Category Archives: Jerry’s Journal

Geraldine Hogan Kasperek, Columnist – Jerry writes “Jerry’s Journal,” a bi-monthly column featuring stories about local people and tales of the “good old days” in Fulton. She attended SUNY Oswego in the Writing Arts Program. She has written and edited newsletters for several different organizations and has had many articles published in various newspapers on community and environmental issues.

JERRY’S JOURNAL: Transportation with Walt Carrington

I’ve never met Walt Carrington but he sounds like a real interesting guy.

I now share with you a letter from him, a former Fultonian who has sent me some interesting notes of what it was like growing up in our hometown.

The subject of this particular letter is “Transportation.”

“Air: Somewhere between 1957 and 1962, my Mom sent me a newspaper front page (Herald Journal probably) which had headlines claiming Fulton’s airport had 20-foot drifts of snow.”

“Buses: When I was in grade school (40s, early 50s) there was a period during which Fulton had a bus system. The reason for remembering was that the end of the line was at Whitcomb Road and West First Street.

I had left my sled there in a pile of snow to talk to a friend, Jim Kring, and while I was talking the bus turned around and crushed my sled.

“I seem to remember there was a bus stop at the State Theatre, and at the plaza in front of the Green and White Diner, where the bus lines converged.

One could also catch the Syracuse and Oswego Bus Line, which stopped next door to the State Theatre at its terminal where tickets were sold. I rode that bus to the State Fair in Syracuse and back a couple of years.

“Railroads: In the 1940s Fulton had passenger train service. My Mom told my sister and me that if we would stop chewing our fingernails she would take us on the train to Oswego and back. I didn’t get to take the trip but my sister did, and the depot was out Oneida Street where the passenger train station was overhead at the overpass.

“My Dad took Mom and Joann out for their trip and we waved ‘bye.’ That was the New York Central’s passenger station there.

“On the west side of the river, across the street from Henderson and Thompson Lumber Yard, on the west end of the Lower Bridge, there was the terminal for the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western (DL&W) Railroad Co.

“I remember seeing steam freight switches in the freight yard in the 1940s, serving the feed mill and Henderson Thompson’s coal trestle and lumber yard, but I don’t remember any passenger operations at that time.

“In the 1880s, Fulton had 10 passenger trains a day running on the Oswego Syracuse Division of what was to become the DL&W, and later the Erie Lackawanna and still later ConRail.

For those interested in history, until 1957, when it failed, the Ontario and Western Railroad also served Fulton from the east. This railroad was nicknamed “Old Weary” and came into Fulton from Central Square.

The Old Weary began as the New York and Oswego Midland Railroad’s Northern Division. An 1873 time table shows 10 trains a day going through Fulton with freight operations only. “

I thank Walt Carrington for reminiscing with us per his correspondence. He supplied some date sources: When the Railroads Went to the Beach, John Taibi, 1909, p. 17, and Lackawanna Route in Central New York, 1977, and Steam Railroads of Central New York, 1973. Sorry but I can’t supply the source of these publications

I don’t know about you but Walt’s memories provoked a few of my own. I think the winter of 20-foot snow drifts at the Fulton airport was the winter of 1958.

That year Mike spent a lot of his evenings and weekends painting the inside of our about-to-be new home in the Patrick Tract on West Third Street.

One day he was so busy at his task that he didn’t realized how much snow had fallen and when it was time to go home our car was buried. Thank goodness for the help of our soon-to-be-new next door neighbor Joe LiVoti, Mike got shoveled out and got home okay.

I am very familiar with that corner of Whitcomb and West First Street Walt wrote about. I lived just a couple houses up and next door to the Kring family when I was a child.

As far as the old bus line around Fulton, I often rode the bus as a young working woman, on the route that took me from out in the Sixth Ward where I lived on Porter Street to downtown Fulton and my job at the Oswego County Telephone Company on South First Street.

The bus line that used to be called The Syracuse-Oswego, that stopped downtown near the State Theatre on the corner of South First and Rochester Streets, and is now known as Centro and still goes to Syracuse. You can still catch a ride to the State Fair in the fall (for $3 a head, correct amount only, no change.)

As for the trains that once ran through our city, my long ago neighbor on Porter Street, Home Bailey, worked for the DL&W and was a familiar sight in his engineer’s cap and coveralls of white and gray pinstripes.

And then there were the train whistles all times of the day and night that could be heard in our West Third Street neighborhood. That noise, mournful sounding at night, waking up small children tucked into bed, came from the railroad tracks that cross Curtis Street near the Junior High School.

