Category Archives: Columnists

Spring sports

Bodley-RothrockKate_Wby Kate Rothrock

Where is spring? Spring sports are in desperate need of some warm weather! This week is the debut for many if all goes well with the weather.

Today, the junior varsity and varsity boys lacrosse teams will scrimmage Auburn on their own turf starting at 5. The girls JV and varsity lacrosse team will travel to Central Square today for their first scrimmage, also starting at 5 p.m.

The boys varsity baseball team will play its first scrimmage in Corcoran Monday, March 25 at 4 p.m.

Cody Dick, a returning senior on the varsity baseball team, feels the team has a promising season ahead of them. “We have a young, gritty, hardworking group who is bound for a good season and can possibly grab a spot in sectionals,” he said. “We definitely are looking to surprise some people.”

While these teams are starting scrimmages and games, the rest of the teams are hard at work preparing for their first appearances!

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

March madness

AndrewHendersonby Andrew Henderson

The madness is upon us…and I am going mad.

I’m in the process of filling out my NCAA bracket and I am going crazy. In my recollection, there has never been a year where there has been no clear-cut winner.

Who do I choose? Syracuse? Yeah, right…

How about Indiana? Kansas? How about Pacific or Florida Gulf Coast? I guess I’m leaning towards Long Island University Brooklyn.

Seriously, I have no idea who I am going to choose in the first round — let along the final four.

So, I thought it would be interesting to let you readers catch a glimpse into my mind as I fill out my bracket for the Henderson family bracket championship. Only four will be competing for the Henderson title — my wife and my parents — so at least I will have a 25-percent chance of winning.

Here we go…

Let’s start in the East Region, just because we live in the East Region and just because the East Coast rocks!

In the Dayton, Ohio site, I’m looking for Indiana to defeat the winner of the play-in game between LIU Brooklyn and James Madison and NC State to defeat Temple. Here is my first upset, however. I’m taking NC State to topple first-seed Indiana. I don’t like the Hoosiers, although the name Hoosiers is pretty cool. By the way, what the heck is a Hoosier?

In the San Jose site, I like Syracuse defeating Montana (yes, I am a homer — at least in the first round) and I like California to knock off UNLV in the yearly 12 seed defeats 5 seed match up.

In Lexington, Ky., I believe Bucknell will buck Butler out of the tournament— just because I don’t believe in universities that have names of occupations. Seriously, who wants to go to Butler?

I am also taking Marquette over Davidson — just because Davidson University once defeated my team in college baseball.  I have a life rule of rooting against anyone who has defeated me in the past.

In Austin, Texas, I like Colorado over Illinois in the battle of states and Miami over Pacific in the battle of the beach versus the ocean.

For the East Regional representatives of the Sweet Sixteen, I like NC State, Syracuse, Marquette, and Miami.

Let’s take a gander at the South Region. For the sake of time and space in this newspaper, I like Kansas over Western Kentucky, North Carolina over Villanova, VCU over Akron, Michigan over South Dakota State, Minnesota over UCLA, Florida over Northwestern State, San Diego State over Oklahoma, and Georgetown over Florida Gulf Coast.

My South Region Sweet 16 representatives are North Carolina, Michigan, San Diego State, and Florida.

Moving over to the Midwest Region, I like Louisville over the scrub play-in winner, Missouri over Colorado State, Oregon over Oklahoma State, Saint Louis over New Mexico State, Memphis over the play-in winner, Michigan State over Valparaiso, Creighton over Cincinnati, and Duke over Albany.

My Midwest Region Sweet 16 representatives are Louisville, Saint Louis, Creighton, and Duke.

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

Ode to the Crocuses

by Jim Farfaglia

Ode to the Crocuses


You are such a welcome sight,

showing up alongside my house

like a table set for spring.


You’re first to welcome a brighter sky,

raising your goblets in celebration

of an end…and a beginning,


the first to welcome the warm rains

that you and the others drink in,

awakening the essence that you are,


the first to welcome the bees,

who knock knock knock

on your yellow and purple doors,


the first to welcome my eyes,

searching for the new season,

and finding it with your arrival.

Weekly newspaper schedule

RoyHodge_WEBby Roy Hodge

Last week’s “Wash on Monday” column reminded me that the weekly newspaper business always observed its own calendar, which depended on the day the paper was published.

When I first joined the staff of The Fulton Patriot, a once-a-week newspaper, the traditional day of delivery was Thursday, just before the busy weekend shopping days.

On Monday and Tuesday, the stories were gathered and set in type. The headline type and larger type for ads was set by hand out of type cases. The smaller type was set on linotype machines. Ads were put together and went into their places in the page-size forms.

The type was arranged in columns in the forms. Most weeks, we printed two sections of six to eight pages. Pages were assembled in the forms on the main floor of the building and then carried by two employees down stairs to the big noisy printing press in the basement. The press could print an eight-page section at a time.

The first section was ready to be printed by Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday, the second section was finished, printed, and the completed paper was put together (or collated).

Linotype machines in the newspaper’s composing room really streamlined the production process as the columns no longer had to be put together by employees assembling each piece of small type into lines, but by machines which produced lines of type (lin-o-type).

On Thursday, the papers were bundled and delivered to the paper boys ready for delivery.  Friday was clean-up day. The old pages were taken apart and the type was returned to the cases. Then we got started on the procedure of putting a weekly newspaper together all over again.

There were weeks when we printed more than two sections. We had to get an early start during those weeks and usually worked on Saturdays. During the 50-plus years that I was with The Patriot, the paper was published on different days of the week and the daily schedule was changed accordingly. The following was printed in the column of January, 2000:

“Some of our readers may have been surprised to receive their weekly Patriot on Saturday this week. Don’t be, as your hometown newspaper has become part of your weekend starting today. The new publication day is a move to recognize the changing needs of the newspaper’s readers and advertisers.

