Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday afternoon

It began snowing around 11:00, this morning, and has kept it up, ever since. HOWEVER - I just went out and measured snow on my front porch (where there's no roof and not much wind) and this is what I found:

It must be a great deal worse "up" in the world (as opposed to down here in Whiskey Hollow) because, according to the Statewide Travel Advisory site, both Route 12 and 8 are closed.

More later, if there's anything unusual.

In the meantime --- it's just Winter in Waterville!

Friday morning

6:22 A.M.



Here is the link to WIBX School Closings and Cancellations.



It's 23.2 degrees and overcast, right now,

but things will change:

WKTV predicts that: "The second in our series of storms that started Wednesday will impact us today.

Storm #2

Winter Storm Warnings have been posted for all of Central New York. Snow will arrive between 9 and 11 AM in most of CNY, and it will come to an end between 7 and 10 PM. The worst of the storm will occur between Noon and 4 PM, with snowfall rates of 1-2" per hour possible. This will make driving conditions quickly change from slippery to downright dangerous. Travel this evening should be very difficult across the region. There could even be a rumble of thunder. When all is said and done, this is our current snowfall forecast:


Lights in the sky?

I drove through the village, last night, knowing that it was the night for Garden Club Judging, and wondering how they - the judges - were ever going to be able to decide! Some homes or areas along the streets were so bright I thought that surely had the passengers on a plane en route from Buffalo to Boston looked down, they would have wondered what large metropolis they were flying over!

Even large trees are decorated, here and there: these are at the Reynolds home at the corner of White and Doolittle...............

............. then there are the small, doorway touches: this one is at the Olmsteads on Sanger Avenue ...........

............ and this on Putnam Street.

To be continued, later in the day!





and Have a Great Weekend.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


It's Garbage Day!

28.4 degrees and overcast.

WKTV predicts that "(Thursday) will be the calm before the storm with a mix of sun and clouds. Highs will be 30-35. Clouds will increase throughout the late afternoon and evening ahead of our next storm system. Storm number two looks to arrive Friday morning and continue throughout the day. The latest indications from our computer models show cold air locked into the region, creating an all snow event. The exact tracking of this system is still up in the air, either way, the chance exists for another potentially significant winter snowfall event. Any traveling on Friday may become treacherous, so plan ahead."


Yesterday morning's snow was "crunchy" - a little of this; a little of that.

Paul Holic was letting his Cub Cadet do the work ..............

.......... but Erwin Browne, on East Bacon Street, along with Mrs. Mizener, tackled the job the old-fashioned way.

Incidentally - Mr. Browne told me that "Brownie" is finally back home after spending three and a half months in the hospital following a September 5th fall!


There's Good News from Boston, too:

Dave and Lynne are living in Neely house - apartments connected to the hospital - and Dave has upgraded from hospital gowns to "sweats!" He watches the video of the benefit concert a lot and, as always, thanks everyone for their support!!


Later on, Santa and his reindeer practiced "touch and go" landings at the Wrights' on White Street.


Christmas decorations around Waterville are generally quite subdued compared to those that appear in pictures taken by Mark Masca, in Florida .........

............. although this computerized display, on Putnam Street, is growing every day!


At "Totally-U" on Main Street

The "Everything Disney" RAFFLE PRIZE

Tentative Trip Dates:
Leave: July 24, 2009 - 7:00pm

Arrive Home: July 30, 2009 11:30pm


In re: Fuel Oil Companies in Waterville in the 1950s or 60s -----

Rich Lewis wrote:

"I’m 99% sure neither my father Dick Lewis or my grandfather P.N. were ever in the oil business. Before the car and farm machinery business they owed a feed and Lumber business across the street. I remember the GLF or Agway up the street delivering fuel oil and also Cherry Valley Oil. The building pictured was one that they used to store cabbage and hops for shipment by rail to the metro markets. In the 1920’s P.N. was a cabbage broker and my father told me that he use to go to the warehouse on Saturday’s in the winter and peel the dead leaves off the heads of cabbage and put in burlap bags to be shipped."

Yesterday I asked Gil Condon: "And didn't Earl Altmire marry Margaret Greene, referred to a few days ago as running a candy store on East Main Street next to Alsheimer's "Modern Electric?"

