7 Dec 2017, 2:16pm

Comments Off on The Walworthians: Miller, Ruth L.

The Walworthians: Miller, Ruth L.

The Walworthians: Miller, Ruth L.


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

by Kate Chamberlin

Ruth L. Miller, Grandma

June 19, 1996


Ruth L. Miller is one of the people in our neighborhood.

She grew up in West Brighton and attended   Monroe High School until her parents moved to a farm in Webster.

Ruth met her husband, Ralph, when he hired on as a tenant who helped with the farm work. It must have been true love, because last March 15th they celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary.

About 40 years ago, they moved to their 21-acre farm on Ontario Center Road. It used to be part of the larger Tabor farm.

It had cherry and pear trees on it, but Ralph wanted to raise pigs, cows and the grain to feed them. The orchard was cut down to make room for his new venture.

Farming didn’t pay all the bills so Ralph delivered feed for Anna B. Youngs’ Feed Mill until he began working at Garlock. His tenure at Garlock lasted over 30 years.

Ruth and Ralph have five children: Joyce Clark, Beverly, Leona Kirby, Jean Gardner and Steve.

“I’ve been real lucky with my kids,” Ruth said proudly. “They never got into any serious trouble while they were growing up in Walworth.”

Each year in the fall, Ruth makes evergreen wreaths to sell at the road side stand next to her driveway. She also puts out pumpkins grown in her back field and sometimes, home-made goodies.

I remember the first time I took my young sons over to let them choose their own pumpkins. We were standing in the yard looking around. We heard a loud putt-putt-chugg before we saw what made the sound.

Ralph was driving an old tractor up the lane from the east field. As he got closer, we noticed something small and white on his lap.

It was Peachy, a little white poodle that went everywhere with him. Ruth said that it was Peachy’s tractor. It didn’t go anywhere without Peachy at the wheel.

Years later, I was standing at the end of Orchard Street listening to the Festival in the Park Parade pass. I heard an old Putt-putt-chug pas and a hearty voice holler, “Hi, Kate. It’s Grandma Miller!”

Peachy had been gone a long time, but his tractor still chugs on. Ruth assured me she’ll be driving it in the parade this year, too.

Thirteen years ago Ruth and I bowled on the same team in the Thursday Morning Women’s League. The enthusiasm she put into bowling is typical of her zest for doing so many things.

She became my Cub Scout Den’s adopted grandmother. We took cookies to her on holidays and sang Christmas carols in her kitchen.

She came to our pack meetings and bid on goodies at the annual Scout Auction.

One year my husband and Grandma Miller vied back and forth on a cake until Dave had to pay almost $20 for it. He surprised her by giving her the cake.

Ruth hasn’t let last year’s mild stroke slow her down. She is warm, friendly and caring with strong feelings and out-spoken thoughts. For example, she feels that the Town Hall has too much unused space in it.

“At first, I thought they were going to put another room or floor in,” she said referring to the large vaulted ceiling of the entrance hall. “And, they said they’d fix up a room for us Senior Citizens to use. That kitchen across the hall from the big room is too dinky for our pot luck suppers!”

I promised Ruth I wouldn’t print the story she told me about a mouse running up her pant leg, so the next time you see her, ask her about it.

Thank you, Ruth Miller. You are a Walworthian with the accent on worth.



1 Dec 2017, 8:23am

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The Walworthians: Leasure, Jack

The Walworthians: Leasure, Jack


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

by Kate Chamberlin


Jack Leasure

April 03, 1996

Allen (Jack) Leasure is one of the people in our neighborhood. He has been named the 1995 Fireman of the Year.

The award came as no surprise to those of us who know Jack.

He, however, was surprised. He sees what he does as just doing what needs to be done.

Jack and his wife, Elaine, lived in Ontario before moving to Walworth in 1972. They had talked about building a home somewhere between Elaine’s teaching position in the Freewill Elementary School and His teaching position in the Pal-Mac District. A new home on Orchard Street was very close to the home they’d had in mind. They’ve been here ever since.

