Reaney Days

Reaney Days

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Save the Date

Mary Ann (Miosek) Murphy wanted me to give the STJ Class of 1971 a heads up. The annual alumni banquet is scheduled for Saturday, August 6, 2016 in Little Falls  at the Travelodge and the class of 1971 will be celebrating 45 years! 

Additionally, in recent years MRML has hosted a pre-banquet gathering for the 50th year class the Friday evening before.  If the class of 1966 is interested in pursuing this for 2016,  please contact me. 

 Planning class reunions is a great way to get through the winterJ

Monday, December 28, 2015


GED will not meet tonight due to the school break.  Classes will resume on Monday, January 4 at 6:30 PM. 
Start the New Year on a positive note and stop on Monday evenings to meet with our GED tutor, Jessica, to see how you can be a part of the program.  Classes are free!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Remembering Gilbert Hough

A perfect photo as Christmas approaches.  Many of you will remember Gilbert Hough.  His aunt, Katie Hough, was the long tenured librarian here at MRML and at one time Gilbert served as her assistant.  In later years, Gilbert returned to the library under the Green Thumb program. 

He was a lovely gentleman with a sly, quiet humor.  Gilbert was a Mason and I was not above trying to get the rumored Masonic “secrets” out of him.  I never learned a thing!

One Christmas he painstakingly cut out Christmas stockings from wax paper, securely taped them, and filled them with nuts and oranges for Marta, Caroline Eckler, and myself.  They had to have weighed a couple of pounds! 

Either Marta or I would drive him home at night.  ALWAYS, when we got to the intersection of Kingsbury Avenue and Main Street, he would announce “All clear” and we would drive on.  Even to this day, I sometimes find myself, when a passenger, proclaiming “all clear”. 

Following is Gilbert’s obituary excerpted from the February 20, 1991 Courier-Standard-Enterprise.  I hope many of you have kind memories of this gentle soul.

Mr. Hough was born December 18, 1908, in St. Johnsville, the son of John E. and Evelyn L. Perkins Hough.  He attended grammar school in St. Johnsville, and in 1919, the family moved to New York City, where he graduated De-Witt-Clinton High School in 1927.  He studied commercial art in New York and was employed at the Paramount Theater in Times Square.

In 1932, he returned to St. Johnsville and began his own poultry business.  He also served as assistant librarian to his aunt, the late Katie Hough.

Mr. Hough was a veteran of WWII serving in the Army in the European Theater.  He was discharged in 1945 and returned to St. Johnsville to resume his poultry business.

During the winter of 1938 to 1941 and 1945 to 1946, he built and conducted an ice skating rink in St. Johnsville. 

For years, Gilbert also served as the treasurer of the Grace Congregational United Church of Christ. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

A 1000 Books Before Kindergarten

On behalf of the 1000 Books Foundation, the Mohawk Valley Library System and MRML, we invite you to participate in this free program which encourages parents to read 1000 books with their child before they start kindergarten. 

The concept is simple and the rewards?  PRICELESS!  Read a book (any book) with your infant, toddler, or preschooler.  Log each book you read with the goal to reach 1000 books before your child enters kindergarten.

 To help you reach this goal, MRML, as well as the other public libraries in the Mohawk Valley Library System, have 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Bags ready for you to check out, take home, read and enjoy with your child.

Each bag contains ten preselected books on a wide range of topics and interests appropriate for most 3 to 5 year olds.  If your child does not like one book, put it back and choose another!  Each library, including Margaret Reaney Memorial Library, currently has five bags, which will rotate every two months.  Coming soon?  The Baby Bag, which will have board books appropriate for babies and toddlers birth through 2. 

The bags are just a useful tool.  Feel free to count ALL the books you read with your child-library, home, doctor’s office ect-and if you read a book more than once, record it each time.  Little kids love to read and re-read certain stories. 

Keep track of the books you’ve read in a notebook, on a log sheet or by using the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten App.  You may download the app or print log sheets at

For each 100 books you and your child share, show us your app or log sheet and receive a sticker.

By reading just three stories a day, you and your child will have read over 1000 books in one year!   Think of the special moments and memories you’ll make along the way.  Enjoy the experience……read!  

Friday, October 30, 2015

Color Me Calm

Color Me Calm With Conversation, our adult coloring group, has been wonderfully received.  In fact, a colleague at a library in the North Country called me and wanted to know if it would be OK if they were to try it.  Of course, the idea is by no means original to MRML!

