Feb. 14, 2022

While back in Rochester this week we received a call from a person selling some guitars as part of an estate. It was a big surprise to find this 70s Gibson L-5 CN

Karena Miller, Capstone leader and tireless champion for those who need just that little bit of extra attention.

Happy Valentine’s Day….to all those in love. It’s a great break in the middle of the winter to be able to spend a little holiday with the person you love the most. Julie and I will be heading to Rochester to a spa and dinner courtesy of our staff. We’ve had some gift certificates sitting around during the whole pandemic and now we’re ready to use them. Thanks guys!

This week we also got a little time in with our new twin granddaughters who we have not seen since before Christmas because of our Covid exposure. Scarlet and Olive could not be more different from each other, yet they are both the epitome of love. My son Jay and his wife Taylor got one of each type! A little Italian girl and a little Irish girl!

On Saturday we celebrated the birthday of my son-in-law José Barocio who shares a birthday with Charles Darwin and some famous politician named, Lincoln. He has qualities of both.

On Sunday morning I went to the newly reopened Penn Yan diner with my nephew Isaac Bernunzio. The old diner will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in just three years. Recently a team of four young people purchased it and then reopened with the same favorites on the menu and a fresh look.

The week concluded with a wonderful concert at Hollerhorn Distillery featuring Richie Stearns and Aaron Lipp. 

The measure of success

February 14th, 2022

Good morning Folks,

The true measure of success in life is not what you have gained or accumulated in your lifetime, but what you have given back or give away. This is always been my mantra and this is the advice I have to pass on to my children. Julie and I had the opportunity to give back to our community this week. For the past few years we’ve been involved in the "Capstone Project" at the Rochester World of Inquiry School where our oldest daughter, Karena Miller is a master teacher. Kara heads up the Capstone Project which involves all of the seniors in the school doing individual, community oriented projects, that will represent the culmination of their school experiences and the direction in which they intend to follow when they leave school. Currently they are in the middle of their projects. People from the community and selected peers are called in to sit down with the students, listen to their proposals and either approve them or make suggestions as to how they can better achieve their goal. Now this school is not without its challenges. Budget cuts, teacher shortages and administration changes have put WOIS at a disadvantage, but the projects that we saw were heartfelt and honest….but sometimes overreaching. One young man sat with us and said his goal was to stop gun violence in the city of Rochester which last year saw a record number of killings. He had been personally affected by this, having lost a classmate and a sibling and an uncle to gun violence over the years. It is a big order for a senior project to stop gun violence, so we tried to direct him to more specific things that he could do. I looked at him and said, "You need to call the mayor because the new mayor of this town has said that ending the violence is his priority". He looked at me a little incredulously and said, "Call the mayor?".  I said absolutely, "his office number is public knowledge. The mayor is not hard to get a hold of and he will stand behind you". I hope he takes our advice. Another young man wanted to reinstall red light cameras at traffic stops. When I asked him why he wanted to do this, he said because he had been hit by a speeding car as he got off the bus and was badly injured. I told him that this is a matter of legislation and he was not going to be able to do this as a senior project. But rather than taking the wind out of his sails, we suggested that he could film some of the offenses that take place at school bus stops and he could contact the authorities about locating electronic speed warning signs near the bus stops, but he could not legislate. He could, however speak to City Council and we told him how to do this.  Sometimes projects get a little over the top. Now that we have approved the projects, we are in the position to stick by these kids and conference with them through email and zoom and help them stay on track. Both Julie and I intend to do this as mentors and we will be there in May when the projects are presented. It is this kind of giving back to the community that we find so rewarding. I can’t wait until May until these seniors present their projects and their finished work.


John Bernunzio

Once a week we make the trek from Penn Yan to work at the store. It is a beautiful one hour drive. It is the only day we are open for walk-in traffic. However we are open all week long by appointment. That is the way we can serve people individually and give them specific attention while keeping everyone else safe.

Main St. Penn Yan, winter 2022.

We have been making some of the recipes  from the cookbook of Vincent Schiavelli, the late character actor who starred in such movies as a "Ghost" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo‘s Nest". His family were natives of the town of Polizzi Generosa in Sicily. It is close to where we stayed as a family a couple of years ago. The recipes are from his grandfather, a chef, who taught him to cook as a young boy. This is a Lenten pasta dish with breadcrumbs, anchovies and hard-boiled eggs in a simple red sauce. We are planning a trip ourselves. Keep your fingers crossed.