Saturday, November 18, 2006

Saturday morning,

36.9 - Oddly quiet: no rain!

There were a few places around Waterville where, yesterday afternoon, there was still evidence of very high water on Thursday night: Hanover Road had apparently been flooded (in the usual place) and on Route 315, in front of the Petersons, warning cones and barrels were still there. Even though the water had subsided, you could tell from the broken grasses and debris that water had swept right across the road.

This is one of those rare mornings when the Utica Observer-Dispatch's online edition hasn't been updated. WKTV News Channel 2 has this story:

Mudslide in Town of Newport Closes Rt 28 Between Newport & Middleville

Mother Nature slammed the Town of Newport Thursday night with over an inch of rain, which casued serious mudslides Friday morning. More than 200 feet of trees and mud are blocking the roadway. No one was injured. However, hundreds of people are without power because of it. Three utility poles were knocked over because of the mudslides, along with 10 sections of power lines. National Grid crews hope to have a handle on the situation by 4 pm. (Friday) This is an area that the State Department of Transportation has to keep an eye on.

Sherburne received 2.54 inches of rain!

Apparently, Waterville was lucky!

(Is there anyone in the community, now, who keeps a regular daily record of rainfall?)

But there's there's not going to be enough precipitation today to cause delay in reaching the

Women's Club Bake Sale at 9:00 A.M. at Foodking!

or the "Toddler's Tango" , at 1:30 this afternoon, at the Library.

Some villagers will be on the road, heading for the Fine Arts & Craft Show at the Sauquoit Valley Middle School from 10 'til 5, and others aiming Northwest for a book-signing in the Oneida Sky Gallery at the Turning Stone to say hello to historian and author Tony Wonderley whose new book, "Oneida Iroquois Folklore, Myth and History" will not only be a good read, but has a few familiar drawings in it.

If you're just taking the day off and savoring it,
one relaxing minute at a time,


Friday, November 17, 2006

Friday afternoon


More rain.
(But quite balmy - so it's o.k.!)

It's just the sort of weather that the ornamental Kale at the Foster residence on Madison Street loves.........

.....and, as if they didn't know it was almost Thanksgiving, Mrs. Davis' pansies are in fully magnificent bloom!

(Photo Jean B. Davis)

Out on Madison Street, across from the entrance to the High School, grading for Mr. Pumilia's Town Houses began quite early this morning but, by noontime, had to come to a soggy, muddy - but only temporary - halt.

Cleaning up after the rains dumped heaps of dirt and leaves along the sides of the roads, Waterville's super new STREET SWEEPER, doing a turn-around on Buell Avenue.
I followed it for a bit and Oh, those slick brushes get right up against the curbing and leave nothing behind!


When Reuben Tower began to build the tower on his Sanger Avenue residence - now the Masonic Temple - a few people in the village must have been mightily upset: suddenly their elegant towers looked awfully small, in comparison to his!

J.E. Plummer owned one of the earliest "towers" in the village.

Mrs. Holmes, on White Street, was no doubt shocked!

W.H. Hanley was embarrassed;

George Putnam, who had built his castle but a few years earlier, was dismayed, but he
said nothing and added more "gingerbread."

The Curtises, however, built their house later and were simply pleased to be living so far "up" on Sanger Avenue!

Friday morning

55 degrees and there's Water, water everywhere!

The rain that fell here, yesterday afternoon betwen 4:00 and 5:00 P.M., certainly seemed to live up to the word "torrential!" I don't know how many little creeks or roadways were flooded - one place on Route 20, E. of Sangerfield, for sure - but this article in today's Observer-Dispatch tells about high water difficulties North of the Mohawk from "Little Falls to Lee Center." Down in "Whiskey Hollow," this morning, "Big Creek" aspires to the title "River!"

Hunting Season opens Tomorrow Morning!

Sometimes, hunters come across ancient gravestones, deep in the woodlands.

Historians appreciate knowing when that happens!

Does Waterville roll up its sidewalks at 6 o'clock on Friday evenings? Nope! "Michael's Fine Food and Spirits" is open 'til at least 10:00 P.M. and, across the street, "Stinkers" - even later! Appearing there this Saturday evening at 9:30 - "Blue Prints" with special guest John Savage.

No pictures this morning? I'm sorry! But - to more than make up for the blogger's lack of foresight - please visit the WCS Digital Photo Galleries to see lots and lots of beautiful and inventive photographs!

