Archive | September, 2017

Bookshop tour encourages readers to “fall into books”

30 Sep


I know that everyone who’s reading this right now will be interested in today’s blog, because … well, you obviously like to read.

This October, our very own Yesterday’s Muse bookstore on West Main Street in the village is participating in a new program called “Fall Into Books — a Bookshop Tour.”  This is a really neat idea which encourages lovers of books and bookish items to explore independent bookshops in the Greater Rochester area.

gift basket

One of the two gift baskets tour participants could win.

All of the 13 participating stores are located within an hour and a half of Rochester. You can hit up a few a day, or spread your travels through the entire month. But you’ll want to visit as many as possible, because there are prizes to be had.

Here’s how it works: Bookshop “tourists” first pick up a passport at any of the participating shops. The passport will be stamped at each stop you make, and for every store you visit, you get one entry to win one of two gift baskets packed with books, gift certificates, and other bookish items. Each one is worth about $150. Plus, you’ll get a 10% discount off your entire purchase at each shop.

Participating bookstores include:

  • Lift Bridge Book Shop, Brockport
  • The Paperback Place, Canandaigua
  • Explore! The Bookstore, Clifton Springs
  • Stomping Grounds, Geneva
  • Boots, Etc., Macedon
  • The Dog Eared Book, Palmyra
  • Village Bookmarket, Palmyra
  • The Books Landing, Penn Yan
  • The Book Centre, Spencerport
  • Greenwood Books, Rochester
  • Mood Makers Books, Rochester
  • Small World Books, Rochester
  • Yesterday’s Muse Books, Webster

You read a lot these days about the demise of small retail stores, especially bookstores. These 13 bookstores are out to show that they’re here to stay. Show your support by taking the tour, and at the same time discover how unique each of these shops is, with books and products not available in those big-box stores.

Read more about the tour at and visit the Facebook event page by clicking here.

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Board recognizes Village Band on important anniversary

29 Sep

Webster Village Band members George “Skip” Mayo, Sylvia Farnand, Barbara Midura, and Sylvia Hungerford listen as Mayor Darrell Byerts reads the proclamation.

Can I see a show of hands? How many people reading this right now know that the Village of Webster has a Village Band?

I’m hoping there are a lot of hands up out there. Because believe it or not, this year marks the 50th anniversary of our Webster Village Band, a fact that was recognized Thursday night at the Webster Village Board meeting.

Just about every Thursday during the summer, the band presents outdoor concerts at the band shell at Harmony Park on Phillips Road. Add to that several special performances at events like the Farmer’s Market and their annual Christmas concert, and that adds up to more than 600 concerts in the band’s long career.

Barb with plaque

Band member Barbara Midura with the plaque.

That’s pretty impressive for a group that started out with just 10 members in 1967. Today that number has grown to about 60, and the band has become a treasured village asset.

The proclamation presented on Thursday recognized all of this, plus its humble beginnings on a stage in a converted school bus.  Several Village Band members were on hand to accept the recognition, which also included a congratulatory plaque.

You can read a little more about the Village Band in an Our Towns East Extra column I wrote about them in July, 2015.


The summer concert schedule has concluded, but there’s still one more chance this year to check out the band, at their annual Christmas concert. The date for this hasn’t been announced yet, but I’ll post it here when I find out, or you can keep checking the Village Band website.

Mayor Byerts mentioned that he was able to attend the band’s last concert of the summer, where he made several video recordings. He’s hoping to put them up on the village website, so stay tuned.


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Webster Marching Band welcomes autumn with music

28 Sep

The Webster Marching Band’s annual celebration of autumn will feature a touch of winter this year.

Autumn Fanfare flyerFINALThe band’s 32nd annual Autumn Fanfare is scheduled for Saturday, October 7 at the Webster Schroeder High School stadium.

This terrific community event is a premier field show and competition, hosted by the The Pride of Webster marching band, but also featuring performances by six Greater Rochester area bands.

The Webster Marching Band — comprised of 64 middle and high school musicians and color guard performers — will perform their 2017-18 program, “froZEN.” It features the music of Mark Ford and Madonna, and takes a unique approach to the sounds and imagery of a Chinese winter.

It sounds amazing.

