In Saranac Lake, Open Minded Mic Night at BluSeed Studios starts at 7:30 pm, sign up is at 7 pm. Admission is $3.
In Lake Placid, Anne of Green Gables the Musical will be performed at LPCA. It starts at 7:30 pm and tickets are $10 for adults $8 for students. Friday, March 19th:
In Tupper Lake, Annie will be performed by the high school musical club. Admission is $7.
In Lake Placid, Anne of Green Gables the Musical at LPCA.
Saturday, March 20th:
In Lake Placid, Anne of Green Gables the Musical at LPCA at 11 am.
In Saranac Lake Roy Hurd will perform for the benefit of the Northern Lights School at 7 pm. The benefit is at BluSeed Studios and includes a silent auction, tickets are $15. Call: 891 – 3206 for more information.
In Tupper Lake, Annie at the high school at 7 pm. Admission is $7.
Pendragon Theatre is once again offering its year-round subscriptions with some bonuses added in celebration of their 30th year anniversary. The line-up is expansive and for anyone who wants more live theatre in his/her life there are discounts available to make that possible.
Between May 1, 2010 and April 30, 2011, Pendragon will offer 11 productions. Productions that are set are an adaptation of Jungle Book, Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice, Constance Cogdon’s adaptation of The Imaginary Invalid, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolff, a return engagement of Orson’s Welle’s Moby Dick Rehearsed, and a return engagement of The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged). The annual holiday show and fall production are still in the process of being finalized. Another facet of the 30th anniversary, Adirondack only year-round professional theatre, is a “Pendragon Alumni” staged reading for one night only, July 17, 2010 with a reception. There will also be Cabaret Evenings – songs from past Pendragon productions and the New Directions Series – showcasing up-and-coming directors and playwrights.
“We wanted to offer these subscriptions as a celebration of our 30th year and as a thank you to the community, a payback for all the support over the last 30 years,” says Managing Director and Pendragon Co-Founder Bob Pettee. “We hope that people will also be able to come to more performances and understand the variety we have.”
“We feel like you don’t get the full effect of what we do unless you see a range of performances. Some people ask or want to know what the one ‘best’ show is to see. I want people to know that all the shows are well crafted and together offer the audience diversity.”
Pendragon is a repertory theatre, showcasing a range of musical, dramatic and comedic material with a professional resident cast. There will be six different performances happening continuously throughout this upcoming summer season along with various other special events.
“Being a repertory allows us to perform a variety of plays. A full-length play is just that full length [with different acts and usually an intermission] while something like Jungle Book is considered a one-act as New Directions is a series of one-act plays,” says Pettee. “We also have an alumni event and about five different cabarets throughout the season.”
“The 3 for $30 subscription is for three events so you can use it see whatever you want throughout the year. People are only allowed to purchase one of these so if they want to see that fourth play, it would be full price. The year-round subscriptions save people money. If someone wants to see all 11 productions the subscription ticket price is almost half price, about $10 a ticket from the regular $20 adult price. A subscription gives people an inexpensive way to experience all that we have to offer.”
“What we want most of all and the reason why we made the subscription price so reasonable is we really want people to come in and understand the breadth of the stuff that we do at Pendragon.” Pettee says. “Seeing more than one event is critical to that understanding and the cheapest way is to buy a subscription.”
Pettee acknowledges all the Pendragon supporters, “The only reason we are still here is because of our supporters and the community. People have shown us they want live theatre by coming to the theatre for all these years.”
Pendragon Theatre is located at 15 Brandy Brook Lane, Saranac Lake. 518-891-1854. Regular ticket prices are $20.00 for adults, $17.00 for seniors and $10.00 for those under 18 years of age. Other productions: Jungle Book, New Directions, The Holiday Show: ages 15 and up/$10.00, under 15/$8.00. All Full Length Matinees are $12.00 (also Cabarets and Alumni Readings)
Subscription only apply to Pendragon Productions at the Pendragon Theatre location, not tour locations or special events. Subscriptions are prepaid admissions, non-transferable and do not assure you a seat. Reservations are required. Year Round: All 11 events (including Moby Dick and Shakespeare) $120 Year Round: All 9 events $100 The 5 Show Summer Full-Length: $70 Special 30th year deal: “3 for $30” = 3 events for $30 (restrictions do apply. Only one/person/season) Good for any combination of full length, cabaret, alumni event, etc…but just three events.
