Tales about the late Rev. Paul Roman wouldn't be complete without stories about his dog, Scruffy, two St. Mary's parishioners agreed.
Scruffy was a retriever-sized, "Heinz 57"-variety dog with long, beige hair, said Jo-Ann LaMonica of Oneonta, a parishioner of St. Mary's Church.
``I was the No. 1 baby sitter for Scruffy,'' LaMonica said.
When Roman traveled, she took care of Scruffy, she said, and after the dog died, she met the priest at a truck stop to give him the dog's ashes. Roman buried the ashes at a camp in Broadalbin, she said.
Roman, a priest at St. Mary's Church in Oneonta from 1989 in 2003, died Monday. He was 73.
Grace Allidi of Oneonta said she used to go to Mass early in the morning and leave her dog in the car.
After Mass, she would take Scruffy and her dog, Nikki, a Samoyed, for a walk to Wilber Park, where she would let them run unleashed. During one venture, Scruffy ran off and couldn't be found, Allidi said.
``What do you do if you lose a priest's dog?'' she asked. She returned to the church about a half-hour later _ without the dog.
``I had myself in a tizzy,'' she said. When she reached the building looking for Father Roman and expecting to utter a confession, she looked through glass in the door and saw Scruffy. Roman approached her with consoling words.
``Hey, what are you crying about?'' she recalled him saying, then, ``It's just a dog.''
Two state politicians support passage of a federal bill called Jason's Law.
A special state resolution encourages passage of a law in memory of Jason Rivenburg, a Schoharie County man, according to a recent media release by state Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, and Assemblyman Pete Lopez R-Schoharie.
The measure (H.R.2156/S.971) would implement a pilot program to establish safe, long-term parking facilities for commercial vehicles, the release said. The law is named for Rivenburg, who was murdered at an abandoned gas station in South Carolina while resting in his rig.
Jason's wife, Hope, along with the couple's three young children and other family members, were in Albany earlier this month to witness Senate passage of the resolution and were formally introduced in the Assembly chamber.
"I commend his family for all they are doing to protect other truck drivers, and stand with them in their fight to make sure more children won't be forced to grow up without a father," Seward said in the release.
Lopez echoed Seward's support for the family.
"While we continue to support this industry as a significant component of our state economy, we also have an obligation to protect the lives and improve safety for individual drivers," Lopez said in a prepared statement.
If approved by Congress, Jason's Law would authorize $20 million annually over six years for grants to states to expand and publicize parking options for commercial vehicles, the release said.
Andrew McIntosh, a senior at the State University College at Oneonta and a captain of the lacrosse team, took a bold step when he revealed his gay sexuality.
After wrestling with depression and negative thoughts last year, he said, he found the determination to be true to himself and honest with others. McIntosh, 22, wondered how the information would be received, not only by his friends, teammates and peers, but also by the public.
Much, but not all, of the reaction was welcoming or positive; however, some public comments on www.thedailystar.com questioned the news-value of his story.
McIntosh said it best, even before his story was published by The Daily Star.
``I'm proud to be part of the movement of people coming out,'' he said. ``I'm looking forward to the day when people being out is not a big story.''
Denise Richardson can be reached at 432-1000 or (800) 721-1000, ext. 213, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.