‘Canoe’ Song Recalls Familiar Waters for Bialy  
Thursday, June 2, 2011

Before gravitating from news reporting to public office and 25 years as Webster Town Collector, John E. Bialy wrote a column for the Webster Times called “Sports Spotlight.”

He uses the spotlight designation in occasional reports from Florida, where he and his wife, Linda, now make their home. The latest is about a new Webster Lake song, “Let’s Go Canoeing on Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg.”

“I just caught this from another e-mail and thought it would give you a few moments of enjoyment,” says John Spotlight. It’s by singer songwriter Diane Taraz, known for her works about events of the past.

One report says the Canoeing song is about “an actual body of water.” John has his own comment: “I grew up swimming in this lake for 42 years.”



The weather was cold, windy and rainy at last midmonth, but Webster’s Esther C. Popiak wasn’t complaining. She paused while marketing to express concern about people displaced from their homes in parts of Louisiana.

“We’re lucky this (weather) is all we have to worry about,” she said. “Those poor people have to pick up and move away.” Talk was framed against a decision to mitigate major floods in Louisiana’s large cities by diverting impounded water from the Mississippi River into low-lying upstream towns and villages.

The effects have played out by now, but the decision was questioned by people hereabouts. “What’s going on there?” wondered Andrew Pryga, dressed for New England elements in a dark green slicker.

Mary L. Levitre, also of Webster, alluded to telecasts of Southern families doing what they could to secure their homes in hopes they might survive the force of released waters. “Those poor people,” she repeated. “You wonder what they’ll have to go back to.”

As always, everybody talked about the weather. “We’re not bad off” talk subsided within days, but concern for the Southern flood victims remains.

For another weather bit, a couple of teenagers sat in an air-conditioned fast food place in Webster last Saturday, attired in summer gear and obviously upset by the cold. Then, they located a beach blanket, huddled beneath it and had a quick lunch.



Ray Harrigan, a collector at the Saturday evening Mass in Webster’s St. Louis Church, remained in a back corner pew through the 5 p.m. service May 21.

Mr. Harrigan, Gordon Appelt and Al Reich, both deceased, and Harry Tucker got tabbed the HART (without an e) team decades ago.

Harrigan, Appelt, Reich and Tucker proved a conscientious group, seldom absent, moving along aisles in an inconspicuous manner for probably 20 or more years. Mr. Harrigan says the HART team worked together for “a good long time.”

Mr. Tucker moved to the sidelines last year after an accident.

Don Barry is probably the senior Saturday collector at St. Louis now.



The Sunday Telegram ran a story May 22 about a Civil War-era hospital for Union servicemen on the grounds of what is now Worcester Academy.

This brought an old report to mind. When Capt. Amos Bartlett left his Civil War post as principal of Webster High School, he organized the Slater Guards. Military training was at Camp Storrs, generally known as Beacon Park. The location’s historical significance has always read: entertainment venue. Its military provenance was short-lived, a matter of weeks, before the Slater Guard Company was federalized for war service.


-Courtesy Of
Telegram & Gazette

Copyright© OldeWebster 2001
send comments/suggestions to:
webmaster@oldewebster.com