Saturday, November 29, 2008


At 7:45, it's 31.8 degrees and snowing gently.


I took a ride through the village, yesterday afternoon, finding more and more lights on every street!

Above: the Holics' on W. Bacon Street.

On W. Main Street .......

....... on E. Main Street .....

......... and on Babbott Avenue, South.


At a little after 6:00 P.M., yesterday - not long before the Parade of Lights was set to begin - it was a relative balmy and very comfortable 34 degrees and Main Street, from the Park to the Fire House, was packed with parade-watchers. (It looked more like "Cruise-in" or even Firemen's Field Days than in recent, colder, years!)

At 6:30, the new wreaths and spiraling garlands on our Victorian lamp posts came to life with (what I believe is) the cool-white glow of LED mini-lights. (The only person who had seen them all lit, before then, was DPW Superintendent Jamie Bechy, who had tested them at 4:30 that MORNING!)

Waterville Fire Department

I was on Park Place, during the Parade, where the view of all of the vehicles and floats was much better than indicated by my photographs! (Taking pictures at night of moving lights is .... well ....
never as successful as I'd like it to be!)

The Street Sweeper.


The Harding Nursing Home float - a giant cake with fiber-optic candles, celebrated the Parade of Lights' twentieth anniversary!

Even when the Parade had ended - it was shorter than in some other years - the crowds stayed, waiting for more!

One of the many pictures that I took that were, simply, nearly beyond recognition, was of Santa and Mrs. Claus, riding in a sleigh pulled by ...... well: the reindeer were tired and alternative "deer-power" was substituted! But they were followed to the Fire House by so many children who wanted to confide their Christmas Wishes to them that, according the Pat Louise, Editor of The Waterville Times, the line of hopefuls and their parents reached out of the Fire House and all the way 'round the corner to the old library building! (You can be sure of finding some of her photographs in next week's issue of "The Times!")


It's been several years since that tree at the point of Monument Park has been lit - it has outgrown its strands of lights and is probably much taller than any of those who planted it in 1940 thought it would ever be!

- And while I was digging through history, I found this draft of a Christmas Card that I thought of using several years ago ..............

Once upon a time, back in the 1970’s, before the “old” Christmas Tree became too large
to decorate and before anyone complained that religious displays might be “offensive” and should be banned, this “Christmas Cross” was set up each year on the point of Monument Park - a guest of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument Association. It was sponsored by the Waterville Clergy Association, designed by Doug Sexton and built by Rev. Dean Shaw and Dick Brown.

One year, it was damaged in storage and was never replaced.

Is it too late to do that, now?


If you hurry!

MADISON — The Madison United Methodist Church will hold a pancake breakfast on Saturday, Nov. 29 from 7-11 a.m. at the church.

There will be pancakes, sausage, home fries, scrambled eggs and orange juice and coffee. The breakfast is all you can eat. The cost will be $5 for adults and $3 for children age 5-12 years of age.

Later on!

MUNNSVILLE — St. Therese’s Church will hold its annual spaghetti dinner on Sunday, Nov. 30 from noon to 3 p.m. at the church hall, Route 46.

The menu will include spaghetti, salad bar and homemade pies for dessert. The cost will be $6 for adults, $4 for children younger than 12 and free for children younger than 5.


(While I was in Ballston Lake, north of Schenectady, my son-in-law pointed out a gas station sign that read "$1.99.9"!)




From Library Director Jeff Reynolds: "We'll be showing eight really nice Adirondack images, inspired by the time that the Gales spend at their Raquette Lake retreat. All available for purchase directly from Gail. She'll also have samples of her latest notecards, which can be purchased from her."


Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


It's Recyclables Day!
27.9 and starry-clear.

WKTV predicts that: "Accumulations will be light/inconsequential across the area. (Wednesday) night, additional lake snow will develop on southwest winds, well north of even Boonville. That should remain put up north through Thanksgiving Evening, before dropping south into the North Country perhaps on Thanksgiving Night. Travel should be relatively calm and clear both Wednesday and Thursday. The only exceptions may be in and around the Lowville and Watertown areas, as well as far southwestern New York toward Jamestown. Travel to New England, Pennsylvania, downstate or the Mid Atlantic should be trouble-free."


