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.


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