*As a matter of full disclosure I am a board member of Pendragon Theatre but also a parent on a budget. If you have never attended Pendragon Theatre before the “3 for $30” would be a good opportunity to save some money and see three shows. If you attend or wish to start attending more frequently, a year-round subscription will benefit your pocketbook.
Nine Olympians from Lake Placid and Saranac Lake were welcomed home like heroes and friends in Saranac Lake this afternoon. Here are some of the photographs we took. It was a great event. Congratulations, all.
Here is a link to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise story, with wonderful photos. Super Nancie Battaglia photos are mixed with her Olympic shots on NCPR’s site.
Photograph of Ursula Trudeau of Saranac Lake carrying an Olympic boquet replica
The village of Saranac Lake will hold a parade for local Olympians at 4 p.m. this Friday. Nordic-combined skier and medalist Billy Demong of Vermontville, biathletes Lowell Bailey and Haley Johnson of Lake Placid and and Tim Burke of Paul Smiths, ski jumper Peter Frenette of Saranac Lake, lugers Chris Mazdzer of Saranac Lake and Mark Grimmette of Lake Placid, and bobsledder John Napier of Lake Placid will be among honored guests.*
The parade begins at the Post Office on Broadway and winds down Main Street to the Harrietstown Hall, where a ceremony and autograph-signing session will be held. Local kids from Saranac Lake’s schools, Mount Pisgah downhill ski area, Dewey Mountain cross-country ski area and other organizations will also march. The event had originally been planned for March 13 but was changed to accommodate the schedules of the athletes, whose competition season is not over. The Saranac Lake Women’s Civic Chamber is the primary organizer. The Olympic Regional Development Authority and the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce are partners. Contact the chamber if you would like more information (518-891-1990).
*Other Olympians may be in attendance—to be updated.
Photograph of the Harrietstown Hall with banners depicting Mazdzer, Demong, Burke and Frenette.
For the ninth year the Cabin Fever Film Festival will be hosting classic films in Saranac Lake each Wednesday in March. Organizer Tim Fortune says,“ We are now located at the John Black Room of the Saranac Lake Laboratory. It is a great venue. This is our third location since we started nine years ago. We started at the Hotel Saranac and had one season at Pendragon Theatre. With the setting of this historic building and showing these old classic movies gives the John Black Room the intimate feeling of a home movie theatre.”
For the first time the Cabin Fever Festival committee has chosen a slightly different format. In past years the Festival consisted of a short film or cartoon and a feature film. This year on Wednesdays, episodes of the 1932 serial Heroes of the West will be shown along with six cartoons and comedy shorts. Each evening will then be a continuation of the “cliffhanger” ending from the previous show of Heroes of the West.
“We are showing all shorts,” says Fortune. “W. C. Fields, Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin, The Three Stooges, Our Gang, Buster Keaton as well as a classic cartoon each night.”
“We have always been fortunate in the past with local sponsors. Putting on Cabin Fever is very expensive. This year Cape Air has generously sponsored the whole festival with Compass Printing providing the posters and programs.”
Along with Fortune, four other volunteers meet to brainstorm about the Cabin Fever Film Festival schedule and provide multiply duties to pull off the event each year. Fortune credits Bruce Young, Chris Brescia, Danny Ryan and Charles Alexander with making the Festival happen.
“We are all volunteers and any profit goes toward supporting other arts endeavors like the Third Thursday Art Walks that run from June through September,” says Fortune.
Across the street from the Saranac Lake Laboratory, Executive Chef of the Robert Louis Stevenson Tea Room Les Hershhorn, is creating a special weekly buffet for those interested in “Dinner and a Movie.”
Hershhorn states, “There will be a new menu each week. We will feature various international buffets for $25 per person. This week we have a Spanish cuisine with a chicken and sausage paella, salad, vegetable dish, home baked breads and dessert. Last year during the Film Festival we did a Mexican buffet, Indian night and other international flavors. The buffet starts at 5:30 and reservations are required.”
