Category Archives: Hannibal News

In And Around Hannibal: February 2, 2013

by Rita Hooper 

Today is Candlemas Day – I know you thought it was Groundhog’s Day. You’re right on that score but it’s also Candlemas Day and in a strange way they are connected.

Candlemas is a religious holiday that you can read about in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2 vs. 22-40. It marks the purification of Mary (40 days after the birth of a male son) as required by Jewish women of the time. They were required to bring two turtle doves or pigeons and for those who could afford it, a lamb to the temple. This was also the first time that Jesus was offered to God.

Candlemas is sometimes called the Festival of Lights, as Jesus is known as the Light of the World.  In olden times, people would bring the candles that they planned to use in the coming year to the church for a blessing. Candles brought not only light but were thought to have powers to ward off illness and other bad things.

It’s also interesting to note, that legend has it that if you haven’t taken down all your Christmas decorations by Twelfth Night (Jan. 5) they should be left up until Candlemas Day and then taken down! Make sure to check around your house…there are probably one or two decorations just hanging around somewhere!

Groundhog’s Day also happens Feb. 2. It marks the mid-point of winter — halfway between the shortest day and the spring equinox. Thousands of years ago when animalism and nature worship were prevalent, people in the area of Europe now known as Germany believed that the badger had the power to predict the coming of spring.

If the sun made an appearance on Candlemas Day, an animal would cast a shadow, thus predicting six more weeks of winter.

They watched the badger for the shadow to know when to plant their crops. By the time the first German immigrants settled in Pennsylvania they probably understood that this was not true but the tradition continued.

The groundhog, woodchuck, marmot, waking from winter hibernation, replaced the badger in Pennsylvania.

Punxsutawney, Pa. is a community 84 miles northeast of Pittsburgh and 100 miles south of Erie, Pa.  The most famous resident of Punxsutawney is a groundhog by the name of Phil. He was named after King Phillip. He lives at Gobbler’s Knob and every year since 1887, he has been visited by thousands of people and numerous radio and TV personalities to see if he sees his shadow.

If the sun shines on Groundhog Day, you are only half way through winter, so you had better have half your hay and half your fuel left. If there is no shadow, you can look forward to an early spring. Sure hope our winter gets a little milder if Phil sees his shadow!

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Sons of the American Legion will hold a chicken barbecue tomorrow, Feb. 3 from noon until gone. Eat in or take-out. The Legion is on Rochester Street.

The Hannibal Christmas Bureau would like to thank everyone who donated time, money or items to the 2012 Christmas Bureau. We gave 172 needy families in the Hannibal School District boxes with food and toys.

The Menu for next week at the Senior Nutrition Program is as follows:

Monday, Feb. 4: lasagna with meat sauce, vegetable blend, and ice cream.

Wednesday, Feb. 6: baked chicken thigh, rice pilaf, zucchini and tomatoes, and cookie.

Friday, Feb. 8: hamburger on roll, garlic red potatoes, vegetable, and applesauce,

Senior Nutrition meets at the Senior Center, next to the Library on Oswego Street. Give Rosemary a call and make your reservation now at 564-5471.

By the way, they are looking for some folks to join their Wii bowling team; give Rosemary a call!

Don’t forget, Bone Builders don’t take the winter off. They meet at the American Legion Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:45 a.m. If you have osteoporosis, there is help for you and your bones. Stop in and check it out or give Louise Kellogg a call.

A blood drive will be held Wednesday, Feb. 6 at the Hannibal Fire House on Oswego Street.  Sponsored by the Fire company auxiliary, it will run from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call 1-800 RED CROSS to schedule your appointment for blood donation.

The Hannibal Methodist Church is serving a free lunch (donations for this ministry accepted though) Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. Don’t eat alone, come on down and join the fun and fellowship.

The Hannibal Free Library will be holding a Holiday Basket Raffle Feb. 9. Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras will be included.  Make sure to stop by the library and check it out – along with a book or two to curl up with!

Those Elderberries will meet Feb. 12 for a covered dish dinner at noon Please bring your own table service and a dish to pass.

“Age of Champions” will be shown following the business meeting. Remember, they meet at the Library/Community Center on Oswego Street.

The Hannibal Park Committee has announced that they will be holding a Family Fun Day at the park, next to the Municipal Building, Saturday, Feb. 23 from noon until 3 p.m. The town hall will be open for refreshments and warming up. A great afternoon of sledding and fun in the snow is planned.

