Join the Strathmore Speakers Series and Onondaga Free Library for an evening with author and Syracuse native M. C. Antil as he discusses his most recent work, “Floor Burns: Love, Passion and the 1967 Syracuse All-City Championship.” A riveting account of a high school championship game in which two teams—one large and public, the other small and Catholic—fought for bragging rights in a small, hard-working town in the industrial northeast, “Floor Burns” is more than simply a basketball tale; it’s the the story of a small working-class city, its people, and the turbulent times they shared. Over time, the 1967 Syracuse All-City Championship—which pitted an all-white team of boys from a tiny Polish school against a racially mixed team from a sprawling new public facility overlooking the city—would become a metaphor for the kind of radical social and cultural changes small blue-collar factory towns like Syracuse were undergoing all across the industrial northeast. It’s a metaphor that has lost none of its relevancy or potency. A brief Q&A will follow Mr. Antil’s talk.
This event will be held on Thursday, May 12th at 7 pm on Zoom. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series and Onondaga Free Library events, this presentation is free and open to the public.
M.C. Antil is a born-and-raised Syracuse native and current Chicago-based writer, baseball junkie and self-styled pop culture omnivore who has fed his addictions over the years by successfully holding down a series of day jobs, most notably as a communications and marketing strategist in the competitive and often hyper-kinetic worlds of television, new media and professional sports.
Join the Strathmore Speakers Series and Onondaga Free Library for an evening with motivational speaker, coach, Syracuse City School District physical education teacher, and CEO of “Find the Wisdom,” Alfonzo Whitehurst. No stranger to struggle, turmoil, and pain, Mr. Whitehurst was able to triumph over his early adversity, and turn the hardships of life into strength, wisdom, and positivity. Now, he has made it his mission to guide others toward a path for success and, using the motivational tools he developed for “Find the Wisdom,” helps at-risk kids to stay on track to achieve success in school, on the athletic field, and in life.
Today, Mr. Whitehurst is the head coach of Corcoran’s modified baseball team. The team is comprised of twelve players, eleven of whom had never played the sport before they were recruited to be on the team. Many had never even watched the sport on television. In the six years leading up to Mr. Whitehurst taking the helm, the team had won only a single game. The idea of playing a sport where most of the players didn’t look like the Corcoran students, just didn’t occur to them. With the guidance of Mr. Whitehurst and his assistant coach Andrés Miranda, the players are slowly learning the game. But perhaps more importantly, they are learning to celebrate their successes, keep their disappointments in perspective, and focus on what they can control. A brief Q&A will follow Mr. Whitehurst’s talk.
This event will be held on Thursday, April 14th at 7 pm on Zoom. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series and Onondaga Free Library events, this presentation is free and open to the public.
Alfonzo Whitehurst is a public speaker, coach, and physical education teacher in the Syracuse City School District. He holds a BS and MS in Physical Education from Utica College, and is currently the physical education teacher, football coach, and baseball coach at Van Duyn Elementary School. In 2020, he was recognized as the First Year Teacher of the Year by the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. As the face behind “Find the Wisdom,” he has brought his story of triumph over adversity, and the lessons learned from it, to many throughout Central New York.
Join the Strathmore Speakers Series and Onondaga Free Library for an evening with conservationist and Cornell Lab of Ornithology project assistant, Holly Grant. In this informative talk, Ms. Grant will focus on ways to make your backyard more wildlife friendly with feeders and nest boxes, offer tips for successful bird identification using the Merlin Bird ID app, and will discuss ongoing citizen science projects at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, including Project FeederWatch and NestWatch. A brief Q&A will follow.
This event will be held on Thursday, March 10th at 7 pm on Zoom. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series and Onondaga Free Library events, this presentation is free and open to the public.
Holly Grant grew up in the Catskill mountains, where she was inspired by nature from a young age. She earned a degree in Conservation Biology from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and later worked with endangered Karner Blue butterflies and American Woodcock and Golden-winged Warblers. She is now a project assistant for Project FeederWatch and NestWatch at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Join the Strathmore Speakers Series and Onondaga Free Library for an evening with historian and former curator of the Onondaga Historical Association, Dennis Connors. Mr. Connors will discuss the history of the Lyman Smith Family, best known for their L.C. Smith Shotguns and Smith-Corona Typewriters. This talk will explore three generations of the Smith family and their residences as well as how the family’s fortune was made, spent, and dissipated. It promises to be an evening filled with interesting characters and images. A brief Q&A will follow.
