Category Archives: Columnists

In And Around Hannibal, by Rita Hooper

In 1898, the Hannibal Village School was chartered by the New York State Regents.

The smallest graduating class for the school district occurred in 1903, when Blanche Hall Darling was the sole graduate. In 1904, a sizeable annex was added to the school to accommodate the increased enrollment. In 1906, the Hannibal Village School became a senior high school. For the previous seven years, it had been referred to as a union school, and before that a common school.

In 1908, academic agriculture was introduced into the high school curriculum by Principal Stephen Roy Lockwood, making Hannibal one of the very early pioneers in the state in this field. Actually, Hannibal was the second school in New York state to establish a high school department of agriculture., the first being Belleville in 1901. Vocational agriculture courses were organized in 1911.

The agricultural curriculum was continued for many years, giving Hannibal High School the distinction of having the oldest continuous agricultural program in the state of New York and one of oldest in the United States.

However with the decline of farming after World War II, interest in the agricultural curriculum started to decrease. Roger Reniff was the last agricultural teacher when the program was eliminated in 1969.

Academic homemaking courses were introduced in 1911. The following year, vocational homemaking courses were organized and the Home Economics Department was created. A room on the first floor in the south end of the school was equipped to teach homemaking courses to 10 students at a time. The first homemaking teaching was Blaine Welling.

Interest in the new program was intense among the high school girls with everyone participating except two that year. This necessitated splitting them up into three divisions. Each group had one recitation period and two practical laboratory periods weekly. Equipment was short  in the beginning, but with candy and food sales, sufficient funds were raised to obtain more utensils.

In 1913, the Home Economics Department moved to the upper floor of a new two-story wooden vocational training building, which had been recently constructed behind the high school. The first floor was reserved for the agricultural program. In later years, the structure was sold, moved to Fulton Street and converted into a private residence. It was finally torn down during the 1980s.

In 1913, teacher training courses were organized at the Hannibal High School.  Classes were taught in the room recently vacated by the Home Economics Department. This one-year program furnished many able teachers to the rural schools of the Town of Hannibal and the surrounding area. Teacher training classes were eliminated in 1933.

Before there were school buses or many automobiles, many rural students had to either drive a horse to school or stay in the village during the week in order to acquire a high school education. For students who drove a horse and buggy, parents had to provide an extra horse for the purpose.

In addition, arrangements had to be made to stable the horse in a barn of shed in the village during school hours. This could cause considerable sacrifice on the part of the parents.

A popular alternative to this was ‘basket boarding.’ Under this arrangement, students brought food from home and stayed with someone in the village during the week for a fee. Among those who took boarders in the early 1900s were Ethel Phillips Gault, Emma Wilson, Mina Brackett, Mrs. Green, Melzar and Edna Van Auken and Robbie Metcalf.

Basket boarding was practiced not only by high school students from rural areas but also by those who attended teacher training classes in Hannibal.  Basket boarding disappeared after the teacher training classes were eliminated and cars became more numerous.

To be continued…


The Southwest Oswego United Methodist Church will have a roast beef dinner at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, with takeouts available. The menu is roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, squash, cole slaw, roll, beverage and homemade pie for dessert.

Hannibal Senior Dining Center meets at noon for dinner at the Senior Center (Library Building) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Come early for coffee and news or to work on a jigsaw puzzle or  play games or just some idle chit-chat.  Give Rosemary a call and make your reservation, 564-5471.  This week’s menu is:

Monday:  Homemade macaroni & cheese, scalloped tomatoes, vegetable blend, ice cream

Wednesday:  Meatball sub, Italian blend vegetables, tossed salad, cookie

Friday:   Turkey sloppy Joe, rice pilaf, vegetable blend, fruit cocktail

Activities:  Monday —  games; Wednesday — music with Deanna, bingo after lunch; Friday —  jewelry-making

News from the Elderberries:

Elderberry Thanksgiving dinner will be at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12 at the Community Center.  If you haven’t signed up to bring something, give Gloria Simmons a call to find out what’s missing,

There will be a sign-up list and money for the Christmas dinner will be collected.

There will be no meeting Nov. 26.