I never rode a train to Oswego in my youth, but did walk the tracks to Sharp’s Pond many a summer, and I did ride the New York Central a couple of times — once when I when 12 and went to Hackensack, N.J. with an adult friend of our family, and once to New York City to spend time with Mike when were still newlyweds in 1952 and he was in the Navy.

OK, dear readers, let’s fast-forward back to the here and now: I don’t know where Walt Carrington lived here in town so I dug out my 1950 City Directory and looked up what I think was his old address and discovered that a Walter and Mary Carrington once lived on the corner of Whitcomb Road and Forest Ave — and their actual address was RD3 (imagine that,  that area wasn’t part of the city just yet, and no Whitcomb Tract or Lanigan School back then)…

I’m also guessing that Mr. and Mrs. Carrington were Walt’s Mom and Dad. Walt’s mother was listed as h (staying home), while his father was listed as a foreman at the PCKSCCo — Peter Cailier Kohler Swiss Chocolate Co. — which became Nestlé’s!

Speaking of our old chocolate factory, I think it would be fun to do a series of columns on people who worked there.

If you are one of them and want to share your story, please write or email me a paragraph or two — not more than a page — and let’s see how it all works out.

But be patient, it may take me some time to put it all together.

Now here’s my caveat:

Readers 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. Please put Jerry’s Journal in the subject line. Thanks!

Jerry’s Journal, March 8

If you read my last journal you know that Peter Palmer was born with one arm, has a driver’s license but loves to walk (especially across the Lower Bridge on his way downtown), is a devout Catholic and once entered a monastery, is retired from the Oswego County Social Service Department after 32 years, is Fulton’s historian — can reel off facts about our hometown in the blink of an eye — and has lived in the same house on Worth Street his entire life.

“Did you know that Worth Street was the first street in Fulton to be paved?” Peter inquired of me during our interview.

It was because Mayor Foster lived on Worth Street.

“What was Mayor Foster’s first name?” I asked.

So, Peter looked it up and to our surprise, we discovered there were in fact two mayors with the last name of Foster. (I do not know if they were brothers; it’s something to further investigate.)

James Foster lived at 94 Worth St. and was mayor from 1902-04; while John M. Foster at 88 Worth St. was mayor 1906-08. That’s where Foster Park got its name.

“It once was an Indian burial ground,” Peter said. “You can still see a couple of the mounds.”

Oh, yes, Foster Park. …. I reminisced a bit and told Peter that my Dad had worked for the Best Ice Cream Co. on West First Street when I was a small child. … My Mom used to walk me down the steep stairs that went straight down into the park. … . I wonder if they’re still there?

Peter said John Foster had a daughter named Geraldine (that’s my proper name, too, a beautiful name if there ever was one, so my mother thought), and according to a 1948 city directory, Ms. Foster worked in our city library, in the children’s section.

She eventually sold their home on Worth Street and bought a house at 218 S. Fourth St. where she once entertained Eleanor Roosevelt at a tea.

Folk art painter Norman Rockwell also is said to have visited Geraldine Foster and stayed at her family’s camp on the river just north of the city. While in our area, Rockwell painted a picture of four boys on a toboggan.

One of those boys was Joe Crahan, who became a well known policeman around town.

Peter’s grandfather, Seymour Palmer, purchased the house on Worth Street a hundred years ago for his wife, Blanche, who did not like living in the country.

The house already had electricity, and his grandfather installed bathroom plumbing, but really didn’t like using it. He preferred the outhouse, Peter said. (He didn’t want bad smells in their home!)

The outhouse is gone now, as is the barn out back, Peter said. Their then next door neighbor, Coach Willard “Andy” Anderson, helped take them down and helped build the “new” garage that replaced them.

The Palmer home hasn’t changed too much over the years, Peter chuckled. He said he even has his grandmother’s “stuffed” canary.

And there are ghosts…you can hear their footsteps… and a neighbor thought she saw Peter’s dad sitting in the dinning room, while someone else thought they saw his grandfather sitting in his chair.

Both men had died in the house, but not at the same time, and both went peacefully.

I thank Peter for his time and stories and I guarantee they’ll be more from and about him in future columns.

Well, dear Readers, it’s been a long, hard winter and though I could have and should have done a lot more than looking out the window and longing for warm weather, it hasn’t been a total waste of time, (where does the time go? It’s March already!)

