Tuesday, June 23, 2009


We haven't visited Sandy Pond in 4 years. We are going to this coming weekend.

We will be attending Sandy Creek Central School's annual alumni banquet on Friday, and visiting several friends on Saturday.

I'd like to take Barb dancing somewhere Fri & Sat nights but I don't know where there is live country music or classic rock these days.

She loves to dance.
And I like dancing with her - especially the slow dances.

Also, staying at Acutec Lodge on water's edge (next the Jo Maas's home). That is a special treat. My old friend Rob Smith let me have it for the weekend. Rob's a good man - - even though he's a Steelers fan. HA!HA!

Hope there's a coffee maker there, because I don't want to waste a lot of time sleeping.


Pain Burns Away Fear...

From: Charlene Cole

Subject: July 18, 1968

Date: Sun, 14 Jun 2009 19:26:15 -0400

Hi, found the clipping and will attach it. This copy will be better than getting it off a microfilm reader.



Subject: RE: July 18, 1968

Date: Fri, 19 Jun 2009 14:47:22 -0400

Thank you so much Charlene! I did not expect this - it is a very pleasant surprise today.

The news story erred in that we finished (not started) our swim at Scotty's Boat Livery (later after Scotty Hayward passed on that livery became Kappy's Boats - there's Sandy Pond Memories BLOG posting about that).
We started the swim along the opposite shore due east, where the "Ghost Channel" appeared one year (see that Sandy Pond Memories BLOG posting too).

Let me tell you what the story doesn't say.

The news story doesn't say that I was coached intensely by my older brother Kip all the way across the Pond.

Kip was in Dad's boat as a safety observer. (We might have been kids but we weren't stupid.)

The story doesn't say that I was no athlete and skinny as a rail so after about a half an hour of swimming my arms started cramping in a big way. I wanted to stop. I had to stop... I could barely stay afloat much less propel myself towards the goal. Fear manifested itself.

The story doesn't say that Kip yelled and cajoled me from the boat, saying anything to motivate me to ignore the cramps and keep going. (Some of it was nasty and I cannot repeat it to a lady).

Of course I kept going somehow and finished the thing. I will never forget that grueling swim that day - probably one of the hardest things I had done up to that point... It took about 2 weeks for my arms to feel normal again.

The 3 boys in my company were summer friends whose families had summer cottages on the Pond.

Mickey Matvyak, Michael Savage, and Bill O'Connor were more athletic than I and recovered much quicker.

After this little trial, I consciously put on some muscle by working out during the year that followed.Funny thing is that I believe I could do it now, 41 years later, thanks to the Navy survival training, a lot of swimming experience, and better upper body strength... It was so nice of you to research this for me.

Thanks again!

Best Regards,


Stephen Kappesser


To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven... Ecclesiates 3:1


From: Charlene Cole

Subject: RE: July 18, 1968

Date: Sat, 20 Jun 2009 08:34:17 -0400

You are so welcome....It was much easier to locate in the newspaper collection at the History Center than on a microfilm reader. Can I print "the" story and "your" story in my column? Did you go to school with Jack Parker? He just died. Charlene

From: skappesser@hotmail.com
To: Charlene Cole
Subject: RE: July 18, 1968
Date: Sun, 21 Jun 2009 05:08:37 -0400

Hi Charlene- You are so gracious for asking my permission - - of course you include the story in your column - a "blast from the past" so to speak, but since I moved away from Sandy Pond so very long ago (1980) when I entered the Navy, and I've only visited a few dozen times since, there's a good chance that I have faded from the collective memory of Sandy Creek / Sandy Pond.
... There is a story from the 50s that was in one of the Syracuse papers. My Dad Ed Kappesser was a Trooper in those days and he investigated a freak accident. Apparently a military aircraft was engaged in live-fire target practice on the Lake and a few rounds from its weapons landed in a cottage on the shore. Thank God nobody was hurt but it was a big story there for a while. The newspaper interviewed my Dad and I remember Mom saying he was even on TV - which was a real big deal in the 50's.

Gotta go - plenty to take care of, even on Father's Day!
God Bless,

RE: July 18, 1968‏
Charlene Cole
Mon 6/22/09 12:25 PM
Steve Kappesser (skappesser@hotmail.com)

The Alumni community remembers you and I am sure many others. My readers like to read about people from the area. If you find that story at the library and need a better copy let me know.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

VFW Post Lacona NY is going ONLINE

I received this email recently:

From: rradford

Subject: VFW Post 8534 Lacona NY

Date: Wed, 10 Jun 2009 16:53:06 -0400

Hi Stephen,
I've been following your blog almost from the beginning and have enjoyed it very much. I feel as though I've known you all your life. We live at Sandy Pond year round, the snow can be a little much though, but we still enjoy it.

I belong to the Cable Trail Post 8534 VFW in Lacona and have just designed and launched our Post website and was wondering if I could put a link to your web site on ours and also if you could put a link of our Post website on your website.

