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PAGE 2 • January 2021 •



danced through while singing “Do Re Mi” at the top of their lungs. It is no wonder that these gardens were utilized in the movie, as they are enchanting in their own right! Full of bright flowers landscaped into intricate designs, with mythical stone statues of unicorns, by Kristin Merritt Pegasus and dwarves scattered throughout, while water fountains of every size and shape give the garden movement and depth. In the background, the Old City and the Hohensalzburg Fortress look down upon the garden giving the entire landscape a supremely picturesque quality. It was a lovely place to photograph and to leisurely stroll. When I finally got within view of the Old City, it was interestingly enough separated by a river – the Salzach River, to be exact – which If you’re an avid reader of Table Hopping, by now you’ve come to realize that I love translates to “salt” and aptly named as the river was mainly used to ship salt, bolstering the travel just as much as I love beer, and with every city I visit, I enjoy seeking out local local economy up until the 19th century, when brews and breweries. For me, food and drink are as much a part of the experience of rail service was established. There are a few learning and becoming immersed in the local culture as is visiting a museum or any pedestrian bridges along the banks of the river number of touristy attractions that may also be on my itinerary. This month’s article, if in order to cross between the Old and New. you couldn’t tell by the kitschy title, is about my excursion to Austria. Over in the Old City of Salzburg, the streets I traveled to Austria in September 2018. I had decided to only complete a day trip to are narrow in many areas with very tall, very old Salzburg, Austria, for two reasons – One: It was an ideal country to visit that was only a buildings housing apartments on the second short train ride from Munich, Germany, where I was located for a few days, and Two: It is floors and above, with many storefronts and the location of where my favorite movie, The Sound of Music, was filmed! restaurants occupying the first floors. Most of I embarked on my journey early one September morning and set off by high-speed the buildings all boasted the year in which they train through the countryside of Germany, which was only a short one and a half hour were built as well – the oldest that I could find trip. This allowed me plenty of time to settle in, enjoy a cup of coffee and a simple being 1294. My guided walking tour of the Old breakfast, setting myself up for a full day of not one, but two, tours in the city of Salzburg City meandered through the streets and hidden – one on foot and one by bus. When I got into the city and off my train, the immediate alleyways with our guide pointing out various area itself seemed rather modern – not at all like the rolling landscapes and Baroque curiosities and attractions throughout. We architecture that I had viewed in the film. However, thanks to the power of WiFi and visited Mozart’s birthplace, the Festspielhaus Google, I was able to pinpoint that there are in fact two parts to Salzburg – the New City – which is the open-air festival house – carved and the Old City – and all I had to do was keep walking. (which, is pretty much what you quite literally out of stone on the side of the do in Europe, so invest in a comfortable pair of sneakers!) hill – where the Von Trapp family sang on stage Eventually, I came first to the Mirabell Gardens, large and expansive, I recognized in the Sound of Music (and it’s still in use today!), the Salzburg Cathedral, St. Peter’s these grounds immediately as the very same area that Maria and the Von Trapp children Monastery, the Collegiate Church – which have some of the most exquisite Baroque architecture and design in all of Europe, several enormous fountains of which many can be seen in the film, and so much more! It should also be pointed out that intermittently scattered throughout the cobblestones on the streets, you will see small gold placards with inscriptions. These are not meant to be bypassed but instead, viewed and read as they relate to the Anschluss, OPEN 6 DAYS A WEEK ≈ MON-SAT Nazi occupation of Austria, and where Jewish people were snatched from these very locations. Each gold placard has a name inscribed into it, their date of birth, date of • Lobster Tails • capture/deportation by the Nazis, and their date of death along with what concentration • Fresh Scallops • camp they perished in. It’s a very sobering reminder to the devastation that occurred not so long ago in this beautiful city. • Fried Shrimp • During the afternoon hours, I • Cocktail Shrimp • embarked upon my second tour, Fried Smelt • Fried Calamari this time the very specific Sound of Music Tour with Panorama Tours. The • King Crab Legs • bus was emblazoned with painted • Fried or Fresh Fish • scenes and photographs from the movie and how very lively the crowd Since 1948 Thanks to Everyone who Voted Us was! Everyone who goes on this BEST PLACE FOR A FISH FRY! tour is by and large a big fan of the 9 YEARS IN A ROW movie. Our guide was interactive (2012–2020) and yes, we even had a sing-along on the bus during our excursion! I Find us online www.fishcovesyracuse.com met another woman about my age 2130 WEST GENESEE ST. WESTVALE PLAZA • SYRACUSE, NY who was traveling on her own, just

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PAGE 3 • January 2021


as I was, who was from Australia and we became fast friends. The bus trip gave us the opportunity to see scenes from the movie just outside the city limits – From the Von Trapp family home (2 residences actually!), to the lake where the children and Maria tip their canoe, to the gazebo from “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” to the Abbey where Maria was a postulate, and then we traveled through the foothills of the Alps to the town of Mondsee where we visited the church – The Mondsee Abbey – where Maria was married in the film. The tour was absolutely phenomenal and well worth the money – and not just because we visited all of the movie sites, but also because I was able to experience and see the pure and vast beauty of the Austrian countryside – It was indescribably breathtaking. (And we even stopped for a bite of apple strudel at the end!) During my day trip, I did find out that there were a few breweries in Salzburg, including the Augustiner Brewery in Salzburg Mülln which

was founded by Augustinian monks in 1621. Unfortunately, based on the timing of my tours and the train trip back to Munich, I was unable to sneak in a trip to the brewery, but that gives me all the more reason to return! I did however, get to imbibe on two Austrian beers during my day trip. The first was during the bus tour – oh yes, we were given complementary drinks on said excursion! Having never tried an Austrian beer, I was excited to get my paws on a Stiegl-Goldbräu (Stiegl Gold), brewed right in Salzburg. A Helles Lager, the beer has a characteristic golden hue and is pleasingly light, crisp and earthy with a gentle hopped bitterness, rendering this a very refreshing brew with an ABV of 4.9% – pairing perfectly with an afternoon of adventuring and unabashedly terrible singing. The second beer I sampled was with my Australian friend after our tour at Sternbräu in the Old City. This restaurant is a traditional beer inn and although renovated and tastefully modern now, it actually originated in 1542. Sternbräu also brews their own beer. I ordered a Sternbier, ABV 5%, which is their Kellerbier – or a type of German lager – which is created at cool temperatures. This malty, yet clean and crisp brew with a mild bitterness was a lovely beer to wind down with after a long day and before the train ride back home to Munich. I have searched high and low for Austrian beer in the Syracuse market but have not been able to locate any – Stiegl is available in the US but the closest I could find is still 190 miles away in Port Chester, NY. Despite my failed attempts, I did come across the Vienna Lager (5.2% ABV)


by Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company out of Lexington, VA, and this was the closest I could reasonably say shares in the many similar characteristics of both of the Austrian beers I sampled. This amber-colored, malty beer has the same mild bitterness of the aforementioned brews while also offering a slight bit of lemon to the finish, thereby keeping this brew quite dry, crisp and clean. I was able to find this at Wegmans in Dewitt. My plan is to still keep searching for Austrian beers and in the meantime, should travel ever be allowed again, Austria is still at the top of my list of countries to visit. (and I hope yours as well!) A day trip was not nearly enough time to adequately immerse myself into the city and her population. As well, given the tease of the countryside during the Sound of Music bus tour, I have plans to explore outside the city walls, visiting the smaller towns, admiring the Alps, and branching further into the country, making it to Vienna, Austria in addition. The World is so big and so vast and if this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to relish in the things we CAN do, when we are ABLE to actually do them – if we wait, we may never get the chance. Life is short and we don’t know what the future holds… So, travel, drink a new brew, meet some new people, and explore to your hearts content. Prost! Cheers!

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Exercise & Fitness by Jennifer Nastasi Guzelak

Are You Ready for the New Year? Are you ready for the New Year? I’m sure that you are, and what a year it has been! It has to get better, right? After a year of unpredictable events and a rollercoaster of emotions I think we’re all ready to put this year behind us. Year after year, getting in shape is one of the most popular resolutions you can make. This year, DON’T make a New Year’s resolution. You don’t need a New Year to make a change, all you need is today. If you feel like starting and staying committed to an exercise program is an uphill battle you’re not

Find a Gym

Finding a gym, you really like (such as Champions Fitness Center) is a great start, but simply signing up won’t help you reach your goals. You have to get there and do the work! Stay on a schedule like you would with anything else of high importance in your life and don’t allow yourself to get distracted along the way. Designate an hour, three to four days a week for your workout. If you miss a day make sure you get there on another day that week to make it up.

Take it One Day, One Pound at a Time

Dropping twenty pounds is a great long-term goal, but don’t bite off more than you can chew. Dieters tend to fall off the weight loss wagon when they have such a lofty resolution. Make some basic alterations to your lifestyle. Changes in what you eat, when you eat, and even where you eat it are a good place to start. Focus on losing one or two pounds a week by setting small diet and exercise goals. For every small goal you reach, reward yourself in a “non-food” way.

Aim for “A Little Better” Instead of “Perfect”

alone. Lots of people are struggling, especially this year! Instead of focusing on how many calories you burn at the gym, or how much weight you can lift, try focusing on creating a healthy lifestyle. Let’s wipe the slate clean and start the New Year off with good intentions. Here are a few tips to help you get off to a healthy start in the New Year.