Hershhorn wants everyone to know that children are welcome and to please ask for pricing when making the reservations. He expects more families to come this year because of the “shorts” format of this year’s Cabin Fever Film Festival.
The Robert Louis Stevenson Tea Room, 78 Church Street, and the John Black Room of the Saranac Lake Laboratory are linked in history. The RLS Tea Room was the original home of Dr. Hugh Kinghorn one of the original founders of the RLS Society of America. The Stevenson Society’s goal was to preserve the Baker Cottage (where Stevenson spent time while attempting to recover from TB while in Saranac Lake), original manuscripts and a collection of his artifacts. Across the street the Cabin Fever Film Festival takes place in Dr. Trudeau’s laboratory, now the home to Historic Saranac Lake. Dr. Trudeau was not only a renowned physician but a pioneer in Tuberculosis research and a founding member of the Stevenson Society as well.
General admission is $6.00 per film or $25.00 for all five; Students and seniors are $5.00 or $20.00 for all five while children twelve and under are free. Subscriptions may be purchased up to the first day of the series, March 3. The film starts at 7:00 p.m. each Wednesday in March at the Saranac Lake Laboratory 89 Church Street. For more information call Tim Fortune at 891-1139.
The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee recently held its annual wrap-up meeting on this year’s “Adirondack Cowboys” Carnival, held Feb. 5-14, and began planning for the 114th Winter Carnival by discussing themes for 2011.
The Feb. 17 meeting at the North Country Community College Board Room began with a presentation of “Don’s Memorial Slide Show,” a digital slide show produced by Carnival photographer Mark Kurtz featuring photos of past Committee Chairman Don Duso, who died Jan. 10 at the age of 78. There were images of Duso cutting ice blocks for the Ice Palace, as Carnival king, and as chairman, a post he held from 1986 to 2009. Singer/songwriter Roy Hurd provided the program’s music bed with a song called “Wild Mountain Cowboys,” which he wrote specifically for this year’s event. The slide show was first presented during the Feb. 9 Grand Marshal Dinner; Duso was named grand marshal for the 2010 Winter Carnival.
Current Committee Chairman Jeff Dickson announced that photos from the 2010 Winter Carnival, taken by Mark Kurtz Photography, can now be purchased online through a Shutterfly account (saranaclakewintercarnival.shutterfly.com). People can also have their choice of photo put on a variety of objects, such as mugs, puzzles, magnets and mouse pads. All proceeds will benefit the Winter Carnival Committee. Photos uploaded to the web site will include dozens of images that never made it to the Winter Carnival Slide Show, and some of the 2009 photos are available.
Members of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee expressed their sadness that King Frank Camelo injured his ankle during the first weekend and was unable to attend many of the Carnival functions, including the Gala Parade. They also commended Queen Carol Reyell for toting around a “King on a Stick” (a wooden stick with a life-sized photograph of King Frank attached to the top) during the events he missed.
The Committee was particularly pleased by the community’s reception to the new web site, which was continually updated during the Carnival; the opening of the Winter Carnival Museum, temporarily located next to Lakeview Deli; the live broadcast (and rebroadcast) of the parade on Time Warner Cable Channel 2; the Ice Palace web cam, launched on Tim Baker’s web site (www.adksearch.com); and the fact that Carnival, once again, brought needed tourism dollars into Saranac Lake.
“Thanks for the No Vacancy,” said Edie Stanish, Committee member and owner/operator of Amanda’s Village Motel.
Several themes were suggested for 2011 and more will be considered. The public is invited to make their suggestions by contacting a committee member or submitting their thoughts through the contact mechanism on the web site. As was done last year, the committee will make a first cut and submit several options to the public in an informal survey through the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.
The next meeting of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 10 at the NCCC Board Room.
The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee, Inc. is a not-for-profit group of volunteers dedicated to organizing an annual mid-winter festival during the first two weeks of February. This 10-day, communitywide event traces its roots to a one-day Carnival held in 1897 by the Pontiac Club. The Carnival honors its heritage every year by building an Ice Palace from blocks of ice harvested from Lake Flower’s Pontiac Bay, where Carnival events have been traditionally held for generations. For more information, visit the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival web site at www.saranaclakewintercarnival.com.
