Category Archives: Columnists

Moving Pictures

by Jim Farfaglia

Moving Pictures


Nowadays we slip in a DVD

and watch stories on a small screen,

hoping they’ll dazzle us –

but they’ll never match the movies we saw

at the State and Avon Theatres.


The larger-than-life epics played at the State,

their grandness filling our imaginations;

while the Avon offered those cowboy serials,

such cliffhanging excitement

riding into town each week.


Matinees were 10 cents for kids,

60 cents for us teenagers,

and with the girls escorted by bow-tied ushers

and the boys following behind carrying popcorn,

we found the way to our favorite seats.


Then we’d relax back, awaiting that dream world;

the chandeliers hanging above us

like distant stars to reach for,

the curtains drawing open

like the beginning of a new life…


On the way home we’d stop for ice cream,

maybe a dance near the jukebox,

and the telling and retelling of our favorite scenes.

We were back in small-town Fulton, yes,

but with our dreams, it seemed, a bit closer.


School-wide food drive

food driveby Kate Rothrock

There are countless families every year that rely on food pantries for help so G. Ray Bodley High School is helping to support these families in need.

The French Club, FBLA, Student Senate and HOPE Club are sponsoring a school-wide food drive that started Dec. 3 and will end Dec. 14.

Bring non-perishable foods to guided study hall during these two weeks and the guided study hall with the most food items will receive a free breakfast!

Don’t forget to buy a yearbook before Christmas! Before Christmas the cost is $50 and after Christmas the price will raise to $60.

Editor Vanessa Langdon and the yearbook team have been working very hard on this year’s “Fultonian” so make sure to get one!

Orders can be turned in to Vanessa Langdon or Mr. Senecal, or you can order online at using the school code 13715.

Returning National Honor Society members, don’t forget that Dec. 12 is the induction ceremony at 7:30 p.m. and is mandatory for all members.

To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397

In And Around Hannibal: December 1, 2012

Rita Hooper


I am indebted to Mayor Fred Kent for letting me share his remarks made at the recent Hannibal Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration:

A day before Christmas in Hannibal:

“I awoke early and went to Kim’s Village Cafe for breakfast. Next I took Benny to Scrubby Doo’s Dog Grooming for a bath. I then went to Perkin’s Chiropractic for an adjustment.

“Following this, my next stop was to Travis Floral Shop for a centerpiece for Maria. I stopped on the way home and picked up subs for lunch from the Hannibal Quick Mart.

“Following lunch, the whole family went to Beckwith’s Christmas Tree Farm for  hayride and a beautiful tree.

“We stopped at Karkruff Construction and picked up plans for our new kitchen and stopped next door to Cluttered Flea Market for some funky ornaments on the way to Kami’s Kix Dance Studio to sign up our granddaughter for dance lessons for an original christmas gift.

“In the afternoon, I dropped my laptop off at Mason’s Computer for some new spyware. Finally, I relaxed at the Hannibal Library in the new lounge area to read my favorite author’s latest book.

“All relaxed, I stopped on the way home and picked up a pizza and wings for a nice dinner from the Village Pizzeria. While waiting for the pizza, I ran over to the Hannibal Pharmacy for some sorely needed medication.

“And it all took place in our beautiful Hannibal.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself — support your local businesses.

What Fred forgot to tell you was that I met him at the Post Office where he had stopped for stamps and found out he had spent all his money and was headed to the Community Bank for a fresh supply. He remembered he wanted to stop at Scott’s and pick up the washers to fix that leaky faucet Maria had been reminding him about for several months now.

Sometimes the smallest presents are the best ones!

*  *  *  *  *

The menu for the Senior Meals program this week will be Hoffman hots Monday and Cook’s Choice Wednesday. Friday, they will be serving fish clippers.  Lunch is served at noon but the center opens early for cards and games. The coffee is ready and waiting for you! Call Rosemary at 564-5471 to make your reservation. The Senior Center in the Library/Community Center Building on Oswego St. across from the Fire House. Birthday wishes are sent to Jane Spicer Dec. 3.

The Jammers meet this Monday at 7 p.m. at the American Legion. If you enjoy country music, come on over and sit a spell!

The Village Market will once again be sponsoring a Christmas luncheon for area senior citizens at the Hannibal Fire House Dec. 4 beginning at 11 a.m. No reservations are required and a great time is had by all!

Home and School will be meeting at Fairley School at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 4

The Senior Chorus Concert will be at 7PM on Dec. 4.

Christmas Bureau applications may be picked up in the School Nurse’s Offices or at any of the Hannibal Churches. Deadline is December 7th, 2012, No applications will be accepted after that date. Anyone who would like to help out in any way is asked to call 546-7916.

