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MOHAWK VALLEY LIVING
EXPLORING THE ARTS, CULTURE & HERITAGE OF OUR VALLEY
Bird Nests of Winter WINTER FARMERS’ MARKETS Our Local Guide
The 1912 Little Falls
TEXTILE STRIKE hot rods in marcy
“Spruce Creek Winter” by Little Falls Artist Bob Willman
HELP CARRY OUR WOUNDED WARRIORS HOME.
Wounded Warrior Project’s purpose is to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members; to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other; and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. Learn more or find out how you can help at woundedwarriorproject.org. Wounded Warrior Project’s purpose is to raise awareness and enlist the , , , , ,aid , ,for , ,the , ,needs , , , of , ,injured , , , , service , , , , ,members; , , , , , to , ,help , , ,injured , , , , , , public’s © 2011 Wounded Warrior Project® All Rights Reserved
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On the Cover:
“Spruce Creek Winter”
Image 14” x 24” Watercolor on paper by Bob Willman
Signed limited edition prints available at the Willman Gallery. Call 315-823-1987 or email email@example.com or www.willmangallery.com
MOHAWK VALLEY LIVING MAGAZINE January 2014
PUBLISHER Vincent R. Whitney EDITOR Sharry L. Whitney DESIGNER Lance David Whitney ASSISTANT EDITOR Shelley Delosh CONTRIBUTORS Peggy Spencer Behrendt, Brian Howard, Suzie Jones, John Keller, Frank Page, Susan Perkins, W.C. Pope, Matt Perry, Gary VanRiper, Gary Price, Sarah Price CONTACT US (315) 853-7133 30 Kellogg Street Clinton, NY 13323 www.MohawkValleyLiving.com firstname.lastname@example.org Mohawk Valley Living is a monthly magazine & television show exploring the area’s arts, culture, and heritage. Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of Mohawk Valley Publishing. Printed at Vicks in Yorkville, NY.
Painting is in the collection of Ray Hulten and Judy Mijares.
The Greener Side by Sharry L. Whitney We have received many calls and letters over the years from people who have moved away from the Mohawk Valley area who “come home” every week by watching our TV show on YouTube. Now we’re getting calls from people who are getting our magazine in the mail sent from their parents or children. I received a call just last week from a gentleman in Minnesota after his daughter had mailed him a copy. He had grown up in Little Falls. I spent the next 15-20 minutes talking with him as he reminisced and tried to “stump me” by naming places in the area he recalled as a kid. His childhood memories were fond, perhaps made more so by the many miles that separate him and his hometown. My husband and I have often had the discussion—especially over the past few years as our boys leave the “nest”—about how going away is a good thing. Sometimes that’s the only way someone can appreciate what they have here at home. If people never leave, they can spend their whole lives wondering what’s better “out there.” I am fortunate because I’m often reminded, when I hear from people across the country, about all the great things we have here at home—what we often take for granted—as seen by those on the other side of the fence.
February 1st Available at our sponsors and your closest Stewart’s Shop. Visit our website for a complete list of pick-up locations.
contents 5 8 10 12 15 16 17 18 20 22 24 26 30 32 35 36 39 40 42 44 46 47
Little Falls Textile Strike Farming is a Business Newport Historical Center Winter Farmers’ Markets Mossback Mule Band Afraid of Yoga? Half-Moon Cookies Tucci Hot Rods Local Astronomy Made Here Artist: Vartan Poghosian Nest of Winter Basloe Library Our First Year 1974 Gallery Guide Did You Know? Musician: Rocky Graziano Historic Herkimer Co., Frankfort Winter Training for Hikers Natural Provider: White Pine MV Comics MV Flash Lit
Mohawk Valley Living is brought to you by
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The 1912 Little Falls Textile Strike Part 1 by Jeffrey Gressler
Clashes between police and striking workers, suppression of Constitutional rights, outside political agitation and national media coverage, the 1912 Little Falls Textile Strike had it all when it came to industrial age human drama. This is the 100th anniversary of the strike and what follows is part of that story. To best understand this important local historic event, we must go back half a century to the Civil War and trace forward two arcs of American history, the rapid industrialization of the late-19th century and the advance of the American labor movement. LATE 1800s: AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL MIGHT The Civil War fast-tracked America’s industrial development. Both the Union and the Confederacy needed to upgrade their industrial output to supply their armies with munitions and materials. Railroads had to be built and improved to better move supplies and soldiers. The industrialized nation that emerged from the Civil War was quite different from the more agricultural nation
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that entered it. Gilded Age America (1870s-90s) was dominated by an unregulated capitalist economic system sometimes referred to as robber baron economics after the industrial tycoons who engineered its growth; John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan were idolized by the general public. Presidents and Congress bent to the whims of industry; the press and law enforcement followed suit. Industry held sway as America spread its wings across the continent and its navy across the oceans in search of territory, resources and markets. Labor was seen as a resource to be exploited in the reach for profit. Workers had few rights and low-skilled factory laborers were easily replaced by ever-arriving immigrants. Such was the case in turn-ofthe-century Little Falls. Labor unions were fledgling lightweights compared to the industrial might wielded by robber barons. By the late 1880’s, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) had replaced the Knights of Labor as the nation’s largest labor union representing factory workers. Federal and state
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lawmakers routinely favored the interests of capital over labor. In the early 1900’s organized labor began to flex a little more muscle. In 1905 the International Workers of the World (IWW or Wooblies) emerged as the most radical edge of the organized labor movement. Socialist by nature, the IWW was committed to direct action and the philosophy of “one big union” of both skilled and unskilled workers. In pre-World War I America the struggle was on between owners and workers to divide the profits of industry and between moderate and radical labor unions to represent the interests of factory workers. These same forces moved front and center during the 1912 Little Falls Textile Strike. CAUSES OF THE 1912 TEXTILE STRIKE Beginning on October 9, 1912 and continuing for three months, these two arcs of American history collided on the streets of Little Falls. The interests of capital and labor brought to the surface by strike events divided the community along socio-eco-
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Explore Canal Place, Little Falls! MVCA Celebrates “Third Thursdays” in Little Falls!
Open Mic Night at The Gallery Coffeehouse Thurs., January 16 & Thurs., February 20 6:30 – 9pm (first act starts @ 7pm)
401 Canal Place Little Falls 315.823.0808 mohawkvalleyarts.org
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We specialize in antiques: vintage aprons and linens, old furniture, ironstone, vintage clothing and more, and we make our own herbal products, too!
Tue - Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Sun: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm 410 Canal Place, Little Falls, New York 13365 (315) 823-0718
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nomic and ethnic lines. Occurring between more highly publicized industrial strikes in Lawrence, Massachusetts and Paterson, New Jersey, the 1912 Textile Strike began as a local event but soon became one of the largest strikes in state history. Many residents favored the capitalist interests of the mill owners. Others felt sympathy for the downtrodden workers. City officials and local law enforcement attempted to keep the factories open and laid the groundwork for the introduction of outside political forces. By 1900 Little Falls was an industrial hub in the central Mohawk Valley with a fast-growing population and over 60 manufacturing interests. The primary industries were textile concerns, with the Gilbert and Phoenix knitting mills being the largest companies with the most employees. Most of these textile factory workers were immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, principally Italians, Poles, Slovenians, Slovaks and Czechs. The majority of these workers lived in squalor on Little Falls’ south side where most were crammed into crowded tenement dwellings. State inspectors found living conditions for Little Falls factory workers to be as bad as anywhere in the state. As was true in much of early 20th century America, these “new” immigrants were often resented and marginalized by earlier immigrant groups. By 1912 Little Falls was a microcosm of national industrial age forces with the interests of labor and capital in opposition and a mixed bag of often quarrelsome ethnic groups. The spark that ignited the 1912 Textile Strike came from Albany. In 1912 the NYS Legislature enacted legislation reducing from 60 to 54 the number of weekly hours that women and children could work in factories. In part, the Jackson Bill had been a response to the horrific 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in NYC that had claimed the lives of 145 mostly female workers. The law’s impact was immediate in Little Falls. OCTOBER 1912: THE TROUBLE BEGINS The owners of the Phoenix and Gilbert knitting mills cut the pay of their workers in response to the reduced workweek and the response of their employees was immediate: Short pay envelopes were the impetus on October 9, 1912 for 80 mostly female employees of the Phoenix Knitting Mill
and, a week later, 76 workers at the Gilbert Knitting Mill to walk off the job and into history. Desperate people had been driven to desperate action. Key figures in the Textile Strike included public health nurse turned labor sympathizer Helen Schloss, labor organizer Matilda Rabinowitz, Little Falls Police Chief James “Dusty” Long, Schenectady socialist Mayor George Lunn, and IWW co-founder William “Big Bill” Haywood, but the real heroes were the strikers themselves. What followed was a bitter and at times violent labor strike against both the Phoenix and Gilbert knitting mills involving over 600 workers and putting Little Falls in the middle of national labor movement events. The initial response by Little Falls city officials and law enforcement was to side with the mill owners. Chief Long said: “We have a strike on our hands and a foreign element to deal with. We have in the past kept them in subjugation and we mean to keep them where they belong.” This type of response by city officials drew ever-widening attention and publicity, even from the national media. The refusal of public speaking permits and the breaking up of peaceful labor gatherings in Clinton Park in the early days of the strike inadvertently put out the welcome mat to political activists far and wide. The strikers and their sympathizers had been turned into media martyrs. The IWW and socialists of all stripes came to Little Falls to side with the strikers. Among them were Mayor Lunn and IWW heavyweights Rabinowitz and Haywood. These individuals saw Little Falls as an opportunity to advance national organized labor causes. The Journal and Courier October 18 headline read: “Arrest Mayor Lunn - Schenectady Socialist in Little Falls Lock-up.” Arrested in Clinton Park for inciting to riot, Lunn had been doing little more than trying to address an assembly of striking workers. The right of assembly and free speech had seemingly been revoked on the streets of Little Falls. On October 24, 1912 striking workers held a mass meeting and voted to join the IWW; the radical union had become the organizing force behind the Little Falls strike. A strike committee was formed and Little Falls authorities were accused of deliberately inciting riots and then making arrests. One strike committee strategy was
to goad police into making mass arrests so that city jails would be swelled to beyond capacity. Helen Schloss had been brought to Little Falls in May 1912 by the Fortnightly Club to study and help treat tuberculosis outbreaks in the city. By the time of the strike, Schloss had been so taken with the struggles of the working poor that she resigned her post, threw herself into strike activities and became a central figure. October 30, 1912 was a day of confrontation. The violence ensued when a combination of Little Falls police and special policemen, hired through the Humphrey Detective Agency in Albany, clashed with strikers near the entrance of the Gilbert Knitting Mill. A number of strikers were savagely beaten, one policeman was shot in the leg and another was stabbed. The strikers then withdrew across the Mohawk River, with many heading to their strike headquarters at Slovak Hall on today‘s Flint Ave. The police followed, destroying some of the building’s contents, roughing up more people and perhaps firing shots into the basement before fanning out across the city to arrest individuals connected with the strike. By day’s end, the entire strike committee, including Schloss and Ben Legere, were in custody. The stakes had been raised and what followed was a two-sided media blitz and more confrontation.
