All posts by Andrew Henderson


Jerry’s Journal: Sept. 15, 2012

by Jerry Kasperek

Mom stood up for me when I married Ed eleven years ago. As always, she was beautiful that day. She wore white slacks and her favorite red blazer. It suited her perfectly; she was a “red” kind of lady – feisty and colorful.

My mother’s name was Helen VanDeWater. She passed away Aug. 25 at the age of 94. She was sixteen when I was born. That means I had a mother for seventy-eight years. It was a privilege not many other people are blessed with. Oh, sure, we had a stormy mother-daughter relationship at times, but never did we not respect and love one another.

Now the memories set in. I remember her as a young woman in a Sealright blue cotton uniform, her picture in the newspaper with the company’s big shots selling war bonds during World War II, her going out the door on Saturday night all dressed up with a fancy hat on to party with my Dad who was as full of life as she was.

As a very pregnant mother waiting for the birth of my three siblings, Paul, Denis and David, spread over 22 years from the first to the last! Though apart by age and generation, we became one big happy family. Of course it wasn’t rosy all the time. Tell me any family story that’s not a bit rocky and I’d say it’s a lie.

In any case, my Mother was the glue that held us together through thick and thin. I must say, however, that in retrospect, and as brother Paul has pointed out, we in turn became the catalyst that kept her together through the pain and despair of losing loved ones and as she suffered major illnesses and surgeries, and into the aging process. That leaves us with no regrets.

Now she is gone. As her obituary said, she was witty, generous and beautiful. She was beautiful right up until the day she died. She also was quick-witted, you could never get ahead of her. She always had a comeback, sometimes with a sharp tongue, like it or not, because her mind went a mile a minute!

But she was fun as well. She had a twinkle in her bright blue eyes and an endearing smile. Though her antics were at times outlandish and her choice of stories and words were often on the naughty side, she made you laugh.

To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397

Historical society to begin program season

The Hannibal Historical Society will begin its 2012-2013 program season Monday, Sept. 24 at the Hannibal Community Center, located across from the firehouse on Oswego Street in Hannibal.

The historical group will meet at 6 p.m. for a business meeting, followed by the evening’s program, which will begin at 7 p.m.

Kirk Coates, an adjunct professor at SUNY Oswego, will speak about “Reconstruction – America’s Second Civil War.”

Phoenix boys varsity soccer determined to reach sectionals

by Rob Tetro

When Phoenix boys varsity soccer coach Chris Prenoveau speaks about his teams goal’s for the 2012 season, there is no confusing his intentions.

The main goal that Phoenix has this season is to qualify for sectional play.

Prenoveau said that there are games on the schedule that can be won. If the Firebirds are able to win the games they should win, they could qualify for the postseason.

However, Prenoveau suggested that in light of the expectations for the season, they haven’t forgotten about the importance of working hard and representing their school in a positive manner.

“As always, the team wants to pursue this goal with keeping sportsmanship and determination in mind,” Prenoveau said.

Phoenix takes the field in 2012 as an experienced team. They will be led by many seniors who have lots of experience playing together. However, Prenoveau suggested that his team’s maturity level is suspect in light of the quality minutes that the freshmen will be asked to produce.

To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397

Franklin Oates, World War II veteran

Franklin Keith Oates, 87, of Archer, Fla.. died Friday, Sept. 7, 2012 at The Haven Hopice in Gainesville, Fla.

He was born in Keyser, W.V. He served in the Armed Forces during World War II. He moved his family to Fulton in the 1950s where he started Oates’s Garage on the corner of New York Route 3 and County Route 6 in Volney. He worked at Air-Cool Motors, Nestle, and Bob Tretsch’s garage until moving to Florida for health reasons.

He was predeceased by his mother, Viola Davis, and his grandson, Josh Felmey.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Mary Ellen Oates: four children, Cheryl (Les) Holmes of Fulton, David (Kirsten) Oates of Fulton, Norma Falter of Plant City, Fla., and George (Cindy) Oates of Leesburg, Fla.; seven grandchildren, Heather (James) Class of Florida, Erica Bradley of New York, Jamie Oates of Florida, Steven Oates of Florida, Justin Oates of Florida, Timothy (Bethany) Falter of Florida, and Christopher (Melissa) Falter of Florida; and 13 great-grandchildren. Services will be held in Florida at a later date.

