CNY Nostalgia rant

April 12, 2016

I started penncanmall.com in 2005, and syracusenostalgia.com in 2007. This was before Facebook and Twitter. I believe MySpace was still in its infancy. At the time, there was pretty much no other place online to view old photos and videos from the area. Actually, that was one of the reasons I started the sites in the first place. I couldn’t find anything posted online from the Syracuse area from the past 40 years or so.

When Facebook started to get more popular, I started to notice several pages popping up that were using my photos. This was kind of annoying, but also understandable. People were enjoying the photos and wanted to share them with their friends. I didn’t mind that, but just wanted some credit. After all, it did take a lot of work to find and gather all of these pictures (and videos), scan them and then post them online – not to mention the cost of running a site containing hundreds of pictures. By the way, I do all of this for free. I have ads on my page and sell merchandise to help balance the web hosting costs. These things don’t bring in a lot of money, I usually end up losing money at the end of the year. Anyway, I quickly edited all of my photos and put the “Syracuse Nostalgia” logo on them. I originally didn’t do this because I figured it would be cool to see the original, unmodified photo. I also edited all of my videos to include “Syracuse Nostalgia presents” before each clip. I then created a Syracuse Nostalgia Facebook (and later Twitter) page so I could post content myself, instead of having other pages post my pictures and videos.

It’s been a lot of fun hosting the Facebook and Twitter pages. I try to post something timely every day – whether it be an anniversary of a news item, or a video from that day 20 or 30 years ago. The pages have become quite popular. It’s great to see people’s reactions and have them share the posts and sometimes post things themselves.

However, I have recently noticed something disturbing related to my Facebook and Twitter pages. In the past year or so, a section of syracuse.com was created that was called “CNY Nostalgia”. I thought the name seemed a bit familiar, but also thought it would be cool to see what they were going to post. Well, I soon found out that they would often just copy what I had posted. Oh, it would not be word for word or anything but what was happening was very obvious to me. I’ll give a few examples.

  • On March 25 I made a post about the 40th anniversary of Penn Can Mall. On April 1st Johnathon Croyle posted an article in CNY Nostalgia about the 40th anniversary of Penn Can Mall. In the article, he clearly copied a lot of the information that was included in an old newspaper article about the opening of the mall. He even switched tenses in the middle of the article, first talking about opening day events in the past tense then talking about them in the present tense. This makes me believe that he just copied this old article word for word. This old article has also been posted on my site for several years. Now, I know he could have gone back into the Post Standard archives and found the article but I have a feeling he just used what he found on my site. Oh, and seemingly just to annoy me, he called my favorite mall “Penn Call Mall” in the article. I guess an editor was not available that day.
  • On February 12, Jacob Pucci posted an article in CNY Nostalgia about the history of Sweetheart Market. This article greatly resembled an article I wrote about the same topic years ago on my site. A lot of the information in this article was directly quoted from a video interview I did with Sweetheart Market owner George Gelsomin that has been on my YouTube page for several years. The CNY Nostalgia article also features a Sweetheart Market commercial that, you guessed it, came from my site.
  • On April 9 I made a post about the 38th anniversary of a University Ave fire that took the lives of four fire fighters. On April 11 Johnathon Croyle posted an article in CNY Nostalgia about the same fire. Now, this post was more personal to me because my uncle, Robert Schuler, was one of the fire fighters that passed away that day. If CNY Nostalgia had posted this article on the actual anniversary of the fire, or if they hadn’t done this sort of thing several times in the past then it would not have been so annoying to me.

Now, I obviously don’t mind if people share my photos, videos or articles. I encourage it and think it’s great. But, what syracuse.com has done with CNY Nostalgia several times is very inconsiderate. Like I mentioned, I don’t get paid at all for what I do with the site. But, the writers at syracuse.com certainly get paid for their work. For them to so blatantly copy my work is frustrating to say the least. If syracuse.com wanted their own version of Syracuse Nostalgia they should have contacted me. I would have gladly taken the position.