Early tour of the town shots to follow.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thursday afternoon

Christmas has come to Main Street!

Marilyn Maine has, once agin, designed a woodsy Christmas theme for Dan's Woodworking Shop out on Madison Street. Black and red Hunter Plaid backs the "Welcome" signs, trims the planters full of evergreens and even adds color to the pair of boots outside the door!


Becky Maggio re-sent me the photographs that were taken last Saturday evening at the Veterans' Day Dinner at the Clifford J. Fulmer Post of the American Legion.

Mike Kopek speaking to the Legionnaires and Guests

Doug Mayne admires a display of scrapbooks assembled by Irene Lew...

...containing decades of correspondence received from Servicemen and women.

Millie Hammond and Elaine Cowen.

Becky and Dave Maggio

Brian and Dawn Tehan.

Robin and John Stetson.

And the real "Stars" ----- in the Kitchen!


50 degrees; "balmy and moist, but not really raining," according to the inhouse weather observer. From my point of view, it's wet, again, and still dark!

WKTV News Channel 2's forecaster predicts: "Big Changes!" "Today: Mostly cloudy, with rain developing late. A thunderstorm possible. Breezy and mild. High 65" but, by Saturday, the S-Word enters the forecast!

The Utica Observer-Dispatch gets in on the Weather Business with this article about a Winter Weather Toss-up!

Yesterday afternoon I noticed that our white lilac bush is getting its Spring buds! (Not unusual - just surprising.)

That reminded me that, if you're lucky enough to have a forsythia bush and pick some sprigs right now, you'll have a nice yellow bouquet for Thanksgiving!

(Photo by Carlin Reed Sullivan.)

There ARE alot of folks, of course, who would much rather see SNOW than Spring Flowers, and they're already checking the Central New York Snow Travelers website. One day about a week ago, eastbound at California Road on Rt. 315, we saw a snowmobile tearing across a long, grassy open space. Surprising! But - Why not? But grass drag racers are no doubt as interested in Snowmobile Safety as those who prefer a snowy base. CNY Snow Travelers, are offering just such a course for youths age 10 or older as well as adults on Saturday. Registration is required! Go to the above link and click on "Safety" to sign up.

As you can see, I've been tinkering with the blog's format, again. and now I've got it so that I like it. Many people have asked me about "blogging:" - "How hard is it?" and "Does it cost alot?" and "Do you have to have a super-computer?" Some have even asked if I'd teach a course in blogging ------- I can't figure out exactly how that would work, but the answers to those questions are: "No!" "No!" and "No!" and I'd be very glad to help any of you start out. I use a Google Blog service and, just within the last week or so, Google's made setting up a blog got easier! Go to Blogger.beta and read about it. Then... "Try it; you'll like it!" or write to me and I'll come and walk you through it. Remember: I'm not an expert, but I have some experience - at least enough to tell someone how NOT to do it!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wednesday, after dark...

.... but it's only five o'clock! The pea-soup fog has descended, again, and the lights at Brothertown Stadium (as seen from the CVS parkinglot) look as if it's the landing site for spacecraft!

Several letters in the mailbox, today: more "Chiming" enthusiasts and a great letter from Becky Maggio about the Veterans' Day Dinner at the Legion. She sent pictures, too, and as soon as I can figure out how to get them from her E-mail into the blog you'll see them, as well!

And there was one noteworthy message on the Answering Machine: DPW Superintendent Ostrander called to say that "the number is 96." (What alot of red barrels! But we should all feel pretty safe knowing that there are that many fire hydrants, ready when needed!)

Wednesday morning

43 degrees and NOT RAINING!
(At least not right now!)

It was such a drizzly day, yesterday, that this made sense: a contractor, on the job at the site of the future town houses on Madison Street, seemed completely wrapped up in his work --- at least he wasn't visible behind all of the plans he was studying inside the cab of his truck!