Their daughter, Sue, was raised here and attended Wayne Central. She is a Math teacher now in a neighboring district and married to Ken Schaumberg, the Freewill Physical Education teacher. Actually, last year when Jack turned the big (smudge, smudge) ,he didn’t even notice it. He was too busy being a proud, new grandpa to Traci.

Jack was active in Tiger Scouts with their son, Tim, the first year it began. This naturally led into Cub Scouts.

When my Cub Scout Den wanted to work on a Science Arrow, Jack invited us to his home. They had all sorts of levers, pulleys, electric circuits and hands-on activities.

Jack makes learning fun. It is what makes him such a terrific teacher at Pal-Mac!

When Tim was killed in a car crash during his Junior year at Wayne Central, there was a tremendous out-pouring of love and support by all Jack’s co-workers, friends and neighbors.

Shortly after moving onto Orchard Street, Jack’s neighbor, Larry Laforce encouraged him to become a Volunteer Fireman. Another neighbor, John Baxter, was also on the force and coaxed him to visit the newly built Fire Station.

After a year of being a fire fighter, Jack began helping out on the ambulance. He found his real nitch as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician).

Jack has been the Ambulance Chairman, Assistant Secretary, and worked on numerous auctions, Bar-B-ques and many other fund raisers for the department.

His dedication to serving his neighbors is evident in the way he keeps his skills and knowledge current and trains new members.

A year ago, he was coming home when he saw the ambulance come up our street. He was not on duty, but knew a neighbor was in need. He followed the ambulance.

I’m so glad he did. The ambulance came to my home. His quiet reassurance made a scary event less traumatic for my family and me.

Jack said he is pleased with the progress the Department has made during the years he’s been with it. The rescue equipment, advance life support systems and the technicians to provide services are the best.

“I’m happy to see new members coming in,” Jack said. “They learn fast and can take leadership roles on the force.”

Although Jack is qualified to drive the Department’s fire engines, medical rescue truck and the Cadillac Ambulances, he likes to leave the driving to the younger men.

Jack’s wish for Walworth is to have it stay as nice as it is. A community where neighbors help each other.

Thank you, Jack, you are a Walworthian with the accent on worth.


23 Nov 2017, 8:55am

Comments Off on The Walworthians: Burger, Robert J.

The Walworthians: Burger, Robert J.

The Walworthians: Burger, Robert J.


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

by Kate Chamberlin


Robert J. Burger

March 20, 1996


Robert J. Burger is one of the people in our neighborhood. He has a good memory and a writer’s attention to detail when he talks about the way Walworth used to be.

He related the history of Route 350 from its life in 1878 as a Town Road, to when the County took it over and       to 1930 when New York State assumed the responsibility for it.

“There were fewer than 10 cars passing by my house each day on the narrow road,” he said. “I watched them lay the steel grid on the concrete. There was 6-inches of concrete.”

Bob was not the first to tell me of how much fun the Friday night dances in the Grange were.

“At that time, the Grange was what is now the Auction Hall,” he said. “As a matter of fact, Charles Pembroke was the band leader and square dance caller. He introduced me to my wife.”

Sometime during the fox trot, round or square dance Margaret Schafer, of Lewis Road, and Bob fell in love and had a marriage that lasted 54 years.

She recently passed away, but their 7 children are still mostly in this area. John (a professor teaches in California(, Helen, Karen, Anne (who is married to an English man and lives in England, Michael, Jean and Margaret (who are twins) attended the Walworth Academy     although, Bob recalled that one year he was taxed $8 for the Freewill School District.

Bob was born in Oswego, New York, but his mother died when he was four years old. He lived in an orphanage for about a year until a Marion couple needed extra help with the chores on their farm.

“Dr. Esley would drive his horse and cutter the 7 or so miles to make a house call when we needed him,” Bob said. “The doctor lived in the house near the gas station.

“I was 26 in 1939 when he did my blood test for the marriage license.”

