Hodgepodge, by Roy Hodge

My friend and colleague in the newspaper business, Dick Forbes, called with some distressing news on Sunday.

Vince Caravan, another Fulton newspaperman, who Dick and I had both had an extended connection with, had died.

Although competitors for many years, Vince and I were also longtime friends. I first met Vince when the two of us were “roaming the sidelines” at Fulton High School football games in the early ‘60s.

For many years it was a Monday afternoon ritual for the two of us, along with Carl Johnson of the Oswego Palladium-Times, to meet regularly with Fulton High School Coach Don Distin at Myers’ Restaurant over on West Broadway to get the scoop on local high school sports. Vince and I walked those above-mentioned sidelines together while writing our stories at many football games.

Through the years, although we were the editors of our newspapers, Vince and I met up with each other, often several times a week, with notebooks and cameras in tow to cover whatever was going to make the news in Fulton.

The following is from an article that I wrote in The Fulton Patriot in 2010 when Vince retired:

“Vince and I worked for competing newspapers for many years. We saw each other frequently and developed a friendship.  We were both members of the Oswego County Press Club and Rotary Club.

“Vince has always been one of the most likeable and best known residents of Fulton. It seems that everyone knows Vince. I guess that the existence of one-for-every-day Vince Caravan Lunch Bunches attests to that.

“Vince and I have written about the same people and places for many years.  Since 1991, when The Fulton Patriot merged with The Valley News to become Fulton Newspapers, we worked in the same building and have seen each other just about every day.”

I belonged to one of those “Lunch Bunch” groups before I retired, and there was never any doubt that we all showed up because of Vince.

Vince and I had both completed more than 50 years of service to our newspapers. He became the managing editor of The Valley News in 1959 and its owner in 1972.

Vince was civic-minded, having served as chairman of the board of the Greater Fulton Chamber of Commerce as well as a member of the Fulton Board of Education. He was a member of the American Legion and the Fulton VFW.

Vince enjoyed telling his readers about the accomplishments of others, but he didn’t spend a lot of time talking or writing about himself. I didn’t know until I read it in his obituary that he was the recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for wounds received in Italy during World War II.

Vince Caravan will be sorely missed by his community.

Numbering with the Romans

I don’t remember why, but one day last week I was back in elementary school struggling with Roman numerals.  After a little mind prodding I have remembered a couple of things.

I can count to 10 – I-II-III-IIII or IV – V-VI-VII-VIII-IX-X.  Showing off a little more, I will tell you that L is 50, C is 100, D is 500 and M is 1,000.

And furthermore, this year is MMXIII.  I was born in MCMXXXVIII.  So I am LXXV.

“Who needs to know about Roman numerals,” you ask.  Well, Roman numerals are used by sporting events like the Olympic Games and the Super Bowl.

Roman numerals are also used for Queens, Kings and Popes. They are sometimes used for years. For instance, as I said a couple of paragraphs ago, 2013 is MMXIII. And, Roman numerals are usually used to denote the numbers of our World Wars.

Roman numerals are often seen at the end of the names of people who have the same first, middle and last names as their paternal grandfathers.

You also see Roman numerals on clocks.

So, what is 5:45 in Roman numerals?  I’m not sure that I have ever figured that one out. Well, maybe I have. If your clock has Roman numerals, when the small hand is past V and almost to VI and the long hand is over IX, it is 5:45 (V:XLV). I think.

Why, on many clocks, is IIII used instead of IV?  There are several explanations offered. IIII may be used because that was the tradition established by the earliest surviving clocks.

Perhaps IV was avoided because IV represented the Roman god Jupiter, whose Latin name begins with IV. Louis XIV, king of France, who preferred IIII over IV, ordered his clock makers to produce clocks with IIII and not IV, and it has remained that way.

Okay, enough of the XX-ing, CC-ing and MM-ing. It is XII noon, I have been sitting at this typewriter for almost III hours and I am getting hungry.

Words of wisdom, Peanuts style

Sometimes I lie awake at night and ask, “Where have I gone wrong?”  Then a voice says to me, “This is going to take more than one night.”  — Charlie Brown

All you need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.   — Lucy Van Pelt

Yesterday I was a dog, today I am a dog, tomorrow I will be a dog.  Sigh!  There’s so little hope for advancement.   — Snoopy

Big sisters are the crabgrass in the lawn of life.”   —  Linus Van Pelt

I think I’ve discovered the secret of life – you just hang around until you get used to it.    – Sally Brown

Sometimes I lie awake at night and ask, “Why me?” Then a voice answers, “Nothing personal, your name just happened to come up.” — Charlie Brown

Dear IRS, please remove me from your mailing list.  — Snoopy

(I don’t have anything clever or cute to say.   — Roy)

Have a good week.

                                           . . . Roy Hodge

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