Archive | May, 2012

St. Rita Fiesta returns this weekend

31 May

There are lots of kids’ games and friendly helpers.

St. Rita’s 58th Annual Fiesta returns to West Webster this weekend, beginning Friday evening.  Festivities start at 5 pm, including food, kids’ activities, carnival games,  and country & Western entertainment by Goodness from 6-10 pm. Saturday there’ll be a 4 pm Mass in the church, after which the oldies band Ruby Shooz takes the stage from 5-8 pm. Later in the evening, the classic rock band Main Street East plays from 8-11 pm.

Bake sale volunteers present a sampling of some of the items for sale.

This is always a terrific family event, which also features a book sale, plant sale and baked food sale that’s out of this world.  All of the food and entertainment happens under a huge tent, with plenty of room for eating and dancing.

I understand they’ve added a zip line and a mechanical bull this year for the more adventurous among us.  I’ve always wanted to try a mechanical bull, so you might just find me whoopin’ it up there on Saturday afternoon.

Click here for more details about the Fiesta

Final concert marks the end of an era

30 May

I had another one of those moments last night. One of those “This-is-the-last-time-I’m-going-to-do-this” moments. I find they’re happening pretty frequently now that the youngest of my three kids is close to graduating from Webster Schroeder.

Last night I attended what probably was my last high school concert ever (that is, of course, unless I have some musically talented grandchildren some day). My daughter is a member of the Webster Schroeder Chorale which, along with the school’s wind ensemble and orchestra, performed their final concert of the year last night.  For many of the seniors — like my daughter — that also meant it was the last time they would take to the Schroeder stage.

The Last Concert. My daughter is third from the left, reddish hair and pigtails.

Rosenberry kids have been involved in the Webster schools music scene for more than 13 years, starting at Plank Road North, where my daughter joined her first chorus and my son started to learn the violin. Of course there were concerts and of course we were the proud parents.

As the kids progressed through Spry Middle School and finally to Schroeder, their musical involvement (and the number of concerts) increased. There were select vocal ensembles, a cappella groups, fiddle club, and of course the spring musicals.  We found ourselves in the Schroeder auditorium so often it felt like we had season tickets.

Last night, though, it all finally came to an end. Part of me is happy I’m not going to have to sit through any more concerts (frankly, I love choral pieces but classical strings and jazz aren’t my thing).  But I know that when school starts up again this fall, and I hear the Thomas chorus rehearsing down the hall, I’m going to miss the good ol’ days when my kids were up on those risers.

Readers’ photos from Webster’s Memorial Day parade

29 May

Many thanks to Patty Homeier and Joyce Annis for answering my call for photos of Webster’s Memorial Day parade and ceremony. Whether they knew it or not, the two ladies acted as a team; Joyce sent photos from the parade, and Patty, who marched in the parade with the Girl Scouts, sent some of the ensuing ceremony. So the whole event was covered.

I am pleased to post their photos here, beginning with my favorite. (Actually, this one could be an award winner in a photography contest.) 

The young ladies in the photo are Alexa Swift and Theresa Homeier, of Girl Scout Troop 60851.  Patty explained how she got this shot:

“I am one of the Girl Scout leaders and happened to peek up during a prayer to see if the girls were behaving or goofing.  That’s what I saw when I looked up.  AND my camera happened to be on.  I got lucky.”

She also took this photo of Alexa, Theresa and their friend Millie Kearns, who was visiting from Gates:

Here are a few more of Patty’s photos from the ceremony:

Joyce provided these photos from the parade itself:

Thanks again, Patty and Joyce!

Memorial Day a la Greene, NY

28 May

Yesterday, like towns large and small all across America, Webster celebrated Memorial Day with a parade and a beautiful ceremony at Webster Rural Cemetery. The weather was gorgeous, there were tons of people lining the streets with their folding chairs and blankets, there were lots and lots of flags and patriotic shirts, and the parade sported sharp marching units, the always impressive Webster Marching Band, fire trucks, Boy Scouts and Brownies, and lots more.  The ceremony following the parade was moving and Taps made people cry.

