18 Sep 2018, 5:19am

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DAR Constitution Week

From: Today’s DAR Blog <presidentgeneralsblog@dar.org>

Happy Constitution Week!

Written by: Jeanie Hornung, National Chair, Constitution Week Committee

(C)September 17, 2018


Happy Constitution Week! September 17th through the 23rd is an exciting time in America. We have the opportunity to celebrate and honor the United States Constitution. Our Constitution has endured longer than any other constitution in the world. Imagine being in Philadelphia that long, hot summer in 1787. Citizens of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania see the many influential men arriving in their city from all over the 13 states. Retired General George Washington’s arrival is celebrated with cheering, church bells ringing and a thirteen-gun salute. What will the citizens of the young nation have for governing and laws when they are done with the Constitutional Convention?

On May 14, 1787, the Convention begins. The debates are being held in secret, behind locked doors that are guarded by sentries, even the windows are closed. Fifty-five of the seventy state delegates are attending the convention. George Washington, serving as a delegate from Virginia, is elected unanimously as the President of the Constitutional Convention.

Virginia delegate James Madison, known as the “Father of the Constitution,” wrote The Virginia Plan. He is the driving force behind the convention. The first two months see angry arguments by The Committee of the Whole* over The Virginia Plan. The Virginia Plan’s fifteen resolutions expand the debate to incorporate what method of structure and authority the national government will have to administer the laws. It is the first test to create a separation of controls into an executive, legislative and judicial branch. The Virginia Plan also recommends that the legislative branch should be comprised of two houses. In the two houses, each of the states will be represented in proportion to their populations. States with a large population will have more representatives than smaller states. The larger states approve of this notion, but the smaller states do not.

The New Jersey Plan, written by New Jersey delegate William Paterson proposes a single chamber legislature in which each state, regardless of size, would have one vote, as under the Articles of Confederation. The delegates find this plan unacceptable, too.

The Connecticut Compromise, written by Connecticut delegate Roger Sherman proposes “The Great Compromise.” Sherman’s compromise suggests that each state be equally represented with a creation of two houses. The first house, the House of Representatives, would have representation according to population, and the second house, the Senate, would have an equal number of representatives regardless of population (2 per state).

Pennsylvania delegate James Wilson proposes the idea of an individual for the executive branch with direct election by the citizens. The individual would have absolute veto powers over the legislation passed by the two houses. Some delegates fear the veto power and want election of the individual by the Congress. The final compromise is the president would have limited veto powers and be elected by the people—through the establishment of the electoral college.

On July 24th, the Committee of Detail* is authorized to carry out the writing of a draft of the Constitution. The convention adjourns from July 24th to August 6th. For thirteen days, the five-man committee—Edmund Randolph, Oliver Ellsworth, James Wilson, and Nathan Gorham work with chairman John Rutledge, referencing state constitutions, the Articles of Confederation, plans submitted to the convention, and other relevant material. The Declaration of Independence is also used as an important model for its outline of ideals of self-government and fundamental human rights.

On August 6th, the convention reconvenes. The Committee of Detail* presents approximately 60 copies of its work to the delegates. These copies are used by the delegates as they work through each clause to create a final constitution. The Preamble, written by Gouverneur Morris, is added as the opening to the Constitution during the last days of the convention by the Committee on Style* which writes the final draft. It was not proposed or discussed on the floor of the convention beforehand. The final draft is done, ready for ratification, and the signatures of the delegates. However, not all the convention delegates sign the new Constitution.

Virginia delegate George Mason authored the Virginia Bill of Rights. Mason refuses to sign the Constitution because he is very concerned about the power given to the federal government and the delegates refusal to end the slave trade. Mason commented “I would sooner chop off my right hand” than sign a Constitution without a Bill of Rights. Mason’s need to have the rights and freedoms of the country’s citizens precisely detailed was eventually preserved in the first ten amendments of the US Constitution.

