September 2008
RAMBLIN’ with Helen...

I received an email from our editor on 8/11 requesting items for our September newsletter to be sent no later than 9/2, so as to give her time to get it in the mail before our Sept. 14th meeting.  Since they are going to Wrench Ranch for the Labor Day weekend show, anything received early would be a big help, and knowing full well how much that helps, decided to get started as am going to try and keep items I’ve received in order of dates. 

Speaking of the newsletter, the approved minutes of the June 8th meeting reveals that starting in September, our newsletter will return to the monthly status, with July/Aug. continuing to be combined. I sincerely hope this will entice some of our long time members (if they hear about it) to decide to rejoin CNYBA.  I received a nice letter from a member who had belong since 6/95 telling me “he had no interest in retaining his longtime membership due to discontinuance of the Apple Valley Festival and quarterly newsletter – no longer offered him the benefits he desired.”  He also expressed his appreciation for all I have done for the association – especially for the Ramblin’ column.  I wrote him regarding going back to a monthly newsletter in Sept. and hopefully our festival would and could be revived, but had no response. 

Cathy Campbell, our treasurer, reported she had received approximately $300, for the Bakeless Bake Sale” effort. The profit of the show held at Wacky Wyatts was $454.94, and I hear they are planning another one, which may be advertised elsewhere in this newsletter. I received a nice email from Bill Light telling about our annual picnic held at Mercer Park on June 8th.  With the extreme heat, and the Thousand Island Festival being that weekend, 30 people were there and all enjoyed the delicious ham cooked by Kathy Kinney and the many side dishes and delicious desserts were fabulous.

He also told about Les Hathaway, Bob Hayden, Mark Sostrin and himself playing at the Cystic Fibroses “Great Stride” walkathon fundraiser held on 5/31 at the Inner Harbor in Syracuse. Kathy Kinney, who has a grandson afflicted with this terrible disease, asked them to play, and joined them to sing some songs.  A crew from Channel 10 News was there and a short footage of them was featured later that day on their news broadcast. What a wonderful way this was for our association and our talented members to let the public know who we are, and what we are doing to keep our music alive. 

On June 15th, Ted Wrench was taken to the cardiac unit at Wilson Hospital with acute congestive heart failure, and by turning his pacemaker lead that was off, back on, he was able to return home on the 17th, but was in constant discomfort.  His heart was working good, and the doctor’s hoped in time the discomfort would subside – haven’t heard but what he is still “hanging in there”. 

I received a nice long letter from honorary member Sharon Volles  written June 12th, (she’s not an emailer), expressing her disappointment at no festival but so glad to know the newsletter will once again be monthly. Her husband, Norm was in the hospital with a badly infected finger, which was saved by an operation and treatment at University Hospital. Since he is the “bread winner” for the family, and his work entails either mechanic or running a sawmill, being “laid up” was not good, but he is back to being able to do most everything again. They have a 10 year old grandson (going on 20) that is a big help.  Sharon’s mother and father are both in failing health and one of their daughters takes care of them during the week. Her father has Parkinson’s, and her mother is in her “own little world” with severe Alzheimer’s. Please keep them all in your prayers – and I know a card or note now and then would be a big “boost” to Sharon – 378- Otisco Rd., Marietta, NY 13110. 

Another longtime member, Carol McGingley  and I correspond via email often, and am glad to report that she is gradually getting out and about. She has a neighbor who is also a widow, and they go to the Jam Sessions in Hannibal on Mon. nights, and a new one in Oswego on Wed. nights. Her comp case (on going for nearly 8 years) is hopefully progressing with the aid of a new lawyer, and I ask you to please pray it will soon be settled as she can’t do much due to so much pain. (She was a nurses aid, and hurt her back while lifting a patient). 

In my June Ramblin’ I told about Joy Crouch’s pending biopsy. It was cancerous, and she had surgery to remove the lump and lymph nodes. On July 30th she found out she will have a routine of one day of chemo, off 3 weeks for 4 sessions, followed by radiation.  The outlook isn’t all that good, but  Joy has great faith in prayer and wants to thank one and all who have kept her in theirs, and asks for continued prayers. 
I kept in touch with Donna and Bob Walter via email during the winter and received word on July 9th that they arrived back at their summer camp on July 2nd; where they found everything dry, including the well they thought!  But, after some investigating, found it needed a “new something or other”. The toilet cracked during the winter and they only stock two at the hardware, and,  would you believe, when Bob went to get one, both had been sold that morning!!  Somehow, they both seem to laugh and take things in stride.  They have sold their motor home, but now have a van.  She had seen Perry Cleaveland at Old Forge (Perry along with John Rossbach put on a show there) and he told her that his Mom, Maxine is still at Loretto doing well, and that the whole family was together in Syracuse over the 4th. 

I had an email from Mary Phillips (one of the late Andy Pawlenko’s sisters) telling me that her sister Tillie’s husband, John passed way on July 10th; and on the 11th Tillie was admitted with pneumonia and low blood pressure. (I know that many of you know Tillie and John, as they always came with the Pawlenko Gang to our festivals.)