Continued next Month. . . Towards Our Bicentennial 1811 - 2011
Bicentennial Writing Series A Collection of Articles Composed and Contributed by Little Falls Residents Past and Present
Little Falls Historical Society Little Falls, New York
This article is also available in a recent history book. “Towards Our Bicentennial 1811-2011, Bicentennial Writing Series” is a brand new book containing highly personalized stories. Some of the stories are about wars, some about athletic teams, and others about youthful neighborhood experiences. The book can be ordered by phone at (315) 823-9217, 823-0620, or 823-2799.
On the farm with Suzie:
farming is a business
by Suzie Jones
On the farm, life takes on a whole different pace during the winter. Yes, we still have chores to do—animals must be fed, eggs gathered and washed. My husband will make cheese almost every day. On our neighbors’ farms, the cows still get milked twice a day, every day, despite the bitter cold and snow. But our goats and sheep are not due to have their babies for another few weeks, so my January days are spent filling the woodstove and planning for the coming year. It is easy to forget that farming is a business. The iconic image of the farmer
and his family working the land and living the simple life is classic and all-American. Before we moved here and started our farm, I dreamed of life at a slower pace. Folks often remark how lucky we are—especially our children—to connect with the rhythms of nature and live life “simply.” These things are true to a certain extent, but I think to romanticize farming is ultimately unfair to farmers, consumers, and the future of our communities. Like so many things, the truth is much more complex, and infinitely more interesting. Our own farm business has been (and will continue to be) a work in progress. We’ve had to figure out what we’re good at, what works or doesn’t work using the resources we have, how our customers respond to us and our products, where and what we want to sell and then how we navigate the regulatory landscape. And, in the end, it has to provide a living wage for our
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family. I know from experience that come tax time, I will tally our sales, subtract our expenses and in the end, wonder how we managed to pay our bills. Every purchase must be agonized over, every line of business scrutinized. Our goats, for example, are our least profitable business. In a bad year, expenses can outstrip income by thousands of dollars. That means each animal’s performance and contribution to the bottom line must be measured and hard decisions made. Farming itself seems to be at a crossroads. The average farmer in America is a 58-year-old male. Of the farm kids we know, maybe only a third of them want to follow in their parents’ footsteps. They’ve watched their own parents struggle, working a job whose milk check often does not cover the cost of making that milk. Moreover, most farm families we know have at least one parent working an off-farm job. Imagine for one moment how tough that is. My friend Angie gets up to milk the herd with her husband and kids, feeds the family, and then goes to her nursing job. At the end of the day, she helps milk again, feeds the family, and maybe cleans the house, pays bills, and shops for groceries. An off-farm job helps make ends meet and often provides health benefits—something many farmers go without. According to the USDA, the vast majority of farm households need off-farm income to survive. Even large farms (those with greater than
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$250,000 in gross sales) earn 25% of their income from off-farm jobs. Which brings me to wonder what our farm business, and others like ours, can do in the coming year to adapt—to not only survive, but thrive. I find myself wanting every Mohawk Valley resident to care where their food comes from. Unfortunately, labels aren’t always easy to read. For example, dairy products made in New York State have a plant number that starts with 36. Anything else is from another state. How could I possibly buy butter from California and then ask Angie how her day at work was? Awareness has made me more thoughtful about my food purchases. For me, farming is not just a romantic, idyllic lifestyle. It is a business that needs constant tending. And as a business, it is an important piece of our community’s economic and social fabric. We farmers need to do a better job of reaching out and educating consumers. And we need to be willing to adapt so future generations can see their own opportunities as farmers. Government and non-profits can play a role in putting consumers in touch with farmers and heightening awareness, too. Ultimately, we are all consumers whose everyday purchases will affect our local economy and the strength of our community for generations to come. Suzie Jones and her husband, Peter, own Jones Family Farm in Herkimer. Together, with their children, they produce specialty goat cheeses and gelato. Find them at local farmers’ markets and at: www.anotherjonesfamilyfarm.com
“So You’ve Bought the Farm… Now What?” Thought of starting your own farm enterprise but don’t know where to start? Or have you purchased a piece of land or an old farm but have no experience in agriculture? If so, attend this one day educational workshop Saturday, February 1, 2014 at the Richfield Springs High School. Registration is $20.00 per person with $5.00 per additional family member. Deadline is January 25, 2014 To register or to receive a complete brochure, call (315) 866-7920 Find the full details at: www.cce.cornell.edu/herkimer
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*For commercial use only. Customer participation subject to credit qualification and approval by CNH Capital America LLC. See your participating New Holland Dealer for details and eligibility requirements. Down payment may be required. Offer good through December 31, 2013. Not all customers or applicants may qualify for this rate or term. CNH Capital America LLC standard terms and conditions will apply. Taxes, freight, set-up, delivery, additional options or attachments not included in price. Offer subject to change or cancellation without notice. © 2013 CNH America LLC. All rights reserved. New Holland and CNH Capital are registered trademarks of CNH America LLC. New Holland Construction is a trademark of CNH America LLC.
A visit To The
newport Historical center Historic Village of Newport
Newport was first know as the “Bowen Settlement” named for its founder Benjamin Bowen of Rhode Island who purchased the land around 1788. The West Canada Creek was a source of power and soon Newport became both a dairying and industrial center with a tannery, wagon shops, a tool factory, canning and milk condensery, an opera house, and it’s own newspaper.
Stone Arch Bridge The Newport Stone Arch Bridge, which spans the West Canada Creek in Newport, was constructed in 1853. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. On display: antique fans from 1856-1910, including fans that belonged to the Wilcox sisters who traveled from NYC to their summer home, the octagon house in Newport.
The Octagon House and Yale Lock Factory located on North Main St. in Newport was built by Linus Yale, Sr., in 1849 as a gift for his daughter, Chlothilda. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.
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The Key to Yale’s Legacy Linus Yale, Jr. was born in 1821 in Salisbury, NY to an innovative family. His father, Linus Yale, Sr., was a successful inventor who owned a lock shop in the village of Newport. After his father died in 1858, he became more involved in the family’s lock business, developing one of the first modern locks that used a pin-tumbler mechanism. Most modern locks are still based on Yale’s ingenious design. In 2006, Linus Yale, Jr. was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Grace Paull was born in Cold Brook, NY in 1898. She authored and illustrated many children’s books, often depicting local scenes and using her nieces, nephews, and neighbors as models. She returned from New York City in 1954 to work in her studio Artist, Grace Paull in Cold Brook focusing on her watercolors and oil paintings. She created a special collection of lithographs of historical places in the Utica area.
“Women of the Kuyahoora Valley”
Newport Historical Center
A new book available at the Newport Historical Center!
Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday 1-4pm 7435 Main St., Newport (315) 845-8434
315-823-1907 A Spectacular Setting
Celebrating 30 Years! www.villageofnewportny.org
the Grapevine Healthy Gluten-free, Vegan, Halal specials, homemade soups & authentic Mediterranean cuisine
Thanks for a great 2013! See you in the New Year! B&B Weddings Meetings Special Events 55 Douglas Street, Little Falls www.overlookmansion.com
120 Genesee Street, New Hartford Shopping Center (315) 733-0257 Open Mon. 10-3, Tue - Sat: 10-9 www.grapevinenewhartford.com
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farmers’ markets by Sharry L. Whitney
What do farmers do in the winter? Livestock farmers are as busy as ever, tending to their animals every day all winter long. For crop farmers, the pace is bit slowergiving them the chance to do repairs on the home, barns, tractors, and other farm equipment. They also use the time to do bookkeeping and recordkeeping—evaluating data and crop yields looking for results and trends. And now, due to the ever-increasing number of winter farmers’ markets, many farmers are tending winter farm stands. The growing interest in local produce has resulted in many year-round markets like the one at Clapsaddle Farm in Ilion. The Ilion market began out of owner Jim Parker’s desire to help his Amish neighbors through the harder winter months by giving them an outlet to sell their goods. Now, Amish and non-Amish vendors set up at the farm weekly. Many farmers, encouraged by the growing locavore movement, are extending their growing season with winter greenhouses and/or adding preserves and other added-value products to their offerings as well.
The new Oneida County Public Market brings the energy of a bustling marketplace to Utica’s Historic Union Station.
Woody’s FOLK ART
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OPEN & DAYS A WEEK 9-6 11588 Rte. 12, Alder Creek, NY
January-April 101 Main Street, Cooperstown
Hamilton Farmers’ Market Third Saturday of the month, 8am-Noon November-April Parry’s, 100 Utica Street, Hamilton
Morrisville Winter Market First Saturday of the month, 9am-1pm
November-April Madison Hall, 100 E Main St, Route 20, Morrisville
Oneida County Public Market Second Saturdayof the month, 9am-1pm January-April Union Station, Utica
Visitors cross an old plank bridge to visit the year-round The Poolville Winter Farmers’ Market, in the beautifully Clapsaddle Farm in Ilion, first settled in 1737. restored Poolville Community Center, highlights local chefs as well as 20+ local producers.
“If you can imagine it, Woody’s can carve it!
Cooperstown Farmers’ Market
PLAIDE PALETTE “That Little Shop of Celtic Wonders” 45 Main Street, Cherry Valley (607) 264-3769 www.plaidepalette.com M-F 10-4, Sat 9-4
Pashmina, wool, and cashmire blend scarves galore! Incredible, beautifully designed ponchos!
Oneonta Farmers Market Second and Fourth Saturdays January-May 9am-1pm Main Street Plaza, Oneonta
Parker’s Clapsaddle Farm Friday Noon-6pm and Saturday 10am-5pm Open Year Round 437 Otsego St., Ilion
Poolville Winter Farmers’ Market 2nd and 4th Saturdays, 10am-Noon November-April (No market in January) Poolville Community Center 7484 Willey Road, Poolville
Sisters, Nora, Claire, and Annelise Jensen shop for candles for their teachers at L'ouvrière Beeswax Candles, one of the vendors at the Cooperstown Farmers' Market open every Saturday throughout the winter.
Westmoreland Winter Farmers Market 1st Saturday of the month, 9am-Noon November-April Westmoreland Firehouse, Station Road, Westmoreland
Some vegetable farmers, like Seth Heller, stay busy year round. At Heller’s Farm CSA in Bainbridge, they grow greens and mushrooms in their 35,000 square feet of greenhouses.
Jim Parker enjoys experimenting with new products at Clapsaddle Farm in Ilion, first settled in 1737 by his 6th great-grandfather. His latest concotion is apple cider syrup.
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You can buy pickled just-about-anything at Parker’s Clapsaddle Farm in Ilion. The Zook family, an Amish family who moved from Lancaster County, PA, settled in Little Falls seven years ago. They sell jarred goods, sauerkraut , and baked goods at Clapsaddle Farm.
Scale Model Vehicles for Builders and Collectors. Auto Sales Brochures, and More.
