Sunday, December 30, 2007

Let It Snow!!

Hope you're enjoying the holiday week. In case you haven’t recieved any snowflakes, here's a site containing some amazing photomicrographs of snowflakes and snow crystals.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Say It Ain't So, Roger!

He was a Chicago White Sox. He was illiterate. He was charismatic. He was a .356 batter. He was "Shoeless" Joe Jackson.

He was once asked, "It isn't true, is it, Joe?" He responded, "Yes, boys, I'm afraid it is."

He was a New York Yankee. He was a college graduate. He was charismatic. He was a seven-time Cy Young winner. He is Roger "The Rocket" Clemens.

He was mentioned 82 times in the Mitchell Report on steroid use in baseball. He declined to meet with Mitchell to discuss the charges.

It may be a long winter this year. See you in the Legends Field bleachers at 1:15 p.m. on February 29th.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Goin' Home: A Tribute To Fats Domino

To some, the simple, sincere and unassuming sound of Fats Domino would seem an unlikely catalyst for one of the most star-studded tribute productions of recent times. But the appeal of Domino s music and its signature sway of swamp rhythm remains strong a half century after the release of his original recordings.

Goin' Home, which also functions as a benefit for his New Orleans neighborhood, provides 30 tracks of Domino's music, offering an expansive and intriguing overview of the possibilities it contains, with performances by everyone from a couple of Beatles to Willie Nelson. The album features a wide variety of adventurous collaborations and personalized interpretations. While the big-name guest stars do their pan. the New Orleans natives shine brightest in the selling.

With Buddy Guy joining in on guitar, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band backs young soul singer Joss Stone on "Every Night About This Time," while Lenny Kravitz fronts an embellished version of the Rebirth Brass Band, including saxophone legend Maceo Parker, on "Whole Lotta Loving." In similar fashion, Robbie Robertson gets the benefit of playing in front of Galactic and Robert Plant gets support from the all-star Cajun group Lil' Band o' Gold.

One of the most memorable collaborations comes on the title track, where B.B. King joins Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, reinforced with a horn section featuring Donald Harrison Jr. and special guest Herbert Hardesty. the tenor saxophonist heard on the original recordings. Harrison reappears on the most experimental track, Oki Dara's radical reconfiguration of '"When I See You."

Several of the musical patriarchs of the New Orleans scene, such as Dr. John and Art Neville, lead their own groups, while Mardi Gras Indian icon Big Chief Monk Boudreaux teams up with Galactic for one of the album's most authentic tracks, "So Long." International citizen Taj Mahal fronts the all-star assemblage of the New Orleans Social Club on a great take on "My Girl Josephine,'" while Marcia Ball and her band back soul queen Irma Thomas on "I Just Can't Get New Orleans Off My Mind."

Some of the tracks, like Randy Newman's "Blue Monday," Norah Jones doing "My Blue Heaven," Bruce Homsby's rendition of "Don't Blame It On Me" and Lucinda Williams’ tasty "Honey Chile" are superb displays of artistic simplicity. But most of the tunes are more elaborate productions, juxtaposing artists and styles while remaining true to Domino and his music.

Notes by Michael Point - Downbeat December 2007

Love for teaching developed early - in the first grade

Each Friday, The Citizen features someone in education from the Finger Lakes community. The week of December 21, The Citizen spotlighted Sarah Cameron of Herman Avenue Elementary School.

Q. What is most rewarding part of being a educator? Why?

A, I feel there are many aspects that can be rewarding. If I had to choose one, I would have to say when everything just seems to fall into place both academically and emotionally. When this happens that child is so proud of themselves and their accomplishments.

Q. What is the most challenging aspect of the job?

A. There just isn't enough time in one day to accomplish all we need to as teachers. When many children come to school with so many outside problems it is hard to really get through
all of the academics because their basic needs have to be met first.

Q. Kids say the darnedest things. What is the funniest question a student has ever asked you?

A. Really when working with the little ones they are always saying the darnedest things. I have to say the funniest things these children say are about things that happen at home and how they interpret it to us at school is so off the mark. It comes out so funny by the time they reach school.

Q. School year: Too short, too long or just right? Why?

A. Just right! What some people don't understand is that each time we have a break it is well needed. Not just by the teachers, but most importantly the children. For those that think
we have too much time off, I would love for them to come and do our job for one day. Then, I'll ask them again if they think we have too much time off.

Q. If you weren't teaching, what would you probably be doing?

A. If I weren't teaching, I probably would have become a nurse. My mother is a nurse and her profession had always fascinated me. I love watching any medical shows on television.