Lesha Dolan, owner/baker at the Bridge Street Bakery and Café, has been so welcoming to the group and I know several who attend enjoy coffee or tea and a delicious yummy along with the coloring and conversation. 

Originally, we were scheduled to meet three times as a kind of “testing of the waters”.  Well, the waters have been tested and I am pleased to report that we will come together one more time on Tuesday, November 10.  After that, with the busyness of Thanksgiving and Christmas looming, we’ll take a break until January. 

Why coloring you ask?  My reply is, why not?  Obviously, none of our work is ever going to find its way to the Louvre; we are, after all, simply staying in the lines.

However, during the hour and a half we are together there are parents who get a tiny break from their children, while others with pressing personal burdens can gather their thoughts and simply breathe, and those who may live alone enjoy the companionship of a group.  When you add in the fact that coloring is so darn colorful and can bring lightness and brightness to your life, not to mention it is just plain fun, what is not to like?

At the end of the day, beyond the pencils and pens, markers and crayons what we are creating is community and that, in my opinion, is as priceless as any Monet or Picasso. 

Check your calendars.  Maybe you can join us on Tuesday, November 10, 6:30 PM, at Bridge Street Bakery and Café.
Foxy; a Work in Progress.........





Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Bates-Engelhardt Mansion

Members of the St. Johnsville village board, along with village historian Mathew Rapacz, recently unveiled an historic marker in front of the Community House. Funding for the traditional blue and gold sign was successfully secured from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation by former historian Anita Smith.  Long known for her enthusiastic and committed support to her community and the Mohawk Valley, Smith passed away in late spring before the marker could be dedicated. 

Built in 1869 in the Italianate style from local bricks, the building was first home to cheese merchant James Bates.  After Bates fell on hard financial times, the house was sold at a sheriff’s sale to William Peck and eventually to Frederick Engelhardt. 

By the late 1920’s, with the Engelhardt fortune almost gone,  the First National Bank foreclosed on the property and it was purchased and presented to the village by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Reaney.  The Reaney’s specified it was to be used for public and municipal purposes.  The building was formally dedicated as the Community House in 1935. 

The original solarium was enlarged to create an auditorium/dining room that can be used for community events.   In 1962, the village offices were relocated to the building.  The St. Johnsville Police Department and village court are also located within the building. 

The Community House has retained its private home grandeur as is evident by the sweeping front porch, elegant woodwork and three Austrian crystal chandeliers.  

Photos: The Community House, Washington Street, St. Johnsville 

L-R: Mayor Bernard Barnes, Village Trustee Martin Callahan, Village     Historian Mathew Rapacz and Village Trustee Gene Colorito


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Engelhardts and Their Pianos

 On Friday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Community House, the museum committee of Margaret Reaney Memorial Library will present THE ENGELHARDTS AND THEIR PIANOS.
Frederick Engelhardt arrived in the United States from Germany at the age of ten.  With a penchant for woodworking and carving he apprenticed as a cabinet maker eventually becoming a skilled piano artisan.  At one time he worked for Alfred Dolge of Dolgeville.  In the late 1870s Engelhardt relocated to New York working in the Strauch piano action plant where he remained until going to work for the renowned Steinway and Sons.  
Not content with that, Engelhardt had a vision of going into business for himself.  That was realized when he, along with AP Roth, went into business together in New York, relocating to St. Johnsville when their New York business was completely gutted by fire.  AP Roth retired in 1908 with Frederick Engelhardt buying out his interest and renaming the company F. Engelhardt and Sons. 
The program will include a power point presentation, display of Engelhardt items from the museum's collection, question and answer session, and a little music. Anyone who has a photo or item related to the Engelhardts is urged to bring it to share. 
The St. Johnsville Community House is located on Washington Street; please use the ramp entrance off the parking lot.  


Anyone desiring further information is invited to call the Reaney Library at 518-568-7822. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Color Me Calm With Conversation

Thank you to everyone who came out last night to inaugurate a new Reaney Library program; Color Me Calm With Conversation. 23 people, old friends and new ones meeting for the first time, gathered at Bridge Street Bakery and Cafe for a relaxing, colorful, conversation filled evening.
Lesha Dolan, thank you, dear girl, for making your space available and being a generous and warm hostess!
The group will meet again Tuesday, October 13 at 6:30 PM.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Calling All Needlers!

