Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veterans' Day!

In this morning's O-D - an article about Waterville Marine Jeff Glod.

My husband remembers that when he was a little boy living in Danvers, Massachusetts, November 11th was a special day because at exactly eleven o'clock on the eleventh day of the eleventh month the fire siren would ring and all work and conversation would stop - for a minute or two of silent Remembrance. And, he says, "There's no reason why we shouldn't be doing that, still, today."

The sky above "Whiskey Hollow" at about 6:45 A.M.

There's an old saying

"Red Sky at Night, Sailors delight;
Red Sun in the Morning; Sailors take warning."

It's about 47 degrees with the sort of a breeze that will make it a good "drying day" - if you can get the drying done this morning!

"Scouting for Food" starts at 9:00.

The St. Bernard's Bazaar open at 9:00.

There's a little sign at the edge of Route 12 next to the exit
for the Paris Hill "Business District" that reads
"Spaghetti Supper, Nov. 11!"
(That sounds worth looking into!)

It's at the PARIS HILL Volunteer Fire Co.!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday afternoon

It could have been a day in September. Warmish, fairly bright - just right for raking or walking or biking or almost anything else outdoorsy. Tomorrow will at least start out the same way.

On the poind behind Jack Prior's house there were LOTS of water fowl: neither my eyes nor my camera could tell precisely what they were, but they must have been either Snow Geese, on their regular north-south flyway, or Seagulls someplace they'd never been before!

On East Bacon Street, Joan Albert and the Stephensons are moving in to Thanksgiving mode..

...but if you go to the Alcott Greenhouses, out on Route 20, you'll be swept right into the Christmas Season! They've had a "Christmas Room" for several years, but NOW the displays of trees and decorations have spread and even taken over the greenhouse!

These views are from the "house plant" room - what a wonderful combination of sights!

There may even be SOUNDS of Christmas in the air tomorrow, around noontime, when a group of willing students climb the tower of the Masonic Temple to learn how the nine bells - called a "chime" - are played. It is a wonderfully unique instrument which the community is most fortunate to have, but some consideration must be given the chimers who, by the very nature of their surroundings, cannot practise in private! So - if a chimer is preparing music for the Christmas Season, those within hearing are asked to understand. The listener's indulgence is also begged on behalf of the bells themselves which, tho noble, are not always as tunefully pitched as they might once have been.

It's Fish Fry-Day!

Once again, Tom's got it!!!

42.3 degrees - dry, but dull-looking.

Stripliners, Inc. were in town, yesterday, "shaving"
those razor-sharp corners on the granite curbing.

The Coiro residence shows off its Fall decorations....

...and, having lost its leaves, this old Maple tree on Daytonville Road boasts more and more pale greenish-blue lichen.

I missed this, in Wednesday morning's O-D: First Assistant District Attorney Scott McNamara in line to succeed Arcuri. If you don't know Scott, you most likely know his mother, Joan!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thursday morning

Drippy and foggy, but 52 degrees and aiming for almost 60!

Put the Garbage Out!

I don't know if the event will be repeated again, soon, but I understand that the Saturday evening costume party at "Michael's" was lots of fun, for everyone!

In Waterville, this weekend:
"Boas, Scarves, Hats and No-Sew Blankets" at the Library on Friday at 1:00, 3:00 & 4:00 and on Saturday at 10:00, 11:00 & 12:00. Space is limited: sign up now!

"Scouting for Food" pickups start at 9:00.
The St. Bernard's Annual Bazaar opens at the same time.

Check the November Calendar at the Waterville Times website for area events.
"Wintering at the Fort" A Living History Weekend at Fort Stanwyx; Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 to 5:00.

"Winter" has come to Beck's Grove - not far from Fort Stanwyx! It's "Christmas in Killarney, and Other Places, too!"

............ and at the blogger's place,

April, 2005

....... the organizing and printing of "Before" and "After" pictures is an ongoing project.

November 5, 2006.

April, 2005

November 5, 2006

We're still waiting for Railings and Victorian Lamps!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Enough is Enough!

Politics; politics; politics. On every radio and television station.

But now, news from OUR Washington correspondent:

The Pandas at the National Zoo don't care WHO was elected as long as they have plenty of tai trees to climb!

The National Cathedral and a young tourist at the Washington Monument remain uneffected by the vote.

Thank you for that report, Allison!

Wednesday morning

First Things First

The best interactive site that I've found, this morning, is at
WKTV's "Decision 2006." Here are the latest results.

All the cable channels have updated websites, and there are details of some local races in the O-D.

