Friday, May 21, 2010

SRAC Educational Programs for June 2010

Archaeology and Bone Identification by Marty Borko.
Thursday, June 3rd, from 6:30 - 7:30pm
at SRAC, 345 Broad Street Waverly, NY

Whether or not you are an archaeologist involved in a professional excavation or simply reading a report from one, bones could be apart of your research and they actually can reveal alot to a trained eye. Questions such as, "Are they animal or human? "; "How do they articulate?" ;"How do we tell left from right bones or even male from female?"; "How many roles do the bones in our body play?"

Using hands on, educational skeletal learning tools, Marty Borko, will present "Understanding Bones."

Marty Borko is a retired Professor of Biology who has taught Anatomy and Physiology for nursing students for over 30 years. The skeleton is a major component of the A & P program and Marty will share his skeletal insights gained over his many years of teaching. Retired from Orange County Community College which has the oldest 2 year nursing program in the United States.

Admission is $5 per adult, $4 for SRAC members and students. Admission includes entrance to the SRAC exhibit hall.

“The Soapstone Culture and the Zimmerman Site"
By Fred Asmus, NYSAA Treasurer
Saturday, June 5th from 2-3pm
At SRAC, 345 Broad Street, Waverly, NY

The Zimmerman Site 36 PI 14 was a multi-level site excavated in the 1960s by the Lenape Chapter #12 of the S.P.A.Emphasis will be on the two lowest levels with carbon dates of 1280 BC and 1650 BC. Presented ny Fred Asmus, NYSAA treasurer.

The site was one of the largest in the upper Delaware Valley of PA and reflects what is commonly referred to as the "Soapstone Culture."

Some of the artifacts will be on display, the rest are mainly in the State Museum in Harrisburg, PA.

Admission is $5 per adult, $4 for SRAC members and students. Admission includes entrance to the SRAC exhibit hall.

Crafting Clay Tiles and Pendants - Creative Fun For All Ages
With Irene Lawson
Saturday, June 19th from 11-1pm
At SRAC, 345 Broad Street, Waverly, NY

Crafting Clay Tiles and Pendants - Creative fun for all ages

Come learn to work with clay and discover the wonderful world of handmade tiles and pendants. From handprints to complex geometric patterns or sculpted reliefs, create decorate tiles in your own style or following the teacher’s examples. Materials will be provided but you may bring your own stamps or found objects to make impressions in the clay, if you wish. Working with clay is a process in which all ages can participate.

There will be a two week period between the class/creation and pick up after firing process.

Class Fee: $23.00, Instructor: Irene Lawson. Email to enroll for this class today!

NEPA Paranormal – Gettysburg Reveal
Saturday, June 26th from 6:30 - 7:30pm
At SRAC, 345 Broad Street, Waverly, NY

The NEPA Paranormal team will be at SRAC to discuss their most active site to date - Gettysburg. Known by many for it's historic value, Gettysburg is gaining new popularity by paranormal groups across the country.

The team will present their findings and also allow two lucky ticket holders at the event to accompany the NEPA team on an upcoming paranormal investigation.

Admission is $6 per adult, $5 for SRAC members and students. Admission includes entrance to the SRAC exhibit hall.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

SRAC Welcomes Peg Burkhart to Board

SRAC is proud to announce the latest addition to the SRAC board of directors, Peg Burkhart of Sayre, PA. The additional seat makes a total of ten very active and talented board members for SRAC.

Peg holds a BS degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the Pennsylvania State University and an MS in Education from Elmira College. She also was involved in elementary education before retirement.

Currently, she is the President of the Valley Library Association representing Spalding Memorial Library in Athens, Sayre Public Library, and Waverly Free Library. She is also the Vice President and Sayre representative of the nine member library System Board of the Bradford County Libraries.

Peg is also the corresponding Secretary and Gift Shop committee chair of the Sayre Historical Society and member and past president of the Sayre Public Library Board.

Clearly, Peg adds additional historical, educational and leadership experience as well as extensive library expertise. As SRAC moves into their next phases of development, we know that Peg will be invaluable in helping us continue to succeed in the future plans.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Phone Call...

The other day I received a phone call that has had me thinking about it ever since...

It has made me think about people. The differences. The similarities. What matters, and what just doesn't...

You see it seems to me that there are books out there (best sellers even) about A.) how to "get ahead" in life, how to be a SUCCESS, and how to make alot of money...but there doesn't seem to be alot written on B.) the art of being true to yourself, following your life's passions, doing what you said you would because YOU SAID YOU WOULD, or just doing what is right for the simple reason that it's the right thing to do.

Some may attribute this all to the fact that this is the second year that I had to spend Mother's Day, my birthday, and my mom's birthday without her all in the same week, (and if you knew her, you know that is where I gained the values that I have)....But I will tell you that while losing my mother has been the hardest thing that I ever have dealt with, that the phone call that I received last week was indeed the icing on the cake...

Let's face it... we all know people in our lives that fit both A & B above...but sometimes when we lose one of the latter, it somehow makes a times even casts a shred of darkness in that space in our hearts that I'll for lack of a better term call the place where HOPE and Faith in Mankind still reigns.

