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The Prattsville Scoop: Thank you, Charles Van Schaack, for your service

On County Route 2, Prattsville, the Ghost of Halloweens Past, wait until next year.
November 7, 2018 11:39 am Updated: November 7, 2018 11:56 am


PRATTSVILLE — Time to celebrate for Theresa and Don Speenburgh.

Their son, DJ, and wife, Karen, are hosting a 50th wedding anniversary celebration for Don and Theresa on Nov. 11 at the Grand Gorge Firehouse. There will be an open house from noon to 3 p.m.

Congratulations, Theresa and Don. It is always a wonderful thing when a couple reaches that milestone — 50 years of marriage.

A little news from Florida for the Bellamy/Hill families: First the matriarch of the family Lunetta Hill is going strong and she was busy helping with a great Halloween party and fundraiser at the Grand Villa, where she resides.

All of the staff dressed in character and sold crafts they made and had a small bake sale. Really great event! We are sure Lunetta was a big part in the organizing in pulling off this event. Second, Linda is recovering well from her broken leg she suffered this past summer.

As part of her recovery, Glen and Linda flew to East Texas to see family for a few days. Nice way to recover. She handled the trip in good fashion, but didn’t do much shopping.

Sorry for that, Linda, from a sister shopper. For that, Glen and his brother were thankful. Just you wait until Linda’s recovery is complete.

Joyce Cottone DeVivo, of Grand Gorge, who is also a dedicated member of the Prattsville Community Church, would like to share the following: Her husband Paul had a recent stay at Bassett for health problems but is now undergoing rehab at Robinson Terrace.

Under the auspices of the Rev. Charlie Gockel, of the Huntersfield Christian Training Center, and now being led by the Rev. Olmstead, the community church practices caring for their neighbors with their outreach programing of helping those who cannot handle those physical chores due to age, illness or lack of skills. The gentlemen of the church recently removed a tree at a home of someone in need of help and then they were able to supply the wood to another needy family for use at their home.

A circle knows no end. There is a monthly breakfast for the men of the congregation where their next acts of kindness will be discussed. Thank you for living your faith. And as per usual, the community church invites all to attend their monthly first Wednesday of the month supper at the Church Hall at 6 p.m. Bring a dish of your choice to share and join in with your neighbors and friends for an evening of enjoyment.

Carol Holcomb Constable would like to share the following with her hometown, Prattsville, friends: Her brother Ron’s son Brandon recently competed in the New York City Marathon, finishing the 26.2-mile run in two hours and 50 minutes. Brandon’s wife Querube, son Javi, dad Ron, mom Debbie and sister Brittany were all there to cheer him on.

The family lives in Florida where Querube is a Doctor of Pediatrics and we can always use more doctors in any field. 50,000+ runners from 125 countries took part in the marathon.

And there were more than 2 million spectators for this event. Quite an accomplishment and congratulations Brandon.

Congratulations to Eric and Jenny Lane on the birth of their daughter — are you ready for this — named Penny, well really Penelope Theresa. She was born Oct. 16, weighing in at 7 pounds, 12 ounces and measuring 20-3/4 inches.

The young lady has already been serenaded with the Beatles’ song “Penny Lane” and we are sure there will be plenty more renditions of that to come. Regardless, we wish this young family all the best in the world for a life filled with happiness.

Connie and Donnie Lane are now the great-grandparents of four great grandchildren — two girls and two boys. Best wishes to all.

Legionnaires Johannes Krauss and Bob Gurley attended the Greene County Honor a Veteran ceremony on Saturday at the Port of Call at the Point in Catskill. The honoree was Charles Van Schaack Jr. of Athens, a World War II Navy Veteran who had taken part in D-Day at Normandy.

He led a very interesting and distinguished life, remaining in the Athens area his whole life. We thank him for his services and thank his family for sharing him with all. It was good to hear he uses the Stratton VAMC for different programs and is very satisfied with all their services.

The rain came pelting down on the trip to Catskill and continued beating on the building during the ceremony. The rain stopped but the wind buffeted the car on the way home.

Speaking of the Stratton VAMC, we have been supplied with information for the program that makes sure that Christmas wreaths are placed on all veterans’ gravesites at National Military Cemeteries.

Go to, then sponsors wreath and link to Local Funding Organizations. In this case, it can be Patriot Guard Riders of New York with the identifying NY0057 to place wreaths at the Saratoga National Cemetery. You can also make contact at

The wreaths are not expensive — $15 — each and can be ordered online with instructions for your specific wishes. If you would like the email I received, call me at 518-299-3219 or email me at and give me your email address and I will send you the email with complete instructions.

Am sure all have seen the TV coverage of the installation of these wreaths and it will make you proud that you had a part in this tribute.

Our own Val and Stella Cross are interred at the Saratoga Military Cemetery and it would be a nice remembrance for them. Another fact of the Stratton VAMC: Of the 15 VAMCs in the state, Stratton VAMC is No. 1 in just about every category — volunteers, volunteer hours, funds realized (they do not do their own fundraising) and total impact.

We know we ask a lot of all of you to help our hospitalized veterans, but you DO have a large impact on their lives. For total monetary impact — including actual $$$ funds, activity events (luncheons, trips, sports) and items donated, the Stratton was No. 1 with $1,089,600.

Stratton was No. 1 for volunteer hours — $2,933,863 and their No. 1 grand total was $4,023,463. Thank you on behalf of our Stratton VAMC — you do have an impact on all the veterans that use our Stratton VAMC.

The grand total for all state VAMCs was $24,036.743. That is truly an amazing total of giving from the heart. With that in mind, please support the American Legion Auxiliary Virgil E. Deyo Unit No. 1327 at their annual Veterans’ Day Bake Sale at Jim’s Great American at 9 a.m. Nov. 10.

Please bake, buy or donate. Al proceeds help local veterans and/or veterans’ families. The American Legion Post No. 1327 and Unit No. 1327 will soon be starting their annual Christmas celebration for the Long Term ninth floor veterans at the Stratton VAMC.

If you want to help make this a merry Christmas for 50+ hospitalized veterans, call 518-299-3219 or email or

Page 1 of the Windham Weekly of the Mountain Eagle had a picture of our contact for recreation and therapy at the Stratton VA, Michele Ferrauilo. She was in the upper picture, back row, first on the left.

Michele brings adaptive sports skiers, sponsored by American Legion Post No. 1327 and American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 132, Prattsville, to Ski Windham every year. Again, your donations make this possible.

Harvey Truesdell has a fantastic wide view photo of Lexington circa 1910. Harvey said the photo was made from a glass negative he came upon. Quite amazing! Keep checking those closets Harvey for more treasures.

Happy birthday to Abby Tompkins on Nov. 15. Now for the celebrities on Nov. 16: Happy birthday to Jeff Breigle, Kevin Piccoli and Lila Mudge.

Send your news, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, weddings, etc. to or or call 518-299-3219.