Saturday, November 25, 2006

Saturday morning

It's going to be a Great Day!

25 degrees and starry-clear, now, with sunny-clear weather
nearly twice that warm predicted for later on.

One thing that I forgot to add to last evening's post: after the Parade had left the Park, I stood talking with a group of villagers for ten minutes or more. At about the time that most of the floats and fire trucks would have reached the Fire House, where Santa waited, from the belfry in the Masonic Temple came Christmas Carols! Perfect!

Thank You, Nancy and Eladio!

And - even before that - parade-goers had been treated to carols by a
group of twenty-or-so singers standing on the front steps at the SouthGate Ministries.


I was hoping that I'd find something in this morning's online edition of the Utica Observer-Dispatch about the Parade of Lights: not so - although there was an article about the Shoppers' Stroll in Clinton that sort-of tied in with another article about Bleary-eyed Shoppers who had braved the bigger stores for early-morning bargains.

I think that had a reporter been assigned to cover Waterville, they would have had quite a nice time!


Another article in the O-D deals with the Oneida Nation's attempts to put its Land into Trust and lists options suggested in a brand new government study: a topic in which many property- and business-owners to the northewest of us are intensely interested. I havn't read the entire article, but this caught my eye -- I'll go back to it: one option suggests "doubling the amount of land that would become free from state and local taxation and regulation." (What????)

Several days ago, I had an E-mail inquiry from someone new to the area who was trying to find the name of a restaurant she'd heard of that served Thanksgiving Dinner "every day of the year!" I couldn't come up with the name, so - in turn - sent an E-mail to about dozen friends. I think they all answered, and they all knew the answer: "Plainville Farms!" So - if YOU havn't had your turkey dinner yet (or think you'd like some more!) that's your answer! Those who had been there said it was well-worth the drive to Cicero!

Whatever it is that you do, today, have a Good Day!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Parade of Lights!

It was HUGE!!!

When I drove uptown, at a few minutes past 6:00, I was left mouth agape because Main Street was MOBBED!

I aimed for the Park and was allowed to park in a spot in front of the Doyles' home- Sandy Harding and her sisters had gathered there - a perfect place to see the floats.

Photographingthe floats turned out to be tricky, but here's the general idea! It's one of those times, 'tho, when you really had to be there to see it for yourselves. There must have been nearly thirty floats and marching groups: here are just a few.

All of the floats and vehicles had competition from building along Main Street - New York Pizza, Merri-Rose and Michael's were all aglow as was Morgan's and - on East Main Street - the Waterville Times' windows are hung with garlands and colored lights; the Uptown Salon is magical in white "twinkle lights" and icicles, and the "blue house" has not gleamed as brightly as it does, now, for many years.

For those of you who are too far away to see for yourselves, I'll take more pictures in the next evenings, but if you live right near Waterville, do try and take time to drive all around the village to see how brilliantly we sparkle and gleam!

Friday afternoon

The Parade of Lights

If you lived in Waterville in 1988, you cannot have forgotten the first Parade of Lights!

(And if you've come to the village since then, you should know the story of this celebration because it is something very special, here: it's a celebration not just of the season but a Celebration of Community - Our Community!)

It was earlier that year that both Rusty Manion and his wife Kitty passed away. Their daughter Darcy and three sons - Sandy, Jeffrey and Michael - were bereft with the loss of both parents and, at the same time, completely overwhelmed with the kindnesses shown them by everyone in the community.

One day, Darcy was having coffee with her friends Linda Nichols and Patsy Hill and she said, "I wish there was something we could do to say 'Thank You!' to everyone!" "Thank You notes," she said, "seemed just too inadequate."

It occurred to them that perhaps they could do something that hadn't been done in several years - a fun surprise for the village: they could arrange to have lights put on the Big Tree at the point of Monument Park and have it lit! And there would be a parade - fire engines and floats and children all carrying flashlights! - that would lead the way to the tree when the lights were finally to be turned on!

And each of the girls told one or two people who told one or two more and in six weeks' time - in an unanticipated avalanche of generosity and cooperation, $5,000 was raised; the Clinton Fire Department's ladder truck came to string the lights, the power company donated equipment and time, the Municipality chipped in, fire companies in all the neighboring communities sent units to be in the parade and ........... well........ the rest is history.

The floats became more imaginative and brighter. When it was deemed impossible to have the highschool band march and play (sometimes it's been so cold and stormy that just the thought of putting a flute or trumpet mouthpiece to one's lips caused pain!) the floats were actually wired for sound!

