Malio J. Cardarelli began his career as an advertising copywriter for a Utica, New York radio station after earning his Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Relations from Utica College of Syracuse University. He subsequently went on to other writing positions both in advertising and public relations. In 1962, he left the writing field to become a personnel consultant, continuing in that endeavor for more than 30 years.

Immediately after his retirement, he became reestablished in the arena of journalism, immersing himself in the task of researching and chronicling regional people, places, and happenings he believes worthy of preservation. He does this via his books and a two-series-a-year local-history column he writes for the Utica Observer-Dispatch.

The author blends into his works interesting and sometimes humorous anecdotes that make reading both pleasurable and informative. Nostalgia is the chief ingredient in his writings.

Where to Purchase Books by Malio uticabooks@booksbymalio.com

Select a book for more information:
  • Mother Lavender
  • Classical Music
  • Leon Cardarelli
  • Early Utica in Oil
  • Cornerstone of Pride
  • Utica Public Library
  • McConnell Field
  • "yogi" Giammarco
  • John F Hughes School
  • East Utica
  • Downtown Utica
  • Utica Its People/Events
  • Utica On Parade
  • Dawn To Dusk
  • Saturday Globe
  • Chanatry's Market
  • King Who Cancelled Christmas
  • West Utica
  • Smith-Romano 125 Years

Utica's Mother Lavender; I'll See You in Heaven - $14.95

Born into slavery and sold away from her family at age 7, Ellen Elizabeth Lavender had a horrific life in bondage and a benevolent one in freedom.

Moving north after her emancipation in 1865, Elizabeth first settled in Albany, New York with her son, Amos, born as a result of a forced mating with another slave in order to create a new generation of slaves.

In Albany, she married Nicholas Lavender with whom she had one surviving child, Nicholas Jr. After her husband's death, she relocated to Utica, New York where she spent the rest of her life dedicated to her ministry of helping those less fortunate than herself.

Despite her illiteracy, color, and financial deprivation, she was able to establish a following of workers and contributors, resulting in an annual New Year's Day Dinner for the poor, satisfying her belief that no one should start a new year on an empty stomach. Serving as many as 900 in her home, the dinners that began in 1901 were held without interruption until 1968, despite her death in 1928. While this was clearly her most visible event, Mother Lavender, as she affectionately became known, had a daily ministry, one for which she always kept the door of her home open for anyone in need of a meal or a temporary place to sleep.

Her commitment to doing good deeds lives in the memory of all who were in any way associated with her and even today serves as an inspiration to those who know of her.

The work traces her life, beginning with her harsh years in bondage and progressing to her time in Utica and ultimately to her death. Insight is given on what motivated this remarkable woman of kindness and devotion.

Original artwork by Utica Artist Robert Cimbalo is included along with some rare photographs.

Classical Music in Utica, New York; A History - $17.50

Utica, New York is extremely rich in history, coming into prominence within New York State for its central location and as a hub of the Erie Canal. In addition to its booming commercial stature within the state and the country during the 19th and through much of the 20th century, the city was blessed with a magnificent classical music culture that began very early in its development.

While there were a number of individuals who contributed to this musical excellence, many of whom are included, the book dwells primarily on Utica Native Nicholas D. Gualillo whose prominence as a violinist, composer, and conductor seeped from Utica to all parts of the state, particularly Syracuse. In additions to his musical achievements and failures, interesting points of Maestro Gualillo's personal life are incorporated in the text.

More than 40 photographs and illustrations are included to make the events more lucid and interesting. This is by far the most extensively researched work in the Cardarelli collection thus far, with an Index of Selected Names of approximately 250 entries.

Utica Portrait Artist Leon Cardarelli His Life and His Works; 1899-1979- $15.95

Arriving in Utica with his family on December 21, 1907, at age 8 years, Leon Cardarelli already displayed a talent in art. Never known to have gone to a public school, he nevertheless spoke perfect Italian, English, and French and had an extraordinary interest in architecture, foreign cultures, music, astrology, science, and learning in general.