The show will begin at 7 p.m., and gates open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 in advance at Hegedorns and $8 at the gate. Webster CSD student and staff tickets are just $2 with a Webster student or staff ID. Children under 5 are free. A few food trucks will also be on hand if you get hungry.

Webster Schroeder High School is located at 875 Ridge Road.

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New friends, brought together by art and apple cake

27 Sep
Pat and Josie and Buddy

Pat Tingley, Josie Pancione and Pat’s dog Buddy.

Today, I’d like to tell a story about two inspiring women — one an outstanding artist, the other an outstanding cook — and new friendships.

Josie Pancione, 88, lives at the Cherry Ridge retirement community on Ridge Road. She’s a faithful reader of my Our Towns East Extra column.

Some time ago, Josie tracked me down through the newspaper. She wanted to tell me all about an 87-year old friend of hers, Pat Tingley, who also lives at Cherry Ridge. Pat, she told me, was working on a huge painting in her garage. It was unbelievable, Josie insisted, a real sight to behold. And I might want to write about it.

It took me a while, but early last week I finally found the time to go down to Cherry Ridge to meet Josie and Pat, and to see this incredible painting.


Pat Tingley’s painting stretches a full 18 feet long. The colors are so much more vibrant than my camera could capture.

The painting is indeed impressive. The canvas is a huge 8′ tall by 18′ feet wide, and it fills the entire west wall of Pat’s garage. It’s alive with color: oranges, blues, and a dozen shades of purple and pink.

The far left-hand side of the artwork depicts a pre-dawn scene on the Pacific Ocean, the sun glinting off the undulating waves, and a gull gliding through the growing brightness.

On the far right, another pre-dawn scene on our country’s Atlantic coast, framed by a handsome birch tree. The magnificent Tahoe Rift slices down the middle, separating the two oceans.

Pat describes the piece as “my concept of the composition of the earth, the creation of the earth, the ongoing of the earth.” And while it depicts both the Pacific and the Atlantic, it’s all just one ocean, Pat explained. “If you look at the way water moves, it’s one ocean.”

Pat plans to move her painting from her garage a large blank wall in her living room. There, it will be one of the first things visitors see when they walk through the front door. When I asked her if she had plans to frame her masterpiece, her answer was immediate.

No, she said, “You can’t frame creation. As soon as you frame it it becomes a static thing.”

My story could have ended here, a pleasant tale of how one woman’s passion for art has brought meaning to her life and beauty to our world. I could have taken my camera and notebook and headed for home.

But Josie Pancione had a different plan.

After we’d all had a chance to appreciate and chat about the painting, Pat and Josie ushered me inside the cottage, where Josie had prepared an authentic, three-course Italian dinner.

Pat’s dining room table was set with silverware and cloth napkins, and we settled in. Our meal began with dessert — a decadent apple cake — and fresh lemonade. We ate, and our pleasant conversation continued until our plates were bare and glasses were empty. Then it was time for me to head home, so the rest of the dinner came with me in to-go containers: pasta, sauce, meatballs, salad and freshly grated cheese, which Josie insisted should be sprinkled on everything.

It was enough food to last me for days.

There was only one more thing left to be done. As I headed toward the door, Josie called me over, spread her arms wide, and gave me a bona fide Italian two-cheek kiss.

It was an enjoyable, charming and amiable meeting. There was magnificent art and delectable food. But what I enjoyed most was the opportunity to make two lovely new friends.

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Keeping cool at school

26 Sep

You know you work in a great school district when, on one of the hottest days of the year, one of the elementary school principals springs for freeze-pops for the entire school.

That’s what happened at Plank Road North Elementary School Tuesday. As the outside temperatures flirted with 90 degrees for the second day in a row, temperatures inside the un-air-conditioned school soared as well. Teachers and students alike were melting.

Principal Craig Bodensteiner to the rescue. In anticipation of the continuing heat wave, Bodensteiner hatched his plan Monday evening, and Tuesday morning headed to Wegmans and bought six cases of freeze-pops — almost all they had. He tucked them in the school’s walk-in freezer (he didn’t want to come out, he reported). Then, just before the end of the day, after they had all frozen solid, he and Assistant Principal Heather Balsamo made the rounds to every classroom and handed them out.

All 600 of them.


