Category Archives: Columnists

Checkerboard Feed Store

by Jerry Kasperek

Let’s begin with The Checkerboard Feed Store: it was painted red and white, as Roy Abbott reminded me per a recent phone call, not black and white as I had written in my last column.

And it was on Gansvoort Street, behind the building that today houses the Gift Shop on West First Street. Roy also reminisced that he had worked at the GLF on West Broadway in 1961 and 1962 before it became Agway.

About Agway, Dave Coant wrote me a letter saying: “In the late 60’s until 1972, the Agway Feed Store was managed by a man from Painted Post, NY, Howard Duane Potter. He also ran a small beef cow farm in Volney on the Howard Road across from where the Niagara Mohawk building is now. Part of that farm, that is now gone, is behind the fence that was put up around the old dump at the corner of Howard Road and Silk Road.”

Mr. Potter went back to Painted Post, ran another Agway, and farmed “the best sweet corn and red potatoes in the southern tier,” Dave wrote, recalling his youth. He said he became best friends with Howard Potter Jr. and he “spent many summers planting corn and digging potatoes and selling the vegetables from West High School parking lot.”

Howard senior passed away in 2010, Dave said.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News

New gun laws

by Leon Archer

I don’t know how the majority of America’s citizens feel, because obviously I couldn’t have talked with them, but I know what I have been hearing from gun owners with whom I am actually acquainted and have spoken with about the recent spate of gun laws that have been passed, or are in the process of likely being passed — and they are not happy.

Some people might say to gun owners like myself, “Too bad, I’m glad that you aren’t happy about the laws and I hope the government makes it even tougher for you,” but they and the government are aiming their efforts and their barbs at the wrong people. I understand the intentions and the hopes of people and legislators who support more stringent gun laws while at the same time I feel sorry for them.

Why? Because not a single piece of legislation that has been passed in any state since the school shootings in Connecticut would prevent the same thing or something even worse from happening now or in the future in any place in the United States. At best, the laws will eventually make criminals out of law abiding citizens, and at worst, will make it easier for such massacres to take place. All laws, but especially gun laws, only constrain the honest person.

Criminals and terrorists, domestic or alien, could care less about our precious laws. Adding more laws only makes life tougher for the honest person; the criminals and terrorists could care less, or perhaps might be cheered by them as they only make their life and their nefarious activities that much safer and easier.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News

How We Used To Get Around

by Jim Farfaglia

How We Used To Get Around


The first of us to travel on Fulton soil

did so through the simple act

of putting one foot in front of the other,

getting places one step at a time.


In the 1700s, canoes got us moving,

and they rapidly caught on.

It was easy-going one way,

not so much the other.


By the 1800s, horse-drawn trolleys

lifted us above river waters,

finally connecting our town’s two sides –

and we were sitting pretty.


At the turn of the 20th century,

bicycles spun into fashion,

and they took off like a road race –

by 1908, we sported four bike shops!


When ambulances first arrived on the scene

they got where they had to go, lickety-split.

Most came with a warning bell

and a few even had brakes.


Along came automobiles and buses,

taxis and motorcycles,

snowmobiles and 4-wheelers –

faster and faster; easier and easier…


So why is it that the best days, it seems,

are when I dust off my comfortable shoes,

and slowly resurrect that fine art

of walking through Fulton.

Light in the Darkness: May 22, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Today, I want to focus on three things that will help every believer to know a deeper walk in the Holy Spirit. Three things that cultivate a closer walk with the Spirit in your life.

The first thing to do is to clean out your house. These may be things in your literal house (your home), or things in your earthly tent (your mind and body).

Take time to identify those things that clutter your mind with things that are counterproductive to the powerful work of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Things that feed your flesh rather than the Spirit of God within you. They include what you watch or read and sometimes even things that you do that are not wrong in and of themselves.

You might be surprised what the Holy Spirit reveals about such things.

Years ago, for instance, I realized that my motorcycle appealed far too much to my flesh and had to go. I never regretted it.

Everything that appeals to the flesh rather than the Spirit needs to be cleansed  just as Hezekiah of old rid the Temple of those things that defiled it and were offensive to  the living God.

These are things that hinder what the Spirit has for our lives and nothing short of a thorough cleansing is acceptable. Partial measures simply will not work.