At least I ASSUME that all happened yesterday, because for the first time in a long time I was not able to attend the day’s festivities. I was out of town with my daughter, visiting my father in Greene, NY, a little town north of Binghamton.   But I dare say, if I couldn’t be in Webster for the parade, being in Greene was a pretty good second.

If you’ve never been in Greene, picture Webster, but smaller. It’s a quiet little village of about 2,000 people, tucked in a valley along the Chenango River. Its downtown about 2 blocks long, and cars park in the middle of the street.  They’ve got tree-lined sidewalks, an old five-and-dime shop, a couple of diner-type restaurants, and historical markers on pretty much every corner.

And they have a Memorial Day parade.

I was very excited to find out that I could see a parade, since I was missing the one at home.  So yesterday morning at 10 am, when Webster’s parade was just ending, my father, daughter and I were standing on Main Street in Greene, watching for their town’s parade to begin. We had gotten there a few minutes early to find a spot, but we needn’t have worried. Even though the parade would stretch for only about half a mile, there were plenty of empty places to stand. And we didn’t worry about setting up chairs, either, since we’d heard from several people that the parade wasn’t very substantial. I believe the way my brother-in-law put it was “Don’t blink.”

But they had nothing to be embarrassed about. It was a nice little parade that oozed small-town charm. Sure, there were only seven or eight  units, and it lasted all of 12 minutes (including five minutes when the whole parade paused for a wreath-placing ceremony). But the fact it wasn’t an hour-long spectacular didn’t seem to matter to the veterans who marched with fierce pride, the high school band members who played their hearts out, and the Scouts who waved and grinned broadly, clearly enjoying their brief time in the spotlight.

I took a lot of photos (of course), so if you’re at all interested in seeing what another small-town parade looks like, click HERE or on any of the images to go to a gallery.

Plank North community plants tree to remember a young Pioneer

27 May

The spirit of a young Webster boy who succumbed to cancer last autumn will live on for years at Plank Road North Elementary School.

Simon with his good friend Lily in February 2011.

Almost a hundred people gathered in Plank North’s front courtyard Friday afternoon to take part in the dedication of a Bartlett pear tree in memory of Simon Harris, who passed away last October at 11 years of age, after a courageous battle with neuroblastoma. The crowd was filled with family members, neighbors, school friends, karate family friends, and staff members from both Plank North and Spry Middle School.

The sign which now hangs on the tree sums up Simon’s spirit.

Several speakers, led by Simon’s dad Andrew Harris, spoke of Simon’s courage and the difference he made in the lives of everyone around him. Patti Pawluk, whom Simon had as a teacher in second and third grade, remembered Simon’s irrepressible spirit. “Simon always had a huge smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye,” she said. “When I think of Simon, I think of sunshine.” The tree is located immediately outside Pawluk’s classroom window, where she and her students will be able to see its white flowers bloom every spring.

Simon’s dad Andrew Harris speaks at the dedication ceremony.

In a particularly moving part of the ceremony, Andrew invited Simon’s little brother Manny up to be the first to shovel soil onto the base of the new tree. Manny, Andrew explained, never complained throughout the entire ordeal of Simon’s illness, no matter what happened or what needed to be done. After that, family members and friends were invited to also pick up a shovel and help “plant” the tree.

Finally, after a rousing cheer of “Simon! Simon! Simon!” led by Andrew and enthusiastically joined by the entire crowd, dozens of multicolored balloons were released and raced toward the sky.

Abby and Ryan Smith show the special balloons which were released.

As he watched the balloons disappear into the distance, Andrew said, “I’m sure Simon’s smiling from heaven.”

Click on any of the photos to see a gallery of several more.

And they’re off!

Ridgecrest spray park out of commission … for now

24 May

The blistering heat of summer is right around the corner (we’re even getting a tiny taste of it this week), but Webster residents will have to wait until at least early July to cool off at the Ridgecrest Water Spray Park on Ebner Drive.