Here is our Post web address: http://www.vfw8534.club.officelive.com Also, congratulations on the new addition to your family.

Thank you,


[So I hit Reply...]

To: rradford

Subject: RE: VFW Post 8534 Lacona NY

Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 13:13:53 -0400

Yes, it would be an extreme honor to have a link at your Post's website. I am not a member of the VFW but I like them and the good things they do and represent. (I am a "Cold War Veteran", not a Veteran of a Foreign War, so I'm exempt from membership.)

Fair winds and following seas...

Stephen Kappesser


To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven... Ecclesiates 3:1

Saturday, June 13, 2009


This Web Log is dedicated to memories of Sandy Pond where I grew up (a little). I need to make sure my children and grandchildren can read about my memories.

If you were a local resident, Sandy Pond is of course intricately linked to Sandy Creek, where some folks seem to think of the Pond as a wonderful oasis to play and relax, but other folks think of it as a decadent playground for affluent summer residents and vacationers (umm, not that there's anything WRONG with that!)

If you are not familiar with SCCS, here's an info-mercial:

Number in my graduating class (1972): 63

[I and brother Kip appear in the photo at the top of this yearbook page (second row left-most)...in an abnormal display of recognition, Kip "tapped" me during my induction ceremony into the National Honor Society.]

You had the same classmates from Kindergarten through your Senior year. By the time you all graduated you knew everybody, in detail.

School started after labor day and ended mid-June with no penalties for snow days.

Children from Osceola, Redfield, Greenboro, Orwell, Smartville, Lacona, Sandy Creek, and Sandy Pond attended SCCS. Some kids used to ride 30 miles on the bus one way.

Sandy Creek was famous for it's Wrestling program, and some of the boys took State more than once.

My theory is that because the boys shoveled so much snow during our lake effect winters that they all had abnormally enhanced upper body strength.

The top right photo shows Bill Miller at his best - not a guy to be reckoned with. A few years later one day after several adult beverages at The Lodge Bill mischievously keyed my '64 Falcon in the parking lot one while I watched.

I said "thanks, Bill" and walked away...

I'm not stupid.

It's an honor to note that the forensic psychologist who helped identify the psycho-killer "The Unabomber" was one of our classmates: John Sperbeck. I understand that nationwide he is one of the best at what he does.

John was honored at the alumni banquet last year, inducted onto the "Wall of Distinction" along with biochemical research scientist Randy Yerden, decorated combat-wounded Marine Corps veteran Joshua Pitcher (who was the subject of many prayers by yours truly and many others during his horrific battle to stay alive afterwards) and James Allen, who I understand is a good man that's deeply involved in government and community service organizations in this area.

I'm on the back row in the middle. Brother Pete is on the front row second from left. We all really loved the girls' mini-skirts and shorts - they would probably be banned today. Sue Blount and Jill Soule are in fine form in this shot. (I mean that in a good way!)

We had EASTER Vacation, not "Spring Break", and many of us saw each other in church on Sundays.

Jack Miller, top row on the far right, was one of my favorite teachers. He knew his stuff and didn't take any crap from anybody.

They did not summarily execute you for flushing a live pyrotechnic device down the commode and blowing a 4 inch hole in the cast-iron soil pipe (I shall not name the perpetrator and it wasn't me...)

Once I parked my car in the school parking lot with my shotgun still in the trunk from duck hunting that morning. No big deal at SCCS in those days - - some guys had them displayed in their gun racks in their pick-up trucks...

My entry on this page of the yearbook is typical of my brand of humor...

Redfield and Orwell used to have their own small elementary schools.

(If the mid-right photo was in color, you would see that Debbie Steven's legs were pretty blue during this romp.)

School would typically close for snow only if it was an active blizzard and the plows could not keep up with it.

And...In Osceola and Redfield was not unheard of to ride your snowmobile to meet the bus in the morning. Carney Hall told me had to do it once.


It was OK to pray in school. Or it was OK to look like you were praying in school.

I really should bring my yearbook to the alumni banquet this year and get a few more people to sign it...

According to last week's Salmon River News, Roxy (Janacek) Ferguson (middle) is still singin' her heart out. Good for you, girl! The girls were probably doing a folk song here, most likely something from Peter Paul and Mary or Bobby Dylan.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Floating Dock at the Bayview

(Photo courtesy of Charlene Cole, Sandy Creek Historian - thanks Charlene!)

Bill Mitchell employed a unique design to his dock at the Bayview back in the 60's. It was a huge wooden platform with dozens of WWII surplus 55 gallon drums affixed to the underside, anchored to the bottom on huge concrete slabs. I loved that dock. As a ten-year-old it was a fascinating thing to walk on because it sank and bobbed and bounced as you walked on it - dipping up and down in the water. When we thought nobody was looking several of us kids would spread out and get her rockin'. Mr. Mitchell caught us doing that one time and gave us hell. He said next time he'd tell my Dad (they were good friends) - then there would be hell-to-pay.