His passion, of course, was art and after returning to Italy for early training, he continued his studies in the US at The National Academy of Design and other art schools.

He returned to Utica in 1924 to set us his studio at the home of his brother, Paul. Primarily a portrait artist, Leon devoted his life to this interest, turning away from marriage, monetary endeavors, and fame. His was a private world in which he was content with his books, music, and his palette and canvas.

This tribute to the artist includes a number of interesting antidotes and a look into his personal life. Approximately 50 illustrations are included, mostly of his color portraits, but also some photos of the artist. This is a second edition that includes a helpful "Index of Selected Names."

Early Utica Preserved in Oil- $15.95

During the 1930s, Illustrator Egbert Norman Clark created a group of paintings and murals depicting the early history of Utica, New York and the Mohawk Valley. His murals, of which there are several, might be the best visual record of the earliest beginnings of the city. Fortunately, save for one lost in a flood, they still exist today.

"Early Utica Preserved in Oil and Water" details the origin of the murals that were created in three separate groups--The Hotel Utica murals, the WPA murals for Thomas R. Proctor High School, and the murals for the Utica Mutual Insurance Company. Additionally, Clark painted cover illustrations for "The Way to Wealth", a 1930s era, quarterly publication of the Savings Bank of Utica. Both the murals and the cover illustrations are extensively discussed in Cardarelli’s history.

And finally, Utica’s Children Museum is the home of eight Clark-Supervised, WPA-funded dioramas, again recreating the early Mohawk Valley. The artist’s wife, Lucy Dunn Clark, also plays a significant role in the history because it was she who accomplished the research for the paintings and who, in many cases, wrote descriptive and interesting-to-read accounts of the events illustrated by her husband.

"Early Utica Preserved in Oil and Water" is replete with photos of many of the Clark murals and paintings as well as photos of both Bert and Lucy,and some of the people associated with them. Included is an Index of Selected names to help the reader locate events and people of interest.

Cornerstone of Pride; History of Utica Free Academy - $15.95

The history of Utica’s most illustrious high school is now in print. Utica Free Academy, high school to thousands of Utica students, dates back to the year 1813 when a group of community-minded citizens petitioned the Regents of the State of New York to charter what became Utica Academy--then exclusively for boys who paid a modest tuition for the privilege to attend.

Later, it developed into a co-educational school and became part of the free public school system, changing it’s name to emphasize that fact to Utica Free Academy.

In 1899, the school vacated its original site at the corner of Bleecker and Academy Streets, where it had been for eight decades, for a new school at a new site on Kemble Street. There it remained until 1987, when the entire public high school structure in Utica was altered.

In addition to the factual details of the old school, the book also includes a nostalgic look at some of what occurred inside its walls--the romances, difficulties, pranks, joys, frustrations and especially the school spirit--that was so evident and important.

Fourteen pages of illustrations, mostly photos, help the reader to view what the Academy was all about. An index, a school principal directory, a reproduction of the school charter, and the words to what became the school alma mater, all help to make reading more informative.

Vignettes of Academy happenings are sprinkled throughout the text to add to the pleasure of this chronicle.

For The Common Good History of the Utica Public Library- $16.00

This is a 200-year history of the Utica Public Library--recently having celebrated its 100th anniversary of its magnificent library building at 303 Genesee Street in Utica, New York. Also, the most accepted date for the first-ever library in Utica, New York is 1803 when Nathan Williams established the Fort Schuyler Library; thus it has been more than 200 years since a library began in the city.

Later in 1825 a subscription library was formed. In 1842, under New York State regulations, a school district library was founded, and finally in 1893, with the help of Melvil Dewey, creator of the Dewey Decimal system, a public library was chartered under the name Utica Public Library.

While the libraries, as they evolved, were in many different locations, all of which are discussed, there were only two permanent library locations. The first was in a building constructed in 1878 on Elizabeth Street as both a library and administrative offices for the Utica City School District. Later in 1904, it moved to a magnificent structure at 303 Genesee Street, designed and built exclusively for the Utica Public Library, its current location.

