Category Archives: Columnists

Hot times

by Leon Archer

Man, is it me or have we had a lot more hot sticky weather than is usual in upstate New York this year?

Sure, I can remember plenty of days in my 70-plus years when the temperatures pushed 100 and nights were so humid that the sheets on my bed were wet from sweat almost before I hit the hay, but

I don’t remember such long stretches of uncomfortable heat. I haven’t checked the historic weather records, so maybe it’s just my sometimes faulty memory, but in any case, I don’t believe anyone would deny it’s been really steamy so far in 2013.

The heat hasn’t left me with any desire to go fishing lately, but if I was so inclined I would probably opt for going out on the open water in a boat.

I certainly wouldn’t take a hot sweaty hike down a little trout stream, but sitting beside a lake, pond or big stream in a folding chair with a cooler of cold drinks at my side while I waited for a bite would be acceptable as long as the fish didn’t keep me too busy.

We had a family reunion last week and all my children and grandchildren were here with the exception of my oldest grandson, Willie, a marine deployed overseas.

We did a picnic at Fairhaven and a trip to Boldt Castle in the St. Lawrence, but mostly we did inside things where we could take advantage of air conditioning. The youngsters all went to Sea Breeze one day, but Sweet Thing and I stayed home and relaxed.

Usually when we have our biannual family reunion we do some fishing, but I wasn’t able to put it together with the rest of the things we were doing.

Now that the reunion has run its course, a weekend in Canada at my son’s property on 30 Island Lake is in the cards and I’m looking forward to that.

 

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

Family reunion

by Leon Archer

I was at the loop two weeks ago on a calm day and as I sat at a picnic table I could count 17 boats well out on the lake, probably fishing for trout and salmon.

I could imagine what was taking place on those craft as they trolled their lures and watched their arched down rigger rods for a strike.

The salmon are silver bright right now and full of fight. Some nice browns are out there with them and they have not turned into their fall colors yet. I munched my haddock sandwich and envied those fishermen just a bit.

My Lake Ontario afternoon was part of the Archer family reunion. All my children and grandchildren were here with the exception of my oldest grandson, Willie, a marine deployed at the present time. Rudy’s and the Loop are so ingrained in the areas culture and my kid’s memories that we had to go at least once.

Some of the fishermen coming into port had been into great fishing and it appeared that this year’s Oswego County Pro-Am Salmon and Trout Team Tournament should be a good one.

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

100 Block of East Broadway

by Jerry Kasperek

Let me recap my last couple of columns. The 100 block of East Broadway was once home to Finocchario’s Barber Shop, Murphy’s Gift Shop, Scanlon’s Liquor Store, Frawley’s Restaurant, the Percival house, the Broadway Restaurant, Gayer’s Drugstore, the Acme Market, and Jonientz Texaco Station.

The Broadway Restaurant was known as Stubby Quade’s. Joe Frawley’s Restaurant became Kanaley’s when I was a teenager, and the drugstore building/apartment house was renovated into the Sealright Recreation Club-bowling alley. And, the Commodore Restaurant was located in the downstairs of the drugstore building before it became a bowling alley.

Such is change, which pretty much brings me up to today and an e-mail from Rene Hewitt as follows: “I just read yesterday’s journal and Gage’s Drugstore was mentioned. I immediately recalled Mr. Gayer and wanted him to be identified correctly. He was such a nice man. My cousin Arnold ‘Deke’ Dievendorf assisted him for several years and many Fultonians would remember him too.”

From me to Rene: “Was Gage’s (as it was called it my last column) really Gayer’s? I seem to remember it being Gere’s. It’s funny how our memories work.”

From Rene back to me: “Yes, Jerry, his name was Wade Gayer and my cousin worked for him before he went in the service and again when he was discharged. He and his wife Ruth lived in the apartment upstairs. I stayed with them occasionally and remember all of this so vividly.”

Rene asked me if my grandmother’s name was Florence MacDoughall. “I remember hearing she lived up there at one time,” she said. “So many memories and I’m trying to put them all together…This is great exercise for my brain!

“I was also thinking of the time you left your purse in the rest room on one of the bus trips, and so thankful when you went back it was still there,” she wrote. “Thanks for the memories.”

Rene does indeed have a good mind and I was surprised that she knew my grandmother’s name. As far as the lost pocketbook, here’s the story.

We were in St. Louis, Mo. at the Archway’s conference center-museum when I left my purse in the movies while watching a presentation on how the Arch, this modern miracle of architecture, was constructed. When I got back to the bus, I discovered no purse!

Luckily, with the offer of help from Jimmy Smith, who could run like the wind, we dashed back to the conference center — about a block away — where I retrieved my purse in the Lost and Found department, much to the relief of yours truly and to the amusement of my fellow senior citizen bus companions!

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Summer columns

by Roy Hodge

I recently jotted down dates of some of the columns I have written about summer.

July, 1979: “When the phone rang before 6 a.m. one day last week it was a sure sign that summer vacation had started. It was Adam’s friend Peter on the phone.

“‘Is Adam there?’ Peter asked. ‘Not at six o’clock in the morning,’ Adam’s mother answered. ‘We’re going fishing,’ Peter said. ‘Not at six o’clock in the morning,’ Adam’s mother repeated.

“‘Call back at nine and you can go fishing then.’ He did and they did. Summer vacation was officially underway.”

Later that month I wrote, “If you’ve been bothered by the recent 90-degree weather you might derive some pleasure by thinking back on the ten feet of snow that covered your yard and the rest of Fulton a mere four or five months ago.”

In July, 1980 I was reviewing some “hot weather words.”

“When it’s hot for more than one day it ceases to be hot. It’s a scorcher, a sizzler, watch out for the blazing heat, and it might even get torrid. Sultry is another favorite; it almost always reaches sultry levels after a couple of days of high temperatures.