Virginia delegate Patrick Henry and New York delegate George Clinton also refuse to sign and are called “Anti-Federalists.” They prefer the reorganized nature of the Articles of Confederation as a check on the power of the central government. Others express reservations but thirty-four still sign, anticipating vigorous debates within their states. The five signatories who sign the Constitution but did not serve in the Continental Congress were Richard Bassett of Delaware, Jacob Broom of Delaware, John Blair of Virginia, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of South Carolina, and David Brearley of New Jersey.

On September 17th, the Constitution is ratified and signed. By June 1788, the necessary nine states ratify the Constitution as the law of the land, and the Continental Congress announces that the new government will begin in March 1789. James Madison, a newly elected member of the U.S. House of Representatives, presents 19 amendments to the Constitution. On September 25, 1789, Congress adopts twelve of the amendments and sends them to the states for ratification. The first ten amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, are ratified and become part of the Constitution on December 10, 1791.

Today we have twenty-seven amendments. The seventeen amendments that follow The Bill of Rights were added from 1798 to 1992. The framers of the Constitution knew that no document could include all the changes that would take place to guarantee its longevity. The process isn’t easy–after a proposed amendment makes it through Congress, it must be ratified by three-fourths of the states.

The framers knew it wasn’t a perfect document. However, as Benjamin Franklin said on the closing day of the convention in 1787: “I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such, because I think a central government is necessary for us… I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain may be able to make a better Constitution.”

Celebrate Constitution Week!

*During the course of a session that lasted from May 24th through September 17th the Convention resolved itself in a Committee of the Whole during the opening weeks and subsequently appointed twelve committees to address specific issues. Committees help establish rules for the convention, formulate vital compromises, draft key sections, and give final polish to the document. (John R. Vile, The Critical Role of Committees at the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787)

14 Sep 2018, 11:24am

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The Walworthians: Gwyn Bassage

The Walworthians


A collection of telephone interviews published in the Wayne County STAR Newspaper and Wayne County MAIL Newspaper, 1994-209

by Kate Chamberlin


Gwyn Bassage

October 07, 1999

Gwyneth L. Bassage is one of the people in our neighborhood. She is a soft-spoken woman of God with a will and determination like a mighty oak that grows from a tiny acorn.

The seed was planted when Gwyn felt the call to the ministry during her junior year at the Fairport High School. In spite of her father’s objections, her preparations were all made to attend Franklyn Baptist College in Indiana when her father again came to her.

“He told me,” Gwyn said, “that if I went to college, my brother wouldn’t be able to go to college, and that I’d only get married anyway, so why go to college?”

She honored her father’s request, but put her faith in God’s hands and knew that the next man she met, she would marry.

Now as it turned out, her High School sorority sister set her up with a date for Thanksgiving evening during her Senior year in 1956. The date was George L. Bassage from near-by Walworth. They were married August 1, 1957 and established their roots in Walworth.

Gwyn and George’s family tree branched out with their four, (now grown) children: Heidi Scutella is currently a dental hygienist with Dr. Nash and the mother of George and Gwyn’s three grandchildren, Kara, Allen and Nicole; Terry is married to Susan and are expecting their first baby in April; Aaron is working and attending MCC; Colin, is employed by Jasco and living home.

Except for a brief interlude in the sixties the, the Bassage’s have run the Leoloy dairy farm from the time they moved here in 1957 until April of 1999. With the ups and downs of raising four children and the sometimes-uncertain economy of a dairy farm. Life for Gwyn was full of personal challenges, spiritual growing experiences and preparation for her ministry.

“all things work together for good,” Gwyn said. “The experiences I’ve had with my father and my children make me realize that I’ve been in preparation for 42 years and my journey hasn’t yet ended.”

This past summer, she switched from being our part-time Deputy Town Clerk to be the full-time data entry/receptionist at the Walworth Water Authority on Daansan Road. She also manages to find time to work on a doll house and do counted cross-stitch.

“Every person has something good about them, she continued. “I can love the people I minister in-spite of their habits and excuses.”