Nifty Needles will convene at Margaret Reaney Memorial Library, St. Johnsville, on Friday, September 18.  The group, which is open to anyone who enjoys handicrafts, will meet at 10 AM.  Thereafter, Nifty Needles will continue to meet the first and third Friday of each month. 

            Anyone wishing further information is invited to contact Dawn Lamphere at 518-568-7822.


Monday, August 31, 2015

People Who Write

One of our groups we are so proud to sponsor is the Reaney Writers.  Facilitated by Ali MacDonald the group gathers the third Saturday of each month at the American Legion.  Most recently they enjoyed a lovely summer picnic on the library grounds.

It never ceases to amaze me how complete and total strangers can come together and form a deep bond of friendship while sharing the love of a common goal; in this case writing. 
If you enjoy the craft of writing and would like more information about our group please contact me at the library; 518-568-7822.

Front Row Left to Right
Bev Parslow, Phil Hanley, Joan Crabill and Mary Stolarcyk
Back Row Left to Right
Sally-Jean Taylor, Jacquelin Devlin, Rebecca Sokol, Brigitte Wagner
Sharon LaPrade, Ali MacDonald and Donna Veeder

Monday, August 24, 2015

Tragedy on the Canal

One of the many interesting pieces in our collections is a Carnegie Medal of Honor awarded to William R. Howe in 1911. 

Howe was a lock tender at Lock 35 in Indian Castle when one July day three young men canoed up the Erie Canal.  A hundred feet from the lock the canoe capsized and the three boys fell in to 8 feet of water.

While two of the young men managed to make it to shore, George Myers, age 8, did not.  With his friends screaming for help, Myers struggled to keep his head above water. 

Hearing their cries, William Howe unhesitatingly dove into the water.  Sadly, the panic stricken boy clung too tightly to Howe’s neck sending them both to their death. 

The Carnegie Medal of Honor was presented to Howe’s widow, Leona and their five children.  Howe, 32 years old at the time of his drowning, is buried in Youker’s Bush Cemetery.    

The medal is inscribed “William R. Howe who died attempting to save J. George Myers from drowing. St. Johnsville, NY July 28, 1911.”  The medal, as well as Howe’s tombstone also reads “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” 

A very sad story of two lives cut short far too early. 

The Carnegie Medal of Honor was donated to the library by Howe’s granddaughter Joyce Varano of Herkimer.

                                                 remnants of Lock 35 at Indian Castle

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Mohawk Condensed Milk Company

In the mid-1980’s we received a call from John D. Hamilton, president, of the Gebbie Foundation in Jamestown, New York.   The foundation was preparing to mark its 25th anniversary and Mr. Hamilton was looking for background information on the Gebbie Family.  Knowing that Frank Gebbie was once the owner of St. Johnsville’s Mohawk Condensed Milk Company, Mr. Hamilton called the library. 

Following several weeks of extensive research on the part of Marta Zimmerman, assistant director, aided by Carolyn Eckler, we were able to provide a great deal of information.  When all was said and done the Gebbie Foundation wished to express their appreciation to the library with a one-time gift. Their primary area of charitable giving was, and remains, in western New York.   

At the time, VHS tapes were just starting to become popular in public libraries as materials to be loaned.  Marta and I, in conjunction with the library board, put together a proposal that included the purchase of dozens of VHS tapes, a large screen TV, 2 VHS players and a video camera.  In addition, as a nod to the historic connection of the Mohawk Condensed Milk Company, we also proposed new furniture for the local history room. 

Mr. Hamilton and the foundation were in support of the project and gifted us with $25,000 to underwrite the cost.  Near the end of 1986, the Reaney Library was the first public library within the Mohawk Valley Library System to offer this service.  MVLS serves all of the public libraries in Fulton, Montgomery, Schenectady and Schoharie Counties.  Needless to say, it was a huge hit with our patrons and we remain very proud that we paved the way for our colleagues.  

The following is taken from the Gebbie Foundation’s 25th Anniversary Annual Report: 

The Gebbie Foundation was established from the estate of two sisters, Marion Bertram Gebbie and Geraldine Gebbie Bellinger in memory of their parents, Frank and Harriet Gebbie. 