Set a Specific Goal

One of the biggest reasons people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions is because they’re not specific enough. Don’t set a weight-loss goal without a plan as to how you will get there. A detailed plan will prevent you from falling back into old habits. Set a goal that is specific, measurable, realistic and trackable. Focus on making changes that you will be able to sustain for the long-haul.

It’s not about being perfect. It’s about gradual and continuous improvement. If you have a day that you eat unhealthy foods or you have a week where you’ve missed a few workouts don’t throw in the towel. Look ahead and focus on doing better tomorrow and even next week. Remember, small changes will create big results over time.

Exercise Whenever, Wherever, and However Possible

Don’t choose the closest parking spot. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. While you’re at work get up and walk around whenever possible. Anything you can do to get in a little extra is a good idea.

It’s Okay to Cheat

Banning your favorite cheat foods, whether it’s ice cream, chocolate, soda or French fries, is bound to backfire at some point. You will eventually buckle, binge, feel bad about it and revert back to your bad eating patterns. You don’t need to have temptations lying around your kitchen, but allowing yourself to indulge a few times a week won’t kill you.

Don’t Skip Breakfast

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Research shows that foregoing a morning meal will put you on the fast track to weight gain, not loss. People who skip breakfast are more likely to be hungrier and overindulge later in the day. Instead, start your day with a protein-packed breakfast. Pair lean proteins with high fiber, complex carbs such as a veggie omelet with a slice

PAGE 5 • January 2021



of Ezekiel bread or a serving of Greek yogurt, with a piece of fruit and a handful of almonds.

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Are you one of those people who thinks you can’t eat after 6 pm? There is no rule of thumb as to what time you need to stop eating. It’s very much “what” you eat not “when” you eat that really matters. The body stores any calories that aren’t used for energy regardless of the time those calories are eaten. As long as you’re eating “real” food, it’s okay!

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Find Accountability

It’s good to be reminded that this is your life and your choices can be life-affirming in every moment. Sometimes it’s hard to wrap your mind around it, but you can do it all – start exercising, eat better, and lose weight. If you aren’t a self-motivated individual, team up with a weight-loss companion (a friend, significant other, or personal trainer) who will make sure you stick it out. It is much easier to show up for a workout if someone is expecting you.

“You don’t need a New Year to make a change, all you need is today.”

Eat at the Table

Don’t eat your dinner in a rush. Make a conscious effort to sit down and enjoy your meals. Wouldn’t it be nice to actually remember tasting it? This will not only encourage you to be more aware of what you are eating, but it will also make you more attentive as to how much you are eating.

Take Time to Reflect

It’s been a tough year, so I am giving you permission to cut yourself a little slack. Even if there’s a lot you still want to change, take the time to acknowledge all the things you’ve accomplished this year. Give yourself a pat on the back for any and all signs of progress, no matter how small. Celebrate the lifelong health benefits you have created.

In Conclusion:

What does a renewed commitment to health and fitness look like for you? Stay committed to doing the best you can, find things that keep you inspired, and don’t forget to remind yourself why this is so important to you. There definitely isn’t a one-size-fits-all diet and exercise plan. Find what works for you and take it from there. Just remember, you matter and your health should too! I wish you many blessings and good health in the New Year.

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Inside... on the

I have been a personal trainer for over eighteen years and I absolutely love what I do. I honestly feel that I have one of the best jobs out there! The most rewarding part of my profession is helping one of my clients succeed at reaching their personal fitness goals. Making a difference in someone’s life makes it all worthwhile. I am currently certified by the National Sports Conditioning Association, Apex Fitness Group, and the International Sports Science Association.


dining out

by Kerilyn Micale Euclid Family Restaurant

january 2021

VOLUME 43 No. 1

brew time by Kristin Merrit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . excercise & fitness by Jennifer Nastasi . . . . the write stuff by Nancy Roberts. . . . . . . . . streaming now by Brian Miller. . . . . . . . . . . . word on the street by Bill McClellan. . . . . . the write stuff by Nancy Roberts. . . . . . . . . word on the street by Bill McClellan. . . . . . my mind to yours by Debra Merryweather . . now playing by Brian Miller. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . sounds of syracuse by Chuck Schiele. . . . . sports take by Mike Lindsley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . computers by Nancy Roberts. . . . . . . . . . . . .



NIGHTLIFE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MUSIC & EVENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CLASSIFIEDS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Recipe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2 4 10 12 14 19 21 24 26 30 32 34

27 29 31 35

preventative medicine by Dr. Barry Great Barrington Declaration



business of interest by Nancy Roberts The Fireside Inn

wedding plans 2021 Table Hopping, Inc. will not knowingly accept or publish advertising which is fraudulent or misleading in nature. The publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any advertising. The opinions, views and comments expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. The contents of this publication are protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without express written permission from the publisher. © 2021 Table Hopping Inc.

AD DEADLINE for the February Issue is January 22nd. CALL 474-1011 to reserve your advertising space!

PAGE 6 • January 2021 •


Dining Out by Kerilyn E. Micale

Euclid Restaurant As we all adjust to this new normal is nice to be reminded that some things never change. At the Euclid Restaurant you can still be comforted by the things you have come to except at the Euclid for decades: The great food, affordable prices, service with a smile, and a warm and comfortable atmosphere. The Euclid is located at the corner of Morgan Road and Route 31 at 4285 State Route, ¼ mile from Great Northern Mall and close to all of the shopping on Route 31. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 8 pm. They are currently closed Sunday and Monday but be sure to check their website for updated information. If to-go meals are more your speed these days, the Euclid has you covered and they are happy to accommodate takeout orders! They have their full menu online so check out their website at http:// www.euclidrestaurant. com/. Give them a call at 315-622-2750, place your order and they will have it ready for you to pick up! Have you noticed that some places come and go while others stand the test of time? The Thursday night special, Pasta Dinner

Euclid has been a part of Central New York for over 200 years. The Euclid is one of the cool hidden historical gems of our area. Built in 1817 and changing to accommodate the times and customers the Euclid had been a restaurant and an inn, and they proudly boast that it is the oldest establishment

Tuesday night special, Chicken & Bisquits


in town that is still being used for its original purpose! How have they been a success while others have not? The Euclid has found the simple answer: treat your customers like family, keep your prices fair, and above all else, serve fantastic food! The Euclid has also made sure to adapt with the changing times and they have made your safety their priority. All You Can Eat Sauerbraten They have really put the customer first with all of their menus to meet the needs of everyone: children’s menu, low carb menu, and even a senior menu! If comfort food is what you are looking for, no one does it better than the Euclid. They also have great weekly specials. On Tuesdays they have two specials to choose from: the huge 24 oz. Cattleman’s Cut Prime Rib or homemade Chicken and Biscuits. The Wednesday specials are all you can eat! Choose between the mouthwatering All You Can Eat Southern Fried Chicken which includes French fries and coleslaw or hot veggies and the All You Can Eat Sauerbraten served with red cabbage and egg noodles. If you are a pasta lover then you certainly don’t want to miss Thursday’s special of all you can eat pasta! Choose from spaghetti or shells served with your choice of two meatballs or one sausage. Head to the Euclid on Friday if fish delights your taste buds, with the Euclid Fish Fry served with French fries and coleslaw. Kyle and I arrived at the Euclid on a chilly Tuesday night. On our drive to the restaurant Kyle couldn’t help but talking about how excited he was for a huge prime rib dinner swimming in delicious au jus. For those that don’t know, the Euclid has the best slow roasted prime rib in town and they serve it every day! This tender cut of beef is roasted to perfection every day at the Euclid and you can pick from the 9 oz. house cut, the 12 oz. queen cut, or the 16 oz. king cut. For a real treat for the prime rib lover, like my husband, the best deal in town is on Tuesday for their Cattleman’s Cut 24 oz Prime Rib. We were quickly seated at our warm and cozy table. For our appetizers we ordered the Chicken Wing Dip,

“The Euclid has been a part of Central New York for over 200 years.”

EUCLID family restaurant

PAGE 7 • January 2021


Chicken Wing Dip appetizer


which was a gigantic helping of creamy and only slightly spicy wing dip bubbling and served with tortilla chips. We also ordered the Fried Clam Strips, golden fried to perfection! For our entrees I ordered the Walleye dinner, deep fried, which came with two sides, I chose a fresh garden salad and French fries. The generous portions of perch were lightly battered, crispy and delicious. Kyle ordered the Cattleman’s Cut Prime Rib. Every bite was perfection, as it is every time we go to the Euclid. We were stuffed and had to-go boxes packed because the portions are always very generous! We once again had a great meal at The Euclid!

Cattleman’s Cut Prime Rib

Walleye dinner

“If comfort food is what you are looking for, no one does it better than the Euclid. You will never be disappointed with a visit to the Euclid.”

At the Euclid you will find delicious food, huge portions, great value and a friendly and comfortable atmosphere. Stop in for a full meal complete with a wine selection from the fantastic wine menu or just for a cocktail or a snack. You will never be disappointed with a visit to the Euclid. The Euclid, operating under the current owners, has been a favorite of Central New Yorkers since 1981, stop in today or pick up take out and taste the deliciousness that has stood the test of time while adapting to the changing times!

