Saturday, July 25, 2009

Band is in Florida -

- and right on time!

(Click to enlarge!)

History's happening!!

First, CLICK HERE, please!

You'll be amazed at what's happening, right now!

Loading up: comfortable clothes and favorite pillows!
(Photos by Lori Meszler.)

This is what we've waited for!

What a send-off!

There were fire trucks from every town and village in the Waterville Central School District!

The kids thought that was GREAT!


The entourage left the school at just 7:00 p.m.

11:00 P.M. at a rest stop 100 miles from Maryland.

(Photo from Dale Meszler's phone!)

"Once Upon a Time in Waterville..."

Just a few tidbits of the many stories swapped at yesterday's Oldtimers' Story Hour at the Library. There are usually twenty to thirty folks on hand and once storytelling starts, it just doesn't stop 'til the library closes!

Once upon a time there was a fire on Union Street - now Babbott Avenue - and villagers rushed to join the "bucket brigade." The fire was successfully extinguished; the property-owner was grateful, but the fire chief's letter to the enthusiastic citizenry asked that, "next time, please don't throw the buckets into the fire along with the water!"

Same scenario: a Hooker Street (E. Bacon Street) barn was aflame and a small well house threatened. Buckets were brought, along with any other containers that would hold water, including old milk cans, and fire fighters divided their efforts between barn and well house. All was going well until the watery contents of one rusty milk can hit the flames, and that was the end of the well house! Apparently, the container had once held gasoline. (Oooops!)

(Both stories courtesy Jack Youngs, who also remembered this........)

In days not-so-very-long-ago, village youths walked or rode eastward along White Street (right in front of his house!) to cool down in the reservoir on hot summer days. Well, Jack had a pretty good idea where they were heading; he followed; and for quite a few years the young trespassers spent the rest of their vacation applying paint to village hydrants - without pay.


About forty years ago, the late Hilda Barton took me to Sangerfield to tour one of the very earliest frame buildings in the community - the "Sangerfield Exchange." At that time it was an antique shop operated by Ruth Allison and it was jam-packed, floor to ceiling, with dusty "treasures" of every description.

There was one open spot, however, and after having been shown the extraordinary width of boards in floors throughout the 18th century building and the brick oven in the old kitchen and the beautifully-shaped banister, it was to that open spot that the ladies led me. It was in the first room on the left just inside the front door - the ancient bar room. Hilda and Ruth stood on the sides of the open spot and told me to look at the floor where a large, blackish stain spread out on the worn and dusty wood.

A blood stain, they said, created during a baroom fight when a "Mr. Locke" had either caused someone else to bleed in great profusion or - I never could remember which - Mr. Locke had unintentionally created the stain, himself.

In the many years since that day, with both ladies long gone, I've asked if anyone else knew the story ----------- none! And I really began to think that I must have dreamed the entire incident....

................... until a week or so ago when Kristen Strohmeyer sent me an Email asking if I knew anything about an 1850 stabbing in a tavern in Sangerfield!

"Yes! Yes!" I replied!

(Thank You, Kristen!!)

In perusing old upstate newspapers online, she had come upon complete coverage of the three-day trial in 1851 of one Benjamin Button (how curious is that!) who was found guilty of fatally stabbing to death an Edward Locke in Bennett's Tavern in Sangerfield. The fight had begun with fisticuffs and Mr Button appeared to be getting the worst of the bargain when suddenly he was seen with knife in hand, and he lunged at Locke's midsection. The description of the resulting wounds lacked no detail: Locke's "insides" were suddenly observed to be on his outside and 'though Dr. Preston was summoned to put things back in place (which he claimed to have done, finishing up with two or three stitches) and the young man was transported to his father's house (currently the Bishton residence on Route 20) the victim soon expired - not surprisingly - from loss of blood.

I asked the "oldtimers" if anything of that sort had ever happened in the village, and the reply came in a growing chorus of chuckles from the back row: apparently George Kelley, Jack Youngs and Kas Von Matt were all thinking of the same story at the same time.