If you know that your organization is planning an event and you don’t see it in the Hannibal column, please e-mail me or give me a buzz (both are posted at the top of this column).

This column is to keep those in Hannibal, Florida, Arizona and points in between and around the globe posted on what’s shaking in our fair community. Some of us still like to read the happenings, the ole fashioned way!

In and Around Hannibal: January 26, 2012

by Rita Hooper 

Well to our friends who have gone south, you have missed some of the most tropical weather we’ve had since last summer. The sun has shown so bright, you can’t see to drive without your sunglasses and you dare not go out without your sunscreen.

It’s not hard to squench your toes at osteo class as you think of picking up seashells on the sandy beaches. I’ve even broken out the ice tea container and the lawn chairs are set up on the porch!

Haven’t quite gotten the shorts out although I bumped into a young teen with his shorts on at Price Chopper and two others were out biking. I could almost swear I smelled the hot dogs on the grill!  Ah – is this weather crazy or what?

No – the weather’s not crazy – just the writer!  Does seem early for cabin fever but I think the charm of the pretty, white fluffy stuff is wearing off. Wonder how the airline ticket sales, for points south are faring today. Days like this make me glad I sold my home and moved to where others shovel and plow for me.

Did you know that in 1920, there were 80 days in a row, beginning Dec. 16, 1919, when it never thawed in Hannibal? Can you imagine Hannibal before school buses? Can you imagine a cold, blustery snowy day when the children would trudge through hip deep snow to reach their one room school house?

They didn’t have snow days so teacher and students had to get there even if they would rather have been home playing in the snow or staying warm by the fire – maybe making bread or hot soup.

When the roads were blocked with snow, a farmer might hitch a team of horses to a bobsled and fasten a plough behind. A man would have to hang onto the plough handles as in plowing and follow the sleigh. One track would be made in one way and then he turned and made the other track.

If the farmer had a large kettle for butchering sometimes he might put that behind the sleigh rather than the plough. It was dangerous but sometimes children would get in the kettle for the ride.

The above was inspired by Lore and Legends of Hannibal, Past and Present by Flossie Kellogg.

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Memorial Services for Marjorie Woodworth will be today at God’s Vision Christian Church at 11 a.m.

Hannibal Fire Company Auxiliary’s breakfast buffet will be Sunday, Jan. 27 at the Firehouse on Oswego Street. The new time is 8 to 11 a.m.

The Menu for next week at the Senior Nutrition Program is as follows:

Monday, Jan. 28: Hoffman hot dogs and beans — think springtime!

Wednesday, Jan. 30: Cook’s surprise.

I have not gotten the February calendar yet, so I guess that will also be a surprise!

Jewelry making is on the activity schedule for Monday. I understand they are looking for some folks to join their Wii bowling team. Remember they meet at the Senior Center, next to the Library on Oswego Street. Lunch is served at noon but they are open by 10 for coffee and news and games. Give Rosemary a call and make your reservation now at 564-5471. I stopped in and had lunch last week before the Senior Council and their beef stew was really good!

Don’t forget, Bone Builders don’t take the winter off – they meet at the American Legion Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:45 a.m. If you have osteoporosis, there is help for you and your bones, stop in and check it out, or give Louise Kellogg a call.

The Hannibal Methodist Church is serving a free lunch (donations for this ministry accepted though) Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. Don’t eat alone, come on down and join the fun and fellowship.

The library will be holding a Holiday Basket Raffle Feb. 9. Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras will be included. Make sure to stop by the library and check it out – along with a book or two to curl up with during our next tropical snow drop!

A blood drive will be held Wednesday, Feb. 6 at the Hannibal Fire House on Oswego Street. Sponsored by the fire company auxiliary, it will run from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call 1-800 RED CROSS to schedule your appointment for blood donation.

Those Hardy Elderberries met last Tuesday in spite of the snow for a covered dish dinner.  Their next meeting will be Tuesday, Feb. 12 at noon. Please bring your own table service and a dish to pass. “Age of Champions” will be shown following the business meeting Feb. 12; if the weather cooperates!  Remember they meet at the Library/Community Center on Oswego Street.

Did you catch the article in a recent Valley News about disposing of “sharps” — used needles and syringes, lancets? They may be bought in a puncture resistant container like a bleach or laundry detergent bottle, (not a coffee or soda can) to the Fulton Urgent care between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. to the Manor at Seneca Hill Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays, and Oswego Hospital Health Services Center Suite G50.