Gwyn’s spiritual journey has been profound and deep, leading her to believe herself to be an ecumenical Christian and dedicated to her ministry with the Walworth Food Pantry, which is located in the First Baptist Church of Walworth.

As a licensed Baptist Lay-minister, Gwyn organizes Sunday Services, preaches and teaches in Fairport and the Baptist Church in Walworth, yet her ministry has taken her primarily to the Food Pantry where she has organized a mentoring program. The first session had ten women Food Pantry recipients learning to sew with community members. The second session found the women learning about nutrition through the Cornell Extension services and the third is going to be Knitting Classes.

“I left it up to God as to who would mentor with whom,” Gwyn said. “My goal is for members of the community and recipients of the Food Pantry to recognize that they are not that different from each other. I find it very rewarding when former recipients come back to mentor current recipients.”

Gwyn is saddened by the loss of the Walworth Hamlet’s identity throughout the years she has lived here.

“The little hamlet doesn’t have a vital Main Street anymore,” she commented. “The soda fountain is gone, neighbors don’t know each other and we’re divided. We have a fine government and they have tried to pull things together and form an identity, but Gananda wants to be separate.”

She is quick to say, though, that the people of Gananda are very generous and frequent donators to the Food Pantry. The Rotary and Scouts are particularly supportive of the Food Pantry.

Gwyn sees the Wayne Community Partnership’s Hope Works as a very positive movement in our greater community (Walworth, Gananda and Ontario). This is a program the Wayne Central School initiated to bring community resources together to assist families that are in need and want assistance.

“My hope is that people will continue to work together as volunteers and recipients and see each other as neighbors, she said. “We have a special love in Christ and rather than preach it, we need to be it.”

Thank you, Gwyn Bassage. The broad canopy your love offers us is a refuge we can trust. You are a Walworthian with the accent on worth.


4 Sep 2018, 1:29pm

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The Walworthians: Judy Zappia

Judy Zappia, Home-Made-Easy

June 24, 1999

Judy Zappia of Newark is a courageous lady who has the will to make a way. Her children were just 6 and 10 when she lost her ability to speak. She could no longer read a bedtime story to them, call them in for lunch, tell them to clean up their room, or even talk on the telephone.

Judy had been working at Columbia Bank for 15 years when she lost her voice.

“At first, you think it’s just a cold,” Zappia said. “You know it will get better, but it didn’t. Then the doctors found a lump near my vocal chords. It was very scary.”

Judy grew up in Brooktondale, a small town near Ithaca, and attended Auburn Community College where she met Gerald, her husband, in 1973.

Judy studied Elementary Education and eventually taught in the Ithaca Headstart Pre-school/Day Care for two years. She and Gerald were married on August 14, 1976.

They are blessed with Theresa Marie, now 18 and the 1999 recipient of the Col. William Prescott Chapter, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Good Citizen Award, and John, now 14.

Fortunately, more X-rays and tests showed the lump was a second set of tonsils and what cause her voice loss was an apparent virus that had settled in her vocal chords. She learned to force air through her vocal chords producing grunts and air sounds, but no speech.

“John was 6 and would test me by saying he didn’t hear me,” Zappia said. “I sat him down and got him to understand that he’d just have to figure out what I said.”

She discovered that she could use a bell to call the children in from play and get their attention with a clap and, to this day, she doesn’t have to raise her voice to them because “I can say it with a look!”

Judy was put on and off various medications and numerous voice therapy routines, including voice rest, but came to accept that she wasn’t going to be able to return to her bank job.

In 1991, her medical disability ended and she began to look around for something she could do that didn’t require a lot of talking.

The Employment agency couldn’t find anything for her, typing wasn’t her thing and computers weren’t an option. She realized it would be up to her to create her own job.

“I thought about my love of food and cooking,” she said. “Catering, crossed my mind but I didn’t want it to cut into my family time.”

Home-Made-Easy is the name of her home-based business. She does the measuring and most of the work, then you add a few ingredients to finish making main dishes (chicken and rice or meat loaf), etc. and dessert(s  apple crisp, fruit dessert, cookies, or an  oatmeal cake).

