Sunday, May 2, 2021

Carter Hardware

  This article was written several years ago and printed in the Wellsville Daily Reporter

                                                Carter Hardware

 The bell rang when Dean Graves walked into the store and Kate asked him if he wanted his repaired window screen.  Dean, who’s been a friend and a customer since he was a boy, talked as she went to get it.  “Everything’s here.  If you need a weird little part, they have it and if they don’t, they’ll get it for you.” 

             That “can do, can find, can fix” reputation is as solid as the stone foundation that attaches Carter’s Hardware to 130 North Main.  In the horse and buggy days, circa 1900, A. E. Brandon opened the store to offer service to people and that’s what people continue to find.  Another customer, Dick Butler said, “If I can’t find what I need anywhere else, I come here.”

         My family discovered Carter’s when we moved to Wellsville in 1975.  Our neighbor at the time, Charles Hyde, was at the end of his career there.  He started after being in the 23rd Engineering Corps during World War I and over a period of nearly sixty years, some worked in tandem with John Boyd, Charles learned the purpose for every item tucked in corners and attics of the store owned, then, by Roy Carter. 

         When Roy Carter owned the store and hired Charles in the 20’s, there were no farm supply stores and lumber stores sold only lumber.  For other construction supplies, and to have things repaired, people went to a hardware store.  Carter’s was in one building then, selling wood and gas stoves, farm supplies, horse blankets and collars.  Upstairs, a hoist brought materials to the area where awnings were made to order and, in the basement, were machines for other kinds of custom work.  

    Nails came to the store in one hundred pound kegs and were put into bins under the main counter.  The counter now holds a computer instead of a cash register but the original scale is still there and ready to use, if you’d like to buy a few pounds of nails.

             Those hundred pound kegs were abandoned in favor of fifty-pound cardboard boxes years ago but some of the old kegs with their odd and out-of-demand nails are still in the back, just in case.

            That’s what makes Carter’s such a great place.  All kinds of gadgets are kept around and someone in the store knows what and where they are.  My husband, Rick, has gone searching high and low for things to be told that they aren’t made anymore but, when he comes to his senses and stops at Carter’s, they ask, “Would you like that in aluminum, brass or stainless steel?”

     In the seventies, small kitchen appliances could be brought to Carter’s for repair.  Now people usually throw small appliances away and buy new ones but the wall in the back room is covered with rubber belts and small engine parts.  The paint mixer takes up one corner while the workbench along the wall is the place for repairing vacuum cleaners, lawnmowers and snow blowers or for eating lunch.  On the wall, a list of prices for service can make a person gasp, but only because they are such reasonable numbers.  

     The pipe cutter that Mr. Brandon bought about a hundred years ago is still in service in the basement.  In addition to having pipes cut or threaded, customers can have glass cut, window screens repaired, any kind of saw or cutting blade sharpened and stove pipe crimped on the spot. 

             After Lee Guilford bought Carter’s in the 70’s, he extended the space, spreading the business into the second building, formerly a Sears store.  This allowed expansion of the selection of guns, swords and other sport equipment.

     Lee taught his sons, Jeff and Clark, the business the old fashioned way, by having them work in his store when they were kids.  A photo of young Jeff, surrounded by hardware, hangs between scenes of the store as Charles Hyde knew it.  Jeff took over the operation of the store with Clark several years a go but now he runs it with his younger brother, Zack.  They continued to offer merchandise, advice and repairs.

                 Taking the tradition into another generation, Kate Aronson works in the store part time.  She says there isn’t much of a choice about where you work when your Dad owns a store but that it’s really fun.  She has gained useful knowledge and skills.  She knows what to do with all the machines in the basement and most of the stuff upstairs, too. 

    And, may I stress, there is a lot of stuff.  Just standing on the foot-worn wooden floor at the front door, one can see keys, light fixtures, fans, ant traps, drills, dry wall tools, toy Radio Flyers in different scales, knives, Goop, and plastic floor covers sold by the yard.  A walk down any aisle reveals the reason why Jeff has so many catalogs in his office and why people are so often able to leave the store with just what they were looking for. 

