Features Stories - June 2011
Win, Place & Show - a clean sweep for tree climbing arborists
The top tree climbing arborists in the state came together on June 4 to compete in the 2011 New York state tree climbing championship. When the sun set on the Lyndhurst estate in Tarrytown, NY, the three top winners were Jorge Obando of Webster, Brian Krawczyk of Greece and Jeremy Passinault of Hilton. All three Certified Arborists work for Birchcrest Tree & Landscape.
This was a repeat win for Obando; he also won last year’s championship. Runner-up Krawczyk was champion in three previous years, and this was Passinault’s best showing.
Contestants compete in five work-related events, with the five top scorers moving on to a master’s challenge at the end of the day. The master’s challenge is a single, all-encompassing work-related climb in which the climber who is most accurate and has the best time wins.
Obando won a trip to Sydney, Australia at the end of July to compete in the international tree climbing championship at the International Society of Arboriculture’s (ISA) annual conference. He also won a package of climbing gear, donated by manufacturers, to use in the international competition. Last year, Obando won a similar package of equipment and a trip to Chicago for the international event.
When Captain Elias Streeter had completed his service to the nation in the War of 1812, he came to Chili looking for a quiet place to live. He found it on Union Street near Morgan Road. Though the building started out as a humble little house, it soon became a magnificent red brick, Federal style, two-story residence.
Visitors can now view this 19th century home and walk through history where there is a living room, a parlor, a milk room and kitchen downstairs and bedrooms upstairs. Of special interest is the Rumford fireplace, known for its efficiency in the 1800s.
The Chili Historical Society has been planning events to celebrate this 200 year old building. The Society is inviting the public to attend an open house any Sunday afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m. all of July and August, starting July 3. The property backs up to Black Creek Park and is located at the intersection of South Union Street and Morgan Road. For information, call 594-4015.
Canal Days Car Show July 30
The Spencerport Canal Days Car Show will be held on Saturday, July 30 at Pineway Ponds Park, 2139 North Union Street, Spencerport. The annual show is one of the highlights of the Spencerport Canal Days. A large variety of cars and trucks were on display last year, more than 275 were entered, for the enjoyment of all involved and the spectators who attended.
New this year, the show will be judged by a select panel experienced with car shows. There will be trophies for 50 best vehicles. Additionally, Spencerport Mayor Joyce Lobene and Ogden Supervisor Gay Lenhard will present a trophy to each of their choice vehicles. There will be a number of special trophies plus the Best of Show awarded.
Admission for spectators is free. Exhibitors may preregister for $10 until July 23 and welcome to come out the day of the show and register for $15. Pre-registration may be done on the website using PayPal, downloading the form, or picking up a form at any sponsors. Resch Auto Services Inc., Galaxie Auto Parts, Suburban News (Westside News Inc.), Murano and Greg’s Diecast, Barton Parkside Hots and a great list of companies who contribute to the goodie bags for those who pre-register help make the show happen.
Sponsorship ranges from items to be included in the goodie bags, to door prizes, typically in the $25 range, to $250 for a major supporter. Interested businesses can go to the Canal Days website. As with any community event, volunteers are always needed. There are several different opportunities and most positions only require the volunteer to work from about 8 a.m. till noon. For a list of job descriptions visit www.SpencerportCanalDays.com or email CarShow@SpencerportCanalDays.com. Also, anyone who would like to distribute Spencerport car show flyers at other shows and cruise-ins can pick some up by contacting organizers through the website.
Churchville Family to welcome back Fresh Air Fund visitor
by Kristina Gabalski
The Blank family of Churchville is eagerly anticipating the end of June. That is when they will welcome back 11-year-old Jenai of the Bronx to their home for a two-week summer visit as part of the Fresh Air Fund’s Friendly Town Program.
The Blanks - Robert, Monica and their 11-year-old son, Zebedee - first took part in the program last summer so Zebedee could have a playmate.
Monica says the family had considered hosting a fresh air child at some point and last year asked Zebedee what he would like to do with his summer. “He didn’t want to go to camp,” Monica explains. She asked him how he felt about hosting a child from a Fresh Air program,” ... and he said, ‘that sounds great,’ ” Monica remembers.
