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.
No one knows for sure how long it’s been here. But, chances are, it was from almost the very beginning: a simple wooden podium at which generations of Cazenovia High School teachers and students probably delivered speeches, gave pop quizzes, engaged in debates and read aloud. The maple podium, it turns out, was crafted in the original L. & J.G. Stickley factory on Burnet Avenue in Syracuse — the same craftsman workshops in which the company’s first signature mission furniture was built in 1900.
“Memory Loss, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease: The Basics” will be presented by the Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6, in the Cazenovia Public Library community room.
A rock’n’roll group featuring four Fayetteville-Manlius High School students and their lead singer from West Genesee High School have been nominated for a 2014 Syracuse Area Music Award. The band, Kill the Lites, is one of five nominees in the Sammys “pop” category. The awards show is set for 7 p.m. Friday, March 7, at the Palace Theater, in Eastwood.
Five years after he graduated, Shane Aaserud carried his bass back into Skaneateles High School and spent the day in the orchestra room with teacher Karen Veverka and a group of young musicians.
It was an enthusiastic battle, but when the final votes were tallied Cazenovia came in second place by seven percentage points behind Berlin, Md., in the Budget Travel “Coolest Small Town in America” contest. Budget Travel announced the contest winner at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26.
The Skaneateles Town Board discussed two potential future projects to improve the park in Skaneateles Falls, at its Feb. 20 meeting.
New legislation could save mute swans from mass killings
Three New York lawmakers proposed a bill last week that, if passed, could allow mute swans to continue to live in the wild.
The First Presbyterian Church of Cazenovia in conjunction with the Morrisville Community Church will hold a Service of Divine Worship at 7:30 p.m. on Ash Wednesday, March 5, at the Morrisville Community Church, located on 3824 Swamp Road, Morrisville. The service will include readings from the Old and New Testament, the Imposition of Ashes, a Responsive Litany of Penitence and a Lord’s Prayer Litany. The Meditation “The Father Who Sees in Secret” will be given by Rev. Steve Thomas, pastor of the Cazenovia Presbyterian Church.
I only write columns for the paper when I really have something to say; and while I have no bylines in this week’s paper (because I was on vacation last week) the one thing I wanted to write for this issue was that I am shaving my head (and possibly my beard and mustache) for the March 16 St. Baldrick’s fundraising event in Cazenovia, and I hope as many people as possible will participate or contribute.
The Cazenovia Public Library will offer two workshops on the timely and critical issue of eating disorders. Both will be presented by Erieville resident Meg Tobin, who holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology and has worked in a variety of clinical and school settings with adults, adolescents and children.
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.
There are high school students in Cazenovia who have literally helped save people’s lives — and if other teens are interested in learning about and participating in emergency medical services, the CAVAC Student Corps is actively seeking new members.
Two local high-school students will be among 19 contestants in the 26th annual Shakespeare Competition from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 1, at Archbold Theatre at Syracuse Stage. The public-speaking contest conducted by the Syracuse branch of the English-Speaking Union of the United States will commemorating William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday.
Menorah Park of CNY dedicated the Temple Beth El Community Room, a public space containing artifacts from the former temple on Feb. 16. An overflow crowd of community and religious leaders, along with people affiliated with the former Temple Beth-El congregation, were present.