Frank Gebbie was born in Alston, Ayrshire, Scotland in 1844; coming to America in 1851.  At the age of 26 Frank married Harriet Hubbell, the daughter of the Honorable and Mrs. Gaylord B. Hubbell of Ossining, NY. 

Mr. Hubbell had served in the State Assembly and was at one an time Agent and Warden at Sing Sing State Prison.   

Frank and Harriet Gebbie set up their first home in Brewster, New York where Mr. Gebbie was working for Gail Borden, Jr.,and the Borden Company.  Borden had pioneered the development of condensed milk patents. 

Eventually the Gebbies spent time in Texas and Illinois before returning to New York State and settling in Lockport.  In 1874 Gail Borden died which may have influenced Frank Gebbie’s decision to enter the food canning business.

In 1876, Gebbie’s company was listed in the Lockport City Directory as the Niagara Fruit and Canning Company.  From 1882 to 1892, Frank Gebbie was listed as the proprietor.   

This led to a new investment in St. Johnsville when Gebbie returned to the condensed milk business in partnership with Michael Doyle.  Starting as manager, Frank Gebbie eventually bought Doyle out and expanded to other locations under the name Mohawk Condensed Milk Company.  In its hay day, Gebbie established operations in five different states as far west as Colorado.

The growth of the Mohawk Condensed Milk Company stimulated local dairy farming.  Milk was brought to the cannery over long distances via horse drawn wagons.  The dairy farms were said to have kept pace with the company’s demand for milk, with the result that the value of farmland increased.   

Frank Gebbie was viewed as a man of integrity placing great importance on safely produced food.  His business practices were judged to have benefitted not only himself, but everyone associated with him. January 2, 1902, the St. Johnsville Enterprise reported “about $600 was divided among the employees of the Mohawk Condensed Milk Company on Christmas in proportion to the length of service and position filled by the various employees.”  

Mr. and Mrs. Gebbie eventually retired to Rochester and Mohawk Condensed Milk Company was absorbed by Carnation Milk in 1921. 
Frank Gebbie

The site was eventually home to the Palatine Dye "Upper Mill"

Original Labels

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Gift

We have an individual,  I won’t give their name because I don’t have permission, who has over the years donated dozens of books on CDs.  Most recently they brought in 47 new titles!!  I might add this person is not a library patron but they are indeed a great library supporterJ

We have a limited materials budget, $4700, so you can imagine what a windfall this is for our patrons. 

Audio books are great for people on the go, either for work or for pleasure.  If you have a daily commute or are speeding off for a late summer vacation, stop by Libraryland and check out them out. 

Funny story; some of these audio books have even wintered in Florida!  Snowbirds heading south check them out for an extended loan and away they go.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Good Read!

Joyfully, there are still days of excitement in Libraryland even after 38 years!  A patron came by today to stock up, she is an avid reader.    A few weeks ago I had recommended a book to her, Forty Acres by Dwayne Alexander Smith.  I had not seen her since she borrowed and returned it and was disappointed not to get her opinion. I am always curious how a book is received based on my recommendation; obviously reading tastes are all over the board.  Did she like it?  Did she hate it?  Did she even read it?????   

Long story short she was absolutely thrilled by the novel giving it 5 stars on the

Goodreads website!   

If you are sitting poolside or have sought the shade of a tree and are looking for a page turning summer read consider Forty Acres.  Come borrow it from us or download it to your electronic device but, as we like to say here in Libraryland, check it out.

Speaking of finishing a book……..years ago a patron, a very conservative, pillar of society, ladylike woman, borrowed a book.  When she returned it she was appalled by the content; seems it was a bit risqué.   Wanting to diffuse the situation I asked the horrified soul “Did you finish it?”  Her reply?  “YES!”  Oh. My. Word.  I still laugh every time I think about that dear, gentle woman and her unintentional adventure to the seamy side of reading

Monday, July 27, 2015

Community Pride

When I came out of the bank this morning and looked up and down the street how fantastic it was not to see a proliferation of weeds growing out of the sidewalks! Instead, what I saw was a neat and tidy quiet stretch of sidewalk; a welcome sight not only for us who live here but also for those passing through.

Early this afternoon I ran into Mayor Barnes and he wanted me to be sure and express profound appreciation to the many volunteers on behalf of the village board for a job well done on Saturday.

There are many small communities struggling in upstate New York for a myriad of reasons and we have to be realistic when it comes to finding “easy” solutions. There are none. Complaints and criticism comes easy; proactively working together to move a community forward involves hard work.

