Category Archives: Columnists

Leon Archer

The Sportsman’s World: October 24, 2012

Leon Archer
Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

New York State, in regard to hunters, has done a couple of commendable things, in my estimation, during the last decade.

Lowering the age to 12 for junior hunters was one of them and the other was the instituting of youth hunting days. Personally, I would like to see the age for youth hunting licenses set at 10 years because New York State has one of the most age restrictive regulations for hunting in the entire United States, but I’m not complaining. It used to be 14.

Youth hunts were started to give new young hunters a chance to experience hunting without the competition that comes at the opening of the regular seasons. Most like the idea, but some really take offense at youth hunts.

Last Saturday morning, I awoke to the sound of distant gunfire – probably from the river south of the city – and I tried to figure out why someone would be shooting. It took a little while for me to remember that the waterfowl youth hunt in our region was scheduled for Oct. 13 and 14. From the amount of shooting, I don’t think those youngsters got a lot of ducks, but I’ll bet they had a great time all the same.

The youth hunt days are usually scheduled to take place two weeks before the regular gunning season. That not only gives the new hunters a chance at totally unsuspecting ducks, but it also allows a two-week period for the local ducks to settle down and forget about those two nerve racking days before the real onslaught begins.

Duck season opens for real in our region Oct. 27 and if you live near an area harboring ducks and people can hunt there, you will very likely awake that morning to the sound of gunfire.

A good friend our ours, Mrs. Hunn, on the west side of the river, has a large flock of ducks that call the river and lawn in front of her home, their home as well. They are safe enough there, but a percentage of them each year will wander far enough away to encounter hunters and some of them will never return to their former sanctuary.

It’s the way this world works; everything eats something else that is living or was living, and sometimes it may seem sad or even brutal, but nothing lives forever in this world, and that all makes hunting, fishing, farming, and gathering reasonable and honorable pursuits.

Chances are better than even that one or two of Mrs. Hunn’s ducks may have fallen prey to those youth hunters I heard last Saturday morning. If so, I am pretty sure they will be appreciated when they make their final appearance beside the potatoes and vegetables.

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: Breaking News

by Jim Farfaglia

 Breaking News


Another local paper shifts on-line.

Another step closer to the day

when a new morning no longer means

holding the latest edition in our hands.


No more news hot off the press;

breathing in a hint of fresh ink

as we scan the headlines,

deciding which story will start our day.


No comic strips tickling us, row after row.

No pages folded just so, to tackle the puzzle.

No obituaries to clip

in order to hold our loved ones a bit longer.


Sure, they promise it’ll all be on the screen:

just a click to find out what’s new,

with pictures and video to color those stories –

but that could never replace


how good it feels to stretch out at the day’s end,

slowing down as we slowly turn each page,

bringing a quiet moment to the end

of another newsworthy day.

Light In The Darkness: October 17, 2012

by Pastor David Grey

“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse — the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today;  the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you.” – Deut. 11:26-28

I sometimes wish that I could preach only about wonderful, joyous and heavenly things, but what is occurring in our nation does not permit me to do so.

When one is standing in a burning home surrounded by loved ones is not the time to comment on the beautiful décor.

If you do not agree that God’s judgment is upon our nation, then read no further.

I believe that it is and as a pastor, I am among the watchmen who must sound a warning. Ezekiel 33 is clear.

“When…the watchman sees the enemy coming, he sounds the alarm to warn the people. If those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives. But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm…he is responsible for their captivity. As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel (America)! Why should you die?”

The upcoming election is very, very important and I hope that you will vote in a wise and informed way for the candidate you believe will be best for our nation — the one who seems to offer the wisest course of action in our present situation.

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


Hodgepodge: October 13, 2012

by Roy Hodge

I was really surprised last week to open the morning paper and read a story about Susan Graverson of Oneida and her grandmother’s recipe book.

The article was an interesting one and I was surprised because I had just sent my most recent weekly column to Valley News editor Andy Henderson the night before. The topic? My grandmother’s recipe book.

I actually have two copies of that cookbook. The most treasured one is the battered old “Collegiate Looseleaf Notebook” that I wrote about last week. Grandma could have easily entered the first recipe in that book shortly after 1908 when she was married. That little book has been in our family for over 100 years.

The second book of the two was copied from the first in 1956 in a composition book exactly like the one Susan is holding in last week’s newspaper article, but much less tattered.

My grandmother’s housemate, Inez, thought she was doing Grandma a favor by re-writing all of the recipes from the tattered book into a second book. My grandmother wasn’t as pleased as Inez thought she would be and I am really glad that Inez didn’t dispose of that original book.

There are a couple of other things that I wanted to tell you about Grandma’s cookbook.  Throughout the book, flour is flower. As I read that, I was thinking that my grandmother probably copied it the way it was in her mother’s cookbook. I also noticed my grandmother’s unique spelling of “cukecumber,” “viniger,” and “jelley.”

There is also some good medical advice along with the recipes.  From the inside of the front cover: “For nuritis get Nuritizone. For pimples – 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar in 1/2 glass of water or more. Take for 3 mornings then skip 3 mornings for 9 mornings.”

One more–Good tonic: Gray’s Glycerine Tonic. My grandmother apparently received that advice and recipe from “Brownie,” who could have been her good friend, Mabel Brown — Mrs. to me.

Many recipes in the book are clipped from newspapers and pinned to the cookbook’s pages with straight “common” pins. The recipes in Grandma’s book were undoubtedly enjoyed by many friends and family members — except maybe for the medicine and tonic.

Tucked in the back of Grandma’s recipe book is a copy of a little booklet, “Aunt Jenny’s Favorite Recipes.” I’m not surprised.  “Aunt Jenny,” along with “Helen Trent” and “My Gal Sunday,” was a “must-listen-to-every-week-day lunch time radio show” in my grandmother’s kitchen when I was growing up. When I was at my grandmother’s house for lunch the radio was on and I listened along.