- and he wrote: "Yes I think so,,,(,marry Margret )......her sis was Betsey and they had the News Stand between the bank and the Ye Old American hotel, mid-late 40s. We called it Betseys .One day in front of her place, some kids picked up a tiny new car , a Crosley , and placed it on the sidewalk....Bad Boys"

From Gary Eckerson: "Yes, Margaret married Earl and they lived in the Hollow. That is when she worked with my mother at the C & U telephone Co. They worked in the office in Waterville where The Woodman/Getman law offices are. The Office moved to Hamilton in 63 or 64. And, yes, do I remember Earl with that huge chew. Also, didn't Ed Carter's Jewelry store occupy the right half of Modern Electric before moving to the end of the block?"

I'd also asked Don Hazard what "GLF" stood for: he replied --- "Grange League Federation...A farm cooperative formed by farmers about 100 years ago doing business in NY, Pa and NJ. In 1964 Agway was formed by a merger with the PA Farm Bureau. In 1965 Eastern States, a farm coop. joined the Cooperative."

(Thank you!)

O.K.: Now here's a Big Question!

It's one that I asked Dick Woodman, who came here as a young lawyer in the early 1940s, and his answer was:

"Well, now you're accepted!"

What's YOUR answer to:

"What has been the greatest change in Waterville (in your lifetime or in the years that you've lived here) and what do you think caused it?"

This is one instance where blogs like this are perfect tools for public historians!



"Tea" at Michael's for Waterville Times Correspondents.


Holiday Movie Night at the Waterville Public Library
6pm | Free
Come watch "Christmas with the Cranks"
starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis.


Gathering for Adult Volunteers for "Hello Dolly!"
at 7:00
in the WCS Choral Room.


Waterville Rotary Club
Christmas Caroling at Hardings at 7:00.


The night time scene is now available at Merri-Rose Florist on West Main Street.

11" x 17" glossy card-stock. $12.



Have a Great Day!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


It's Recyclables Day!

It's 25.5 degrees.

There appears to have been only an inch or two of new accumulation overnight, but it's arranged in a parfait of snow, sleet, rain and some more snow!

Some schools are closed or on one- or two-hour delays, but Waterville is NOT on the list.

There is a Winter Weather Advisory





Out and Around, Yesterday

I stopped on White Street to see how Kevin Nasypany's lighting project had turned out:

both front and side porches look great!

There are classic colors at the Ashforths' on East Bacon Street .....

.......... and an elegant entryway at the Plourde residence on Tower Street.

Out at Jack Prior's place - a Gingerbread House and Family!

An Annual Favorite: the super-sized mural at Nancy Eastman's about a mile south of Deansboro on Route 12B.


Behind the Scenes

Donald Brown II, Dale Meszler and Vocal Music Director Jessica Daniluk talk set design at a meeting on Tuesday evening.

Three months from now the curtains in the WCS High school auditorium will open on "Hello Dolly!" and the audience will applaud - they always do! - but many will be applauding for what they see, right then, and what they hear, without giving much thought at all to what's been going on behind the scenes for nearly four months!

The cast has been announced; lines are being learned and now comes the technical part of the production --- the set design and construction and the dozens of specific lighting effects to be planned. I'm going to be following this process, NOT because the musical needs the publicity, but because there will be a great many people who will spend scores of hours but are never seen or heard on the stage (and sometimes never mentioned in the program or in press reviews!) who deserve our appreciation!

Will you be one of them?

There will be an

adult volunteer meeting

in the High School Vocal Music Room

Thursday night at 7:00 p.m.

for any members of the community who would be interested in helping with the High School spring musical.


Jill Getman is doing a grand job keeping me updated on Library happenings:

"Monday was the drawing for our Ralph Murray Painting Raffle, and our winner was Debbie Jeff. She was quite lucky, happy, and surprised to win again this year (although the sheer number of tickets that she bought might have done it)! The library would like to congratulate her, and thank all of the people who bought tickets.

We also have our holiday movies this week. Thursday @ 6pm is "Christmas with the Cranks." And of course, they're free!