Q. Fill in the blank. The best teacher I ever had was ___ because __.

A. Mrs. Messina. She was my first grade teacher at Herman Avenue. She was stern and demanded respect, but on the other hand was very nurturing and caring. I can still remember what room I was in and just how the room was set up. Thank you Mrs. Messina for inspiring me to be the teacher I am today!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Auburn's “Singing Barber”

Auburn's “singing barber,” Philip J. Simone, 92, died peacefully at the Homestead Nursing Home in Penn Yan on Tuesday, December 18, 2007.

The lifelong Auburn resident and active communicant of St. Francis of Assisi Church was well known for singing in his barbershops. Simone had a song in his heart for all 50 of the years he groomed customers in his Genesee Street barbershop on East Hill.

He began barbering 80 years ago when, in the Depression as a 12-year-old, he began to work at Joe Caio's barbershop on the corner of Barber and Washington streets. Three years later, he started his own shop.

“He always wanted to be downtown,” said his son, Philip.

In fact, all three of Simone's barbershops were located on or near Genesee Street. In addition to the East Hill location, he had an earlier barbershop on Market Street and another where the park across from Wegmans is now located.

Simone's likeness, however, is permanently preserved downtown in a mural next to the Colonial Laundromat on Genesee Street. A barber pole painted on the right of the mural calls attention to a figure inside of the barbershop cutting hair - Simone.

He greatly admired singer Perry Como, who started out singing in his own barbershop in Utica. Simone had followed the singer's career after Como sang at the Pavilion in Emerson Park in the 1940s.

In 1983, Simone received an autographed photo from the singer inscribed, “To my friend Phil Simone, from one barber to another. Salute, Perry Como.”

The photo surprised Simone, who hadn't requested it. He suspected that his friend, Frank Nastri Sr., who played golf at the same Florida course as Como, suggested the gift.

Earlier, Simone performed with many “big bands” that played in Auburn and at Owasco Lake during the 1940s.

He met his wife, Antoinette Daloia, at the Pavilion listening to the big bands of Tommy Dorsey and Bunny Berrigan.

“He once had an audition scheduled with Ted Mack,” Philip recalled, “but he didn't go on the audition. He never said why. It was bittersweet, extremely personal.

“He just loved singing. Sometimes to us kids it was an annoyance.”

His repertoire came straight from vaudeville. Such oldies as “When You're Smiling,” “You're Nobody 'Till Somebody Loves You,” “When Your Old Wedding Ring Was New,” and “Alexander's Ragtime Band” peppered his performances.

He never wanted to be paid.

Because Simone's birthday fell on St. Patrick's Day, he “adopted” the Irish. He liked the color green and would often go to events at the Ancient Order of Hibernians and sing. It didn't matter what the occasion was.

He also loved law and politics, so he attended political events and hung around with lawyers and politicians, according to his son.

He had his picture taken with John F. Kennedy and even received an invitation to Kennedy's inauguration. Even though he had to be sensitive to the political leanings of his clientele, he kept that picture above the mirrors in his shop.

Baseball was another of Simone's interests. Besides local baseball, he and his wife always went to Yankees games in New York.

When Simone closed up shop in 1986, he donated the contents, his barber chairs and display shelves, to Auburn prison.

“When he walked away, he walked away from it entirely,” Philip said.

Philip remembered family gatherings. He would play the accordion, his father would sing, and his mother would get up and dance with his dad.

For those that knew him, Philip said, he was always there.

“He sang songs no matter where he was. They asked him to sing.”

Even after Simone developed Alzheimer's and he was living at North Brook Heights Residential Care Home, someone playing a guitar in the lobby called him up to sing.

“I don't think he knows the words,” his son said, but when Simone got up to sing, he didn't miss a beat.

Simone lived at Boyle Center until last November when his condition deteriorated and he was transferred to Homestead in Penn Yan.

His wife also was moved from Auburn to Syracuse with a similar affliction.

“We have fond memories,” he son said. “He lived a wonderful life.”

Article used the notes of Kathleen Barran.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Course On Fire

This photo of the Highland Golf Club fire took Honorable Mention in JorjDotOrg PhotoHunt - Emergency Services- 2007-12-18.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Well now if I have to swim a river, you know I will
And if I have to climb a mountain you know I will
And if she's hiding up on a blueberry hill
I'm gonna find her, child, you know I will
Cause I've been searching, oh yeah, searching
My goodness, searching every which a-way, yeah-yeah
But I'm like the Northwest Mountie
You know I'll bring her in some day, gonna find her
Well Sherlock Holmes, Sam Spade got nothing, child, on me
Sergeant Friday, Charlie Chan, and Boston Blackie
No matter where she's hiding, she's gonna hear me
Cause I'm gonna walk right down that street
Like Bulldog Drummond because I've been searching
Oh Lord, searching, mmm child
Searching every which a-way, yeah-yeah
You know I'll bring her in some day, gonna find her

Lyrics - Leiber & Stoller
Performers - The Coasters (1957)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Snow Shoveling

In 2006, more than 31,000 people in the United States were treated for injuries suffered while shoveling snow, reports the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons offers these shoveling safety tips:

- warm up your muscles

- pace yourself

- use a shovel that is comfortable for your height and weight

- push the snow, don't lift it

- don't throw it over your shoulder or to the side.