I’ve finally gotten all seven years of Jerry’s Journals — clippings from the Fulton Patriot and the Valley News — into two crammed notebooks, have completed a photo album from Ed’s 80th birthday last summer, and have organized into a less chaotic mess all the memorabilia my faithful readers and contributors have given me to use in my columns.

Now I can more easily find what I need when I need it!

Getting to the pile of stuff on my desk, however, I was horrified and embarrassed to find a long-forgotten letter from former Fultonian Walt Carrington who wrote two pages of “gist for Jerry’s Journal.”

His subject matter was “Transportation,” which I found most interesting and will share with you next time. Until then, I sincerely hope Walt will forgive me for the oversight.

Meanwhile, ponder this: Longing for the” Good Old Days” isn’t something new. The following excerpts are from a booklet of poems, “As I Remember,” written by Fred Kenyon Jones of Fulton, and dated 1934.

“They made twin beds in case he snores; They made machines to do the chores; They moved the pulley works out of town; They finally burned the round house down.

“They took the eel-pot out of the river; They charge you 50 cents for liver; They slowed up serge and started silk; They even stopped making Nestlé’s milk.”

“T’was fun to walk three miles to school; And help hitch-up old Jennie mule; ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ was a glorious treat; Or putting a tack on a teacher’s seat.

“Remember the days of the huskin’ bee? Yokes of oxen you no more see; But, there’s one thing you moss-back know; We had fun — 30 years ago!”

I thank Tom Trepasso for loaning me the booklet from which I took the passages. It was written the year I was born. It’s hard to recall or even imagine all the things that have changed since then, and it makes a person wonder what the next 80 years will bring!.

Now here’s my caveat: Readers 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. Please put Jerry’s Journal in the subject line. Thanks!

Jerry’s Journal, by Jerry Hogan

Peter Palmer is the guy with one arm you often see walking across the Lower Bridge.

He also happens to be Fulton’s historian. He can remind you in rapid-fire talk about all the factory whistles in our town that used to blow morning, noon and night, and tell you stories about our local cemeteries, churches, our old downtown, and more!

I sat at my kitchen table a few weeks ago for an interview with Peter and I have six pages of notes to show for it and, as our conversation went — jumping from subject to subject — so this column will go as well.

Peter lives on the west side, on Worth Street, in a house his grandfather bought about a hundred years ago. It was previously owned by a Mr. Thompson who had built it for his wife as a wedding present.

Peter’s first name actually is Lawton. He was named after his father, Lawton Palmer, who was born in that house in 1915, and Peter, a bachelor, has lived there his whole life.

He is the oldest of three children. His brother Colburn, aka Coby, lives in Indianapolis and his sister Barbara lives on Cape Cod.

Lawton was his grandmother’s maiden name, and while his mother’s name was Florence she liked to be called “Pete.” Perhaps that’s where Peter got his name from, but he doesn’t know for sure.

Peter said his neighborhood in the First Ward was settled by the Irish, English and Germans.

“They had cousins all over the place — like most neighborhoods did back then,” he said.

The Murphy and the Sullivan families, for example, and, come to think about it, “the Aldermans, a Jewish family, also lived around there, on West Third Street, over in back of their junkyard on West First.”

Barnes Cemetery was also on West First Street, about where the Polish Home is today. The remains were moved to Mt. Adnah Cemetery, which in its beginning was called Oswego Falls Rural Cemetery.

“Oswego Falls was on both sides of the river — because there was the upper falls and lower falls — Peter explained. That was before the city was consolidated and named Fulton after the village of Fulton on the East Side.

His great grandparents are buried in Mt. Adnah, he said. Everybody got buried there.

That was before there was a fence between Mt. Adnah and St. Mary’s Catholic cemetery. The first Catholic Mass in Fulton was said in a private home by a priest from Oswego in 1850 with about 20 people in attendance. St. Mary’s Cemetery was established in 1872.

Both sides of the river had their own fire department back then. The one on West First and Worth Streets was called the Cronin Fire Department and was manned by volunteers.

Peter recalled the city of Fulton’s fire department downtown, on South First Street, and its bell tower you couldn’t miss. Peter said the bell was rung to denote where a fire was located. For example, 24 rings meant it was at Phillips Street School, 10 rings meant the fire was outside the city, and 2 rings meant the fire was out.

Sadly, the bell was taken down in 1954 when the tower was deemed unsafe. The last anyone saw of it, Peter said, was being loaded onto the back of a flatbed and carted off to be sold or junked.

