Category Archives: Columnists

JerryHoganKasperek_W

Jerry’s Journal: November 10, 2012

by Jerry Kasperek

Veterans Day is upon us, which prompts me to tell you about a decorated World War II veteran by the name of Alfred “Al” Myhill, who has been designated Fulton’s Veteran of the Year

Al shared with me last summer his large collection of memorabilia from his wartime experience with the 2nd Hospitalization Unit, 53rd Field Hospital. I had put it aside, however, to write about it at this particular time.

Thus, I was pleased to learn that the local Veteran’s of Foreign War, the American Legion and the Veteran’s Agency will bestow on him this well-deserved honor at a ceremony on Veterans Day — tomorrow, Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. at city hall.

It was a young Mr. Myhill who went off to war back in the day when I was just a little girl watching the newsreels at the State Theater with my parents and listening with them and my grandparents around the radio in their living room.

Al was only 17 when he enlisted in the Army in February of 1943 and had to wait until his 18th birthday in April to begin serving. He was then “picked” to attend specialized training to become a nurse – “the same thing as a nurse,” he said during a recent phone interview. “The training was for five or six months.”

He eventually shipped over to England, where his platoon “bivouaced” (set up a camp of tents) until D-Day June 6, 1944 arrived, when Allied troops landed in Normandy, France to fight the Germans. His unit followed to treat casualties. “We set up portable hospitals, he said.

Al was in the Battle of the Bulge as well. He said they were “setting up on a high spot” when they were told to “get the hell out of there!”, as the German’s had broken through the lines. It was the bloodiest combat of the war.

Following that horrific battle with casualties in the eighty thousands, and as the Allies slowly inched their way across Europe in victory after victory, his unit was sent to Holland, then Belgium, and onward, right into Germany. His outfit was but 20 miles out of Berlin, he said.

When the war was finally over, Al returned to his hometown of Fulton, married his long-time sweetheart Marion — whose picture he had carried with him all across the battle zones — and settled down to a new era in the US that offered help and funds (the GI Bill) to buy homes or go for higher education — opportunities never before seen in American history. (I think that’s when the “middle-class” was born, and raised high hopes that each new generation would have a better life than the one before.)

Indeed, Al and his wife, along with their daughter Joanne (Hicks), and sons Terry and Paul, were able to partake in “The American Dream.” Al received apprentice training to become a machinist and a good paying job at Dilts and stayed there for 46 years, and he and his wife were able to buy a nice home on Utica Street and enjoyed family life until she passed away a couple of years ago. Today, Al lives part time at home and part time with his daughter in Waterloo.

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

Poetry Corner: November Time

by Jim Farfaglia

November Time

 

The days arrive later,

the sun breaking through the long night

to shine on frosted backyards.

 

From his highest perch

a songbird waits for daybreak.

Deep into the morning, he finally sings.

 

Leaves count down the days,

falling toward winter. They pile up,

the world a giant hourglass.

 

The clocks have been turned back

and we inch forward,

to a quieter time, a resting time.

Bodley-RothrockKate_W

Bodley Bulletins: November 7, 2012

by Kate Rothrock

Seniors, can you believe it is that time of year? Approaching faster than you think is the deadline for college applications.

If you haven’t already, now is a good time to be thinking hard about college and starting the common application and essay.

Don’t forget to get your teacher recommendations and pick up scholarships in the guidance office! Don’t forget to buy a yearbook! After Christmas, the cost increases from $50 to $60.

Want something great to put on your college application? Model UN is for any student interested in learning more about world affairs and having a voice in the world theatre. If you are interested, see Mrs. Hallatt in room 117.

If you are hungry at the end of the day, stop by the Raider Den! It is open for anyone with a free bell eighth and ninth. There is a lot to offer such as candy, cookies, Gatorade, Pop-Tarts, water and more!

So come grab a snack or drink for the end of the day or before a sports practice or game.

There is also school apparel for sale along with lanyards and water bottles.

The blood drive was a success. Students gave 73 units of usable blood and six people gave double red. Thank you to all who took time out of their busy school schedule to help or donate blood. The next blood drive will be held On Thursday, March 28.