PAGE 8 • January 2021 •



Preventive Medicine by Dr. Barry

Great Barrington Declaration Sounds like a somber and weighty peace treaty but the Great Barrington Declaration is nothing of the sort. Rather, the Declaration is an open letter published on October 4th 2020 to world leaders beseeching them to avoid another COVID 19 lockdown. Named after a place in Massachusetts the Declaration is the work of three scientists...each of whom are experts in this field. Recurrent lockdowns seem to be sweeping the globe as I write this in early December. Lockdown fatigue is also quite prominent but we are told to appeal to reason and follow the science and listen to the experts. Which science and which experts are you hearing from? Since the mainstream media and our governmental authorities are doing a good job presenting the pro-lockdown side let me present a different point of view. Of course, it’s not just my opinion, it’s the opinion of three very different but very accomplished scientists from some of the absolute top education institutions in America. That’s what makes this so important and so credible. I am not quoting some obscure academician from a nowhere junior college. The “experts”touted by the media, say millions of lives have been saved by the lockdowns. These scientists argue just the opposite. Here are the bios taken directly from the website . Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations. Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases. Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician,

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epidemiologist, health economist, and public health policy expert focusing on infectious diseases and vulnerable populations. A little more about Dr Bhattacharya who recently elaborated on the Declaration in an article written in Imprimis..a publication of Hillsdale College. Dr Bhattacharya is a Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, where he received both an M.D. and a Ph.D. in economics. He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economics Research, a senior fellow

Doctors signing the Declaration at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and director of the Stanford Center on the Demography and Economics of Health and Aging. A co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration, his research has been published in economics, statistics, legal, medical, public health, and health policy journals. So Oxford, Stanford and Harvard. Pretty impressive lineup of scientists with special expertise in this area who have reviewed the data and have concluded that the lockdown has been a global disaster with terrible consequences especially among the poor. Here I quote directly from his remarks, “ Those who dare to talk about the tremendous economic harms that have followed from the lockdowns are accused of heartlessness. Economic considerations are nothing compared to saving lives, they are told. So I’m not going to talk about the economic effects – I’m going to talk about the deadly effects on health, beginning with the fact that the U.N. has estimated that 130 million additional people will starve this year as a result of the economic damage resulting from the lockdowns. In the last 20 years we’ve lifted one billion people worldwide out of poverty. This year we are reversing that progress to the extent – it bears repeating – that an estimated 130 million more people will starve.” Here is a copy of the Great Barrington Declaration for your own perusal. I am one of the 36,000 thousand physicians who have signed the Declaration along with 600,000 private citizens and over 12,000 medical and public health scientists. If we have to trust the experts ...why not these experts…? The Great Barrington Declaration – As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection. Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years

PAGE 9 • January 2021


to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice. Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed. Fortunately, our understanding of the virus is growing. We know that vulnerability to death from COVID-19 is more than a thousandfold higher in the old and infirm than the young. Indeed, for children, COVID-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza. As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all – including the vulnerable – falls. We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity – i.e. the point at which the rate of new infections is stable – and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity. The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection. Adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID-19. By way of example, nursing homes should use staff with acquired


immunity and perform frequent PCR testing of other staff and all visitors. Staff rotation should be minimized. Retired people living at home should have groceries and other essentials delivered to their home. When possible, they should meet family members outside rather than inside. A comprehensive and detailed list of measures, including approaches to multi-generational households, can be implemented, and is well within the scope and capability of public health professionals. Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity. On October 4, 2020, this declaration was authored and signed in Great Barrington, United States.

“The U.N. has estimated that 130 million additional people will starve this year as a result of the economic damage resulting from the lockdowns.”

Have a Safe and Happy New Year!




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PAGE 10 • January 2021 •



The Write Stuff by Nancy Roberts

The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm Translated and with an Introduction by Jack Zipes I am a big fan of serendipity. Let me give you an example. I chose a volume of fairy tales to review for this month’s book. I’d had it for a long time, but thought it deserved a look as a) I periodically re-read fairy tales since I love them; b) this one had very lovely

“The Brothers Grimm were among he earliest to literally “collect” fairy tales, gathering oral versions and putting them down on paper.”

artwork on the cover, of the Golden Age of illustrators vintage; and c) it seemed like a perfect season for it. Looking for the name of the artist, I discovered it was John B. Gruelle, who was known for creating one of my best-loved children’s toys, Raggedy Anne (and Andy). The illustrations were done for a 210-story version of my book, published in 1912. I started this article off with the line “I am a big fan of serendipity.” When I thought perhaps I should look up the word, just to be sure I was correct, I found that it was defined as “Serendipity is a found, coined in the middle of the 18th century by author Horace

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Walpole (he took it from the Persian fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip.) And no, though it would have been too perfect, The Brothers Grimm did not write that fairy tale into their collection, but Voltaire did, in Zadig, which at some point in time, I read. The two most famous collections of fairy tales, at least for western readers, are the Brothers Grimm, and Hans Christian Anderson. And of course, the tv series, Grimm, which turns the whole collection of fairy tale creatures on end in a modern setting.  Though it’s far too long to go into here, the backstory is that the “fairy tale” is a subset of folklore, or folktales. While the exact definition is complicated, most fairy tales include some element of what kids would now call “magical creatures” (thank you J. K. Rowling): elves, fairies, goblins, trolls, ogres, and so on. There is typically a brave girl, a handsome prince, a wicked stepmother, a quest, and a mostly happy ending. Many of the stories are derived from simple good v. evil parables, entertaining to both adults and children. The Brothers Grimm were among the Artist, John B. Gruelle’s earliest to literally “collect” fairy tales, Raggedy Anne and Andy gathering oral versions and putting them down on paper. The brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm, lived from the late 1700s to the mid-1800s, and were born in what is now Germany. Their work was instrumental in popularizing the genre, and you’ll immediately recognize such titles are Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Beauty and the Beast, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White. In fact, look at a catalog of Disney cartoons. Hans Christian Anderson, by contrast, was a Danish writer, well-known during the 1800s as a playwright, travel writer, novelist, and poet. Most of his fairy tales, while some have roots in Danish folklore, are his own creation – and many of them are distinguished by a distinct flavor




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of both an underlying moral lesson, and tragedy. Some of his titles include The Little Matchgirl, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Thumbelina, The Emperor’s New Clothes, and The Little Mermaid. With the notable exception of The Little Mermaid, Disney wasn’t as fond of these tales.  Because, no doubt, of both Anderson

PAGE 11 • January 2021


and the Grimms, Americans tend to associate fairy tales with the German and Norse style story, though many of my books contain stories from India, China, Italy and France, among other places. If you’re curious about the significant role girls and women play in fairy tales, you can probably thank the “salon” era of the mid-1700s. Around this time, the salons of Paris, frequented by the rich and famous ladies of means, would gather to discuss arts, culture, literature, and no Little Red Riding Hood doubt, politics. One of their games was for one lady to start a tale, and each subsequent participant would continue the story with her own particular flourish. The heroine was a popular figure, and stories like The Six Swans, in which the sister of six brothers, who have been magically cursed to be swans but for one hour a day, can save them by weaving shirts for each out of stinging nettles – she manages the trick except for one sleeve – and they live happily ever after. Another is East of the

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Sun and West of the Moon, in which a young girl is married to a bear (who becomes a prince at night under cover of dark). The girl sneaks a light into the chamber and sees who her real husband is, but in doing so spills tallow (I had to look that up as a child) on him – after which he is spirited away and locked up, and the heroine has to go through a variety of perils to rescue him – and they live happily ever after. Now, about the book. This version, a complete set of the original 210 tales, along with 32 lesser-known stories, and a brief introduction to the brothers and how they found and recorded their stories. The first in the book is The Frog King (though I knew it as The Frog Prince, but that’s one of the charms

“The heroine was a popular figure, and stories like The Six Swans, in which the sister of six brothers, who have been magically cursed to be swans but for one hour a day, can save them by weaving shirts for each out of stinging nettles.”

of fairy tales – they change). The final story is The Robber and His Sons. In between are stories you’ll know, and discoveries you’ll make, along with delightful illustrations to linger over. It’s perfect reading for winter by the fire, and at two or three stories per night, will take you all the way to spring. 

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Streaming Flicks by BRIAN MILLER

by debra Merryweather


It wasn’t so long ago when there was a belief that Christopher Nolan’s latest venture, TENET, was going to signify cinema’s triumphant return. Boasting spectacular scope, ingenious ideas, and a thundering soundtrack, it was going to reignite the passion of leery moviegoers who had been forced to stay away from theaters as the pandemic unfolded. While TENET did receive a theatrical release, it didn’t come close to making the impact that Nolan, Warner Brothers, and the industry as a whole was hoping for. With limited theaters open, and a public far more concerned with the well-being of themselves and their loved ones than their ability to sit with others in an enclosed space for over two hours, it failed to capture the audience it deserved. Now, from the safety of your own home, you can tackle the complex, enthralling, and visually stunning sci-fi adventure that easily emerges as one of the best blockbusters of the year. There a couple of things you need to understand before delving into the complex world of TENET. The first, and perhaps most important, is that there are multiple times within the film that the dialogue spoken between the characters is difficult to hear. Much like the muffled Bane in Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, the audio


