Hodgepodge, by Roy Hodge

John and Mary

Just in case you were wondering, John was the most popular male baby’s name 100 years ago, in 1914.

Also in the top 10 were William, James, Robert, Joseph, George, Charles, Edward, Frank and Walter.

One hundred years ago, Mary topped the list as the top female baby name followed by Helen, Dorothy, Margaret, Ruth, Anna, Mildred, Elizabeth, Frances and Marie.

As expected, that has changed a lot during the past 100 years. While most of those names are still around, only two remain among the most popular boys’ names.

The most popular names for baby boys 100 years later are Liam, Noah, Ethan, Mason, Arden, Elijah, David, Jacob, Jackson and Lucas. During the past 100 years, John has slipped from first to 39th, and William is now the 11th most popular boys’ name.

The most popular girls’ names in 2014 are Olivia, Emma, Ava, Sophia, Mae, Isabella, Amelia, Charlotte, Lily and Ella.  The only female baby name from 1914s top 10 included among the 2014 top 40 names is Anna at 36.

I was curious to see what names may have been popular when I was going to elementary school in the 40s. According to the Social Security website, the most popular boys’ names during that period were James, Robert and John – not too different from 1914 when those names were third, fourth and first.

Other familiar 40’s names were William, Richard, David, Charles, Thomas, Michael and Ronald.

Mary was still the most favored baby girls’ name during the 1940s, followed by Linda, Barbara, Patricia, Carol, Sandra, Nancy, Sharon, Judith and Susan.

Come to think of it, I did have girlfriends named Barbara and Patricia, and two of my girl cousins were Carol and Sandra.

My own name, LeRoy, was further down on the 40s list at number 89. It was spelled with a small r and most likely pronounced differently than my mother’s preference. The nickname I have always preferred, Roy, was at number 43.

As for the lowest of the low during the 40s: For the boys, Fredrick, Jonathan,  Kent, Wendell and Bennie were at the bottom – and on the girls’ side, Stella, Rosie, Patty, Veronica and Michele.

I discovered that some of my canine friends during those years had made the popular human names list – Jake, Fritz and Rudy. I haven’t found Bruno yet.

Or Is It a Sit-down?

I found this among a collection of columns I have written: Hodgepodge, March 4, 1980:

America has a hang-up . . . or is it a sit-down?

We seem to be hung up with, as the sophisticated French say – la derriere; or in crude Americanese – the fanny.

Let’s get to the bottom of this.

Television is full of rearview action.  Charlie’s Angels probably started it; Underalls commercials followed close behind, and how about those jeans with their famous back pocket?

Baby’s bottoms are not exempt with another popular commercial constantly pointing out which is the driest.

The rear-end exposure syndrome, known to those in the know as “mooning,” reared its behind close to home last fall as some Hannibal cheerleaders were caught in the act.  A similar problem with a busload of Buffalo area soccer players was reported recently.

Last week, a Moline, Ill. secretary sought posterity for her posterior as she attempted to take a photograph while sitting on her company’s new copying equipment. Appropriately enough, she was canned.

Sports figures are guilty, too. A great football or basketball play is often acknowledged by a teammate with a friendly pat – and not on the back.

It’s time for a change. We must all get behind the revolution. No more waiting for the bottom to drop out of the market; no more come from behind wins in sports, or betting your bottom dollar; no more rear admirals or rump roasts, and Fanny Farmer will just have to change her name.

That’s the bottom line.

It’s February

February, as the second month of the year, is the shortest – it has 28 days – 29 in leap year.

There are two accepted pronunciations of the month, which are considered standard and correct. February may be more often pronounced Febuary, as in January and Febuary, but the seemingly preferred pronunciation is Feb-ru-ary.

There are several important days worth observing, in some cases celebrating, in February.

Candlemas Day, on Feb. 2, is a feast day commemorating the presentation of Christ in the temple.  Feb. 2 is also observed as Groundhog Day.

The accepted belief is that if a groundhog emerges from his burrow on this day and sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter.

Feb. 12 is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, Feb. 22 is George Washington’s birthday, and Presidents Day (officially observed as Washington’s birthday, on the third Monday of the month since 1971) is popularly recognized as honoring Washington and Lincoln. The day is also sometimes observed as a celebration of the lives of all U.S. presidents.

Feb. 14 is St. Valentine’s Day – a day for the exchange of tokens of affection.

Well-known persons born in February include Lisa Marie Presley, Farrah Fawcett, Tom Smothers, Hank Aaron, Natalie Cole, Garth Brooks, Robert Griffin III, Bill Russell, Florence Henderson, Michael Jordan, Vanna White, Sidney Poitier, Charles Barkley, Steven Jobs, Elizabeth Taylor and celebrating every four years on Feb. 29 – Dinah Shore and Jimmy Dorsey.

When I was in elementary school, students thought February was a great month and that Abraham Lincoln and George Washington were our greatest presidents because we had both of their birthdays off from school during the short month of February.

Happy February.

. . . Roy Hodge

Emergency Management Drill to be held Wednesday afternoon at Fulton Junior High

The Fulton Junior High School, as part of the School District’s half-day Collaboration Day Program, will conduct an Emergency Management Plan drill on the afternoon of Wednesday, Jan. 29.

This is part of the Fulton City School District’s ongoing planning and practice of their Emergency Management Plan.

The drill is done in cooperation with the Fulton Police Department.

News in brief

Area residents have until Jan. 31 to place a sub sandwich order benefitting the Oswego Center United Methodist Church.