The Ridgecrest Spray Park is a summer oasis for kids.

The facility, which is especially popular with families who have small children, will be closed at least through the first week of July due to an electrical issue which arose in conjunction with the recent sale of the old Webster Rec building.

Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mark Yeager explained in an email yesterday,

When the building was sold we lost our electricity for the parking lot and spray park. We are working with RG&E to run a new electric line to the box lacrosse building. Once that is completed we will be back in business. We just received the quote from RG&E to set a new pole and run the line to the building. (Then) our electrician will come in and connect the spray park and parking lot lights.

So when will the park reopen? That pretty much depends on RG&E’s availability and how soon they can get the work done.  The town is hoping it’ll happen in early July.

My question is, who has sit on the spray whale every afternoon between noon and 3 pm and wait for the electric guy?

Thursday Webster Mailbag

24 May

Here are some events taking place around town in the next few days and weeks:

CDS Monarch Life Transitions Center on Hard Road will host its Monarch Ball on Friday May 25. Entertainment will be provided by DJ Delight, and refreshments will be available. The event runs from 6:30-8:30 pm, and the cost is $5.  Attendees are encouraged to dress to impress and get their picture taken to remember the evening.

CDS is located at 860 Hard Road. Please RSVP to Summer at 347-1661 or


Webster’s Memorial Day Parade steps off from Spry Middle School at 9:30 am on Monday May 25. It will wind down South Avenue to Main, then down West Main to the Webster Cemetery, where ceremonies will begin around 9:50.

This is always a very nice parade and a very moving ceremony, so bring the whole family, set up some quad chairs, wave some flags and help honor our  veterans.

Webster’s annual Relay For Life takes place Saturday to Sunday June 2 to 3 at the Webster Thomas High School track.

I know the village of Webster always fields a team for this terrific event (the “Village Idiots”) and have heard about several teams from the school district, including the Webster Schroeder Warriors, Thomas Key Club, SparX, Board of Education, State Road Eagles, and the WCSD Transportation Department.

Even if you’re not part of a team this year, please consider coming out to enjoy all the action and show your support.  Stop by after dark if you can; the sight of hundreds of luminaria lining the track is truly inspiring.

* * *

The Webster Central School District will present an informational community workshop on emerging drug trends on Monday, June 4. The workshop will focus particularly on marijuana, synthetic marijuana, and bath salts. National and local data on youth substance abuse will also be shared.  Jennifer Faringer, director of the DePaul National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of Rochester, will be the featured speaker.

The hour-long program will be held at Webster Thomas High School, 800 Five Mile Line Road, beginning at 7 pm.

Mark your calendars now for THE BEST BLOOD DONATION DRIVE EVER, June 6 and 7.  This is the community drive where all sorts of local businesses come together to provide donors packets of coupons for FREE STUFF, including at least three separate ice cream cones (I know. I counted.).

The drives will be held Wednesday, June 6 from noon to 7 pm at St. Paul’s Church, 783 Hard Road, and Thursday, June 7from noon to 7 pm at the West Webster Fire Hall, 1051 Gravel Road.

* * *

Webster Museum’s Annual Barn Sale takes place Thursday-Saturday June 7, 8 and 9, from 9 am to 4 pm. This sale is so big the museum can’t fit everything, so it will be held at 394 Phillips Road, one of Webster’s most beautiful and historic properties.

The sale features art work, books, fancy dishes, dolls, tools, comics, and pottery. There will be items for collectors, and kids of all ages. Donations are welcome and can be dropped off at the barn by June 5. (Please keep in mind the museum cannot accept clothing, large furniture, appliances, TVs, or computers.)

Garage sale patrons can also take a tour of the Victorian home (built in 1856) for a $5 donation.  All money raised from the sale and tours raised supports the museum’s education programs, speakers’ programs, and the Historic Homes Project.

