Category Archives: Columnists

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.

Hodgepodge, by Roy Hodge

Last week we observed a big day in the sports world – at least in the American sports world.

The Super Bowl was in town – in every town in the U.S.A. Personally, I am not always a front row fan of professional football. I consider myself an avid Syracuse University sports fan and like most Syracuse-area sports fans, I cheer loudly for them.

I don’t have a lot of interest in what happens in the country’s professional football arenas. I do keep in touch with the pro teams that include former SU players on their rosters – and I have a favorite NFL team.

Brown is a favorite color

I consider myself a follower and fan of the Cleveland Browns. My association with the Browns goes back to when I played street football with my friends, the Fero boys, on Wiman Avenue.

Their father always cheered for the Browns, so the boys were Browns fans, too.

By some kind of logic, I guess that left to me the responsibility among Wiman Avenue kids to support the New York Giants. So, when we lined up on the street in front of our homes, we were the “Browns” and the “Giants.”

The Cleveland Browns were among the winningest teams in those years, when some of their best players included Otto Graham, who led the Browns to 10 championship games and was considered by some to be the best NFL quarterback ever; Lou Groza, an outstanding member of the Browns’ front line for many years; running back Marion Motley; and pass catcher Dante Lavelli.

My personal loyalty to the Browns goes back to the Jim Brown days. When Jim Brown graduated from SU and was drafted by the Cleveland Browns, I became a Browns fan.

(This could become really complicated for you to follow if I told you that in addition to Jim Brown, John Brown, another SU player of that era, also played for the Cleveland Browns and that the Cleveland team was organized by, coached by, and was named after Paul Brown).

That loyalty has been passed on to my oldest son, Craig and his children. Craig and my grandson, Cam, travel to Cleveland at least once a year to attend a Browns game. I have joined Craig in Cleveland and in Buffalo for Browns’ games.

My granddaughter Courtney and her husband, Chris, are Browns fans, and in one of the pictures I have received of great-grand Colton, he is decked out in a Browns jersey.

I have a couple of Browns shirts, and somewhere in my dresser I have a Browns “crying towel,” which is appropriate for current fans of my favorite team.

And, yes, it’s true – the Cleveland Browns, along with three other NFL teams – have never been to the Super Bowl.

Clickety-clack

For Your Information:

Edward R. Murrow typed on a ’46 Royal Quiet Deluxe; Richard Nixon’s typewriter was an L.C. Smith.

Roy Rogers, in a 1950s publicity shot, was typing on a Remington Noiseless Standard, early 40s. It was black and shiny, with Bakelite keys and a spool crank.

In a 1962 photo, Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby) was typing on an IBM Model B Electric. Dwight Eisenhower’s typewriter was a Royal Futura.

Walter Cronkite favored a Smith Corona ‘60s/’70s Electric Portable, and Bing Crosby had a Royal Portable (1920s).

Agatha Christie did some of her typing on a Remington Portable No. 2, and Truman Capote’s fingers pushed the keys on a Royal, Model HH.

Will Rogers was known to own a Remington Portable #3; Bette Davis used a Remington Noiseless Portable, while Joe DiMaggio typed on a flat-top maroon Corona Sterling.

I didn’t make it through the whole list of typists and their typewriters, but I didn’t find anyone listed as using an “L.C. Smith Silent,” manufactured by L.C. Smith & Corona Typewriter, Inc.

I have written about my faithful old typewriter friend and companion in this space before. Silent, but strong, L.C. guided me through many tense typing moments before his well-deserved retirement several years ago.

I should mention another high-standing relic from the same era as old “Smithy.”  A venerable Underwood typewriter stands watch on a desk top at the bottom of the basement steps.

A key is missing

When looking at old typewriters, if it is old enough – as my old L.C. Smith Silent surely is – you will notice that the key for number one is missing. It’s not because someone took it out, and it’s not because it is broken.

Here’s the explanation:

“The number one key was not implemented by design. Instead, the L key – l in lower case, was used in its lower case form as a letter or a number, because a lower case 1 looks like a one.

That allowed manufacturers to save some space in the overcrowded area where hammers were located.”

Now you know, and you won’t lose any more sleep wondering about it.

Wow!

What a fantastic SU win last Saturday – giving the team a 21-0 undefeated record.  Keep going Orange!

