The Village Focus

Webster Herald

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

by Carol Klem





The weather wasn’t gray, but sunny, until the sun began to set over the crowd assembled at the Veterans Memorial Park. It was somber still - in keeping with the sadness that we remember that day September 11, 2001.  It was and still is a day that will go down in infamy like Pearl Harbor.


Again we assembled, as we have each year since, to remember the victims and the brave … to honor the first responders of the 911 tragedy and our own firefighters, emergency medical technicians and police officers who put their lives on the line daily.  A color guard made up of firefighters solemnly processed onto the grounds and formed a line near the Gazebo prior to Mayor John Cahill’s introductions. Private citizens and dignitaries took the time out of their busy days to reflect and pray. Supervisor Ron Nebitt led the pledge of allegiance and the Chorus of the Genesee added their patriotic note singing as only they can sing… the Star Spangled Banner.


Opening prayer was led by the Pastor Matthew Fletcher of the Webster Bible Church. Craig Akins Sr. chief of the Northeast Joint Fire District bid the assembly to never forget the 3,000 who died but to remember also all the firefighters who died in the line of duty as in the Arizona and Houston fires, never forgetting our own Webster heroes, Mike Chiapperini, and Tomasz Kaczowka in our own Christmas Eve tragedy.


Sen Mike Nozzolio spoke of the strength that was shown in the heroic actions of the firefighters, police officers, emergency medical personnel and rescue workers who risked their lives to help the victims that day and again on Lake Road, Christmas Eve.


Assemblyman Mark Johns and Monroe County Legislator Carmen Gumina followed suit with words of inspiration and reflection.


Closing prayer was given by Pastor Karen DeWitte Gibson of the United Methodist Church.

The program ended with the singing of God Bless America. Taps were played by Steve Forman and bagpipes played by Jack Jacob Jarosinski – Amazing Grace, of course. 


My most favorite beautiful moment happened as the Chorus of the Genesee sang “What a Wonderful World.” Next to me a flock of little birds in the tree to my right joined the chorus singing so beautifully I thought I was in a Disney movie. It proved a point… there is always something beautiful …and yes, through all this sadness and remembrance, their song reminded me there was and is always a silver lining and we should look for it “when e'er a cloud appears in the blue and remember somewhere, the sun is shining”



Webster Shoe Repair Shop may save your sole


Village board member and proud grandmother spent a quality week during August with her 20- year old grandson, Jacob Lancy prior to a trip to New Jersey for a family wedding. Just a few days before their road trip, while enjoying lunch at Uno’s, Jacob made a strange comment about “walking funny”. It appears he had lost the heel to his boot while the two were out gallivanting. They retraced their steps, found the heel and contemplated their next step. They had one hope – Terry Grayson, who runs the small shoe repair shop on South Avenue in the village. Terry had surgery recently so it was hoped he had recouped and had reopened his longtime village business.


“Lucky for us!” said Jude. “He was there moving slowly but happy and willing to help us”.

 Ten minutes later they were on their way. And Jacob was walking with two heels… (you know what I mean). 


“This is what makes living in a small VILLAGE IN America so wonderful,” said Jude. It’s the people you meet on the street who give a darn…and we see them every day.


Accolades to Terry!


I can’t remember when the shoe repair shop was not on South Avenue. Strangely, shockingly, it has changed very little since its early days in the late 1950s when the late Joe Grayson of North Avenue opened the shop and a very young Terry was his sidekick.


Back in the day of true blue penny pinchers, having shoes repaired was common. Joe Grayson saved our soles…and heels.  No one thought of the environment – or of being “green.”  When your sole had a hole… Joe replaced it. It was economical.  Most of us had church shoes, school shoes, and play shoes and we got new ones only because our feet grew.


Today the shoe repair business is different. Terry agrees that it is not what it used to be.

We gals have shoes of every color and, for women they are a symbol of style- elegance and complete an outfit. It is more likely that women need Terry’s expertise for repair of their boots, handbags and belts.  His niece and my wonderful neighbor, Jen Tiberio said that Uncle Terry is terrific at repairing zippers on leather jackets and boots. She said that the word on the street was “he repaired the zippers on some thigh-high boots for some local dancing girls”…..and these sounds like another story…for another time, perhaps.


“He has repaired zippers and buckles and handles on all sorts of leather purses. Last fall he even cut down the height of a pair of leather riding boots for me because the top of them went almost completely over my knees….such a horrible fashion trend for a 4’11” gal!”  He puts patches on motorcycle vests and put new heels on fancy expensive dress shoes.