“If you remember through the years when this newspaper was published on Friday, then Thursday, then Wednesday, then Tuesday, then Monday, you are a longtime and faithful reader.”

*  *  *  *  *

What did folks in Fulton and Oswego Falls do in 1901 when they were sick? They may have visited Drs. Cusack, Bacon or Hall. All had offices on Oneida Street.

Palmo Tablets, sold at W.J. Watson Druggist, could help cure nervous debility, dyspepsia, atrophy, insomnia, failing memory, or a pain in the back.  Otto’s Cure, the German Remedy, was available to help cure coughs, colds, the grippe, whooping cough, asthma and bronchitis. It was sold by all druggists at 25 and 50 cents.

Shiloh’s Consumption Care was also sold by all druggists — along with Cascarets — to regulate the liver. Sexine Pills were said to have cured all kinds of nervous diseases and were available at Giesler Druggist.

Penny Royal Pills offered “relief for ladies.” Readers were also invited to try Dr. A.W. Chase’s Nerve Pills or Dr. Chase’s Ointments for the most violent forms of eczema. Hood’s Sarsaparilla was recommended for “perfect health,” and Scott’s Emulsion of Cod Liver Oil was also advertised.

Thinacura was available for thin people.  “They make faces plump and help round out the body.”  Celery King was advertised as “a Great Nerve Medicine.”

Do we even know what nervous debility, dyspepsia and atrophy are all about?  I understand failing memory.

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 IV

JerryHoganKasperek_Wby Jerry Kasperek

Tales of West Broadway, Part IV: One fine Sunday morning just recently, Sue Brown very nicely inquired, “Have you thought of using an old city directory? We have some at the Pratt House.”

An old city directory? I pondered….A good idea. I’ll have to get one.

Then came the dawn! Duh! What about the 1948-49 City Directory I have sitting right on my own bookshelf! History at my fingertips! West Broadway addresses of our past all listed in numerical order just for the looking up!

If that wasn’t enough to get excited about, another good friend, Virginia Carr Arnold, called a day or so later and said she has a 1953 city directory she’d be glad to share. Wow! Not one but two old city directories to help refresh our collective memories!

But before I delve into those old directories, I’d like to tell you Nelson Richard’s story. When he was a kid he lived up over the Market Basket at 125 West Broadway, the last building on the block. He said they used an outside stairway attached to the back of their building, around on the Second Street side. There was no parking lot back then.

“I spent four years on that corner,” he said, “1946 to 1950 and remember walking to Oak Street School and going past the Woolen Mill’s dye shop on West Second”.

He said there was a hut-size taxicab stand next to the Market Basket and wedged in between the curb and sidewalk and in the space that would someday become a parking lot, there was a small luncheonette, a little ice cream stand, and two houses. An ice house stood off the street, too, and Mike Reynolds owned a two-story barn behind his hotel on West Broadway.

The ice cream stand was first owned by John Hartnett, who sold it to Buddy Allen. They sold Eskimo pies and other ice cream treats and you could buy hot peanuts for a penny. The luncheonette, owned by a Mr. Potter, burned down from a grease fire May 5, 1950, Nelson said. He remembers it well. And when it was torn down, the other building went too and the parking lot took their place.

He said Bill’s Restaurant on West Broadway was usually crowded and he compared it to Mimi’s today. He said the Victory Restaurant used to be where the Foursome Diner is on the corner of West First Street, but it also burned down, sometime in the 1940s.

Matty’s Grill was on West First. “The greatest steak sandwich around for 50 cents and draft beer for a dime,” he recalled.

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

Heading back north

Leon Archer
Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

It is hard to believe that Sweet Thing and I will be headed back north in less than four weeks.

The Kulle’s left just a couple days ago and we are now in the work mode as we do some upgrading on our Florida home.

We are putting down some new flooring in our Florida room and I’ve got some sheet rock to finish. We probably will get out another day or two with the pontoon boat before we leave, but there will be a lot more work than play between now and our trip home.

Tim and I bought a new trailer for the pontoon boat, because for the first time since I bought it, I will be bringing it back north with us.

I have always said how I thought it would make a great boat for fishing bullheads and now I am going to learn if that is true.

It will also get some use on Owasco Lake when the lake trout start hitting there in May. It is the perfect boat whenever the grandchildren want to go with me.

This will be the first year in a long, long time that I will be home to pick up a good bunch of night crawlers. I am usually home when the best picking is long over and the grass has gotten high.

I don’t know if Nathaniel will be very proficient at grabbing the big worms, but he is going to have to learn. I can only bend over for about an hour before my back rebels.

The pontoon boat will get a chance to do its stuff on Thirty Island Lake in Canada, too. We are going to take it up there for the summer, and again, it should make a great platform for the grandkids to fish from, and the lake is chock full of willing and tasty panfish.

Another thing that our earlier than normal departure will do  is give me a chance to actually check out a number of spots for turkey hunting.

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

Nature’s Newscast

by Jim Farfaglia


The wind rushes in with its weather update:

A warm front approaches,

breathing life into your winter blues.


Geese call in this sports exclusive:

Get ready for spring to touch down;

 let’s meet on the field and make some noise!


Mr. Skunk broadcasts his latest bulletin:

I’m back for another year –

bet you missed me while I was gone.


Crocuses come up with an eye-catching headline:

Atop green arms standing soldier-tall,

we offer our colorful front-page news.