Jerry’s Journal, by Jerry Hogan

The Margaret White I knew in Good Old Fulton High; the Margaret White whose teammates called “Muggsey” — and the Margaret White Beckwith that so many others in our community also got to knew and grew to love, was in that photo in my previous column of the junior class girls’ championship volleyball team that defeated the senior girls the winter of 1951.

Now I want to give the rest of the team their due.

As shown in the picture: Nancy Guilfoyle (deceased); Shirley Hamilton Chalifoux, (deceased); Carmelina Leotta Jones, still living in Fulton; Anne LeVea Grassi, also living here, and Phyllis Mezullo Desgrosielier (deceased).

Also Lena “Lee” Guiffrida Johnson, living in Texas; Margaret White Beckwith (deceased); and, Eleanor Guilfoyle Wilhelmi, living in Florida.

Absent from the picture was Norma Rogers Hokanson who lives in Mississippi and Clara Perwitz Dudley who is deceased.

Now I feel better, and I thank Anne LeVea Grassi for helping me out with it. I knew she had worked on their last class reunion (Class of 1952) and would be a good resource.

She also stirred up a sweet memory when she called Margaret  “Muggsey.”  Ah, yes… Muggsey…Marg Beckwith….such a sweetheart.

(Editor’s note: the caption under the volleyball team photo misidentified ‘Margaret White’ as “Margaret Smith.’ We regret the error)

Well, time and change have a habit of moving us mortals ever onward and Anne and I had a chance to catch up a little on our lives and soon we were on the subject of computers, and I found out that she had taught classes on computer word processing when she worked for General Electric, from which she retired in 1990.

No internet or email then, but word processors were great for typing and recording. You could cut and paste and fix spelling and grammar without whiteout or starting over.

Her students were mostly secretaries, Anne said, and she told her boss at GE that every secretary should learn how to use a computer. (We’ve come a long way since, haven’t we!)

Anne is looking into her family’s genealogy, which she describes as hard work and very intensive even with a computer, but worth it. She and her husband Mike have a grown daughter and a son and three grandchildren. I thank her for her input and nice chat.

Part 3 of North Sixth Street: It was two columns ago when I started this journey about my old neighborhood via a suggestion by a friend, Gerry Garbus. She and I go all the way back to 1953 when we were young mothers and she lived in her grandparents apartment on North Sixth and I lived up over my parents a couple of blocks away on Porter Street.

I must have walked North Sixth Street a thousand times in my young life: to Erie Street school, Fairgrieve Junior High and to the old high school on South Fourth; and to the State Theater and to the Oswego County Telephone Co. to go work.

I guess I was like the postman — neither rain, nor sleet or snow stopped me — I walked everywhere in all kinds of weather — just like most of us young people did back in the day.

Up North Sixth, past Manhattan Avenue, Freemont Street, Seward, Harrison, Ontario, Erie and Seneca I walked, all the way to Oneida Street, which was another major pathway of my childhood and young adulthood to the Dizzy Block, the bank, the post office, the movies, and to dear old Dr. Steinitz office.

It was a very nice, safe, neat and small compact world back then.

On my way I went by View’s grocery store, went over the little bridge over Waterhouse Creek and past Quirk’s Laundry; Keith Baldwin’s house, the Laws family homes, Paul Kitt’s house and Cusak’s printing press (they did my wedding invitations in 1951).

The North Sixth section of the 1950 City Directory is full of familiar names, from which  I’ve picked a few at random: Beginning at Oneida Street and going north to Porter Street: Fitzsimmons;  Boland; Procopio; Coleman; Perry; Davis; Heppell; Salisbury; Salmonson; Allen; Vescio; Patterson; Rudd.

And if you continue up Crow Hill there were the Jennings; Morrisons; Salisberrys; and the Crook and Rice families.

The Shortsleeves lived on Freemont Street. Their cousin Elizabeth Pollock called me recently to see if I knew them.

Yes, I knew Chuckie and Sally Shortsleeve, they were close to my age, but was surprised to learn there were five other, older children: Fred, Elizabeth, Evelyn (Tootie), Flora (Toy), and Neatrice.

Elizabeth Pollock (Mrs. Joe Pollock) was named after Elizabeth Shortsleeve Allen, her mother, and remembers the pretty yard that abutted Seward Street at her grandparents’ and the good times there, but said the house was very tiny and she didn’t know how her grandparents did it with so many children.

All the neighborhood kids got along, she said. Sally and the Ingersol girls were pals and she recalls sliding down the hill with them in the winter to Seward Street.

There was that little building that was Hare’s gas station, where Seward meets North Seventh Street, she said, and Clay Brewer’s family lived on North Seventh.

The Powerses on Freemont were related to the Brewers, she believed, and she remembered the Blodgetts and Truesdales in that neighborhood, too.

I thank Elizabeth for sharing her memories with us. I also need to give a huge thanks to Gerry Garbus for getting us started on this journey of memories, good humor and much laughter.

Gerry lives out on Phinney Road in a house that she and her husband Fred built themselves while they were still young and raising a family. “No mortgage,” she said.

Her three sons, Fred, Mike and Jim have built houses or have lived nearby on that property as well.

Her husband, Fred, who retired from Sealright, is gone now, but Gerry continues to stay active by visiting with family and friends in person or on the phone, and by keeping up with the news.

And, she loves to bake. What does she bake? Stuff to keep in the house for anyone who stops by, she says. Thanks, Gerry, it’s been fun.

Now here’s my caveat: Reader beware! I write for fun. I am not a historian, nor a reporter. I write from memory and from what others want to share. Sometimes I look things up; sometimes I mess things up.

I hope you have fun reading my stuff. Your comments, additions and corrections are always welcome.

You may contact me at 133 Tannery Lane, Fulton, phone 592-7580 or email JHogan808@aol.com.

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