One of the things I truly enjoy is sharing my writing with others. If it's my latest books of poems, how nice to have an opportunity to read them aloud. If it's a local history book, I not only get the chance to explain how I came to write about the subject, but I also get to hear the audience's reactions and memories of the topic. I am available to speak for libraries, clubs, organizations and school groups. Often my program includes a PowerPoint presentation. If you belong to a group that may be interested in me as a speaker, please let me know by using the "Contact" link at the top of the page.
Save The Date
Saturday, October 27, 2018 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Virgilio's Event Centre
52 Nestle Drive, Fulton, New York
I am pleased to announce the publication of my new book, Nestlé in Fulton, New York: How Sweet It Was. The book features interviews with former Nestlé workers, research of the company's one hundred years in Fulton, and my personal reflections of its enduring importance to Central New York. This November, Arcadia Publishing will launch a national promotion of the book. In anticipation of this, and to celebrate the many accomplishments of Fulton's chocolate factory workers, I'm planning a special event:
“Remembering Nestlé in Fulton: How Sweet It Was”
Saturday, October 27, 2018 1:00 - 5:00 pm
Virgilio’s Event Centre 52 Nestle Drive, Fulton
(formerly known as Nestlé Park)
The event includes:
o Full course meal prepared and served by Virgilio’s
o Nestlé-inspired desserts created by Kathy’s Cakes & Specialty Treats
o Multimedia presentation looking back on Nestlé’s century in Fulton
o Display of Nestlé memorabilia, some to be donated to a Fulton Nestlé’s museum
Tickets to the event are $30 and available at the river’s end bookstore, 19 W. Bridge St., Oswego, (315) 342-0077, and from me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (315) 402-6164. Seating is limited, so please reserve your ticket now for this one-time event.
Upcoming Readings and Book Signings
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 12 noon
The Niagara Mohawk Retirement Club, Vona's Restaurant, Oswego, New York
For over 100 years, The Nestle Chocolate Works in Fulton produced many of our favorite candy bars and treats. It was the first milk chocolate factory to operate in the United States, and for several decades it was the largest candy factory in all of North America. My new book, How Sweet It Was: Nestle's Century of Success in Fulton, New York, traces the history of the plant from its origins in Switzerland to the factory's closing in 2003. Featured in this program will feature stories from the book as told to me by former Nestle workers and Fultonians who lived under the Chocolate Works' sweet influence for so many years.
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 7:00 p.m.
Sterling Historical Society, 1294 State Route 104A, Sterling, New York
For over 100 years, The Nestle Chocolate Works in Fulton produced many of our favorite candy bars and treats. When the dozens of buildings that made up that factory were torn down recently, I decided to write about the history of the plant and its many positive contributions to our city and the surrounding area. Join us at the Sterling Historical Society's meeting house for an evening of remembering when there was chocolate in the air and everybody knew someone who worked at Nestle.
Thursday, November 1, 2018 7:00 p.m.
The Jordan Historical Society, Jordan Bramley Library, 15 Mechanic St, Jordan, NY 13080
If you haven’t had a chance to see my PowerPoint presentation on the Blizzard of ‘66, the Jordan Historical Society has invited me to their monthly meeting to share my memories of the famous storm. I’ll be talking about the impact of the blizzard in Central New York, share stories I heard from those who lived through it, and make comparisons to today’s winter weather. Join us!
Saturday, December 1, 2018 3:00 p.m.
the river’s end bookstore, 19 W. Bridge Street, Oswego, N.Y.
Join me for the official launch of my book, Nestle in Fulton, New York: How Sweet it Was. I’ll be talking about the two-year-long process of researching and writing the book, share a brief overview of the chocolate factory’s history, and tell a few stories I learned about working at the plant from interviewing former employees. There’ll be refreshments, too, including some Nestle candy bars!
Thursday, January 31, 2019 7:00 pm
Community Library of Dewitt & Jamesville, 5110 Jamesville Road, DeWitt, New York
For nearly 100 years, Fulton, New York, was known as the city that smelled like chocolate. As home to Nestle's first (and largest) United States factory, it was there that Nestle Quick and the Crunch Bar were invented, and Too House Morsels poured off assembly lines. The story of what happened when Nestle's Swiss founders chose Fulton for their chocolate production is one of our country's most inspiring success stories. Join us for this PowerPoint presentation!
For more information about this presentation, visit the library's website at https://www.cldandj.org/
Tuesday, February 12, 2019 12 noon
Rotary Club of Oswego, The Foundry, Route 104 W, Oswego, N.Y.
I’ll be presenting an overview of the Nestle factory in Fulton.
