31 Jan 2019, 6:43am
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The Walworthians: Businesses in Western Wayne County

The Walworthians

 

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

by Kate Chamberlin

 

 

Business in Western Wayne: Introduction

April 28, 2004

 

I walked into Walworth the other day. It is surprising how quickly a town can change. Potpourri of Gifts has re-located; the building is for sale. The old Town Hall is out; the Wee People Nursery School is in. The old Laundromat is out; the Cleary Insurance is in. Brock’s Grocery Store is out; the Post Office is in. I wondered what other businesses were in and around the hamlet and made some phone calls.

“Oh, there’s no list of members in the Walworth Chamber of Commerce,” stated Marlene Hall, Treasurer of the Walworth C-of-C and operator of the Walworth Hardware Store. “There are no new, active members. It exists for insurance purposes for the older members.”

“We used to have a pamphlet with the businesses listed,” said the Walworth-Seely Librarian who answered the phone and graciously went to look. “But, there isn’t anything in the file now.”

About 12-years ago, the then active Walworth Chamber of Commerce put together a list of businesses, but is only in the reference section (and out-of-date).

“I can send you a list of businesses,” said Frank Guelli, Walworth Town Supervisor.

He did, but right away I noticed that it is rather out-of-date, not to mention it only had the name of the business and the address – no phone, no personal contact name. I think I expected the list to be more complete due to the zoning regulations and registration mandates put into effect several years ago. Perhaps it is something to do with confidentiality, but, then, why be in business if it’s a secret?

My next call was to the Wayne County Business Council. “Your best bet would be each town’s Chamber of Commerce Directory,” Rita said and explained that the Wayne County Business Council is a non-profit organization supported by members’ $70 annual dues. The Council puts out a newsletter and sponsors seminars related to doing business.

Oh, Dear Gussie. I suspect that instead of bothering anyone else, I’d better get my information the old-fashioned way: Harness up my guide dog, walk into Walworth, and talk with folks.

NOTE: If you run a small business, such as tutoring, hair salon, print shop, craft sales, Baked goods for a restaurant, etc., out of your Western Wayne home or from a store-front, give me a call. Let’s chat.

24 Jan 2019, 6:48am
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The Walworthians: Visionaries

The Walworthians

 

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

by Kate Chamberlin

 

 

Visionaries

August 21, 2003

My hand moved across the thick folds of the garment and landed on a knee. With both hands I caressed the athletic calf muscle down to a well-turned ankle onto a powerful foot ending in blunt toes.

“Yes, that’s quite a muscle,” a woman’s amazed, throaty voice exclaimed.

My hands found that the other foot was artfully poised behind the first ankle.  The garment was provocatively cascading around both legs.

Another woman’s soft, sensuous voice encouraged me to move my hand upwards.

I traced the smooth, cool, bare thigh up the side of the torso to the shoulders and back out along the arm to a very smooth, flat, round surface. A much smaller hand was also on the oval. I traced this little arm to the wings of the little cherub and his bare bottom.

“Now find the other hand, the soft voice challenged me.

My hands retraced the right arm and across the chest.  It was, however, a perky, little breast.  To my surprise, this was not a virile, young male’s athletic body, but a nubile female in love and on the verge of womanhood.

Have you guessed by now that I’m in an Art Gallery exploring the white marble statue “Love’s Mirror” carved by Nicola Cantalamessa-patotti  in 1875?

Jim Fleming of the Visionaries Club for seniors with low vision and Faith Bell of the Webster Community Center had invited Anne Hotchkiss and me to join them on a special trip into the University of Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery for a program called: The Art of Visualization for the Visually Impaired.

Our docents Diane, Mary, Heidi and Suzy escorted us to the third floor of the Cutter Union. A Museum object was set before each of us at one table and we were encouraged to feel, describe and discuss the item. It turned out that we each had an elephant, but each was very different from the other. They ranged from large to small, realistic to abstract, soft materials to hard as well as varied in details. They were all recognizable as elephants by the trunk and tusks.

Another table was set up with all sorts of scooping implements.  They ranged from the very simple wooden Dixie paddle to the intricate and tiny, souvenirs spoons commemorating numerous places to a spaghetti scoop to a dirty, well-used garden trowel.  The first challenge was to identify each, then group them into categories such as wooden or metal or plastic for other members to guess the common characteristic.

After the large group presentations, we went exploring. Susan Dodge-Peters Daiss, the Director of Education, became the docent for Anne and me. She is a petite, soft-spoken woman with lovely white hair tamed with a headband. Her exuberance and enthusiasm were echoed with each quick flip-flop of her sandals and clinking of her dangling shell earrings. She guided us up the wide marble stairs of the main section and into the ballroom. We went through the arch into the side gallery where “Love’s Mirror” is on display. She had me put on latex gloves and turned me loose like the famous five blind men when they first touched an elephant.

I was enthralled. I was in ecstasy. I was in tangible heaven.  It was awesome to feel the power and sensuousness of the statue’s beauty; the Sculptor’s strength and skill in using his chisel, and the life and love the marble emoted.

Our wonderful morning culminated at Bert’s Bistro in the Webster Community Center for lunch. Fortunately, the heavy rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the Visionaries trip to the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery. Thank you, Jim, Faith and Suzy.