     “I don’t know what it’s called but…” was the start of a customer’s inquiry that, with plenty of hand gesturing, tried to identify an object by its purpose.  In another store, an observer would think that this customer would leave empty handed but here she was patiently heard and led down the correct aisle, just as she expected.

                 Carter’s is open during the week from eight to six and until five on Saturday.  While someone fixes your broken window screen or sharpens your scissors or chain saw, you can find the right screw, nail, bolt or spring for your project, get a new apple peeling machine, select some cookie cutters, have your paint color blended, pick out a fishing pole or get some keys made. 

     Like Dean says, “Carter’s is a great place!”

 

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Where LOVE is a 4-Legged Word

Esmae, Esau, and Parker reading to cats
BELMONT: The new SPCA, where LOVE is a 4-legged word, is a huge, energy efficient building full of cuddly, fancy rats; snugly, active kittens; and dogs of all ages and sizes ready to lick your face.
                It’s impressive. It’s always impressive when a small group of people works out a way to knock down problems, find grants and form committees that end up pushing not paper but progress as they turn an empty lot into hope.  More impressive – this group has been working for abused and neglected animals since it was founded in Cuba in 1911.
                The new facility at 5440 State Route 19 in Belmont has been gearing up for a few weeks to open to the public this month. It will be open 7 days a week from noon till 4. They have the same phone number (585-593-2299) and mailing address (P O Box 381, Wellsville 14895) to make reaching them easier.
                Linda Pruski, President of the Board of Directors, talked about the design of the building and credited Andrew Harris of Wellsville. When the SPCA started raising money for a new, undefined facility, Harris was the owner of Better Days in Wellsville. For a time, he dedicated a dollar from every order of chicken wings to the SPCA building fund and, eventually, that amounted to $6500.
                That chicken wing fundraiser paid for the services of Animal Arts, a design firm that focuses on the architecture of veterinary and animal shelter facilities. They design so that staff and volunteers who care for animals work smarter and better. The money was well spent, said Pruski, “It was the smartest thing we did.”
                At the direction of Animal Arts, the new SPCA has a large foyer with room for a receptionist, lots of people and a store. There are items made for resale such as shirts and magnets but also locally made items from by Fetching Fashions by Dawn in Wellsville and J & J Animal Products in Olean. You can find jackets, doggy diapers, neck scarves, and other items, with animal themed fabric or for animal use in a variety of sizes and colors with a portion of all sales going to the SPCA.
Esmae explaining a blue horse to a cat.
                An entire wing is for cats. Several rooms have groups of cats, all named, cute, and looking for homes. Each room has a window to the outer world, a cat gym and a covered litter box. If you would like to donate things to help them out, please note that they use wood pellets, the kind burned in stoves, in the litter boxes and not clay or corn based litter.
                There are a few cages moved from the old facility for temporary housing for cats needing to be kept quiet or isolated while healing from surgery or injury. When they can manage it, the cages will be replaced with a cat patio – a catio.
                There is a room for rodents. Are you aware of how popular rats are? These are called fancy rats and apparently college students like them to ride in their hoodies or in a sweatshirt pouch. Rats train easily, are social, and like to bond with people so offer a lot of company in a small package earning the title of pocket pals.
                The male and female rats at the SPCA are separated early in their lives since their interest in breeding begins early and American veterinarians discourage spaying for rodents though the surgery is done in the UK, should anyone ask.
                Female rats stay with female pups and the moms co-parent all pups. Rats are happier with company so they recommend adopting rats in pairs. A while ago someone in Niagara County was found to have 400 rats in poor circumstances and the Allegany County SPCA answered a call for help finding homes for 40 rats at first but having continued demands, they brought more to the shelter.
                There is a surgery area as well as an isolation area with its own dish washer and clothes washer and dryer to keep any contagions in check and there are laundry facilities and store rooms for feed and supplies.
Locally made items for sale
                 On the dog-side of the building each animal has its own room with bed and bowls and sometimes run in an indoor play area.  The play area was funded in memory of the late Pat O’Brien of Alfred, a lifelong friend of dogs. Dog rooms have windows into the hall,  not the outdoors as in the cat wing.
                There’s a meet and greet room for adopting families and animal to have a visit and see if they are meant to be together and the whole thing is heated with a geo thermal system to keep costs down.
                The facility still has 10 full time staff members as it did at the old facility and accepts the help of many volunteers, all necessary to make the shelter work. One thing that is making demands on the SPCA now is the fact that so many farm animals (goats, chickens, ducks, horses, cows, and a number of pregnant ewes) were rescued. The animals had to be held for some time to give them medical care but also were held as evidence. Now these animals are starting to go to homes.
                Some of these farm animals are at the old facility in Wellsville and others are at a borrowed barn in Scio where all feed and care has to be provided by the SPCA so there is a staff member on the road to tend them since the new building has no space for farm animals.
Parker and a rat 
                Caring for all these animals takes resources.  Of course, money is always needed since they run on donations and fundraisers and no government money. It’s a no kill shelter so some animals stay long term and they need someone to talk with or walk with but they also need food.
                The wish list also includes solar panels on the roof, a barn on site and outdoor play areas for dogs and one might not predict what else.  Forever homes are always needed and adopting an animal requires payment of a set fee to help with the costs. Each animal is spayed or neutered (when appropriate) and is given vet care including shots as well has having a micro chip inserted.
                A lot of the care for animals comes from the Alfred State College Vet Tech program and Dr. Doug Pierson who stops by weekly to check the animals. Some animals spend time at the college where students learn to care for them. The Vet Tech program is an essential part of the Allegany County SPCA and defines the quality of care given to animals.
                Volunteers are always needed at the shelter but they also ask for these things to fill their store rooms:  wood pellets for litter box use, blankets, paper towels, bleach for disinfecting, laundry soap,  hay for farm animals, Purina cat food, Purina kitten chow, and 4 Health dog food sold at Tractor Supply.
magnets for sale
Locally made cat toys
                Donations are always welcome. Send a check to P O Box 381 Wellsville, 14895 or donate by credit card at 585-593-2200 between noon and 4 pm any day. You may donate online with PayPal at www.spcaallegany.org. Your help will keep the SPCA going for another 100 years.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Northern Lights Moves to a New Level


