Friday, May 2, 2008


Shirley Bynum Smith

Rick Methe - my son-in-law

Sir John Keir


It's nearly 50 degrees and drippy.

WKTV's forecast: "The weekend looks a bit unsettled with the chance of showers both Saturday into Sunday. Mild air will try to move in on Saturday and if we see sunshine, we do have the potential to warm up into the low 70s. Our next front, a cold front, will push through Saturday night into Sunday, giving us another round of showers."


The May Newsletter of the


is now available HERE.


Mr. Greg William's Obituary appears in this morning's online edition of the Utica Observer-Dispatch.


A blog-reader sent this picture, taken yesterday morning when frost glistened in the sun out on Canning Factory Road.

(Thank You!)


I had an E-note from John Peterson, on the 30th, saying that his son "Dan left for IRAQ Mon, arr. in Kuwait Yesterday, waiting for enuff to make a full plane to go up to Al Asad air base NW of Bagdad."

It made me wonder "How many of 'our kids' are over there?"


These next pictures are for the many blog-readers who miss the "green, green grass of home."

The images are all clickable.


Myrtle (or Vinca) is blooming along the edge of the woods on Fuess-Cleary Road ......

........ and, here and there in the village, azaleas make splashes of color.

It's time to go back to Root Glen!


A reminder not to cook breakfast or lunch on Sunday!

The WCS Outdoor Club

will sponsor a


at the high school on Sunday Morning!


There will be a


at the Methodist Church

starting at noon.


and then you can go to a


presented by the

"Voices of the Tabernacle"

with Marcia Thomas, Karen Wheeler, Neal Roberts and Jim Coyle

at 3 o'clock

at the Episcopal Church in Sherburne.


Have a Great Weekend, Everyone!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Garry and Sharon Cope


"Once Upon a Time, long, long ago ........."

when I was young, children nearly always hung little baskets of flowers
on doorknobs of favorite old ladies .........

....... and the students at Mt. Holyoke College, near my home, danced 'round a May Pole, carrying on a tradition that had begun centuries before,

but I don't remember a May Day as cold as this!

It's clear and crisp but only 27 degrees.

WKTV predicts that: "We will have a great start to your Thursday with mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 30s but with plenty of sunshine in the morning and the early afternoon, temperatures will rise into the mid to upper 50s. Clouds will be on the increase in the afternoon ahead of a warm front. As a result, showers and thunderstorms are likely late Thursday night into Friday. Friday may be a cool day, depending on how fast the warm front clears our area. Still, as long as we see some sunshine, we'll see temperatures in the 60s."


When I came downstairs this morning I poured my coffee, turned on my computer - as always - and then reached for my camera. That's when I stopped. It wasn't there! It wasn't ANYwhere! and then I remembered: yes! I'd had my hands full of groceries, when I came home yesterday afternoon, and a couple of other packages, too, and ............... no camera!
It's in the car and I'm NOT going out to get it right now, so here are a couple of pictures from last year!

The little wind flowers are blooming on the side lawn of the O'Dowd residence .........

......... and the Dutchman's Britches" are beginning to show up in the woods on Green Road.

This is what villagers were talking about last year.

This year, they're talking about Greg Williams.


Marcia Thomas sent me an E-note, yesterday, asking if I'd post this.

(I'm always glad to do that - especially when it comes to Music, Art, and Food!)

This Sunday 'Voices of the Tabernacle' will be presenting a concert of Choral Jazz

at 3:00 p.m. at the Episcopal Church in Sherburne. Some of the local performers Marcia Thomas, Karen Wheeler, Neal Roberts and Jim Coyle. Cost is $8, $7, for seniors and kids free. "It is really fun music."

Mr. Stanley Dziekonski telephoned to talk about the history of the "Academic Union." He'd asked Mr. Tony Farina - longtime yearbook advisor - and they'd come up with the same answer: yes: oldest in the country; "Evergreen." Stan also said that, according to Tony, the Waterville Oratorical Competition (now "Prize Speaking") was one of the very first (in either the country or the state) as well! I found this article in The Waterville Times, December 26, 1857. It does not refer to Waterville, but ............. close.

Then - from the issue of January 15, 1859......


Have a Great Day!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday Add-on

I've received a flurry of E-mails within the past fifteen minutes:

WKTV has just released a story saying "Body found in Brookfield is missing Waterville hunter."

That really should read "North Brookfield."

It is sad news; but not unexpected and, in a way, may give Greg's family and friends some long-awaited relief.



It's Recyclables Day!

33.3 degrees and some evidence of either a
very heavy frost or something else!

Widespread sunshine will start the day Wednesday, but a few fair weather clouds will pop up through the late morning and afternoon. At best, we should reach the upper 40s. We should remain dry. On Thursday, a mix of sun and clouds will again develop. Temperatures will get a boost, as we see highs in the mid to upper 50s.

