HODGEPODGE: Mom’s ‘Club,’ Squirrelympics, Vintage Hodgepodge

Mom’s “Club”

“I fixed you some sandwiches. You’ll have to go upstairs early and play quietly until bedtime.”

We knew that if that was my mother’s message to us, it meant that the “club ladies” were coming.

We could have guessed that though, because since we arrived home from school we had been dusting and vacuuming and picking up all our “stuff” and putting it “where it belongs.”

We had to be reminded that the living room floor wasn’t “where it belongs.”

My father observed the same strictly outlined rules as us kids on “club night.”  He usually spent a couple of hours each evening at the dining room table doing his “homework,” which consisted of filling out orders for his bakery route.

On club nights he scrunched himself up to sit in the small chair at the small desk in our bedroom.

Our house was small and one of the problems that fact presented was that there wasn’t room for the ladies’ coats downstairs, so during gatherings when coats were necessary they were neatly spread out on my parents’ bed, so my accommodating father had to lay down with my brother or me in one of our small bunk-size beds until the ladies went home.

Most of the club members lived on Kenmore Avenue, one block from our house. At one time five club ladies lived in three houses next to each other.

To observers, it didn’t seem that the club ladies, most of whom saw each other on a daily basis, had an exciting agenda at their meetings. The ladies would entertain themselves when they got together by talking; some of them sewed while they talked.

The club’s custom was the hostess would serve “lunch” sometime around nine o’clock. The appetizing aromas of that late evening meal often caused a problem for the upstairs campers whose gulped down supper of sandwiches was a long ago memory.

There were leftovers the next day, but they didn’t seem the same without the club ladies’ lively chatter.

Not only did the club members have their evening get-togethers at each other’s homes, they gathered many times in the summer at picnics when they brought their children along.

Kids’ birthday parties were also a frequent event. So all the kids saw each other often and were, more or less, members of their own club.

The club ladies were visiting each other’s homes and enjoying their frequent parties long after their children had grown up.

As the years went by, there was a new era for the club ladies when some of the members were joined by their daughters for their social evenings.

Sometimes the memories from many years ago come back to me and I return to a living room full of my mother’s friends; to the enjoyment that those ladies received from each other and to the enduring friendships which were nurtured during those evenings with the “Club Ladies.”

Squirrelympics?

I entertain myself quite often by watching some of our neighborhood’s many squirrels flying from tree to tree around our backyard.

In an article that I wrote in 2012, I called them “The Flying Squirrellendas” (do you remember Ringling’s Flying Wallendas?) as they performed in our backyard every day:

“I am happy to say that their performance arena is right here in our backyard … One problem is that you never know when the show might begin. … As I sit here one of the performers has appeared … I can’t tell what color his performance tights might be … He is being very cautious, this is obviously just a warm-up session … and then he disappears … no show for now.”

Two years later, they are still at it, and there are times when I am at the kitchen table just in time for show time. A couple of days ago I got so excited watching the tree tops activity that I spilled my coffee all over the table.

I’m sure our neighborhood squirrels belong to some kind of a social/athletic club. Often times one or two squirrels will be chasing each other from branch to branch and soon I can count 10 or more participating in the games.

There is another large group of squirrels across the street in the park and still another smaller one further up the road. Who knows? Maybe they are participating in their own Winter “Squirrelympics”.

Squirrel watching and counting has become a winter afternoon fun activity. Squirrelympics — summer or winter, it doesn’t matter.

These athletic, bushy-tailed rodents compete during all seasons and they excite the audience (me and my coffee cup) and score points.

As I watch the neighborhood squirrels these days I wonder if they are trying to tell us something.  When they’re not chasing each other around our yards the squirrels seem to be busy storing more winter provisions.

Maybe we should be paying more attention. Perhaps the squirrels know more than the groundhogs, and even more than the television prognosticators.

And, they’re having a great time.

Vintage Hodgepodge

From The Fulton Patriot, Feb. 23, 1993:

I have been asked a lot of questions during the past couple of weeks. I have run out of answers. I am beginning to dread these questions.

  • When are you going to shovel the snow?
  • Enough snow for you?
  • Do you think it will ever stop snowing?
  • Is it going to snow tonight?
  • Is it going to snow this afternoon?
  • When are you going to shovel the snow?
  • Where are you going to put all this snow?
  • Have we got more snow than Oswego?
  • Is there school today?
  • Is there going to be school tomorrow?
  • When are you going to shovel the snow?
  • Why do you live in Fulton in the winter time?
  • Where is the car?
  • What is that huge pile of snow doing in the driveway where the car used to be?
  • When are you going to shovel the snow?

