Monday, March 25, 2013

Performing Arts History: Helen Redmond (Part Two)

Redmond 2ACelebrities always seem to have some kooky thing happening to them, and Helen Redmond’s best story was a doozy. There’s nothing funny about someone being stalked, and there’s nothing new about it either. Helen’s adventure describes something funny that happened because of a stalker, one who so resembled Redmond physically that she was often referred to as Helen’s double. The woman became obsessed with Redmond and even followed her performances on tour.

When The Ameer was performed in New York, Helen’s double booked a room in the same place where Redmond was staying. She sat in the front row for each show, and apparently began to believe that she was actually Helen Redmond. This behavior had long been of great annoyance and concern to Helen, but it now escalated to the point where the woman showed up at rehearsal as the show’s star, demanding that she be allowed to sing (her voice bore no resemblance to that of the prima donna’s). » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Journalism, Social Media, and Adirondack Marketing

Pew2013DigitalHave you altogether stopped watching, reading or listening to your go-to news source because it doesn’t provide the information you’re seeking? Well, you’re not alone.

The recently released Pew Research Center’s Annual Report on American Journalism, “The State of the News Media 2013”, finds that the power of journalism continues to shrink as the news industry continues to cut jobs and news coverage. In fact, estimates for the decline in newsroom employment – at newspapers – in 2012 is down 30 percent since its peak in 2000. » Continue Reading.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Port Henry’s Helen Redmond on Broadway

Redmond 1A We are the Adirondacks, with a rich history of mountain lore, guide stories, Great Camps, and Olympic glory. But our mountain history tends to overshadow elements of the past that can serve as great attractions for both locals and tourists alike: fame and achievements by regional natives and residents in non-mountain endeavors. Among the dozens of examples I could cite, how many of us knew that one of the most popular songs ever written was penned by a native of the North Creek-Wevertown area? Or that two world-champions―a beloved cyclist, and one of the greatest of all North Country athletes―were both based in the Glens Falls area?

Learning about the unusual talents and accomplishments of locals is highly entertaining, which makes it virtual gold for local museums. But so many of these stories are overlooked. Take for instance, Port Henry’s Helen Redmond. Though you’ve never heard of her, her talents were once celebrated from coast to coast. » Continue Reading.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Arts and Artists in Lake Placid and Saranac Lake

Cris WintersThe ides of March spawned a remarkable confluence of art and artists in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. Two exceptional exhibits opened that evening that were marveled at by crowds of fascinated people, in spite of occasional white-out blizzard conditions.

“The Past Through the Eyes of the Present” opened at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts and will be on display through April 12. I’m not sure who initially had the idea for this, but I know artists Parmalee Tolkan and Tim Fortune sent out the letters that invited artists to participate. The subtitle of the show is “Barry Collection Photos Re-Imagined by Modern Artists”. The story behind the show is that in the early 70’s, Dr. George Hart, who was present at the exhibit opening, was at the town dump when someone was about to dispose of a large number of old glass plate negatives.

Over 8,000 of them were rescued and most had been created by photographers involved with the Lake Placid Club. Now known as the Barry Collection, the images range from sports and family activities to wildlife, people in costume, x-rays, and even bodies in coffins! The Collection had been gifted to the Lake Placid Center for the Arts and they passed it along to the Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Adirondack Family Activities: Old Forge’s Strand Theatre

StrandTheatre_newValentine’s Day may just be the time to have a small town film experience with old-fashioned appeal. The Strand Theatre in Old Forge offers a heady dose of nostalgia, not only with its beautiful Art Deco setting, but also with an eclectic collection of movie memorabilia. With four screens and seating of 708, the year-round Strand Theatre at Old Forge continues to bring new movies to the screen. Make sure to leave time to explore before choosing your seats.

For us, seeing a film isn’t what brought us inside the theatre doors, it was a window display of film reels and camera parts. After meeting co-owners Bob Card and Helen Zyma, my children and I were pleasantly surprised to turn the corner to find a mini-museum dedicated to film. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Media History: Chester Sanders Lord

Chester Lord 3 x 4 BModern media includes television, radio, newspapers, and Internet sources, together bringing us news from local to international. But until about a century ago, newspapers did the job. By the mid-1800s, the process of delivering timely news to the nation’s dailies was achieved, courtesy of the telegraph. It wasn’t until the 1920s when other forms of media (radio and newsreels) began carving their own niche in reporting the news.

When newspapers ruled, editors wielded great power and thus bore great responsibility. Ethics were critical but weren’t always adhered to. It took men of courage to do what was right, and among the best of them was Chester Sanders Lord, a man with roots firmly embedded in northern New York State. » Continue Reading.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Gooley on Garrow: Accuracy And Historical Narrative

Caveat Emptor sign 02Standards are important when writing something for public consumption. If the material is based on an actual event (rather than an opinion piece or commentary), the writer carries the burden of getting it right, a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. We all make mistakes, and though it’s not my role in life to criticize others, books are important to me, and when I see slipshod work passed off as factual, it’s very irritating. It diminishes the efforts of regional writers when poorly researched and error-filled regional books are offered to the public. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Saranac Lake: Charlie Green’s Market

Oil painting by Nancy BrossardA man from England, who came to Saranac Lake to cure a respiratory illness in 1922, and ended up operating a grocery store for 60 years has turned out to be a well loved and fondly remembered citizen of the village – and the subject of an art exhibit!

