Life in the Finger Lakes January/February 2023

Page 1

The Magic of Winter

January/February 2023 The Region’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine Since 2001 What’s in a Name, p. 32 • Mosaic Artist Karen Strapp, p. 20 The Jerry Rescue in Syracuse, p. 54 • ROC Star Elvio Fernandes, p. 48 LIFL GREAT PRICE! $4.95
Page 36
SPECTACULAR CAYUGA LAKE VIEW DREAM HOME SPECTACULAR ARCHITECT DESIGNED CANANDAIGUA LAKE DREAM HOME CAYUGA LAKE, ITHACA • 1113 EAST SHORE DRIVE • Richard Testa Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker Cell: (585) 739-3521 Fax: 1 (888) 722-3323 Email: © Copyright Richard Testa 2022 Cheers to Living Here™ & No other agent can serve you better NOW!™ are trademarks of Richard Testa and Popcorn PIX, Inc. *Based on volume statistics from the NYS Alliance of MLSs for 2021 and internal tools. No other agent can serve you better NOW!™ Robert Testa Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker Cell: (585) 739-1693 Email: SEE OUR CHANNEL 2349 Monroe Ave. Rochester, NY 14618 RICH TESTA & ROB TESTA FOR TOP DOLLAR! #1 IN MARKETING! YOUR WATERFRONT & PREMIER HOME SPECIALISTS 58+ MILLION SOLD IN 2021! PLUS A RECORD BREAKING YEAR IN 2022! GET TOP DOLLAR FOR YOUR PROPERTY! CALL US TO FIND OUT WHAT YOUR PROPERTY IS WORTH! PRESENTS FORSALE CANANDAIGUA LAKE • 3462 SANDY BEACH DRIVE • CANANDAIGUA LAKE DREAM CONDO 52 Cliffside Drive CANANDAIGUA LAKE VIEW DREAM HOME 5113 West Ridge Run CANANDAIGUA LAKE DREAM TOWNHOME 3 Otetiana Cove
J anuary /F ebruary 2023 ~ 1 contents departments features Life in the Finger Lakes Volume 23, Number 1 • January/February 2023 LIFL What’s in a Name? The Winter Magic of Cumming Nature Center 32 36 4 my own words 6 letters 8 happenings 12 scrapbook 62 advertisers 64 finger lakes map 14 Do It Yourself Make a snowman Cover: This photo of a red fox was taken by Robert Moran, behind his Victor townhome.
2 ~ F inger L akes M agazine co M Editorial Office 315-789-0458 Director of Advertising Tim Braden For Advertising Inquiries - 315-789-2475 Darlene Ryan Marketing Director Amy Colburn For Subscriptions Business Office 315-789-0458, 800-344-0559 Business Fax 315-789-4263 Life in the Finger Lakes 171 Reed St. • Geneva, NY 14456 Serving the 14 counties of the Finger Lakes Region Contributors Bill Banaszewski ....................................................................Michele Howland .....................................................................James P. Hughes .................................................................Nancy E. McCarthy ...........................................................Sarah Jacoby Murphy Laurel C. Wemett Editorial & Production Editor.....................................................................Mark Stash Graphic Artist Maia VanOrman Associate Editor Tina Manzer Assistant Editor J. Kevin Fahy Life in the Finger Lakes is published by Fahy-Williams Publishing, Inc. and owned by Eleven Lakes Publishing, Inc. Co-owners: Mark S. Stash; Timothy J. Braden. Copyright© 2023 by Eleven Lakes Publishing, Inc. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from the publisher. TO SUBSCRIBE, RENEW OR CHANGE ADDRESS, visit our website at contents departments 19 Dining Delicious Dishes 29 People in the Know Jesse Gardner, West End Gallery Off the Easel Mosaic Artist Karen Strapp 20 44 Product Picks 48 Musical Notes ROC Star Elvio Fernandes 54 Nooks & Crannies The Jerry Rescue 24 Cultured Sanctuary à la James H. Johnson
Available at:

Winter is here, and to live in Upstate New York, one has to embrace the season or face at least four months of perhaps not being the happiest person in the world.

I consider myself very lucky to have grown up in a rural setting, with a great sledding hill right next to my house. The outdoors and woods were a playground for my siblings and me, and winter brought a different kind of fun. Between toboggons and old-fashioned wooden skis with leather straps, we made numerous runs down that hill. Sometimes I remember my mother observing us through the living room window, and we would try to show off our special jumps and sledding skills for her.

We also had the old fashioned metal-runner sleds, the Flexible Flyer type, where you steer with the wooden crossbar. On occasion, we would take those sleds into the woods where there was an old trail that ran down a huge hill, probably almost a quarter-mile in length. The locals would run through there with their snowmobiles and pack it down really nice. It made a beautiful trail for sledding, almost

like an Olympic luge event!

Now that I’m not 10 anymore, I still like to play in the snow. Downhill and cross-country skiing makes for great fun, as well as snowshoeing. Even on the bleakest, most overcast winter days, these activities make me happy.

Cumming Nature Center in the Bristol Hills (page 36) is a wonderful winter playground, where you can rent crosscountry skis and also snowshoes. There are open fields there where you can also practice your snowman-making abilities (page 14).

The magic of winter is upon us. Let’s look at all the beauty and activities this season affords us. If we’re physically limited and unable to participate in outdoor fun, the charm of a fresh snowfall and the quiet times of the season can be restorative. The best part is that we can enjoy them in the Finger Lakes!

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Winter Visit Send a check made out to Life in the Finger Lakes. Mail to: Life in the Finger Lakes Magazine 171 Reed Street Geneva, NY 14456 Call 800-344-0559 for credit card orders. Mon-Fri, 10a - 4p, ET 1 Order Online 2 Order By Mail 3 Order By Phone Did you know...subscribing to is as EASY as 1-2-3 Is it a GIFT? 1 year (6 issues) for $18 SAVE 40% 2 years (12 issues) for $30 SAVE 50% 3 years (18 issues) for $36 SAVE 60% Include the names and addresses of each of your gift recipients on a separate piece of paper when ordering by mail.

• Take in breathtaking views of Keuka Lake

• Celebrate special events at The Moorings Clubhouse

• Tie up at the community docks with easy access to Keuka Lake

• Enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle

Iversen Realty Group (585)737-8711
Benefit from low property taxes and electric rates
VISIT US AT THE CLUBHOUSE TODAY! Keuka’s Newest Lakeside Community Luxury Homes Selling Now! See our models!

This week I signed up for a 2-year subscription to Life in the Finger Lakes for myself and also gave a one-year subscription to a good friend as a birthday gift. Recent articles about the trails in the area are a great resource for our upcoming hikes, bike rides, and cross country ski and snowshoe adventures! Kind regards and compliments to you and your team for a great publication.

– Donna Rae (dRae) Sutherland Friends of the Outlet,

Thank you so much for sending me a copy of the November/December 2022 issue. You are an incredible journalist (“The Fine Art of Family: Artists Olivia and Michelle Garlock” by Nancy McCarthy), and every line was beautifully written and so well researched. I had a very long night at school, so reading the article after class was exactly what I needed. It made me appreciate my journey and the work I have done to get where I am. Thank you for your patience, dedication, and kindness through the process.

— Olivia Garlock

There is a correction to the originally published information about the photo “Lake Front View to a Galaxy,” which won second place in the digitally altered category of the 21st Annual Photo Contest. The photo, by Chris Keagle, was taken on Keuka Lake, not Seneca Lake.

E-mail your letters to

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at The Lake House on Canandaigua


at Canandaigua Lake’s only lakefront luxury resort.

Book your idyllic upstate New York getaway today and let us welcome you to the Lake Life.

Located in the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes region, guests of The Lake House will enjoy lakefront access, impeccably designed guestrooms, many featuring spacious, private balconies, plus world-class dining, cocktail lounges, and an artisan coffee shop. A myriad of on-site amenities await you including a full-service luxury spa complete with a picturesque sauna garden, heated lakefront pool, yearround hot tub, private daybeds, and boating activities in summer. Looking to explore? Nearby, downtown Canandaigua features historic Main Street’s shopping district, and the surrounding region offers charming local wineries and breweries, and Bristol Mountain ski resort in winter has over 1,200 vertical feet drops.

Land Donation will Help Protect Skaneateles Lake Water Quality

The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) announced it has accepted the donation of 15 acres of steep forested hillside on Glen Haven Road in the town of Niles, Cayuga County. Located above the southwestern shore of Skaneateles Lake, the property was donated by Cortland residents Karen and Chet Seibert.

