Mountain Home, May 2024

Page 1

Blown A wAy

Janusz Poźniak Settles His Family in Corning After Glass TV Stardom

FREE asthewind MOUNTAIN MAY 2024
Pulling Strings in Williamsport Nothing There Is That Doesn’t Love a People Wall Drink, Drink, Drink Goes the Trolley around Seneca Lake
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Blown Away

Janusz Poźniak settles his family in Corning after glass TV stardom.

The People Wall—Annotated

Barbara Hall Blumer publishes the stories behind the photos.

Fifty Years of Restoring Downtown Corning

What Norman started, Elise continued, and Agnes couldn’t stop.

Cover photo courtesy Marble Media. This page (top) Janusz and family, courtesy Janusz; (middle) Barbara Hall Blumer, by Wade Spencer; (bottom) Hurricane Agnes flooding, courtesy Corning’s Gaffer District.

Volume 19 Issue 5 18 12 6
The Last Great Place
Remembering Layne Conrad.
A Special Heart for Helping
Nancy Baumgartner Cogan Station teen fought the odds and now fights fires.
Friends Who Play Together, Stay Together
Lilace Mellin Guignard Williamsport Symphony Youth Orchestra is a proving ground for young musicians.
Relaxe at Three Birds
Banik Capuzzo
Leave the Driving to Lakeside Trolley
The axe lounge trend hits the bullseye in Corning 30
Take a red, white, and brew tour with Watkins Glen start-up.
Planet of the Grapes By Terence Lane Getting along with the locals. 34 WMC North Jazzes Up Downtown
Lilace Mellin Guignard Jesse Knox’s culinary legacy lives on in Elmira.
The Music of the Spheres
Karey Solomon Dennis James revives the armonica.
Back of the Mountain
By Ann E. Duckett
Spring turns a corner.
By Becky Simpson


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E ditors & P ublish E rs

Teresa Banik Capuzzo

Michael Capuzzo

A ssoci A t E E ditor & P ublish E r

Lilace Mellin Guignard

A ssoci A t E P ublish E r

George Bochetto, Esq.

A rt d ir E ctor

Wade Spencer

M A n A ging E ditor

Gayle Morrow

s A l E s r EP r E s E nt A tiv E

Shelly Moore

c ircul A tion d ir E ctor

Michael Banik

A ccounting

Amy Packard

c ov E r d E sign

Wade Spencer

c ontributing W rit E rs

Nancy Baumgartner, Ann E. Duckett, David Higgins, Terence Lane, Chris Sharman, Karey Solomon

c ontributing P hotogr AP h E rs

Barbara Hall Blumer, Alison Lane, Highland Photography Studio, Elise Johnson-Schmidt, Becky Simpson

d istribution t EAM

Amy Woodbury, Grapevine Distribution, Linda Roller

t h E b EA gl E Nano

Cosmo (1996-2014) • Yogi (2004-2018)

Fea ring the HG Treble Choir & Special Guests!


ABOUT US: Mountain Home is the award-winning regional magazine of PA and NY with more than 100,000 readers. The magazine has been published monthly, since 2005, by Beagle Media, LLC, 39 Water Street, Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, 16901, online at or at Copyright © 2024 Beagle Media, LLC. All rights reserved. E-mail story ideas to editorial@, or call (570) 724-3838.

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The Last Great Place

Remembering Layne

Ididn’t know Layne Conrad’s middle name was Burton, otherwise I would probably have razzed him about being related to Richard, or some such nonsense. I didn’t know he had served as an army reservist. I didn’t know he had been a scoutmaster, or a church treasurer. But all of these things fitted perfectly with the Layne we knew, the bright, smiling, and highly energetic man living in Mansfield with his equally sunny and wonderful wife, Ellie. Mike and I met Layne when he came out of retirement to become one of the faces of Mountain Home, delivering our magazines from 2007 to 2020 while making friends all around the Finger Lakes as the magazine’s ambassador. Layne, born on February 7, 1938, passed away from lung cancer on March 26. His loss is still echoing in our hearts.

When I asked our associate publisher, Lilace, if Layne was still working for us when she came aboard at Beagle Media, she said no. It was a shock to me, because when people become essential in your life you can’t imagine a time without them, and to me Layne was always around. But Layne had already gone into real retirement by then, to have more time for travel and dancing and dining—and grandkids. But Lilace knew him well enough to call it perfectly: “He was joyous.” She saw him and Ellie everywhere: at Hamilton-Gibson plays, at performances at the Clemens Center in Elmira, and the Deane Center in Wellsboro.

Those of you who don’t know our joyous Layne from seeing him with a pile of Mountain Homes in his hands might remember him from those venues, or from the Endless Mountain Music Festival, where he and Ellie, as fervent music lovers and season passholders, were constant presences. I can still see his beaming face at the concerts, full of the music of the moment. I didn’t realize how much that music meant to him. Memorial contributions in his name can be made to Endless Mountain Music Festival, 130 Main Street., Wellsboro, Pennsylvania 16901.

RIP, dear friend.

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Spring has sprung at the Poźniak residence, and things are a little hectic. Janusz and Michelle, both hot glass professionals, are scrambling to get their studio and furnace up and running. The driveway is crammed with lumber, extensions cords, rolls of insulation, and shop tools. A dump truck is parked axle-deep in a bed of daffodils—luckily, it’s only a child’s Tonka toy. Two free-range little boys chase squirrels through the greening yard as a staple gun hammers nearby like a dystopian woodpecker. The snow has finally melted, the puddles are drying up, and the scraggly trees and shrubs are showing signs of life. There is work to be done…lots of work. It’s late March 2024 on Spencer Hill, and Janusz Poźniak, runner-up and fan favorite from Season 1 of the hot glass reality show Blown Away, has moved with his wife, Michelle, from Seattle to a lovely property in Corning to raise their two young children and grow their arts and crafts business.

See Blown on page 8
Marble Media Challenge accepted: Janusz works glass in the hotshop provided for him while competing in Season One of the Netflix show Blown Away Blown A w A y Janusz Poźniak Settles His Family in Corning After Glass TV Stardom By David Higgins

Blown continued from page 6

Janusz (ya-NOOSH) is British by birth and still retains a Lancashire accent. His father was a post-war refugee from Poland who married an English lass and settled near Liverpool. Though neither of his parents were artistically minded, they gave Janusz and his older brother the freedom to pursue their own interests. For Janusz, that led to art school. He originally thought of becoming a ceramics or jewelry major—“the only glassblowing I had seen was in a documentary about making soda bottles and lightbulbs”—but on a visit to Birmingham University, he stumbled upon a small, closed-down glass studio with dusty old student work on the shelves. Intrigued, he did some research and eventually matriculated at West Surrey Art College, one of only three schools in the UK with art glass programs.

Armed with a degree, Janusz then served a three-year assistantship at a hotshop in London, but reached something of a dead end. “In England in the early ’90s, there were few options to take if you wanted to continue your training and get better at glassblowing,” he says. “I decided the best choice for me was to look abroad.” Venice, recognized since 1291 as the traditional center of the glassblowing world, was still mostly a closed society then, so the road to mastery led to either Sweden or the USA, which was just beginning its climb to art-glass eminence. In 1991, Janusz, at age twenty-five, cold-called Seattle’s Dale Chihuly, now famed for bringing blown glass into the realm of large-scale sculpture. “I left this stammering message on the answering machine,” remembers Janusz, and a couple weeks later, after mailing over some sample images and a resume, “I was accepted! I packed one little backpack and headed over to America.” He has been in the states ever since.

The meanings of sanctuary: Janusz, Michelle, Attila (left), and Olek are finding refuge on Spencer Hill, where Janusz will have his very own hotshop; Janusz made Sanctuary in 2008 using the very difficult reticello technique. The ball inside represents himself, protected and contained by the exterior fishnet pattern.

Semi-Sleepless in Seattle

Janusz spent years at the furnace with the very best: first with Chihuly, and later with artists like Lino Tagliapietra, Sonja Blomdahl, Josiah McElheny, Dick Marquis, and Preston Singletary. But his closest relationship was with Seattle’s renowned Dante Marioni, for whom he served as top assistant for three decades. Along the way, Janusz patiently mastered reticello (“little net”), a difficult sixteenth century Venetian technique where filigree spirals nest inside a clear vessel, creating a fishnet pattern. When properly done, tiny bubbles are centered in each diamond with a regularity that once must have seemed like witchcraft. It is a triumph of the glassblower’s art, and the technique has been prized by kings, queens, and aficionados for centuries. Though he is expert in several different sculptural and functional styles, Janusz’s critically acclaimed reticello pieces, for sale on his website, are essentially what pays the bills. Tina Oldknow, a foremost glass expert and curator emerita of the Corning Museum of Glass, wrote of Janusz’s piece, Sanctuary, that “the authority of this work lies in its technical sleight of hand and in the obscurity of its meaning. …It appears as a mystical object of power.”

Michelle, or Miishka, also has a degree in glass arts but has since branched out in other craft media. Janusz met Michelle in 2007 at a class session at the world-famous Pilchuck Glass School near Seattle, founded by Chihuly. Janusz, working there as a gaffer (glass blower), was present at the traditional meet-and-greet when the kitchen door swung open and Michelle appeared, framed in the

Courtesy Russell Johnson Wade Spencer

doorway. She had just driven over thirteen hours from Calgary on short notice to pinch-hit as a teaching assistant, and was road-lagged and scruffy. Yet Janusz took one look and, as the old usage has it, was smitten. “The first time I saw her, I knew I was in trouble. And the rest is history.”

But their romance did not come easy. Byzantine immigration regulations and the suffocating international bureaucracy (Canada, America, England) interposed between them. The obstacles were like something out of a TV rom-com, except that there was no guarantee of a happy ending; it was two years of agony and frustration. “But we survived the storm,” recalls Janusz, and doubtless it made their relationship stronger.

