Archive | Afterthoughts RSS feed for this section

Weirdness along the highways

22 May

I’m pleased to bring you another of my East Extra Afterthoughts installments today.

Afterthoughts is a completely separate blog, where I’m reposting some of my favorite columns from when I was the Our Towns East Extra columnist for the Democrat and Chronicle.

This particular column just came out of thin air, probably when I was grasping at straws for something to write about that particular week. But it was fun, and helped me take a look at our towns in a different way. It was originally published on Aug. 2, 2013.

What do we have to entice out-of-towners?

Today’s column has an audience participation component. Keep reading and I’ll let you know when your part comes.

A few weeks ago, I took a road trip to Kansas City with my sister and father. On the way out, as we cruised along the highway, we noticed a billboard advertising the “World’s Largest Wind Chime” just a mile off the road in little Casey, IL.

Anxious to put the two-day, 20-hour drive behind us, we didn’t stop.

But somehow, we just couldn’t forget about that wind chime. So after our visit concluded and we headed home, we aimed straight for Casey, determined to see what this attraction was all about.

Click here to go to Afterthoughts and read the rest of the post.

* * *

email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@missyblog)

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Striking back against autism

18 Apr

I’m pleased to bring you another of my East Extra Afterthoughts installments today.

Afterthoughts is a completely separate blog, where I’m reposting some of my favorite columns from when I was the Our Towns East Extra columnist for the Democrat and Chronicle.

I chose this particular column today because April is World Autism Awareness Month, and this piece highlights a jujitsu school which has for years offered classes for children on the spectrum.

Strike Back Martial Arts’ dojo used to be at 55 East Main St. in the Village of Webster, in the same building as Webster Hots (the sign is still there). COVID caused it to close in 2020, but it’s landed on its feet.

The column was originally published on June 4, 2015.

Martial arts helps children with autism

At a recent class at Strike Back Martial Arts in Webster, eight-year old Alex Maenza stood on the mats, awaiting instructions.

When “Sensei Mike” gave him the cue, he turned around, ran backwards toward the opposite end of the room, and caught a ball thrown at him from 20 feet away.

Alex beamed and bounced with delight. His instructors told him “Good job!” His parents were proud.

For most kids, this would be a simple skill. But for Alex, it was something to cheer about.

Alex and the seven other boys in his class are part of Strike Back’s Jujitsu Buddies program, for children ages 4-12 on the autism spectrum. For these children, skills like catching a ball, navigating an obstacle course, even interacting with their peers can be a major accomplishment.

Strike Back Martial Arts owners Mike Palmer and Dave Nicchitta describe the class as a comprehensive introduction to Jujitsu and martial arts for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. But these kids won’t be applying headlocks or throwing their classmates to the mats anytime soon. Other skills are much more important.

Click here to go to Afterthoughts and read the rest of the post.

* * *

email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@missyblog)

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Senior center calendars bring whimsy to the new year

11 Feb

I’m pleased to bring you another of my East Extra Afterthoughts installments today.

Afterthoughts is a completely separate blog, where I’m reposting some of my favorite columns from when I was the Our Towns East Extra columnist for the Democrat and Chronicle.

This one was just simply fun to write about. Somehow I had found about a calendar that had been created by the residents of a Macedon senior living center, where they’d recreated scenes from famous movies. The photos they came up with were just delightful.

The column was originally published on Dec. 11, 2014.


Local calendar has fun with famous movie scenes

In real life, John Krawlec doesn’t look much like Jack Nicholson. But give him two-day-old stubble, have him poke his head through a shredded door with a crazed look on his face, and you can just hear him calling, “Heeeeeere’s Johnny!”

The photo, mimicking Nicholson’s famous scene from The Shining, is one of a dozen knock-off images from famous Hollywood movies included in a 2015 “Hollywood Walk of Fame” calendar created by the residents of Parkwood Heights senior living community in Macedon.

Each month features a different movie scene, re-created in hilarious detail by the men and women of Parkwood Heights.

In one, for example, Faye and John Ford re-enact the famous bow scene from Titanic, framed by a setting sun. In another, Tom Simpson converses with the Caddyshack woodchuck. Jane Bradley and her little dog “Buddy” make an adorable Dorothy and Toto.

Click here to go to Afterthoughts and read the rest of the post.

* * *

email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@missyblog)

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

When there’s nothing going on, go to Sea Breeze!

21 Jan

I’m in one of those blog droughts, when good ideas are few and far between. But I really don’t like letting the blog sit fallow for several days on end. So here’s my back-up plan: another East Extra Afterthoughts installment.

Afterthoughts is a new, completely separate blog, where I’m reposting some of my favorite columns from when I was the Our Towns East Extra columnist for the Democrat and Chronicle.

I came up with this particular column idea when I had to find SOMETHING about Irondequoit to write about. Since I don’t often get up into the Sea Breeze area, even during the summer, I decided it would be fun to check out what the area is like in the winter … if, actually, anything much happens when Seabreeze Amusement Park is closed.

The original column was published Jan. 10, 2014, in the middle of winter, so I thought it would be appropriate to revisit it today.


Seeing a surprising side of Sea Breeze

I’ll wager that most of us think we know Sea Breeze pretty well. At least summertime Sea Breeze, anyway.

But life’s a whole lot different this time of year up there, where Culver Road meets the lake.

The constant clatter of roller coasters has quieted, the patio tables and chairs at Vic and Irv’s are stacked in a corner, and the warm summer breezes have been replaced by stinging winter winds.

But don’t think for a second that when Seabreeze Amusement Park closes up for the winter, the Sea Breeze neighborhood turns into a ghost town. That was my thinking when I visited there a few weeks ago. I actually wondered if any of the neighborhood’s businesses would even be open. I figured that when winter hits, they roll up their sidewalks and hibernate for a few months.

But then I walked into the Parkside Diner, and realized I was very wrong.

Click here to go to Afterthoughts and read the rest of the post.

* * *

email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@missyblog)

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Fairport, Ohio? Webster, Mass.?

10 Jan

Today I invite you all to check out the latest installment of my East Extra Afterthoughts blog.

Afterthoughts is a new, completely separate blog, where I’m reposting some of my favorite columns from when I was the Our Towns East Extra columnist for the Democrat and Chronicle.

The column I’ve chosen today was one I came up with in desperation. I had no idea what I was going to write that week, so I had to get creative. It was a fun little research project which I hoped would interest my readers no matter where they lived.

Game with town names yields results

Have you ever searched the Internet for your name? It’s fun to see how many of you there are in the world.

I did that for our towns. I wondered if there are more Brightons in the United States (lots). If Irondequoit, with its Iroquois-inspired name, is the only one in existence (yes).

It was an entertaining exercise. Here (with help from Google, Mapquest and Wikipedia) is what I found out.

Click here to go to Afterthoughts and read the rest of the post.

* * *

email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@missyblog)

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.