When asked why they wanted to donate their property for conservation, Karen and Chet said, “We want to protect the precious land and pure water for future generations.”

The property is dominated by sugar maples and features multiple creeks that flow directly into Skaneateles Lake, the unfiltered drinking water supply for the city of Syracuse. Protection of the parcel will safeguard the lake’s water quality by prohibiting development on its steep slopes. Development pressures are steadily increasing around the lake and protecting steep wooded hillsides stabilizes soils and prevents erosion and sediment loading into the lake.

The 15 acres are adjacent to an existing property acquired by the Land Trust in 2020 from Cayuga County and in close proximity to another parcel donated in 2018. In addition to protecting water quality, creating a network of conserved lands at the south end of the lake ensures the scenic character of the area and safeguards wildlife habitat. Other protected lands in the area include Bear Swamp State Forest, Carpenter Falls State Unique Area, the Land Trust’s Bahar Nature Preserve, and the 236-acre Casa Farms, conserved with a conservation easement earlier in 2022.

By working cooperatively with landowners and local communities, the Finger Lakes Land Trust has protected over 29,000 acres of the region’s undeveloped lakeshore, rugged gorges, rolling forest, and scenic farmland. The FLLT owns and manages a network of over 46 nature preserves that are open to the public and holds perpetual conservation easements on 172 properties that remain in private ownership.

The FLLT focuses on protecting critical habitat for fish and wildlife, conserving lands that are important for water quality, connecting existing conservation lands, and keeping prime farmland in agriculture. The organization also provides programs to educate local governments, landowners, and residents about conservation and the region’s unique natural resources.

Information on the region’s premier destinations for outdoor recreation, including Bear Swamp State Forest, may be found at, a resource created by the FLLT to encourage people to get outdoors. Additional information about the Finger Lakes Land Trust may be found at

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Donated property
(Continue to page 10 for
Lakes events)
Photo by Matt Champlin


Contact event for details


Through March 19...Ice Skating at Clute Memorial Park Friday 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday 12 to 7 p.m. Sunday 12 to 5 p.m. Ice skate parties Saturday 10 a.m. to noon. $150 up to 20 skaters. $7 admission includes skate rentals. $5 admission if you bring your own skates. Enjoy a cafe stocked with hot and cold drinks, chips, cookies, candy and ice cream. 586 East 4th Street, Watkins Glen, NY, 14891

Through January 31...Annual Museum Festival of Trees

Over 125 trees on display with miniature circus, toy trains, doll houses, miniature buildings. Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Weekdays 1 to 8 p.m. Trees are on display until January 31, 2023. Ward W. O’Hara Agricultural & Country Living Museum 6880 East Lake Road Rt 38A, Auburn, NY, 13021 315-252-7466

January 6, 13...Boathouse Club Friday Happy Hour Tastings

Stop into the BoatHouse Club at Seager Marine Friday from 4:30 to 6 p.m. to enjoy a complimentary tasting of wine, beer and/or spirits and learn more about BoatHouse Club membership and their new wine club starting in 2023. The BoatHouse Club at Seager Marine 811 South Main Street, Canandaigua, New York, 14424 585-577–8732

January 23, 28...Beadmaking: Expanding your Skills Expand your flameworking and beadmaking skills. Explore a broad spectrum of techniques including various surface decorations, dots galore, clear casing, and working large beads. The class will also focus on troubleshooting common mistakes and difficulties. Some beadmaking experience is required, intermediate and advanced students are also welcome. Monday, January 23, 8 a.m. Saturday, January 28, 4 p.m. Corning Museum of Glass 1 Museum Way Corning, NY, 14830 607-438-5100


February 5...Candlelight Concerts: Andrew Flory, guitar

Candlelight Concerts preceding compline on the first Sunday of the month, October-April. Concerts begin at 8:30 pm, with compline at 9 p.m. A reception follows compline on these first Sundays. Christ Church 141 East Ave, Rochester, NY 14604, Rochester, NY, 14604 585-454-3878

February 19...Tab Benoit

Tab Benoit is a Grammy nominated singer, songwriter and guitarist who has built a remarkable 30+ year career on the foundation of his gritty and soulful Delta swamp blues, acquiring a devoted legion of fans along the way. 8 to 11 p.m. Hangar Theatre 801 Taughannock Blvd, Ithaca, NY 607-273-2787

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“It was a beautiful day for sailing on the snow and ice. This photo was taken on the north shore of Canandaigua Lake looking south. The snow squalls moving up the lake were amazing to watch.

“My kayaks just spoke to me this morning that this is life in the Finger Lakes right now. Love all this beautiful fresh snow!

“Reaching for the sun.”

— Steve Carpenter

E-mail photos for the scrapbook to:

“I’ve been out in this cold but beautiful New York State winter making some ice bubbles and photographing them. I’ve posted some on my Facebook page and they sure get a lot of interest. A lot goes into making them, both some science and luck, but I love the challenge and watching the varying patterns develop.”

“Lyrik (9) mowing the lawn for his great grandfather John (94) while his dog Bruin watches.”
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now scientists agree: spheres are best for constructing the human form out of snow. “Forming the balls and packing the snow together exerts pressure on the ice crystals so that some of them melt during construction,” writes Helen Thompson for Smithsonian. The extra water acts like glue, she explains, and helps the ice crystals stick together. The spherical shapes also help a snowman last longer – balls melt

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Rochester 585-467-4020 Conesus 585-346-2060 Canandaigua 585-374-2384 Boat Rentals (Conesus & Canandaigua only) Canandaigua only Bayliner Starcraft Berkshire Malibu/Axis Sea Ray Crownline Smith Boys do it yourself Rolling Rolling Rolling... It takes three balls to make a snowman (Continued on page 16)
J anuary /F ebruary 2023 ~ 15

than other shapes because less area is exposed to the sunlight.

In 2015, with the help of some experts, Thompson created what many consider to be the definitive (albeit short and simple) guide to building a snowman. Here are some of her tips, plus bonus ideas from Martha Stewart and a snow-packed glossary from The Farmers’ Almanac.

1. Start by choosing a flat surface upon which to build, but not your blacktop driveway and not in direct sun. An ideal spot would be one that you can see from inside your home; even better if people driving or walking by can enjoy your snowman, too.

2. Make sure the location is surrounded by packable – not powdery, not slushy – snow. “Snow can either be too wet or too dry,” points out one of Thompson’s experts, a professor of physical sciences at Rhode Island College named Daniel Snowman (not kidding). The ideal ratio is 5:1 snow to water.

Wet and moist snows fall at around 32˚F. “Dry” snow occurs when temperatures are far-below-freezing because more of the water is frozen into crystals.

3. Pack a snowball, place it on the ground, and start rolling. “The correct rolling process is important,” advises the team at Midnight Moon vacation cabins in Big Bear Lake, California. “Don’t just push in one direction – you will never get a round shape. Instead, roll your ball one way then reverse direction and roll it another. Pack it down as you go.”

4. To stabilize your stack of spheres, the standard large-medium-small structure is the way to go. “Keeping the center of mass low is paramount in the construction of any snowman,” says Snowman.

For an experiment in basic engineering principles, students at Bluefield State College in West Virginia built snowmen. The results of their research suggest that the optimal diameter ratio for the three balls is 3:2:1 from

(Continued on page 18)

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do it yourself

Know Your Snow

A vocabulary list from

Barchan: A horseshoe-shaped snowdrift.

Corn Snow: Coarse, granular wet snow formed by cycles of melting and refreezing.

Dendrite: A type of snowflake that has six points, the archetypal “snowflake” shape.

Firn: Snow that is more than a year old, but that has not yet consolidated into ice.

Graupel: Also called snow pellets, graupel refers to round, opaque snowflakes that almost look like polystyrene pellets. They form when regular snowflakes fall through ice-cold liquid clouds.

Hoarfrost: Frost that resembles spiky hairs, like an old man’s bushy beard (“hoar” means “ancient”).

Needle: A type of snowflake that is much longer than it is wide.

Pillow drift: A wide, deep snowdrift across a roadway.

Sastrugi: Irregular grooves and ridges in snow caused by the wind.

Sun cups: Shallow bowl-shaped hollows formed by irregular patches of intense sunlight.

bottom to top. “This ratio keeps the base at a sufficient size to support the combined weight of the top two snowballs,” writes Thompson. “According to some accounts, inverted snowman construction is feasible, but probably unsustainable.”