Just one little patch of a huge area of white trillium on the hillside next to Dugway Road between the bridge and Route 12B.

Redbuds are blooming. The ones that I always look for are in the vacant area next to the new Home Shoppe. They were planted there - just twigs stuck into the ground - by the late Al Rand about 30 years ago.


Thank You




I did go back to the Sewage Treatment Plant - more properly called the Wastewater Treatment Facility - to learn how mulch gets made and WHY!

It's called "Composting" - a biological process of decomposition - and I erred, yesterday, when I said that it was a month-long process: it takes longer - exactly 51 days. During that time the temperature of the compost is closely monitored and the mixture is "stirred" on a regular schedule.

It all begins inside one building at the "Presser" - where liquid "sludge" is created.

The sludge is automatically conveyed to another building where it is dumped into a huge mixer - one part sludge to two parts woodchips. That's Aaron Barnes in the Bobcat.

Important note: there is NO odor!

Once mixed for a specific length of time, Aaron moves the sludge/chips mix over to one of the 33-foot-long bays on top of a perforated pipe which allows air to circulate. Plant Operator Louis Langone (above) explained that the compost will stay in that aerated static pile under a 6" - 12" blanket of wood chips for twenty-one days. A temperature probe controls an air blower: when the temperature of the pile reaches 57 degrees C. the blower comes on and cools the mix to 55 degrees C.

Are you beginning to see that this isn't a random process?

The timing and temperature control are all-important!

After twenty-one days inside, the compost is moved to the curing pile - outdoors - where it will be turned or broken down once every 5 to 7 days to allow more oxygen to get to the remaining bacteria. Curing takes 30 days, with no exceptions.

After that period, the compost is screened or sifted for two reasons: the first being to meet Class I compost standards and the second to recycle reusable woodchips.

(That's DPW Superintendent Jamie Bechy adding
a scoop of cured compost to the screener.)

After that's done, it's ready to go! It's free! Village residents have priority, and when there's a sufficient supply others are also welcome to bring containers and load up.

Why would they do that?

Well -- just look at the pictures in Lou's office of the Garden Club's magnificent summer "Tubs," villagers' full flowerbeds and even lush, green lawns.

And another good reason:


It completely recycles wastewater and
green waste/woodchips


it saves taxpayers
the $21 per ton dumping fee!

(That means more green, too!)


Several local groups and high school classes have already toured the six- or seven-year old facility and Mr. Langone is more than happy to show visitors around the plant. Just drop in or make an appointment for your organization by phoning 841-4445.


When I arrived home, I found a phone message from a reporter at the Boston Globe who wanted to clarify a "factoid about Waterville." He is writing a story about high school yearbooks and had a question. Here's the answer.

From The Waterville Times; October 11, 1962.

The "Academic Union" was formed when two academic societies of the old Union Academy which published the "Evergreen" and "The Star" united. These earlier publications dated back as far as 1848 making the Academic Union the oldest public school yearbook in the country."

Have a Good Day!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008






Leaves, Grass and Brush must be in



On WKTV this morning:

Oneida County Sheriff deputies are investigating a case of vandalism at Waterville High School Monday night.
"08 rocks!" was spray painted on the exterior wall of the gymnasium and could be seen from the entrance of the school. School officials say it will take a few days and several hundred dollars to clean up.
The sheriff's office is requesting anyone with information to contact Deputy Mark Chrysler at 736-0141 or 765-2754. All calls and information will be kept confidential.


It's 37 degrees; moist, but not raining.

FROM WKTV: "We'll have clouds around. But, we should gradually put the late April sun to work and see some breaks in the overcast by mid morning. Unfortunately, the cool air mass will allow new clouds and showers to develop with any sun, so we'll call it even, with showers, clouds, some sun and highs near 50 (but likely in the 40s most of the day in most locations)."

We really needed that rain.
The pond on Sally Road is barely larger than a puddle ........

.......... and, at the foot of Grant Hill,
new grasses are crowding out the usual mallards.


This is the time of year that Lou Langone is one of the most popular men in the village.

Dozens of residents have already sought him out at the Sewage Treatment Plant and have come away with bags of superior mulch for their shrubbery and flowerbeds!

The words "sewage treatment plant" and "mulch" rarely make it to the headlines, but Lou and the Village have something really noteworthy going, down on Route 315: the only mulch manufactory in Oneida County and the envy of municipalities like Clinton and Cazenovia.

Lou told me a great story: when the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) came to inspect the plant, the visitors donned white suits, gloves, masks - the whole works - and Lou told them, "You don't need to worry!" And they said, "Oh, we're making sure that we don't contaminate your product!" (And they asked to take some with them!)

I'm going to go back to the Sewage Treatment plant this morning, and see how the month-long process of mulch-making works!