The Hannibal Library will be holding “2 classes in 1 day” Feb. 26. The first class will begin at 5 to 6:30 p.m. and will be for the “Kindle and Kindle Fire e-readers.” Immediately following there will be a class “Managing Your Digital Photos” from 6:30 to 8 p.m. If there is enough interest, there will be a Nook class before the other two classes. Please bring your own e-readers and laptops. Please let the library know of your interests or if you have any questions, by stopping in or calling 564-5471.

If you know that your organization is planning an event and you don’t see it in the Hannibal column, please e-mail me or give me a call (both are posted at the top of this column).

This column is to keep those in Hannibal, Florida, Arizona and points in between and around the globe posted on what’s shaking in our fair community. Some of us still like to read the happenings the ole fashioned way!

In and Around Hannibal: January 19, 2013

by Rita Hooper 

I stopped in to chat the other day with Jim Travis — aside from being Hannibal’s favorite florist and his mom and dad before he and Sandy took over the business — Jim is also a faithful volunteer with the Hannibal Fire Department.

Between the two, Jim is a good one to keep you informed of what’s new about town. And have I news for you!

As of Jan. 1, Hannibal once again has 24/7 ambulance protection.   Arrangements have been made between Mentor Ambulance and Hannibal Fire Company to provide this much needed service to our community.

The fire department has made sleeping and living quarters in the firehouse so that a squad of ambulance personnel will be able to stay overnight. There is now an ambulance in Hannibal at all times (except when on a run.)

Both the squad and the ambulance will be available to answer calls as quickly as possible, anytime, night or day. They will be covering the area from Route 20 and out to Rathburn Raod in Granby (I hope I got that right). We are so glad that the fine people of the Hannibal Fire Company are there and looking out for us…God bless you.

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There will be no school Monday in memory of Martin Luther King.

The Menu for next week at the Senior Nutrition Program is as follows:

Monday, Jan. 21: Beef stew.

Wednesday, Jan. 23: Pasta and meatballs.

Friday, Jan. 25: Homemade mac and cheese.

I understand they are looking for some folks to join their Wii bowling team. Remember they meet at the Senior Center, next to the Library on Oswego Street. Lunch is served at noon but they are open by 10 a.m. for coffee and news and games. Give Rosemary a call and make your reservation now at 564-5471.

The Senior Council will meet Monday at the Senior Center at 1:30 p.m.

Regents examinations will be taken at the high school Tuesday through Friday.

Don’t forget Bone Builders don’t take the winter off; they’ll be meeting at the American Legion Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:45 a.m. If you have osteoporosis, there is help for you and your bones. Stop in and check it out or give Louise Kellogg a call.

The Elderberries meet Tuesday at noon for a covered dish dinner.  Please bring your own table service and a dish to pass. “Age of Champions” will be shown following the business meeting.

The Hannibal Resource Center, across from the high school, has a new phone number: 564-9995.  Its hours are Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Thursday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. If you can help with food, clothing or household lines, these would be good times to drop them off.  If you need a little helping hand, perhaps the resource center is a place to look.

Hannibal will have a half day of school Thursday. The high school dismissal will be at 10:30, DMK at 10:45 and Fairley at 11:45 a.m.

Music Boosters will meet at the high school library at 7:30 p.m.

If you would like to get a little of the holiday feasting off the waistline, the high school is open Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. for some walking at your own pace without fear of slipping on the ice!

Hannibal Fire Company Auxiliary’s breakfast buffet will be Sunday, Jan. 27 at the Firehouse on Oswego Street. The new time is 8 to 11 a.m.

The Hannibal library will be holding “2 classes in 1 day” Feb. 26. The first class will be from 5 to 6 p.m. for the “Kindle and Kindle Fire e-readers.” Immediately following, there will be a class “Managing Your Digital Photos” from 6:30 to 8 p.m. If there is enough interest, there will be a Nook class before the other two classes. Please bring your own e-readers, laptops, etc. Let the library know of your interests or if you have any questions by calling 564-5471.

If you know that your organization is planning an event and you don’t see it in the Hannibal column, please e-mail me or give me a buzz (both are posted at the top of this column).

This column is to keep those in Hannibal, Florida, Arizona and points in between and around the globe posted on what’s shaking in our fair community. Some of us still like to read the happenings, the ole fashioned way!

In and Around Hannibal: January 11, 2012

Rita Hooper

706-3564

Twohoops2@juno.com

Cabin 3 youth group is hosting a Hurricane Sandy disaster relief concert Saturday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary of God’s Vision Christian Church.

