Posts Tagged ‘New York’

A Far Cry From Green Mountain

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

Thursday, March 12, 2020 • 7:30 PM – Admission $10.00, Members Free

A Far Cry from Green Mountain

Based on the true story of Frank Peregoy, A Far Cry From Green Mountain reveals the struggles and triumphs of the only soldier in American history to have earned the nation’s two highest awards for valor, The Soldier’s Medal and The Congressional Medal of Honor. Frank’s story captures Appalachian life in early Twentieth Century America and opens our eyes to how one poverty-stricken mountaineer overcame the hardships of the Depression without sacrificing his deep-rooted values of family, honor, friendship, and an unbridled patriotism. Ultimately, A Far Cry From Green Mountain chronicles one man’s journey to find himself while doing his part to unshackle Europe from the grasp of tyranny.

The author, Paul Barbero, will discuss his book and how it draws from historical and military records, letters, and interviews with Frank Peregoy’s last surviving family and friends to weave a riveting account of an American war hero too long overlooked.

Barbero focuses closely on Peregoy, but never fails to place his life in historical context, with well-researched background on the Charlottesville area, the Depression, and especially World War II.


Presenter: Paul J. Barbero

Barbero has an easy-going style that manages to inform without turning into a hard slog for the reader. A combination of tight organization and lean prose makes Peregoy’s story glide by. This compelling story is recommended to anyone interested in the area, the WWII period, or to anyone who’s ever wondered what it takes to receive the Medal of Honor.

Paul Barbero’s love of history and respect for those in the military began at a young age. His father joined the Army following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and spent the next three and a half years as a navigator in both Europe and Asia. At the war’s end, he remained in the reserves, was called back up for the war in Korea, and retired after thirty five years as a Colonel in the Air Force. Needless to say, a sense of immense patriotism was instilled in Barbero at a young age.

As a child growing up in Newburgh, New York, he remembers visiting Washington’s Headquarters, the Nation’s first National Landmark, and being awed at the respect paid by all that entered. The grounds and the Monuments surrounding the four hundred year old stone house that Washington called home during the American Revolution added a sense of reverence for history that Barbero never lost.

As a youth he attended many cultural, military, and sports events at nearby West Point. As a teenager he worked as a vendor at Michie Stadium, and worked with the grounds crew during his college years. Again, the statuary impressed him and his interest in history increased. His most memorable moment while working at the Point was when he accidently stumbled across the grave of General George Custer.

Barbero saw the name Tech Sgt. Frank Peregory in a bold heading on a Virginia state historical marker. The inscription impressed him because two weeks earlier he had driven past Peregory Lane, not far from his new home. Later that month, while on a trip thousands of miles from home, he accidently discovered Frank Peregory’s grave.

Barbero’s love of history and his respect for the life of this true American hero gave him the passion to research and write A Far Cry from Green Mountain, ensuring that the memory of Frank’s  sacrifice not fade away.

He lives in Charlottesville Virginia, just miles from Frank’s birthplace, with his wife Edie,and Kenny, their labradoodle.

NY and the Lincoln Specials: Lincoln’s Pre-Inaugural and Funeral Trains Cross the Empire State

Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

Saturday, November 2, 2019 • 2:00 PM – Admission $10.00, Members Free

New York and the Lincoln Specials: The President’s Pre-Inaugural and Funeral Trains Cross the Empire State

Abraham Lincoln’s presidency was bookended by a pair of dramatic railroad trips through the state of New York. His first term began with a pre-inaugural railway tour—his second ended with a funeral train. Each was a five-day crossing of the Empire State. These two journeys allowed thousands of ordinary Americans first to celebrate, and later to mourn, the great president, and became indelibly etched in the memories of those who had the opportunity to stand along parade route. Drawing on newspaper accounts, memoirs and diaries, Joe Collea’s Program (and book) brings to life the two epic and unique moments in both New York’s and the nation’s history.


Presenter: Joe D. Collea, Jr.

After 47 years in public education as a teacher and administrator, Joe Collea recently retired. He now devotes his time to research, related-travel, and writing. His first two books—The First Vermont Cavalry in the Civil War, A History and New York and the Lincoln Specials: The President’s Pre-Inaugural and Funeral Trains Cross the Empire State—were published by McFarland. He is currently finishing two other manuscripts: one is about George Custer and the 1st Vermont Cavalry in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864-1865; and the other is a history of his hometown of Ilion, New York, where he served as a village trustee and then mayor. He also has several magazine articles to his credit, two of which have appeared in New York Archives magazine.

Joe was a graduate of Ilion Junior-Senior High School—where he eventually became the principal–has three degrees from SUNY Albany, and did post-graduate work under a Fulbright Scholarship at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and through a graduate scholarship at Syracuse University.

He currently shuttles his time among residences in Ilion and Scotia, New York, and Cape Coral, Florida.