Tag Archives: Jerry Kasperek

Jerry’s Journal: June 9, 2012

by Jerry Kasperek

Ten cents for a cup of coffee — that’s highway robbery! — was the response Andy Butler got from his customers at the Green and White Diner when he upped the price of a cup of coffee from a nickel to a dime.

“I thought they’d run me out of town,” he laughed during our phone conversation a couple of weeks ago.

Andy was proprietor and chief cook of that old eatery that once graced South First Street in downtown Fulton. He began leasing it in the early 1950s and was there until the 1970s when urban renewal came to town. I contacted him per a suggestion from his daughter Jody (Rinker) who called me from North Carolina. She had read my column when I first wrote about it. Jody’s phone call was soon followed by an e-mail from Andy’s stepson Ted Romas, who lives in Oregon and who also read that particular column (The Valley News sure gets around!)

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Jerry’s Journal: May 26, 2012

by Jerry Kasperek

The Green and White Diner was a familiar landmark in old downtown Fulton. It had a prime location on South First Street. It sat just off Oneida Street near the foot of the Lower Bridge.

Stories about its origin and early life abound. One accounting says it came on wheels, which couldn’t be removed, and were cemented right into its foundation.

It was a conventional kind of diner with a long countertop and stools where customers sat to eat. A prominent local business man, Dick Baker, was its owner.

It was called “Augie’s” after Augie Graziano who ran it.

Thus it was so for many years until the post World War II era when it was closed. Then, with the dawning of the 1950s, the diner was refurbished, a dinning room was added and it was up for grabs to lease. Enter Andy Butler.

Andy was a young man working at the Volney Paper Mill. The Volney was on the opposite side of Oneida Street. Andy’s hours were long and the money wasn’t that good so he began looking for something else to do to earn a living.

Why not try the restaurant business, his friends urged. After all, he had experience dating back to when he was 16 and worked for the Ma Tuttle Pie Company in Syracuse. Ma Tuttle sold and delivered pies to many of the area’s restaurants. “They tasted just like homemade,” Andy will tell you.

So Andy took the plunge and leased the diner and named it the Green and White because of its fresh, new coat of green and white paint. He then became its proprietor and chief chef until the early 1970s when urban renewal came to town and the old dinning car diner was torn down.

I had a very enjoyable phone conversation with Andy Butler just recently. But I will set  it aside for now and set the scene for my next column about Andy, his wife Gladys and their seven children, with excerpts from a letter written by Joanne Vant Fadden Horrell.

She is a member of the Vant family out Volney way and a retired school teacher who now resides in Hannibal.

Joanne worked for Andy Butler summers and holidays from 1964 to 1968 and the spring of 1971. Her sister, Bernice, also worked there in 1966. Joanne said she always joked that working in the diner was the best psychology course she ever took!

To read the rest of the column, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

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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Jerry’s Journal: April 28, 2012

by Jerry Kasperek

Who remembers Harper’s? Apparently I didn’t a couple of columns ago.

It was a women’s clothing store on South First Street in our old downtown and Jean Prent was the efficient young woman behind the counter who took your money when you made a purchase or when you wanted to pay on your account.

She called me recently to remind me that I hadn’t included Harper’s in my list of stores from urban renewal days.

I can’t believe I left it out! It was one of my favorite places to shop! I don’t know when it first opened or when it closed for good, but I bought dresses and outfits there from the late 1950 right up to the early 1980s.

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Jerry’s Journal: April 14, 2012

by Jerry Kasperek

A fire! Oh, no! It might be Lynn and Dennis’ house on fire and somebody might still be in it! The phone call had said as much.

My heart pounded as Ed and I grabbed our coats that bitter cold January day only to quickly realized we couldn’t get anywhere near the raging fire on County Route 85 where they lived because the road would be blocked off.

So we paced the floor and anxiously waited by the phone to hear from somebody — anybody — to let us know what was going on.

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Downtown Fulton – Pictured is Cayuga Street South, long before urban renewal was in full swing. Back then, Cayuga Street’s business block had three-story high buildings, hotels and theatres as well as retail stores.

Jerry’s Journal: March 31, 2012

Downtown Fulton – Pictured is Cayuga Street South, long before urban renewal was in full swing. Back then, Cayuga Street’s business block had three-story high buildings, hotels and theatres as well as retail stores.

by Jerry Kasperek

Correction No. 1: Bob Weston called to say that he was not the manager of the A&P as I reported in my last column but manager of the old Grand Union market.

It was on South Second Street in the City of Fulton across from the phone company about where a strip mall takes up space today.

Bob worked there from 1962 to 1967. But after five years of long hours away from home and a young family, he decided to leave the grocery business behind.

As luck would have it, there was an opening to buy a franchise to sell Pepperidge Farms Bread and Thomas Muffins.

Ironically, his delivery truck route, from Mattydale to Mexico, gave Bob long hours as well. He was up before the crack of dawn until mid afternoon when his workday was done.

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