The results are delicious, wholesome home-made goodies made easy.

“One lady called me in a panic,” Zappia recalled, “She wanted to stock up on Apple Crisp, because the previous night, she’d served it to her husband and he said, ‘Well, you’ve finally figured out how to make it right.’  It took her months to work up enough nerve to tell him it was from a box!”

Around the time she turned 40, she read Jean Carper’s Stop Ageing Now. Carpr does a column in the Sunday weekend section on vitamin supplements. Zappia began a regime of multi-vitamins and within 2 months her voice began to gradually return. The doctors called in a coincidence, but the end result is that she can talk again!

Zappia continues as a successful entrepreneur with Home-Made-Easy products, which retail for $1.75 to $3.25. They are available in Canandaigua, Dobbins in Newark and soon other outlets or give her a call at 331‑1360.

Hone-Made-Easy is perfect for working folks who don’t have the time, college students who don’t know how to cook, and, older folks who don’t keep an over-abundance of ingredients on hand. They are even great to use in the e-z bake oven on those rainy days you need to entertain visiting youngsters.

Toward the end of our telephone interview, I asked Judy what words of wisdom she could pass on to others who are caught in an apparently hopeless, traumatic situation.

“Go with your heart,” she said. “There are a lot of negative people; try to find the best of your situation; and hang on to the people who encourage you.”


2018 Up-Date” Judi isn’t techinically a Walworthians, however, several people ave used her services.

3 Aug 2018, 7:56am

Comments Off on The Walworthians: Local Artists

The Walworthians: Local Artists

The Walworthians


A collection of telephone interviews published in the Wayne County STAR Newspaper and Wayne County MAIL Newspaper, 1994-209

by Kate Chamberlin


Local Artists

April 22, 1999

The Western Wayne Art Group began under the auspices of the Ontario Recreation Department in 1973. The Charter member and motivator for the movement was Demaris Frantz. Dolly Frank, Paul Martin, Thelma Russell, Alice Doyle, Kay Herrmann and Elaine Kreiling are also counted among the original members of the Art Club and still going strong. Their meetings were in the old Seen Garage, which stood in front of the present Ontario Town Hall.

The Art Club held its first Art Show and sale in 1974. Throughout the years their name, meeting place and members faces have changed, but their enthusiasm for learning about their craft and sharing it has never changed.

They warmly welcome new folks who are interested in sharing their love of art and want to meet new friends in the greater western Wayne area.

Nanette Mazzuco is one of those new friends. She will have numerous pieces of her sawdust-fired pottery at the show for sale. Edie Pasquini, proprietress of Potpourri of Gifts, describes Nanette’s vases as having “swirling colors dancing on the surface.”

The Western Wayne Art Group will celebrate 26 years of fellowship and learning about art with, of course, an Art Show and Sale. There will be traditional Oil, Acrylic and Watercolor Paintings, Photography, Pottery, Sculpture, Prints, Drawings and much, much more.

Come meet our local artists at the Walworth Town Hall, Lorraine Drive April 21 – 24, 1999. Wednesday, April 21 from 7:00-9:00 PM; Thursday, April 22 from 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM; Friday, April 23 from 7:00-9:000 PM; Saturday, April 24 from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

2018 Up-date: All of the contact information is out-of-date, but I know the art group is still going strong.


26 Jul 2018, 6:08am

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Walworthians: Lincoln Auxilary

The Walworthians


A collection of telephone interviews published in the Wayne County STAR Newspaper and Wayne County MAIL Newspaper, 1994-209

by Kate Chamberlin


Lincoln Auxiliary: 50 Years Strong

April 15, 1999



In 1949, when the phone rang in Clarice White’s home. It would also ring in two other homes. The members of the newly formed Lincoln Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary would dash to the Lincoln Fire Hall to sound the alarm.

They would mark down the location of the fire on the chalkboard so as the men arrived, they’d know where to go. The Auxiliary president was also trained as a fire truck driver, in case one was needed.  If the Fire Chief called in a Code 5 alarm, the Women’s auxiliary would swing into full gear to support the fire fighters.

