Saturday, January 26, 2008

Have you Lost a Dog??

(Stock photo)
The McNamaras on Buell Avenue 
have an unexpected and unidentified guest:  
a well-cared-for, friendly male Golden Retriever who
arrived at their door at about 3:45 Saturday afternoon. 

He has a brown leather collar with silvery studs, but no tags whatsoever.

Phone 841-8018 if you can identify him and/or know to whom he belongs! 

Saturday Add-on

I think this needs to happen.

I really can't recall a time when everyday, on-the-street or 'phone conversations have swerved into such intense and intimate confessions of sadness and soul-searching mixed with professions of pride and patriotism as those I've had with residents and at long distance during the last several days - especially yesterday.

I have a somewhat limited view of Waterville in that I'm not directly connected to the School or the American Legion or any particular church or social or service organization, but I am aware of a great number of small triumphs that took place - acts of ingenuity and generosity for which no one intended to be thanked or praised - all because "we wanted to do everything just right!"

And now the question that lingers - "Why?"

At first, answers invariably began with the word "I" - but by yesterday afternoon the word was "we" as if reflecting a newly-realized bond.

I would not invite blog-readers to express themselves in this rather public forum were I not aware that there are some important thoughts that should be shared , contemplated and remembered.

Please feel free to click the "E-mail the writer" link at the top of this page and share those with us. Whether you choose to use your full name, initials, or remain anonymous is your decision.

Thank you for taking time to write.

(Condolences will be forwarded to the Sigsbee family; strictly political remarks will not be posted at all.)


Yesterday morning.


The Utica Observer-Dispatch

with links to coverage, essays and photo gallery.

On Barton Avenue, at the Brouillettes'.




"He'd have been proud of us, wouldn't he?"
----- anonymous

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday afternoon




"Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh -- Falls the night.

"Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky.
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

"Then good night, peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear -- Friend, good night."


At the same time, at the Saratoga National Cemetery, a patch
of blue appeared in a cloudy sky - a promise that the sun would shine there, too.

(Photo courtesy Allison Methe.)




Waterville Jr.-Sr. High School

Thursday, January 24, 2008
4:00 P.M.



WATERVILLE — The family of Army Cpl. John Sigsbee will remember his bravery today as they find their own courage to bid farewell to the fallen soldier.

The funeral for the 21-year-old Waterville native will begin at 10 a.m. today at Waterville Central School.

“Even after he passed, people are drawing so much strength from him,” his aunt Cindy Woods said Thursday during calling hours at the school.

Sigsbee’s sacrifice has touched many in the region, including one 85-year-old World War II veteran from Utica, whom Woods said called the Sigsbees’ home this week.

The veteran told Woods he’d been reading about her nephew’s life each morning for the past several days, and he had to call with his condolences.

“He said to ‘tell the parents that they not only raised a fine son, but they raised a fine patriot,’” she said. “I don’t think I’ll ever forget that one.”

Here’s a look at why some individuals came to Sigsbee’s calling hours Thursday night.

‘The ultimate price’
A large American flag hung from a curtain behind Sigsbee’s casket.

Two ‘Screaming Eagles’ flags were displayed on each side, signifying the 101st Airborne Division in Fort Campbell, Ky., where Sigsbee was a member of the 32nd Cavalry Unit.

Music played quietly, and floral arrangements were set up near the wings of the stage. Throngs of people spilled into the hallways, all waiting to honor the soldier who died doing the job those who knew him say he loved.

Karen and Brian Strong of Vernon are friends of Sigsbee’s family. They’re also members of the Clinton V.F.W. 9591 and the Franklin Springs American Legion 232.
“Burying a child is traumatic itself,” Karen Strong said, “and to die the way he died, defending our country, he did pay the ultimate price.”

‘Most important thing’
Dave Maliani’s college roommate at SUNY Oneonta was a good friend of Sigsbee’s. That’s how Maliani said he came to know the soldier and why he paid tribute to him Thursday.

“This was the most important thing in his life, the military,” said Maliani, 22, of Utica. “Regardless of how you feel about the war, the support of United States soldiers is imperative. It’s the most important thing that we can honor — U.S. military service.”

The Patriot Guard
Patriot Guard members stood in silence and held the poles of large American flags as people wishing to pay their respects to Sigsbee waited in line inside the high school.

The guard is a national organization of motorcycle enthusiasts who attend military funerals and honor returning veterans.

Ride Captains Peg and Ed Czarnecki of Herkimer organized about 30 guard members to be present at the calling hours. Ed Czarnecki is a Vietnam War Veteran.

As Peg Czarnecki began to describe why it’s important for the Patriot Guard to honor Sigsbee, she held back tears.

“Just give me a minute,” she told an O-D reporter as she took a deep breath.
“The very least that America can do is stand for him,” Peg Czarnecki said.

Never forgotten
About 300 members from local veterans’ organizations filled the auditorium. Some stood in front of Sigsbee’s casket, and many lined the aisles in the room.

“Another comrade has been called to the high command,” one veteran said loudly before the crowd. “He’s gone to report to the high commander of us all.”