From the Utica Observer-Dispatch: Arcuri wins Congress

Also from the O-D: Valesky over Brown

I don't know whether or not there was a particularly large "turn out" in Waterville, but - at the Memorial Park School - there was a "Waiting line" of voters still in their cars, looking for a place to park!

It's too bad that we can't vote on Weather Forecasts: we wouldn't have chosen this one!
(but at least it's warm and we won't have to shovel!)

WKTV's Weather Center's forecast makes the next few days sound almost Summery:

Tonight: A few showers. Low in the mid 40s.

Thursday: A mix of sun and clouds. Chance of a shower. High: 58, Low: 43

Friday: A mix of sun and clouds. Mild. High: 57, Low: 38

Saturday: Scattered showers. High: 53, Low: 33

It's Recyclables Day and, if it doesn't rain too hard,
electricians will be busy, again, readying bases for the Victorian Lamp Posts!

One clear Winner in Waterville is the Waterville Historical Society's "Victorian Tea," which will take place on December 9th.
Even before the Waterville Times was on the newstands,
the tickets for the event
had all been reserved and

I was told, yesterday, that there are lots of very nice items arriving at the basement of St. Bernard's Church for the ANNUAL FALL BAZAAR on SATURDAY!

The event lasts from 9:00 A.M. until 3:00 in the afternoon. There will be a luncheon from 11:30 'til 2 (and Jo Tuttle will be making her famous Minestrone Soup!) Other activities include a Bake Sale, a White Elephant sale, sale of gently used Toys and Christmas Items, Crafts, a Chinese Auction (with over 30 baskets to take a chance on), a Raffle which includes a fall wall hanging and a deocrative bird house - both donated by church members - and finally there will be Children's Activites.

Don't miss it!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


We weren't the only ones who thought that we'd go to "Michael's" for breakfast, Sunday morning, only to be faced with a "Closed: Sorry for the inconvenience!" sign. Our first thought was that the Saturday night costume party had been too hearty a party, but - we learned yesterday - that wasn't the reason.

It turns out that Chef Michael was celebrating his birthday on Sunday and that he had been kidnapped; "taken away!" by his friends!

A belated - but hearty -

Happy Birthday, Michael!

(And if you're wondering just how old this restaurateur might be -- he turned 32!)

Also: Jean B. Davis "chimed in" - sorry about that! - with another recollection of Gerald Coggeshall and the bells: she learned to play them at the same time that I did and thinks that somewhere, in someone's "archives," are some photographs of us looking like thoroughly "demented but determined women!"

(Nothing's changed, has it? I'm just not sure that I'd want to see the pictures!)

Tuesday Morning




36 degrees at 6 o'clock.

And it's BIG TRASH Day, too!

In the morning mailbox:

I had this letter from John Savage, head coach of our super Pop Warner players, referencing last Saturday's game:

"As anyone who loves the sport of football knows, some days the ball just doesn’t bounce your way. Our players had a real rough start with six turnovers in the first half. This gave a good Hudson Valley (Poughkeepsie area) Team the opportunity to get up on us 20-0.

But as the referees even commented – the kids showed tremendous character by staging a comeback in the second half to narrow the score to 20-13 – just one touchdown away from tying the game. With 3-4 minutes left in the game we had the ball and a loud and rowdy Waterville crowd backing us when the Knights intercepted our pass and essential sealed a victory.

I couldn’t be prouder of our kids – this is simply the end of a chapter, in what will certainly be a wonderful book of memories to come. John Savage. "

--- and, in re: yesterday's posts about the cupola on the Masonic Temple bell tower, this letter from Jean Desany of Amherst, New Hampshire. She was, for many years, one of several "chimers" who would climb the long flights of stairs to the console room and take turns playing the bells on Christmas Eve.

"So glad to see the cupola restored and reseated on the Masonic Temple. Makes me remember back in the early '70's when the Laubers moved into the apartment upstairs with three small children. The master bedroom was smack under the bells but Jan said the entire family forgot about their resounding presence within two weeks of moving in.

More thoughts - Blogger has spent many hours playing those bells and I was so thrilled when she invited me to join her at the "keyboard." At that point, that mechanism consisted of leather straps and wheelbarrow handles. The music was mimeographed sheets of numbers from 1 to 9 for the nine bells - one sheet for each carol. There was only one flat as I recollect, so the repertoire was limited. For a few years we played every Sunday afternoon during Advent.

We never did get much feedback from the community, but the peace and tranquility (when the tower wasn't swaying in the wind) at dusk never failed to set in for this reader, especially with a soft snow falling and lights twinkling on in the village. Just what the doctor ordered to lower the pre-holiday stress level.

