Thursday, March 14, 2013

Garbage Day,
21 degrees and dry at 6 o'clock.

The WKTV Weather Forecast: "Cold, windy weather returns today in Central New York along with lake effect snow showers.  Very changeable weather conditions can be expected throughout the day, with snow showers, flurries, perhaps steadier squalls at times, along with breaks of sunshine.  Highs only in the low 20s with windy conditions this afternoon.  A west wind will become sustained between 15-25mph with gusts over 30mph this afternoon.
Lake effect ends tonight with lows in the teens.
Mostly cloudy tomorrow with a round of light snow showers late in the day.  Highs in the mid 30s.  Temperatures will remain in the 30s over the weekend with partly sunny skies.  No signs of spring in the extended least for now.  Temperatures remain near or below normal through next week.."


In My Morning Mail

- from Jody Barnes:

Little League Girls Softball Tryouts
Sunday, March 17th
12:30-3:00 pm @ MPS Gym
Questions -  call Andy Vasquez  725-3437


Tee Ball & Minor League Registration
Must be 4 years old before 5/1/2013 to play
Teeball: boys and girls  4-6 years old  
*coach pitch will be determined after registration
Minor League: boys and girls 7-12 years old
Practices will start in June / time determined by coach

Thursday, March 21st  6-7:30pm
@ Waterville Public Library
Please bring copy of birth certificate & 
$25 registration fee
Questions:  Matt Patterson  (585)721-2576
or Jody Barnes  725-5639


The temperature rose to forty-five degrees yesterday and whenever the sun shone on the little Spring Aconite in front of the Fehlner-Peach residence in "Dicksville," the little yellow flowers opened up and shone right back.

The ice was all gone at the little waterfall on Gridley-Paige Road .....

..........  and enough had melted at the caves in Forge Hollow to allow Jody easy access, if he were so inclined. Of course he'd be thoroughly drenched by the time he'd climbed through the little waterfalls, too!

Two camera-shy carpenters were making use of the nice weather to continue their work on the lift enclosure at the Waterville Historical Society.

Wheelbarrows are out, but where are the rakes and garden spades, Tom? (He must have heard the weather forecast!)


There are fewer St. Patrick's Day and Irish flags / decorations on display than there have been in previous years and what there are are well outnumbered by Christmas decorations whose time has passed!



At the Library


Kids' Movie Matinee at 1:00 p.m. 

Half day of school? No problem, bring the kids over for a movie matinee and some time to get creative in the Children's Room.
Movie Title: TBA


Also on Friday

The Johnston School of Irish Dance.

at 6:30 p.m.



7:00 P.M.

Bring your friends and come see the last installment of the Twlight series on our big screen.
See how it compares to the book!



Have a great weekend, everyone!


Women I Wish I had Known - Part II 

 Charlotte Buell Coman 
1833 - 1924 

It was Genevie Brainard’s grandson Charles’ wife, Marion, who introduced me to the story of Charlotte Buell. We stood in the living room of the Brainards’ new home on Putnam Street, in the early 1970s, staring at a large painting of a bowl of white roses. It was signed “C. B. Coman” and I remember just standing there, wondering how a watercolorist could do such clear, shimmering work and put depth into every petal without ever getting her paints "muddy!" Marion told me that Charlotte had been born here some years after her parents had come to Waterville and her father, Chauncey Buell, had entered into the tannery business and then the successful manufacture of shoes and boots.  Mrs. Brainard said that even when Charlotte was a little girl she liked to draw. (Another person told me that it was Charlotte who, at the age of twelve, had drawn this picture of the first Presbyterian Church building – the one built in 1823 that stood across from the Village Green exactly where the Brunswick is, now.) 

But even as a child Charlotte suffered from some loss of hearing and, perhaps for that reason, her father and mother encouraged her in her artistry to the extent that they presented her work to the village at a special reception and exhibition. The local critics, although thoroughly enjoying the party, shook their heads and quietly agreed she was certainly a nice child, but Charlotte would never be a real artist. 

Drawing and painting may, in fact, have been the last thing on Charlotte’s mind when, sometime between 1850 and 1860 -  she married Elijah Coman, a man who had lived in Eaton and gave his profession as "clerk." He was a man with a dream, people said, and the newlyweds packed up and set out for Johnson City, Iowa, and frontier life on a farm.  “Eli” died several years later and, at about that same time, Charlotte became completely deaf - something she jokingly said, later, was an advantage because she couldn't hear the scathing remarks of critics. She returned to Waterville and determined that in spite of her trouble, she was not going to be idle. At age forty, she committed herself to a career in art.

The elegant Buell residence is nearly hidden by the former "Modern Electric" addition which now houses the office of Businessware Consulting, Inc.

Alan Quist of the Fine Art Gallery of Realism wrote of C. B. Coman: "Probably with her parents’ help, she moved to New York City and trained with James Brevoort, a landscape painter of some reputation. A few years later, she sailed for Europe where she continued her training in Paris, Amsterdam and London. A painting of hers, called The French Village, was displayed at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876, and after a decade overseas, she returned to New York City. She received much positive attention including election in 1910 as an Associate to the National Academy of Design, but well-aware of discrimination against women artists by male jurors, she always signed her work 'C.B. Coman.'   She spent summers in the Adirondacks and winters along the Atlantic shore, painting what she liked and displaying the best of what she created." It really wasn’t until she was in her late seventies that she started to become very well known and she collected award after award for her work.  

For several years she lived in a studio/apartment in New York City. 
She and two other lady painters were in the habit of giving Springtime teas and exhibitions. One such event was attended by Mrs. Walter Coggeshall, Mrs. G. E. Angier, Mrs. Smith Yale, Mr. Harry Peck, and Master Harold Yale, all from Waterville. "Mrs. Comen's display contained her winter's work, and many studies from various parts of the country, including the Adirondack region and Florida. Her last summer's work, in the vicinity of Quaker Hill in Duchess County, New York, embracing a number of subjects especially adapted to her genius, attracted general admiration."

In 1923, it was noted in The Waterville Times that "Mrs. Charlotte Coman of New York City, the former Charlotte Buell of Waterville, has risen to fame as a painter in oils and now  ...  makes a comfortable living out of her canvases."

Although she moved to a retirement home in her last years, she continued to paint until she died in Yonkers, New York, in 1924 at 89 years of age, and - finally -  as a real artist. 

"Early Summer"
The National Gallery, Washington, D.C.

"Clearing Off"
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.

I don't know the name of this little oil painting or whose private collection it is in, but I wish I could have been - or even knew -  the person who recently paid $2,600 for it at an auction!

Reproductions of "Clearing Off" are available at

PsBrown, March, 2013

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