The Marion farm became Bob’s but he had to sell it to pay off family debts. He and Margaret moved to Ontario, but when they put in Route 104, they sold it. The house was moved to a site on the north side of the new route.

In 1943, they bought the farm on Route 350. He had a job as an apprentice with General Railway Systems.

He had planted Christmas trees as a way to make extra money. In 1964, he realized what a bonanza he had. He quit his job and dedicated himself to Burger’s Nursery.

At one time he had as many as 23,000 trees in his nursery. Joe Finley used to buy them wholesale from him and re-sell them.

Bob will sell only during the trees dormant times, so, he began to write in his free time.

His three published books are Siblings (1985), The Ice Cream Girl (1987), and Guide to Successful Planting (1993).

He has a 116-page manuscript of poems and a children’s story that are waiting for a publisher.

The next time you see Bob, ask him about the time he got his car stuck on Atlantic Road near O’Brien’s Hill (the Walworth Water Tower).

Thanks, Bob, you are a Walworthian with the accent on worth.


November  16, 2017 Up-Date:

Robert J. Burger



Burger, Robert J.
Ontario: Died on September 10, 2007 at age 94. Predeceased by his wife Margaret & brother Joseph Burger. Survived by his children, John (Leone) Burger, Helen (Donald) Pfromer, Jean (Barry) Dobler, Margaret (Daniel) Bitacola, Karen (Paul) Paprocki, Ann (Paul) Maynard, Michael (JoAnn) Burger; 9 grandchildren; 5 great grandchildren; brother James Burger; many nieces & nephews. He owned & operated a nursery. He participated in many activites including his bowling league, euchre club, & is the author of 3 books.
Friends are invited to call Sunday 2-4 & 7-9PM at MURPHY FUNERAL HOME, 1961 Ridge Road, Ontario. His Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30AM Monday at St. Mary’s of the Lake Church, Ontario. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Donations may be made to Ontario Volunteer Emergency Squad or Walworth Ambulance in his memory.

Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle on Sept. 12, 2007


10 Nov 2017, 3:10pm

Comments Off on The Walworthians: Walton, Margaret E.

The Walworthians: Walton, Margaret E.

The Walworthians: Walton, Margaret E.  


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

by Kate Chamberlin


Margaret E. Walton

March 06, 1996

March 06, 1996

Margaret E. Walton is one of the people in our neighborhood.

Peggy was raised in a family that believed ‘Nothing’s as loving as something from the oven’. She grew up in Montana where baking bread was a family event.

She met her husband, Jay Webster, in Missoula, Montana when he came out to visit a University friend. Jay is currently a tool and die maker. He is invaluable when it comes to repairing equipment such as an old bread mixer.

Jay is originally from Webster, so, after several years of living in Montana, they moved to Walworth in 1980.

“At that time, we felt Walworth would be a good place to raise our children. Also, no one in this area was baking bread like this,” Peggy said.  It seemed natural to keep on baking bread like I used to do in Montana.”

At first she sold to friends, then she got involved in the Fairport Farm Market and business increased. Her breads are now available at Schutt’s Cider Mill and the Topps in Panarama. Eventually, her breads will be available at the new Topps on Rte. 31.

Peggy wanted to stay home with her children. Her bread baking business allows her a flexible schedule so she can do things with them.

The Webster’s have four children. They  are Sam, 20; Robin, 17; Ben, 11; and Jesse, 9. Robin has been helping her mother in baking breads since she was 12. She started out as a part-time helper, but is now full-time help.

As Peggy’s small business grew, they built an addition onto their rustic country home to accommodate it. Now she can listen to her old, commercial Read Bread Mixer as sunlight streams in large windows overlooking the woods.

She bakes about 100 loaves of bread a day. The public seems to really like Peggy’s sour dough bread, which is also her personal favorite.

“But I also like the New England Anadama Bread,” she quickly added. “It’s made with molasses and cornmeal.”

I have tasted Peggy’s Whole Wheat Bread and can attest that it was absolutely delicious.

