Saturday, May 12, 2007


It's 42 degrees and clear. It was light at 5:30, and the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was letting everyone know that it was time to get up! Others may rely on roosters, but we in Whiskey Hollow have an excellent substitute.

The forecasts for both today and Mother's Day are fine!


Yesterday was one of those perfect Spring days ...... up to a point:

I needed to stay at home and wait for a business-type telephone call, but it was pleasant. I decided that it was time to "switch seasons," packing up PolarFleece pullovers and getting out summer gear. My daughter Allison called to make Mother's Day plans; Leon Howe came with lawnmower and trimmer and made the yard look (and smell) especially nice. Daffodils, tulips, pulmonaria and Forget-me-nots bloom, here and there, and a great variety of birds flit between trees and shrubs. Nice.


The phone call finally came and then I went up town:

a crew from North Country Landscapers was tending a low hedge atop the retaining wall in front of Ms. Hill's home on Sanger Avenue .......

...... and a bed of tulips gleamed on White Street where, on February 18th, the scene had been quite different.

My cousin Dr. Elizabeth Stacy, who teaches at the University of Hawaii in Hilo, sent me a bright coral-colored vanda orchid.

An E-mail from Don Brown at the high school read:

"I know the owner of the "Yankee" Thunderbird. His name is Don Brown and he lives on White Street. Don Brown is a huge Yankee fan and he also has a striking resemblance to Mickey Mantle. Don did the car as a tribute to Mickey and uses the car, his likeness, and his stories to help promote the Mickey Mantle Organ Donor Foundation. I am sure that the owner was not offended about the mistake. I will personally let him know that his car was in the blog....he's my dad. "

Thanks, Don!


I had a few more E-mails and phone calls from people saying that they would be coming to Dick's "Damned Fine Party" on June 10th, but then came the call that that erased all of the pleasant Springtime images of the day:

Jean Davis' voice was shaking.
"I have terrible news. Rick Gaiser died of a heart attack, this afternoon."


This was not possible .... but, of course, it was.

All I could think of was Rick, a young lad, pulling a wagon to the office of The Waterville Times to show Editor Doug Sexton a huge fossil he'd found; Rick the night the Candee Block burned - in 1982 - a fireman whose hands were nearly frozen, accepting a pair of gloves from Jim Morgan but saying he couldn't stay in the store to get warm . "I've got to go back!" And Rick, calming and soothing an accident victim while they waited for the ambulance.

And then I thought of his family -
and how terribly sorry I felt for all of them,

and how much I wanted to tell Dick, who liked Rick so much -
but perhaps he already knew.


Note. I debated, a long time, whether or not to include the news of Rick Gaiser's death in this post. There was no notice of it in this morning's Observer-Dispatch, but I know from the number of subsequent E-mails and phone calls that I received last evening that the news is widespread, and it IS, after all, part of "Life in a Small Village in Upstate New York." PsB

Friday, May 11, 2007


I know no more about clouds than I do about cars (see yesterday's "correction!") but, when I was driving down Osborn yesterday afternoon and saw this formation, I thought, "Thunder Heads!" It had been a long time - since last summer! - since I'd seen those!

"Google" provided some confirmation:
An extremely dense and vertically developed cloud, often with a top in the shape of an anvil. The cloud is frequently accompanied by heavy showers, lightning, thunder, and sometimes hail. It is also known as a thunderstorm cloud.


It's 55.4 degrees this morning and, now that we've had our rain, weekend weather looks fine!

  • Today: Partly sunny with a passing shower. High 76
  • Tonight: Partly cloudy. Low 45
  • Saturday: Sunny and pleasant. High 65 Low 42
  • Sunday: Mostly sunny. High 63 Low 43

North Country Lanscapers were here, again, yesterday and - amongst other plantings - put seven "Hop Hornbeams" in the Park.

The blossoms' - or "catkins'" - ressemblance to hops make them especially popular in Hop Country.


An article in this morning's Observer-Dispatch lists the
dates and details of all area "proms."

Waterville's Junior/Senior Prom: 8 p.m. to midnight May 19 at the White Eagle in Hamilton.

Brookfield went to greater lengths:
Senior Ball: 7 to 11 p.m. May 19 at Blue Flag Restaurant at Union Station; 11:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Golf Shack; 1:30 to 3 a.m. Colgate Bowling Lanes; 3:30 to 4:30 a.m. breakfast.


On the WKTV website: "Oneida Co. Executive Pushes to Lower Sales Tax."