Light snow fell throughout most of yesterday, and while more "snowflakes" appeared on Main Street ............

.......... and a star gleamed above a lighted creche at the Gilchrists' on Madison Street .......

........... villagers dealt with the less-than-lovely side of the season!


This morning, everything is frosted!

There'll be more shoveling to do!

However ......

.......... the weather won't keep me from going to Ballston Lake to see Allison and her husband, Rick, and my grandson Iain (and his new puppy, Juniper!)


Have a Great Day, tomorrow!

Travel safely, and

remember that


starts at 6:30

on Friday.


If you lived in Waterville in 1988, you cannot have forgotten the first Parade of Lights! (And if you've come to the village since then, you should know the story of this celebration because it is something very special, here: it's a celebration not just of the season but a Celebration of Community - Our Community!)

It was earlier that year that both Rusty Manion and his wife Kitty passed away. Their daughter Darcy and three sons - Sandy, Jeffrey and Michael - were bereft with the loss of both parents and, at the same time, completely overwhelmed with the kindnesses shown them by everyone in the community. One day, Darcy was having coffee with her friends Linda Nichols and Patsy Hill and she said, "I wish there was something we could do to say 'Thank You!' to everyone!" "Thank You notes," she said, "seemed just too inadequate." It occurred to them that perhaps they could do something that hadn't been done in several years - a fun surprise for the village: they could arrange to have lights put on the Big Tree at the point of Monument Park and have it lit! And there would be a parade - fire engines and floats and children all carrying flashlights! - that would lead the way to the tree when the lights were finally to be turned on! And each of the girls told one or two people who told one or two more and in six weeks' time - in an unanticipated avalanche of generosity and cooperation, $5,000 was raised; the Clinton Fire Department's ladder truck came to string the lights, the power company donated equipment and time, the Municipality chipped in, fire companies in all the neighboring communities sent units to be in the parade and ........... well........ the rest is history. The floats became more imaginative and brighter. When it was deemed impossible to have the highschool band march and play (sometimes it's been so cold and stormy that just the thought of putting a flute or trumpet mouthpiece to one's lips caused pain!) the floats were actually wired for sound!

Here are a few pictures from the 2006 Parade!

And every year, the Parade gets better!



Tuesday, November 25, 2008


It's 33 degrees with light snow falling.

WKTV predicts that: "Wet snow and rain will taper to some light snow showers and flurries (Tuesday) afternoon and evening. We'll see a scattering of snow showers and flurries from time to time both Wednesday and for Thanksgiving with high temperatures in the mid to upper 30's. Any accumulations in this timeframe should be light to minimal. A colder shot of air is expected by the weekend."


In my morning E-mail, this welcome letter that reads:

"Greetings from Boston!!"

"We just want to say thank you to all of you in the community! We are not only amazed by what the doctors are doing here but we are equally amazed at what everyone is doing for us back home. We can't begin to show our appreciation for all the support that you have given us through this. It is really helping us get through all of this knowing all the people that care. We are very lucky to live in a community with such great people. A special thank you to all that helped out and made the benefit happen.

David is feeling tired and nauseous and does not want to eat or drink anything(as hard as that is to believe). He did manage to eat a couple of pancakes this afternoon which the doctors were happy about. They are giving him several antibiotics and an IV of anti rejection medicine right now with more to come soon. It is expected that he will feel his worse in the coming days before the new bone marrow takes. The doctors are very pleased with his progress so far.

The boys are coming out here on Wednesday and will be with us on Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving!! "

Lynne and David Lemery


I've just received this E-mail from Kevin Ford:

"I have had the honor of attending the New York State Conference on Leadership and Student Activities in Saratoga Springs with 3 Waterville students and 10 of my own Poland students. The Waterville students have racked up some very prestigous honors. Emily Gallagher was one of five students selected from 800 students in attendance for the Dale Hawley Leadership Award, and was also re-elected to represent Oneida, Madison, Herkimer, and Otsego counties on NYS CLSA State Board. Alex Meszler was selected to receive the Student Leadership Recognition award, he was also one of 5 students honored with this award out of 800 in attendance. The Waterville students also placed 3rd in the banner competition and 2nd in the Scavenger Hunt out of 57 NYS schools. Waterville was also selected to the NYS CLSA Honor Council. They are one of the 2 schools to have received this honor every year that it has been awarded. Waterville should be very proud of these students for their involvement with student council that has brought great honor to our small community.