Plank North principal Craig Bodensteiner handing out freeze-pops to some very warm and very grateful students. (S. Rosenberry)

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Halloween in Webster Village

25 Sep


I was working on my next Our Towns column this evening, which is a round-up of several east-side Halloween and autumn-themed events taking place in October. I’ll be mentioning Webster’s Trick-or-Treat Trail in that column, so I was looking through all the photos I took last year to find a few good ones for the column.

I found myself procrastinating on the task at hand and just enjoying all of the photos I took. There were little kids and big kids, dressed as dinosaurs, witches, Pokemon characters and firefighters. There were lots of families whose parents AND children had all dressed as a theme. Even dogs, and infants being pushed in strollers or carried in front packs were in costume.

And everyone was smiling and having a wonderful time.

Webster’s Trick-or-Treat Trail is probably my favorite village event. This is an annual event organized by the Webster Business Improvement District, the group responsible for all of the special things that happen in the village every year. It’s very popular, drawing hundreds of adults and children to the village. There’s trick-or-treating, of course, but there’s also so much more. The Webster Volunteer Fire Department always has an open house, the Webster Museum always has some special thing going on, there’s a costume contest and free rides on the BID’s Festival Wagon.

Plus, it’s a lot warmer than during White Christmas in the Village.

Basically it’s the perfect family event. This year it takes place on Saturday October 28. The costume contest begins at 11 a.m., and trick-or-treating runs from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more details, visit the Webster BID website. And if you’d also like to revisit last year’s gallery of photos, click here.

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News from the Knuckleheads

23 Sep


I haven’t written much of late about Len Dummer and George Cline of Knucklehead Craft Brewing, but rest assured, they’ve been busy, making friends and winning awards.

Len sent me an email a short time ago filling me in on some details, and I’m pleased to pass along the news.

For starters, at the annual Foodlink Festival of Food, held September 18 at the Public Market, Knucklehead received the award for Best Alcoholic Beverage. They were up against some stiff competition from other purveyors of beer, wines, ciders and spirits. This is the third year in a row that Knucklehead has brought home top honors in that category.

It’s also interesting to note that Joe Bean Coffee Roasters won as the best non-alcoholic beverage. Does anyone remember when Joe Bean was just that little coffee shop on East Main Street in the village? They’ve really gone on to make a name for themselves.

Knucklehead also competed in the New York State Craft Beer Competition, which took place in Rochester on July 29.

Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to winning breweries in 20 beer categories covering 40 different beer styles (including all subcategories), establishing the best examples of each style in the state.

Knucklehead won second place in the IPA category, once again against very respectable competition, and lots of it — that category alone had 88 entries. The winning brew is called Tainted Haze IPA and is a “juice-bomb” style IPA.

If you haven’t checked out Knucklehead yet, or haven’t been back in a while, next Saturday might be a great time to do so, when the brewpub hosts its Oktoberfest.

The event on Saturday, September 30 will feature lots of great German food including Bratwurst, German potato salad, red cabbage, and appetizers. Plus, of course, they’ll have their Oktoberfest on tap, which is described as “full body, (with) copper color, medium alcohol content and only noble hops.”

Oktoberfest will run from 3 to 11 p.m. at Knucklehead Craft Brewing, 426 Ridge Road in West Webster. Check out their Facebook page and website for more information.


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Wednesday morning smiles

20 Sep

Here’s a quick little bit of silliness for your Wednesday morning to help propel you through the rest of the week.

This fun video features the great people I work with at Schlegel Road Elementary School. Thank you to principal Francine Leggett and AP Robin Jennings for putting it together.


Click here to see our Schlegel Road video

The video, by the way, was inspired by one made several years ago by Todd Stahl of my Webster Thomas High School family. It’s still a classic. You can see that one here.


Click here to see the Thomas video. 


Don’t let anyone tell you that we don’t enjoy our jobs here in Webster.

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Tuesday Webster mailbag

19 Sep

mailbagI’d like to begin today’s mailbag by welcoming one of the village’s newest businesses, MJ Gabel Advisors & Trustees of Fine Jewelry.

MJ Gabel is in the process of moving to the village from their location in Ontario, where they’ve been for six years.  As they have grown, they realized the need for more space, and Webster fit the bill.