Adds Snowman, “These are about as common as Sasquatch sightings.”

5. In terms of decorating your snowman, Martha Stewart recommends eschewing the scarf-nose-eyeshat standard for something more creative. “Look to your interests and hobbies for ideating your snowman,” suggests one of her magazine articles. “Avid green thumbs might choose to make a snow garden bed filled with icy shrubs or nuanced topiaries. DIY enthusiasts might look to handy tools and hard hats.”

Use a pop of color for your snowman’s eyes, she adds. “Green or blue buttons will add realistic character. Bonus points if you make a family of snowmen with eye colors that match those of your own clan!”

Martha’s not done yet. “This might also be a chance to show off your knitting skills. A simple crocheted shawl in a color palette that speaks to your home’s façade would add a splash of vibrancy to the stark white background.”

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J anuary /F ebruary 2023 ~ 19

Mosaic Artist Karen Strapp

Piecing Together Dazzling Designs

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West Bloomfield graphic designer Karen Strapp started making mosaics in 2004. A friend invited her to take a few mosaic classes led by a neighbor, artist Ilona Passino. “It was great fun,” Strapp says. Most participants stuck to classic glass tiles and plates but Strapp also incorporated objects like brooches, dominoes and other little curiosities she had saved through the years.

Back then there was scant time for art projects. She was running her own freelance business, raising two teenagers and helping her husband Ed with their farm. But Strapp, inspired by the experience, continued to hone her skills and make mosaics when she could: primarily monogram plaques for family members and house number plaques as gifts. It was exciting to work with a tactile medium after years of digital design.

“I read once that graphic design is about making the viewer understand something versus art which is more about making the viewer feel something,” says Strapp. “I like that – even though great graphics can also make you feel something.”

Mosaic is the art of decorating a surface with small, closely set tile, colored stone, glass or other materials (referred to as “tesserae”). It is an ancient medium but it was new to Strapp and it brought her back to the joy of hands-on art making.

An Artistic Path

Strapp and her three older brothers grew up in a West Bloomfield farming neighborhood. Numerous extended family members lived nearby. She characterizes her childhood as magical and carefree: playing outdoors, biking, swimming, making music and doing craft projects. Her father was a self-employed carpenter. Her mother was a nurse-practitioner and avid quilter (now 89, she still quilts!).

Her creative parents were very

Left: “Raven with Ring” - A mix of mosaic tiles, stained glass and found objects that might appeal to a raven.

her brother Gary, a gifted pianist. Strapp loved fabrics and fibers: she quilted and made macramé. She also sketched and painted with watercolor. In high school, she explored many other mediums. Strapp spent lots of time in the art room and became known as a gifted artist, often asked to design school program covers.

When it came time to choose a career path, printing and design seemed to be a better fit than fine art or teaching art. This was before digital technology and referred to as “commercial art.” Strapp attended Finger Lakes Community College, graduating in 1983 with an Associate in Applied Science – Graphic Arts degree.

That summer, just shy of 20, she married Ed, 22, a farmer and the son of her parents’ close friends, also farmers. The couple moved into an 1850 farmhouse previously owned by Ed’s grandparents. They would have two children: son Steven was born in 1990 and daughter Jordan in 1992.

After their wedding, Strapp continued her college education at the Rochester Institute of Technology. “I remember coming home and filling milk cans with water for the calves as I read my conceptual art and art history textbooks,” she says. Strapp graduated in 1985 with a Bachelor of Fine and Applied Arts –Graphic Design degree.

From 1985 forward, Strapp’s primary career focus was graphic design. Before computers, designers did their job manually: literally copying, cutting and pasting. In the 1990s, graphic design shifted from the drafting table to being an onscreen computer activity. Strapp worked for a commercial printing company, then advertising agencies, learning computer skills along the way. When the Strapps started their family, she

Creating a Custom Monogram

The first step to create a custom mosaic monogram is to choose the font style and determine overall size. The client is shown some sample layouts. Once the design is decided upon, Strapp prepares the backer board with a hanging system. She favors Wedi board, a foam board with a layer of cement-resin coating with fiberglass mesh.

From her inventory, Strapp selects mosaic tiles, stained glass, china, and brica-brac to create a palette of materials that work well together and tell a story. Some basic tools help to shape and grind the pieces. Weldbond, an adhesive, is used to glue the tesserae to the backer. Delicate pieces are removed to be glued later. Once the design has dried, she grouts the entire piece following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Grout color makes a huge difference. Sometimes Strapp works in Photoshop to get an idea of how various grouts will look. Excess grout is wiped off and the tesserae are cleaned using dental tools and rags with rubbing alcohol. Delicate items are glued back in place. A contact information sticker is placed on the back. Strapp photographs the finished product before delivery.

J anuary /F ebruary 2023 ~ 21
Commissioned Monogram Plaque Strapp in her studio

shifted to more flexible freelance work. She ran her own business, Strapp Studio, from 2001-2018 creating websites, logos and print materials for her clients. Strapp now works remotely for LiquidPixels as a product integration specialist.

Making Mosaics

Before mosaics, Strapp’s creative outlets at home were making cut paper collages with designs similar to quilting patterns and creating mixed media shadow boxes that incorporated found objects and family memorabilia such as antique photos, fabric squares and figurines.

When she first started making mosaics, Strapp used a small former nursery in her home to store her materials. In addition to traditional tesserae, Strapp incorporates all kinds of objects. “I have used sliced crayons, beads,

bottle caps, nails and just about anything you can imagine,” she says. When her son moved out in 2015, she took over his bedroom as a storage/work space and began producing more items. In 2018, during a home remodel, the attic was updated into a large studio with even more room for her growing inventory.

“Karen made a mosaic monogram for a wedding gift and I loved it so much. As soon as she started making more pieces I told her we could sell them in our shop,” says her friend Julie Jugle, co-owner of Hopper Hills Floral & Gifts in Victor. “Our customers love the mosaics. It’s so fun to listen to them admire them and imagine where they would put them in their homes, or who they would give them to as a gift.” Jugle also owns a Keuka Lake mosaic that Strapp made for her as a birthday gift.

Strapp began posting her work on

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off the easel
Motel “Mad Men of Miami” in the Heart of the Finger Lakes Featuring Jacuzzi Rooms 4126 US Rt 5 and 20 Canandaigua, NY 14424 585-394-6700 Dennis & Valerie Calkins Proprietors Winter Hours Mon thru Sat 10 A.M. till 4 P.M. • Sun 11 A.M. till 4 P.M. 10th Annual Festival of Trees at Musuem Until January 31 Open regular winter hours Museum heated for your comfort Ward W. O’Hara Agricultural Located in Emerson Park on Owasco Lake 6880 East Lake Road Rt. 38 A Auburn, New York 13021 315-252-7644 • tquill@cayuga
“Keuka Lake 1” - One of several mosaics based on the silhouette of Keuka Lake. Created with a mix of vintage china. Miami

Facebook and Pinterest. Her prowess with web design served her well when she built her own website to showcase and sell items online with links to Etsy and Redbubble. But a good portion of her sales are from friends and family and one-of-a-kind commissioned pieces.

After purchasing a Barn Swallow mosaic that Strapp posted online, her friend Elaine McKenna commissioned a horse mosaic for her daughter Maureen. First, Strapp sketched a proposed design. “I couldn’t believe it! Not only was it a horse but it was with my daughter, and it looked just like her,” says McKenna. The image also resembled McKenna’s favorite photo of Maureen with her horse that Strapp hadn’t seen. “I was really blown away by her intuition and creativity.” The final piece far exceeded McKenna’s expectations. “It is a true work of art,” she says.

Strapp recently began making mosaics highlighting beautiful china pieces displayed in shadow boxes. She usually has two or three different projects in progress. However, she still views her mosaic-making as a fun side business—at least for now. “I want this to be more like play,” she says. Her customers, like Margaret Tiffany (another friend), are happy that her “play” results in stunning art.

Tiffany has been a fan of Strapp’s artwork for years and owns several mosaics. “Karen is an artist and will always create beautiful pieces that will look lovely on someone’s living room wall,” says Tiffany. Strapp truly shines when creating special pieces, she adds. “She has a story to tell, a beauty to uncover, a soul to express and when her vision is made real, it is perfect.”

