Category Archives: Fulton News

New Volney Elementary principal on the job

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

With the new year also comes a new principal for Volney Elementary School.

Lisa Garofalo has replaced Interim Principal Michael Egan, and brings with her 10 years of administration experience.

Her most recent job was with the Syracuse City School District, where she was a vice principal at the West Side Academy at Blodgett.

She also worked at Seymour Elementary and was an assistant principal at Ed Smith Elementary in Syracuse.

Garofalo holds three certifications, including one in special education. She was a former principal of special education and pre-kindergarten at Herkimer County BOCES and also taught high school math in the Whitesboro School District.

Garofalo said she is thrilled to be principal at a school with such a high reputation.

“The first few days here have been fabulous, I can’t stop smiling,” she said. “I enjoy interacting with the children; I had lunch with a group of fourth grade girls and we had great conversation.”

Garofalo has always wanted to be an elementary principal, and it seemed like the next step in her career.

In her second interview for the position, she found the staff to be so passionate, and wanted to be a part of such a successful school.

“I can tell this will be a good fit because the staff is so dedicated and puts the students first,” she said.

Joining mid-year, Garofalo has had a lot of catching up to do. She recently attended at Parent Teacher Group meeting, where members shared with Garofalo the school’s annual traditions, like the end of the year ice cream social.

She is interested in starting her own traditions in time, but for now, is diligently taking notes and trying to make connections.

“I’ve made it my personal mission to learn the names of every student in the building,” she said.

If a name slips her memory, she asks students to remind her upon each greeting.

“My job (as principal) is all about building relationships and developing an understanding of behaviors, and that starts with knowing the students and my team on a personal level.”

“I want the students to see me as a support, and I want parents to see me as someone that will be there to make their child’s elementary experience positive.”

Garofalo, who commutes from Fayetteville, is looking forward to becoming part of Volney community.

“This is a family oriented building, and I want to find out what is important to the people here,” she said.

Gertrude Halstead, born in Germany

Gertrude H. Halstead, 91, of San Diego, CA, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 7.

A native of Stuttgart, Germany, she had lived in San Diego since 1954.

Gertrude retired as a keypunch operator for Accounting Corp. of America after 30 years.

Surviving are her husband, John H. Halstead of San Diego, CA; a son, J. David (Joann) Halstead of Fulton, NY; two grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

A graveside service will be held at Fairdale Rural Cemetery, County Route 3 in Hannibal at a later date.

Foster Funeral Home, Fulton has care of arrangements.

Jerry’s Journal, by Jerry Kasparek

Margaret Beckwith was my good friend.

She died last Saturday, Jan. 18. I got the sad news just before I sat down to write my every-other-week column. It was going to be Part 3 of North Sixth Street.

But I decided to put it aside for now and instead dedicate it to my dearly departed friend.

I have no special claim to Marg’s friendship — she was a good friend to everyone she knew. Some were more “close-knit” than others, however,  but far too many to list all their names here, except for maybe her niece Barbara Collins who is quick to say: “We did everything together . . . It’s hard to lose someone you’ve had your whole life.”

I’m going to miss her too, just like so many other people will. They’ll miss her at all the school sporting events cheering on the teams.

They’ll miss her at Mimi’s — Marg just loved going to Mimi’s — she was a steady customer at breakfast and she would table-hop to talk to nearly everyone in the place!

And, they’ll miss her at all the other places you might see her around town where she’d always greet you a warm hug. She was Fulton’s very own “Joy-germ” ambassador.

She was a positive kind of person; the kind of person you’d liked to be around. She enjoyed life and good food, and pretty clothes in pastels, pink, yellow and blue — blue was her favorite color and her house is generously decorated with it — and she made a very delicious strawberry salad she was always glad to share when a special occasion called for it.

Margaret White, as I first knew her, was a year behind me at good old Fulton High School, and a very good athlete. Her picture is in my Class of ’51 yearbook as a member of the championship junior class girls’ volleyball team that beat the senior girls’ team that winter, and she captained the junior girls’ basketball team that almost beat my classmates’ team as well.

She took up bowling and golf in later years and was good at those sports, too.

As the years flew by, I’d run into her once in a while and knew she worked in Niagara Mohawk’s commercial office here in Fulton, had married her long-time boyfriend George Beckwith, and was the mother of two little boys, Goerge and Billy.

When NiMo shut its commercial office doors in the early 1980s, she was transferred to the office that housed the line crew on the Howard Road out in Volney where my late first husband Mike Hogan also was employed.

Thus, as side-by-side workers often do, Marg and Mike became close friends and confidantes, sharing stories about their families and lives, and their enthusiasm for our high school wrestling team of which they were both avid fans.

Whenever I’d see Marg, she’d tell me nice things about Mike, what a good guy he was, about how proud he was of his kids and grandkids, and about how much she knew he loved me. It meant a lot to me, especially after he passed away.