2007 GENESEE STREET, UTICA, NY 13501-5648 527-1637
OPEN HOUSE Fri., Jan. 31st, 9am-6pm Sat., Feb. 1st, 9am-4pm
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www.lincolndavies.com Just 10 miles south of New Hartford on Summit Road between Routes 12 and 8
Beginner Apprenticeship Herbal Medicine for Self, Home and Family An introduction to the world of Traditional Western Herbalism and the medicinal plants of the Mohawk Valley. Six monthly meetings beginning in April 2014
Plant identification Bioregionalism & living with the seasons Herb growing Wildcrafting Herbal energetics
Making herbal products & preparations Edible wild foods Home remedies for common ailments Ethics and conservation
Intermediate Apprenticeship-Level 1
For self and community-creating healing and resilience
Available at a store near you or direct from our dairy store: Gift 6300 Skinner Rd., Vernon Center, NY (315) 829-4089 Open: Mon-Thurs 9-5, Fri 9-6, Sat 9-1 Boxes!
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Gain a deeper understanding of Traditional Western Herbalism and the initial steps of creating your own herbal practice. Covers the more subtle skills of medicine-making and the dynamics of herbal medicine and how it is woven into human health. Six 2-day weekend meetings beginning in April 2014
For more info and to register go to: www.hawthornehillherbs.com or call Lisa @ 315-845-1562
The Music never stops:
Bob Fleming Mossback mule band By John Keller
The 70s and 80s were a prime time for music in this area. Every weekend there was a band in every café & bar. Each night the venues were at capacity. Live music was the life blood of bands, bar owners, and fans. People listened, danced, and followed the bands place to place. The bands knew most, if not all, of their fans by name. Some of the more popular bands were Mr. Edd, Alecstar, 805, Zen, The Dust Devil Band and The Mossback Mule Band. Of these, the Mossback Mule Band is ‘still kickin.’ One of the members of Mossback is Bob Fleming. I asked Bob about his career in the band and beyond. Are you from Central NY, originally? Yes. I’m from Lee Center, but have been in Camden over 40 years. So, more or less a native. What were your earliest musical experiences? First bands? The thing that sticks with me is my mother always playing Glenn Miller and Johnny Cash records. I liked them both a lot. And of course then came the Beatles! That sealed the deal! My first band had a strange name and I don’t remember why. It was with a guy you probably know, Orin Domenico (Domenico’s Café, Utica). We called ourselves The Dry Heaves of all things! How and when did The Mossback Mule Band form? I’m thinking that officially it was around 1973. All the guys were childhood chums and had played together forever. I was the newcomer. I showed them Country music and they showed me the Blues! Who were the original members? Who is in the present band?
“I showed them Country music and they showed me the Blues!”
The original lineup is actually the same as today. Members of the band are, me on guitars and vocals, Dave Liddy on piano, Steve “Mule” Quenneville guitars and vocals, Hal “Mousee” Kent on bass and Dave Pallas on drums who is a new addition. When we have a bigger show Jeff Baker comes up from Atlanta to play harp with us. All original members except the drummer We had no drummer at the start, although our buddy Larry Kent played drums with us before we were really an official gigging band with a real name. Most exciting band moment? It would have to be the night that Charlie Daniels came to the Oasis in Westmoreland and joined us on stage! That was incredible. Worst experience? We had a show with the great Freddy King and had to miss his part of the show—although we did get to meet him—because we had a booking in Oswego. Or so we thought. The club double booked and the other band was playing when we arrived so we never played nor did we get to hear Freddie. He passed away shortly thereafter. Are there recordings by Moss Back available? In the 70s, there was a 45 released called ‘Feeling Like an Outlaw’ and it actually got radio play. Other than that, nothing official, although I have a lot of my own and other members do as well. Some of it, although primitive by today’s standards, sounds pretty darn good. I really need to put something together, but it’s more or less finances that keep it from happening. Do you know any rich people?
During the ‘heyday’ of the band, what was the local music scene like? Oh man, back in the day I can remember playing every night for weeks until we were begging for a break! There was so much great local music at the time. There still is today, although not as many people go out and support it anymore. I don’t know if it’s because it’s old hat, indifference, drinking laws, or a combination of those things. I don’t want to admit that maybe it’s because we are getting older. Any advice to offer newer musicians? Play for the love of it and the passion. Forget about getting rich ‘cause the money is not there anymore. It doesn’t matter what kind of stuff you like to play as long as it’s from your heart and soul. I tell my kids that all the time. I have some great musician kids. My son Tommy Fleming is an awesome drummer, my son Joey Fleming is a good guitarist, singer and writer, and my daughter Erin Fleming sings like an angel. My late stepson Jason Wilhem was a fabulous drummer and we all miss him terribly, but he is always with us when we play. That is something I totally believe! My ex-wife Tammy Fleming (Jason’s mom) plays with my buddy in Boxed Set and it’s awesome.
Find the Mossback Mule Band on Facebook. Local musician, John Keller, is the owner of Off Center Records in downtown Utica, NY.
Exotic Fruits and Vegetables
Lucky Mey’s Authentic Asian Market
Every Day 9-7 All Kinds of Noodles 1633 Oneida St Utica, NY 13501 (315) 735-5963 15
Who’s Afraid of yoga? by Kristy Caruso
The practice of Yoga has stood the test of time, evolving and diversifying through the ages. What was once a mystical and geographically isolated practice, Yoga can now be found in just about any small town across the U.S. Locally, Yoga is offered through MVCC, the YMCA, small studios, health clubs, and even in local art galleries and museums. Yoga instructor Jennifer Kemp-Quintana recently began teaching classes at Body by Design in the village of New Hartford and at the Kirkland Art Center, a clear sign of Yoga’s growing acceptance in the world of wellness care. Although more prevalent than ever, many are still reluctant to roll out a mat and give this ancient practice a try for the first time. After over a decade of teaching Yoga, I’ve come to better understand what holds people back from stepping into their first class. Many misconceptions surround Yoga, giving people
the impression that they are lacking something, (for example flexibility), and wouldn’t fit in or enjoy the practice. The truth is, Yoga will meet you right where you are. The physicality of Yoga has been overemphasized in our culture, leaving out the elements of Yoga that defined and characterized the practice thousands of years ago. Yoga gives you the unique opportunity to better familiarize yourself with the various ways you operate and move through the world. It offers you tools for managing the ups and downs of life and the stresses that are so pervasive in our society. Through the various techniques of Yoga, you gain insight into the causes of your stress and suffering, and gain new perspective on how you can cultivate the conditions for your suffering to lessen. There are no physical prerequisites for this type of inner work. The practice of Yoga postures nourishes the body and all its interconnected systems. Some postures are simple Whether or not you can touch and relaxing, others are more dyyour toes today is irrelevant. You namic, allowing you to gain strength can benefit today from slowing and stability. More important than what poses you are exploring is how down your body and breath. . . you are practicing them. By slowing down and deepening your breath and movement, you shift into the parasympathetic nervous system, a mode of functioning that allows you to digest, rest, and heal. Many of us go through the day locked in the fight-or-flight mode, using our sympathetic nervous system, with
elevated heart rates, stress hormone levels, and an overall feeling of discontent. Whether or not you can touch your toes today is irrelevant. You can benefit today from slowing down your body and breath, and shifting your awareness away from your constant inner chatter. Modern science is now catching up to the ancient wisdom that our minds are responsible for our wellbeing, and you don’t need loose hamstrings to address your mental and emotional landscape. With time and practice, we become more physically flexible as well as more mentally flexible. Body and mind are tended to simultaneously, and the illusion that they are separate dissolves. Everyone has stress in varying degrees. It’s how we react and respond to our stress that makes the difference. As the New Year unfolds, set the intention to give Yoga a try. Each of us needs a self-nourishing practice as part of our wellness puzzle. To achieve true balance we must balance activity and inactivity, doing and undoing. Yoga gives you the opportunity to work with both states of being, in a friendly, relaxing, and safe environment. Kristy Caruso teaches Hatha Yoga at Saint Stephens Church in New Hartford, Hamilton College in Clinton, and MVCC. She lives in Sauquoit with her husband and two sons. Find her on Facebook or at: kristycarusoyoga.com.
Brenda’s Natural Foods Something Good & a Lot of It
236 W. Dominick St., Rome (315) 337-0437
Shop in Italy today, & cook up an Italian dinner tonight!
Italian Market 294 E. Dominick St., Rome (315) 337-3370 16
Candy & Snack Shoppe Home of ChocolateCovered Bacon!
290 East Dominick Street, Rome 315-533-6361 Tues-Fri 9- 4, Sat 10-2
Natural Groceries - Supplements - Local Foods Health Foods - Organic Produce & Plants
www.brendasnaturalfoods.com Hours: M-F 10-6, Saturdays 10-3
For the cookies: Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Ingredients: 3 3/4 cups flour 3/4 tsp. baking powder 2 tsp. baking soda 2 1/4 cup sugar 1 cup butter, cut into pieces 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted 1/4 tsp. salt 2 eggs 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups milk
Half-Moon Cookies Downstate there are cookies called Black & White cookies. These are NOT to be confused with the Utica born Halfmoon Cookies! Black & Whites are more cookie like with fondan icing, while halfmoons are more cake like with thick, fluffy frosting. Half-moons are believed to have originated in Utica at Hemstrought’s Bakery in the 1920s when Harry Hemstrought opened a small bakery on Columbia Street. Although Hemstrought’s Bakery closed a few years ago, they still make the famous cookies for local grocery stores.
Really? On your wedding day? Ho. Ho. Hum.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl, set aside. Put sugar, butter, cocoa, and salt in bowl of standing mixer and beat on medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and continue to beat. Add half the milk, then half the flour mixture, beating after each addition until smooth; repeat with remaining milk and flour mixture. Spoon or pipe batter onto parchment-lined baking sheets, making 3-inch rounds 2-inches apart. Bake until cookies are set, about 12 minutes. Allow to cool, then remove from parchment. For the fudge icing: 3 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate 3 1/2 oz. semisweet chocolate 1 tbsp. butter 4 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted 2 tbsp. corn syrup 1 tsp. vanilla extract Melt bittersweet and semisweet chocolates and butter in the top of a double boiler over simmering water over medium heat. Add confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, salt, and 6 tbsp. boiling water and mix to a smooth, stiff paste with a rubber spatula. Thin icing with up to 8 tbsp. more boiling water. Icing should fall from a spoon in thick ribbons. Keep icing warm in double boiler low heat. For vanilla buttercream icing: 7 cups confectioners’ sugar 1 cup room temperature butter, cut into pieces 1/2 cup vegetable shortening 7 tbsp. milk 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Leaf, Loaf & Ladle understands that it’s your wedding. It’s a day when every detail is a personal expression, so choosing from a few standard menus may not be what you envisioned. With over 30 years of wedding experience, Leaf, Loaf & Ladle can help plan your reception, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner and day-after breakfast or brunch. Choose your own space, or we can Nobody plans a party, or goes to one, looking forward to host your old event in our stunning historichave hall.Chef OurMike the same thing. This holiday season location accommodate weddings 175 and an Cappelli can & Host Debra Richardson help of you create cocktail style receptions to 250. yours. unforgettable menu that’sup exclusively Whether a simple request or a completely Whetherit’s you’re planning an intimate gathering or a corporate event, require on-site,your full-service custom adventure and theme, food willorbeto-go as catering,asLeaf, unique yourLoaf day.& Ladle will prepare and present a
Put sugar, butter, shortening, milk, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer. Beat on low speed to mix, then increase to medium and beat until light and fluffy. Frost cookies:Using a metal spatula, spread about 1 tbsp. of warm fudge icing on half of the flat side of each cookie. Spread the other half of each cookie with 1 heaping tbsp. buttercream icing.
taste experience that will be remembered.
