Sunday, August 20th, 2017

My first venture into Wayne County

Yeah, this is hard to believe, but it actually happened. Here is the first time I remember coming to Wayne County.

I graduated from Syracuse University in 1974. A young buck with all the knowledge necessary to replace Walter Cronkite on the nightly news was ready for the world.

I actually landed a weekend job at Channel 10 as basically a “gopher”…go fer coffee, go fer phone calls etc.
As a weekday job I was hired by a one-man advertising agency. You can imagine his list of clients as, well, small in budget and goals.

One of the clients was a club owner who had just picked up a place on Route 31 in Macedon. The once bar/nightclub known as Barney Googles, is now known as the Yellow Mills estaurant. Back then, this swinging place brought in ‘name’ bands for entertainment.

Yes, one of the bands they had in 1975 was…are you ready for this… Herman’s Hermits — The English band, who once had the struggling group known as the “Who” open for them in the early 60s. Herman’s Hermits chalked up such memorable hits as Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter and the ever popular “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am”.

Yeah, by the mid 70s the band’s popularity had waned a bit and they picked up gigs across the U.S. at hot spots like Barney Googles in Macedon.

The ads were placed in the appropriate radio and newspaper spots. All that was left was to attend the ‘happening’ and make sure the client and event was a success.

“Do you want to meet Herman and the band?” my boss inquired. “Not really,” was my reply. I did, however watch as the group came to the very small stage in the very small venue to a packed house.

I questioned, at the time, how a national band could slip so far down the public charts to play a gig at Barney Googles in a county called Wayne and in a Town I had previously never heard of – called Macedon. Once Herman began to wallow his past hits, with mostly new band members, I understood the slide.

Many years later, while house hunting, a friend told me about lower priced houses in Wayne County. I looked and I liked what I saw. I had to trick Wife Patti into a longer drive, just east of Penfield, to a place called Walworth. Luckily, she liked the house and the rest is history.

After a few years, I decided to start a weekly newspaper that would serve a small area of Wayne County. That little newspaper grew and grew to one of, if not the largest, weekly paper in the upstate New York.

This week, we are celebrating the start of our 29th year publishing the Times. Over 1,400 issues under our belts, tens of thousands of pages, millions of typed words, and many past and current friends (and some enemies).

Ahh, yes, my first excursion into Wayne County was at Barney Googles with Herman’s Hermits. Who would guess Wayne County would ever mean more to me than that!