“A Welcome to Rev. and Mrs. Frank Sperduto” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Presbyterian Church
Naples, Ontario County, New York


A WELCOME TO REV. AND MRS. FRANK SPERDUTO

You’ve made, by now, your own preview;

My welcome can be hardly new:

I’ll add tonight of words a few:

This for my church I gladly do:

A welcome warm to both of you.

A lovely lake our border makes,

Its charming shore affection takes:

The sportive trout its water breaks,

To joyous beauties the heart awakes:

A welcome to our land of lakes.

We once were noted for our mills;

We boast some shaded woodland rills;

For those who practice climbing skills,

Our peaks afford real mountain thrills:

A welcome to our land of hill.

If you grow tired of stuffy dens,

And of wise words from prophets’ pens,

And wish a rest from sung “amens,”

We have a world shut out from men’s:

A welcome to our land of glens.

Our orchard trees will you salute,

They with the vines some farms dispute;

Their blossoms preach with voices mute,

Their autumn offerings your taste will suit:

A welcome to our land of fruit.

It matters not what church you’re of,

Our game is not to push and shove;

Our bird is just the friendly dove,

Our model is the God above:

A welcome to our land of love.

Now, I’m a Baptist, through and through,

And I am loyal to that view;

But God loves Presbyterians, too,

And they to Him can be as true:

The Baptist Church here welcomes you.

And as our work together blends,

And prayer to God from each ascends,

And each to work of Christ attends,

And grace from Him to both descends:

May we become the best of friends.

Naples Baptist and Presbyterian Churches
Naples, Ontario County, New York

Reference:
http://www.fultonhistory.com
Newspaper: “The Naples News”, Naples, New York; Wednesday, March 3, 1943, Volume XXXXV, Number 9; “Rev. Sperduto To Be Installed”.

On Thursday, March 4, at 7:30 according to Presbyterian custom,the Rev. Frank Sperduto, will be installed as Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Naples.”

 “The participating clergymen at the service will be: Rev. D. M.Ratcliff, Baptist Church, Naples ; Rev..J. Wesley Babock, Methodist Church, Naples; Rev. Luther Bostrom, Seneca  Presbyterian Church, No. 9 and Moderator of the Presbytery of Geneva; Rev.William Halbert Campbell, First Presbyterian church, Waterloo; and Stated Clerk of the Presbytery; Rev. Angus J. MacMillan, Oak Corners Presbyterian Church, Waterloo; and Frederick L. Harper, First Presbyterian Church, Geneva.”

Churches of Naples, Ontario County,  New York (Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist)
Artist: Donald Gelder of Naples, New York

Images above:
 Source – Personal postcard collection of B.J. Johanningmeier

Rev. Frank Sperduto

RACINE – Rev. Frank Sperduto, 86, passed away at Lincoln Lutheran Care Center on Saturday, February 10, 2001. He was born in Sommerville, Mass. on November 18, 1914, son of the late James and Annina (nee: DiTucci) Sperduto. On August 24, 1941, he was united in marriage to Ruth M. Roth. Rev. Sperduto was ordained on July 11, 1939, in Chicago, Ill. He subsequently served churches in Naples, N.Y., Syracuse, N.Y., Ithaca, N.Y., Wichita, Kan., and then in 1962, he was called to Milwaukee to Pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church where he served for 18 years, retiring in 1980. He then came to Racine, where he assisted at the First Presbyterian Church for four years and had remained a member until present. Rev. Sperduto was a member and past President of the Kiwanis Golden K’s. He enjoyed camping, fishing, and traveling with his family. His survivors include his wife, Ruth; his son, Ted (Mary) Sperduto of Wausau; his daughter, Susanne (Keith) Doe of Racine; his five grandchildren, Aaron (Jody) Sperduto of Green Bay, Tim Sperduto of Eau Claire, Jennifer (Tim) Figlmiller of Elk Mound, Robyn (Jason) Gardner of Flagstaff, Ariz., Heidi Doe of Franksville; his great-grandson, Ian Matthew Figlmiller; brother, Rev. Ted (Muriel) Sperduto of Annandale, Va.; sister, Civita (Ray) Trotto of South Weymouth, Mass.; brother-in-law, Albert Roth of Atlanta, Ga.; and nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many dear friends. In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by his three sisters, Mary Camelio, Rose Camelio, and Nancy CiCicco; and an infant brother, Raymond. Funeral services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 716 College Avenue, on Friday, February 16, 2001, at 11 a.m. with Rev. Randall K. Bush and Rev. Steve Fringer officiating. Interment will follow at Wisconsin Memorial Park in Milwaukee. Relatives and friends may meet with the family at the church on Friday from 9:30 a.m. until time of service. Memorials to the First Presbyterian Church have been suggested.