“Primary Pieces” - Created to highlight vintage china pieces in a modern presentation

J anuary /F ebruary 2023 ~ 23
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Visit for more information. Contact the artist at


à la James H. Johnson

Rochester area architect James H. Johnson (19322016) became well-known for his strikingly original buildings, including the Antell-Whitman House in Perinton (1969-70) – also known as the “Mushroom House.” In the mid-to-late 1960s, his innovative concrete construction techniques produced several places of worship, including St. Januarius, a Roman Catholic Church in Naples; and Temple Sanai, a Jewish synagogue in Brighton. Viewed from the outside, their

organic modernism is memorable and impressive, and his daring, otherworldly design continues within.

St. Januarius

Today, St. Januarius is part of the Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Community along with St. Michael’s Church in Penn Yan and St. Patrick’s Church in Prattsburgh. The Naples church was named to honor the martyred fourth-century saint who is patron saint of Naples, Italy. The parish was

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by Laurel C. Wemett Photos by Laurel C. Wemett unless otherwise labeled

a congregation. According to church records, by 1965 the congregation had outgrown the original wood-frame church constructed in 1878, a building with a capacity of 125 worshipers. A new church and parish hall was proposed to accommodate 300. James Johnson, working with architect Peter Romeo and structural engineer Ray DiPasquale, replaced the old church’s rectangular floor plan with a wide curving footprint. Rather than employing traditional materials like timber, brick and stone, cement was chosen for its rowing up in Missouri, Johnson was influenced by family members in the construction business. One uncle owned a concrete plant; another was an architect. At St. Januarius and several of Johnson’s building locations,

ceramic artists James and Philip Secrest helped with the molds. These buildings were constructed by pouring concrete directly into molds created in the earth on the construction site; after the concrete cured it was hoisted or tipped into place to form the exterior walls,” wrote Katie Eggers Comeau, architectural historian, and Christopher Brandt, historic preservation architect in the Winter 2019 issue of Landmarks, published by the Landmark Society of Western New York. The pair completed an indepth survey and wrote a book about Johnson’s architecture. The project was spurred by the loss in 2013 of Our Lady of Mercy Rectory in Greece, New York, identified as Johnson’s first moldedconcrete structure.

Today, Neapolitans may refer to St. Januarius as “St. Jan” or “St. J.” Sources also refer to it as the “Grape Church” reflecting its grape-leaf shape inspired by Naples’ long association with grape growing. Its paneled walls are filled not by narrow pointed-arch windows, but by small, deep-set, round glassed openings. These windows transform the interior walls into a honeycomb surface prompting the nickname, “Swiss Cheese Church.”

Yet another name, “Jelly Bean Church,” is derived from how the round windows illuminate the sanctuary with multicolored light.

“When the sun shines through those windows, you know there is a God,” says longtime parishioner Jeanne Schenk.

A Few Memories of St. Januarius

Many Naples residents have links to the construction of St. Januarius. Edward Rectenwald, the local dairy farmer and head of the Building Committee during construction, is remembered for helping to figure out how to lift and set up the heavy concrete and glass sections when attaching crane cables to them proved difficult.

As a youth, Naples native and artist Darryl Abraham watched the removal of the old St. Januarius church and the construction of its replacement. He often helped his father, George “Doc” Abraham,

To learn more about these and other James H. Johnson buildings, read The Architecture of James H. Johnson by Katie Eggers Comeau and Christopher Brandt, published by the Greece Historical Society (2020). Watch the archived talks by the authors (May 2019) and James H. Johnson (May 2012) at (click: Archives/GHS Program Archives).

Left: James working on the Mushroom House addition in 2002. Photo by Betsy Johnson Far Left: St. Januarius Church 180 N Main Street in Naples Completed in 1966 Photo by Lisa C. Wemett Circles, top to bottom: The multicolored stained glass windows illuminate the sanctuary of St. Januarius on a sunny day; Artist Darryl Abraham demonstrates how he sculpted metal Stations of the Cross. Along the honeycombed walls light enters through multicolored windows. St. Januarius Church (1965-66) Earth-formed panels set in place Photo from Johnson Slide Collection; Courtesy Johnson Family

the well-known horticulturalist, with landscape work on the adjacent property owned by Widmer’s Winery. “I saw the Secrest brothers pouring the concrete for the stained-glass windows,” recalls Abraham.

In 1989, Abraham contributed striking pictorial features to St. Januarius by designing flat metal sculptures depicting the Stations of the Cross. Once Abraham received the green light from the Parish council and then-priest, Father Emo, he laid out 14 individual scenes on cardboard which youngsters from the Sunday school colored. These were transferred to metal secured by Richard Reisenberger from Widmer’s. Oxy acetylene torches then wielded by Evan Rischpater’s steady hand cut out the shapes. Once painted these were affixed to window openings in the sanctuary.

“It was quite an undertaking,” recalls Abraham.

Temple Sinai

While St. Januarius Church is easily visible to all who drive through the village of Naples, Temple Sinai, on Penfield Road in the Town of Brighton, is surrounded by mature trees and well-tended new plantings. The quiet forest-like setting is occasionally interrupted by a passing nearby train.

When Johnson undertook the synagogue in 1966, its congregation was seven years old, having been formed in 1959 by families that had been members of Temple B’rith Kodesh, the first Jewish congregation in Rochester.

The design suggests a tent symbolic of the nomadic theme in Jewish history. Each 60-foot-tall wall is made up of five rib-like panels, representing the 10 lost tribes that, under King Jeroboam, once made up the Northern Kingdom of Israel. These 10 concrete panels tilt inward, but do not meet. y’s roof and rear wall is formed from glass panels. Natural light fills the sanctuary, and the seasonal changes are in full view. Plants grow on, around and inside the building. At the base of the walls, long planters contain vines that climb up interior walls. Mary Mansfield, Temple Sinai’s executive director, recalls how architecture students commented that seeing photographs were far different than “standing in the space.”

Outside the window-wall, two tall concrete pillars or pylons are in full view. They are said to represent the tablets of Moses or the Ten Commandments. Covered with Virginia creeper ivy, they soar above the synagogue’s roof.

Raising the pillars into place was a herculean effort and one was accidentally chipped. As Brandt and Eggers Comeau explained in their book, there was no way to repair the damage. “Johnson relied on what he learned in his research that in traditional temple construction, some small detail is left out or is imperfect, as a way to symbolize the imperfection of humanity as compared to the perfection of God.”

Left: Temple Sinai, 363 Penfield Road, Rochester, built in 1967 Photo by Lisa C. Wemett; Inset: The sanctuary, with hand carved furniture. Looking beyond through the window-wall the two pillars symbolizing the 10 Commandants can be seen. Inset circle: Holy Ark, the cabinet holding the Torah scrolls, was handcrafted by Wendell Castle.

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In the sanctuary, the bima or platform features modern handcarved furniture, including the Holy Ark, a cabinet holding the Torah scrolls and a seven-branched Menorah. The Ark and Rabbi’s lectern were made by Wendell Castle (1932–2018), early in the craftsman’s illustrious career.

St. Januarius and Temple Sinai have been modified and expanded over the past half-century. Each has been recognized by the Landmark Society of Western New York. In 2014, the congregation of St. Januarius received a Special Citation Award for the care of their historic church, including “a sensitive rehabilitation” of the church in 2011 by LaBella Associates. The preservation group also honored the congregation of Temple Sinai with its Stewardship Award in 2003 for “the tender loving care of its historic synagogue.”

An architect’s vision is reinforced by how its occupants feel and react to the spaces he or she designs. The colored light playing across the floor and pews in Naples or the blend of nature with the manmade in Temple Sinai enhances the sacred worship services. Standing in the temple’s sanctuary and viewing the stars on a dark, clear winter night through the glass wall and ceiling is remarkable, says Flo Drexler of the Temple Sinai Garden Team. It connects

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James Johnson is inside Our Lady of Mercy Rectory before its demolition. Photo by William Sauers, Greece Historical Society

Jesse Gardner

West End Gallery, Corning

How did you become involved with the West End Gallery?

It’s a family business so I was raised, quite literally, in the business. My parents, Lin and Tom Gardner, founded the business in 1977. They opened a custom framing shop with a dedicated gallery space on Market Street in Corning. I was born in 1979 and spent much of my young life at the Gallery from the time I was a baby in a play pen near Mom’s workstation early on. Later, I would spend nearly every day after school at the gallery. Then, in my teenage years, I started helping with chores and projects contributing in some way to the business. I started creating and selling handmade earrings at the Gallery around the age of 16. I guess I always had a creative spirit and an eye for business at an early age. I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart.

the know
J anuary /F ebruary 2023 ~ 29
A “small-town gallery with world-class talent.” Photo by John Gardner

Flash forward 43 years and here I am running the family business. I’m honored to work side-by-side with my mom who still works at the gallery full-time. We exhibit and sell artwork by many of the region’s most talented artists, including my father, Tom Gardner’s paintings. I can always count on the encouragement of my husband and partner in business, John Gardner. (He took our last name if anyone is wondering.) I’m grateful for the business my parents started and for the faith they placed in me when we purchased the business in 2015. It’s humbling.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of running the gallery?