… Roy Hodge

Bookmobile council uses grant to buy books for children

In the photo from left to right are Amy Armet, Oswego bookmobile student council adviser; Bill Reilly, river’s end bookstore; Olivia Flint, Oswego bookmobile student council member; Victoria Armet, Oswego bookmobile student council member; Dawn Metott, Oswego City-County Youth Bureau; Carrie Victory, AmeriCorps program assistant; and Joan Dain, Oswego bookmobile.
In the photo from left to right are Amy Armet, Oswego bookmobile student council adviser; Bill Reilly, river’s end bookstore; Olivia Flint, Oswego bookmobile student council member; Victoria Armet, Oswego bookmobile student council member; Dawn Metott, Oswego City-County Youth Bureau; Carrie Victory, AmeriCorps program assistant; and Joan Dain, Oswego bookmobile.

Members of the Oswego Bookmobile’s Student Advisory Council recently reported on their winter project.

The project involved helping the bookmobile purchase popular books to give to youngsters free of charge during the bookmobile’s summer program.

Students who are Advisory Council members are generally avid readers who talk with their classmates about favorite book titles, and are therefore well qualified to suggest favorite and popular books for purchase.

Members of the Council also help to prepare the high-interest books for the bookmobile.

“It’s like opening Christmas presents for the students when the new books arrive,” said Amy Armet, who advises the Student Advisory Council.

The Student Advisory Council met recently at Frederick Leighton Elementary School in Oswego to see and showcase newly arrived books for Oswego Bookmobile Committee members.

Also on hand were representatives of river’s end bookstore, who assisted with the book purchase, as well as AmeriCorps and the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau.

The books were purchased with a $1,000 Mini-Grant from the Youth Bureau.

The project was also made possible by the state Office of Children and Family Services.

The Oswego Bookmobile and its Student Advisory Council express their appreciation for the funding and to those who assisted with this project.

Hundreds of area children will benefit during the next year due to this grant.

OCO fights hunger in Oswego County

Staff and volunteers for OCO Nutrition Services prepare meals at OCO’s kitchen facility in Mexico. Nutrition Services prepares over 1,000 meals daily for distribution to OCO’s Activity and Dining Centers, and Meals on Wheels program. Last year OCO Nutrition Services served 239,769 meals to Oswego County residents 60 and older; provided 16,360 meals to youth up to 18 years of age. Above from left are: Hilarie Himes, Torrie McCray, Cody Cowen, Joyce Burnard, and Lesley Kline.
Staff and volunteers for OCO Nutrition Services prepare meals at OCO’s kitchen facility in Mexico. Nutrition Services prepares over 1,000 meals daily for distribution to OCO’s Activity and Dining Centers, and Meals on Wheels program. Last year OCO Nutrition Services served 239,769 meals to Oswego County residents 60 and older; provided 16,360 meals to youth up to 18 years of age. Above from left are: Hilarie Himes, Torrie McCray, Cody Cowen, Joyce Burnard, and Lesley Kline.

When it comes to fighting hunger in Oswego County, perhaps no one plays a more important role than Oswego County Opportunities.

Virtually all of OCO’s human services programs have elements that address hunger. From homebound seniors to homeless teens and single mothers, to low-income families and hungry youth, OCO does its best to provide nutritious meals to those in need.

With the need for food subsidy at almost record levels in Oswego County, and state and federal funding continuing to dwindle, OCO’s fundraising efforts are on a roll.

To help continue to feed those in need OCO will host its “Retro Bowl” fundraiser Saturday, April 5, at Lakeview Lanes in Fulton.

Proceeds from the Retro Bowl will be spread across all of the agency’s programs to assist in providing consumers of these programs with emergency food when needed and help the agency build a reserve for the future.

Executive Director of OCO Diane Cooper-Currier said supporting programs and services that combat hunger aligns nicely with OCO’s mission.

“As an anti-poverty agency, our focus is fighting poverty in any form. The inability to afford or prepare nutritious meals is certainly one of the most troubling forms of poverty we see,” she said.

