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The Prattsville Scoop: Donations to Stratton VAMC always appreciated

Legionnaires and auxiliary members and veterans’ friends delivering Christmas gifts to VAMC, Albany on Dec. 17, from Athens, Hunter, Elka Park, Grand Gorge, Gilboa and Prattsville.
January 9, 2019 12:43 pm Updated: January 9, 2019 01:04 pm


PRATTSVILLE — Happy New Year again and hope you enjoyed the New Year’s Eve festivities. Some people are getting too old to even go out for dinner and just veg out at home. Shame, shame. And then there are some who failed to make reservations and ended up eating cold pizza.

School is back in session so do not pass those stopped school buses. The statistics are that 50,000 stopped school buses are passed EVERY DAY. The possible tragedies are horrifying.

Eddie and Heidi Brainerd were doing their weekly shopping on Tuesday and they were bright and cheerful so know their New Year’s Eve celebration was a calm one. In case you didn’t know, Ed does most of the cooking in that family and he even does the dishes and is on clean up duty. Now he is a guy who should be on every woman’s list of outstanding gentlemen. Heidi admits he is a better cook than she is. Ed even refers to “my kitchen” as a place where he rules supreme.

Girls are on the move. Diana Jaeger, Diane Eklund, Donna Raimundo and Liz McPhail spent three days and tow nights in NYC. They took the train into the City and then walked, walked and walked some more. Does street walking sound familiar? They visited Rockefeller Center, ate at some of the better eateries — Barbetto’s and Ellen’s Stardust Diner — and took in the play — what else but Kinky Boots. Their favorite place of action seemed to be the Piano Bar Don’t Tell Mama. The Jaegers have been extra busy over the holidays. Son Ty, Julee and Ursula Jaeger from out west visited for two weeks. Diana got to celebrate her birthday dinner at the Chalet Fondue with Ty, Julee, Ursula, Tim and Darcy Jaeger Brand and Ashley and Lacey. It was a delicious dinner at the Chalet as per usual. They also visited Bearpen Mountain Park to take in all the available activities for the snow aficionados and spectators. Stop by and visit with the Rennells. They will appreciate it and you will enjoy yourself. Keep it local.

Stanley Sutton Jr., U.S. Army, has been back at base at Ft. Drum for a few weeks. He was able to come home for the past weekend to spend time with his mom and dad. Dad Stan does the grocery shopping but leaves the cooking to wife Mary. He says she is a superb cook so why should he interfere.

Sympathy to the family of Ted Kilmer of Conesville who recently passed away in Florida. Ted was a quiet, stalwart husband and family man. He was the head mechanic at O’Hara’s Service Station for many years when Tom O’Hara was the leader of the O’Hara family business. Muriel Brainerd Kilmer was married to Ted for more than 50 years and he will be missed by her, his children and grandchildren. When arrangements are finalized, will pass that information on to you. You can send your condolences to Muriel at 11730 Sonic Hills Blvd, Hudson, FL 34667.

Prayers and condolences to the family of Wilma Jones of Gilboa who passed away Sunday evening. Too much sadness.

Johannes and Marianne Krauss spent New Year’s Day in Troy at the Troy Music Hall taking in a Bach Concert. They stopped for dinner on the way home but many restaurants were closed, recovering from New Year’s Eve?, so it was pizza for them. The company is always better than the food.

Legionnaires Kip Rikard and Bob Gurley delivered a car load of food items to the Stratton VAMC, Albany, on Wednesday. These gourmet food items were donated by Jeff Schrier from his gourmet food distributorship. Thank you, Jeff, the needy veterans really enjoy these special treats not on their usual menu. Jeff is a horseman and tries to go riding at least three days a week. Jealous of him for that.

In a thank you letter from Jim Keller Jr., Chief, Voluntary Services, at Stratton VAMC, Albany, he stated the following: “In 2018, Voluntary Service provided for the immediate needs of 4,020 local veterans, issuing a total of 27,131 items, including clothing, shoes, toiletries, food, meal & transportation vouchers, gift cards, and other comfort items. In addition, our volunteers visited 3,698 newly admitted Veterans, each receiving a handmade card, quilt, afghan or blanket, stationary items, games, puzzle books, and toiletry kits.”

The work that Jim does for our Veterans through Voluntary Services is an ongoing year round program and you can rest assured that your support and donations for these program go exactly where it is supposed to. He also wants all veterans and their families to know that services at the VA will not be affected by the government shutdown. See Scoop picture of recent Christmas Celebration at the Stratton VAMC with Legionnaires George Grenier, Johannes Krauss, Val Riedman, Dana Hommel, Bob Gurley, Kip Rikard, Paul Cozzoli, and Arnold Jaeger and Auxiliary members Marianne Krauss, Christl Riedman, Cathy Martino, and Ginny Gurley, and Fritzie and Lou Schmidt. Not in picture Lorraine Banks and Peggy Rappleyea.

Local ladies taking in shopping in Kingston on Thursday were Diane Cammer Eklund, Marianne Krauss, Cathy Brainerd Martino and Ginny Gurley. Some of them enjoyed lunch at Applebee’s. Diane played it smart. When you have a handyman in the house, go shopping. Wonder how many handymen there were for Diane to wind up in NYC for two days. Kinky Boots indeed.

Carol and Glen Howard of Beech Ridge are back from spending the Christmas holidays with their daughters and families in Florida. Ever the doting animal lovers, they took their two dogs with them. Guess they needed company other than each other’s on the automobile trip. Welcome home Carol and Glen.

Bob Compton is playing bachelor or lonesome husband/grandpa for a few weeks. Wife Linda, son Sal and grandson Cameron headed south for a few days away. Bob says he will really miss Cameron! What not Linda? Nor Sal?

Scooter mystery continues. But I think I saw her with Ray.

Freda Howard Fancher made a visit to cousin Ginny Gurley’s on Sunday while her husband Ron was in Conesville doing some mechanical work on a truck — attaching or adjusting a plow — at the old Fancher homestead. Do you suppose he knows something we don’t? Where is that snow? Got the wind and cold temperatures though. In the meantime, Freda and Ginny got caught up on family news and crafting. Freda and her two daughters, Pam and Rhonda, are all talented ladies in crocheting, knitting, drawing and whatever else they can get their hands on. Pam and Freda do a lot of craft fairs in the area.

Tom Dignam deserves a big thank you, along with daughter Veronica. Every year, in honor of the late Betty Dignam, Tom’s wife, they go shopping for Christmas material for next year’s gift bags for the veterans at the VAMC. Each bag requires approximately one yard of material and there are 50–52 bags requested so that is a lot of material to purchase. Tom and Veronica, thank you and we honor the tradition set by Betty who made the first Christmas gift bags for our hospitalized veterans. Tom also made sure the Christmas wrapping items donated by Ruth Blumthenal were received to be used next year at the Christmas Wrapping Party for the VA. Thank you Ruth.

Our college students are still around for the next few weeks. Always good to see their happy and smiling faces.

Those scam calls regarding taking over the use of your computer — don’t antagonize them — they get nasty and I mean nasty. Obscenities and vulgar language. How can you report that? You can’t so just hang up and do not let them take over the control of your computer, ever!!!

Happy Birthday to Mike O’Hara on Jan. 17. Mike is in Margaretville Nursing Home so get a birthday card to him at his Prattsville address, Rte 23A, and his family will get them to him. Happy Birthday to Derek Briggs on Jan. 18.

Please send news, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. etc. to or or call 518-299-3219.