Paul Fleischmann and his wife both have good memories - here's what they wrote in answer to yesterday's History Mystery:

"Jan's memory of an oil delivery company in Waterville back in the 50's to early 60's could have been P. N. Lewis Co. on Conger Ave. Lewis's had car sales, hardware items, and, we think, oil.
The other oil delivery company was Hazelden's 'Cherry Valley Oil', but that was on Route 20 and Osborne Ave."


In my morning mail, from Don Hazard:

"More on the oil dealers...When I started driving a oil truck for GLF ( later Agway ) down below your house in 1955 I don't recall PN Lewis( Dick ) being in that business at that time. Al Hazelton's Cherry Valley oil was the only competition we had. "


Also, these reminiscences from Gil Condon, entitled "Two Cents Worth:"

"Nice picture of the snow scene on Cleary Fuess Rd.......Bro Bern and meself used to work for EJ Manion , haying on the big field on the left , never any cold water to drink ...... we found a neat little springs down in that gully ....... I wouldn't trust the water quality today..... another cent....I remember the long white house next to the cemetery ,,,Earl Altmeyer and ?? lived there ...... then Earl built a new concrete block house down in the hollow, on the right . Earl was a concrete mason and always had a chew going, Red Man , I think. He got it at Betsy's for a nickel."

(And didn't Earl Altmire marry Margaret Greene, referred to a few days ago as running a candy store on East Main Street next to Alsheimer's "Modern Electric?")


Ione Barney wrote to to add her memories to the topic of Miss Korbel:

"Miss Helen Korbel was my sixth grade teacher, I was teachers pet that year. Her sister Em Korbel was also my Sunday school teacher at the Waterville Baptist Church which we all attended...I spent many happy hours at their home on Sanger Ave. I was invited with my sister for dinners there and after we would gather around the piano which Em Korbel played and sing songs..these dear ladies were very kind and loving and I have never forgotten the wonderful hours I spent with them...or the wisdom they shared with me that forever became a part of my life..."


Thanks for your input, everyone!


I've done two Christmas cards, this year - one that's personal, which I'll "send" just before Christmas - and this scene, which I simply couldn't resist!

Click the image for an 8" x 10" copy.

If you want to send the image to somone by Email, include this URL as a hypertext link:

If you'd like me to send you a PDF of the full-size, 11" x 17" image WITHOUT the greeting,

just send me an Email!


Drive carefully, and Have a Great Day!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


It's 24.4 degrees and overcast.

WKTV predicts that today "we'll see mostly cloudy skies. It will be dry though, with temperatures climbing only into the low 30s.

On Wedensday, a surface low pressure center will develop along that stalled front and advance into Central New York. Widespread light snow is a good bet here Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. At this point, 3"-6" of snow regionwide is possible.

On Saturday, this was a picture-perfect winter scene! (Click for view!) Forty-eight hours later - the temperature was in the high forties and mud was everywere!

In an attempt to keep Lake Hanover from extending all the way across Hanover Road, a very deep - but barely adequate - ditch has been dug right next to the pavement.

Heed the reflectors: it wouldn't be a good place to pull off the road!

The number of Christmas Trees has melted, right along with the snow cover in the Park.

I received Email from a blog-reader, yesterday, asking how to make a donation to the Waterville Area Food Pantry. The answer from chairman Vicky Sabol is: "It's easy!" (and I'm sure that it will be greatly appreciated!)

You can either make a monetary donation by sending a check made out to the "Waterville Area Food Pantry" to her at her home on Osborn Avenue or telephone her at 841-4996 to arrange to make a donation of food items.

I also telephoned Shirley Hart to ask about contributions to the Waterville Christmas Committee, of which she and Judy Christman are the co-chairman. "The Christmas Committee and Food Pantry work hand-in-hand," she said.

The Christmas Committee operates somewhat differently than the Food Pantry: families who are in need of a "boost" at Christmastime - either clothes or toys for family members - contact the Committee. Their names are sometimes given to local churches who then "adopt" the families, providing items on a "wish list."

Monetary donations to the Christmas Committee are used by Shirley and Judy to purchase coats and boots for those family members who need them.

