By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register — MEDINA — The story of a pair of men whose efforts and positive personalities helped promote and grow the village is now permanently etched into the building where they produced their finest work.
The memory of Alonzo Waters and the continuing efforts of his son Bob were honored Saturday at the unveiling of a Medina Sandstone marker on the facade of a building now owned by Tom Snyder.
Snyder, who revealed the marker with the assistance of Bob Waters, said he’s long wanted to honor the Waters family, who stewarded the Journal-Register for more than 60 years and together filled countless civic, political and business roles in Orleans County after serving in the military.
“We honor them for their accomplishments and attitudes,” Snyder said to a crowd of Waters family members, friends and admirers. “Everything they did, it’s all about Medina and Orleans County.”
The marker is located on the northern face of the building that houses The Candle Nook, Gramma Hawley’s Dream and the future base for a bike shop. It proclaims the legacy started by Alonzo, who served 16 years in the State Assembly, and continued by his son to the present day.
“Let it be know to all who read this: On this site circa 1919 Alonzo L. Waters (Publisher & Editor (1919-1980) began the Journal-Register. Mr. Waters and his son, Robert E. Waters (Publisher Emeritus), promoted the daily activities of this community and celebrated the accomplishments of its citizens for most of the 20th cenutry,” the stone reads. “Their work built a legacy of community pride and civic service which endures today.”
The honor was a secret to Waters, whose leadership of the Medina Sandstone Society has allowed him to lend assistance to another generation of villagers. He chatted with well-wishers inside the Candle Nook and reminisced about his time working at the site beforehand.
“We had 50 to 60 people working here — it was a big family,” Waters said afterward, noting the literal family that worked there. “My dad was here for 60 years, I was here for 40 ... and my uncle Lewis managed advertising for 40 years.”
Waters said he was heartened by the work done by Snyder and others to restore the building and the downtown.
”It amazes me that in the past five to 10 years Medina has gone 100 percent in a positive direction,” said Waters, who was joined by wife Barbara and his two daughters. “I’m proud of it.”
Although Waters humbly said he hopes that Saturday’s honor is enough, Snyder said the impact made by the father-son duo was wholly appropriate.
“It’s only fitting that we used sandstone,” Snyder said. “It’s a building block — just like them.”