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

RoyHodge

Hodgepodge: November 3, 2012

by Roy Hodge

If you’re a football fan, you might think the phrase “Who Dat?” originated with the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and their chant, “Who Dat?, Who Dat? Who Dat dey say gonna beat dem Saints?”

Those football fans may be partially right. That two-word question probably did originate in New Orleans, not with the Saints but over a century ago, and was popular with minstrel shows, vaudeville acts, jazz and big bands throughout the Big Band era, and U. S. soldiers during   World War II.

A common minstrel show tag line was “Who dat?” answered by “Who dat say who dat?”

The Marx Brothers had a “Who Dat?” routine in their 1930s film, “A Day at the Races,” and in the cartoon musical, “Spring Wedding,” caricatures of Fats Waller, Cab Calloway, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Ethel Waters and the Mills Brothers portrayed frogs in a swamp performing minstrel show jokes and jazz tunes while repeatedly asking “Who Dat?”

“Who Dat?” lyrics from 1937:

“Who dat up there, who dat down there…Who dat up there sayin’ who dat down there…When I see you up there, well who dat down there…Who dat inside, who dat outside…Who dat inside singin’, who dat outside…Who dat up there, who dat down there…Who dat up there singin’, who dat down there…Who dat?

“Who Dat?” made it to Bourbon Street, but probably not for the first time, after the Saints defeated the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game in the Superdome in 2010. “Who Dat,? Who Dat,? Who Dat in the Super Bowl?” they chanted. The Saints defeated the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010 to more “Who Dat?” chanting.

“Who Dat?” became popular as a chant for football fans cheering on their favorite teams. It may have started at Southern University or at high schools in New Orleans or in Patterson, La. In the late 70s, fans at Alcorn State University and Louisiana State University were using the cheer.

In the 1980s, the cheer became so popular among fans that the Saints organization officially adopted it and Saints players recorded a version of “When the Saints Go Marching In” that incorporated the chant, “Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?”

There have been at least 10 recorded versions of “Who Dat?’ and many hip hop renditions including one in 2012 in which New Orleans’ G. Easy raps “livin’ in New Orleans where dem people holler ‘Who Dat.?’” In recent years the phrase “Who Dat Nation” has become a popular term for the entire community of Saints fans.

Enough of Dat.

*  *  *  *  *

I was told during a phone call by someone who had read about our recent trip to New Orleans, “You ate an awful lot.” My response to that observation is “Yes, we do eat a lot, that’s one of the things we plan to do when we go there.” We think it would be silly not to; there are so many good things to choose from. We also walk a lot.

By the way, I should also add to our food list: several cups of coffee au lait, and another New Orleans special brew, coffee with chicory, which is how coffee comes in New Orleans, and a couple of Abita, locally brewed beers.

(Note: From the dictionary: Chicory is a perennial plant; its root is used roasted and ground as a substitute or additive for coffee.)

Life style is a bit different in New Orleans. One thing you’ll notice if you haven’t already tucked yourself into bed, is that some drinking establishments are open 24 hours a day and drinking (out of plastic cups) is allowed on city streets.

The city of New Orleans is not required to close its bars at any particular time.

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

The Sportsman’s World: November 3, 2012

Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

The first time I ever visited Niagara Falls was when Sweet Thing and I went there for our honeymoon way back in 1961. To say I was impressed and enjoyed myself immensely would be a huge understatement and the falls were nice, too, when we spent time enough to look at them.

Sweet Thing will probably whack me up alongside my head when she reads this, but it is true that we were too much in love and too lost in each other to really appreciate the beauty and magnitude of one of New York’s greater natural wonders.

So it was with great pleasure that we visited Niagara Falls again last month from Oct. 18-21 for the Annual New York State Outdoor Writers Association Conference.

Other than the NYSOWA board meeting, awards banquet, and annual membership meeting Sunday that always closes our fall meeting, we were free to enjoy the offerings of our western jewel pretty much at our leisure. Our hotel room was fantastic — a far cry from the dinky room Sweet Thing and I stayed in back in 1961, which was on the third floor above a wax museum in a building I believe has long since disappeared.

