- Big Chuck
- Monday, January 3, 2011
I Was Just Thinking: Yager Museum a treasure trove of history and art
So, what does the brown sign out on I-88 reading "Yager Museum" mean anyway? Who was Yager? What kind of a museum is it? Why, once you have followed the brown sign off the highway, do you find yourself wandering around looking for it?
- Monday, December 20, 2010
I Was Just Thinking: Letters still good way to send very best
I recently received a very nice letter from a very old friend of mine. His name is William K. Davis. Long before Bill became one of the icons of the automobile industry in our region, he was just a friendly guy on my paper route when I was a kid. Bill and Alma Davis went to school with my parents in the 1940s, so I guess I've known him almost my whole life.
- Monday, December 6, 2010
I Was Just Thinking: Beekman Boys make Sharon Springs fabulous destination
Hope springs eternal in Sharon Springs! And that hope isn't coming out of the springs, either. This old Route 20 community, once famed for its sprawling Borscht Belt-like hotels (mostly shuttered now) and its internationally known healing mineral springs (closed since 2005) is showing a robust turn for the better in recent months.
- Monday, November 22, 2010
I Was Just Thinking: SMART Boards are a step up from typewriters
Recently on my radio show I was musing about the old days when I was in school, and all of the technological advances that are available to kids in classrooms today.
- Monday, November 8, 2010
I Was Just Thinking: Hollywood rugged leading man came to Bresee's
How many remember actor Robert Taylor? This famous movie star from the 1940s and 1950s defined the word "rugged." Jet-black hair, slicked back and perfectly trimmed. Coal-black eyes. Square, muscular shoulders.
- Monday, October 25, 2010
I Was Just Thinking: Autumn: 'The Most Wonderful Time of the Year'
Andy Williams likes to sing, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." Except he is usually referring to the tsunami of commercialism and sub-freezing temperatures that herald the December holiday season. As for me, I sing that phrase from the first day of October to the final day of the month.
- Monday, October 11, 2010
I Was Just Thinking: A raffled quilt, as luck would have it
I'm not a very lucky guy. But things do change. Since 1968, I can remember winning only two contests. One based on naked talent, and one based on dumb luck.
- Monday, September 27, 2010
I Was Just Thinking: Talking politics, big and small, new and old
Doing a column twice a month allows me to cover a wide variety of musings. Let's call this one my "Political Column." Poor Gov. David Paterson. He rose to the top on the heels of a governor who was elected as a "White Knight" and then left office as fast as a snake-oil salesman who gets caught with the farmer's daughter.
- Monday, September 13, 2010
I Was Just Thinking: Oneonta buses offer tribute to Insetta’s legacy
Last Friday afternoon, my wife and I were walking in front of the Huntington Library. It was 88 degrees by the NBT clock/thermometer. All of a sudden a young man burst by us running as fast as he could. His shirttails were flailing along behind him, beads of sweat ran down his red face and his armload of books was jostling around so they were on the brink of ending up on the sidewalk. He was waving his right hand furiously. It took me a moment to realize the object of this frantic pageant playing out before my eyes.
- Monday, August 30, 2010
I Was Just Thinking: Area had its fair share of female 'crack makers'
After her campaign for president, Hillary Clinton was famous for saying that, although she didn't win, she "helped put 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling." Let's talk about three "crack makers" in our own area. Two are gone, but one is very much still with us.
- Monday, August 16, 2010
I Was Just Thinking: Upcoming show will connect me with my grandma
I have been thinking about my grandmother a lot lately. The one I never knew. Her name was Sarah Day D'Imperio, and she married my grandfather a century ago. She was a Unadilla girl. Old-timers, and they get fewer and fewer as the tempus fugit, remember her as the prettiest girl in town. I can vouch for this, because of the one or two hand-tinted old portraits I have seen of her.
- Monday, August 2, 2010
I Was Just Thinking: Dads are doomed when daughters become brides
Stop the presses. All is good in the world. The gusher of oil polluting the Gulf of Mexico has been stanched (for the time being), unemployment is down to 9.5 from 10.2 percent (still awful), Spain has just banned bullfighting (at least in Catalonia), Betty White is still everybody's sweetheart and Chelsea Clinton is now (finally) Mrs. Chelsea Mezvinsky.
- Monday, July 19, 2010
I Was Just Thinking: Searching for a brand that fits the community
Saddle up, pardner. It's branding time at the ol' Oneonta corral! On Aug. 5, a new branding logo will be revealed to all at a special ceremony at the Oneonta Theatre. Branding is the idea that a community should have a slogan, logo or saying that is concise, sharp and so focused so that the image of the community comes immediately to mind.
- Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I Was Just Thinking: Time to check on the electronic mailbag
Six months of doing this column. Boy, that went fast! You can’t say The Daily Star doesn’t reach far and wide. (The online readership is amazing!) I thought it would be fun, say twice a year, to take a sampling from the (e)mailbag.
- Monday, June 21, 2010
I Was Just Thinking: Hitting milestone helps remember parts of journey
I hit a bit of a personal milestone last week. I spoke at my 50th New York state historical society meeting. I have been on a whirlwind book tour speaking about my Upstate books since 2008, and last week the counter clicked past No. 50. I have spoken in old restored firehouses (Stamford), historic homes (Herman Melville's home in Lansingburg), one-room schoolhouses (Kings Ferry), restored train depots (Oxford), old churches (Fabius), grand old Victorian homes (East Rochester), restored village halls (Dryden) and ancient Grange Halls (Fly Creek). And yes, even a nostalgic 1930s ice cream parlor (Oneonta).
- Monday, June 7, 2010
I Was Just Thinking: Future as hard to predict now as in my day
Recently I had the pleasurable experience of addressing a student assembly at the Sidney High School. I graduated from SHS in 1967. When I asked what they were looking for as far as a message was concerned, I was told to keep it “motivational and inspirational.” After my introduction, I approached the speaker’s lectern and looked out over the large student body and it hit me. In an instant.
- Monday, May 24, 2010
I Was Just Thinking: Holiday meanings have been masked over time
What has happened to our holidays? Can anybody name the date of Washington or Lincoln's births? Of course not. We do know we celebrate a wacky hybrid known as Presidents Day on the third Monday of February each year, but the reasoning behind that is to guarantee another three-day weekend for federal employees (as dictated by the Uniform Holidays Act of 1968).
- Monday, May 10, 2010
I Was Just Thinking: Conversations with a local history-maker
Every day, history is made in Bloomville, New York. No, really. History is made there! George Haynes Jr. is the owner of Catskill Castings. I stopped by for a visit with George last week, and all the while we chatted, we were literally surrounded by history. George’s company is the sole maker of New York state historical markers _ you know, the blue and yellow signs ubiquitous on country roads and city parkways.
- Monday, April 26, 2010
I Was Just Thinking: Memories of my old friend Kate Smith
Saturday will be a very big day for a very big lady with a very big voice. Kate Smith, she of the great girth and the legendary voice, will finally receive the most singular honor any American can achieve. "The Great Kate" is getting her own postage stamp.
- Monday, March 29, 2010
I Was Just Thinking: Rogues' gallery of lieutenant governors past
The funhouse carnival that is Albany these days is, in my opinion, about ready to present us with another gift. Another unelected governor!