The event happened, like so many others, on "Hooker Street," on a brutally cold winter night with "Mr. A" coming home earlier than usual and discovering (of course!) "Mr. B," all nice and cozy ...... and so forth and so on! "Mr. A" wasted no time in ejecting "Mr. B" from the house and into the cold night without even giving the fellow time to put his clothes on.

The snowplow crew discovered - or uncovered - him, yet again, the next morning. Too late. No charges were ever filed.


Sometimes unusual, even surprising courtesies have been shown to guilty parties who, in other communities, might have been immediately handcuffed, hobbled and hauled away.

In one instance, a person who had made a full confession in front of legal counsel, clergy and police of having committed a murder was allowed to go to his home for the night, unescorted, with the understanding that he would return, voluntarily, in the morning. He did.

When another person - we'll call him "Mr. C" - became physically abusive to his wife one morning, she called the police. They came and he was ushered directly to the back seat of the police car. As the vehicle was exiting the village to go northward, Mr. C said to the officers, "Would you stop at the minimart and get me some coffee and a doughnut? I haven't had any breakfast, yet!" And they did.

It seems that there is no bottom to the well of memories that come to the surface every other Friday, and - thanks to the Waterville Public Library - these gatherings will continue into the Fall! (and Yes - we will be returning to the morning schedule!)

Next gathering: Friday, August 7th at 4:30

Start-off topic: Hop Picking!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

It's Garbage Day

64 degrees and gray.

WKTV's forecast: "Today looks similar to yesterday. A mix of sunshine and clouds with the chance for showers and thunderstorms. A bit more humid with highs around 80.

A cold front will attempt to push out the humidity by Friday but will have little success. It will succeed in causing widespread showers and storms on Friday. High temperatures will be a touch cooler because of the expected wet weather, with highs in the upper 70s.

For the weekend, the humidity is expected to be back in force. Saturday looks partly sunny and dry. The chance for showers and storms on Sunday, as another cold front will attempt to move in."



Waterville Library @11:00

Storyteller Robin Bady

Ages 2-10



"Oldtimers' Story Swap"


no age limitations or requirements!




leave for Disney World

at 7:00 p.m.

Give 'em a Cheer!



Annual free

Kids Fishing Derby,

Chittening Pond,

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.,
ages 2 to 15,
sponsored by the Waterville Fish and Game Club

The Glimmerglass Opera season is now under way and this weekend's productions are Rossini's "La Cenerentola," Menotti's "The Consul," and Verdi's "La Traviata." While that may excite some Watervillians, far more may be drawn to Cooperstown because it's also Baseball Hall of Fame Weekend: that's major news!

The annual "Honor America Days" concert by the Syracuse Symphony rchestra will take place at Fort Stanwix Saturday evening at 6:45. "Bring a blanket or a lawn chair and enjoy a concert presented by the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. A grand illumination concludes the concert as cannons and muskets from the fort and fireworks accompany the "1812 Overture" and "Stars and Stripes Forever."


We seem to have reached that point in the year where the village is fairly quiet and residents are enjoying Summer (such as it is!) Vacations and/or just plain doing their own "thing."

That's what I'll be doing for the next several days - in town, out-of-town, visitors coming here; visiting others there. That means that unless there's an event or activity that makes history by deserving or receiving community-wide notice and attention I may not "blog" at all. I will be checking my Email, 'though, so if you have something for me to post, do send it along!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

AM post with add-ons

It's cloudy and 58 degrees.

A large barn on the Schachtler Farm on Shanley Road caught fire and burned, yesterday morning.

Here is coverage from the Utica O-D. and Newschannel2 WKTV.

This is as close as I tried to get - at around 10:00 a.m. - and parked on Zweifel Road.

A blog-reader got closer.

By late afternoon, nearly all of the "farm ponds" - most having been created to reserve water for just this sort of emergency - were extremely low and tankers were filling at Big Creek.

Rain will be Welcome!