WELLSVILLE: Have you heard that Andy and Tina Glanzman sold their company, Northern Lights Candles, to George Duke, Chairman of Zippo? Glanzmans are excited, even energized, about the changes that they expect to range from satisfying to surprising and they see a future with positive changes impacting not just their lives but also the lives of their employees, present and future.

In his office, reminiscing about how it started, Andy talked of a formative experience:  watching the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1965. Andy didn’t just sing along with the show or hold someone’s hand. He saw his future standing there so sold his 10 speed bike turning that cash into a 1963 Fender bass then taught himself to play it and began writing songs. He wanted to pursue music though he admits it might have been because of all those cute, screaming girls. That episode of the Sullivan Show had a lot of screaming.

In 1971 Andy graduated from Calhoun High School on Long Island and later that year discovered Allegany County. His friend was invited to a party in Alfred and asked Andy to ride along with him. He was a city boy out for a new experience in a cow dotted landscape. The cows were noteworthy as was the landscape but what really mattered was meeting Tina at that party.

In 1973 Andy moved to Allegany County and spent some hungry times while performing regularly for tips at the Fassett House Hotel on weekends. He tried a couple of jobs in the area. One was working at a pheasant farm in Andover where the task was trimming beaks. Trimming is a benign word for the operation so Andy escaped from that job. The other job was loading Christmas Trees at Kent Farms, also not fun.  

In 1974, he and Tina were living in an apartment but the landlord raised the rent beyond their means to $90 a month so they moved into a tent for a while. Luck was on their side when Bill Hand, an 80 year old in need of some help sauntered over to the tent. Bill lived in a home without electricity but was a force of cheerfulness surrounded by several animals including a pony named Surprise.

Tina and Andy moved in with him for a while and helped him get along. Their admiration for Bill and his optimism rings still in their words about him. While living with Bill, they made candles to use at night. In 1975 they sold candles at the Andover Maple Festival and were thrilled when they earned $200 during the festival. “We ate that weekend,” grinned Andy.

