Author Archives: Jerry Skrocki

About Jerry Skrocki

I am a freelance Graphic Designer and Photographer. I retired in 2002 from my job as NYS Correction Lieutenant. I am a single gay man, a Veteran of the US Army who owns his own home in the city of Amsterdam, New York. I often volunteer my time and photos for a few choice charitable organizations. I specialize in photo restoration, image editing and fine art prints.

Schoharie County Sunshine Fair


2015 marks the 139th year of the Schoharie County Sunshine Fair, running from August 1st through August 8th on South Grand Street in Cobleskill, New York. The following photos were taken on opening day with a FujiFilm X-T1 mirrorless camera.

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Categories: Celebration, Entertainment, History, Outdoors, Photography | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Triskele at Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park


Triskele, an all female Celtic band from Albany NY. They are known for their stunning harmonies, singing the Gaelic language and for their Irish wit. These ladies perform traditional, original and some modern Celtic/Irish music. Triskele not only revitalizes the Gaelic language, but weaves history and traditions about growing up in Ireland lending a deeper appreciation of aural history. Most importantly, they’re fun!

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Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, Entertainment, Music, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoroughbred Racing at Saratoga


One of the best places to visit in New York State during the summer is the Saratoga Race Course. It is a time honored tradition for many and recently for me through photography and the not-for-profit organization, the Friends of Sanford Stud Farm. FSSF was established to preserve the thoroughbred racing legacy of the Sanford family, whose local Amsterdam farm Hurricana, bred, trained and raced thoroughbred horses for competition at Saratoga. Although most of the original farm is now commercial space, the group would like to save the remaining buildings to create a park where tourists could stop and learn about our rich history in thoroughbred racing.

I first photographed the Saratoga Race Course in the ’80s and several times last season, including the newly established Sanford Exhibit at the National Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. Breakfast at the track is a great way to see the thoroughbreds warm up without the crowds and the cost of admission. Trackside parking for breakfast opens at 6:45am and although you pay the parking fee ($12 weekdays, $15 weekends), the money is refunded if you exit the parking area by 10am.

The following photos were taken Saturday, July 25, 2015, at the 101st running of the Sanford Stakes. The trophy was presented by Landine (Sanford) Manigault and her son Pierre to horse #11 Uncle Vinny, trainer T. Pletcher, jockey J. Velasquez .

The #4 horse, Magna Light actually came in 1st place was was knocked down to 3rd after a formal complaint and controversial technical disqualification. Sanford descendant Landine Manigault felt badly for the owners and trainers of the disqualified Magna Light and asked me to take a photo with one of Magna Light’s owners to signify their win anyway.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Entertainment, History, Outdoors, historic preservation, Friends of Sanford Stud Farm | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

DATMOD Dress Rehearsal


On Tuesday I wrote about the Drums Along the Mohawk Outdoor Drama that will take place the first two weekends in August at Gelston Castle Estate in upstate New York. Last evening I was invited by Producer Kyle Jenks to photograph a few of the actors in costume. The rehearsals take place at the United Methodist Church on Golf Course Road in Amsterdam. Pastor Carl Chamberlin has graciously opened the doors of his church to the cast as well as other community groups interested in the Arts.

The costumes really brought the drama to life and the grounds of the United Methodist Church are very similar to those of the Gelston Castle Estate where the drama will be performed in August. As the actors put on their costumes, they immediately became the characters from the novel.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Art, Entertainment, History, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Drums Along the Mohawk


The City of Amsterdam, New York is rich with history and wouldn’t exist if it were not for the life sustaining waters of the Mohawk River that flows through it.  The history of the Mohawk Valley is the basis of many Revolutionary War stories. One of the best is Drums Along the Mohawk written by Walter D. Edmonds in 1936. The story describes the journey of a young couple, Gilbert and Lana Martin, trying to exist and raise a family in the Mohawk Valley among the horrific battles between the British soldiers, American soldiers and the Seneca Indians.

Local Director Kyle Jenks has taken this story and produced an adaptation featuring local actors in the beautiful outdoor setting of Gelston Castle Estate, 980 Robinson Road, Mohawk, New York. The period piece will take place the first two weekends in August with a performance both on Saturday and Sunday starting at 5pm. Each two act performance is two hours long with a brief intermission between each act. Details about tickets and directions can be found on the production’s website. You can also find them on Facebook.

Drums Along the Mohawk Outdoor Drama

As a precursor to the full production, there will be a portrayal of the wedding of lead characters Gilbert and Lana Martin (played by Dave De Fazio and Ness Stark) on Saturday, July 25, 2015 at the Palatine Church in Palatine Bridge, NY, followed by a reception at the Nellis Tavern in St Johnsville, NY.

Although the story is fiction, it is based on actual events that took place in our area. This event should please both our local history buffs and lovers of theater. Combined with the beauty of the Mohawk Valley, this outdoor drama has all the elements to make for an enjoyable event.

Producer/Director Kyle Jenks describes the outdoor drama on WCSS this morning.

Producer/Director Kyle Jenks describes the outdoor drama on WCSS this morning with Dan Weaver.

