11 Apr 2019, 7:13am

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The Walworthians: Library Banned Books

The Walworthians


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

by Kate Chamberlin


Banned Books

October 23, 1996

My curiosity was piqued by the display of banned and challenged books in the Walworth-Seely Library. Several were even on tape cassettes, so, I checked them out.

The first one I read was a children’s novel titled Julie Of the Wolves by Jean George.

It told of the tragic death of a young girl’s mother, the separation from her father due to modern laws about attending school, the arranged marriage, her running away, her befriending the wolf pack, the sport killing of the leader from hunters in an airplane and the reunion with her father.

As the tape ended, I tried to think of why the book would have been banned: The pre-arranged marriage? Inaccurate descriptions of Eskimo customs? Slaughter from the airplane? A girl living with wolves?

I finally called my friendly librarian and asked if she knew why Julie of the Wolves had been banned.

There was a weak description of the retarded, 14-year old husband attempting to mate with his 13-year old wife.

The list the librarian sent me put it this way: “George, Jean Craighead. Julie of the Wolves Harper. Challenged in the classrooms and school libraries in Palmdale, Calif-. (I 995) because the book de-scribes an attempted rape. Source: Mar. 1996, p. 45.”

One of the other tapes I listened to was Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. I didn’t have much trouble understanding why it would be banned for use in a high school. The students don’t or shouldn’t have the experiences to fully appreciate the ribald humor and lusty escapades of the pilgrims as they share their tales enroute to Canterbury.

Canterbury Tales are just not age appropriate for high schoolers.

“Chaucer, Geoffrey. Canterbury Tales. Bantam; Bobbs-Merrill; Doubleday; Penguin; Raintree Pubs.; NAL; Univ. of Okla. Pr. Removed from a senior college prepara­tory literature course at the Eureka, 111. High School (I 995) because some parents thought the sexual content of some of the tales was not appropriate for the students. Source: Nov. 1995, P. 185; Jan. 1996, P. 14.”

I was surprised to find James and The Giant Peach on the list of banned and challenged books.

Wayne Central had that title on its required reading summer list. Our daughter had been reading it before she ran away from home and subsequently away from boarding school.

“James and the Giant Peach. ABC-Clio; Knopf. Challenged at the SEafford County, Va. Schools (1995) because the tale contains crude language and encourages children to disobey their parents and other adults. The book was removed from the classrooms and placed in the library, where access is restricted. Source: Sept. 1995, P. 160.”

Maybe banning books isn’t such a bad idea after all.

2019 Up-Date: Have you ever checked the list of banned books?  I suspect the criteria has changed in the last 20 years.


3 Apr 2019, 6:55am

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The Walworthians: Wendy Cunningham

The Walworthians


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

by Kate Chamberlin

Wendy Cunningham

April 17, 1996

Wendy Cunningham is one of the people in our neighborhood. She is the Children’s Programming Specialist at the Walworth-Seely Public Library. Actually, we call her the Children’s Librarian!

“I’ve always been interested in library work,” Wendy said. “I was a Girl Scout for 10 years and my very first badge was the Library one.”

During her Senior year in High School, she did volunteer work in the school library. She also volunteered in the public library. During her college years, she had a paid position in the Roberts Weslyan College library.

Wendy’s degree is in Social Work, but the lure of the library won her heart.

Future and I first met Wendy when she was a volunteer in the Macedon Library. She was surrounded by what seemed to be a thousand preschoolers!

In the fall of 1995, Wendy was hired as our Children’s Librarian. It is a part-time position.

She might be at the library for part-time, but her mind is always thinking of interesting things for the children and the Book Jammers Club to do.

Wendy lives with her husband, Robert, two daughters and two cats.

Her daughters Beth, a 7th Grader, and Amanda, a 3rd Grader, attend the Gananda Central School System.

“My husband is currently ‘economically challenged’, but we hope that will change soon.” she said referring to his recent unemployment.

Robert’s expertise is as a Nursing Home administrator. Jobs at his level are hard to come by, but he has several irons in the fire. They are hopeful that something will come to fruition. (see KUDOS for an up-date on this situation.)

“One of my dreams for the Children’s Library Program is about to become a reality,” Wendy said. “We’re starting a Lap-sitting Story Time.”