If you don’t find Peggy’s bread in the store, give her a call:  524-1946.

Thank you Peggy. You are a Walworthian with the accent on Worth.


2 Nov 2017, 4:54am

Comments Off on The Walworthians: Ginegaw, Harold and Virginia

The Walworthians: Ginegaw, Harold and Virginia

The Walworthians: Ginegaw, Harold F.


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

by Kate Chamberlin


~Harold F. Ginegaw

January 31, 1996


Harold F. Ginegaw is one of the people in our neighborhood.

“If you think this is cold,” he told me when our temperature was in the teens. “You should have felt it in ’34 when it was 24 degrees below!”

Harold was born May 17th in the farm house on the northwest corner of Routes 350 and 441. His older brother and sister and he helped care for 7 cows, many chickens and tended all kinds of fruit trees:  pear, apple, cherry and even prune (plum).

“After that big freeze in ’34,” he remembered. “I’d wrap my feet in newspaper and then shove my boots on to go chop the fruit trees for firewood.”

The Ginegaw’s lost several hundreds of their trees because the severe cold split the trunks. The trees were standard, 25-foot tall varieties, not the dwarf hybrids.

“We used to get 44 bushels of fruit from each tree,”  he said.

In 1936, he and his brother dug a mile long ditch to drain the land that is now Ginegaw Park. They grew spinach, onions and potatoes in the rich muck land.

One of the few farm machines they used was a 4-horse drawn manure spreader they’d bought from Don Howard.

They didn’t get their first tractor until 1939, so, the horses were also used to pull the tank holding the spray for the fruit trees.

Harold remembers going to Duell’s where they had big blocks of ice. They’d use an axe to chop the ice for ice cream.

Harold attended the Walworth Academy and likes to say that the only way his brother got out of first grade was by the building being torn down.

While the new school was being built, Harold attended classes in the Grange Hall. He studied Agriculture in High School but ended up working for Xerox for 13 years and Garlock for 21 years.

He and his wife, Virginia, have lived in their Main Street home for 50 years. They set up housekeeping right after their February 2, 1946 wedding.

Harold and Virginia have restored the home Yeoman built in 1834. Many of the hand-hewn beams, with bark, are still visible.

Their used to be a Hat Shop next to their home. They have several hat molds that will eventually be put in the Walworth Historical Society’s Museum.

One of Harold’s (and, presumably, Virginia’s) accomplishments is the raising of their 8 children.

“Seanna, Daonna, Nancy, Gregory, Carol, Ginny, Clarence, Amy.”  he said one by one. There, is that eight?”

I decided not to ask him to name all the grandchildren!

He says his hobby is being with his family and working on his home, but will readily admit that he also likes to go to the Finger Lakes Racetrack.

He is very proud of his wife for being the Methodist Church’s Historian for so many years.

He is delighted that the park bearing his family’s name is kept up and he feels the new Town Hall, although expensive, is quite an accomplishment.

You’d never know he’d been through two open heart surgeries and a kidney removed unless he told you. He is a prime example of a good neighbor. He is often seen bopping around from shop to shop with a friendly, “Hello.”

Thank you, Harold. You are a Walworthian with the accent on worth.


Up-date, November 01, 2017: Harold and Virginia are buried side-by-side in the Walworth Cemetery.

Harold F. Ginegaw, 1924-2007

Virginia C. Ginegaw, 1916-2013

26 Oct 2017, 5:12am

Comments Off on The Walworthians: Roger and Jessie Keymel

The Walworthians: Roger and Jessie Keymel

The Walworthians: Keymel, Roger and Jessie


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

by Kate Chamberlin


Jessie I. Keymel

July 24, 1996

Jessie I. Keymel is one of the people in our neighborhood.

When an elderly aunt and uncle in Walworth needed assistance, Jessie’s Mom offered to move from Scotland to help them. Jessie was 14 and made arrangements to stay in Scotland, but, her destiny was here in Walworth. Plus, her Mom said she had to come, too!)

