Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
I'll be in town for a visit in mid-October. If any Cherry Road Alumni or Westvale denizens would be interested in meeting with me to share historical information, stories, or participate in an oral interview about your personal history at CRS and/or Westvale, please contact me.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
The Results Are In!
Thanks to all of you who took the recent survey. We posted several questions to try and get an idea of what our project followers would most like to see in a book about Cherry Road School. The majority of respondants said they would most like a chronilogical history of Cherry Road School and also a history of the Westvale neighborhood.
I'd like to encourage anyone who may have any historical documentation or general information to share with the project, to please contact us. And again, thanks to those who took the survey.
And, it's not too late to get in touch! Actual writing on the book will not begin until January, 2010.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
This morning I was reading our introductory piece about the Cherry Road School project on the Historical Society page, about how Miss Parsons embodied the kind of teacher that students never forget, about all the cards and letters she would receive from former students years after her retirement. Then I began to reflect on what is a good teacher? We hear so many stories in the news about what's not working in education today.
If you are visiting this blog, there was probably something about Cherry Road School that affected your life in a positive way.
Please share. Please click on the "Comment" following this post and share what you believe are the characteristics of a "good teacher." We want to hear from all of you! No answer is wrong. Every response is a contribution to this online community of people who were touched by a special school in a unique American neighborhood.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Our Grandmother Parsons brick house about a quarter mile to the west [today, this is the Jim & Susan Jerome place...still in the family] was vacant, so our family lived there for the winter while the new house and barn were built on practically the same foundation as the old ones.
In the 1930s the old barn was demolished to make way for the houses on newly built Parsons Drive. The house still stands. [Corner of Parsons Drive and W. Genesee.]
Where there were open fields and orchards when I was a girl and young woman there are streets lined with houses, changing the whole area from farmlands to a Syracuse Suburb called Westvale.
Dear Readers~ If you have any knowledge of events or people around this time in Westvale, we would love to hear from you. Send your stories privately to the list moderator, or post as a comment to this posting, or any of the other postings that may jog your memory. Again, we would love to hear from you.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Aunt Marion apparently heard my cries of frustration as she approached the backyard with a confident gait. She directed me to join her on the porch located on the south end of the house. My great aunt held my hand as we walked over and sat in the chair on the porch without any interruption from other family members. Her voice was strong yet supportively firm as she addressed my despair over the lack of hitting the whiffleball. She emphasized that it was only a game and not to be too critical and expect to be like "Babe Ruth" hitting the ball. Aunt Marion stated that "someday, sooner than later, you'll be hitting that ball as well as your older brothers and quite possibly, even farther. You've to be patient with yourself for the time being and realize that in time with hard work and natural physical growth, your day as a ball player or anything that you do will be rewarding and looked upon as a success if you show passion and love for what you do."
The message that I received from my aunt some 43 years ago still resonates to this day. We, as people, can lead a better life for ourselves, family, and friends if we slow down and be patient with the process of anything involving personal growth opportunities within the journey of life. I believe that a passion for something is developed if you genuinely enjoy what you do for a living. I try to incorporate this message of wisdom to the people that I serve whom are recovering from alcohol and substance abuse.
My great aunt Marion certainly laid some bricks in my foundation as a young boy with respect to approaching life in a positive outlook. It is with great honor for my great aunt Marion to be able to share this short but everlasting story. May your journey in this life be filled with happiness. Respectfully, Jay Cole, a proud great nephew of Marion Parsons.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
When Marion Parsons and her sisters, Grace and Martha, were growing up on their father's fruit farm on the Genesee Turnpike, their closest friends were their cousins. The Parsons family was large, as many were in those days, and so there were plenty of cousins to play with in the orchards and go to school with at the little Terry Road Schoolhouse.
Right: Laura and Bess Parsons
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Marion Parsons was the middle child of three girls born to Willis and Mary Anna Parsons during the 1880s. Born in 1888, in this picture Marion stands next to her mother, Mary Anna. To her left, standing in the middle at the back, is eldest sister, Grace Parsons. The little girl sitting in the front of the family photo is Martha, the youngest of the Parsons sisters.
All three of the Parsons girls had successful professional careers as adults. All three were educators, Grace taught art, Martha taught Home Economics, and of course, Marion founded and directed Cherry Road School.
Father Willis was a successful fruit farmer. (Many of the Parsons' clan--children of Edwin and Julia--farmed the Westvale area. Willis's nephews, Harry and Ned Jerome, were the founding owners of Jerome Dairy). Willis served as the president of the Fruit Growers Association for many years.
Mother Mary Anna died when Marion was about thirteen years old. Her death was very hard on all three of the girls who adored their mother. It was probably at that time that the Parsons girls learned to be self-reliant. Marion took on a leadership role with the sisters, looking after Martha, and filling in as the eldest sister when Grace went off to college at Alfred University, not long after their mother's death.
Mary Anna died shortly after this family portrait was taken in 1900.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Let's start at the beginning. Marion's family migrated to the Syracuse area from Northampton, Mass. sometime in the mid 1800s. The Parsons ancestor who came to this country circa 1630 from England was Cornet Joseph Parsons. He married Mary Bliss . Marion's family are decendents of the eldest of Joseph and Mary's 13 children. Edwin Clarke Parsons and Julia Armstrong Parsons settled first in a brick house on Onondaga Road, where Marion's oldest sister, Grace (my grandmother) was born. Then they settled in another brick house located on W. Genesee Street. The house is still in the family and is owned today by Geddes Historian, Jim Jerome. Can you imagine owning and living in the very house once lived in by your great great great grandparents? Not only does Jim and his family live in the family homestead, he has managed to keep, maintain, and make industry out of all the property that originally belonged to the house.
When fire destroyed the house where Marion grew up in the late 1800s, she and her family lived for a while in this house, her grandparents, Edwin and Julia's house, while the house at 2709 W. Genesee St. was being rebuilt.
This is a picture of the house today. Though there have been many improvements, Jim and his wife have maintained the style and look of the 19th century home.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
This is a picture of the farmhouse where Marion Parsons grew up. It stands today, rebuilt after a fire in the late 1880's, on the corner of W. Genesee Street and Parsons Drive. Marion is in the picture, the 3rd person from the left. Isn't it amazing to see her as a little girl in the long skirt? Little did she know then that she would affect the lives of so many other little girls (and boys) of that age. Little did she know that would be her legacy.
If anyone has any pictures from this time in this area and you'd like to share them, please contact the Geddes Historical Society, as they are always on the look-out to add pictures to their collection.