New Volney Elementary principal on the job

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

With the new year also comes a new principal for Volney Elementary School.

Lisa Garofalo has replaced Interim Principal Michael Egan, and brings with her 10 years of administration experience.

Her most recent job was with the Syracuse City School District, where she was a vice principal at the West Side Academy at Blodgett.

She also worked at Seymour Elementary and was an assistant principal at Ed Smith Elementary in Syracuse.

Garofalo holds three certifications, including one in special education. She was a former principal of special education and pre-kindergarten at Herkimer County BOCES and also taught high school math in the Whitesboro School District.

Garofalo said she is thrilled to be principal at a school with such a high reputation.

“The first few days here have been fabulous, I can’t stop smiling,” she said. “I enjoy interacting with the children; I had lunch with a group of fourth grade girls and we had great conversation.”

Garofalo has always wanted to be an elementary principal, and it seemed like the next step in her career.

In her second interview for the position, she found the staff to be so passionate, and wanted to be a part of such a successful school.

“I can tell this will be a good fit because the staff is so dedicated and puts the students first,” she said.

Joining mid-year, Garofalo has had a lot of catching up to do. She recently attended at Parent Teacher Group meeting, where members shared with Garofalo the school’s annual traditions, like the end of the year ice cream social.

She is interested in starting her own traditions in time, but for now, is diligently taking notes and trying to make connections.

“I’ve made it my personal mission to learn the names of every student in the building,” she said.

If a name slips her memory, she asks students to remind her upon each greeting.

“My job (as principal) is all about building relationships and developing an understanding of behaviors, and that starts with knowing the students and my team on a personal level.”

“I want the students to see me as a support, and I want parents to see me as someone that will be there to make their child’s elementary experience positive.”

Garofalo, who commutes from Fayetteville, is looking forward to becoming part of Volney community.

“This is a family oriented building, and I want to find out what is important to the people here,” she said.

Gertrude Halstead, born in Germany

Gertrude H. Halstead, 91, of San Diego, CA, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 7.

A native of Stuttgart, Germany, she had lived in San Diego since 1954.

Gertrude retired as a keypunch operator for Accounting Corp. of America after 30 years.

Surviving are her husband, John H. Halstead of San Diego, CA; a son, J. David (Joann) Halstead of Fulton, NY; two grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

A graveside service will be held at Fairdale Rural Cemetery, County Route 3 in Hannibal at a later date.

Foster Funeral Home, Fulton has care of arrangements.

Jerry’s Journal, by Jerry Kasparek

Margaret Beckwith was my good friend.

She died last Saturday, Jan. 18. I got the sad news just before I sat down to write my every-other-week column. It was going to be Part 3 of North Sixth Street.

But I decided to put it aside for now and instead dedicate it to my dearly departed friend.

I have no special claim to Marg’s friendship — she was a good friend to everyone she knew. Some were more “close-knit” than others, however,  but far too many to list all their names here, except for maybe her niece Barbara Collins who is quick to say: “We did everything together . . . It’s hard to lose someone you’ve had your whole life.”

I’m going to miss her too, just like so many other people will. They’ll miss her at all the school sporting events cheering on the teams.

They’ll miss her at Mimi’s — Marg just loved going to Mimi’s — she was a steady customer at breakfast and she would table-hop to talk to nearly everyone in the place!

And, they’ll miss her at all the other places you might see her around town where she’d always greet you a warm hug. She was Fulton’s very own “Joy-germ” ambassador.

She was a positive kind of person; the kind of person you’d liked to be around. She enjoyed life and good food, and pretty clothes in pastels, pink, yellow and blue — blue was her favorite color and her house is generously decorated with it — and she made a very delicious strawberry salad she was always glad to share when a special occasion called for it.

Margaret White, as I first knew her, was a year behind me at good old Fulton High School, and a very good athlete. Her picture is in my Class of ’51 yearbook as a member of the championship junior class girls’ volleyball team that beat the senior girls’ team that winter, and she captained the junior girls’ basketball team that almost beat my classmates’ team as well.

She took up bowling and golf in later years and was good at those sports, too.

As the years flew by, I’d run into her once in a while and knew she worked in Niagara Mohawk’s commercial office here in Fulton, had married her long-time boyfriend George Beckwith, and was the mother of two little boys, Goerge and Billy.