Thursday, March 14, 2019 7:00 pm
The Clay Historical Society, Clay Welcome Center, 4939 Route 31, Clay, NY
I'll be providing a program on the Fulton Nestle factory for this Onondaga County Historical group. I bet they could have smelled chocolate in the air if the wind was blowing just right! Come join this wonderful, welcoming group as I share the highlights of what I learned Fulton's century-long chocolate production.
Looking for a program for your group or organization?
Here are some topics I offer:
1) For nearly 0ne hundred years, the Nestle chocolate factory in Fulton provided the United States with candy bars, chocolate chip morsels, and beverage-enhancing powders like Nestle’s Quik and Strawberry Quik. My book, Nestle in Fulton, New York: How Sweet it Was, covers how the Swiss-based company first came to the United States and its century of success in Fulton. As part of this Nestle program, I provide a PowerPoint presentation which includes an overview of the factory’s history, stories I collected from former Nestle employees and their families, and informaton about the invention and development of Nestle’s most successful products: The Crunch Bar, Quik, Toll House Morsels, etc.
2) Based on the research I conducted for my Blizzard of '66 book and biography of Oswego weatherman Bob Sykes, I have put together a one-hour program about Central New York winter weather as seen through the eyes of its longtime residents. Using some of the incredible stories about what happened to people during the blizzard and anecdotes about our area's most memorable meteorologist from his SUNY Oswego students and colleagues, I shine a spotlight on the hearty people who manage to survive winter after winter of our amazing weather. A PowerPoint presentation brings the stories and memories alive. The program concludes with a question and answer period.
3) I have developed a presentation for my latest book of poems, Reach Out In The Darkness: How Pop Music Saved My Mortal Soul. Working with musicians Gina Holsopple and Matthew Wood, we mix some of the great pop tunes of the '60s and early '70s with my poetry, bringing to life the singers, songs and culture of that great era. We've done this program at the river's end bookstore and the Fulton Public Library and both times, the audience response has been wonderful. People sing along to their favorite songs and reflect on that time gone by. Those who've attended have said that the evening's program leaves them feeling uplifted. Matthew, Gina and I are looking for other places to present the program. Let me know if you are interested.
4) Over the past few years, I've been presenting a slideshow program at various locations in Central New York based on my latest book Of the Earth: Stories From Oswego County's Muck Farms. The book is a compilation I created after interviewing local muck farmers, their family members, neighbors and agricultural agency representatives. In the book I weave the interviews together to tell the story of how this unique type of farming got established in Oswego County, how it developed and prospered into a major industry and what the future holds for the mucks. The slideshow program includes photos from the farms and families I interviewed, as well as stories from the book. After the presentation I introduce any muck farm families in attendance and take questions from the audience.
5) In 1971, a family was vacationing at their summer home in the Adirondacks. One July afternoon, their eight-year-old son became lost. Despite a major search effort that drew nearly 1,000 people, the boy was never found. Many who participated in the search called it unorganized. As word spread about the boy's tragedy and the struggles in trying to find him, a man in Fulton, New York decided he would take action to address the lack of trained support when a person went missing. Gathering a group of like-minded people, this man started the first volunteer professional search and rescue team in New York State. I had the privilege of writing the story of how this group formed and they are the subject of my book Pioneers: The Story of Oswego County's Search and Rescue Team. My PowerPoint program includes stories of how the team developed their effective search techniques, descriptions of the high-profile searches they have participated in and information of how they continue to evolve and serve the families of those who go missing. Former and current members of the team often join me for these presentations.
In the last few years, I have had the pleasure of meeting people at:
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County
The Red Creek Free Library
The New Haven Seniors
The Rome Historical Society
The Clay Historical Society
The Liverpool Library
Cayuga Community College, Auburn and Fulton campuses
SUNY Polytech College, Utica, NY
Granby Town Hall
Hannibal Senior Center (The Elderberries)
Hannibal Historical Society
Phoenix Senior Nutrition Center
Fulton Senior Nutrition Center
Scriba Historical Society
Volney Town Hall
Town of Oswego History Group
Oswego Library Author program
Sterling Historical Society
Porchfest, Oswego, NY
Barnes & Noble, Clay
Fair Haven Artisans
Springside at Seneca Hill
The Niagara Mohawk Retiree's Organization
The Town of Minetto Historical Society
The Oneida County Historical Society
The Auburn Bookstore
The Singing Seniors of Trenton, New York
The Parish Library
If you know of a group or organization that would like to have one of my programs, please contact me by using the "Contact" link at the top of this web page or by calling (315) 402-6164.