Having said that, a community who takes pride in itself stands a better chance of finding “renewal” as opposed to a community who simply does nothing.

St. Johnsville has exhibited this necessary “pride” on any number of occasions. The hundreds of people who came out for the Memorial Day parade and service is a perfect example. Another would be the selfless work undertaken at the Benefit Club to help those with needs greater than their own. The Methodist Church recently hosted VBS and it is my understanding the numbers were excellent. These kids were not just coming from the Methodist Church but were representative of the various congregations throughout the village. The summer park program is also a great source of community pride. Every morning I see kids either walking or riding their bikes eagerly headed for the park; headed for another great day of games and crafts with the occasional field trip tossed in. I understand the marina concerts are seeing outstanding crowds and justifiably so. We are so fortunate to have that lovely green space and what a perfect way to spend a summer evening; music, fellowship and food. It does not get any better than that.

Think of ways for you to show your community pride. When school starts up plan to attend a sporting event. I’ve not seen a basketball game since Steve Zimmerman played. What I knew about basketball then would have filled two lines on an index card. However, I was smart enough to realize that when “our” side of the bleachers cheered I should start shouting with the rest of them; you could do the same Do you like bingo? Head down to the American Legion on Tuesday nights. If you can’t stay to play, grab some supper to go. Veterans need our support and Tuesday evening bingo is one way to show it. After tonight, there are two more concerts at the marina. The music begins at 6:30PM; take a lawn chair and enjoy the evening.

When you can, patronize the businesses we do have instead of bemoaning what we don’t. As an example, someone was discussing insurance on another post recently. My car and house insurance are held by Steve Stortecky at Judy King Insurance on Main Street. Why? I’ve known Steve since high school and while I might be able to get it cheaper somewhere else or on line I find it of great comfort to know that when I have a question I can pick up the phone or drop by and discuss my concerns face to face with Steve and his staff. When business is over, we talk about chickens, haying and country life.

My pal Barbara Stagliano and I breakfast together 6 mornings a week. We bounce between the Hungry Bear Café and Bridge Street Bakery. Sure, it would be cheaper to stay home and eat a bowl of Cheerios but what I would miss would be the comradery and conversation to be found in a hometown restaurant. When you go to places like Parkside, Lombardo’s or Ripepi’s you are not just a customer, you are welcomed as a friend whose business is appreciated.

We are richly blessed with outstanding emergency services; police and fire departments and ambulance. On more than one occasion their professionalism and skills have provided me with a necessary steadiness in the face of overwhelming crisis. You will see them all at the upcoming Fireman’s Fair. In between your bowls of clam chowder and plates of fried dough be sure and say thank you. These fine men and women stand in the gap so the rest of us don’t have to.

I could go on in this same vein but I think you get my point.

Finally, the ultimate way to show community pride is to treat each other with respect and tolerance, kindness and care ALWAYS, even in the face of tremendous differences of opinion and philosophies. We are never all going to agree on everything but we can work towards building consensus with regard to the issues that separate us. It will not be easy, but anything worth doing takes commitment and hard work. Some people saw Saturday’s clean sweeping weed pulling project as just that; a chance to get rid of some dirt and debris. I saw it as an opportunity to take one step down the road towards a more positive St. Johnsville; one step by which we can all be proud.

Monday, July 6, 2015

What is Up With the Numbers!?!?!?!?!?

You may notice as you wonder the stacks that some of our books are numbered. There are many contemporary authors who write series of books repeating the same, central character. A good example is James Patterson and his Alex Cross character. Since the release of Along Came a Spider in 1993, introducing Cross, there have been close to 30 novels based on the character. Stone Barrington, the lead character in Stuart Woods’s novels, is approaching 40 books. Popular author David Baldacci has four or five series. In that case, we number and letter. For example, his King and Maxwell books are all numbered followed by the letter (B). These series are not limited to adult fiction; it carries across juvenile and young adult fiction. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney comes to mind as do the vampire books of Stephanie Meyer. Many of these books build on the action of the previous novels. As a reader, there is nothing more frustrating to realize you have read them out of order. We can also provide reading lists so patrons can keep track of what they have read, what is coming up next in case we don’t have the next title and need to interlibrary loan it. Today was particularly busy here in Libraryland and, to quote Martha Stewart, that is a good thing!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