RATED: PG-13 RUN TIME: 2h 30min GENRE: Action, Sci-Fi STARRING: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debickiy DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan Writer: Christopher Nolan

mixing makes it difficult to discern what certain characters are saying. This was done purposefully, and there is no need to adjust the settings on your surround sound. Nolan was striving for a visceral visual experience in which the way the movie felt and flowed was far more important than clearly GRADE: A conveying each spoken word. The second important thing to understand, is that even if you could meticulously comprehend each and every word, chances are, you’d still be just as perplexed and challenged as you will be in its current state. This is, at its core, what makes TENET such an original and spectacular achievement. There are no simple answers, and there are no typical tropes that tend to play out in action films such as these. Quite simply, there are no action films such as this. I’m reluctant to divulge much when comes to the plot of TENET. Before its release, and even after it came out, Nolan wanted each viewer to experience the story for themselves without knowing much about its nature. Speaking in simple terms, the film revolves around an unnamed protagonist, who is played to utter perfection by John David Washington. He has been tasked with saving humanity, though he doesn’t know how, or why, or who is employing him. He simply knows that a sophisticated inversion weapon from the future has been sent to the past (which is our movie’s present) that will lead to the end of days. With the help of his handler Neil (Robert Pattinson) and Kat, (Elizabeth Debicki) the wife of arms dealer Andrei Sator (Kenneth Branaugh) the protagonist must

Unnamed protagonist, played by John David Washington

PAGE 13 • January 2021


Kat played by Elizabeth Debicki

Robert Pattinson as Neil


solve an international and time-bending mystery before the world comes to a sudden and cataclysmic end. The visuals that play out before you are startling and endlessly exciting, combining an array of techniques and ingenuity that are a feast for the eyes. While you may not fully grasp what is unfolding at all times, it never lessens the adrenaline-inducing impact of each and every scene. As you attempt to decipher the codes and clues of the protagonist’s adventure, it’s thrilling to watch them come together in a final act that could easily have disappointed, yet found a way to bring everything together. The film is a challenging puzzle, one that begs to be solved, yet often feels as if a piece or two may be missing. This, along with audio issues, may infuriate some, and this is certainly understandable. For me, it was a welcome diversion from convention. Like Nolan’s INCEPTION, TENET didn’t just feel like a movie, it was an experience. It is the type of production that begs to be seen more than once, yet unlike other projects, TENET is one that may be even more entertaining the second time around than it was the first. TENET- A (Now available on Video on Demand)

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Word on the Street by Bill McClellan

The Plan – Special Forces “Intelligence” PRELUDE: Refresher: Last month I wrote of an experience that stirred my soul. I was at what was very likely to be the deathbed of a young lady I have been looking out for, for years. She is a heroin addict. In the last few months, she had a valve replaced in her heart, a punctured lung and more. The day before her operation she looked at me and tears flowed and she said: “I am going to die Bill”. I held her hand and said: No, you’re not, you are going to be fine. By the grace of God, she made it. She was released too soon and hit the streets using right away, new heart valve and unhealed wounds and all. She upset a few drug dealers over a $10 or $20 sale and they went after her. They beat her unmercifully twice. They blackened her eyes and face. They dragged this petite young girl in the street by her hair leaving skid marks on her body. As I said, it stirred my soul. I want them really bad. Rambo is fiction. Rambo thinking is not. The right course is here. That she survived is truly a miracle. That there are many others is tragedy. She was on the brink of death, again in the streets, with heartless men with dark vicious hearts. She was arrested in time. The Police saved her life. Jail will provide the healing time she needs to have a future. She was not alone in the streets. Priceless deprived young men and women turn into Zombie like creatures throughout the neighborhood each day. Ruthless scum abuse addicted young women (minors included) at will as their habit needs to be replenished each day. We have looked the other way. The time has come for the good to walk tall. I will be interjecting Special Forces Call ahead thinking throughout. Please remove the for rulebook from your thinking. Conventional Take-Out thinking is too often a drawback. You may need dispensation from many rules. This is an unconventional approach. There will be a D-Day. Any necessary variance or waiver Rt. 11 LaFayette • 315.677.3986 procedures must be in place. Bureaucracy Homemade Luncheon Specials Daily is far too often a public enemy. It must not impede. For example, this is a test Fridays - Full Dinner Menu area with dangers that must be removed. No one is playing favorites. Many will say ◆ Haddock ◆ Prime Rib ◆ some of these improvements are unfair in one location. To that, I say you must begin, ◆ Steak ◆ Seafood ◆ you must have an example and a place, to An assortment of nightly dinner specials! present for state and much other funding as you move into other dangerous areas in this and other districts. A city is very much a collection of

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villages. I will be referring to the designated area as “the village”. I was trained in villages. They are known today as Village Stability Operations or VSO’s. They are today’s adaption of the highly successful Civilian Irregular Defense Group in Viet Nam. This strategy has been fined tuned since Viet Nam and is currently the premier strategy for success in Afghanistan. I refined that training for this idea and adapted it to this particular neighborhood. The village perimeter is: (Both sides of the street throughout) Lodi from James to Butternut, Butternut to Hartley, Hartley to Highland, Highland to James and James back to Lodi. A map of the village is with this article. This will involve nearly all departments. Infrastructure, village beatification, human need, and residential improvements will be vital to this effort. Each department should develop a team compatible with the village size and study the village and what they can do. The Police will set the initial standard in phase one – D-Day. Shock and awe. I understand you are already elite. In Syracuse the best in the country. And you have many tools and techniques in place and others available that are very impressive. In this village you do have a goal revision that must be complete mindset. The goal is to end Status Quo and end the Drug problem in this village and cause quality of life. This article requests that “Intelligence” procedures be enhanced, clandestinely learning the entire drug structure and culture in this area. Embed appropriate blending personnel. Join right in – become as unconventional as success requires. This is a preparation period. D-day will not be until the cusp of winter and spring. Now, design a team of our very finest for D-Day. Set up a post capture interview process. Make current and foremost at every level esp. when capturing dealers,

PAGE 15 • January 2021


“follow the money”. This will lead you back to where the seed is planted to grow the poppy that is sold on Highland Street. Above all, if you have not done this you need to understand the sources that feed Syracuse. In the end even they will know Syracuse is “Off Limits”. Observe and identify inappropriate activity at every house and business in the 15 square block village. “No one” should engage beyond normal activity until D-Day. Determine current camera locations and best sites for additional cameras that may enhance intelligence gathering. You must know the location of drug houses (a few have a door that is set up almost like a store) in the village and drug dealer residences in or out of the village – this will be the only geographic variable – if they sell in the village perimeter, Map of the village on D-Day they are done, and it is fine to capture them elsewhere. It is imperative that a plan is in place for D-Day and esp. post D-day to capture those working out of vehicles. Engage store owners and small business owners. (First, clandestinely determine their degree of complicity) It is amazing how many good people in these neighborhoods are involuntarily tangled in this web of poverty and drugs and cruelty. Many residents are anxious to help. They have information difficult to find. You will be surprised – I found 4 in 3 days and I was only searching for my friend. Residents want this to end. Respect confidentiality, keep them safe. Comprehensive resident and owner contact methods and timing with full explanation of what is happening will be discussed next month. Identify users and those in eminent danger. Make this information available to the Social Services Team. Please understand that “they can’t be helped until they want it” is false and has become very damaging. Every positive intervention of any nature is an emotional trigger, a series of which leads an addict to the desire to quit. And every user is at a different stage with a different degree of susceptibility. Every participant should be cross trained in Victim Assistance. I urge developing a small information kit that can be given to addicts. Undercover and unconventional intelligence gathering will develop an impressive array of detail for designing the plan for D-Day. When you move, there will be no quarter, no status quo. The drug culture will be excised with shock and awe in real time. Develop a maintenance observation plan using personnel and cameras. On D-Day +1 users will not be able to buy in this village. In the end, success here will show, we are going to fix this city. Let the crud of humanity find another home. They are done here. Once you comprehend the pain and perceive the cruelty and learn of the human harm, once that sets in, the hearts of our best fall into place and it becomes “just a matter of execution”. As the best do not try, they make it happen. We are interested in the elite of our decent. Not just tough. Tough alone, is a big problem. Compassionate and tough is what we are looking for. That is the best humans can be. If you are both, no doubt you are with me. It does not matter your department, most will participate. We want the best. We do not want to try. We want to succeed. The elite will get it done. We need professionals of good will to take down those that destroy quality of life in neighborhoods and suck the strength out of our children’s minds. This idea is a perfect example to demonstrate that a City can be cleaned up.


The Mayor, the Council and Each City department should choose only those that do not accept failure. You will be engaging in an effort with massive human value and you will be implementing and improving techniques that can be duplicated. This effort is to set a standard that proves this can be achieved. In this plan the toughest of the tough may help a young woman get diapers or help a senior living in swill. There is nothing the Special Forces will not do to assist a citizen and the community. None have a problem helping an addict or apprehending a dealer. This effort must have the encompassing quality of the very finest humans can be. Liberating the oppressed is comprehensive. We are not going in as just Law Enforcement. We are going in as Neighborhood recovery. This will be multifaceted, comprehensive and with improvement at the end of every single step. Sandor Fabian (Ph. D.) Security Studies is a NATO Special Operations Specialists. He along with many others believe that “De Oppresso Liber” (To Liberate the Oppressed - the motto of the Special Forces) should be taken to the Streets of America. This entire project is centered around compassionate, strategic, can do, finish the job, city planning that allows Special Forces thinking to succeed where other avenues fail. “D” day. In WWII this was the coded designation used for the day of an important operation. June 6th 1944, gave D-Day new meaning in terms of getting the job done. Everyone jumped on board and between them with collective pre-planned input, the world was saved and compassion and decency became the order of the future. All City departments will have a Tully Historical Society’s specific mission and will participate. Only wice Read Book Store intelligence gatherers and clandestine planners from each department will be We have some great active prior to D-Day. On D-Day the City winter reads! moves in. Hell breaks lose for evil and a 1000’s of Volumes! neighborhood begins to reshape and New Titles Arriving Daily! take on an identity without fear, without 24 State St., Tully violence, without evil men sucking the life 315-696-4681 from the kids. Hrs: Mon, Tues, Fri, Sat 9-1

