Skyler Smith’s Tour of Mendon: Canandaigua National Bank

In working on this series I reached out to a few different people to ask if they would like to contribute to my story on CNB. My favorite response came from Pete VanDeMoere, a former teller at the Mendon branch as well as the man who helped me set up my first bank account.

I’m sure some of my Mendon readers remember Pete and for those of you who do, you’ll be glad to find out that he has been moving up the corporate ladder. Pete is currently the Resource Recovery Counselor at the Canandaigua National Bank & Trust, Wealth Management Office in Bushnell’s Basin.

I thought the contribution he shared with me was so well-written that I’ve decided to do something I’ve never done before in my 73 weeks of writing this column. I’m going to turn things over to Pete and allow my readers to hear his story right from the banker’s mouth.

“I certainly have many unique and even strange stories from the Mendon area that I have to be very careful about sharing due to confidentiality. But to be vague, one time a well-known customer of mine came into the branch and somehow in conversation he mentioned about how people in the area used to ‘squeeze corn’. I did not know what he was talking about, got busy, and neglected to ‘google it’ like so many people of my generation would do.”

“I was glad I had neglected to ‘google it’ because the next time this customer came in, I asked him what it meant. In a very low voice he told me it meant ‘to make shine’ (moonshine) which I then immediately understood as the unregulated production of liquor.”

“Thinking about this seemingly innocent allegation my customer made, it offered a fair amount of charm for the historically rural community of Mendon. Especially, considering America’s very long history, and often turbulent past, with the distilling of spirits and the regulation or attempted regulation of it.”

I want to thank Pete for this story he shared above. Next week I will be taking you to Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua. CNB hosts an annual luncheon there every August and I have a story to share from the 2018 gala.



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