There are four main aspects of the business that go handin-hand, so I want to give equal emphasis to the value of each.

Art: I am passionate about original artwork made by regional artists. I love that every single creation is unique. You know when an artist brings in a new piece to exhibit that it is one-of-a-kind. Likewise, when a customer decides to add that piece to their collection, you know there will never be another just like it.

Guests: I work with some of the most amazing people in the world. I’m very fortunate. It’s pretty special when someone walks through the door, whether a visitor simply enjoying the exhibit or a customer that collects artwork. They often have a similar appreciation for the artwork and the artists that create it. One of my absolute favorite things to witness is when a guest walks through our door and connects with a particular work of art. They don’t need to know why they connect with it. They don’t have to know anything about art, the process or art history. Sometimes the connection just happens in the blink of an eye. It’s undeniable. Someone just gravitates towards a particular work of art, and I love being in a position that affords people to connect with that artwork. I love every aspect that surrounds that gravitational pull; welcoming them from the moment they walk through the door, telling them about the artist that created it, discussing the process of said creation and offering opportunities for them to meet the artist in person during opening receptions, gallery talks or artist demos held on site.

Artists: The artists in our region have exceptional talent. Each is incredible, multi-faceted and as diverse as a snowflake or kaleidoscope. Their ability to create something from the materials they work with astounds me. Their creativity, passion, ingenuity and perseverance amaze me. I often step back and consider all the time that went into a single work of art, the number of materials that were used, the colors that were selected, the careful consideration of the subject, and even the movement that goes into a piece, the placement of a brushstroke, for example. This doesn’t even take into consideration the hours of practice, years of experience, including experimentations, various inspirations, breakthroughs, heartaches, frustrations, and pure joy that led up to that point in the artist’s career. Decades in many cases. People aren’t often here to just buy a pretty picture. They are buying a small piece

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of someone else’s life. Our guests usually recognize the skill and expertise of the artists we represent, and they often connect with the artwork on a more personal level. It’s beautiful to witness and be a part of that process, even if only in some small way.

Small Business Ownership: I must add that I appreciate the opportunity to run my own business. It has been a great experience. As many small business owners can attest, with the freedom of running your own business comes massive responsibility, especially when you’re trying to support your employees and, in our case, the artists we represent and their individual careers. We have certainly faced some challenging times in recent years, but we have succeeded and, in fact, have thrived. This experience has shown me I’m much stronger than I initially thought and stronger now because of the challenges we have faced and any new challenges that will come our way.

How many artists does the gallery represent?

We currently represent 50 talented regional artists working in a variety of mediums: oil, acrylic, watercolor, gouache, wood, bronze, glass, and more. The artists primarily reside in Upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania. Many of the artists are emerging and some are nationally, and even internationally, known. That’s why I love to say we’re a “small-town gallery with world-class talent.” It’s true. There are so many talented artists everywhere in our region. We’re very fortunate.

What is your favorite Finger Lakes location?

Market Street in Corning’s Gaffer District is definitely on my list because it literally feels like home to me. I’m a “Market Street Kid” at heart. Always will be. I’ll tell you the same thing 30 years from now.

And, of course, Taughannock Falls. My husband, John, and I were married 21 years ago at the base of the falls on a misty day in front of a Justice of the Peace and two photographers from West End Gallery who were also friends and doubled as our witnesses. It was a special moment in a beautiful place.

Why do you enjoy living in the Finger Lakes Region?

So many reasons! I enjoy the topography especially the rolling hills, broadleaf trees and large bodies of water. I’m particularly fond of our ever-changing seasons especially fall and winter. I love the variety of colors on display in the fall and I love the quietness and solitude of the winter. It’s comforting. I enjoy the people and the communities that surround us. Each is unique and contributes to our society as a whole. We also live in a culturally rich region. It’s pretty amazing how much our region has to offer. There’s something for everyone. Museums, galleries, shopping, unique eateries, wineries, breweries, you name it … we have it in the Finger Lakes Region.

Visit the West End Gallery at 12 West Market St., Corning, NY 14830. For more information call 607-936-2011 or visit their website at

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What’s in a

While researching my recent article for Life in the Finger Lakes magazine about herons of the Finger Lakes, I became curious about how various wildlife species came by their ordinary names. Many, especially birds, are named based on their colors. Others are named after their behavior, preferred habitat, physical traits, and songs or calls. Some even carry the names of individual people.

Other names are downright perplexing and make little sense to me. For example, the great blue heron plumage is mostly grey, so why isn’t it named the great gray heron? Nature buffs of any age


We all agreed that wildlife names based on color make sense – black bear, red fox, bluebird, yellow warbler – to name a few. Nonetheless it can be tricky at times. For example, some black bears have cinnamon-colored coats.

Birds that derive their names based on color can be easy to identify, especially if there is no difference between males and females. Blue jays are an example. But with other bird species there is a marked difference between the sexes, a form of sexual dimorphism. Awhile back, George, age 5, was quick to identify a sky-bluecolored male bluebird at our nest box, but we were most impressed that he accurately spotted a female even though her colors are a faded blue-gray. Most often the male of the species is more brightly colored while the female is duller.

transform to red-spotted newts with red spots on an olive-green background. After a year or two, they emerge from water and migrate into moist woodlands. In this third stage they are named red efts, having red bodies and

shoulder patch against a rich black body, but females are actually brown with no

semiaquatic amphibian, has color and

red spots surrounded by black circles. After several years they return to water and their colors revert to olive green with red spots. For the rest of their lives, they are again called redspotted newts.

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Habitat-related names also make sense to us. For instance, swamp sparrows do indeed live in swamps. Water snakes spend most of their lives in water, and tree frogs live among the branches of trees.

ome animals would have better fitting names if they reflected their habitats. Milk snakes got their common name from farmers who blamed low milk yields on the snakes. Some folks even claimed that the milk snake milked cows! Seriously? We think a barn snake

“common” as part of their name, and some are quite abundant, such as the common crow. However, the common nighthawk, which is widespread and found in most states, is really not common at all.

There is also the common loon, but it is becoming less common. Its population is decreasing due to lead poisoning from sinkers and the destruction of shoreline nests washed away by the wakes of power boats. Climate change has also been detrimental. With warming temperatures, some loon nesting habitats are swarmed with an overabundance of black flies, which causes many loons to abandon their nests.


hough a specific behavior may not always be obvious when viewing wildlife, it can help to correctly identify species. Woodpeckers use their beaks to drill holes in trees. Snapping turtles aggressively snap their powerful jaws to capture prey. Shoveler ducks constantly sweep their spatula-like bills under water to gather up food.

Woodchucks are supposedly named for a behavior. We have all heard the jingle, “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?” Well, they don’t chuck wood. But to be clear, they will occasionally gnaw on wood to keep their continually growing teeth from malocclusions, which can be fatal.

ver, on the other hand, gnaw bark and “chuck” trees to use the branches to build their dams and lodges. Why couldn’t we rename woodchucks and use either of their two nicknames: whistle pig because their alarm is a pig-like whistle, or groundhog because they live underground? We would support renaming the beaver to woodchuck, but that is not likely to happen. There is far too much lore and symbolism ascribed to the beaver.

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Birds are named after people more than other wildlife are. Recently, there has been a spirited debate generated by the American Ornithological Society, which is establishing guidelines for renaming birds that have controversial or inaccurate names. Currently there are more than 100 birds named after specific humans, some of whom were enslavers or grave robbers. Many were not even ornithologists.

The Bachman’s sparrow is an example, named after John Bachman, a South Carolina naturalist, but also a slave holder and white supremacist. One Audubon magazine subscriber commented, “Let’s not debate whether people were evil or not, simply remove human names and use names descriptive of the birds themselves.”

A similar issue was addressed recently by the Entomological Society of America when it changed the name of the gypsy moth caterpillar. The gypsy connotation is an ethnic slur, demeaning Romanian gypsies who have been the target of racism and genocide. The new name, the spongy moth caterpillar, is derived from the insect’s light tan, fuzzy egg masses that resemble sponges. We wonder why it was not renamed for the appearance of the moth itself rather than its egg mass.

