Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

December 25, 2013

The Chatterbox

By Julie Obermiller
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Merry Christmas! I hope all your Christmas wishes come true and that you find much quality time with family and friends in these waning days of 2013. It’s been a hectic season for many in search of the perfect gift, but we all know the best gifts cannot be wrapped. The supply of love and compassion we have to give is replenished every time we share it with others. May all the joy you extend to others be multiplied and returned to you.

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We all have stories about the big ice storm over the weekend. Like thousands of others, we were without power. The outage lasted nearly 15 hours, but with a gas kitchen stove to boil water and a jar of Folger’s instant coffee, I was all set to weather the storm. We lost a lot of branches where I live, but no major structure damage. I also had a visit from a concerned local fellow who was out with his flashlight, checking on seniors during the outage. I’m sure he, and others who tried to help, will be blessed for their concern.  

Alas, the flickering power put an end to my aging computer, and I am left hoping my favorite computer guru can retrieve all the data from my hard drive. Yes, I’m one of those people who never backs up my data. Still, I haven’t missed a Chatterbox in 14 years, so I’m grateful to be able to access email on a borrowed laptop. Hopefully, the new year will bring a new computer system so I can keep up with all of your good news.

I got out on Monday to see the after-storm damage from the lake shore to Lockport. Seeing all those majestic trees stripped of limbs makes me sad; so many years of growth taken down by Mother Nature is humbling. Thanks to all the municipal workers and first responders for all their efforts to get things back to normal.

I took time out to see “Frozen” at the Palace Theatre with my favorite kids. It is really a great movie, entertaining all from the toddlers to the old geezers like me, and you can catch it during the next week. Thank you to all the Palace Theatre volunteers who will be giving up their time over this holiday week, including Christmas Day, to bring you a holiday fun time.

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The Barker Lighthouse Optimist Club (and the newly reorganized Junior Optimists) will be selling coupon books for Anderson’s Roast Beef and Frozen Custard, with lots of specialty discounts on great food and desserts, good until December, 2014. More than $67 in savings for $3. You can get them at Thee Barker Store, from any Optimist member, or call me at 795-9262. Did you know that you get half-price cones at Anderson’s when it’s snowing?

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If you’re looking for a good read for these wintry days, Thee Barker Store has books by several local authors, including the new Providence Series by Grace Richardson. You can buy the first book, The Journal, or a set of all three and you’ll enjoy every page. There is a lot of speculation about who the anonymous author really is, but I’m not telling.

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The Barker Seniors ended its year with a great holiday party and will resume meetings on Jan. 3 at the Barker Fire Hall. If you did not sign up for the nutrition lunch, be sure to call the Somerset Town Hall at 795-3575 by Tuesday, because they’ll be closed for the holiday. If you’re already looking ahead to getting away for a vacation in 2014, check out the trips with the Barker Seniors, which are open to the public when space permits. There is a Carnival Cruise to Alaska, with Mirage Tours, being planned for June 17 through 24, so you can plan ahead for this dream vacation. A trip is planned for Jan. 18 to see Wicked at Shea’s Buffalo Theatre, with transportation from Barker and dinner on your own at the Cracker Barrel. They are taking reservations now for a trip to the Sight and Sound Theatre in Lancaster, Pa. to see “Moses” in April.

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The Barker Music Parent Club will hold its next meeting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 6 at the school. Support our talented, enthusiastic music students. The year’s first pancake breakfast takes place at the Barker Fire Hall from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 12. The annual Barker American Field Service event gets everyone out of of their post-holiday hibernation.

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Coming up on Jan. 19 will be a Community Recruit at the Barker Fire Hall. There’ll be a Chinese auction, refreshments for sale and a chance to visit with representatives from the local service groups that keep your community strong. All of them, from the Barker Fire Department to the Lions and Optimist clubs need young families to step up to volunteer to keep our community strong. Save the date and watch for details. If you can donate a prize or gift certificate to the auction, contact me for a pick-off or leave it at Thee Barker Store.

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A lot of out-of-towners will be coming home to Barker this holiday season. If you see one of these folks, tell them the Barker Alumni hunt is on. Planning is in the works for the 2014 gathering of alumni from the last 70 years, but some have moved out of the area. The committee would like to find the following people to include them in the festivities. Class of 1944: Stephen DiLorenzo, Gerald Holzer, Hubert Lein, Irma Nezezon VanDeusen, William C. Pollard, Betty Wilson Herman. Class of 1954: David Robinson. Class of 1964: Terry Porter. Class of 1974: Dr. Darlene M. Dombroski, Michael W. Fancher, Jean M. Frost, Deborah C. Gow Ferraro, Richard E. Holmes, Cheryl F. Julian Duncan, Lisa E. Kimes, Luke Mesi, Timothy F. Terry, Gary S. Ulrich. Class of 1984: Alex Andrews, Jodi Maurie Brown, Kevin Michael Campbell, Cherilee R. Cutler Papp, Kimberly Marie Etherton Nelson, Sheila L. Howard, Mary Ann Licht Connor, Lawrence D. Pieroni, Russell W. Snow, Melinda J. Starling. Class of 1994: Irisa N. Barry, Amanda S. Bennett, Kathleen M. DuBois, Kristina K. Elliott Milks, David E. Gers II, Norman G. Jaworski, Bobbie Rae King Champagne, Debra M. Lindaman, Patrick C. Powers, Shane A. Wagner, Robert J. Zemla. If you have information about any of these people, call Grace Bodine at 795-3098 or Cheryl Reed at 795-3514.

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As we say goodbye to this year, we are saying goodbye to many long-time community professionals. Becky Connolly steps down after decades of service as the Somerset Town Clerk. Kathie Smith retires from her post as Barker Village Clerk as well. As a member of several local organizations these past years, I offer sincere thanks to these ladies for the work they did beyond their own jobs, for their support and help to local community organizations trying to make a difference. You made a difference for all of us.

Barker-area residents, send your news to juliechatterbox@msn.com (jpeg pictures, MSWord or text in emails only); or to 8691 Lake Road No. 9, Barker, NY 14012. To be in next week’s Chatterbox, information should be in Julie’s hands by 6 p.m. Monday.