The people instrumental in the development of the library in its 200-year history, and the events, some good and some not so good, are discussed in the book. Also, a mini-history of the Mid-York Library System is included.

Sprinkled throughout the text are anecdotes, some humorous, to make reading more enjoyable. Illustrations, mostly early photos, many in color, about fifty of them, add to the visual splendor of the work.

McConnell Field Via East Utica- $14.95

Sandwiched between East Utica nostalgia, especially Blandina and Bleecker Streets, is a complete account of the old ballpark with much detail on the most successful team of players ever to play ball in the city of Utica. Names such a Richie Ashburn, Eddie Sawyer, Yogi Giammarco, Stan Lopata, Gran Hamner, and many more are included.

The East Utica portion names people who lived primarily on the 400 and 500 blocks of Blandina Street and around the corner on Second Street, along with much nostalgia to include the vendors who came by push cart, horse-drawn wagons, and still others by motorized cars. Feasts, "La Banda Rossa", churches, holiday traditions, wine making, Bleecker Street businesses and other memories of the 1940s are exploited to bring out the character of the old neighborhood.

The McConnell field portion goes back to its earliest beginnings in 1937--when the venue was built--up to its demise in the 1950s when it became part of exit 31 of the New York State Thurway.

There are 400 names of people and places in the Index, and forty illustrations, mostly never-before-published photographs, visually enhance the work. Those who followed the Blue Sox in the late 1940s, will be especially interested in a segment devoted to Yogi Giammarco to include a recent interview and current photos of the former right fielder.

Homecoming Scrapbook; Ettore "yogi" Giammarco - $6.95

By almost any standard, a half century is a long time--enough time to forget, to change, to move on to other things. That's why the homecoming of a 1940s era Utica Blue Sox right fielder is incredible. Actually, it was 55 years since Ettore "Yogi" Giammarco played ball in Utica. Yet, he played on a remarkable baseball team, one that won the Eastern League pennant in 1947, much with the help of Yogi's bat. Aside from being an excellent slugger, Yogi was also a nice person, one who never turned away from a requested autograph, especially if the request was from a young diamond hopeful.


The remarkable thing is that on June 21st, 2004, when he did return home by invitation to be part of this city's ever-popular Utica Monday Nite, his appearance at the Oneida County Historical Society (OCHS) brought out a crowd so large that late comers were moved to the rarely-used museum balcony. This was for a person who never went beyond the minors and played here only three years--1947-1949. While his Italian heritage certainly enhanced his popularity in predominately Italian East Utica, he was beloved city-wide as evidenced by his homecoming.

Homecoming Scrapbook; Ettore "Yogi" Giammarco is a chronicle of that eventful time in June 2004, telling the story of the OCHS gathering; a
luncheon hosted by Ruffus "Nini" Ventura, his appearances on the Hank Brown Radio Show and the Joe Kelly Television Show, and his time with the Cardarelli family that sponsored his homecoming. The story is told with some text, several newspaper articles, the city proclamation making June 21, 2004 Yogi Giammarco day in Utica, the reaction of the Giammarco family to the homecoming, and several pages of color photos that will forever preserve that auspicious occasion.

Homecoming Scrapbook is an appropriate companion to McConnell Field via East Utica. That effort gives a history of the old North Utica park and the Eastern League club, the Utica Blue Sox, that played there.

John F. Hughes School; The Early Years- $5.95

John F. Hughes School in Utica, New York recently celebrated its 75th anniversary and is one of the oldest, still-operating public school in the Utica City School District.

This history focuses on the early years and includes information on the Prospect Street site of the school, the school’s namesake, the opening-day faculty, and interviews with early students and teachers who revealed some humorous and interesting stories. A few photographs are included.