I have an E-mail from Shirley Litz asking me to post this:

Chicken Barbeque

at the

Waterville Methodist Church

Sunday May 4th
12pm until sold out
Adult $8.00 Child $4.00
Barbeque Chicken (cooked by our own Firemen)
Baked Potatoe & butter
Cole Slaw (vinegar recipe)
Roll & butter


Getting ready to roll!

The Waterville High School Marching Band has made good use of the unseasonably warm weather during the last two weeks by practising outdoors. Their fundraisers last Saturday - the Bottle Drive in the morning and Spaghetti Supper later on - will help defray expenses of the Band's annual trip to Some Place Special. Where will that be this year? I heard a rumor of "New York!"

The winner of the "Wii"

was Cassie Kempf!!


Motorists traveling between Oriskany Falls and Waterville are slowing down at the crest of the hill to admire the scenic park that the McLanes have cleared at Sanger Hill.


There's nothing pretty about this!

Even the blogger is taking shorter and shorter "scenic rides in the country!"


Have a great day, Everyone!

Monday, April 28, 2008


It's Garbage Day!

49 degrees with a nice, gentle rain.

WKTV predicts that: .." weather is going to be cool, wet, and cloudy for the next few days. A weather system will give us some rain on Monday. Tonight, clouds will roll in with rain developing towards sunrise. Overnight lows will be in the 40s. A soaking rain is expected throughout the day tomorrow. Total rainfall is expected to range from half an inch to an inch. Most of the rain will fall during the first half of the day, and a rumble of thunder is possible. Temperatures will only be in the low 50s for most of the day. Showers and areas of drizzle will continue in the afternoon and evening. The winds also could pick up briefly in the morning hours as the main weather system approaches.
Monday's rain will turn into Tuesday's chill as cooler air works in."


I stopped at the Library on Friday afternoon to look at the display of Kate McLane's photographs and drawings: "Very Nice work!"

In his office, Library Director Jeff Reynolds was copying ALL of the digitized, searchable collection of The Waterville Times from the little gray box at the right of the keyboard to a brand new iMac that will be loaded with "History and more History!"

More about the iMac and its purpose later!


I wasn't around the village on Saturday, so missed the morning Clean-up and then the Spaghetti Supper. If anyone has some feedback on those events, I'd appreciate it!

I do know, thanks to Sandy Martin, that the Crimson Bonnets had a very enjoyable luncheon on Thursday:
" The Crimson Bonnets met Thursday at the Hulbert House in Boonville. Upon arrival the members were greeted by Miss Minnie Pearl. She was recognized by her signature hat with the price tag still on it. About 21 members were present. The Hulbert House is a grand old place and they served a delicious lunch. After the meal the members were entertained by Miss Minnie Pearl. She told many jokes regarding old age which kept everyone laughing. The meeting and entertainment was hosted by Adella McFadden. May's meeting will be held on May 29th at Hannah-leigh's Antiques and will be co-hosted by Mrs. Van Matt and Mrs. Tower. Members are reminded we will be exchanging secret pals at that time." (Thanks, Sandy!)


I've received a very nice letter from Tim Tarbox and I'll share some of it with you!

I lived in Waterville, then North Brookfield, then back in Waterville again until 1980 when I moved to Arkansas; I returned to live in Waterville briefly in 1983, returning to Arkansas in 1984. I have not been back since.

I was telling my 10-year old daughter about area where I grew up and was looking for some pictures; I looked for a Chamber of Commerce website which turned out to be a fruitless effort; I eventually emailed the Waterville Times, who turned me on to your blog.

Some things really took me back. The Waterville Hotel........

I see the underpass at Sangerfield still exists and still floods..LOL..

Field days..ah field days...for me it was all about the rides..but as an adult, I now know the beer tent was the real attraction..the concept of a beer tent here in Arkansas is unheard of..

I remember things like the five and dime, the Huddle, "the old high school"..I lived on Babbot Ave and would cut across the field walking to the Elementry School..for some reason, I think I went to Kindergarden in Deansboro..but I'm not sure about that one..There was an old laundromat on Main Street, I vaguely recall living in an apartment above it I think..before I was school age..

I was looking at your pics from around town, and would see house where kids I played with lived.. I could go on and on..

Best regards,



I did see this new sign at the former Belfield Insurance Agency, on Main Street.


Out in the countryside, swamps are full of golden Cowslips. It's a little late for gathering the "greens," but I'm pretty sure that Marla and Don Brown have had their Springtime Feast of Catfish & Greens!

You can still gather Dandelion Greens. Did you know that they're one of the most healthy foods you can find, anywhere? Here's a very neat web page about this pesky plant with advice on how to cook them!

Coming soon: "Fiddleheads."


Just another example of how far ahead of schedule many plants are: I usually tie my hops up on Mother's Day, but several vines are already two feet tall!


There have been several games since Friday: instead of
giving you all of the scores, here are the Standings.

Have a great day, Everyone!