You can send a check made out to the Waterville Christmas Committee c/o Shirley Hart on Putnam Street or phone her at 841-4041 - or Judy Christmas at 841-8879 - with questions.


Another History Mystery

Blog-reader Lori Meszler wrote, "I was wondering if anyone knows of an oil delivery company in Waterville back in the 50's to early 60's. My uncle has told me that my grandfather used to be a delivery man during part of that time and he remembers riding in the truck on occasion. He couldn't remember the name of the company but he recalled it being on the northeast side of town, possibly on Bacon Street/Canning Factory Road, Conger Ave. or Elmwood Ave. My uncle drove around the area the last time he visited us but didn't recognize any buildings. My grandfather's name was Irwin Boucher, but everyone called him "Johnny".


With or without snow, slow down and look for this delightful Christmas Tree next to Brenda Coffman's home on the way to Sangerfield.

The Christmas Lighting Contest will take place on Thursday evening, but there are a great many homes in the area whose owners have decorated them so that they are just as - if not more - beautiful in the daytime!

Above: the Morgan residence on Stafford Avenue.

The McCabe Road doorway at the home of Dan and Marilyn Maine.



was made last night

at the WCS Concert:

It's Official!

On Tuesday, July 28th, the WCS Marching Band will lead the Afternoon Parade
at Disney World in Florida!

The day before that, on Monday the 27th of July, the WCS Swing Choir will perform at Downtown Disney on the "Waterside Stage."

According to Brothertown Music Booster President Dale Meszler, ninety-five or -six students will be making the six-day performance trip.

Several fund-raisers will be held to help defray the students' travel expenses. There have already been Pie and Fruit Sales; a Bake Sale will take place from 9:00 til Noon on Sunday the 20th at Foodking and at that time a HUGE Gift Basket containing everything Disney will be raffled off.

(You can see the Basket and buy Raffle Tickets at Totally-U on Main Street!)



Have a Great Day, Everyone!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday with History Add-on

It's Garbage Day!

42.8 degrees and blustery.

WKTV predicts that: "Our snowpack will take quite a beating tonight and tomorrow as temperatures soar into the 50s. It will be an active week though, with plenty of chances to build back some of what we'll lose over the next 24 hours.
Temperatures will continue to rise into the 30s tonight. Clouds and a few showers are likely into tomorrow morning, as warm air surges into Central New York. Winds will increase tonight as well, with patchy fog developing in some spots despite the wind.
On Monday, areas of fog will be around, along with some drizzle or showers. Temperatures will jump into the 50s early Monday afternoon. Rain will arrive in the afternoon through the evening commute. On Tuesday, we will see clearing, before we watch a parade of storms continue. One storm should bring us mainly light snow Wednesday, followed by a 2nd, stronger storm Thursday into Friday, that could bring a bit of a mix to the region. "



tonight at 7:00

at Municipal Hall




will take place



This is what it looked like on Saturday morning .........

on Fuess-Cleary Road ..........

............. where even the "Artist's Conks" on an old maple tree wore Winter Caps."

Up near the "top" of Shanley Road, in Paris,

trees were coated with snow.

Along Daytonville Road, ice-covered shrubbery glistened in the sun.

In the Village.....

wreaths have been hung on the doors at SouthGate Ministries on Main Street.

On Saturday, there were plenty of Christmas Trees to choose from at the Sanger Lodge Christmas Tree Sale in the Park .............

but by late yesterday afternoon there were probably only a dozen or fifteen trees left!

After dark

the Woodman Getman Law Offices on Main Street .......

...... and the balcony tree on W. Bacon Sreet.

(Too many to photograph -- forty-nine candle lights in all of the windows of the Meszler residence on Sanger Avenue and eight trees!)



- from Jill Getman at the Waterville Public Library who wrote:

"I had to reschedule the adult "Gifts In a Jar" program that was originally set for Saturday. It will now be Wednesday, December 17th @ 3:30, and we will be making Jars for Chicken Noodle Soup and Holiday M&M Cookies. There are a few openings left if anyone would like to call the library (841-4651) to sign up. They do need to bring 1 or 2 jars (1 quart size) to fill, or gallon size ziplock bags and I can show them how to make a gift cone."