Michelle hails from Alberta, a Canadian province above Montana. She was born way up north in Fairview, and grew up near Edmonton, in the steppe-like prairie known vaguely to Yankees for its wheat harvests, Arctic winters, and a certain hockey player named Gretzky. Says Michelle, “I’ve always been crafty, so it was an obvious choice for me to attend the Alberta University of the Arts in Calgary.” While majoring in studio glass, she learned to make leather handbags as a side project, and that eventually grew to become her full-time job. Partly in honor of her Eastern European heritage, she also practices the Ukrainian art of pysanky as learned from her mother and baba (grandmother). Pysanky is an intricate egg-dyeing technique using wax resist and natural pigments; it’s so much a part of Canadian culture that there’s a giant decorated egg, almost four stories high, displayed in a public square just east of her hometown.

“For the last ten years, I’ve taught a pysanky class once a year a few weeks before Easter,” Michelle says. “When things settle down, I hope to continue this in the new studio.”

Michelle and Janusz married in 2011 and settled in his small apartment in Seattle, the “Emerald City” (or, as some new arrivals prefer, “Rain City”). Their first son, named Attila in honor of Miishka’s Hungarian papa, arrived in 2016. But the joy of the newborn came with some financial reckoning. To pay the bills, Janusz was working as an assistant gaffer, crafting work for hire. He’d built six hotshops for clients, but had never had one of his own. Michelle, too, had little time to spare for her own work. Unfortunately, the Poźniaks found it harder and harder to stay afloat. The gallery system was unrewarding, studio costs were daunting, and Seattle was becoming a very expensive place to live. Despite decades of hard work, “there was a downward spiral in our income level and my career path,” remembers Janusz, “and being both self-employed, there’s no guaranteed paycheck, and if your work’s not selling and the market is collapsing, there’s not much you can do about it but hope.” They needed a stable future. Something had to change. And it did.

Blown Away

The glass world is a small one, but a wide one: artists and teachers the world over all know each other through the grapevine or personally, via travel to seminars and workshops (Janusz himself has been globe-trotting for decades—Turkey, Australia, Scotland, Finland, the Maldives, and Japan). And through that grapevine, in 2018, came word that the content-creator Netflix was looking for glassblowers to star in a new reality series. It was to be called Blown Away. “Ten master artists turn up the heat in glassblowing sculpture challenges for the chance to win $60,000 in prizes and the title of

See Blown on page 10


Give me shelter: Janusz created Shelter for the first challenge in Blown Away, and was inspired by being a father.

champion,” was the Netflix synopsis.

At first, Janusz was not interested.

“Glass is a collaborative process, and I didn’t like the idea of it as a competition,” he says. But Michelle recognized the opportunities the show could provide.

“I talked him into it!” she exclaims. The last two or three years had been tough for them, but now there was an unforeseen chance to gain an audience and maybe even win some cash. Janusz was one of ten who made the original roster. The group was sequestered for six weeks—the duration of the show—at a purpose-built hotshop in Hamilton, Ontario. For ten nerve-racking episodes, each artist’s work (based on a weekly theme) was assessed by a panel of judges, and the loser was sent home.

“[ Blown Away ] was challenging on more levels than I expected,” Janusz told the Seattle Times; “to be on TV and have to make something you just heard about that represents you as an artist and that will be seen by millions of people, that’s a lot of pressure.” Perhaps because glassblowing relies so heavily on intricate teamwork, the other

contestants were mostly a congenial and supportive bunch. Even so, he missed his family dearly, especially since little Attila was just beginning to speak in complete sentences.

Show feedback on social media ratified him as an immediate viewer favorite. He possessed obvious skill, he was articulate and gracious, and he was relatable to experts and amateurs alike. “I’m just shocked at how many people liked me. I’m still humbled beyond belief,” Janusz marvels. From the very first episode, he spoke eloquently of his family as the motivating factor for both his aesthetics and his desire to win, and that mindset (“if something could be perfect, other than my wife, it would be my son”) resonated with many viewers. His first piece for the show, Shelter, externalized both his role as a protector of his son and also the inevitable and bittersweet separation as the small child grows into adulthood. He won three of the ten weekly challenges before falling just short (among much controversy) in the climactic episode.

Blown Away has now spanned four seasons and a Christmas special; it proved to be a ratings and critical success, and is available

on Netflix. “Some in our community were worried that the show would cheapen their craft, but everybody is just elated by the exposure,” said Janusz in the Seattle Times “The small glass shops everywhere have seen a huge upswing of purchases and sign-ups for classes. [Blown Away] has been nothing but positive.” Corning artists loom large on the show; contestants with Crystal City roots include Annette Sheppard, Cat Burns, Claire Kelly, Brenna Baker, and Eric Meek, the judge. As CMoG founder Tom Buechner once said, “Corning is incredible. …Every time you go to Wegmans, you could be sharing an aisle with one of the world’s greatest glass artists, and you wouldn’t even know it.”

Who Is That in the Produce Aisle, Anyway?

As Michelle had hoped, the exposure on Blown Away was providential. For months afterward, the Poźniaks spent four hours a day answering internet queries about the show from thousands of people all across the world. Several times, he was recognized by strangers on the street or at his local coffee

Blown continued from page 9 Courtesy Marble Media

shop. “The Blown Away fans were an amazing support base,” Janusz says. Michelle led the way in leveraging that goodwill on a shared dream they had been mulling for years: a bespoke design firm. To be called Hohm-meyd, it would utilize a network of local artisans to produce leather goods, candles, handbags, soaps, and functional housewares. Its mission statement is to unite a guild of makers under the core values of community, sustainability, and ethics. Michelle spent countless hours mastering the Kickstarter app, and she was “basically the machine that got [Hohmmeyd] going and finished,” notes Janusz.

Though their financial outlook had brightened, when Olek (Polish for “Alex”) came along in 2020, the Poźniaks had to confront a growing reality. Seattle, for reasons of cost, congestion, and other urban ills—all worsened by the pandemic—was becoming a less desirable place to raise a family. According to Michelle, “it required planning aforethought just to take the boys outside in the stroller to play.” And living for thirty years in an increasingly cramped apartment (only 900 square feet) was losing its limited charms. It was time to move. But what location offered world-class professional

resources while also being a healthy place for children to grow up? One small city seemed to fit the bill.

Despite passing through the Crystal City several times, Janusz wasn’t all that familiar with it.

“I had been to Corning in a purely professional role for several glass museum events, but I hadn’t seen much of it other than my hotel and a few restaurants on Market Street,” he says. Michelle had been to Corning only once, in 2009, “but I remembered it as a nice little town.” One day in early 2023, she trawled through the real estate site Zillow and discovered a splendid woodland homestead on Spencer Hill at a price they could (barely) manage. It had ponds, an outbuilding that could be remodeled into a studio, and a house suitable for a rambunctious family. While visiting a friend in New York City, Janusz took a long bus ride upstate to have a look…and they pounced.

“This move was so quick,” marvels Janusz, who describes the property as “perfect beyond words—amazing.” Michelle was succinct: “The stars aligned! Comparatively, in Seattle, we would have gotten a townhouse with a tiny yard and no place for our business.”

They soon discovered that the architecturally distinctive property, built in 1973, had been the home of Jamie Houghton, former CEO of Corning Incorporated, and whose family had founded not just the Glass Works but CMoG as well. As Janusz observes, “The Houghtons meant so much in the glass world. It’s an honor to raise our kids where they once raised theirs.” Unfortunately, the house had passed through several owners in the last decade and had suffered some neglect. The living quarters were mostly intact, but the grounds were a mess. Hard frosts and hungry deer took their toll on the trees and plantings, and it will take many years and lots of TLC to restore them. Luckily, the new owners are used to manual labor, they’re good at building things, and they’re in it for the long haul. Yet even in dull, drab March, the grounds are charming. Come a midsummer evening with fireflies winking around the pond, it will be positively magical.

After an epic nine-day cross-country journey in two crammed vehicles and a jury-rigged trailer, the Poźniaks arrived in




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Imagine Us. Welcoming
See Blown

The People Wall—Annotated

When pedestrians go past the Corning Civic Center, one of the first things they’ll notice are the larger-than-life photographs. They fill three floors of City Hall. The photos are old—vintage, maybe, or retro. The clothing and hair styles are right out of the 1970s. There are businesspeople and local leaders in three-piece suits, others in bell-bottoms. Grocers, police officers, fire fighters, and a garbage collector line the walls. In his outstretched arms, one man holds his pet boa constrictor. There are many pictures of smiling kids at play.

But who are they? And why are they on the wall? No plaques, signs, or guides identify them. Very little information was available on the People Wall. That is, until now. Corning artist and author Barbara Hall Blumer released People Wall ’76: The Mural in City Hall. She researched and wrote the book, which was published in November, 2023, through the Corning-Painted Post Historical Society.

“We saw this as a way to give back to the community,” Barbara says. “It can be magical when people get to tell their story.” And tell their stories they did. Three hundred interviews were conducted over the

three years dedicated to researching and writing the book. Barbara, or “Sleuthy” as she is nicknamed, says that over 400 people contributed to the book’s success. These hours of research and interviews now identify individuals and provide details on the People Wall’s unique place in Corning’s history. Barbara explains how the original research quickly grew into a book project.

“We began to meet in early 2020, but then the covid-19 quarantine shut everything down,” she recalls. Now working largely remotely, the research effort was reliant on archives from the city of Corning and the Corning Incorporated Foundation. Newspaper archives also provided valuable information. And Barbara has long had an interest in genealogy and historical research.

“I enjoy helping people solve problems,” she says. “It’s challenging and enjoyable to figure out historical facts with limited information.” Like many, she came to the community via a position at Corning Incorporated. She is a former manager in the company’s consumer products division.