While my life has been blessed with many that I could say fit this description, it is at this time that I want to share a story with you about a friend of mine that I met just last summer, named Derrick Rosaire.

Derrick Rosaire and Derrick JR at the Bears on Broad Street Event Last August
(Click to see all if not shown here)

For those of you that do not recall, Derrick, otherwise known as "the Bear Guy" and his two sons came to SRAC last August in an event we dubbed, "Bears on Broad Street."

I had met Derrick in Owego at the County Fair where he and his boys worked with five bears in a live show that simply amazed me.

After that show I asked Frederick the youngest son who stayed out with his bear "Indian" after the show to ask his father to come out to talk with me...

Frederick Rosaire and "Indian" at Bears on Broad Street last August
(Click to see all if not shown here)

A short time later Derrick in his "Grizzly Adams" attire and mountain man beard appeared and we discussed my idea of bringing the show to downtown Waverly later that summer...He told me that he would get back to me about it, and as I road home with Susan and her daughter, Jessica... they both laughed at my idea and picked that I was a dreamer, etc...

We still laugh about that today...

It was a few weeks later that Derrick and I were back in touch on the phone and it was early evening after Derrick had had a long hard day in the sun performing for a fair somewhere in upstate NY. As I recall - we chatted for a long time about SRAC, Indians and Bears, and the business side of getting them to perform in downtown Waverly. The sticking point was that he usually charged $5,000 for what I was asking him and his boys to do for us, and I remember telling him that there was no way that SRAC could afford it...

How do I explain what happened next? If I were to be totally honest, I'd tell you that I wondered if I had caught Derrick after a drink or two or it was that he was as impressed with my background and life passion with SRAC as I was with his with his boys and his bears...but whatever the answer really was, when I asked him what his bare minimum fee to get him to SRAC would be - Derrick simply laughed and said, "My bare minimum for you is spelled "B-E-A-R" - and we are coming to Waverly."

And so it was that we started to plan the "Bears on Broad Street" event.

Derrick Rosaire and Frederick at Bears on Braod Street last August
(Click to see all if not shown here)

Talk about trusting someone you just met! - I trusted him enough to even keep it a secret from our board that Derrick was admitted to the hospital near Albany and was on iv antibiotics for an infected leg for several weeks before he was to come to Waverly! In fact, he "coincidentally" was discharged with just enough travel time to make it to SRAC for our event. (Strangely, none of you who attended the shows could have noticed simply because as he and the boys related to me that you can never show weakness with bears who are actually predators...)

Even with Derrick sick and everything rushed to get setup that day - it was a great community event that was well attended and was an incredible feat to say the least for even getting a live bear show in downtown Waverly! To see the slide show from the event click here:

We actually packed three shows in just one afternoon to make enough $$ to break even, and Frederick laughed when he told me that the bears were totally confused at doing three back to back shows like we did - and that before each new show the bears would look at them as if to say "weren't we just out there?" as they took them back out to start again!

After the day was over and as Derrick Jr. and Frederick loaded tons of donated dog biscuits, fruits and vegetables and breads into thier truck along with the bears and all of their stage equipment - Derrick and I chatted about their next stop - one that Derrick and the boys were very excited about - to meet up with his sister Pam and to spend some time with her up in the Catskill mountains.

For those of you that did not see the Rosaire movie that we played before and after the event, Pam Rosaire is also an animal trainer who would tell you that she trains possibly the most dangerous animal act of them all - older chimpanzees. (From what I understand, most trainers do not train chimps after the age of 7 - because that is when they get a little more hard to handle...)In fact, when I asked Derrick why he didn't limp on his infected leg in front of the bears, he told me about not showing weakness in front of a predator, and then he related a story about Pam's chimps and how he had limped on a bad ankle once in front of them only to have one take him out at the knees "like a football player" and have the rest jump on him and start wrenching on that bad ankle....When I asked him how he got them off, he just laughed and said his sister Pam took care of them...that she loved them as if they were her children, but she had several belts in many types of martial arts, and that she kept her role as the matriarch with her chimps at all times...

Derrick and Frederick chimed in their deep respect for their aunt Pam who today still trains her chimps - some of whom she has had their whole lives...over forty years. Derrick went on to talk about how Pam in adulthood had even taken care of two rather large fellows in New Orleans one night when they had tried to push her little brother Derrick around...

As I said before, I had received a phone call the other day that has made me think about all of these things - not least of all what the "successful person" (type A from above) would have called "a loss" for both the Rosaire's Bears and the SRAC bottom line for the event that took place last August...but for those of us that value B.) the art of being true to yourself, following your life's passions, doing what you said you would because YOU SAID YOU WOULD, or just doing what is right for the simple reason that it's the right thing to do - I think you know what my answer would be on the subject...

Sadly, I cannot call or email Derrick to have him comment, because that phone call that I received last week was from his distraught son Derrick JR, who called to tell me that his dad passed away last month of cancer.