The church is located on the corner of N.Y.S. Route 3 and West Street.

The bands “The Good Fight” and “The Sent Forth” will be playing a mix of original music and well known worship songs. This is a free concert. An offering will be taken to benefit the American Baptist Men NYS disaster relief program. There will also be silent auction. Food and drinks will be available. Doors open at 6pm, music starts at 7 p.m.

Members of the Cabin 3 youth group and GVCC have recently assisted the ABMEN with disaster relief work in New York, Pennsylvania, and the New Jersey shore area.

They saw first hand the devastation of this super storm and talked with people and families that still have nowhere to live. Tens of thousands of homes were destroyed and are gone, or no longer livable.

Many of the families were not covered for flood damage as usually flood insurance is only purchased when your home is below the 100 year flood zone.

Many of the homes destroyed were many feet above the 100 year flood elevation and thus had no flood insurance.

Cabin 3 members worked in homes where elderly people have lived for over 30 years and now are forced to leave all their possessions behind; one couple is currently living in a camper while others are in temporary shelters or on the street.

The homes that can be saved need to be ripped down to the studs and floor joists then treated for mold. This is the work the youth were involved with as well as removing trees from peoples homes and properties.

The ABMEN NYS have several trailers full of equipment like chainsaws, shovels, generators etc that they can use to help families try to save their homes from complete demolition.

The ABMEN spend weeks and weeks at these disasters with no compensation. Through donations they equip the trailers and move them to the disaster areas. Volunteer workers sleep on church floors, gym floors or in host family homes.

The youth of Cabin 3 felt that more people need to be aware of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy and would like to raise much needed funds to help keep the ABMEN disaster relief teams equipped with needed tools and repairs to existing equipment.

For more details on the concert or on the ABMEN disaster relief program feel free to contact Erik at 315-564-6133

Thanks Erik for the update and the invite!

Interesting to note that while the big wheels in Washington are deciding whether or not to send money/aid to New York and New Jersey, churches and volunteer groups across the nation are coming to these hard pressed areas and doing what needs to be done. They will be there long after other agencies are gone.

You’re saying “yeah sure – how does she know?” I know because I’m on the e-mail list for Church World Service and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. I know because I have gone on the web sites of other denominations and found out where there is a need, where an individual help and if there is a group going from here that I can join. There are still groups going to New Orleans and sleeping in tents as they volunteer to help there.

Let us not forget that Central New York is not exempt from disasters. Volunteers from various groups are still going to areas hit by floods in the southern tier.

When I was in Pennsylvania 15 years ago, we much appreciated help that our area received after a tornado came through.

I remind you to attend the concert in Hannibal if you can.  And if you can help in any way, do it.

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The Menu for next week at the Senior Nutrition Program is as follows:

• Monday, Jan. 14: Chili, parslied cauliflower, juice, and fruit.

• Wednesday, Jan. 16: Ham and scalloped potatoes, lemon-dill carrots, juice, and dessert.

• Friday, Jan. 18: Chicken and biscuit, mashed potatoes, vegetable, juice, and fruit.

I understand they are looking for some folks to join their Wii bowling team. Remember they meet at the Senior Center, next to the Library on Oswego Street. Lunch is served at noon but they are open by 10 a.m. for coffee and news and games. Give Rosemary a call and make your reservation now at 564-5471.

The Hannibal Resource Center, located across from the high school, has a new phone number: 564-9995. The hours are Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. If you can help with food, clothing or household lines, these would be good times to drop them off. If you need a little helping hand, perhaps the resource center is a place to look.

If you would like to get a little of the holiday feasting off the waistline, the high school is open Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. for some walking at your own pace without fear of slipping on the ice!

Hannibal Fire Company Auxiliary’s breakfast buffet will be Sunday, Jan. 27 at the Firehouse on Oswego Street. The new time is 8 to 11 a.m. The Breakfast Crew would like you to know that they would be happy to cook for you!

The Hannibal Library will be holding “2 classes in 1 day” Feb. 26. The first class will begin at 5 to 6:30 p.m. and will be for the Kindle and Kindle Fire e-readers. Immediately following, there will be a class “Managing Your Digital Photos” from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

If there is enough interest, there will be a Nook class before the other two classes. Please bring your own e-readers, laptops, etc.

Please let the library know of your interests or if you have any questions, by stopping in or calling 564-5471.

