Webster community mailbag

4 May

The Webster Arboretum Association, together with local growers and local garden clubs will host the 2022 Webster Arboretum Plant Sale on Saturday May 7 from 8 a.m. to noon.

A tremendous variety of beautiful, healthy plants from standard to uncommon will be available including annuals, dwarf conifers, hostas, geraniums, tomatoes, and more. It’s a great way to celebrate spring and get some live plants perfectly suited for your garden. And don’t forget … Mother’s Day is Sunday!

The sale will be held at the Webster Arboretum, 1700 Schlegel Rd. Webster.

The Webster Central School District Budget Vote and School Board Election is coming up Tuesday May 17. The vote will be held at Webster Schroeder High School from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. To view detailed information about the district’s 2022/23 proposed budget, click here.

For the Board of Education election, community residents will be asked to elect three individuals for three-year terms. Nine people are running. The three candidates receiving the greatest number of votes will be deemed elected and will begin their terms of office on July 1, 2022.

Click here to read bios about all of the candidates. You’re also invited to join a live-streamed Meet the Candidates Night on Tuesday May 10 from 7 to 9 p.m. The link is: www.websterptsa.org/mtcn2022. If you can’t make it Tuesday, check back on the PTSA website for a recorded video.

The Friends of the Webster Public Library will host their annual Spring Book Sale from Thursday to Saturday May 12 to 14. Hardcover books are just $1, and paperbacks just 50 cents.

Hours are Thursday May 12 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. Friday and Saturday are also BYOB Bag Sale, when $5 fills a bag. (Bring your own bag.)

If you haven’t noticed yet, the New York DOT has begun a huge Rt. 104 roadwork project on the east side of town. It involves resurfacing, improving traffic signals, replacing guard rails, repainting pavement markings and crosswalks and more.

This is going to be a summer-long project; they don’t anticipate finishing everything until November. So keep an eye out for workers, obey flagmen, and how ’bout we all slow down a bit when we’re going through the construction zones?

Click the photo below for details. (You can also see the map on the Town of Webster webpage.

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

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(posted 5/4/2022)

Introducing the Braman Nature Preserve

3 May

Six years ago, from January through December 2016, I took on an ambitious project. I challenged myself to visit 100 east-side parks and walk or bike or run at least a mile of the trails at each one — if there were any.

I called the project my “2016 Tour de Parks,” and I chronicled my journeys in a blog. (It’s still online; if you’re interested, click this link.) My quest was ultimately successful. I notched my last park in early December, and by the time I was done I’d actually visited 102 parks.

So you’d think I’ve seen every park and natural area there is to see in our town. But recently I heard about a nature preserve which lies only a few miles east of my home, and has existed for more than 10 years: the Braman Nature Preserve.

I decided that I should check it out, too. So last Sunday my husband and I headed out to explore it and take a short hike.

The Eva and Harlan Braman Nature Preserve is located at 1775 Ridge Rd., near the Town of Webster’s easternmost border. It’s very easy to drive by (we did, twice). There’s no large sign announcing its existence. But basically, the entrance is just east of Basket Rd., across Ridge from the intersection with Ridge Rd. Junction.

The preserve is comprised of about 60 acres of former farmland, now fields, and about 11 acres of forest. The land was donated to the Genesee Land Trust in 2011 by Laurel Bruns and Gary Braman in honor of their grandparents, Eva and Harlan Braman. About 1.5 miles of grassy trails are regularly mowed into the fields and through the woods.

The hike begins along a path which at this time of year is very muddy and swampy, although the Land Trust workers have tried to mitigate the mess by putting down a rudimentary boardwalk along part of it. That path leads to a large field — which only looks large until you take a second path leading to another field which is probably four times larger.

The main trails generally follow the edges of these two fields, but one does dip into the woods for a bit along Halesworth Lane, so for a while you can admire some very nice residential back yards. Having a trail map is helpful to keep from wandering onto the farmer’s property to the west (because the trails are not particularly well marked). Birdsong filled the air at every step of our hike. There was never a time when I COULDN’T hear 104 traffic and nearby construction vehicles, but the birds managed to drown it out most of the time. It’s a very peaceful hike.

There is a sign at the trailhead which warns that the trails are seasonally wet and muddy. That was an understatement. My sneakers, socks and pants all went into the washer when I got home.

The reason the Braman Preserve crossed my radar is that the Genesee Land Trust would like to create a six-space gravel parking lot at the park’s entrance. I saw an announcement about their plans in a recent Town newsletter.

A parking lot would be a great improvement. Right now the only place to park is along the shoulder of busy Ridge Rd. A parking lot would certainly encourage more nature lovers to discover this beautiful preserve. (It would also be great if the Trust could build a few more boardwalks to traverse the swampiest areas!)