In 1976, America was celebrating its bicentennial. As communities across the country planned their unique ways of doing that, a group of Corning citizens brought

forth their own ideas. It was suggested that a statue of Baron Friedrich Von Steuben, who had served in the Continental Army and became George Washington’s chief of staff, be built to mark Corning’s celebration. But, as Corning Mayor Joseph Nasser said at the time, “He never even lived here. Let’s put pictures of people on the wall.” In the end, Corning opted for photos of its own citizens over a statue of the Prussian military leader from the American Revolution, despite the county being named for him.

Though Mayor Nasser is credited with the People Wall idea, it was Tom Buechner, director of the Corning Museum of Glass, who “took it from there,” along with a group of volunteers. Urban Planning Director Jim Sheaffer and Director of the Corning Glass Works Foundation Richard Bessey also played vital roles.

Back in early 1976, a letter went out from Mayor Nasser to the Corning community. It explained the purpose and plan for creating a People Wall. The mayor relayed that the project was funded by grants and wouldn’t require local tax dollars. More importantly, he wrote, “…what better way to show the true character of our city than

Barbara Hall Blumer Or is it a people aquarium? At night, the three-story People Wall at the Civic Center is lit behind glass so Corning’s history can shine.

through its people!”

The mayor wrote that photographer Elliott Erwitt would be directing the project. In a New York Times article, Mayor Nasser credited Tom Buechner with bringing Erwitt to the project. As a photographer, Erwitt was “at the top of his game” in 1976. He had an eye for the unique, and had photographed not only the rich and famous, including Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy, Nikita Khrushchev, and Richard Nixon, but regular people who were neither rich nor famous. Many of those receiving the letter should expect a phone call asking to be photographed, the mayor said. He made it clear that there would not be space for everyone, but that the plan was to have a representative group of Corning’s citizens to be photographed. Volunteers then made the phone calls to people across the city.

Art murals are common on and in public buildings, but are typically paintings, often having a historical theme. The Corning post office has a painted mural about glassmaking, from 1973. The post office in Painted Post has its own historical landscape scene. But for its time, and even for today, it is innovative to have large scale

photos in a public space.

Erwitt arranged the photoshoot over five days in March of 1976. Barbara notes that over 350 people were photographed, and over 3,000 images were generated by the photographer and his team. Of these, 150 people and pets can be seen on the People Wall today.

After Erwitt captured the images, they were printed on large format cloth panels called Scanachromes. The normal enlargement size at that time was only 8” by 10”— and on paper. It’s remarkable to think that Erwitt’s images were captured on 4” by 5” film, and then enlarged to 4’ by 10’ colored cloth prints. The images remained in place until 2003, when they were removed to be digitized and then replaced. What we see now are the same people and in the same locations, with improved color.

While People Wall ’76: The Mural in City Hall has great background on the People Wall, the development of Nasser Civic Center, and historical context about the country’s bicentennial, its greatest value is as a guide book—a people guide book. Open to any page and you can not only identify the person on the wall, but you can

learn what they were doing in 1976. Many of those photographed for the People Wall have passed away, many have moved away, but others are still a part of the community.

On page forty-four, for instance, there’s a picture of barber Lew Potter alongside hair stylist AJ Fratercangelo. Lew is conservatively dressed as a barber, with a shirt and tie and polished dress shoes. He holds a pair of scissors in one hand and a black plastic comb in the other. By contrast, AJ has longer hair, an open collar, and sports platform shoes under his blue corduroy suit. He’s holding a bright yellow hair dryer. Lew passed away in 1994. AJ is still styling hair in his shop on Market Street after fortyeight years.

“I was about twenty-three when that photo was taken,” AJ says. “At that time, I was cutting Clare Bavis’ hair, and she told me to go home, pick out an outfit, and get my photo taken.” Clare managed communications for Corning Glass and was among the organizers of the 1976 project.

And what about the dogs and cats on the People Wall? The same thorough research and attention to detail was used to

See Wall on page 14

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Famous Brands began in 1983, offering “famous brand” clothing and footwear at below retail prices. Since that humble beginning in a tiny storefront, we have grown to 30,000 sq. ft. covering 3 floors and half a city block, becoming a destination store for millions of visitors and locals alike.

Wall continued from page 13

Famous Brands began in 1983, offering “famous brand” clothing and footwear at below retail prices. Since that humble beginning in a tiny storefront, we have grown to 30,000 sq. ft. covering 3 floors and half a

identify them as well. Clues fell into place when Barbara looked through the original photo appointment book. From there she contacted the pets’ original owners, or their surviving relatives, to identify them. She posted other images to Facebook and some information fell into place by coincidence. Despite this, “we still don't know who the black poodle is,” she says. “The name Gabby is what they had next to the photo, but that's the only clue we have.”

The history of downtown Corning is one of determination. The city had begun urban renewal projects prior to the flood of 1972, but, as has been pointed out since, the flood of ’72 did urban renewal’s work in just five days. The new Corning City Hall was completed in 1974. The library was added on a year later. A skating rink was added in 1976. The newly built civic center was then dedicated to Mayor Nasser on June 5, 1976.

“The People Wall is another example of the unique character and cherished public art in Corning,” says Coleen Fabrizi, executive director of Corning’s Gaffer District. “The book is a wonderful way to share the story of the wall with future generations, so they will understand the importance of art in preserving our city’s heritage.”

People Wall ’76: The Mural in City Hall is available to order through the Corning-Painted Post Historical Society. Phone (607) 937-5281 or email

Chris Sharman is an instructional designer and business trainer in Corning, New York. When not writing or teaching you might find him hiking, mountain biking, or skiing.

city block, becoming a destination store for
Feelin’ groovy: AJ Fratercangelo, stands before his picture taken with Lew Potter in 1976. AJ can still be found wielding a hair dryer on Market Street. Barbara Hall Blumer
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delight is in the details: (clockwise from top left)

During Hurricane Agnes, Market Street became part of the Chemung River; the rose detail around the door to JohnsonSchmidt & Associates is their logo; Elise Johnson-Schmidt outside the bookstore on Market Street; an example of the building facades second graders have created.

Fifty Years of Restoring Downtown Corning

What Norman Started, Elise Continued, and Agnes Couldn’t Stop

Virginia Wright, a new Corning resident in 1958, cried after visiting downtown. The wife of a recently hired worker at Corning Glass Works, she didn’t see places that appealed to families, just bars and shoe stores for the men. The upper stories still had some of the nineteenthcentury architectural character, but the firststory storefronts sported aluminum siding and neon signs in attempts to modernize.

In the 1960s, downtown Corning— once a thriving retail and residential community—continued to decline after many businesses moved to malls. Virginia and another Corning wife, Jean Wosinski, took a slideshow they’d made on the neglected opportunities for beautification to community groups. They were mostly ignored or condescended to. But in 1971, Tom Buechner, founding director of the Corning Museum of Glass (and Virginia’s boss), took up the call to restore Main Street, and he had the connections and skills to make it happen. He

was building steam when in the summer of 1972 Hurricane Agnes caused the Chemung River to escape its banks and put Market Street underwater.

Rather than dousing enthusiasm, the community’s shared loss increased resolve, and several citizens, including Mayor Joseph J. Nasser, banded together to create a plan that would become the Market Street Restoration Agency. Tom, who had worked for years at New York City museums, spread the word that they were looking for someone to head up the restoration efforts. A Columbia University professor shared this news with a promising graduate student in historic preservation, and in 1974 Norman Mintz was hired as the first director. When he and his wife arrived in Corning, he was struck by the unique architecture and uninterrupted facades.

“I made it up as I went along,” Norman says now. He began by visiting every business and talking to each business owner. He saw

many vacant storefronts, and many of those occupied were in bad shape. He helped one merchant renovate his storefront with paint and new signage. Other projects followed. “It was incremental,” he recalls of the improvement and rebirth of civic pride. He located contractors for the improvements merchants wanted. Grants from Corning Incorporated helped. The MSRA took no government urban renewal money, which allowed the group to move more quickly and efficiently. Norman also began a tradition beloved to this day, the downtown Christmas celebration known as Sparkle.

After nine years, he moved on, but the work of the MSRA continued. Centerway Square was reconstructed into a community gathering space, and amenities were increased to make the city walkable and friendly. Other annual downtown events were added, creating the vibrant, often celebratory environment of Corning today.

While the street-level businesses were

Courtesy Corning's Gaffer District Elise Johnson-Schmidt (2) Wade Spencer

thriving, many upper stories of the historic buildings were neglected, used only for storage and, informally, by pigeons. In 1990, preservation architect Elise Johnson-Schmidt was brought in to head the next phase, bringing a new focus to upper-level apartments.

“Everyone said no one’s going to want to live on Market Street,” Elise recalls. She saw historic buildings with “good bones” and an opportunity for owners to fund their preservation and upkeep while bringing new life to the street.

She started with one conversion, then invited the community to an open house. Five hundred people came. “And things took off.” Elise spearheaded the project of creating 150 market-rate apartments whose residents enjoyed the amenities of the many eateries, specialty shops, and nearby entertainment, even a Wegmans supermarket at the west end of Market Street and a hotel at the east end that has been both a Hilton and a Radisson—all within walking distance.

“I was always interested in how things went together and worked,” says Elise, who began her studies with a double major in engineering and animal science. Then a summer course in architecture changed her career path, and she shifted her focus to the art of transforming buildings into homes that in turn transform a community. After eleven years directing the MSRA, now an arm of the Gaffer District, Elise began her own practice in Corning, Johnson-Schmidt & Associates at 15 East Market Street, Suite 202, and took on other projects like the creation of Academy Place Apartments, fifty-eight units in the former Corning Free Academy, another of the city’s historic buildings.

“I love what I do. I feel so fortunate to have a career that brings joy to me every day,” she says. It’s a joy she shares each year with 400 area second graders, who make a field trip to the Gaffer District for a mini course Elise designed to highlight some of its architectural elements. The following day, each child is given a box of store-front proportion to decorate as a building facade with their favorite features. Lined up together, the children’s artwork becomes a mini city, which often kindles an interest in architecture. And a number of those former second graders have indeed gone on to study architecture and intern in Elise’s office. In 2015, Elise received the Jefferson Award, which honors citizens who step forward to serve their community, specifically highlighting her work educating the next generation about the value and methods of preserving Corning’s history.