It was long before that, though, when in 1888, Thomas Edison came to town to experiment and “electrified” the first house in our area to have electricity and electric lights. Peter said the house was where Price Chopper’s parking lot now takes up space, specifically on its southeast corner (where TOPS market used to have a flag pole).

William Schenck owned that house, he and Thomas Edison were friends, Peter said, and Schenck Street — that short, one-block-long street that most people don’t even know exists — is named after him. It goes from West First Street to the Lower Bridge.

As to being recognized as the guy with one arm, Peter said he didn’t mind if I discussed it in my column. He said he was born that way but never saw it as an obstacle to leading a normal life — as his mother had taught him and as he had learned, sometimes the hard way.

Peter said he has a driver’s license and once owned a car but prefers to walk as much as he can.

“No problem with parking,” he said. As a child he went to the old Walradt Street and Phillips Street Schools, and as a teenager to Catholic high school in Oswego.

He grew up a Methodist, he said, but when he was 12 he read the history of the Catholic Church and decided to become a Catholic.

After high school graduation he entered a monastery. That didn’t work out as planned, he declared, and he left it because “everything was done by bells” and he “wanted to come back into the world.”

“It was hard getting a job,” he said. GE wouldn’t hire him because he was handicapped.  “There was so much discrimination.”

But he did land a job despite it all: “My mother said there is no such word as can’t,” Peter said quite emphatically, and his first job was at Montgomery Ward on Cayuga Street here in town. That was only the beginning.

Peter has had a varied career. He once worked at the Messenger, a publication in Mexico, NY, doing filing and as a typist. “A typist?” I questioned. “Yes, “he kind of chuckled, “The nuns at Catholic High taught me how to type. They had a special book on how to type with one hand.”

Peter also spent time in the Planning Department at Sealright, but got “bumped.” He worked in the Oswego County Social Service office for a couple of years as well, and in the library of Syracuse University for four years.

Eventually he went back to the Social Services from which he retired after 32 years. “I worked all over the place at Social Services,” he laughed. “Had a great time working with 300 women — it was fun!”

Okay, Dear Readers, writing this has also been fun but I need to end this journal for now. Please come back in two weeks, though, when they’ll be more of Peter Palmer’s stories of old Fulton in my next column. Now here’s my caveat:

Readers 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. Please put Jerry’s Journal in the subject line. Thanks!

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.

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!

Jerry’s Journal

Let’s first begin with Bob Borek, a former Fultonian, who called me from his home in Meteraire, a suburb of New Orleans, La., to share some special memories.

Bob’s been away from Fulton for 20 years, but reads my column, and the one that particularly caught his eye was on the old pavilion at Recreation Park.

He said his father, Boley Borek, worked there in the 1940s, was a member of the park commission for about 10 years, and worked with John “Muskie” Muscalino, who he remembers as walking with a limp.

Muskie was city recreation commissioner as well as a physical education teacher and coach at Good Old Fulton High School.

“Do you remember the PLAV championship baseball team? It was sponsored by the Polish Legion of American Veterans when it was still on Broadway,” Bob said.

“The PLAV was state champions for years. Bubba Tracy, Don Smith, Stan Smith, and Jerry Allen were on the team,” he said.

He reminisced a little more and chuckled about setting pins at Fedora’s bowling alley as a kid but, “by the end of pay day he had no money because he spent it all at the snack bar!”

I thanked Bob for the nice phone call and said I actually knew his dad, not personally, but as the step-father of my good friend Doris Kenyon Taylor.

So, just before I wrote this I called Doris to sort things out. She said Bob’s mother and her father died young. George Kenyon was only in his 50s, and her mother, Frances, worked at the Woolen Mill, and at Sealright.

“She was a hard working woman who struggled to take care of us,” Doris said in reflection.

“That’s the way things were back then. We all worked hard if we wanted anything. I babysat and had a lot of little jobs growing up. . . Boley gave me a job at the pavilion selling tickets to the roller rink – when I was only 14!” she laughed.

Doris spoke fondly of her step-brother Bob and said they stay in touch, she said. The other members of this extended family are Charlotte Kenyon (Dopp), Jim and Tom Kenyon, and Gail Borek (Gilliland).

Thanks, Doris. It’s always fun talking to you! (And, thanks again, Bob Borek.)

North Sixth Street, Part 2

Go on, blame Gerry Garbus for suggesting I write a column about our old Sixth Ward neighborhood – and what great memories it has provoked!

