Life is a (Small Town) Carnival

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Like any kid growing up in the snowbelt otherwise known as Blasdell, I looked forward to three things each summer. The beginning of summer would signal going to IMG_0016_Mendon_Carnival_Twilight_300Fantasy Island to celebrate a good report card, ride the steamboat and watch the live shootouts. The end of summer meant going to the Erie County Fair to see the vast array of other-worldly side shows on the Midway, the acrid smell of burnt oil and rubber at the demolition derby and the taste of my grandfather’s sumptuous pizza. Sandwiched in between, both chronologically and geographically was the Big Tree Fireman’s Carnival. I think it was actually called the Big Tree Firemen’s Annual Field Days. But for kids (and headline writers short on space) it was the Big Tree Carnival.

Here’s the real difference between Fantasy Island, the Erie County Fair and the Big Tree Continue Reading “Life is a (Small Town) Carnival”

Size Doesn’t Matter

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It may have been my father’s greatest embarrassment, but it was my greatest loss, a loss erased only by 25 years and a chance plumbing mishap.

How my family sees my long lost 1970 trophy.

It all started on a day which lives in “famy” (as opposed to“infamy”). No, I’m not exaggerating. It really was a famous day. On Saturday, March 7, 1970, I found myself bowling three games at Leisure Lanes in Hamburg, New York, among several dozen participants in the first Bowling Tournament my Cub Scout Pack ever had. The rest of the Northern Hemisphere spent the bulk of that sunny midday experiencing the greatest total eclipse of the sun our corner of the Earth will have until April 8, 2024.

I had won the Cub Scout Pack Bowling Tournament that day. My father, the Pack’s Cubmaster, bought a nice bowling trophy and a brass plate to etch the name of the winner. He didn’t expect Continue Reading “Size Doesn’t Matter”

Fill Out The Old Mendon Cobblestone Firehouse Survey!!!

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the November 22, 1990 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

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(N.B.: The author is a member of the Old Mendon Cobblestone Firehouse Community Task Force and gratefully thanks everyone in the Mendon Fire District for completing their survey.)

By now, many of the households in the Mendon Fire District should have received their Old Mendon Cobblestone Firehouse Community Opinion Survey. Being only one page in length and with return postage provided, it’s very simple to fill out. In addition, it’s very Continue Reading “Fill Out The Old Mendon Cobblestone Firehouse Survey!!!”

White Cream Donuts

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the November 8, 1990 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259To the world: I apologize. I confess to a vice of unimaginable corruption. I am truly sorry. In my regret, I confront a life-long affliction – my passionate ardor for… white cream donuts.

It began as a child. On bright sunny Sundays, my parents would take me, my brother and my sisters to the donut shop after church. As soon as my father parked the car, we would joyfully yank open the doors and leap out into the modest bakery. Inside, our nostrils filled with the warm sweet smell of freshly made donuts. We had Continue Reading “White Cream Donuts”

An Old-Fashioned Circus – RIGHT Here in Honeoye Falls!

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the June 21, 1990 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259I don’t have many childhood memories of going to the circus. (About the closest thing I can think of concerns the Big Tree Firemen’s Carnival, but that’s another story so forget I even mentioned it!)

It’s not like I never went to a circus or anything. The big circuses I visited, though, had too much bigness for a little kid to really enjoy. For example, from the upper level of Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo, one needs binoculars to catch the funny magic tricks clowns like to perform. This cannot represent the kind of up-close-Continue Reading “An Old-Fashioned Circus – RIGHT Here in Honeoye Falls!”

Mendon Water Tower Redux

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the June 14, 1990 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

 

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259You can look elsewhere in this paper for a report on the June 7 meeting between concerned Mendon citizens and the Monroe County Water Authority (MCWA). The following merely comments on those proceedings in as fair and unbiased a fashion one can expect from a resident of Mendon.

The meeting last Thursday night showed a few interesting things. First, it looks like everyone agrees we’ve got a water problem in southeast Mendon. Second, those Continue Reading “Mendon Water Tower Redux”

Banzai!

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[This Commentary originally intended to appear in the March 22, 1990 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

 

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259Banzai!” shouted Joey as he thrust headfirst straight down the side of the mountain.

Banzai!” yelled Ricky shooting through the narrow gap of eerie outcroppings of ragged rock before gliding into a white abyss of sheer ice. His monoski barely touched the gritty granular snow which provided the only hope for braking his fall.

Banzai!” echoed Ken, a tequila primed fireplug of non-stop energy and exuberance, following his comrades off the 11,000 foot peak at nearly ninety miles an hour.Continue Reading “Banzai!

More Lasting Than Bronze

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Exegi monumentum aere perennius.

Horace begins a sarcastic ode on his own immortality with the above phrase, which translates to “I have erected a monument more lasting than bronze.” 967194_45349181_Roman_Ruins_stock_xchng_royalty_free_300Ironically, in our continuing study of this poem, Horace has, indeed, achieved a form of immortality, one invulnerable to the physical ravages of time.

Last week I wrote a fanciful speech I never intended to deliver (“Et tu, Espagnol?”). This week, however, fate guided me to the School Board meeting where, with no preparation I delivered the following remarks (perhaps slightly embellished for the purposes of this page):

“I am reminded of a time some twenty or so years ago when a different Continue Reading “More Lasting Than Bronze”

Mega-Mall Mania

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the December 7, 1989 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259Those picture postcards really have it. The small chateau with the roof thickened by a foot of snow. The gentle rolling hills of white. The soft pillar of smoke rising mildly from the brick chimney. The Charlie Brown size snowflakes feathering down from the pleasantly gray sky. The scene conjures all the familial imagery of a country Christmas.

A far cry from the maddening malls of suburban shopping centers. These hubs of hysteria make even the slushy city glisten with tradition. Somehow, when they invented Continue Reading “Mega-Mall Mania”

Monday Night Volleyball

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the October 26, 1989 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259For years I have played volleyball. In fact, if memory serves correctly, I spent the last two-and-a-half years of high school gym classes dabbling in the sport. Yes, in those days, the team of SC3 proved to be truly entertaining. (You have to read that last sentence with the voice of Howard Cosell in order for it to be really effective.) Of course, the four of us had an advantage – we were always on the same team. That experience of teamwork, and the resulting rapport, far exceeded our scrawny, unathletic builds and helped make our unit equal to much larger classmates – a victory for all 98-pound weaklings.

Though we competed vigorously, no stressful seriousness spoiled our fun. We won some games, we lost some games. We didn’t enforce the rules strictly; after all, our Continue Reading “Monday Night Volleyball”