Rob Blank says he was, “ ... a little nervous,” about taking part. “You have no idea where they are coming from or their background,” he says, but the visit proved to be a wonderful and enriching experience for the whole family.
“We kept a log of what we did,” Monica says. Every night before dinner, she had both boys write in a journal about what they did that day and she plans to do the same this year.
The Blanks live on two-and-a-half acres of land on Black Creek and have a park-like yard for the boys to play in and explore as well as a swimming pool.
“It was so great to see Jenai so confident to swim in the pool,” Monica says.
The boys also shared their love of playing with Legos®. Jenai was, “ ... really into super heros,” Zebedee says. Jenai also enjoyed Zebedee’s Matchbox® cars collection, the family says.
“It will be interesting to see if his interests have changed,” Monica wonders.
She says Jenai was very polite and eager to help with chores like laundry and the dishes. After his first snack with the Blanks, Jenai insisted on picking up. He felt that when he was at our house, he was going to help with the dishes, Rob says.
“Jenai is a very well-mannered, polite, lovely little boy,” Monica says.
During his first visit, the Blanks enjoyed taking Jenai to the Fresh Air picnic, hanging out at home and walking in nearby Churchville Park.
“The last day we went to Adventure Landing for a day out,” Monica says. “We had a wonderful day that day.”
Zebedee is making plans for this year’s swiftly approaching visit. “We’re going to play Laser Tag,” he says enthusiastically.
Fresh Air fund officials say volunteer host families in 13 Northeastern states and Canada open their homes to New York City children from low-income communities. Since 1877, more than 1.7 million children have enjoyed free summer experiences in rural and suburban communities with the Fresh Air Fund.
To find out more, visit the Fresh Air Fund’s website at www.freshair.org.
War of 1812 veteran gets his monument
Chili resident George Stottle saw action in the War of 1812. When the fighting was over and the British went home, George went home, too - back to his homestead to begin life as a farmer again. As one of the earlier settlers, he was interested in helping to build his community. His children, grandchildren and his siblings established themselves in Chili. Stottle Road still testifies to their prominence.
When George died, a small gravesite in the Lacey-Fellows Cemetery gave witness to his death. In the intervening years, weather and age have rendered the gravesite nearly invisible. That is, until Michael Stottle, a descendant who lives in Arlington, Virginia, became aware of a service by the Veterans Administration to restore grave monuments of the early servicemen. He contacted Peter Widener, a former town historian, requesting help in replacing the old weathered stone. Widener contacted Chili Supervisor David Dunning for assistance. (The Lacey-Fellows Cemetery has been closed and belongs to the town which now maintains it).
A brand new monument noting George Stottle’s participation in the War of 1812 was transported to Chili and placed in cement. Several descendants, including Michael Stottle and his wife, Elizabeth, attended a ceremony for this event on May 14 in the Chili cemetery. Members of American Legion Post 1830 gave a three gun salute, Taps was played and a short talk by Peter Widener paid respect to this Chili pioneer.
2011 Erie Canalway Photo Contest entries invited
Winning entries to be featured in 2012 calendar
Entries are being accepted through September 8, for the 2011 Erie Canalway Photo Contest. Amateur and professional photographers are invited to submit prints and digital images in four contest categories: Bridges, Buildings and Locks; For the Fun of It; On the Water; The Nature of the Canal. Winning photos will be displayed in the 2012 Erie Canalway calendar.
“Each year, the contest captures the distinctive beauty, history, and character of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, as seen through the eyes of those who visit or live here,” said Beth Sciumeca, Erie Canalway Executive Director. “It’s a great way to celebrate what makes the National Heritage Corridor unique.”
Photographs must be taken within the boundaries of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, which is comprised of the Erie, Oswego, Cayuga/Seneca, and Champlain Canals and surrounding communities.
Official contest rules and an entry form can be downloaded at www.eriecanal-way.org.
Support for Hometown Heroes project
Spencer Sremich (right) of the Brockport Sons of the American Legion Post, donates a check for $1,000 to Stetson Club President, Brian Winant (left) in support of the Brockport Hometown Hero Banners.