I wouldn’t miss the Open Minded Mic Night at BluSeed Studios tonight. Always an interesting and fun night out. The performances are kept to a two-song or seven-minute maximum so the night moves along at a comfortable pace. It’s a great way to support local musicians and poets, and this one has the lovely Celia Evans hosting.
Staying inside the park Saturday night, I’d see Lissa Scheckenburger and Bethany Waickman, also at BluSeed. I know Bethany. She plays the guitar the way I’d like to. Even though it’s a drive, if I were in the mood to really move my body (and because I missed the 20 Main gig) I’d check out Capital Zen in Saratoga Springs. The energy that comes through on their recorded stuff must be even better live — I love a hot bass line.
In Ellenburg Depot, ALASH, Throat Singers from Tuva will be giving a performance at The Northern Adirondack High School Auditorium. This is located at 5572 Route 11. The doors open at 6:30 pm and he show goes from 7 – 9 pm.
In Plattsburgh, Viennese Romance , Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival will be held at 7:30 pm at SUNY. For more information call: (802) 846-217 or email: email@example.com.
In Canton, Urban Verbs: Where Hip Hop Meets Life will be performed at St. Lawrence University. Held from 7:30 – 9:30 pm this show explores the blur between music, poetry and daily life. For more information call: (315) 229-5659.
Join storyteller Bill Smith and master fiddler Don Woodcock for a winter afternoon of stories about growing up in the North Country and lively toe-tapping music. The Adirondack Museum’s popular Cabin Fever Sunday series will return to Saranac Lake for a special program on February 28, 2010. “Rosin and Rhyme” with Bill Smith and Donny Woodcock will be held at Saranac Village at Will Rogers. The time will be 2:00 p.m. The presentation will offered at no charge to museum members and residents of Saranac Village. The fee for non-members is $5.00. There is no charge for children of elementary school age or younger. For additional information, please call the Education Department at (518) 352-7311, ext. 128 or visit the museum’s web site at www.adirondackmuseum.org.
Master Adirondack storyteller and folksinger Bill Smith is the genuine article. He learned about the adventures of the North Country’s old woodsmen from his father. He learned the popular ballads and songs of an earlier time from his mother. To that strong foundation he has added his own years of living as a logger, trapper, hunter, fisherman, and guide.
Prepare to laugh ’til you can’t stand up at Bill’s tall tales, step back in time with his descriptions of country life in the “old days,” and feel warm and nostalgic as he picks up his autoharp for a Carter family tune.
Don Woodcock began to play the fiddle at the age of fourteen. More than forty years later, he holds the title of Grand Champion Fiddler of New York State. Woodcock’s playing is technically superb and he is recognized for having one of the largest repertoires of traditional fiddle tunes around.
Photo: Don Woodcock and Bill Smith; courtesy of Old Songs Festival press images.
Lake Placid photographer Nancie Battaglia currently has a show of winter sports shots at 7444 Gallery in Saranac Lake. The exhibition is called “In Motion” and coincides with the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, which Battaglia is covering for Sports Illustrated and other publications.
Battaglia has attended ten Olympics and has been shooting winter sports in Lake Placid since 1980. She regularly phones her observations from Vancouver to NCPR. You can hear her latest report here. The show will be at 7444 Gallery at 28 Depot Street in Saranac Lake until March 6. Call for an appointment (518) 282-4743.
Another wonderful week of the Saranac Winter Carnival. There is music every night. Tonight, Jeff Bujak is a rarity in this area – he bills himself as “Intelligent Dance Music” – from his videos that sounds accurate.
My favorite new live band from Vermont is Jatoba, click on this link to hear one of their cool tunes called “Blizzard”. They are opening for Hot Day at the Zoo. Oh, I also adore Lucid and they are the special guests of Raisinhead on Saturday. Check out their tune “Po Man’s” by clicking on their myspace link. Thursday, February 11th:
In Ausable Forks, “Jesus Loves Tractors” and Sven Curth. He gets going around 9 pm at 20 Main.
Saturday, February 13th:
In Saranac Lake the Band Concert follows the parade in the Harrietstown Hall. This is a fun event where the bands that you just saw a glimpse of as they passed by now get to strut their stuff on stage. Fantastic energy in the Town Hall for those ready to be inside for awhile.