My grandmother most likely received that cookbook in the mail after sending Aunt Jenny her request along with a label from a can of “Spry,” Aunt Jenny’s longtime sponsor, and a stamp on the envelope.

Aunt Jenny’s little cookbook is a lot like her radio show was. She taste tests everything on her husband, Calvin, and anyone else who came near her house and kitchen, or anyplace in town, to have something to eat. That cast would include her sewing circle, her neighbors, the postman, and Grandpa Briggs at the Old Soldiers’ Home.

Looking through Aunt Jenny’s little cookbook reminded me of something that I thought was very special. A delicious treat that I remember from my grandmother’s kitchen was something that Grandma always had for anyone who happened to be nearby when she was baking a pie.

I never moved far from Grandma’s kitchen when it was pie-baking time because I knew that my patience would pay off with something delicious. That tasty morsel is listed in Aunt Jenny’s little cookbook among a group of recipes listed as “Uses for Leftover Pastry.”

In her cookbook, Aunt Jenny says, “I use my pie-dough scraps for makin’ these ‘little pies.’ My grandchildren are always beggin’ for ‘em.”

I can vouch for that statement.

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: October 13, 2012

Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

I spent some time on three different days watching fishermen on the Salmon River,and I know I was only seeing a microcosm of the fall salmon fishing world, but I was impressed by the good behavior of the fishermen I observed.

There were quite a few people fishing and there were about the same people watching as were fishing. Perhaps, one of the watchers might have been a conservation officer, but if so, he had nothing to find fault with.

I didn’t see anyone who was obviously trying to foul hook a fish even though a few foul hooked fish were brought in by the fishermen.

Every one that I saw taken that way was put back into the stream right after being landed.

And yes, I am aware that such is not always the case, and CO’s can’t be everywhere, but those guys and gals were going by the book.

I saw a lot of fish that were properly hooked in the mouth, and many of the guys catching them weren’t jerking hard to set the hook, yet they played and landed the fish with a pretty good success rate.

A fair portion of those fish were released, but most were put on a stringer or carried up the bank to a cooler.

I ended up staying longer each of those days that I was there watching the fishermen than I usually do. I appreciated their various techniques, and surprisingly, the fly rod guys seemed to be outfishing the spin fishermen.

The main run of Chinooks is already in the river, mostly upstream, but a late run of coho came in behind them and has been keeping the action interesting.  It seems the salmon fishing remains a great attraction for fishermen from all over the Northeast; many of those folks come year after year, some even come multiple times. It is a real financial boost during the fishing season.

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

Jerry’s Journal: October 13, 2012

The old American Woolen Mill with the view from the east side of the river.

by Jerry Kasperek

I stand corrected: The picture in my last column was not from the 1950 yearbook but was from the 1948 yearbook.

After having a conversation with Beverly Coles Downs about it, I decided to check it out to see what yearbook I had used. I had a pile of them on my desk the day I wrote the article and must have grabbed the wrong one. Sorry about that! Thanks, Beverly!

And, oh yes, as far as the write up about 1951 team and its “thrilling victory” over Oswego, I have been reminded by a source I will not put a name to that it was Jim “Hunky” McNamara who made the final touchdown to win the game 12-7. How could I have forgotten that!

Who remembers the boys in the picture? For some reason, their names did not make it into print with my article. So, here, from the pages of the 1948 yearbook, are the members of the football team: Vincent Vescio, Nick Naito, Dick Marcino, Louis LeVea, Robert Snow, Dominic Clavelli, Irwin Vincent, Donald Johnson, Dick Anderson, Hugh Burritt, Leon Dumas, Dominic Ipolito, Russell Bowers, Jim Utick, Arthur Cardinali, William Stanton, Dean Mitchell, Wright Sheldon, Dick Nissen, Donald Kanaley, Jack Halstead, Stanley Springer, Nick Ipolito, Andy Branigan, Louis Francesconi, Skip Todd, Francis Knight, Charles Merritt, Dean Lavendar, Joe McNamara, Carl Johnson.

Now let’s rewind back to an article I wrote this summer on Sharp’s Pond, the old swimming hole of my youth.

Who remembers the house as you came down the path to the pond? It was the home of the Palmer children: Thelma, Kathleen, Leon, Richard, and Arlene. Arlene graduated with our class of 1951. She married Ben Harris and last April they celebrated 59 years of marriage.

Who remembers the big building to the right of the pond? It housed city equipment. I’ve been told of an ice house that also was also on the property. I don’t know if the ice came from the pond or from Lake Neahtawanta.

Blocks of ice were carved out of the frozen pond or lake water, were covered with straw in the ice house to keep them cold all summer, and were sold to households and restaurants to put in their iceboxes.

That was when the iceman cometh and delivered ice right to your door. Who remembers those big, scary metal tongs he carried the blocks of ice with?

Who remembers the glory days of the Fulton Woman’s Bowling Association back in the 1960s? Dorothy Churchill still does. Her daughter, Honey Parkhurst, with whom she lives, sent me a page of pictures and write-ups out of “The Woman Bowler” magazine of long ago.

It reported on “Fulton NY Champs,” referring to the champions of our city tournament, including team, single and double and all events winners, among them were Dorothy Churchill, Leta Paige, Shirley Hall, June Baker, and Anita Procopio.

Ruth Darling, president of the FWBA and I, association secretary, were shown handing out the trophies. Also pictured were Gordon Stowell, proprietor of Triangle Dairy, who was awarded the sponsor’s trophy, and Ed Tryniski, manager of the Bowlarama Lanes, who supplied the trophy.

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