“Our storefronts are 92 percent full,” says Kristin Brewer, director of preservation and design for the Gaffer District, which continues the work of the MSRA. “We offer free design services if someone needs help with a façade or needs structural drawings or help with choosing colors that fit with the historic look.” Find out more at or call them at (607) 937-6292. For more views of current and completed projects from Johnson-Schmidt & Associates, see or call them at (607) 937-1946.

Karey Solomon is the author of a poetry chapbook, Voices Like the Sound of Water, a book on frugal living (now out of print), and more than thirty-six needlework books. Her work has also appeared in several fiction and nonfiction anthologies.

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A Special Heart for Helping Cogan Station Teen Fought the Odds and Now Fights Fires

Brody Lee Toner began life with only a tiny, flickering flame of a chance to survive. What began as an uncomplicated birth quickly turned into a nightmare for his parents, Brion and Jodi Toner. It also became a medical war against all odds for doctors and nurses at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, where Brody was taken by Life Flight within hours of his birth.

“There were complications from day one,” says Jodi.

Brody was born in February 5, 2007, with a relatively rare heart defect called transposition of the arteries. The “great” arteries of the heart are reversed, preventing oxygen-rich blood from mixing with oxygen-poor blood and resulting in too little oxygen in the blood being pumped from the heart to the rest of the body. At Geisinger, he underwent a twelve-hour operation at five days old.

Brody failed to improve after the operation, and was subsequently diagnosed with respiratory syncytial virus, an illness that infects the lungs and breathing passages.

Over the next five months, Brody had more surgeries and procedures in an attempt to save him. Finally, the doctors said to his parents: “Whatever we knew about medicine is not the case with Brody. He is rewriting the rule book. It is Brody’s way or no way.”

It took 157 days until he had improved enough to go home to Cogan Station, where he joined his older brother, Kyle, a host of family and friends, and a community that had upheld the Toners throughout the ordeal. The war had not been completely won, but Brody proved he was up to the initial battle and was determined to survive.

“It made us realize how much it means to have help in a time of trouble,” says Jodi. “And it changed the way our family thinks now about giving back.”

As soon as he was able to walk and talk, Brody became obsessed with all things to do with fire companies. His intense interest was not casual, nor was it a childish fascination. Somewhere in the heart that had had such a rough beginning, Brody was developing a

commitment to serve his community.

Today, the healthy, vigorous seventeenyear-old leads a busy life juggling school responsibilities and volunteering at Citizens Hose Company in Jersey Shore and Salladasburg, and at Woodward Township Volunteer Fire Company in Linden.

“I began volunteering at fourteen with Citizens Hose Company, and at fifteen with Woodward Fire Company,” he says. “But I’ve wanted to do this since I was five when I met Eric Hillyard. He was, and still is, an interior firefighter at Citizens Hose and at Salladasburg.”

Brody would notice Eric leaving community events like baseball games to respond to calls. “I’d see him drive off in the fire truck, and one year he let me ride on the truck in a parade,” Brody remembers. Eric quickly became Brody’s mentor.

At Citizens Hose Company, Chief Ethan Goodbrod and Captain Tim Schwartzer continue to help Brody toward obtaining his state firefighter certification by the time he

Wade Spencer Siren song: Brody Toner heeded the call and now listens for the tones at Citizens Hose Company in Jersey Shore, as well as other volunteer fire companies.

reaches eighteen. He’s completed 192 hours of combined department training and state certified training, and travels to different locations throughout Lycoming County to attend classes taught by state certified instructors.

“I love to learn as much as I can at company trainings,” Brody says. “My favorite thing to do is searching a structure. So we put on all our PPE [personal protective equipment] and air packs and we search a building. Sometimes the building is filled with water smoke [fake smoke] and we search for victims, or we add a hose line to the scenario to learn how to maneuver a heavy hose through a dark building.”

Ethan believes volunteering is a wonderful opportunity for young people. “It develops life skills, working as a team, doing more than is expected, and serving the community in a very real way,” he says. “For a seventeen-year-old, Brody has amazing dedication. He is such an asset. He shows up after school and does not have to be asked to do things. He is motivated. He wants to learn. I wish we had twenty more like him.”

Because of the brotherhood that exists with fire and rescue personnel, Brody has a wide circle of “fire station buddies” around the country. With his parents, he has visited stations in Arkansas, New York, Maryland, North and South Carolina, the Bahamas, and throughout Pennsylvania. A Toner family vacation means stops at fire stations everywhere, and Brody usually comes away with mementoes from each one.

“I collect shirts, patches, hats, coins, or whatever the departments have,” he says.

After graduation from Jersey Shore High School in 2025, he plans to continue as a volunteer while working toward his EMT certification with a goal of becoming a 911 dispatcher for Lycoming and Sullivan Counties.

In the meantime, he remains an enthusiastic advocate for volunteering.

“Every fire company needs more people, and it can turn into the best job in the world,” Brody says. “You can make a career of it anywhere. I tell people to just go for it.”

He would know about that. Brody does not take the opportunities he’s been given lightly—he’s been “going for it” his whole life. “I appreciate what I have and what I’ve been able to accomplish in life so far.

“I haven’t had any other issues with my heart,” Brody continues. “I do have to go back to Geisinger yearly for a checkup and an EKG. They thought when I left the hospital that I would possibly be on heart medication throughout my life. After being on it for the first few years, I was able to be off all medications. The nurses and doctors all consider me to be a miracle kid. They still use my story as an example for other kids in similar situations to give them hope.”

Hope and a big heart. It’s a great combo.

For those who may be drawn toward either a volunteer or professional firefighting career, visit, or stop in at your local department. For International Firefighters Day ( on May 4, Brody says he will “probably hang out at the station."

Nancy Baumgartner’s work has been published in newspapers and magazines. She is also the author of a regional history book, a poetry collection, and a children’s book.



Celebrating the history and heritage of the mining industry in Blossburg and the surrounding communities.

In 1792 coal was discovered in the Blossburg area during the building of the Williamson Road.

Blossburg was home to William B. Wilson, the first US Secretary of Labor. After Wilson’s death in 1934 the family farm was sold to the American Legion Post No. 572 of Blossburg and is still located there today.

The first Coal Festival was held Memorial Day weekend in 1993, 201 years after coal was discovered in Blossburg.

We invite you, your family, and friends to help us celebrate.

For more Information call 570-638-3313 or visit

May 24—May 25

**More activities will be added as details are confirmed.**


TBA The Knox Mine Disaster Documentary at the Victoria


5:00 p.m. Vendors and all activities open

5:00 p.m. General Store opens

6:00 p.m. The Force Baton Group demonstration

7:30 p.m. Bonfire and ghost stories

TBA The Knox Mine Disaster Documentary at the Victoria


9:00 a.m. Car and Bike Show Registration begins on the Island

11:00 a.m. Parade (lineup at 10:00)

12:00 p.m. Chicken BBQ (sold on the Island)

12:00 p.m. Car and Bike Show

12:00 p.m. Vendors and all activities open

12:00 p.m. General Store opens

12:00 p.m. Quilt Show

1:00 p.m. Southern Tioga Jazz Ensemble Performance

1:00 p.m. Little League Ceremony

1:00 p.m. Sk ate Board Competition

1:00 p.m. Art Show

1:00 p.m. Bike Games

2:00 p.m. Little League Tournament

2:30 p.m. The Force Baton Group Demonstration

3:00 p.m. Car Show Judging

5:00 p.m. 3:3 Basketball Tournament

6:00 p.m. Live Band - Stone Eater

9:00 p.m. Fireworks (dusk)

TBA The Knox Mine Disaster Documentary at the Victoria

TBA Live Entertainment throughout the day

*Tentative schedule. All times and activities are subject to change.

23 Featuring Pennsylvania Sourced Yarns Various Yarn Weights and Blends Knitting and Crochet Notions Spinning and Needle Felting Supplies Basket Making Supplies 224 Main Street Blossburg, PA • (570) 638-6313 Now Available! TODDLER UNIVERSITY Daycare and Preschool 244 Main Street • Blossburg, PA (570) 638-2120 Monday-Friday: 6:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Open daily 7am to 9pm! 570-662-2972 2103 S. Main St., Mansfield, PA Homemade Specials Daily! Open daily 7am to 9pm 570-662-2972 2103 S. Main St., Mansfield, PA Specialties include Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches, Chicken & Biscuits, and Homemade Pies! Hope to see you at the 2024 Blossburg Coal Festival! Open Monday-Saturday 8am-6pm Sunday 9am-6pm Watch for our Meat Sales! • Visit us on Facebook! 1 Riverside Plaza • Blossburg, PA • 570-638-2695 William B. Wilson Post #572 American Legion 323 S. Williamson Road Blossburg, PA 16912 We are Member Only—So Come Join Us! MembershipsInclude:Veterans,Auxiliary, SonsoftheLegion,andSocial FOOD • ACTIVITIES • ENTERTAINMENT Cometosocialize,makefriends, andhaveafewlaughs! For a unique shopping experience, visit us at 245 Main St., Blossburg Gift certificates Vendor space available ATM on site Dealers welcome Antiques, collectibles, glass, ephemera, tins, tools, kitchenware, holiday décor, paper, lamps, Shabby Chic, art, furniture, country cottage, Mid-century Modern, and more welcome to BLOSSBURG Like us on Facebook 570-638-2474 Blossburg Beverage Co. MH Bloss AD_Layout 1 4/20/13 1:55 PM Page 1

Friends Who Play Together, Stay Together

Williamsport Symphony Youth Orchestra Is a Proving Ground for Young Musicians

The benefits of a youth orchestra are numerous—music, obviously, but love? Stay tuned.