2019 Up-Date: The Visionaries are still going strong. Now, under the guidance of Ed Wilconski and meet in the Webster Senior Center on the first Wednesday of each month.

17 Jan 2019, 6:40am
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The Walworthians: So Cute, Sew Cute Doll Club

The Walworthians

 

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

by Kate Chamberlin

 

 

So-Cute, Sew-Cute Doll Club

August 14, 2003

As the old school bell tolled, beckoning the visiting dignitaries to the 1863, red-brick two-room school house, they smiled at the “students” playing on the old iron swing sets in the play yard and entered to read the welcoming message on the real, slate blackboard.

The class began with a reverent prayer and sincere Pledge of Allegiance to our flag of the United States of America. Then the students sat down to begin reading about Dick and Jane. As it happens, these students are real dolls and their owners who are just antique little girls (also known as Grandmothers), like the way some things used to be!

“Using the theme of “Back to School With Dick and Jane” for our August Doll Club meeting seemed very appropriate,” said Jane Culver, a Palmyra member of the So-Cute, Sew-Cute Doll Club and Recording Secretary for the Col. Wm. Prescott Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. “Our meeting was in the Orleans Community Center which was a two-room, red brick school house for years.”

Culver has lost count of how many Shirley Temple dolls she has, but admitted to “a lot of them”. The original patent was owned by Ideal in 1930, but, other doll makers came out with imitations and called them Little Miss Movie Star dolls.

Dolls were made with cloth bodies and stuffed with sawdust. They were re-released in the 1950’s in connection with the re-releases of the Shirley Temple movies; and again in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Each time there is a release, collectors will try to get a sample for their own collection.

Culver’s Temple doll in near-mint condition Is Little Miss Colonel.  Although she is missing her hat, she has her original socks, shoes, dress and even under-wear.

Many of the Doll Club members make clothes for their dolls and will perform minor surgery on “injured” dolls. The phrase “so-cute, sew-cute” can often be heard during meetings when they show and tell about their doll’s outfits, adventures and heritage, which is how the club got its name.

Barb VanHanegen of Clifton Springs, belongs to the So-Cute, Sew-Cute Doll Club as well as the Federated E. Bloomfield Doll Club and has several doll collections. When she retired from nursing six-years ago, she became interested in finding her childhood dolls and the ones she could have had. She started attending doll shows, auctions and garage sales searching for the Saucy Walker doll she had when she was about 8- or 10-years old. Along the way she began her collection of Fashion Dolls of the 50’s. It includes, among others, Miss Revlon and Toni. The other collection she calls Play Dolls of the 2000’s includes the American Girl dolls and Gutz dolls of Baldwinsville.

When Robert Connor issued a re-make of her 1950 Betsy McCall doll, she knew she had to have it, also. She admits that she’s paid anywhere from less than a $1 at a garage sale to “about $190″ for one doll.

She enjoys finding period fabric for her dolls and making them outfits appropriate for that era.

Oh, Dear Gussie, I can just see how this August meeting of the Doll Club ended: The Dick and Jane Readers were carefully put back on the shelf, the extra refreshments were put into their hampers, the room swept and the chairs straightened. The blackboard was erased, and maybe someone even went out back to clap the erasers clean. Then each antique little girl lovingly tucked her dollie under her arm to leave the old school house with a smile on her face and warmth in her heart.

2 Jan 2019, 7:38am
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The Walworthians: Red Hat Society

The Walworthians

 

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

by Kate Chamberlin

The Red Hat Society

July 10, 2003

We walked in amid the usual hub-bub of a hotel restaurant at lunch time and found our seats.  Bob Keller leaned over and said there was another group in the restaurant. The women were notable for their purple outfits and they all had on red hats. Of course, my curiosity was piqued, so I asked Alice Marks if she’d check it out. She returned with several informational pages and a phone number for me to call.

It was the Red Rose Hats Society of Newark.  The spirit of the society forbids that they make rules, however, there are some suggestions:

*You must attend functions in full regalia — red hat, purple outfit for women 50 and over or pink hat and lusty lavender outfit for women who are younger.

“It’s actually to celebrate age,” said Grace Krueger, Queen Mother of the Red Rose Hats Society Newark Chapter. “We started as a group of women who liked to go for lunch each month. The letters of our group stand for: Really Only Some-thing Entertaining (to do by). Happy and Talented Seniors.”

They have had luncheon teas at the Quality Inn, The Corner Restaurant, the Country Club and other local eateries. They are looking forward to having lunch in the Little Tea Room in Phelps; and in the Holidome during the State Convention for the National Red Hat Society in October.

The members of the Red Rose Hats do a lot more than just have teas each month, though. They have opted to do charitable works such as donating useful “wish list” items to St. John’s Hospice House in Clifton Springs, women’s shelters, the Humane Society, and Victim’s Resource Center; making monetary donations to the Newark Public Library; and hostessing a tea at the DeMay Living Center, as well as singing Christmas carols and doing volunteer work when they see a need.

There is also a Red Hat Chapter in Marion. Their members are from all over, where the Newark group is basically Newark women. Although the Newark Red Rose Hat Society is currently closed at 25 members, you can contact Queen Mother Grace Krueger 331-4027 to be put on the lady-in-waiting list.

The Vice-Mother is Cheryl Chapman.  For information about forming your own chapter, visit the Queen Mother Board (the National Web-site) : http://www.redhatsociety.com/chapter.html.