We fished off that dock almost every day during the summer, catching mostly sunfish, yellow perch, and little smallmouth bass. Once in a while you would land a "mud puppy", which is a strange looking dark brown slimy salamander-looking creature that is not common knowledge until you catch one.

I loved the days that were calm and warm, with the sun glinting back low in the sky at you after supper. Between supper and sunset was the best time to fish off that dock. I can close my eyes now and remember the glorious smell of the exhaust of 2-cycle outboard engines, see the rainbow colors of gasoline decorating the water's surface, and listen to the multiple drones of power boats everywhere. At twilight we would walk towards shore, the distinct fragrance of rotting mooneyes and damp seaweed along the water's edge engulfing us, quickening our pace.

This typical calm scene was always accompanied by the infamous Bayview jukebox streaming audio out of the open screened windows on the saloon-side. That old jukebox contained a remarkable assortment of music that appealed almost anybody. Country, Rock-a-Billy, Folk, Pop, Rock, Love Ballads, Big-Band... it was all there - 3 songs for a dime. My favorite was Glenn Miller's "In the Mood" because Mr. Mitchell would always crank that one up loud...the older folks usually got up and did a little jitterbugging to Glenn Miller...

Once I invited my school-buddies Dan McGraw and Mike Presley to go fishin' with me off the Bayview dock. Being only 12 years old or so, I don't believe they had never been to Sandy Pond before and it seemed to be a real treat for them. Later in life Dan served honorably in the US Air Force (manning Cold War ICBM silos) and Mike became one of the areas BEST stone masons...Gosh, I wish we were there drowning worms again...just for a day would be almost Heaven.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I sat shivering in a duck blind on the tip of Hog Nose Point on North Pond. The morning was lightening up in the east sky - quiet and still - enough to hear the trucks on Route 3 two miles away. 41 degrees out. I had no decoys but I knew I'd see a few ducks because the day before was a blustery one and they would be tired, sleeping on the south side of the Point at the base off shore from the Milner camp. Maybe the number 4 shot out of my full choke 12 gauge 1893 Winchester pump could carry out enough to pick one as it flew by. This weapon was Dad's and had changed hands in the family for many years.

The morning evolved before me in a myriad of color and shadows as the sun approached the rise. The song "Morning Has Broken" by Cat Stevens came to mind as I kept my eyes peeled for "quackers". Finally the sun broke above the east ridge and hit my eyes. Glad for the warmth I reached for my coffee. Suddenly I heard flaps and quacks to my right. DANG! I dropped the cup and rose to shoot but it was already too late. 2 Mallards flew past about 30 yards out right in front of that sun! I watched them get smaller and smaller as they flew towards Blind Creek Cove at 60 mph...

I laughed. It was a glorious show. Sorry you missed it...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Lookit Dem BEANS!

Thanks to brother Pete, I now have a supply of Grandma Brown's for the summer. I will gladly give a can to any displaced Central New Yorker who shows up at my doorstep. Maryland beans taste like ketchup mostly - I'm tired of them...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Mr. and Mrs. Bond

[Photos shown are pages from the 1968 and 1969 SCCS Yearbooks.]

From: Nancy Bond
Date: Sun, 31 May 2009 16:36:34 -0400
I graduated from SCCS in 1955 and both of my parents taught there - Richard and Muriel Bond. I have very fond memories of our vacation times at Greene Point.
During the summers of the late 40s and 50s 8 of us ( my family of 4 and my mother's sister's family of 4 the Craines ) would rent one of the Greene Point cottages for a week, sometimes two. All of us, I remember stayed in one of the original large cottages and we also stayed in two of the smaller cottages. There were bunk beds on the screened porch and there we learned to play the card game "Authors" - sometimes singing our question to the other players of what we needed to complete our meld. It was a great way to pass a rainy day . My father Dick Bond loved to fish and took many a pike out of the pond -- and always said if we wanted to fish with him "we had to put the worm on the hook ourselves.".
One of our favorite pastimes was walking to the Greene Point headquarters ( the old original cottage where the Greene - Sawyer family lived in the summer ) and purchasing some ice cream or candy in their family store.
I am not good with changes, so was disappointed to see that mobile homes have now replaced the wonderful old buildings at the Point. Our memories will never change and be forever treasured.

Nancy K. Bond (daughter of Richard and Muriel ).

From: Stephen Kappesser (skappesser@hotmail.com)
Sent: Mon 6/01/09 2:47 PM
To: Nancy Bond
Hi Nancy - I was in 2 or 3 of your Mom's art classes and 1 of your Dad's study halls - I remember them well. Your Mom was especially good at what she did - I learned a lot from her. Thanks for your memories - I will post them on the BLOG now.


Stephen Kappesser

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven... Ecclesiates 3:1