“Sandor Fabian (Ph. D.) Security Studies is a NATO Special Operations Specialists. He along with many others believe that “De Oppresso Liber” (To Liberate the Oppressed - the motto of the Special Forces) should be taken to the Streets of America.”

continued on pg 16

PAGE 16 • January 2021 •



The Plan continued from pg 15 Streets, sidewalks, trees, grass, flowers, bushes, streets, street signs etc. Trim, fix, add, plant, and repair. Cause a neighborhood with a sidewalk that can accommodate a young mother pushing her baby carriage. Where streets are smooth and curbs are even and safe. Where Gramma can walk to the store without worrying about breaking her hip. We rebuilt Iraq. Let’s see what Syracuse can do with 15 square blocks of America. A neighborhood where residents can look around and not feel neglected. A neighborhood where kids are influenced by, and see nice things and goodness and wonder rather than disrepair and ugliness and drug dealers and fear. That is what Flanders Fields is all about. To understand the methodology of the mission you must understand the goal. The goal will be to enter this neighborhood devastated by fear, violence, cruelty, drugs and drug dealers, crime, poverty, infrastructure neglect, violence, and severe deplorable abuse of the young. Your mission is to correct these matters. To win hearts and minds and plant hope. Each resident will think quickly “Wow, somebody cares.” They will feel rescued. No less than American Armies rolling into occupied towns in WWII. Yes, it is that bad. Then, do not leave. Develop and maintain a retention plan in each department. You must not leave them ever again. Note there will be many funding options after success in the first village.

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Think can do. Not, it’s too much to ask for what should be normal. Succeed here. The doors will open for an array of future funding, government and otherwise. Each department should review the unique unconventional nature of this plan. And remember it is a test area. We should recall that conventional thinking can circle you back to the status A young mother able to push her carriage quo. You are being asked for elite, special, unusual assistance compatible with ridding this village of evil and making it a home, quickly and with stunning efficiency. Each City Department, please seek out what you can do to help in this village on D-Day. Remember, think, innovate, create. The first essential City Department that needs to prepare is Police. Social Services should be prepared with a clear Rehab path. Cooperative victim efforts need attention in the moment, not after a month or two of bureaucratic entanglement. Department of Public Works, Major Player. Fire. Fire should review “each” block for compliance and safety issues. The Innovation Team, love the name, do what you do. The Law Department to remove monkey wrenches, Neighborhood and Business Development for participation and recommendations, Parks, improvements where Schiller borders the area and beautification assistance – Personnel, Planning, Purchase, Research, Water, Zoning and perhaps a few others may have a very important place and input. Please think of what you can do for this village leading up to a path for your city. And on D-day be ready to move and achieve. With planting the only exception everyone takes what was clandestinely gathered and we move all at once on D-Day. Also, American Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator, (Addiction and Mental Illness) – Office of the City Auditor, will be a vital player moving forward: economics and funding – F.O.C.U.S. community inspiration and assistance once recovery is underway – Syracuse Housing Authority – Emergency Housing etc. – Home Headquarters (for home owners seeking improvements etc.) Leadership Greater Syracuse, (seek out investment opportunities in the improved village. Project increased value of investment in the city once this effort expands and is successful throughout the city. Done well, with progress, this project will become an economic engine and cause economic growth and jobs.) There was a Military cadence song many years ago. I am sure it is still in use. It went: “Around the block she pushed a baby carriage, she pushed it in the spring time, in the early month of May, And if you ask her why the heck she pushed it She’d say she pushed it for her soldier who was far far away.” Far too many of these soldiers never came home. They never dreamed their honey would not have a sidewalk to push her baby carriage. Let’s give them at least 15 square blocks of what they fought for. Of what they died for. A healthy neighborhood where a new Mom can safely and smoothly push her baby carriage and where that baby can grow free of demons of the street both chemical and human. “De Oppresso Liber” Next Month – D-Day.

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PAGE 17 • January 2021



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PAGE 18 • January 2021 •



W E DDING PLANS by Nancy Roberts

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of a cushion style can enhance brilliance, and the elongated emerald cut presents a bold look that can make a diamond appear larger than its carat weight. Choose a setting. Deciding the right setting or diamond shape for your stone is a personal decision. Some people have specific ideas for a setting, and take more time on the stone, or vice versa. However, not all settings accommodate all shapes so it’s important to prioritize one or the other if you are set on a particular shape or setting. Typical engagement ring styles include the solitaire, a simple band that showcases any diamond shape; halo, in which a central stone is surrounded by smaller diamonds; classic, which features a row of accent diamonds along the ring band; and vintage, which replicates design styles from different time periods. Contemplate your center stone. When it comes to your center stone, there are a few different options to choose from. Although diamonds are the most popular, birthstones, moissanite, and cubic zirconia are also great budget-friendly options. In regards to diamonds, there are two types to choose from: mined diamonds and lab-created diamonds. While mined diamonds are extracted from the earth, lab-grown stones are guaranteed to be ethically sourced and, as mentioned above, up to 40 percent less expensive. Both types are identical in terms of chemistry and physical appearance. However, interest in lab-created diamonds has surged in recent years as more couples are concerned with sustainability, as well as beauty and romance.

PAGE 21 • January 2021



W E DDING PLANS Wedding Gift Registries Couples Most Common Questions The bakery agreed to make your almond-flavored multi-tiered cake. You found a bridesmaid’s dress in just the right shade of robin’s-egg blue. Finally, the wedding plans are falling into place. What about your wedding gift registry? Today, the options for wedding gift registries are endless. To help cut through the clutter, Demetra Bernard of Springmaid home fashions answers these common questions about wedding gift registries. Q: Where should brides and grooms look for registries? A: Virtually every retail outlet offers a registry, making it easy to find everything you need, from pillows to power saws. There is no rule that says all of your registered items need to come from one place. For example, you can choose Egyptian cotton sheets from one local home store, tools from a hardware store and a retro telephone from Pottery Barn. Q: Is it better to register in the store or online? A: How you register is a personal preference. The benefit to registering in the store is the “touch factor.” You can feel the softness of a towel or see if the ecrucolored blender matches your other appliances. On the other hand, registering online means that you don’t have to adjust your schedule around store hours. Online registries also are easier for gift-givers, especially far-flung family and friends who might not live near the store. Most brick-and-mortar stores now have their registries accessible both in the store and online so you can decide which method works best for you. Q: What do most people forget to put on their registries? A: One of the most forgotten items are blankets. For some, it’s a utilitarian item that’s easy

to overlook. For others, it’s just too confusing to decide on a fabric. Choosing between cotton, thermal, flannel, acrylic, down-filled, knit, woven or herringbone can make your head spin. But although it may take a few minutes to get educated on the best blanket for you, having one on your bed or in your linen closet is a must, especially when your new spouse turns down the thermostat! Q: Should couples register for the “really good stuff”? A: The tradition of wedding gift-giving started as a way for family and friends to help newlyweds – who were moving out of their parents’ homes and into an empty house – set up their new home. Today’s brides and grooms are marrying later in life and likely have lived on their own (at college or in an apartment) and have already accumulated some of the basics. So a registry can be the couple’s chance to indulge in the really good stuff. They shouldn’t feel guilty, as the good stuff isn’t all that expensive anymore. As people continue to seek out luxury offerings for their own homes, it’s likely they will be willing to spend a little bit more to assure their families and friends get a taste of luxury, too.

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PAGE 22 • January 2021 •



W E DDING PLANS Wedding Wine: How to Pick the Best For Your Wedding Most people associate weddings with Champagne; it is the customary choice for wedding toasts. But wines are just as customary and should be considered with care when planning your reception menu. Even if your knowledge of wine is limited, it can be easy to select the right wine for your wedding reception. Choosing the wine is an important detail, one that should not be overlooked. You sample the food and the cake, why would you not sample the wine? An experienced caterer will have many wine options to share with you while you are sampling their dinner and appetizer menu. Keep in mind; you are not limited to the selection provided by your caterer. Sometimes, going on your own with your wine purchase can save you money on your overall reception bill (we’ll discuss that more later). Whatever you choose, make sure that you sample the choices and pick the wine that you feel is going to be the best compliment to your wedding. Where to begin? First, we must admit that it’s impossible to give advice on selecting wine that will work for everyone. Which wines you choose for your wedding and how much you order depends on many factors; here are a few things to consider when deciding on wine for your wedding: Your Guests: What kind of wine do you like? How about your friends and family? Do they prefer red, white, rosé, sparkling, or a dessert wine? Would your guests enjoy one or two really nice glasses of wine to sip as they socialize? Or, is wine not that important to your guests? Menu: What are you serving for dinner? The heavier and more flavorful the dish, the more full-bodied and complex the Able Smith Tent & Party Rental is Central wine can be. So if you are serving beef in a New York’s trusted source for hundreds hearty sauce, then by all means, bring on the Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux. If you of supplies to make your party or event are serving a delicate white fish, you should a great success. From Party Tents to offer a light bodied white – a Sauvignon Linens, we have everything you need to Blanc would be the perfect choice. Don’t forget Rosé: Dry rosé is crisp and make an event take shape. fruity, without the sweetness of white zinfandel and other blush wines, and pairs beautifully with salads, poultry, pork, tuna, salmon, and even sirloin. Rosé is perfect in both warm and cool weather, day and night and is a favorite for weddings. Time of Year: Is your reception scheduled for the middle of summer or the dead of winter? The season could make a difference in what wine you decide to serve your guests. If you are hosting an outdoor

“Why not offer your guests a new experience? Have a wine tasting with your friends before the event or go to a local wine bar and enjoy some new varietals.”

