Shoes and stuff …

Posted by Big Mike on June 05, 2012

Don’t you love a great pair of dress shoes?  I do.  America used to make more shoes than anybody, yet it’s almost impossible to find a pair made in the USA now.  There are Allen Edmonds in Wisconsin and Aldin in Massachusetts, and that’s about it!  Interestingly, both companies sell handmade, expensive shoes and are no longer endangered with a growing demand for a quality USA made shoe.

A well made pair of shoes can last over 20 years, so it can be a great investment in style and comfort.  The quality of the imports is not as good. American Made is still best!

About 20 years ago my father-in-law visited for a few days. Though Pete was nearly 80, sitting and relaxing was never his thing. He had to be busy. So one day while I was at work, he figured he’d clean out the back yard of brush, tree stumps and unsightly growth.

He must have been out there for 6 hours and did a great job! But imagine my surprise when I came home to discover that during the clean-up he was wearing my Allen Edmonds Hamilton Cordovans. I couldn’t believe it. Sure, I have work boots and even chunky snow boots available, but he slipped on the Cordovans because of the easy on/off.

So I arrived home and found on the garage steps my pricey Allen Edmonds scuffed up, caked with mud, grass and leaves. In fact, there was even some of the backyard inside the shoes!

Well, that was 15 years ago and Pete recently passed away at age 97. Those Allen Edmonds cleaned up nicely and whenever I wear them I think of Pete fondly and feel good that he once had them on too. But to be honest, it took a little while for me to feel good about that day.














Above is an ad for shoes made by The A.E. Nettleton Shoe Company. Founded in 1879, Nettleton was locally owned and made quality shoes here in Syracuse for over 100 years, before it went out of business in 1984. Considered to be the Rolls Royce of footwear, some customers were The Wright brothers, Theodore Roosevelt, and Charles Lindbergh. Losing a local company like Nettleton Shoes (and there sure are others we have lost too) is sad.

When you find something that says “Made in America” it is a quality product. And “Made In Syracuse” is always something we should cherish.

Whenever possible, support locally made.  Eat at area restaurants that are family run.  Shop at local stores and farms.  And listen to radio that is locally owned, like Sunny 102 … part of Galaxy Communications, headquartered here in Syracuse. Thank you for doing that!!

25 Random Things About Me…

Posted by Melissa Midgley on May 01, 2012

1. My Favorite Colors are blue, green and brown.
2. I love the St. Louis Cardinals!
3. I often wonder what life was like before cell phones.
4. I have tried for years to understand football with no luck; I think I have a brain block.
5. My favorite food combination is chocolate and peanut butter.
6. I am a die hard romantic!
7. I have seen Billy Joel over 10 times.
8. The greatest moment in my life thus far was walking into my first classroom.
9. I read the works of William Shakespeare for fun.
10. I love all kinds of animals!
11. My family, friends and students mean the world to me.
12. I am proud of my unique heritage!
13. I love that I teach where I went to school.
14. I think LeMoyne College is the greatest institution on the planet!
15. As a kid I wanted to be a singer or an actress!
16. As a kid I was in love with Michael Jackson, Boy George and Rony Seikaly and I wanted to be Cyndi Lauper.
17. I would love to go to NYC once a month to see a show.
18. I love my life!
19. I have lost over 50 pounds and currently weigh less than when I was a senior in high school!
20. I think my mom, dad, nonna and nonno are the 4 strongest people ever created!
21. I miss my Nonno each day and hope I am making him proud!
22. I love SU basketball!
23. Sunny 102.1 is my favorite radio station.
24. I love being as involved in our local community as possible!
25. I hope to someday meet and talk with Billy Joel!!


My thoughts about Dick Clark

Posted by Big Mike on April 19, 2012

In England a TV host is called a presenter, and Dick Clark was just that.  An SU grad and one-time Syracuse radio d.j., he was not a performer nor an artist. His talent was being the host.  A presenter.  He seemed like someone you could trust and he always seemed to sincerely appreciate the talents of those he presented and he never got in the way. For over sixty years he never dressed in trendy fashions and wore the same kind of bland conservative suit and tie. He didn’t grow a beard or mustache or outrageous hair. He didn’t tell jokes, never tried to be a wise guy, never said anything profound nor offensive. I suppose he did not want to compete with the performers he was presenting and he sure did know how to move things along, even into his 80s.  It seemed that the show was always more important than he was. He had an enormous talent in being so consistent and restrained. A great emcee. He was one of a kind, and in the final analysis he was a class act.

What’s in a name?

Posted by Melissa Midgley on April 02, 2012

I asked my parents this question a few years ago and was stunned with the response they gave me. The M-E-L of Melissa stands for the female side of my family. M is for Mary my maternal grandmother, E is for Eileen my mom and the L is forLenamy paternal grandmother. My middle name is Dawn, the D-A-W stands for the male side of my family. D is for David my dad, A is for Albert my maternal grandfather and W is for Walter my paternal grandfather. What an interesting and fun way for me to carry my family tree with me each and every day.

Do you Pinterest?

Posted by Lauren the Web Girl on March 06, 2012

It seems as though every few years there’s a new website craze that comes along and takes the world by storm. Out of the ashes of MySpace came Facebook. Then Twitter joined the mix. Other sites showed up to the party not long after. I’ve felt varying degrees of loyalty to all of them–still love Facebook and Twitter, haven’t gotten around to deleting my MySpace–so you can imagine my hesitation to get attached to yet another (potential) fad. But I can assure you that Pinterest is worth trying.

If you’re not familiar with Pinterest, essentially the site is a collection of virtual idea boards. It’s a place for you to pin dream outfits, hairstyles you’d like to try, books you want to read, recipes you’d like to make, and other inspirational things onto different online bulletin boards. You can sort these boards into different categories. For instance, foodies can have a board solely dedicated to food and recipes. If you’re all about your kids, create a board simply for children’s outfits and bedroom sets. If you love running, dedicate a board to health and fitness. The best part about Pinterest is that you can follow friends, family, companies, and celebrities to get inspiration. If you see something

you like on someone else’s board, you can “like” the pin or repin it to your own board. If someone else likes what you’re doing, he or she can do the same. It’s a great way to exchange ideas and find new things to try. I’ve found many delicious recipes and great new books through Pinterest.

I’ve always liked the idea of creating inspiration boards in my home and my office, so I love the idea of a virtual one that allows for collaboration with other people. I think it’s a great way to generate new content and to share ideas with other people.

Are you hooked on Pinterest yet? If not, check out the site here. You have to request an invitation to join, but it usually only takes a few days to receive one. It’s free to sign up!