They started going to craft shows and music festivals in a 1957 school bus converted to a camper. The bus had space for candle making as well as living. They sold candles from Cornell to New Orleans and what they learned was that wherever they went with candles, people bought them. In early days, they shared their success by hiring local musician friends to help make candles. Andy still played guitar and wrote  expressive, sensitive songs, so most of their friends were musicians.

During Christmas, Tina and Andy went to a shopping mall and Tina saw customers in the hundreds walking through the mall and wondered if people at a mall would buy candles too. Not long after, Andy designed a push cart, had it built by a friend in Andover, and was allowed to put it in the open area of the mall. For two weeks in December they sold candles like mad.  

 Over the 41 years of their NL experience, they have tried and failed as well as succeeded. They have learned and grown, changed and developed and now employ 120 people. This thriving business occupies 160,000 square feet of manufacturing space in 3 buildings. Ceramic items and fashion glassware pieces are manufactured in China by the tens of thousands of items but all those thousands are filled with wax and wicks in Wellsville and then sold around the world.

Their fashion glass items, specialty shapes for candles, are manufactured overseas because there aren’t any factories in the US that can produce the shapes in the quantities that are needed. The empty glass is shipped to Wellsville to be filled with wax.

Several years ago, this little creative force in the world of candle making caught the attention of larger corporations. Bigger companies and venture capital groups have been interested in purchasing Northern Lights for years but the Glanzmans were not willing to sell company unless certain items on their check lists could be fitted into the agreement.

The jobs had to stay in Wellsville.  Over the time, their average employee has stayed for 20 years and they didn’t want anyone tossed out or forced to move. They also wanted to see the company grow. Andy feels that instead of employing 120 people, Northern Lights could grow several times larger.  It needs the right support to develop overseas markets, especially in China.

Knowing that their company was desired and reaching the conclusion that they were ready to sell, they found a lawyer to help them find the right deal.

The Glanzmans wanted the sale to be a good for them, their employees and the area. Their 120 employees make candles, candle accessories, fragrances, diffusers, and aroma sprays. The candle making supplies at Joanne Fabric stores are produced by Northern Lights. They also make candles for Yankee and for private label companies like Walgreens. There are items sold under the Northern Lights label but these are high end products placed in about 4,000 gift shops. For over 40 years the idea has been to constantly reinvest in the company, to always grow and change and take chances. On January 25, 2019, Zippo grew to include Northern Lights Candles.

For the foreseeable future, Andy Glanzman will remain the driving force at NL but as an employee working in tandem with Mark Paup, Zippo’s CEO.  The exciting part is that Zippo brings the overseas elements that NL needs. The difficult part is deciding what idea to work on first.

Tina will be wrapping up her time as CFO and retiring. She isn’t sure who she will be when she isn’t a CFO any longer but she is looking forward to the discovery and whatever she does it will be with Andy singing to her along the way.

Selling a business isn’t simple. Zippo is buying all the trademarks, international trademarks, copyrights, , license agreements and properties as well as leases for showrooms in Dallas, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Seattle, and Minneapolis. The deal, starting with a letter of intent and ending with the sale, took 8 months to work out. Glanzmans are pleased to be bonded with Zippo whose headquarters is nearby in Bradford where the company has long been a valued part of the community. Zippo will keep the manufacturing in Wellsville and to continue to value the creativity and innovation that NL is known for.

The question for further development for Northern Lights Candles isn’t what can we do but what will we do first. Tina will be wrapping up her time as CFO and retiring. She isn’t sure who she will be when she isn’t a CFO any longer but she is looking forward to the discovery and whatever she does it will be with Andy singing to her along the way.

Selling a business isn’t simple. Zippo is buying all the trademarks, international trademarks, copyrights, , license agreements and properties as well as leases for showrooms in Dallas, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Seattle, and Minneapolis. The deal, starting with a letter of intent and ending with the sale, took 8 months to work out. Glanzmans are pleased to be bonded with Zippo whose headquarters is nearby in Bradford where the company has long been a valued part of the community. Zippo will keep the manufacturing in Wellsville and to continue to value the creativity and innovation that NL is known for. 