Not to mention the wonderful phone calls I’ve gotten from old acquaintances who want to set the record straight, and/or, tell their story.

“You got me married to the wrong guy,” I heard a hearty laugh over the phone just after that column came out. It was Carol Koenig Spaulding, referring to the fact that I had written her up as being Carol Koenig Kellogg.

“Oops,” I said. “Sorry!” Wrong last name!

Carol was very good about it, though. She thought I probably got her last name confused with “that Ingersol girl” who I had also written about.

Yes, I agreed. It was indeed Muriel “Tootie” Ingersol who married Gary Kellogg (deceased), while Carol Koenig had indeed married Gary Spaulding (also deceased).

Having cleared that up, we chatted some more and I found out that Yvonne Diehl lives in Koenig’s old homestead on North Sixth Street.

Yvonne (sorry, I don’t know her married name) used to live with her mother and brother, Phillip, right across the street next to my grandparents. Thanks, Carol for the fun chit-chat.

This is where it gets more interesting.

A few days later, I got a call from Phillip Diehl, who winters in Florida but keeps up with the hometown news. He has a home in Oswego as well, and said he’d like to get together this summer and talk a little more about the good old days on North Sixth.

Yet, another surprise.

Who else should call me up all the way from Florida where today she makes her home, but none other than Tootie Ingersol Kellogg! Her correct first name, by the way, is spelled Maryel, not Muriel. She said she enjoys my column – especially the one about our old neighborhood.

She said she remembered the Dempsey boys — John, Earl and Dick — but couldn’t place John.

“He goes by Bill, everybody calls him Bill,” I said, to clear up that mystery. She reminded me her sister Joan married Ed Pittsley, a neighborhood boy who lived nearby on Manhattan Avenue, and that her brother Bruce married Cheryl Hayden, one of the Hayden kids that lived up back of me, (I lived on Porter Street and they lived on North Seventh) and that Bruce and Cheryl still live in Ingersols’ old home on Freemont.

And, how could I have forgotten that Geraldine Blakeslee (one of the Gerrys I had mentioned in that column), once lived on North Sixth next door to Dick Guyer. Her father was in the dry cleaning business, Tootie said.

“I think she married one of the Snow brothers,” I recalled.

“I babysat for your little sister and brother (Denise and David McKinney) when your parents went bowling,” Tootie further surprised me.

“Mike and I were probably bowling with them,” I said thoughtfully acknowledging the many years of age difference between me and my siblings, while also admitting I had no recollection of her babysitting them…but fondly remembering bowling with my Mom and Dad.

That was such a long time ago, I said. Thanks, Tootie; it was great hearing from you!

As for Gerry Garbus who started this whole thing, there’s more to come in Part 3 of North Sixth Street. Meanwhile, please enjoy the accompanying photo — the old “canning factory” on Phillips Street. Thanks, Gerry for sharing.

Now here’s my caveat:

Readers 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 welcome. 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!

Jerry’s Journal

I’m going to make this short and sweet.

Now as this year ends and a new one begins, I want to thank the Valley News for putting me to print every other week.

Actually, I must thank Vince Caravan, God rest his soul, for getting me interested in writing again back in 1980, when he said, “Jerry, why don’t you do something with your writing? You can write a column for us, just pick your subject.”

Well, a lot of water’s gone over the dam, as they say, and I’ve been a prolific writer ever since Vince’s gentle prodding.

Story writing, letter-to-the-editor writing, newsletter writing, fun writing, serious writing, poetry writing, column writing — you-name-it writing — but yet to write a book writing!

And along the way I’ve meet a lot of good people who also like to write, among them Roy Hodge, whom I want thank for the opportunity of having Jerry’s Journal appear twice a month for a couple of years in his newspaper, the Fulton Patriot.

It was a sad day to many when that venerable old newspaper finally had to give up the ghost with times changing and people depending more on electronic news these days.

(Having said that, I do have to admit to very much liking my desk computer, as well as my electronic tablet, to help keep up with my writings, emails, and the daily news.)

In any case, as I tell everyone who writes, or calls or emails, or stops me on the street to share their story or just say how much they like reading my stuff: if you keep on reading I promise I will keep on writing!

So, to you, Dear Readers — near and far — I wish every one of you a happy and blessed New Year.

See you in 2014!

Jerry’s Journal

Most everyone who grew up back in the day has fond memories of their old neighborhood, the streets you walked to your friends’ house and to school, and the houses and the people who lived in them along the way.