HannibalCoaches1

Hannibal High School dedicates basketball court

The Hannibal Booster Club formally dedicated the basketball court at Hannibal High School to former boys basketball coach Ken Sturges (right) and former girls basketball coach Steve Cianfarano Left). The Dec. 28 event honored the two coaches who combined for nearly 900 wins.
The Hannibal Booster Club formally dedicated the basketball court at Hannibal High School to former boys basketball coach Ken Sturges (right) and former girls basketball coach Steve Cianfarano Left). The Dec. 28 event honored the two coaches who combined for nearly 900 wins.

by Rob Tetro

In front of a respectful crowd that featured supporters from three other communities in attendance for the Hannibal Holiday Basketball Tournament, the Hannibal Booster Club formally dedicated the basketball court at Hannibal High School to former boys basketball coach Ken Sturges and former girls basketball coach Steve Cianfarano.

The Dec. 28 event honored the two coaches who combined for nearly 900 wins.

Both coaches began teaching at Hannibal High School in 1973. Sturges was a social studies teacher while Cianfarano was a chemistry and general science teacher.

Sturges was a basketball coach for 40 years. He spent 35 of those years as head coach of Hannibal’s boys team. Sturges also spent five years as an assistant basketball coach at SUNY Oswego.

He also coached modified cross country and track and field teams while at Hannibal.

Cianfarano coached the Hannibal girls team for 27 years.

While at Hannibal, Cianfarano also coached varsity softball for 25 years and varsity girls track and field for two years. He was also an assistant coach for the varsity girls soccer team for five years.

Before moving to the varsity ranks, Cianfarano also coached Hannibal’s girls junior varsity  basketball team for a year and the Warriors modified football team for two years.

As a coach of three sports in Hannibal for 35 years, Sturges coached more than 500 athletes while Cianfarano coached 600 athletes during his tenure at Hannibal with 180 of those athletes were basketball players.

As coach of the Hannibal boys varsity basketball team, Sturges had a record of 462-290. Under Sturges, Hannibal won seven sectional titles, 13 league championships and 14 Holiday Tournament championships.

Hannibal also earned five regional appearances under Sturges, which included one appearance in the state semifinals.

Other accolades under Sturges included winning 51 games in a row at home while having 14 Scholar-Athlete Teams.

As head coach of the Hannibal girls varsity basketball team, Cianfarano won nearly 420 games.

One of those wins came when the Lady Warriors won a sectional title en route to a regional appearance.

Hannibal made at least six appearances in the sectional championship game under Cianfarano.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

In And Around Hannibal: January 5, 2013

Rita Hooper

706-3564

Twohoops2@juno.com

Hope you’ve had your fish, pork, sauerkraut, beans, grapes and a special cake sometime during your New Year’s celebration.

Those foods are sure to insure a good year for you in 2013. It seems that these are almost universal foods worldwide to bring in the New Year.

In Spain, the custom is to eat 12 grapes at midnight — one grape for each stroke of the clock. This custom began in the early 1900s when there was an excess of grapes.

Since then, the custom has spread to Portugal as well as former Spanish and Portuguese colonies Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, Ecuador, and Peru.

Each grape represents a different month, so if say the third grape is a little sour, it might tie in with the Ides of March, the day Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC. Likewise if the fourth grape is bitter, it might just happen to coincide with tax day!

Cooked greens, including cabbage, collards, kale, and chard, are consumed at New Year’s in different countries for a simple reason — their green leaves look like folded money, and are thus symbolic of economic fortune.

The Danish eat stewed kale sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, the Germans consume sauerkraut (cabbage) while in the southern United States, collards are the green of choice. It’s widely believed that the more greens one eats the larger one’s fortune next year.

Legumes including beans, peas, and lentils are also symbolic of money. Their small, round like appearance resembles coins that swell when cooked so they are consumed with financial rewards in mind. Germans also partner legumes and pork, usually lentil or split pea soup with sausage. In Brazil, the first meal of the New Year is usually lentil soup or lentils and rice, and in Japan, the osechi-ryori, a group of symbolic dishes eaten during the first three days of the new year, includes sweet black beans called kuro-mame.

In the Southern United States, it’s traditional to eat black-eyed peas in a dish called “hoppin’ john.”

Legend has it that during the Civil War, the town of Vicksburg, Miss., ran out of food while under attack. The residents fortunately discovered black-eyed peas and the legume was thereafter considered lucky.