This year, the Hometown Hero Banners are on display along Route 19 in the Town of Sweden. In Clarkson they are on display along Route 19 and part of Route 104 as well as in the Village of Brockport. In all, 47 banners are on display honoring local active duty members of the service.
1890 - 1950 - Baseball History in Hilton and Parma
by Dave Crumb, Hilton Historian
Baseball, as we know it today, was just getting its start in the first half of the 19th century. After the Civil War, men who belonged to fraternal groups and fire departments formed teams that would compete against the neighboring towns and villages. At that time, there was no radio, television, computers or even automobiles. Baseball offered a chance for young men to have a social and physical outlet and it provided a rallying point for the communities.
In the 1890s, Hilton was known as North Parma. The first recorded references to the sport of baseball are first recorded in 1889 with the photograph of the North Parma Baseball Team. The game was no doubt played at earlier dates as men returning from the Civil War most likely helped introduce the sport to the young boys in the one room school houses in the township.
The photograph of the North Parma team was taken about 1889 in front of the Avery Foote home, 100 Lake Avenue in Hilton (then North Parma). The players are wearing N P (North Parma) uniforms. Avery Foote, owner of the house, is shown standing left. The baseball field was on Justin Hovey’s farm just behind Avery’s house. Ed Curtis is next; L.V. Beyer, Willie I. Smith (there were many Smiths in Parma, and to distinguish them middle initials were always used), Clarence Lane; bottom and seated: Jerome “Jerry” Combs, (Combs never used a catcher’s mitt or glove. He practiced with cobble stones to toughen up his right hand), Glen Austin, William Vroman, Mike Marshall, and George Waldock.
Baseball was in its heyday from 1890 - 1936. There was always a game at the Farmer’s Picnic. Other times, games were held between the Baptist Church sheds or behind the Piggott Hotel (corner Main Street and South Avenue, where the post office now stands.) These games lasted all day and drew large crowds of loyal supporters for both the home and guest team.
The Hovey baseball lot furnished plenty of amusement on a Saturday, when the “big” team competed with Churchville, Rochester, Spencerport, Brockport or Kendall. Mort Nellis, Sherm Meech, Doc Ottman, John Burritt, George Webster, Charlie Skinner, Bill Wood, Clarence Lane, Ed Curtis, Willie I. Smith, George Wheeler, George Collamer, Bill and Max Filer, Eph and Bill Hawes, “Hi” Burritt, Willard and Albert Stothard, Charlie Cooper, Fay Tenny, Roy Ferguson, Bert Cheney, Allan Hovey, Lester Bush, Willis Butcher, Tubbie Verney, Fred Bassett, Poly Perry, Walt Hovey, Mert and George Snook, the Hazen boys, MacDonald Newcomb and others were the stars of the day. (Reference: From Pioneer Days Hilton and Parma, by Shirley Cox Husted 1959).
During the early years the Hilton baseball team was composed of local men who enjoyed the sport and liked the competition of the out-of-town teams. Around 1908, Hilton High School formed a baseball team for the young men who were beginning to go through all 12 grades. Johnny Magee was the manager in 1911. John wrote in the 1911 yearbook that “the high school team was organized three years ago with Ben Wayne as the manager. Two boys were appointed to see the businessmen of the town and to collect money for uniforms. The businessmen gave liberally and the suits were purchased.” In 1909 Willie I. Smith was manager and leased land from Mrs. Dunham for a ball park. It was behind the school on Henry Street (now the site of the Hilton Apple Festival). It was known then as Dunham Park.
In 2009, early scorebooks saved by the Burritt family were donated to the Hilton Historian’s office that provide a treasured reference to games played as early as May 11, 1912 (99 years ago).
Hilton High School played Kendall High School. Familiar names of players were “Hi” Burritt Sr., John Crook (later Judge Crook), Armand Downes and Harry McCarty. Later players were Warren Collamer, Luther Burritt, Harry Clapper, Ray Nichols, Ralph Butcher and Ken and Kermit Way.