The WKTV Weather Forecast: "A large area of high pressure will develop in the Atlantic Ocean this week, and will draw in warm, humid air. In addition, some general instability in the atmosphere will create afternoon showers and thunderstorms this week. For today, this process will be in it's beginning phase. Expect slightly more humid weather this afternoon, with the chance for a shower or storm late this afternoon and evening. Highs expected to be in the upper 70s.

Drying out tonight, with overnight lows in the upper 50s.

Turning noticeably more humid by tomorrow, with the chance of afternoon showers or thunderstorms. High temperatures near 80.

A cold front will attempt to push out the humidity on Thursday but will have little success. It will succeed in causing widespread showers and storms Thursday. Slightly less humid Friday, with perhaps a sprinkle. The humidity is expected to be back in force over the weekend.


Also in the mail ..........

........... these photographs taken by Colleen Emerson at AYSO Soccer Camp, last week ........

.............. and this announcement:

AYSO is having one last sign up for fall soccer

levels: U6-U12

July 22nd, 2009

time: 6:30-7:30pm

where: Waterville HS cafeteria


From Gil Condon:

photographs of a spare launch vehicle from Apollo.

"We hit the Cape for the launch last week. Got rained out twice, ,but fun. I had never visited the Kennedy Center. Here's a leftover Saturn V. Some amazing engineering, all done with slide rules!"


To stretch the subject of "Flight," these pictures of Amerian Kestrals sent by Connie Bocko:

"A family of American Kestrels has taken to hunting, and perching in our yard. They are hard to see in the trees, but often announce their presence. Although marginal, I managed to to capture them with my camera as the group perched in one of the apple trees on the corner. I
never thought I'd see a bird as colorful as these in my yard! Kestrels are the smallest and most colorful members of the falcon family.

"I was hoping to get better photos of these guys but I do not think it is going to happen. Now that they know I'm on to them, they scadaddle when they see the camera coming."

Yesterday I found a little mouse in my bird seed container. The little fellow may have been in there 2 days, but he was still alive. As I carried him out of the shed into the driveway, he made a run for it, and bolted to the ground. He no sooner dashed into the grass, when out of nowhere one of the American Kestrels swooped down and picked him up. That poor little fellow really had one bad day followed by another."


"I'm also attaching this Googled image that shows their magnificent marking in better focus."

Thanks loads, Connie!




"Once Upon a Time in Waterville" Oldimers' story swap at the Library Friday at 4:30.



News Release 7/20/2009: Waterville High School Music Department:

The Waterville High School Marching Band and Swing Choir will be leaving Friday July 24th at 7:00pm for Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL.

The Swing Choir, made up of 12 students will perform a 25 minute vocal and dance program at the Waterside Stage in Downtown Disney on Monday July 27th at 12:15pm.

On Tuesday July 28th at 2:30pm the 76 member marching band will precede the “Disney Dreams Come True” parade down Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom theme park.

The group will be staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and will enjoy 4 days visiting Disney Parks. This trip has been in the planning stages for nearly a year. Audition video and pictures were submitted to Disney early last October and a letter of the group’s acceptance was received in mid November.

Under the direction of Patrick Moshetti, in recent years the Marching Band has played the National Anthem for the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees ...

Cleveland, 2006

........... as well as represented New York State in the Independence Day Parade in Washington D.C.

Washington, D.C. July 4, 2007

(photo by Doug Plourde)

"This year the group has performed in their local Memorial Day Parades, the Dolgeville Violet Festival, the Hamilton and Utica Independence Day parades and this past weekend in the Waterville Firemen’s Field Days parade.

"In early June the Music Department students competed in the Sherburne Pageant on Band and was awarded 1st place in Marching Band, 1st place in Concert Band, 1st place in Jazz Band, 2nd place in Color Guard, and 2nd place in Drum Line which won them the Best in Class Trophy.

(I think they need a really big "send-off" on Friday!)



Have a great day, Everyone.

