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.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Time Marches Onward

Marion Parsons' home today, contributed by the current owners

As the author, my speaking engagements for The Brass Bell have come to an end for this year. It's been an adventure since last June. The best part of the book tour was the launch event at the school. So many people who had loved and admired Marion Parsons from 1926 until she retired in 1952 were there to get their signed copy of the book. I have known all along that the popularity of the book has little to do with me and everything to do with those who have loved and admired my aunt's leadership and graciousness. She's been gone for over 40 years, but not forgotten.

As for her school, last month Cherry Road School was presented with the national Blue Ribbon Award, pronouncing it one of the best schools in the country. Oh, if only she were around to know  this!

As for her house, the darling house once featured in Better Homes & Gardens and Architectural Digest.... the wonderful people who live there now have shared some pictures. Looking at the picture of their front door in this picture, I can still smell the pungent odor of the juniper shrubbery at her front door, feel the warmth of her home as you stepped inside the vestibule, hear her laugh, hear her call out. By the look of this autumn snapshot, they love the house as much as she and her family had once so long ago.

I'm told the book will make a great Christmas gift for those who were lucky enough to live in this neighborhood, attend this school, or to have known Miss Parsons. For others, it will make a lovely gift for anyone with a penchant for the past and what we've left behind in quality of schools, strength of community relationships, and integrity of leadership. 

If you're wondering where you can purchase a copy, here are a few examples:

  • The Brass Bell can be ordered directly from Sahalie Publishing, or from
  • Amazon.com
  • For those in the Syracuse area, you can also buy directly from:
  • Onondaga County Historical Society's Museum store, 
  • the Marcellus Historical Society's store
  • Skaneateles Historical Society gift store
  • First National Gifts, Skaneateles, NY
  • Solvay-Geddes Historical Society..see their website
  • The Book Cellar, Solvay NY

Monday, September 23, 2013

Upcoming Author Events

Author, Camille Cole
Save the date:

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Eastern Tour Complete

an evening at Barnes & Noble

Book Tour moves to Western U.S.






 I returned from the East coast exhausted but pleased with the overwhelming response to The Brass Bell. This project has so many supporters and enthusiasts in Central New York, I am grateful. Nevertheless, the work has just begun. The book tour now expands to Western United States...stay tuned Portland, Oregon, Okanogan County, Washington State, and Southern California.

If you live in the Central NY area and would like to purchase a copy of The Brass Bell, the book is available at:

Friday, June 28, 2013

Book tour underway!

Willis Parsons and family, 1915

The Brass Bell book tour

If you live in the Syracuse, NY area, don't miss your chance to meet the author and get your signed copy!

For more information about any of these events, call: 503.914.9515

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Book Launch Success!

Channel 9 Bridge Street visits Cherry Road School
That evening the book launch was a great success!


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Book Signing and Celebration of Marion Parsons Day

The Brass Bell is Coming!

I will be at Cherry Road School on June 20, 6-8:00 pm signing books and participating in a celebration of the school and of Marion Parsons Day. The event takes place in the original gym. A tribute read to Miss Parsons the day of her retirement in 1952 will be re-enacted. Alumni from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s will talk about the olden days. Don't miss this opportunity to remember our shared past, to learn what came before.

Everyone is invited!

See announcement:  Syracuse dot Com 

Earlier in the day, Bridge Street on Channel 9 WSYR will run a 5 minute segment live from the school as the students who have been selected this year receive the Marion Parsons Award for excellence.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Terry Road School, 1925
 Cherry Road School will hold a book launch party and book signing on June 20, 2013, 6:00-8:00 in the gymnasium.

Community members and alumni are all invited to celebrate what also happens to be Marion Parsons Day, and the release of the book that tells the story of her life.

The Brass Bell chronicles the life of Marion Parsons upon whose father's cherry orchard the school was built in 1927. It tells the story of the history of the school that replaced the old-time Terry Road School, and the close-knit community that surrounded both schools. The book was written by the great niece of Miss Parsons and the great granddaughter of Willis Parsons, and she will be on-hand to sign books.

To further honor the coincidence that this is Marion Parsons Day, there will be a re-enactment of the tribute written for her retirement by long-time community member, Ivy Schuyler: A Tribute to Miss Parsons. In addition, several alumni from the mid-1900s will speak about what life was like at Cherry Road School and in Westvale during those times. The author will read an excerpt from The Brass Bell.

Refreshments will be served. If you have any questions or would like to participate in the event in any special way, please contact Nancy Camille Cole at: 503.914.9515, or email her at: schoolhouse2@comcast.net

A portion of the proceeds of the sale of the book will go to one of the sponsors of The Brass Bell, the Solvay Geddess Historical Society.

For those who cannot attend on the 20th, book order forms are available on the publisher's website: www.sahaliepublishing.org

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Project Progress--updates

Camille Cole-Author
The Brass Bell is in production!  After two rounds of serious editing by two of the best editors in all the land, it is now in the hands of one of the best book designers in all the land.