Baseball games were the favorite village sport through the 1920s. In 1928, the Hilton Peaches won the Western New York Championship played in Syracuse. The banner that was exhibited on the field is still carefully preserved in the village archives along with the original scorebooks and a scrapbook kept by Mrs. Lloyd Burritt covering all of the publicity of Hilton baseball over those years.
The Hilton Peaches disbanded in 1936 after many years of bringing fun and fame to Hilton. When Hi Burritt, Jr. returned from service in World War II, he reorganized the Peaches with Vern Pickett as manager. They played in the Rochester District Semi-Pro Association until 1952, winning several pennants. The Peaches played at Red Wing Stadium in 1947 and on the Hilton Firemen’s Field. Some of the players from the 1940s are Lute Levernz, Jerry Webster, Charlie Maier, Al Lowden, Len Wright, Verne Pickett, Gunny Bower, Hi Burritt, Jr., Dave Ocor, Ralph Ingraham, Heider Speer, Merv Hall and Harvey Bower.
Information on Hilton baseball during these years would be welcomed by the Village of Hilton Historian’s office.
The doctor was almost always in: A tribute to Dr. D
by Joe Reinschmidt
Dr. Dominic DiVincenzo, his partners and his staff were an integral part of the Primary Care Medical Establishment serving the Spencerport area for many years. The office made several moves over those years but the quality and care with which they served area residents remained dependable and constant.
It was a pleasure to sit down recently and talk with Dr. D, (as he was referred to by the staff) and learn about his origins, how it came about that he chose this area to establish his practice and how that practice evolved.
No doubt when his grandparents arrived from Italy they had the same desires as most immigrants, namely to establish a home, have children and grandchildren, and work hard to provide the best they could for their family. Dr. D’s grandfather, Dominic, and grandmother, Maria, met in Rochester around 1900 and settled in what is now called the Marketview Heights neighborhood. Their DiVincenzo Bakery on Central Park represented the continuation of five or six generations of bakers in the family.
One of their sons, Joseph, married a woman named Mary, and they were blessed with the arrival of a boy child on June 29, 1932, who was named Dominic. Later he was joined by two siblings, Michael and Richard. Dominic attended Rochester City School #11 and #27 and then the original East High School on Alexander Street. The family encouraged the children to get the best education they could. Dominic was accepted at the University of Rochester and while there he developed an interest in medicine. He pursued that path at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and did his internship at Rochester General Hospital.
While at the University of Rochester, Dominic met Barbara, a graduate of the University of Rochester School of Nursing, who was a registered nurse working the labor, delivery and operating areas of the Ob/Gyn department. In August of 1957 they were married and by the time Dominic finished his internship, their first child had arrived. Although the Korean War had ended, the military draft was still in effect. Medical students had a choice of taking a chance on being drafted out of their studies, or signing up for the “Barry” plan under which they could stipulate when they would be ready for service. Dominic chose that option, specifying that he could be activated when he had finished his internship. He was then drafted, sent to San Antonio, Texas for basic and spent the rest of his two years at Fort Myers, Virginia.
During his time at Rochester General, Dominic came in contact with many practicing physicians, one of whom was Dr. Frederick Grainer, who had his office in his home on Maplewood Avenue in Spencerport. They had maintained contact and as Dr. D’s military obligation was nearly complete, he wrote to Dr. Grainer asking where in the Rochester area a good place would be to open a private practice. Spencerport, of course, replied Dr. Grainer, and so with Dr. Grainer as a mentor, the search began for a suitable place to have a home and doctor’s office. The year was 1961 and by now there were two more children in the DiVincenzo family.
At home at the office
Dominic and Barb’s search led them to a split level home on Meadow Drive, off Union Street, north of Spencerport village. The house was only a few years old but had recently suffered substantial damage from a gas explosion. The builder had completed repairs to the structural damage and the exterior, but the interior was a work in progress. This was perfect because they were able to specify that the lower level be rebuilt as office space for the doctor. When it was completed, they moved in and the shingle was hung out. Both Dr. D and Barb have commented on how welcoming the neighbors, the community and the other physicians in the area were. “They all made us feel at home, we knew we had made a good decision.”
