Monday, May 2, 2016

Eaton History Day better known as Eaton Day, Memorial Day and Me!

It is May and as I do every year I work on the upcoming Memorial Day Monday Eaton Day event.  As usual I try to put into words the importance of a "Community Day"... yet trying to word it to entice even those not from the immediate community to come out and join their neighbors.  I have put on 20 of these, give or take a year.  So with that in mind I invite you to circle Memorial Day Monday, May 30th, on the calendar and come to our town and see what "rural small town America" still has going for it.   So with that thought in mind....... 

Tommy Hoe playing at last years event!
On Memorial Day Monday, May 30ththe Friends of the Old Town of Eaton Museum will be hosting the 21st Annual “Eaton Day”. 

The day, which is held in the Hamlet of Eaton on Route 26, is an opportunity for the Town of Eaton residents past and present to enjoy history, memories and good homemade bake goods with special activities thrown it!

The theme of this years event is "Preserving the Past for the Future" a statement that is a perfect description of the importance of the Old Town of Eaton Museum that is proud of the many artifacts and stories that are preserved within its 200 plus year walls.

The Friends of the Old Town of Eaton Museum hold “Eaton Day” in an effort to raise money for the upkeep the museum building and to put on and fund the event each year.  The mission of the group being to responsibly sustain the museum building and contents as a significant evolving repository of local history and artifacts through fund raising, tours, and celebrations of which “Eaton Day” each year is an important part.

The group feels it is important for the citizens of the Town of Eaton to recognize that the artifacts housed within the walls of the Eaton Museum, those heirlooms that may come to us in the future and those people, both living and dead who form the tapestry of our community are, in fact, our inheritance.  Also, by engaging the community, on Eaton Day, they hope to protect the Town’s shared heritage and leave a legacy for the future and the future of the Old Town of Eaton Museum.  

The “Day”, that  features, a huge bake and pie sale, tours of the museum, food, crafts & rummage tables, basket raffles, as well as entertainment and history, with its theme of Preserving the Past for the Future, is a perfect explanation of the museum’s goals.  Eaton Day starts at 9am and goes to 4pm, with special presentations starting after the parade, which this year is in Morrisville.


Come join the Eaton Community for an old fashioned day of fun and community pride, Eaton Day!

Some clips from the past!


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Spring, Friends & Neighbors, and Kentucky Derby Day in Eaton!!!

The year has been a bummer for me personally and there seems to be no let up to it…LOL. But in the scheme of things memories have will have to suffice to raise me up and keep me going. 

Yesterday I thought about having a Derby Party like we used to have in Eaton. When I first moved here I became acquainted with my neighbors who were wonderful people who enjoyed Soring and each other’s company…we would plan get-togethers and my favorite was “Derby Day”!

Pauline Brown would clean the fresh fish Mike and Emily Curtis would fish for (Bullhead and such)… then we would do chicken and salads with Nellie Wooten’s unbelievable Pecan Pie to finish… the Pecan Pie of which we all went into sugar shock over, and my specialty was….Mint Julep’s… both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.  Spring had sprung!

We also had Party Mutual tickets for $1… that was our wager of the day on whatever horse we would like the name of.  Sometimes my craft friends would come from Syracuse.  One year Grandpa Black won on a ticket picked for him by someone else… He laughed and laughed. 

Grandpa Black was blind and had been a postman who climbed Hamilton Hill on his route…on snowshoes sometimes in the winter.  He said he and the Hamilton postman would meet at the top of the hill.  Our personal joke was I would ask him what color ashtray he wanted…he would say “Green”… and I would hand him a different color and someone would say…”That’s not green!”...He would answer...”They are all green to me!”… And we would laugh!

One time Pauline got into the Juleps before getting the chicken ready…I can still see Judy Cramphin coming out of the kitchen accusing me of getting her mother drunk. 

One time Nellie who never drank brought “Hard Sauce” for the Pecan Pie…It was so “Hard” I decided to investigate the whiskey she had used… She turned the old bottle over to me, when I looked in the back of it… the phone number of the liquor store had only 4 or 5 digits…yikes…aged for real!

Many times people showed up with hats on…cowboy or bonnet…but always ready to eat, smile, and enjoy each other’s company for a while after a long cold winter and usually…. a cold April.


As I look at my Facebook friends today I still see a number of familiar young faces that have replaced the many older faces that have passed over the threshold…I miss them all… and our many “Good Times”!  Happy Spring to all…

Here is one of the kids that came back for a visit...this day to "Jack Ass Hill!"


Monday, April 4, 2016

The world, life today and a poem for those who have gone before!

As some of you might have noticed I was missing from blogging for a while.  Some of the reason due to illness, some of it due to not feeling like thinking about the crazy world we live in and the horror of our times.

