Saturday, January 27, 2007

Saturday add-on

It's been gray and a little rainy.

I saw two snowmobilers who were taking a break next to Nice 'n Easy and asked them how the riding was. They sort-of wrinkled up their faces and said - "So-so. But not great." But they're hoping to at least match - and double or triple! - last year's total of 100 miles.

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Back northbound on Sanger Avenue .....

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What's this?

An "Oooops!" already?


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At the Municipal Hall

the Utica Chapter of the America Red Cross was holding
a Blood Drive and Mary Campbell was donor #33.


Once again, the historians are scrambling to find information about Celia Burleigh, who - with her husband, poet William H. Burleigh - spent the summer of 1870 (boarding?) at the Hubbard Homestead north of Waterville.

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In the preface of a collection of his poems which she published in 1871, Celia wrote:

"… and early the spring following we went into the country, where we remained till November.

Able to do very little reading or literary work, he gave himself up to the enjoyment of the beautiful world about him. He took long walks over the hills, explored the woods and ravines, or sat by the hour together under the maples in front of the house, sometimes playing with the year-old baby, and at others drinking in the song of the birds, or the rustle of the wind among the boughs. “It is all so beautiful,” he used to say, his eyes sometimes filling with tears as he drank in the scene and felt its peaceful influence."

In November they returned to their home in Brooklyn, where Mr. Burleigh died the following March.

The person who is searching for information about Celia Burleigh is an author from Andover, Massachusetts, who is writing a book about Helen Hunt Jackson. He also is searching for information about a Ruth Ellis, who lived in Whitesboro in the 1870's. (Not the Ruth Ellis who was hanged in England in 1955!)
If these names "ring a bell" with any readers, we'd appreciate hearing from them!

He has introduced me to an entirely NEW way to spend time: go to "Google Books" and you'll find all sorts of publications digitized, ready to either read online or download!

Saturday morning

What a nice surprise: it's 17 degrees here in "Whiskey Hollow" - much warmer than the forecast had lead us to expect, but there's a fine icy-pellet snow falling and WKTV warns of a " ***Freezing rain advisory in effect for today***
Periods of freezing rain and snow. Light accumulations. Highs 25-30

The AccuWeather Extended Forecast

"Mostly cloudy today, flurries; not as cold this morning.

Snowmobilers will be out! Although trails have not seen any appreciable accumulation in snow pack over the last few days, the fact that all of the soggy, muddy spots and tiny streamlets are now frozen will make riding much more fun. This, of course, does NOT mean that snow bridges across small brooks or that the ice on ponds has had time to freeze to guarantee safe crossing.

In Other Sports:

The WCS Girls' Varsity Basketball Team lost to Canastota, last night, 49 - 40.

Boys' Varsity scores are elusive!

In Music:

Today is the 251st Anniversary of the Birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Tomorrow - WCS student Alex Meszler will perform in the benefit "Soup for the Soul" - a concert to benefit "Soup in School" in S. Africa - which will take place at the Stone Presbyterian Church in Clinton at 2PM on Sunday. A piano student of Sar-Shalom Strong, Alex will be livening up the afternoon with a little ragtime- Scott Joplin's "the Easy Winners". Donations are $10 for adults, $5 for students or $25 for a family.

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Jeff Reynolds, who sent the dramatic photograph of the fence and its shadows on the snow, also took this picture of the Library and its Flag, which has now been returned to full-staff and really was "Old Glory" in the winter sun.


By way of explaination .....

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"Whiskey Hollow" gained its name back in the early 1800's when Amos Osborn built a distillery there - the long, low stone building - and began making the best whiskey around!

This photograph was taken from Berrill Avenue some time between 1874 and 1904. The writer's home is not shown, but the building to the lower left of the picture was "The Red Mill" - one of the two gristmills there - and the white building with the small bell tower, which now belongs to Mrs. Leigh, was the warehouse for the distillery. You can trace the course of "Big Creek," and even identify some of the residential buildings. In the far distance can be seen the smokestack and building of the "Waterville Hop Extract Works."

Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday afternoon

Bright sun, and it's all the way up to 8 degrees above zero!


When I first went to St. Bernard's church, at a few minutes after the ten o'clock opening of the "Give Away," the parking lot was full and cars even squeezed along the edge of the driveway from E. Bacon Street ........

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..... and this is why!

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It wasn't all about clothing; there was a room full of
"small household items" and another of used toys, too!

And people were leaving with bag after bag of "treasures!!"

If you couldn't get there today, there's always tomorrow!!


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The next largest gathering in town must have been here, where pigeons found a warm spot on a roof at the Gale Feed Mill.

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I know that alot of blog readers who live in other parts of the country - or the world - like to see pictures of the countryside. This view is out on Hanover Road,

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and Library Director Jeff Reynolds took this great photograph on his way to Cooperstown.