Since 1988, the Parade of Lights Committee has grown in numbers and scope: with various fundraisers - dances, spaghetti suppers and raffles - and the continuing generosity and support of the community, enough money has been raised to buy the elegant wreaths that are on our telephone poles along Main Street and the strings of "twinkle lights" that are hung on trees in the park. And although the "Big Tree" will not be lit, this year - that's not to say it never will be again. If there's a way to make it happen, the Parade of Lights Committee will do it!

This afternoon, excitement was spreading.

Out at the Clifford J. Fulmer Post of the American Legion a crew was working on their very first Parade of Lights Float!

Behind the Fire House in Waterville another float was being decorated ........

......and the United Methodist Sunday School was working on their float on the parkinglot of the Harding Nursing Home.

And the excitement's contagious! All around the village, decorations were going up!

Mr. Erwin Browne and Mrs. Mizener had garlands and bows exactly perfect;

at the Briggs' home on E. Bacon and again at the Gibbons residence on
Babbott Avenue SLEDS were in view.

The long fence in front of the Harding Residence has its traditional garland.


We're ready, Santa!!

See you after the Parade!!

Early Friday morning

Garbage Day!

It's 24 degrees, outside; cozy in. The sunset was magnificent, last evening, and today's forecast bears proof of the sky's prediction.

Weatherwise, there's nothing dark to look forward to, but retailers rejoice: it's


Mr. Rick Garrett asked, recently, why the day after Thanksgiving is called "Black Friday." He knew the answer, but most of the people to whom he posed the question didn't. In case you were one of those, here's the answer: in the world of retail merchandising, this is the one day of the year when sales can be expected to raise accounts out of the RED column and into the BLACK!

Certainly there will be many from this community who - at not even 6 o'clock! - may already be in some superstore with lists in hand, filling shopping carts with bargains. Others may even have spent time at their computers, yesterday, taking advantage of some of the day-early online specials.

Savvy villagers already know that they can find many of their "top of the list" items at stores right here in town!


The Waterville Historical Society "Store"
will be open on Saturday from 10 'til 2.


The busiest spot in Waterville will probably be Putnam Street, where the Jan Hill Memorial Garage Sale starts at 11. Main Street will be fairly crowded - as it usually is during the daytime - and crowds will start to gather soon after 6:00 this evening to see the Annual Parade of Lights which will depart the Park at 6:30, heading for the Fire House.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Wednesday afternoon

It turned out to be a beautiful day - there was a skin of ice on ponds, this morning, and the sun on the frost glistened like jewels.

Wherever you are,
we both wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving Day.

We will be spending the day with our daughter Allison, her husband Rick and their son Iain, but those of you who are in Waterville at around noontime will have an extra treat: traditional Thanksgiving hymns played on the famous Masonic Temple Tower bells by Nancy and Eladio Ayala.


Wednesday morning

Recyclables Day!

20.8 degrees; high, thin overcast.
"Frost on the pumpkin," the observer says.

The WKTV News Channel 2 Forecast: Tonight: Turning partly cloudy. Just a slight chance for a brief period of light freezing rain southeast of Utica late. Low in the mid 20's.

Thanksgiving Day: An early shower of rain or freezing rain with perhaps one or two icy spots possible in a few locations. Turning dry in all areas by afternoon. High in the mid 40's

After a gray-day start, yesterday afternoon was really nice. The newly copper-topped cupola shone in the sun.

Work's moving right along at the School Bus Garage on East Bacon Street .......

..... and "work" of a different sort was in progress at Michael's Fine Food & Spirits where, even tho the restaurant was closed, Mike said, "Come on in!"

He may have been posing with a perplexed look on his face, but I think he knows exactly what he'll do: new tablecloths and decorations to go with the new carpeting. We're amongst his Wednesday "regulars," and - even if we weren't - I'd want to stop by, anyway, just to see what it looks like with the furniture back in place!

(I think it's time I started visiting Mac's and Stinkers now and then, too!)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


It's 30.6 degrees. The observer, who has just been out for the newspaper, reports that "it's cloudy; there's no precipitation, and the roar of the "Big River" behind the house has receded to the normal muttering of "Big Creek."

We had a very light frosting of snow, yesterday, that disappeared nearly as soon as it fell. I just checked the Webcam in Old Forge to see if they'd had any lasting accumulation: no.

(Click to enlarge photographs.)

Does this remind you of a shot from a TV Newscast showing hundreds of passengers milling around in an airport on a holiday weekend? There were hundreds of Canada Geese all around the pond on Madison Street waiting, it appeared, for someone to announce the departure of their flight!

I took a picture of the decorations at Dan Maine's woodworking shop, a few days ago, thinking that the Christmas look was complete: it wasn't it!! It's even better, now!