Future meetings will be at noon until spring.

The Christmas gathering will be at noon Dec. 10 at the American Legion. Catered by Brenda Fletcher.

The Friends of the Hannibal Library have two upcoming events of interest.  A wreath making workshop will be at 10 a.m. Nov. 16 at Beckwiths Tree Farm, Mill Street, Hannibal. Take home an evergreen wreath. All supplies are included, ribbon for bows extra. Signup at the library by calling 564-5471 or Linda at 564-6643. This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

The annual Thanksgiving Raffle Basket is at the library full of great stuff for your holiday. It has a gift card from the Village Market, gift certificate from Travis Floral, turkey platter, tablecloths and more. Drawing is Nov. 24.

Plans are underway for the celebration of the 10th Annual Country Christmas in the town of Hannibal Nov. 23 and 24.  This event kicks off the holiday season and showcases local merchants’ seasonal offerings.

The Friends of the Library will hold their annual Christmas Tree Festival Nov. 23 and 24 at the Community Center, 162 Oswego St.. Visitors can bid on decorated trees and wreaths.

Oswego County Hospice will be celebrating Hospicetality at several area restaurants. Having been a recipient of Hospice when my husband was ill, I urge your support. Canale’s Nov. 12, Ruby Tuesday’s (Oswego) Nov. 14. Canale’s and Ruby Tuesday require a coupon which is good for lunch and dinner. Arena’s Eis House, Mexico, for dinner only on Nov. 19.

Shirts ‘N Skirts, Square Dance Club, meets from 7 to 9:30 p.m. every Friday  at the Fulton Municipal Building, South First Street. Admission is $5.

All ages are welcome, under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Info: 591-0093 or email

The Hannibal Village Board meets the second Monday of the month.  11-11

The Hannibal Town Board meets the third Wednesday of the month.  11-20

Remember this column is about and for the people of Hannibal and the surrounding area.  If you have an event that you would like the public to know about, send me an e-mail or give me a quick call.

Rita Hooper 706-3564

A Sportsman’s World, by Leon Archer

For me, this is the time of year that memories are made, and over the years I have stored away a treasure trove of them.

Nowadays, I am warmed all over when I allow myself to wander down my own Autumn memory lane. The interesting thing is that much of what I remember has very little to do with killing.

Yes, the shooting of animals and birds certainly plays a part, but it is more of what one might call a supporting role. The things I remember most are my friends, the places we hunted, the situations we were in, the trips we took, the things that went wrong, and the plans that all came together.

Even remembering the coldest, wettest, most miserable day of terrible duck hunting I was ever involved in, brings a wonderful, comforting warmth to my body and soul as I relive it.

I can remember nights in a duck camp when my hunting buddies and I stayed up way later than we should have, playing cards and talking about past hunts. Getting up the next morning was a circus, but we were still in the marsh early enough to hear the mallards quacking as they awoke and the whistle of wings in the darkness overhead, as more unseen ducks swooped into the marsh around us.

I remember using a canoe to access one of the best marsh hunting sites I have ever had the pleasure of hunting with my best duck hunting buddies. I remember the deer camp I hunted from down in Deposit, NY, and the high school friends that hunted with me.

I remember many of the glorious fall days that I walked the fields and woods around Sandy Creek with my older brother while I was still too young to hunt myself. I remember each one of the few times that I had the chance to hunt with my father.

I am sure that every hunter that reads this column has their own Autumn memories tucked away in their own treasure chest. Those memories are what makes spending time in a hunting camp or even just a day in the field, something so much more than just a chance to shoot something.

I have listened to many stories being told over the years, some of which I had been a part of and some that had absolutely nothing to do with me. I loved all the stories even if some happened to be ones I had heard many times before over the years.

It is my desire to share with you, my readers, some of my memories over the next few weeks. I hope you will like reading them as much as I love telling them.

I apologize ahead of time if I should happen to enlarge on something I might have already written about at one time or another. I have learned after many pleasant evenings spent around a campfire or in front of the camp cook stove, that a good story is worth more than one retelling.

I will begin my series today with a short story that has a good ending and a good moral message.

