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Memory, Reminiscence and Narrative:
A Symposium on Creativity and
the Mastery of Elders

Roberson Museum and Science Center

Binghamton, New York
September 16, 2006



2006 New York Folklore Society Annual Conference

New York Field Trip 2006: Memory, Reminiscence and Narrative - A Symposium on Creativity and the Mastery of Elders, Roberson Museum and Science Center, Binghamton, NY, September 16, 2006

Theme: Memory, Reminiscence and Narrative:
A Symposium on Creativity and the Mastery of Elders

Saturday, September 16, 2006
Roberson Museum and Science Center
30 Front Street, Binghamton, New York

The Roberson Museum and Science Center in Binghamton, New York, was the destination of the New York Folklore Society’ 2006 Field Trip on September, 16, 2006.
Roberson Mansion
Mender card

Our speakers were Dr. Karen Taussig-Lux and Jillian Gould. Karen Taussig-Lux, an independent consultant spoke about her work with Joseph Mender, the subject of Roberson’s current exhibit, “The Life and Art of Joseph Mender.” We were treated to an in-depth tour of the exhibit by its curator Catherine Schwoeffermann.

Joseph’s art, visionary folk-art of a Lithuanian immigrant, was an act of remembrance and connection to his native land and its history and to his own past. It was simultaneously personal and collective, inventive and traditional. This exhibition will highlight his hand-carved walking sticks, miniature paintings, personal objects from his home, historic photographs of both his early life in Lithuania and his life in New York State.
Mender exhibit at the Roberson         Mender exhibit at the Roberson

The subject of Jillian Gould’s talk was Hospitality, Aging and Sociability: Sabbath Tea at the Baycrest Terrace. Jillian Gould, former Education Coordinator at the Eldridge Street Project, is the oral historian for the Ontario Jewish Archives’ “Ontario Small Jewish Communities Project."

A storytelling performance entitled Back in the Days by Amatullah Saleem of the “Pearls of Wisdom” of The National Center for Creative Aging completed the day. The first story is “Harlem Summer” the second story is “K. D. Students.”

Lunch was a Speidie Fest, catered by Lupo’s S & S Charpit. According to the Atlas of Popular Culture in the Northeastern United States, the “spedie” had its origin with Italian immigration to the Binghamton region from Abruzzi, Italy in the 1920s. The name comes from the Italian spiedo, meaning “spit.” (See Voices: Vol.30: 1-2). The Lupo family has been in the spiedie business since 1954, and are one of the popularizers of this grilled specialty sandwich.


Edith Cutting
Edith Cutting. Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Gould.

The New York Folklore Society held its annual meeting and election of board members and officers at 1:00 p.m. at the Roberson Museum and Science Center, 30 Front Street, Binghamton. Sherre Wesley was elected President; Kevin White, Vice-President, and Karen Canning, Secretary-Treasurer. We honored Edith Cutting for her early advocacy on the part of the Society, and Mary Zwolinski as outgoing President.

Mary Zwolinski
Mary Zwolinski. Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Gould.


QUESTIONS? Please contact: Dr. Lisa Overholser, info@nyfolklore.org, 518-346-7008

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Roberson logo

Council on the Arts

This program was co-sponsored by the Roberson Museum and Science Center. The New York Folklore Society and its programs are funded by the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts

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