Category Archives: Columnists

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!

Hodgepodge, by Roy Hodge

Call the Doctor

I remember when Milton Berle, Red Skelton and Pinky Lee were on television.

And not only that, I remember when doctors made house calls.

“Wow, you are really old. Did they come by horse and wagon?”

Well, not quite, but they came to our front door carrying their little black bag.

Dr. Ostrander and Dr. Thornton were the two who came to our home during the 40s when I was “too sick to go to school.”

I can remember both of them, but especially Dr. Thornton, who was my mother’s doctor when she was growing up.

The thing I remember most about those two doctors was that “little black bag”  they carried with them. Several tools of their trade were in that bag.

I was fascinated by the instrument that the doctor used to listen to my heartbeat, officially known as the stethoscope. I remember Dr. Thornton letting me listen to my own heart ticking.

There were always some little pills in the doctor’s bag, one for the patient and one for his little brother. We looked forward to that little pill when we discovered  it tasted a lot more like candy than like any kind of medicine could have tasted.

I especially remember a particular visit by Dr. Thornton. That day I had told my mother that I was too sick to go back to school after lunch. It wasn’t the first time she had heard that; she told me I would feel better when I got back to school.

“I think he’s really sick this time,” my friend Tucker told my mother, saying I had a hard time walking home from school.

Later in the afternoon, my mother called Dr. Thornton. After checking me over, Dr. Thornton told my mother I had all the symptoms of appendicitis.

Later that evening, he returned and Dr. Dyer, a surgeon, was with him. They had trouble finding a hospital room, but they finally did. They scheduled surgery — the next day my appendix was removed.

Dr. Ostrander was familiar with my father’s family for a long time. I don’t remember my father ever going to a doctor when I was growing up but if he did, it would have been Dr. Ostrander.

I went to Dr. Ostrander’s office when my grandfather was in charge of getting me to a doctor. I remember his white hair and I thought he was old. And, of course, I remember his “little black bag.”

TV game shows

I hadn’t watched a television game show in many years until a couple of weeks ago. We were at a pub/restaurant and the room was full of men who stopped after work for  liquid refreshment.

They were all involved in watching “Wheel of Fortune” on TV.  They were shouting answers, cheering and having a good time.

A few days ago, while visiting friends, we were watching the Wheel and Jeopardy on their new digital television set. I hadn’t watched either show in many years, except for the short time with the men at the restaurant last week, but I fondly remember watching “Jeopardy” every week night several years ago when visiting my mother.

Mom rattled off the answers quicker than the contestants, while I just sat and watched.

While watching my friends’ television set I discovered that I still don’t know the answers, and when I do, I forget to put them in the form of a question.

I was glad to see that Alex Trebeck, Pat Sajak and Vanna White are still going strong. I thought that Vanna looked particularly good on digital TV.

40 Winks

I do a lot of the writing that I do while sitting in the most comfortable chair in the house. While thinking about what I want to write and how I want to write it, I often begin to get sleepy and soon drop off for 40 winks (or even a few more than that).

Sometimes, when I open my eyes after a short (or not so short) nap, I seem to have gotten new ideas while I was “resting.” Other times I have no idea what I was thinking about and have to figure out where I was going with the half-finished thought that I left behind on paper.

This is a fairly recent development created by the fact I am now categorized as a “retiree,” and as part of that designation I have also officially become a “napper”.

A good sermon

As the father of a minister, I shouldn’t be telling minister jokes, but here’s a couple I couldn’t resist.

“The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending, and to have the two as close together as possible.” — George Burns

“The best illustration of the value of brief speech reckoned in dollars was given by Mark Twain. His story was that when he had listened for five minutes to the preacher telling of the heathen, he wept and was going to contribute $50.

“After 10 minutes more of the sermon he reduced the amount of his prospective contribution to $25.

“After half an hour more he cut the sum to $5.

“At the end of an hour of oratory when the plate was passed he took $2.”

 

. . . Roy Hodge

Poetry Corner, by Jim Farfaglia

This Year, by Jim Farfaglia

 

Every new year is a bridge that’s crossed,

it’s a wishing well where dreams are tossed;

it’s excitement, like the first day of spring,

or the tender joy a newborn brings.

 

A new year fills you like a sky so blue

or the welcome smile of a friend to you;

it’s the first snowfall gracing the ground,

it’s the sun rising on our little town.

 

A new year can be like a first bite of fruit,

or a remembered melody played on a flute;

yes, this year is the gift of life anew,

and it was made especially for you.

State Senate Report, by state Sen. Patricia Ritchie

Along with a New Year come a number of new laws for New York state.