It’s your party,Richardson don’t settle. Contact Debra at 315.624.2528 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Debra orCall email heratat315.624.2528 email@example.com
PHoto BY maRRone PHotoGRaPHY
1607 Genesee s t | Utic a , nY | 315.624.2528 | leafloafandl adle.com
tucci hot rods
Dave Tucci was born and raised in Marcy, NY, but is know all over the world for his custom hot rods. His automobiles have appeared in, and on the covers of, numerous national car magazines. He is most proud of the business that his small two-man shop brings to other area businesses in his hometown.
I started my business, Tucci Hot Rods, in 1997 after many years of customizing my own classic cars as a hobby in my small garage. People started coming to me to have small jobs done on their cars and as this increased I realized I could make a business out of it. Thatâ€™s when we built our 6000 square foot facility just for designing and building custom cars. We specialize in sheet metal forming on pre1949 cars as well as the design and fabricating of any and all aspects of a custom car. I started by working many local cars, one car in particular was a 1939 GMC pickup we built for Fred Burrows. I received worldwide attention when we debuted the vehicle in 1999 in Columbus, Ohio at a national car show. At that event, we were asked to take the truck all over the country to display at various indoor and outdoor car shows. We were also invited to be on a few TV shows and were featured in and on the cover of 7 different magazines all over the world. This exposure and recognition brought in requests from people around the country who wanted to bring their vehicles to us so we could design
and build their dream cars. We have realized that this area is capable of supplying us with the necessary parts and materials we need to complete our custom projects. We utilize at least 10-15 local companies almost daily to supply us with these components. This saves us time and money by not having to go outside of the area to buy products and at the same time generates business for our local suppliers. Weâ€™ve proven that people do not need to have a custom car built on the west coast. The Mohawk Valley has everything we need to build our custom cars here.
Thanks for a Great 2013! See you in the Spring!
North Star Orchards Closed for the season Rte. 233, Westmoreland 315-853-1024 www.northstarorchards.com 19
The View From Waterville by Vincent R. Whitney
Amatuer astronomers have always played an important role in astronomy. With how large our sky is, it is important to have many different observers in order to cover such a massive scope. Many discoveries in astronomy have been made by these hobbyists, such as the discovery of Uranus. Today many aspiring astronomers can make discoveries simply by looking as data collected by NASA, whose technological instruments bring in far more data than the scientists could ever analyze on their own. This, coupled with the fact that telescope and camera advances have made astronomy more affordable, many individuals and groups make their own observations and discoveries. Fortunately for us in the Mohawk Valley we have The Mohawk Valley Astronomical Society. The Mohawk Valley Astronomical Society has been observing the skies of Central N e w
The Andromeda Galaxy is similar to our own Milky Way Galaxy and is part of what is called the “Local Group” of Galaxies (a group of galaxies clustering near the Milky Way). Some astronomers believe that the Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxies will collide in about 4 billion years, perhaps merging together and forming a much larger galaxy. Photograph by local astronomer Chuck Higgins.
York since May of 1989. They are a non-profit organization dedicated to the study, understanding, and appreciation of astronomy. They were formed in a classroom at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. At their first public viewing they had a great community response, with 60 people in attendance! A few months later they started their monthly Pictured are Jim Dulak, Faith Thompson, and Dan Szabo. Past and present presidents of newsletter, Telescop- the Mohawk Valley Astronomical Society. They are pictured in front of their newest teleic Topics, which pro- scope, a state of the art 12-inch Ritchey-Chrétien. vides a summary of their meetings as well as featuring vatory features a roll-off roof, with local astronomer’s observations and a 20’ x 20’ telescope room. Using a current events in the larger scientific small motor, a large section of the community. Their new observatory, roof rolls horizontally off the buildthe Barton-Brown Obser- ing, revealing a wide view of the vatory, was completed night sky. The building is one of the in June of 2013 and largest roll-off roof observatories in is located at the the US. The room houses two main Waterville Public telescopes, but has 6 concrete-paver Library. pads for members to bring their own The Bar- telescopes. The Seif Telescope, their t o n - B r o w n largest telescope, is a 16-inch Meade O b s e r v a t o r y Schmidt-Cassegrain. Their newer is a partnership telescope is a state of the art 12-inch between Waterville Ritchey-Chrétien, which allows them Public Library and the to take amazing photos with a relaMohawk Valley Astro- tively large field of view. nomical society. Made pos- Members of the Mohawk Valley sible by grants from the Edward Astronomical Society can operate Barton Trust and the New York the observatory on their own, once State Department of Education Pub- trained and qualified. This can allow lic Library Construction Fund, the those interested in astronomy 24/7 observatory was built with the help of many local artisans, tradesmen, access to the facility for their own and the Waterville Rotary Club. observations. Their monthly meetThe building itself is not only ings are open to the public and feaunique by design, but also in ture speakers that present a variety of how it functions. The obser- topics, from current NASA missions
to explaining different astronomical objects and events. These meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:30pm at the Kirkland Senior Center in Clark Mills. For more information please visit www.mvas-ny.org.
The Orion Nebula is a diffuse nebula situated south of Orionâ€™s Belt in the constellation of Orion. It is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. Photograph by local astronomer Chuck Higgins.
The Lagoon Nebula (left) has many dark globules, which will eventually condense into new stars. The Trifid Nebula (right) is both an emission and reflection nebula, with thin clouds of dust obscuring parts of the starlight. While they may appear as whispy clouds, these are actually massive collumns of cooler particles, light years in diameter. Photograph by local astronomer Don Yacco.
The Barton-Brown Observatory Located at the Waterville Public Library. The observatory features a roll-off roof that exposes a 20x20 foot observation floor.
Complimentary Gift Wrapping! Gift Registry Available
DiCastroâ€™s BRICK OVEN
Our Wood Fired Brick Oven, along with the freshest & finest ingredients, make a rustic, neapolitan-style pizza that is the best you will ever taste.
Open Monday 12pm-4pm, Tuesday - Saturday 10am-6pm 20 West Park Row, Clinton, NY 315.853.3650 www.kriziamartin.com
615 Erie Blvd. W., Rome Open M-Thurs 11-9, Fri & Sat 11-10, Sun 12-9
products created or manufactured in our region rome
Made in Rome
clinton and new hartford
Spreading the Green Young mothers Amber Spadea and Sarah Walker have a passion for “spreading the green” and have been working together the past year to bring homemade “green” products to their neighbors. Amber’s company, Tumblewool, features woolen goods made in Clinton, NY, including handmade, natural Tumblewool dryer balls. Dryer balls can be tossed in the dryer for an eco-friendly way to expediate the drying process while making clothes soft and static free. Available online at: www.tumblewool.com and at Studio 8 Fitness in Clinton and Whims-n-Doodles in New Hartford. Sarah’s company, Essential8, features her own line of organic products for home and body. Made in New Hartford, NY, her products include, handcrafted cleaners, liquid soaps, baby products, reusable wipes, bug spray, scrubs, and pet shampoo. Shop her online store: www.myessential8.com. Also available in Forestport at The Station Country Store; in New Hartford at Barnes & Noble, Life Discovery, and Village Toy Shop; and at Old Forge Hardware.
The city of Rome has a long history as a center of trade that can be traced back to when it was known as Deo-Wain-Sta (The Great Carrying Place) by the Haudenosaunee people. It is also where Revere Copper Products, Inc., one of the oldest manufacturing companies in the United States, was formed between 1928 and 1929.
Hubbard Tool & Die Co. Manufacturing still thrives in Rome today. Hubbard Tool and Die Co. began in a small barn back in 1949, today it occupies 14,000 square feet and employs over 30 people. They now have customers for their cross head tooling throughout New England, the South, the Mid-West, Spain, Australia, and soon South America. Brothers Eric and Randall Hubbard got their start in mechanical technology at MVCC, eventually returning to run their family’s company in Rome. 401 Mill St, Rome, www.tipsanddies.com
R-tronics Another business in Rome that supports the wire industry is R-tronics specializing in the manufacture of custom and prototype cables, wire harnesses, electro-mechanical assemblies, and RF applications. Established in 1991, R-tronics has made significant investments in automated wire preperation and crimping equipment. 222 Erie Blvd E, Rome, www.r-tronics.com
Famous for Bread The Friendly Bake Shop, owned by the Viti brothers, has been a part of Frankfort since 1961. The business got a facelift in May 2013 when celebrity bakery owner, Buddy Valastro, featured the bakery (and its makeover) on his TV show, “Bakery Boss.” The bakery now has an updated look and some new products, but the Viti boys still make the Italian bread they’ve always been famous for! 122 E Main St, Frankfort
The Friendly bake Shop
SALE! SALE! SALE! SALE! SALE! SALE!
January Blues got a Hold on You? STOP at
MVL Magazine is FREE to pick up every month, but subscriptions and back issues are available. Visit our website for more info: www.mohawkvalleyliving.com
for some retail therapy! 11 W.Park Row, Clinton • 853-5299
Jan/Feb hours: Wed-Sat 11-5, Thurs til 6 • Like us on FB @ The Village Crossing
And now at 11 Lebanon St in Hamilton Evergreen Gallery • 824-0897
Two brothers, a shared passion.
Classic Old Italy and Nouveau Mediterranean with an American twist.
Restaurant and Pastry Shop
1 Campion Road, New Hartford (315) 733-6592 Complete menu & catering information: www.cafecanole.com
Silver Season 1988 - 2013
Twenty-Five Years of Music, Theater & Dance! Doug Varone and Dancers Presented by the Mohawk Valley Dance Partnership Saturday, January 25, 7:30pm
“Mr. Varone’s superb dancers are always worth seeing.” The New York Times
Box Oﬃce information and tickets (315) 859-4331
Register Now! Pen & Ink Figure Drawing Mini Masters PreSchool Pottery Art Boot Camp for Teens Dance
Community Draw-in January 6 - February 1
Afterschool Arts & Crafts Coffeehouse Zumba! Yoga Digital Photography
January 10, 8pm Become a member and receive our weekly newsletter, coffeehouse and exhibition postcards plus discounts and all classes and tickets!