Megan Jane

Megan Jane Laderer

Born: 11:57 AM December 13th

3 lbs. 14 oz.

17" long

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mamie's Soapstone

Today bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs in our houses are heated the same as all the other rooms in the house. If we want heat in a bedroom, we turn a knob on the wall and — heat; or we turn on our electric blankets.

Great Grandma was not as fortunate. The upstairs rooms in Great Grandma's house were not heated. Great Grandma had on her kitchen stove what were called soapstones (pictured here). They were real stones that would be heated by a wood fire in the stove. Before going to bed these stones would be placed in the bed and the heat from the stones would make the bed nice and cozy when you jumped in.

These stones were also used in the sleighs when going out in me cold of winter. They were put in a cloth bag and placed on the footboards, where they would keep your feet warm.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Store Front

This photo of Smiley's Florist took third place in JorjDotOrg PhotoHunt - Store Front - 2007-12-11.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Change Your Latitude

These words are the wisdom of Charles Swindoll:

Attitude is more important than past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home.

The remarkable thing is, we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Charlie's Bathing Suit

ca. 1890-1920

Summer in Lowville in the 1890s through the 1920s was characterized by young boys sporting a worsted California one-piece style suit

They had a cotton ball in each ear to help keep the water out, and they enjoyed the cool water on a hot day.

Many municipal laws stipulated that from in the morning to 8 in the evening, no one was allowed to swim in city waters unless wearing "sufficient garment from neck to knee."

Made of compactly twisted woolen yarn (worsted), the one-piece "California" style suits such as the one shown here tended to be quite heavy. They weighed about nine pounds when wet and had a tendency to fall down. As a result, when two-piece suits were introduced, they became popular. They permitted more freedom to move and had less danger of accidental exposure.

The heavyweight worsted men's bathing suit, whether, owned by an average citizen or by an icon of the 1920s, was worn in creeks, at swimming events and at the local swimming hole.

As can be seen in the photo above, the California one-piece style was most popular between 1918 and 1924. Navy blue was a favored color, with three white stripes above the bottom hem, and it opened by button on one shoulder. Men's bathing suits have come a long way since the 1920s, and one can only wonder, what would they think if they could see us today?

Monday, December 03, 2007

A Little Information About Stillwater

The drive up the Number Four Road to Stillwater is one of my favorites and the Stillwater area itself is intriguing. Like many others, I enjoy its beauty, but have very little knowledge of the area. I happened upon some information about Stillwater that I thought I'd share with you. At the present time the primary purpose of the reservoir is flood control for the Black River Valley. However, this wasn't always the case. In 1878 it was originally flooded to allow logs to be floated down to the Beaver River to facilitate the logging industry. At 100% capacity, the Stillwater reservoir holds 3.63 billion cubic feet of water in its 6,700 lake acres. It has 128 acres of shoreline. The current dam was built in 1922 and since that time the reservoir has been managed by the Hudson River-Black River Regulating Authority.

The area has an abundance of wildlife such as the bald eagle, bear, beaver and otter. Stillwater has one of the largest loon populations in the state and the water holds an abundance of small mouth bass, splake, lake trout and yellow perch. I'm sure fishermen are well aware of what a splake is, but for those who are unfamiliar with this species it is a man-created hybrid between two native trout resulting from the fertilization of lake trout eggs with brook trout sperm. The hybrid combines many of the qualities of its parents — including the brook trout's fast growth and the lake trout's large size. During the winter season there are guided six- and eight-hour snowmobile tours.

Observations by Ramona Salmon

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Mentz Church

Historic Mentz Church, dating back to 1825 with its clean white gabled facade set in the green outskirts between Montezuma and Auburn, in many ways echoes the frontier times when it was first built, a time when quilts and the art of quilting were at their peak.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Giant Hogweed

Giant hogweed has been seen in Cayuga County for several years. It is most often found in ditches or similar damp spots as it needs moisture. Giant hogweed can be cut with care, but one should wear long pants and long sleeves and gloves for the job, and if the plant appears to have gone to seed, covering it with a plastic bag before cutting and disposing of it.

Joan had an encounter with this vicious weed during the summer. Her experience was not pleasant.