Sarah McMillen, Sterling Town clerk

Sarah L. “Sally” McMillen, 82, of Sterling, died Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012 at University Hospital in Syracuse.

A native of Oswego, she had resided in Sterling most of her life. She had served as Sterling town clerk and as a tax collector from 1976-1996.

She was a member and organist of the Sterling United Methodist Church and was active as treasurer, Sunday school teacher and senior choir member.

She enjoyed travelling by car to any destination that the driver chose, playing solitaire and solving crossword puzzles.

She was predeceased by her husband, Paul McMillen, who died in 2003.

Surviving are her children, Joanne (David) Scruton of Hannibal and Blair McMillen of Sterling; granddaughters, Ashley Scruton of Liverpool and Rachel Scruton of St. Louis, Mo.; and sister-in-law, Marie (George) Smith of Oswego.

Calling hours were held Thursday at Foster Funeral Home, Hannibal. Services were held Friday at Sterling United Methodist Church. Burial was in Sterling Cemetery.

Contributions may be made to Sterling United Methodist Church, PO Box 319, Fair Haven, NY 13064 or to the Humane Assoc. of CNY, 4915 West Taft Road, Liverpool, NY 13088.

Thirza North, Phoenix resident

Thirza E. North, 98, of Phoenix, died Monday, Sept. 10, 2012.

Shew was born Nov. 21, 1913 in Mexico to her late parents, Eva (Stevens) and Claude Pettingill.

She was a graduate of Mexico Academy. She was a technician for Crouse-Irving Hospital, Syracuse.

She was predeceased by her husband, Harold North, who died in 1956.

Surviving are her children, Carol E. Remington of Phoenix, Eleanor McDermott of Phoenix, Ariz,, and Ted M. (Sandra) North of Phoenix; 13 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; and cousins.

Calling hours and services were held Thursday at Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Home, Phoenix. Burial was in Phoenix Rural Cemetery.


Hodgepodge: Sept. 15, 2012

by Roy Hodge

On a recent morning, I drove past a local school just in time to see a line of young children being taken outside by their teachers for a recess (or maybe a fire drill). They were dressed for school and were neat and clean, but also ready for the playground.

The boys were wearing jeans, sweat pants, or casual pants, and T-shirts, many of them with clever sayings or business names and logos. Most of the boys wore sneakers.

Some of the girls also wore jeans, but they looked nice – no ripped away knees. Some of them were wearing shorter pants, but I didn’t notice any short-shorts.  There may have been a few dresses among them. The girls that weren’t wearing sneakers had sandals.

Of course, my mind traveled quickly back to when I was in elementary school. When I returned home that day I immediately looked for and found a photo that was taken when I was in fourth or fifth grade at McKinley school. We were posing for a class photo so we were maybe even a little neater than the group of kids that I saw, but we were definitely wearing our school clothes.

Back then, kids wore “nicer” clothes to school, and changed into “play” clothes when we got home.

The first thing I noticed in my fourth grade photo was that every girl in that photo was wearing a dress – a cute little lady-like dress and loafers or more fancy strap-on shoes.

To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397

Leon Archer

The Sportsman’s World: Sept. 15, 2012

Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

I haven’t been hearing much shooting so far during this goose season; either the geese are too far away for me to hear the shots of people hunting them, or they are not getting much pressure.

I haven’t heard a lot of geese flying over my house this year either. I talked with the farmer who owns the small pond and pasture where Jack and I hunt geese, and he told me that so far this fall there hadn’t been any geese dropping in.  The season is about half over and I haven’t even been out yet. I must be slowing down.

On the other hand, the salmon are starting to run and I haven’t been out for them either. Over the years, after catching plenty of fall salmon, I have become more of a watcher than a partaker when the run gets going.

I do like observing the fishermen in Oswego, or even the fishermen in Pulaski if I happen to be going through the area. They have a lot more fun catching the fish than I would.

All the same, I plan to stop down and see what the action is like in the raceway below the powerhouse in Oswego this weekend.

To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397