My neighborhood was in the Sixth Ward and North Sixth Street became my pathway to the world as I knew it back then.

Well, you know how it goes, the years flew by and the next thing I knew I was grown up, married to Mike Hogan, living up over my parents on Porter Street, and was pushing a baby carriage up and down North Sixth on my way to most everywhere I went.

Mike was just starting out at Niagara Mohawk and we didn’t have a car yet. (I think that baby carriage had more mileage on it than most cars did when our first child was born back in 1953!)

“Let me see your baby,” a young woman sitting on a porch on North Sixth called out to me one fine day. That led us to admiring each other’s infants — my little girl and her little boy — both of whom, of course, were the most adorable babies you’ve ever seen!

My new friend’s name was Geri Garbus. She and her husband, Fred, were renting an apartment from her grandfather and grandmother, Rex and Goldie Carvey.

Come to find out, Geri is sister to Joyce Carvey (Boynton) who is one of my classmates, and the oldest of the four Carvey sisters: Geri, Joyce, Judy and Joan.

The Carvey house was on the opposite corner of North Sixth and Seward Street from my grandparents, Ralph and Edna McKinney, where I spent many an hour, so Geri and I saw each other quite often. (View’s grocery store, later to become Koval’s, was just across the street.)

Now fast forward to a few weeks ago when Geri (who also goes by Jeri or Gerry), called and said she’d like to put our heads together to see who and what we could remember from our days on North Sixth Street.

By the way, how many other Gerrys did we know? Geraldine Blakeslee, Geraldine Hubbell, and Geraldine, who was the manger of Harper’s store, was about all we could come up with!

Thus we chatted at my kitchen table, drank tea, reminisced and got so busy enjoying it that we skipped around that neighborhood, randomly mentioning this person or that person as he or she came to mind. So, Dear Readers, bear with me as I do the same.

Rex Carvey was a well-known local politician, an alderman or county legislator, we couldn’t remember, except, as Geri recalled, he was known as a “supervisor” back then.

She spoke lovingly of her Grandma Goldie Carvey.

“Everybody wanted to have their picture taken in Grandma’s garden,” she said. “Shirley Jenkins was the next place after the garden.”

Earl View had the store but wasn’t a bit friendly — “a son-of-a-gun — but his wife was nice,” she said.

Elsie O’Neil lived down Seward Street. She was a nurse who took care of almost everyone who ever spent time at the old Lee Memorial Hospital.

“A little old man lived all by himself,” also on Seward Street; he made Geri “a grater out of a tin can.”

Starting at Porter Street and going south, there was Dick Guyer, a boy my age and a great clarinet player, his mother a maternity nurse at Lee Memorial, and his father, a cop on the beat.

Across from them was Jack Percival, his mother, brother and sister.

Now crossing Freemont Street but still on North Sixth,was the Young family, some of them cousins and some siblings: Mary Ellen, Pricilla (Marcino), John and Kay (Cafolla).

Down a couple of houses were Mrs. Diehl and her children Yvonne and Phillip. They were next to my grandparent’s house. Keith Smithers lived across the street from them.

Gloria Simons (Lyons) lived on the corner of Freemont and North Sixth. Also on that side of the street was the Koenigs, Carol (Kellogg) and Janice (Kincaid) Koenig, and Emma Rowlee who married Jack Walsh.

Going west off North Sixth onto Freemont Street, there was Lola Wells and her twins, Frances and Franklin. They were a year ahead of me in school.

Going east on Freemont, there were the Truesdales, the Wordens — Carl Worden was a great little guy, and Neil, Barbara and Jean Barnard, Theresa Maloney (Dings), Muriel, “Tootie” Ingersol and her sister Shirley (Terzulli) and her brother Bruce, while Chuck and Sally Shortsleeve, and John, Earl and Dick Dempsey lived farther up Freemont.

Okay, Dear Readers, I’m going to stop here and finish this sweet sojourn another time. Because as I write this, I have Christmas on my mind; it’s such a busy time of year! So I wrote a poem about it:

‘Tis the Season

 

‘Tis the season

For blowing snow

For saying stuff like Ho, Ho, Ho,

It’s off to the mall we go!

 

But…whether you shop a lot

Or trim a tree or not…

Always remember in December

Jesus is still the reason for the season.

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 JHogan@aol.com. Please put Jerry’s Journal in the subject line.

Thanks!