Ness Stark and David De Fazio rehearse a romantic scene as Lana and Gilbert Martin.

Ness Stark and David De Fazio rehearse a romantic scene as Lana and Gilbert Martin.

John Reheuser goes over his lines as Colonel Cox.

John Reheuser goes over his lines as Colonel Cox.

Kyle Jenks , Jon Fremante, Lisa Kruger and John Reheuser.

Kyle Jenks , Jon Fremante, Lisa Kruger and John Reheuser.

Asst Director/Stage Manager Melody Kruger, Jon Fremante, John Reheuser.

Asst Director/Stage Manager Melody Kruger, Jon Fremante, John Reheuser.

Setting the scene.

Setting the scene.

Jon Fremante and David De Fazio rehearse a fight scene.

Jon Fremante and David De Fazio rehearse a fight scene.

Ness Stark and David De Fazio.

Ness Stark and David De Fazio.

Kyle Jenks

Kyle Jenks

Motivational group hug.

Motivational group hug.

Photo courtesy of Kyle Jenks and used with permission of the Copyright holder.

Actors in period costume. (Photo courtesy of Kyle Jenks and used with permission of the Copyright holder.)

Categories: Amsterdam | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Tony’s Polka Band


Back for a return engagement at Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park is local favorite, Tony’s Polka Band.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Entertainment, Music, Outdoors | Tags: , ,

Hot Club of Saratoga


Riverlink Park in Amsterdam came alive Saturday night with the sound of gypsy swing. Hot Club of Saratoga, upstate New York’s premiere gypsy swing quintet, played a repertoire reflecting the spirit and style originated by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli most prominent in the 1930’s. The band consists of Chad Tallman on solo guitar, Chuck Kish on rhythm guitar, Tucker Callander on violin, Jonathan Greene on clarinet and Dylan Perillo on string bass.

Thanks to the efforts of the Amsterdam Waterfront Foundation, the Riverlink Concert Series presents free concerts every Saturday night at 7pm.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Art, Entertainment, Music, Outdoors | Tags: , , ,

The Clear Choice


On Friday evening, Amsterdam’s Century Club on Guy Park Avenue was full of people wanting to see change in our city as they came out in support of Chad Majewski for 3rd Ward Alderman. It wasn’t just the 3rd Ward that came to support Chad, there were representatives from all of Amsterdam’s wards as well as current elected officials. Amsterdam’s citizens are hungry for a change in local government, one that will move our city forward and Chad Majewski is the candidate that can do just that. He IS the clear choice.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, Law | Tags: , , , ,

Meet Chad Majewski


This election year is very important for the City of Amsterdam, New York. All of the elected positions are up for grabs and with the dysfunction in City Hall over the past few years, we certainly need some new candidates for the job.

Chad Majewski has stepped up to the plate and is running for 3rd Ward Alderman. A lifelong resident of Amsterdam, Chad cares passionately about our community. Chad attended Amsterdam schools and worked his way up to Vice President of Sales at Noteworthy Corporation.  Through his job Chad has traveled throughout the United States communicating with businesses and individuals on behalf of Noteworthy. He knows how to negotiate and communicate with people. For the past fourteen years, Chad has sponsored a toy drive benefitting local kids and Catholic Charities. He helped rehabilitate Sirachia Park in his neighborhood as well as his beautiful Victorian home on Guy Park Avenue.

Chad Majewski gets along with everyone. He is articulate, friendly and willing to what is necessary to reduce the blight in our city and make it a great place to live and do business. Amsterdam has a long way to go before it can be called small business friendly. Chad has the know how and experience to move Amsterdam forward, making it a place our residents can be proud of and where small businesses will want to operate from.

The Committee to Elect Chad Majewski is sponsoring a fundraiser on Friday, July 10, 2015, at the Century Club, 130 Guy Park Avenue, Amsterdam, New York. There will be music, hor d’oeuvres and you can meet the new candidate in person.

Please welcome the next generation of Amsterdam politicians by supporting Chad Majewski for 3rd Ward Alderman.

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Categories: Amsterdam | Tags: , , ,

FSSF Open House 2015


Friends of Sanford Stud Farm is a not for profit organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Sanford Thoroughbred Training Farm in the Town of Amsterdam, New York. Each year the organization sponsors several events to help educate local residents about the rich history of thoroughbred racing right here in our own backyard.

You can read more about our local legacy on the Friends of Sanford Stud Farm website as well as previous articles on the Grove Street Photographer.

The Sanford Legacy  Sanford Heirs Visit Hurricana – Sanford Stakes Centennial

The 2015 Friends of Sanford Stud Farm Open House was especially nice this year because of the seven Percheron horses that occupied the stables, enabling local residents to interact with these beautiful animals up close and personal. Many thanks to the members of the New York Percheron Association for bringing their horses to the Sanford Stables for the Friends event. Dozens of vendors, raffles, a car show and a bouncy house made this a fun occasion for all ages.

FSSF is also sponsoring a series of outdoor movies at their Tessiero Road and Rt 30 location starting with Field of Dreams tonight at 8:30PM.

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Categories: Entertainment, Friends of Sanford Stud Farm, historic preservation, History, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , ,

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