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Little Utica UMC to serve dinner

The Little Utica United Methodist Church is having a chicken and biscuit dinner starting at 4 p.m. Sept. 7.

The dinner will continue until it is sold out. Dinner includes roasted chicken, homemade biscuits and gravy, mashed potatoes, carrots and a choice of dessert and beverage.

Patrons may eat in one of the dining rooms or enjoy a take-out meal.

Proceeds from the dinner are used to extend the mission and ministry of the church.

Little Utica United Methodist Church is located on Lamson Road, heading west off Route 48, just past the intersection of Lamson Road and East Mud Lake Road.

For more information, call the church at 678-2270 or visit the church’s website at littleuticaumc.org or Facebook.

Migrant ministry awarded $2,500 grant

Rural and Migrant Ministry of Oswego County is among nonprofit organizations that has received a grant from the Pulaski Community Fund.

Rural and Migrant Ministry received $2,500 to support the repair of the walkway/sidewalk outside of its facility. This will allow safe access to the facility for visitors of its medical clinic, counseling services and food pantry.

The John Ben Snow Memorial Trust provided seed money in 1991 to establish a charitable fund within the Central New York Community Foundation to benefit the greater Pulaski community.

This fund, known as the Greater Pulaski Community Endowment Fund, is an endowment that exists to ensure that the citizens of the Pulaski area have a means of supporting nonprofit services and resources.

Arts series at SUNY Oswego to blend current, classic fare

From bluegrass to the Bard, the 2013-14 Artswego Series at State University College at Oswego offers a diverse slate of artists and performing arts experiences to area audiences.

“Whether tastes incline toward music or theater, traditional or contemporary expressions, we’ve covered the bases,” series director John Shaffer said. “And we’ve held ticket costs far below levels seen at premiere venues around the country – big-city opportunities at small-town prices.”

The season begins Sept. 7, with two performances by the Cashore Marionettes at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in Waterman Theater.

Through virtuosic movement, music and poetic insight, master puppeteer Joseph Cashore leads his audience on a journey that celebrates the richness of life. Cashore’s shows – the matinee especially for families and the other designed for grown-ups – are entertaining, surprising and theatrically satisfying one-of-a-kind events, Shaffer said.

Appearing at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13 in Waterman Theater, Melody of China is a San Francisco-based world-music ensemble – equally adept at traditional and contemporary Chinese music.

Celebrating an instrument family that extends from East to West — the yangqin (hammered dulcimer or cimbalom) — the musicians are joined by Rochester folk favorite Mitzie Collins and members of the Striking Strings Hammered Dulcimer Ensemble from the University of Rochester’s Eastman Community Music School.

Each year, Artswego highlights a Central New York performing organization along with its slate of touring artists.

This season’s regional partnership is with the accomplished Syracuse Vocal Ensemble. On Oct. 20, at 3 p.m. in Sheldon Hall ballroom, Artswego will host the SVE’s fall program “Classical Meets Bluegrass,” including Appalachian-inspired choral music and composer Carol Barnett’s “The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass,” joined by a band of regional bluegrass headliners.

The films of Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu were featured this summer in a major retrospective at New York City’s Film Forum. On Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Waterman Theater, Windham Hill recording artist Alex de Grassi will provide live accompaniment for Ozu’s silent classic, “A Story of Floating Weeds” – performing an original score commissioned by the New York Guitar Society.

While productions of “A Christmas Carol” abound, actor Carl Whidden provides a different twist on Dickens. On Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in Hewitt Union ballroom, the SUNY Oswego alum reprises the role of Scrooge that he played 40 years ago under the direction of the late SUNY Oswego professor Rosemary Nesbitt, a local theater and history legend.

This time, Whidden plays the other roles as well. One actor performs the holiday tale from end to end to celebrate Nesbitt’s memorable holiday productions.

The New York Times says, “The Acting Company endures as the major touring classical theater company in the United States.” In its 41st season, it has nurtured such talents as Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone and Rainn Wilson.

Featured in the current PBS documentary “Still on the Road,” the present-day band of young professional players arrives at Waterman Theater March 26 and 27 to attempt a rare feat: back-to-back performances of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and its comic counterpart, Sir Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.” The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. each night.

Kaki King has been named to Rolling Stone’s list of “The New Guitar Gods.” On March 26, at 7:30 p.m. in Waterman Theater, the hard-driving young instrumentalist joins forces with the contemporary string quartet ETHEL. In a genre-bending collaboration called “And Other Stories …,” they bring an evening of instrumental skill, rich sonic adventures and flights of fantastic storytelling.

Tickets are also available at any SUNY Oswego box office location, online at tickets.oswego.edu or by calling 312-2141.

Old Tyme Fiddlers play Osceola Sept. 1

Listeners can enjoy some musical fun with a concert of old-time fiddle music by Fiddlin’s Fun, the Southern Tier area chapter of the New York State Old Tyme Fiddlers’ Association.

The concert takes place 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, at the North American Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame and Museum, 1121 Comins Road, Osceola.

It is sponsored in part by the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

Fiddlin’s Fun was formed in 2001 and dedicated to the memory of the late Larry Downey, whose motto — “Fiddlin’s Fun” — the group adopted as its name.

Larry, who took his first fiddle lesson in 1917 and passed away at the age of 90, once quipped that he wrote one of his tunes, “Baltimore Rag,” “back when the world was young — around 1940.”

Larry’s repertoire was endless and he learned many of his tunes from one of his musical mentors, the late Jehile Kirkhuff , 1954 World Champion Old-Time Fiddler.  Larry treasured Jehile’s gold mine of tunes and took great efforts to preserve and proliferate this music, greatly varied as it is.