One duck opener in the 1970s found Gary Narewski, Charlie Ottmann, and myself hunting after school on a marsh just a ways off the Smokey Hollow Road in Phoenix. We had some decent shooting and each of us had taken two or three ducks before the end of legal shooting hours began to close in on us.

There were still birds flying and there was still shooting in the marsh when we started out to the road, but it was well after the day’s shooting should have been over.

We were crossing an open field before reaching a large patch of brush we had to go through before we would be in the clear and in sight of the road. As we were walking, a big drake mallard came towards us just loafing along about 30 yards above the ground.

There was a great temptation to shoot, and unfortunately we still had shells in our guns, fortunately we resisted the perfect shot and held our fire, but back behind us the drake learned the error of his ways as he tumbled out of the sky, the result of a single shot.

We unloaded our guns just before entering the brush, and as we exited the side nearest the road, a voice said, “Hold it right there boys. You’re shooting a little late aren’t you?”

It was the area game warden, Tom Millbower. We told him it wasn’t us, but he said, “I heard plenty of shooting where you were and I saw that big mallard go down right where you just came from. Let me see your guns.” He grabbed each one by the barrel and after finding none of them were even warm, he told us to open the actions.

Of course the guns were all empty. He then asked to see our ducks and he felt of each one. Thankfully none of them were as warm as they would have been if it had just been shot.

Without any evidence that we were the miscreants, he was still unconvinced. “What did you do; leave it to pick up tomorrow or couldn’t you find it?, he asked.”

We insisted that we had seen the duck, but it hadn’t been us doing the shooting. We told him there was someone else that was shooting all the time we were coming out.

It was at that moment that providence came to the rescue as a veritable fusillade erupted back in the marsh and old Tom disappeared into the brush on the run.

It wasn’t long after that we heard two more shots followed by a distant, “Hold it right there boys.” True story, you can ask Charlie. It always gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when I remember it.

I won’t claim that I have never shot a duck that winged in a minute or two after closing, but after that brush with being accused; albeit, only with circumstantial evidence, of shooting after hours, I have tried to err and the safe side.

The moral of the story is, “it’s better let the late ducks land and try to catch them on the way out in the morning, than to take a chance and pay a fine.”

I was never a dusker, but I observed hunters doing that up in St. Lawrence County one time; watching from the road as muzzle flames shot into the growing darkness, and the guys doing the shooting were looking for downed ducks with flashlights.

That’s an accurate account. Charlie Ottmann and I watched it in disbelief from our car. We had been hunting the same spot until the end of legal shooting had come and hadn’t seen a duck.

As we were going out a couple guys were walking in with their guns. They told us that the birds would start showing up in the next 10 or 15 minutes, and they were right. They came in large numbers, flock after flock, ignoring the roar and flames of numerous guns.

Charlie and I waited and watched for the game wardens or police that we were sure would show up and put an end to such a massacre, but instead it finally grew too dark for even the duskers to shoot, and soon they had all left unmolested.

I for one did not feel at all bad that I had not participated in such a travesty. It was just plain wrong.

Hodgepodge, by Roy Hodge

When I was a little kid I had one set of grandparents – my father’s parents, Grandma and Grandpa to me.  There was also Nana, my mother’s aunt, with whom Mom lived with since she was 3,

Nana’s daughter, Iza Mae, and her husband, Dale, were two generations ahead of me and were like a second set of grandparents. Iza Mae and Dale were my mother’s cousin and her husband. They lived around the corner from us, practically in my grandmother’s back yard.

Iza Mae, old enough to be Mom’s mother and my grandmother, was – well, interesting, and liked to talk, talk and talk. Dale was a talented musician who worked for the Clark Music Co. in Syracuse for many years.

Dale loved playing with us kids. I remember him getting down on the floor on Christmas Day to play with our new toys, including the musical instruments we had received. He could actually play boogie woogie on a toy piano, and make real music on plastic flutes and a toy xylophone.

Whenever we went to visit Iza Mae and Dale, we went up the stairs to their apartment and headed towards Dale’s room which was full of toys – musical instruments, puppets and all kinds of other fun things.