The custom of eating pork on New Year’s is based on the idea that pigs symbolize progress. The animal pushes forward, rooting itself in the ground before moving.

Roast suckling pig is served for New Year’s in Cuba, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, and Austria.  Different pork dishes such as pig’s feet are enjoyed in Sweden while Germans feast on roast pork and sausages.

Pork is also consumed in Italy and the United States, where thanks to its rich fat content, it signifies wealth and prosperity.

Cod has been a popular feast food since the Middle Ages. Long before refrigeration and modern transportation, cod could be preserved by salting or drying so that it could reach further destinations.

The Catholic Church band on meat on religious holidays may also have played a part. The Danes eat boiled cod, while in Italy,  dried salt cod, is enjoyed from Christmas through New Year’s.  Herring, another frequently preserved fish, is consumed at midnight in Poland and Germany — Germans have been known to place a few fish scales in their wallets for good luck.

The Swedish New Year feast is usually a smorgasbord with a variety of fish dishes such as seafood salad. In Japan, herring roe is consumed for fertility, shrimp for long life, and dried sardines for a good harvest (sardines were once used to fertilize rice fields).

Cakes and other baked goods are commonly served from Christmas to New Year’s around the world, with a special emphasis placed on round or ring-shaped items. Italy eats honey-drenched balls of pasta dough fried and dusted with powdered sugar.

Poland, Hungary, and the Netherlands also eat donuts, and Holland has a puffy, donut-like pastry filled with apples, raisins, and currants.

In certain cultures, it’s customary to hide a special trinket or coin inside the cake—the recipient will be lucky in the new year.  Sweden and Norway have similar rituals in which they hide a whole almond in rice pudding—whoever gets the nut is guaranteed great fortune in the new year.

In Germany, it’s customary to leave a little bit of each food on your plate past midnight to guarantee a stocked pantry in the New Year.

However, you may not want to eat lobster or fowl as they move or scratch backwards which could lead to setback or dwelling on the past. Winged creatures just might cause your good luck to fly away too!

While I’m putting this column together, I’m crock-potting some lentils, black-eyed peas, sausage, ham hocks and spinach.  I’m looking for health and prosperity in the coming year and a little bit of luck and legend can’t hurt…Oh in case your wondering about the ham hocks, I did it on a whim.

The party I’m going to is also serving calamari and crab legs.  So if a squid’s tentacles can be considered legs, I figured ham hocks would fit right in.

I sure hope this whim never strikes me again. Not much meat on a ham hock! Wishing you all a wonderful New Year.

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The Menu for next week at the Senior Nutrition Program is as follows:

• Monday: Lasagna roll with meat sauce, veggie blend, tossed salad, ice cream;

• Wednesday: Pork chop with gravy, stuffing, peas and carrots, orange juice, yogurt; and

• Friday: Hamburger on roll, garlic red potatoes, vegetable, applesauce

I understand they are looking for some folks to join their Wii bowling team. Remember they meet at the Senior Center, next to the Library on Oswego St. Lunch is served at noon but they are open by 10 for coffee and news and games. Give Rosemary a call and make your reservation now at 564-5471.

Happy belated birthday wishes to Millie Stoutenger.  Millie and Red are faithful Meals on Wheels delivery people and send lots of cards out to Elderberries where Millie is the Sunshine Lady.

Remember the Jammers are taking the winter off. Please keep your ears and eyes posted as I will be sure to let you know when the Jammers resume.

The osteoporosis exercise class Bone Builders meets at the American Legion on Rochester Street Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:45 a.m. You might like to sit in on a class or two and see what it’s all about. By the way, osteoporosis is not a women’s condition, men can have it, too!

The Elderberries will be meeting the second and fourth Tuesdays at noon during the winter. They meet for a covered dish luncheon at the Senior Center. Please bring your own table service and a dish to pass. Looks like that means I’ll be seeing some of my readers on Tuesday! Yes this is the second Tuesday! We’d love to see some new people join in the fun – come on down, up or over and pay us a visit!

The Hannibal Board of Education will meet Wednesday at 7:15 p.m.

Hannibal Superintendent Of Schools Donna Fountain has sent a letter to all parents and guardians of Hannibal students in regards to the changes in Hannibal schools in light of the Newtown tragedy. These changes largely involve access to the schools and increased police patrols. I suggest that all my readers read it on the Hannibal Central School web site at www.hannibalcsd.org.