“Our Retro Bowl fundraiser will help ensure that our consumers, regardless of which program they are accessing, will have the emergency food supplies they need for themselves and their families,” said Cooper-Currier.

While food subsidy is an aspect of all of OCO’s programs, the agency’s premier anti-hunger program is its Nutrition Service program.

Originally established to help provide meals for seniors, OCO Nutrition Services has evolved into a well-rounded program that operates eight dining and activity centers; provides a home-delivered meal service for seniors, as well as a private pay program for those under 60; offers a supplemental summer food program for youth throughout Oswego County; and an after-school program in Fulton that provides food for youth up to 18 years of age.

Last year alone, OCO Nutrition Services served 239,769 meals to Oswego County residents 60 and older; provided 16,360 meals to youth up to 18 years of age; and fed 50 children in its after school and summer food programs.

Additionally, OCO Nutrition Services delivered 650 “Blizzard Bags” filled with non-perishable foods to homebound residents so that they may have a day or two of food on hand in the event of bad weather.

The centerpiece of OCO Nutrition Services is the eight Dining and Activity Centers that the program hosts.

The centers provide a warm meal and a welcoming environment for those 60 and older wishing to enjoy some fun, quality time with others in their community.

The Dining and Activities Centers are open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and are located at:

  • Constantia – St. Bernadette’s Church, 1667 State Route 49, open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 623-9803
  • Fulton – Fulton Municipal Building, 141 S. First St., open Monday through Friday, 592-3408
  • Hannibal – Community Library, 162 Oswego St., open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 564-5471
  • Mexico – Presbyterian Church, 4316 Church St., open Wednesday and Friday, 963-7757
  • Parish – Presbyterian Church, 814 Rider St., open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 625-4617
  • Phoenix – Congregational Church, 3 Bridge St., open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 695-4841
  • Sandy Creek – Methodist Church, 2031 Harwood Drive, open Monday through Friday, 298-5020

“It’s amazing to think of the impact that our program has on hunger in our county,” said Amy Roland, director of OCO Nutrition Services.

“Our kitchen staff, our drivers, the staffs of our dining and activity centers, and our army of volunteers that we are fortunate enough to have, are busy all day long preparing, packaging and delivering meals each and every day, Monday through Friday,” she said..

Roland added she is looking at ways to expand the OCO Nutrition Services by providing even more meals and making the summer food program for local youth available at more locations.

The summer food program, currently at 12 locations in the county, provides up to two meals per day, Monday through Friday throughout the summer break.

The OCO Retro Bowl takes place from noon to 6 p.m. April 5 at Lakeview Lanes in Fulton.

Registration is now open for five-person teams, with choice of flights: noon to 2:30 p.m. or 3 to 5:30 p.m. (first come, first served).

For registration or sponsor information, or to donate a door prize, contact OCO at 598-4717 or visit the agency’s website at oco.org.

Bodley donated to food pantry

HOPE Club adviser Cathy Cronk and club members Jon Noeller and Shakeemah Hordge prepare to send boxes full of nonperishable food to the Fulton Salvation Army Food Pantry. The items were collected during a recent school-wide food drive.
HOPE Club adviser Cathy Cronk and club members Jon Noeller and Shakeemah Hordge prepare to send boxes full of nonperishable food to the Fulton Salvation Army Food Pantry. The items were collected during a recent school-wide food drive.

With its mission geared toward lending a hand to those in need, members of G. Ray Bodley High School’s HOPE Club recently joined forces with other school groups to hold a food drive benefiting the Salvation Army Food Pantry.

The HOPE Club, Helping Other People Everywhere, teamed up with the Future Business Leaders of America, the Student Senate and the French Club to collect nonperishable food items during the month of February. Despite several days lost due to school cancellations, the drive yielded more than 600 items.

“Every little bit makes a difference,” HOPE Club adviser Cathy Cronk said. “The Salvation Army Food Pantry can use this to distribute to those in need.”

Cronk noted that Katherine Marshall’s guided study hall students donated 122 items, which was the most in the school and netted the class a pizza party.

Granby seeks Citizen of Year

The town Of Granby is once again planning a town of Granby Family Fun  Day to be held this summer from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 21.

Included in the festivities will be the recognition of a Granby Citizen of the Year.

Town official are seeking nominations from the public to receive this honor.

If you would like to nominate a deserving person or couple from the town of Granby for this tribute, please send a letter of recommendation to:

Granby Town Clerk, 820 County Route 8, Fulton, NY 13069.

