Born with spina bifida in 1949, Mike Casale spent his entire 64 years wearing various contraptions designed to hold his body upright to offset the effects of the congenital spinal disorder. A naturally affable fella, Mike often commented frankly on his disability. “I’m 64 years old, 4-foot-3, and I use a cane,” he said, but he never complained about it and never let it hold him back. A talented bass guitarist who lived in Liverpool, Mike became of the most recognizable entertainers in Central New York. He made his initial mark on the local music scene from 1970 to 1985 as one-half of the duo Neighborhood Friends alongside six-string guitarist Gary Sprague.
The Limp Lizard BBQ specializes in Southern-style delicacies such as pulled pork, barbecued chicken, catfish, ribs and jambalaya. And no, despite the business’s name, the cooks there never grill iguana. This Sunday afternoon, however, one of the Limp Lizard’s regular customers, Joe Romano, will host a wild game dinner at the little bar and restaurant at 201 First St. There’s no lizard meat on his menu, but Romano will prepare plenty of venison, pheasant, duck, wild turkey and fish. Romano, who lives in Liverpool, is a 21st-century Renaissance man. A talented sculptor and carpenter with a shop on North Cypress Street and a home on Hickory Street, Romano’s also a gifted gastronome. For instance, he makes his own maple syrup and his own homemade wine, although I’m sure he’s careful not to mix them.
Back in the late 1990s, the North Side of Syracuse became overrun with drug addicts and prostitutes. Burglaries and muggings were common there. Shootings and stabbings increased as crack dealers fought turf wars over street corners. Before long, the blight spread to Eastwood, East Syracuse and Mattydale. How long, Liverpool folks wondered, will it be before it affects us too? The answer was, oh, about 10 or 15 years.
Congressman Dan Maffei, a Democrat, has never won a midterm election. So the line forms on the right as no less than eight local Republicans have announced their willingness to oppose Maffei in November. Last Tuesday, Jan. 28, the eight GOP hopefuls all appeared here at a town of Salina Republican Committee meeting at American Legion Post 188 on South Cypress Street in the village of Liverpool. Organized by Bill Tassone, chairman of the town of Salina GOP and vice-chairman of the county Republican committee, the Jan. 28 meeting drew 140 party members. Because our 24th Congressional District includes all of Onondaga County, Tassone also invited party members from the towns of Clay, Cicero and Van Buren. “We had 140 people,” Tassone said. “I’d been hoping for at least 100, so I was very pleased with the turnout.”
How do you feel about this deep-freeze? Myself, I’m shivering like a mobster in an Internal Revenue office. It’s so cold that I’m warming up the house by leaving the refrigerator door open. Yeah, it’s so cold the pipes froze solid in the foyer of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church on Beechwood Avenue in Galeville. In fact, it’s so cold that the snow angel on Second Street is begging to come in and get warm. Over on Hiawatha Path, it’s so cold that Christina Fadden Fitch had to chisel her dog, Nicky, off a fire hydrant. Yeah, it’s so cold that Gena and Phil de Anguera over at the Family Music Center had to cut a piano up for firewood. They only got two chords. And it’s so cold that Balsam Street resident Jason Smorol, the new general manager of the Syracuse Chiefs, scheduled the team’s 54th annual Hot Stove Dinner for this Friday, Jan. 31, at the Holiday Inn Convention Center on Electronics Parkway. Proceeds will go to the Challenger Baseball League of Syracuse.
Broncos' offense, Seahawks' D makes for compelling Super Bowl
To save you a whole lot of time between now and Sunday night’s football game in New Jersey with a Roman numeral title that decides the championship of the National Football League, here is the lazy, tired narrative that will get repeated millions of times before they kick it off.
It was the night after Christmas, and Liverpool Police Officer Jerry Unger saw an automobile driving 44 miles per hours in a 30 mile-per-hour zone along the 800 block of Oswego Street. His partner that night was Marcus Lukins, a new part-time police officer who recently completed his course-work at the Public Safety Training Center at Onondaga Community College. Unger was demonstrating for Lukins the proper way to conduct traffic stops. The officers pulled the car over along Onondaga Lake Parkway. The speeding driver was a young woman who said she’d enjoyed a single beer at a local bowling alley. Unger detected the odor of alcohol on her breath and noted that her speech was somewhat slurred. He ran her through a sobriety test and eventually arrested her for driving while intoxicated.
Even if Dome is maintained, new arena would help Syracuse
More than 30,000 packed the Carrier Dome on Jan. 11 as SU’s undefeated men’s basketball juggernaut dismantled North Carolina. Way more, perhaps up to 35,000, will be on hand next Saturday night for the arrival of Duke, even if they’re not as imposing as Blue Devil teams from seasons past.
A boldface black-and-white sign hangs in the front window of Dave Detlor’s barber shop on First Street: “Closed, Retired Due to Illness.” After decades of trimming and layering, clipping and shaving, chatting and listening, Dave has packed up his scissors. His Lakeview Barber Shop at 221 First St. closed a couple weeks before Christmas. Dave, who will celebrate his 88th birthday on Jan. 25, was nudged into retirement by mantle cell lymphoma.
Protest songs have enlivened the musical landscape since at least the 18th century when an anonymous British “lady” published a pioneering feminist tune called “The Rights of Women” sung to the tune of “God Save the King.” Songs promoting social justice, racial equality and peace continue to raise the consciousness of listeners and to inspire activism.
The worldwide oil crisis lingered. Lee Alexander was still mayor of Syracuse, John Mulroy was still Onondaga County executive, and Richard Nixon was still president of the United States. The year was 1974, and Bob and Linda Jackson embarked on a mission of community service which they continue to this day. The kindly couple, who live on Ridgecrest Drive in North Syracuse, have been volunteering for 40 years now for North Area Meals on Wheels (NAMOW).
It is that time of year again — time to “set New Year’s resolutions,” “get in shape,” “work on the waist line,” “go on a diet,” “start fresh,” whatever you want to call it, most people feel the need to reevaluate their habits in January after all the holiday hoopla is over. Usually diet and exercise habits rank high on the list of “needs improvement.” On Jan. 1 (or maybe Jan. 2), the “hard core dieters” and the “gung-ho gym members” begin their quest. They sweat, grunt, groan, “give up carbs” and step on the scale every day. A month later, most of them find themselves exhausted, sore, injured, hungry, deprived, miserable and frustrated (maybe even a few other adjectives). They may or may not be in better shape or weigh less. If you plan on trying this approach, please reconsider. If you want long lasting success and really want to feel better emotionally and physically, please try this approach…
Jason Smorol, the new Syracuse Chiefs general manager who lives in Liverpool, really seems to have the old International League ballclub swinging for the fences. Just in time for the Christmas shopping rush, he forged a deal with Destiny USA to set up a Holiday Kiosk located in the New Canyon area by Cantina Laredo and The Melting Pot to sell season tickets and souvenirs.
As we look back on the year 2013 in the town of Salina, let’s take this time to review some key events that happened throughout this year.
Top basketball coach returns; will we learn from it?
This was getting all too familiar. Again a successful, accomplished high school coach in Central New York was getting scrutiny from his employer. Again the coach’s future was put in jeopardy. Again a large part of the community organized itself in support of the coach.