East Utica; Macchiata d’Amore $15.95

East Utica; Macchiata d’Amore, presents a view of life in East Utica during the late 1930s and into the 1950s. Entwined in this memory-lane description of the old neighborhoods, much is said about Bleecker Street--its merchants, charm, and character. Places that existed then and now are given special treatment such as Grimaldi’s Restaurant, O’Scugnizzio Pizzaria, the Florentine Pastry Shop, and the Calli and Calli Law Firm. Others no longer there such as Tex’s Bowling Alleys, Ben Franklin’s Department Store, the many public halls, etc. are given ample space in the book.

A brief history of La Banda Rossa, having recently celebrated its 100th year is also included, as is a discussion of the Utica Sons of Italy, along with mention of so many other merchants and service providers in those few, very busy commercial blocks of Bleecker Street that are unforgettable. And the church with its religious and social importance is discussed. The ice man, the coal man and other neighborhood service providers are included.

Most attention is paid to the ethnic foods that were so important to the mostly Italian culture in East Utica, with special emphasis on holiday foods. Even a few recipes from back then are included, as is a comparison of the importance of food in the homeland. But there’s much more--the war and how it impacted everyone, and downtown with its theaters, hotels, and merchants.

The importance of radio and the programs--locally and nationally--to which we all listened is given much attention. The cinema, the number one entertainment of the time, is also described. Those who attended Camp Assisium near Inlet, NY will have a special treat as an entire sub-chapter and a full page of photos is devoted to this summer haven that began in the 1920s and continued until the early 1950s.

Downtown Utica; Looking Forward to the Past $15.95

Downtown Utica; Looking Forward to the Past is an attempt to revisit a wonderful time in a wonderful place. Downtown Utica not only was the hub for business and upscale apartment living, it was where people liked to go just to be there, especially during the 1940s and 1950s.

This work deals with the many merchants who crowded downtown, with the countless businesses that located there--doctors, dentists, lawyers, insurance, real estate, abstract companies, etc, and even the buildings in which they were located. And because those few downtown blocks of Genesee Street could not accommodate all wanting to be there, intersecting streets such as Bleecker, Lafayette, Columbia, Pearl, Hopper and others are included with information from Bagg’s Square on the north to Oneida Square on the south. Hotels are given much attention as are downtown area theaters and churches.

The more familiar places such as the Boston Store, F.W. Woolworth’s and J. B. Wells are accented with a brief history of each. While several hotels are mentioned, the Hotel Martin, later Hotel Hamilton, is given more attention since it was so important to the downtown area. However, none is covered as well as is the Hotel Utica, built in 1912 and considered the Mecca of downtown. The work not only has a brief history and a full page of photos of that still-existing hotel but also includes a list of some of the notables who stayed there over the years.

Grace Church, often referred to as the centerpiece of downtown, was and is an important downtown element, so a brief history of that marvelous edifice is included.

An entire chapter is devoted to downtown places to eat with some background information back to the early 1900s. But most attention is paid to the 1940s and 50s, with mention of a variety of eateries such as the long lunch counter is Woolworth’s, the soda fountain at England and McCaffery’s, the Maxwell House, across from the Stanley Theater, the Imperial Restaurant, Luebbert’s and Donalty’s for liquid refreshment, the Red Cherry Pie Shop, the Court View, etc., etc.

Downtown is where most parades were held; where patriotism during the war years was always on display; where boys came to meet girls, where girls came to be seen, where seniors came just to walk and talk and take in the activity--all free of charge except for the ten-cent bus ride to get there. Politics and some mention of the criminal activities of the time precede the more nostalgic downtown material. There are about 50 photos in this work and an index of approximately 600 names.

Utica Its People & Events - $12.95

The rich history of Utica is remarkable. It's a tale that began in the late 1700s when only a few families settled outside of Ft. Schuyler on the bank of the Mohawk River, situated about where Main Street and Second Street now intersect. With the Mohawk River providing easy transportation between what was then known as Old Ft. Schuyler and Schenectady, more and more settlers migrated here, resulting in a boom to business. When in 1825 the Erie Canal opened, on which Utica was a hub, commerce grew even more rapidly, especially its textile industry. From a few hundred folks back in its beginning, the population exploded to 100,000 by 1930.