PAGE 23 • January 2021



W E DDING PLANS reception and the weather is expected to be warm, plan accordingly and serve a refreshing, lighter wine like a Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc, rather than a heavy Chardonnay. For red wine drinkers, you might offer a Grand Cru Beaujolais or a Pinot Noir. You might even consider a dry rosé. Other things to consider: Are you a novice to selecting wine? Here are some tried and true wine suggestions: Two wines that go very well with many different types of foods and that can be served year-round are Sauvignon Blanc for a white and, among reds, Pinot Noir. Both of these are lighter in body and less fruity than Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. They’re also excellent when served as aperitifs. Unless you know your guests will enjoy your creative selection of wines, stick with what people know and love best – a white such as Chardonnay or a Chardonnay-based wine and a red such as Merlot. If you prefer to veer just a little bit off the beaten path, try a light, food-friendly white such as Sauvignon Blanc and a red Zinfandel. Want to try something a little different? Wine is meant to be enjoyed and celebrated, why not try something fun! Why not offer your guests a new experience? Have a wine tasting with your friends before the event or go to a local wine bar and enjoy some new varietals. In whites, consider a Riesling, Muscadet, Pinot Gris or Semillion. In reds, be sure to taste a Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Syrah or Rioja. Champagne and Sparkling Wine: Weddings are all about celebration, and so is champagne and sparkling wine. Be sure you have enough on hand to have at least one reception toast. How much do I buy and what will I spend? You don’t have to spend a fortune to serve terrific wines at your wedding. The wine world is enjoying a boom in quality these days, so there are plenty of first-rate, inexpensive ones to choose from. Premium bottles can be as low as $7, ranging to more than $30 a bottle. To determine the number of bottles to buy, a good rule of thumb is to allot anywhere from a

half to three-quarters of a bottle per person, assuming that most guests will drink two glasses with dinner. Most bottles serve about 5 glasses of wine. There is some debate of whether more white or red wine gets consumed at wedding. Take into consideration your menu and time of year of your wedding when deciding the ratio of white to red. If the wines will also be served with cocktails, double that amount. Guests will likely enjoy a glass or two before sitting down to dine. The final touch: Your wine choice can also provide an opportunity to further personalize your wedding. For instance, you might serve the wine that you had on your first date or the kind your parents drank on their wedding day. Depending on where you’ll be holding your reception, you could choose a wine from a local vineyard, or pick one from a favorite vacation spot or your honeymoon destination. There are many websites that offer you the option of designing custom wine labels to display on your wedding wine bottles. These labels can be personalized with your name, photo, date and personal message to your guests. Your bottle of wine or champagne becomes an elegant addition to your wedding décor. You can give full sized wine bottles, or mini-bottle, as wedding favors for your guests. You can also personalize your wine bottles to give as gifts to your bridal party, special guests and staff that participated in your special day. It’s a great way to let them celebrate with you even beyond the reception.


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PAGE 24 • January 2021 •



My Mind To Yours

by debra Merryweather

The Long Haul On December 20th, comedian D.L. Hughley posted, on Facebook, a November 20 Wall Street Journal article titled “Doctors Begin to Crack Covid’s Mysterious Long-Term Effects.” The WSJ article listed “severe fatigue, cognitive issues and memory lapses, digestive problems, erratic heart rates, headaches, dizziness, fluctuating blood pressure, even hair loss” as COVID’s after-effects. The WSJ stated that some long haul COVID patients are trying dairy and gluten free diets, and that physicians are investigating how coronavirus might affect the 10th cranial nerve, the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is part of the autonomic nervous system. The New College Latin &


during these difficult times!


English Dictionary defines vagus as “wandering.” The vagus nerve extends, in myelinated and unmyelinated branches, from the brain to the colon automatically regulating our heartlung function and digestion, while we wander through life. On NPR’s, December 5 “Weekend Edition Saturday,” Scott Simon interviewed Lauren Stiles, president of Dysautonomia International. Ms. Stiles described another condition affecting long haul COVID patients: POTS. POTS, short for postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, affects the autonomic nervous system, which, as described by Ms. Stiles, “controls our heart rate, our blood pressure, our digestion and many other automatic bodily functions... POTS can cause lightheadedness, shortness of breath, fatigue, headaches, GI motility problems.” I am not a doctor. I’m not diagnosing myself or anyone else here, but, as I listened to NPR’s segment about POTS, it occurred to me that POTS symptoms match many of my issues. The Cleveland Clinic website states “patients may develop POTS after a viral illness, serious infections, medical illness, pregnancy and trauma such as head injury. The condition may develop as aftermath of a significant illness (especially associated with hospitalization and prolonged immobilization).” I first heard of the vagus nerve when I read Peter A. Levine, Ph.D.’s, In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness. I have since read much

Digestive problems, mysterious long term Covid effect

PAGE 25 • January 2021


about dorsal vagal freeze response. In the early 1960’s, on a public playground I once told a playmate that she’d used a bad word after she’d muttered a racial epithet to describe some African American children playing nearby. She demanded I tell her what bad word she’d said. I told her. The nearby children heard me say the word. In an instant, the children turned toward The vagus nerve us while my friend pointed at me and said, “she said it.” I felt paralyzed. I remember nothing. My experience and reading suggest to me that our mind body connections, including the 10th cranial nerve, manifest in much that is holistically, individually, and collectively known as “us.” How we engage with others and with our world reflects patterned neurological response. When threatened with unabated trauma and stress, we sometimes start to shut down. Illness is trauma. When we are immobilized for any reason, our nerves and neurons might just fire together preparing some sort of self-protective response or exit strategy. The fight/flight and freeze responses of post- traumatic stress disorder


American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Adverse Childhood Experiences including trauma are now known to contribute to poor overall body/mind health right on through adulthood. Yet, collectively, as a people, we are still a bit stingy in acknowledging that inadequate and defective nurturing for ourselves and others can and does lead to individual and shared health problems for everyone. Leadership matters. Both Mary Trump’s, Too Much and Never Enough and Bob Woodward’s, Rage provide insight into the dynamics behind the 45th president’s attitude during the early mounting numbers of COVID infections and death. (President Donald Trump stated that he didn’t realize COVID-19 was serious until one of his personal friends, whom the president described as a large man, died of COVID.) As I read both books, I felt empathy for Donald Trump. I needed to remind myself that he’s called on his supporters to “knock the crap out of” protesters at rallies. Our nervous systems respond to fist pumping tough talk. Tough talk in crowds endangers us all. Toughness can’t kick the “crap” out of COVID. We can avoid COVID. We can learn how to stay healthier. More is being revealed all the time. Happy New Year.




and dissociative disorder are just a couple of the mental health diagnoses applied to neurological injuries rooted in physical neurological response. I worry about people on ventilators. In addition to not being a doctor, I am also not a psychologist. I do I have a BA in Psychology, and I don’t remember hearing much about physical brain injury, nutrition, vagus function, or balanced exercise and stretching as factors linked to any of the mental illnesses that I read about in my vintage 1980’s edition of the



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The Croods: A New Age Upon its release in 2013, THE CROODS was an undisputed financial success, grossing over $580 million at the box office. At the time, the market (as it continues to be) was saturated by animated ventures, and I wasn’t sure that it had made the type of lasting cultural impact needed to launch a franchise. The film played out was an entertaining update of the FLINSTONES, featuring a family of cave dwellers who lived amongst colorful, cleverly constructed creatures, with the voice talents of Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, and Emma Stone leading the way. In 2014, there were talks of a sequel, but the project was canceled shortly thereafter. It looked as if the saga of THE CROODS had already run its course, but then, at the end of 2015, an animated series surrounding the family was released on Netflix, and a franchise was truly born. Thanks to the animated series there was renewed interest in the THE CROODS, and the cinematic sequel got the green light. THE CROODS: A NEW AGE was released in theaters this November, and debuted on Video on Demand shortly before Christmas. Personally, I can assure you that there was no greater interest in the project than right here in my own household, where my children were literally counting down the days until its release. It was this passion and excitement (along with the fact that they’ve seen the movie half a dozen times and the series a

couple of times through) that truly illustrated how popular the brand had become. Though A NEW AGE may not be the movie sequel that the world needed, there is little doubt that it will delight those who give it a whirl. Bright, beautiful, and full of heart and humor, it is the type of instantly gratifying, albeit somewhat forgettable adventure that will delight children and pacify parents. Picking up after the events of the first film, the Croods are still travelling as a pack, and newcomer Guy (Reynolds) has fit in nicely. He and Eep (Stone) continue on their path of young love, while Grug (Cage) attempts to remain relevant in his daughter’s eyes. As the couple becomes ever more continued on pg 28