The Lincoln Fire Department Ladies’ Auxiliary is celebrating 50 years with the same steadfast mission established in Charter President Clarice White’s home during their first meeting on February 28, 1949. The method of communication and transportation have changed a bit, but the two-fold organization of fire fighters and auxiliary work in harmony.

The first officers were President Clarice White, Vice-President Till Boyd, Secretary Bessie Baker and Treasurer Eleanor Johncox. There was a $2 joining fee which was paid by 41 charter members.

The current officers are President Connie Spencer-Plant, Vice-President Hazel Kurrasch, Secretary Nancy Gotte and Treasurer Robbie Gallagher.

Their mission was, and still is, to serve the fire department. They do that by assisting in fund raisers, providing food and refreshments at fires and department meetings.

Some of the Auxiliary’s fund raisers have been the Annual craft sale at the Wayne Central Middle School (usually in November); for 32 years they have been assisting with the chicken barbeque; assisting with a pizza booth at the Wayne County Fair; carnivals, turkey parties and even a car raffle.

In recent years, the Ladies’ Auxiliary has sponsored an awareness program by having children come meet Santa Claus (usually in December). The fire fighters wear their gear and explain to the children what they do, show them the equipment and how it works.

“It’s very satisfying,” Anita Amsler said. “I remember one bonfire that the men fought in freezing conditions. The equipment was different then and they came in with frozen gloves. We actually had to mold their frozen fingers around a hot mug.”

Amsler and Joyce Pugsley agreed that the biggest change in the auxiliary is due to the change in women going out into the work-force. Women aren’t as available to do volunteer work the way they used to be. The current membership in the Lincoln Auxiliary is 26 members.

Various auxiliaries all have cordial relationships and assist each other when multi-alarm fires occur. One community would be the hostess with the others pitching in. In this way, the fire fighters can receive the support they need.

Of the 41 dedicated charter members, fourteen of them will be recognized during the banquet at the Ontario Golf Club on April 17th. Charter Members June Foote, Bessie Baker and Till Boyd will be honored for not only being charter members, but for still being active members!

Thank you, ladies of the Lincoln Fire Department Auxiliary for a job well done.

2018 Up-Date:  So, now they’ve been established for 69 years and still going strong.


22 Jun 2018, 5:15pm

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Mary Abrams, Firefighter of the Year

The Walworthians


A collection of telephone interviews published in the Wayne County STAR Newspaper and Wayne County MAIL Newspaper, 1994-209

by Kate Chamberlin

Mary Abrams, Firefighter of the Year

April 08, 1999


Mary Abrams is one of the people in our neighborhood. She is being honored as the 1999 Walworth Firefighter of the Year in recognition of her many years of service to our community.

Miss Abrams signed up for her first First-aid course 23 years ago, so that she’d know what to do if something happened during one of her 4-H meetings. As a youngster, Mary was an active member of 4-H under the leadership of Abbey Sauer and Les Hall. As an adult, she has her own 4-H group.

“Les was the one who taught me how to make bread,” she softly chuckled. “It is still one of my favorite activities to do with the children.”

Mary also bakes bread for the Baptist Church’s Annual Sheep Shear Festival and numerous baked sales as well as special loaves for shut-ins.

Mary is a 1974 graduate of Wayne Central. The high school teacher she remembers best is Mrs. Carol Spellman (formerly Miss Buish(.

“She taught Home Economics and Child Care,” Abrams said. “I still see her often, because Carol is the Cornell Extension Agent Coordinator of the Youth Programs, which includes 4-H.”

Nine years ago, Mary was looking for a more challenging job than working at the Freund Box Factory and someone suggested she take the Civil Service Exam. She became an aid with the Fingerlakes Developmental Center, working in a group home situation.

“One day, I took several of my clients from the Residence Home to a high school basketball game. I saw a familiar face and said hello even though I couldn’t come up with a name.”