End of School

Today I had two absolutely wonderful experiences at a couple of local schools. This morning I was pleased to be invited to a special morning program at DH Robbins Elementary School. My three co-guards and I were recognized for our service in playing a role in keeping our children safe on their walk to school. I know I speak for us all when I say it has been an immense pleasure, a great honor and tremendous fun; even in the occasional torrential downpour and subzero temperatures! This evening found me at the Johnstown High School for the 8th grade promotional program. It is official; my great niece Emma will start high school in September. I am so proud of her. Throughout 7th and 8th grade she has carried a 94+ average keeping her on the high honor roll. More importantly, she is a kind, thoughtful, and respectful young woman. The end of a school year can be bittersweet and that was evident this morning at DHR in the face of its upcoming closure. The flip side of that profound feeling of loss and disappointment is hope; hope and excitement for the future. In the faces of all the children I saw today, from the wiggly giggly students of Kate Yoder to the newly minted high schoolers in Johnstown, I saw potential, potential for great things, both big and small, and that should give us all hope for a very exciting future.

Photos Wanted

Speaking of graduation……In the St. Johnsville Room of our museum, we are missing in our collection of school group photos senior class graduation pictures from the following years: 1943, 1948, 1949, 1950,1951, 1953, 1954,1955,1956, 1957,1958, 1963, 1966, and 1968. We would LOVE to have copies of these missing years. If you have an original, we can make a copy and return the original to you. If you can help us out please call the library @ 518-568-7822.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

It is here!

Our beautiful wooden quilt block has been installed. Drive by and check it out. It is lovely!

OESJ Wolf Pack Nation

We had a howling good time here in Libraryland today when 63 members of the OESJ Wolf Pack Nation stopped by for a visit. The students were accompanied by their teachers; Mrs. Eakin, Mrs. Blanc, Mrs. Pedrick, Mrs. Snell and several assistants. Like a caravan of nomads riding a camel train two busses, one big one small, rumbled up and out piled dozens of happy, excited children. I spoke to the children about getting library cards and how to take care of the books they borrow. Always a hit is when I mention the most dangerous creature on earth for books; babies! Endlessly drooling, chewing, ripping and occasionally having “diaper issues” babies can be terrors, BUT, I stressed how incredibly important it is to begin sharing books with them at an early age. The diaper talk always makes them giggle After we shared a story the kids then had the opportunity to browse. This is always a blast as dozens of books came flying off the shelves were eagerly paged through. Each of the kids received a book bag containing a library card application, book marks and a brochure listing our hours. I hope to see them over the summer. As I told the kids, your brain is like a muscle and you have to keep it exercised and reading is a good way to do that. When they left, it was quiet as a tomb and I spent the greater part of the day re-shelving. Kindergarten comes to call on Thursday; good times!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Oliver Curtis Perry

Speaking of the prison at Dannemora….. Several years ago I received a telephone call from Dr. Tamsin Spargo, a professor at John Moores University, Liverpool, England. She was researching the upstate New York train robber, Oliver Curtis Perry. As it turned out, Perry had ties to the Irish Settlement, just north of us in Fulton County. Eventually, Dr. Spargo came to the US and Marta and I assisted her with her local research for her book which was published in 2004 as Wanted Man the Forgotten Story of Oliver Curtis Perry, An American Outlaw. At the time of its publication Publishers Weekly had this to say about the book. “Captivated by a photograph of the handsome Oliver Curtis Perry (1865-1930), Tamsin Spargo vividly relates his dramatic life in a popular but prodigiously researched biography. In 1892, Perry robbed the American Express Special of a fortune in jewelry and cash as it sped out of Syracuse, N.Y. Identified by a former colleague, he was pursued by Pinkerton detectives while his exploits were sensationalized in tabloid stories that celebrated his daring. Five months later, trying to rob the same train, he was caught after an exciting chase that included Perry's hijacking of another train. Severely emotionally damaged by virtual abandonment in childhood, Perry could still be charming and worked the media to his advantage. Spargo vividly describes the trial that resulted in a 49-year jail sentence, as well as Perry's desperate attempts at escape, which led to his incarceration in facilities for the criminally insane (first in Mattewan State Hospital in Fishkill, then eventually Dannemora State Hosptial for Insane Convicts in Clinton County). During this period, Perry deliberately blinded himself and went on a hunger strike to protest the conditions of his imprisonment. While entertainingly bringing her subject to life, Spargo also reveals the terrible conditions that existed in New York State prisons and asylums during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.” Perry is buried in the prison cemetery at Dannemora. The book is a page turner; if you have not read it come on by, and as we like to say here in Libraryland, check it out.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Quilt Block