I've also received NINE E-letters regarding both the Oddfellows Hall and the old apartment building on Buell Avenue and will post those in an Add-on!





On Friday morning I posted an old photograph of a building that had once stood on Buell Avenue that I thought might have been the Oddfellows Hall.

It didn't take long for comments to start coming
just proving that there IS "history" and people love to talk about it!

First came a telephone call from Jack Youngs, which he followed up with this E-mail!

"Today I saw the picture of the Oddfellow's Hall, thought I should reply.

First, the steps mentioned, at one time led to Lynn Quilmen's barber shop. On the first floor was a candy store known to us kids as Johnny the Greek's. Mrs. Gorton had her butcher shop underneath.

The long apt. house was known as Doc. Castle's. I think he sold used items.It was turned into apts by Mabel Toole, who also ran a second hand store where Carters store was later located. In the cellar of this house there was a well-built high arched culvert* headed toward the road The reason for it unknown.

Regarding the Hall:
At one time the first floor had a clothing store run by Ray Cash. He was the Fire Chief for many years. This space later became Dee Ann's ice cream parlor, Tom O'Neil and Al Isley had a plumbing shop in the Bldg. In the cellar there were club rooms. I was there as a fireman the night the top floor burnt.


Lynne Tuttle Matteson wrote this: "Just the other side of the creek from the Odd Fellows Hall building was an old white building with four apartments in it. There was a long porch along the side facing the creek. All of the front doors opened off that porch, railroad style. There was a single lady named Helen Kahl who lived in the last apt. I used to visit her with the woman I babysat for. "

(I had suggested that a Miss Korbel lived there, but she and Gary Eckerson had better memories:)

From Gary: "I'm not positive but there was a Miss Korbel who taught school back in the 50's. I remember have a teacher by that name and I believe it was 4th grade. But she lived on rt 12 just down from Alan Acres so I don't know if it's the same person."

Les Risley: "Wasn't Miss Korbel a teacher, like 6th grade??? I had McEvoy but seems like.................100 yrs ago, I know. Also, the 1 story low building: side of it faced road and was not a "nice" place to live - back in 50s."

Katie Ireland Perck, WCS Class of '51, wrote: "Yes, I remember the Hall and the picture you had sure looks like it ! As I recall, there use to be great sleigh rides from there and all the fun we had singing and laughing as teen-agers do, brought happy memories back. That was in 49- 50- or possibly 1951. My girl friend , Marilyn (Mig) Briggs (her Dad, Bill had the Horse-shoeing business right across the street from the Odd Fellows Hall) and I enjoyed those Sleigh rides and I think there were hay rides also. Maybe some of your readers could help me out on that one! What fun we had then as we were always together growing up from 4th grade on! Also, Johnny Cornelius and his bride Genevive Welch had their wedding reception there in the 50's sometime. You may recall that they are the grandparents of our own Cpl. John Sigsbee."
Yes, a nice lot of memories there and the whole Buell Street and Waterville gang!

John Peterson added: "I remember it and the only name I can think of was a Mickey Franks, he
worked at the mill I think, he lived there and I think he may have owned it at one time."

The lady who started this exchange was Sheri Salm Brennan who had recalled walking to "Langone's Store."

Lynn Matteson: I moved to Waterville when I was 11 or so, in 1945 or '46. At the time there was a store where the apartment is in between the laundromat and Carlton Alshiemer's Modern Electric. At that time it was known as Margaret Green's newsstand. We bought candy there. I know that over the years other people had a newstand/candy store, etc. store there. I don't recall it ever being called Langone's, but I was away from Waterville for a number of years. I don't know whether that would be the place or not.
Re the apt house. There was a small porch on the front of the building that went into the 1st apt.

Jennifer Neff solved the mystery of the location of the "candy store" - "The store Sheri was talking about was my cousin, Joey Battaglia's lawn and garden equipment repair shop, it was called Village Lawn and Garden and it was located by First Niagara Bank. Joey's mother was Tessie (Langone) Battaglia."

*I know that somewhere I have photographs of that stonework - and it was a beautiful stone arch - taken when the building was demolished in 1971 or 72.

Would someone suggest another topic?

This is fun!