That destiny had a name: Roger. They met at Wayne Central High School when Jessie enrolled. Their families also attended the Walworth United Methodist Church.

Roger and Jessie were married on September 17, 1960 and have lived within sight of Roger’s birth home ever since.

They have successfully raised three boys, Rob, Chuck and Bill. They have a family they can be proud of.

Jessie and her  Mom used to make regular visits back to their homeland. In 1977, Jessie took her teenaged boys to visit family and friends in Scotland. It is a trip they all still talk about.

“I enjoy the camaraderie and support of a small town,” Jessie said. “But, I think I’d be happy where ever I am.

“When the boys were in school, school and church were the centers of my activities. Now the Methodist church is.”

For the past 16 or so years, Jessie has been doing the altar flowers each Sunday and on special occasions.

“My neighbors have gotten used to seeing me cutting their flowers,” she said.

Jessie and Roger currently reside in the late John and Doris Smith’s former home. It has some spring flowers, but not enough to keep the church vases filled!

Jessie is a dental hygienist, dog groomer and seasonal helper on the family’s Christmas tree farm.

Each year, Roger transplants one thousand evergreens to the land his grandparents owned on the Walworth-Ontario Road since the early 1900’s. The 6-inch transplants  have grown up and become a successful Christmas tree farm.

“It’s  fun for the whole family to search for the perfect Christmas tree.”  Jessie said. Hand-made wreaths and swags are also available.

Jessie remembers that even as a teen fresh from Scotland, how surprised she was that people didn’t know anything about the wild plants and flowers in their neighborhood. Perhaps that is why she was such an active, interested and knowledgeable member of the former Walworth Garden Club.

The amount of food that is wasted still surprises her. She and Roger have a small vegetable garden and Jessie likes to can peaches from Morgan’s Farm in Marion.

Her love of Scottish line dancing took root during gym class in Scotland. Dancing was a gym requirement for all Scottish school children.

“The Scottish line dancing we do isn’t the Highland Fling kind of thing,” she explained. “We do the social dancing to fiddle music. Sometimes there is a piano, mandolin or accordion.”

Their group meets once a week from September through June in the Presbyterian South Church in Henrietta. You can call Jessie (524-9205) or attend the open house on September 17, if you’re interested in finding out more about this type of social dancing. Don’t go expecting bag pipes!

In January they have a Burns Night   Celebration to honor this famous Scottish poet. “Auld Lang Sinai” and “My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose”  are two of his most famous poems.

By the way, don’t ever challenge Jessie to leg wrestle!

Thank you, Jessie, you are a Walworthian with the accent on worth.


Keymel’s Christmas Trees

December 21, 1995

I’d waited all year long to do it. The time was now right.

I found two little kids, two medium kids and two big kids to go with my husband and me to find the perfect Christmas tree at the Keymel’s on Walworth-Ontario Road.

The two little kids were Tim and Sean Ellison. The two big kids were their parents, Jim and Mary. The two middle kids were mine, Will and Marion.

Bill Keymel met us in the driveway and assured us that our transport back into the trees would be along shortly. Roger and Jesse were there to greet guests, too. The fragrance of pine was mingled with the warmth of friendship and a nip in the air.

We could hear the tractor’s engine before it came into view. Bernie Porray, Sr. was expertly driving the “horses” that pulled the wagon with hay bales on it.

The children sprightly clambered on board as I shucked my dignity and hefted myself up onto a hay bale. With laughter and camaraderie, we were off to the high country and adventure.

Our driver, so kindly and quick, asked us what size tree we wanted.

“Five feet.”  “Nine footer.” a hundred feet tall.” rang out the various answers.

He dropped us off at the appropriate location to start looking for the perfect tree.

After we’d each made our choice, Chuck Keymel came over to saw it down for us.

I imagined him with an axe over his shoulder, lining up his swing to fell our perfect Christmas tree.

One quick pull of the chain saw starter cord blew that image!

Bernie returned with the wagon to take us and our trees back down the hill.