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You’re welcomealways here! Publishing

When we asked the kids to think of birds that call their name with their song, Clara, age 7, quickly chimed in “the chickadee – chickadee-dee-dee.” Coincidently, a few years back, we helped Clara identify a feather she found in her yard. It turned out to be that of a mourning dove, named of course for its woeful cooing.

Songs and calls of wildlife are made for different purposes. Calls sometimes notify their family group of the availability of food. Crows

songs and calls confusing names

Some names are just downright perplexing. Pumpkinseeds are small fish with an array of beautiful, colorful markings, but it’s named for its shape, said to resemble a pumpkin seed. Really? When Zola, age 6, first heard me identify that fish by name, she calmly replied, “It doesn’t look like a pumpkin!”

Pickerel frogs are named after a long thin fish, the pickerel. George

Having a clearly visible white ring around its neck, the ring-necked pheasant is well named, but surely the ring-necked duck is not! It has no ring around its neck; its ring is around its bill. Go figure.

There are fresh and saltwater sheepshead fish. They are not the same species, and neither resembles a sheep’s head. Josh Olive, a well-known outdoor writer, is as perplexed as we are. He asks, “Why are these fish named for a domesticated ruminant – a sheep? Their teeth look like human teeth, so why not call them people fish!”

Saltwater sheepshead are also called convict fish for the black and grey horizontal stripes across their body.

The naming of wildlife needs a lot of attention and revision. Can you suggest better names for the wildlife you know?

physical traits

More so than other wildlife, birds tend to be named based on their physical traits. Great horned owls are named for what appear to be horns, but they’re actually ear tufts. Pintail ducks have long, pointed pin-like tails. The great blue heron is the largest member of the heron family, and the least bittern is the smallest.

A familiar bait fish – alewives –are also called sawbellies. Sawbelly seems like the better name as they have bony protrusions along their bellies that feel like saw teeth. In the Middle Ages, calling for an alewife could get you in hot water. An alewife was the woman of the house who was responsible for keeping the men well supplied with beer.

Lastly, here is a photo of Bill’s award-winning and well-named stick fish, which he caught in the backyard and had mounted!

The Winter Magic Cumming Nature Center

of N

estled in the rolling hills above Naples, each year thousands of visitors venture along winding back roads to visit the RMSC Cumming Nature Center.

Founded almost 50 years ago by the Rochester Museum & Science Center, this 900-acre environmental education facility brings top-tier nature education and experiences to the Finger Lakes Region. While people come to the nature center for the 15 miles of trails, visitors center, and unique year-round events and programming, there’s something about the magic of these woods that draws them back again and again.

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J anuary /F ebruary 2023 ~ 37

Cumming Nature Center

Connecting kids with the natural world is at the heart of our work, and visitors shouldn’t be surprised to hear an occasional giggle, shout, or wolf howl floating through the woods around the center. In addition to summer camps and school programs, we operate the largest year-round Forest School program in the Rochester region, nurturing children’s relationship with the natural world and cultivating the next generation of Finger Lakes naturalists, outdoor educators, and environmental advocates.

Right: Visit the nature center during NordicFest Weekends to celebrate the unique joys of getting outdoors in winter, with special activities like Snowga, ski orienteering, and SnOlympics taking place alongside our regular winter programs. During February Break, families can enjoy daily science and nature-based activities (left), including plenty of ski lesson opportunities throughout the week.

Below: If skis aren’t your thing, take a snowy stroll on a pair of our classic wooden snowshoes. Perfect for a nostalgic family outing or a unique date idea, visitors can explore 3 miles of gentle woodland trails. When the snow is packed down, hikers are welcome to explore them as well. Just be sure to pack a pair of treads!

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J anuary /F ebruary 2023 ~ 39

And while we’re obligated to say that we love every season at the nature center, any staff member will tell you that winter is our favorite season of all. We love watching this landscape transform into a 900-acre winter wonderland of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and, of course, science!

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Cumming Nature Center Winter Events February 4 & 5, 11 & 12 | NordicFest Weekends February 11 | Night Ski February 20-25 | February Break Week March 18 & 19, 25 & 26 | Maple Sugaring Weekends

Above: Beginner skiers (or anyone who needs a refresher course!) can find their ski legs quickly through introductory group lessons led by an experienced instructor. Choose between a 45-minute lesson that covers the basic movements and skills of cross-country skiing or a 1.5 hour lesson that includes a trip down the trail with your instructor to get you climb and rewards its conquerors with a long,

North Star Art Gallery

Brian Keeler 743 Snyder Hill Road, Ithaca, NY 14850 • 607-323-7684

J anuary /F ebruary 2023 ~ 41
“Salmon Creek- Autumnal Evening Light,” oil on panel, 20” x 40”

Cumming Nature Center

year we are offering drop-off lessons for kids while their parents go skiing on their own.

For the more adventurous types, CNC hosts an orienteering course for skiers and snowshoers that remains up throughout the season. We also offer the CNC Ski Challenge, where anyone who skis all 12 miles of cross-country ski trails in 2023 can earn a limited-edition sticker. New this winter, little adventurers will be able to explore the “Gnome Roam” trail, an easy loop which is sure to provide lots of sweet surprises and outdoor winter fun.

Back at the Visitors Center, we suggest grabbing a bag of our famous popcorn as you enjoy the exhibits or take a break in our fireside lounge. Say hello to our staff when you see us – we’d love to hear about the wildlife you saw out on the trails…and to help you plan your next visit!

RMSC Cumming Nature Center is located at 6472 Gulick Road, Naples NY 14512. Learn more about our programs and offerings at

Left: During the last two weekends in March, visitors can partake in a favorite Finger Lakes tradition during the Nature Center’s 45th annual Maple Sugaring Weekends. After enjoying a hearty, locally-sourced pancake breakfast, families can walk along the Maple Trail to learn about the natural and cultural history of tapping maple trees. Out on the trail, they can use an old-fashioned hand-drill, explore the science of sap, taste maple syrup at the sugar house, and more.

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Visit the nature center during NordicFest Weekends to celebrate the unique joys of getting outdoors in winter, with special activities like Snowga, ski orienteering, and SnOlympics taking place alongside our regular winter programs. During February Break, families can enjoy daily science and nature-based activities, including plenty of ski lesson opportunities throughout the week.

J anuary /F ebruary 2023 ~ 43 With 15 miles of winding cross-country ski and snowshoe trails, where will your snow day take you? WHERE WINTER IS WONDERFUL 6472 Gulick Road, Naples NY 14512 | 585.374.6160 | RMSC CUMMING NATURE CENTER

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ROC Star

Elvio Fernandes

Elvio has been with Daughtry for a decade, joining the band in 2012.

musical notes
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Just before the Covid lockdowns in March 2020, the multiplatinum-selling rock band Daughtry was on the road. The band, which includes keyboardist/ guitarist Elvio Fernandes of Webster, had just begun a North American tour to promote their fifth studio album Cage to Rattle. They returned to their homes to wait out what they thought would be a two week pause. But the tour was cancelled. All live events were.

What was a musician to do? For Fernandes, it was a creative and productive time. He wrote and co-wrote many songs (with writing partner Johnny Cummings, Chris Daughtry and others), including “Heavy is the Crown.” It would be the second single from Daughtry’s next album, Dearly Beloved, primarily recorded remotely and released in 2021. “Heavy is the Crown” would also be Fernandes’ first number-one charted song.

Being anchored in Rochester also afforded Fernandes the opportunity to physically expand his Rochesterbased music school, ROC Star Academy (RSA). RSA had burgeoned from the kids’ summer music camp he launched in 2009 to a year round performance-based and artist development music academy for young musicians in 2017. “Our current space was built out during Covid and there were extensive renovations that were done to make it work,” says Fernandes. Construction took about a year. The new facility in East Rochester opened in the summer of 2021 and features a performance venue, rehearsal and music instruction spaces, and a recording studio.

Lockdown also provided more time with his family. Music is important to Fernandes but so is family. And his family played a big role in his success as a musician. His early love of music was sparked by his mother and his grandfather, both guitarists. Later in his life, it was his wife Jessica who championed his music career. When Fernandes was invited to join Daughtry in 2012, it was a risk to leave a stable job and steady income. He almost didn’t do it. But Jessica insisted that he follow his dreams

J anuary /F ebruary 2023 ~ 49
Elvio performs keys for the band and backup vocals with Chris Daughtry, nailing the harmonies.

