2013, Sahalie Publishing

2013, Sahalie Publishing
256 pages, over 100 pictures

Limited edition...

The Brass Bell can be purchased online at Sahalie Publishing and Amazon.com.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Time Gone Past

Cherry Road School
Teachers from the 1940s

Many of the wonderful educators who helped make Cherry Road School what it is today, who some of the older alumni remember fondly, are gone. Though they are no longer with us, we remember them as though it were yesterday. As I make progress with the book, The Brass Bell, I realize how nice it would be to have pictures of these teachers and stories from their teaching days. Here is a list of CRS teachers from the 1940s (some are still with us):

  • Helen Miller
  • Pauline Steinbeck
  • Tibby Muench Dumanian
  • Ruth Walti
  • Margaret Hannigan Francoeur
  • Elsie Bedwell Haskins (still alive and kicking!)
  • Beth Schermerhorn
  • Ann Robinson
  • Jean McLusky Miller
  • Mary Costello Kinnan
  • Lorna Richards
  • Sallie Schwartz
  • Florence Wallace
If any readers/followers of this blog have pictures/stories about these educators you'd be willing to share for the book, please fell free to contact me: schoolhouse2@comcast.net

Though I do have several pictures of teachers from the olden days, I want to be sure I have a picture of each one and at least one story about how she (notice they are all "she") may have affected someone's life. Or, if for someone on this list who is still alive, if you have contact information I would love to speak with her. I have had a recent conversation with Elsie Haskins.

I appreciate the help and support I receive on this project. I plan to be in Syracuse in late September and early October this year.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Learning Backwards

The Power of Life Experiences

I heard someone say something the other day and the truth of the statement took my breath away. "Life can only be understood backwards and yet it must be lived forwards."

Thanks to the power of the Internet, I've been making contact with more and more Cherry Road School Alumni. There are many commonalities in what they remember about those days. The most common denominator is how much Miss Parsons touched their lives in one way or another. One remembers conversations on the porch when he delivered her newspaper, another remembers personal tutoring because she was "not a good student," another how much she wanted to please her, and all remember Miss Parsons as a larger than life character in the story of their childhood.

Recently I met with someone who would have graduated from Cherry Road School around 1953. He said he received much more from the school than he ever gave back, and that he was unable to appreciate it at the time. He's thankful to have the opportunity now to give back if only by sharing his memories as a contribution to the book. I have to agree with Walt. If I had even five minutes with my Aunt Marion I'd thank her for all she did for me. I'd let her know that I've discovered in this work that she was that much to many others too. But since I can't do that, I'll have to thank her by completing the book that tells the story of the farm, the family, and the many futures that were touched. Fifty, sixty, even seventy years later, many understand what one person contributed so that we might flourish and remember our days in the brick building in the old Parsons' cherry orchard.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something.

Howard Zinn, the late historian

Westvale, the home of Cherry Road School, was born in bad times from the compassion, sacrifice, courage, and kindness of a farming community who saw the value of its youth and the importance of education. They saw the best in what they had and did something to ensure the future.