Our tree was wrapped and stowed in our van along with an evergreen wreath. We all had smiles on our faces and visions of presents beneath our perfect Christmas tree. As we drove off, I’m sure I heard Bill calling out, “Ho, ho, ho. A Merry Christmas to all!”


20 Oct 2017, 7:13am

Comments Off on The Walworthians: Potter, Monica Gleason

The Walworthians: Potter, Monica Gleason

The Walworthians: Potter, Monica Gleason


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

by Kate Chamberlin


Monica Gleason-Potter

November 23, 1995


Who won the American Gladiator show when it came to Rochester in April, 1992?

I’ll give you a clue.

She also won the North American National Natural Physique Championship, October, 8, 1995.

The answer is Monica Gleason-Potter. Her Gladiator name was Mighty Monica.

I went through my 45-minute workout while she gave me pointers and suggestions. After I’d collapsed hot and “glowing into a chair, she spritely said, “Nice warm-up!”

“Right,” is what I would have said if I’d had any extra breath.

It was my first time working-out and, well, I’m a little out of shape. She, on the other hand, is in great shape.

Monica started working out in 1991 as a way of living a healthier life style.

“It’s a great way to get in shape, too,” she said.

Her husband, Jack, was already into body building and became her trainer. They work out together at the Fairport Fitness Center (7451 Pittsford-Palmyra Road, Fairport, NY, 14450. Phone: 716-425-7418)

Monica also works there part-time helping members of the Center to attain their personal fitness goals. Her services as a personal trainer are included in the membership fee.

Each year the Fairport Fitness Center holds the New York State Natural Physical Competition.

“It is a mandatory drug tested event,” Monica said. “It is great to compete against others who are not on anything artificial to pump them up.”

The owner of the Fairport Fitness Center and President of the United States Body Building Association is Jim Valvano.

“Jim Valvano deserves a lot of the credit,” Monica said. “He is a power lifter and body builder himself and has given me a lot of pointers. Jim is responsible for bringing the annual State shows to our area.”

Monica works out 6 days a week for about an hour and a half. While a healthy diet is important all year around,     12 weeks before a competition she gets really serious. Her diet becomes chicken, turkey, fish, veggies and fruits. No sweets, starchy carbohydrates or dairy products.

“There is definitely no pizza,” she sighed. “I am 5′ 1″ and I want my competition weight to be about 106 pounds.”

Monica is really happy to see that school coaches are encouraging weight training. “It is a great way to reduce the chance of students being injured during a game,” she said. “Weight training strengthens the muscles surrounding the tendons for over-all flexibility and strength. Body building includes weight training but goes on to build specific muscles bigger.”

Monica is an electronic technician at Industrial Indexing Systems. Her husband works in the sales office of Ted Cohen’s Furniture Store. Their son, Allen, is in Mrs. Ann Gilson’s 4th Grade in the Macedon Elementary School.

One of Monica’s goals is to earn her Professional Card by competing in New York City this coming May.

“Amateurs compete for prizes,” she explained. “Professionals compete for money. It is another step toward becoming a fully qualified personal trainer.”

I suspect Monica’s hard work, dedication and friendly personality will bode her well. Meanwhile, I’ll do the best I can to follow her example, but, remember, I’m a lot taller and have much bigger bones, so don’t expect ME to weigh 106 pounds!



October 19, 2017 Up-Date: I was unable to contact Monica by phone, but, there were several hits on google, if you’d like to look her up.


12 Oct 2017, 5:12pm

Comments Off on The Walworthians: Caring Friends

The Walworthians: Caring Friends

The Walworthians: Caring Friends


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

by Kate Chamberlin


Caring Friends

November 09, 1995


Caring Friends, Inc. was started by Rudolph DeLesio in response to the need he saw as he and his friends drove his wife to and from radiation treatments.

After her death, he continued to dedicate his time to caring for friends, especially in the area of transportation.

People using this service are not charged. Money is raised through special events around the county and freewill donations.

