October 22, 2021

People look to make life changes in 2019

Photos by Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Newly retired couple Archie and Marlene Loomis of Cortland talk about which of them is the faster walker while going for a stroll Friday in Homer.

Just hours after the ball dropped, signaling another year in the books, people were looking forward to new beginnings.

Some are leaving a job, while others search for an internship. Here’s what some people from around Cortland County have planned for 2019.

Moving on up

Lance Merkur of Cortland is selling one house and buying another and hopes 2019 brings a happy ending to both.


“The first house is just kind of getting too small for the kids,” Merkur said. “We are just looking for a permanent home that the kids can grow up in.”

He has two kids and wants a big enough house where they have room to play. He didn’t specify the neighborhoods he wants to live in but does want to stay in Cortland or Homer so that he can remain close to family and friends. It would also be good for his kids, who have already made friends in the area. Merkur would also be able to stay closer to his job at SUNY Cortland. Merkur said he’s put in an offer on a home and are waiting to sell their house after a potential buyer backed out.

Good-bye work, hello retirement

Archie and Marlene Loomis of Cortland were walking the streets of Homer on Friday. It’s something they like doing and will have a lot more time to do as the two get into retirement mode for 2019.

The couple retired this year after having both worked at the J.M. Murray Center in Cortland for 10 years and after Marlene Loomis underwent heart surgery in May.

“We were a little apprehensive at first because you get used to working for so long,” Archie Loomis said.

However, the two found out they’d have more than enough to keep them busy. One of those things includes spending more time with their grandchildren.

“When you’re working, you can’t spend that much time with them and now you get to do so much fun stuff with them,” Marlene Loomis said.

The couple said they love picking their grandchildren up from school, playing with them and taking them places.

They’ll also focus on getting housework done, gardening and bird watching.

Marketing myself

A college sophomore can spend winter break in several ways. For St. Bonaventure student and Homer native Cameron Perks, winter break means internship hunting.


“I need 300 off-campus hours,” the strategic communications major said.

He spent Friday at Phillips Free Library in Homer looking online for an advertising internship.

Perks had originally wanted to go into photojournalism, but was swayed by a professor to look into advertising.

Now as part of his major he’ll have to get some on-the-job experience.

Oh the places you could go

McGraw native Joshua Card is ready to get away from the small town feeling for a while. It’s why he’s decided to transfer colleges.


“I just want to experience bigger things,” Card said.

The Keuka College student — whose classes are now in an 1,100-person hamlet in rural Yates County — said his focus in the new year will be deciding which college is the best for him. He said he’s looked at many different places, but hasn’t made any decisions yet.