Source:

Newspaper: “The Journal Times”, 212 4th St, Racine, WI, 53403; Date: February 14, 2001

http://journaltimes.com/wednesday-feb/article_b302dc0f-bd69-5ee7-b6f5-6f35ed439282.html

RACINE – Ruth M. (nee: Roth) Sperduto, 89, passed away at the Kenosha Care Center Saturday, May 8, 2004.

Ruth was born in Ridgeway, Pa. on January 14, 1915, daughter of the late Albert and Susanne (nee: Kubli) Roth. On August 24, 1941, Ruth was united in marriage to the Rev. Frank Sperduto, who preceded her in death February 10, 2001.

Ruth was a very active member of the First Presbyterian Church. She had previously taught and cared for pre-school children at Trinity Presbyterian Church, where her husband, Frank had served as Associate Pastor for 18 years. Ruth enjoyed her times spent with her family. She will be sadly missed.

Survivors include her son, Ted (Mary) Sperduto of Wausau; her daughter,Susanne (Keith) Doe of Racine; her five grandchildren, Aaron (Jody) Sperduto of Green Bay, Tim Sperduto of Minnesota, Jennifer (Tim) Figlmiller of Eau Claire, Robyn (Jason) Gardner of Parker, Colo., Heidi (Ernesto) Lopez of Racine; five great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law; nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. Ruth was also preceded in death by four brothers.

Funeral services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 716 College Avenue, Saturday, May 15, 2004, 11 a.m. with Rev. Randall K. Bush officiating.

Relatives and friends may meet with the family at the church Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until time of services. Interment will be held at Wisconsin Memorial Park. Memorials to the First Presbyterian Church or to Trinity Presbyterian Church in Milwaukee have been suggested.

Source:

Newspaper: “The Journal Times”, 212 4th St, Racine, WI, 53403; Date: May 11, 2004

http://journaltimes.com/news/local/obituaries/article_950b06a7-6967-540c-b073-7a86c5f369d4.html

“Marjory Dear”, “To Rosemary”, and “Shirley” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Girl on Her Way to Church by George Hitchcock (1850 – 1913)


MARJORY DEAR

Here’s a word for Marjory dear:

Summer days will soon be here;

School ‘ll be left to memories dread

Joyous times’ll then appear.

When you’re through with Sunday’s preaching

And your teacher  has done with teaching,

Let the care come out a screetching,

Make it hum till here you’re reaching.

First we’ll start right in to talk,

Then we’ll take a pleasant walk,

Keep it up till ladies balk,

Act as mad as any hawk.

You must plan to stay till night:

That’s the time that skeeters bite,

Cat’s come out and start to fight,

Give the girls an awful fright.

Cats will come a catawauling,

Start the babies all a squalling:

Bugs and worms will come a crawling;

Girls and boys will then be bawling.

Then the night air you’ll be feeling,

Hear the pigies all a squeling:

You’ll be someraults a keeling

Till little head and heels are reeling.

Won’t we have alot of fun.

Get all blackened in the sun,

Scare the cows and make them run.

All get sick, every one.

Won’t we have a lot of funning,

For the day with us is doneing?

Eyes pop out and start to running,

Heads jump off and start to spunning.

Girls like you to Christ are dear,

He would have you ever near.

You should Sunday school attend,

And from church too, never wend.

You should give to Christ your heart,

Of His church become a part.

You should ask Him to take you,

Keep you His your journey through.

You should come to Him in prayer

Let Him meet you often there.

You His word should daily read,

And to what it says give heed.

You should do for Him some work

Never let yourself this shirk.

You should love Him more and more

Till your earthly life is o’ver.

TO ROSEMARY

I’ve not forgotten Rosemary,

Nor lost her pleasant smile

She was a little fairy,

And did my heart beguile.

I send my love to Rosemary,

The little southern maid:

Sweet words take wings and carry,

Nor let your message fade.

Tell her the love of Jesus

Can human hearts adorn;

From ugliness it frees us,

When in our bosoms worn.

Tell her the love of Jesus

Is free from all alloy:

That it from sorrow frees us;

Is freighted rich with joy.

SHIRLEY

(Written for a family who had just lost their baby.)

And have you come and gone so soon?

And have you left us desolate?

We dreamed your life you’d share with us,

But such was not to be your fate.

We will not say that all was vain,

That we have hoped and loved for nought:

Perhaps we do not understand,

Perhaps God’s hand through you has wrought.

Some live for years and some for days,

But all at last will pass away.

Who knows what mansions are above?

And whom God needs in heaven’s day?

Our little one we bid adieu:

Our hearts with heaven now have a tie:

We’ll think of you close to our God,

We’ll plan to meet you by and by.