When NiMo shut its commercial office doors in the early 1980s, she was transferred to the office that housed the line crew on the Howard Road out in Volney where my late first husband Mike Hogan also was employed.

Thus, as side-by-side workers often do, Marg and Mike became close friends and confidantes, sharing stories about their families and lives, and their enthusiasm for our high school wrestling team of which they were both avid fans.

Whenever I’d see Marg, she’d tell me nice things about Mike, what a good guy he was, about how proud he was of his kids and grandkids, and about how much she knew he loved me. It meant a lot to me, especially after he passed away.

Marg was at my house almost night and day when Mike died that summer of 1998, dishing out food, doing dishes, doing whatever needed to be done, and giving solace to my family and other friends. There was no way I could ever thank her enough!

Even when George died, there was nothing I could do to match what she had done for me.

That was Marg — always thinking about somebody else — always the first one to lend a helping hand.

Perhaps, though, her greatest amount of time and energy was spent (besides her dedication to her beloved husband and family) on school sports and the student athletes.

She was a member of the Fulton Athletic Booster’ Club and was instrumental in its awards programs at Bodley High School, as well as being involved in their many other activities.

Margaret seldom missed a game — football, basketball, wrestling, soccer, boys or girls, be it home or away — and she knew the coaches well and loved the young athletes who played the games and could tell you the name of each and everyone of them. And they knew her!

She simply adored young people, and it’s more than safe to say her crowning moment came when she become a grandmother.

She loved being a grandmother! She doted on her five grandchildren like they were precious jewels. She babysat them when they were little, took them places as they grew up, and nourished and nurtured them. You’d see them all together — she and George and the children — at Mimi’s for breakfast.

When she was diagnosed with cancer a little over a year ago, she took it as well as anyone could, and was determined to do everything she could, chemo treatments and all, so she could enjoy her grandchildren as long as she could.

She put up a good fight too, while at the same time facing the inevitable as bravely and cheerfully as she could.

Now she is gone.

Death will come calling to all of us someday. I just hope when it’s my time, I can face it with the same kind of grace and dignity Margaret Beckwith did.

May God rest your soul, my friend, I love you.

Part 3 of North Sixth Street coming soon: Hopefully I can get it written up and in for next week.

Meanwhile, here’s my caveat:

Reader beware! I write for fun. I am not a historian, nor a reporter. I write from memory and from what others want to share. Sometimes I look things up; sometimes I mess things up.

I hope you have fun reading my stuff. Your comments, additions and corrections are always welcome. You may contact me at 133 Tannery Lane, Fulton, phone 592-7580 or email JHogan@aol.com. Please put Jerry’s Journal in the subject line. Thanks!

Fulton Community Theatre presents ’2 Across’

February will see a mixture of romance and crosswords played in dinner theatre setting as Fulton Community Theatre presents “2 Across.”

The comedy by Jerry Mayer, which kicks off FCT’s 24th year, will run weekends, Feb. 8, 9, 14, 15, and 16 at Tavern On The Lock, 24 S. First St., Fulton.

The comedy will be presented as a dinner theatre offering, with Friday and Saturday dinners beginning at 6 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. showtime. On the two Sunday matinees, dinner will begin serving at 2 p.m., with a 3:30 p.m. curtain time.

Tickets for a buffet dinner and show are just $25 for adults, $23 for seniors and students.

Show only tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Reservations may be made by calling Tavern On The Lock at 592-2661.

The show tells the tale of two strangers, Josh and Janet, who meet on a commuter train. They are alone in the car, both doing the New York Times crossword.

She’s an organized, sensible psychologist. He’s a free spirited, unemployed ad exec. She is a crossword pro, he always quits. They learn from each other, argue, laugh, reveal big problems, they kiss.

But will they meet again?

“2 Across” features the talents of Valerie Roscoe-Dedich as Janet and Donald Crowe as Josh. Both will be familiar faces to Fulton Community Theatre audiences. Valerie was featured in the comedy farce “Bedside Manners,” while Donald appeared last season in “Alone Together” and “Curtain Up On Murder”.

The production is under the direction of Michael A. Bolio.