The following day, her boss at the Fingerlakes Developmental Center asked her how she enjoyed the basketball game.

“At first I didn’t make the tie in,” Mary said. “But, the man at the basketball game was my former high school teacher, Dawson Raymos. His wife is my boss!”

During class work with the Palmyra Volunteer Ambulance 12 years ago, she was approached to join the corps, but she wanted to work in her home community, so she joined the Walworth Volunteer Ambulance. Daryl Hall was the Fire Chief at the time.

“I love my job,” Mary said. “In the Fire department office I handle all the paper work. I’m Captain of the ALS (Ambulance Life Support), which means I have to make sure all our drugs are not expired and keep accurate records.  I do tours of the station for scouts and other  groups, as well as teach CPR and First Aid.”

Mary’s many hours of classroom learning, training exercises and on-the-job experiences help her to be able to quickly evaluate what must be done when she goes out on a call. The crew must sometimes figure-out how to extricate a driver trapped in a car, how to get the gurney out of the upstairs bedroom of an older home, and assess an appropriate treatment.

“I love my job,” she said. “Each call is unique and we work as a team to bring the best we can to the patient.”

Mary hopes to become a Paramedic by completing a full year of course work, but she’s not sure when she’ll be finished.

The biggest change during the time Mary has lived here is the population explosion.

“I think this is a positive thing,” she said, “but, the services haven’t been able to keep up with it.”

She cited the number of clients Social Services has placed in Walworth. Some of them don’t have cars and there isn’t any public transportation, so they call the ambulance for a ride into a doctor’s visit. This ties up the ambulance for real medical emergencies.

One of the things that Mary emphasizes to her 4-H members is to treat others as you would want to be treated. She certainly practices what she preaches!

Thank you, Mary Abrams, you are a Walworthian with the accent on WORTH.

2018 Up-Date: From time to time, Mary helps out with the Firemen’s Chicken Barbecue, but, she’s so busy, I haven’t actually caught up to her to chat.


16 Jun 2018, 6:48am

Comments Off on Pottery by Nanette (Mazzuco)

Pottery by Nanette (Mazzuco)

The Walworthians


A collection of telephone interviews published in the Wayne County STAR Newspaper and Wayne County MAIL Newspaper, 1994-209

by Kate Chamberlin


Pottery by Nanette (Mazzuco)

January 21, 1999


Wouldn’t you love to chuck it all and do just what your heart desires?

Nanette Mazzuco did that a couple of years ago.  She was working for a small independent convenience store chain and felt burned out. An opportunity to be employed part-time rekindled her latent love of throwing pots. She took the chance.

She certainly sounded like a happy camper when I had my

telephone interview with her. She enthusiastically told me how working with pastels and clay sculpturing in college and a Creative Workshop she’d taken at the Memorial Art Gallery, never really left her. She often thought about doing pottery on a more professional level but being fully employed, she didn’t have spare time.

Once in her part-time situation, she did a lot of reading, research and a type of apprenticeship before she actually started throwing pots again. Although functional pots are her bread and butter ware, she is quite excited about a very old, but new to her, technique of firing pots in saw dust.

It is similar to primitive raku but with a modern flavor. She shapes white stone clay on her potter’s wheel and fires it once in her “indoor” kiln. After burnishing, she fires it from 12 hours to 3 days in an “outdoor” kiln fueled with sawdust mixed with organic and inorganic materials.

“It leaves flashes of carbon and other colors on them,” she

said. “Different saw dust and other materials will leave different splashes of color.  It is unique and random and very

challenging. When it works, it is quite beautiful!”

Nanette is experimenting with various sealants in her vases, so they can be used for cut, fresh flowers as well as dried arrangements. Most of her sculptures and vases are for the people with a discriminating taste for collecting art.

“Surprisingly,” she said, “a lot of my pieces are bought by men.”

When she was showing her pieces at the Arts in the Arboretum, on Klem Road, last July, the CEO of a store found in the malls called World of Science. He liked her work and she is trying to decide if that is the right way to go.