Marge Woodworth, one of Hannibal’s sweet ladies, has passed away. Her memorial service will be Jan. 26 at God’s Vision Christian Church at 11 a.m. with a reception following at the Senior Center (library.)

This column is written about what’s happening in Hannibal, especially for the people of Hannibal and those who have a tie to our community. Please keep me posted on your organization so I can keep my readers informed.

Hannibal’s Skipworth wins 55-meter hurdles

55-meter hurdles winner – Hannibal’s Jordan Skipworth and Cicero-North Syracuse Morgan Austen compete in the 55-meter hurdle event during the John Arcaro Memorial Invitational at Onondaga Community College’s SRC Arena. Skipworth finished in first place while Hannibal as a team finished in sixth place.–Valley News photo by Hal Henty
55-meter hurdles winner – Hannibal’s Jordan Skipworth and Cicero-North Syracuse Morgan Austen compete in the 55-meter hurdle event during the John Arcaro Memorial Invitational at Onondaga Community College’s SRC Arena. Skipworth finished in first place while Hannibal as a team finished in sixth place.
–Valley News photo by Hal Henty

In and Around Hannibal: December 22, 2012

by Rita Hooper 

I have wrestled mightily with what I want to say in this week’s lead. In just a few days it will be Christmas…but our hearts are heavy with the tragic shooting, murder and suicide of 27 people.

Twenty were under seven years of age. There were safely in school (in Newtown, Conn.) or so we all thought. As I want to write about the nation’s Christmas tree and the joy of the season, I’m compelled to write about this tragedy.

The people who died were all someone’s son or daughter, grandchild, brother, sister, niece, nephew, cousin or friend.  As a nation, we mourn for them, and with those who knew and loved them. I don’t imagine there was a house of worship anywhere in our country that didn’t pray for them this week. Our president called us to action. I’ve been thinking about what I can do because I know that change has to begin within each individual.

I admit I was a babe in arms during World War II and a small child during the Korean War, but I still had what I would call a peaceful childhood. Our war toys were metal or plastic soldiers. We played Cowboys and Indians with cap guns and water pistols for weapons. We knew it was play and not real. If it got a little rough, there was a parent around somewhere that would “settle us down!”

Since my youth, I have watched as our society has slowly turned into one of fear and violence.  I Remember Mama, and Life of Riley, Jackie Gleason and Leave it to Beaver, have all been replaced with shows lacking values for the most part…rudeness is showcased and accepted and human life is often expendable. We could go for days talking about how much our society has changed — reasons don’t really matter and we probably won’t turn the clock back, but what we do in the future does matter.

We control what our children watch on TV, what we give them to play with, who they play with, and the activities they are involved with. We control how we speak at home and treat other people. We set the example for our children. “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” – do you want your children to be like you? If they copy your language, dress and relationships with others, will they be better people for it?

Judging from what I heard as children spoke with Santa about their wish lists, many children will be receiving electronic games for Christmas. Before Christmas, check out what you have bought and return it if it involves violence. Imagine what a message the retailers would receive if all their violent videos were returned.

Go to the recreational facilities with your children and keep an eye out for what’s happening. Many schools are offering information and programs on bullying…attend them, speak with your children about what’s happening with them.

We control who we vote for. We should let politicians know how we feel when it comes to budgeting for education, parks and playgrounds, and after-school and daycare programs. We need to let them know how we feel about mental health funding and facilities.

We need a discussion about the difference between guns meant for hunters and sportsmen and those used as weapons of war. Write your elected officials at every level and let them know your feelings. Go to your church, your community organizations, your parent-teacher organization, library, internet, and form a group who feels as you do about violence.

Hold the president accountable — let him know you expect his leadership in this situation — suggest a televised town hall meeting.

I also plan to check on my mutual funds, I usually throw those papers out, but I will go over them in the next week or two and make sure that I am not supporting businesses that I won’t patronize.

Now going where angels fear to tread…brings me to the NRA.  From my understanding, the National Rife Association was formed in 1871, following the Civil War, by two Union veterans who were concerned over the lack of marksmanship of the troops. The primary goal of the association would be to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis.”

The NRA made a name for itself in training and safety. Many beginning hunters received gun safety training from the NRA in order to get their first hunting license. Somewhere along the line, the organization became arch defenders of the second amendment.

I haven’t got the time, space or legal mind to go into all that is involved with Second Amendment interpretation – but somehow I don’t think the founding fathers were thinking of our present day military weapons when they wrote it.