It does little good to wipe the dust cloth here and there while tracking mud into the house faster than it can be cleaned up

The second thing to do is to get into the Word. It is the washing of the water of the word that cleanses our lives.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

Only a few weeks left until it’s all over

Bodley-RothrockKate_Wby Kate Rothrock

We may have hated the snow back during winter but all students are thankful for those unused snow days!

Due to Memorial Day and unused snow days there will be no school Friday, May 24; Monday, May 27; and Tuesday, May 28.

This year’s Battle of the Athletes 2013 will be held Wednesday, June 5 at 3 p.m. at the athletic complex.

This event is for anyone who played on a junior varsity or varsity sport this year and will involve many team events such as tug-of-war and relay races.

It is only one dollar to participate and if you participate you get a T-shirt! Sign-up now as spots are limited.

There is a band concert tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the GRB auditorium. Come support the GRB bands and listen to the senior’s last band concert!

Seniors, time is winding down. From senior nights to last band concerts, there are only a few weeks left until it’s all over. Enjoy this last stretch!

Good luck to boys tennis, girls and boys track and field, girls lacrosse and girls softball who are all playing in sectionals this week.

Hopefully, I will have good news to report from many of the games played yesterday!

Have a great week! Enjoy the vacation!

Young pals

RoyHodge_WEBby Roy Hodge

Catching up with the little guys:

Marcus, my youngest grandson, lives in Rochester. He is going to be three next month. He keeps his Mommy and Daddy — who also happen to be my daughter-in-law, Shelley, and my son, Adam — very busy.

Marcus goes to “school” every week day (we call it day care) and has a good time. I met Marcus when he was one, after he had been in America only a few days after the trip from his native Ethiopia.

Marcus has fun with his doggie friends Dunkin’ and Sophie and enjoys going camping with his Mommy and Daddy. The latest video we have seen of Marcus show him having a great time on a twisty-turny slide at a playground.

My little great-grandson, Colton Manning, will be two in July. He has been living in Centreville, Virginia, near Washington, D. C.  He will be moving on Memorial Day weekend with his parents, Courtney, my granddaughter, and Chris Manning, to Wake Forest, N.C.

Colton recently sang, loud and clear, “Happy Birthday” to his Mommy. A few days later, on Mother’s Day, he was decked out in his Santa Claus pajamas wishing Mommy a “Happy Momma’s Day.”

My two neighborhood buds have also been keeping busy this spring. Andrew is going to be five later this month and will go to kindergarten in September.

When he told me that he was going to be five, I asked two-year-old Nathan how old he was.  “Sixteen,” he answered.

“Wow, you’re sixteen?” I said.

“He’s counting up to twenty now,” his father said.

Sixteen is apparently one of his favorite numbers. Okay, sixteen it is.

Nathan is following a familiar path around our back yard very close to the one Andrew trod a couple of years ago. He follows the brick paths through the garden, pats Joe the Gnome (Andrew named him), checks out everything in the garden and the old fireplace which is part of the garden, and completes the tour with a rinsing of hands and face and a hearty splashing in the garden’s bird baths.

It should be an interesting summer.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

Bullhead fishermen

Leon Archer
Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

This is the time of year that fishing a place like Sandy Pond is a real crap shoot.

The bullheads will still bite if you are in the right spot, but before you get one of them on your line, you are more likely to end up with a rambunctious sunfish or small perch.

Sometimes rock bass or even a black bass may find your night crawler to their liking. Of course, once night actually closes in, the panfish and other interlopers gradually quit biting, or at least they slow down greatly, but if you are in the wrong spot the bites will end entirely with no bullheads to replace them.

My father didn’t like to keep all the panfish when we were fishing for bullheads, but I usually put the biggest sunfish and any perch over 9 inches into my bucket.

Dad would give me a disapproving glance that could be translated as “What the heck are you doing?”

He would also remind me about the time I had stowed away my fifth or sixth panfish that it was going to be my job to clean the perch and sunfish, because he wasn’t going to do it. I noticed later on, however, that he wasn’t opposed to eating some of those same fish. I preferred bullheads just like he did, but I wasn’t ready to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Bullhead fishermen catch a lot fewer eels now than they did back before the big power dams went into the St. Lawrence River and the turbines began chopping up the mature eels as they migrated to the ocean to spawn.

My grandfather really liked eels and when dad or I caught a good sized one it went into the bucket for him. We caught a fair number of mud puppies at times, but they got a free pass back to the bottom. We never killed them, and we tried to unhook them without doing any more damage to them than we had to.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.