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, September 4, 2011

Book almost Finished!

The first draft of The Brass Bell is almost complete! I could not have told the story without the help of those who were there and have been so generous to share their stories.

Every time I read the one about the boys stringing tin cans across the bottom of the stairs on a Saturday morning in hopes of hearing the janitor as he might unwittingly ascend the stairway from the basement, discover all of them in the gym playing basketball, I smile. These "boys" are now in their 80s, but to them, it was just yesterday. When they recount scurrying out the front door and across the lawn, they evoke a Saturday morning nearly 70 years ago, the sounds of their high-tops on the gym floor, the gasps of heavy breathing from running and from terror.

The biggest thrill for Cherry Roaders was the senior class trip. Each alumni I've talked with has recounted the events of that trip as though the train had just left the station, Syracuse fading as their train heads east and then south.

You can almost hear the cows mooing up at the Jeroms farm, the clanking of the milk bottles in Van Jerome's wire basket early in the morning. It's just a dream. Most of the farms are now buried beneath roads and shopping malls. The old tunnel that was part of a complicated system of cables, pulleys, and buckets, rigged to transport limestone from Split Rock to Solvay Process, was closed down a hundred years ago. Stories about running through the tunnel in the dark are embedded in the memories of those who were there. Until the neighbors plugged it up with cement, kids used the tunnel as a short-cut. They played in the abandoned quarry, took a picnic lunch, stayed all day until the street lights came on, their signal to go home.

The book is filled with people from the past. The wonder and the tragedies of their lives come alive on the pages.

There is much to be learned from the successes of Cherry Road School, from the first day Miss Parsons stood on the front step of the old chicken coop in 1926, and then on the front steps of the brand new red brick school in 1927, until the day she retired in 1952.

I'll keep you informed about the progress of the publication of The Brass Bell!

The Split Rock/Solvay Process cable system is pictured above....