It is for young children and a parent. Each session will run one day a week for 10 weeks. Registration can be done at the library.

“Another dream is to bring the Kindergarten, First and Second Graders back into the public library with an after-school story time,” she continued. “There seems to be a lot for the preschoolers, but once they enter the school, we don’t see them until 5th or 6th grade when they start research reports.”

Wendy explained that the Public Library has a different emphasis on their library collection than the schools.

She’d like to see the primary children using the public library all the time, year around.

Wendy has a good start on making that dream a reality, too.

Good Luck, Wendy, and thank you. You are a Walworthian with the accent on worth.

2019 Up-Date: I wasn’t able to locate Wendy for an up-date. Have you seen her lately?

20 Mar 2019, 1:28pm

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The Walworthians: Walworth-Seely Library

The Walworthians


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

by Kate Chamberlin




Walworth-Seely Public Library

March 30, 1995

Walworth-Seely Public Library; 3600 Lorraine Drive, Walworth, New York 14568; Telephone: (315)986-1511; FAX: (315)986-5917.

*January 27, 1960: the Walworth Reading Room opened with an all volunteer staff. The first librarian was MaryJane Bowdy.

*October 5, 1961: the Walworth Town Board passed a resolution establishing the Walworth-Seely Library to be managed by an appointed board of 5 trustees.

The first trustees of the library were: Lorraine B. Finley (1961-72), Doris D. Gardner (1961-64), Ethel Henning (1961-79), Esther Wesenberg, and Jay Taber.

*February 23, 1962: the New York State Board of Regents issued a provisional Charter  detailing specifications  of its operation

*March 16, 1962: the library contracted with the Wayne County Library System for exclusive service.

*August 19, 1962: the library officially opened its doors to the public.

*January 29, 1969: NYS Board of Regents issued an Absolute Charter.

*March 5, 1969: the building was sold by the Walworth Chamber of Commerce to the library for $3000. The addition was made in 1970 increasing the square footage to 1490 sq. feet.

*December 6, 1989:  the library endorse the system plan of service of the Pioneer Library System. The Geneva Free Library is the central point of the system.

*November, 1992: the library moved to the newly built Town Hall Complex. The area was increased to 3200 sq feet of space.

Here are some interesting facts about our library the happened during 1994:

*42,600 items were checked out in 1994. This represents a 55% increase during the previous 5 years.

*The Busiest day was June 7, 386 items were checked out.

*The Slowest day was January 4th when only 23 items were checked out and then they closed because of a bad snow storm.

*As of December 31, 1994, there were 3,139 registered borrowers.

16,541 items of which 1,770 are books, 105 magazine titles, as well as a multi-media computer featuring the Encarta Encyclopedia and color printer. There is also an Ellison letter maker for patron use.

*The card catalogue was replaced in 1994 with a computer keyboard system that uses a light wand to scan information into its files.

*Book Jammers is a library club especially for children in grades 4 and up. They share reading interests, help with children’s story hours, explore the many multi-media facts of the library and assist in library duties such as gluing on labels and due date stickers.

*One evening a week, COMMUNITY PARTNERS: The Homework Place meets in the library. A homework coach is available to assist students with research projects or homework.

*The Current Trustees are George Schaller, Elaine Leasure, Tom Ormsby, Loren Rachow and John Cojan.

*Mary Perry is our energetic Head Librarian.

*Our friendly, experienced Staff:  Candace Komorowski/ Clerk, Lorel Madden/clerk, Alice Reynolds/Sr. Clerk, Susan Hermann/clerk and *Children’s Librarian, Anthony Volpe/Page.

On the personal side, I was writing a ladybug story and needed some information. I phoned the library and they not only looked up the correct spelling of the Latin name for ladybugs but counted spots so I’d have the correct name and bug!

*The new Library hours are: Mondays and Wednesdays AM – 8PM, Tuesdays 10AM – 6PM, Thursdays and Fridays 1PM – 6PM, Saturdays 10AM – 1PM.

2019 Up-Date: The library has a strong presence with lots of information. Walworth – Seely Public Library Board of Trustees

Jessica Vance    President

Drew Britt    Secretary

Carol Dame   Financial Officer

David Teetsel   Vice-President

Vacant   Trustee Position



16 Mar 2019, 5:48pm

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The Walworthians: Normandy and Indigo

The Walworthians


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

by Kate Chamberlin


Normandy and Indigo

December 08, 2004

It took a bit of nagging, er, ah, I mean, encouragement, but my husband has finished the patio extension and we can invite friends and family over for picnic suppers all summer long. It’s like a lovely, little courtyard…what’s that you say? Summer is over? It’s winter already?