This event will be held on Thursday, September 9th at 7 pm on Zoom. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series and Onondaga Free Library events, this presentation is free and open to the public.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
About Dennis Connors
Dennis Connors has worked in historical agencies since 1972 and as curator of history at the Onondaga Historical Association in Syracuse, New York from 1999 until his retirement in 2018. He was employed originally by the Association from 1992 to 1999 as its Executive Director. Previous to that, he was the Supervisor of Historic Resources for Onondaga County Parks for 14 years, overseeing three historic properties. He also served as executive director for the Landmarks Association of Central New York for three years. He recently was a contributing author for the New York State Encyclopedia Project and has authored and edited six books on Syracuse area history, the most recent being Syracuse’s Grand Hotel: A History, published in 2017. Mr. Connors has a history degree from the State University of NY at Buffalo with a concentration in museum studies.
About Lyman Smith & the Smith Family Businesses
Lyman Cornelius Smith was an American innovator and industrialist. He was born in Torrington, Connecticut in 1850 and died in Syracuse, New York in 1910. After several failed attempts to break into the lumber industry, Smith experienced his first entrepreneurial success in 1877 when, along with his older brother Leroy and firearms designer William H. Baker, he helped to form W.H. Baker & Co. Following the departure of Baker and his brother, he would rename the business the L.C. Smith Shotgun Company of Syracuse, before ultimately selling it to to the Hunter Arms Company in 1889.
Alongside brothers Hurlbut, Wilbert, and Monroe, Lyman formed the Smith Premiere Typewriter Company in 1887. Relying on technology developed by Alexander Brown, who had replaced W.H. Baker as the firearms designer for the L.C. Smith Shotgun Company, the Smith brothers began producing the first double keyboard typewriter in 1884. This typewriter, the Smith Premiere, performed so well that the brothers ultimately traded their gun business to focus exclusively on typewriters. The growing demand for typewriters combined with Syracuse’s role as an industrial and manufacturing center soon led other typewriter companies to setup shop in the City which, by 1904, had been nicknamed “The Typewriter City.”
The company was renamed L.C. Smith and Brothers in 1904 before being renamed again in 1926 when it merged with Corona Typewriters. By then, the newly formed Smith-Corona company was the largest manufacturer of typewriters in the world, producing 155,000 machines annually. Throughout its existence, the company maintained a reputation for innovation and would go on to expand aggressively into mechanical calculators, office products, paints, foods, and paper through the 1960s. The rise of inexpensive electronic calculators in the 1970s and personal computers in the 1980s ultimately led to the decline of Smith-Corona’s business. The company was acquired by Hanson Plc in 1986. It would endure its first bankruptcy in 1995 before enduring a second in 2000. By 2005, Smith-Corona had ceased manufacturing typewriters entirely, instead leveraging their expertise in ribbons and thermal technologies to focus on the growing thermal label business.
The Strathmore Speakers Series and Onondaga Free Library are delighted to announce a December 2020 event featuring authors and Strathmore natives Liz Petrone and Ed Griffin-Nolan as they discuss their new books, The Price of Admission and Nobody Hitchhikes Anymore. This event will be held on Thursday, December 10th at 7 pm virtually on Zoom. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series events, this presentation is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are required.
Travel, both personal and socio-cultural, is the theme of the night. First, blogger, analyst and survivor Liz Petrone will speak about her moving, humorous, and inspiring memoir, The Price of Admission, which follows her journey through the dark valleys and sunny uplands that constitute the landscape of our lives. Then, stick out your thumb and hail a ride across America with Syracuse New Times columnist and reporter Ed Griffin-Nolan as he tries to uncover the reasons why Nobody HitchhikesAnymore. A brief Q&A will follow the discussion.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Note: We have removed the need for a password to access this event. We apologize for any confusion that may have been caused by this requirement in the past.
