Category Archives: Columnists


  by Jim Farfaglia



We’re all out today!


From the sky:

the excitable chickadee,

Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal,

the finches, in their deepening color,

a gang of bellyaching crows,

and, echoing from a deep forest,

the ever-probing woodpecker.


From the earth:

the eager daffodil,

the dressed-for-a-party tulip,

Miss Daisy, still concealing

fistfuls of summer smiles,

and, just beginning her journey,

the mum.


And from the middle:

me –

stuffed up

from being stuffed inside all winter,

warming up under the sun’s radiance,

getting reacquainted with the world.

Legal fish

Leon Archer
Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

One of the frustrating things for visiting winter fishermen who like to fish on party boats here in Florida is the fact that most of what they catch they can’t keep.

I like fishing occasionally on a party boat, but I also like to have at least an outside chance of catching fish enough for a couple expensive meals.

So I decided it was a lot more cost effective to take part of the money I would have spent on a frustrating day on the water and go to the local fresh fish market.

Actually, catching a bunch of good eating ocean fish is a snap, but if they happen to be groupers or red snappers, they are off limits. If they happen to be black sea bass (the ocean bottom seems to be paved with them these days) they have to go back, because they are so heavily over fished that the season is closed.

It doesn’t matter that there are more of them than I have ever seen before. Vermillion snapper are off limits, and you can catch plenty of them too.

Now sometimes you get lucky and catch a trigger fish. They are still legal to keep, and even though years ago they were routinely tossed back, these days they are kept and with good reason; they are very tasty indeed.

Occasionally, a mutton or mangrove snapper may come over the rail, but they bite much better at night, so daytime fishermen catch very few of them.

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

Fulton Patriot history

RoyHodge_WEBby Roy Hodge

I am enjoying the stack of 1901 Fulton Patriots that I have been looking through since Christmas time. Up to now, I had come across only one or two pages of the very old Patriots at a time – the oldest just a few years after the first issues of the paper were published in 1846. This is the first entire year of early 1900 Patriots I have looked at.

From the information box inside the front cover of each issue:

Fulton Patriot:

Wednesday, March 27, 1901

The Fulton Patriot is issued every Wednesday morning from the office of the undersigned, 117 Oneida Street, entrance through the Post Office lobby. Entered at the post office at Fulton, N.Y. as second class matter.

Subscription rates $1.25 per year; if paid in advance, $1.00.  Advertising rates on application. Notices of marriages, births and deaths published free of charge. Extended obituary mention, resolutions and cards of thanks, regular local rates.

Copy for display advertisements must reach this office no later than 6 p.m. Monday.  Telephone numbers . . . Fulton Telephone Co. – No. 35; Empire State Telephone Co. – Long Distance No. 16.

Frank M. Cornell, Editor

Listed in the Directory of Churches:

First Methodist Episcopal, corner of Oneida and Third Streets

State Street Methodist Episcopal, State Street, between Third and Fourth Streets

Free Methodist, corner of Third and State Streets

Baptist, corner of Utica and Third Streets

Presbyterian, corner of Third and Cayuga Streets

Zion Episcopal, First Street, between Rochester and Broadway

St. Mary’s Catholic, corner of Third and Rochester Streets

Church of the Restoration Universalist, corner of First and Rochester Streets

Grace Mission Chapel, North First Street

Salvation Army, 66 First Street

Seventh Day Adventist, Broadway, near Seventh

Congregational, corner of Broadway and First, Oswego Falls

(Note: This department is for the churches, and notices are inserted free if they reach this office before 6 p.m. Monday. We want all the church and auxiliary society news. If they do not appear it will be no fault of the editor of The Patriot.)

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

The City Farmer

by Jim Farfaglia

The City Farmer


On drowsy winter days

he sits with his hope,

flipping through catalogues,

imagining page after colorful page

filling the brown space lying in wait.


When spring arrives

he stops a moment in grocery stores

to turn a seed-filled carousel,

letting thoughts of homegrown goodness

circle through his mind.


Finally, with summer fast approaching,

he digs shovel after shovelful,

each row engrained with possibility,

each proudly marked by a stick,

with its empty seed-pack waving like a flag:


tiny pledges to the world

– and to himself –

of why it is

he farms his dreams.

Light In The Darkness: April 3, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” – John 14:1-3

We have mourned through what we now call, Good Friday, though it was anything but that for those who watched Jesus suffer and die on the cross. And we have celebrated His resurrection, though undoubtedly without the same level of incredulous emotion experienced by those who witnessed that day.

Nevertheless, we are among those of whom Jesus said, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29).

He told his disciples that “many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” (Matthew 13:17). There are many who would like to have been there during those dark and then wonderful days but there is much to be said for coming after, as well.

We have the testimony of those who witnessed those momentous events first hand and benefit from all their experiences. Furthermore, Jesus calls those of us who would come after and believe their testimony, “blessed.”

In scripture the word, blessed, means to be “happy, fortunate, and to be envied” (Amplified Bible). That is you, dear believer. Oh, the pagans do not consider you to be happy or fortunate and they certainly do not envy you, but who are they to know?

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

For the love of peeps

RoyHodge_WEBby Roy Hodge

When I was working, I was known as a lover of “Peeps,” or more affectionately, “the Peepster,” and often at Easter time I discovered packages of the squashy marshmallow treats in my mailbox or on my desk.

I often spent part of my day enjoying my favorite confection by popping them in my mouth and squishing them around for several minutes.

That is my favorite way to enjoy Peeps but it is also challenging to put one Peeps in each side of your mouth and squish away. Yum!  If you enjoy eating Peeps right out of the box, but are willing to try something different, try to track down the recipe for “Peepza,” a desert pizza.