For more than thirty-five years, the Williamsport Symphony Youth Orchestra, a nonprofit, has been giving young musicians in Lycoming, Sullivan, Columbia, Union, Northumberland, and Montour counties the opportunity to meet students from other schools and refine their skills shoulder to shoulder. Audience members get to enjoy the WSYO concerts held twice a year, the next on May 5 at 4 p.m. at the beautiful Community Arts Center in downtown Williamsport.

One benefit of playing in a youth orchestra might not readily occur to middle or high school musicians: the possibility of meeting one’s future spouse. Both Jason Hurwitz and Matthew Radspinner grew up in Williamsport. Both are still playing violin and bass, respectively. And both cite WSYO with helping them connect with their wives.

Jason was leaving rehearsal one day and thought he recognized a girl he knew from the community but didn’t expect to see there. When she walked by, he turned around to get a better look and smacked into a closed door. This is a story he and his wife, Victoria, tell often. Matt also met his wife, Anna, there—she was a year ahead of him in school. They’ve been married twenty-two years.

Not that these meetings were orchestrated (sorry), but whether it’s finding future spouses or future friends, Jason and Matt emphatically agree that the most enriching part of their experience was getting to know peers from other schools and class years that they wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s where they met each other—Matt was a few years ahead of Jason. “Matt is one of my favorite people,” Jason says.

Jason started playing violin at age five after seeing Itzhak Perlman play for Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street. “As a kid and aspiring violinist—practicing thirty min-

utes to two hours a night—my parents took me to lots of concerts,” including WSYO concerts. He was motivated, and says he “knew as soon as I was eligible that I’d audition.” He started playing with them in 1997 in seventh grade, under the baton of Rick Coulter, former head of music and gifted education for Williamsport School District, and played until he graduated in 2002. During his senior year he was concertmaster (principal violin), which was always a goal.

“I was really honored to earn that,” he says. Rick pushed Jason hard, adding leadership and interpersonal skills to the musical and social skills he’d already learned at WSYO.

Jason went on to receive an undergraduate degree in music. He became a professional violinist, touring nationally and internationally with Barrage. In a production of Fiddler on the Roof he was, in fact, the fiddler on the roof, playing his violin from the stage. He lives with his family in

Highland Photography Studio
Friends on
Casting a spell on youth: Under the wand, er, baton, of Matthew Radspinner in 2019, the Williamsport Symphony Youth Orchestra makes magic during their spring concert.
7:30 pm tuesday may 14 2024 community arts center Williamsport Symphony Orchestra GERARDO EDELSTEIN, MUSIC DIRECTOR/CONDUCTOR TICKETS: 570-326-2424 OR andrew rammon SPECIAL PERFORMANCE CELLO CONCERTO BY A. DVORAK RACHMANINOV SYMPHONY 2 NO. welcome to WILLIAMSPORT

Friends continued from page 24

Montoursville now, working as a financial advisor, and he has a group that plays for weddings and other events. (Note to area theaters contemplating Fiddler: Look Jason up.) “As I look at the community of professional musicians in Williamsport,” Jason says, “a lot became my friends back in youth orchestra.” He’s performed with the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra, and is currently on the board of trustees, chair of the artistic advisor committee, season subscription holder, donor, and, he says, “vocal Friend of the Symphony.”

Matt, currently the orchestra director at Williamsport High School and the K-12 music department chair, joined WSYO in 1991 in sixth grade and has vivid memories of being the only bass player. Because of that “I was singled out and had to rise to the occasion,” he says. “It was a big moment for me musically, realizing I’m pretty good at this.” Matt received undergraduate and graduate degrees in music education and was WSYO assistant director under Rick Coulter for a couple years when teaching elementary and middle school strings. Matt founded the Junior Strings program around

2011 as a way to give more students leadership opportunities.

In 2017, Matt became WSYO director and spread the message, what he calls a life lesson, telling kids: “You need to find your people.” During the four years he was director, he enjoyed showing them how to reach the next level of musicianship.

“We had our 2020 spring concert a week before everything shut down. I was very proud to help them get through covid and lead them back in fall of 2021.” The numbers are back up, but Matt says there are added challenges to recruiting students now. Though the WSYO only meets once a week, “Now there are so many more things for kids to do—sports go year-round rather than a season,” Matt explains. “It’s harder to get kids to commit because they are pulled in different directions.” Still, many travel an hour or more for those weekly rehearsals. Matt now plays in the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra, encourages his students to audition for WSYO, and regularly attends the youth concerts.

“I wouldn’t be where I am now,” Matt says, “if I didn’t sit in a bass section with a guy named Brett Shurtliffe at WSYO in

high school. He was a bass player from Lewisburg and always a little better than me. We’re friends to this day, though he lives in Buffalo. He’s won international acclaim. I would not have practiced nearly as much if I wasn’t sitting in a section with him every Monday night.”

The world of music is a small world. But, if Jason and Matt are to be believed, it’s a great world to be in. Maybe the WSYO can help you find your people.

The May 5 concert will feature the Junior Strings playing Appalachian Festival by Chris Thomas, Spring by Vivaldi, and Vocalise by Rachmaninoff. The WSYO will perform Esclavos Overture by J. C. Arriaga, Two Pieces for Small Orchestra by Frederick Delius, St. Paul’s Suite by Gustav Holst, and “Prelude to Act 1” from La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi.

For more information visit or call (570) 322-0227. The concert is free, thanks to supporters such as the Woodcock Foundation, and will showcase over forty students in WSYO and over thirty in the Junior Strings.

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Relaxe at Three Birds

The Axe Lounge Trend Hits the Bullseye in Corning

Eat first or throw first. Hmmm.

“We recommend throwing first,” says Debra Loehnert, who owns and operates Three Birds restaurant and the Axe Lounge with her husband, John. “Then we can have your table ready for you.”

Three Birds has been at 73 East Market Street for twenty-one years. The six-floor steel building was once a car dealership (and there is still a car elevator on the premises). But other than the spaciousness and the floor-to-ceiling windows upstairs, nothing remains of the dealership days except the memories. The dining areas are warm and classy, and can be intimate or expansive depending on the number of guests. Be sure to take a few minutes to look at the paintings—they’re done in a variety of genres and styles, but they all have three birds in them.

Dinner can begin with cocktails from the full service bar, then appetizers such as oysters on the half shell, Three Birds harbor fish soup, or toasted corn and Chesapeake crab cakes. It’s up to you whether you share. Salad options include baby greens with Modena-balsamic vinaigrette, kale and qui-

noa, featuring cranberries and goat cheese, and spinach with pears, bacon, and pickled red onion. Entrée choices range from roasted vegetable étouffée to New York strip or New Zealand rack of lamb, and from pistachioleek encrusted halibut to pan-seared scallops. Menu offerings change with the seasons, and there are nightly specials. The focus remains on fresh ingredients, sourced locally as much as possible, then designed and combined in innovative ways.

As for the Axe Lounge, the space where cars were once displayed was a banquet room for the first twenty years of Three Birds’ existence. Post-covid, “the banquets didn’t come back,” Debra says.

“We had this huge space, and thought ‘What can we do with it?’” They’d enjoyed an axe throwing outing with friends, so, throwing caution and a few axes to the wind, the Axe Lounge was born in July of 2023. The response has been very positive. Debra says people came up last December during Sparkle to throw axes and enjoy the parade from the birds-eye view of Market Street.

There are six lanes, each with a hemlock

target at the end. “We decided to go with digital games,” Debra says. That means each lane, complete with protective barriers to guard against errant axes, has its own set-up to project the game onto the target. Games include tic-tac-toe, zombie hunter, seasonal and holiday-themed games, and a standard bullseye target.

“We do have axeperts,” she says, grinning. “You don’t have to know what you’re doing. You don’t have to be a lumberjack.” There are World Axe Throwing Leagueapproved axes here to use, but “we do allow you bring your own axe.”

“Really the only rule is that you have to wear close-toed shoes,” Debra adds.

But, for dinner, it’s okay for your toes to be exposed.

Three Birds is open Tuesday through Saturday. The bar opens at 4 p.m. and dinner service starts at 5. The Axe Lounge is open Thursday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. It’s a good idea to reserve lanes, as the Axe Lounge sometimes has a queue. Call (607) 936-8862 or visit

Gayle Morrow A hatchet job: Axe for a reservation, and you shall receive a great time followed by a great meal at Three Birds on Corning’s Market Street.

When delivery chains just can’t cut it, and you want a savory pizza loaded with great toppings, Rico’s satisfies your craving.


Bath: 607-622-6033

Hornell: 607-324-0030

Corning: 607-962-2300

Arnot Mall: 607-735-2330

Horseheads: 607-796-2200

Save with Rebate til’ May 31st


Leave the Driving to Lakeside Trolley

Take a Red, White, and Brew Tour with Watkins Glen Start-Up

Wine, craft beer, hard ciders, distillery delectables—the Finger Lakes has become a mecca for wine novices and enthusiasts, beer geeks, and libationists. How to enjoy it all safely?

Lakeside Trolley is a brilliant solution to safely moving people around Seneca Lake’s seventy-five miles of shoreline, reducing traffic, and minimizing parking bottlenecks. Its unique hop-on-hop-off design delivers riders to predetermined destinations to sample wine, beer, or spirits, grab a bite to eat, and shop. Day-trippers are free from planning a route, finding a designated driver willing to live vicariously through the designated imbibers, navigating roads, and searching for parking spots.

Launched last March, this day-long, drive-free adventure is the concept of Katrina Gonsorick and partner Joe Irwin, owners and hosts. The couple grew up outside Philly,

have known each other since kindergarten, and reconnected six years ago. As serial entrepreneurs, they have a number of successful hospitality endeavors in their rear view mirror, including restaurants and a glamping business. Joe, who had been working in the computer trade, says he “wanted to work in an industry where you could be with people who didn’t need me, but wanted me.” Their latest dream of operating a trolley crystalized when they learned what the community had to offer.

