LIVERPOOL — My grandfather, Matt Egloff, worked most of his life making candles for the Will & Baumer company, down at 100 Buckley Road, near the intersection of Old Liverpool Road.
It was grueling work, but it was steady because, for decades, Will & Baumer supplied churches around the globe with specialty altar candles.
Even during the Great Depression when work was scarce across the nation, my grandpa held onto his job. Management reduced his weekly hours, but layoffs were out of the question.
Matt’s family soon grew to three sons, two daughters (including my late mom) along with his wife and father-in-law all living together in a big white house out on Vine Street Road. So that steady, though shrinking, paycheck was appreciated by all.
Thankfully, Heid’s grocery sold groceries on credit, and hey — Heid’s even delivered!
It’s hard to confirm but family lore has it that my grandfather was the employee who suggested that the company paint a burning candle on the factory’s tall smokestack. Maybe the man actually had a knack for marketing.
Major makeover due
Anyhow, the old candle factory is now getting a major makeover.
A Salina-based properties-management company, Pascarella Development, is spearheading a multi-million-dollar plan to preserve its history and give it new life. The factory has been vacant for many years, but Pascarella Development purchased the property in 2021.
Under its DBA of PDM Estates, LLC, Pascarella already manages two apartment complexes on Seventh North Street, The Willows and Northwood Apartments.
The project is triple-tiered. The first phase calls for 100 multi-family lofts to be called Will and Baumer’s Urban Village.
Pascarella reportedly hopes to preserve that structure and maintain its historic value. Subsequent plans could produce offices along with a sports complex and recreation center, while a third development could create a brewery and an accompanying pizzeria.
Construction on phase one is slated to begin this summer with completion anticipated by mid-2024. The other phases still need approval, and it could take as many as six years to finish the entire project.
One big question remains: will my granddad’s candle smokestack be incorporated into the design?
Musician will be missed
The last time the Ron Spencer Band unleashed its brash brand of blues-rock at Johnson Park, the namesake and bandleader was accompanied by guitarist Mark Gibson.
When the band returns to the park to play a free concert as part of the 36th annual Liverpool Is The Place Summer Concert Series tat 7 p.m. Monday, June 13, Gibson will be missing.
The 69-year-old bald-headed blues belter passed away Dec. 8, 2020, due to complications of diabetes and COVID-19.
Mark was one of the original owners of The Bebop Shop music store in Liverpool, and he made a series of late-night local TV commercials that insisted that “music is still fun” at the Bebop Shop.
In 2019, the Spencer Band released a CD called “Into the Blue” which included eight songs which Gibson had either composed or co-wrote. His tunes included the catchy opener “Closer to the Bone,” along with “(I’m Doin’) Ah-right,” “Callin’ to Me” and “Fine, Fine Woman.”
A talented and versatile guitar player and vocalist, Mark also performed with the Tarzan Brothers and Skip Murphy & The Merry Pranksters.
Yankee farmhands in town
The Syracuse Mets are hosting the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders this week over at the redundantly named NBT Bank Stadium. The RailRiders are the top farm team of the American League’s New York Yankees, while the Syracuse club is affiliated with the National League’s New York Mets.
Among the Yankee prospects expected to play here are starting pitchers Deivi Garcia and Luis Gil, catcher Rob Brantly and switch-hitting infielder Oswaldo Cabrera. Syracuse-born, Auburn-bred outfielder Tim LoCastro was also on the RailRiders roster last week on a rehab assignment from the big-league club.
The SyrMets are having a difficult season posting a sad record of 15 wins and 33 losses so far in this season. The hometeam sits in last place in the International League East, but the RailRiders aren’t far ahead of them with just 18 wins versus 30 losses.
Some of Syracuse’s prime players are pitchers Jake Reed and Connor Grey, outfielder Khalil Lee and infielder Mark Vientos.
Games against the Yankee farmhands includes a doubleheader starting at 4:05 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8. The series continues at 6:35 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 9, 10 and 11 and concludes at 1:05 p.m. Sunday, June 12.
Start your weekend early and head to the ballpark on Dollar Thursday for $1 Hofmann hot dogs, $1 fountain Coca-Cola products, a $1 souvenir, and $2 drafts of Saranac, Labatt, Coors, Budweiser, or 1911 Hard Cider. Fireworks will fill the sky following Friday’s game; milb.com/Syracuse; 315-474-7833.
“Dollar Thursday is the greatest invention in the history of baseball.”
–Syracuse Mets General Manager Jason Smorol, who lives in Liverpool.