                                      . . . Roy Hodge   

Editor’s note: The Orangemen beat Notre Dame Monday, taking their record to 22-0. They take on Clemson Sunday, Feb. 9.

The Sportsman’s World — Of Flounder and Sheepheads

By Leon Archer

I was just this week talking with a friend in Florida about fishing.

I was interested specifically in the fishing in the Indian River Lagoon, because it had been so poor the past couple of years. He told me it was still nothing to get excited about in the Sebastian area, but it was a little better than last year.

Apparently some sea grass has started to grow here and there on the sand flats. He said it is a red grass, but it must be better than nothing. Grass makes all the difference in the river fishing.

I can’t begin to remember the number of times I’ve grumbled about the grass back when it was thick, and I had to keep removing it from my lures or bait. How I wish it were that way again.

Most of the grass then was some shade of pale green depending on the species and area it was growing in. There were patches of the red grass even then, but not any great amount of it.

When I fished in and around the grassy patches, I caught fish and grass. When I avoided grassy areas, I came up with less grass, but I also caught a lot fewer fish.

The reasons are simple. The grass acts as a nursery for small fish and crabs, providing food and cover. Most people would not believe the huge number of organisms that can inhabit a relatively small patch of grass, many of them are the microscopic creatures that baby fish and crabs capture for their early meals.

Just as the grass provides food and cover for the smaller inhabitants, at the same time it provides cover for larger fish who prey on the smaller, and so it goes right up the old food chain. But without that first link made of grass, the chain never forms.

I sure hope the grass makes a strong comeback. Even though I am not in Florida this winter, I certainly plan to be back there next winter, and I’d like to find the fishing better than I did the last two years.

My friend was telling me that it had been a good winter for sheepshead and flounder. They aren’t the kind of fish that prowl the grass beds.

The sheepies hang around docks and pilings. They seldom eat fish. Their teeth are made for nipping barnacles and small oysters off pilings. They are also fond of crabs, shrimp and sand fleas. They aren’t the easiest things to hook, being probably the most proficient bait stealers I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.

They are well worth pursuing, because they rival snappers for their table qualities. They are yummy.

The flounder are occasionally found in the grass, but more likely, if they are there at all, they will lurk just outside the beds waiting for an unwary small fish to wander out to see what the big world outside the grass looks like.

Flounder are fast predators when they strike, and a small fish seldom gets a do-over. Flounder are more often found on the flats at the edge of channels and in inlets where the current constantly brings them small fish struggling to hold their place in the fast tide water.

Flounder are fun to fish for, and the greatest challenge is to keep from getting hung up on bottom as one fishes. Most fishing is done with mud minnows or finger mullet kept near the bottom with a sinker weighing two to four ounces.

The bait needs to move back with the current until it is right in front of the waiting flounder. If everything goes right, and one has a bit of luck, a tap and then a feeling of weight almost like being hung up, will be transmitted up the line to the rod. Sometimes it is a false signal and one is actually hung up on bottom, but when the rod responds with a throbbing bend when the hook is set, it becomes worth all the time and effort.

Flounder are wonderful table fare, and one that weighs seven or eight pounds will feed a family with some left over for a snack later. They are mild and do not have the delicate flavor of the sheepshead or snapper.

I have never caught a lot of southern flounder, but I have caught enough to appreciate everything about them. They are a great fish, and the lack of grass has not had as negative an effect on them as it has with fish like the spotted sea trout.

I have enjoyed my time in Washington with our grandson, but I sure have missed Florida. I haven’t missed the weather Fulton has been getting, however.

Stay warm. Spring is coming.

Bodley Bulletins, by Julia Ludington

The second half of the year has officially begun.

Students who have had 95 percent attendance, 95 percent on time to school, no major referrals, and no grades below a 70 percent will receive VIP status.

The official VIP celebration will take place this Friday. It is a great way to recognize those who have put their best foot forward this past quarter.

Honor Roll assemblies will take place next week for students who have earned either honor roll or high honor roll status. The assemblies will take place during Guided Study Hall, and students will receive a certificate and will have their picture taken.

The freshman class assembly will be next Monday, sophomores will be next Tuesday, juniors will be on Wednesday, and finally seniors will be on Thursday.

Students who will be playing a spring sport who have not yet received a physical can schedule one in the nurse’s office. Make sure to schedule one soon, spots fill up quickly.

