Small Town Adirondack Life Captured on Camera
A Collaboration Featuring Photography by Jackie Ely
My SLHS ‘81 Classmate & Friend
Reflecting back now, I suppose it’s just one of the realities of life. Even in the small-town Adirondacks that most of us reside or grew up in, it’s surprisingly easy to live without ever really knowing the majority of our fellow citizens, classmates, or neighbors.
Everyone knows everyone’s first name. We say “Hello”, even wave. But we don’t really get to know each other. Growing up in Saranac Lake was no different.
Our Saranac Lake High School Class of 1981 graduated one hundred and seventy- four students, a HUGE graduating class by Saranac Lake standards. I can honestly say I really knew about ten of them.
Jackie and I were classmates. We said “Hi” in the hallways. Jackie was busy doing, well, Jackie things, I guess. I was busy honing my teenage skills as an outlaw.
By the time Senior Year mayhem subsided and we all somehow survived and graduated, went off to work, college, entered the service, following our individual life paths, I lost track going forward with all but a select few of our classmates.
Flash Forward, to Facebook and today’s social media. Suddenly, like many, I found myself rekindling old friendships that most of us likely never even knew that we had.
I’m far from “tech savvy”, as my family will all readily attest. Still, after setting up a Facebook page, TWITTER account, and my own adirondackoutlaw.com blog, in relatively short order I had an impressive number of followers and friends. My SLHS ’81 classmate Jackie became one of them.
Over the past two years or so, nearly every morning and evening when I check in on Facebook, there is Jackie, sharing some awesome new hometown Saranac Lake photos. They are exquisite, Postcard Picturesque. Jackie has a talent, that special “hometown eye”, capturing the essence of everyday life in Saranac Lake and the surrounding area.
Jackie shares her upper story apartment with her pet cat Wilson. Wilson is nearly sixteen years old! From their bird’s eye (or in Wilson’s case- “bird’s eyed”) view, Jackie and Wilson chronicle small town life Adirondack, both its comings and goings, sunrises, sunsets, breathtaking fireworks displays and of course, the weather.
For those lucky enough to be counted amongst her Facebook “friends”, her photographs have become quite popular. They are spectacular. Each day everyone on Facebook looks forward to seeing them.
One day I commented on her Facebook page; “Jackie, you should go into the postcard business! Your work is amazing!” A number of Jackie’s other Facebook friends heartily agreed.
I think I may have embarrassed her. I’m not quite sure. However, not long thereafter Jackie admitted, “Selling photos as postcards has long been my dream.”
That played in my mind awhile. Then it dawned on me. “I bet other folks would love seeing Jackie’s camera work as much as her friends do. I bet Melissa Hart & the folks at The Adirondack Almanack would help us out by sharing an article highlighting Jackie’s work.” I broached the possibility with Jackie. She agreed to share some of her photography. We made plans to collaborate.
So, without further ado, I present “Small Town Life Adirondack”, courtesy of my SLHS ’81 Classmate and friend, Jackie Ely, Saranac Lake’s unofficial “Postcard Master General.” If there is someone out there who can assist her in realizing her dream, I would consider it a personal favor.
I think everyone will agree, Jackie’s photography is Postcard Picturesque.