9 1/2 East Park Row, Clinton (315) 853-8871 www.kacny.org
Vartan Poghosian overlooks the high-altitude Lake Sevan in Armenia on a recent visit to his homeland.
vartan poghosian Echoes of Armenia by Sharry L. Whitney
Utica ceramic artist Vartan Poghosian creates pieces of art that seem both modern and ancient. His work tells a story, but its inspiration and origin has been a mystery to him, he just knows he has to create it. He regulary travels back home to Armenia (a mountainous country east of Turkey and north of Iran) to visit his family and to explore the region. But there was a time not too long ago when he wanted nothing to do with his home country. “I just wanted to get out,” says Vartan, when he describes his feelings as a young man in Armenia. “I was in the right family but in the wrong place. I felt like an outsider in my own country.” He left his country 17 years ago to come to the United States and until recently avoided anything connected to his homeland. Born in 1976 to working-class parents outside the city of Yerevan, he grew up in a time when Armenia was on the verge of independence. He remembers the dark times immediately following his country’s secession from Russia in 1990. He remembers soldiers and shootings. Then, when the Soviet Union collapsed, the power was cut off to his country, halting public transportation, closing shops and bakeries. He recalls the hunger that followed. He also remembers the art studio, that was nourishing his passion for art, was closed. His Aunt Shogher, a talented seamstress, had taken him to the studio a few years earlier. She saw how important art was becoming to her young nephew so she introduced him to her artist friends who would become his teachers. A whole new world was opened up to Vartan as they introduced him to new art, music, books, and ceramics. But his country continued to face a deep depression and increasing starvation. By the time he was 18 Vartan was resolved to leave Armenia. His ticket out was his art and an acceptance letter to the Rhode Island School of Design in the United States, but before he could
leave he was captured at his home and sent to the eastern Armenian border (Armenian men age 18-27 have a conscript military service obligation.) “It was a traumatic experence,” he says, “and I became angry with my country.” A year and a half later, when his military service was over, he left Armenia for the United States. He traveled around the United States from Maine to California, until an opportunity to study bronze and sculpture brought him to Utica. Vartan continued exploring his art and discovered a passion for ceramics. He enjoyed the endless possibilities of the medium and the ability to make it appear as different materials like metal and stone. His passion for ceramics led him to formulate and experiment with his own glazes in search of just the right colors. The art he was creating was unusual with motifs he didn’t completely understand. He was overwhelmed with the images that were in his dreams demanding to be expressed. On a visit to Armenia to see his family he realized he didn’t really know his own country. He visited the neighboring villages
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and mountains “then something clicked,” Vartan recalls. He visited a mountain village where his great grandparents had lived, one of five families who had come from Turkey and settled there. He explored the neighboring villages, monasteries, cave paintings, pre-Christian religious sites, and places like Karahundj, an ancient astronomical site. He realized, “this is where the images are coming from, the colors, the symbols! I felt a connection to my country.” He understood that the art he was creating was bigger than he was. “It’s in my genes, part of my DNA.” “I learned that maybe being angry at your country is not a good thing.” Vartan now looks forward to his visits to Armenia not only to visit his family but for artistic inspiration. He explores the surrounding mountains and villages like a tourist in his own country. “My art is only a tiny drop of what I want to describe. It’s like a seed inside!” Vartan works out of 4 Elements Studios, his studio in Utica and also teaches classes at Upstate Cerebral Palsy in Utica. See his work at: www.vartanpoghosian.com
Enjoy authentic Lebanese Cuisine
Full Buffet and Salad Bar Served Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30 Wednesday night Buffet 4:30-8:30 Serving lunch and dinner Mon-Sat 623 French Road New Hartford (315) 733-2709
Tuesday - Friday 10:00 am to 5:30 pm Saturday 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
The colors and textures of a 9th century monastery in Armenia echo through Vartan Poghosian’s art.
Experience all that the arts have to offer at Rome’s only multi‐arts facility. Open year round! live music • art galleries • workshops • community events • festivals • summer camp • historic tours • rentals • and more!
The nests of winter Story & Photos by Matt Perry
This may come as a surprise, but January is an excellent time to look for bird nests. Very few birds are actually in the process of nesting at this time of year, but their old abandoned nests from the spring and summer remain, ready to be found and examined. During the summer when the trees are all leafed out it’s just about impossible to locate these nests without investing a lot of time in the endeavor. Of course, the last thing you want to do is disturb an active nesting bird, so waiting until the off-season is a good all-around policy. It’s true that in wintertime deciduous trees and bushes hold few secrets and the nests of many songbirds become easy to pick out. Some may be harder to identify than others depending on their construction and how they’ve held up after several months’ worth of weathering. However, distinctive nests like that of the Baltimore Oriole tend to keep their shape. The Baltimore’s nest
This American Goldfinch nest holds two abandoned eggs.
usually resembles a tennis ball hanging in a gray sock from a high branch of a shade tree. The nest is actually a woven basket hanging by the rim of its long neck. For materials, the female oriole weaves together long strips of bark, but she will also utilize long animal hair as well as discarded string. This method of construction makes the oriole’s nest more durable than most, which is important since it is intended to hold 4 or 5 raucous nestlings for up to 2 weeks. The rim of the nest is securely fastened to a high branch, and the branch itself is most often one that reaches far out from the tree’s truck. This more isolated location on the tree helps to keep the nest out of reach of predators. Elms and Willows have long overhanging branches and orioles have traditionally favored them as nest trees, but I’ve also found oriole nests in Aspens and Sugar Maples.
This is a fresh goldfinch nest from the summer.
Fortunately not all bird nests are of the same shape or made from the same materials, so it is possible to discern the builder without actually seeing her, and in most cases it would be a “her” since with many bird species it’s the females who handle the heavy work of nest building. The males’ job is usually to defend the territory and to look pretty. The nest of the Red-eyed Vireo is another one that is easy to identify. It appears as a small, well-formed cup and is attached by its rim to a forked tree branch. This vireo most often places her nest from 5 to 20 feet high in a forest dwelling tree. The materials of the nest are many; they include grass, rootlets and papery leaves. Spider silk is used on the outside of the nest which lends the structure some elasticity and helps to bind it all together. The outside of the nest is also decorated with lichen in order to provide some camouflage from predators. Like
that of the Baltimore Oriole, the nest of the Red-eyed Vireo is durable and so it tends to remain intact through at least the early part of the winter. The nests of songbirds will not be used again–at least by songbirds. However, other animals may repurpose them. If you ever find a bird’s nest that looks like it has been filled with cotton, then most likely that nest has been taken over by a mouse. At Spring Farm’s Nature Preserve I can usually count on finding a few old bird nests that have had cottony roofs put on them. In most cases the work has been done by a White-footed Mouse. They will collect the silken parachutes of Common Milkweed plants, cut them up finely and create a very soft, well-insulated living chamber in the heart of the bird nest. Sometimes a mouse will use a bird nest as a site to cache food. The nests of Gray Catbirds are large, relatively well-built, and low to the ground and so they provide the perfect storage places for mice. I recall finding one a few years ago that was filled to the brim with berries. Our Bluebird boxes often provide the best opportunity to examine bird nests in the wintertime. These nests are protected from the weather and so virtually no degradation takes place. Interestingly, one single box may contain several discernable nests, one right on top of the other. Most of the nest boxes placed in open fields contain the used nests of Tree Swallows. The Tree Swallow constructs her nest with dried grass to which she adds feathers from other bird species. In this way the Tree Swallow presents us with the added challenge of determining what kind of birds those feathers came from. The Tree Swallows are known for their preference of using white feathers when available, but feathers of a great variety of colors and sizes may be used. Like different interior decorators have their different styles, different swallows also have their own individual bents. Some may just add a few feathers and place them haphazardly around their nest, while others go in for more flamboyant designs. Occasionally I’ll find the nest of a Tree Swallow that contains dozens of plumes including the long iridescent breeding feathers of wild ducks. If upon opening a nest box you find what looks like a massive jumble of twigs, it is undoubtedly the work of the House Wren. The male House Wren usually starts several nests and then one of his mates (House Wrens are polygamous) will be left to decide which one she prefers. Once she makes her choice she will go about deconstructing the male’s “work” and then begin building a real nest. Her finished nest will utilize some of the male’s rough twigs as a support frame in which she embeds a cup made of finer materials including grasses,
A mouse repurposed this Gray Catbird nest for food storage.
Found in winter is a well preserved Baltimore Oriole nest, though this one lacks the typical long neck.
Back in the early summer this oriole nest was alive with activity.
A White-footed Mouse looks out from beneath his bird nest home.
This Tree Swallow nest is lavishly decorated with turkey feathers.
The male Baltimore Oriole is likely basking in a tropical paradise right now.
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The Black-capped Chickadee nest sits on a bed of soft moss. This chickadee nest was repurposed by a mouse – milkweed silk was added. rootlets and feathers. In winter there may remain an infertile egg at the bottom of the nest. I always look for these. The eggs of the House Wren are small and thickly patterned with cinnamon-brown spots. Another interesting nest to look for in bird boxes is that of the Black-capped Chickadee. The female chickadee makes a soft mattress from moss, cocoons and other soft fibers. This construction fills the entire floor of the nest compartment. On top of this she puts down another layer of mostly animal hair and in the center of this she makes a cup-like depression. This is where she lays her eggs. In wintertime, when a mouse invariably takes over the chickadee’s box, it will rearrange the nest materials and incorporate them into its own nest, adding its own cottony plant fibers and making a soft,
well-insulated home. It’s important to realize that when scanning the trees for nests not everything that looks like a bird’s nest is in fact a bird’s nest. For instance silk from moth larva like the Fall Web Worm will sometimes trap leaves. When seen from a distance this mass can resemble a bird’s nest. There are also the large leafy nests of Gray Squirrels which are sometimes mistaken for the nests of crows or even hawks. Since neither hawks nor
crows tend to use more than a few leaves in their constructions, it is easy to rule out those possibilities. When embarking on a cold January hike, be sure to look for some of these nests, and when you see one, try imagining the colorful plumage of the birds that made them. Most of them are no doubt relaxing in 70 degree temperatures in some tropical paradise. Perhaps that thought may just take your mind off of your frozen toes.
Matt Perry is Conservation Director and resident naturalist at Spring Farm CARES in Clinton. He manages a 260 acre nature preserve which is open for tours by appointment. Matt is also regional editor of “The Kingbird”, which is a quarterly publication put out by the New York State Ornithological Association. Matt writes a weekly blog about the nature preserve, which can be found at: talesfromthewilds.blogspot.com
In wintertime the leafy nests of Gray Squirrels are easy to see.
A swallow used Cedar Waxwing and Blue Jay feathers in this box.
Enjoy fine dining overlooking Clinton’s “Central Park”
Full bar including craft beers and fine wines. Brian Mattison chef/proprietor 8 East Park Row Clinton, New York 13323 (315) 381-3076 Open Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun & Mon 5pm-9pm www.acrosstherow.com
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Mon-Sun 10-6 189 Main St., Sharon Springs (518) 284-2067
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Utica: 1420 Champlin Ave Utica, NY 13502 (315) 732-2350
Rome: 305 Erie Blvd W Rome, NY 13440 (315) 337-3340
Alder Creek: 11254 State Rte. 12 Alder Creek, NY 13301 (315) 831-3690
The Everyday Adventures of Mohawk Valley Girl:
A visit to Basloe Library, herkimer One of the greatest assets in any community is its public library. I love books and I’m always looking for free or inexpensive ways to entertain myself. So the library is a perfect destination. Last Saturday I took a trip to Frank J. Basloe Library in Herkimer. Basloe is located on N. Main Street. Parking is available on Main Street or in the parking lot on Prospect Street, one block over. From Prospect, one walks through a nice small park to get to the library. My
Anyone can show up with their acoustic guitar and play and sing along.