Terracycling is still going on for the GRB Environmental Club, so if you have any empty shampoo or conditioner bottles, cream cheese tubs, applesauce containers, or yogurt containers, please bring them in!

 

Light In the Darkness

“I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”           Psalm 91:2”  

A number of years ago, I found myself asking whether life was essentially a pleasant journey with the occasional painful trial along the way,  or whether it was more of one long, arduous test with occasional moments of peace. 

I have since come to think that for the young, it often appears more like the former and for those of us who have seen the passing of more years, it seems more the latter.

This was and is in the context of a culture that still knows the remnants of blessing that came with the faith and faithfulness of so many who had gone before us.

In other cultures the perception might be much different.  But in every culture life has its trials; its tests to be endured. The way we approach them either leaves us in a weakened condition or stronger than ever.

One thing is certain, sooner or later everyone who trusts in Christ, will have that trust tested in a significant (and often painful) way. Each of us is a little different in this respect and something thing that severely tests one person is but a hiccup for another.

Even in areas where the test would be severe for any believer, such as the loss of a child, a spouse, a serious accident with permanent consequences, one whose faith is strong may seem to be tested for only a short time while the for another, whose faith is not as strong, may struggle for a long time before coming out the other side.

But one thing of which we can be certain is that our faith will be tested.

Our Lord told His people in Ezekiel  21,  “Testing will surely come.”

There is purpose behind the testing of our faith, of course. God is not a precocious, whimsical God who delights his fancy at our expense and James explains that purpose.

He writes, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (Chapter one)

We all know that in the raising of children, the ultimate goal is for them to reach adulthood as mature individuals prepared to face life’s trials and demands.

It is much the same in our spiritual lives. When we are born again, we are born into a spiritual world to which we had been dead. At that point Paul says, we are babes in Christ.

The Lord’s purpose for that new life is that we grow into mature, right-thinking adults; full of faith and able to trust Him in all areas of thought and life.

It is to this end, James says, that He allows us to be tested, that our endurance may be fully developed, so that we become perfect and complete in Him… needing nothing else.”

Can you say with the psalmist, “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”

 

Pastor David M. Grey

Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church

State Senate Report, by state Sen. Patricia Ritchie

If you’re someone who enjoys outdoor activities, there’s no better place to be than in Upstate New York.

From snowmobiling and skiing in the winter, to fishing and boating in the summer, there are so many opportunities for sportsmen to enjoy all that our region has to offer.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll want to take note of important sporting license changes that went into effect Feb. 1. Adopted in last year’s state budget, the changes are aimed at saving hunters and anglers both time and money through reduced license fees, reduced license types, changes to license dates and more.

These license fees were increased in 2009, before I became your senator.  Since then, we’ve been working to roll back some of the increases and taking steps to get more New Yorkers to enjoy our great outdoors.

To learn more about these changes, I encourage you to visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s website at www.dec.ny.gov.

In addition to lower license prices and other changes that will make things easier for outdoor enthusiasts, there is another important update for sportsmen that I would like to share.

Just recently, I led a bipartisan group of more than a dozen state lawmakers in calling on Gov. Cuomo to join in supporting the use of Side-by-Side recreational vehicles, or UTVs.

In a letter to the governor, we urged him to amend his state budget proposal to allow UTVs, which are becoming increasingly popular with the elderly, couples and families. Our state is losing out on tens of thousands of dollars in state revenue through registration fees, and taxes from retail sales of UTVs, as well as countless tourism-related jobs by prohibiting UTVs, which because they are slightly larger than standard four-wheelers can exceed outdated weight limits in current law.

This latest effort builds upon legislation I sponsor that would raise the defined weight of an ATV to 1,500 pounds to allow certain UTVs to be registered in New York state.  This legislation has passed the Senate in each of the last three years.

Not only are outdoor activities a lot of fun, they provide a major boost to our state’s economy too. Each year, the Central and Northern New York regions host thousands of visitors from outside the area.

It’s these sportsmen who eat in our restaurants, stay in our hotels and purchase hunting and fishing necessities from our various shops throughout the region. The contributions by these outdoor enthusiasts are monumental, as they are responsible for generating more than $1.5 billion in revenue annually for our state.