Front Page Headlines from Today's Issue of the Waterville Times:

"BCS Talks About Project" - Recommendations from the Facilities Planning Committee of Brookfield Central School.
"Vilsacks Eye White House" - Former WCS teacher wife of first person to announce presidential candidacy.
"WCS Offers 133rd Prize Speaking Contest" - Thursday, November 16 at 7:00 P.M. at the High School.
"Back on Top" (photo) - Cupola returns to tower of Masonic Temple.
"State Meet Bound" (photo) - Cross-country runner Mike Trendell.
"Quilt of Valor" (Photo) - Red, white and blue "Ohio Star" pattern quilt for Pvt. Steven Smith.
"Monster Mower" (Photo) - Lance Micek's 300-horsepower Cub Cadet on display at White's in Sangerfield.
"Holiday Sales" (Photo) - St. Bernard's Nov. 11th Bazaar.

( This week's Editorial from Ms. Louise is a "must read" for all parents of WCS students!)

More and more Holiday Decorations are being seen and this weekend will bring out many more. The Parade of Lights committee will probably be working in the Park on Saturday. If you're just passing by and have some spare time, offer to lend a hand! Better yet --- stop by the Women's Club Bake Sale at Foodking, first, and take them some goodies!

Some "older folks" in the community are having trouble deciding: at the same time that Country Music legend Dolly Parton stars at the "Turning Stone," the "Turning Stone" is sponsoring ......

"Peter, Paul & Mary" at the Stanley Theater in Utica ---- both appealing entertainments to be enjoyed before Winter Weather sets in and limits travel, but both taking place on Saturday night!

O.K. - you go to one, I'll go to the other!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tuesday add-ons

Section III Boys Class D Champion

First things First: Yes - it is confirmed! The Women's Club Bake Sale WILL take place this coming Saturday morning - starting at 9:00 - at Foodking.

Here's Something NEW! The Chenango Water Exercise Group (CWEG), a not-for-profit exercise program which offers several types of aquatic exercise at Colgate University's Lineberry Pool, is instituting a new progeam.

Called "Try Us Out," this program allows participants to experience an exercise class for a six-month introductory period. Previously, all memebers were required to sign up and pay dues for an entire year.

"Try Us ut" is avalable to new members of CWEG at a cost of $95.00 for six months. Regular memberships are $185.00 per year. An additional evaluation fee pf $30.00 and a physician's permission form are necessary as well as an appointment with our professional evaluator. Regular membership will be required should the participant plan to continue in the program after the six-month trial period has elapsed.

Among classes offered are deep and shallow water aerobics, deep water walking, mobility and back exercse as well as the opportunity to exercise at your own pace on your own.

CWEG meets Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 A.M. until 11:45 A.M. in Linebuerry Pool on the Colgate Campus. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call our administrator, April Cady, at 315/228-7621. Try us Out!

The Book Club is currently reading "Saturday," by Ian McEwan who was born in England in 1948 and has been winning awards for literary acheivement since 1976.

Reports are all in the superlative: the Veteran's Day Dinner at the American Legion was so good that it was (according to one person) "criminal!" (Meaning that non-vets, who paid for their Prime Rib, were only charged $5.00 for a most-excellent meal and extraordinarily pleasant evening!)

When I was at the Legion, last Saturday, Barb Kelly and Cathy Maggio gave me a copy of the Post's slick new NEWSLETTER! It covers activities sponsored by various groups that are associated with the Legion - including the Legion Riders and the Ladies Auxiliary. This item caught me eye: it's something that ALL of us can participate in!
(People in this community are always generous when it comes to "benefits" or requests for donations. I don't think that this will be an exception!)
"The Ladies Auxiliary is now Accepting Donations for our Men and Women Serving Overseas. We are accepting such items as phone cards, hand sanitizer, lotions, disposable razors, stationery, bug spray, tissues, packages of crackers and snacks, suntan lotion, baby powder, etc.

You can bring the items up to the Legion and drop them off in the box provided. Please leave Phone Cards with the Bartender. The deadline is December 1st." (Legion hours are from noon on, every day.)

Marge Brackett has a new knee (replacement) and is recovering nicely!

"Perk" Stalter is now in her pretty new house on Route 12, just south of the former Stalter Homestead, and June Stetson is enjoying her new home, on Frog Park Road.

It's definitely a "gray" day - drippy and dour.
But up on Main Street, Morgan's whirlygigs are bright............

..the side porch at Mac's Diner has been decorated for Christmas
and garlands are in place at the Fire House!

The village looks Cheery, in spite of the weather!

Tuesday morning

49.3 degrees at 6 o'clock, and - even without looking outdoors - you can tell by the sound that car and truck tires make on the pavement that it's wet, again.