She will have her work in the High Falls Art Show sponsored by the United Rochester Area Art Groups beginning January 22, 7:00-9:00 PM. The show and sale will run for a month.

Nanette has lived in Ontario for fifteen years. She participates in a number of artistic groups including the Western Wayne Art Group; The Arabesque Art Gallery in Geneva; the Four Corners Emporium, Penfield; Potpourri of Gifts, Walworth; and the L. W. Emporium, Ontario.

According to the brochure, the Lord Willing Emporium, located in the old Plassche lumber yard with over 15,000square feet, “is part of the a unique Antique and craft shopping experience! 65 of the Finest Antique and Craft Shops located in a Turn of the Century Village!”

Walworth is a turn of the century hamlet and we are delighted to feature Nanette’s work At Potpourri of Gifts.  She joins numerous other local artists who come to Edie Pasquini’s consighment shop to display and discuss their fine arts, crafts and collectibles.

You can contact Nanette Mazzuco by phoning her at 524-9410.

*L. W. Emporium, Rte. 104, Ontario, NY (315)524-8841.

*Potpourri of Gifts, 2256 Walworth-Marion Road, Walworth (315)986-7999.

*Western Wayne Art Group meets every third Tuesday, 7 PM in the Walworth Town Hall, Lorraine Drive, Walworth.

2018 Up-Date: no current information



4 Jun 2018, 5:01pm

Comments Off on Al and Judy Schoonmaker, artists

Al and Judy Schoonmaker, artists

The Walworthians


A collection of telephone interviews published in the Wayne County STAR Newspaper and Wayne County MAIL Newspaper, 1994-209

by Kate Chamberlin


Al and Judy Schoonmaker, Artists

December 02, 1998

Al and Judy Schoonmaker are two of the local artists that will be showcased during the open house at Potpourri of Gifts on December 4 – 6.

The Schoonmakers use a laser to engrave glass boxes, trophies, brass plates, men’s jewelry boxes and clocks. Actually, the list is endless and their beautiful items must be seen to be appreciated.

If you’d like more information, call the store 986-7999 or give me a call. Let’s chat.

2018 Up-Date: The Schoonmakers have dissolved their business and moved out of state. Apparently, They sold the Laser machine to a headstone cutter.

4 Jun 2018, 11:12am

Comments Off on Larry P. Johnson, guest columnist

Larry P. Johnson, guest columnist


ANOTHER VIEW: So why should I care about that?

by Larry P. Johnson



I am pretty happy the way things are going. The economy is strong. I have a nice house, three TVs, plenty of food in the pantry. The grandkids are doing well in school. There have been no school shootings where they go. My Social Security and Medicare are secure (I think). I voted in the recent primary without any interference, as far as I could tell, from the Russians.


The local police keep crime pretty much under control, away from me. Yes, life is good. The fact that 43 million of my countrymen live at or below the poverty level, more than half a million are homeless and 6 million can’t find jobs doesn’t really affect me personally. So should I care? Unless suddenly, at 84 ,my Social Security or Medicare are severely cut, I am faced with $100,000 in medical bills or a mortgage foreclosure on my house, or one of my grandchildren is killed or wounded in a school shooting.


Unless it happens to me or to a member of my family, it really doesn’t matter. Right? I’m not worried about the Russians or the Chinese or even the Iranians, for that matter. I don’t know any Chinese or Russians, and the only Iranian I know owns a dry-cleaners where I take my suits. So many of us Americans live in a bubble, insulated from the hardships and realities faced by our neighbors. We don’t want to know about their pain or their problems. It’s a whole lot more comfortable to live like an ostrich, with our heads in the sand.


And yet the reality is that in this wealthiest of all nations too many Americans go to bed at night — if they even have a bed to go to — hungry, 10 million of them children. The reality is that sharply rising prescription drug costs are driving people into bankruptcy and they are losing their homes. And the reality is that the Russians did, in fact, interfere with our national elections and will certainly try to do it again.