Andy and Tina Glanzman are the owners of the property holding The Fassett GreenSpace Project in Wellsville. Andy is a member at large of the board of directors of Art For Rrual America, the Not For Profit operating the GreenSpace. 

Learn more about Andy's project, the Fassett GreenSpace Project here: https://artforruralamerica.wixsite.com/afra/green-space

The products made at Northern Lights Candles are here: https://northernlightscandles.com/

You can see an image of Bill on this page https://northernlightscandles.com/pages/inside-story







Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Stock Your Shelves and Stuff Your Stockings at The Rogue Carrot

Dawn Bennett at The Rogue Carrot



ALFRED: A small, local business is more community than address. Sometimes it’s an interconnected weave of many families, farms and workshops and it brings income, warmth and nourishment to its village and neighborhood.
            Dawn Bennett is looking forward to her 5th Christmas at The Rogue Carrot, a small, natural grocery store and artisan outlet on West University Street in Alfred. She hopes you’ll stop in to see her because she offers much more than groceries and to entice you she is hosting a special event on Thursday, December 20. It’s her Stock Up & Stuff your Stockings Sale. It starts at 10 am but some of the best deals coincide with the Alfred Art Walk from 5 to 8 pm that day.
            Bennett said, “When you shop at the Rogue Carrot you support many local people. We have local honey, maple syrup, art, pottery, garlic, eggs, meats, milled flours and baked goods. We even have home baked dog treats in cheddar cheese, chicken, bacon and peanut butter, made just the way elves make them if Santa freed some up to live in Alfred.”
            The Rogue Carrot opens at 10 on December 20. During the day there will be grocery items offered at 20% off. Thursday is always Fish Day and Italian Bread Day as well as restocking day.
            At 5 that evening StoneFlowerPottery will present 25 pieces of pottery priced at $5 each. This is meant to help people on a limited budget find handmade, last minute gifts with a home town touch. Included will be soup or cereal bowls, vases, lace print plates, and other functional items.
            Bennett will serve free hot beverages and cookies from 5 pm until they are scooped up. Enjoy nibbling while choosing from among these stocking stuffers: Dr. Bonner’s soaps, cookies, brownies and other individually wrapped treats, chocolate covered cashews, almonds and/or espresso beans or chocolate candy bars.
            You can find tins of slippery elm lozenges or purchase licorice sticks for 25 cents each. These are not candy strips but sticks from the woody tropical plant that gives us licorice. 
           Other small gifts are mommy vases, small jars of honey and jars of hot chocolate mix. Handmade small items are earrings, many from upcycled materials, as well as bracelets and necklaces.
            If your gift giving aims beyond stocking stuffing, choose mugs or bowls made by any of the local potters represented on the shelves or select an Alfred tote bag or T-shirt (adult or child). To be remembered on laundry day all year long gift someone wool dryer balls to thump their clothing dry or buy some warm flip-top mittens in a bright color.
            Look at your house or a friend’s house for colors and compliment them with a hand woven rug made by an Amish neighbor. Suitable for any décor would be The Power of Goodness edited by Nadine Hoover or a book written and illustrated by Cyan Corwine. You can read, bake or eat while listening to Emma Tyme’s CD.
            Need more enticement? How about some hand blown glass tree ornaments? There’s an ATM onsite to help you enjoy this special sale. It starts on December 20 but some of the groceries and pottery will remain at 20% off until The Rogue Carrot closes at 1 pm on December 24. The store will be closed to give everyone there a break and to allow for the dreaded inventory but you’ll find them open again at 10 am on January 11.
            After you shop, be sure to read the joke at the end of your receipt. Stop by 14 ½ West University, check The Rogue Carrot on Facebook or call (607) 587-8840 and help make this Christmas warm for local businesses.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Little Gallery's New Space