Jerry Mayer is a veteran writer of stage, movies, and television. His writing credits include several stage plays, as well as writing for television shows such as M*A*S*H, All in the Family, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Fulton Community Theatre’s production is a Central New York debut of his comedy.

The play, which is the second Valentine’s Day-themed show for FCT, is also the first dinner theatre venture for the theatre in many years. It was an annual staple for many seasons, and is something that the theatre has been looking at since it resumed active production in 2010.

“We believe that this comedy really fits well in a dinner theatre setting, and we hope our regular patrons will come out for a great night of dinner and entertainment, and that others who haven’t been to our shows before or in a while, will come and join us,” said theatre Artistic Director William Edward White.

For more information, contact the Fulton Community Theatre at its website, www.fultoncommunitytheatre.org, or by emailing fultoncommunitytheatre@gmail.com

Oswego Music Hall features blues, bluegrass and Americana Feb. 8

The Oswego Music Hall welcomes the always popular Philadelphia-based father and son duo, Beaucoup Blue, plus Carolann Solebello, perhaps most familiar to folk audiences as a founding member of the female trio Red Molly, to the hall at 8 p.m. Feb. 8.

Beaucoup Blue’s David and Adrian Mowry have wowed Oswego Music Hall audiences several times before. From blues to bluegrass, their soulful tradition and contemporary styles mesh into an innovative and authentic sound.

They pretty much cover the full range of “Americana” quite uniquely in their song writing and how they choose to represent classic material.

During their years together as a duo, they have received numerous awards, including “Grand Prize Winner of Billboard Magazine World Song-Writing Contest,” and the “Grand Prize Winner of the Terruride Blues & Brew Acoustic Competition.”  Their two soulful voices and slide guitar virtuosity are simply wonderful to behold in a live performance.

David and Adrian Mowry have been playing at top folk music venues for a long time. Last September, the album “Live at Caffé Lena: Music From America’s Legendary Coffeehouse, 1967 -2013” was released.

This piece of “Folk Music Heaven” includes songs by Beaucoup Blue from its 2008 concert at Lena, along with 60s greats like Pete Seeger and present day singers like Sara Lee Guthrie (Arlo’s daughter).

Carolann Solebello returned to solo performance in August 2010 after six years with the Red Molly band. She toured nationally and recorded three full-length CDs with that trio.

On her own, Carolann has recorded four CDs, including 2013’s Steel and Salt, and is carving out a rich and varied career as a singer-songwriter.

Carolann is the winner of the 2011 Susquehanna Music & Arts Festival Songwriting Competition, and was an Official Showcase Artist at Folk Alliance International and the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance in 2012.

A New York City native, Carolann first fell in love with mountain music – and the bluegrass and country that grew out of that tradition – while working as an actor in East Tennessee and Kansas. Tunes and techniques she learned from musicians in both places fundamentally changed her approach to songwriting and guitar playing, and subsequently colored her work with Red Molly.

The venue is the McCrobie Civic Center, 41 Lake Street, Oswego. Desserts, snacks, popcorn and beverages are available for purchase. Tickets can be purchased online at http://oswegomusichall.org/ or at the River’s End bookstore, 19 W. Bridge St., Oswego.  Holders of tickets purchased before 1 p.m. the day of the concert will have preferred seating.  After 1 p.m., seating is general admission. Tickets are $14 if purchased in advance and $16 at the door.   Children 12 and under are half-price; under 5 is free.

The Music Hall’s next concert Feb. 22 will feature  “Percussion Wizard” Jeff Haynes & Co., including guitarist Sean Harkness and singer-songwriter Casey Erdmann.

Oswego Opera Theater presents Rigoletto — The Oswego Story

The Oswego Opera Theater will present Rigoletto – The Oswego Story, Feb. 21 and 23 at SUNY Oswego’s Waterman Theatre in Tyler Hall.

The Feb. 21 performance is at 7:30 p.m. and the Feb. 23 show is at 2 p.m.

In Guiseppe Verdi’s first true masterpiece, Rigoletto, the original setting is Mantua, Italy in the 16th Century, where the main characters are the Duke of Mantua (chauvinist and all-around bad boy), his court jester Rigoletto, the jester’s angelic daughter (way too innocent and naïve), an assassin for hire and his sister.

