26 Apr 2018, 5:03am

Comments Off on The Walworthians: Gary C. Borkhuis

The Walworthians: Gary C. Borkhuis

The Walworthians


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

by Kate Chamberlin

Gary C. Borkhuis

November 08, 1997.

Gary C. Borkhuis is one of the people in our neighborhood. He is a dedicated family man, entrepreneur and very active in our local community.

In 1967, Gary and his wife, Connie, were living in a rented home on Bills Road. They bought 5-1/2 acres from her uncle, George Frey and began to build the home they still live in today.

“I’ve always been an avid do-it-yourselfer,” Gary said. “I get it from my dad, I think, because, when I was thirteen, he built our home. It planted the seed for me to build my own home.”

Gary spoke about how he and Connie had an active hand in every inch of building their home, from pouring foundations to shingling the roof, to installing solar panels.

In 1969, they moved into their new home with their infant son, Michael. As they continued to work on finishing their home, they also added to their family: Rhonda, Michelle and David.

Gary, whose birthday is December 12th,  was graduated from Penfield High School in 1959 with a Regents Diploma. His special areas of interest were math, science and Industrial Arts. He joined the work force at Kodak through the Apprenticeship Program.   He took several engineering courses during his tenure at Kodak and accepted early retirement in 1991.

Well, he didn’t actually retire, he just retreaded. He took courses at FLCC in Horticulture and began a Tree Planting Business.

It seemed to me to be a big jump from tree planting to the car wash business, so, I asked Gary how he got interested in car washing.

“When I was a legislative assistant to Bob Oaks in 1993 and 1994,” he said, “I had to drive to Lyons several days a week. I’d pass a little car wash on the east side of Newark. I’m mechanically inclined and I wondered how it worked.”

Gary researched various car wash businesses and liked what he’d learned. It was a self-serve cash business where the customer provides his own labor and on-site inventory is low.

As he was planning his own car wash, he consulted with architects to design a building that would be both functional and efficient. He invested in quality equipment to maximize water efficiency. The reverse osmosis filter system assures each customer a quality, spot-free rinse.

He also collaborated with Barbara Cotnam of Creative Landscape Designs, because he felt an obligation to do a quality job of landscaping his business site to meld with the up-scale neighborhood.

Now that he has his own car wash in the Gananda section of Walworth, he’s finding out that owning a business that is open 24-hours a day is a lot like owning a dairy herd!

“We have to check on the building, supplies and machines several times a day!”  He lamented. “We will have to hire someone to take care of the car wash whenever we go to visit one of our grown-up children.”

Gary feels that the Gananda area has, of course, made the biggest change in the town make-up since he’s been living here, and yet, Walworth has the feel of the old Penfield area he grew up in years ago.

“I’d like to see more business development brought into Walworth,” he said. “I’d like to have the area from West Walworth to Canandaigua Road, zoned a commercial/industrial corridor. We need to have a bank, grocery store, a restaurant and a drug store to revitalize the hamlet. Maybe even a Senior Citizen’s Complex.”

Oh, Dear Gussie, spoken like a real politician! Actually, Gary has given a lot of thought about what he’d like to facilitate in our town and how to do it. He is running for Walworth Town Supervisor.

Hm-m-m-m, I could advise him about blending an up-scale Senior Living Center with a quality Child Day-Care Center!

Well, whatever the election out-come is, Gary, thank you for being a Walworthian with the accent on worth.

2018 Up-Date: Obituary: Borkhuis, Gary C.

West Walworth: Tuesday, April 30, age 71, peacefully at home surrounded by his family after a hard fought battle with cancer. Predeceased by his parents, Claude and Helen Borkhuis and his sister, Sharon Wink. Survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Connie Frey Borkhuis; 4 children, Michael Borkhuis, Rhonda Borkhuis, Michelle (Brian Whitcomb) Borkhuis, David (Gianna) Borkhuis; 7 grandchildren, Jonah, Liam and Sam Whitcomb, Catalina, Marianna and Calvin Borkhuis and Macarana Dias; brothers, Ronald (Donna Lowry) and Dale Borkhuis; several nieces and nephews.