But at least it's mild,
and it doesn't seem to be as foggy as it was yesterday morning.

On my way to Hamilton, I drove through a patch of fog so dense that it nearly obscured the old elm tree 'way out on Madison Street. But then there was a stretch of nearly-clear weather on Rt. 20 - until I met another "wall" of fog somewhat west of the Pleasant Valley Grange.

It wasn't terribly foggy in the village, and the new copper-topped cupola looked grand!

A PowerLine electrical crew was in town working at the corner of E. Main Street and Babbott Avenue, but I couldn't tell exactly what they were doing.

Then they moved to W. Main Street and dug another hole. I think that they (PowerLine) were the contractors who installed the bases for the Victorian lamp posts - perhaps a few adjustments or corrections were needed? Or .... perhaps if DPW Superintendent Ostrander reads this, he would be willing to send me an E-mail explaining the activity AND also tell me "how many fire hydrants are there in Waterville?" (The DPW has them all covered with their red barrels, ready for Winter!)

A fairly sizable ditch was being dug in front of La Petite Maison - perhaps part of the PowerLine activity; perhaps not.

Evening Events to Attend, this week:

The Waterville Historical Society's Regular meeting will take place on Wednesday at 7:30. The guest speaker will be David Fox of North Brookfield. A teacher in the Herkimer School system, he also has taught the art of crafting dulcimers to many students and interested adults. Mr. Fox will talk about the history of musical instrument making and show us examples of his craft which he still practices in his workshop in North Brookfield. The public is invited and refreshments will be served.

On Thursday evening, the annual Prize Speaking Contest will be held in the high school auditorium. There are eleven students scheduled to participate. (Rotarians are reminded that dinner will be served at 6:00, so that they can be at the highschool in time for the contest!)

And is it this coming Saturday morning when I should be at Foodking, early, for the Women's Club Bake Sale?

(Miscellaneous bits will be added, later on.)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Monday morning!

WKTV Channel 2's weather headline: "Stuck in a Rut!"
Today: Fog and drizzle. Picture London weather right here in Central New York. High in the upper 40's.

But this would be perfect weather for an event that's scheduled to take place tomorrow night in Morrisville when the Madison Hall Ghost Tales will be Revealed! (And if there ARE any "spirits" there, they might just be the ghosts of members of the Loomis Gang, don't you imagine? They spent a fair amount of time there!

There was an enormous fire in Oneida, yesterday - the old National Casket Co. building, a landmark, is no more.

Last week, the historians in Waterville were presented with the mystery of a tobacco pipe carved from stone and this week it’s a penny - but not an ordinary penny! The description sent to them read: “Front of Coin: One Penny, Warren Chapter #22, R.A.M, Chartered February 3, 1808 Waterville, NY. Back of Coin: HTWSSTKS in a symbol.” With the help of the internet, they were able to decode it quite rapidly and determine its original purpose. (The writer, presuming to let the reader have fun with the puzzle, too, will reserve the explanation for a week or two!) And as was the case with the discarded pipe, this item is worth much more than first glance would tell, and "priceless" in sentimental value to the owner's family.

--- and other tidbits worth noting:

There are rumored suggestions (very vague!!!) the the Board of the Waterville Public Library will make an announcement, soon.

Pleasant hearsay --- the old "Bigelow House" at #146 Stafford Avenue will soon have new owners.

Absolutely TRUE! Mr. and Mrs. Holic, their daughter Ms. Kim Kempf and her daughter, Cassie, have returned from a delight-filled two-week trip to "Disney"!

Trudy Karram spent what she described as "eleven wonderful days" in Switzerland with her longtime friend Adele Roberts, from New Jersey. The two girls had become acquainted when "'Trudy" was nine years old. “Adele's grandfather and my Dad were from the same village, Trogen, in the canton of Appenzell. When Adele and I were young, her family used to come and visit us, on Shanley Road, every summer. As we grew up, we continued to be very proud of our heritage and enjoy the strong traditions of that particular canton. After a final nudge from our husbands that we should go, we booked our trip." And you can read all about it in "In Timely Manner" in this week's issue of the Waterville Times.

Marilyn and Don Belfield spent their vacation in Ireland! (And when we get E-mail addresses sorted out we'll know more about their travels! ) We DO know that - to their great surprise - Norma Emerson's sister was on the same tour and that since their return the threesome have enjoyed a "reunion," of sorts, at - where else? - an Irish Pub!)