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A NEW AGE is certainly a visual delight. Much like enamored with each other, it becomes increasingly clear that they may be reaching the bright and bouncy a point in which they are ready to set out and start a pack of their own. Grug will TROLLS: WORLD TOUR, seemingly do anything to stop this from happening. the vibrant colors pop Within their travels, the Croods encounter a giant wooden wall. Hidden beyond its off the screen in dazzling doors is a utopia filled with water, warmth, and all of the food that they can eat. They 4K clarity. The creatures soon discover that this is the home of Phil (Peter Dinklage) and Hope (Leslie Mann) (land sharks, wolf spiders, Betterman. They were friends with Guy’s parents etc) are gleefully absurd, when he was younger, and he was very close to their and the scenery in every daughter Dawn (Kelly Marie Tran.) The Betterman’s, sequence is meticulously with their plethora of modern creations such as soap, expansive. The humor that RATED: PG showers, plumbing, and a window (the first form of fuels the production is not RUN TIME: 1h 35min TV!) welcome the Croods with open arms once they exactly high-brow, but GENRE: Animation, Adventure, discovered that they are travelling with Guy, but when watching a movie Comedy shortly upon the family’s arrival, find themselves called THE CROODS, you STARRING: Nicolas Cage, disgusted by their guests primitive nature. They should have a pretty solid Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds immediately concoct a plan to keep Guy with them, understanding of the way DIRECTORs: Joel Crawford and to give their houseguests the boot. that the jokes are going Writers: Kevin & Dan Hageman to go. The voice talents of the cast are spot-on, with Mann, Dinklage, and Tran serving as excellent additions GRADE: B to the crew. The dialogue and its emphatic delivery at the hands of Cage and Reynolds highlight the unique personas of each performer, leading to multiple laugh-out-loud moments. Furthermore, as was the case the first time around, the pure over-the-top absurdity of Gran, voiced by a perfectly cast Cloris Leachman, lends itself to plenty of delightful and ridiculous shenanigans. THE CROODS: A NEW AGE may not represent the potentially powerful viewing experience of Pixar’s upcoming SOUL, but it was never meant to. It set out to create a fun, entertaining distraction when it was needed the most, and in this regard, it certainly (and surprisingly) succeeds. The Croods continued from pg 26

the croods: a new age

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January 8-29

A Legacy of Firsts: The Everson Collects

Joan Baez Mischief Makers 2

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Thru January 2

January 9

Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse

DSP Shows, Ithaca Virtual event

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January 14

“Curtain of Water” Discussion with filmmaker Joe Guerriero Artrage Gallery, Syracuse Virtual event

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January 9-February 27

Woodlands and Water: Art Gallery at Baltimore Woods Baltimore Woods, Marcellus

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Portal: The Window in American Photography

Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse

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Plowshares Craftsfair

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January 29

Brandon “Taz” Niederauer The Haunt, Ithaca

February 26 Johnny Rivers

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February 27

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Friday, January 1 Stomp • 8pm

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Thru February 28

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PAGE 30 • January 2021 •



ballad of the 80s is back with all the 80’s vibes we love minus the cheese. “Rain” launched Lisa’s journey as a performer and songwriter and opened many doors, including performing two original songs on the popular network television competition Star Search. Since then, she’s worked with by Chuck Schiele top songwriters and producers including Keith Diamond, Loris Holland, and Robbie Robertson, as well as placed songs in film and television, and released three studio albums. In 2006, she won a SAMMY for Best Country Recording. EVERYBODY is looking forward to the new year. Mickey Gentile Lisa Gentile is looking forward to the new year and to releasing a special new album. passed away in New In honor of her father, record producer Mickey Gentile, Lisa is re-releasing her song York City in July 2019. “Just When I Thought the Rain Would End” as a comeback lead single from her highly Lisa Gentile is a anticipated fourth studio album Start Flying. The album is scheduled for release in the Florello H. LaGuardia HS of Performing Arts in NYC native of Syracuse, winter of 2021. The song is the personal favorite of Lisa’s father. Remixed and remastered NY and moved to at the famous Dreamland Recording Studios in Woodstock, NY, this updated version Manhattan with her family at age 10 to pursue a career in entertainment. She studied features famed drummer and bassist Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates).  “My dad believed in this song more than any song I’ve written. Just before he died he voice under renowned vocal coach Carlo Menotti, whose students included Judy Garland and Tony Bennett, and was mentored and coached by Grammy, Oscar, and Tony said to me, “Get the ‘Rain Song’ out into the world. It’s your best. Just do it for me.” This Award winner Liza Minnelli. Lisa is a graduate of Fiorello H. LaGuardia HS of Performing is my tribute to him and our bond in music, which gave me the courage to never give Arts in NYC and Bard College. up.” explains, Gentile. Mickey Gentile was a New York City native, but kept strong roots in Central New York. Marked by contemporary powerhouse vocals with pop arrangements reminiscent He married Syracuse singer Jennifer (Jennie Lee) Lambert (Decca Records). Together, of Burt Bacharach, echoes of the Brill Building and Motown soul, this love ballad tells they formed a super songwriting duo and many hit makers recorded their songs. the story of a resilient lover in her last fight to save a disconnected relationship. The big Mickey was a graduate of Syracuse University and taught voice, music and songwriting classes privately and at Onondaga Community College, Le Moyne College, and The Metropolitan School of the Arts as well as colleges and universities around the state. A short conversation with Lisa: Chuck Schiele: Syracuse, NYC, Nashville... Three of the world’s greatest music meccas. And they each are home to you. Lisa Gentile: Yes, each in a very special way.   My mother was born in Syracuse, New York and my father in New York City. When they first married they lived in Manhattan, but when they decided to have children my mother wanted to raise them in Syracuse. So they bought the house next door to her mother. When I was in sixth grade we moved to New York City so I could pursue a career in entertainment. We kept our home in Eastwood and traveled back for holidays and summers, which allowed me the good fortune of keeping tight relationships with most of my childhood friends. New York City was a hard adjustment, but that all changed when one of my first big dreams came true – getting accepted into the HS School of Performing Arts, AKA- FAME! That was a movie and TV show I watched over and over and only dreamed of going to that school. I loved every moment of high school and I know a lot of people can’t say the same. I was blessed, to say the least. Cut to 2006…I needed a change from the city so I moved back to Syracuse for a summer. That’s when I won the Sammy Award for Best Country recording. I ended up starting a band (“Lisa Gentile Band”) and I fell in love with the keyboard player (go figure!) and decided to stay. I dove into the music scene, producing shows, hosting a popular open mic called Music Mavericks, started an organization called Music Heals CNY which took music to the beside of patients in hospitals and nursing homes, and wrote this very column Sounds of Syracuse. I got engaged and everything was perfect...until it wasn’t. (See the article that Jack Bocchino wrote about me for a more in depth look at my time in Syracuse.) See attached https://www.facebook.com/ notes/2723748771209912/ In 2009 my engagement ended and I needed to go somewhere completely new and start over. Nashville was a place I had never explored musically and always dreamed of going to, so that’s where I went. I fell in love with the town and spent the next two years there writing and performing until my father’s health began to decline and I just needed

Sounds Of Syracuse

Lisa Gentile Enters the New Year with a New Release

PAGE 31 • January 2021


to be near him again. I returned home to my family and I’ve been here ever since. I travel back to Nashville every few months to co-write and perform. Most recently I spent six months there recording my most recent record. (See website bio for more details) CS: You have a new release. Please tell us about the inspiration and undertaking of the project. LG: My upcoming record, Start Flying, is due to release in February 2021. All 11 songs are self-written but one I co-wrote with my sister. I produced the entire record with the help of Nashville producer and drummer Adam Box (Brothers Osborne) who coproduced 7 of the 11 songs. We tracked at Adams’s studio, the Gilded Palace, in Nashville and then I completed the recording and mixing at Dreamland Recording Studios in Woodstock, NY. This record is my life’s work. I’ve written many songs, but these are closest to my heart (spanning from age 16 to present) and I feel in my gut that they especially have something to offer the masses. So after years of searching for perfect people to work with, I finally decided to do it myself, my way. And I finally found my sound. But the truth is, it was never missing. I just had trust myself. This is my story. My story is my song.” CS: How did you get started in music in the first place? LG: It’s in my blood as they say. It’s all I ever wanted...and I wanted it badly. So at age 8 I started performing in plays at Syracuse Stage and Salt City Playhouse, where I played Annie. At the same time I was jumping on planes to NYC for auditions and I started booking parts. Shortly after the run of Annie finished, the big move to the city came and things really started rolling. CS: When did you realize you were a songwriter?? LG: I don’t ever think I “realized” I was a songwriter. I realized I wanted to sing, play and perform music ever since I can remember remembering – if that makes sense. But as for songwriting, I just knew one day I would start writing songs – that was about 13. Having successful songwriters as parents was definitely a bonus, but it was not always easy. They never sugar coated anything. If they thought a song wasn’t good, they told me straight up. So I wrote and wrote until one day my father heard “Just When I Thought the Rain Would End”. He called it a “hit” and we were in the studio the next day.   CS: What do you think is the most important part of being a songwriter? LG: As a singer who performs my own songs, the most important part is telling stories that send a message. My main goal, and how I was taught, is to make the story as personal as possible, yet general enough so that anyone can relate to it. So if a song is about my crazy Uncle Fred, then the listener needs to be able to relate it to his or her crazy uncle or other crazy family member, because no one really cares about my Uncle Fred. This to me is how songs touch people.   Lisa Gentile