Showdown At Channel 3

August 18, 2015

Posted below is an interesting article from the May 18-25, 1988 issue of the Syracuse New Times. It describes the takeover of WSTM Channel 3 News by a company outside of Syracuse and the subsequent firing of all of its employees. The article reminded me of a similar situation in 2009 which resulted in nearly all of WTVH’s employees being fired and the shutdown of WTVH itself. Click on each image to see it full size.

newtimes-01 newtimes-02 newtimes-03 newtimes-04

Oh, and in case you were wondering – the Chickenmania article was also quite disturbing.

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The future of nostalgia

November 14, 2014

I had never really considered myself a historian until I participated in the recent Social Media Breakfast Syracuse event, Social Media And The Power Of Nostalgia. People at that event kept referring to me as a historian, which I thought sounded odd at the time. To me, a historian is someone who sits in an old building, surrounded by dusty old file cabinets containing pictures over 100 years old. If anyone wants to look at these pictures, they have to pay by the hour to do so. I, on the other hand, have all of my pictures and videos on a hard drive and back-up DVDs. Most of the things I have are 20 to 30 years old and everything is shared for free online.

So, that’s why I never considered myself a historian. But, then, is there a word for what I do? My site is called Syracuse Nostalgia. Nostalgian would make a good Sniglet but I can’t really pretend that’s a word. So, I guess I am a historian for my generation. Previous generations could not save their collections digitally, so they had to save them in the aforementioned file cabinets. While I understand the importance of 100+ year old pictures and documents, I’ve been trying to collect more recent items that people will remember. This is a fun hobby, but has also proven to be quite difficult and sometimes expensive. Also the process of transferring some of these items, specifically the videos, to a digital format has proven to be quite expensive. I currently own a U-Matic video player and a couple of Betamax and VHS VCRs. I’ve also had to send out some video reels to companies and have them transferred to DVD for large sums of money. So, I’ve been finding the old pictures, documents and video tapes, transferring them to a digital format and posting them online. Sort of bridging the gap between the old historians and today.

Now this brings me to the next generation of historians (or nostalgians, if you’d like). The future of this hobby, or whatever you’d like to call it, will be drastically changed in 20 or so years. Now, I can find people who have saved old pictures and want to share them. I can go to an estate sale and find a bunch of old Betamax tapes containing some great old news footage from 25 years ago.

TANGENT ALERT! Some people (even some local news personalities) have wondered why I collect and share old local news broadcasts. To me, an old local news broadcast is just about the best thing to watch to see exactly what was going on in your community at the time. Not only with the news stories, but with the technology used in the broadcast, the fashion and trends, and even the commercials. Believe me, in 30 years we will even be nostalgic for all those Alexander & Catalano and Fuccillo commercials. Ok, maybe not the Fuccillo ones. END OF TANGENT!

With everything being digital now, it will not be possible to just find someone’s old video tapes in 20 years. Everything is recorded on DVRs now, which are typically owned by the cable company. So, everything you tape now will not be found by your grandchildren in 30 years. It will just be erased by you or the cable company. The only ones that will have this historic video footage will be the cable companies and networks, who will only let you see what they want you to see or, more likely, what you pay to see. Historic pictures will also be more difficult to find. Unless someone purposefully takes pictures of historic buildings, events, etc and saves these pictures, transferring them to whatever current format exists, they will be nearly impossible to find. Again, the only ones that will have them will be the news companies, who will most likely charge people to see their archives. I, personally, think a town’s history should be free for everyone to see.

Don’t get me wrong, I love technology and I’m all for things moving forward. I’m just saying that in 20 years it won’t be easy to find the things from today. So, if you want to remember what you have now, be sure to take pictures and/or video and save them in a safe place.

Please be sure to visit my sites and follow me on Facebook and Twitter!

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Penn Can Mall

Syracuse Nostalgia on Twitter and Facebook

September 29, 2014

I don’t really use this blog much for updates any more. For more updates and information please follow the site on Twitter and Facebook.

