Category Archives: Columnists

Poetry Corner: Diner

by Jim Farfaglia


No matter how your day has gone
or what the weather is doing,
when you walk through its doors –
the guys behind the grill calling hello –
it feels a little like coming home.

Long lines are sure to form
depending on the day’s special,
which you can easily guess
from the tastiness drifting through,
making your stand in line worthwhile.

Once you’ve been seated
your waitress sure makes you feel special:
keeping your coffee cup full
and clearing your plates quickly,
so you can stretch out

and say hello to your left and right,
to other patrons wondering how you are,
sharing slices of their lives
and sipping a bit on yours,
filling this diner with a hearty glow.

Leon Archer

The Sportsman’s World: May 12, 2012

Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

Cortland County produced a real eye opener for me during New York State Outdoors Writers Association’s Spring Safari. I had never fished the area before and I was anxious to find out what the areas streams and ponds had to offer.

I fished two streams for trout and both of them were well worth my efforts. The first stream I fished was a small brook,  which emptied into another stream that was a feeder for the east branch of the Tioughnioga River.

The stream was running high with rain water, but was still easy to navigate with only knee boots. It turned out to have a good population of native brook trout.

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Roy Hodge

Hodgepodge: May 12, 2012

Roy Hodge

by Roy Hodge

Adventures with Andrew – continued. Our little neighbor, Andrew, loves to come over to talk and “help” when I am in the garage, out in the yard, or in the gardens. He really likes to get in our house, and he knows it inch by inch, from top to bottom.

His special mission seems to be to touch, handle and move every object in every room of the house.

He has a special route which covers just about all of our living space. He knows exactly where he is going as soon as he comes in the back door. From there he works his way up to his ultimate destination which is the room upstairs where I keep my collection of toys.

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Jerry’s Journal: May 12, 2012

by Jerry Kasperek

Oops! I therefore offer a sincere apology to Jean and Wesley Prent for incorrectly stating in my last column that he was her “late” husband. Some reporter I am!

My assumption that he was no longer with us was because I had not seen the two together for quite awhile as I’d bump into Jean out shopping as all by herself. I must say, however, she was very gracious about it in her phone call to correct my misstatement.

“He doesn’t get out much anymore,” she said. “But he’s still here.”

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Paul McKinney

A Little Of This And A Little Of That: May 5, 2012

by Paul McKinney

When you search the noun “saga” in the dictionary, the synonyms that pop up include: story, tale, account, chronicle, history, narrative, legend, and yarn.

I have been thinking of sharing this saga for a few weeks now. In reading it, you can decide just what you would call it if it were your tale to tell. The chronicle goes something like this:

June 30, 2011: Accident occurred on Route 48, Town of Granby; car was hauled to collision shop in Syracuse.

July 1, 2011: My insurance company (MIC) notified of accident. I was told to report accident to other insurance company (OIS) to avoid having to wait for my deductible.

July 1, 2011: I called OIS; spoke with agent who reported the information. Met with collision manager who estimated repairs to be at $8,000 and three weeks to repair.

July 12, 2011: I called collision manager to find out how repairs were proceeding and was told that the car was still in the parking lot because OIS had not yet made claims inspection.

I called MIC agent’s office and requested that the claim be processed through MIC.

July 14, 2011: Collision manager received faxed estimate of $8,918.19. I was told that it would involve three weeks of repairs. I rented a car at my own expense.

July 20, 2011: OIC finally accepted liability for the accident.

AUG. 1, 2011: I met with collision manager who told me additional repairs were needed. Supplemental claim submitted to MIC for $9,000. Weekly phone calls were made to collision shop as additional damages were discovered. Two more supplemental claims were submitted to MIC. Total for collision repairs now exceeds $20,000.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News

Roy Hodge

Hodgepodge: May 5, 2012

Roy Hodge

by Roy Hodge

Not that I’m trying to forget them or anything like that, but I was taken back to my accordion days again this week when my mother-in-law sent me a clipping from “The Wall Street Journal” – a review of a book called “Squeeze This! A Cultural History of the Accordion in America” by Marion Jacobson.

In his review, author Ken Emerson noted, “Too low brow for classical music and too cornball for rock – not to mention too white-bread for jazz – the accordion gets no respect. So you’d think that a book devoted to the instrument would be as flat as a boxed set of Lawrence Welk’s ‘champagne  music.’

“But,” he continues, “Marion Jacobson’s ‘Squeeze This!’ bubbles over with fascinating information and intriguing insights.”

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Light In The Darkness: May 2, 2012

by Pastor David Grey

“God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” — Romans 8:28-29

John Piper says, “No promise in all the world surpasses the height and breadth and weight of Romans 8:28.”

Properly understood, I believe that is absolutely true. Yet misunderstanding has sometimes led to even greater heartache for those who are suffering.

Because mankind gave dominion to the Devil, there are truly bad things that happen in life. Awful, tragic things that drive us to our knees.

God is not saying that He somehow makes those things good. Such painful tragedies result from mankind’s fallen state and are part of the death which came upon the human race in the Garden.

As such, they too, will cease when death is cast into the lake of fire.

So, God has not promised that He will turn every tragedy itself into a blessing. He has not said that what is bad can now be called good.

That may be fine for the Fairy Tale but it is not what God has promised.

What He has promised is that He will weave every painful experience, every tragedy in our lives into the tapestry of blessing He has for those who love him.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News