(Click to enlarge photos!)

Frigid Friday!

(N.B. I've changed the "Link" color back to a dark blueish gray.)

From WKTV Channel 2

"Arctic Icebox Reaches Central NY."

Today: Partly sunny, very cold, with lake effect snow mainly south and west of Utica, with minor accumulations. Wind chill values -10 to -25. High 7
Tonight: Mostly cloudy with snow showers. Low 0
Saturday: Mostly cloudy with light snow. High 25 Low 11

It's -4.9 degrees at 7:00 A.M.

Here are the daytime temperatures as forecast by AccuWeather.

If this holds true, it'll be up to a whopping 6 degrees

when the


opens at 10:00 A.M.

(photos to follow!)


10 degrees in the late afternoon

when it'll be time to drive to the American Legion

for the


4:30 - 7:30.

The last two weekly dinners have sold out, so don't be late!

I had a nice long E-mail, yedsterday, from Marjorie and Willis Barnes’ son Tom, who lives in Collinsville, Connecticut, and who published two books about Kate Loftus Welch - the “Poet of Forge Hollow” - a few years ago. He sent the following notes:

“According to our friend Kate, if we were back in the 1920’s, this is the time when there would be: ‘many pheasants with brilliant plumage, Frosted Trees, Perfect sleighing, the sounds of bells incessant. Ice cutting at the Waterman Pond, Loads of logs for the Waterman Mill, Lime from Gibbons Kiln. Seed Catalogs. Only horses that are sharp shod venturing abroad.’ Ten species of winter birds common in the valley: ‘Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Down Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Brown Creeper, Junco, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Tree Sparrow and English Sparrow with a few others appearing now and then: Flicker, Goldfinch, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Cedar Wax-wing, Pine Grosbeak, Evening Grosbeak. And perhaps flocks of Snow Buntings and Lapland Longspurs from the Arctic Circle.’ ”

I’ve not seen a pheasant in Winter in a long time, nor a Lapland Longspur, but all others on Kate’s list make local appearances and, down in Whiskey Hollow, the Browns once again have two Carolina Wrens wintering with them and a Barred Owl can be heard “barking” at night.

The writer wonders if anyone can tell us where Waterman's Pond and Mill were located?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Thursday afternoon

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I don't know how they did it, because - despite the bright sunshine - it's been bitterly cold, but the electricians installed seven more lamp posts: three between Babbott Avenue and the Fire House and four on the opposite side of East Main Street.

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I really wanted to take a picture of final preparations for the
that opens
tomorrow morning at 10:00
in the basement of St. Bernard's Catholic Church, but.......

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this sign was in the window and
the door was locked!!

It's just 11 degrees, at 4 o'clock in the afternoon,
and this is what's going to happen overnight!

Keep Warm!

Thursday Morning!


11.5 degrees, with a new coverlet of sparkly snow, that Elinor Wylie might have described as "White Lace."

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(Click to enlarge.)

The Accuweather forecast calls for snow showers off and on throughout the day, with some periods of sunshine but no warmth, to speak of. Temperatures probably won't reach the 20-degree mark.

Tonight it's going to be COLD:

From the WKTV NEWS Weather Room:

Tonight: Bitterly cold with a few flurries or snow showers. More persistant lake snow south and west of Utica with perhaps 2"-4" of accumulation. Breezy with dangerous wind chills. Lows of 5 to 10 below 0 in Utica, but as low as -20 across the North Country.

Friday: Sun and clouds with a few snow showers. Still bitterly cold. High: 7, Low: 0

Saturday: A chance of light snow. High: 25, Low: 11

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Wint'ry view, yesterday morning.

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Yesterday afternoon the temperature rose to 35 degrees and the sun was definitely Springlike!
Out on Madison Street, snowmobile tracks looked fresh, and - in town - a bicyclist enjoyed a ride!

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I never did find the old Waterville Times photographs, but they'll surface, some time when I'm not looking for them, I'm sure!

I DID find the electricians, however, and new lamp posts now reach Babbott Avenue on both sides of Main Street.

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Driving to Sangerfield and back becomes a whole new experience:

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But if you try this yourself, you may be as frustrated as I have been -
we have SO MANY signs - street signs, speed signs, pedestrian crossing signs - that it's sometimes hard to just see the precisely lined-up lamp posts!

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The Park, where there are seven lamp posts, seems to be the only really (almost) signless space in the village.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wednesday morning

It's 26.6 degrees at 6:45,
and much of this area is having it's early-morning cover-up with a trace of new snow.

A recent "bulletin" on the Observer-Dispatch website reports that the Lake Effect Warning has been Cancelled!

