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I’m never going back to my old school

September 13, 2017 11:32 am Updated: September 13, 2017 11:57 am

Cold, frosty nights lately. We got a surprise Friday when we noticed some of the squash leaves wilted and black.

Nothing was predicted. It didn’t even seem cold enough for frost. Only the evidence. I say, it’s time to start getting the lawns, gardens and homes ready for the winter. Bring in wood, pile your leaves around your foundation, bring in all of your plants — whatever else you do to prepare for the cold.

I’m writing this Sept. 11, and remembering all who were affected that fateful day. Please keep them, our troops and families in your thoughts and prayers.

On July 22, a Wieninger family reunion was held at the home of Patti (Wieninger) Lawyer on Sutton Hollow Road. There were more than 70 in attendance coming from as far as Colorado, Texas, Maryland and Connecticut. There were seven children in the family: Barbara, Teddy, Billy, Kenny, Patti, Freddy and Wendy. T-shirts were given out saying “Wieninger Family Reunion,” as well as two booklets, “We Are Farmers,” which was written by their mother and tells of their transition from city life in Valley Stream to the life of farmers in Jewett Center. Also, a booklet titled “Our Honeymoon,” which detailed their six-week, cross-country honeymoon in 1936 from a diary they kept of the event.

Each sibling got up and spoke of some memory from childhood, which prompted others to remember different childhood memories. Mark Lawyer was able to get pictures with everyone in them with his newly acquired drone. Lauren Bailey (Bill’s daughter), made favors of bags of Planters nuts with a tag attached saying, “We’re nuts about family... Wieninger Family Reunion 2017.”

A good time was had by all. This was the first time there had ever been a reunion held. It was good to catch up with family and see people whom you hadn’t seen in a very long time. Thank you, Patti, for the news. It is always great to hear about friends and family we grew up with.

Grandmas for the Troops, based in Durham, are always looking for donations to send to our troops overseas. Items such as single serving drink mixes — i.e. Crystal lite, Kool Aid, mints, popcorn, aspirin pack, etc. For additional information, please call Janet Armstrong at 518-622-9412, Lois Rockefeller at 518-239-4215, Sue Weaver at 518-239-4388 or email:

UMCORE will be accepting Health Kits and donations for flood victims. Kits include a quart plastic bag holding a wash cloth, soap, BandAids, toothbrush and money to buy toothpaste when needed. Samaritans Purse is also accepting funds. Please consider donating to these or any foundation that gives money and help directly to those in need — not through a governing board.

Don’t forget the pasta (spaghetti) dinner at the Ashland Town Hall for the benefit of the Methodist Church. It will be held Sept. 23; take outs starting at 4:30 p.m. for $10.

It’s getting to be that time of year when we start to get ready for the Annual Autumn Affair in Windham. I will be there.

The Greene County Department of Human Services is still looking for volunteer drivers to assist home-bound senior citizens. Our meal program needs drivers in Ashland, Hunter, two Lexington routes, Tannersville and Windham. Medical transportation is also needed for those who need to get to appointments. Call Ruth Pforte at 518-719-3555 for more information.

AARP Smart Driver course will be held at the Jewett Municipal Building, Beechers Corners and Route 23C, on Oct. 25 and 26. Call Mike Pirrone at 518-945-2122 or email

Greene County Public Health Rabies Clinic will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Hensonville Firehouse, at 432 Route 296. Please call ahead for ferrets. Any questions, call 518-719-3600.


Helga Eisenlauer is in the Elliot House. Lyle Sokoll has been in the hospital again battling pneumonia. Joyce Tompkins would enjoy visits and cards. I have her telephone number if you would like to call first.

Prayers to all who were touched in any way by the hurricanes. Many from this area had not yet gone to their winter homes (thankfully), but they don’t know if they have a home left to return to.

Sympathy to the family of George Hildenbrand (Sally Dart, of Jewett), who passed this past week.


Sept. 18: WAJPL Open House

Sept. 23: Pasta dinner for the benefit of Ashland Church. Dinner will be served at the Ashland Town Hall (community center or Fire House).

Sept. 23: American Legion Post No. 1327 Poker Run; rain date Sept. 24, start at the post at 10 a.m.

Sept. 30: Historical program at Windham Methodist Church, 1 p.m.