At this time, my heart goes out to the entire Rosaire family (To learn more about what they as a family do all year round, visit: ) for the loss of their husband, brother, and uncle - and to Derrick Jr and Frederick - I send you hugs and prayers. You were blessed to have such a wonderful person as your dad and to have shared such a close relationship with him....but I know you are going through the worst time in your lives right now, and will need time to heal...

Staying true to their family roots and their father's wishes, Derrick Jr also informed me that he and his brother Frederick will continue their Rosaire's Bears show and will even be trying to work in another stop in Waverly this summer.

In the meantime, I have decided start an SRAC/Derrick Rosaire Memorial Fund and you can donate to it simply by using the button below. I will collect it and send all $$ received directly to his kids - who without their dad will have a long haul on the road this summer...

You can also send checks to:
SRAC/Rosaire Memorial Fund
PO Box 12, Sayre, PA 18840

Lastly, I ask that we all keep the Rosaire's in our prayers -

be safe.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Magical Wonders of Flourescent Rocks - by Bob McGuire, May 15

Saturday May 15th,
Flourescent Rocks with Bob McGuire
2 -3pm, Fun With Flourescent Rocks for Kids,
4-5pm, Flourescent Rocks, An Unusual Creation of Mother Nature
at the Susquehanna River Archaeological Center, 345 Broad Street, Waverly, NY

download flier here

An informative look at some unusual creations of Mother Nature.

You will see some really unattractive rocks transform into a rainbow of lovely colors simply by turning off the lights and exposing them to Ultra Violet illumination. See also some of the uses of this phenomena in today’s world.

The 2- 3pm show is geared toward kids, while the 4-5pm showing will include slides of the now closed zinc mines in Franklin, New Jersey and one of the past digs there.

The doors will open at 1pm. Admission is $5 Adults, $4 for SRAC members and students, kids under ten, $3 for each presentation.

Admission to the SRAC Exhibit Hall Filled with thousands of local artifacts is included in the admission price. Call the Center at 607-565-7960 for more information.

All events are listed online at You may also call the Center with questions at 565-7960, or email us at

Friday, May 7, 2010

4th Grade Field Trip

One of the most fun things that we do at SRAC for me is host field trips for the local 4th grades.

Today marked our 5th field trip for Sayre's H. Austin Snyder 4th grade - and I have to say that things just get better every time, and I can't help but be so very proud of the childhood memories we made for 60 great kids today.

The students were broken up into their three classes and rotated through three stations, #1 Ted Keir - "All About the Woolly Mammoth", #2 Dick Cowles - "Early European Trade", #3 - Jack Andrus - "Native American Children Stories." The students all then took the SRAC Exhibit Hall quiz and won prizes. I also wanted to give special thanks to McDonald's for giving each student a gift certificate for the event!

Most importantly thank you to everyone who made this event as special as it was - along with Ted, Dick and Jack, SRAC's Peggy Burkhart, Susan Fogel, and Tom Vallilee and let's not forget three awesome 4th grade teachers, Robin Munn, Greg Dehahn, and Barb Anderson!

The following are photos from today's field trip:

Here is just a little taste of what a great educational experience they experienced !

Thank YOU also for all of your support for SRAC that allows us to do what we do!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tuesday, May 4th - Archaeology, Tourism, and Intrigue at the Levanna Site, Cayuga County, NY


Tuesday, May 4th from 6:30 - 7:30 pm, Histories Mysteries -
Archaeology, Tourism, and Intrigue at the Levanna Site, Cayuga County, NY
Jack Rossen, Associate Professor & Chair, Dept of Anthropology, Ithaca College,
at the Susquehanna River Archaeological Center, 345 Broad Street, Waverly, NY

download flier here

This talk discusses how perceptions and interpretations of the Levanna site have changed throughout the history of investigations at the site. The site was discovered in 1922 and excavated from 1932-1947 and 2007-2009. The site was also an elaborate tourist attraction from 1933-1940. Analysis of the collections recovered over three recent field seasons is underway. Preliminary statements may be made on interpretive changes of the site, including how the site is culturally assigned (Algonkian, Owasco, Cayuga), the type of domestic architecture (small circular versus proto-longhouse), whether the site was palisaded, and the nature of regional ceramic typologies and the famous stone animal effigies. There are also important implications for how archaeologists conducted their business in the 1930s and 1940s and how Native American-archaeologist relationships are changing in the 21st century. There are some features of this site that have been compared to those found at Spanish Hill in South Waverly, PA and is a MUST for those seeking more information about this site as well.

Jack Rossen is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Ithaca College. He received his doctorate from the University of Kentucky (1991). He has conducted archaeological research in Peru, Chile, and Argentina, and has also analyzed archaeobotanical materials from throughout South America, the Ohio Valley and the northeastern U.S. His work on collaborative archaeological and community projects with the Cayuga and Onondaga in what is now central New York began in 1999.

Doors open at 6pm. Admission is $5 for adults , $4 for SRAC members and students. Admission to the SRAC Exhibit Hall filled with thousands of local artifacts is included in the admission price. Call the Center at 607-565-7960 for more information.