CHERRY VALLEY – Raised in Cherry Valley, Beverly Jean (Snyder) Leneker, 74, passed peacefully in her sleep Feb. 16, 2020, with her loving and caring husband by her side, after a long battle with dementia.
Beverly was born April 21, 1945, to Lawrence C. Snyder Sr. and Elizabeth M. (Bogardus), and spent her childhood in Cherry Valley.
Beverly married Raymond V. Leneker on July 25, 1964, and moved to Canajoharie to raise a family. Beverly was employed for a short time at Beech-Nut before becoming a long-time employee at Canajoharie National Bank in the mortgage department.
CHERRY VALLEY – During home renovations, Barbara Hall and her husband, Gary Lozier, found where President Martin Van Buren likely sat when he visited the village in 1839.
Not a chair.
A toilet seat.
“The whole back room was garbage,” she said of the former Story Tavern, now her refurbished home at 171 Main St. “As we were cleaning it out, we realized the outhouses were there.”
Following his election as president in 1837, Van Buren came through the village in September 1839 to meet with his constituents, following a similar reception in Cooperstown the day before.
“The Village had a reception at the Story Tavern and he certainly had some nice fare and something to drink,” she said. “Certainly, he used the outhouse.”
The original Story Tavern was built in 1790; an addition in the back was added in 1783. William Story, a miller near Tekaharawa Falls, opened his business in 1812, and with its proximity to the turnpike, was a popular place for visitors along the road to stay.
In addition to food and lodging, the building also served as the village court, auction and, according to Hall, a circus set up at the tavern, including a live tiger.
Hall and Lozier bought the house in 2010 from where they had been living in Ulster County. “I wanted an older, historic house,” she said. “When we found this one, it had been abandoned for years. I knew it had been a tavern when I bought it, but I didn’t know the whole history.”
The pine board seats two, each with a wooden seat cover. There were two outhouses at the back of the tavern, one on each side.
Though the two outhouses had to be torn down, Hall insisted the seats be saved. “They’re pine, and in good condition,” she said. “There’s a lot of history in those seats!”
She gave one to Dr. Paula Baker, a friend who teaches history at Ohio State University. “Martin Van Buren is one of her favorites,” she said. “She carried this wooden plank on the bus, and then across campus!”
The other one she kept, cleaned it – and the wooden covers – and placed it atop a Civil War era chest in the upstairs hallway.
But the seats weren’t the only thing she discovered in the outhouse. “The outhouse was often used a trash bin,” she said. “As we kept digging, we found a lot of stuff!”
Among the buried treasures were the front doorknob, a pocket watch, a wooden water spigot, several spoons, metal plaques from the American Radiator and Sperry Stove company, a spinning wheel piece, a Swiss Army knife and buttons from a British military uniform.
“We also found boxes and boxes of pottery,” she said. “Under the floor we found all sorts of coins, and I use them as patterns in my quilts.”
And while they were fixing the house, someone brought them a piece of history that they had found years earlier – a .38 revolver.
“There was a murder in the village, but they could never find the gun, so they could never charge anyone,” she said. “Years later, a man who was doing some landscaping found the gun under a rock on our lawn!”
CHERRY VALLEY – William Aris Mixon Jr., 81, of Cherry Valley, a high-end retailer in New York City and hotelier in the Bahamas, passed away due to complications from a head injury on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, at Albany Medical Center.
Known familiarly as Aris Mixon, he was born on Jan. 27, 1939, in Cairo, Georgia.
An active, creative man, he attended Florida State University, where he performed trapeze acts with the FSU Circus.
COOPERSTOWN — Phillip Zenir, 60, local stonemason and musician, passed away Nov. 5, 2019, following a courageous battle with primary progressive aphasia, a rare form of dementia.
The son of John and Rosemarie (Bopp) Zenir, Phil was was born on May 30, 1959, in Mount Vernon, Westchester. He graduated from Carmel High School and attended Dutchess Community College, receiving two associate degrees in English and business.
He served as student council president and pursued his love of acting by performing in several theater productions.
COOPERSTOWN – Vanessa Goss Bley, 34, daughter of famed late jazz pianist Paul Bley and artist Carol Goss, Cherry Valley, was killed Friday in a three vehicle accident in Santa Barbara County, Calif.