In re: "The Old Mill"

Mabel Bushee, Historian for the Town of Sangerfield, sent this to me yesterday.

"The original three story brick building was constructed in 1868 (her note: I have 1867) by George Putnam. Originally called Putnam Hall, it was designed to accommodate business activities and civic events. The first floor was occupied by the railroad as a ticket office and freight depot. The second floor was subdivided for business offices, and the third floor contained a large hall with a stage. The building was dedicated on November 18, 1868 at a social function attended by several hundred persons. (She added: ' I think there was an article in the Times on this event, if I remember correctly.' I will make a point of trying to find the article.)

Later in the 19th century, the building was taken over by the Buells' Boot & Shoe Manufactory. Buells' had been manufacturing shoes in Waterville since the early 1800's and reportedly Lincoln wore Buell shoes while delivering the Gettysburg address. Tanning took place at another location in the village and Putnam Hall was used for leatherworking and sewing. Buells remained in the he building until 1904.

The 1907 Century Atlas labels the mill as occupied by Oneida Hosiery Company. At this time, the two one-story wood additions had been constructed as separate structures off the north end of the original building.

By 1918, the mill was owned by Waterville Knitting Company. Textile manufacturing continued under Waterville Textile Mills (1922 to 1956) and Waterville Knitting Mills (1956 to 1991).

The three story wood addition on the west side of the original building was constructed in the 1950's. The two story wood addition connecting the original building with the single story structures to the north may have also been completed at this time.

Waterville Knitting Mills produced sweaters. According to Mr. Walter Kogut, the last manager, fabrics were washed with soap and no chemicals were used in the operation.

The new mill building, located just north of the old building, was constructed in 1970. From that time until the operation closed in 1991, the old building was used solely for storage. The building has been unoccupied since 1991."

Thank you, Mabel!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A Correction!

Thank you to David Desany who corrected me: the "Yankee" car is not a Corvette, but - rather - a Ford Thunderbird!!! My apologies to the owner and the Ford Corp!

Thursday morning

It's Garbage Day, again!

58 degrees, at a little after 5:00 A.M.

This was the temperature at 4:00, yesterday afternoon, on the vintage "Wickes" thermometer!

We may not see that, again, for a few days. The WKTV forecast:

  • Thursday: Mostly cloudy, warm and humid with rain and thunderstorms. Rain may be heavy at times during the afternoon. High 78
  • Thursday Night: Mostly cloudy with showers and thunderstorms, ending by morning. Low 57
  • Friday: Partly to mostly sunny. High 76 Low 45

Shirley Kellogg left me a phone message that she'd seen her first "Hummer" at the feeder .....

.....and she called, again, around suppertime to say that there was an indigo bunting eating thistle seed.
(Both of these photos are from Goodle Image searches.)

My favorite "sightings" of the day: the Norway Maples are blooming, and a bouquet of them is as sweet as any other flower.

"Virginia Bluebells."

There are baseball fans and there are "Yankees" fans .... and then there are "major league Yankees Fans" and just such a fan had parked his Corvette - complete with dark blue stripes and the "Yankees" logo on the hood - outside of CVS yesterday afternoon.

And his team won!

So did the Redsox, and the Standings are:


The score here?

The answer is "Stucco!"

(....... in the middle of an Historic District that's on the National Register of Historic Places and where most of the buildings are of mid-nineteenth-century Italianate style?)

Some "sidewalk umpires" are calling it a "strike out."

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Wednesday morning

A Special Invitation

Dick Brown’s

“Damned Fine Party”

will take place on

Sunday, June 10th

from 3 - 6



135 W. Main Street
in Waterville.

Please Come!

RSVP's appreciated: 841-4679
or by E-mailing the writer.


It's recyclables day!

53.8 degrees.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, warm and a bit humid. A late evening thunderstorm possible. High 80

Wednesday Night: Partly to mostly cloudy. A thunderstorm possible. Low 53

Thursday: Cloudy with rain and thunderstorms. Warm and humid. High 75 Low 57

Friday: Mostly cloudy with showers and thunderstorms ending by afternoon. Cooler, and less humid. High 73 Low 45

Suzette's Door must be the best-dressed in the Village!


Down on Route 20, West of Sangerfield, there is a glorious garden spot called Alcott's Greenhouses. I stopped in, yesterday morning, just to take pictures: these certainly aren't as good as seeing all of these flowers in person!

Pat Youngs was watering shrubbery outside,
and inside ............


It was a fine day, all 'round.

More street trees were planted in Waterville and in Sangerfield the Town Barn is getting a new roof!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Tuesday morning

41.4 degrees.