I don't know if anyone else will ever experience it, but it's a memory I'll always cherish. Jean desany. "

Because you actually have to open windows up there to hear the bells over the racket and clanking of the "mechanism," it was always numbingly cold and nearly as windy as being up amongst the bells themselves. We'd always have a thermos of hot chocolate, 'tho, and cheer each other on. Yes, Jean - those WERE good times! Thanks for writing!

Her memory was completely accurate: there are nine "wheelbarrow handles" - for the nine possible notes. (Imagine a "C" scale with an optional B-flat.) Playing the bells does NOT require a Degree in Music or great strength. Being able to hum a tune in your head and match it to the nine notes is about all that's required except that the "tune" - which can be either sacred or secular - should be fairly familiar to listeners and not too fast, or you'll get your hands all tangled up!

It's time, now, for a new group of chimers to get in on the next-to-the-top floor. Let me know if you'd like to give it a go: I'll be glad to arrange with the Masons to take you to the tower and show you the way things work. Add to your memory-collection, too!

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Bells

The largest bell ("F") weighs 2,062 lbs. The others are as follows:
"G" bell, 1,589 lbs.
"A" bell, 1,025 lbs.
"B-flat" bell, 814 lbs.
"C" bell, 517 lbs.
"D" bell, 410 lbs.
"E-flat" bell, 370 lbs.
"E" bell and "F" bell each weigh 287 lbs.

Total weight of the bells alone: 7,400 lbs.

Being cast of 78 parts of Lake Superior copper and Malay Straits tin, they are genuine cast bronze bells. Meneelys made the finest bells obtainable. The original cost was in the neighborhood of $2,800.

The "Hanks" bell (Masonic Memorial) weighs 800 lbs. It is dated 1824. Andrew Meneely was apprenticed to Julius Hanks* and started his own foundry in 1826.

* An interesting bit of speculation makes Julius Hanks' daughter, Nancy, the bride of Thomas Lincoln and the mother of Abraham.

(The "Hanks Bell" is often referred to as the "Baptist Bell", having - presumably - once hung in the present Baptist Church.


I have it from another photographer that it was exactly 10:50 A.M. when the straps holding the cupola to the crane were actually disconnected.

(Click to enlarge photographs.)

If you would like to own a crane just like the one used by Austin Rigging, this morning, you should know that it is capable of lifting 90 tons and cost a bit over $700,000.00!

It was just after the noon siren rang that the bells struck "Twelve" and then rang out the first few measures of Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus!"

In case there are blog-readers who don't know the story of the Masonic Temple's bell tower, here is one version - there are several - this one was told to me back sometime in 1971, I think, by the late Gerald Coggeshall.

I met Gerald Coggeshall in 1971, at the time of the Village's Centennial Celebration. He was a little gnome of a man, descendant of illustrious ancestors, who had lived in Waterville all his life. I don't know how many years he had been playing the bells, but it was probably something in the neighborhood of fifty, and he did so without music and with never so much as a frown on his face.

The way he told the story of the bells was fun, memorable and only slightly inaccurate! Stephen Gates (an historian who was also a chime afficianado and could play using a regular hymnal) complained bitterly that it was inaccurate and no way to record history, -------however ---- here it is!

Once upon a time a rich man named Ruben Tower decided to build himself a house across the street and, therefore, away from his parents’ home! (The Tower Homestead now the Harding residence.) And wanting to make sure that everyone knew that this new building was HIS house, he decided to put a tower on the front of it.

He knew, right away, that there should be a large clock in that tower, one that had a bell that would sound the hours, and so he wrote to the Seth Thomas Clock Company and asked them to make him a suitable clock.

“Of course, Mr. Tower. We’ll be glad to design an appropriate clock for your home, with visible faces that may be seen by all around the village. May we take the liberty of suggesting that a Mr. Meneely, of Troy, New York, be engaged to cast just the right bell so that it may be heard across the land when it strikes out each hour?”

Tower thought this was a dandy suggestion, and wrote straight ‘way to Mr. Meneely asking for a perfect bell.

Mr. Meneely not only knew his metels, he knew his money as well, and said to Mr. Tower,

“Why, sir - with such a magnificent clockworks one really should have four bells so that a tuneful chime such as that heard at Westminster Cathedral in London may likewise signify each quarter-hour in Waterville.”

Mr. Tower thought it anther marvelous idea and so, bit by bit, the tower rose; the clock faces appeared* and - finally - four enormous bells were lifted to the topmost canopy of the tower. His dream was complete!