In Saranac Lake after the parade, Los Blancos is playing at The Waterhole starting at 3 pm. “I Miss Your Water” is a hot song.
In Saranac Lake, Tim Herron will be at The Waterhole at 3 pm. This man’s lyrics are so bloody honest it’s a little hard to take – in a good way.
Also in Saranac Lake, Irish Music at Pendragon from 5 – 7 pm. The musicians are: Michael Cooney on uilleann pipes, Sue Grimm on flute s and whistles, Kyle Murray on bodhran, Jeff Couture on fiddle, Barry Kilbourne on concertina and Shamim Allen on rhythm guiatr.
The members of the Adirondack Artists Guild at 52 Main Street, Saranac Lake, and other artists who submitted work for a carnival-themed exhibit invite everybody to an opening reception 5–7 p.m. Friday February 12.
In the meantime Saranac Lake Winter Carnival rolls on all week, with music and sporting events, and the ice palace is open to visitors; you can see a schedule here. But Friday is when things really get going. After the art show, head across the street to the Harrietstown Hall for the 7:30 p.m. Rotary Club Variety Show (you’re advised to buy tickets in advance; it’s a popular event), a truly entertaining display of small town talent and humor. It will be a feat if the carnival court tops last year’s dance routine. Then you can re-cross Main Street to catch Jatoba and Hot Day at the Zoo at the Waterhole (Almanack music contributor Shamim Allen will have details on the music at 3 p.m. Thursday).
Saturday the 13th is the big day, with a pancake breakfast, rugby in the snow, chili lunch at the town hall, a Paul Smith’s College woodsmanship exhibition, the library book sale, a high-school band concert, etc. The highlight, as always, is the parade, at 1 p.m. It will be televised on local cable Channel 2 if you can’t make it downtown.
Carnival ends on Sunday, Valentine’s Day, with x-c ski races, volleyball, softball, a baroque concert, a kiddie parade, bloody Marys. Every year photographer Mark Kurtz compiles hundreds of photographs he has taken during the week into a closing-night slide show at the ice palace, and a crowd gathers to see if their faces get on the screen. This year the slide show will be at 7:30 p.m., followed by closing fireworks over the palace at 8 p.m. If you’d like a preview, selected photographs are online, here.
The first of two very exciting weeks of music starts this Friday in Saranac Lake where Winter Carnival is going to be on in full glory. There will be bands and concerts in town every day or night for the whole two weeks, awe-inspiring!
Other events to check out include a new Open Mic and Hoot, a variety of classical music concerts and local folk musicians.
Thursday, February 4th:
In Canton, there is an Open Mic at the Blackbird Cafe. Sign up is at 6:30, performances start at 7 pm. Writers,readers and musicians of all kinds are encouraged. the winners will be selected for a CD to be released later this year.
In Elizabethtown, Piano By Nature recital is happening between 7 – 8:30 pm at The Hand House. Soloist Jill Dawe will play works by Chopin, Debussy Ginestera and Part. Reservations are strongly encouraged.
In Tupper Lake at The Wild Center, “Pleasures of the Courts” dinner and dance will be held from 7:30 – 9 pm. The Orchestra of Northern New York will be giving their annual Baroque concert. Tickets are available at the box office.
In Elizabethtown, Piano By Nature recital will be held at The Hand House from 3 – 4:30 pm. Soloist Jill Dawe will play works by Chopin, Debussy Ginestera and Part. Reservations are strongly encouraged.
In Potsdam, “Pleasures of the Courts” dinner and dance will be held from 3 – 5 pm. The Orchestra of Northern New York will be giving their annual Baroque concert. It will be held at St. Mary’s Church.
The BBQ will be held 11:30-2:30 at the Mount Pisgah lodge. The families of Olympians will be special guests. At 1 p.m. photographer Mark Kurtz will take a group photo from a bucket truck, and the gathering will be videotaped and put on YouTube so that local Olympians Billy Demong (Nordic combined), Tim Burke (biathlon), Chris Mazdzer (luge) and Peter Frenette (ski jumping) can see their proud hometown cheering them on. Everyone is invited. There’s a charge for the barbecue but the Olympic rally is free. People are welcome to bring signs and banners. The vets’ club will provide flags. Organizers are hoping to have more than 250 people in the photograph. There will be an opportunity to send recorded messages to the athletes as well.