Marg was at my house almost night and day when Mike died that summer of 1998, dishing out food, doing dishes, doing whatever needed to be done, and giving solace to my family and other friends. There was no way I could ever thank her enough!

Even when George died, there was nothing I could do to match what she had done for me.

That was Marg — always thinking about somebody else — always the first one to lend a helping hand.

Perhaps, though, her greatest amount of time and energy was spent (besides her dedication to her beloved husband and family) on school sports and the student athletes.

She was a member of the Fulton Athletic Booster’ Club and was instrumental in its awards programs at Bodley High School, as well as being involved in their many other activities.

Margaret seldom missed a game — football, basketball, wrestling, soccer, boys or girls, be it home or away — and she knew the coaches well and loved the young athletes who played the games and could tell you the name of each and everyone of them. And they knew her!

She simply adored young people, and it’s more than safe to say her crowning moment came when she become a grandmother.

She loved being a grandmother! She doted on her five grandchildren like they were precious jewels. She babysat them when they were little, took them places as they grew up, and nourished and nurtured them. You’d see them all together — she and George and the children — at Mimi’s for breakfast.

When she was diagnosed with cancer a little over a year ago, she took it as well as anyone could, and was determined to do everything she could, chemo treatments and all, so she could enjoy her grandchildren as long as she could.

She put up a good fight too, while at the same time facing the inevitable as bravely and cheerfully as she could.

Now she is gone.

Death will come calling to all of us someday. I just hope when it’s my time, I can face it with the same kind of grace and dignity Margaret Beckwith did.

May God rest your soul, my friend, I love you.

Part 3 of North Sixth Street coming soon: Hopefully I can get it written up and in for next week.

Meanwhile, 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 JHogan@aol.com. Please put Jerry’s Journal in the subject line. Thanks!

Fulton Community Theatre presents ‘2 Across’

February will see a mixture of romance and crosswords played in dinner theatre setting as Fulton Community Theatre presents “2 Across.”

The comedy by Jerry Mayer, which kicks off FCT’s 24th year, will run weekends, Feb. 8, 9, 14, 15, and 16 at Tavern On The Lock, 24 S. First St., Fulton.

The comedy will be presented as a dinner theatre offering, with Friday and Saturday dinners beginning at 6 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. showtime. On the two Sunday matinees, dinner will begin serving at 2 p.m., with a 3:30 p.m. curtain time.

Tickets for a buffet dinner and show are just $25 for adults, $23 for seniors and students.

Show only tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Reservations may be made by calling Tavern On The Lock at 592-2661.

The show tells the tale of two strangers, Josh and Janet, who meet on a commuter train. They are alone in the car, both doing the New York Times crossword.

She’s an organized, sensible psychologist. He’s a free spirited, unemployed ad exec. She is a crossword pro, he always quits. They learn from each other, argue, laugh, reveal big problems, they kiss.

But will they meet again?

“2 Across” features the talents of Valerie Roscoe-Dedich as Janet and Donald Crowe as Josh. Both will be familiar faces to Fulton Community Theatre audiences. Valerie was featured in the comedy farce “Bedside Manners,” while Donald appeared last season in “Alone Together” and “Curtain Up On Murder”.

The production is under the direction of Michael A. Bolio.

Jerry Mayer is a veteran writer of stage, movies, and television. His writing credits include several stage plays, as well as writing for television shows such as M*A*S*H, All in the Family, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Fulton Community Theatre’s production is a Central New York debut of his comedy.

The play, which is the second Valentine’s Day-themed show for FCT, is also the first dinner theatre venture for the theatre in many years. It was an annual staple for many seasons, and is something that the theatre has been looking at since it resumed active production in 2010.

“We believe that this comedy really fits well in a dinner theatre setting, and we hope our regular patrons will come out for a great night of dinner and entertainment, and that others who haven’t been to our shows before or in a while, will come and join us,” said theatre Artistic Director William Edward White.

For more information, contact the Fulton Community Theatre at its website, www.fultoncommunitytheatre.org, or by emailing fultoncommunitytheatre@gmail.com

Senior citizen news

Granby Center Senior News

Our meeting for the New Year was very good. We had 46 members at the Jan. 16 get-together. Seemed good to see so many of our seniors.

Cards made by Nancy were won by Jeanette Pauldine. The 50/50 was won by Jeanne Smith.

Kitchen committee for Feb. 6 is John Krupa, Jean Cronk, Ruth and Bob Sheldon and Imo Lefort. For Feb. 20, the kitchen committee is Fran Wadas, Donna Babcock, Joanne Gardner and Imo LeFort.

We had a very good speaker — Rachel Baglia from Oswego Health. She was very informative about blood pressure and hypertension.