So check it out sometime for yourself, even before they build the parking lot. Just don’t wear any shoes which you can’t afford to get muddy.

Here are a few photos from our hike, and scroll to the bottom to see a trail map.

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

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.

(posted 5/3/2022)

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

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.

(posted 5/4/2022)

Explore a secret garden this weekend

2 May

The Webster Schroeder Theater Company invites the community to discover a little bit of magic this weekend, and explore The Secret Garden, a charming musical the whole family will love.

In this upbeat adaptation of the literary classic by Frances Hodgson Burnett, a young girl is sent to live in England after her parents die in India. Her new home, Misselthwaite Manor, turns out to be a gloomy fortress. However, she discovers a strange walled garden that has been locked up for years. With the gardener’s apprentice — who can talk to the animals — she coaxes the garden back to life, and discovers it has a wonderful, magical effect on all who come into it.

An uplifting musical score adds to the delightful story line, making it a production that’s perfect for the entire family.

The Secret Garden will be presented in two performances, Friday and Saturday May 6 and 7 at 7 p.m. at Webster Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Rd. Tickets are $8 for students and seniors, $10 for all others. Click here for tickets.

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

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.

(posted 5/3/2022)

A public apology from the museum

2 May

As you might know, last Sunday’s much-anticipated talk at the Harmony House by shipwreck explorer Jim Kennard hit an unexpected snag, causing it to be postponed. Apparently that took a lot of people by surprise.

Today, the museum released the following statement:

The Webster Museum regrets the necessary cancellation of its May 1 program at the Harmony House due to the sudden illness of the speaker. We attempted to inform the public by contacting all the publications who had so kindly supported our program and placing signage at the venue.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this cancellation and wish Jim well in his recovery.

Stay tuned to my blog for updates, because I’ll let everyone know as soon as it has been rescheduled.

Make sure never to miss any of my blogs by subscribing using the email function along the right side of this page. Every time I post something you’ll be among the first to know.

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

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.

(posted 5/2/2022)

Picture Webster beautiful

1 May

Hey all you photographers out there! Here’s your chance to get your work noticed!

The Town of Webster and Webster Recreation Center are hosting a Webster Photo Contest, open to anyone of any age, and you don’t even have to be a resident of Webster.

The goal, according to the Rec Center, is to “capture, in photo, the very best picture that represents the Town of Webster.”

The rules are simple:

  • Photos must have been taken in Webster or be a photo showing Webster, NY
  • Submissions must have been actually taken by the submitter
  • Photos must be emailed by June 3 to jschillaci@ci.webster.ny.us
  • Submitted photos may be used by the Town in future marketing or communication materials

There’s no charge to enter, and registration is not necessary. The original photo resolution is preferred via email. The winning photo will be printed and put on display at the Webster Recreation Center with the photographer’s name. So you could be famous!

So get out there and get snapping!

(I’m not going to enter, but I dropped a few of my favorite Webster photos here. If you’d liek to see more of my favorites, check out my “Artist’s Wall” page, where I’ve posted two dozen photos which were displayed last August at the Webster Public Library. Two of them are below.)

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

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.

(posted 5/1/2022)

Our local heroes are invited to go fishin’

30 Apr

The Genesee Valley Chapter of Heroes on the Water is up and running, and has planned their first event for this coming Saturday May 7 at Mendon Ponds Park.

Heroes on the Water, established in 2007, is a veterans charity which

creates alternative wellness programs to serve veterans, active-duty military personnel, first responders and their families. These experiential programs incorporate structured activities proven to improve the lives of these men and women. Each experience reduces the impact of post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury while providing much-needed camaraderie and support (from the Heroes on the Water website).

The primary therapy utilized by the program is kayak fishing, offered at free events hosted by more than 60 volunteer-led chapters around the country.

Our local chapter (Genesee Valley New York Chapter of Heroes on the Water) was chartered a year ago, the efforts of four Webster friends: Tracy Holley, Gordon Clarke, Ned Stromfeld and Justin Erdley. During its first summer, activities mostly focused on get-to-know-you events and purchasing equipment. This year, though, the group is ready to hit the ground running, with several fishing kayaks, plenty of equipment, and plans for five fishing events, the first of which is this coming Saturday.

There are still participant spots available for the May 7 event, which will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 100 Acre Pond, Mendon Ponds Park. There’ll be plenty of volunteers to help you out if you’ve never kayak fished before, and there’s no charge. Plus, there’ll be food afterwards.

For more information, check out the Genesee Valley Chapter’s Facebook page, or if you just want to jump in and register right away, click here for the eventbrite page.

Spread the word to all of the local heroes you know!

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

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.

