Projects I'm Working On
For more than one hundred years, Nestlé Chocolate Works was a powerful and influential faction in the city of Fulton. Along with the sweet smell of chocolate rising from its eastside location, for generations, the company offered many of the city’s families with good-paying jobs and job security. When the business closed in 2003, it was perhaps the harshest loss Fulton has ever experienced. As our city watched Nestlé buildings being torn down in 2016, I thought about the memories that so many of us hold in our hearts for Nestlé. I am currently conducting interviews with those associated with the factory and/or who are willing to share their memories of it.
Working title: Music as an Open Door.
Ever since I published the poetry book, Reach Out in the Darkness: How Pop Music Saved My Mortal Soul, I’ve wanted to dig a little deeper into the topic. I attempted to write a book that would focus on interviews I
conducted with others who were also influenced by popular songs, singers and singing groups, but I found the emotional aspects of the subject matter difficult to examine with strangers. I’ve abandoned that idea and
am now working on a memoir that will utilize the most important songs of my life to explore how they ushered in powerful changes in my life.
The Best of Fulton: Poems for My Town’s Newspaper.
From 2011 until 2016, I contributed a weekly poem to my hometown’s newspaper, The Valley News. The poems covered many topics, including my memories of growing up in Fulton, my school experiences, reflections on the businesses and community events, and my thoughts and feelings about the city today. In 2017, I will be releasing a book of my favorites from the over 250 poems the paper published.
The Music Book Project
Questions to help you remember your Music Memories
1) What song or songs immediately makes you think of your teen years? What memories do the song or songs bring up for you?
2) What song or songs reminds you of the first time you feel in love? What are the details around this memory?
3) What song makes you want to dance, no matter where or when you hear it?
4) Did you have one favorite artist or band of all time?
5) Was there any singer or group whom you “copied?” Tried to act like? Tried to dress like?
6) Was there any artist that you saw your life in theirs?
7) Do you have a single favorite line or group of words from a song?
8) Did the death of any artist affect you in any intense way?
9) Was there any specific thing you did specifically because of an artist? Took a drug? Took a risk? Did something offbeat?
10) Which artist would you most like to be if you could exchange lives with them?
11) Which artist would you most have liked to meet, and why? And what would you tell them?
12) Do you have a favorite song of all-time? Why? How about an album?
13) Is there a song or singer/group that strengthened your faith?
The Oswego County Search and Rescue Team
In the summer of 1971, eight-year-old Douglas Legg was visiting his uncle at the family estate on the Santonini Preserve in Newcomb, New York. On a warm and sunny day, Douglas headed with his family on a hike into the nearby Adirondack wilderness. Wearing shorts and a short-sleeve shirt, his uncle sent him back to change into long pants to protect himself from poison ivy. A clear trail led from where he left his family members to the house, which could be seen in the distance. But somewhere between those two points, Douglas disappeared and was never seen again.
In the days before professional emergency services, the Legg family, their friends and neighbors could do little but fervently look for young Douglas. As newspapers spread the sad news of his disappearance, many read the sketchy reports and wondered what had happened. But one of those reading the details, Bart Bartholomew of Fulton, New York, did more than wonder. He asked his wife, Barbara, “What if this was our child?” Bart knew he had to do something.
Days later, a small press release hit the papers: Bartholomew planned to start an organized search and rescue team. Others read of Bart’s goal, pledged to join him, and a few months later, The Oswego County Pioneer Land Search & Rescue Team formed. Within two years, it became a model S & R group, and was instrumental in starting the New York State Federation of Search & Rescue Teams. Today, it remains the most respected S & R organization in the state.
In the spring of 2015, when I learned about the disappearance of Douglas Legg and the formation of Oswego County Search & Rescue, the writer in me was moved to tell this story. With the permission of the Team’s current members, I am gathering information from people who volunteered on the team, participated in one of the hundreds of searches conducted in its 45 years, or benefited from the Team’s efforts. If you know of the fine work this organization has done, please contact me by using the “Contact” link at the top of this page.