Gary retired from Eastman Kodak Co. He served on the Walworth Town Board and owned and operated Quality Tree Planters, Fairway Car Wash and Evergreen Hills Self Storage. He was a long time member of the Pultneyville Mariners Sailing Club.

Friends may call 12-3PM Saturday, May 11th at Willard H. Scott Funeral Home, 12 South Ave., Webster with services to be held immediately following. A celebration of Gary’s life will continue at West Walworth Fire Hall, 3870 West Walworth Rd., Walworth, NY 14502. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the West Walworth Fire Department or the Wilmot Cancer Center.

Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle on May 5, 2013


20 Apr 2018, 7:29am

Comments Off on The Walworthians: Jay Harding, Canal Lock #60

The Walworthians: Jay Harding, Canal Lock #60

Jay Harding, Canal Lock #60

November 01, 1997

The Walworthians


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

by Kate Chamberlin




Jay Harding, Canal Lock #60

November 01, 1997


There are 363 miles of the Erie Canal running from Buffalo to Albany. Many people gave their blood and sweat, not to mention their lives, just to construct the Macedon corridor of the old Erie Canal. Their efforts are not going to be just a note in the history books.

The Green Way Project, the Restoration of Lock 60 and the Revitalization of the Canal Trail are three efforts that will become living museums. There is a State Trail System for walking that will eventually hook Albany and Buffalo. In the Turk Hill area, a 10-mile stretch of the walking trail is now open.

Locally, Jay Harding, an Electrical Engineer with Rochester General, conducted narrative walks In Palmyra Between Maple Street and Aqueduct Park During Canaltown Days this year.

“I have Canal Fever,” Jay says. “My curiosity about a rock I used to drive by has turned into a job with no pay!

He took his children, Megan and Matthew, to see Lock 60 and now he has an insatiable hunger to know as much as he can about the structures and history connected with the canal.

For example, originally there were two change bridges in Macedon. The committee recently rescued an 1858 change bridge that a farmer had moved to Garangua Creek. The bridge was originally located in Aqueduct Park.

The change bridge allows animals to move from one side of the canal to another.

This one is the only surviving, dated, cast-iron change bridge. Most of the others were dismantled for the metal.

Other structures of interest are two modern Barge Locks, 29 and 30; an old, abandoned Power House; the spill-way into Mud Creek at Aqueduct Park; and, of course, the large section of the old Clinton’s Ditch that is located in the Macedon-Palmyra corridor.

The committee has been financing restoration and research projects through low interest loans and HUD Grants.

The new funds that were recently allocated in New York are ear-marked for the Mid-Lakes Navigation and will be supporting new marinas and services spaced a half-day’s trip from each other along the canal. The funds will not be available for the Lock 60 Restoration.

Greg Stearns, a Brighton Fireman who lives in Walworth, is one of the handful of volunteers who believe in the value of restoring Lock 60. He bought a second-hand mower to keep the grounds neat.

“I bought the mower,” he said, “because mowing is a great stress reducer. And, besides,  you can’t see the beauty of Lock 60 unless the grass is cut.”

About five years ago, Greg read an article about the work Bill Ryder was doing on Lock 60. He phoned Bill and decided to visit the site.

“The first time I walked through it,” he said, “I could almost feel what it must have been like when people were building it. It was like an on-the-job technical school. It’s important to me to preserve our heritage.”

Bill Ryder was bitten by the Canal Bug in 1986.

“Randy Conard, a Macedon Elementary teacher, asked me to teach a students’ workshop. I said I didn’t know what to do it on and she suggested the lock off Quaker Road. I’ve lived near the canal a long time, but, I had no idea there was a lock there.!”

The first time he visited Lock 60, he had to fight his way through sumac, weeds and trees that had all but taken over the entire north and south sections. Bill began reading all the books he could find on the early canal.

“Mostly it was to stay one step ahead of the kids,” Bill exclaimed, “but, then I found I really enjoyed it and kept digging deeper.

One of the facts he discovered was that around 1963 or so, Dave Tabor and the Yorker’s Club cleaned out the lock. The trees had begun to push the big stones along the walls out of place. They didn’t have enough man-power to do a thorough job, but it helped to push back the ravages of time and nature.