This trip we were very comfortably ensconced in the Four Points Niagara Hotel (in New York, not the one by the same name across the river in Ontario, Canada). The accommodations were luxurious, the kind of room where Sweet Thing is so comfortable that she sort of hates to leave it. But leave it we both did each morning, she to explore the sights and boutiques with some of the other spouses of outdoor communicators, and I with those communicators to sample what the area had to offer for sportsmen.

If one was lazy or only had a few minutes to kill, it was possible to step out of the rear of the hotel, out onto the large dock on the Niagara River, and cast for willing bass, but mostly we hearty writers rose early and went in various directions to partake in fishing and hunting adventures.

Other than the fun that comes with each pursuit, we hunt and fish that we might soak in and assimilate the essence of each area we visit, in order to be better able to convey the picture of the outdoor offerings in various sections of our state awaiting our readers.

Some of our members hunted deer with a bow a couple mornings. There are plenty of deer in the farmlands and woods not far from Niagara Falls, and the hunters saw some, but nothing that came by was able to fill the bill for them. I guess they were looking for a great buck, not just venison for the freezer.

Some hunters went to the Feathers and Tails hunting preserve to watch bird dogs work the tall grass and goldenrod as their noses searched the air and ground for the heady odor of pheasant.

Yours truly did that one morning and I shot two beautiful roosters which I enjoyed a second time as they completed their journey on our dinner table.

Feathers and tails is located in Newfane, N.Y., about 40 minutes from Niagara Falls. Because of the quality of the cover and the walking required to find birds in front of the dogs, the experience reminded me of hunting the Three Rivers Area in Baldwinsville. Every hunter from our group who went for pheasants got at least one.

Most of the other writers fished at least one morning for bass or muskies; although, some were happy to drive north the short distance to Lewiston to fish for salmon, steelhead, brown trout and lake trout that were moving into the river from Lake Ontario.

The fishing was a big hit with the writers. Bass and trout were plentiful, but the crowning achievement came on Saturday morning when three writers fished the Upper Niagara and hooked four muskies, three of which they got to the boat for pictures before releasing them to fight another day. The largest fish was about 25 pounds. That’s a great day of fishing in anyone’s book.

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: October 31, 2012

by Kate Rothrock

Happy Halloween! Although students are not allowed to wear costumes to school today, students and staff will be recognizing Halloween by wearing orange.

GRB’s fall play, “The Laramie Project,” was a huge success. Congratulations to the cast and crew of the Quirks Players for a wonderful play and the countless hours you have put in.

Any students interested in traveling this summer? Mrs. Hallatt is taking students on the tour leading to Berlin, Prague, Krakow and Budapest in July of 2013. This is a chance to meet new people, visit four different countries and try great new foods! See Mrs. Hallatt in room 117 if you are interested, and soon because the price goes up in the next week!

The Environmental Club is having a battery drive. Bring in dry-cell batteries, tool batteries, and computer and cellphone batteries to guided study hall. The deadline is Nov. 5 and the winning guided study hall will win a breakfast!

Nov. 5 is the deadline for any senior’s baby and prom pictures. Don’t forget to hand them in!

Anyone who has a job, a hobby, a car, is a hunter or fisherman; your pictures are also due for yearbook Nov. 5.

The senior class trip has been set for June 7 with the destination of Cedar Point! The trip will be an overnight trip with June 8 being spent in Cleveland. A deposit is due to Mrs. Hallatt as soon as possible. Thank you Mrs. Hallatt for all the hard work you have put into this trip and seniors, don’t miss out on one of the last opportunities as a class!

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: Halloween 1960

by Jim Farfaglia

Halloween 1960

 

The school bus is minutes away.

Our kindergarten party awaits.

My Freddy the Freeloader costume

is in a brown paper sack,

but lacking one thing:

his floppy, torn top hat –

and I cry at my incompleteness.

So you get right to work

with construction paper, cardboard

and your easy way with creativity.

As the bus pulls into view

you place on my head the finishing touch…

 

Parading down the sidewalk

that winds around Phillips St. School

I see the neighbors lining the streets,

handing out compliments

as sweet as penny candy.

I hold my upside-down newspaper,

pretending to read, and trip on a crack.

Just like Freddy the Freeloader!

someone offers and –

as I adjust my floppy hat –

for the second time today

I smile through my tears.