So there they were; husband, wife, three young children, doctor and nurse under one roof - with one telephone. Patients started coming and Barb did her best to work in receptionist and nurse duties with her primary role of mother/housekeeper. It quickly became apparent they needed a system to handle patient calls when the doctor was busy. It was pretty basic, Barb would answer the phone in the kitchen and if she determined the doctor needed to talk to the caller she would knock on the wall adjacent to the office. When the doctor heard the knock he would pick up the silent phone extension in his office. That worked out quite well, but one day when he picked up the phone and started talking, the patient with him exclaimed, “Did that phone ring?” No doubt there were others who wondered about this guy who just picked up the phone and started talking but they didn’t have the nerve to ask. New patients kept coming and they soon were so busy that a receptionist was hired, which relieved Barb of some of her duties.
The practice grows
At Rochester General, Dominic had met Michael Mazza, another intern. Although their families were acquainted, they had not met each other until then. Michael had first completed four years at the University of Buffalo Medical School and then went to Rochester General for his internship. In conversations, they speculated on their futures and it seemed a possibility they might work together sometime. Michael, however, had hopes of becoming a surgeon and therefore needed further studies. He spent a year in Pathology and a year in Surgery and then entered the US Air Force. Shortly after basic training he was sent to Hahn Air Base in Germany as part of the base medical team, where he discovered he was the surgeon for the 5,000 or so troops stationed there. His wife Glenda, a registered nurse he had met at Rochester General, was with him and their first child was born there. Dominic and Michael maintained contact through letters and audio tapes. In 1964, as Michael’s service time was ending, Dominic asked if he would like to join him in his practice. Michael gladly accepted, an addition to the home was constructed and Dr. Michael Mazza began his family practice in the office.
The practice grows, again
A few years later Michael DiVincenzo, Dominic’s brother, who had attended St. John Fisher and Howard University Medical School, was completing his studies and wished to join his brother and Dr. Mazza in the now well established practice. Dominic welcomed him but they realized the home office no longer was suitable and a search for another site was begun. They found a house at 5400 Ridge Road in Parma which was for sale. It had two apartments on the first floor and a third in the walk out basement. After buying it, they set about remodeling the upstairs into a doctor’s office and continued renting the basement apartment. The doctors did almost all of the work, assisted by family and friends, and in 1967 that office was opened.
The Ridge Road location served their patients for about eight years when it was decided to relocate to an office directly in the village of Spencerport. The first floor of the Masonic Lodge building at 133 South Union Street was available and the doctors decided to lease it. They sublet the storefront portions and undertook another remodeling venture to turn the rear portion into a medical office. Again the doctors, family and friends did much of the basic work but this time they were guided by Frank Cilano, a flooring specialist who could handle all types of remodeling work. That office opened on July 24, 1976, after a group of volunteers with pickup trucks, cars and trailers had moved the office furnishings from Ridge Road.
By this time there was a substantial staff of part-time nurses and receptionists who assisted in the care of patients. Interestingly, there really was no management structure. Work schedules were set up to accommodate availability of the help and if a problem arose someone was always willing to step in and fill the slot. Dr. D was in charge but his intervention was rarely required. Several staff members recall that when you were told to stop in his office you knew he had a concern, but it was always discussed and resolved in a most courteous manner. Although Dr. D spent many hours in his office after seeing patients, it somehow was always in disarray. Often there were dozens of files on his desk which he probably wanted to take another look at just to be sure the patient’s illness was being properly addressed. When a file was missing, the most likely place to find it was on Dr. D’s desk, although the other doctors were not totally immune from that situation.
On call for the community
There were certain principals of service that the office embodied. One was that if a person seeking medical attention was in the office, they would be seen. That led to many patients with an appointment, bringing another family member along who was sick, or someone who happened to be in town just taking a chance on walking in. It wreaked havoc with schedules, but they were seen. As long as someone was in the office the phone would be answered, even if office hours had ended. Many an individual, who had just cut themselves slicing something for supper, was told to come in and in most cases the wound was sutured right there and they were back home in time for the meal.