WKTV's Forecast reads


Tuesday: Mostly sunny and warm! Highs in the upper 70s to near 80.

Wednesday: Sun, some clouds and just a slight chance of an afternoon thunderstorm. High: 76, Low: 53


Much of the Erie Canal - and all portions in Oneida and Herkimer Counties - has opened.

The sight of Elfie Goedeker's rock garden, out on Canning Factory Road, caused me to make a dusty U-turn so that I could go back and take a picture. Seeing me stopped, Mr. Goedeker came to investigate: he approved of my picture-taking and offered, "It's all my wife's doing. I take no credit for it!"

Truckloads of new trees pulled in to Waterville early yesterday morning.

It didn't take long for this pretty young lady to go to work and for planting to begin.

A very observant blog-reader, however, was wondering if more care will be taken, this year, when planting trees directly under utility lines! This tree - at 241 Sanger Avenue - has either grown alot since last Autumn or shouldn't have been planted there in the first place!

Black-topping was taking place at the new School Bus Garage on East Bacon Street....

..... and at #146 Stafford Avenue, where it seems much work has been in progress inside the building, two bright urns of geraniums appeared at the front doorway of the old "Bigelow House."


Gary Tuttle sent me the next two pictures last evening, saying that he had seen a fox on the hillside behind their Sanger Avenue home at suppertime.

They - or perhaps "it" - visits Whiskey Hollow, now and then, probably to get a drink from Big Creek. Many years ago, when the Desany family lived at #242 Buell Avenue, a family of foxes set up housekeeping in the "old shed." On sunny days, Mother Fox would bring the kits out onto the front step to play in the sun where, unperturbed by their audience, they provided amusement to quite a number of passersby.


Boston had a travel day and will be in Toronto tonight.

And: about the "Cow" out on Hanover Road? Well - it appeared in front of John Brouillette's home one day last weekend and had, he presumed, "something to do with my birthday!" He was going to take it inside but, discovering that it weighs hundreds of pounds, has wisely decided to leave it just where it is!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Monday morning

It's Garbage Day!

and tomorrow is Metals collection.

It's 32 degrees on the nose, but here's WKTV's warm-up forecast for the week:

Monday: Sunny & mild. High 70
Monday night: Clear. Not as cool. Low 45
Tuesday: Mostly sunny & warm. High 75 Low 52
Wednesday: Partly sunny with slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm. High 78 Low 51
Thursday: Partly sunny with a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm. High 78 Low 52
Friday: Showers and storms likely. High 69 Low 51

Sunny Day setting .........

It looks like a photograph from "Country Living" magazine - a pretty grouping on a porch or deck, somewhere - but it is in the least-expected spot: outside the two big doors of Dan Maine's Woodworking Shop on Madison Street! Not that Dan and his guys would ever sit down and take a break, but Marilyn has a flair for making even a driveway look inviting!

More "Country Living" .......

a happy Holstein welcomes visitors to a home on Hanover Road.


"Welcome Back!"

George and Connie Kelley
Garry and Sharon Cope
Phil and Sylvia Person


"Welcome to Waterville"

Mary Ellen Sanderson
on Tower Street


and elsewhere:

The Yankees have warmed up and are now in second place behind the Sox.

Enjoy the Sunshine, everyone!!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Sunny Sunday!

31.5 degrees;

the sun must have risen at 5:32, because that's when the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker began drumming!

Sunday: Sunny. High 60

Sunday night: Clear. Low 31

Monday: Sunny. Mild. High 70 Low 42

Tuesday: Sunny. High 78 Low 49


Remember that there's a


at the Waterville Methodist Church

from Noon 'til Sold Out!

And for Supper, you could have some Cowslip Greens! They're abundant in swampy areas, and just beginning to bloom. Just gather the upper leaves and small buds - not the flowers; rinse well and steam or boil just as you would any other "green." I'm sure that Don and Marla Brown have been enjoying their favorite feast of Cowslip Greens and Catfish, by now!

Yesterday was another Perfect Spring Day!

Above: Nancy's Garden at St. Bernard's Catholic Church;
Below: Girls' Softball at Babbott Field.

Some new ornamental shrubbery was planted on Main Street ....

... and a Red Sox Flag decorates a home on Madison Street.


One of our local Post Card Collectors brought these to me to see if I could identify them. I couldn't, but perhaps one of YOU can!

Mystery House #1.

Mystery House #2.

The message says,

"Our home in Waterville."


Coming soon:

A special link to Information