I remember something that hung on the wall next to the kitchen door in their apartment. It was a small xylophone–type instrument with a mallet attached that the hostess could use to call the guests to dinner.

And, yes, Dale could play a tune on it.

Any memories I have of my mother’s cousins would have to be 60 or more years old because they moved to California to be near their son and his family in the early 50s. I used to receive Christmas presents from them but I never saw them again.

I am reminded of Iza Mae and Dale often as I go through the box in my dresser drawer where I keep my tie clasps, keepsakes and other jewelry. I have a pair of cuff links that I received from them on the last Christmas Day they spent with us before leaving for California.

I guess that it’s true that good memories last forever.

A Sweet Treat 

My wife often picks out a little sack of bulk candy treats when she does her weekly grocery shopping. In that little bag are two or three packages of candy that bring back memories of the Riviera Theatre on Saturday afternoons.

“Necco Wafers – where have you been?”, I exclaimed the first time I discovered packages of the little round candy treat one week in my wife’s little bag.

The small samplers are about one-fourth the size of the packages that we used to buy at the Riv for five cents. If there was a lull in the action on the screen you could hear the crunch-crunch-crunching of many of the young theater-goers chomping on their Necco wafers.

There were, as I remember, eight colors and flavors  in a package back then – orange (you guessed) was orange, yellow was lemon, green was lime,  pink was  wintergreen, white was cinnamon,  violet was clove, brown was chocolate, and black was licorice.

A real connoisseur could detect a lot of difference of flavors between the colors.

Necco Wafers were first produced in 1847. At the time of the Civil War they were called “hub wafers,” and were carried by Union soldiers. Upon returning home, many former soldiers became faithful customers who continued to buy the wafers.

Sometimes, eating Necco Wafers was a scientific venture – you had to stack all the colors up and munch on them one color at a time.  (I imagine that there are people out there that didn’t realize that eating those little wafers could be considered by some as an art).

In 2009, Necco changed the formula for its wafers.  Artificial colors and flavors were eliminated. A new cinnamon flavor was “less like Red Hots,” a new lemon flavor was more like lemon meringue pie, and a new chocolate flavor was more intense.

However, the changes weren’t popular with longtime wafer eaters, and in 2011 the company switched back to the original formula.

My favorite way of eating the candy back when I enjoyed them every week at the Saturday movie matinee at the Riviera – and now, too, I am discovering all over again – was to put a stack of the wafers in my mouth, crunch them up with my teeth into tiny pieces and then swish them around and around in my mouth.

A little crunching, scrunching, swishing, and squishing, and then back to the popcorn – it was all part of the Saturday afternoon routine.

More sloshing

In last week’s space here, still thinking about catalogs in a follow-up to the column I had written the week before, I wrote: “Something that caught my attention quickly was an ‘Original Slinky’.

“The copy in the catalog asks, ‘Does anyone have to be told about a Slinky toy?’   The description continues, ‘. . . Slosh it from hand to hand.  Put it on the stairs and watch it walk down.’

“I remember the Christmas afternoon we spent doing exactly that. Ah, there is nothing more satisfying than getting nostalgic about sloshing your Slinky.”

At least one person who read that article feels the same way. A good friend responded, “My sisters, cousins and I spent many happy hours playing with the Slinky (probably an original one) at my grandparents’ house – among all the other toys, kick ball in their backyard, and riding home-made go-carts down their driveway.

Many thanks for the weekly study respite, I always look forward to it!”

One more note: All this Slinky stuff has aroused my interest.

My wife found a Slinky that we had put away someplace. Mostly I have just looked at it. But, I have to admit, I have found myself trying a little “sloshing.”  I can only say that I have discovered another skill that hasn’t improved with age.

A parting thought

Summer weather hath September, May, June, July, August, but remember … all the rest could bring . . . winter.


. . . Roy Hodge


In and Around Hannibal, by Rita Hooper

District No. 4 basically comprised the Village of Hannibal and the immediate surrounding area.

However, in the beginning it was part of a much larger district.

The earliest school record in the village are school district meeting minutes recorded by Clerk Abram Watson on April 13, 1813. At that time, the school district was designated as No. 7 and comprised of Lot No’s 57-61, 66-70 and the northern half of 77-80 and all of 81.