Barely three weeks following hip replacement surgery, Shirley Spearing, is back on the treadmill at ProActive Physical Therapy! And she credits the therapists, there, with such effective pre-sugical preparation that she has been experiencing a recovery so rapid as to amaze the physicians and therapists at the hospital in Hamilton!

When Catharine Quayle was a little girl, she loved "Sock Monkeys!" (Remember those? made from the tweedy brownish/gray Rockford Socks that had a red heel?") But now "Cat" is Mrs. Stern, and will soon have her own little girl or boy to make "sock monkeys" for ------ except that "Grandma Quayle" will no doubt make them first! Susy Q. and Danielle Fiorini gave a baby shower for Cat on November 4, and EVERYTHING was about "Sock Monkeys!" Those lovable toys hung from everywhere; they sat wherever they couldn't hang; and all the guests were given wee, tiny Rockford Socks filled with goodies as take-home treats!

I don't believe that with all of the posts to this blog - which began in June - I've ever posted a cartoon or funny bit of E-mail, but I can't resist this. It was sent to me this morning by Ron Bornick, in Clinton.

"If your kids take away your car keys!"

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday Morning

37.8 degrees: soggy and FOGGY!

Nothing like yesterday morning, when the sky was brilliant and I referred to an "old saying" about "Red Sky at night, sailors' delight......" etc. Well, I had no idea just how "old" it was. It isn't something that just dates back to New England fishermen, but in fact has a much earlier origin: my daughter wrote that "The 'original' old saying dates back more than 2000 years ago to Matthew 16, which starts:

Matthew 16 - The Demand for a Sign

1. The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.

2 He replied, "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,'

3 and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' "

Thanks, Allison!

Today, however.............

Not to be overlooked in all the activity in Waterville on Saturday -
the Boy Scouts collected 2871 items of
non-perishable food for the Food Pantry!

It was rainy yesterday afternoon and evening, but that didn't dampen anyone's spirit at the Clifford J. Fulmer Post of the American Legion on Route 20 where preparations were in full swing for the Annual Veterans' Day Dinner.

Each year, the Legion treats our local Veterans to a huge Prime Rib Dinner (free for vets, with just a small charge charge for guests!) Becky Maggio checked out the sign board on the front lawn ...

...while, in the kitchen, these gals - members of the Legion Auxiliary - were in control of all the food. Banquet tables were all set up and they were ready to serve

Everyone was waiting, especially, to see the display of scrapbooks assembled by Irene Lew that contain hundreds of pieces of correspondence sent to the Legion by service men and women over a span of sixty or seventy years!

If only there were a way to digitize aromas!

At the same time, down in the basement of St. Bernard's Catholic Church, "Jo" Tuttle's minestrone soup simmered while BAZAAR shoppers browsed;

Photo by Jean B. Davis

Photo by Jean B. Davis

.... bought tickets for a Chinese Auction of BASKETS heaped with items in themes ranging from "Bird-Watching" to "English Christmas" to "Skin Care," "Kids' Crafts" and more .....

.... or chatted with friends over Soup and Sandwich (and Brownie) LUNCH!

Meanwhile - and working up an appetite of their own -

Nancy and Aladio Ayala climbed the bell tower of the Masonic Temple and found out how an authentic 1889 nine-bell Meneely "chime" works.
(Everyone always talks about the "wheelbarrow handles, dog leashes and chains" - and here they are!

(Click to enlarge photographs!)

She who began playing the bells back in 1971 provided an excellent example of what her former chiming partner Mrs. Davis called "a Demented but Determined Woman"!

Alex Meszler was calm ............

... even with an audience standing, watching ....

but then took camera in hand and climbed even higher in the tower. Here are some of his photographs. Some are so (I was going to say "striking" but I know some of you would groan) VERY GOOD that I hope they will someday find their way into a publication or exhibition.

Thank you for letting me "blog" these, Alex!

The next room above the console room is the the "clock face" room.

And - up one more short set of stairs - are the bells!

An ancient-looking diagram explains why a bell "rings."

Before they left, the "chimers" renewed an old custom by signing their names on
a cleanly painted beam.

Somewhere, underneath that paint, are thirty or forty more names -
visitors and chimers who , in their time, climbed the stairs, looked at the view and the bells and said, "Wow! This is magnificent!"