Monday, December 24, 2012

Random thoughts on Christmas Eve - 12/24/12

To me, Christmas should be a happy time of year. Although my parents both passed away near the Christmas season (and I still mourn their loss and shed tears...especially near Christmas), I strongly believe that the Christmas season should bring out the best in people. Thankfully, for many people, it does. I know my wife and I always try to think how we can make Christmas special for our daughters. We love them so much and can't believe how fast they've grown up!! We like to spend time with them, other members of our family, and friends as well. We try to think of special things to do. Sometimes, maybe nothing special at all, but just time with them, because we know that is special.

I hold my annual holiday party a few weeks before Christmas and have so much fun watching the kids get so excited because Santa Claus is coming....or because they got some neat gifts at the party....or because they relish the time they get with friends and family....or because of some new friends they make while there. It is during the Christmas season that my family likes to donate to others, such as clothing drop off locations. Many times, we don't only donate to the Salvation Army bellringers while walking in to a store, we give them something on the way out, too. It truly makes us feel good to help out, even if only a little bit.

To me, Christmas season should be more about fun times like that. Yet, today, for some families of first responders only a fews hours away from where I live, it will be anything but that. Volunteer (and I stress VOLUNTEER) firefighters responding to a call get shot and some of them get killed. Are you serious?!? These first responders were trying to help others (as they undoubtedly had done countless times), and this is what happens to them? No way. It's just not right! It can't be happening, right? Sadly, it did.

Just a little over last week, some jerk kills little kids in a school. Kids. Little kids. Kids who were minding their own business. Kids who no doubt had dreams of what they wanted to be when they grew up. Kids who I'm sure were looking forward to Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Kwanza, or maybe just time with family when school was on vacation. Kids who were just being kids! That's what kids do, right? Instead, they were senselessly taken away in an instant. What the hell is wrong with people when they think it's ok to commit such heinous crimes as that?!?!?! It makes me sick!

Just imagine for a moment how great things would be if the jerks that thought it was ok to commit such heinous crimes tried to do something good? Just imagine that.....

In closing, I'm thankful to have a ton of friends who whether through their jobs, their families, or their own volunteer efforts, they do try to do something good. They do try to make a difference. They do like to help others. They do take that extra time to set an example for others to follow. They do strive to make this world a better place. To all of you, I say "Thank you."  No, make that "Thank You Very Much!"
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, and/or Happy Holidays! May you all have a blessed holiday season!

With appreciation,

 Fritz Scherz

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Dad Passed Away 3 Years Ago Tonight

Three years ago tonight, my Dad passed away after a brave battle with cancer. Although I remember and miss him every single day, when the anniversary of his passing approaches, those memories seem to intensify...especially the memories of the hell he went through the last few weeks he was alive. It's as if I can hit rewind in my memory and it plays back...complete with the helpless and sad feelings.  For a guy that did so much good for others, from benefit gigs with his band to giving people years to pay back what they owed him (he did that with me...THANKS, DAD!!) to donating his construction/bulldozing services to those in need, he sure went through hell once he got sick. Not fair.....

I try not to dwell on the past, but since I feel the past is a big part of who someone is, it happens. I'm fortunate to have so many great memories of my Dad. While the pain of missing him is intense and doesn't seem to go away, the memories of all the great times certainly make me feel good.

There are so many emotional triggers. It might be during a family birthday celebration and knowing he's not there in person to make me laugh. It might be working in the garage at home and remembering when "Dad said this" or "Dad did that" or something like that. It might be a ride in the van to a band gig, and thinking back to some joke he told (that's not printable). It might be during a particular song on stage and remembering the beautiful harmonies he'd play and/or sing. It might be when my band is planning a big bus trip to Cleveland, Ohio and we're going to play out there, knowing full well how much Dad enjoyed going there and playing as well as listening to all the great entertainment from polka Walter Ostanek, Joey Miskulin, Joey Tomsick, Bob Kravos, Mark Habat, Steve Meisner, Ronnie Sluga, Eddie Rodick Sr & Jr., and so many more. It might just happen out of the blue, too. Can't explain it and don't want to even try. 

Some people know a lot about my Dad while other do not. He only had an eighth grade education, yet want on to be a successful farmer, business man, and musician. IN FACT, HE WAS THE FIRST PERSON IN NEW YORK STATE TO BE INDUCTED INTO THE NATIONAL CLEVELAND-STYLE POLKA HALL OF FAME!!!  How awesome is that?!?!?! 

Anyway, as I reflect back on three years ago tonight, I'll try not to ball my eyes out (although they're wet as I type this), will continue to cherish all the great memories I have of him. I have so much to thank him for.....from his work ethic to his fondness of helping others and beyond.

The photo below was taken November 29, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio. It turned out to be the last time my Dad went out there for a Thanksgiving Polka Weekend. I'm so glad I drove him out there for that event. 