(posted 4/30/2022)

Shipwreck program postponed

29 Apr

The Jim Kennard presentation about shipwrecks in the Great Lakes, scheduled for May 1 at the Harmony House, has been postponed. I’m sure they’ll want to reschedule, so stay tuned for the new date.

A small slice of Webster’s musical history

28 Apr

Over the last several weeks I’ve been having a very interesting email conversation with one of my readers, a gentleman who lives in San Diego.

Mark Peacox is a former Webster resident who first wrote to me back in early March in response to a blog I wrote about all of the live music available in the Village of Webster. The email began,

It’s great to hear about the growing musical scene in Webster, although I’m saddened that I can’t partake in it as I’m living in San Diego. You may not be familiar with some of Webster’s musical history, so I’ll tune you in.

Mark then proceeded to share with me some of the wonderful memories he had of Webster’s music scene when he was a teenager. In the following weeks, Mark followed that original email with several others, all long and well-written, painting a detailed and very entertaining picture of what village life was like for kids back in the 1950s and 60s.

With Mark’s permission, I’d like to share some of his stories with you today. I think you’ll be as fascinated as I was. He began with his memories of musical Webster:

When the Beatles made their first appearance on the Sunday evening Ed Sullivan Show, America was transformed. My friends and I raided our newspaper route money and bought guitars and started to teach ourselves how to play. Our first few gigs were house parties. Eventually, the town started to warm to the idea of long-haired teens playing loud rock music and soon, we were playing at all the churches: Webster First Methodist, Webster Baptist, Holy Trinity, Webster Lutheran, and more. The churches would sponsor weekend dances. We expanded to the Teen Canteen at the Webster Town Hall, the basement of Empire Lanes, the golf course on Salt Rd. and other venues in Fairport, Penfield, Ontario and Sodus.

A young man convinced the village to allow him to develop a center for teens to hang out. Somehow, the village was convinced that teens needed their own place away from home and school, and the “Rec Center” or “Rec Hall” was born. They converted the town’s maintenence and vehicle repair center (site of today’s Webster Museum) on Lapham Park into the Webster Recreation Center, and held concerts and dances for the local teens. The Rec Hall became THE PLACE to go. Later, the Rathskeller and other teen musical venues popped up on Main St. and Commercial St.

One of the more amazing events to ever occur during my early teen years was when the village shut down the four corners of Main St. and Route 250 to sponsor a musical streetfest. The band, “Wale” (with lead guitarist Mike Marconi of East Rochester – years later he played for the Billion Dollar Babies, Alice Cooper’s band) were setup on a large stage in front of the Marine Midland Bank (formerly the Webster Hotel) and entertained a packed crowd on Main St. with music from the Beatles and other British Invasion groups.

Mark was born in 1950, in a house on Doran St. in the city of Rochester. His family moved to Iroquois St. in the Village of Webster before he turned 1.

In Webster, I lived the bucolic life, playing with my neighborhood friends in the Cape Brothers’ (farmers) field behind the house. We helped to bale hay, feed pigs and cows on occassion, build tree houses and snow forts for snowball fights, and sled down the hill in the farmers’ field. We swung from vines in the woods at the end of the street, playing Tarzan, and we caught tadpoles in the creek. If we weren’t climbing or hiking and exploring, we were riding our bicycles everywhere. We would camp out in a tent in our backyard during the summer and gaze in awe at the twinkling stars. …

I think one of the things I miss most is the Firemens Carnival. Its arrival always brought so much anticipation and excitement every year. From the Kiddies Parade to the Firemens Parade, the rides (the Round-Up was a terrifying rite of passage) to the steamed clans and ultimately, coming of age to pass through the gates of the Beer Tent.

Mark served as an air traffic controller during the Vietnam conflict and three years in Korea. Afterwards, he spent a short stint at Kodak before landing a job as an air traffic controller in Newport Beach, CA. He and his wife moved there in 1981. He remembers when he came back for a visit and showed his kids around his old home town.

Around twenty years ago, my wife and I were on another annual (or more) visit with family in Webster (she is from Webster, too) while our sons were somewhere between 8-10 years old. I took them on a tour of my old neighborhood and into the deep, dark woods at the end of the street.

These two California boys were terrified of the woods. The trees blotted out most of the sunlight and they had never seen such dense foliage. But what most impressed me was that NOTHING HAD CHANGED since the ’50s. So many features of Webster were still the same, which stood in great contrast to Southern California where every patch of dirt is quickly developed in a tract of homes or an industrial park or a strip mall. For me, it was refreshing and reaffirming that Webster was Where Life Is Worth Living.

Mark’s emails brought me back to my own youth, growing up in small-town Owego, and all of the simple fun we had riding our bikes, going to the community pool, sneaking into the County Fair. They’ve helped me picture what life must have been like growing up here. I long for the simple days we had back then.