Notable people and events are scattered throughout the years in all areas -- politics, music, art, human kindness, religion, and more. The 48 articles published in the Utica Observer Dispatch, and reprinted herein, provide a view of only a smattering of the many stories and the individuals who made them happen.

Utica On Parade- $15.95

In this offering, we attempt to go where the memories take us. Thus in one paragraph, we might move from East to West to South Utica, while in others we stay where we are.

The whole idea is to showcase the City of Utica during its more glamorous and prosperous years. Although we might not have known it then, times were much less complicated although much-more difficult in other ways. People did what needed to be done to provide a roof overhead and to keep a pot of soup on the stove. Although government benefit programs were becoming more organized, it was a time when self-reliance was the prominent objective without any notion of outside assistance. This was the scenario upon which people conducted their lives.

Thus, we have no central theme, no defined area of interest, no focus on any one segment of anything. It really is akin to a parade: After the brass band might come a Veteran's group marching proudly, followed by a well-painted clown, and then a group of precision­-driven mopeds, and finally quick step marchers such as the Screaming Eagles. We take it as it comes, and that is the point of Utica on Parade.

Dawn to Dusk in Utica $15.95

This book includes a history of Thomas R. Proctor High School and the Robert Fraser Department Store that was near Utica's Busy Corner from the late 1800s until 1939 after which the F. W. Woolworth enterprise took over that prime Downtown  location.  There are also brief histories of General Hospital that was on the corner of South and Mohawk Streets for more than 100 years, the Roscoe Conkling School with information on its namesake, and even Utica College when it was located near Oneida Square.  But the book goes beyond these local places and events to such things as a happening at the home of the author centered around food and hospitality, that was covered by the Cable News Network, CNN.  Because Italian food and Italian hospitality are prominent ingredients in the book, the author takes a brief tour to Italy and to several small-town restaurants that offer the finest cuisine to be found in Italy, and then moves on to homes of family and acquaintances in Italy where hospitality is most prominent.  There is even a quote from Lidia Bastianich--restaurateur, cookbook author, and TV personality."

As in all of his works, the author stuffs in photos, some never before published, many in color, some one would expect to find only in a family photo album.  For those who have a connection to the earlier, more vibrant period in Utica, "Dawn to Dusk" is a must.

Utica Saturday Globe- $9.95

"The Utica Saturday Globe, a weekly newspaper, became as much a part of Utica's positive history as has had the city's most notable happenings.   It began operation in May of 1881, the brainchild of brothers Tom and Will Baker, in a climate of a dozen operating daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly journals, for a population that had just reached 35,000, making chances for success slim.   However, Tom Baker had the idea of placing weekly illustrations on the pages of the Globe, something no other newspaper did anywhere in the nation and even in the world. 

The first versions were simple and crude, but still they brought excitement to readers who were tiring of the small print and multiple-column, no-headline layouts offered by other journals that were difficult to read and boring to the eye.  From a first edition that sold only 700 copies within the city, the Globe grew steadily, blossoming into several editions serving regional, state, and even national readers with a small but growing international presence. 

The Globe became the first national newspaper, a century before USA Today made its national appearance.   By the late 1890s, weekly sales were steadily at 200,000 copies, once reaching close to 300,000, unheard of for a weekly newspaper.  

Cardarelli's book, Utica Saturday Globe, provides a history of the newspaper, which began on Bleecker Street in Utica, New York and remained in Utica throughout its four decades of operation.  It was read by every sitting president during its time and by Queen Victoria who looked forward to her weekly copy. The author highlights some of its more important and well-read stories providing illustrations as they appeared in the Globe."