Such excitement here in Libraryland! We have just taken delivery of a large, wooden quilt square that will in the very near future take up residence in front of the library. This has been a collaborative project between Sue and Jim Race, OESJ art students under the direction of Mrs. Thibodeau, and myself. The block, in shades of blue, cream and red, features a log cabin design. In a word? It is stunning! The block will become part of the Fulton Montgomery Quilt Barn Trail.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Coming in the Fall.......

The Reaney Library will be partnering with the Mohawk Valley Library System and miSci, the Museum of Innovation and Science, in offering a series of science programs for two age groups k-2 and 3-6. The programs are designed to engage children and their families in learning about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). In addition, the Dudley Observatory, housed at miSci, will deliver astronomy content by using Starlab, a portable planetarium. Further details and dates will be released over the summer. The programs are funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded to miSci in cooperation with the Mohawk Valley Library System and will allow us to provide similar workshops in 2016 and 2017. What a great opportunity for our children! We here in Libraryland are so excited to be a part of this.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Fairytale Come to Life

We had an unexpectedly sweet story come out of this year’s Flapjacks and Fairytales. The night before, I received a covert telephone call from Cathy Miles asking if I knew of the recent tradition of over the top prom invitations. I have seen where these invitations range from sky writing to singing telegrams but had never been a part of one. Cathy wondered if I was game to help out her grandson Ross. Always enjoying the unexpected I was more than happy to be a part of it. Cathy and her husband Ron, along with many members of their family, Ross included have been tremendous supporters of the library and great kitchen help for the last 10 years of Flapjacks and Fairytales. It was arranged that a special “basket” would be slipped in among the many baskets to be raffled. The plan then called for me to announce the “winner” whereby Ross would come out and invite the young lady to their prom. When the moment finally arrived there were some confused looks by those helping with the basket drawing; the basket had no number and therefore there was no record of it. I was the only one who knew what was going on. I calmly held the “Some Enchanted Evening” basket aloft and announced the winner as Ali Teneyck. Once Ali came forward, Ross Miles popped out from the other room with a lovely bouquet of flowers in hand and a sign asking her to the prom. She, of course, said “yes”. It was a charming and a very special moment marking our 10th annual event; a fairytale come to life.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

FJ&FT 2015 And the Winners Were..........