It’s so neat to hear that folks are using my blog to keep in touch with their hometown. One day I hope to meet up with Mark when he comes back into town, so I can spend a whole afternoon reliving the old days.

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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.

A busy Webster Saturday lies ahead

27 Apr

As I was looking through my “what am I going to blog about next?” notes, I noticed that there are no fewer than FOUR events coming up this weekend — well, Saturday Aril 30, specifically — which I thought I’d better remind you all about.

I’ve already told you about the first four:

Spring Barbecue

St. Martin’s Lutheran Church’s spring chicken BBQ is Saturday, from 4:30 p.m. until they’re sold out.

This is a drive-through event. Dinners will include a half chicken, salt potatoes, cole slaw, roll and butter for $12. There will be no advance sales; cars can pay when they enter the parking lot, first come, first served. Signs will direct cars to the pay station, and then to the side entrance where you can pick up the boxed dinners.

Proceeds will support St. Martin’s Christmas Stocking Project which reaches more than 500 youth in Monroe and Wayne counties.

Cars Along the Creek

The Friends of Webster Trails will be leading a guided hike through Four Mile Creek Preserve on Saturday, and telling you all about the six abandoned cars you can see along the trails. Apparently the land on which the preserve is now located, at the corner of Phillips and Lake roads, used to be used by the local youth as a makeshift racetrack in the early 1960s. Among the cars you’ll see are:

* 1951 Chevrolet Styleine Deluxe Bel Air
* 1961 Ford 500 Galaxy Club Victoria
* 1959 Nash Rambler
* 1959 Chevy Bel Air
* 1954 Plymouth Belvedere Suburban
* 1949 Green Nash Airflyte

The two-hour hike will begin at 10 a.m. at the parking lot on Phillips Rd.

Drug Take-Back

Also on Saturday April 30, the Webster Health and Education Network is holding a Drug Take-Back Event in conjunction with Wegmans, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at both the Holt Rd. and Baytowne locations. No appointment is necessary. Just look for a drop-off location in the parking lot.

Only pills and patches will be accepted, no needles, liquids or sharps.

Shredding Event

The Webster Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Shredding Event on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Chamber of Commerce office, 1110 Crosspointe Lane. The event is open to everyone and there’s no quantity limits, but please remove all file folders, binders and plastic bags.

Harmony House concert to benefit Hope House

This last event is something I only learned about a few days ago but it sounds like a lot of fun AND it’s for a good cause.

Five live bands will be coming together at the Harmony House on Saturday from 2 to 8 p.m. for a family-friendly “Spring Harmony Unmasked” concert to benefit Hope House.

The bands — Group Therapy Country Grass Band, Gabrielle Owen, the BarnStrummers, Fragile Ego and Eli & Co. — will play a wide range of music including country, bluegrass, southern rock, pop and more.

Suggested donation at the door is only $5 for a whole afternoon and evening of music, and all proceeds will benefit Hope House of Webster. There will be a cash bar as well. For more information, including more about each band and when each band will be playing, click here.

The Harmony House is located at 58 E. Main Street in the Village of Webster.

And this just in…

I found out that a few local Girl Scout troops will be setting up shop Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. in front of Barry’s Old School Irish to sell their leftover Girl Scout cookies.

This is a great opportunity to stock up again — and perhaps try a new variety — especially if you’re like me and somehow the freezer in the garage was not QUITE far enough away to keep you from eating all of your original batch of cookies.

Barry’s is located at 2 West Main Street in the Village of Webster, right at the village’s four corners.

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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.

Tropical shirts, beach drinks? It’s Webster-itaville!

26 Apr

Important update: This event has been postponed due to COVID concerns. Stay tuned for the new date!


Didn’t make it to a sunny, warm beach during Spring Break last week? No worries, Lala of Webster is bringing the beach to us!

It’s Jimmy Buffett Night in the Village this Thursday night. From 5 to 7 p.m., Lala will be featuring Jimmy Buffett-themed music, food and drink. Everyone’s encouraged to come dressed in your favorite tropical attire and bright colors, and escape for some beach-time (or at least beach-like) fun.

Then, just like Betty White Night in February, the party continues next door at Jojo Bistro, which will have live music and be serving up some Buffett-themed drink specials. Need dinner? Across the street, Webster Hots will have a Cheeseburger in Paradise and Margaritaville combos, featuring a burger and fries for $8 or two burgers and a large fry for $13.

There’ll be door prizes as well, so make sure to head into the village this Thursday night and shake off the spring chill. (P.S. keep an eye out for parrots.)

Lala of Webster is located at 38 East Main Street.

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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.