I should care about you, and you should care about me. Because our lives are intertwined and life’s circumstances are very precarious, and what happens to the neighbor down the street today could very easily happen to you or me tomorrow. So if we don’t care about our neighbors, why should we expect them to care about us?


We also need to be aware of and care about the policies and programs being decided by our elected officials at the local, state and national levels. They definitely do affect us. As we move toward this year’s midterm elections, we need to pay very close attention to what each political candidate is saying, which issues he or she stands for and which ones he or she stands in opposition to. Who are the special interests groups supporting their candidacy and why? Are these candidates really aware of and interested in us?


If we don’t care about what kind of leaders we have, then we will most assuredly have the kind of leaders who don’t care about us. Apathy and indifference not only erode our democracy but our human compassion as a society.


And that’s how I see it.

Larry P. Johnson is very versatile as a memoirist, columnist, and motivational self-esteem author and workshop presenter.

Books by Larry P. Johnson:

“And that’s how I see it.: Volume 1-2 selected”

“Mexico by Touch”

“You can if you think you can: rebound from adversity and follow your dreams : simple strategies to achieve success and happiness in your life”

2 Jun 2018, 11:41am

Comments Off on The Walworthians: Ed Garbowski, Wood-crafter

The Walworthians: Ed Garbowski, Wood-crafter

The Walworthians


A collection of telephone interviews published in the Wayne County STAR Newspaper and Wayne County MAIL Newspaper, 1994-209

by Kate Chamberlin


Ed Garbowski, Wood-crafter

August 05, 1998

Ed Garbowski and his mother, Barbara, are two local artists who have found Walworth a friendly place to do business. Barbara is an avid cross stitcher and came to the Cross Stitch Corner for supplies. Ed works in wood and once they met Pat and Edie, they realized what a perfect outlet Potpourri of Gifts would be for their handcrafted items.

“We felt like family right from the beginning,” Barbara said. “They are so friendly and enthusiastic.”

Ed Garbowski, Jr. enjoys making small scale storage chests, planters and Shaker style tables. He credits his mother for his artistic ability.

“Mom saw a side-board when I was attending R.I.T.,” he said, “She wanted it a specific size. I found I have a knack of seeing something and being able to make it without a pattern.”

Barbara painstakingly stains or paints Ed’s projects and then stencils or paints a design in free hand. She uses non-toxic paints with a polyurethane finish. She is thinking about using beeswax as the final touch.

Years ago Barbara worked in a fabric store and made all her daughter Christine’s clothes. She found making cloth dolls, bears and bunnies a natural thing to do. Her transition to wood began with making a Scottie dog. She taught herself how to paint by seeing a picture she liked and very carefully and slowly copied it onto a Jelly cabinet Ed had made for her.

Ironically, Ed, Sr. was given the band saw as a gift, but now shares it with Ed, Jr. Some of the tables at Potpourri of Gifts are Ed, Sr.

This dynamic and lively mother-son team are delighted to find Walworth the perfect outlet for the items they so obviously love to make.

“We want to make quality hand crafted items that people can afford,” Barbara and Ed said. “We’re part of the Giggling Pig Craft Co-op in Caledonia, but Potpourri of Gifts is local for us and just perfect.”

The Garbowskis decorated tables, chests, planters and sewn crafts were introduced during Potpourri of Gifts’ recent Christmas in July Sale.

“Ed and Barbara’s things were very popular,” said Edie Pasquini, proprietress of Potpourri of Gifts. “It has always been my dream to have a central place for local artists to come, meet and share their fine art. Pat and I look forward to doing more consignment business with and for them.”

Hm-m-m-m. Ed and Barbara told me they get their ideas from books with photos of antiques. I wonder if Ed has ever seen a Captain’s chart chest made from Oak?

Cross Stitch Corner and Potpourri of Gifts are located in the Walworth Seely Building (across from the post office), 2256 Walworth-Marion Road, 315-986-7999.

2018 Up-Date: As you know by now, the Potpourri Of Gifts is out of business, except by special order. I’m still looking for a Captain’s chart chest made from Oak.