Posts Tagged ‘syracuse nostalgia’

CNY Nostalgia rant

April 12, 2016

I started in 2005, and 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 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 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 certainly get paid for their work. For them to so blatantly copy my work is frustrating to say the least. If 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.

Syracuse Nostalgia main site

Syracuse Nostalgia Facebook

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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!

Syracuse Nostalgia
Penn Can Mall

Cicero – The Book, Video Clips, Links

April 27, 2009

I’ve made a few updates to the Syracuse Nostalgia site:

Cicero – Images Of America – Includes over 200 historical Cicero, NY photos plus information on how to order a signed copy of Cicero, the book.

Syracuse, NY Video Clips – To save time and space, I consolidated all of my local Syracuse clips onto one page featuring links to playlists on YouTube.

Links – I’ve added a link to my new Blues-Rock band, The Sweathogs.


Complete Syracuse TV News Broadcast – 1972

April 10, 2009

I’ve posted a complete broadcast (audio only) of WSYR TV3 Total News in Syracuse, NY from December 24, 1972.

Click here to check it out.

Syracuse Nostalgia


November 30, 2008

I originally started the Penn Can Mall site, and later the Syracuse Nostalgia site, for something fun to do. I figured that only a couple of friends that I grew up with would enjoy it. The response that I’ve gotten to the site is amazing. I’ve gotten many e-mails, as well as comments in the Guestbook and Forum, telling me that they appreciate the site and that I’ve helped bring back many memories for them. I say this not to brag or anything, but just to say that it feels really nice to get those kind of comments and to know that I’ve helped to make someone happy, even if just for a little while.

What’s been really heart-warming is that I’ve received a couple of messages from people telling me that they’ve seen lost loved ones in some of the photos and videos I’ve posted. These messages make me feel like I’m actually doing something good for the community and that the site is definitely worth all of the time I put into it. Here are some examples of some of the nice messages I’ve received:

Re: “Little Loon” – 3 Country Video Clip
Yesterday(Thanksgiving Day), my sister sent me a link to your Youtube clip of “Little Loon” – my father, Maurice Dennis. Our Dad passed away on December 22, 1987 and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him, especially during this time of year. …. This year, 2008, he would have been 100 years  old – born December 2, 1908. …we were were all delighted to see and hear Dad aka Grandpa.   My youngest son said it had been a long time since he’d heard Grandpa’s voice…. He was a doting and fun-loving grandfather who left us with wonderful memories and life lessons.  Our family will celebrate his 100th birthday on December 2nd with his favorite food and especially a pineapple upside down cake which we always made for him.  Thank you for a Thanksgiving gift that we all appreciated and will share with the next generation who will come to know their great grandfather through our stories, pictures and video clips.


Re: Rod Carr 1972 News Clip
Just a quick note to say I can’t believe how many phone calls and emails I’ve received regarding my old WNYS-TV video clip. It was heart-warminng, really.
Warmest regards,
rod carr

Re: “The Spirit Of Homer” – 3 Country Video Clip
My name is … and I’m writing to you from Western Japan. I just wanted to offer you my deep appreciation for posting the video about Homer, New York. I’m from the neighboring town of Cortland. That small general store was known as Clarke Brothers and the shop’s owner is my dad, Phil Clarke. It was truly amazing to see our little family store again after so many years (we closed it in ’97). It was even more amazing to see my dad when he was only 58. (He’s still going strong at the age of 86).
You did me and my family a great service and we all thank you very much. Take care. I hope all is well with you and yours.

Re: Sweetheart Market Video Clip
You made my day. I saw my mom, Liz Hanmer, in one of the videos smiling away as she always did. Melted my heart. I lost her August ’07 and this was a nice surprise. I’ll try to gather up Sweetheart Market items I have – take pictures of them and send them along for you to share. Again, thank you for making my day!!

STM Showboat video clips

October 20, 2008

As I mentioned before, I’ve recently been going through a large collection of old Beta and VHS video tapes. I’ve posted the first clips from these tapes – two different episodes of STM Showboat. STM Showboat was a kid’s show that aired on WSTM, Channel 3 in Syracuse, in the late 80s and early 90s. Click here to go to the page containing the videos.

One thing I noticed about these tapes is how much better the quality of the Beta tapes are as compared to VHS. Beta was definitely a better format. It’s too bad that because of some stupid reasons that VHS became the standard format. The STM Showboat clips are from old VHS tapes, and you can see how poor the quality is on those. Once I start posting clips from Beta tapes, you will certainly see a big difference. These tapes are over 20 years old, and they look like they were taped yesterday.

Anyway, I’ll probably be posting more commercials and news clips from these tapes in the next couple of weeks.


Syracuse Nostalgia

Penn Can Mall

Penn Can Mall jingle used elsewhere + site updates

September 20, 2008

I just wanted to let everyone know that I do have some updates coming soon. I’ve been getting several items from Jason Beard (who has a large collection of Syracuse memorabilia) and will most likely be getting more in the near future. I’ve already posted some of the things I’ve gotten from him (most recently some stuff from WSTM’s Saturday Showboat). However, some of the items I’ve gotten from him will not fit in their own category, so I’m waiting until I have enough things to make a “various items” page.

I’ve also just recently purchased a large collection of Beta tapes, and have just started to go through them. It will probably be quite awhile before I start posting any clips from these tapes. I’ve only checked out a few so far, and they seem to include a mix of HBO movies and broadcasts from local channels. I have already found a Switz’s commercial and a Marketplace Mall commercial, so I’m hoping there will be more cool local footage on some of these tapes.

Here’s a fun fact about Penn Can Mall that I hadn’t heard before:
Rich Borosky recently sent me an e-mail to let me know that the Penn Can Mall jingle (two versions of this are posted near the top of the main Penn Can Mall page) was also used in 1975 for a department store in Buffalo called AM&A. Since Penn Can opened in 1976, I have to assume that the jingle was used for AM&A first. Rich was also nice enough to send me a copy of the AM&A jingle. Click on the link below (or right-click and save) to check it out.

AM&A Department Store jingle

Just a reminder – I am still looking for contributions for the site. If you have any Syracuse area memorabilia – including photos, documents, audio or video, please send me an e-mail at

Penn Can Mall
Syracuse Nostalgia

Penn Can Mall 2002 “Dead Mall Tour” DVD

August 2, 2008

Here’s a video trailer I’ve recently made for the Penn Can Mall 2002 “Dead Mall Tour” DVD:

Click here to go directly to the “Dead Mall Tour” DVD section of the site for more information about the film.


Penn Can Mall
Syracuse Nostalgia

Penn Can Mall 1980s video posted

July 24, 2008

I’ve posted a video clip of Penn Can Mall from the mid-1980s in the video sections of both the Penn Can Mall and Syracuse Nostalgia sites. Thanks to Mike Warden for sending me the video and letting me post it! Mike used to work in various malls across the country drawing caricatures of people. He worked in Penn Can Mall several times and filmed some footage with his Beta Camcorder in the mid-1980s. What I enjoyed the most about this clip was hearing The Clock ring again. You can clearly hear the infamous tune followed by four clangs, indicating that it was 4pm. Here are the direct links to the video pages:

Penn Can Mall Video Clips
Syracuse Area Home Video