Please send letters so they arrive no later than April 30.

Sign up now for Head Start Pre-K

Head Start Pre-K is accepting enrollment applications for the 2014-2015 school year.

In Fulton, Head Start Pre-K is available at three different locations. Classes are 3 ½ hours in length, with morning and afternoon sessions.

The program’s goal is promoting school readiness through hands-on learning experiences, active play, and nutritious meals and snacks.

All teachers have either master’s degrees or bachelor’s degrees in education.

Staff also includes teaching assistants, classroom aides, family advocates, cooks and nurses.

Families may apply for enrollment by attending “Application Day” from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, April 7 at the Fulton Municipal Building, South First Street, Fulton.

Families also may call 598-7689 or 598-4711 to schedule an application time.

Waiting lists are maintained for openings that may occur throughout the school year.

Head Start Pre-K enrolls 3- and 4-year-old children and is provided at no cost to families that meet income eligibility guidelines.

Head Start is the longest running national school-readiness program in the United States.

In Oswego County, Head Start Pre-K enrolls 224 children at seven centers located throughout the county.

Oswego County Opportunities, Inc operates the Head Start program. OCO is a non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966. It is a United Way of Greater Oswego County member agency. Visit oco.org for more information.

Rotary donates to All Saints

Rotarian LaVerne Deland, left, recently presented a check from Fulton Sunrise Rotary to Lynne Field, representing All Saints Church in Fulton. This donation was in memory of Sunrise Rotarian Sharon Foster, who volunteered so much of her time to the church’s community dinners, which are held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday. The Fulton Sunrise Rotary meets at 7 a.m. each Friday at Fulton’s Riverside Inn.
Rotarian LaVerne Deland, left, recently presented a check from Fulton Sunrise Rotary to Lynne Field, representing All Saints Church in Fulton. This donation was in memory of Sunrise Rotarian Sharon Foster, who volunteered so much of her time to the church’s community dinners, which are held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday. The Fulton Sunrise Rotary meets at 7 a.m. each Friday at Fulton’s Riverside Inn.

Veteran of the Year to be Fulton’s Memorial Day Parade Grand Marshal

Each fall, the Fulton Veterans’ Council chooses a Veteran of the Year from among the membership of several Fulton veterans’ organizations. This year, Jim Weinhold, center, was named Veteran of the Year and is seen with Fulton Mayor Ron Woodward (right) and Memorial Day Salute Chairman Larry Macner (left). Weinhold will be the Grand Marshal for the Memorial Day Salute Parade May 24. The parade is sponsored by the Fulton Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary and Sunrise Rotary service clubs, in cooperation with the Fulton Veteran’s Council.
Each fall, the Fulton Veterans’ Council chooses a Veteran of the Year from among the membership of several Fulton veterans’ organizations. This year, Jim Weinhold, center, was named Veteran of the Year and is seen with Fulton Mayor Ron Woodward (right) and Memorial Day Salute Chairman Larry Macner (left). Weinhold will be the Grand Marshal for the Memorial Day Salute Parade May 24. The parade is sponsored by the Fulton Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary and Sunrise Rotary service clubs, in cooperation with the Fulton Veteran’s Council.

Jim Weinhold, of Fulton, has been named Veteran of the Year and will be the grand marshal of Fulton’s Memorial Day Salute Parade May 24.

Weinhold, 83, has lived in Fulton for 31 years, coming here from Seneca Knolls outside Baldwinsville.

He is on his fourth year as commander of the Fulton VFW, is past commander of the Fulton American Legion, is a member of the Fulton Veterans’ Council and is captain of the VFW Color Guard, which presides at military funerals in the area.

Weinhold said he served seven years in the Navy and 15 years in the Air National Guard with the 174th “Boys from Syracuse.”

From 1953 to 1954, he served on a Navy ship near the 38th parallel just off Korea as the Korean War was winding down.

He was a radarman and petty officer third class in the Navy.

In the Air Guard, he was in the supply field and retired as a master sergeant.

Weinhold worked for Western Electric for years and after retiring, worked as a custodian for the Fulton school district at G. Ray Bodley High School, Volney Elementary School and the Education Center.

“I am very humbled to be named Veteran of the Year. I’m very appreciative,” he said. “This is not just about me, but about all veterans alive and deceased.”

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