Posts Tagged ‘nostalgia’

Plank Road and WTVH Archive videos

May 3, 2008

I’ve just recently made a major update to the Syracuse Nostalgia page, and will do another one soon.

Yesterday I added the History Of North Syracuse page. I recently received a video from the North Syracuse Historian, Robert Henry, which showed a photographic history of North Syracuse and Plank Road. I divided this video up into four parts, and posted them on the site. Robert was also nice enough to let me browse through his collection of pictures and pick out ones that I would want to post on the site. I chose a bunch of photos, trying to pick out ones that weren’t already included in the Plank Road video. He said he will be putting these photos on a CD for me soon, so hopefully I’ll be posting them in the next couple of weeks.

One thing I noticed from working with Robert, and also from working with the Cicero Historian, Thomas Mafrici, is that they both were really nice to work with and seemed eager to share their collection with the public. I think they just didn’t really have the means to get their collections online. Something else I noticed from their collections was that, for the most part, they would only include photos up until the 1950s. I know this isn’t either of their faults, but you would think that local history stopped at 1960. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s interested in seeing the history of the area from the 1960s through the 1980s (and beyond). So, I guess it’s up to all of us to try and gather as much photographic history (and video history) as we can. That’s why I always encourage people to send in whatever old photos of the local area they may have. I will share them online for free, so anyone can view or download them.

I am also working on another “WTVH Archives” update. I recently received another group of tapes from Keith Kobland at WTVH-5 News. I really appreciate Keith being nice enough to share some of these tapes. I have a feeling some of this footage would never be seen again if we weren’t doing this. For the most part, the tapes that he’s been giving me are 3/4″ tapes (also called U-Matic tapes). These tapes and the machine to play them on have not been made in a long time. Here is a picture of one of the huge 3/4″ tapes (next to a Ron Curtis VHS tape, for scale): 

Here is a picture of the humongous 3/4″ player that I recently got from eBay (again with the Ron Curtis VHS tape used for scale): 

You can see that the player is just about as tall as the average VHS tape.

A problem that I am having concerning these tapes is which clips to include on the site. These are just random tapes that Keith finds for me. They are not necessarily chosen for their exciting news stories. Meaning that, for example, they would just include a random week of news stories from 1987. While this would be interesting to me, I know it wouldn’t be interesting to most people. So, at the moment I’m trying to decide which clips to upload to the site. I’m also trying to just pick out clips of local interest, not national news. At the moment I have a couple of good ones that I think I’ll use – a meeting about the proposed Carousel Center (1987), St. Patricks Day Parade (1984) and some dumb guy from S.U. running around campus playing “Cupid” (1987). There will probably be more, but those are the best ones right now. I’m also trying to figure out which, if any, sports clips to use. I don’t really care about sports, so I’m trying to figure out which basketball footage might be of interest to the most people.

So look for a new bunch of WTVH Archive videos to be posted in the next week or so.

Thanks for reading!



Hi there

May 2, 2008

Hello. I run the Syracuse Nostalgia site as well as the Penn Can Mall site. I will post in this blog whenever I update either page. I will also post random thoughts or memories about certain things that have been posted on the sites. I already have a forum linked on the page, but it seems like this will be a better way to reach more people. I will still keep the forum active, but I will probably post here more often.

I guess I should post a little bit about myself, since that’s something I haven’t really done on either site. My name is Ham (ok, it’s Brian… but “Ham” has been my nickname since the late 1980s). I grew up in North Syracuse, NY, and graduated from Cicero-North Syracuse High School in January 1991. I was supposed to graduate in Fall of 1990, but I did not pass Gym Class and had to take it again for half a year. Let’s just say that I hated most things about Gym and did not participate and often did not not show up for class. You can also say that I’m prone to tangents. I guess that’s another thing this blog will be good for.

Anyway, if you’ve seen my Emmy-Award-Winning interview from WTVH-5 you already know why I started these sites. I have a lot of home video footage of the Syracuse area that I taped in the late 80s. At the time I was just goofing around with my new “toy” and trying to film funny footage of my friends. Years later, I realized I had some great footage of some local landmarks that either no longer existed or had drastically changed.

Fast forward to the start of “the internets” (as W says). I did a search for some of my favorite teenage hang-out spots – Penn Can Mall, Sweetheart Market, William Grocery, etc. – and could find nothing. So, I decided to start my own site, using my old video tapes as a starting point.

I actually started the Penn Can Mall site first. I had a ton of video footage of the mall, including a “Construction Tour” that I took in 2002, so that seemed like an obvious place to start. I thought perhaps myself and a few friends would enjoy the site but once I made a post about it in a forum, it was apparent that many people loved the old mall and were nostalgic about the area. The fact that it did receive so much interest inspired me to continue and design the Syracuse Nostalgia site.

I’ve gotten many great contributions from people and am always looking for more. If you have any photos, documents or other memorabilia from the area please either leave a comment below or send me an e-mail at . I’m also interested in getting old Beta or VHS video tapes containing programs taped on local Syracuse channels. Please let me know if you have any that you either want to get rid of or would be willing to let me borrow.

I also feel that I should note that I do not get paid to run these sites at all. This is just a hobby that I do in my spare time. I do have ads on the page and merchandise for sale to try and balance out the costs of running the site. However, as of writing this, they have not even covered half of the cost of the site. Anyway, my point in mentioning this is to please be understanding if you make a request and I am unable to help you. I don’t mind people making suggestions (in fact, I ask for suggestions whenever someone signs the Guestbook), but if I don’t have something all I can usually do is make a post asking for it and hope that someone will send in some photos or information. Sometimes this works, but often times I will get no response at all.

Anyway, I guess that’s enough of any introductory post. I have some new additions to the site coming up and will be posting about them soon!