Monday, March 24, 2014

95th Birthday John B. Lyman American Legion Post 904

Alexandria Bay:

This past Saturday night, members and guests were treated to a complimentary Prime Rib or Chicken dinner to Celebrate the 95th Birthday of Post 904.  The evening began with a solemn convocation and continued with an awards ceremony.  The following text are excerpts from a speech read by Richard Drake.....

We are here to celebrate the 95th Birthday of the American Legion.   We are here to celebrate the fact that since the founding of John B. Lyman Post 904 in 1920 this community of veterans, and loved ones of veterans have made a difference in the community.   

Your Post has an outstanding Service Officer Dave LoRusso, who serves all veterans young and old with VA and benefit issues, he is also a skilled councilor.  Post 904 hosts Blood Drives which have resulted in some impressive totals; check them out in the Library down stairs after dinner.

The Post 904 was recognized by the Department of NY Commander Ken Governor for their outstanding work supporting American Legion Programs.   Post 904 continues to be the largest sponsor of Hearts For Youth, supporter of the Back Pack Club and encourages all youth organizations to use these facilities for fund raisers for their programs.  Post 904 is the charter holder for Cub Scout Pack 65 and Boy Scout Troop 65.  Troop 65 is in the process of advancing and recognizing 5 Eagle scouts.  Two of them we honor today and one of them is serving you.  Scouts provide a valuable service for the Legion to pursue its goal to honor every service member laid to rest in the township cemeteries with flags on Memorial Day.  

The other Scout we honor tonight is a Girl Scout Shannon Bartlett; due to her efforts we can enjoy our new Memorial Park. Shannon exceeded her goal of $5,000 and raised almost nine to achieve her Gold Award. Girl Scouts Gold Award which is the equivalent of an Eagle Scout Award in Boy Scouts.

I hope all of you got a chance to see the awards and medals we are presenting tonight.  We thank the Sons of the American Legion, Squadron 904 for purchasing them to honor our kids who have excelled in their programs.    Our Boy’s State program has sent a large number of boys every year because, as a post family we will not say no to worthy candidate.  If it was not for the support of the Squadron 904 paying for the extra selections we may have had too.  I remind everyone no other post in the county has ever had a Boy reach Boys Nation our post can brag that too. 

The Empire Girl’s state program is just as impressive as the Boys but a lot more competitive also and these young women like the men learn how government is supposed to work. The Ladies continue to find ways to make sure we are well represented.  

The Oratorical Program winners at ACS this year made it through the next couple of levels as place winners and competed at Zone Competition.  These worthy programs Boys State, Girls State and Oratorical are made possible by both financial and volunteer support from our entire Legion Family which includes the sons and the ladies.

Post 904’s newest Americanism program is the Junior Shooting Sports Program.  Post 904’s program is the first and only one in Jefferson County.  Ask Commander Drake for details. This program exists due to a large amount of volunteer effort from a group of dedicated legion members and financial support of this post.   We have two of our shooters invited to RPI, in Troy, NY and will compete next month for the opportunity to make the Junior Olympic team.
Post 904, your post makes these programs possible for our community.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Remembering Anne

Anne Schumacher Vaphiadas passed away 3 years ago today.  I made this video several months later as friends and family gathered at Casino Island on the St. Lawrence River to dedicate a plaque and a tree in Anne's memory.  The Alexandria Central School choir sang one of her favorite songs Some Where Over The Rainbow...... Please take a moment to remember Anne.

Memorial from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Winter Lingers

I was not going to post this because I thought [foolishly] that March was going to be like a lamb.  Apparently we are in for some more wintry weather.  We may as well enjoy a closer look at the beauty of winter.... Frost on my garage door windows

Perception Of Winter from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Chance Encounter With A Snowy Owl

Town Of Alexandria:

To get a great picture, the mantra is always be prepared and have a camera ready.  Today it paid off for Robin Garlock Moran.  She has been waiting patiently to get pictures of this elusive bird.  These stunning pictures were taken on the Bailey Settlement Road.....

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Catherine Walts American Folk Musician

Alexandria Bay:

At the time these video's were made, Catherine was 87 years old.  She would not tell me how long she had been playing the spoons but she did tell me that the spoons she was using were over 31 years old.  These spoons had the scars and dents of many years of rhythmic  thumping  on her thighs and the heel of her hand.

I know of several Alex Bay natives that were tutored in their youth by Catherine in the art of playing the spoons.  If you  have never seen anyone play the spoons, Catherine was the Grand Master. Catherine passed away at the age of 89 on 3.4.14.

Spoon playing has historical roots in various cultures: Greek, British, Russian and American Folk Music....

Grand Master Playing the Spoons from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.