Also killed in the wreck were two children, who are yet unidentified, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s officials.
According to a story published in the Santa Ynez Valley Star, the head-on crash occurred around 4:45 p.m. on Friday near the Cold Spring Bridge on Highway 154, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
ROSEBOOM – A woman who died in childbirth. Six children, from just hours old to 19. A male cat.
These are some of the 187 bodies Susan Miller, a Cherry Valley ghost hunter, told the Roseboom Historical Association that she found while dowsing the burial site behind the Roseboom Church.
“I grew up seeing ghosts,” said Miller, who has been dowsing since 1971.
Approximately 187 bodies are buried in the plot behind the Roseboom Church according to Susan Miller, a regional author and ghost hunter from Cherry Valley. In her presentation at the church on Thursday evening, Miller discussed the process of dowsing and how she managed to map the burial site.
CHERRY VALLEY – Graham Humes, 86, once referred to as the “dean of investment banking in Philadelphia,” died on Sept. 26, in Cherry Valley.
He served as a board member of Hyde Hall mansion, the National Historic Landmark, and was a retired board member of Brunschwig & Fils, the George M. Leader Family Corp. and emeritus board member of the Committee of Seventy in Philadelphia.
Graham and his wife, Elizabeth Hershey Humes, raised six children, which he considered the most important accomplishment of his life.
My legal name is Christina Linderman, and my modeling, Screen Actors Guild Union, and professional poker player “stage” name is Christina Lindley. I have known Victoria Pressly since I was 24, and I turned 38 this week.
I called Victoria from Tennessee out of the blue where I lived at the time at 24, after my research online showed that a model I looked up to had worked with her. I told her I wanted to leave Tennessee and pursue a career in Hollywood. I asked her if she would represent me as my publicist. She said to call her again when I got to Hollywood.
I did, she represented me, and over the course of roughly six years of working together she personally booked me on several of what I deem to be my greatest stepping stones in my career as a model, actress, and professional poker player including, but not limited to, the following:
A Maxim magazine feature that led to two years of paid promotional appearances, which helped me make a living in Hollywood while I was pursuing acting and poker full time
A Playboy non-nude celebrity pictorial called “Babe of the Month”
“Fear Factor,” the TV show’s “models edition”
Cover of Fitness RX magazine and pictorial which helped me book paid fitness spokesperson multi-year contracts with national brands such as Muscletech, Bodybuilding.com, and BSN by boosting my profile within the fitness industry
A guest appearance on “Home James,” a VH1 reality show
The cover of Poker Pro magazine
A contract with Foxwoods Casino, representing their World Poker Tour televised $10,000 event, along with all of the press surrounding the event, as well as Foxwoods paying the $10,000 buy-in for me to play in the tournament
Photoshoots with some of the best photographers I have ever worked with for my modeling portfolio that wound up published in magazines around the world
The cover of Australian Poker Weekly
I have been out of the entertainment industry for several years and am now working in the business sector. Regardless of this, Victoria has continued to stay in touch for years wishing me well.
We have become friends over the years, and in my personal experience of my time working with Victoria, the value she brought to the table, and what she achieved for me in bookings and press across all three of my professional entertainment endeavors of acting, modeling and professional poker playing, far outweighed what I believe to be very reasonable costs she charged as a professional publicist.
She was an enormous asset to me in my professional pursuits, and I am confident I would not have gotten to where I did without her help.
I am writing on behalf of Victoria Pressly, who has been a friend of mine for the past 10 years.
If I had to think of one word to describe Victoria, it would be “passionate.” She is passionate about life. She is passionate about her family. She is passionate about her clients and career.
Victoria’s career has required a significant amount of travel, and yet when I think of her, I think of the mom who is at every soccer game, school play and concert. She not only cares deeply about her children, she is incredibly supportive and involved in their lives.
Victoria is also dedicated to her clients. Living in Upstate New York, there are many challenges that must be overcome to build a thriving career, and yet Victoria managed to do just that while raising a family. I have often heard her speak about her clients with both the fierce determination to help them succeed and the protectiveness of a mother hen. It has always been obvious that she cares deeply.
My children and Victoria’s children are similar in age so I understand fully the time and emotional commitment involved in being a mother. I also work full time and know the challenges of managing family and career. Victoria has always impressed me with her ability to not only manage, but thrive and remain passionate about both.