While the NRA still encourages and does gun training, they have become a much more politically active group. Many NRA members say they no longer support the NRA’s hardline position. As you return violent videos, and check your investments, perhaps you need to reconsider your NRA membership or at least let them know how you feel.

When I hear politicians like the governor of Texas, say he supports the right of folks to carry guns anywhere in their state — schools and churches included — I cringe. I have a granddaughter in Texas and I’d really hate to see her principal armed. Can you imagine armed movie goers in the dark, or shoppers in a crowded mall or perhaps at a baseball game teeming with children, pulling weapons? Arming more Americans in more places is surely not the answer.

I am not asking people to give up their guns but I know there can be a better world out there for our children to grow and thrive in if we bring some common sense to this debate.

And, that debate begins with me and you! It’s time for that serious discussion and more importantly it’s time we took action instead of sitting by and saying, “Isn’t that a shame?”

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Now to a change of subject.

The second and final part of the National Christmas Tree and the Path of Peace.

During the Jimmy Carter years, the tree was on the Ellipse, a transplanted Blue Spruce donated by Mrs. Myers from York, Pa. It had been a Mother’s Day present to her some years prior.  President Carter lit it in 1977 and 1978. The tree was not, except for the top ornament, in honor of those held hostage in Iran in 1979 and 1980.

Shortly after Ronald Reagan was sworn in Jan. 20 1981, the hostages were released. When they left Iranian airspace, the tree was fully lit.

There having been an assassination attempt on President Reagan in 1981, the nation’s tree was lit by remote from the White House as it was for the eight years of his presidency.

In 1989, President and Mrs. Bush once again lit the Christmas tree on the Ellipse, this time from a glass-encased box near the stage. The tree was lit with red, white and blue bulbs.

In 1990, 57 small Scotch pine trees were planted forming the Pathway of Peace. Each tree represented a state, the District of Columbia and the US territories. The trees had been grown on reclaimed surface coal mine land.

During the Clinton years, the Clinton’s took part in many celebrity performances. A garden-size railroad was added to the other exhibits (crèche, reindeer and Yule log) at the Ellipse. The tree was lit until Jan. 1.

From 2001-2008, it was President George W. and Laura Bush who had the privilege of lighting the National Christmas tree and participating in the Pageant of Peace. In 2001, the children of victims of the 9-11 attack on the Pentagon assisted in the tree lighting.

President Barack Obama and the first family participated in the national tree lighting in 2009 and 10. And then in February of 2011, strong winds snapped the tree about four feet above the ground.

The 42-foot Colorado blue spruce had been in its current location for more than 32 years. The National Park Service transplanted a new tree on the Ellipse in the spring of 2011.

This tree died due to transplant shock and was removed in May of 2012. A new one was planted by the National Park Service in October of 2012.

At this year’s tree lighting President Obama quipped,

“Our tree has been having a hard time recently. This is our third one in as many years. It just goes to show, nobody’s job is safe.”

Well folks that’s it on the tree. Hope yours is lit and broadcasting joy and peace to all who see it.

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Cabin 3 and Vintage Truth Christmas Party and message will be held tonight at 7 p.m. All area youth welcome.

The Senior Nutrition Program will not meet Dec. 24. The center will be serving beef stew Wednesday and mac and cheese Friday.  Please call 564-5471 to make your reservation.

This Sunday, churches throughout the world will be celebrating the last Sunday of Advent. That period of expectation for the Prince of Peace to make His entrance into the world as a newborn babe. Christmas Eve, churches will be celebrating His birth. You and your family are invited to join in these celebrations at the church of your choice.

Sunday, Dec. 23 at 10 a.m., Hannibal and Granby Methodist churches will be sharing in a Christmas Pageant at the Martville Methodist Church. The youth of all three churches will be participating.

Christmas Eve services at Hannibal Methodist Church will be celebrated at 7 p.m. The Methodist Churches of Granby and Martville will be sharing in this service. Wayne Kellogg, a professional musician and a native of Hannibal, will be guest organist for the service.

God’s Vision Christian Church will host Christmas worship at 10 a.m. Sunday. Its candlelight Christmas Eve service and children’s pageant will be  5:30 p.m.

Southwest Oswego Methodist  Church’s Christmas Eve will be held at 6:30 p.m. The service will include scripture, carols and special music.

The Jammers will not be meeting this winter. See you in May.

The Elderberries will be meeting at noon at the Community Center on second and fourth Tuesdays.