The sale is from 11 a.m .to 3 p.m. Feb. 2 at the Elks Club in Oswego. Place orders by Jan. 31 by calling 343-6746.


Wellness Wednesdays continue at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 29 at First United Church of Fulton, 33, S. Third St., Fulton.

Tips and tools for total wellness and improved health. A small group of local men and women will share their experience from childbirth to menopause, and depression to sleep challenges.

Classes are free if you preregister by calling 593-1113 or exmailing red4roxie@aol.com

They are $5 at the door.

Classes are held Wednesdays through Feb. 26.


The Delaney Brothers will perform a gospel bluegrass concert at 7 p.m. Feb. 1 at Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church, Fulton.

A free will offering will be collected. The alternate date if the weather is bad is 7 p.m. Feb. 8.

Go to Delaney-Brothers on Facebook to check for updates or changes.


The Fulton Alliance Church will hold its annual Super bowl Party at 6 p.m. Feb. 2.

There will be free food and soda and a chili contest for anyone interested. A highlight during half-time is the popular football throwing contest.

The event is for anyone and any age. The party is held in a comfortable area with multiple seating and televisions conducive for watching the game and talking with friends.

Chili contest participants must enter their chili by 5:30 prior to the event.

For infomation about the Super Bowl Party or other events held at the Fulton Alliance Church, call 593-6842, ext. 103.

There is plenty of free parking and the church is handicap accessible. The Fulton Alliance Church is located just outside the city limits at 1044 State Route 48.


Stakeholders from 33 school districts will converge on North Syracuse Junior High School at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, to draw attention to the ongoing fiscal crisis facing public schools.

The forum will also allow these stakeholders to work on developing a firm understanding of the key issues and learning how to be effective advocates for their children, schools and communities.

The event, “Our Kids, Our Schools…Our Future!,’’ has been organized to bring community members of all backgrounds together for an informative and inspiring forum that will let them know what is at stake if state leaders do not eradicate the Gap Elimination Adjustment and provide adequate, equitable and sustainable funding for our schools.

“The goal of  ‘Our Kids, Our Schools… Our Future!’ is to inform the public about the state of the crisis and how it equates to lost opportunities for their children and their communities,’’ said Charles Borgognoni, executive director of the Central New York School Boards Association.

“We are on a mission to inspire people to contact their state legislators and express their concerns as the 2014-15 state budget is hammered out in Albany,” he said.

The featured presenter for the forum is Rick Timbs, executive director of the Statewide School Finance Consortium. Timbs will address the need to repeal the Gap Elimination Adjustment.

The forum is being coordinated by the Central New York School Boards Association in partnership with the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison and Oswego County BOCES.


The Auburn/Cayuga Community College Alumni Association is offering an overnight bus excursion to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio, from Saturday, April 12, to Sunday, April 13.

The trip will depart from the Auburn campus at 6 a.m., and the return trip will leave mid-afternoon on Sunday and arrive in Auburn about 9 p.m.

The cost of $225 per person includes a one-night hotel stay (based on double occupancy) at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center, round-trip motor coach, admission to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a private extensive Sunday brunch at the Hard Rock Café.

Individuals age 65 or above receive a $3 discount.

The trip is open to the public. Age restrictions may apply. Seating is limited and reservations must be paid in full through the college’s Alumni Office.

For information, contact Louise at alumni@cayuga-cc.edu or call 255-1743, extension 2224.


Elvis is coming to the State Street United Methodist Church from 3 to 5 p.m. Feb. 8.

Fulton’s own Elvis impersonator, Tom Gilbo, will be performing in Thomas Hall to raise money for the Helping Hands Cupboard outreach program.

The program helps provide 10 household items that cannot be purchased with Food Stamps to those in need in our community.

Tickets are $10 a piece and include refreshments that will be served at the end of “Elvis’s” performance.

State Street UMC is located at 357 State St, Fulton, NY Tickets may be reserved by calling Sally Downs at 887-5061.


The Pennellville United Methodist Church, 389 County Route 54 in Pennellville, will be having a roast pork and dressing dinner at 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8.

The menu will consist of roast pork, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, coleslaw, rolls and butter.  There also are a wide selection of homemade pies and other desserts to choose.

Coffee, tea, cool aid and water will also be available.

The dinner is served family style. Music will be provided while you wait to be seated.

The next dinner will be on March 8th.  If you have any questions, call Anne Jones at 695-6086 or, on the day of the dinner, you may call the church at 695-5964.


A Night at the Cabaret is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday Feb. 8 at the First Universalist Church of Central Square.

A Night at the Cabaret! will be a program of music and fun, featuring the Paul V. Moore High School Vocal Jazz Ensemble and members of the high school band.

Members of the Oswego Community Youth Orchestra will also perform as well as local artists.

Refreshments will be available and raffles will be held.


Attention Town of Palermo veterans.

Town Historian Beverly Beck is seeking information concerning veterans from the town to be added to the historical records.

A few years ago, a book was published from the information gathered about the town’s veterans. Also, there is a display at the Town Hall listing all the veterans with some of the facts regarding their service.

Since that time, there have been many new veterans that are not listed in our current informational database.

If you are a veteran living or born in the town of Palermo, call the historian at 593-6825.  If you had a relative that served in the military who is now deceased, the historian would still like to have their information.

There is a short form to fill in plus the addition of a photograph of the veteran would be appreciated. A copy of the discharge DD 214 papers would most likely answer all questions.

For more information, call Beck at 593-6825.

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