Photos from 2022, when the community bounced back from Covid pandemic

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 December 2022 at 8:18 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

Each year I pick some of my favorite people pictures and others from important news events of the past year.

In 2022, the big news seemed to be things were somewhat normal with the return of community festivals and events, and masks largely going away after being required at indoor public spaces during the height of the Covid pandemic.

The top photo shows the Fourth of July parade in Lyndonville, which drew a big crowd to the village’s Main Street. The parade was back after being cancelled in 2020 and 2021. The photo shows a float from the Class of 1982, followed by Weed Man Lawn Care Services based in Albion.

Joe Grube, an Albion firefighter, directs the first blast of water onto a garage that was on fire on the morning of Jan. 10 at 45 Goodrich St., in Albion. The garage is owned by Wayne and Nicole Struble.

Fire engulfed an Albion home on Knapp Street on Jan. 12 and 4 firefighters had to escape upstairs in the fast-moving blaze. This photo shows a firefighter heading face first down a ladder, escaping dark smoke from the upstairs of 136 Knapp St.

Four firefighters were upstairs and had to bail out in what firefighters said was a flashover, when a fire quickly intensifies.

Justin Niederhofer (in red) quickly gets out of the house as the fire intensifies while another firefighter hangs out a window. It was a scary moment for the firefighters on the ground and the onlookers as the dark smoke spewed out of the windows with the firefighters inside. Niederhofer, Seth Dumrese, Steven Papponetti and Dustin Pahura all were able to get out.

Beth Miller, owner of Wild Flour Deli & Bakery, holds a turkey Reuben sandwich which she calls Daffodil on Feb. 3. Miller,a Holley resident, opened Wild Flour Deli & Bakery at 438 West Ave. in Albion with sandwiches on the menu which are all named after flowers.

Geno Allport is pictured at his home in Albion on Feb. 8. He holds his “Fan of the Year” Buffalo Bills jersey for 2021. He has framed jerseys from many Buffalo Bills legends.

Allport was picked by the Bills as their top fan and received an all-expenses paid trip with his son to watch the Super Bowl in Los Angeles. The family has had season tickets since 1974.

Allport has been youth football coach for more than 20 years in Albion and also helped start the football program in 2021 at the Vertus Charter School in Rochester.

After a 2-year absence, the circus came back to town in early 2022. This photo from Feb. 9 shows a performer with Billy Martin’s All Star Circus entertaining the crowd at the Holley Elementary School Intermediate Gym.

The circus was back after most of its schedule was wiped out the previous 23 months due to Covid-19 concerns and restrictions. Billy Martin has led the circus the past 45 years. Since the group returned to performing its New York and Pennsylvania tour on Feb. 1, they have been greeted with big crowds.

“It’s very emotional,” Martin said during intermission in Holley. “I thought people might have forgotten about us.”

Ken DeRoller, a former Orleans County legislator, speaks to the Leadership Orleans class on Feb. 20 in the Orleans County legislative chambers. DeRoller graduated with the 2020 class and was named the group’s alumnus of the year in 2021.

The 26 members of the new class of Leadership Orleans were encouraged to get involved in local government by serving on Planning and Zoning Boards, and then looking to be elected officials at the town, village and county levels.

“Participate, be a little aggressive and get in the room,” DeRoller told the class. “Our county is worth saving and we’ll need people like you to make it happen.”

Thomas Dobri plays the lead role of Ren McCormack in Holley’s musical performance of Footloose on March 11-12. Dobri, a senior, is grateful to be performing for a live audience after there wasn’t a show last year and in 2020 the musical was cancelled on the day of the show.

“It’s such a relief that things have come back to normal and I get one more try,” he said.

A crowd of 250 attended a pop-up eye clinic on March 19 at the White Birch Golf Course in Lyndonville. More than 100 of those people were in line a half hour before the doors opened.

Hundreds of eyeglass frames were on display for people to pick from. The frames and lens were all available for free. The Lyndonville Lions Club organized the first-time community eyeglass clinic. A team of eye specialists – state-licensed doctors of ophthalmology and optometry – were on site to determine the correct prescription glasses for each individual.

Town Supervisor Richard Moy met with about 100 residents on March 23 evening to discuss the reassessments that had just gone out in the mail. The average assessment increased 25 percent from the values three years ago. Most of the towns in Orleans County decided to hold off on a town-wide reassessment due to a volatile real estate market, but Clarendon and Barre went forward with the reassessment.

Fran Gaylord holds a plaque with a ceremonial ax in honor of his 50 years of a service as a member of the Holley Volunteer Fire Department. He was recognized on March 26 during the department’s annual banquet. He is joined up front by from left: Erin Reed, a trustee with fire company and EMS lieutenant; Tina Reed, vice president of fire company; and Kevin Dann, a trustee and past chief.