As the calendar page turned to 2014, a number of new measures went into effect — many of them aimed at providing much-needed tax relief that will create new opportunities to enable businesses and taxpayers to succeed.

Here’s a look at a few of the new measures:

Support for small businesses

Beginning in 2014, hundreds of thousands of small businesses that pay under the state’s personal income tax will see a $35 million tax reduction.

This is the first year of a three-year tax cut phase-in, that during the next three-year period will save small businesses $140 million that can be used to reinvest in their businesses in an effort to grow and create new jobs.

Tax relief for manufacturers

Starting in 2014, the state’s corporate tax on manufacturers will be reduced by nearly 10 percent.

This will save roughly 13,000 manufacturing companies $30 million in 2014 and a cumulative, three-year total of $120 million by 2017-2018 when the tax reduction is fully phased-in.

Help for hardworking families

Providing tax relief for hardworking families is a new middle class family tax cut that will return hundreds of dollars this year to the pockets of hardworking New Yorkers — and save them $1 billion annually by 2017.

As state senator, my top priorities are creating jobs and providing relief to hardworking taxpayers.  That’s why I supported a total of 30 different tax cuts in the past three years — saving New Yorkers $3 billion.

This year, I’m looking forward to working just as hard to continue to push for new tax cuts that help to create more opportunities for New Yorkers to succeed.

Best wishes for a safe, happy, healthy and prosperous 2014!

View from the Assembly, by Assemblyman Will Barclay

The governor recently signed a number of bills into law.

I wanted to take some time this week to make you aware of a few new ones that will or have recently become effective.

Military Tax Exemption

A6223 exempts members of the military upon returning to New York from having to pay New York sales tax on vehicles that they purchased while stationed in another state — provided they paid sales tax in the other state. The law became effective immediately. I was pleased to co-sponsor this measure in the Assembly.

New York residents who purchase a vehicle outside of New York state are required to pay sales tax upon registering the vehicle. For those who served in the military, this proved problematic.

Military service members often keep their residency and driver’s license in their home state while serving because they intend to someday return to their home state.

Unfortunately, in doing so, if a service member kept their New York residency and purchased a vehicle while stationed in another state, they would be obligated to pay New York’s sales tax on that vehicle upon their return to New York – even if they paid sales tax in another state.

This meant a veteran returning to New York State may have had to pay sales tax on their vehicle twice. The new law prevents this.

NY Farm Produce at State-run Facilities

I was pleased to support A5102 in the Assembly, which supports local agriculture.

This law requires hospitals, prisons and other state agencies to buy more local produce. It requires the state to put in place better purchasing and tracking systems to make this possible.

The law already favored that state agencies purchase locally produced food, but this new law gets more specific in terms of purchasing systems and reporting those purchases.

It authorizes the commissioners of general services and agriculture and markets to develop regulations to “establish guidelines to increase purchases of New York food products; publish the guidelines on the Office of General Services website; and provide for monitoring and implementation…”

It also requires annual reports be made to the legislature and the governor so the public can better track these purchases.

Food Establishment Inspection

Results to be Posted Online

A2116-C requires the state Department of Health to make available on its website all public food service establishment inspection results for the most recent three years.

The law also requires local health departments that maintain a website to post a link to the state Department of Health website where inspection results are available. This will become effective next year.

Animal Cruelty

A5113-A gives district attorneys the ability to seek a reasonable cost for the care of seized animals from individuals convicted of certain animal cruelty crimes on behalf of impounding organizations.

According to the law, “animal cruelty and animal fighting are serious crimes in New York state.

“Because crimes against animals often involve the seizure of the victimized animals, these cases … involve arranging for the housing and care of the animals while the criminal case is pending.

Private organizations, such as shelters, humane societies and societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals have traditionally assisted law enforcement agencies by providing care for these animals with little or no reimbursement.”

I was pleased to support this in the Assembly.

If you have any questions, comments or would like to be added to my mailing list, send a letter to 200 N. Second St., Fulton, New York 13069, or an e-mail to barclaw@assembly.state.ny.us or call 598-5185.

You can also friend me, Assembly Barclay, on Facebook.

Light in the Darkness

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

This may be one of the best know verses in all of scripture and probably the most quoted.

It speaks of the wonderful gift the Father has given to mankind. It is the gift that makes the difference between eternal life with God and eternal separation from Him.

Jesus bore our sin and its penalty, opening the way for forgiveness and restored relationship with our loving Creator. As such, it is an incomparable gift.

There never has been nor can there ever be another like it.

However, dearly beloved, have you ever considered the meaning of Jesus’ words in John 17 where He says, ““Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am.” (v. 24).