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Benny’s Lost 80s Bash concert review – SRC Arena, Syracuse, NY 8/2/14

August 3, 2014

bennysite2
Although I have never posted a concert review on Syracuse Nostalgia before, I thought Benny’s Lost 80s Bash would be a good place to start. For one thing, it took place in Syracuse (at the SRC Arena at OCC), and for another, it was a nostalgic 80s show. So, it seemed appropriate.

Tickets for the Bash were given away for free at local Geico locations a couple of months before the concert date of August 2, 2014. All proceeds from the event, which included parking fees, merchandise, donations, and concessions went to the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund. We also found out during the show that, other than travel expenses, none of the bands were paid for their performances.

The doors to the venue were supposed to open at 4pm. However, when we arrived at 4:15, we found a line of a couple hundred people waiting to get in the building. People were complaining about having to wait so long, and were fearful that it would start raining. People were also getting hungry and had to use the bathroom. We saw several people (probably illegally) go into the port-o-potty behind a fence that was in a construction area. We also saw a couple people get tired of waiting and leave the line. At about 4:50pm, we were finally let into the arena.

After a visit to the concession stand to get some typically “nutritious” concert food and then to the merchandise stand we took some seats in the bleachers on the side of the arena. The venue was not full by any means, but it was a good sized crowd. I’m bad at estimating these things, but I would guess there was about 1,000 people there, give or take a hundred or so.

The first performer was advertised as “Christopher Anton of Information Society”. I did some research about all of the bands before the show. I found out that Christopher was not the original singer of Information Society. He joined the band in 2006 and was replaced by the original singer in 2008. So, he did not exactly fit the 80s theme of the night. As it turns out, his band was a melting pot of 80s musicians. The drummer was from the band When In Rome, and the saxophone player was from Oingo Boingo. Christopher also started what became to be a trend of the night, playing 80s hits from other bands. Here the band plays When In Rome’s “The Promise” –

The next band up was Animotion.

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Both original vocalists Astrid Plane and Bill Wadhams seemed to still be having fun on stage after all these years, which made for a very enjoyable performance. Vocally, they sounded great but something seemed to be missing from the band’s sound. It was soon apparent that it was the lack of a bass player in the band. The mustachioed keyboardist tried to cover up for this, as did the saxophone player (they again had the Oingo Boingo saxophonist playing with them). This was strange because, according to their Wikipedia page, Astrid was married to their bass player, Charles Ottavio. The mystery was solved at the end of their set when Astrid announced that she was recently divorced. The band also kept up the night’s trend of playing songs made popular by other 80s bands. Animotion played Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me”, claiming that “everyone thinks this song was by us anyway”. They ended their set with their hit, “Obsession”.

Next up was Dramarama, who had a much heavier rock sound than the first two pop bands.

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Dramarama was the surprise hit of the night, despite being the one band with which the crowd was least familiar. I would have to guess that they had more people gathered close to the stage for their performance then any other band that night. Singer John Easdale was the one artist I saw that came out to the merchandise area to sign autographs, take pictures, and talk with people. Other artists may have done the same, but I did not see them. Here they perform their hit from 1985, “Anything, Anything” –

Following the surprise hit of the night, was the surprise let-down of the night, Tommy Tutone.

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In this article, I’m going to refer to Tommy Tutone as the singer, although I know that’s not his name and it’s officially just the “band’s name”. To me, that’s about as silly as Darius Rucker from Hootie And The Blowfish getting angry when people call him “Hootie”. Come on, you’re Hootie. And Tommy Heath is Tommy Tutone. Anyway, Tommy and his band were very disappointing. His voice sounded awful, and the band was very sloppy. They all seemed very disinterested in being there. They also kept up the night’s trend of playing other band’s hits. They played a Tom Petty song so badly I could barely tell what it was, and they played another southern rock song so poorly that I couldn’t remember what it was right after they played the song. During their performance I kept thinking of a skit from the show “Will & Grace” where the character Jack is in a restaurant and yells “Shut UP, Patti Lupone!” at the Broadway star (see what I mean here). Anyway, I kept thinking, and saying out loud in Jack’s voice, “Shut UP, Tommy Tutone!”. They ended their set with their hit “Jenny (867-5309)”, which was also barely recognizable. I’ll spare you from having to see a video from this performance.

