Category Archives: Columnists

TV Westerns

RoyHodge_WEBby Roy Hodge

Maybe you were watching television in the late 1950s and early 1960s, or perhaps you have been told by someone who was, how much “Western” viewing was available on TV back then.

It was a peak year for Westerns on television in 1959 with 26 different programs airing in one week. During one week in March, 1959, eight of the top ten shows were Westerns.

The “Hopalong Cassidy Show” was the first television Western.  The show was compiled for television from the 66 films made by William Boyd.

“The Lone Ranger,” played by actor Clayton Moore, with his horse, “Silver,” and Jay Silverheels as Tonto followed closely.

The 1959 Western program lineup included “Gunsmoke,” “The Rifleman,” “Wanted: Dead or Alive,” “Laramie,” “Have Gun, Will Travel,” “Bonanza,” “The Virginian,” “Wagon Train,” “The Big Valley,” “Maverick,” and others.

“Gunsmoke,” with James Arness as Marshal Matt Dillon and a stellar cast including Dennis Weaver as Chester, Milburn Stone as “Doc” Adams, and Amanda Blake as Miss Kitty, posted 20 years on Saturday nights as TV’s longest running Western.

Another deputy/sidekick to Marshal Dillon was Festus, portrayed by Ken Curtis. Burt Reynolds was added to the cast in 1962 for a stint as a blacksmith. A radio version of “Gunsmoke” aired from April 1952 to June 1961. It starred William Conrad as Marshal Dillon.

“Bonanza,” which ran for 14 seasons, starred Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright, the patriarch of the Cartwright family, who was widowed by three wives, each of which mothered a son. The oldest son, Adam, was portrayed by Pernell Roberts; Dan Blocker was “Hoss” and “Little Joe,” the youngest son, was played by Michael Landon. The Cartwright family lived at the Ponderosa Ranch.

(In case you’re interested, and you might not have known if I hadn’t run across this fact while I was seeking information on the stars of “Bonanza” – Blocker, Roberts and Greene all wore hairpieces throughout the series).

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.

Prom time

Bodley-RothrockKate_Wby Kate Rothrock

Do you want to see comedy, dancing, singing, magic and more?

Come to Bodley’s Got Talent tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. in the GRB auditorium!

The HOPE Club will be donating  the proceeds to Make-a-Wish Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and Hope for Ariang. Don’t miss out on a chance to see some very talented students!

Want a beautiful prom dress? Bodley’s Sweet Boutique has hundreds of prom dresses in all sizes, colors and styles. All gently used dresses are only $25 and all proceeds will be donated to the Food Bank of Central New York.

This dress sale will be at the GRB cafeteria Saturday, April 20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is a great opportunity to save money while helping others!

Nothing to do this Friday? Gather some friends and go to the school dance at 7 p.m!

Also, this Friday report cards will be mailed. It is officially the last quarter before summer.

For seniors, including myself, it is our last quarter of high school ever! It is a scary and exciting thought.

The countdown to prom is so close! There is exactly 17 days until the juniors and their dates get dressed up to go to the prom which will be held at the Foundry in Oswego. Prom tickets are now on sale! They can be bought during lunches.

The theme of this year’s prom is “Under The Stars.”

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

Departing Florida

Leon Archer
Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

This past week has been a busy one for Sweet Thing and me as we prepared for our departure from the sunny south.

It is always a sort of bittersweet time for us, for as we look forward to seeing family and old friends, we are at the same time saying goodbye to another set of friends down here, several so old that it is quite likely we will never see them again in this world.

Our Florida home now looks the best that it has since we arrived escaping winter’s grip, but it has been a struggle.

Opening up and shutting down our winter residence is fraught with cleaning, packing or unpacking, and getting everything up and running, or turned off.

It doesn’t seem like much on the face of it, but as they say, “the devil is in the details.” The way I grumble and moan, he must not be far away.

Arriving is always easier than leaving, because the arrival stuff gets spread out over a much longer time with the most essential items getting taken care of first, while the less important ones have a habit of hanging over my head while I put them off in favor of fishing and relaxing.

Down here, I have learned the importance of the Spanish word manana, but unfortunately for me, it doesn’t work as well on departures as it does on arrivals, and some of those things I put off until tomorrow come home to roost with a vengeance.

I won’t bore you with a rendition of the things I’ve been doing for the last week and a half, but things are looking pretty good around the old southern hacienda, both inside and outside.

At this writing, I still have to cut back our bougainvillea which looks like it is trying to engulf our home with its flowery branches, and power washing the entire outside of our place to banish any mildew is a must.

I’ll clean out the gutters along the eaves, and then I have to stow away the power washer and ladder. That’s what I’m down to outside.

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

SU games

RoyHodge_WEBby Roy Hodge

Last weekend, when the Final Four frenzy surrounded us from all sides, I had difficulty keeping my mind under control when it wanted to drift back and forth to some of my memories of SU and Syracuse Nats basketball games.

Although I was an avid Syracuse Nationals fan in the 1950s and early 60s, I also attended SU games at the War Memorial back in the days before games were played in Manley Field House.

I remember going to SU games at the War Memorial when the first Orange player that I remember by name – Dave Bing – played. I don’t remember Bing’s teammate, Jim Boeheim.

The War Memorial was occasionally included in the SU home venues, which included Archbold Gymnasium, Manley Field House and finally, the Dome.