“Our initial trip here was to pursue our goal of starting the service,” says Katrina. “The quaint, small town vibe in Watkins Glen, the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, and the annual tourism numbers made it a great fit for our concept. The pleasant bonus was how welcoming the organizations and businesses were. It’s an exceptional community—we encourage one another, refer each other’s

businesses, and work together to create a memorable experience for visitors.”

They knew there was no Uber, taxi, or limo service in the area that would get visitors from one winery to the next, so they thought the trolley was the perfect next business. It took a year and a half to get the okay from New York’s Department of Transportation.

Rides begin with a morning check-in and welcome from Katrina and Joe. There’s a full day ahead, with stops at five wineries and a brewery, which will take travelers through to 5:30 p.m. When the rubber meets the road, riders can sit back, relax, and leave the driving to Skip Opdyke, who shares points of interest and historical highlights along the way.

The trolley, which is twenty-three years old and came from Pittsburgh, can comfortably seat thirty during peak season.

“It’s taken time and care to bring it back

Courtesy Lakeside Trolley Drink, drink, drink goes the trolley: The Lakeside Trolley chauffeurs visitors around Seneca Lake for a song.

to life, and making sure they are mechanically safe and sound,” Joe says.

The full-window views are panoramic, and each seat offers riders plenty to see. Stops are about an hour each, so no one feels rushed. It’s plenty of time to relax, do a tasting or flight, and talk with fellow travelers. On this trip, Laura and Eric Stiansen are celebrating their eleventh anniversary. “It’s a convenient, affordable, and responsible way to visit wineries, especially compared to paying for a private driver,” Laura says. “We’ve been to the Finger Lakes numerous times and were excited to learn about the trolley. It’s a fun new way to experience the region. We hope they expand to other lakes in the future.” That’s a possibility, as Joe and Katrina do have another trolley in the wings, and are considering FLX areas where they might expand service.

“This is great for Seneca Lake growers and producers,” says Skip as he drives past workers pruning the vines and piling up handtrimmed spurs and canes among the rows of dormant grapevines. Each season offers a different snapshot of the industry. “Our service makes it safer for everyone.”

Teresa Knapp, partner, and sales/accounting executive with Lakewood Vineyards, appreciates how Lakeside Trolley’s service complements the existing Finger Lakes businesses.

“Katrina and Joe are very communicative; letting us know how many pre-sold tickets they have for the weekend helps with the planning process,” she says. “I think for the consumer, they have a great route to choose from, plus no worries about driving and parking if they’re staying in Watkins Glen. This is a nice option for small groups traveling together.”

As for Joe and Katrina, “I enjoy creating a unique social experience… showcasing some of the best establishments on Seneca Lake,” Katrina says. “It’s great to see couples and small groups exchanging contact information or enjoying dinner together after the tour. By giving passengers insight into where they are going, what to try, and other recommendations, it helps to make their experience more fun and hassle free. Bringing people together to have fun in our town and seeing their enjoyment makes us feel accomplished in the vision we set for Lakeside Trolley.”

The trolley runs April through November, with extended days of operation during peak season, June to August. Lakeside Trolley is located at 2 Seneca Harbor Drive, Watkins Glen, adjacent to Village Marina. Operating hours are Thursday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ticket booth hours are Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Riders can also make reservations online, and will immediately receive email and text confirmations. Tickets are forty-five dollars. Riders can download the trolley app to track its real-time location, which is useful when finishing up tastings or making purchases. Visit for schedules and directions, to purchase tickets, and learn about the stops along the routes. For additional information, contact Katrina or Joe at, or (607) 302-1494.

Ann E. Duckett, owner of Little Bleu Catering and Events, is a certified cheesemaker and recovering cheesemonger, who now devotes her time to educating and helping others find their cheese bliss through classes, presentations, and special events.

3708 Mathews Road, Burdett @ Vineyard Villas (607) 210-2677 meet your something blue Bubbly Candeo
welcome to the FINGER LAKES

Whose grapes these are I think I know: Terence Lane helps his father, Tim, prepare the clay in their Watkins Glen yard for a small vineyard of Isabella grapes— grapes that mysteriously disappeared on picking day.

Getting Along with the Locals

When I moved to the Finger Lakes, it was fun familiarizing myself with the iconic flavors of native New York wine. The sweet table wines made from grapes like Niagara, Concord, and Catawba are just a few of the long-standing favorites tied into the identity of the region. For more than a century, our native grapes have helped to slake a national thirst for Welch’s grape juice and continue to make the playful wines that represent a cultural flavor.

In the late seventies, my grandparents planted four Concord vines around their pool cabana. Not so ironically, they have always preferred the sweet wines made from native grapes, and that somehow reminded me of an old wine pairing adage: What grows

together, goes together. The saying typically refers to the compatibility of wines and foods produced in the same area, but it stands to reason that the wines of a given place and its people share an inextricable connection as well.

Four years ago in May, my father and I planted nine vines of Isabella grapes in my parents’ sunny front yard in Watkins Glen. I’d purchased the vines from Conor Gallagher, head winemaker at Song Hill Winery in Victor. He’d piqued my interest in Isabella and I asked if he’d be willing to sell me a vine or two. It so happened that he had an order of vines on the way and I was lucky enough to secure the nine vines of Isabella for what I imagined would comprise a “garden vine-

yard.” Each vine set me back roughly four dollars. I remember being amused by that in the grand scheme of what a grape vine can provide.

A relatively low-maintenance American hybrid variety, Isabella seemed like the perfect workhorse for a couple of amateur vignerons. The terroir of the front yard was pure clay, which ranks among the least favorable soil types for grapes. Clay is difficult for the plants to root down into, and it holds onto excessive moisture, which can cause rotting, an unfortunate characteristic in a characteristically wet place. But I remained optimistic. Isabella can grow almost anywhere. The fruit was said to taste like strawberries, another trait that attracted me to the variety. At one

Planet of the Grapes
Alison Lane

time, Isabella was used in Italy to produce a sweet, semi-sparkling wine called Fragolino, until the Italians observed elevated levels of methanol (in very large volumes) during the winemaking process and banned it from the country. With our few grapes, there wouldn’t be any danger, and I was intrigued by the grape’s notorious past. A banned grape. An antihero. That’s exactly the kind of fruit we needed to do our bidding with the elements and the clay.

On the third year—or “third leaf”—grape clusters appeared in what I had dubbed The Nine Vine Vineyard. The name had to be repealed when I realized that one of the vines had failed to take root, a casualty of the clay. My dad cared for the vineyard in my absences, plucking off the Japanese beetles and covering the two rows in netting in order to deter the birds and deer that had grown increasingly curious as the fruit began to sweeten and swell. The 2023 growing season had been a difficult one, replete with long bouts of driving rain and breaks of burning sunshine that created rot-inducing humidity. We would walk around the rows, drinking wine, feeling unusually proud of our eight vines. The clusters were few and far between. Actually, to call them clusters was a stretch, as some contained only three or four grapes. It was nonetheless awe-inspiring. We were happy and impressed to see the grapes had emerged after the requisite two years of waiting.

At the end of September, the loose clusters had ripened. Dusky reddish globes of sweet Isabella hung like ornaments on a scrawny Christmas tree. I sampled a berry and didn’t get the strawberry notes as much as the musky, tart flavors consistent with the native varieties. Maybe the strawberry flavors would appear in future harvests as the vines matured. Maybe they just needed more time to be what they were supposed to be.

My mother was planning to make jam with the grapes or possibly a pie. There wasn’t nearly enough fruit to consider making wine, but the two rows were in good shape and it was impressive to see how well they’d faired on the proving ground of pure clay. Only a native grape could have persevered on that soil, nestled away in a small yard set back in the woods. The netting had done its job. We were almost there. The world’s smallest harvest was upon us.

On the day my dad went out to start picking grapes, every single grape was gone. It looked like the berries had been meticulously plucked by a set of miniature hands, something small and nimble enough to have Army-crawled under the netting and into the fruit zone. It was a tragic and humorous experience, but also a time of reflection and learning. The vines weren’t going anywhere. There would be other harvests. And who were we to think the grapes belonged to us alone? Other resourceful beings had been waiting in the wings as patiently as we had, observing the veritable garlands of free food strung out across our two measly rows. The harvest that never happened was a testament to our coexistence with the hidden critters all around, and a firm reminder of something I already knew too well. The old trope had never been more applicable: What grows together, goes together.

Terence Lane is a Certified Sommelier. His short fiction and wine writing has appeared in a number of magazines including Wine Enthusiast. A native of Cooperstown, New York, he now lives in the Finger Lakes and works at South Hill Cider in Ithaca.

For reservations, call 607-535-2014 WWW.SENECALODGE.COM 70 Years of Hospitality Cabins • Chalet Style A-Frames • Motel TV • WiFi • Air Conditioning BREAKFAST & DINNER SERVED 7 DAYS A WEEK World-famous Tavern Room - 6 Brews crafted on site All the Hand Knitting & Crochet Supplies you could ever want. 91 E. Market Street, Corning, NY 14830 | 607.973.2885

Knox three times in the kitchen if you’re lucky: (clockwise from top left) Knox Catering in 1995, a family business with Jesse at front, followed by thirteen-year-old Kaylen, and Susan in the white dress; these days Kaylen is shaking things up at WMC North while Susan takes a break from cooking to relax upstairs.

WMC North Jazzes Up Downtown

Jesse Knox’s Culinary Legacy Lives on in Elmira

“We like to be a nook, a hideaway,” Kaylen Knox says from behind the counter where he shakes a French martini into existence. WMC North opened in August of 2022 at 223 West Water Street in Elmira. The name is a nod to the Williamsburg Music Center, a black-owned jazz venue in Brooklyn founded in 1981 by Gerry Eastman that fosters diversity in both clientele and music.