Right now they’re renovating their new space, which they tell me is “in the heart of the village.”

They added, “Our new location will allow our staff the ability to work more efficiently, and allow our local clients more space to meet with their dedicated diamond specialist.”

Stay tuned for word about their official opening.

Chicken Till it’s Gone

The First Baptist Church of Penfield’s Chicken Barbecue is Saturday, September 30 from 2 till 6 pm (or sold out). Chickens will be prepared on site by Gale-Wyn Catering. Dinners are $10.50 and include a half barbecued chicken, coleslaw or macaroni salad, salt potatoes, roll and butter, plus a dessert. Guests can eat in or take out, and the facility is handicapped accessible.

The First Baptist Church of Penfield is located at 1862 Penfield Rd.

Double Down


The Webster Lions Club will hold its semi-annual Texas Hold’Em charity poker event on Friday October 6 at the Elks Club, 7 Barrett Drive in Webster.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the event begins at 7 p.m. Cost is $40 ($45 at the door) for buy-in and $20 re-buy. First-place winner will take home $500, $150 for second-place and $50 for third.

All proceeds will benefit Webster Lions Club charities. For information call 585-234-5480 or email

Miracle Field Fund-Raisers

Two great events coming up in the next few weeks will benefit Miracle Field.

The first is the 3rd Annual Run Walk & Roll 5k and 1 mile stroll on October 8. This is an all-inclusive family-friendly event in which wheelchairs, gait trainers, adaptive bicycles and tricycles and other assistive devices are welcome.

The courses start and end at Webster Thomas High School 800 Five Mile Line Road.

Registration begins at 8 a.m., the 5K kicks off at 9:30 and the one-mile stroll at 9:35. To register online, click here.

The second event is an artisan dinner scheduled for October 12.

The exclusive dinner will be held at the Webster Arboretum and feature Jim Markeas, Winemaker, Mallee Estate Winery, Australia and Noé Perez, US Brand Ambassador, Bodegas Iliana & Bodegas Lambuena, Spain. They’ll be introducing guests to fine wines from across the globe.

The dinner begins at 6:30 and tickets are $40 per person. Click here for tickets

Oktoberfest at the UCC

The Webster United Church of Christ’s annual Oktoberfest is almost here.

Oktoberfest is a German celebration that takes place when the late summer/early fall crops are harvested, it is also a time to tap barrels of wine and brew that had been sealed the year before. Communities gather to give thanks for blessings received. There is music for singing and dancing, tables are laden with food and drink – and a feeling of “gemutlichket” rules the day.

The members of the United Church of Christ, Congregational of Webster will honor those traditions as they celebrate Oktoberfest on Saturday, October 14 from 6 – 9 p.m. in the church’s Congregational Hall. There will be music for singing and dancing – plus a performance by members of a local German dance troupe.

Tickets are $5.00 per person, and German specialties like schnitzel, sauerkraut, potato salad, bratwurst, and desserts like apple strudel and black forest cake will be available for purchase.

Call the church office at 585-671-3757 to reserve your ticket or to get more information.

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New 5K will benefit Wayne Middle School

17 Sep

There’s a new race in town, and it sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun.

color run(BTW, when I say “in town,” I mean Ontario. And when I say “race,” I mean an un-timed 5K and 1-mile fun run/walk. But the fun part? That’s totally accurate.)

It’s called the My School Color Run, and it’s being sponsored by the parent/teacher organization at Wayne Central Middle School as a fund-raiser to help offset the costs for the school’s 8th grade trip to Washington, DC.  Throughout the course participants will experience color splash zones where they’ll be doused in color and end with a final color toss celebration. (That’s the super fun part.)

The race is scheduled for Sunday morning, October 8, at Wayne Middle School, 6076 Ontario Center Road, Ontario. Check-in starts at 8:30 a.m. and the race starts at 10 a.m.

Cost for the 5K is $20 for Wayne Central students, $30 for general community members, and $15 for the 1-mile run/walk. Race-day registration will be available, but prices go up after Sept. 22 to $30/$45. Early registrants are also guaranteed a t-shirt and color pack.

To register online, click here.

There are also going to be vendors and at least one food truck. Bottom line, it should be a great time, for a good cause.

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