Category Archives: Columnists

Poetry Corner: Do You Want to Know a Secret

Do You Want to Know a Secret

by Jim Farfaglia

Walking the streets of a new morning,

whistling a Beatles tune;

surprised how easily it comes to mind.

 

Feeling its melody pick me up,

returning me to the soundtrack of my youth;

moved by those songs of long ago.

 

Recalling John and Paul’s harmony,

uncovering their groovy philosophies;

abandoned as a relic of the ‘60s – now

 

singing its way into this day,

tapping the shoulder of my settled life;

whispered, like a welcome secret.

RoyHodge

Hodgepodge: November 24, 2012

newspaperby Roy Hodge

As I am traveling back and forth in my neighborhood during the course of each day, I am often reminded of my first job in the newspaper business. I was a teenager and I delivered The Syracuse Herald Journal on weekdays and The Herald American on Sundays. My paper route was a couple of short blocks from where I live now.

Every day I went to a barn in back of a house near my route, where the papers were dropped off. I packed them into my paper bag and started delivering them. On Sundays, the papers were much heavier. I needed my wagon to haul them around unless my grandfather showed up to help me – and that was often.

We would load the papers into Grandpa’s car, drive to my route and park the car. Each of us would put a stack of papers under an arm; I would do one side of the street and Grandpa would do the other side.

Back then, along with delivering the newspapers, paper boys also got a taste of the business side of the process. I spent every Saturday morning “collecting” from my customers. A week’s worth of papers cost 45 cents – 30 cents for six afternoon papers and 15 cents for the Sunday edition – 45 cents.

Many of my customers gave me 50 cents and told me to keep the change. Others gave me 50 cents and put their hand out, waiting for the nickel while I sifted through my pockets.

There were some extracurricular benefits to having a paper route. Since I was often the only young person who came knocking on my customer’s door, I was the logical one to ask to perform various errands.

I was often asked to shovel a path to the back door or from the driveway to the house. Since I was not (as my grandmother would put it) a very “stout” boy, I suppose my customers didn’t think I would be up to shoveling an entire sidewalk or a long driveway. But what I did do for my customers was usually worth at least a quarter or two. I had a customer who lived on my route but owned a business on South Avenue at the bottom of the hill. Since my customer was always at her store on Saturdays she asked me to collect there instead of at her house.

She always gave me an extra amount besides the expected nickel tip for “going out of your way.” I didn’t really go out of my way since I passed by her business on my way home. I didn’t know about “perks” then but I guess that was one.

Paperboys received a bill each week for newspapers delivered during the previous week. That bill had to be paid on Saturday with funds collected from customers. What was left was the carrier’s pay for the week.

The paper cost 45 cents a week and I had customers who asked if they could put me off until next week because they “were a little short.” I guess I knew what that meant because by Friday I didn’t always have a nickel for a candy bar. Steve, the corner grocer, didn’t give credit for candy bars.

Each newspaper pick-up station (remember the barn behind the house near my route) had a supervisor and paper boys were told to go to them for advice if there was a problem. My supervisor, who I still remember well as a kind man – his name was Mort Gallivan – told me I did okay but I should be sure to tell him if it happened again.

For paper boys, there were some quick revelations of how business worked.

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-RothrockKate_W

Bodley Bulletins: November 21, 2012

Bodleyby Kate Rothrock

Finally a short break! I know myself as well as my classmates are excited to have a five-day weekend.

Some good news for students and parents is that School Tool is now available for viewing! School Tool is the new student information program being used for parents and students to view their student’s assignments, grades and progress.

In order to access School Tool, parents and guardians will need to have an active e-mail address. If you are not computer savvy, don’t worry! The Computer Lab 114 will be available to students Tuesday nights from 5 to 7 p.m. Not only will students and parents be able to learn how to access School Tool, but it is also to make sure that all families have access to a computer and printer.

Want to travel but never have the chance? The French Club is organizing a trip for all students! The trip will be to Montreal and Quebec, Canada April 26-25. Students will go on many fun and educational adventures such as learning to salsa dance and visiting the historic district of Old Montreal.

Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to travel with your classmates. See Mrs. Coleman in room 125 for details!

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 21, 2012

by Pastor David Grey

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” — James 4:7-9

James issues this call to all believers, reminding us that as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven we must strive to be rid of all vestiges of our old life in the world.

We have been born into a family headed by a holy Father and are expected to grow into sons and daughters whose character is the same. It is the essential family trait we are to desire and actively seek. We are called to be holy for He is holy (1 Peter 1:16).  In order to do this, James says, we must first humble ourselves before God and then to resist the devil. How often instead do we find ourselves resisting Father, and yielding to the enemy?

Without this humbling of ourselves before God and personal effort to resist the temptations and snares of the enemy there can be no victorious life. But He has promised that if we will approach Him humbly, in the name of Jesus, by faith and prayer, we will find Him coming to meet us.