The Adirondack Artists Guild, of which I am one of 14 members, has a gallery at 52 Main Street in Saranac Lake. It’s an old, three story building from the last century, situated between the Sears parking lot and the Waterhole. We knew all along that prior to being used as an art gallery that it had been a bike shop, maybe another short-lived business or 2, and before that a grocery store. The old striped awning on the front of the building, replaced a couple of years ago, had “Greens Market” on it in white letters. So a year ago, when we were planning our 2013 schedule, someone suggested we should do a special exhibit in honor of Charlie Green – the man who operated the grocery store. I wasn’t too excited about it. I had not lived here then – I knew nothing about the man or the store.
» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Adirondack Family Activities: Long Lake Ice Carving

Ice Sculptor Stan Kolonko will be in Long Lake for the second year as part of the Long Lake/Raquette Lake Ice Fest January 11-12 and bringing a special brand of art to area businesses.

According to Long Lake Director of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Alexandra Roalsvig, Stan Kolonko is providing just one part to the many activities over the course of the two-day event. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Remembering Italian-Adirondack Artist Silvia Provera

Surrounded by wilderness, woods, and waters, Adirondackers are often reminded how solitary the world can sometimes be.  Living in the Adirondack Park can sometimes feel like walking a long and lonely trail. Arriving at a remote pond the view may be ours alone on that day, but  it’s shared by millions across the world.  We feebly tend our six million-acre Adirondack garden for the world, with small hopes of inspiring others to build their own gardens of similar design.

Today we take an opportunity to remember Italian artist Silvia Provera, who passed away a year ago, as one of us – hoping to inspire Adirondack gardens in her own corner of the world. She was a well-known designer and an accomplished artisan carpenter in Europe who became fascinated with the Adirondack region after spotting Adirondack chairs in a garden by the Orbetello Lagoon, in Tuscany. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Outside Story: Natural Christmas Tree Decorations

“What a horrifyingly garish sight,” I said to my friend as we surveyed my Christmas tree last year. We had just finished decorating it and my eyes were sending messages to my brain, like, “Hey, this is really tacky.”

Truth is, the décor I had accumulated after years of city dwelling in my sassy twenties looked awfully out of place in my humble Vermont cabin. What I once thought dazzling – glitter-coated icicles, a miniature disco ball, a purple-feathered bird with jeweled eyes, flocks of shiny gold and green balls – now looked as out of place as a pink flamingo at my bird feeder. Even the duck decoy my great uncle carved seemed to give the gaudy fiasco an alarmed stare. Such a tree no longer belonged in my world. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Living Tradition: Lake George’s Chris Shaw

For much of the past summer, Chris Shaw was busy organizing workshops and staging concerts of the region’s traditional music at the Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne. “It’s vital that we preserve these songs,” said Shaw. “Nothing gives you better access to the Adirondack experience than listening to the music.” But it’s not the mission of the Adirondack Folk School to display the region’s hand crafted products behind glass, nor to make craftsmen into re-enactors; it’s to ensure that the traditions will be continued, said Shaw.

“That’s what’s so cool about the Adirondack Folk School; you don’t just learn the history of Adirondack pack baskets, you make one. It’s the same with music. We want to maintain the musical traditions, but also, to see them live and evolve,” he said. Shaw, a native of Lake George, has made a career of singing Adirondack folk songs and telling Adirondack tales. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Newcomb Interpretive Center Celebrating Winter Saturday

The Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC) will celebrate the winter season on Saturday, December 8 with a day of activities highlighted by a concert by Adirondack singer/songwriter/storyteller Chris Shaw.

Throughout the day, visitors will have an opportunity to create their own nature decorations and hang them on the center’s winter solstice tree. Visitors can learn about the winter solstice, hike or snowshoe on the trails, and watch birds at the feeders. Eggnog and punch will be served at 2 p.m.; participants are invited to bring a plate of cookies to share. The center will be open until 5 p.m., an hour later than usual. There is no fee for admission. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

‘The Wild Life’ at View in Old Forge

Whether an eagle soaring majestically through the sky, or a raccoon knocking over your garbage can, wildlife is a part of Adirondack life.

“The Wild Life” is an exhibition that puts our wild neighbors front and center will be on display at View from December 8, 2012 – April 28, 2013. The exhibition will have a wild opening reception and preview on Friday, December 7, from 5-7pm that is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to show their wild side with furs, antlers, tails, and any wild apparel encouraged.
» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Photography: Thoughts on Digital Technology

I have been traveling for most of the summer and fall, hiking and painting in Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks and visiting family in Atlanta, so have not written much for the Almanack. I have literally taken thousands of digital photographs. Dealing with all those photos has prompted me to think about how our use of images and technology is evolving.

First, all of us with digital cameras have learned that we can now take unlimited numbers of photos. Up close, far away, every possible angle, multiple views – only then we end up with huge numbers of images, like I did, and it becomes an immense task to do something with them. » Continue Reading.


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