Where did the time go? But, that would explain why we have put up our Christmas lights, the reverse painting on glass angel picture and have the dancing Santa on the credenza, not to mention all the Christmas carols on the radio! I wonder what’s new on the Keymel’s Christmas tree farm?

Normandy and Indigo are two baby Alpacas that were born on the Keymel’s Christmas Tree Farm this year. They, with two grown female Alpacas, are just four of the reasons Jessie and Roger are busier than ever in their “retirement”.

“When we got the two adult, females,” Jessies said. “They’d been shorn and were pregnant. Normandy was so named because he was born on D-Day. Indigo was born at the time of the Blue Moon at the end of July.”

In October, several of the alpaca farms in our area, hold open houses, so Cornucopia will learn more about the things that can be done with the colorful alpaca fibers in the fall.

Roger and Jessie have kept in touch with their relatives from Scotland and enjoyed entertaining them this fall by touring the Finger Lakes area.

Their annual newsletter announces: “The trees are trimmed, the tractors are ready to be gassed up and all the supplies have been ordered. The wet weather this year made the weeds hard to deal with but did not adversely affect the trees. We have a large selection of Fraser, and Douglas Firs.”

As usual, they can drill your tree for your special holder, but they also shake and wrap them for easier handling. Greens are available to customers who like to make their own wreaths and decorations. If you want to order a wreath or kissing ball, it’s best to phone or e-mail your order ahead of time.

If the weather is good on weekends, Whisper, a sweetheart of a pony, will be there for the little ones to ride. The main feature and fun, though, is riding the hay-wagon up the hill, back into the trees to choose your own perfect Christmas tree.

2019 Up-Date: The Christmas tree farm is growing well, as is the alpaca ranch. As you drive by, though, you’ll notice that there are a lot more alpacas. If another rancher needs a vacation or goes on an extended business trip, their alpacas come to visit the Keymels.


1 Mar 2019, 5:34am

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The Walworthians: Pam Bavis

The Walworthians


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

by Kate Chamberlin

Pamela Lee (Teeter) Bavis

b.May 10, 1947 –d. September 10, 2004

September 15, 2004

Our friend and neighbor Pam Bavis went home to Our Lord on Friday, September 10th at 12:02 PM. At the Pines of Peace, a comfort care facility for the terminally ill located at 2378 Ridge Road in Ontario.

Pam and Gene Bavis have touched many lives through their contributions to the Second Baptist Church of Walworth, Finger Lakes Council Boy Scouts of America, the Walworth Historical Society, and the Finger Lakes Trail Conference, to name a few organizations.

It is bitter sweet to know that Pam died on their 38th wedding anniversary. Gene now wears the ring he gave Pam, on his little finger next to the ring she gave him those 38 years ago.

“It is hard to watch such a vibrant and loving person as Pam going through this ordeal,” Gene wrote in one of his up-dates. “She has been brave and is now with  the Lord.”

A Memorial Service to Celebrate her life will be on Sunday, September 19 at 3:00 PM in the Second Baptist Church, Walworth followed by a reception. The family asks that folks donate to a charity enlieu of flowers.

2019Up-Date: Gene is re-married and they are both very active, especially on election days in Walworth.

4 Feb 2019, 5:27pm

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The Walworthians: Harold Floyd Granger

The Walworthians


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

by Kate Chamberlin

Harold F. Granger

2019 Up-Date:

Harold Floyd Granger

West Walworth:  Harold passed away on January 24, 2019 at age 88.  He was born in Walworth, NY to Floyd and Eunice Granger.  He was also predeceased by his sister, Patricia Wahl.  Harold is survived by his wife of 68 years, Nancy Granger; children, Alan (Nancy) Granger, Shelly (Curt) Kenyon, Laurie Finn, Melanie (Jim) Frauel and Cindy (Jeff) Casper; 14 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.

