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

Comments Off on The Walworthians: Judy Zappia

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.

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