WELLSVILLE: The Little Gallery is in a new place but the mission is the same, support for the Hart Comfort House in Wellsville. Barb Graves, owner of LaGra Salon and DaySpa started the Little Gallery in November 2015 in order to help a friend. Carol Riggs had a small shop in Cuba but she took off a month to have surgery. The month turned into a year because the surgery turned into a major struggle taking so much time that the business fell away from Riggs but her inventory remained.
                Barb Graves knew, at the time, that the florist in her building was moving to a new location so she had the idea to offer that space in friendship but needed more to fill the area. She asked a member of Allegany Artisans for help and so encouraged, moved forward. The florist was out on a Saturday and the Little Gallery opened on Monday, nameless but determined to work out the details.
                Formally, it is The Little Gallery Arts and Antiques and now it has a front row presence in the LaGra building. You still need to enter through LaGra but instead of walking through the salon, just pass the desk and turn right. The doorway there once led to Curves then became a pop up shop but now it’s The Little Gallery, Wellsville’s giving place for Christmas.
                For all 3 years of this enterprise, Graves has asked for nothing from those selling in her store. She covers the total cost of the area, the utilities and advertising and asks only that a portion of each sale to be donated to the Hart Comfort House.  If you do some of your Christmas shopping there, you can make the total donations made by vendors pass $4000 by the end of this year.
                Rather than listing vendors by name, let me say that you know many of them as Allegany Artisans, Wellsville Art Association members or from their work with the Allegany Arts Association. You’ll find all the names at the store so let’s focus on items. For your home or to gift there are hand-woven kitchen towels, hand sewn dolls or table runners, fabric bowls or wall hangings and handmade pottery and hand painted glassware.  
                Personal adornments include fabric purses and leggings or hand-woven scarves, hand assembled jewelry as well as totally handcrafted upcycled jewelry or the last of a group of handmade plastic pins (you’ve smiled when noticing them on people).  There are ornate, fabric purses and a small collection of music boxes. On the walls are framed photographs and original watercolors or oils or prints of other original paintings or maybe a few things handcrafted anonymously ages ago.
                A beekeeper brings in honey and related products and there is another person who makes soaps and lotions and balms. What else? Antiques. There are some people who have bought and sold antiques but others who have bought and bought now in need of emptying their homes so offer antiques from cast bronze to hand painted china or toys and hand-blown glass.  Occasionally there is furniture and right now there is a lamp with a handcrafted shade and a large cupboard as well as some smaller wooden items.
                There are also items that were purchased for Carol Riggs’ little store in Cuba, the inventory that started the whole idea. The merchandise range is wide and worth a look. The Little Gallery is only open when LaGra Salon is open and that is Tuesday through Saturday opening at 9 am but sometimes sooner. The shop is open till 8 on Thursday but only till 4 on Saturday and till 5 on other days.
                Are you wondering about what will happen to the space behind the salon? Barb Graves, a woman of ideas, will be doing some work to make a large and comfortable gathering area so that wedding parties can eat breakfast and talk as they all get hair and makeup done on that special day.
                Reach LaGra Salon at 585-59301321 or go in person to 21 East State Street in Wellsville. You might check www.lovelagra.com . The Little Gallery is present on the website or a facebook.com/ TheLittleGalleryArtsandAntiques.
                Shop Small. Shop Local. Shop to support The Hart Comfort House.