* * *

And finally, don’t forget that Webster’s TWO farm markets open for business on Saturday June 9. The Joe Obbie Market will be moving to Webster Towne Plaza (where Target is) and set up near the gazebo. Plus, Main Street in the village will host a brand new market on the same day.

Hope you want a lot of veggies.

Pub full of new Webster friends help the Barrys celebrate

22 May

Hubby and and I had a terrific time Sunday afternoon at a surprise baby shower for Jessica Barry of Barry’s Old School Irish at Webster’s four corners. She and her husband Danny are expecting their first child in July, so naturally, friends and family had to throw her a shower.

Jessica was taken completely by surprise, which made the event a whole lot more fun. She thought she was going out to dinner at Sticky Lips with Danny and some other family members. But first, they stopped by the pub. It’s normally closed at that time of day, so she was a bit confused by the balloons and patio table decorations. She caught on pretty fast, though, when they pulled up in front and she saw family and friends spilling out the door to greet her.

Jessica and Danny Barry with a few of their gifts.

Baby showers are always fun affairs, but this one was particularly neat for one main reason: It was less than a year ago that Danny and Jessica Barry came to town to open up their new business.  Nobody knew who they were, just a couple of kids trying to start up another bar. One with a bakery attached, no less. (Go figure.)

Now, a mere nine months later, their little place was overflowing with Webster people who have come to know and love them.

Just a small sampling of the Barrys’ new friends who came out to celebrate.

The Wednesday afternoon gang was there, the Friday night regulars, and the Saturday night crowd. Debbie and Pat Bush from Webster Hots brought a whole tray of Jessica’s favorite chocolate chip brownies, and Mike Broikou from the Goodie Shop brought one of his incredible five-layer ice cream cakes.

It’s not often you see this kind of affection shown to pub owners by their patrons and fellow business owners. But that’s the kind of place Barry’s is, and that’s the kind of people the Barrys are. These kids aren’t just pub owners — they’re family.

P.S.  It seems like ages ago, but do you remember how ugly and embarrassing that southwest village corner was for years? Then Barry’s Old School Irish moved in and immediately improved it with a nice iron fence and patio seating. This summer Danny and Jessica have added some very nice gardens. Now it’s a corner Webster can be proud of.

Before. Ugly.

And now. Beautiful.

Village of Webster works to reclaim Main Street cemetery

22 May

A nice article in the Democrat and Chronicle a few days ago shed some light on a little-known piece of Webster history:  hidden along a busy stretch of East Main Street lies a pioneer cemetery.

You can see the parking lot the neighboring homeowners installed over the cemetery in this image from Google Maps.

It’s known as the Robb Cemetery, and the article does a good job of tracing its history, which stretches back as far as the early 1800s.  It’s even possible, the article says, that there are people buried there who fought in the Revolutionary War.

But what the article doesn’t tell us is exactly where the cemetery is.  That would be between 242 and 256 East Main Street, spitting distance from the gas station on the corner of Phillips Road.  And while it does mention that the property is abandoned — meaning no one has title to it — the neighboring homeowners decided a while ago to simply lay claim to it and pave it over for a parking lot.

I am very pleased to see the village taking steps to reclaim the land, remove the parking lot, and give those buried there the respect they deserve.

Read the D&C article about the Robb Cemetery here.


They’re baaaack!

21 May

Some of the almost 30 flyers we found littering the neighborhood last time this company came through.

Apparently the littering run one local driveway sealer company made through our neighborhood last month wasn’t profitable enough.

The same company which littered our neighborhood with almost 30 marketing flyers in early April was back at it again this week. When my husband and I took our 1-1/2 mile walk Friday night after dinner, I counted seven flyers in yards and drainage ditches, which had escaped the confines of the newspaper boxes where they were stuffed.

The same company. The same litter.  You have to wonder, if they’re so sloppy about distributing their flyers, what does that say about the quality of their work?


Funny thing about the two flyers we received in our newspaper box. The one we got a month ago quoted a price of $65. The one we got two days ago quoted $119. Did my driveway double in length in that time? Did they lowball us last time or are they trying to gouge us this time?