Joy Crouch emailed me regarding the meeting held at our mew meeting place, “Park Rose Estates”, and reports it is a very nice place to meet.  Several of the residents came to hear the music, and one of them showed her and Mark Sostrin’s wife, Shelia, her apartment. Another resident, Victor, played his harmonica and Joy says he has a beautiful singing voice. When it was time to leave the residents told them they were sad to see them leave, but glad to hear we will be back each month.

I urge all our members to make an effort to attend our meetings, and yours truly will do so when she can. I’ll be in Old Forge on Sept. 12th thru the 14th for our 2000 Eastern Star’s Group Reunion, but hopefully will be able to make the Oct. one. 

I received a new membership from John Hayes, who included a letter telling about the 1st Annual Memorial Golf Tournament (in honor of Andy Pawlenko) on Sat., Sept. 6th (closest Saturday to Andy’s birthday).  This is the golf course where Andy worked (built the buildings) and played a lot of golf.  This event was advertised on our website, but is a VERY GOOD EXAMPLE of why we need our MONTHLY NEWSLETTERS, as our Sept. issue will reach our membership after the event!  They also have an “Open Mic” jam session on Wed. evenings.  John says there are several musicians coming and would love to have some “watchers” join them. 

One of our members asked me to ask all of you to please keep Rose and Ron DePeyster in your thoughts and prayers as Ron battles some health issues. 

Well, folks this brings me up to what was really the “highlight” of my summer – the benefit festival for Vera House held at the LaFayette Apple Valley Festival Grounds on July 31st thru Aug. 2nd.  One of our most thoughtful, kindest and considerate members, BILL LIGHT called me on Wed., July 30th and said he was coming to get me on Sat. to go to the festival.  Folks, Bill lives in East Syracuse, (30 some miles from Cato, and in the opposite direction of the festival) and would not take NO for an answer, (but he has to give me an “A” for effort in trying to discourage him).  Needless to say, I’m so thankful for him doing this, and had a wonderful time, seeing and visiting with so many of you that were there. I counted over 50 of our members and am sure I missed some. I’ve heard our former president, Ed Cambell (who along with John VanDusen were co-chairman of the event) say many times we have so much great talent right in our own “back yard” and folks, that weekend proved it.  When one of the scheduled bands was unable to be there, Mark Sostrin convinced Cora Sturge to be a leader of a terrific “pick-up band” that did an outstanding job, as did all the other scheduled bands. 

While there, I learned that a long over-due honor came to our dear member, and another former president, George Hall, when he was inducted into the “Hall of Fame” in Osceola this summer.  CONGRATULATIONS GEORGE – we all are so proud of you.  I sincerely hope that elsewhere in this newsletter a financial report of the huge success this endeavor was will be given, but have to say that when Bill and I left around 7:30, over $22,000 had been raised for this very necessary (sad but true) establishment. I’m not going to mention names, but know that all of our members extend sincere thanks to the three members of our group, who together donated $20,000 to this cause.  Channel 5 was there to tape the presentation of these checks, and was aired at 6 and 11 that night.  THANKS again BILL LIGHT for just being you!
I received a call from Donna Walter on 8/16 telling me that she had seen in the paper that Alice Mehlenbacher, had passed away on 8/12.  Alice and her husband Bert have been members since before 1996 and always supported CNYBA. Funeral services were held at 1 p.m. on Sat., 8/16 at the Summerville Funeral Home, Sandy Creek, NY with burial following in Woodlawn Cemetery. There were no calling hours.  Please send a card or note to: Bert Mehlenbacher,% Linden Knolls, 81 Linden Ave, Rochester, NY. 14610. An expression of sympathy was sent, and our thoughts and prayers are with you Bert.

Later in evening, I received an email from a former member, John Hornyak, telling me that Bruce Cutler’s wife Connie’s mother had passed away, and funeral arrangments aren’t complete.  I also sent a sympathy card to them.   
WELCOME to new members – Juergen & Beth Knauss; JoAnne Bakeman and Mark Hoffman; Pat Coleman; Bette Jerred; John P. Hayes; John M. Power; Tommy & Marlene Laursen; Helen Wells; Keith C. Wells and John Gallup.  THANKS to Ed & Barb VanCott; Perry & Caren Cleaveland; Barbara Aman; Bert C. Mehlenbacher; Stuart & Jan McWhorter, Nancy Brown; John Crouch and Clement Whalen for your additional donations when you renewed – it all helps. 

Well folks, it is now Aug. 25th, and I want to give our editor a chance to work on the newsletter prior to their going away for the Labor Day Weekend, so will finish this visit up by saying, I’ve enjoyed visiting with you, hope many of you will make a special effort to attend our Sept. 14th meeting at our new meeting place, with our new slate of officers in charge, and that this new year will prove to be a good “comeback” in many ways for CNYBA.  Please keep in touch, as we will now be back to monthly visits, and I need items to make this Ramblin’ worthwhile…THANKS

(Helen Weldon)



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