Gaylord, 69, remains very active as a firefighter, responding to about 300 calls for the Murray Joint Fire District, Clarendon and Kendall.

“This is very family oriented,” Gaylord said about the fire department. “Everybody gets along and wants to help everybody.”

Jeffrey Brown stars as Lord Farquaad in Albion’s production of Shrek the Musical on March 31 and April 1. Lord Farquaad is shown here with the shown here with the Duloc Dancers. He is the villain of the musical. He is short in stature and a ruthless ruler with many insecurities. Brown was recognized at Stars of Tomorrow in Rochester for outstanding performance in a leading role. Students were able to perform in front of live audiences in 2022, and they didn’t have to wear masks while on stage.

Nevaeh Farewell, a member of Medina’s Winter Guard, performs in Medina’s show on April 2. Medina’s performance of  “Wake Up” was part of the North East Color Guard Circuit Championships. In this photo, Farewell is dreaming. The other Winter Guard members try not to wake her so she can complete the journey in her dreams. Medina hosted 18 groups and about 500 spectators for the competition.

Timmy Ficarella, 4, of Warsaw holds one of the nine golden eggs in an Easter egg hunt on the courthouse lawn in Albion on April 9. The Royal Body Shop Outreach Ministries, a church that meets at the Arnold Gregory Office Complex, had 3,000 eggs scattered on the lawn for children.

Kids with one of the nine big golden eggs won larger prizes including a bicycle or scooter. About 500 kids attended the egg hunt.

Brody Stirk, 10, of Albion is filmed by his mother Janna Stirk on April 12 overlooking Sandy Creek near Bullard Park. Brody at the time had nine YouTube videos about science and autism. He is working on some videos about Albion, including some off-the-beaten path.

Brody has developed a following through his videos. He has autism and said he isn’t afraid to let the world know.

Some people with autism will use masking to hide their flaws or characteristics, Brody said.

“I myself don’t do masking,” Brody said in a YouTube video he made about autism. “I show myself.”

Brody urges compassion for those with autism. He said having autism isn’t a disability, but a super power.

Marti’s on Main celebrated the opening of an art show on April 24, featuring about 100 works of art from 22 members of the Brockport Artists Guild. About 150 people attended the three-hour season-opening show, including Josephine Dickerson, 10, of Hamlin.

Josephine looks at some of the artwork by her grandmother Suzanne Wells, an Albion art teacher from 1971 to 2005. Wells, who passed away from cancer is 2019, loved to paint flowers and portraits. Her favorite media included watercolor, acrylic and mixed media. She loved color, which could be seen in the way she dressed as well as her work.

A huge oversize load heads down Route 98 in Barre on May 25.  The large piece of equipment, a 200,000 pound condenser, was manufactured by Graham Corp. in Batavia and will be used for the Navy.

An enormous crane was used to move the equipment onto a barge in the canal. The condenser was trucked in on an oversize load weighing just under 400,000 pounds. The condenser itself weighed about 200,000 pounds. The unit was manufactured by Graham Corp. in Batavia. The condenser was taken by the canal to Albany, then down the Hudson River to New York Harbor. From there it headed to the Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.

Pastor Trellis Pore of the Shiloh Church prays over Albion graduate Sawyer Braley during the annual Baccalaureate service on June 5 at the First Presbyterian Church in Albion. The service is optional for seniors and half of the class attended the event organized by the Albion Ministerium.

The Rev. Susan Thaine, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Albion, gave the keynote message and told the seniors they live in very “important and interesting times” where they are critically needed.

“No matter what the next chapter of your life looks like, what matters most is the kind of person you choose to be in the world,” she said. “In the grand scheme of things, who you are is far more important than what you do to make a living, what status symbols or accolades you achieve or what your financial portfolio looks like.”

Jessica Sardina wears the Strawberry costume during the June 11 Albion Strawberry Festival 5K/8K race. Sardina lives in California and is visiting family in Medina. She is a third-grade teacher who relished the role as The Strawberry, waving to spectators and encouraging the runners during the race. About 200 people completed the race.

A truck hauling 400-plus tires caught on fire outside the Albion Walmart on June 15. The fire spewed dark smoke on the west side of Walmart. The store was evacuated. Firefighters used a special foam to try to contain the fire.

The truck is from HTI Recycling of Lockport. A Sheriff’s deputy said the driver started the truck and felt a pop and then noticed an electrical fire up high in the truck.

Holley graduates toss their caps by the flag pole in front of the junior-senior high school after commencement on June 25. Holley graduated 60 students in the Class of 2022.

The steeple of the Lyndonville United Methodist Church is in the foreground during the finale of the Lyndonville fireworks show on July 4.

