May 22, 2015 - 2:10pm
Ralph Minnifield discovered his passion for leather crafting after retirement. And, he won't let any obstacles stop him from his work.

Ralph Minnifield never considered leather making his job.

He worked as a truck driver for pay and admired a sturdy leather backpack he once ordered from Jim DeWitt’s store on James Street in Syracuse. So when he retired in Syracuse from driving, he visited DeWitt — this time shopping for a leather-crafting mentor.

DeWitt is now one of Minnifield’s best friends.

“He taught me how to create and love what you are doing,” Minnifield said. “If there is anything he didn't know, he referred me to others who can help.”

August 24, 2010 - 11:49pm
Alexander Williams, a graduate student from Ghana, has managed to overcome the obstacles inherent to being blind.

Alexander Williams was always a curious child. One day, his curiosity got him into trouble.

At age 12, Williams was hit in the right eye by a stray bullet.  Warring factions in the part of Liberia where he lived for the first 12 years of his life were fighting over port access to the harbor when his house got caught in the crossfire.