Phone calls were often made to follow up on a patient’s condition and house calls were made as necessary. People who had financial difficulties were given leniency to pay their bills. Although rebilling was done, it was usually dropped after two or three months, without resort to a collection agency. Interestingly, Dr. Mazza did not recall that they ever had any legal partnership document. The principals simply discussed how the practice would function in terms of income and expense sharing and the general duties such as maintenance that are part of operating any office.
Starting with the doctors’ wives, family members were an important part of the office’s operation. Barbara DiVincenzo, RN, returned to the University of Rochester while their children were still growing and completed studies to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. For 14 years, she handled most of the pediatric patients and also did many of the physical exams patients needed. Glenda Mazza, RN, worked as necessary, generally giving shots, and Arlene DiVincenzo handled much of the bookkeeping work. Most of the doctors’ children took their shifts at cleaning the office. It was therefore an office for family care ... operated by families. The doctors also realized their staff contributed to the success of the practice and recognized that fact by initiating a profit sharing program. An annual contribution, based on the employee’s gross income, was put into an investment vehicle on their behalf.
The dispensing of drugs was a permitted service the office provided. The patients had the choice of buying prescribed medicine there or taking the prescription to a drug store. At some point, the state prohibited this activity on the theory that the patients may have felt obligated to buy their medications from the doctor’s office. The doctors complied with this directive much to the dismay of many patients whose single trip turned into two or three before they had their meds, and sometimes at a higher cost.
For a number of years Dr. D had a back problem which was getting progressively worse. In 1992, he had little choice but to have surgery. However, the surgery didn’t provide the outcome he and everyone had hoped for, and he wasn’t able to return to his practice of treating patients. He was, however, available to consult with the staff and assist in operating the business part of running the practice. Perhaps not returning to full time practice had a good side, in view of the changes that were to occur in the coming years. Dr. D seemed to feel that as a long-time independent private practitioner, he would have difficulty practicing in the corporate structure that is prevalent in medical offices today. The expected rate of seeing patients simply doesn’t allow for the time and attention he gave to the person as well as the medical problem the patient was presenting.
Drs. Mazza and Michael DiVincenzo started seeing Dr. D’s patients but realized more help was needed. Affiliation with Park Ridge Hospital was considered and became reality. Thus the office became part of Park Medical Group. In the fall of 1989, St. Mary’s Hospital had opened a primary care office at 377 South Union Street with Dr. Elizabeth Feltner and her husband, Dr. Paul DiEgidio, as the providers. Recalling their warm welcome to Spencerport, Drs. DiVincenzo and Mazza sent a flower arrangement and welcome note to them, which was greatly appreciated. Then in 1997, St. Mary’s and Park Ridge merged into Unity Health Systems and the two primary care offices were also merged and located in the larger facility at 377 South Union Street (the historic Matheos Ice Cream manufacturing facility).
There was a great feeling of sadness on the part of the staff as well as the patients when the office at 133 South Union closed. It had become such an important part of so many lives and the ambiance they felt there would be very hard to replicate elsewhere. The hand and heart of Dr. Dominic played very heavily in the atmosphere that existed in the office, but he would no longer be part of it. However the staff members that joined the merged office brought with them the great sense of caring he had exhibited for so long. The legacy of Dr. Dominic and his family is that of caring and making a difference in many individuals’ lives and in the community.
Thanks to Drs. Michael Mazza and Elizabeth Feltner for their input on this story, and for photos from Dr. Mazza. Thanks also to various former staff members who shared memories and offered comments. All photographs provided.
For the record -- Note to readers: Do you have a fond memory, humorous anecdote or short statement of gratitude to share with Dr. Dominic DiVincenzo, his wife Barb, and others of the medical staff? Send short pieces (approx. 300 words) to Westside News Inc. for possible printing at a future date. All notes must be signed. See "Contact Us" at the top of this page for contact information.
Memories of Dr. "D" from our readers
New doctor in town
I believe I was one of Dr. D’s first patients. I was only 5 years old and had cut my thumb badly. I still remember it vividly. Mom (who was an RN and Public Health Nurse) called several doctors in Hilton only to find that none were available. The last office she called mentioned that there was a new doctor opening a practice in Spencerport. That’s when we met Dr. D for the first time. It was in the downstairs of his house. I still remember the chairs he had in the waiting room and of course the “Highlights” magazines (which I believe followed him to each of his succeeding offices - I had those memorized).
