SINCLAIRVILLE - Rodney Storer wanted to boost the spirit at Cassadaga Valley Central School and he thought of a unique way to do it.
Rodney, his wife, Mary Ann and his daughter, Taylor attended the recent board meeting to present a cougar mount to the district. The cougar is the school's mascot and Rodney wondered why there wasn't a cougar in the school. He thought of a way to remedy this.
His dad, Roger Storer, is a 1957 graduate of Cassadaga Valley Central School who now lives in Trout Creek, Mont. Roger has two mounted cougars
Jeanne Oag, Cassadaga Valley Central School board member, scratches behind the ear of a mounted cougar donated to the Cassadaga Valley Central School by Roger Storer, a 1957 graduate, now living in Trout Creek, Mont.
Photo by Diane R. Chodan
"I thought he ought to donate one," Rodney said.
Glen Smith, a guide in Trout Creek who retired last year and was downsizing, decided that he would give Rodney one of his mounts.
The next problem was transporting the cougar from Montana to Cassadaga.
Roger said, "I'll bring it."
According to Rodney, doing this was quite an adventure.
"He had to take the passenger side seat (front) out. The tail's quite long. It's got wiring and had to be fit in. He had to strap the cougar in. The strap was right around the neck so it looked like a collar," Rodney said.
Rodney said throughout the trip, people were catching up with Roger and taking pictures.
Roger also created some of his own adventures.
Rodney said, "My dad stopped in Michigan at a local tavern. He ordered a hamburger and fries. He also had a beer and began talking to some of the locals. He asked them, 'Have you ever seen cougars in Michigan?' Some of them said yes. He told them there is one right in the parking lot. The locals go out into the parking lot and Dad opens the car door. The locals really enjoyed this."
Rodney graduated from Randolph Central where he enjoyed competitive sports. He and his wife, Mary Ann had three children, all of whom graduated from Cassadaga Valley. Taylor, his youngest daughter, a gifted athlete, graduated this year.
The school is having a case built for this special trophy. Rodney intends to donate the plaque to put inside.
"I want it to say harvested by Glen Smith, donated by Roger Storer, grandfather of Brandi, Garrett and Taylor," Rodney said.