The Hannibal Historical Society will be selling pewter Christmas ornaments Saturday, Dec. 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Village Market in Hannibal. This will be the last public sale of the ornaments. The original Hannibal Baptist Church is shown on the front of the ornament with a short history of the building on the back. The featured building now houses the Hannibal Community Center. Each ornament comes with a cord for hanging and a pouch for storage.  Those who have placed orders can pick them up at the Market on December 8, and orders can still be placed with Ann Mahaney by calling 564-5658 or e-mailing

The Hannibal Senior Band will be presenting a Holiday Kaleidoscope Concert Tuesday, Dec. 11 beginning at 7 p.m. in the Lockwood Auditorium. This concert will feature a variety of Small Ensembles, the Jazz Ensemble, Hannibal Community Brass and the Senior Band, presenting a theatrical interpretation of many familiar carols and winter songs. Audience members are asked to bring a donation for the Christmas Bureau.

Prior to the concert, band members will serve their annual complimentary Lasagna Holiday Dinner for local senior citizens in the High School cafeteria beginning at 6 p.m. Anyone planning to attend should make a reservation by calling 564-7910, ext. 4132 before Dec. 10.

The Elderberries will have their Christmas party at the American Legion Thursday, Dec. 13 beginning at 11:30 a.m. This is a catered meal so you will have to make your reservations. Please remember to bring some groceries for the Resource Center and a $2 gift for the grab bag!

If you would like to volunteer your time to deliver Hannibal Christmas Bureau Boxes on Dec. 19 from 9 a.m. to noon, please call 564-7916. Two students will be assigned to go with each driver. I’ve done it many times over the years and it really is great fun and puts you in the holiday spirit.

The Hannibal Historical Society is looking for new members. Those who are interested in history, including the history of Hannibal, are invited to join by contacting Carol Newvine at 564-5650 or e-mailing The society’s next business meeting will be Monday, Feb. 26.


Back in Syracuse

As I have written here before, I have spread my life around between Syracuse and Fulton. I was born and grew up in Syracuse, moved to Fulton where I lived for over 35 years, and now I’m back in Syracuse.

I’m not only back in Syracuse, but I live in a house which is about a mile from where I grew up and next to a park where I played.

As in Fulton business areas, things have changed during the years in the neighborhoods between the two houses.

South Avenue, at the bottom of the hill we live on, was a thriving business area. Now there are a few businesses in the area but a lot of empty spaces.

The Elmwood Theatre was one of our Saturday haunts when I was growing up. I became good friends with Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, their sidekicks and horses at the Elmwood Theatre. The Elmwood has been replaced by a funeral service business. I don’t know if there is a message in that or not.

If you wanted to start counting the number of movie theaters in the neighborhoods as well as downtown, you would notice a large difference between the 40s and 50s and now. There were four theaters within walking distance from our house and at least seven downtown – a short bus ride away – when I was growing up.

And now? There are no movies in those neighborhood areas or downtown – but there are the malls and television.

There were two ice cream and soda fountain shops in the area and two or three taverns. One ice cream parlor has been replaced by a bank, the other by a convenience store. The bars are still there. The branch library I went to after school is gone, as is the pharmacy which was across from the Elmwood Theatre.

The Elmwood School building, where I used to go for Cub Scout meetings, is still there but isn’t open for classes (or Cub Scout meetings) anymore, but the Elmwood Presbyterian Church is still active. In fact, the area seems to have a lot of religion.

A building which was once a bank, as well as an entire business block down the street, have now been converted to churches. Some kind of business that I don’t remember, that looks like it has been closed for a long time, seemed to have a drive-in area at the front of the large building.  Maybe that building had been converted to a drive-in church.

What was once a large department store is now a small grocery store and an otherwise empty building. A dry cleaning store is still there but the butcher shop is gone. There are pizza shops and what looks like a recently closed restaurant.

The two ice cream stores I mentioned were a couple of blocks away from each other and they were both very popular. They were both run by Greek proprietors. I have fond memories of working at another ice cream store, which was also owned by a Greek businessman.

 To read the rest of the column, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397
Leon Archer

Deer season

Deer season
Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

Deer season still has some time to go, especially when one remembers the late special seasons, so the hunter who has been unlucky or the one who is still watching for that perfect buck, can sit in the woods with hope in his heart and a chilly wind in his face — if he wants to.

I have hunted late seasons and there can be pleasant days well into December, but what I remember is plenty of snow and cold, and very few deer.

I never shot a deer with any kind of weapon once the regular Southern Tier season was over, but I have to admit that I didn’t hunt very hard either.

I spoke with a friend of mine from Chittenango who has a pretty good size piece of property that was once two adjoining farms. When he bought them years ago, he was a big time deer hunter, and over time he has shot some really impressive bucks on his own land, but he no longer hunts deer or anything else that calls his land home.