Before the next band performed, we were greeted by a surprise appearance by Stephen Baldwin. It was very nice that he came out to support his mother’s cancer charity, but he wasn’t that great at being a hype man. You could tell he was a bit uncomfortable talking on the stage.

The next band to perform was Naked Eyes.

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Naked Eyes was originally a duo consisting of Pete Byrne on vocals and Rob Fisher on keyboards. Rob died in 1999 at age 42. Pete reformed Naked Eyes in 2005. Musically and vocally, they sounded great. I just thought most of their songs, aside from their two hits (“Promises, Promises” and “Always Something There To Remind Me”), were a bit dull. At least between them and Tommy Tutone we got a chance to sit down and rest our feet. Here, from our seats in the bleachers, is the band performing “Always Something There To Remind Me”.

The headliner of the night, as far as I was concerned, was A Flock Of Seagulls.

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Consisting of only one original member, Mike Score, Flock sounded incredible. Missing was Mike’s infamous hair-do, replaced by sunglasses resting on top of his head. No, it wasn’t that bright in the arena. The band had a lot of energy and was definitely a crowd favorite but, unfortunately, played a very short set. This was probably due to the whole show starting about an hour late. They were so good, I taped three songs from Flock’s set.

All in all, it was a very fun night for a great charity and I hope the Lost 80s Bash will return next year!

Oh, wait. Am I forgetting someone? Oh, yes. Benny Mardones was the actual headliner of the night. However, we left after A Flock Of Seagulls. I’m sorry, I’ve never been a huge Benny fan. Also, since the show started later than planned, it was getting quite late and I had to work early the next morning. I would like to thank Benny for putting together such a great show though! It’s very rare that we get such a show in Syracuse, so hopefully this tradition will continue!

HAM
August 3, 2014

Special Anniversary Sale – Penn Can Mall 2002 Dead Mall Tour DVD

May 5, 2012

Special Anniversary Sale! It’s been 10 years since I took that last tour through Penn Can Mall. To celebrate, I am offering the DVD for only $12 (original price $20) during the month of May, 2012!

Penn Can Mall 2002 Dead Mall Tour DVD

Vote for Syracuse Nostalgia!

August 31, 2011

While there is no “Best Web Site” category, we notice there is a “Best Blog” category in the Media section of the New Times “Best Of Syracuse 2011” ballot. That’s close enough, right? So, if you have enjoyed this site over the years, and you plan on voting in this year’s ballot, please click on the link below and write in www.syracusenostalgia.com in the “Best Blog” section. Thank you!
Here’s the link to the ballot – http://survey-syracusenewtimes.wehaaserver.com/

New old videos posted!

August 27, 2011

I’ve posted several new videos to the site, most of them being old news clips from the 1980s. Click here to go to the videos section of the site. Most of the new clips will be in the “Syracuse, NY News & Local Programs Part 2” section. I will also be adding several new clips to this section over the next few weeks, so keep checking back every once in awhile.

Thanks,
HAM
Syracuse Nostalgia

New Syracuse Nostalgia Facebook page

January 7, 2011

After seeing so many other pages re-posting my pictures, I decided to make an “official” Syracuse Nostalgia Facebook page. Please go there and click “Like”, if you’d like. Thanks!

Ham

Betamax VCR needed

August 23, 2010

Hello. I have been going through several boxes of old Beta (or Betamax) VCR tapes that I’ve recently acquired, trying to find old Syracuse area footage to post on Syracuse Nostalgia. I’ve found a lot of footage, as you can see from the video section on the site. However, I still have hundreds of tapes to go through and my Betamax VCR seems to be on its last legs.  So, if anyone out there would like to donate an old Beta VCR to me for future posting of Syracuse Nostalgia clips please send an e-mail to theaudacityny@lycos.com or reply to this post. Thank you!


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