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dog particularly likes to walk through the park when we are out for a stroll. We often see people sitting on the benches. Sometimes they are on laptop computers; sometimes they are just enjoying the space. Of course, that isn’t so common in the winter, but I enjoy the library year-round. “Did you know that libraries offer more than books? Movies, music, internet access and community events can all be found at the library. I utilized Basloe computers before I had a computer in my house and a couple of
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times when my computer was down. You can print pages for ten cents a sheet, although the printer was down last Saturday when I was there. I was hoping to be there for the Guitar Group, which meets Saturdays at eleven. Anyone can show up with their acoustic guitar or other instrument and play and sing along. I just go to listen, although sometimes I can’t resist singing along with a particular song. They haven’t kicked me out yet, but I sing softly just in case. Basloe hosts appearances by lo-
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cal authors as well as other special programs. To find out about the programs, you can visit their website or stay connected by ‘Liking’ their Facebook page. However, my favorite thing to do in a library is to browse the shelves. I walked up and down, looking at fiction, biography, history, and more. Saturday I picked The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie, Crawford’s Men by Jane Ellen Wayne (Joan Crawford was notorious for her sex life), and The Sheppard Murder Case (later fictionalized as The Fugitive) by Paul Holmes. Before I left I spent a short time browsing the ongoing Friends of the Library sale. I couldn’t resist purchasing just one book and one video. I know, who watches videos anymore? But this was Rooster Cogburn, a TV movie starring John Wayne and Katherine Hepburn that I remember watching years and years ago. It was a blast
from the past. The book was Bandits by Elmore Leonard, in case anybody was wondering. I love Elmore Leonard. I could have stayed longer at Basloe, reading my books or working on my day’s blog post. If I had, I might have gotten a hot beverage. They have a coin operated Keurig machine and offer coffee, tea and cocoa. I had to hurry away this time, but I may go back soon. A hot beverage surrounded by books. Sounds like a great way to spend a couple of hours.
The Frank J. Basloe Library 245 North Main St. Herkimer, NY 13350 (315) 866-1733 www.midyorklib.org/herkimer Mon-Wed: 10am – 7pm Thurs & Fri: 10am – 5pm Sat: 10am – 2pm (Closed Saturdays in July and August)
Cynthia M. Quackenbush, a.k.a. “Mohawk Valley Girl,” writes a daily blog about her everyday adventures in the Mohawk Valley. Follow her frugal fun at: mohawkvalleygirl.wordpress.com
Are you ready for winter?
New Hartford Shopping Center 315-797-0025
Our First Year: 1974
Shawangunk nature preserve, cold brook
by Peggy Spencer Behrendt
In 1974, Tim and Peggy Spencer Behrendt set off on an adventure. They began a new life in the woods of Cold Brook, NY, without modern conveniences like electricity or indoor plumbing. Their goal was to experience a worthwhile existence while minimizing harm to the environment. These are excerpts from Peggy’s journal chronicling their first year.
WINTER ADVENTURES 1974 Cold winter days have a shade of blue as if the sky has been drawn down by the cold; muted and subtle, but filling the air with its ephemeral hue. I put a candle on the floor to look for my boots, but it blows out from the air blowing through the cracks between the floorboards. I find them anyway and go out to chop a hole in the ice to fetch water. It’s my turn. Meanwhile, before it gets too deep, Tim is shoveling a path down our road to where the plows pass by on Pardeeville Rd. a half mile away. Every day the ice over the creek gets thicker, creating an frozen well that makes it hard to maneuver the hatchet. The last blow dislodges the entire patch of ice, splashing icy water all over me. I wish we had a blade on a long handle. We bring in extra buckets to do laundry inside. I heat the soapy wash water on
Mon: 9:30 - 8:00, Tue - Fri: 9:30 - 5:00 Sat: 10:00 - 4:00 32
The Mohawk Valley’s premier quilt store offering high quality fabrics, notions, and quilting classes for all levels. Located at The Shoppes at the Finish Line in West Utica.
the wood stove, scoop the ice chunks out of the rinse water, and plunge the clothes with two clean toilet plungers. We wring it out by hand. The laundry dries quickly on hangars in the loft. I wish I could press some items, but the “sad” iron doesn’t get hot enough on the wood stove. Millard Brenning (our 90 year old friend) stops by and tells me about an old fashioned, kerosene cooking burner they used to use. I’m going to look for one. He teaches me how to trim the wicks of our kerosene lamps in a gentle curve to keep the flame clean and bright. The glass globes need to be washed every day. Someone’s been in my diary! “Peggy, sometimes I love you (accept, respect, enjoy and care). You don’t have to believe it though. Timmy, Tim, Timothy” I’m sitting on the roof in the sun while Tim is splitting wood. I “chew him out” for writing in my diary. I’m just mad because I’m embarrassed. He’s ruining my self-image of feeling hateful and repulsive. I had a beautiful day yesterday. We took turns singing songs to each other through the woods with just sounds, no words. It was fantastically beautiful. Both our songs were unique and perfectly “us” in all our myriad of scared, embar-
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rassed, happy, loving, etc., feelings. This morning I was so excited to see a bobcat! It was right outside the kitchen window. Tim got a quick glimpse before it hurried off. I take a long walk through the forest all the way to our mailbox over a half mile away. Sometimes I crouch in the snow for a while, the sun overhead, and just look around me. The tree trunks are decorated with filigree mosses, chickadees are calling cheerily, a gentle breeze trembles dry beech leaves tenaciously clinging to their birthplace. The temperature drops. Suddenly, it’s 40º F below zero. We hear blasts like gun shots nearby, even though it’s dark. We bundle up and go outside to investigate. The intense cold makes our chests hurt if we breathe too deeply. We hear another “BOOM!” It echoes throughout the forest. Another “CRACK!” further off. “POP!” from a little tree next to us makes us jump. All around us, trees are exploding. Each one echoes and reverberates through the woods in a vibrant diminuendo. The sap
has frozen in the trunks before it could descend to the roots, where it would be protected from deep cold by the insulating earth. The rapid expansion of ice inside the trees causes wood fibers to rip in sudden blasts. It sounds like fireworks going off, or a percussion symphony. Awe, and the cold, make me catch my breath. I pull my scarf up to warm the air I am breathing. It makes my glasses steam up. I feel like I’m on a different planet. Tim announces; “It’s so cold, we need to start up the truck in the middle of the night or we might never get it started again the next morning when we have to go to work.” I am horrified! “You’re telling me I have to get up in the middle of the night when it’s sub-zero, hike a half mile through the snow in a dark forest to the end of the road and sit in a cold truck while it warms up? You are not serious!” “Afraid so, Peg. If we’re going to get to work, we’ve got to do it. We can take turns.” My turn comes at 2am. I consider the
“I consider the option of divorce... but first I would have to get the truck started anyway...”
option of divorce…but first I would have to get the truck started anyway…so I grumpily hurry into layers of clothes and trudge wearily out the door with a dim flashlight. (They are always dim.) Once my blood starts circulating and my cheeks aren’t freezing I start to notice the brilliance of the stars. I’ve never seen so many! I feel like I am in a magical world of pale, bluish, white diamond carpets where I can see into eternity. I finally reach Isaiah, cold and asleep in the wonderland. I turn on the key and press my left foot on the starter button. Isaiah is as grumpy about waking up as I had been but manages to rev up for me and I am very grateful. I return home invigorated, delighted with my visit into the silent mystery of a deep winter night. The cottage isn’t much warmer than it was outside, but my bed is
warm, my partner is warm, I am content, and cancel the divorce plans. Sometimes we have to do it twice in one night, to make sure we can get to church early in the morning. It always begins in groans and complaints, but transforms into an awe inspiring journey through a magically mysterious wonderland. We get unexpected visitors. A young couple we met last summer hike in and want to get married. (Editor’s note: Tim is a minister.) After a simple ceremony and a Champaign toast we ask; “Where do you plan to spend your honeymoon?” We are tired now and hinting that it’s time to leave, since it’s getting dark. “Um, we were hoping you’d let us spend the night here. We don’t have any extra money for a motel and it’s too far for us to get home tonight.” “We’ll take the cushions off the couch and lay them on the floor. Peg will find some blankets,“ Tim offers. They’re happy with that and we climb to our loft. Tim is worried about them getting hypothermia. The cottage gets colder and colder thru the night ‘til by dawn it is close to freezing inside, as usual. I wake to the soft sounds of our newlyweds discretely consummating their marriage. At first I think; “How sweet!” Then I panic; “What if Tim wakes up suddenly and wonders what’s going on? Should I wake him myself and clue him in, or just wait and hope for the best?” I wait. Wrong decision! He hears them, wakes with a jolt, and calls out in alarm and concern; “What’s wrong? Are you folks ok?” “Yes, we’re ok, Tim,” the groom wearily replies, “We’re just making love.” “Oh, so sorry!” he apologizes softly and with great embarrassment, retreating quickly back under our covers. “I was afraid one of you was suffering from hypothermia and you were trying to resuscitate or something.” I giggle. It finally warms up but now we’re in a snow storm. I don’t want to go to church but Tim feels he must go. He makes it to Salisbury Center and has a nice service as the storm increases. On the way home he gets stuck in the notoriously deep drifts blowing across Barto Hill, barely getting out of them by rocking the truck forward 34
& back or gunning the engine. He turns into the drive of the last farmhouse at the top of the hill. “May I park my truck here until the storm is over?” He asks the farmer, when the surprised man answers Tim’s knock. “Of course, of course!” he replies. “You can stay the night. No one can get over Barto Hill today!” “Thank you, no” Tim answers, “I need to get home. Thanks for keeping my truck. I’ll be back as soon as possible to pick it up.” And he walks back out into the storm. He knows I’ll be worried, and we have no phone. He’s not properly dressed for this, but he loves experiencing the power and majesty of the fierce, frigid, snow-driven winds so intimately. He follows the telephone poles because the road has disappeared under the chaos of white. He skirts some drifts, climbs over others, slowly descending this great Adirondack foothill to the Kuyahoora Valley five miles below where the winds are gentled by protecting hills. Here he’s able to hitch short ride along part of the eight mile trek along the West Canada Creek from Middleville to Poland. Exhausted and cold, he goes into a town bar and orders a beer. He is almost as white as a snowman and his full beard and moustache are stiff with ice from his breath. Wearily, he slides onto a bar stool, savoring the heat inside as he starts melting and dripping onto the floor. “Hey! How ‘ya doin’, Moses?” a man nearby taunts in an unfriendly way. At this time, most men are afraid they’ll look radical if they allow their sideburns to grow below their earlobes. Tim doesn’t answer. He keeps looking straight ahead, sipping his beer. He’s not in a good mood. The bar room becomes silent and the atmosphere gets tense. The men seated nearby start moving away like a scene in an old western. Fortunately, nothing more is said and Tim leaves quietly, leaving a puddle of snow for remembrance. He hikes to the home of our friend
Peg at the front door with her new, home made afghan. Spencer Prindle who braves the storm, giving Tim a ride as far as he can, but he’s still almost three miles from home. I find my husband hiking in with a big log on his shoulder. He thinks it will be good for the fire. He wants to get warm. I tell him I’ve got a fire going and he should leave it for later. He has hypothermia, is exhausted, and isn’t thinking clearly, but he recuperates in a few days with frostbite scars to remind him of his hike through the blizzard over Barto Hill. Winter here is a big challenge. But it is sumptuously, magically, ethereally beautiful; a wonderland of crystalline mosaic patterns. It gives the impression of eternal, impregnable, frozen stability, even though it is actually in constant flux with the temperature, wind and sun. The Eskimos have many different names for snow, and we who live in the North Country understand why. The Shawangunk Nature Preserve is a deep ecology, forever wild, 501©(3), learning and cultural center. Tim and Peggy still live there and can be contacted through their website.