Trips were discussed by Joanne Gardner.

Submitted by E. Martin

Volney Seniors

Early on Dec. 4, the roads were covered with ice. It warmed up and like magic, the ice was gone. We had many seniors make it to the meeting.

Fifty-seven of us made it to our Thanksgiving dinner at Bristol Hill Church. The meal was so good.

Our new member is Barbara Wallace. Welcome aboard.

Birthdays — Therisa Caltbiano, Gordon Smith, Roy Crouch and Denise Munger. We wish you all many more healthy, happy ones.

A 57th anniversary is being celebrated by Charlie and Rita Murphy. Congratulations.

On Dec. 14, we had our Christmas dinner at Seneca Hill. It was so beautiful with the big Christmas tree all decorated. I always try to sit at a table where I can look at the tree and enjoy it all the time we’re there.

The 50/50 winner for November was Mary Sugar and for December it was Mary Lalanga.

Submitted by Alma Bowering

 Phoenix Senior Citizens Club

At the club’s annual Christmas Party Dec. 13, the newly elected officers were installed by installing officer Arlene Slaski.

Trip Coordinator Martha Arnold announced that in February we will be carpooling to Heid’s in Liverpool for their famous hot dogs and coneys. She asked everyone to save the 2 for 1 coupons that are featured in the newspapers.

Cars will leave the town building at 10:30 a.m. People can drive ahead and meet the others at Heid’s if they choose.

We had a pot luck covered dish birthday and anniversary celebration Jan. 10.

The next business meeting for the Phoenix Senior Citizens club of the Town of Schroeppel is at 1:30 p.m. Friday Feb. 7 at the town of Schroeppel building on Route 57A.

If Phoenix schools are closed that day, there will be no meeting or covered dish dinner that day.

The next pot luck covered dish birthday and anniversary celebration dinner is at 1:30 p.m. Friday Feb. 14. Bring a dish to pass and your own table service. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and lemonade are provided.

The senior club is always looking for new members age 50 and over to join. Dues are $5 per year and can be paid to Treasurer Peggy Sayles at any meeting or dinner. For more information, call President Joanne Czajkowski at 622-1239.

Paul N. Schremp, worked at Black Clawson

Paul N. Schremp, 57, of Fulton, died Tuesday, Jan. 21.

Paul was an Army veterans and worked at Black Clawson in Fulton for the past six years.

Survivors include his wife, the former Darlene Rupert Schremp; a son Ryan Schremp; two daughters, Jennifer (Drew) Williams and Kayla (Dylen) Walker; his mother, Elizabeth Schremp; four brothers, Mike (Liz) Schremp, Ray (Connie) Schremp, Jerry (Shirley) Schremp and Mark (Lisa) Schremp; two sisters, Rita (Marty) Higgins and Terrye (Tom) Plonka; four grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday Jan. 25 (Today) at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 309 Buffalo St., Fulton. Calling hours were Friday Jan. 24 in the atrium of Holy Trinity.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.

Harter Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Margaret A. Beckwith, longtime athletic booster

Margaret A. Beckwith, 79, of Fulton, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 after a long illness.

She was born in Fulton, NY to the late Anthony and Elizabeth White.

Mrs. Beckwith was a graduate of G. Ray Bodley High School and a lifelong resident of Fulton. She retired from Niagara Mohawk after more than 40 years of service.

Mrs. Beckwith was an active volunteer and member of the Fulton Athletic Booster Club for many years and served as treasurer for 25 of those years.  Margaret received many accolades as both an athlete and avid sports fan.

However, one of her proudest and honored achievements was being recognized with a scholarship named in her honor for the senior female student athlete of the year.

Margaret’s greatest passion was the love she had for her family, friends and beloved Yankees. She was a permanent fixture at most sporting events, but none more so than her own grandchildren from whom she would watch with pride and admiration.

Mrs. Beckwith was pre-deceased by her husband of 46 years George W. Beckwith in 2011, and her siblings, Henry, Ralph, Janette, Joseph, Fred and Edie.

She is survived by her loving family George (Christine) Beckwith of Fulton, and Bill (Sue) Beckwith of Fulton and much-loved grandchildren Megan, Courtney, Austin, Callie and Evan, and several nieces and nephews.

There will be a spring burial in St. Mary’s Cemetery with a graveside service. A gathering for family and friends will follow the cemetery service in the spring.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Margaret’s name to the Fulton Athletic Boosters Club, C/O Daniel Shue, 31 Aspen Cove Lane, Fulton, NY 13069.

The Sugar Funeral Home, Inc., 224 W. Second St. S., Fulton, has care of the arrangements.

Hodgepodge, by Roy Hodge

No Business Like Snow Business

The first time I mentioned the fateful “S” word in this space was in my third column when the short article was about Fulton’s first winter festival.