Rides to medical appointments take top priority, but every effort is made to provide a ride for other occasions.

Janice Slack, a retired nurse and Caring Friends volunteer, recently provided transportation and much more to Jack and Martha McFall.

Jack was recovering from hip surgery and Martha is legally blind. They both had doctor’s appointments and needed a ride. Janice filled a big need for transportation. The stop for ice cream cones was just an added personal touch that meant so much.

In August the Wayne Area Low-vision Support Group a. K. A. The Lemonade Society used the new Caring Friends Van Service. Members were picked up from Newark, Lyons and Sodus to go to their summer picnic in Foreman State Park, Pultneyville.

The van’s passengers collected a freewill donation and mailed it to the office.

Caring Friends is currently in the process of becoming a Certified Carrier. This would enable them to be reimburse by the State for transportation costs on a per person basis.

Volunteers are a very big part of the success of Caring Friends. Volunteer day-time drivers with a CDL19A license are encouraged to call the Caring Friends office. This is an opportunity to put your free-time and talents to good use.

For more information contact: Caring Friends of Wayne County, Inc. 24 S. Park,  Clyde,  NY,  14433; Rudolph DeLesio  at 923-9862 or the  Ride Scheduler: Lucey Swanson  923-2541.


October 12, 2017 Up-Date: I’m not sure if Caring Friends is still available, but, I do remember how happy Jack and Martha McFall were to have the personal service in their time of need.


5 Oct 2017, 7:37am

Comments Off on The Walworthians: Austin, Cynthia and Stephen

The Walworthians: Austin, Cynthia and Stephen

The Walworthians: Austin, Cynthia and Stephen


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

by Kate Chamberlin


Cynthia and Stephen Austin

October 05, 1995


What communicates with a variety of ear, body and tail postures, as well as humming sounds and an occasional spitting?

No, no. It’s not your mother-in-law!

Its tall enough to look an adult in the eye and its coat might become your coat.

Give up? It’s a llama.

I was close enough to a llama at the Wayne County fair in August to pet it. They’re not as exotic as you might think.

They have been domesticated as beasts of burden for centuries in Peru.

Their wool is popular now-a-days for its light weight and warmth. It is softer and less scratchy than sheep wool. Many people sensitive to sheep wool can wear llama and alpaca wool comfortably. The reason is because llama and alpaca wool has fewer scales than sheep wool.

Llama wool also has less lanolin on it, so it doesn’t need to be washed before carding, spinning and using.

Cynthia and Stephen Austin   have been raising llamas on their Wind and the Willows Farm since 1986.

“When we bought the farm,” Steve said. “The barn was unoccupied. We knew we wanted to raise some kind of livestock.”

He remembers the visits to the Catskill Game Farm with his grandparents.

“It was like having picture books come alive,” he said.

Cindy has similar memories of the zoo in Pittsburgh.

The only animal Steve and Cindy had when they were married in 1982, was a cat. They did some research and decided on raising llamas.

Along with an assortment of cats and dogs, they now have about twenty llamas. The llamas are gentle, trainable and make good pets.

The Austin’s two-and a half year old twins, Rigan and Brieanne, and four-year old Kaelen, are learning how to care for the llamas along with their 4-H group.

The 4-H’ers did well in the competitions at the Wayne County Fair as well as at the New York State Fair this year.

The 4-Hers adopt a llama and must do all the feeding, grooming, training and showing.

Among the many important aspects of learning how to raise and show llamas, are that they must be vaccinated and have a Health Certificate before they can enter them for competition or for sale.

The Austin’s will be hosting an open house for invited friends and associates who are interested in learning about llamas and llama raising at Wind and the Willows Farm in late October. There will be displays; grooming and spinning demonstrations; a vet from Cornell to answer your questions; tours of the barns; and a demonstration on llama housing choices. Other llama breeders from Buffalo, and Pennsylvania will also be available to answer questions.

For further information, call (315)331-4011 or the New York Llama and Alpaca Association, (518)622-8747; Lenore Whitcomb, President.