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

Poetry Corner: Painting a Picture

by Jim Farfaglia

Painting a Picture

 

Thank you, honking geese,

for interrupting the routine of my busyness;

inviting me to lift my eyes from this computer

and witness something greater:

 

the grace of your V-shaped story line,

the neighbor’s dog leaping for you in chase,

the trees that reach to tickle your bellies

and the clouds that cushion your journey.

 

All which inspire me, far below,

to frame this moment of beauty,

so it might forever hang

in my memory.

AndrewHenderson

Laughing Through Life: November 21, 2012

thanksgivingAndrew Henderson

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, the holiday commercialization apparently forgot — and you know what, that’s okay with me.

Thanksgiving, you see, is a time not for presents, TV specials, and door-buster sales. It’s more than that. It has to be.

It’s a time for turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, hot dinner rolls, stuffing, apple pie, pumpkin pie…

I jest, of course. I truly am thankful for more than the typical Thanksgiving fare.

There is football, too!

As a child growing up, Thanksgiving meant one thing: decorating the Christmas tree. In the Henderson household, it is a tradition to put up and decorate the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving.

There is something about having a belly full of turkey watching a television show in the dark with the glimmer of red, blue, orange, white, and purple radiating from the Christmas tree. To me, that speaks of family.

This Thanksgiving, I have come to the conclusion that I am really thankful for my wife, Gina. She has to put up with me. A lot.

And I’m not talking about my snoring. By the way, I don’t know how I can sleep now without someone poking me once or twice in the middle of the night.

“Stop it! You’re snoring!”

I’m talking about my obsession with all things baseball and the St. Louis Cardinals as well as my other quirky habits and such.

Gina is an angel — my angel! She is truly “special,” which her aunt tells me every time I see her. My response? “I’m special, too – by marriage.”

I am also thankful for my family, which starts with mom and dad, Connie and Bill Henderson. They have been through a lot over the years health-wise and still they are going strong.

If you don’t know my parents, just think Archie and Edith Bunker. They love to bicker (in jest, of course), but they also love each other deeply. I’m blessed to have great parents!

Then there is my brother, Derek, and my favorite sister-in-law named Lisa. Derek is the best older brother a guy can have.  And Lisa is my favorite sister-in-law named Lisa. They have given me two nieces and two nephews, who are the best.

I am also thankful for my in-laws. They are great. They have allowed me to marry their “special” daughter, hence, allowing me to become “special,” too.

Of course, my wife comes from a large  family. I am also thankful for my brothers-in-law, Ron, Andrew and Aylan, and my favorite sister-in-law named Joanne  and my favorite sister-in-law named Stephanie.  Joanne and Aylan have two small children, who are, like, totally awesome!

I am also thankful for my job and the opportunity to be a part of the greater Fulton community. I’m thankful for all my co-workers, who are the best people to work with. We have so much fun.

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
RoyHodge

Hodgepodge: November 17, 2012

Christmasby Roy Hodge

This is a very busy time of the year. When the year is turning from November to December, I sometimes have a difficult time putting my mind together to write a column. There are just too many things to think about.

I am thinking about snow; it is time to start wondering about what kind of winter it’s going to be. Sometimes, as Thanksgiving is approaching, it seems that there is nothing more important to think about than snow.  Usually, we have already dealt with several inches of that lovely white stuff and we know that is only the beginning.

This year we may not be as concerned about being hammered with early storms as in other years. Last year as we approached Thanksgiving, there wasn’t any snow in the air, on the ground, or in piles at the end of the driveway. We had only received about 11 inches of snow by Jan. 1 and for the entire winter there were only about 50 inches of snow.

In other years, we have had almost that much during a weekend storm.  Because of last year, it might be okay to entertain thoughts of expecting that mild version of winter to continue, but I guess I should at least be thinking about getting the snow shovel out of the basement.

I could write about the upcoming Christmas season. It seems like it used to be that we turned our thoughts towards Christmas trees, Christmas shopping, and Christmas presents sometime shortly after the Thanksgiving turkey was on its way to becoming a pile of bones. Now, we don’t wait to get summer out of the way.

I’m pretty sure that we started getting holiday catalogs in our mailbox in September. I have already received one of my favorite holiday gift catalogs. That’s the one from the folks at Hammacher-Schlemmer. I have a hard time pronouncing their company name, but I really enjoy the catalog.

If you have been looking for an iPhone controlled, ball dropping bomber, look no further. This is a flying vehicle that drops a table tennis ball at the command of a controlling iPhone. So, if you need a ball dropping bomber — and the catalog description doesn’t detail why you might — this is the place to get it. Or, if you’ve been looking for a voice activated R2-D2, a motorized replica of the headstrong little droid from the “Star Wars” films, it’s yours for under $200.

But don’t get discouraged; there are a lot more practical items in the H-S catalog. For instance, the world’s largest (it’s 10 feet long) toe tapping piano for your kids – it allows your “budding virtuosos” to compose their music as they dance, run, or jump on the keys. It’s only $79.95 (extra for batteries).

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