22 Jun 2018, 5:15pm

Comments Off on Mary Abrams, Firefighter of the Year

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.

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