People bowed their heads as prayers were said. Some put their hands over their hearts.

Veterans saluted the patriot as “Taps” played. Each of the members then passed by Sigsbee and individually gave him a final salute.

Sigsbee was awarded the Purple Heart when he was wounded by a roadside bomb in July 2006 outside Balad, Iraq.

Joe Fraccola, commander of the Central New York Chapter 490 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, spoke of Sigsbee’s commitment and said the nation sends “young kids to war who come home men.”

“He was a true American soldier,” Fraccola said, “a true hero and a true patriot. He represented freedom for every American citizen, and we’re here to make sure he’s never forgotten.”


I received this E-mail from one who was with the American Legion: "Someone said there were over three hundred of us. The Order of the Purple Heart was there and some drove as long as three hours to attend. Also, in great abundance were members of the VFW. Makes one proud to be an American and to have served with the ilk of John Sigsbee!"

WKTV - Thursday evening news.


I attended Calling Hours for several reasons, but none of them involved a camera. If it's true that "a picture's worth a thousand words," I think I'll be stringing several photographs' worth in the next few days. The images held in my memory are that important: I don't want them to fade.

The Route that will be taken by the Procession as it leaves Waterville following the 10 o'clock Funeral Service this morning. (Click to enlarge.)


Saratoga National Cemetery.



It's 16.5 degrees with gentle snow falling.

It's Garbage Day!

  • Today: A mix of clouds and sun. Chance of some flurries or squalls, especially north and west of Utica. 1"-3" possible in Lewis and Northern Herkimer County. High in the mid 20s.
  • Tonight: Lake snows ending up north. Otherwise, clear, but clouds slowly increasing late. Low near 10 degrees.
  • Saturday: Mostly cloudy with flurries possible. High: 28, Low: 21
  • Sunday: Decreasing clouds, with perhaps a morning flurry. High: 29, Low: 17

Some interesting statistics of what is available

at the

Give - Away

that begins at ten this morning
at St. Bernard's Catholic Church.
  • Over 200 coats and jackets
  • Over 400 stuffed animals and dolls (lots of other toys too)
  • A whole room of housewares.
  • Nearly 500 pairs of pants (including over 200 pairs of jeans)
  • Nearly 600 men's, women's, and children's sweaters
  • Tables and tables of kids' clothes
  • Countless skirts, shirts, blouses, and shorts

Some basic ground rules:

Please enter through the back entrance of the Church Hall


If you have never been to this, be advised that the "veterans" bring large garbage bags. You will want to do the same!!!

The clothing giveaway is sponsored by the Waterville Food Pantry, Waterville Senior Citizens and St. Bernards Social Action committee. The leftovers go to a school near Hamilton. A local family keeps the remaining household items in the unfortunate event of a fire or similar disaster.



    Thursday, January 24, 2008

    Thursday add-on

    Tomorrow's ceremonies at the

    Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery

    will be Private.


    The route to be taken by the procession

    as it leaves Waterville following the 10 o'clock Funeral Services

    will be described in tomorrow morning's blog post.



    Recyclables Day

    17 degrees.

    • Thursday: Cloudy with light snow or flurries. Very light accumulation possible. High in the low 20s.
    • Thursday Night: Partly to mostly cloudy with scattered light or lake effect snow. Low near 0.
    • Friday: A mix of sun and clouds. Some lingering lake snows possible, but accumulations should be light. High: 23, Low: 6

    On Madison Street.

    Calling Hours for Cpl. Sigsbee
    will take place
    today from 4 - 8
    in the High School Auditorium.


    Jeff Reynolds sent this magnificent photograph that he took yesterday afternoon from the rear window at the Library.

    Earlier in the day, I'd startled a flock of grackles or starlings near Tyler Road. There were hundreds and the scene reminded me of "The Birds," but I took it as a sign of Spring!

    Fr. Tom sent more pictures so that those people who have never seen what the "Give Away" is like will have a better idea.

    Please! No more donations!

    No - the ladies are NOT contributions!!
    They're some of the several volunteers who have made order out of chaos!
    (And I could use them at my house!)

    Wednesday, January 23, 2008




    From the Observer-Dispatch:

    WATERVILLE -- John P. Sigsbee of Waterville was promoted to the rank of corporal following his death last week in Iraq, said Mark Bentz of the Kloster-Northrop & Bentz Funeral Home.

    Sigsbee requested the rank before his death and had been waiting for it to be approved, Bentz said.

    Sigsbee died Wednesday along with two other soldiers during combat operations in Balad, Iraq. He was the fifth resident of the region to die in the nearly 5-year-old Iraq war.

    Sigsee’s family has released a letter thanking the community for its support:

    “The family of Cpl. John P. Sigsbee wishes to express its heartfelt thanks to all those who shared their thoughts and condolences, to the media for spreading the word of John’s homecoming, to Capt. William Sautter, U.S. Army, for his strength and support, and most importantly, to our community for the hero’s welcome, which greeted John as he arrived at Griffiss Air Base and which escorted him home, draped and lined with the flag he so proudly served.”

    Calling hours for Sigsbee will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Waterville High School.