Though I  touched on this in my last column, I would like to take time to consider more carefully what it means to those of us who believe.

Think of this for a moment, especially during this season of gift giving and receiving.

Even as the Son was a gift from the Father to mankind, you, beloved believer, are a gift from the Father to the Son.

Jesus proclaimed this in another place, also, as He prayed something remarkable.  As He speaks to the Father, He says of us,  “They were always yours. You gave them to me.” ( John 17:6).

I don’t know if you ever thought of yourself as a gift given by the Father to the Son, but you are. Can any thought be more wonderful?

Now there are some who think that God redeemed us because He was lonely or simply wanted a big family, but I don’t think that this is true. God did not do this because of some need He had, but because of the need we have.

Dr. John Piper writes,  “It expresses his concern for the satisfaction of our longing, not his loneliness. Jesus is not lonely. He and the Father and the Spirit are profoundly satisfied in the fellowship of the Trinity. We, not he, are starving for something.”

God has done all that He has because we, not He, had a need we could never do anything about. We were in a dilemma and He loved us enough to meet that need. First by giving His Son for us and then by giving us to His Son.

Pastor David M. Grey      

Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church      

A Sportman’s World, by Leon Archer

By Leon Archer

This has been a great winter so far for Florida.

The Sunshine State has been getting big numbers of people trying to escape the cold and snow of the frozen north; In fact, they have been getting record numbers.

Motels, hotels and resorts have been putting out ‘no vacancy’ signs on a regular basis. The number of people getting out of the cold on a permanent basis is on the rise as well. Florida’s population has inched closer to that of New York’s.

A lot of us northerners like to take our fishing tackle with us and spend some time trying to come up with the makings of a fresh fish fry. Party boats and charter boats do a brisk business, but not like they would have been doing if Florida’s fishing regulations were a little more tourist friendly.

Party boat captains are able to find plenty of fish for their customers, but many of those fish, especially the most desired species, are off limits during the winter tourist season and have to be released.

The state regulations provide the wonderful gag grouper (don’t let the name put you off, you’ll never gag when you catch one or when you eat one) and the red snapper with full protection along the Florida Atlantic Coast between December and May. That takes the two major targets off the table right through the party boat’s best season.

I haven’t been out on a Florida party boat in the last six or seven years, and I’ve only been out on one charter boat during that time. I used to go several times a year.

I enjoyed fishing for bottom fish, but I also liked to bring a few fish in with me even if their fillets ended up being pretty expensive after paying my fare on the boat.

The odds of bringing a dinner in these days have gotten a lot longer. The only bright spot is the state has decided to allow fishermen to take black sea bass this year even though the limit is a lot smaller than it used to be.

Personally, I prefer to just fish on the Indian River or off some of the ocean piers. The chance of catching large fish in the river isn’t great, and in the section near Sebastian, the odds of catching anything isn’t great either.

But from Vero Beach south, the river is still fairly decent fishing. That’s where I’ll put my efforts when I’m in Florida.

If you are thinking of visiting Florida this winter and want to do some fishing, don’t despair. Check with the local bait shops and get some advice about where to fish and what to use.

Those shop owners are probably the best source you can find, unless you have a native to show you the ropes. If you see people fishing from a bridge or a pier, stop for a bit. Watch what they are doing, what they are using for bait, and what they are catching.

Then you can visit with some of them if they are willing to share, and most are. Those are two ways that I have learned a lot of what I know about Florida fishing.  Watch and learn.

Bodley Bulletins, by Julia Ludington

Editor’s note: We are running the Bodley Bulletins column today (Saturday) because we did not have a published newspaper on Wednesday, Jan. 1. The column normally runs every Wednesday.

New Years’ resolutions are on everyone’s mind, especially those of students. Take this opportunity to set goals for yourself for the rest of the school year.

On Jan. 6, the Oswego County Music Educators Association Scholarship Auditions will be taking place for musicians hoping to receive a monetary award for their abilities to be put toward their college tuition.

Students participating have been working hard on a solo to play before a judge. We wish them all the best of luck.

January is a busy month, as it is almost the mid-year mark. Second semester ends Jan. 30. New York State Regents week takes place from Jan. 27 to Jan. 30. Students taking a Regents exam will take it during one of these days.

Many students also have non-regents midterms during this time, so make sure to check with your teachers to see if you need to come into school at all.

Make sure to be respectful of the students who are taking exams by being quiet when entering and exiting the building.

If you do not have a Regents exam or a mid-term, Regents week is a nice break before students get ready to finish the second half of the year.

Students and parents should also be reminded there is no school Jan. 20, as it is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.