Events begin at 10 a.m. with the annual White Stag Race, one of the oldest continually run ski races in the East, begun in the mid 1940s. The big-air freestyle exhibition will be held throughout the day on the Terrain Park.
Pisgah is one of the Adirondacks’ awesome little ski areas (here’s a list of the others, including the bigs), and there is a lot of excitement on the mountain this year, not just because of the Olympians. Friends of Mt. Pisgah, a grassroots group, is trying to raise $400,000 to replace the T-bar lift, the tubing area is better than ever, and the terrain park and night-lighting have undergone big improvements.
The 113th Saranac Lake Winter Carnival kicks off Friday night at the Harrietstown Hall with coronation, when the nuclear secret of who will reign as this year’s king and queen is unlocked. Events continue until Sunday February 14.
Hungry Bear Publishing is seeking essays and photos for an upcoming book of favorite memories of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival, Publisher Andy Flynn told the the weekly Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee meeting January 20th. Titled “Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Memories,” the project will help raise fund for the Committee.
“This will be a book by the community, for the community,” Flynn, who will collect the submissions and be the editor of the project, said in a press release to the Almanack. “Since the Winter Carnival is the most community-oriented festival I’ve ever seen, this book must reflect the heart and soul of Saranac Lake. It needs to be written by the community.” Here is the rest of Flynn’s announcement:
“Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Memories” will be a memory book, not a complete history of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival, which traces its roots to a small festival in 1897 during the tuberculosis-curing days. The Pontiac Club organized and hosted the event during the early years. The Ice Palace , a long-held Winter Carnival tradition, was first built for the 1898 Carnival, when hundreds of visitors traveled to Saranac Lake for the festivities by train.
“The Committee was very excited to learn of Andy’s plans,” said Jeff Dickson, Chairman of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee. “Winter Carnival is all about the creation of memories and everyone who has ever attended has some. Unfortunately, most of them get lost with the passage of time. This book’s value to us as a fundraiser is wonderful, and the personal history that it will present is even more exciting.”
Every good story has a theme. Residents are asked to pick one memorable moment from a past Saranac Lake Winter Carnival, good or bad, and explain why it was so memorable. Give details, give names. Describe the scene. How did it affect you or others? Were you a king or queen? If you choose to write about a Winter Carnival artifact, explain where you got it or how it was used and submit a photo.
“If you ever wanted to have your essay or photo published in a book, this is your chance,” Flynn said. “In return for the community’s donation of memories, we will donate 10 percent of the book’s proceeds to the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee to help ensure that this annual event stays around for a very long time.”
People may submit essays of no longer than 450 words and/or a maximum of two photographs. Poems and illustrations are also accepted. The inside pages will be black and white. Entry/permission forms and Rules & Directions are available as PDF downloads at www.HungryBearPublishing.com or by contacting Andy Flynn at 40 McClelland St. , Saranac Lake , NY 12983, (518) 891-5559, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Entry/permission forms must be filled out and sent via snail mail to Hungry Bear Publishing, while essays and photos must be sent via email. Specifications are listed on the Rules & Direction form.
“Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Memories” will be released in the fall of 2010, just in time for the Christmas shopping season. The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2010.
Cover photos for the book were provided by Mark Kurtz Photography, of Saranac Lake . Mark Kurtz is the official photographer for the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival. One photo shows the fireworks display over the 2008 Ice Palace , and the other photo shows one of the famous Lawn Chair Ladies, Saranac Laker Sue Grimm, in action during the 2009 Gala Parade.
Based in Saranac Lake, Hungry Bear Publishing produces community-based publications and programs promoting the heritage and towns of the Adirondack region. In 2008, the company was awarded a Certificate of Commendation from the Upstate History Alliance for the Adirondack Attic History Project, which Andy Flynn founded in 2003 to actively preserve Adirondack history by collecting artifact-based, human-interest stories. Those stories have been compiled into the five-part “Adirondack Attic” book series. Hungry Bear Publishing also produces the Meet the Town community guide series and most recently published the re-print version of “Mostly Spruce and Hemlock,” the classic history of Tupper Lake by Louis Simmons, a project that was a fundraiser for the Goff-Nelson Memorial Library.