    The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Friday in the auditorium of the school. Following the services, a procession will travel to Saratoga National Cemetery.


    In this week's issue of The Waterville Times, Ms. Louise tells of Cpl. Sigsbee's return to Waterville in a lengthy article augmented by a full-page tribute that is what many of us call "a keeper!"


    Two other links:

    Sigsbee at school

    Planning for Protestors

    Yesterday afternoon, deer grazing next to Route 20

    It's 16.9 degrees.
    • Today: Mostly cloudy with snow showers. Heavier lake snows likely well north of Rome. Accumulations of a trace to 2" for most, but 2-5" in extreme northern Oneida and northern Herkimer Counties, especially just north of Old Forge. 5-10" possible on the Tug Hill north of Camden. High in the upper 20s.
    • Tonight: Mostly cloudy with lake snows trying to drop south, but weakening. Low near 10.
    • Thursday: Mostly cloudy with a burst of snow likely during the day. High: 20, Low: 0



    The Historical Society will be open from 10:00 - 4:00
    or whenever the light's on.


    7:00 P.M. at the Municipal Hall.


    Meanwhile ............

    Preparations are under way at St. Bernard's Church for the Annual Give Away.

    Above: a little after noontime on Sunday!

    Below: 24 hours later!

    Give Away Hours

    Friday: 10-2

    Saturday 10-1

    Tuesday, January 22, 2008


    Garbage Day!

    It's a bit above 17 degrees - no new snow.

    • Today: Snow showers develop late morning and early afternoon. Steady light snow late today. High in the upper 20's.
    • Tonight: Steady light snow early. Scattered snow showers and flurries late. Lake effect well north of town by dawn. Accumulations by morning 1"-3" for areas near and north of the Thruway with an inch or less south. Low in the teens.
    • Wednesday: Mostly cloudy with occasional lake effect snow, mainly north of Utica. High: 26, Low: 10


    More flags appear each day and the mood of the villagers seems somber and subdued.

    Route 315

    Berrill Avenue

    Madison Street


    Jennifer Neff has written to say that there are some nice Red, White & Blue light displays on Berrill Avenue.


    From today's Observer-Dispatch:

    Families of Five Fallen Servicement Linked by Loss.

    Dan Ford, Bob McNamara and Bob Treen all remembered "Billy" Reese, who lived just up the street from the House in the Hollow, and Glenn Kelley, of N. Brookfield, were both killed in Vietnam. "........ both friends .... great people," McNamara said.


    The Clifford J. Fulmer Post: Barb Adkyns has created a new blog for the Legion. (I've added it to my sidebar, too.)


    Several people noticed that the flags at the High School were improperly displayed - the State flag being higher than the American Flag - but that has been corrected.


    This was in yesterday's mail:

    To Whom This May Concern:
    My name is Nicole Hawley and I'm a reporter with the Daily Sentinel newspaper in Rome, N.Y. Throughout the week we will be writing stories paying tribute to Army Spc. John Sigsbee. We are in search of people who knew him not only as a soldier, but as a friend or family member. We're looking for anyone who'd like to share comments are special memories about John. Please let me know of anyone who may be willing to do this. Thank you for your time.

    Nicole Hawley
    Rome Sentinel
    333 W. Dominick St.
    Rome, N.Y. 13440
    315-337-4000, ext. 214 .


    When Bob Treen scrolled through recent blog posts he found his car! A 1957 Pontiac "Chieftain" that he bought from Dairy Isle owner Ed Galimo's wife in 1964! "It was HUGE! - and fast! Dad ( Police Chief, at the time) had it up to 145 out on Route 12!"

    I bet he wishes he still had it!


    Have a good day, everyone.

    Monday, January 21, 2008


    It's 9 degrees and there's just a scant frosting of new snow.

    Today is Martin Luther King Day

    There is no Garbage collection.

    Village Board will meet on Wednesday evening.

    • Monday: Mostly cloudy with lake effect snow continuing up north. Lake snows should wind down and lift out later on Monday afternoon. Cold. High: 20. Low: 6
    • Tuesday: Cloudy with snow showers. Not as cold. High: 25 Low: 14
    • Wednesday: A mix of sun and clouds with scattered snow showers. High 23; Low: 7

    Two questions that are being asked quite frequently:

    When was the last time that "we" lost one of our own?

    I'm sure that someone can corroborate this, but I believe it must have been "Bill" Reese and a Kelley boy from N. Brookfield. The both died in Vietnam.

    Do "we" have any other boys or girls serving in the war, now?

    Sunday, January 20, 2008

    Coming Home

    Sunday, January 20, 2008

    On Madison Street

    10:11 A.M.
    9 degrees F.

    11:31 A.M.
    10 degrees F.

    On Main Street

    11:39 A.M.

    11:40 A.M.

    He's home.


    All along the route from Rome to Waterville people stood at the roadside to honor John. The Clinton ladder truck held an American Flag above the highway; groups in Westmoreland, Deansboro and Oriskany Falls waited to pay their respects. Perhaps we thought that he was OUR hero, but now we know that he was everyone's.


    Saturday, January 19, 2008

    All of the images may be enlarged by "clicking."