As your state senator — and someone who also truly enjoys outdoor activities — I’m looking forward to working to support initiatives that improve the experience for sportsmen.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast with suggestions for ways to improve hunting, fishing and other activities in our state, I invite you to contact me at ritchie@nysenate.gov.

Poetry Corner

60s Music, by Jim Farfaglia

 

“Send ‘em back to England,”

my dad said,

as The Beatles shook their mopheads

on the Ed Sullivan Show—

 

but imagine our world

with no Strawberry Fields,

with never knowing Eleanor Rigby,

without having Eight Days a Week?

 

People laughed at The Mamas & Papas:

skinny Michelle, hefty Cass

and hippy-dippy John and Denny,

who seemed a little too far out—

 

but what kind of world would this be

where there’s no California Dreamin’,

nothing to get us through a Monday Monday

and no one to Dream a Little Dream Of Me?

 

Yes, where would this world be

 

without The Stones’ search for Satisfaction,

or The Doors offering to Light My Fire?

What if there was no Hanky Panky,

no Dancin’ In The Streets?

 

No ‘60s music?

How strange it would all seem—

in fact, wouldn’t it just feel like

A World Without Love?

The Sportsman’s World, by Leon Archer

Memories of Ice Fishing

 

By Leon Archer

My father was a die-hard ice fisherman, and I fished many a cold winter day on Sandy Pond with him.

We mostly fished for perch, but sometimes I’d put in a line for Northern Pike, not because they were a favorite fish for the family table, but because I liked to catch them.

We seldom came off the ice without enough perch for several meals. We usually fished off the Elms or on Renshaw Bay. On Renshaw, we sometimes got into the big bluegills or crappies, and late in the season we occasionally caught a few bullheads through the weakening spring ice.

I probably wasn’t older than 4 when I started going with my father, and by the time I was 10, I was an old hand at the game. I can’t remember a time when it was too cold for us to fish for a half a day or more, but maybe that was because my father was wise enough to avoid going on the blisteringly cold days and the ones when a mean wind was blowing.

That doesn’t mean I never got cold. My hands suffered the most, because we used buckeye minnows for bait, and my hands were constantly getting wet if the perch were biting well. After a few hours, I could hardly move them.

Dad knew it was time to leave when I stood around with my hands tucked into some place out of the cold instead of holding a pole.

When I was about 13 or 14, people started fishing on Sandy Pond with Swedish Pimple jigs. That was a wonderful innovation for us, and we completely gave up using minnows, which kept my hands a great deal warmer.

The pimples caught perch just as well as the minnows had, and often even better. I think it was Louie Ten Gauge who introduced us to the jigs. We still used mousies some days when we were on Renshaw and wanted to catch some big bluegills and sunfish, but if they didn’t show, we’d change over to pimples.

We used to take one or two trips to Black Lake and fish for walleyes. That was when I was fairly young. As I grew older, walleyes grew ever scarcer on Black Lake until it didn’t pay to drive up there for them.

It wasn’t until years later that dad and I started to fish tip-ups on Oneida for walleyes, and for several years we did really well on them, but dad never lost his love for fishing perch on Sandy Pond.

After I was married and had a family, he would hit the pond on his own if I wasn’t able to go with him. It was just in his blood.

I took my boys ice fishing a few times, but I’m not sure they enjoyed it as much as I did, and after they were grown, I pretty much gave up ice fishing. I had too many other things that interested me more than freezing my buns off out on a frozen pond or lake.

The final straw came when I started spending the winters in Florida. Once I learned I could catch fish in January while wearing shorts and a T-shirt, I was done.

As long as it has been now since I fished on hard water, I still don’t even have to close my eyes to see a bobber floating in a hole filled with slushy water trying to freeze over. I can picture the bobber slowly sink as a big perch gently took the bait, or jump and plunge beneath the ice as a smaller, hungry perch grabbed the bait and ran.

On Sandy Pond, I always used a small bobber even with a Swedish Pimple. I think watching the bobber move was one thing that gave me great pleasure, almost as much as pulling in a nice jack perch that I had enticed with my lure.

If I was ever to venture out on the ice again, I would want one of the collapsible ice fishing shelters with a small heater, and I’d want to get on and off the ice with a snowmobile. Cold just isn’t in my repertoire any longer.

How things have changed, but I don’t regret a single moment of those icy days of yesteryear, especially the ones with my dad.