October 5, 2017 Up-Date: The number in the above article listed for the Austin’s is no longer valid and google resulted in zip results, so, I have no up-date for Wind And The Willows llama farm.


28 Sep 2017, 5:30am

Comments Off on The Walworthians: Granger, Harold and Nancy

The Walworthians: Granger, Harold and Nancy

The Walworthians: Granger, Nancy and Harold


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

by Kate Chamberlin



Harold and Nancy Granger

September 28, 1995


Harold and Nancy Granger are two of the people in our neighborhood. Alaska has always intrigued Harold. About seven years ago when a couple from their Square Dancing Group recommended Camp Denali, they took a vacation to Alaska. The Wilderness Camp for Adults in Denali National Park was the high point of their trip. They went again the next summer for a month.

The owners of the camp invited them to become staff members for the following summer. They accepted!

Harold did much of the carpentry work to open a second lodge for guests and continues to help keep things inhabitable. Nancy helps out with the laundry, serving and everything else to make a guest’s stay enjoyable.

The main lodge is more like a motel, but the newer lodge is made up of several cabins. It has a main shower room and an out-house. It is closer to nature.

“The country is just incredible,” Nancy said as her voice trailed off into memorable thoughts.

She mentioned that they’d met a bear or two on the trail. “They went their way and we went our way,” she said as if meeting a bear was an everyday occurrence!

“It’s the people,” Harold said. “The owners and the guests are just the greatest.”

Nancy Scott was born in Union Hill and brought up on her parent’s farm in Walworth. After they sold the farm. Her parents lived on High Street (just around the corner from Bill Youngman’s family) Nancy’s Aunt Pearl Scott still lives there.

Harold and Nancy attended Walworth Academy, in what she called “East Walworth”.

When I asked her where East Walworth was, she said, “Well, it’s called Walworth now, but it used to be Lincoln, West Walworth and East Walworth.”

We agreed that it was getting even more complicated with Blue Heron Hills and Gananda as part of Walworth–or are they part of West Walworth?

The Grangers were married in 1950 and lived in Ontario for 25 years. She enjoyed being home with their five children, but when the youngest was in Kindergarten she became the bookkeeper for Paul Schreiber. It was a full-time job that lasted 25 years. Actually, she still goes in to help out from time to time.

In 1983, they moved into the home they built on a portion of Harold’s parent’s farm in West Walworth.

When I talked with Nancy, she was baby-sitting one of their nine grand-children. She spoke proudly of their son, Alan, who is the Swim Instructor at the Ontario Golf Club.

Harold was born in West Walworth and maintains that he is a permanent resident of West Walworth, He just had a temporary stay (of 25 years) in Ontario!

“When I was growing up,” he said, “West Walworth was sort of considered the wrong side of town, probably because it had a bar in the center of it. The elite lived on the east side of Walworth and then there were the rest of us…”

The bar he mentioned became a grocery store and now houses several apartments.

After High School at the Walworth Academy, Harold attended Illinois School of Technology and then graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology. He was employed by Kodak for 36 years.

Traveling and photography are two of his hobbies. He as taken slides of their many trips and has them organized in carrousels. Occasionally he gives slide presentations to small groups. He has several terrific shots of bears in Alaska scooping salmon out of the river. His favorite subjects to snap are his grandchildren. He then enlarges the stills to admire or give as Gifts.

Harold is saddened to see so much building going on so near the Blue Heron’s rookery.

“If I ever win the lottery,” he said emphatically, “I’d buy up all the remaining land. Several years ago, I took a walk over where the Home-a-rama is. There were over 50 Blue Heron nests with fledglings in them. Where are they now?”

He hopes some of them will nest in the swampy area he owns behind his home.

Thank you for caring, Nancy and Harold. You are Walworthians, er, West Walworthians with the accent on Worth.


September 28, 2017 Up-Date: Harold and Nancy now live in a Webster graduated care village and are dealing with age related issues.