I have an all-day project today, that may preclude a blog post tomorrow morning.

Later in the week, however, I want to put together a special post about all of the farms in this area and the Crisis that Dairy Farmers are facing. The following letter was sent/copied to me by Cindy Gallagher, 7723 State Route 20, Sangerfield, NY 13455-0036 and, because the Village of Waterville is nearly surrounded by dairy farms and those who operate them are our neighbors and friends, I think that it deserves all of our awareness and attention.

"To: Consumers
Dairy Farmers
Agricultural Businesses
Local Businesses

"Re: The Dairy Farm Crisis is Real and will affect You too!

I am a dairy farmer from Central NY. Americans currently have the most wholesome, safe, inexpensive and abundant food supply in the world. Unfortunately, we are in danger of losing a huge percentage of our nation’s dairy farmers! They are in a financial crisis like never seen in history. Did you know that just one dairy cow generates between $13,000-$15,000 in the local economy? Did you know that the average 100 cow dairy farm is currently losing $10,000 per month? Most dairy farmers have used up their savings, depleted their credit and equity and are on the brink of financial collapse? A farmwife just said to me, “It is sad that we feed the country and can’t even afford to go to the grocery store ourselves.”

What factors have caused this crisis? Government policies need to be changed to fairly compensate the dairy producers. Since 1982 when the pricing system was changed, the spread between what the farmers receive and processors and consumers pay has widened.

Dairy prices are also set based on activity on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which does not provide a real assessment of market activity. This allows huge corporations to manipulate the price in their favor, depressing farm prices. Finally, huge amounts of milk protein concentrates (MPC’s) are being imported cheaply from countries with little or no food safety regulations and displacing our own milk supply.

What can you do? For the short-term, ask USDA Secretary of Agriculture to raise the floor price of Classes II and III milk to $17/hundred weight. Ask our legislators to pass regulations halting the imports of all food products of unknown original origin and mandate that they comply with USDA standards. Support continuation of the MILC program and support NY Senator Gillibrand’s Legislation to double the MILC payment rate. Support a nationwide Dairy Price Stabilization Program as suggested by Holstein USA or Dairy Farmers Working Together. Please also pass this information on to everyone you know.

For more information, go,, . Consumers, farmers and everyone nationwide have to come together for a positive change before it’s too late."


Monday, July 20, 2009

Where were you 40 years ago?

I was surprised when I opened up Google, early this morning, that the logo didn't show the answer - the artists there love to illustrate this sort of celebration! - but you'll have to click the image to be reminded!




It's Garbage Day. 52 degrees and gray.


Huge thanks to Karin Pender for sending these Parade Pictures for all of us to enjoy!


Here are some miscellaneous shots from my camera:


The weather on Saturday was much drier than earlier forecasts had predicted, but thanks to the Subas for renting an enormous tent for Kyle's graduation party (that's like carrying a huge umbrella!) there was no rain during the day and everyone stayed dry 'til late evening.

This week, however, according to WKTV, the weather's going to get wetter: "A cool, quiet start to the day, but nice and warm by the afternoon. Today's weather will be dominated by a weak area of high pressure over the Northeast. Expect partly to mostly sunny skies with highs in the upper 70s to near 80. Partly cloudy tonight with overnight lows in the mid 50s.

A large area of high pressure will develop in the Atlantic Ocean this week, and will draw in warm, humid air. In addition, some general instability in the atmosphere will create afternoon showers and thunderstorms this week. This process will begin as early as late tomorrow. Although most of tomorrow will be dry, we'll run the chance of a shower or storm late in the day. It will gradually turn more humid through the day tomorrow too.

More humidity, showers and storms as we head into the middle of the week. Warmer weather is expected by the weekend, with perhaps high temperatures in the mid 80s."

Looking for a cool, dry place?

Remember that the Waterville Public Library has a full schedule of events and activities that appeal to people of all ages!

Tuesday's Classic Film, shown at 3:00 and 6:00, is "West Side Story."



Have a great day, everyone!