Public Domain Image above retrieved from:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brooklyn_Museum_-_Girl_on_Her_Way_to_Church_-_George_Hitchcock_-_overall.jpg

“Morning on the Farm” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Barn, Homestead of Charles Benton and Louise Mitteer Ratcliff, abt. 1910
Hurleyville, Sullivan County, New York

MORNING ON THE FARM

Its morning on the farm,

The day begins to break;

The creatures of the farm world

Are everywhere awake.

The roosters from their perches,

Now near, now far away;

Their challenges repeat

To greet the coming day.

A thousand little birds

Are singing in the trees:

Our friendly robin redbreast

Is loudest of all these.

A plaintive phoebe’s call

Is heard among the songs

Of many feathered songsters,

As she her note prolongs.

A mournful cuckoo adds

A doleful sweet  “oo-OO”

And sparrows chatter loudly

As days comes on anew.

A cow in distant pasture

Is lowing now and then;

And slowly from their dwellings

Come forth the world of men.

The milk pails in the milk house

Give out a cheery sound,

And noises from the big barns

Betray someone’s around.

And early in the morning

I come my Lord to thee.

I ask, O Lord, that thou

Will dwell today in me.

Photo Above: Source – Personal photo collection of B.J. Johanningmeier

“The Song of Naples” by Darius M. Ratcliff


West Hill, Naples, Ontario County, New York

THE SONG OF NAPLES

I dream, I dream of Naples

When I am far away:

Its lovely lake is sparkling

With pastel tints so gay.

In dreams again I wander

Through quiet glens alone;

Where waterfalls are babbling

Down towering cliffs of stone.

I hear the hush of evening

In the dreamy month of June;

And light winds in the tree tops

Are singing love’s sweet tune.

I dream of nights in August: –

The clouds joyful sing,

And all night long the night air

With melodies does ring.

I see the roadside beauties,

In autumn’s hazes mellow;

And golden rods are waving

Their plumes of golden yellow.

West Hill goes up to meet it

With many a lovely hue.

I dream of hilltops airy

With valleys spread below;

I dream of vineyards many,

And quiet fields of snow.

I dream sweet dreams of Naples

When I am far away:

Its loveliness has blessed me

And for its good I pray.

Photo Above: Source – Personal postcard collection of B.J. Johanningmeier

 

 

 

 

“The Storm” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Poplar (1827)

THE STORM

The storm came rolling toward us,

The sky grew densely black;

And thunder crashed fearful

Scarce missed the lightning’s track.

Strong gusts of wind were swaying

The tall thick maple tops:

And rain clouds fast descending

Sent down some great rain drops.

And soon the wind increasing

Began to show its might:

So dark had grown the valley

It near resembled night.

The air was filled with debris,

Dead limbs were in its load:

A great tree top was lifted

And crashed across the road.

A half dead poplar giant

Was twisted right around,

And barely missed our house top

In crashing to the ground.

And now the wind in fury

Went lashing by the town,

And struck the pride of Naples,

The tree of wide renown.

The tree that linked us back

To pioneering date;

A mammouth balm of Gilead,

The largest in the state.

The tree that loomed up skyward

Six score feet and more;

Whose trunk in girth did measure

Ten feet beyond a score.

Its branches were like tree trunks,

And they great limbs did bear:

Its crown spread like a forest,

And towered high in air.

Its ponderous form had stood

Against all wind and blast;

As if ‘twere made of granite

And could the hills outlast.

But old had grown the giant,

And unbeknown to all

Its roots were rotting slowly;

The mammouth tree would fall.

And now the wind in  power

Was wrestling with the giant: –

But then a thousand others

Had found it adamant.

But lo! Its top is leaning!

It never leaned before:

The ground around the great trunk

Came buldging more and more.

And now above the storm roar

A rending sound is heard:

The crown dividing slowly,

Revealed what had occurred.

The sound  of rending roots

Was mingled with the roar,

As all its mammouth greatness

Swung out like swinging door.

A silent moment only,

And through the air  a flash:

And then great limbs were shattered,

And then a dead weight crash.

The jar was like an earthquake

For many rods around:

The roar of wind was lost

In that great thunderous sound.

And still the rain in torrents

Came pouring ever on;

The street was like a river,

A lake was all our lawn.

The sky grew brighter now,

And soon appeared the sun:

The giant low was laying,

By time and wind undone.