Firefighters respond to a blaze on July 8 at 215 and 217 East State St. in Albion. The fire resulted in 14 people being displaced – 7 adults and 7 children. The houses at 215 and 217 East State are interconnected. Everyone was able to safely get outside.

Kaylynn Villane, 7, of Brockport rides the Sky Fighter, a ride that resembles an old fighter plane at the Kendall Firemen’s Carnival on July 14. The annual carnival is a big fundraiser for the fire department with proceeds paying the department’s bills, including buying EMS equipment and materials for the ambulance and other expenses.

“We look forward to it every year,” said Kendall Fire Chief Dan Schultz. “We appreciating the community spending their money and supporting us.”

Lena Grillo, 10, of Albion takes a break on July 25 with two big dairy animals, a red and white Holstein at left and Brown Swiss at right. Lena showed the Holstein at the Orleans County 4-H Fair while her sister Anna showed the Brown Swiss.

Nerds Gone Wild, a Buffalo-based band that performs popular songs from the ’80s, closed out a day of music at Bullard Park for the annual Rock the Park summer music festival on Aug. 6. Lead singer Ed Wyner aka “Milton Wild” urges the crowd to give a right fist pump while he sings, “Tainted Love.”

Richard Bannister is shown on Aug. 17 standing by an 8-foot-high metal sculpture he created and placed on his property on Maple Avenue near Eagle Harbor Road in Barre. Bannister’s “Ukrainian Tears” was created in the shape of a teardrop. Bannister, a sculptor for the past 30 years, said the artwork just flowed out of him as he grieved the damage and loss of life after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, an onslaught that continues.

“When I saw that it tore my heart out,” Bannister said. “It’s 2022. This isn’t 1922 or 1822. What we’re seeing is evil.”

Stan Farone, a founding member of COVA in 1979, holds a sign in support of the agency on Sept. 2 at the intersection of routes 98 and 31. Farone and others in the community tried to rally support for COVA. The local ambulance providers would cease operations in November after being taken over in the short-term by Mercy Flight EMS.

Raymond Pendergrass of the Shiloh Church is Albion joined a painting effort on Sept. 10 at the The Lord’s House in Waterport. The church got a fresh coat of paint and new look with members of the church, and help from other congregations. The main color was changed from white to gray.

Scott Galliford, the commander of the American Legion post in Holley, was part of the color guard of local veterans, carrying the banners and flags during a Sept. 11 memorial service at the courthouse lawn in Albion.

The steeples at the First Baptist Church in Medina, center, and St. John’s Episcopal Church, left, are silhouettes at sunset on Oct. 1.

Caleb Hughson, an Albion fifth-grader, makes it through a smoke simulator as part of Fire Prevention Week at the school on Oct. 14. A fire safety training trailer was outside the school. That trailer, owned by the Orleans County’s Emergency Management Office, has a fog machine to simulate smoky rooms. Students were urged to “Stay Low and Go.”

A fisherman from Brooklyn tries to catch a Chinook salmon in the Oak Orchard River in Carlton on Oct. 14.

Byron Neal, 8, of Albion joined his father Jeremy for a ride in a tractor on Oct. 16. The community held a benefit for Byron and his family on Nov. 13. Byron was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma in May 2022 and a Ganglioneuroma in his abdomen in August 2022. The Neal family operates Poverty Hill Farms, a dairy farm on West County House Road.

The Metz family in Medina won the grand prize in Medina’s Parade of Lights on Nov. 26 for the second year in a row. The Metz family used 15,000 lights for a float highlighting National Lampoon’s Vacation, including the character “Cousin Eddie” from the movie.

The Lyndonville community on Dec. 3 checked out the array of 98 Christmas trees that were decorated by families, business and local organizations. The 98 trees is a new record for Lyndonville. There were 26 the first year in 2013 and it has grown steadily each year with a goal to top 100 next year.

Air Raising Events owner Sheryl Watts created this snowman out of balloons. She is lined up on Dec. 10  for “Santa’s Hometown Parade” in Albion. The participants in the parade gathered at the Arnold Gregory parking lot on South Main Street before heading downtown.

People danced to the Lindy Hop on Dec. 15 at the Bent’s Opera House in Medina. Maggie Hallifax of Lockport, right, was one of the instructors for the evening.

This was the fifth event as part of the new Medina Lindy in the Village. The program has been popular since it started with the first event on Aug. 18, drawing 85 dancers the first time.

Santa and Mrs. Claus greet Eli Laine, 2 ½ of Albion, at the Albion Masonic Lodge on Dec. 17. The Santa bears a resemblance to Al Wilson, pastor of the Royal Body Shop Outreach Ministries, while Mrs. Claus looks similar to Valerie Rush.

The Masonic Lodge hosted breakfast, lunch or dinner with Santa on Dec. 3 and Dec. 17.