Future ROC Stars

During his Uncle Plum years, Fernandes’ would invite kids onstage during family friendly concerts and ask the audience to make them feel like rock stars. Then he handed his microphone to one child and the crowd would go wild. That joy and confidence the young performers experienced inspired Fernandes to start a music performance camp. That led to his full service ROC Star Academy.

RAS coaches are currently developing 16 bands with musicians ranging from 8 to 22 years old. The students perform about 10 shows a year. Some of the more seasoned bands are already playing the local Rochester club circuit.

“BB Dang is by far our most successful band and my first band that I ever formed at the academy,” says Fernandes. Own the Night is a close

second – their front man/vocalist is high school senior Max Doud. Many more are climbing the ranks.

“Elvio and multiple staff members took me under their wing to teach me their real-life experience of what it takes to be a working musician,” says Isabella Barbagallo, lead singer of BB Dang. “ROC Star Academy built a strong foundation for the work I am doing today in both BB Dang and my solo work as a musician.”

Follow BB Dang and Own the Night on Facebook and Instagram. Visit Isabella Barbagallo at, Own the Night at and Max Doud at

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Elvio coaches the band Own the Band at ROC Star Academy, joined by Academy vocal coach Teena Guarnere.

while she held down the home front and cared for their two sons. “She’s the true rock star of our family and is the reason why I’m able to tour and do what I do,” says Fernandes.

Family and Music

Fernandes, born in 1972, was raised in Gates with his brother Daniel. Their parents were Portuguese immigrants. His mother sang and composed Fado music. “It’s a traditional, very expressive and melancholic style of Portuguese music, almost like our (American) blues,” Fernandes explains. She and his grandfather sang and played guitar together. After Fernandes began playing instruments, he would join them.

When he was growing up, sports were considered cooler than music amongst his peers but Fernandes loved both. He played baseball, basketball and was captain of his high school and college soccer teams. He still plays soccer and is an avid golfer.

At 3, Fernandes began playing a toy piano. He eventually upgraded to a real keyboard and also learned accordion. He started singing and writing songs in high school and picked up guitar while in college. Fernandes never took formal lessons and plays by ear.

After graduating from SUNY Geneseo in 1994, Fernandes worked for a graphic arts company but his heart was with

music. To carve out the flexibility to play gigs with Uncle Plum (the band he formed in 1999) Fernandes switched to a real estate career so he could make his own work hours.

Uncle Plum was popular locally, attracting crowds and loyal fans for about 13 years. They headlined large festivals and sold out big venues. The band played pop/ rock cover tunes but also sprinkled in their own songs. They independently released two CDs of original music and, in 2009, was named “Best Original Band” by CITY Newspaper.

“I really thought Uncle Plum had a legitimate shot at making it,” says Fernandes. The band was even invited to showcase for a major record label in NYC but nothing came of it.


“It’s about relationships and it’s about recognizing that when that door creaks open you gotta kick it open and go for it,” Fernandes tells his ROC Star Academy students who all aspire to be professional musicians and performers.

Fernandes’ remarkable transition from playing local venues to a European stadium tour with Daughtry happened organically and, over time, through networking. After R&B artist Brian McKnight listened to an Uncle Plum CD, he wanted to meet Fernandes. McKnight was developing

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musical notes

another musician’s career, Ace Young, and he introduced the two. Fernandes and Young became songwriting partners. In 2006, Young appeared on American Idol’s fifth season along with singer Chris Daughtry. During down time, Young played some songs he cowrote with Fernandes for Daughtry. It planted a seed with Daughtry who placed fourth that season and was signed to RCA Records later that year.

Daughtry formed a band (called Daughtry) and recorded their first album (yep, titled Daughtry). It was the fastest-selling debut rock album in sales-tracking history, number one on the Billboard 200 chart, sold more than 4 million copies domestically (and more worldwide) and was nominated for three Grammys.

Fernandes and Daughtry stayed in touch. They co-wrote “Crazy” together for the third album, Break the Spell. That started a working relationship and Daughtry offered him an audition for their 2012 tour.

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musical notes

Fernandes got the gig.

After the tour, Fernandes officially joined the band and over the past decade toured, recorded and contributed songs on the three albums that followed. “Elvio has been an invaluable addition to this band since the Break the Spell tour – not only as a writer but as a player and vocalist,” says Chris Daughtry. “Our music has always had piano, keys, and a ton of background vocals so having him on stage every night allows us to accomplish that sound live.”

Fernandes is living his dream and his storied career is an inspiration for the young performers that he and other local musicians coach at RAS. RAS provides music instruction with a focus on live performance: combining playing chops and self-assurance. “This changes kids’ lives. To me that is the most important thing I do other than being a husband and father,” says Fernandes. “I hope that someday my legacy is that I helped kids gain more confidence and gave them an opportunity that most kids don’t get.”

When Fernandes isn’t performing or recording with Daughtry, he is guiding young musicians toward the music career of their dreams. “That’s really where my heart is,” he says.

Follow Fernandes on Instagram @elviofernandes. For more information about ROC Star Academy, visit

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J anuary /F ebruary 2023 ~ 53 10-MONTH COMMITMENT TO DEVELOP WORK INTEGRATED WITH & IN RESPONSE TO THE ARTIST’S RURAL COMMUNITY. This project is meant to celebrate the creativity and innovative nature of the artist and the connection between arts and land. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT HTTP://BIT.LY/3H0V0S7 or EMAIL FRANKE@ARTSWYCO.ORG
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the Governor’s office and the New
A Fernandes family portrait from 2016, with Elvio and Jessica and their sons.
State Council on
support from
York State Legislature.

The Jerry Rescue

nooks & crannies
“A mighty throbbing of the public heart.”
54 ~ F inger L akes M agazine . co M
— Rev. Samuel J. May (1851)

The Jerry Rescue monument sits at the southwest corner of Clinton Square in downtown Syracuse. The location is very close to where the police station stood from which Jerry was eventually rescued. That building no longer exists.

J anuary /F ebruary 2023 ~ 55

of the

shows the participants’ emotional expressions, and the large crowd that gathered is also depicted in the flat stone behind the figures.

Clinton Square in Syracuse much as it appeared in the 1850s.

The old Erie Canal, which is now filled, in this section of Syracuse

Old Syracuse Savings Bank, now the Bank of America.

Top to Bottom:

Gerrit Smith: Philanthropist, abolitionist, and social reformer based in Central New York.

Samuel J. May: Syracuse based abolitionist, reformer, and minister of the Unitarian Church.

Jermain W. Loguen: Syracuse based abolitionist, reformer, and minister of the AME Zion Church.

56 ~ F inger L akes M agazine co M
A detailed photo monument Photo by James P. Hughes Clinton Street The Jerry Rescue Monument - present day. Former Police Station

On the evening of October 1, 1851, a storm brewed at the the Erie Canal’s edge in Syracuse’s Clinton Square. Years later, regional historian Arch Merrill would write, “Nature did not spawn the storm. It came from the hearts of men.” Restlessly milling about the square, an incensed throng of abolitionists had gathered to defy what they considered a heinous decree.

Just a year earlier, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 had become U.S. law. As part of a congressional compromise, it required that all slaves, upon capture, be returned to the slaver, and demanded cooperation of all free state officials and citizens. The ruling inflamed antislavery sentiment in upstate New York, a region with a substantial abolitionist movement and a history of aiding escaped slaves by way of the Underground Railroad.

Syracuse and Jerry Syracuse became a “great central depot” of the Underground Railroad as slaves passed through the city to locations along Lake Ontario and subsequent passage to freedom in Canada.

William Henry, who would call himself “Jerry,” was born into slavery in 1811. Over the years he acquired skills as a carpenter and a cooper, and in 1843 he fled from Missouri on a circuitous escape route that is now lost to history.

Arriving in Syracuse in 1849, Jerry found the city a place to call home, a community where a substantial part of the citizenry expressed antislavery sympathies – so much so that in May 1851, orator Daniel Webster went to Syracuse to defend the Fugitive Slave Act. Disparaging the city, he labeled Syracuse as a “laboratory of abolitionism, libel, and treason.” Among local leaders of an abolitionist “vigilance committee” were influential Gerrit Smith of

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nearby Peterboro, Unitarian minister Samuel J. May, and A.M.E. Zion minister Jermain Loguen, himself a former slave.