People do many things with Peeps – eat them out of the box (after they are hurriedly rescued from the cellophane); some people let them get hard and slice them; they are deep-fried or roasted; some people put them in the microwave; and there are Peeps diorama contests.

Peeps are mostly an Easter time pleasure for me, but I have partaken of a couple of Halloween ghosts and trees and snowmen at Christmas time.

Peeps got their start in the early 50s when dozens of women were employed to squeeze them out of pastry bags. The process was automated in the mid 1950s.

When I was first introduced to Peeps they seemed to all be yellow chicks, and those are still my favorites. There are also many different colors of Peeps bunnies.

Just Born Inc., of Bethlehem, Pa., produces five million Peeps a day at its plant 60 miles north of Philadelphia and plans to turn out more than one billion during this year’s Easter season.

Ross Born, who has the proper last name to be the third generation operator of Just Born, Inc., recently addressed the perennial Peeps debate – fresh or stale? Do you like your Peeps fresh, frozen, or “aged to perfection?”

“There is a lot of gray area here,” Born says diplomatically.  “There are people who tell me they put a one-inch slice in the film (that seals the box), and they’ll lay it on top of their refrigerator for two days.  No more, no less. Then they are perfect to eat.

“So, it’s not necessarily stale, it’s just a little firmer. All right? It’s just like politics,” says Born. “You’ve got people way on one side, and people way on the other side, but there are a whole lot of people in the middle.”

Born says that everyone seems to have a Peeps story, and they are willing to talk about how they eat their Peeps, how they cure them, how they store them, how they decorate with them – “and these are adults.”

Just Born calls it the “Peepsonality” of “consumers who buy Peeps not only to eat, but also to play around with.”

(I feel like I grew  up knowing about Peeps, but some of this information is from an Associated Press article, “The History of Peeps,” published March 8, 2013).

*  *  *  *  *

When I heard the good news recently that one of my younger friends and his wife are expecting their first child next fall, I was flooded with memories and started looking for back issues of The Fulton Patriot when I used my newspaper column to write about adventures with my kids.

In the early years of my column, youngest son Adam, as an eight-year-old, was in the spotlight.

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

Tales of West Broadway, Part V

JerryHoganKasperek_Wby Jerry Kasperek

Tales of West Broadway, Part V:  Let’s use the old 1948-49 and 1953 City Directories as our guide once again and let’s start at the Broadway Cleaners and head toward West Second Street.

Who remembers Ottman’s Department Store? It was between Buell’s Drapery Shop and JR Sullivan’s furniture store. My classmate Joanne Bower Thompson said her father took her there at the beginning of each school year to buy her a pair of shoes.

What kid doesn’t like a new pair of shoes? Another good friend, Ellie Roach Pryor, remembers Ottman’s, too. “They sold Buster Browns!” she said.

My classmate Joanne Bower Thompson said her father took her there at the beginning of each school year to buy her a pair of shoes. Another good friend of mine, Ellie Roach Pryor, remembers getting shoes there, too.

“They sold Buster Browns!” she said.

Crossing West Second, who remembers the Polish Educational Society at 206 West Broadway? Or, that it would be replaced by the West Broadway Grill, to eventually become a carpet and tile store by the name of Litwak and Baker?

My friend Mary Czeriak West remembers it well; her sister Anna Burnett had her wedding reception in the Polish Educational Society Hall in 1946

“Or 47? Our memories aren’t always that good,” Mary chuckled.

It was Fulton’s original Polish Home before a “new” one was built in 1949 (or 1950) on West First Street. Many of us older citizens fondly remember that once-vacant lot on West First for the carnivals that were held during the summers of our youth.

And, who remembers Dick Wray’s Ice Cream Parlor in 1949 at 304 West Broadway? Or that it had become Chet’s (Dlugozima) Soda Spot by 1953?

And that Faucett’s Furniture Repair at 312 West Broadway in 1949 was gone four years later, to be filled up with new furniture and called Ward and Winchell’s warehouse?

Another surprise, at least to me, was that there was a funeral home on West Broadway — Boland’s Funeral Home at 506. I do, however, seem to remember the Co-operative GLF Services farther west on the 500 block, I think by the railroad tracks. (Does anyone know what GLF stood for back then? I looked it up on the internet and it says it has something to do with, well, the internet.)

Speaking of modern technology, I have a number of e-mails I’d like to share with you. Let’s begin with the one from Enid Yager Wahl, who remembers in particular Bill Myers’ Restaurant.

“He had a wonderful cook and baker. I think it was his wife. It was next to the corner building of West Broadway and West Second Street.”

Enid was married in 1953 and she and her husband both worked for her dad at Yager’s Plumbing and Heating, “Who, by the way,” she wrote, “had just moved from Second Street to North First Street – they have been across from Mimi’s for 40 years!”

The Wahl’s lived on West First Street across from Sieron’s grocery store, when the Sieron’s daughter, Jean (now Mrs. Bill Niver), was just a little girl.

“She used to come over and help with my babies,” Enid recalled.

“When I got pregnant for our first son, I quit working and told Bill Myers it was my last day to eat meals there and told him he was going to miss me, he said,‘Not as much as you’ll miss me!’”

She said she used to walk her baby in his stroller across the bridge when it was under repair in 1957 and sometimes stop to visit with Bob Tretch who had a gas station on East Broadway.

Bob was a good friend of her husband as was Earl Bartlett who worked for Bob. She also mentioned one of her own best friends, Nancy Greco White, who used to live in the house next to the CYO on West First Street.

I thank Enid so much for sharing her memories. Incidentally, Tony Gorea, our esteemed, retired Fire Chief, also remembers how good Bill’s Restaurant was.

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