The WKTV Channel 2 Forecasters predict:

Today: Mostly cloudy with lake effect snow. 2”-4” possible in and around Utica with 4"-6" possible south and west of Utica. High 25.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy with lake effect snow. Additional light accumulations (1"-3" for most)likely. Low 7

Today starts a Special Year

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at the

Waterville Times!

Please check back here later: I think that
we have some old photographs taken back when the
type really was hand set and really did read backwards!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tuesday add-on

And the lamps are marching eastward
along the south side of East Main Street, today,
and looking classier all the time!

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The temperature has risen to 30 degrees.

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Yes! I did!

And lots of other folks were washing their cars, too.

Please check the post time, right below here. Thanks to my daughter, who is a true member of the digerati, I've been able to move from California to Upstate New York with one tiny mouse-click!

Tuesday morning

It's 18 degrees; crispy, with a trace of fresh new, sparkly snow.

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The AccuWeather Forecast predicts a back-and-forth combination of sunshine and snow showers, today.

(I've brightened up the shade of BLUE used to indicate "links" to other sites because some readers weren't spotting them. So - if you see some text in a fairly bright BLUE and you run your cursor over it, it should suddenly have a line under it: then CLICK right there on the text and magic will happen! To return to the blog, click on your "back button " or arrow. Most of the photographs are "clickable," now, as well.)

WKTV's view of the next few days has icicles on it:
Wednesday: Lake snows shift south. Moderate accumulations possible in the Mohawk Valley and North Country. High in the mid 20's.

Thursday: Snow showers possible, especially southwest. High in the low teens.

Friday: Frigid with a few flakes and sun. Disappointingly cold. High 0-10.

Saturday: Chance of snow showers. Less harsh. High in the mid 20's.


Yesterday was a gray, cloudy day, and when I drove through the village at around 4:00 P.M. it was really too dark to take pictures, but my eyes saw something wonderful: nearly all of the new Lamp Posts are in place on both sides of West Main Street! (Photos today, for sure!)

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Coming back from New Hartford, I spotted three of the Rancho Cerritos Alpacas, up on Route 12, and slowed down. They stood and watched me with as much interest, it appeared, as I watched them! (I think they were hoping to see Fr. Tom!)


And, finally - The Verdict in the Healy Case: Guilty

Monday, January 22, 2007

Morning up-date

The men with bionic hands, from Advanced Power and Lighting, were in town, early ....

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installing more lamps -- this time, on the South side of West Main Street.

At the same time, the Waterville DPW was cleaning up every bit of snow that the State Snowplows had left next to, and on, the new sidewalks!

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These are a bit different from the ones on Sanger Avenue because the posts are two feet taller and there are banner arms attached!


On East Main Street, there is a huge sign on the side of the old Bank of America:

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What, really, does that mean?

Monday morning


- and 16 degrees at 5:30, with light snow falling.

Although many of the "STOP NYRI" signs have disappeared from front lawns and we havn't heard much about it, lately, according to an article in this morning's Observer-Dispatch, the NYRI's Power Line Plans havn't just gone away! A Tuesday hearing is planned.


It may be a sign that something's going to start happening: a reader asks "What does the 'AUCTION' sign in the old bank building window mean?" (I'll try and find out!)

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At least one person braved the bitter cold on Saturday to deliver some used clothing for the

that will take place at St. Bernard's Church next
Friday and Saturday, from 10:00 - 2:00.


and the event is


(You'll find some good used toys and small household items there, too!)

Sponsored by the Food Pantry and the Sr. Citizens.


(And, for those of you who still wonder what I'm doing up at 2:30-ish in the morning, that's California time and right now, as I click on "publish," it's 6:16 A.M. in Waterville!)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday afternoon

The day started out bright and sunny, but the temperature actually fell to about minus-seven before beginning to rise. By mid-afternoon it had reached the 20-degree mark.

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Snomobiles and vehicles pulling snowmobile trailers were gassing up at Nice 'n Easy,

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and several riders raced past me as I headed North on Osborn Avenue.
Kicking up snow as they went by, they left trails of field stubble.

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There seemed to be a little more snow on the Marshall Trail where, walking on hard-packed snowmobile tracks, an eager young puppy urged her bundled-up mistress to "Hurry Up!"

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Some things - like old trees and old barns - look so much more interesting in the Winter. When Summer's weeds grow up around it, the intricately-laid foundation of this barn on Route 12B is scarcely noticable.

A Shivery Sunday Morning

It's -2.2 degrees.

According to the Utica O-D's Interactive Weather Page,

(which I really like!)

it's up to 5 degrees in the city!

