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The Waltons Skaneateles style

Family teams up to roll out new design on hometown T's

Cue the music. Have you seen any familiar Skaneateles scenes dashing around town? The Walton family, a fixture in Skaneateles for over half a century, may be responsible.

Aurelle and the late David Walton (former town supervisor) raised 11 children in the town, watching it grow along with their children over the years. The ever so charming Aurelle Walton plus four of her "kids" and many of the grandkids (and some great ones too) still live in Skaneateles, all contributing on either land and lake to the rich and varied landscape of small town life.

Even the Waltons who have moved away remain connected to their Finger Lakes roots. Sheila Walton SCS '73 embarked on a project that celebrates and keeps her connected with her hometown. She founded "T's by the Lake," an independent company that designs and sells T-shirts depicting images specific to Skaneateles.

Sheila said, "One day she began thinking about the special little landmarks in Skaneateles, those beautiful, peaceful places that are recalled long after a visitor returns home from vacation. I decided I wanted to capture some of those images and the emotions that go with them," she said.

"Having always been interested in fashion, I thought the way to do it would be with T-shirts, something that would be accessible to everyone. 'T's by the Lake' was born right then and there."

Sheila then turned to her younger brother, Bart Walton SCS '74, an engineer in Connecticut by day and an artist by night. He was thrilled to create some sketches for his sister (the subject naturally being one of his favorites anyway).

"People seem to appreciate an artist's impressions of the town, something beyond flip-flops and sun hats, which could be from anywhere. Visitors are buying the shirts and so are people who live here," Sheila said.

A couple new designs were rolled out this week. Sharon Walton will be selling her T's by the Lake from her brother Linus Walton's office on Genesee Street in the Masonic Temple over the last two weekend's before Christmas Dec. 15, 16 and 17 and also 22, 23, and 24. She can be reached at 480-4825 or visit the website to pick up a few more memories for yourself or friends: TsbytheLake.com.

This is a delightful gift idea for the homesick Skaneateles people on your Christmas list, Sheila said, " as I know only too well."

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