Outside at night, lights trained on the second story turn the window blue, then green, then blue, making walkers look up. The downstairs is narrow and deep, with the bar near the front door. Past that, the room opens into a small area with tables and a stage that sometimes has a couch below the large window facing the river, and sometimes holds musicians. Upstairs a stage in front of the glass wall holds larger bands, with the whole floor dedicated to couches and high tops.

Kaylen claims he’s just the bartender, but that’s not true. Like his mother, Susan

Knox, he is a Le Corden Bleu-trained chef. Susan says her son is the genius behind it all. But that’s not the whole truth either. They agree the credit belongs to Susan’s father, Jesse Knox, who worked for fifty-seven years at some of the best Elmira restaurants before he died in 2007. The Elmira Center for Cultural Advancement created a short documentary, Jesse Knox’s Story, which can be viewed at “He is the foundation of why we’re here doing what we’re doing,” Kaylen says. “Elmira is a rebounding community with amazing people and cultural diversity. We’ve learned so many new stories from people that come in who worked with him or ate his food. He was the first visionary chef we ever knew.”

The food lives up to their lineage. An iPad digital menu boasts fresh vegetables and seafood pairings, like lobster pasta and filet mignon with grilled shrimp, as well as catfish and chicken fried steak sandwiches. Pork chops, lamb chimichurri, and cauliflower steak round out the small but mighty offer-

ings one night. When plates go by, en route to the lucky table, you can’t help but sigh.

Saturday nights they have bands upstairs. The music genres include jazz, R&B, soul, funk, and even country. “Just not rap,” Kaylen adds. Friday evenings there’s a solo piano player downstairs and later karaoke, which tends to be different from other places. “Less bubblegum stuff,” he explains. “Some of our best singers are in their seventies.”

“We are a bar that serves food,” Kaylen says frequently in his deep voice, meaning that happy patrons come to relax with friends, have a few drinks, listen to music, and, while there, eat amazing food. It’s not a restaurant with a large wait staff and cooks. If lots of folks have put in their orders before you, you may be there a while.

That’s not a bad thing.

WMC North is open Wednesday and Thursday from 5 p.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 3 p.m. to midnight. Find them on Facebook or call (607) 846-3935.

(2) Lilace Mellin Guignard Courtesy the Knox Family
35 Visit Us Today! Steve, Nicole, Anson & Nora Harris 177 Douglas Road Troy, pa 16947 Cell 570/337-0815 Check out our Educational Workshops and Concerts! Pastured eggs, chickens & pork, grass fed beef, pumpkins, wedding flowers, wreaths, Armenia Mountain farmstay. Greenhouses and Nursery Stock annuals, perennials, medicinals vegetables & herbs! Email us at or visit One Elizabeth Street, Suite 3 Towanda, PA 18848 570-265-0937 how do you build your walls? When you build your walls you should expect to get more out of a building product. Buildings today demand reliable, energy efficient building envelopes that provide superior performance benefits to minimize energy costs, reduce carbon emissions, and maximize property value. NUDURA structures offer greater strength, sound, and fire resistance and are why developers and contractors across the world continue to choose NUDURA’s Integrated Building Technology as a proven alternative to traditional building methods. With NUDURA’s 6-in-1 building step, you can build faster and more efficiently, while offering your clients an eco-friendly structure with substantial benefits that contribute to long-term energy savings. Change the way you build your walls. Hoover Hardware 570-297-3445 • 800-251-2156 816 CANTON STREET, TROY, PA MON-SAT 7AM- 5PM HOOVER INDUSTRIAL SUPPLY 866.468.6299 welcome to BRADFORD CO. WWW.TROYVETCLINIC.COM All Under One Roof... SMALL ANIMAL • LARGE ANIMAL Healthy Wellness Exams Exams for Sick Pets Laser Surgical Procedures Portable Digital Radiology Acupuncture In-House Bovine Pregnancy Testing Customer Pet Portal • Online Store House Calls Available Pet Cremation Services Fully Stocked Pharmacies Pet Suplies: Flea & Tick Medication Food, Toys & Treats SERVICES OFFERED: Power Mobility - Oxygen Home Medical Equipment Custom Braces - Diabetic Shoes • Hospital Beds • Oxygen • CPAP/Bipap Machines and Supplies • Incontinence Supplies • Power Mobility • Compression Hosiery • Braces - Knee, Ankle, Arm • Mobility Equipment • Ostomy Supplies • Bathroom and Home Safety Equipment • Wound Care Supplies Dine, Stay or Just Get Away 35 Rooms Restaurant and Tavern (Traditional American family style) Catering Great Rates, GreatFood, Great Attractions Wyalusing Hotel 54 Main Street, Wyalusing, PA 570-746-1204

The Music of the Spheres


Revives the Armonica

Dennis James’ three-story “Painted Lady” home in Addison sports a small sign next to the doorbell. “In this spot, in 1879, nothing happened.” But something’s happening inside, and it’s musically significant.

In a sprawling home studio filled with arcane instruments, many whose sound is produced with glass, Dennis soaks his fingers “until they’re pruney” in a gold-plated butter dish filled with water. The dish is set into the casing for a set of nested crystal bowls on their side, slowly rotating on a rod. He lifts his hands, gently dribbles some water across the bowls, and begins to play, the tips of his long fingers raised, his eyes referencing music by Mozart. One could easily imagine the crystalline purity of the music he produces—comparable to nothing else—was sent to earth directly by angels.

The instrument is the glass armonica, named by its creator, Benjamin Franklin, from the Greek word for harmony. As Dennis explains later, its brightest sound is produced by the contact with the inside of each finger’s first knuckle joint. Like much of

the music created by the interaction of glass and humans (think of making sounds with variously-filled wine glasses), it’s rubbed, mediated by water, and played somewhat like a keyboard. Dennis came to the glass armonica after intensive studies in classical organ.

In 1981, he was frustrated in his career as a concert organist by critics who alternately praised his performances and slammed his interest in a varied range of musical styles.

“I’m omnivorous [musically],” he explains. Determined to pursue even more variety, he began a many years’ search for someone to reproduce Franklin’s armonica. Once found in many upper-class late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century homes in Europe and America, glass armonicas were used to play the music of their time, with some notable composers, among them Mozart, composing music specifically for the instrument.

But after enjoying a period of popularity as a chamber instrument, the armonica suddenly came to be reviled as evil, music played on it described as opening a temporary gateway to hell. Instruments were destroyed, the

shops that made them shuttered.

The seeming carnage may have begun with the 1808 death of the beautiful German virtuoso armonica player Marianne Kirchgessner. (She actually died of pneumonia.) Audience members fainted during concerts, claimed to be afflicted by spirits summoned by the instrument, and suffered mysterious symptoms or died after a performance, as did a few musicians. Modern physicians have identified many of their odd symptoms as mass hysteria and/or consequences of lead poisoning. Lead exposure was environmentally inescapable during that time. Did the lead in the crystal bowls tip the balance for performers in contact with it?

Dennis comes down solidly on the side of hysteria and expectation.

“I know if I was hit by a bus they’d say it was a fatal illness,” he says. “I find that so charmingly funny.” Nonetheless, after the armonica was declared a public health hazard, interest in this once-popular instrument declined suddenly and seemingly irrevocably. Dennis does get his own lead levels checked regularly.

Wade Spencer Let your fingers do the humming: Dennis James plays the glass armonica, which makes tones both angelic and haunting.

Eventually, Dennis found Domenick Labino, a glass artist able to analyze the chemical composition of one of Ben Franklin’s broken crystal bowls and then replicate a set with handblown glass bowls of varying thicknesses. It took an additional year of relentless, unsuccessful practicing to get his armonica to play. Labino had added a coating to the glass which dampened the sound, a problem only discovered after Dennis accidentally wore through a section of the coating. After the rest was removed, Dennis picked up momentum and his musical work became increasingly interesting. Like several who have played the glass armonica across the centuries, he’s added a few innovations of his own, including a sewing machine motor that rotates the glasses on their spindle so he doesn’t need to accomplish that process with a treadle—a foot powered lever, like that seen on spinning wheels and on old sewing machines.

His career has spanned Europe and the United States, where he’s played with orchestras and rock bands, both onstage and backstage, sometimes composing original music for movie soundtracks. He’s performed with Linda Rondstadt, Dolly Parton, and Lucinda Williams, among others. Because it’s a difficult instrument to fly with, he keeps one in Europe, another here. Now in his seventies, his performance schedule keeps him busy and active.

“There’s a resurgence of interest in me,” he says. “Worldwide, people are taken with people doing interesting things.” Dennis’ interests, musical and otherwise, continue to expand. He’s made use of his proximity to Corning to take glassmaking classes at the Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass, and has created art glass he displays in his home. He acquires interesting instruments and then becomes expert at playing them, including the Cristal Baschet and the theremin, which is the first electronic instrument—both twentieth century inventions perhaps best known for their use in creating haunting sound effects in movies. He was, in fact, leaving to work with director Francis Coppola after our interview.

His current new love is the psalterio, a Biblical-era version of the harp. He’s taking lessons and explains that, “If you do things in the creative world, it’s like learning languages. Once you speak a second language, the third becomes easier.”

His musical collections include miniature pianos, instrumental oddities, sets of tuned glasses, and pump organs—all things that fall under the rubric of his business name: Musica Curiosa & Glass Musick. “Because I’m a musician and I’m curious,” he says. Is there a museum of his own collections in the future? Maybe, he says cautiously. But for the moment, he’s far too interested in performing, continuing to expand his musical knowledge, and occasionally teaching. “I teach my music students to play chess, because it’s so similar to playing fugues on the organ,” he says. “Then it becomes easier to teach baroque music.”

To hear Dennis play an operatic accompaniment in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and other performances, including those with Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, and Lucinda Williams, search for “Dennis James and glass armonica.” You can reach Dennis at or at (607) 359-2622.

Karey Solomon is the author of a poetry chapbook, Voices Like the Sound of Water, a book on frugal living (now out of print), and more than thirty-six needlework books. Her work has also appeared in several fiction and nonfiction anthologies.