Larry loved a very varied repertoire, and “Fiddlin’s Fun” carries on this tradition by performing a wide variety of tunes ranging from traditional Irish, English, Scottish, French Canadian and New England and jigs, reels and polkas, to catchy Appalachian songs that are sometimes accompanied by vocals. The group is especially appreciated for its beautiful harmonies.

For more information about the chapter’s activities, visit their website at fiddlinsfun.org.

The next free Sunday concert at the Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame in Osceola, on Sunday, September 8, will feature Dick Bolt, of Rochester. Patrons are invited to tour the Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame and Museum during the Sunday concerts.

All the facilities are handicapped accessible and enclosable in the event of bad weather. Refreshments are available from a food concession.

For directions, visit nysotfa.com or call (315) 599-7009 and leave a message. Upcoming concerts Sundays 2-5 pm at the North American Fiddler’s Hall of Fame and Museum 1121 Comins Rd., Osceola, NY.

Sept. 8 – Dick Bolt, of Rochester

Sept. 15 – Association of North Country Fiddlers chapter of the NYSOTFA

Sept. 22 – T.B.A.

Sept. 29 – Season’s Finale – “Roger Thesier House Party” – Noon – 5 p.m. – Dish-to-Pass lunch, Old Time Fiddlers’ Reunion and Jamming

View from the Assembly: Lake plan leaves shore at risk

By Assemblyman Will Barclay

There is a new water level plan proposed for Lake Ontario that will threaten shoreline property and recreational activity, and damage public infrastructure.

Plan 2014 has been proposed by the International Joint Commission. The IJC is comprised of six members from Canada and the U.S.

It was created to help handle issues in shared waters, such as the Great Lakes. Proponents of the plan say Plan 2014 will return the lake levels to a more natural state, and therefore create higher highs and lower lows, depending on the time of year.

I fear these new highs and lows will have a significant and detrimental impact on all property and business owners along Lake Ontario and communities have not been given enough consideration with this new study.

For the rest of this column, pick up the print version of The Valley News. Call 598-6397 to subscribe.

Hodgepodge

A couple of days ago I celebrated what seems to be known as a “milestone” birthday. I’m not sure what that means but to me it means that I’m glad that I am still celebrating birthdays – but it also means that I’m at a number of years that I hate to say out loud.

The last time that I celebrated one of these “milestone” birthdays was 25 years ago, and I thought I was old then.  Back then I said that I was only slightly offended by some of the messages sent to us “over the hill” folks via birthday cards.

One of my cards 25 years ago asked, “How many 50 year olds does it take to change a light bulb?” The answer:  “None. They prefer it dark. Better for napping.” Another card said, “If people say you’re getting old, don’t argue or complain, ‘cause you don’t have to take that stuff…just hit them with your cane.”

A couple of cards advised me to “party ‘til it hurts” and then added that it will be a short party. Another of my cards made it very clear that I knew all there was to know about hula hoops, saddle shoes and bobby sox.

I said that if I wrote messages on cards for 50 year olds for a living I would be much kinder: “Roses are red, violets are blue. You may be fifty, but you’re still smart, and sexy too.”

It seems that birthday cards my friends and I exchange have gotten kinder over the years.  Now that we’re getting older, the cards don’t contain as many insults. One of this year’s cards stretches out over two feet long; it contains only the traditional “Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday!” message. Other cards include greetings from an exuberant squirrel and a friendly looking bear.

Other thoughts about getting older:

“Later than you think, sooner than you expected.”

“The time of your life when you are thick and tired of it all.”

“When you feel on Saturday night the way you used to feel on Monday morning.”

“The time when you get sacks under the bags under your eyes.”

“When you know all the answers but nobody asks the questions.”

“When you sit in a rocking chair and can’t get it going.”

“When you feel like the night before and you haven’t been anywhere.”

“When the gleam in your eyes is from the sun hitting your bifocals.”

“When your back goes out more than you do.”

Amen.

Mom’s birthday message

From Sept. 5, 1995:

I went to see my mother a couple of weeks ago. It was Aug. 21, and I almost always visit or call my mother on Aug. 21. I celebrate my birthday on that day and I discovered several years ago that my mother celebrates too; she enjoys reminding me each year of the important part she played in that event.

She always tells me how many years ago it was and that she remembers where she was and what she was doing on that day all those many years ago before my father rushed her off to the hospital.

She also tells me how old it makes her feel to have a son as old as I am. At my age, the comforting thing about that statement is that she has been saying the same thing for as long as I can remember, and that she is still able to say it.

“You were born on a Sunday…4 o’clock in the afternoon…up in St. Joseph’s…it was a hot day…it was a real hot summer.”  And then she adds, “A lot hotter than this year…we don’t get hot weather like that anymore.”

I told her I thought it was pretty hot on Aug. 21 this year.  “Nothing like that year,” she said.

Guess I’ll have to take her word for it.

“The usual suspects”

Even though I am celebrating a birthday with a significantly high number attached to it, among my close friends — most of them octogenarians — I am considered a youngster. I belong to a group of friends who have known each other at least 30 years, see each other often and have great times together.

We’re known to each other as “the usual suspects,” as in, when we’re going to do something together, “Call the usual suspects.”

English language mysteries

There is no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine are in pineapple.

English muffins weren’t invented in England, or French fries in France.

Quicksand works slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

Why do we ship by car and send cargo by ship?  Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

Don’t ask me.

…Roy Hodge

VIN etching Sept. 21

The Woznicki Insurance Agency at 7458 Oswego Road in Liverpool  is hosting its Fifth Annual Community Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 21.

There will be a free auto vehicle identification number etching service with Safelite Auto Glass. Etching can reduce auto insurance costs by providing anti-theft protection.

Hot dogs, coneys, cookies and drinks will be available while cars are being serviced. A limited number of free calculators will be given out.