1 Beam Me Up Scotty
Joe and Rebecca Sokol
Winner Deb Darrow
2 Hop 'n Shop
OESJ Association of Professionals
Winner L. Montana
3 Juicing it Up
Morris J Edwards American Legion Post #163
Winner Dawn Mat
4 Tea Time
Kathy and Fred LaCoppola
Winner Joe Budzic
5 Time Gone By
Fort Klock Restoration
Winner Barb Dannible
6 At The Hop
Shirley Putman & Bobbie Button
Winner Jean Sekel
7 Flapjack Frenzy
Winner Laura Littrell
8 Speedy Tot
Joyce Harrington
Winner Christ Sanders
9 Show Me the Money
MRML Friends
Winner Emily Snell
10 Spring Into Cleaning
The Manikas Family @ Parkside
Winner Cheryl Goodspeed
11 Yumm-O!
Monica Troutwheeler
Winner Jean Sekel
12 By the Sea
Sue and Jim Race
Winner Curley Race
13 Sweet Baby Girl
Debbie Mosher
Winner Art Frederick
14 Pretty Spring
STJ Nursing and Rehab
Winner Rachel Quigg
15 Quick Cakes
Dutchtown Ace Hardward ware
Winner George Stever
16 Disney Delight
STJ Housing Authority
Winner Lindy Sweet
17 House of Cards
OESJ Association of Professionals
Winner Joyce Harrington
18 Into The Woods
Camp Emerson
Winner Jason Snell
19 Through The Years
St. John's Reformed Church Knit Wits
Winner Samantha Klopman
20 Road Warrior
MRML Friends
Winner Art Frederick
21 It is Great to Be 8
Mallory Miles
Winner Sophie Lorenz
22 Cozy Crayons
Sue and Jim Race
Winner Jessica Sorenson
23 Happy Daze
Don and Laurie Smith, Joe and Rebecca Sokol
Winner Nick Licari
24 Sweet Stuff
Kinney Drugs
Winner Clayton Gallt
25 Sundae Fun
Ava Campione & Dustin Smith
Winner Kirstin Swartz
26 Cat Nap
Sophie Cat
Winner Rhea Bilobrowka
27 Princess Pink Flash
MRML Friends
Winner Sophia Lorenz
28 Memories are Made of This
Vincent A Enea Funeral Service
Winner Rose Nemechek
29 Lemon Shine
the Quigg Girls
Winner N. Grimm
30 In Perfect Harmony
Mark and Cathy Rice
Winner Fran Thomas
31 Made in the USA
Fred and Deanna Campione, Sharon Fuller
Winner Sally Potter
32 Insure Yourself
The Shults Agency
Winner Jeff Darrach
33 Happy Camper
J&J Sporting Goods
Winner Jim Nicosia
34 It's A Mystery
Sally and Roy Thomson
Winner Anna Quigg
35 Spring Planting
Francine and Tim Baumeister
Winner Larry Sweet
36 My Garden Wagon
the Bergen Family
Winner Sophia Bellen
37 Blanket Box
Lindy and Larry Sweet
Winner Carla Lyon
38 Let Us Eat Cake
Carol Greena nd Ellie Ferris
Winner Kate Yoder
39 Pinchin' Pennies
MRML Friends
Winner Sam & Joyce Giarusso
40 Frozen Friends
James and Alexandra Zimmerman
Winner Chris Rouse
41 Straw Hats, Bare Feet
Terry Potoczny
Winner Sandy Lane
42 Happy Birthday to You
Margaret DiGiacomo
Winner Teresa Battisti
43 Goosey, Goosey Gander
Winner Donna DiBlaiso
44 It's Not Easy Being Green
Mary Lou Corso
Winner Linda Van Valkenburg
45 Monkey Love
Mary Lou Corso
Winner Carrie Balogn
46 Get Comfy and Read
Mary Lou Corso
Winner Judy Swartz
47 Wining Down
Don and Laurie Smith
Winner Sue Everett
48 50 Shade of Reading
the Feagles Family
Winner Janice MacLauchlin
49 Bucket of Snacks
Little m
Winner E. Renison
50 Bucket of Snacks
Little m
Winner Melissa & Mallory Miles
51 Bark and Bones
Kingshop Properties
Winner Betty Sanders
52 The Big Red Barn
Ken and Andra Senft
Winner Roy Thomson
53 American Pasttime
Stella and Tom Harlow
Winner Owen Feagles
54 Have A Ball
Larry Lasagna
Winner Elliot Thomas
55 Tailgater
Big M
Winner Allen & Diane Littrell
56 Make Me Pretty
Ideal Beauty Shop/Barbara Stagliano
Winner Jean Swartz
57 Dump it All In
St. Johnsville Senior Saints
Winner Laurie Smith
58 Frozen Assets
NBT Bank-STJ Branch
Winner Alison Swartz
59 Picnic Pack
Community House Staff
Winner Nicole Poser
60 Farm Yard
Handy Hill Farms
Winner Durk Oord
61 Enjoy!
MRML Friends
Winner Deborah Brown
62 Farm Fresh
Damin Farms
Winner Carol Warn
63 $pring $heep
MRML Friends
Winner Mallory Miles
64 Zoom
MRML Friends
Winner Beth and Sterling Close
65 Rainy Day
STJ Red Hats
Winner Ava Campione
66 Roar into Repairs
CH Burkdorf & Son
Winner Skip Darrach
67 A Partridge in a Pear Tree
Bridge Street Bakery & Café/the Dolans
Winner Sue Race
68 "C" is for Chocolate
The Table/Aaron Katovitch
Winner Mike Settle
69 Tea Party
Winner Erin Feagles
70 Summer Fun
Winner Tammy Lovitte
71 A Gathering of Friends
Ripepi's Restaurant
Winner Mike Settle
72 Wolf Pack Nation
OESJ Booster Club
Winner Clayton Gallt
73 You are My Sunshine
DH Robbins PTO
Winner Jordan Williams
74 Body and Soul
St. Paul's Choral Group
Winner Jean Sekel