Sept. 30: WAJ Alumni Dinner at Acra Manor. Check your mail for information.

Oct. 6-7: Rummage Sale at Jewett Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall.

Oct. 7-8: Windham Autumn Affair.

Oct. 7: Hunting and Wildlife Expo at West Kill Community Hall from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free admission.

Oct. 8: Draft Horse pull at the Ashland Town Park. General admission $3.

Oct. 29: Halloween Brunch at West Kill Community Center. $12.

Don’t forget the Haunted House at the Ashland Town Center is coming.

Please let me know of any events your organization is having so I can put it in my column. Remember, those who get the newspapers by mail get them Monday, so we need your events at least two weeks ahead of time. A month would be ideal. Send to or call 518-734-5360.


It’s time to give the canning and preserving a rest, as the first day of school loomed ahead.

Mom was super busy as there was no Wal-Mart, shopping malls or shopping by phone or online.

Last year’s school clothes were pulled out and inspected. Strip down and try on everything. Will that skirt still fit, or does it get passed down? Seams were checked for rips and mended.

Mom would pull out the Singer and patterns and start making clothes. J.J. Newberry on Main Street in Catskill was the place to go for material, thread, zippers and patterns. After pouring through Montgomery Wards and Sears catalogs, orders would be placed for undies and affordable items, which would be anxiously awaited for. Last-minute items would entail a trip to Heller’s Department Store in Hunter. Sneakers would be bought — only to be used during gym class — for $1.

We all started school with brand new pencils, crayons, loose-leaf paper, three-ring binders. The first day of school, books were handed out and the first assignment was covering them with brown paper bags to keep them clean.

We carried each book home, lovingly. No backpacks; boys carried them casually under the arm, girls carried them with both hands clutched to the chest. No complaints about them being too heavy. I guess we were stronger at the time.

We carried lunchboxes in elementary school Roy Rogers, Tom Mix, Lone Ranger, Shirley Temple, Dale Evans. I don’t recall girl’s boxes. Can anyone help me out? This was before Barbie. Each lunchbox had a thermos mom would fill with milk (if you were lucky, it was chocolate), or juice. Lunch itself was most likely a peanut butter with homemade jelly sandwich with cookies for dessert, or a piece of fruit in season — an apple, peach or pear.

Boys would get their haircut, and the night before school opened, everyone would take a bath. Hair would be washed, ears scrubbed and inspected.

Girls would have pincurls or hair wrapped around rags or later curlers. New outfits would be set out to wear: Skirts or dresses, no pants in school for girls until the 1970s. The only time of the year when everything would be new.

The first few days of school would be hot. Windows would be wide open with the kids hanging out and teachers having a hard time keeping them under control. Everyone had to catch up on who did what over the summer. No one wanted to do book work.

In elementary school, we were served a snack. Each student would be given a container of milk and a graham cracker in the afternoon. Judy’s memories are of Harry Matthews wheeling the milk cart down the hall loaded with trays of plastic glasses of milk.

Who remembers Mrs. Stead at the milk machine in the cafeteria filling the glasses? We all wanted the last one filled as it was foamy.

When I went to school, the cafeteria was on the second floor overlooking the main entrance. The Home Ec department was alongside. By the time Judy went to school, the “new wing” was put on with the kindergarten, cafeteria, kitchen and first- and second-grade classrooms. Home Ec had its own building. That’s the difference 20 years makes. I graduated in 1948, Judy in 1968. Many shared memories, many differences.

We didn’t have hot lunches when I was in elementary school. We ate at our desks, and never went to the cafeteria. By high school, we got to go upstairs for lunch and classes. Can anyone remember if we ate in our room or in the classroom in Judy’s time.

A faint memory of food coming to the classroom, at least during Kindergarten, is lingering way back in Judy’s mind as this is being written. Can someone help with details?

When we got home from school, the very first thing we all did was CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES! Clothes, in my house, got hung up on the clothes tree, as we didn’t have closets, school shoes changed and put together. Mom didn’t do laundry everyday, and those clothes had to stay clean for at least one more wearing.

Now, there is no such thing as school clothes. Jeans, T-shirts, shorts, whatever, suffice for all occasions.

It’s getting to the time I have to leave for our Golden Age Meeting, so I have to wind this up.

Until next week... Lula