Needless to say, we found a permanent family doctor that day and continued to see him until we moved away from western NY some 25 years later.
Dr. D. was always there through so many illnesses and injuries. He was the only doctor I’ve ever looked forward to visiting and he was always thought of as a family member.
He was and is one of the truly special and “elect” individuals that I will always have very good and special memories of.
Thank you, Dr. D, for being the great doctor you were. Thanks for being part of our lives and most of all, thanks for just being you.
representing the Frisby Family
Thanks for personal care
Our family started seeing Dr. D. in 1961 at the Meadow Drive office. I remember hearing the sounds of children playing and the sounds of newborn babies upstairs.
One day at one of the other offices I had to take my son for stitches. Dr. D. was more concerned about me. He kept asking me if I was alright? I survived.
He always came to the house when you came home with a newborn baby and checked them all over.
Dr. D. would always tell you to meet him at the office when it was after hours for any emergency, and we had a few.
I can see him now lighting up his pipe in the old days.
If he saw you out shopping he always took the time to say hello.
We miss and love you, Dr. D. Thank you for all the years we got to have you as our doctor.
Rita Knapp for The Knapp Family
Staff committed to patients and community
Upon arriving in Spencerport in 1961, my late husband, Sam Spagnola, and I were anxious to become established, as we were beginning our teaching careers here, he as a junior high science teacher, and I, a kindergarten teacher. We became aware of Dr. D.’s new medical practice, and met with him, to establish our new patient/physician relationship. As I recall, an office visit (at their Meadow Drive home/office) was $3. We remained faithful clients of his for many years, and through all of their office moves. He made house calls for us when our first son was diagnosed with a rare neuromuscular disease, even though technically, Scott was not his patient. He arrived promptly at our home the evening that Scott passed away, comforting us, and taking charge of the decisions that had to be made.
Several years later, Dr. D. referred Sam to an oncologist after diagnosing him with lung cancer. Once again, and throughout the next two years of radiation and chemotherapy, Dr. D. was there again whenever we needed him to see us through those very difficult days. After Sam’s death, Dr. D. was there for me, a young widow, to help me in any way that I needed.
How do I thank a loving, caring, wonderful physician and his devoted wife, Barbara, for all that you did for our family? I thank God for sending him into our lives, and I thank Dr. D. and Barbara, and all of his wonderful office staff for your outstanding commitment to the Spencerport community.
Fond and Favorite Memories from an employee of Doctors DiVincenzo and Mazza
•The poem and picture album of the story of the office.
•Seal the Clown kept the reception area decorated with balloon animals.
•The large coffee pot full of hot water, always the first thing on in the morning and the last thing off at night.
•The saltine crackers and peanut butter that Dr. Mazza supplied.
•A bottle of sparkling wine for each staff member every year for the holidays.
•Saturday’s staff defrosted the freezer and brought in donuts.
•Ending each 3rd shift of the day by vacuuming the rugs and emptying the trash.
•Christmas parties each year at a staff member’s house.
And my favorite story: Working late one evening I found a misplaced billing card in the file and told Dr. D. I had found the lost card … his reply, “look under S and see if you can find me a Sandwich.” It was a great place to work.
I still remember this visit to the office
I remember at age 14 being brought in to see Dr. Michael DiVincenzo after my mother placed an “urgent” call to the office. Without any hesitation ... they had us come in. I was seen right away (and must have looked really bad). After doing the history and physical, and mixing in good-old fashioned wisdom and experience, I was off to the hospital to have surgery for a ruptured appendix. I still remember how the floor creaked when you walked on it. It was actually a rather comforting, home-like sound. You knew by the atmosphere you were being well cared for.
I made it through the surgery ... and then ultimately made it through medical school. I am now a practicing Ob/Gyn physician on faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Thanks for the memories ... and for taking great care of me. I’ll try to pay it forward.
Christine (Robillard) Isaacs, MD
Director, General Obstetrics & Gynecology Division
Director of Midwifery Services
VCU Medical Center