Banjos, fiddles, guitars and mandolins can be fun, but 31-year-old North Syracusan Matt Kielecki is deadly serious about his work building and repairing stringed musical instruments. Boasting a wealth of experience that would be the envy of many a luthier twice his age, Kielecki (pronounced Kah-LEK-e) now offers his services at the Family Music Center, 914 Old Liverpool Road. He previously worked for American Music & Sound, was the national guitar tech for Fernandez Guitars and managed quality control for Kaysound Imports which services thousands of retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada.
The new biographical feature film about Jackie Robinson declined to depict the infamous incident in which Syracuse Chiefs ballplayers taunted the black baseball pioneer by throwing a black cat onto the playing field. For decades, legend had it that the incident occurred at Syracuse’s MacArthur Stadium, but historical evidence indicates otherwise.
For Jenni Schaefer, denial was a way of life. For years, she thought of herself as “almost anorexic.” Eventually, after studying biochemistry at Texas A&M University before moving to Nashville to play music, she was suffering the effects of a full-blown eating disorder, which she called Ed. That “almost anorexic” label was just a dodge, she realized, a devious self-sabotage. Her courageous chronicle of her journey, “Life Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too,” became a breakthrough best-seller. Schaefer emerged as a leading light in the recovery movement.
Time flies when you’re having fun. Just ask the Liverpool Elks. One of the area’s most active fraternal orders will celebrate a quarter-century of Music Fests when the band plugs in at noon on Sunday, Aug. 11, at the club on Cold Springs Road. Four of Central New York’s best rock bands — The Fulton Chain Gang, Soul Mine, Kat Tale and Mood Swing — will perform one after another through 6 p.m.
Grab your blankets and lawn chairs. The feeling of a drive-in movie will be in full effect both this week and next, as CNY & Syracuse FunFlicks will show two animated motion pictures on a 30-foot inflatable screen at the amphitheater at Johnson Park. The initial outdoor movie night with CNY & Syracuse FunFlicks was scheduled for Tuesday, July 23, with a dusk showing of “Wreck-it Ralph,” in which video-game characters take over an arcade at night. In case of rain, the movie would roll on Thursday, July 25.
For the past couple of weeks we’ve shared some ideas about the Liverpool Clock Campaign which aims to erect a Victorian-style timepiece at Washington Park Point at the intersection of Oswego and First streets. The brainchild of local businessman Jack Fisher, the clock campaign raised nearly $30,000 of its needed $35,000, and on June 17, village trustees voted unanimously in favor of making up the difference. They scraped up five grand from a federal “multi-modal” grant administered through New York state and designed to improve transportation around and about Washington Park. Mayor Gary White explained that the village would draw the money from $29,000 remaining from the original $305,677 grant awarded 12 years ago. Regardless of the mayor’s found-money explanation, some village residents have labeled the trustees’ action as irresponsible, frivolous, in essence a waste of money.
They’re at it again. Yes, those kids from Baker High’s Class of ’11 continue to create untold terrors. Last year, director-screenwriter Matthew Lipke and company released their first feature-length movie, “Whiskey Hollow,” which explored the bloody legends of Baldwinsville’s Whiskey Hollow Road. This year, Lipke Productions expands its horror horizons with “A Demon in My View,” a psychological thriller inspired by the life and writings of Edgar Allan Poe. The movie stars Erin Lynn Doyle, also from the Class of ’11, who co-wrote and produced “Demon” with Lipke.
Parishioners at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church will gather Saturday afternoon to help out one of their own, the young and lovely Sarah Wansart who faces a lengthy recovery after being hospitalized with a serious MRSA infection. The daughter of St. Joe’s parish council member Jane Wansart, Sarah has been hospitalized for more than a month after developing complications. “Like her mother, Sarah is an energetic and compassionate person dedicated to serving others,” noted the parish music director, Eileen Brody. Besides serving on the parish council, Jane Wansart sings in the church choir under Brody’s leadership.
A dark cave. In the middle, a caldron boiling. Thunder. Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble That Bill Shakespeare certainly had a way with words! The Liverpool Is The Place Committee apparently has a soft spot for The Bard. The committee, which brings you two dozen free concerts every summer at Johnson Park, is trying something new this year. At 7 p.m. on Fathers’ Day, Sunday, June 16, LITP has engaged Syracuse’s Redhouse Arts Center to present a one-hour adapted version of Shakespeare’s tragedy, “Macbeth,” at Johnson Park. The performance is designed for all ages, and admission is free. Considered one of Shakespeare’s darkest tragedies, “Macbeth” was originally staged circa 1607 in London. Set in Scotland, the action boils over with blood and betrayal as Lord Macbeth kills his king to fulfill his own lust for power. Wracked with guilt, Lady Macbeth leads her lord down a maelstrom of madness and death.
Year in and year out, the community fills the grounds behind Sacred Heart Church on Route 11 for the Cicero Community Festival. “We usually average about 7,000 people,” said Steve Becker, one of the event’s organizers. “I think that speaks for itself. It’s become a tradition year in and year out to come to the festival. The cruise night is popular. People like seeing the classic cars. People love Ruby Shooz. We have hundreds of people come to the parade, participating as well as watching.” The festival, which celebrates its 21st year when it kicks off Friday, June 7, is offered by the Greater Cicero Chamber of Commerce every year to support area businesses. Drivers Village co-sponsors the event.
At least a dozen Syracuse Area Music Award-winners will perform this summer as part of the annual Liverpool Is The Place concert series. All concerts are free and take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday evenings at Johnson Park, at the corner of Oswego and Vine streets, in Liverpool’s central business district.
Hot on the heels of a Gold-Rated performance at the recent Oneida Jazz Festival, the Liverpool High School Jazz Ensemble has a busy week coming up. At 7 p.m. Friday, May 31, the student musicians present their 16th annual Jumpin’ Jazz Jam featuring the Manhattan-based DIVA Jazz Orchestra, at the high-school auditorium at 4338 Wetzel Road. Then, at 7 p.m. Monday, June 3, they make their annual appearance to kick off the Liverpool Is The Place summer concert series at Johnson Park.
Looking for a fun family-friendly activity this weekend? Look no further than the North Syracuse Family Festival, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. May 25, in Lonergan Park. The eighth annual festival is a North Syracuse mainstay, offering a variety of activities for all ages. The event also features a variety of free events, including demonstrations from the police and fire departments, live music, caricature drawings, a kids’ playland, face painting, balloon animals, child ID program, children’s art corner, a Civil War demonstration, small horse rides (new this year) and the ever-popular Teddy Bear Parade for kids ages 2 through 6. “We are a big family party with a so much going on that you need the whole time to take it all in,” said Family Festival Committee member Pat Fergerson. “It is a place to have family-friendly fun.”
More than most civic groups, the Masons really respect and honor history. This weekend, the local lodge will celebrate some annals of its own. And as usual, the Masons will do it in style. The Liverpool-Syracuse Lodge No. 501 of Free & Accepted Masons will mark its 150th anniversary at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 11, by erecting a four-foot-tall obelisk monument in front of its building at 608 Oswego St., across from Johnson Park in the village. New York State Grand Master James Sullivan is expected to attend.
Up-and-comers in the Central New York music scene will compete for prizes as well as the coveted title of “Best Band” this weekend, and they’ll support a good cause at the same time. Stand Against Suicide will host its inaugural Battle of the Bands on Saturday, April 20, at the SRC Arena at Onondaga Community College. Doors open at 11 a.m. and bands begin competing at noon. Tickets are $7 for students and $12 for adults. Eighteen bands will compete for a chance at the title as well as prizes.