If you haven't received an offer in the mail and would like to order the book, you can do so on the publisher's website: Sahalie Publishing.

I am currently seeking authors and experts to write blurbs for the book jacket. If you have someone in mind, please let us know.

Please spread the word that the book order forms are already posted on the website.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated from the bottom of my heart. This has been a true representation of community collaboration--something that's been going on in Westvale for a long, long time.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Time Marches On

Bill on left, George on the right
While working on The Brass Bell project I have met so many wonderful people who were once upon a time students at Cherry Road School when Marion Parsons was principal. Now in their 70s, 80s, and 90s, they still love to share stories about those days.

Two charming men who have been friends since childhood, Bill Eriksson and George Kinder, met with me one afternoon and had me in stitches and in tears, telling me about the olden days, about Miss Parsons. There was a story about how she had excused them from school to go see the opening day of the Chiefs. Others who had skipped school wound up in detention. Their idea about confronting her with the truth paid off. Bill told me several stories about how Miss Parsons had made it possible for him to participate in paying events by hiring him to work around the nieghborhood. She trusted him so much, she would go to him and ask him to ride a sick child home on his bike. The two friends were always up to something, but it seemed as though they would somehow make the right decisions. One time they asked Miss Parsons to take them over to Solvay so they could buy a squirt gun.  Bill said, "She probably took it away from us the next day, but she took us nevertheless."

The sad part about this project is that some of those who have contributed to the book will not be around to enjoy it. We lost my beloved Betty Jerome recently. Yesterday I found out that we've lost Bill last December. There will be a memorial get-together for Bill on April 27, 1:00 p.m., at the Amber Congregational Church. A luncheon will follow at the South Onondage Fire Department where Bill was a long-time member and fire-fighter.

Bill will be missed but the excellent stories he shared for The Brass Bell will live on in the book.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

"Women's stories have not been told. And without stories
there is no articulation of experience. Without stories a woman
is lost when she comes to make the important decisions

of her life. She does not learn to value her struggles, to
celebrate her strengths, to comprehend her pain. Without
stories she is alienated from those deeper experiences of self
and world that have been called spiritual or religious. She is
closed in silence. The expression of women's spiritual quest
is integrally related to the telling of women's stories. If women's
stories are not told, the depth of women's souls will not
be known." ~ Carol Christ, Diving Deep and Surfacing.

A local writing teacher, Jennifer Lauck, posted this quote on her newsletter this morning. My thought upon reading it was that often, if we've lived a life worth telling, someone else will write our story. Hopefully we leave enough clues behind for the story to be told. Hopefully we've made a big enough impact on the world that others will want to read about it, will gain insight and inspiration and understanding about their own lives. I hope The Brass Bell is a story such as that.   The manuscript is with the copy editor. Soon the book will be in production.   Thanks to all for your support and encouragement.   ~Camille

Excerpts from the Parsons Family Association Newsletter

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Project Update

Book Project Update

It's been a while since I checked in and updated the loyal followers of this project, The Brass Bell. The book was held in "exclusivity" by a university press for well over a year. Time passes and things change. What happened in this case, the executive editor who loved the project left the press. Her replacement finally decided to pass on the book. That didn't degrade its value to me or to others, but it sure broke my heart and set us back a year, needlessly. Lesson learned.

Onward and forward, tuck and roll, a small independent press in Oregon is publishing the book. Sahalie Publishing has brought on-board the best of the best to work on The Brass Bell, including Ali McCart of Indigo Editing, Holly Franko, former Copy Desk Chief at The Oregonian; an award-winning magazine and book designer, J. Kiehle, and other literary notables who have come together to help Sahalie produce a stand-out treasure for all who have waited so patiently. This book will be a treasure, not only for those who attended Cherry Road School, who knew Miss Parsons, or lived in Central New York, it will be a must-have for those who love historical fiction and non-fiction, love to read stories about people's lives...for history buffs, for educators, and everyone who has a soft-spot for the one-room schoolhouse and its inhabitants.

The Brass Bell covers a time period from the late nineteenth century through post-WWII. It contains the voices of those who were there, from Marion's journal, from newspaper accounts, and the memories of a little girl who begged her great aunt for "stories out of her think, stories about the olden days." My Aunt Marion would begin her stories with "Jack hitched up the horse and buggy..." I would curl up and drift through a time I could imagine as though I had been there, thanks to Marion's story-telling ability.

The book will go to press sometime this spring and Sahalie will make pre-sales available for anyone wanting to ensure they get enough copies, or who simply want to help this small press with this enormous project. (Sahalie is a non-profit press making donations tax-deductable.)

I want to thank all who have helped, tirelessly, who have encouraged me to keep going. I want to thank the many who contributed their memories of days gone by. It saddens me that some have not survived to enjoy the finished product. The book is for them especially. Their legacy will endure, as will my Aunt Marion Parsons'.

If you want to be added to the mailing list, contact me at: schoolhouse2@comcast.net

I will continue to post updates on this site,
Nancy "Camille" Cole