In the Park, the Masons were getting ready for their Annual Christmas Tree Sale.

There still was no sign of the lights with which the Parade of Lights Committee usually decorates trees in the Park, so I went asking, "Why?" The answer elicits a loud

"Aw, Shucks!"

or something like that

from those who hear it. The Committee did, indeed, go to the Park on the eleventh, all set to decorate, but discovered that there was NO ELECTRICAL POWER where they needed it! It appears that lines were cut sometime during the reconstruction project - possibly when the new curbing was installed or during the street-paving process.

Another disappointment for the Committee is that they had purchased quite a number of new strings of lights with which they were going to decorate some of the Victorian Lamp Posts. (Perhaps they will still have a chance to do that before Christmas!)


I had a nice long letter, yesterday, from Tom Barnes in Connecticut. He'd just discovered this blog and had printed several days' worth to send to his parents - Marjorie and Willis - in Virginia. He'd also enclosed a note to them saying “It’s time to get the Computer!” (What fun they'll have with E-mail!!!)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Monday Morning!

Village Board Meeting this evening at 7:00 at the Municipal Hall.

It's just 30 degrees at 6:15, but consider wearing gloves when you

Put the Garbage Out!

The weather observer says it's "chilly with frozen condensation."
(In other words, there's ice on the porch railings.)

Gary Orendorff wrote, yesterday, that he has a rain gauge at his home in Stockwell that he empties every Sunday morning: last week's total rainfall in that community, south of Waterville, was 4 (four) inches!

Have you seen the sign at the Waterville Car Wash?

Mary Campbell sent that picture and this one, too, saying, "We had a wonderful wedding yesterday!"

Sean Campbell, son of Joel and Mary Campbell of Waterville was married on Saturday to Elizabeth Henry, daughter of Richard and Linda Henry of Rome NY. The two had met while attending Geneseo College. The Wedding took place at St. John the Baptist Church in Rome and the Reception was held at Hotel Utica.


I don't remember seeing as many cars on Main Street as there were, yesterday afternoon, since there was a Pendleton Sale at McLaughlin's! Between Morgan's Hardware, Stinkers Tavern and Michael's Fine Food & Spirits, there was not a parking spot to be had! That's GRAND!!

Other than that quick ride through the village (still looking for lights to appear in the Park!) I spent the day figuring out how - and then actually adding a new "link" to this page. (It wasn't adding the link that was hard; it was managing everything at the other end of the line!)

Click on "Heaps of History"

Alot of readers enjoy the bits of history that I add, now and then. For most of those we can thank Dick Brown who, besides knowing how to fly airplanes, can type so fast that smoke seems to come out of the keyboard! Over the past twenty years - or since he bought his first computer - he has transcribed all sorts and hundreds of pages of one-of-a-kind historical writings. Many of these are on the Midyork page called "Archives" (that you can also link to in the left-hand column) but there are still heaps more in our computers. I'll keep adding to this new online collection, a few items at a time, as soon as my eyeballs recover from yesterday's exercise!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sunday Morning

It's "shivery and overcast," according to the resident weather observer.
Definitely hat and mittens-weather!

We looked for the Parade of Lights Committee, yesterday, hoping to take a picture of them stringing lights on trees in the Park - perhaps today?

I did find the ladies of the Waterville Women's Club and their sumptuous assortment of sweet and savory delights just where they said they'd be - in Foodking, at 9:00!

(Click to enlarge photographs)

Elaine Cowen, Helen Olmstead and Eleanor Martin wait on a happily hungry customer.
(I was next in line for goodies!)

We went over to the Turning Stone, yesterday afternoon, to a book signing by our friend Tony Wonderley. No: we didn't stay to play! But a few nice country scenes came in view .............

This old barn on Route 31, north of Vernon, reminded me
of a W. Ralph Murray watercolor - or, even, a small PsBrown painting.

In Vernon Center, old maple trees march in formation around the Bandstand..........

...and the old schoolhouse serves as the Post Office and a dulcimer-builder's studio.

One lonely knapweed blossom was nearly trampled.

At the corner of Skyline Drive and College Hill Road the Bittersweet hangs Bright
- but always out of reach!

(It's "protected," anyway!")

At "The Dugway" in Clinton, the creek was still running full.........

......and on Hanover Road, North of Waterville, "Lake Marshall"
was still taking up half the roadway!


I had an E-note, yesterday, from a reader who suddenly is unable to "open" the blog. I had changed the format a few days ago --- perhaps that is the problem. If any of you who can read this know of other instances like hers, please let me know: I'll try to fix things!

Thank You!