In 1976, Gus Marvin and John Zimmer were instrumental in getting the town to donate gravel and highway workers to donate their time to put in a gravel access road from Quaker Road.

“I’m hoping that people will realize what a valuable resource we have here. It’s a living legend,” he said. “We’re here because of what has happened in the past.”

Bill feels a personal tie to the canal. His ancestors were among the early settlers in Lyons.

“There used to be an historic marker near the old bridge they took down,” he said. “I think the marker is in the Canal Park now.”

The volunteers who work on the research, restoration and preservation of Lock 60 are of like mind: This is our heritage. With a little bit of kind care and attention now, the life of these monuments marking our progress as a people, can be preserved for another century.

If you would like to join this elite, volunteer corps, contact Jay Harding at 597-2651 or Bill Ryder at 986-4721.

20 Apr 2018, 7:23am

Comments Off on The Walworthians: Terence Wolfe

The Walworthians: Terence Wolfe

The Walworthians


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

by Kate Chamberlin



Terence M Wolfe

October 24, 1997.

October 24, 1997.

Terence M Wolfe

October 24, 1997.


Terence M Wolfe, Jr. is one of the people in our neighborhood. Well, he hasn’t exactly been living in our neighborhood for many years, but, he’s home with his parents, Terry and Gail, until January.

After graduating with the Wayne Central Class of 1986, he joined the U. S. Army. During the last 2 years of his 6-1/2 years of duty, he was stationed in Korea and specialized in Air Traffic Control.

He became immersed in Korean culture and elected to stay in Seoul after his discharge. He attended the Yonsei University to study the Korean language and culture.

“Now with my emphasis on Korean language,” he calmly said with self-confidence, “I’ve done a 180-degree turn from what I started out doing in the Army,  The Air Traffic Control experience was interesting, but, with the stress factor, the job began to wear thin.”

It is obvious when you talk with Tj, that he is found a nitch he’s comfortable in. He softly and knowledgeably spoke about studying the culture: history, language and customs of Korea.

He supported himself by teaching English as a Second Language to students and business people. As his expertise in Korean grew, he did some translating on a consultant basis. He anticipates completing a Bachelor’s Degree at a west coast university here in our country. He sees his options as remaining in academia and researching Korean language, continue teaching either Korean here in America or go back into teaching English in Korea.

Interpreting for international business or being in the diplomatic field are all possibilities along with court reporting or international trade.

For now, though, TJ is filing a petition and working his way through the red tape to bring his wife into the United States.

“Kang Eun Jin has been to the States on a tourist visa,” Tj said, “but, this time she’ll be here for longer than 90 days and we need an Immigrant Visa. We hope she’ll be here in a few months.”

One of the time honored customs of the Korean people is for a married woman to keep her family name and it is listed first. All of the legal documents and official paper work lists Tj’s wife in the traditional manner: Kang Eun Jin.

“Sometimes, when Koreans come to live here,” Tj said, “they westernize their name and it causes confusion as to which is their first or last name. For the legal aspects, we’ll use her Korean name, but, for the social aspects, we’ll be introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Wolfe. It makes the people your with more comfortable to observe the local customs.”

Tj told me that when a girl marries, she cuts her hair short and wears a wedding band to indicate her status.

I’m sure that Dr. Laura would be happy to know that there is no shacking up tolerated in Korea.

“I received a call one night from a Canadian friend,” Tj said. “His girlfriend had a friend with her and they needed a fourth. We hit it off the bat and had a 15 month whirlwind romance.”

Tj found that the Korean people, on a personal level. Are friendly, but, within the business networks, the barriers are very evident.

“The Korean students work harder and go to school a lot more than we do. Their school day might go from 7:00 AM until 10:00 PM,” Tj said. “There is a lot of emphasis on OUR language, OUR country and OUR people, rather than THE language, THE country and THE people. Friendship circles are begun very early in life and held onto throughout life. National patriotism and personal loyalty is built into the educational and social systems!”

Thank you, Tj. You are an international Walworthian we are proud to know. We extend a hug and a warm welcome to Eun Jin.

You are Walworthians with the accent on worth.


 2018 Up-Date: none

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