WATERTOWN — The Tug Hill Commission will offer a series of webinars called “Letters from a Tug Hill Logger.”
This three-part series narrated by Leona and Peter Chereshnoski, the granddaughter and great-grandson of John Clemens and keepers of his scrapbooks of memories. They will read letters, share stories, show off artifacts and photos and “spin yarns” of Tug Hill logging in its hey-day, all through the eyes of two personalities, one who wrote the stories and the other that broadcast them over the radio for the masses to hear.
A cache of letters exchanged between John “Old Lard” Clemens and Robert “Deacon” Doubleday, a popular early morning Syracuse radio announcer in the middle 1900s, provide the backdrop for this series. Each page-long letter, written by Clemens and read over the air by the Deacon, tells some tale of the Tug Hill woods or some character who could be found there. In the slang of the woods, using comical nicknames, and with a flavor all his own, Clemens “spun the yarns” for about 10 years. These letters and radio exchanges, along with artifacts kept by the Clemens family, provide a peek into Tug Hill’s history and hey-day.
Registration links at www.tughill.org, or as follows:
Letters from a Tug Hill Logger, Part 1: 7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 27. Register in advance at: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_km0oVByPRImsBgJvAFbfcQ
Letters from a Tug Hill Logger, Part 2: 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 24. Register in advance at: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7FQTt7HgTpmUVADeB7gTDg
Letters from a Tug Hill Logger, Part 3: 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 24. Register in advance at: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_SglXM7TJSSCQccG2uv6eSw
About the presenters
Leona Clemens was born and raised on a small farm in Osceola, where she attended the one room schoolhouse in the hamlet and later attended seventh-12th grade in Camden. After working in Syracuse for two years, she married Ray Chereshnoski and moved back to the Tug Hill town of Lorraine. After raising three children and working as a library clerk, she attended Empire State College and Syracuse University where she earned her master’s degree in library science. She worked as a library clerk and school librarian at South Jefferson for a total of 27 years before retiring in 2006. In retirement she works part time as director at the Osceola Public Library and her family owns and operates a bed and breakfast on the family farm. She is an active volunteer for a few non-profit groups and is a 36-year veteran commissioner of the Tug Hill Commission.
Peter Chereshnoski made his early trips around the sun on the northwestern slope of Tug Hill in the town of Lorraine on the weekdays and on the southwestern slope of Tug Hill in the town of Osceola on most weekends. A good share of the rest of his days have been spent driving back and forth between the two. After high school there was some time spent in college, followed by four years on the U.S.S. Atlanta SSN-712, a fast attack submarine stationed in Norfolk, Va. In 1992 he was back on Tug Hill to take a position at the Regional Landfill, 28 years later he continues to work for the Development Authority of the North Country as the Safety and Environmental Coordinator. His interests and hobbies revolve around nature and the outdoors, he and his wife Mary enjoy walks in the gulfs near their home in Rodman, kayaking and learning about the world around them.