseball and fishing. His love of fishing put him in a dangerous situation, which led to his death. His story is skillfully retold in this book. As you read the book you learn a lot about our area, the atmosphere of the time, and the investigation of his death.


Johnny’s family attended the West End Reformed Church where Mr. Shive’s father was the minister, so his family was deeply touched by this event. Mr. Shive was about the same age as Johnny when this occurred and felt as an adult that his story needed to be told. You can purchase the book through the Deerpark Historical Museum or on Amazon to read the whole story.



Author: Dave Shive




Before the book discussion, there was a rededication of a plaque in Johnny’s memory. The plaque was originally dedicated at the West End Reformed Church. When the church was closed, the plaque was moved to the Deerpark Reformed Church. Now, that church is in the process of being sold so the plaque was donated to the Deerpark Museum, where it will be permanently displayed. You can read the inscription and proclamation for the plaque in the pictures below.








Bill Dudko read the proclamation dedicating the plaque.















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So sorry to have missed this event. My best to Dave Shive who I first met during his visit to Port Jervis to promote his well-researched book through the Port Jervis Library and the Fall Foliage Festival. Missing events like this is a reminder of what a community loses when their struggling small newspapers cease to exist.

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judy gumaer Testa
judy gumaer Testa
May 09, 2023

Historical Biographical Lecture

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