Venue for parties, reunions, & field trips: You bring the people... we’ll provide the horses.

Call for more information and to schedule Trail Rides - 7 Days A Week! Triple D maple products for sale
38 2024 SUMMER EVENTS June 19 thru August 21 Howard Elmer Park Friday, June 28 Friday July 26 Downtown Sayre Events are funded in part by the Bradford County Tourism Agency For more information visit Homemade Ice Cream Pints & Quarts To Go Rotating Seasonal Flavors Ice Cream Cakes! Non-Dairy Options Available! 46 E. Market St Corning, NY 607-542-9416 Capriotti PROPERTIES “Known for Our Victorian Apartments” 607-846-3680 —OR— 570-233-0558 QUALITY Maintained Apartments in Elmira, NY Stay with us on AirBnB! FOLLOW US... A Historic Community Building for All Events & Programs 50 Ballard St • Troy, PA • (570) 337-0815 • Join us in Restoring a Piece of Important Local History! Serving the Local Communities by Sponsoring Public Events! Heritage Wedding Destination! Host Your Event at the Newly Restored Troy Sale Barn! 2228SR49West•Ulysses,PA16948 814-848-7448 Over 1,500 Molding Profiles Rough Lumber • Framing • Wainscot Stair Parts • Doors • Cabinetry T&G Flooring Glass Animals • Paper Weights Hand-Crafted Personal Care Items Ceramic Ornaments & Dishes (made in the USA) But...We’re more than glass! Check out our Puzzles...Puzzles...Puzzles! 10 W. market st — corning, ny - 607-962-3339 GLA HOP BACALLES

2024 Endless Mountain Music Festival Season

Friday, July 19

“Opening Night Fireworks in Red, White and Blue!”

7:00 p.m. – Steadman Theatre, Commonwealth University at Mansfield, Mansfield, PA

Sponsored by C&N

Bach ........................................................ Suite No. 3

Creston ......................................... “Dance Overture”

Cowell..........................Symphony No. 13 (“Madras”) Intermission

Boyer .......................... PA premiere of “Rhapsody in Red, White and Blue” Featuring Jeffrey Biegel, piano

Saturday, July 20

“Happy Birthday, Gershwin!”

A Celebration of the 100th year of “Rhapsody in Blue”

7:00 p.m. – Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY

Sponsored by Corning Incorporated and Mountain Home Magazine

Brahms ......................................... Symphony No. 2


Tsontakis ................................................. “Laconika”

Gershwin “Rhapsody in Blue”Featuring – Jeffrey Biegel, piano

Sunday, July 21

“Neil Diamond to Funk” Pops Concert - Featuring the EMMF Orchestra playing a selection of popular favorites from “East St. Louis Blues” and “Also Funk Zarathustra,” to “Sweet Caroline,” “What a Wonderful World,” and “YMCA.” Also featuring clarinetist Trina Gross in “Viktor’s Tale” by John Williams.

2:30 p.m. – Wellsboro High School Auditorium, Wellsboro, PA - FREE Sponsored by the Dunham Family Foundation in Memory of Robert C. Dunham, UPMC & UPMC Health Care, and Wellsboro Electric Company

Sunday, July 21

“EMMF Brass Under the Stars!” featuring the EMMF Brass Section

8:00 p.m. – Cherry Springs State Park, Overnight Astronomy Observation Field (by the telescope domes) - FREE

Sponsored by The David G. Patterson Foundation and The Gale Foundation

Monday, July 22

FREE Seminar: “Maverick American Composers” featuring George Tsontakis, Stephen Gunzenhauser, Hiroko Sakurazawa

12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY

Sponsored by Corning Incorporated

Monday, July 22

“EMMF String Quartet Performs Classic Gems” featuring Lisa Scott, violin; Hua Jin, violin; Charlie Alves, viola; and Perry Scott, cello

7:00 p.m. – 171 Cedar Art Center, Corning, NY

Sponsored by Corning Incorporated

Tuesday, July 23

“Flute and Harp Sister Duo!” featuring Melissa Mashner, flute; and Melanie Mashner, harp

7:00 p.m. – Deane Center Grand Community Room, Wellsboro, PA, — Sponsored by FCCB

Wednesday, July 24

“Music is My Weapon!” featuring Jason Mathena and David Wert, percussion

7:00 p.m. – Knoxville Yoked Church, Knoxville, PA – FREE

Sponsored by the Deerfield Charitable Trust

Thursday, July 25

“EMMF’s Famous Brass Quintet”

7:00 p.m. – Deane Center for the Performing Arts, Coolidge Theatre, Wellsboro, PA–BYOB

Sponsored by Spencer, Gleason, Hebe, & Rague, PC

Friday, July 26

“Hear the Voices”

7:00 p.m. – Commonwealth University at Mansfield, Steadman Theatre

Sponsored by Ward Manufacturing

J.G. Albrechtsberger ..... Concerto for Alto Trombone

Featuring Alexander Walden, trombone Arban Variations on “Norma”

Featuring Brian Strawley, trumpet

Teresa Cheung, Resident Conductor Intermission



Peggy Dettwiler, Choral Director

Saturday, July 27

“Dvořák Shines”

7:00 p.m. – Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY

Sponsored by Corning Incorporated

Lyadov ................... “Mazurka”

Mozart ..................... ”Sinfonia Concertante”

Featuring Hua Jin, violin and Carol Argenta, viola Intermission

Dvořák “In Nature’s Realm” Opus 91, “Carnival” Opus 92, “Othello” Opus 93

Sunday, July 28

“Sweet Sounds of Violin and Piano” featuring Noelle Tretick Gosling, violin and Erico Bazeera, piano

7:00 p.m. – Gmeiner Art & Cultural Center, Wellsboro, PA

Sponsored by Eugene Seelye

Monday, July 29

EMMF String Quartet featuring Jennifer Farquhar and Diane Joiner, violin; Lauren Strachen, viola; and Gita Ladd, cello

7:00 p.m. – Tioga County Courthouse, Wellsboro, PA

Sponsored by Guthrie

Tuesday, July 30

Clarinet Recital featuring Trina Gross

7:00 p.m. – Deane Center for the Performing Arts, Grand Community Room, Wellsboro, PA

Sponsored by Seneca Resources

Wednesday, July 31

“Endless Mountain Standard Time” featuring Ron Stabinsky, jazz piano and Friends

7:00 p.m. – Penn Wells Dining Room, Wellsboro, PA

Sponsored by Penn Wells Hotel - (Dinner available 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. For reservations, call 570-724-2111)

Thursday, August 1

Dave Stahl Jazz Sextet

7:00 p.m. – Deane Center for the Performing Arts, Coolidge Theatre - BYOB

Sponsored by Hon. Daniel & Mrs. Mary Ann Garrett

Friday, August 2

“The Way Things Were”

7:00 p.m. – Commonwealth University at Mansfield, Steadman Theatre

Sponsored by Visit Potter-Tioga

D. Shostakovich ......................... “Festive Overture”

Schickele .. “Pentangle, Five Songs for French Horn and Orchestra”

Featuring Robert Danforth, French horn Intermission

Schubert ..........................................Symphony No. 5

Saturday, August 3 “Franckly Speaking”

7:00 p.m. – Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY

Sponsored by Corning Incorporated

Kabalevsky .................... “Colas Breugnon Overture”

Mozart Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor

Featuring Sheng Cai, piano Intermission

Franck..................................... Symphony in D minor

Sunday, August 4

“It’s Showtime!”

featuring Anthony Nunziata, with orchestra

2:30 p.m. – Corning Museum of Glass Auditorium, Corning, NY - FREE Sponsored by Corning Incorporated, Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes, the Rotary Club of Corning and Laura Douglas 17 EVENTS

• 570-787-7800
4, 2024

Into the woods: The family enjoys the rural setting of their new home, and the boys especially enjoy their fort just behind this log pile.

continued from page 11

Corning for good in September 2023, in time for the new school year. Leaving Seattle and the friendships forged over thirty years was “truly bittersweet,” says Janusz, but even amid the controlled chaos of the move, life is good on Spencer Hill. Hohm-meyd is on hiatus until the Poźniaks can finish the new studio and rebuild their inventory; they hope to be blowing glass this spring. They are delighted at the small-town friendliness of their new neighbors. The boys love their schools, and the wooded property is ideal for building forts and digging for buried treasure. Attila has already shown aptitude in the hotshop.

“If he stays interested, he’s going to be good!” says his dad. And Olek, at four, is a budding ninja and thinks the Bills are pretty cool. But is there anything the Poźniaks don’t like about life in the Finger Lakes? Janusz doesn’t hesitate.

“Ticks!” he shudders. “How on earth do you deal with them?” (We all can relate.)

Janusz and Michelle, once settled, look forward to being familiar faces in their new community—you may even find yourself sharing an aisle with them at Wegmans! Their work will soon be available once again at and, and they’re on Facebook and Instagram as well. They will host an open house in the fall, closer to the holidays. Until then, they invite the public to follow their progress via social media.

David Higgins is from the small town of Deposit, New York. He retired in 2021 from Corning Community College, where he taught art for thirty years.

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Wade Spencer
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Spring Turns a Corner

Corning’s streets bloom in spring with these enormous crab apple trees—a must-see from the end of April through early May. When petals start to drop it’s like a warm, snowy fantasy world. This photo was taken on Wall Street at the very end of Market Street in the Gaffer District, and seems to beckon the viewer to walk into the magic of spring downtown.


Je ery Gilbert, DO Cardiology

Je ery Gilbert, DO, is welcoming new cardiology patients in Wellsboro and Mansfield. He completed his medical degree at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and was trained at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Dr. Gilbert is board certified in cardiovascular disease, nuclear cardiology, and echocardiography.

To schedule an appointment, call 570-321-2800.

15 Meade
Mansfield Wellsboro
Main St.
St., Suite U4

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