Dinotopia at the Arkell Museum in Canajoharie
GAllery Guide Community Draw-In, Elemental Elements
January 6–February 1, 2014 Community artists and non-artists are invited to come to the KAC and draw on white and black paper-covered gallery walls, using black and white and shades of gray, with a variety of drawing materials provided—or bring your own! Creation: January 6–February 1 during gallery hours and by appointment. Community Draw-In Celebration: Saturday January 25, 5-7pm
Kirkland Art Center
9 1/2 East Park Row, Clinton, NY (315) 853-8871 www.kacny.org
Dinotopia: The Fantastical Art of James Gurney Through February 9, 2014
James Gurney’s Dinotopia brings the worlds of science and the imagination to life by chronicling Arthur and Will Denison’s remarkable experiences on a lost island in vibrant color and meticulous detail. Recounted in words and pictures in the best-selling book series, Dinotopia.
2 Erie Boulevard, Canajoharie, NY (518) 673-2314 www.arkellmuseum.org
Winter Air January 18–April 27, 2014 A juried group exhibition of visual works that convey the very distinct but intangible sensations of walking outside on a cold winter’s day.
3273 State Route 28, Old Forge, NY (315) 369-6411 viewarts.org
Art Into the New Year
January 10–February 26, 2014
All art teachers related to the MVCA and their students are invited to come together for a special exhibition featuring the art of you and your students as an opportunity to show and possibly sell your art. Art delivery dates: Tuesday, January 7 and Wednesday, January 8, Noon-3pm
Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts
401 Canal Place, Little Falls, NY (315) 823-0808 www.mohawkvalleyarts.org
Swing City by Linda Bigness
Featuring the works of Linda Bigness-Lanigan, Kimmy Harvey, and Wendy Carbone Through January 31, 2014
Rome Art & Community Center
308 West Bloomfield Street Rome, NY (315) 336-1040 www.romeart.org
Chadwicks CM Marketplace
A primitive mix of new and old purposeful clutter, handmades including wreaths, dolls, ornies, grubby prims, cabinets, framed prints, bird houses, finds, signs, seasonal wares & one of a kinds!
Antiques, Vintage, Collectibles, Furniture and Much More! Sat. Jan 18, 2014 Winter Wonderland! Auction House coming soon!
3480 Oneida St., Chadwicks, NY 13319 Booths Available! Call (315) 542-3949 Open Wed-Thurs 12-5, Fri 12-6, Sat 9-6, Sun 12-5
6170 Valley Mills St., Munnsville (315) 495-2470 Tue - Sat: 10-5, Sun: 11-4
Did you Know? from the Oneida County Historical Society by Brian Howard, Executive Director
Before 3D Television…
The recreational stereoscope was a popular source of Victorian entertainment. It was derived from scientific research in the 1830s that proved humans have binocular vision. The stereo-views on accompanying cards show left and right eye images for the same scene. By looking through the lens of the stereoscope, the two images are seen as one 3D picture. The first stereoscope was introduced in 1833 in Great Britain. This was before photographs! The first ones used drawings.
Are these folks going to a graduation? Or to a concert? How about the circus? For over fifty years the Utica Memorial Auditorium has played host to a myriad of events and several sports teams. Built atop the old Erie Canal in 1959, the ‘Aud’ was designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 2001. Most recently the Utica Comets hockey team has made its home here, continuing a tradition that dates back to the venue’s opening in 1960.
Make Your Own Butter at Home!
To make butter in this early 20th century wooden butter churn, you need to move the long handle up and down and side to side. Inside the churn, the handle connects with an X-shaped dasher, which agitates the cream. You don’t need to go fast, you just need to keep the cream in motion. Want to try making butter at home? All you need is a jar and some heavy cream from the grocery store. Pour the cream into the jar, filling it about 1/3 full. Screw the jar lid on tight and shake it. SHAKE. SHAKE. SHAKE. You’ll know it’s done when you feel a solid ball of butter sloshing around in a bath of buttermilk. Use the buttermilk for pancakes and enjoy your homemade butter!
Cheese and so much more! Gourmet Foods & Gifts
Gift Baskets & Mail Order 1-800-211-3345 8190 St. Rt. 12, Barneveld (next to Family Dollar) and 13 W Park Row, Clinton Shop www.adirondackcheese.com 36
Utica Chrysler, Plymouth, 1968 Thruway I90 construction.
Oneida County Airport, 1968
How We Moved
After World War II our nation entered the Jet Age and flew (literally!) into the future. Travel by passenger train and by steamship plummeted as the ‘greatest generation’ embraced the airplane and the automobile. Oneida County’s airport in Oriskany bustled with activity while downtown Utica hummed to the drone of autos from Detroit’s ‘Big Three’—Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler. Spurred by the construction of the interstate highway system during the 1950s, our region embraced new methods—and a new scale—of travel that altered our landscape and our fortunes through the rest of the 20th century. Genesee St., Utica, 1968
Ray Benson Chevrolet, 1968
Oneida County Historical Society 1608 Genesee Street, Utica
Open Mon.-Fri. 10-4, (315) 735-3642 www.oneidacountyhistory.org
Come visit & browse the
ONEIDA COMMUNITY MANSION HOUSE
A wonderful array of distinctive and hand-crafted items. Hours of Operation: Monday – Saturday 9am to 5pm Sunday Noon to 4pm
Wholesale Cash and Carry! For all your baking needs. Home of the
“Utica Grind” Avico Spice Cash & Carry
170 Kenwood Avenue • Oneida, NY • 315-363-0745 www.oneidacommunity.org
Serving CNY for over 85 years! 729 Broad Street, Utica (315) 724-8243 Mon-Fri: 9-5, Sat: 9-2
Try our delicious Lobster Tails today!
8524 Fish Hatchery Rd, Rome, NY 13440 315-533-7710 www.deltalakeinn.com
Caruso’s Pastry Shoppe Italian pastries, cookies, wedding & specialty cakes. 707 Bleecker Street, Utica, New York 315-735-9712 Mon 7-5, Wed-Fri 7-5, Sat 7-3, Sun 7-Noon
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GENESEE JOE’S LIVE & LOCAL:
rocky graziano Rocky Graziano is a multi talented multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and actor. Aptly named, he looks like he could box and he rocks. His father, the late Joe Graziano, was a well respected saxophonist and radio personality in the Greater Utica area, known for his popular “Cuppa Joe” show. Growing up in a family that appreciated music, Rocky was never discouraged from following his dream. He has played guitar since he was 17 and has written and recorded songs since 1993. In addition to his solo performances, he has played in the Blob Mob, Showtime, and with his band, the Bourbon Mothers. He has also written and played bass on local guitarist Rich Fortuna’s 2009 record, Burnt Shadows. Rocky has released two solo albums, The King of Prince Street and Simple and Cold, touring the northeast and midwest to promote their release. His band, Bourbon Mothers also released an album that is recommended if you like the Foo Fighters, Counting Crows, and Tom Waits.
His influences range from The Clash, Prince, and Bowie, to Springsteen and Johnny Cash. Local musical influences include Touris, Todd Hobin, and Vinny and The Butchers. He has also played rock acts in indie films by Mad Angel Films with music credits in the productions as well. “I’ve always wanted to write and record music that people can relate to and find familiar,” he says. “It’s easy to write about moments that have touched your life. The trick is to get those things expressed in three or four minutes. That’s fun for me.” Catch Rocky Graziano on Friday, January 10th at 9:00pm at The Celtic Harp Pub, 805 Varick Street, Utica. Visit: www.rockygraziano.com for upcoming performances and search Rocky Graziano on ReverbNation. Listen to Genesee Joe live on 92.7FM, The DRIVE. www.927thedrive.net
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Historical Herkimer COunty:
by Susan R. Perkins
The Hollywood Theatre
The Hollywood Theatre was located at 104 South Frankfort Street in Frankfort. The theatre was built in 1931. Those were the days when you paid five cents for a matinee and ten cents for the evening show. This photograph is dated 1939 and the marquee shows the featured movie, “St. Louis Blues” starring Dorothy Lamour and Lloyd Nolan. Robert L. Jenner was the manager when this photograph was taken. The theatre was put up for sale in 1962. Today it is apartments.
The Whipple Winckel Company The Whipple Winckel Company was located on the corner of Litchfield and Pleasant Avenue. George H. Winckel (1843-1923) was born in Germany and immigrated in 1888. Sometime after 1910 George moved to Frankfort from New Jersey. In 1913, George Winckel and Fred Ashenhurst (1874-1941) were in the plumbing business known as Winckel-Ashenburst. George then went into partnership with John D. Whipple (1875-1958) sometime after 1913. They ran a supply store which was called the Whipple Winckel Company. Both Winckel and Whipple are buried in the Oak View Cemetery.
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I Am American Day This photograph is dated May 18, 1942 and shows “I Am American Day” in Frankfort, New York. In 1939, William Randolph Hearst created a holiday to celebrate citizenship through his chain of daily newspapers. In 1940, Congress designated the third Sunday in May as “I Am An American Day.” In 1994, it was promoted though the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service. A 16-minute film was shown in American theaters as a short feature. In 1948, governors of all 48 states had issued Constitution Day proclamations. On February 29, 1952, Congress moved the observance to September 17 and renamed it “Citizenship Day.”
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The Gates Match Factory
The Gates Match Factory was founded in 1844 by William Gates. William invented and patented match-making machines. The patent was obtained April 4, 1854 for a machine that would manufacture friction matches. It was the first continuous match machine ever built. William Gates was born in 1809 in Mechanivlle, Saratoga County, NY. He married Mary A. Due in 1832. In 1843 they moved to Frankfort. It was in 1844 that he began the manu- Timeline for the property facture of phosphorus matches. The business started up to 1929: in a twelve square foot room on the south banks of the Erie Canal. It had grown by 1870. Gates bought 1844 William Gates starts the the land that is now Lehman Park located on South match company Litchfield Street. The water power from Moyer 1877 Gates dies, son takes over, Creek was used for a 40 horse power engine that was renamed William Gates’ Sons used for the match industry. William died in 1877. 1881 Six match companies merge Gates three sons, William B. (1840-1900), George into one and are called the Diamond W. (1843- 1918) and Frederick Gates (1848-1942) Match Company. The factory stayed ran the business. Note George W. Died in Oshkosh, in Frankfort. WI. He went there in 1881 to take charge of the J.L. 1893 Diamond Match Company moves Clark, which was a match factory that had been ac- to Oswego quired by Diamond Match Company. There is a monument to deceased fireman which 1897 Frankfort Linen Company. It was was erected in 1952 in the south section of the park sold to Ward P. Munson. in 1902 with the Gates Memorial occupying the north sec- 1902 property is vacant tion. The Gates Memorial reads, “Site of the Wil- 1907 Duofold Underwear Co. liam Gates Match Factory, 1844. Peddled matches in Utica, 1854. Invented the first continuous match 1914 Wicks, Hughes & Co. Paper Mill machine, 1855, inventor of the first phosphorous 1921-25 Litchfield Paper Co. Inc. match. Erected by the Town and Village of Frank1929 Frankfort Paper Products Corp. fort, November 1956.” takes over.