Harold proudly served his country in the United States Navy.  After working  36 years for Eastman Kodak, Harold retired and he and his wife, Nancy worked for Camp Denali in Alaska for 8 summers.  They enjoyed their time in Alaska and made many friends from all over the world.  Harold enjoyed photography and being with his family.  He was a lifelong member of West Walworth Zion Methodist Church. 

A celebration of Harold’s life will be offered on Saturday (January 26), 11 AM at West Walworth Zion United Methodist Church, 3960 W. Walworth Rd., Macedon, NY 14502.  Interment in Walworth Cemetery in the Spring.  In lieu of flowers, contribution in Harold’s memory may be directed to the church.



By Kate Chamberlin

Copyright © 1995 Wayne County STAR Newspaper

Harold and Nancy Granger are two of the people in our neighborhood.  Alaska has always intrigued Harold.  About seven years ago when a couple from their Square Dancing Group recommended Camp Denali, they took a vacation to Alaska.  The Wilderness Camp for Adults in Denali National Park was the high point of their trip.  They went again the next summer for a month.  The owners of the camp invited them to become staff members for the following summer.  They accepted!

Harold did much of the carpentry work to open a second lodge for guests and continues to help keep things inhabitable.  Nancy helps out with the laundry, serving and everything else to make a guest’s stay enjoyable.

The main lodge is more like a motel, but the newer lodge is made up of several cabins.  It has a main shower room and an out-house.  It is closer to nature.

“The country is just incredible,”  Nancy said as her voice trailed off into memorable thoughts.

She mentioned that they’d met a bear or two on the trail.  “They went their way and we went our way,” she said as if meeting a bear was an everyday occurrence!

“It’s the people,” Harold said.  “The owners and the guests are just the greatest.”

Nancy Scott was born in Union Hill and brought up on her parents farm in Walworth.  After they sold the farm.  Her parents lived on High  Street (just around the corner from Bill Youngman’s family) Nancy’s Aunt Pearl Scott still lives there.

Harold and Nancy attended Walworth Academy, in what she called “East Walworth”.

When I asked her where East Walworth was, she said, “Well, it’s called Walworth now, but it used to be Lincoln, West Walworth and East Walworth.”

We agreed that it was getting even more complicated with Blue Heron Hills and Gananda  as part of Walworth–or are they part  of West Walworth?

The Grangers were married in 1950 and lived in Ontario for 25 years.

She enjoyed being home with their five children, but when the youngest was in Kindergarten she became the bookkeeper for Paul Schreiber.  It was a full-time job

that lasted 25 years.  Actually, she still goes in to help out from time to time.

In 1983, they moved into the home they built on a portion of Harold’s parent’s farm in West Walworth.

When I talked with Nancy, she was baby-sitting one of their nine grand-children.  She spoke proudly of their son, Alan, who is the Swim Instructor at the Ontario Golf Club.

Harold was born in West Walworth and maintains that he is a permanent resident of West Walworth, He just had a temporary stay (of 25 years) in Ontario!

“When I was growing up,” he said, “West Walworth was sort of considered the wrong side of town, probably because it had a bar in the center of it.  The elite lived on the east side of Walworth and then there were the rest of us…”

The bar he mentioned became a grocery store and now houses several apartments.

After High School at the Walworth Academy, Harold attended Illinois School of Technology and then graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology.  He was employed by Kodak for 36 years.

Traveling and photography are two of his hobbies.  He as taken slides of their many trips and has them organized in carrousels.  Occasionally he gives slide presentations to small groups.  He has several terrific shots of bears in Alaska scooping salmon out of the river.  His favorite subjects to snap are his grandchildren.  He then enlarges the stills to admire or give as Gifts..

Harold is saddened to see so much building going on so near the Blue Heron’s rookery.

“If I ever win the lottery,”  he said emphatically, “I’d buy up all the remaining land.  Several years ago, I took a walk over where the Home-a-rama is.  There were over 50 Blue Heron nests with fledglings in them.  Where are they now?”

He hopes some of them will nest in the swampy area he owns behind his home.

Thank you for caring, Nancy and Harold.  You are Walworthians, er, West Walworthians with the accent on Worth.


March 02, 2006 Wayne County MAIL Newspaper

Zion United Methodist Church of W. Walworth

Part I: Fay Willis, Church Historian



This year, the congregation of Zion United Methodist Church of

  1. Walworth is celebrating 150‑years of worship and serving in

and around the hamlet of West Walworth.