Jen buys belts according to the style, not the size, and having a talented uncle has been to her advantage.  “He cuts them to length and then adds more holes,” she said.  Meanwhile her husband, Tom has dress shoes from 20 years ago that still look brand new because he polishes them up and puts new soles and heels on them.


Terry still sells Red Wing Shoes & Boots.  AND as a sideline…makes keys.


I think he is one of the best kept secrets in the village.


(The next time I write about shoes though, I am going to use lots of foot notes)




Jeff Bennett named to village parks committee


It is really amazing that Webster Village is the home to 22 acres of Parks. For those who don’t know… we have the Milton Case Memorial Park between South Avenue and Wood Street. Those who haven’t walked through it …should. Lovely trails and 14 acres of woods are awesome.


The Wilmorite Recreation Area is a neighborhood Park with chiefly baseball fields and playground equipment for the kiddies.


Village Manor Recreation Area between Hawley Drive and State Road has a basketball court, tennis courts, baseball fields and playground equipment and has been known to have an ice-skating rink.


The Village Band Stand and the newest Park, Harmony Park on Phillips Road, is mainly used for music and is the home of our musical treasure, The Webster Village Band.


And the Crown Jewel, the Veteran’s Memorial Park, stands as a shrine honoring our veterans and is in the hub of the village - truly the most visible. It is home to all kinds of events and our village would not be the same without it.


All this comes as a prelude to the latest addition to the Village Parks Committee. According to Village board member Jerry Ippolito who also serves as liaison to the parks committee, Jeff Bennett is the newest member of the committee chiefly because of his interest in our parks and his ability to bring fresh ideas to maintain them, and possibly even look at ways to generate revenue towards maintenance.


Three cheers for Jeff!  Rah! Rah! Rah!



 1942 Revisited over Coffee


A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of having a cup of coffee  (actually about four) and an English muffin at Golden Boys commingled with wonderfully interesting conversation with Neva Hoffmeier.  Neva, 89, is a walking history book who remembers everything – EVERYTHING- from years ago.


She read with interest my last column on the current businesses located on Commercial Street and it took her back to another place and time- a time that I have only heard or read about in Esther Dunn’s book, Webster through the Years. Neva came armed with her memories and her senior yearbook, the Reville, from the Webster High School Class of 1942.


She remembers a different Commercial Street, where she worked with her friends the summer after graduation. Working conditions were different at the Webster Canning and Preserving Company than in factories today, she said. It was a hard- luck life. She was grateful for the job she acquired at Kodak when the summertime ended. At the Webster Canning and Preserving Company there were no labor laws…no breaks, no computerized paychecks, no restrooms. Everybody ran home at lunchtime for nourishment and a bathroom break. Her job was putting labels on cans and cartons of vegetables. “The same peas got different labels,” she said and on Friday “we went to the office and was handed a ten dollar bill for the week.”


The cartons of fruits and vegetables were shipped all over the country by train. The village station was the center of activity.  It was to Webster what the canal was to Fairport and Pittsford.  Besides fruits and vegetables, caskets from the Webster Casket Company, baskets from the Webster Basket Company, lumber from Martin Lumber Company, pickles from LeFrois Pickling Factory, were shipped all over the country. Commerce simply would not have existed without the railroad. 


Also, back in the day of Neva and her friends, Webster Village was a bustle of activity. Just about every need was filled right in the village.  Looking through Neva’s yearbook I noted all the businesses that advertised while congratulating the Class of 1942.  Possibly there was still a hospital on Main Street, I am not sure but there certainly there were doctors, dentists, vets,  attorneys,  food markets, a bowling alley, dance hall,  five and dime, general store,  clothing stores and dry goods and the local funeral home, Tinklepaugh’s also sold shoes. There were also lots of churches, lots of church suppers and socials.


I am hoping that in due time when the Webster Museum holds their next History and a Cup Series, Neva will be their guest and bring along her memories and stories.



Party with the Webster Community Chest


Kathy Bills, friend, village resident and member of the Board of Directors of the Webster Community Chest is busy planning with others, the birthday/anniversary party for one of our kindest institutions, The Webster Community Chest.


Those of us who believe in celebrating everything believe that all of us, in conjunction with the good people who keep the Community Chest going strong need to, and should celebrate with them.


The celebration (fundraising dinner) will take place on Sept. 27 at the Webster Recreation Center, Chiyoda Drive with dinner catered by Greg Cody of Brimont Bistro, followed by dancing to the music of Nate Rawls. (When was the last time you danced?)


The cost is $35 per person and tickets are available at Hegedorn’s or by mailing a check or money order to the Webster Community Chest, 1000 Ridge Road, Webster 14580.


A little history:  With i