The Rescue Federal marshals, aware of Jerry’s presence in Syracuse, seized him at work on October 1, 1851, and delivered him to the U.S. Commissioner’s office for arraignment. Word of Jerry’s capture promptly reached a fiery abolition convention being held just blocks away, one zealously overseen by Smith, May, Loguen, and others. A large, angry crowd assembled. For security reasons, Jerry was moved to the police station just west of Clinton Square. Whether or not the timing of Jerry’s arrest had been purposefully designed to tweak convention participants remains a matter of speculation.

The crowd at the police station, some of whom were armed with clubs and axes, grew in size and strength. At around 8:30 p.m., men wielding a battering ram broke down the door and breached the building, seizing the shackled Jerry. Overwhelmed by the intensity of the intruders, defending officers quickly backed off and released their prisoner. Jerry was rushed from the building to a waiting carriage.

A local blacksmith removed his manacles and for the next few days Jerry was kept undercover in Syracuse, moving from safe house to safe house. Once the postescape atmosphere calmed a bit, he traveled by way of the Underground Railroad to the Lake Ontario shoreline and on to freedom in Canada. William “Jerry” Henry settled in Kingston, Ontario, where he continued work as a cooper and carpenter.

Jerry Rescue Remembered welve men were eventually arrested for aiding in Jerry’s rescue with only one convicted, and that on a minor charge. In succeeding years leading up to the Civil War,

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Naglee Fine Arts has service packages available. We will install/deinstall your artwork, transport it to our secure warehouse, and store it for however long you are away. Peace of mind.

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Used by major museums and institutions, as well as private collectors. References available.

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Naglee Fine Arts 1525 Grand Central Avenue, Elmira, NY 14901 Tel. 607-733-5725 • NagleeFine

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Naglee Fine Arts has service packages available. We will install/deinstall your artwork, transport it to our secure warehouse, and store it for however long you are away. Peace of mind.

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Used by major museums and institutions, as well as private collectors. References available. 1525 Grand Central Avenue, Elmira, NY 14901 Tel. 607-733-5725 • NagleeFine

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Top to bottom:

Frederick Douglass: Famed abolitionist, orator, reformer, and a former slave.

William Lloyd Garrison: Widely known prominent journalist, abolitionist, and social reformer.

Jerry Rescue Day was celebrated in Syracuse each October 1st. The emotional events included spirited speeches, songs, and resolutions affirming citizen rights to resist slavery laws. Famed social reformer William Lloyd Garrison and abolitionist Frederick Douglass were among the featured speakers at those yearly rallies.

In 2001, a short distance from where the incident occurred, a permanent Jerry Rescue monument was erected at Clinton Square in memory of the landmark event, a fitting memorial to a historic moment.

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Our alpaca farm is the largest in the Finger Lakes area. You will have the opportunity to meet our herd of 60+ alpacas. Learn alpaca history & care while touring the vintage barns. Individual and group tours.

Our alpaca farm is the largest in the Finger Lakes area. You will have the opportunity to meet our herd of 60+ alpacas. Learn alpaca history & care while touring the vintage barns. Individual and group tours.


Our alpaca farm is the largest in the Finger Lakes area. You will have the opportunity to meet our herd of 60+ alpacas. Learn alpaca history & care while touring

Fall is a wonderful time to visit us here on the farm. The cooler temperatures and Fall colors make for an enjoyable visit with our alpacas and the most gorgeous photo ops. We are open Tuesday through Sunday for tours and/or a visit to our store. We also offer yoga with the alpacas if you are looking for a new and fun way to interact with our friendly alpacas. Register on our website for a tour or yoga. Preregistration is required to insure we have the correct staff available to make your visit as enjoyable as possible.

SCHEDULE YOUR VISIT: (585) 455-1203

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Ahwaga Paints & Coverings 59

Antique ................................................. 61

Antique Wireless Museum 57

Apple Country 51

Artizanns 60

Arts Council for Wyoming County 53

Brewery Ardennes 18

Bristol Valley Theater 57

CabAve Kitchens ......................................... 58

Clifton Springs Chamber of Commerce 27

CNY Living History Center 57

Colonial Motel 51

Cortland County Historical Society 57

Crown Jewelry 61

Downtown Ithaca Alliance ....................... ............................................ 30

Dr. Konstantin Frank Wines 63

Dudley Poultry 58

Early Owego Antique Center 59

Eastman Community Music School 6

Eastview Mall 42

Explore Steuben CountyCorning & Southern 17

F. Oliver’s Oils and Vinegars 60

Finger Lakes Premier Properties 53

Johnson Furniture Restoration ............. .................................................... 59

Kendal at Ithaca Cover 3

Keuka Outlet Development, LLCThe Morrings on Keuka 5

Lakeview Court LLC 53

Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars 63

Lamplighter Ministries 34

Lazy Acre Alpacas/ Alpaca Country Clothing & Gifts 61

Lollypops & Polkadots 61

Long Point Winery 63

Longevita Medical 13

Manchester Mission Furniture 60

Meadeville Farm 51

Miami Motel ................................................. ..................................................... 22

Naglee Fine Arts 59

Naples Valley Visitors Association 8

New Energy Works TimberFramers Cover 4

Nolan’s on Canandaigua Lake 52

North Star Art Gallery 41 NY Kitchen 23

Pastel Cafe ................................................... .................................................. 58

Pat’s Pizzeria 10

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Reed Homestead 60 RJ Cars Inc 59

January/February 2023
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Breathtaking vistas. Award-winning wines. Experience one of the premier locations on the Cayuga Wine Trail. Enjoy our premium selections and stay for lunch at our on-site eatery, Amelia’s.

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20 miles south of Auburn on scenic Route 90

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SCHUYLER TOMPKINS CHEMUNG TIOGA CORTLAND SENECA ONTARIO WA YNE ONONDAGA ON ONT AR Y AT E R O SCH UYL UY EN E CA A UGA ON ON O L O 390 390 390 690 481 481 490 490 490 90 90 90 90 86 81 81 81 90 17 5 20 5 5 20 20 20 20 5 20A 20A 15 11 11 11 86 17 86 17 104 104 104 104 20 5 Oneida Lake Lake Ontario 1 2 3 4 Sodus Bay Waneta Lake Lamoka Lake Cayuta Lake Dryden Groton Aurora Union Springs Cayuga Branchport Prattsburgh Naples Hammondsport Dundee Burdett Montour Falls Odessa Watkins Glen Bath Horseheads Painted Post Spencer Candor Newark Valley Van Etten Elmira Heights Addison Rexville Canisteo Hornell Avoca Cohocton Wayland Dansville Mt. Morris Geneseo Nunda Lima Livonia Hemlock Honeoye Honeoye Falls Caledonia Brockport Hilton Moravia Ovid Waverly Owego Homer McGraw Marathon Ithaca Cayuga Heights Cortland Lansing Trumansburg Interlaken Fairport Macedon Palmyra Manchester Shortsville Sodus Sodus Point Clyde Lyons Newark Phelps Geneva Waterloo Penn Yan JordanSolvay Weedsport Wolcott Baldwinsville North Syracuse Fayetteville Manlius Marcellus Skaneateles Seneca Falls Clifton Springs Bloomfield Canandaigua Victor Auburn Webster E. Rochester Spencerport
Corning Elmira Syracuse Rochester From
From Jamestown From Binghamton From
From Oswego From Binghamton N 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 The Finger Lakes Region of New York State Finger Lakes 1 Conesus 2 Hemlock 3 Canadice 4 Honeoye 5 Canandaigua 6 Keuka 7 Seneca 8 Cayuga 9 Owasco 10 Skaneateles 11 Otisco 6 10 9 8 7 4 3 2 5 11 12 1 finger lakes regional map Areas of Interest in the January/February 2023 issue 1 Auburn
4 Corning
29) 5
7 Niles
10 Syracuse
Brighton (p.24)
Canandaigua (p.10)
Ithaca (p.10)
Naples (p.24, 36)
Perinton (p.24)
Rochester (p.48)
Watkins Glen (p.10)
West Bloomfield (p.20)

The gentle, comforting ripple of warm saltwater has an invigorating effect — especially during aqua-aerobics class. And, for Kendal residents Sara, Carol and Joann, the exercise is a fun, refreshing way to get t — and get together.

Living on the 105-acre campus at Kendal not only keeps them involved in the lifestyle they love, but connected to any future care they may need. And, from here, the story just keeps getting better.

Come for a visit and tell us your story. Call 1-800-253-6325 or go to to learn more.

2230 N. Triphammer Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850

A not-for-pro t continuing care retirement community serving older adults in the Quaker tradition. ©2014 KENDAL