Probably a good morning to stay inside a little later than usual and, after you've read the O-D and the Post Standard and the New York Times, you can catch up with this local news, if you havn't already:

Page 1 Headlines from this week's issue of the
Waterville Times

"Fun in the Sun, Snow" - An article by WCS High School Student Council Advisor Leslie Olivera-Van Wormer discussing a snow sculpting contest during Winter Spirit Week was published in last month's issue of "Leadership," designed for student activities.

"Sign of Mild Winter" - Donna Tanney's son brought her a Myrtle Blossom on the day after Christmas.

"From Deansboro to DA" - Interview with Scott McNamara, recently appointed Acting District Attorney of Oneida County.

"Register for Kindergarten" - Registrations for 2007-08 will be taken Jan. 22 through Jan. 26.

"Strategic Plan Sets Two Goals" - WCS Board of Education will review "blueprint for the future" designed by staff, students and members of the community.

"Area Picked for Housing Rehab" - The south side of the Skaneateles Turnpike in the hamlet of Brookfield will be the target for the town's housing improvement plan.

"BCS Board Says Yes on Project" - Residents of Brookfield will vote later this year on school expansion project approved by the Board of Education last week.


And, for your continued Sunday Morning Reading,
excerpts from "In Timely Manner."

What Everyone’s Talking About:
1. The weather, of course.

2. The Colds -- colds of the variety that hang on and on and which, by some accounts, were given as Christmas Gifts from grand- and great grand-children at large family gatherings!

3. A rumored change at “Green Acres Plaza,” in the middle of the village. The writer hastens to say that she has no intention of investigating or clarifying the status of any real estate transfer - should there even be one - nor discuss what effect it might have on the future of the businesses currently located there or the appearance of that part of the village, but only wishes to make note of the fact that this IS a matter occupying the general public and is a topic that intrudes on every other conversation. Villagers wonder, most, what will happen to the Post Office, the Treens’ “Home Shoppe,” “Ecco Video,” and the professional offices of Jim Pacelli, Accountant, and Paul Hadley, Attorney at Law. They also want to know, "What's it going to look like?" (It is, after all, just about within the Historic Triangle District.)

Those with sharp eyes immediately noticed the SOLD sign on the property just to the north of Main Street on Buell Avenue and hazard a guess that there may be some connection to the above-mentioned probability. Also - the former Scerbo Building is once again wearing a For Sale sign: the “Subway,” apparently, will not be running.

Following an inquiry from Mrs. R. Martin of Sangerfield, last week, the writer set out to learn which of “our” TIOGA “flag girls” had been very badly injured in an accident before Christmas. I was able to E-write to Nannette “Noodles” Jones, of Forestport, and learned that the girl who was hurt was Alex - the taller of the two blondes - and that although “she was in rough shape for a while - having broken her pelvis, among other things - (she) is back at home now.” Nannette also asked about the village in general and said, “I miss you guys!”

Rotarians had an unusual treat, recently: according to The Watervillian, "Mark Barnes exhibited his new Korg keyboard and showed how it can sound like the Glenn Miller Band or a full orchestra of Latin music. His band, Plastic Soul, played recently in Chicago for a group of McDonald's executives."

Before Christmas, Roc Langone - who had already developed his own lines of ice cream and gelato, was taking special orders for Spumoni, made in the tradition which originated in Naples, Italy, and NOW he is manufacturing a custom line of the Greek Dessert Baklava - that’s the one with phyllo dough and layers of ground walnuts, sugar and spices and honey! His is layered, predictably, with Baklava Ice Cream, and sounds mouth-wateringly delicious. But there’s one problem: if you want some you’ll have to dine at Symeon’s, where the unique dessert creation is an “exclusive!”

Speaking of Food - always a favorite topic - you can travel to “France in February” as easily as making reservations at “Michael’s” for his next elegant Wine Dinner. The event will take place on February 13th and the telephone number to call is 315/841-3077.

Our friend Sarah Sexton and her friend Cathy Burbules are on vacation in Hawaii and have taken a great number of their friends along with them via a spectacular Blog of notes and photographs (and thus saving us the ordeal of the five-hour layover in Newark and ten-hour flight to Honolulu and all associated expenses!)

Two new BLOGs have shown up on the Waterville Public Library Website: “Page Turners” (which welcomes adult book reviews) and “Teen Lit Basement,” (ditto for younger readers.) Find both at The members of the Waterville Book Club are currently reading “The Daughter of Time,” by Josephine Tey published in 1951 shortly before her death. (from Wikipedia. “Tey's regular hero, Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant, is forced to spend time laid up in hospital. Becoming interested in a postcard of a portrait that his friend Marta brings to him. He asks for history books because of the lack of imagination shown in modern mystery fiction, he has friends research reference books so he can puzzle out the mystery of whether King Richard III of England murdered his nephews, the Princes in the Tower.”) Sounds like the perfect “read” for a stormy, winter day!


More later on!