Tonight, I will tip a shot of Jager in your memory, Dad. I miss ya and love ya sooooo much!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


I have scheduled a town hall-style meeting for Tuesday, October 30th in the Town of Verona. The meeting will take place at 6pm at the Verona Fire Hall, located at 5555 Volunteer Ave. in Verona and will last about 30 to 45 minutes. Additional meetings are in the process of being scheduled and will be announced in the near future.

NOTE:  This is not a town board meeting, but rather an opportunity for Town of Verona residents to connect with me personally.

For more information, go to:, call me at: (315) 363-3509 and/or email me at:
# # #

Monday, September 10, 2012

On September 11, 2010, I wrote the following "letter to the editor" and submitted it to a few newspapers. While it's now technically two years old, I still find that I agree with what I felt at that time. Time might heal some wounds or lessen the pain, but the words "never forget" hold true. (Please note:  I changed the original "9" at the beginning to an "11" to allow for considering our current year when referring to "years ago" and changed the "2010" to "2012".)
11 years ago, I was at work in Albany at the Office of the NYS Comptroller attending a training class when the 9/11 tragedy happened.  Obviously, people were stunned, saddened, scared, confused, and a whole lot of emotions mixed together.  Shortly after the first tower collapsed, we were told that non-essential people (like me) could go home. So, I left.
I remember leaving Albany and how slow traffic was going as well as how congested the roadways were, yet how polite friends and strangers alike had become.  Traffic on the thruway was a lot slower than usual.  I didn't see any road rage whatsoever.  I remember the goosebumps I got as well as tears in my eyes when I encountered firetrucks heading east (toward NYC).  In the few days that followed, our Nation had become one, if you will.  Gone were the vitriolic comments, gone were the democrat vs. republican issues, gone was the "usual behavior" of many. We were actually united, or at least it seemed that way.
Jump to 2012 and the way things are now.  What the heck happened to our country? Why so much derision?  Why so much vitriol?  Why so much corruption?  I just don't get it.  But, I am hopeful we can get back to being more united sometime soon.
Anyway, today I say a prayer for the men and women (of all nationalities) who were killed or injured in the 9/11 tragedy and to those who lost family or friends (in many cases, both) on that tragic day. 
God Bless America

In Remembrance.....

Fritz Scherz
Councilman, Verona Town Board

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bath Salts/Meth Forum for Town of Verona Residents

I'm hosting a Bath Salts/Meth Forum for Town of Verona Residents on Monday, August 13th at 6pm at the Verona Fire Hall, 5555 Volunteer Ave., in Verona. The forum will feature a panel of subject matter experts from a variety of backgrounds. There will be an opportunity to ask questions of the panel, too.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

My wife and I stress to our kids (although they're old enough to know without us saying anything) that it's important to remember the real reason behind this special holiday and not view it as just a day off from school. I was trying to think of something special to write for Memorial Day, and figured the lyrics to the song, 'Tribute' that my Dad wrote would fit perfectly. He originally wrote that tune in memory of Corporal John P. Sigsbee, who was killed in Iraq. I'm thankful to say that Gold Star Mother, Sue Sigsbee is a very good friend of mine. Because of the ultimate sacrifice her son and so many others over the years have made, we live in the best country.

Here are some of those lyrics....

When I read your name...I felt the pain...
that your Mom and Dad... and all your friends had...
it was a real cold day...your friends came to pay...
tribute you to you...on that sad day...

You paid a big keep us free...
the best service people...that will ever be...
you all served us was like going through hell...
you are the best...that will ever be...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I've always believed it's important to do good deeds in the community.  Given that, I wanted to post a reminder about the Fred Scherz Sr. Memorial Scholarship for Volunteer Community Service that I'm doing again.  The 3rd annual scholarship will be in the amount of $250 and will be awarded by me to a Town of Verona, New York student who is on track to graduate from 12th grade at a high school (public or private) or homeschool by June 30, 2012.  Additionally, the student must have lived in the Town of Verona, New York since at least December 1, 2011, and must be voluntarily engaged in community service or must have created a community project.  As with the last two years, the winner will be selected by a board of volunteers.

To view the complete rules and to get an application for the Fred Scherz Sr. Memorial Scholarship for Volunteer Community Service, go to: For more information, call me at: (315) 363-3509 or email me at: fritz[at] Deadline to apply is May 1, 2012.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Wishes for the CNY Region

(1/1/12):  Happy New Year! Here are my wishes for the CNY Region for 2012 (and beyond):

For the region, it'd be great to see crime drop more. Not that crime is bad here compared to some places, but even less crime would make the area that much better. Thankfully, we have some excellent law enforcement and other first responder agencies in our area.

In Verona, I'd like to see a sewer system improvement, as that would make it possible for more businesses to open up along the Route 365 corridor. More businesses (offices and stores) mean more tax dollars for the area as people have more choices as to where to spend their money. The idea is to get folks to spend more locally.

Lastly, I'd like to see our area colleges continue to grow. Within just a 25 mile radius of Verona, think of all the colleges there are and the number of different majors available. Moreover, think of the great training opportunities there are, such as Leadership Mohawk Valley.

Simply put, this area offers so much and the potential is there to offer even more.

Fritz Scherz
Councilman, Verona Town Board