“Then the heat becomes tropical. Culinary terms are also big. Every July we cook, bake, broil, boil, roast and simmer. Soon the just plain heat of a few days ago becomes searing heat, blistering heat, and parching heat. By then it’s hotter than blazes, and we’re all smoldering.”

July 23, 1981: “Beware midnight snackers – that bowl in the front of the refrigerator isn’t chocolate pudding. It’s a nice fresh batch of night crawlers ready for tomorrow’s fishing trip.”

June 29, 1982: “’Twas the first day of summer vacation, there was a feeling of gloom;

“For the first time in weeks I was alone in the bathroom.”

And, in August, 1988, I was “playing games with the weather:”

“We do strange things. We don’t particularly like the weather when it gets too hot or too cold. But we don’t want anyone else to be able to say that they get hotter or colder weather than we do.

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

 

High Dive

by Jim Farfaglia

My brother and I pedal like mad,

leaving behind our quiet country road

and weaving through the city’s busy life.

 

A dime buys us a locker key,

we slip on our bathing suits

– bare feet tiptoeing on cold concrete –

 

and enter the West Side Pool,

with its endless playful waters

to splash away our summer sweat.

 

Later, sunning myself on a towel,

I watch the brave ones climb each rung,

triumphantly reaching the top,

 

then effortlessly diving into the water’s arms…

When would I climb my stairway of growing up?

How would I ever break the surface of my fear?

Passover

by Pastor David Grey

“This is my body, which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” — 1 Corinthians 11:24-26

The Lord Jesus spoke these words during the celebration of the Passover meal.

With those words, He gave new significance to the broken unleavened bread and the 3rd cup of wine which were part of the traditional celebration.  Originally, the Unleavened Bread was called the “bread of affliction” and had been made and eaten in haste before the Exodus from Egypt.

When the bread is eaten during the Passover meal, the host breaks the bread and says something along the lines of “This is the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt. Let all who are hungry come and eat. Let all who are in want come and celebrate the Passover with us. May it be God’s will to redeem us from all evil and from all slavery.”

When Jesus broke the bread His disciples were expecting to hear something very similar, however, He surprised them by saying,  “this is my body broken for you.”

Though they would probably not understand his meaning until later, Jesus was saying to the disciples that He who is the bread of life, would become the bread of affliction as all our sin and shame were laid upon Him.

Jesus did something similar when He, “took the cup.” Throughout the Passover Feast He carefully followed the same format as Jews had done for centuries, but then, surprisingly, He broke from tradition with words that must have startled the disciples.

During the Passover service four cups of wine were served. The third was called the “Cup of Blessing.” This is the cup Jesus took when the gospels report that, “after supper he took the cup.”

The third cup was the one served immediately after supper. At this point the people celebrating Passover would say something like, “I will take the chalice of salvation and I will call upon the name of the Lord.”

However, when Jesus served this cup, He said “This cup is the new covenant in my blood,” pointing to Himself as the blessing and our salvation.

The Passover Feast was always meant to foreshadow the One who would come, the Lamb of God. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Passover for all who will come to Him; to all who will trust in His shed blood just as the original Jews celebrating the Passover trusted in the blood of the lamb sprinkled on the door frames of their homes.

David M. Grey is pastor of Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church

Hot summers

by Roy Hodge

I have always enjoyed this time of the year. Summer is my favorite time of the year, and until a few years ago, when I began considering myself as “older” and less heat-resistant, I guess I adapted readily to July and its heat.

Thinking about hot summers, I am usually quick to think about the summer mornings when my mother would greet us in the morning with the statement, “It’s going to be a ‘scorcher’ today.” It didn’t take us long to figure out her interpretation of “scorcher.”

But I can’t remember not loving and enjoying the hot days – to me that was summer and the reason why we didn’t have to go to school.

My mother also used to say, when relating my summer day’s activities to my father when he returned home from work, “He (that would be me) lives at that pool. That was probably almost true.

“That pool” was the swimming pool at McKinley Park, two blocks from our house.

Along with my friends, the Fero boys, I would spend the morning at the pool, run home at lunch time for a sandwich and return to the pool to spend the afternoon.

My mother didn’t worry about me because she said I was “born swimming” and as far as I knew that was the truth. I loved the water whether it was in the pool at McKinley Park, or later in the summer, at Oneida Lake where our family always spent a couple of hot August weeks.

My mother was probably exaggerating a little about the “born swimming” thing. The only lessons might have been just a few years after that — standing in the water with hands on the edge of McKinley Pool kicking and splashing.

Neither mom or dad had a history of swimming. My father only wore a bathing suit one time in front of us, and my mother was proud that she could float on her back and had mastered (she thought) the doggie paddle.

Our little house on Wiman Ave. was probably a little more than comfortably warm on those hot summer growing up days. Our bedrooms were all upstairs and were very hot when it came time to go to bed.

Back then, air conditioning was meant for some of downtown’s movie theaters, but not much of the air in our world was “conditioned” – it was hot. On the hottest days we slept on our “much cooler” back porch or in our little pup tent under the big pine trees in our front yard.

Swimming, running and chasing with the other neighborhood kids, or riding my bicycle – all a part of those (hot) summer time memories.

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

After a Summer Storm

by Jim Farfaglia

The sky pulls back its curtain

and the world, light again,

is revealed:

Every flower, every greenery,

battered by the rain,

bows to its power.

The oak and the maple,

having gallantly faced the tempest,

raise their arms in jubilation.

Street and roadside streams,

carrying tales of sound and fury,

gather to chatter away while the mourning dove,

who’s survived it all before, circles the world with a calming coo.