Earrings by Elaine Hardman










Thursday, November 1, 2018

Alfred State Fraternity at Fassett Greenspace Project

Kalvin  Hodgson

WELLSVILLE: Under a cold and constant rain, a group of Alfred State students brought their strength to the Fassett Greenspace Project to move heavy blocks, pull celery plants, hoist buckets of compost, spread peat moss and dig 6 large holes in what looked to be soil but turned out to be stone and mud.
                Kalvin Hodgson (Brooklyn NY, BA in Business explained that he was with a group from Psi Delta Omega Fraternity. Hodgson said that the brothers focus on activities that would be defined as philanthropy and youth service. In Alfred they often help the Hornell Humane Society.
Brothers and pledges spread compost in
the outer ring.
                They meet with young people in Hornell, interacting with them and playing basketball or other activities but through that they present to their young friends the idea that they too can go to college. It’s always easier to aim high when someone pays attention and tells you it’s possible.
                Kalvin said that he hasn’t heard this from someone yet but he knows others in the fraternity who has been thanked by kids who decided to go to college.
Celery roots are long, fine and extensive.
They hold tight to the soil. It's surprising how
difficult it is pull the plant out.
Quinn and Santos were surprised.
                While this group often goes to Hornell to work, on October 27, they traveled to Wellsille to do some heavy lifting at the Fassett Greenspace Project, ignoring the rain and cold of an early nor’easter.
Jason Boden, Aleczavier Cowans, Jonathan Betances, and
Tariq Yusuf helped dig the holes to place forms for the
Freenotes Harmony Sculptural Instruments.
                These brothers pledge to give 60 hours a year in community service. Jason Bodden (Building Trades, Construction) said that he looks to the group to make life long connections and says that the structure of the house encourages leadership skill development. Fraternity brothers with academic skills share those while others share their athletic skills. He described a defined governing structure that they adhere to with the goal of building character.
                Aleczavier Cowans has a degree in Culinary Arts already but he is still in Alfred working now to get a Bachelor’s in Business and in Tech Management. His family is from Jamaica and they all do a lot of gardening so he was interested in the goals of the Fassett Greenspace Project.
Santos Guevara, Brailen Tejada, Quinn Verpoten
mixing peat moss in with soil and compost.
                10 volunteers from Psi Delta Omega Fraternity spent one of October’s nastiest days helping the Wellsville community along side of four members of the Board of Directors of the project: Andy Glanzman, Cassandra Bull, Murph  Other members of Psi Delta Omega are Robert Smith, James Martin, Santos Guevara, Brailen Tejada, Quinn Verpoten, Tariq Yusuf, and Jonathan Betances.




Axtell and this reporter.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Lion Juice, One Day in Zimbabwe


The Lion Park


A page from Jay's Autobiography
In kindergarten, Jay drew a picture of Africa and told his student teacher about what he had seen.  Concerned because Jay insisted that he spoke from memory and not imagination, the teacher sent home a note. I sent back photos of our trip to Zimbabwe. Far-fetched as it seemed, Jay had spent time in Africa.

We went to Zimbabwe to visit Bill and Lorriane Sheehan. They offered to show us around their adopted home and took us in as family. Bill, as knowledgeable as he is charming, planned our experiences and chauffeured us around rhinos and armed guards to some of the most interesting places that we’ve been. 

The strongest memory for Jay is of his terror at the lion park. Zimbabwe has a lot of national parks and protected areas for animals. One animal that the park rangers try to keep under control is the lion. Lions, predators synonymous with fear and danger, can change an outing to a disaster so lion parks were established. The lions roam freely in the park where, after feeding time, cars full of curious people are allowed to drive. 

We drove there with Jay, Em and me in the back seat, Rick and Bill in front. Bill drove slowly through the gates and brought us to an area where lions were resting on huge boulders and dry sandy soil, a monochrome scene of tans with just a touch of green in the crooks of rocks. 

In hushed voices we shared excitement. A few feet away, lions stared with menacing eyes. We snapped photos of them yawning and showing rows of impressive teeth. Sometimes a lion would roar and give us goose bumps. All together, it was pretty cool.

Then, our feelings changed. A male, huge and powerful, stood and ambled around. We took a photo or two and then realized that this beast wasn’t stretching. He was approaching. As he headed toward the car, Bill cranked his window handle in a frantic blur.

Why Jay was correct to be frightened
Jay became nervous. He knew what lions did and he knew that where we saw a boy, the lion saw a tasty morsel. The lion put his face at our window, closing out any other view. Little Jay’s breathing was rapid. My arms around him offered no reassurance. There were few things that Mom couldn’t deal with but this clearly was one of them.

Jay started screaming when the lion stood on the trunk, letting drool make gooey tracks on the back window as he watched us cowering. Jay wanted to go from the back seat to the front seat or maybe under the front seat. “Drive the car, Uncle Bill! Drive the car!” he demanded.

The other lions, of course, became somewhat interested in the ruckus. Emilie, wide-eyed and nervous, suggested that Jay play his mimbera (thumb piano) to calm the lion. Finally, the lion backed down and returned to his dusty resting place, Jay stopped screaming, Em resumed breathing, and Uncle Bill, calm restored, drove the car.