It’s still huge to see his name on the list. He’s a great guy and makes us proud. It’s hard to explain why people who have nothing to do with these kids’ success can feel that way, but in a small town you just do. Six athletes who have grown up in Lake Placid and Saranac Lake are going to the 2010 games in Vancouver, and so are three who moved here at a young age, as are some luge veterans who’ve lived in Lake Placid so long it’s home. In a region of .00004 percent of the national population that is sending 4 percent of our Olympic team, the degrees of separation are considerably foreshortened. These inspiring young men and women are neighbors and friends. Or we know their moms or dads, or see them skiing at Avalanche Lake, or listen to them play mandolin in the bandshell. We may have taught them history, drank their homemade cider or been next door when one of them (whom we will call “War Horse”) broke his leg in some sort of homemade man-size slingshot.
We thought Andrew would be the last of the Adirondack contenders to be named, but 16-year-old Ashley Caldwell also made the Olympic cut yesterday; she will compete in aerials for the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team. She moved to Lake Placid three years ago to pursue her sport, and we’ll cheer just as loudly for her.
Even athletes who train or compete in Lake Placid gain a local following. My friend’s daughter will be rooting for the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team, several of whose members coached her at hockey camp last summer. The ladies also have fans at Lisa G’s.
Saranac Lake is sometimes obscured by Lake Placid’s 1932 and 1980 Olympian shadow, but it too has been known to send bobsledders, skaters, skiers and hockey players to world competition. This year four Saranac Lakers are heading to the winter Olympics: 21-year-old luger Chris Mazdzer, 17-year-old ski jumper Peter Frenette, 27-year-old Tim Burke of Paul Smiths (Biathlon) and 29-year-old Billy Demong of Vermontville (Nordic Combined). Tupper Lake also takes pride in Peter Frenette, who has many relatives there and who debuted on skis at age 2 at Big Tupper. We in Saranac Lake claim kinship with Billy and Tim because they attended and skied for Saranac Lake High School, plus they got early lessons here, at Dewey Mountain Recreation Area.
I love the fact that luger Mark Grimette is 39 and his silver-medal doubles partner Brian Martin is 36 and they still have wheels (wrong metaphor, but they are serious competitors). Vancouver will be their fourth Olympics.
My other favorite Olympic friendship story is that of Lowell Bailey of Lake Placid (Biathlon) and Tim and Billy (pictured). These three have skied together since they were little, and the love of their sport has taken them around the world. Haley Johnson of Lake Placid (Biathlon) joined that pack when she began traveling with Lowell and Tim in high school.
Kris Cheney Seymour runs the Dewey Mountain Youth Ski League in Saranac Lake and is a top-notch skier and coach. He grew up in Saranac Lake and has long known Billy, Tim, Lowell and Haley as a coach and friend. He is one of many coaches, mentors and sports-support staff around here who have a greater claim on community pride. When people joke that Dewey should be called “the Other Olympic Mountain” for its early role in so many good skiers’ lives, Kris says there’s something to it. Once, after a particularly steep hill on the World Cup circuit in Europe, Tim e-mailed Kris and commented that Dewey prepared him well.
We might take it for granted that so many kids here skate, ski and slide. But as Kris often points out, these sports can change lives. Not only are they fun, apparently they can take you places. Even if they don’t take you to the Olympics, plenty of locals have gone to college on their sport and competed against some of the best athletes in the world.
So, go Andrew! Go Billy, Lowell, Tim, Haley, Peter, Chris, Ashley, Mark, Brian, Bengt Walden (luge), John Napier (bobsled) and Erin Hamlin (luge)! And you too, speed skater Trevor Marsicano of Ballston Spa and Plattsburgh native Anders Johnson, who trained at Lake Placid’s speedskating and ski jumping facilities! And go U.S. women’s hockey team! Have a great time in Vancouver.
Photograph of (l to r) Lowell Bailey, Billy Demong and Tim Burke as young skiers, courtesy of the Demong family
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