Grindstone News – August 8, 1990
Grindstone Island — On Old Home Day, Sunday, Aug. 5, a lot of people worked all morning out in the carriage house behind the church preparing the cabbage slaw and setting tables for the noon meal which had to be moved there from Potter's Beach because of the weather. It rained hard all morning, but a good congregation sloshed to church, striping off dripping rain gear as they came into the vestibule.
Erma had 15 people staying at the Slate farm house, while Buck and Brenda had another crowd staying at Gramma Slate's house and at Emmet Dodge's "Little House." Bill Taylor arrived from California to join the Chester Taylor family in their pew. In the pew in front of them. Pom and Belle Marks, at the river to celebrate birthdays, were joined by her parents, Dr. and Mrs. Robert Potter from Plattsburgh.
Bill and Edna Streets of Chub Island were also back with their nephew, Jeff, and their niece, Elizabeth. Bill's 90-year-old mother, Ruth, was unable to take her customary seat in church; she enjoyed the quiet of Chub Island. But best of all, Phil Marra was back after his operation, thinner, but looking well. He and Yuvonne will spend three weeks in " Hooter -ville" while Phil recuperates and learns to enjoy "doing nothing."
Jennifer Lynn Ebbing, two-month-old daughter of David Ebbing and Melanie Kime Ebbing, was baptized, and her quizzical eyes delighted the congregation when the minister, Bob Smith, sprinkled her forehead with cool water.
The choir, directed by Joyce Ir-win, Bob Smith's wife is excellent this year. Carol Marsh, soloist in the First Methodist church in New Haven, Connecticut, Phyllis Schwartz, John Marsh, and Caroline Larson sang this morning. The group expands and contracts, of course, as people come and go.
Yellow lilies reminded us of Scott Graves. The Grindstone people held a simple memorial service for him on Saturday night at 7:30 in the island church. Buck Slate transported people to the service and back again before he brought over the band for another good Saturday night country dance in the hall across from the church.
Old Home Day — even in the rain — was a welcome day. About 130 people ate and reminisced, not on the old picnic ground by the water, but in the room where the traditional turkey dinners have been eaten for many years (since the day when horses no longer brought people to church and waited in the carriage house to take them back home).
In the evening, the people who had worked for two days to prepare the ham, hot dogs, beans, potato salad, cole slaw, and pies, stayed, after cleaning up, to eat leftovers, and recount the coming and going of all the folks who had come back to celebrate.
On Saturday morning, I found Erma peeling pounds and pounds of potatoes for salad. Everyone else "had to work" on Boat Show weekend. Erma says she is going to write a book called, "I Wonder"...I wonder if anyone will come to help with these potatoes,...! wonder who will come to Old Home Day...will anyone come?...On this busy weekend?... wonder if we can get all the work done...all these potatoes peeled...I wonder...! wonder...! wonder." Although she worked all day long, she couldn't have finished everything if Arnie Cerio had not come to help her.
There are quilting bees almost every day now in the carriage house, an afternoon one from one p.m. until three p.m. and an evening one. So the quilt is "coming along" and good friendships are being strengthened.
Prints of the church are available from Bob Smith ($20 each). They were done by Judy Bacci and the money from then goes to a memorial fund in honor of Frances Garnsey and William Paxton.
The news I've heard from Aunt Jane's Bay is that Ayres Brown, Caroline Wright's grandson from Princeton, came to visit for the first time in 12 years, and brought Lizzie Wright Meirs back to stay for the summer, the Larsons and the Holts have been here most of June and July.
Bob Smith and Joyce are "at home" on Wednesday evenings for anyone who wants to come chat a while.
On Aug. 18 the church will have a country fair - complete with cotton candy, a meal from the grill, and a salad bar celebrating its 100th anniversary, and on the eve of Old Home Day, people began to plan for the games, the prizes, and the pageant.
On Sunday, Aug. 12, Leon and Marjorie Rusho will have an open house from 2-5 p.m. to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. "Refreshments (of course)...(it's Marjorie's Party.) will be served."
Next Sunday, if the weather is go, the church service will be held at Aunt Jane's Bay where a stone pulpits overlooks the river's south channel. Every year the congregation worships there on one Sunday early in August, and sings "Shall We Gather at the River."
So it is.