Chanatry's Market--100 Years & Counting - $15.95

"Three Chanatry Brothers--Raymond, Michael, and Rocky--came to the United States and to Utica, fleeing brutal Ottoman rule of their native Aleppo, Syria that conscripted Syrian men into Ottoman insurgencies mostly never to be seen again. This was before the U.S. had very much in the line of assistance programs for refugees, requiring that those who came were immediately dependent upon themselves. Raymond Chanatry, unable to utilize his Aleppo skills in the manufacture of silk articles, began a produce pushcart venture in the East Utica. In 1912, he opened a small grocery, produce, and meat store on very commercial Bleecker Street in the city. His brothers soon joined him in operating that venture. Working up to 14 hours a day, the Chanatry brothers found success in the food business and regularly expanded their operation, always on Bleecker Street, until the city's urban renewal efforts forced them to move elsewhere. Through the years, more than a thousand Uticans have been employed at the store where they were always treated them with dignity and respect.

The dozens of photos in the book trace it's history back to its earliest store on Bleecker Street, up to its largest Bleecker Street expansion in 1938, and finally to its current enterprise on French Rd. in Utica..

The dozens of photos included in the work cover the entire period of the operation and offer a visual nostalgia to the history.

The Chanatry story is remarkable. Believed to be the first privately owned supermarket in the nation and the first to gross $1 million per year, the success of what began as a pushcart venture continues and is now celebrating 100 years of continuous service in Utica. Chanatry's Market; 100 Years & Counting takes us through the years, recounting the good times, the bad times, and even some tragic events that changed the course of its history."

The King Who Cancelled Christmas- $7.95

"The King Who Cancelled Christmas is the author's only attempt at fiction. It was initially written for radio and later adapted for television. The TV production appeared for several years on local commercial television stations and on the educational channel for the Utica City School District.

Although it was written back in the 1970s, it wasn't until 1998 that it was adapted in book form. The story is suitable for children of all ages, with a number of color illustrations taken from the television production. King Sagnor, the North Pole Poppits, Little Pam and her brother Egor, the Ice People, and the Love Glows, all blend together to provide a festive tale of a Christmas, once cancelled, that was magically reinstated."

West Utica - $15.95

West Utica provides an account of this important section of the City of Utica, NY with its many factories and mills, operating when the city was the textile capital of the nation.   It was site of the first state institution for the dignified care of those with psychiatric disorders, and home to one of the nation’s largest breweries.  It is where Utica College began, and where the affluent and philanthropic Proctor family resided, now the site of museum, art institute and center for performing arts known as Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute.  

Culturally, West Utica is where German, Polish, and Irish immigrants settled, each providing a magnificent array of cultural variety that made Utica such a desirable place to live and work.  Their churches, schools, community centers, organizations, and social amenities are important ingredients in the city’s ethnic splendor.  Churches, theaters, schools, cemeteries, places of business, hospitals, parks, etc. are replete throughout the work as are the foods offered by each of the ethnic groups that resided here primarily during the early to mid 1900s.

More than 50 photos, some never before published, visually enhance the work, as does a vast index of selected names.

Smith-Romano; Making it Happen for 125 years--$15.95

This effort traces the 125-year history of a private enterprise that might have established itself anywhere in the nation.  Nevertheless, it began in Utica, New York in 1888 and here it remained throughout its remarkable history, now calling itself The Fountainhead Group.   Back in 1888, a Deerfield, New York resident, DeWane Benton Smith, sought to introduce improvements in the agricultural field, striving to make work methods less fatiguing, more productive, and more profitable.    His foremost invention was his first-in-the-world concept of using pressurized air to spray insecticides and other materials for farms, gardens, and around the home, resulting in the formation of D. B. Smith & Company.  For a half century after the passing of D. B. Smith, his sons continued with their father’s work.  In 1973, the business came under new ownership and the introduction of plastic sprayers in concert with those of metal construction, a concept of F. Eugene Romano.  Subsequently, John F. Romano took over management and ownership of the business and streamlined operations, catapulting it into the number one supplier of sprayers in every market in which it competes.   Additionally, the future appears even brighter and more rewarding than ever, and it all began and continues here in the Mohawk Valley.

© Copyright Malio J. Cardarelli