At the April meeting, the district area apparently was altered to include Lot Nos 57, 58, 66, 67, half of Lot Nos 59, 68, 76, and 77 and one-fourth of 78. In addition the redefined area was redesignated as School District No. 3 (North Hannibal?)

The next recorded district meeting occurred Oct. 13, 1813, and was held at the home of Mr. Carter.  Arvin Rice was chosen chairman and Abram Watson continued as clerk.  It is interesting to note that the war of 1812 officially ended on Christmas Eve 1814 – fifty- two men from Hannibal were involved in the war including Abram Watson and Arvin Rice Sr.

Business of the district was discussed and the following resolutions passed:

No. 1:  Resolved unanimously that there be a schoolhouse built in the highway near the dwelling house of Mr. Carter.

No. 2:  Resolved that Arvin Rice, John D. Bradt and Samuel Sanders be trustees of the District.

No. 3:  Resolved that the Trustees lay a tax not to exceed one hundred dollars to build a schoolhouse, etc.

No. 4:  Resolved that William Hawks be collector. William Hawks and Samuel Sanders also took part in the War of 1812

The concept of building the schoolhouse in the road right-of-way was a rather novel idea.  Apparently, the trustees saw no good reason for wasting any taxpayers’ money by purchasing a lot.

Rather, they thought that by building the schoolhouse on the edge of the highway it would have easy access and wouldn’t be in anybody’s way.

Whether or not this was actually done cannot be fully substantiated. However, we do know that the schoolhouse was constructed, probably out of logs, at a cost of $60.48.

During the two-months that school was held in the winter of 1813-14, the teacher’s salary amounted to $14. Laura Kent taught school 21/2 months in 1815. Her wages were $1.75 per week and she boarded herself.

Later in the year, Polly Dunton taught at the school at the same salary. The next year, the teacher’s wages were raised to 15 shillings per week.

(Laura Kent is listed among the first members of the Presbyterian Church with Alexander Trumbel and  Cephas Kent.)

Starting in 1817, the newly formed Presbyterian Church used the schoolhouse for its Sunday services since the congregation had no house of worship of their own at the time.  According to church records, the schoolhouse was located on Church Street across the street from the present Community Church, (God’s Vision Christian Church,) and somewhat nearer the Village Square. Whether the schoolhouse was originally built on that site or moved there at some later date, one can only speculate.

In 1820, a second school building was erected in the Village of Hannibal. It was a small, two-room structure constructed of bricks, probably produced locally, and was located in the vicinity of the current firemen’s parking lot adjacent to the Hannibal Community Center on Oswego Street.

In 1868, a fine new brick schoolhouse was built on Cayuga Street on the site of what in future years would be Hannibal Auto Sales (in the vicinity of the Dollar General.)  The structure was 42 feet by 54 feet and was two stories in height. It contained three classrooms and a huge study hall.

The bricks used in construction were manufactured in the village at the brickyard behind the present firehouse. When it opened, it was staffed by four teachers and the number of pupils attending was 130.

To be continued…. With thanks to Lowell Newvine and the Hannibal Historical Society for Hannibal History in Pictures and Prose.


This Tuesday is Election Day – a good number of Hannibal ladies will be rising very early to get to the polls and set them up for voters in Hannibal, Fulton and Granby and maybe someplaces I don’t know.

The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. If this night owl can get up bright and early to work the polls, she hopes you will make the effort to vote.  In other countries, people walk miles so they can exercise their right to vote; in this country a very small percentage cast a ballot.  If you don’t vote – don’t complain!


Granby Center United Methodist Church, will be serving a pulled pork dinner from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3. You can eat in or get a takeout and you can purchase a complete dinner or just a sandwich. The church is located on County Route. 3, 1 mile from the intersection with State Route 3.