Rigoletto has been a favorite with audiences all over the world since it first hit the stage in 1851.

Now, reimagined by Oswego Opera Theater Artistic Director Mack Richardson, Rigoletto – The Oswego Story plots Duke, the personally and politically “connected” owner of a Prohibition-era speak-easy in Oswego.

He is a notorious womanizer, and for fun disguises himself as a poor SUNY Oswego student to romance the college girls.

Tickets are $25 for regular price admission, $20 for seniors and faculty/staff of all educational institutions in the region, and $5 for all students. Tickets are available at the SUNY Oswego Box Office at  312-2141 or online at tickets.edu.

For more information on the event, sponsor information, and/or the Oswego Opera Theater please call (315) 638-0674 or visit Facebook: Oswego Opera Theater Events; www.oswegoopera.org; or email OswegoOpera@gmail.com.

Senior citizen news

Granby Center Senior News

Our meeting for the New Year was very good. We had 46 members at the Jan. 16 get-together. Seemed good to see so many of our seniors.

Cards made by Nancy were won by Jeanette Pauldine. The 50/50 was won by Jeanne Smith.

Kitchen committee for Feb. 6 is John Krupa, Jean Cronk, Ruth and Bob Sheldon and Imo Lefort. For Feb. 20, the kitchen committee is Fran Wadas, Donna Babcock, Joanne Gardner and Imo LeFort.

We had a very good speaker — Rachel Baglia from Oswego Health. She was very informative about blood pressure and hypertension.

Trips were discussed by Joanne Gardner.

Submitted by E. Martin

Volney Seniors

Early on Dec. 4, the roads were covered with ice. It warmed up and like magic, the ice was gone. We had many seniors make it to the meeting.

Fifty-seven of us made it to our Thanksgiving dinner at Bristol Hill Church. The meal was so good.

Our new member is Barbara Wallace. Welcome aboard.

Birthdays — Therisa Caltbiano, Gordon Smith, Roy Crouch and Denise Munger. We wish you all many more healthy, happy ones.

A 57th anniversary is being celebrated by Charlie and Rita Murphy. Congratulations.

On Dec. 14, we had our Christmas dinner at Seneca Hill. It was so beautiful with the big Christmas tree all decorated. I always try to sit at a table where I can look at the tree and enjoy it all the time we’re there.

The 50/50 winner for November was Mary Sugar and for December it was Mary Lalanga.

Submitted by Alma Bowering

 Phoenix Senior Citizens Club

At the club’s annual Christmas Party Dec. 13, the newly elected officers were installed by installing officer Arlene Slaski.

Trip Coordinator Martha Arnold announced that in February we will be carpooling to Heid’s in Liverpool for their famous hot dogs and coneys. She asked everyone to save the 2 for 1 coupons that are featured in the newspapers.

Cars will leave the town building at 10:30 a.m. People can drive ahead and meet the others at Heid’s if they choose.

We had a pot luck covered dish birthday and anniversary celebration Jan. 10.

The next business meeting for the Phoenix Senior Citizens club of the Town of Schroeppel is at 1:30 p.m. Friday Feb. 7 at the town of Schroeppel building on Route 57A.

If Phoenix schools are closed that day, there will be no meeting or covered dish dinner that day.

The next pot luck covered dish birthday and anniversary celebration dinner is at 1:30 p.m. Friday Feb. 14. Bring a dish to pass and your own table service. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and lemonade are provided.

The senior club is always looking for new members age 50 and over to join. Dues are $5 per year and can be paid to Treasurer Peggy Sayles at any meeting or dinner. For more information, call President Joanne Czajkowski at 622-1239.

H. Lewis Lower, owned Lower’s Insurance

H. Lewis Lower, 75, of Oswego, died Jan. 10, 2014 in Crouse Hospital, Syracuse.

He was born in Fulton, the son of the late Lewis and Christabelle Lower.

He owned and operated Lower’s Insurance in Oswego.

He is survived by his daughter, Leslie Chase of CA.

A gathering will be held Sunday Jan. 26, 2014 at Bridie Manor from 1 to 2 p.m.

Arrangements are in the care of the Sugar & Scanlon Funeral Home, 147 W. Fourth. St., Oswego.

Your hometown. Your news.