Missing from our society is the rational day-to-day mundane parts of life.  We have media blasting us on all sides about politics, wars, fundraising, sports, supposed star personalities, new products to buy and things that really do not matter to a vast majority of the world’s people. To them, the day is made up of getting up…trying to feed, cloth, and shelter their families and themselves.

It is sort of disgusting to watch our modern entertainments such as music, videos and TV revolve around sex, nudity, absurd fashion, video games and media hype. Storage businesses are booming because we feel compelled to go out and buy items many of us cannot use or do not need,,, because we feel good to be able to buy things.

We no longer repair things we just throw them away and companies make items to be tossed or make things too cheaply or too complicated to repair.

So I settled back and tried not to think about anything…it worked for a while…but only a while.  So for this years book I decided to put history aside and gather together some of my latest poems.  They are not very good or great… but they are in a way the history of how I feel about today, the world I am in and the people I have met.

Since this week marks my birthday, a day I do not celebrate… since on that date three of the people I was closest to died … Each in different years but all within 24 hours one way or another of it…I will post this poem for them.  I miss them very much and I am sure you have those you miss as well so this is for them and you also...


I hope you enjoy!

Memories like cymbals clanging
In the empty corner of each room
Feelings left unfinished
Brushed aside to hide the pain
Of love

Time heals they say
But that is not so
It only deadens a heart grown heavy
With our life when filled
With woe

It marks the channel of the oceans current
Changed by our tides ebb and flow
So out on this sea of life we sail
Not knowing the way wind
May blow

Poems left for other lovers
Line by line written so
But memories prove unforgiving
In feelings that eyes do
Not show

Life is like a bottle
Set adrift at evening time
The ride it takes only guided
By the moon and its
Earthly tides

With no control and no clear path
We wander shores of sand and sea
Always searching for love
And in the end finding
Life’s realities

Sunday, January 31, 2016

St. Joseph's Hospital, Mother Marianne Cope, Miracles, and my sickness...

The past few weeks have been what I consider a nightmare.  I have been in and out of the hospital, emotionally up and down, as well as concerned and afraid.  Out of it all has come a strange mixture of poetry, history and a dose of religion.

I was reading an article on St. Josephs Hospital when stories of poetry and Mother Marianne Cope rose out of the pages of time and whizzed into today.

My poetry blog that I work on periodically was stuck in a standstill of thoughts and rhymes, and I hit a story on Robert Louis Stevenson.  Seems that Stevenson took time to visit Kalawao, on May 22, 1889, and he visited the hospital for Lepers run by the Sisters whose leader was Sister Marianne Cope. Under Mother Cope’s leadership the sisters ran the Kaka’ako Branch of a Hospital on the island of Oahu.  It is here that patients of Leprosy (also know as Hansen’s disease) from all of the Hawaiian Islands were sent.  This location was used as a site of isolation for lepers, keeping them from the general population.

While there Stevenson wrote this poem:

 To see the infinite pity of this place,
The-mangled limb,
The devastated face,
The innocent sufferers smiling at the rod,
A fool were tempted to deny his God.
He sees, and shrinks; but if he look again,
Lo, beauty springing from the breast of pain!
He marks the sisters on the painful shores,
And even a fool is silent and adores.

This poem was such a great find, since I was in St. Joseph’s Hospital one of the very Hospitals that she worked so hard to found here in CNY in the 1860’s, the other being St. Elizabeths in Utica. It is at that time Sister Marianne was elected to the Governing Council of her religious order (Franciscan Nuns) and appointed Superior General Director of the very hospital I was in.  At that time St. Joe’s was considered the first public hospital to take in all patients regardless of race, color or creed. Mother Marianne served in that position from 1870 until 1877.

The thing that changed her life and history, was a letter in 1883 from a Father Damian in Hawaii, requesting help.  By this time she was the Provincial Mother of the area and wrote that she was “hungry for the work and not afraid of catching the dreaded disease.” And so she went to Hawaii.

That day I had asked a friend, Barbara Keough, to bring me my copy of the Mother Cope prayer and the card put out by the Sisters of St. Frances to help get Sainthood proclaimed for her. 

It is here that this story intersected with another piece of my life for it was one of the two women…. who were the miracles attributed to Mother Cope, was a good friend and had been a nurses aide for my mother…her name was Kate Mahoney.

That night I ran a raging fever and when it broke I realized I was still holding clenched in my hand the card with the picture of Cope and her prayer. It is then that I realized while gazing at the rooms memo board that the date was January 23rd, the day set aside by the Catholic Church to honor our new Saint.

I like so many are praying to her for help and I can’t help but feel that I was helped by her that night.

For more information on Saint Marianne Cope you can visit the Internet and the many sites devoted to her life and her miracles.  I have also written a blog on our two new CNY Saints Kateri and Mother Cope.  I also attribute a personal miracle to Mother Cope involving my mother. Here is a link to it… http://backstreetmary.blogspot.com/2011/12/mother-cope-close-to-home.html

 Kate Mahoney has a Facebook page