In 1953, Rev. Scheib started to collect all the little pieces

of paper with church history on them dating back to 1904 and

transcribe the information into a book for future generations.

Even at that, there were few official documents to preserve and

record the path from an Evangelical Church (1856), United

Brethren (1946, to the Methodist Conference (United Methodist

Church in 1968; yoked with United Methodist Church of Walworth

and Pastor Anne O’Connor in 1969; and as the Zion United

Methodist Church with Pastor Todd Goddard in 2003.)  The main

archival book has records of births, marriages, and deaths and

for many years, was faithfully kept up by Edna( Mildhan)Jacobs. a

teacher in the Newark School system.

Fay Willis is the current Church Historian.  She is well

qualified for this position, as she has been a member of the

congregation for more than half of its existence.  Willis was

born in W. Walworth while her family was living in the apartment

above the Dry Goods Store, across from the Grocery Store and was

Baptized in this church when she was about four‑years old.

Willis remembers roller skating with her friends down the

middle of Main Street.  It was paved, but, there were few cars

traveling on it during those days. Her mother was the Custodian

of the church, so Willis spent Saturdays cleaning and dusting and

other jobs that fell on the Custodians shoulders.

“It was like my second home,” Willis remarked.  “The first

Pastor I remember is Rev. Charles Hess, but the most memorable is


Norman Pusey.  I probably say that because he was our Pastor

while I was a teenager.  He was just a wonderful, Christian man

and we all loved his wife, too.  Eventually, though, they headed


“After James and I were married, we went north on our

honeymoon trip.  We stopped in to see Rev. Pusey and our car

broke down.  We ended up staying several days!”

Although, James and Fay moved to the Penfield area, they

brought their growing family to church at Zion, so they could

stay in touch with their cousins.  James and Fay currently have

four grown children; Dan, Judith, Mike and Peter;

plus 11 grand‑children; and 2 great‑grandchildren.

One of the biggest changes to the church building occurred

in 1956, when a large addition was built on the backside.  The

new kitchen, two bathrooms, nursery, office  and various

classrooms are always in use.

The women’s group of Zion Methodist is very active in

supporting the Bible Society, Walworth Food Pantry, the Clothing

Closet, Pines of Peace, Vacation Bible School, the Walworth Area

Council of Churches, (to name a few) and the missionary efforts

of the Satres.  Mrs. Satre is the daughter of a Zion member,

Victor Smith.  Although the Satres are currently home in Texas on

a year’s leave, they have been living in Uganda and have been

translating our English Bible into the Ugandan language.

Each Memorial Day, since 1947, Zion Methodist teams up with

the Baptist Church of W. Walworth and Pastor Gwen Bassage for a

especially moving service honoring the veteran’s.  Following the

joint service, the youth place red geraniums on veteran’s graves

in the cemetery across the street from the church while a student

plays taps on his trumpet.  A white geranium is placed on the

grave of Rev. John Rosenthal, a former Zion Pastor, who is buried


“The really big church project we all work very hard on,

is our annual turkey dinner,” Willis said.  “We started the

turkey dinners about 15‑years ago.  Everyone, young and old pitch

  1. It’s a lot of hard work, but it is also a lot of fun on the

first Saturday in November.  Last year, we served over 600


Proceeds from the turkey dinner go toward the church’s

numerous projects in our community and around the world.

“I’d like to see more youth involved in the life of the

church,” Willis stated.  “There are so many activities and things

that pull our young people away from church on Sunday mornings.

They don’t come because of football practice or swim lessons.

Church just isn’t their second home, the way it was for me.”

Along with their now famous annual turkey dinner and Quilt

Mission activities, Zion Methodist has several special events

planned to commemorate their 150‑anniversary, such as a picnic,

pot‑luck suppers with various invited guests of honor, and a

super special gala dinner in the fall with as many former Zion

pastors and congregation members as they can find.

For starters, Harold Granger was instrumental in procuring a

huge banner that will adorn the bell tower this year.  It’s

bright red letters on a white background, invite you to “Come


celebrate every Sunday.”


31 Jan 2019, 6:43am

Comments Off on The Walworthians: Businesses in Western Wayne County

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




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

Comments Off on The Walworthians: So Cute, Sew Cute Doll Club

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.



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