Only to one such as Mr. Meneely would it occur that there was still a potential profit to be seen:

“It has occurred to me, Mr. Tower, that you now have four bells and that number is, of course, just one half of a full scale of notes! It would be so easy for us to cast the remaining bells - don’t you see? - and then entire tunes could be played and enjoyed throughout the community.”

Another chord was struck -- Mr. Tower agreed with the proposal (which actually included 5 more bells) and so we have it that in mid-July, 1889, the day after Mr. Meneely left, Miss Flora Garvey came by train from Utica and played the “chime” for the very first time.

*The Seth Thomas clockworks were actually installed a few weeks after the chimes were complete.

A far more accurate and detailed history of the building as a Masonic Temple was writted in 1950 by Beverly Allen and the late Gertrude Allen.

Scott Weaver gallantly offered to take my camera to the top of the tower and take some pictures so we could all see what the view is like from 'way up there!

Yes!! It's back in Place!

After almost two years and three months on the ground and many repairs, the cupola of the Masonic Temple Bell Tower has been lifted back to the top of the tower!

Austin Rigging arrived in Waterville at around 7:30 A.M. and at just about 10 o'clock the cupola - shining brightly in the sun, against the deep blue sky - was settled smoothly back in place.

That neither the blogger nor the Waterville Times has been saying anything about the status of work on the cupola has been intentional: with theives stealing copper from any source they can find, it didn't seem to be in the Mason's - or Waterville's - interest to tell the world where to find a huge supply of brand new material! Now that it's safely out of reach, 152' above ground, we can compliment coppersmith Bill Reibin and thank the Masons for all the work that they have done to preserve one of the village's most unique buildings!

Monday morning!

Village Board Meeting this evening at 7:00 P.M.

Today's Weather Channel Forecast:

35.2 degrees and clear with a full "Hunter's Moon" still bright in the western sky.

It looks as if it'll be fairly sunny without any wind: that's what we want for the event that's scheduled to take place. If you're wondering if it's a "hot air balloon ride" - no: that's not it (and I'm not supposed to say too much, here!) but if you're going to be in the village you should definitely look UP, now and then!

And if you have time to stop and watch whatever it is, you'll get quite a good view from the skatepark area behind Firemen's Field!

There will be photos as soon as possible!

Don't forget to put the Garbage out, first!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

"To the Hounds!"

Just as there are several requirements for membership in the Limestone Creek Fox Hunt Club of Cazenovia, there are as many rewards: one would be that you would (or at least should) always know where the hounds and the rest of the horses are! A mere spectator, standing shivering in the wind on the edge of Skyline Drive, is at a loss, staring first at the woods and then at a cornfield hoping for some sign of movement and, eyes watering, finally turning off the camera and climbing back into the car just as another watcher shouts, "There they are!"

Today's hunt - at least the most exciting part of it, according to the equestrians - took place at some distance from any roadway and occurred when the hounds caught sight of a gray fox and the fox caught sight of the hounds. "What a merry chase THAT was!" a gentleman wearing an elegant "pink" said, later.

The Hounds - about twenty of them - are larger than some Beagles I've known and are far more quiet, barking only when they spy the fox.

(Click to enlarge photographs.)

There were about two-dozen equestrians in today's Hunt, For many, it seemed to be a family outing, and several of the riders were surprisingly young.

Mr. Roger Gates and Friends.

Several times, I spoke to the riders, telling them what fun it is to watch them and, every time, they would say, "This is such beautiful country, we love to come here to hunt!"

(Please note that no fox, hound, horse, rider or photographer was wounded during today's outing!)

Pop Warner Score

The fellows lost, 26 - 13, but, as the sign at the Car Wash says:


Sunday morning

It's 31.6 degrees and cloudy at 7 o'clock.

The weather, yesterday, was perfect for football but I do NOT know how our Pop Warner players fared!

(I spent the entire day trying to teach my laser printer to do some new tricks and never ventured into town nor have I received word by telephone or E-mail as to the outcome of the game. As far as my battle with the computer and printer went, the air was "blue" on several occassions, but we both learned alot and I think I won!)
Today we're off to Skyline Drive to follow the "hunt" and will be posting photos later on!

Trivia: those beautifully tailored, bright red hunting jackets favored by aristocrats are called "pinks."

I'm venturing to check tomorrow's weather forecast to see if the sun will be shining: whether it is or not, if all goes as planned, something wonderfully bright will appear on the village skyline sometime tomorrow!

Have a good day!