Hannibal Senior Dining Center meets at noon for dinner at the Senior Center (Library Building) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Come early for coffee and news or to work on a jigsaw puzzle or  play games or engage is some idle chit-chat. Give Rosemary a call and make your reservation, 564-5471.  This week’s menu is:

Monday,  Italian sausage with peppers and onions, baked beans, chuck wagon corn, range juice, pudding

Wednesday, Ham, scalloped potatoes, vegetable, fruit d

Friday, Homemade soup, sandwich, juice, cookie

Activities:   Monday:  Wii bowling,     Wednesday:   bingo after lunch,     Friday:  games:  dominoes & scrabble

Sports Boosters will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4 in the High School Library

Oswego County Hospice will be celebrating Hospicetality at several area restaurants.  Having been a recipient of Hospice when my husband was ill, I urge your support. Blue Moon in Fulton will be taking part this Monday for both lunch and dinner, Canale’s on Nov. 12, Ruby Tuesday’s (Oswego) on Nov. 14. Canale’s and Ruby Tuesday require a coupon which is good for lunch and dinner. Arena’s Eis House, Mexico, for dinner only on Nov. 19.

The Hannibal Methodist Church will host its annual Election Day Luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 5 at the church. Takeouts will be available and delivery in the Village is doable. Call 564-5346. The church is handicapped accessible and is 1 block west of the village on Church Street. The luncheon will include your choice of New England clam chowder and vegetable beef soup and a choice of sandwiches and pie for dessert.

Home and School will meet at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 5 in Rm 30, Pre-K wing at Fairley.

The Senior Band Concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 6 in Lockwood Auditorium in the High School.

Shirts ‘N Skirts, Square Dance Club, meets from 7 to 9:30 p.m. every Friday at the Fulton Municipal Building, South First Street. Admission is $5. All ages are welcome, under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Info: 591-0093 or email

The Hannibal Town Board meets the third Wednesday of the month.  11-20

The Hannibal Village Board meets the second Monday of the month.  11-11

The Hannibal Planning Board meets the first Thursday of the month.  11-7

Remember this column is about and for the people of Hannibal and the surrounding area. If you have an event that you would like the public to know about, send me an email or give me a quick call.

View from the Assembly, Will Barclay

According to the State Health Department, breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women in New York state.

Each year in New York, more than 14,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and almost 2,700 women die from the disease. It is estimated that one in eight women will develop breast cancer during her life.

There has been a lot of awareness centered on educating women who are busy taking care of families, managing careers and households, to take time out for regular check ups for early detection. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Pink ribbons indicate awareness and local fundraisers and walks have been held–all in honor of loved ones who succumbed to breast cancer and help prevent deaths to cancer.

These are all positive steps toward raising awareness and decreasing cancer deaths. Early detection saves lives. The cause of breast cancer is still not well understood. Scientists agree there are factors that increase a person’s risk of developing breast cancer, such as personal history, age, family history, hormonal factors, not breastfeeding and personal behavior among others.

Another risk may be environmental and scientists are still studying environmental risks.

This year,the state Legislature passed a bill that will enable state funding to support breast cancer mapping. I voted for this in the Assembly.

State funds can now be used to investigate geographic variations in breast cancer incidents. The state has a Breast Cancer Research and Education Fund, which is used to conduct research, seek causes of breast cancer and screen and treat breast cancer. The latest law, A1935A, signed by the governor, will enable those funds also to be utilized for breast cancer mapping as well.

Dense Breast Tissue
Last year, I was pleased to support a bill in the Assembly that is helping to improve breast cancer detection and prevent late-stage diagnoses.  This was signed into law last summer.

It concerns “dense breast tissue.” Those performing mammograms are required to inform patients if they have dense breast tissue, to explain what this means, and to encourage the patient to check with their doctor for additional screenings.

Studies show that cancer is more likely to occur in women who have dense breast tissue. Mammograms often miss early signs when dense breast tissue is a factor. One study shows 71 percent of all breast cancer occurs in women with dense breast tissue.

With this law, if a patient has dense breast tissue, the physician can require additional testing with sonograms and other diagnosing methods. Technology and research has advanced to develop better tools to detect cancer. Our laws should reflect these advancements. I was happy to support this legislation in the Assembly.

A similar law passed in Connecticut in 2009 and reports there indicate that, with a follow-up ultrasound, nearly double the amount of cancers were found after further screening.