CS: What are your thoughts on the Central NY music scene and community? LG: The live music scene is what stands out to me the most. Pre-Covid you could go out and listen to live music almost any night of the week in any genre and the audience was filled with genuine music fans and supporters who just want to hear good music. Truly some of the best live audiences I’ve had were in Central New York and I’ve performed in a lot of places. I’ve always been grateful for the continued support I receive from the CNY community and I pray for all of the venues and musicians who are suffering during this trying time. CS: What would be your best advice about songwriting to a newcomer to the craft? LG: Don’t be afraid to be you, but don’t leave out the rest of the world; know your audience. Learn to take criticism, but with a grain of salt. Co-write; you may love or hate it but do it if only a few times, you will learn immensely about yourself and people. Don’t wait for others to believe in or to execute your dreams.   CS: How do we stay in touch with you? LG: My latest singles “Just When I Thought the Rain Would End” and “Guys Like You” are available on all music streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Instagram/Facebook, TikTok/Resso, Google Play/YouTube, Amazon, Soundtrack by Twitch, Pandora, Deezer, Tidal, Napster, iHeartRadio, ClaroMusica, Saavn, Anghami, KKBox, NetEase (beta), MediaNet, Shazam. Look out for more singles in January 2021 and the album release Start Flying February 2021. To contact me or join my mailing list visit my website www.lisagentile.com Chuck Schiele 858 663 9612

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PAGE 32 • January 2021 •



Sports Take by Mike Lindsley

Q and A with

Syracuse Football Insider Mike McAllister Syracuse football had a rough 2020 season, going 1-10 for many reasons. I recently caught-up with Mike McAllister of Sports Illustrated to recap the year, chat about the QB position, find out the latest in recruiting and more. ML: When you lose 10 games, positives and high points are certainly hard to come by. Do you have high point for Syracuse for 2020? MM: The high point is pretty simple. The win over Georgia Tech. Syracuse looked pretty solid in that game and improved the record to 1-2. There was hope they could string a few wins together after that performance, though it never materialized. Despite that, the lone victory has to be the high point. ML: What’s next for the Orange QB situation? MM: It sounds like DeVito will be back, which gives Syracuse someone with experience in the offense. JaCobian Morgan and Dillon Markiewicz will be another year into the system, and incoming will be Justin Lamson. I think Lamson is the future of the

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position, but it may not hurt to bring in a transfer to compete with DeVito next season. I’m not sure Morgan will be ready to do that quite yet. ML: John Wildhack said Dino Babers is safe as head coach. Should he be? MM: Absolutely. Syracuse needs continuity. You can’t keep recycling coaches. The 2020 season is one I don’t put much stock into as far as evaluating the head coach with all of the injuries (more than 25 players down going into the finale), the lack of a normal offseason with two new coordinators, etc. If Syracuse has another 4-8, 3-9 or worse type season in 2021, then it’s fair to have that discussion. ML: How close is the current situation to the Greg Robinson era in terms of wins, losses, the fan base being Dino Babers down again and more? MM: Not even close. Syracuse went 1-10 in 2020 with more than 20 players out, using three quarterbacks, losing three starting safeties, being down to their fifth running back and losing other key contributors. All of that combined with changing both coordinators but having neither spring ball nor a traditional offseason for development and system knowledge. The Greg Robinson era was other worldly incompetent despite being healthy and having adequate preparation time. They aren’t the same situations. Not to mention Babers has Greg Robinson had success here. Robinson never did. ML: You just hopped on with Sports Illustrated! How did it all come together and what’s different if anything than your last media stop? MM: I was not looking to leave 247Sports, but SI presented an opportunity that was too good to pass up. There’s really not an interesting back story. As far as what will be different, we will continue to have in-depth recruiting coverage as well as team analysis. I think you will have some more of that but to a greater degree, some fun stories including Top 10 lists for various subjects, and from a source you know you can trust as being plugged into the program from all angles. ML: How about three quick hit football recruiting subjects to close? MM: Defensive end Jatius Geer is really good and is not getting enough hype in this class. He will have a strong Syracuse career. I love the depth of the 2021 class overall, and the headliners Duce Chestnut (DB) and Enrique Cruz (OL) are the real Jatius Geer deals. Cruz is up to 290 pounds and will have a


legitimate shot to crack the two deep as a true freshman. Lastly, I expect Syracuse to be active in the transfer market after signing day. I’m especially looking at the offensive line to be an area they may focus on. ML: Thanks Mike and continued success. MM: Thank you! Follow Mike McAllister on Twitter here: @McAllisterMike1. Here is a link to the Sports Illustrated Syracuse Orange coverage: https://www.si.com/college/syracuse/. Mike Lindsley has been in sports media for 20 years. He is the host of the ML Sports Platter Podcast, which you can download on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Play. Follow him on Twitter @MikeLSports and visit his Yankee/MLB website www. pinstripepassion.com for offseason news, notes and articles. Be sure to follow Table Hopping on Twitter @TableHoppingCNY.


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PAGE 33 • January 2021


PAGE 34 • January 2021 •



Computers & the Web by Nancy Roberts

Spirit Technology I’ve spent a bit of time reading about pandemics and plagues, either as research or because it seems like the main topic of interest for most these days. Along with a lot of interesting, if slightly depressing, details about the 1918 pandemic, I’ve read about the major outbreaks of bubonic plague, the Broad Street cholera epidemic in the UK in the 1854, “Typhoid” Mary Mallon, and others. But just when you think you’ve learned all there is to know, I discovered something unexpected in the world of science and history – and in some cases, spurious “technology.” In this case, the story is about the sudden resurgence of interest in communicating with the dead – spiritualism – that occurred as a result of the 1918 pandemic. Each time a mysterious illness suddenly appears, and devastates the world we know, people respond with emotional and spiritual crises. Needless to say, the pandemic – the Spanish influenza – was terrifying given its death toll (it eventually killed about 50 million total), and coupled with that, the world was just at the closing moments of its first “world” war. The interest in what lay “beyond” heated up. Contributing to that were such notable names such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who became believers. Many assume he was grasping for hope because of his son’s and brother’s deaths, likely of the flu. This is a good point at which to note – Spiritualism remains for some, as it was for Doyle, a

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religious or spiritual path, but for purposes of this article, we’ll be sticking with the mechanical means by which some conjured their “spirits.” Spiritualism, though not known by the name at the time, was to an extent, the stepchild of the interests and

“Each time a mysterious illness suddenly appears, and devastates the world we know, people respond with emotional and spiritual crises.” heaven and hell – and warned people not to seek spirits as you couldn’t be exactly sure where they were “living.” Mesmer, on the other hand, investigated and popularized “mesmerism,” or hypnotism, inducing trances in willing subjects, and through them, sometimes talking with disincarnate spirits. In the early to mid-1800s, Spiritualism caught on in Upstate and Western New York, with, notably, the Fox Sisters, who used a variety of stage magic tricks, evidently, to confer with the beyond. Other spiritualists joined them in putting on shows, and eventually such shows became regular entertainment staples. Among the many technical devices employed by magician/spiritualists were: slate writing (a piece of chalk is held between two slates, and the medium

“technologies” of two far older players: Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) and Franz Mesmer (17341815). Swedenborg was an inventor, scientist, and philosopher who espoused a hierarchical setup for

The Fox Sisters

PAGE 35 • January 2021




is induced to write for the spirit); table-turning (a table is tilted toward a letter or answer on its top, by such means as a hook worn on the medium’s wrist, which, in the dark of the séance room, fits neatly under the rim of the table); or spirit photography (essentially double-exposure, or other photographic tricks – though given the popularity of Photoshop, everyone seems to be onto this one). By 1879, the famous Lily Dale was incorporated as the Cassadaga Lake Free Association, where practitioners would go and meet and display their skills, and enjoy the beauty of the lake and countryside, and still do to this day. By the early 20th century, spiritualism as a craze had died down, though not disappeared, but with its resurgence post-war, it had returned full-force, and became the study and cause of such debunkers as master magician Harry Houdini, who, incensed by those who would use the grief of the survivors (like his good friend Doyle), made outing scam spiritualists his cause. Challenged by Scientific American, Houdini took on the renowned medium Mina (“Margery”) Crandon, and though he could explain all her methods, she seemed to get the better of him when she cursed him, and he died, of septic shock, as she “predicted.” Around the same time, Ouija Boards, though they’d been a parlor game since the 1890s, had a sudden resurgence in popularity as families of influenza victims and the war dead eagerly tried to contact their dead. The end of the influenzainspired desire to contact the spirits finally gave way to the more serious business of a new war, and by mid-century, Ouija Boards and table-tipping had fallen out of interest, though the interest in what lies beyond – and the actual means to understand it – Ouija Board never does.

“Ouija Boards, though they’d been a parlor game since the 1890s, had a sudden resurgence in popularity as families of influenza victims and the war dead eagerly tried to contact their dead.”


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Tex Mex Black Bean Dip Ingredients

from allrecipes

1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed & drained 1 tsp. vegetable oil ½ cup onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced ½ cup fresh corn kernels ¾ cup tomatoes, chopped ½ cup mild picante sauce

1 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. chili powder ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice

Directions Step 1 • Place black beans in a medium size mixing bowl; partially mash beans – beans should remain a little chunky. Step 2 • In a medium size frying pan, heat oil over a medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic and sauté for 4 minutes. Step 3 • Mix beans, corn, tomato, picante sauce, cumin, and chili powder into the frying pan; cook for 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove the pan from the heat, mix in cheese, cilantro and lime juice; stir until cheese is melted. Prep Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 20 mins

Servings: 16

PAGE 36 • January 2021 •










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Table Hopping January 2021  

Happy New Year and Welcome to the January 2021 Issue of Table Hopping! Our annual Wedding Issue is here and brought to you by The Fireside I...

Table Hopping January 2021  

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