“Hey Dad, I went down and signed up for the snow sculpturing contest; it will be fun.”

That’s how the Saturday afternoon adventure started. The family members were gathered together in our front yard at the beginning.  Then, the chief adviser had to leave to do her grocery shopping.

There were a couple of mysterious disappearances, and some shouted directions from inside the window; finally, the fearless leader was alone in the front yard with a 20-foot-long hunk of ice cleverly disguised as a vicious dragon generously slathered with green food coloring.

And then the proud declaration the next day:  “Hey Dad, I won.”

In January, 1980 I wrote about the arrival of winter – “I knew winter weather had finally arrived in Fulton last week when everybody in our household was frantically looking for mittens, boots, snow pants, scarves, etc. . . . and when someone said, How many days until spring?”

“There’s No School Today!”

Adam was worrying about snow days in 1981.

“Since it was snowing hard when we went to bed, I shouldn’t have been surprised by the knock on the bedroom door in the morning.

“Mom, Dad, guess what, there’s no school today.”

There were columns about cross country skiing and neighbor Matt MacDowell, snow blower doctor.  It was Matt’s skillful touch which brought our faithful friend back to life from impending doom time after time.

During ensuing winters, I wrote about how winter weather causes us to reminisce about the hot days of last summer and last year’s vacation; and how some of us brag about our winters: “Our schools are allotted five ‘snow days’ a year but we didn’t use them because we ‘only’ got 200 inches of snow.”

In one column, I was trying to explain what a blizzard was, and in another I was talking about the winters I enjoyed as a kid: “When we were kids we used to think that Syracuse had more snow than other place in the world.”

Years later, living in Fulton certainly changed my mind about that.

Another year I admitted that I was never ready for winter, and the next year I was wondering whether the stormy weather we were getting should or shouldn’t be called a blizzard.

Winter Questions

In February, 1993, I was pondering many questions I had been asked: “Enough snow for you?”, Do you think it will ever stop snowing?”, “Where are we going to put all this snow?”, “How much snow have we got?” “Is there school today?”

And on and on.

As the years went on, I felt like a refugee of winter: “My car doesn’t have one of those electronic voices but if it did I know it would be telling me to ‘Go back inside stupid, it’s 20 degrees below zero out here.’”

I thought I would feel better if I reviewed the “Blizzard of ’66,” and every year I called John Florek at the water works and talked about the city’s depressing snow figures.

As the century turned I was exclaiming. “My car, it’s back, out there on the deck. What I was looking at was our outside cooker with a pile of snow on it.

The cooker itself was the body of the car, the shelf next to it was the hood. There were two little round piles that resembled wheels.  The cooker sits out there all year long and it’s a cooker; we get six inches of snow and it becomes a car.”

251 Inches; Then, “Unsnowiest” Winter

It was March 10, 2001 and Fulton had received 251 inches of snow for the 2000-2001 snow season.

When I called John Florek in January, 2002 he said it had been the “unsnowiest” winter since records had been kept in Fulton.  The city ended up with a total of 100.5 inches of snow that year.

In February 2007, I wrote that Fulton schools were closed for the fourth time in five days.  In January 2009 I was reminded that people in my family, who were farmers, used to say that a year of heavy snow would be a good year later on.

The official proverb puts it this way: “A year of snow, a year of plenty.”

In January 2010, I was telling readers that the first patents for snow plows were issued in the 1840s.  On Feb. 12, 2011, I noted some of us like to see snow in December, not so much in January, a little less in February, and don’t want to hear the word in March.

Monday, Jan. 30, 2012: While I was out in our driveway in Syracuse clearing away 3 inches of light snow, Jeff was in Fulton working on moving 3 feet of a new snowfall around.

A year ago, on Jan. 5, 2013, I was thinking about the winter days my friends and I spent at the dump – the natural in- the-backyards hill at the end of our street – with lots of roller coaster-like bumps and jumps.

Now, it’s January, 2014 – I am supposed to be taking our Christmas tree down, but I’m looking out the window at the 3 or 4 inches of new snow we have received here in Syracuse.

“It’s probably 2 to 3 feet in Fulton,” I thought.

Addendum:  Sometimes I have written about winter and snow at least as early as October – maybe September.

Oct. 6, 1981: After I stumble over the snow tires out in the garage for the fourth or fifth time, I figure that someone thinks it’s time to put them on the car. . . and when the windshield scraper finds its way out of the depth of the trunk, or wherever it has been, the end is really near.

My mind is remembering a Fulton snow storm in March of 1993, after which I was too busy shoveling snow to write a column.

But, after all, it was most likely “just another day” in Fulton’s winter story. The storm that I am remembering happened on Jeff’s birthday; the two of us spent the day shoveling snow.

Happy birthday, Jeff!

. . . Roy Hodge