Free cancer screenings are still available. In Oswego County, residents without health insurance may call 592-0830. In Onondaga County, residents may call 435-3653. In Jefferson County, residents may call (877) 449-6626.

Those who have been recently diagnosed and need emotional support may call the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline at (800) 877-8077. Treatment options and information about referrals is also available.

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, contact my office by mail at 200 N. Second St., Fulton, by email or by calling 598-5185.  You can also friend me, Assemblyman Barclay, on Facebook.

Light in the Darkness — Doubting Thomas

“One of the disciples, Thomas, was not with the others when Jesus came.  They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”   But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” John 20:24-25

Doubting Thomas. That is what the church calls him today and, as far back as I could find, it has been so.

Perhaps Adam Clarke, one of the commentators I most respect and often refer to, explains best why Thomas might have responded in this manner and so I share what he said.

He writes, “by absenting himself from the company of the disciples, he lost this precious opportunity of seeing and hearing Christ; and of receiving (at this time) the inestimable blessing of the Holy Ghost. 

Where two or three are assembled in the name of Christ, he is in the midst of them. Christ had said this before: Thomas should have remembered it, and not have forsaken the company of the disciples. (or if he had not forsaken but was absent of necessity, he should have remembered what Jesus said… my words). 

What is the consequence? – His unbelief becomes first of all, utterly unreasonable. Ten of his brethren witnessed that they had seen Christ, but he rejected their testimony. Secondly, his unbelief became obstinate: he was determined not to believe on any evidence that it might please God to give him: he would believe according to his own prejudices, (or sight) or not at all.  

Third. His unbelief became presumptuous and insolent: a view of the person of Christ will not suffice: he will not believe that it is he, unless he can put his finger into the holes made by the nails in his Lord‘s hand, and thrust his hand into the wound made by the spear in his side.

Thomas had lost much good, and gained much evil, and yet was insensible of his state. Behold the consequences of forsaking the assemblies of God‘s people! Jesus comes to the meeting – a disciple is found out of his place, who might have been there; and he is not only not blessed, but his heart becomes hardened and darkened through the deceitfulness of sin. It was through God‘s mere mercy that ever Thomas had another opportunity of being convinced of his error.”

Sound a little harsh? Maybe, but Mr. Clarke makes a serious point.

Thomas did, for some reason, after all, reject the testimony of 10 trusted co-workers in favor of his own uninformed opinion. He did for some reason insist that nothing could make him believe except the criteria he himself established.

I believe this is the lesson we are to gain from this account in the gospel. At the same time, I wonder how many of us would want to be remembered for all time only for a moment of failure?

We should also remember that Thomas was one of the 12 chosen Apostles. History tells us that he was a fearless evangelist, carrying the gospel both to India and China faithfully until his death, which historians also tell us was in India, where he was put to death for preaching the gospel by four soldiers armed with spears

Pastor David M. Grey

Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church

Bodley Bulletins, by Julia Ludington

Hopefully everyone is in a Halloween mood!

Don’t forget that the Red Cross Blood Drive that GRB is hosting takes place tomorrow throughout the day. I made a mistake in my last article-if you donate, you will receive Taco Bell rather than pizza and donuts. Sounds like a promising incentive!

Many of our Sectional games went well last week. The girls’ Varsity Soccer Team won their first-round game against Carthage, 4-3. The boys’ Varsity Soccer team beat Whitesboro at home, 3-0.

Soon, however, fall sports will come to an end and winter sports will already be starting up. I cannot believe that snow is already appearing in our weather forecasts! Indoor sports, including wrestling, indoor track, and basketball will begin to prepare for their upcoming seasons. Even some spring sports, including lacrosse, will soon be seen in the GRB weight room, hard at work.

If you are interested in working out after school, the weight room is open to anyone on Mondays and Thursdays, 2:40 to 4:40.

If you need a quick snack before your workout, or are simply hungry for a little something during your 8th or 9th bell study hall or after school, look no further than the Raider Den! The Raider Den is a school store selling drinks and refreshments to students. Many tasty treats can be purchased at affordable prices, so make sure to check it out.

