Thursday, February 25, 2016


Please note that pre-registration is required for this program. You may register online at the Greece Public Library website go to calendar and click on event. Or call the library at 585-225-8951. "Please register each person attending the program."

Local Author to Talk about Her Book, Puff the Sea Lion

  On Sunday February 28, 2 p.m. Greece Museum, 595 Long Pond Rd.

  Mary Ellen Ostrander, author of Puff the Sea Lion, a Love Story, will be at the museum to talk about her book and sign copies of it.

During her more than 25 years working at the Seneca Park Zoo, Ostrander has cared for and trained Amur tigers, Bornean orangutans, polar bears, spotted hyenas, arctic wolves, Amur leopards, cougars, and California sea lions. However, she had never met any animal quite like the young bull sea lion, Puff.

From the time he arrived at the zoo when he was less than a year old to his unexpected death at the age of six, Ostrander developed a strong bond with him that she can only call love.

Rocked by the sudden loss of this endearing animal with an engaging personality that made him a favorite of zoo visitors, Ostrander felt compelled to write his story.

She describes forging a relationship with Puff using positive reinforcement to train him.

Museum of disABILITY History & Danceability program

Saturday, March 12, 2016—Movie Screening at 3:30 and 6:30 pm.  Reception at 5 pm.
Museum of disABILITY History & Danceability
3826 Main St.
Buffalo NY 14226

Join us for the screening of “Capturing Grace,” a film about dancers with Parkinson’s disease joining forces with a dance company to stage a unique performance.

Admission is free, but tickets are required.  Donations are accepted.

RSVP to Doug Farley at or 716.629.3626, Don’t wait, tickets will go quickly.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

J O H N F O W L E R ? Sounds Vaguely Familiar

It's time (about time) for an apology.

I've left many of you dangling for several (+ + + + + +) years now. But, at least most of you have had internet streaming services, Facebook, binge-watching devices, iPads and other 21st Century perks to keep you occupied.

Not so lucky was John Fowler. We joined him back in 2009 (our time) as he traveled through New York State in 1830. He just finished touring The prison in Auburn, NY, and was preparing to move on, heading west through the state. His final report after touring the prison concluded., "a decided majority, upon leaving the prison, have become reformed and useful members of society."

So, better later (much later) than never, we'll join him in 1830 and all move on.

After an early morning visit made to the prison where he observed the inmates gathered for breakfast (but not to to be allowed to interact with each other - prison rules) Fowler returns to the American Hotel, which had only been in business since January first of this year - and his own fast breaking. He dined along with ". . . a pretty large company . . . of which, after the ordinary fashion we all partook at one common table." By ordinary fashion" he obviously meant not prison "fashion".

He goes on to say, "This ceremony over I sallied forth to take a hasty view of he town {village I should say) ere the stage arrived which was to convey me onward."

The particular comment he makes regards the canal being about seven miles to the south with improvements being planned to make it more accessible to Auburn's citizens.

So, it was off to the north. Two years earlier, when another British traveler, James Stuart, crossed the state, his coach had left Auburn and headed over west to the northern end of Cayuga Lake he reported seeing the wooden bridge crossing the lake's outlet that led to Seneca Falls. The 32 arch span had been completed in 1800 by area pioneer Charles Williamson and others. Instead of using the structure his coach had headed south along the lake's eastern shore.

Even before that, in 1818, another English traveler, John Duncan had written, "The wheels of our chariot rolled along the level platform, with a smoothness to which we had long been strangers; and so luxuriant seemed the contrast, that on getting to the farther end, some of the passengers proposed that we should turn the horses and enjoy it a second time!"

By 1830 John Fowler was not so lucky. His coach took the bridge. ". . . a most barbarous structure, built on piles, and conveying the idea, if not the reality,  of great insecurity; as the planks, or logs upon which you pass, uncovered with gravel, soil, or other material, are of all shapes and sizes, heedlessly laid across from side to side without nails or any kind of fastening whatever. In many instances I observed them scarcely resting upon the supports on each side, and the waters of the lake everywhere visible below: of course, as they were acted upon by the weight and motion of the coach and horses, they were perpetually jolting up and down, so that it was a mater of astonishment to me how the animals could pass over at the rate they did, a good brisk trot, without getting their feet between them; the accompanying noise and clatter, too, was anything but agreeable".

But those Brits, they usually think of something gracious to say about most experiences. One must, . . . "leave all his fears and prejudices at home, and be here content to dash on, over, under, or through whatever it may please the driver and his steed to convey him."

Remember that in our time, the next pothole you encounter. Remember also that very little lasts forever. Use of the bridge would stop in 1857 and the following year the state legislature would authorize the Cayuga Bridge Company to replace the span.


It never happened. In 1860 the obvious finally did. A new ferry services was "launched" (against the wishes of the Cayuga Bridge Company) and acted until 1890, or (thereabouts). And since the bridge's main purpose had been to avoid the Montezuma Swamp to the north, alternate routes though that boggy stretch would later serve the same purpose - connecting the village of Cayuga to the west side of lake.

Next time, arriving  at the northwest end of Cayuga Lake, Fowler's coach will set off for the village of Seneca Falls. Over a smoother passageway.