COLUMN: Rounding Third ………………..

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On the 11th of this month, Rome Country Club hosted the 10th annual Veterans Day Golden Jubilee. I was part of the committee and we welcomed 34 stalwart golfers to play in this fun event for the benefit of the Feed Our Vets program in Utica. Nye Toyota has been co-sponsoring this event the last couple of years and we added a number of local businesses and individuals as contributors to this cause. Among them were: Ricky’s Tire and Auto Center, Philip S. McDonald Benevolent Assn., Oneida County Furnace (Chet DiBari), Tardugno Dental (Dr. Doug), Jeff Lanigan (RPD), Wagner-Hickok (Kevin Coe), Subway Black River (Matt Schlieder), and Victory Motors. Individuals like Doug Bartell, Tim Sestito, Tom Sestito, Kevin Sharpe, Ken Caldwell, JR Purrington, Brad Waters, Wes Cupp (our co-host), Tim Hurley, Ed Precheur and Jim Sgroi also buoyed our bank. Many of the players brought canned goods for the food pantry. I can‘t name them all because I was busy, but many people also donated from outside the golf circle. 

This tournament, and day, are dedicated to the men and women who gave up part or all of their lives to the protection of our sovereignty and safety. Veterans Day honors those dead and alive who, for a while, became part of that wall of safety. The tournament is fun, yet tempered by the solemn meaning of the day. It helps to feed some of the veterans who may have difficulty feeding themselves, and is in honor and appreciation of their dedication to us and our great country. We thank all veterans for their service. This is a poem I wrote a while ago for this occasion. 

To Our Veterans:

They rose to answer freedom’s call, these men we honor every Fall.

They come from every state and town to often lay their young lives down

They do not seek the hero’s crown—yet all give some and some give all!

From Valley Forge to Middle East they’ve stayed the power of the beast.

They fight on land, in air or sea to turn away our enemy.

Without their courage we would be—not the greatest but the least. 

We grant them but a single day and often we forget to say

How much on them the world relies, to still the fears that oft arise

And keep the hope in good men’s eyes—a debt we will never repay.

To veterans—men, and women, too—we know the heartaches you’ve been through,

Protecting virtues of this land when you have had to make a stand

On native shore or foreign land—your country salutes you! JDF

Joke: When my doctor asked me about what I did, I recited my activities for the day. “I waded across the edge of a lake, escaped from a snake in the heavy woods, went up and down hills, stood in a patch of poison ivy, crawled out of quicksand, and ran away from an aggressive goose...”

He marveled at my exercise and said, “You must be an awesome outdoors man!” “Nope,” I replied,

“I’m just a lousy golfer!” Tidbits of History: *James Madison, our fourth president, wanted Congress’ pay to be tied to the price of wheat during the previous six years of a Congressional session. Sounds good, right? Never happened. And—if it ever did, those rascals would probably tie it to the price of oil. *One of Rome’s finest opera houses (yes, we had them) was on the east side of the 100 block of N. Washington St. It was built in 1889 and opened shortly thereafter with a showing of “The Wife” by Daniel Frohman. It was destroyed by fire in 1903 and the Masonic Temple was built on the site in 1907 City Hall is now there. *In Colonial times, the responsibility of child-rearing was put on the father. Until the Revolution, there are no accounts of toys, children’s furniture or schoolbooks. No playfulness, just solemnity. Only in the 19th century did they start celebrating children’s birthdays. *The oldest organized sporting venue in the United States is the Saratoga Racetrack. Favorite One-Liners: I am sure that everything I can’t find is in a nice, secure place—somewhere! * Some people pay a compliment like they want a receipt. 

*Some days you’re the pigeon—and some days you’re the statue! * The key to being happy is…don’t try so hard to have a good time, *Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.\ On that one—I guess you know about me so—see ya next time—I hope. This is my 52nd article—one year’s worth. I originally agreed to do one year, but I’ll go on with the blessing of the Sentinel! So—see ya—maybe! JDF

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