About Liz Petrone
Liz Petrone is an author, blogger, speaker and survivor. Her work has been featured on sites like The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Erma Bombeck’s Writer’s Workshop. A true believer in the healing power of storytelling, Petrone writes stories that speak to the lessons learned in survival and recovery. Her readers gather to speak openly and honestly about their own struggles. The nationally renowned blogger is also a programmer analyst for a Syracuse corporation. She is a resident of the Strathmore neighborhood, where she lives with her husband and four children. Her columns are available on the web at lizpetrone.com, on Twitter at@lizziepetroneand on Facebook at@lizpetroneblog.
About Ed Griffin-Nolan
Ed Griffin-Nolan first came to Syracuse in 1978 on a cross-country hitchhiking trip. He returned to town a few years later and raised his family on Parkway Drive, in the house where his son Daniel now lives. A long-time columnist and reporter for the Syracuse New Times and contributor to other publications, Ed is additionally a massage therapist and the owner of The Spa at 500 on West Onondaga Street.
Due to the ongoing outbreak of Covid-19 in our community, the Strathmore Speaker Series has decided to postpone our Spring 2020 season. We hope to return in the fall, but will follow public health guidelines.
The Strathmore Speaker Series is delighted to announce our November 2019 event, an afternoon with Dr. Colin Beier. Dr. Beier will explore the science and evidence behind our changing climate. He will discuss near and long-term solutions for managing this change and the implications of failing to manage it. This event will be held on Sunday, November 10th at 2 pm at the Onondaga Park Firebarn. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series events, this presentation is free and open to the public.
About Colin Beier
“My work recognizes that humans are integral parts of the Earth system, capable of both inducing rapid and irreversible changes, yet also providing careful stewardship that fosters the adaptive capacity of the Earth’s ecosystems.” – Colin Beier
Colin Beier, PhD, is a father, a husband, a student and teacher of the natural world, and an associate professor at SUNY ESF. He is a broadly trained ecologist interested in the fate of forest ecosystems and landscapes – including people and our economic, political, and cultural institutions – in a rapidly changing world. His current work is focused on monitoring ecosystem impacts of climate change in the Adirondacks, developing a statewide forest carbon inventory and monitoring program for New York, and leading a new ESF initiative in ‘Pathways to Net Zero Carbon’ that will integrate science and design to address our critical challenges and opportunities at the nexus of land use, energy systems, and climate change.
The Strathmore Speaker Series is delighted to announce its Spring 2019 season!
Our first event will take place on Thursday, March 14th at 7 pm and feature scientist Dr. Donald Siegel who will examine the dismissal of facts in science-related decision making.
Our second event of the spring will take place on Thursday, April 11th at 7 pm and will feature Dr. Keith Bybee, who asks “Is civility dead?”
Our third and final event of the spring will feature Dr. Ednita Wright who will examine the root causes of the opioid epidemic in America and consider what it means for individuals and families dealing with addition. This event will be held on Thursday, May 16th at 7 pm.
As usual, the events will be held at the Onondaga Park Firebarn. They are free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!
The Strathmore Speaker Series is delighted to announce the our November 2018 event, a family-focused afternoon with illustrator Erin Nowak and author Lamis Solaim who collaborated on the new children’s book, “The Silent Nightingale.” This event will be held on Sunday, November 4th, 2018 at 2 pm at the Onondaga Park Firebarn. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series events, this presentation is free and open to the public.
About Lamis Solaim
Lamis Solaim is a New York City-based writer and Child and Adolescent Psychologist specializing in global mental health. Together, with illustrator Erin Nowak, Solaim will do a reading of her recently published dual-language children’s book “The Silent Nightingale,” written in both English and Arabic. The book was inspired by a time-honored Arabic poem by Maruf al Rusafi, commonly sung by Iraqi children in the 50s and 60s. Lamis earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Saudi Arabia’s King Saud University, an M.A. in applied child development from Tufts University, and a Ph.D. in psychology from the United Kingdom’s Royal Holloway University of London.
About Erin Nowak
Erin Nowak is a Strathmore resident and creator of whimsical illustrations. A graduate of Alfred University with a bachelor of fine arts focused on graphic design and printmaking, Nowak created the illustrations for “The Silent Nightingale” with a layered mix of watercolor and digital painting. The freelance graphic designer is an employee of the Syracuse City School District and lives in the Strathmore neighborhood with her husband and three children. Her work can be found at Wildflowers Armory in Syracuse and at erinmckennanowak.com.