Reference: Newspaper – “The Naples Record”, Naples, New York, Wednesday, July 22, 1942, Page Six

“Kiandaga Chapter, D. A. R., has recently had a state marker erected at the Thomas Briggs farm, on the Woodville road, to mark the historic Balm of Gilead tree which was felled by the rains during the night of January 1-2, 1942. The marker was taken down a few weeks ago for correction, following the fall of the tree which once was claimed to be the second largest tree in the state.”

http://fultonhistory.com/Newspaper%2013/Naples%20NY%20Record/Naples%20NY%20Record%201941-1942/Naples%20NY%20Record%201941-1942%20-%200665.pdf


Photo above retrieved from:
http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=358000&imageID=1113429&word=poplar%20tree&s=1&notword=&d=&c=&f=&k=0&lWord=&lField=&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&sort=&total=14&num=0&imgs=20&pNum=&pos=2#_seemore

Image Title:  Poplar.

Additional Name(s):
Hullmandel, Charles Joseph, 1789-1850 — Printer
Burgess, Henry W. — Author

Medium: Lithographs
Item/Page/Plate: Pl. 10

Source: Eidodendron : views of the general character and appearance of trees foreign and indigenous connected with picturesque scenery.

Source Description: pp. [7], iii, [4]; Fol. 26 & plates. 54 plates, front. ; 56 cm.

“Trip to Grandmother’s II – Fall, 1942” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Canandaigua Lake, between Canandaigua and Naples,  Ontario County, New York

TRIP TO GRANDMOTHER’S  II

Fall 1942

 All day long those wipers swing,

All day long the rain drops cling,

And then slip down and disappear,

Here wind can toss them to the rear.

All day long in the road side gutter,

The rain strikes sown with tossing sputter.

All day long the rain gray sky,

Seems pressing down to the hill tops nigh.

All day long the trucks come zooming,

Out of the rain made mist glooming:

All day long the cars come gliding,

And to our rear so quickly sliding.

My life is like this rainy trip,

Where every thing’s with wet adrip.

The days frown by with sorrow and pain:

My heart fights back ‘gainst storm and rain.

But I keep the road to the home of God,

I hold my feet to the part Christ trod.

No storm of earth can my faith subdue,

Nor ever close out the heavenly view.

Though storm crushed now, I’ll not complain,

I know what lies beyond the rain:

A goal’s placed there by the God above,

That will make plain  He’s a God of love.

It may be now that joys draw near,

Exceeding those to my heart so dear;

But if grief still my heart must test,

I know full well it’s for the best.

I bathe myself in the gospel light,

My heart find strength in His word’s might:

And I have joy in promised peace;

And I can wait till troubles cease.

And I press on this blood marked way,

And I wait the perfect day,

And I’ll sing now my hymn of praise,

And I’ll thank God for the rainy days.
Photo Above: Source – Personal postcard collection of B.J. Johanningmeier

“Trip to Grandmother’s I – Fall, 1942” by Darius M. Ratcliff

The Cut on Highway 64 and 21
Naples, Ontario County, New York

TRIP TO GRANDMOTHER’S  I

Fall 1942

The morn’s beclouded, the sun’s enshrouded;

Lone crows are waking, and still flights taking.

We meet, and drive away together,

All in October’s bright blue weather.

The colored brake skirts tinted lake,

While quiet rills pierce flaming hills.

We see, and ride along together,

All in October’s bright blue weather.

In upland beds gleam sumac reds:

Where grape leaves fade, glow grape blue shade:

We look, and ride along together,

All in October’s bright blue weather.

Near buckwheat fields with fruitful yields,

Are herds now grazing no heads upraising.

We gaze, and ride along together,

All in October’s bright blue weather.

Long maple rows where the high way goes,

Are maples sheen, in distance seen.

We see, and ride along together,

All in October’s bright blue weather.

Dry corn husks sear, betray no ear,

Where pumpkins round bestrew the ground.

We look, and ride along together,

All in October’s bright blue weather.

Gay brilliant splashes, form color clashes

Where woodlands high just meet the sky.

We gaze and ride along together,

All in October’s bright blue weather.

The silent face of a deserted place,

An inviting home for a haunting gnome.

We see, and ride along together,

All in October’s bright blue weather.

A wind’s quick rush, through tangled brush,

Bring starling flocks, from ripe corn shocks.

We look, and ride along together,

All in October’s bright blue weather.

No hues ablaze in purple haze,

Like flaming seas in evening’s breeze.

We gaze, and ride along together

All in October’s bright blue weather.

These pleasing miles, with autumn smiles,

Have led at last, to a day that’s past.

We pause, and ride along together,

All in October’s bright blue weather.

A bonfire bright in the falling night,

Shows a loving pair, who romance share.

We smile, and ride along together,

All in October’s bright blue weather.

A sweet goodnight in the star’s pale light,

And the day is done, that with joy was run.

In dreams, we’ll ride along together,

All in October’s bright blue weather.

What beauties rare, will please us there,

What joys complete, will glad hearts greet,

When saints come riding home together,

All in the home land’s bright blue weather.