Thank you,

Kevin Ford


I waited 'til it was very dark, yesterday afternoon, for the lights on Main Street to turn on - no such luck ........

.... but I found new displays on Tower Street, at the Pumilias' ........

........... and on Sanger Hill Road.

Pam Brown has begun decorating her Babbott Avenue porch ........

... and the windows of the "Wheeler Block" glowed.


In this morning's O-D I found this article, which will be of interest to many Watervillians: "Route 12B Changes Called Off in Clinton."

Also, the Oneida Indian Nation Land Trust is in the news, again.



(Click for link.)

The storm is moving in a northerly direction and should be out of here in an hour or so.

In the meantime,

Drive Carefully, and have a Great Day!

Monday, November 24, 2008


It's Garbage Day!

19.9 degrees and overcast.

WKTV predicts that: " ..... morning starts out chilly, with some sunshine. Partly sunny skies up until about noon, followed by clouds filling the sky by the afternoon. It will be a mild day in comparison to the past several days, with highs near 40. Another storm system will advance into the region after 8 PM. This one looks to be a mix between rain and snow, with more rain in the valleys and more snow in the hilltops. Accumulations Monday night into Tuesday will be limited to the hilltops,
There will be a transition to snow at some point on Tuesday as colder air works in. It does look unsettled heading into the big traveling day on Wednesday, with light snow in Central, Western, and Northern New York."


We had quite a snowstorm on Friday. Unfortunately, it kept the WCS auditorium from being really packed for the Dave Lemery Benefit Concert, but those who braved the "elements" said it was really, really good: "lots of beautiful gift baskets and fun acts" - especially the Garbage Can Quartet, which made a memorable debut!


On both Saturday and Sunday morning, at just about 4 o'clock, a vaguely familiar sound woke me up*: not a big snowplow - they'd been up and down the hill all night long, it seemed - but the trusty "sidewalk plow," out on it's 12 or 15-mile route!

The DPW had spent Friday attaching the rest of the new wreaths, and on Saturday the Parade of Lights Committee (who always seem to pick the coldest days!) wound spirals of garland on thirty-five or -six lamp posts.

With fresh snow, this is what Main Street looked like yesterday afternoon!

(I'm told that both wreaths AND garlands have "twinkle lights" -
I think there's a Christmas Card coming!)


On White Street, first there were two jolly penguins ......

............. and then came a smiling snowman!

Sue Price spotted this tree of golden apples out next to the Pleasant Valley Grange and told me about it ............

(The Greek Revival style stone Grange Hall, originally a single-family residence, was constructed sometime between 1825 and 1850. It was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.)

........... and another blog-reader sent me out to Newberry Road to see this view of "downtown" Sangerfield in the afternoon sun. (Thank you both!)


From Pomroy Jones' "Annals of Oneida County," 1851

"By an act of the Legislature, passed March 5, 1795, the township was erected into a town, by the name of Sangerfield, and was so named in honor of Col. Jedediah Sanger, of New Hartford. In consideration of its being thus named, Col. Sanger agreed to present a cask of rum at the first town meeting, and fifty acres of land to the church of any religious denomination which should build the first house for public worship.

"Many of the first settlers had selected New Lisbon as the name for their new town, and their disappointment and chagrin were manifested by giving that name to the Congregational Society, which was formed soon afterwards, and thus they made the society with the rejected name the recipient of Col. Sanger's bounty. It does not appear that the Colonel was at all chargeable with the "unfair means" which were attributed by those displeased with the name, to those two had been instrumental in procuring it. His promise was honorably fulfilled, by furnishing a cask of choice rum for the first town meeting, and by conveying twenty-five acres of land to the Congregational Society, and twenty five acres to the Baptists, the former being the first religious society, and the latter erecting the first church edifice.




* I had no trouble going back to sleep and, in fact, enjoyed sleeping "late" so much that I've made a really rash decision: with apologies to Tony, Pauline, Ron and any others who hit the blog first thing every morning, I'm going to aim for an eight o'clock post instead of seven. At least for a while.


Have a Great Day, Everyone!