Winant’s hotel was located on the busy corner of West Main and Litchfield Streets in Frankfort. It was formerly the Frankfort Hotel owned by William Brown. Two brothers from Mohawk, Harvey (1818-1875) and Jacob (1820-1892) Winant, purchased it from Brown in 1865. Besides being a hostelry pubic auctions and political meetings were held here. It later became the site of the Central Hotel.
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Open M-F, 10-4 400 North Main Street Herkimer, NY 13350 Sue Perkins is the Executive Director of the Herkimer County Historical Society and historian for the town of Manheim.
Restoring history for the past 43 years.
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View of Whiteface from Mt. Esther
Never Stop Climbing Story and Photos by Gary VanRiper
What do you do during the winter to stay in hiking shape? It was July in 2006, and I thought my hike up Seymour Mountain in the Adirondack High Peak wilderness would be my last. Despite climbing a few of the “easier” peaks in the past and running two to three miles nearly every day for years, I simply did not have the strength and stamina required—for what was originally supposed to be a three-day backpacking adventure with The Adirondack Mountain Club—to conquer the four-mountain Seward Range. Leaving the group to pack out the next morning, I thought, “That’s it. Over 50. Too late. Too old. I’ll never be able to finish all 46 of the Adirondack High Peaks.” It didn’t take long to forget the pain and try to figure out what I could do to give it one more shot. The new plan? Each day, I would ascend and descend the 46 stairs behind our middle school while wearing a pack loaded with 12-20 pounds and do a total 2400 stairs, followed by a brisk one to two mile walk around the school track. With a summer of that routine
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behind me, I joined another group in September of that same year for a dayhike up both Esther and Whiteface Mountain. Result? Flew up and down both mountains. Left the trailhead at 9:05am, arriving on the summit of Esther at 11:45am. From there we could see the summit of Whiteface encased by clouds. Leaving Esther at 12:15pm, we made the Whiteface summit at 2:30pm. After enjoying the view from the top of that fifth highest peak in the Adirondacks and admiring the wall that runs along the Memorial Highway from the trailside, all of us were back at our cars by 5:45pm. Encouraged with the outcome, and despite some raised eyebrows, I shoveled a herd path down those school stairs all winter to maintain that routine, and in the spring hit the ground running. Between May and October of the following year, I had finished climbing my remaining 32 peaks to finally become what is called, “a 46er.” Now seven years later, I continue that same workout and continue to enjoy hiking with others who aspire to climb one or more of those incredible mountains just a one-to-four-hour drive from our Tug Hill backyard. Be sure to check with your doctor
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and get approval for any exercise routine you might be considering to maintain hiking shape. Just don’t let your age alone discourage you from dreaming and asking. I’ll leave you with this: a few autumns ago after summiting Snowy Mountain—a fire tower mountain at Indian Lake, NY—I met a guy at the top who was sitting on the grass and enjoying the view. Joe, from Utica. We talked for a bit and I learned he had undergone a hip replacement operation just one year earlier. Then he told me he was 81-years-old. “Joe,” I told him, “You’re my hero.” Gary VanRiper is an author and photographer. He has written 13 children’s books with his son, Justin. Find out more at:
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White Pine, or Pinus strobus, is the tallest tree native to the Adirondack forest, growing up to 150-200’+ with up to an 8’ diameter. It was considered sacred by the First Nations of the Haudenosaunee (Ho-deh-no-shaw-nee) and was named The Great Tree of Peace. The White Pine was widely overharvested and more or less clear cut by European colonists but, thankfully, there are still several small old growth forests left in the mountains. These are also easy trees to grow and cultivated in any backyard in the Northeast, although they do best in acidic soil and, in fact, the needles are highly acidic when they fall (ph3.5) helping to create the necessary conditions for its survival. This will limit the growth of any plants below it with the exception of acid loving plants such as blueberries. The best way to identify White Pine is to count the number of needles in a bundle.
The White Pine will have 5 needles to a cluster and are approximately 3-5” long. The cone will be thick and 4-8” long. This tree is not only tall and majestic, but is an excellent source of medicine especially for the upcoming winter months. It is considered a food source and is highly nutritious, but mostly used as a last resort starvation food by the First People. The inner bark can be eaten and both the bark and needles are high in Vitamin C. The nutritional value of White Pine was not widely known by the first European settlers. When they arrived Illustration (right) courtesy of John Fadden (Mohawk). See his work and the work of his son, David Fadden, at Six Nations Indian Museum in Onchiota, NY. www.sixnationsindianmuseum.com
Words from the Peacemaker: “I will plant the Great Tree of Peace. And it will be so tall that it will pierce the sky. And it will be the symbol of sharing, the symbol of brotherhood and the symbol of peace in the world. And the roots will be so big and they will be white, one to the north, the east, the south, and the west. And they will carry peace to the world. And those roots are white, so they can be noticed by all. And when people see the white roots, if they want peace, they can follow them. And they can make their mind know where the Tree of Peace was planted, in Onondaga country. And there they will seek to sit in peace, in the shade of the tree, with all of us Iroquois nations.” From the book, And Grandma Said..... Iroquois Teachings as Passed Down Through the Oral Tradition, by Tom Porter
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in North America many of them died of scurvy beneath the very trees that could have saved their lives! I have heard many variations of myths from the First People about the White Pine. It is commonly thought that word “Adirondack” means “bark eater”. I was taught by an ecology professor that there was no food growing beneath the Pine forest and so people and other large mammals couldn’t have lived in the mountains. But, according to the stories of the first settlers to the Adirondacks, there was plenty of food due to many acres that were cleared as a result of beaver dams and forest fires. I was also told a story by Abenaki elder Joseph Bruchac. He tells of a standoff between the Kanienkeha/Mohawk (gan-yun-GEH-ha) and the Abenakis at Lake Champlain. The standoff went on long into the winter and the supplies of food became scarce. The Kanienkeha warriors survived by eating the inner bark of the White Pine. The Abenaki used this information to taunt them and called them “bark eaters.” I listened to Bear Clan Elder of the Mohawk, Tom Porter (Sakokewnionkwas), tell the story of how the White Pine became known as The Great Tree of Peace. The Peacemaker was born into a time of great war and destruction for the Iroquois people. Through his efforts peace came,
and he used the image of the White Pine and its roots as a symbol of the peace treaty that had been created between the five nations. It is one of the most beautiful stories I have ever heard of the human capacity for cooperation, compassion, and unity. As I sat listening to this luminous man convey his peoples’ profound legend, tears filled my eyes at the thought of the peace that came to the people and land here. This is surely hope and evidence that this choice can be made again. The chemical compounds of the White Pine include flavonols, proanthocaynidins, resins, bitters, tannin, Vitamin C, and volatile oils. It is used as an herbal remedy for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities. I use White Pine needles for any upper respiratory infection, but it seems particularly useful when there is green phlegm. It is considered a tissue stimulant as it will stimulate the elimination of mucus by increasing oxygenation to depressed, bogged down, mucus entrenched membranes. It also relaxes by soothing, cooling, and calming irritated and inflamed sinuses and lungs. White Pine can both warm and cool, as it is anti-inflammatory and reduces infections by cooling the tissues and allowing for tissue repair and pain relief. This makes it a great remedy for bronchitis, sinusitis, and flu. It also opens the chest and sinuses releasing heat, and can be used for asthma to relieve wheezing and related tightness in the chest. It warms through its stimulating properties increasing circulation that will carry oxygen to affected areas and remove waste and stagnation. White Pine’s affinity for the lungs was known during the tuberculosis epidemic. The Pine forests in the Adirondacks contained many famous havens for those with tuberculosis and hosted many sanitariums amongst these great beauties as a source of much relief for those afflicted. “Frequent morning walks in pine woods are very invigorating, particularly for consumptive people.” ~Lydia Child I make tea with the needles any time of year and make tincture in the spring from the fresh
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shoots. Below I have shared my Pine Tea recipe. This tea is great for colds, flu, bronchitis, sinus infection, chronic coughs, whooping cough, tonsillitis, laryngitis and fever. The inner bark can be used but I have not felt that I have needed to do so as the needles work splendidly without having to damage the tree.
White Pine Needle Tea
Gather a handful of White Pine needles Cut them into 1/2 inch pieces Pour 1 cup of boiling water over them Steep for 20-30 minutes Strain and enjoy! Drink 2-3 cups per day for coughs or colds. Honey may be added! The information in this article is not intended to, and should not replace, professional advice by your doctor or healthcare practitioner.
Editor’s Note: Last month’s issue of MVL Magazine featured a photograph of the rugosa rose hip instead of the multiflora rose hip. Although both are edible, multiflora rose hips are smaller (about ¼ inch in size) and require little, if any, drying. Lisa Ferguson Crow is a community herbalist in Newport. She has been practicing herbal medicine for more than 20 years. For information go to: www.hawthornehillherbs.com
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Sleigh ride by J.O. Scharf
It was a crystal clear night with the dark sky brimming in stars. It had snowed heavily the day before, and now a full moon reflected off covered fields turning the scene into an illusion of a black and white world. It took a special event like Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve to be able to stay up this late. My father, mother, my younger sister and I had just returned home after attending the midnight service at St. Bernard’s Church in Waterville, and the scent of waxy candles and refrains of Silent Night were still playing through my eight year old mind. We tumbled sleepily out of the warm car to go into our house. The full moon must have worked a spell over my father, because he turned to my mother and said, “How about you go on in and fix us some hot chocolate while I take the girls for a sleigh ride.” My eyes opened wide in amazement. A sleigh ride at this time of night? But when he came out of the garage carrying our long wooden sled, the one with the red runners, we knew he meant it. He carried the sled to the snow packed country road that ran by our house and set it down in the center. I looked at the slick downward stretch that lay before us, and my heart beat faster with the tingle of excitement. Traffic on the road at that time of
Thanks to the Utica Writer’s Club for selecting this month’s MV Flash Lit. The club meets the 4th Wednesday of each month at the Kirkland Town Library at 6pm.
night was nonexistent. The roadway was ours. My six year old sister sat in the front of the sled, I wedged in the middle, and our father fit himself on the back, his long legs on either side of us to reach the steering bar. He pushed off on the icy road with his gloved hands, and we began to move. We started slowly, but soon picked up speed. The only sound was that of the crunch of metal runners as they bit into the frozen snow sending thousands of tiny sparkles twirling into the air alongside of us. I could feel the frigid wind rushing against my face, and the sting of the tiny ice flakes as they reddened my cheeks. Faster and faster we slipped down that long hill in the silence of the winter night. The inky black of a heavenly sky crowded with brilliant pinpricks of starlight seemed to surround us stretching right down to the edges of the snow covered fields. The thrill and majesty of it all nearly took my breath away. The road flattened out into a gentle curve at the bottom, and our sled gradually glided to a standstil. On the way back, my sister and I took turns walking or hitching a ride on the sled as Dad pulled it back up the hill, all our breaths coming in frosty puffs. A happy glow kept me warm all the way home, and the memory of that magical, moon kissed Christmas Eve sleigh ride will warm my heart forever.
Joan O. Scharf is a member of the Utica Writers Club and a member of Hodges University Critique Group. Books: Hanging on a Twisted Line published 2009, Valentine Tales published 2013.
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