He has nothing against hunting; in fact there are several good friends who hunt on his farm every year, and they generally take a few good bucks each season. I hunted there last year and shot a nice buck, but I know I am traveling down the same path that Bill has taken.

I shot a permit deer this year on opening day while hunting with my son, Tim, but my heart wasn’t in it.

For the past four or five years, it has been my fondest hope each season that my son or grandsons would get a deer and I would have an excuse not to shoot. I cannot entirely explain it, but I really no longer have any desire to shoot a deer.

I like venison and I am elated when Tim or Willie or Tyler take a deer or two, but inside I feel different when that happens than I would if I had done the shooting.

Over 55 years of hunting deer, I have shot more than 50 of them, and up until about 5 years ago, I was always excited by a successful hunt, but that all changed.

I don’t need to describe my hunt that day five seasons ago; it is sufficient to say only that it fundamentally changed my attitude and my feelings about deer, and I have never looked at them the same way since.

To read the rest of the column, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397

Bodley Bulletins: November 28, 2012

Financial Aidby Kate Rothrock

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving! The break did not seem long enough and the countdown until winter break has started.

It is hard to believe that December is just around the corner. The end of the five weeks is Dec. 14. Although that may seem far away, it sneaks up fast!

Monday Dec. 3 is “Financial Aid Night” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the auditorium. This night is for students and their parents or guardians to become familiar with the different types of financial assistance and learning how to apply and the deadlines.

A representative from SUNY Oswego will be present with all types of helpful information on financial aid.

This night is ideal for juniors and seniors and their parents or guardians but all grade levels are welcome!

To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397

Light In The Darkness: November 28, 2012

by Pastor David Grey

“Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.” — James 5:14-16

Recently a very fit, active man in our church began to experience severe back pain. Though he sought medical help, nothing changed and the pain continued  for weeks.  He was getting very little sleep and his whole body was beginning to suffer and so he called for the elders of the church to pray over him. Sunday, Nov. 11, he came to the altar along with a half dozen elders. Among those elders was a man who had experienced much the same thing many years ago. I was a witness to both his painful condition at that time and to the healing the Lord provided when elders prayed for him. His back has remained healed since that time.

In the presence of the congregation, each elder anointed the man’s head with oil and prayed for healing. As we left the sanctuary, it was clear that he was not yet healed. However, during the next two days, many of the elders were greatly moved by the Holy Spirit to pray for this man. Such prayer was constantly being offered up. Two days after being anointed, all pain was gone. The man was completely healed and our faith was greatly encouraged.

To read the rest of the column, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397


Laughing Through Life: November 28, 2012

bigfootAndrew Henderson

What’s tall, hairy, and has big feet?

Well, it’s not the mythical Bigfoot, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

In a letter recently written to Peter H. Wiemer of Chautauqua, a Bigfoot enthusiast who had asked the state to provide endangered species protection to the creature, DEC Chief Wildlife Biologist Gordon R. Batcheller says Bigfoot simply does not exist.

“This mythical animal does not exist in nature or otherwise,” he wrote. “I understand, however, that some well organized hoaxes or pranks have occurred, leading some people to believe that such an animal does live. However, the simple truth of the matter is that there is no such animal anywhere in the world.

“I am sorry to disappoint you, he added. “However, no program or action in relation to mythical animals is warranted.”

Well, that’s a huge relief. I was always wondering if Bigfoot was roaming the Adirondacks. I was concerned that Sasquatch would break in and have a little fun at Water Safari — where the fun never stops!

I really can’t believe this story has been reported throughout the state. What’s next? The Tooth Fairy?

This whole Bigfoot ordeal can be traced to a letter Wiemer first sent to the DEC. He was concerned about the local “Harry from Harry and the Hendersons” (boy, did I get that a lot growing up) and his welfare.

You see, in today’s reality-TV saturated society, Wiemer was concerned that a new television show, SpikeTV’s $10 million dollar bounty for proof of a Bigfoot, would harm the hairy creature with big feet.

All this Bigfoot talk has got me wondering: why in the world would anyone try to play a hoax this like this? Who has the time?

By the way, if you want any information about Bigfoot, Wiemer is your guy. He created the Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot Expo. Since then, he found himself to be a confidant for those who had seen a Bigfoot.

“We have had nine eyewitnesses to date of Bigfoot sightings in Chautauqua County come forward resolving themselves of the burden of knowing what they saw and were afraid of or not willing to tell because of fear of ridicule,” he said. “All but one wished to remain anonymous.”

Steve Kulls, a Bigfoot researcher from the Adirondacks, reported at the Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot Expo May 6 that the first documented sighting of a Bigfoot in the USA was in Sackets Harbor, N.Y. in 1818. There have been other documented sightings in New York State over the years.

Bigfoot was unavailable to comment on this column.

To read the rest of the column, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397