The Syracuse Nationals (Nats) players that I remember from the early Nats games included player-coach Al Cervi; Dolph Schayes; Paul Seymour; Billy Gabor; Red Rocha  Earl Lloyd, who was the first African-American to play in the NBA; Red Kerr; Wally Osterkorn; and Larry Costello.

For a couple of years, I was a member of the Syracuse Nats’ junior fan club. We had special sweat shirts and reserved seats behind our favorite team.

If you want to think about how long ago that may have been – when I first started going to basketball games the players wore short shorts instead of the knee length baggy pants of today.

One of the last SU games that I went to was a few years ago at the Dome. A friend got some tickets but my wife’s work schedule wouldn’t let her join us.

Sue wouldn’t miss the basketball action but she loves to watch Otto the Orange, the SU mascot.   During one of his runs down courtside, Otto ran up the aisle closest to our seats and extended his arm towards me for a high-five. Forget the game; you can guess the first thing I told my wife when I got home. She was so envious – and still is.

There was an ad on TV this NCAA tournament season which stretched reality a bit by telling us that the tournament field would be expanded to include over 200 teams. We see one of the teams of basketball misfits that has received a bid.

The picture in my mind immediately switches to the gym at Roosevelt School when I was a teenager. As long as we paid the janitor, our “team” was allowed to rent the gym for a couple of hours of running around and trying to get the basketball into the basket. We had a great time and followed up with a visit to Enrico’s for pizza and Cokes.

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

Charley the Barber

JerryHoganKasperek_Wby Jerry Kasperek

Thanks for your phone calls and e-mails. I now know that the GLF stands for the Grange League Federation — a farmer-owned cooperative where you could buy feed and seed and other kinds of farming supplies.

But, I’m going to put the story of the GLF aside for another time and write about what I promised you: 1) take a trip on the DL&W Railroad; and 2) learn a little bit about the life and times of Charley the Barber.

His name was Charles Santoro; his barbershop was downtown on South Second Street in the block between Montgomery Ward on Cayuga Street and Perkins’ Corner on Oneida Street.

There were three or four small businesses squeezed into that short block and Charley’s was the one between Fanny Farmer’s and the Elizabeth shop. (To jog our collective memory: Farmer Farmer’s sold yummy chocolate candy while the Elizabeth Shop sold upscale clothes for kids.)

I knew Charley’s wife, Carm, because she worked at the Sealright with my mother many years ago. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised to hear from Dennis Santoro, their son, who called me about one of my columns when I mentioned X-ee (or Ex-ee) Libera’s barbershop on West First Street.

His dad had started there and also had worked at Galizia’s on North Second.

He had moved here from Oswego, Dennis said about his father. “He chose Fulton, because there was more industry and it was more prosperous.”

And when his dad got a place of his own on South Second Street he happily barbered there from 1952 to 1972 until Urban Renewal and Route 481 changed the downtown landscape. He then moved his shop to Oneida Street, Dennis said, until 1978, when his father passed away on his way to work.

“His passion was to be with his customers,” Dennis spoke lovingly of his dad, whose footsteps he tried to follow and become a barber. He went to barbering school for three summers and became an apprentice. But it just wasn’t for him.

Today, he is a retired teacher from the Cicero, North Syracuse School District. He said he has lived here — in Fulton — all his life and wish people could know what it was like back then in his father’s day.

I thank Dennis Santoro for sharing his father’s story with us. Charley’s barbershop was part of the Dizzy Block that we so fondly recall.

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

50 days left of school

Bodley-RothrockKate_Wby Kate Rothrock

I hope everyone had a nice and relaxing spring break! It seems like the weather is finally on track to spring!

Spring break marked the last long vacation and we are now in the final stretch.

There are around 50 days left of school this year. Summer will be here before we know it!

Last week’s blood drive was a success as always. Thanks to everyone who participated or helped with the blood drive.

School physicals will be available to any student for fall sports or working papers Wednesday, April 24.  Appointments for physicals can be made in the nurse’s office.

GRB offers many Advanced Placement classes including economics, calculus, chemistry, biology, English, American history and world history.

The AP tests start May 6 and end May 16. These tests are extremely difficult and students have been preparing all year for them.

Good luck to all students studying for these tests!

The girls lacrosse team is hosting a chicken barbecue this Sunday, April 14 at the Polish Home starting at 11 a.m. Come and get a delicious chicken dinner while supporting the team!

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

Light In The Darkness: April 10, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” — Acts 1:8

After His resurrection, Jesus showed himself to more than 500 of his disciples and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

During this time, he emphasized the importance of waiting for the Holy Spirit, whom he had promised before to send in his place.

With the Holy Spirit would come the power the disciples would need — power to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth and power that would enable them to live the holy lives.

As the Holy Spirit indwelt each one he would give the ability (power) to walk victoriously over sin. As they walked in the Spirit, they would live as Jesus did, having a foretaste of the final victory that would come when at last they passed into his presence.

They waited and we know the result. They were indeed filled with the Spirit and with power and in that power turned the world upside down for Christ. The gospel spread throughout the known world in a remarkably short time.

Where is that power in the church today?  Where is that miracle working power? And I do not mean the power that so many crave as they seek signs and wonders. Jesus said that it is an evil generation that seeks a sign (Luke 11:29).

I am talking about the power of the Spirit that results in holy living and the conversion of souls. The power of the Spirit that results in joyous, sacrificial service to the Master.

The power that enables Christians to thrive, their lives setting a standard of purity and holiness for all the world to see.

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