Along with fall sports ending, the first quarter marking period is also almost over. Make sure you are checking your grades on School Tool and meeting with your teachers if you find there are any discrepancies. Remember that you must have an 84.5 or higher to make Honor Roll, and an 89.5 or higher to make High Honor Roll. Strive to do your best!

If you are having any trouble in a particular class, National Honor Society members are tutoring every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Certain subjects are focused on in certain rooms, so see your Guided Study Hall teacher for information on where to go.

If you are trick-or-treating tomorrow, remember that the city-designated hours are from 6-8 o’clock. Have fun but also be safe!

A Sportsman’s World, by Leon Archer

Maybe it can be blamed on global warming or too little rain, or a colder than normal spring, but whatever the reason, the pheasant season in Eastern Washington has been a pretty poor one so far.

The hunters I’ve talked to found very few birds where they were used to seeing plenty in years past.

Ben wasn’t able to go, so I stayed in Sammamish with him and the family when members of his wife’s family headed out towards Spokane. It turned out to be a fortunate thing for me, because the six guys we would have gone with shot just four birds total between them.

I located a duck hunter who told me that he will keep track of when the Harlequin ducks show up and let me know. I suppose I should check with a taxidermist to see what a mount would cost just in case I come up with one of those beautiful drakes.

Sam told me there is an ocean flat where the harlequins really bunch up and that getting one should not be too difficult depending on the weather and his schedule.

I really don’t like shooting a bird that I am not interested in putting on the table, but this will be the rare exception if I get my drake.

Sam will be taking me hunting for puddle ducks later this week. I got just a little excited when he told me we would probably see quite a few gadwalls.

I have never taken one of them. If mounting costs are not excessive for the Harlequin, I might consider a nice drake Gadwall to go with it, but nothing certain there.

He also told me we could do some diver hunting a little later this fall. He has a spot that is good for golden eyes. That wouldn’t be a big deal to me except that these are the western species, Barrow’s Golden eyes.

That’s another duck that I have never taken, but I have no intention of getting it mounted, and yes, if I shoot one I will eat it if for no other reason than to know what they taste like. I can pretty much guarantee it won’t taste like chicken.

Sam also mentioned that they get quite a few scaup (bluebills) and some redheads, but they also get good flights of ring neck ducks, better known as ring bills. They are divers, but in my experience they are the best eating of all the diving clan. I am hoping to run into a few of them out here.

I envy the guys who can afford to travel around the different North American flyways to hunt ducks and geese in different states and legendary locations.

Some of them even travel to other countries and continents to pursue their passion for hunting waterfowl. I would not turn down the opportunity to hunt the pin oaks of Stuttgart, Ark. if it was ever offered to me, but it isn’t on my bucket list.

One thing I have come to enjoy in the last few years is reading anthologies of stories written about duck hunting many years ago by earlier outdoor writers. They hunted areas that I will probably never see let alone hunt.

Their exploits are replete with descriptions of arduous travel, rude accommodations, questionable boats, dangerous situations, decoys, guides, and almost as a side line, shooting.

Those writers were so good that I live the moments with them vicariously, crawling out of a warm bed at three in the morning, smelling the coffee and the bacon, feeling the biting cold of the blinds as the bottom drops out of the thermometer, wishing flights of distant ducks would turn our way for at least one pass.

It is almost as good as actually being there.

But here I am in the present in a new duck hunting location, about to make more memories of my own. Will they be as good or as vivid as the hunts of old?  Only time will tell, but I’ll try to fill you in when the time comes.

On a completely different note. I don’t plan on doing any deer hunting in Washington; it’s just too doggone expensive, but I did enjoy seeing a beautiful 8-point buck last Sunday.

There are lots of black tailed deer around the area where Ben lives, and I’ve seen quite a few does and a spike horn buck within a mile of his home.

I don’t know if there are any white tails around here, but I think they are mostly east of the mountains. I have to admit that I have been very disappointed by the cost of all the Washington non-resident licenses.

New York state non-resident tags are a bargain by comparison. I wouldn’t pay the price for a Washington deer license even if I knew I could bag the biggest buck in the state.

And that’s the way it is here in Sammamish, WA.