Monday, March 10, 2014

Naj Wikoff: A Better Way to Divorce

Debra and JohnOnce in LA, I saw this middle-aged woman driving a black Porsche Carrera GT. The license plate read, “WAS HIS.”

Divorce can be nasty, expensive, and tough on the kids, families, and friends. I have friends who said they were lucky to get out still owning their golf clubs. I know people who decades later are still traumatized by a past divorce, be it their divorce or that of their parents.

A reality of living in small towns is after the divorce you still meet your ex at the art center, grocery store, post office, waiting in line to vote, or attending civic events and holiday parties, encounters made more difficult if the divorce could have been a scene out of the film “War of the Roses.” Friends are often put in an awkward position as they may care equally for you both and don’t want to take sides. The kids though, they really take the beating. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Reason2Smile World Music Fest in Lake Placid

R2S-28For the second year the not-for-profit organization Reason2Smileis hosting an all day music festival with workshops and children’s camp on March 8 at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.  The festival focus is to introduce the Lake Placid and surrounding areas to an eclectic group of artisans sharing their love of music, art and movement.

According to Reason2Smile Founder and Executive Director Keela Grimmette the event has grown since its first year, with groups coming to hold classes and perform from as far afield as Plattsburgh and Watertown. She would like workshop participants to walk away from the Reason2Smile World Festival with an understanding of all the diverse groups that are located near by and what each one has to share. » Continue Reading.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Adirondack Women’s History Events Planned

image001(8)Celebrate Women’s History Month on March 21 and 22 with a program of stories and music by acclaimed Adirondack singer-songwriter Peggy Lynn and author/performer Sandra Weber.

On Friday, March 21 at 7:00 pm Peggy and Sandra perform at the Whallonsburg Grange Hall. On Saturday, March 22 at 6:30 pm at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts there is a reception to benefit the Adirondack History Center Museum followed by a performance at 7:30 pm. The Wild Spirits: Songs and Stories of Remarkable Adirondack Women program highlights the contributions and journeys of famous (and not so famous) women of the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Watertown’s Show-Biz Pioneer: Charles Giblyn (Part 3)

3A CGiblynAdIn 1920, Charles Giblyn produced his first film for William Fox. (If the name sounds familiar, William founded Fox Film Corporation in 1915, the forerunner of today’s Fox TV and movie units.) The film, Tiger’s Cub, allowed Giblyn a homecoming of sorts. With his lead actress, Pearl White, who reportedly had the widest following of any star worldwide at the time, he came north for filming in Port Henry, about an hour south of Plattsburgh, where he once lived.

After producing a few more movies, Charles was sent to the West Coast on behalf of Fox, where he continued working. For a brief period, he assumed leadership of the Motion Picture Directors’ Association, but when Fox re-assigned him to more movie projects back East, he surrendered the top spot with the MPDA and headed for New York. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Night Sky Over Heart Lake

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Last night was perfect for viewing the stars over large portions of the Adirondacks.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Center for Loon Conservation Project Seeks Funding

Loon BookThe Biodiversity Research Institute’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation has announced a campaign on Adirondack Gives, the crowdfunding site for Adirondack region nonprofits, which seeks support to digitize historical slides and film footage produced by Adirondack nature photographer Kip Taylor.

In the 1970s and 1980s, when loons were rarely observed on Adirondack waterways, and prior to the age of digital photography, Kip Taylor extensively documented the natural history and behavior of Common Loons on Adirondack lakes, including some very unique underwater footage and photographs of feeding and swimming loons. Prior to his passing in 1997 Taylor published Loon, which chronicled his excursions to photograph these distinctive birds. His widow has donated his film and slides for use in BRI’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation’s outreach programs. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Local Crowd-funding Site Celebrates First Successes

unnamed(1)Adirondack region nonprofits are finding success on Adirondack Foundation’s new crowdfunding website, Adirondack Gives.  As of Feb. 13, four organizations-the Adirondack Council, the Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society, Dewey Mountain Friends and the Lake Placid Center for the Arts-have reached their respective goals. Several other campaigns have surpassed the minimum of $250 to receive funding with time to spare.  To date, 15 campaigns have collectively raised more than $4,300 on Adirondack Gives.

The Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society successfully raised $1,000 in 60 days to help pay for the preservation of its glass plate negative collection. The historical society took ownership of the 10,000-piece collection in 2011, and has been working to preserve the negatives to museum standards since.  The glass plates depict life in Lake Placid from the early 1800s to the mids-1900s.  The historical society will use the $1,000 it raised to bolster a campaign to raise $5,000 to match a challenge grant it received last fall specifically for preservation of the glass plate collection. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Watertown’s Show-Biz Pioneer: Charles Giblyn (Part 2)

2A CGiblynBy 1911, Charles Giblyn, now 40, had been acting for more than 20 years, receiving many great reviews for his theater work. That he often stood out was reflected in comments like the following, taken from the pages of the Los Angeles Herald: “Not Yet, But Soon, currently at the Grand Opera House, has just one thing to commend it to theater-goers. This is the acting of Charles Giblyn as a dope fiend. Apart from Mr. Giblyn’s work, the piece is silly, stupid, and boresome.”

He had also managed several stock companies, and in recent years directed many stage plays and vaudeville shows at LA’s Belasco and other theaters. The experience would serve him well as he plunged head-first into a new show-business medium: the world of movies.

The birth of the commercial film industry was at hand, and Charles quickly became a main player at the directorial level. By mid-July 1913, the New York Dramatic Mirror noted that “… Giblyn … is making quite a hit by his clever work in the moving picture field.” It was but a hint of what was to come. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

A New History of Warrensburg Published

Book cover frontFollowing five years of planning, research, writing and design, the Warrensburgh Historical Society has released Warrensburg, New York: 200 Years of People, Places and Events (2014) in honor of the town’s Bicentennial Celebration.

Spearheaded by Town Historian Sandi Parisi, the effort involved more than 20 volunteers. The 184-page soft-cover book, laid out as an encyclopedia of Warrensburg history, contains more than 300 photographs and a 19-page index with over 2,300 listings.

Topics range from the town’s earliest settlers in the late 18th century to more recent notables of the 20th century, plus industries, businesses, and events that contributed to a thriving and prosperous community which influenced the local, state and national scenes. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Blue Skies At The St. Regis Fire Tower

St Regis Mountain Fire Tower in WinterBluebird days make for great opportunities to photograph the striking contrast between the blue sky and snow.  Typically photographing mid-day produces lack luster photographs.  A polarizing filter will help cut the harshness of the light and produce a deep blue sky. Regardless of whether you are interested in photography, days such as these should be spent outside, not behind a desk.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Watertown’s Charles Giblyn, Show-Biz Pioneer

1A CGiblynDuring research, trivial bits of information often lead to the discovery (or uncovering) of stories that were either lost to time or were never told. For instance, did you know that a North Country man once directed Harrison Ford in a movie role as a young adventurer? Or that a coast-to-coast theater star hails from Watertown? Or that a man with regional roots patented a paper toilet-seat protector two decades before it was offered to the public? Or that a northern New York man was once a sensation after posing for a famous calendar? Or that an area resident was the go-to guy for the legendary titans of a very popular American industry?

If you’re at all puzzled, take comfort in knowing that the answers are simple, because one name―Charles W. Giblyn―is correct on all counts. A snippet of news, citing him as a former movie director, piqued my interest. The follow-up revealed a man possessing star quality and many talents, and an amazing career that today, for the most part, is long forgotten. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

The MacIntyre Range in Winter

IndianFallsClear skies, moderate temperatures, and a recent snowfall have made for very enjoyable conditions in the backcountry.  Saturday afternoon I skied up to Indian Falls and captured this shot of the MacIntyre Range.  The skiing was good, the only issue was a few trees down across the ski trail below Indian Falls.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Adirondack Diversity: A Conversation with Carol Cain

CainAs we debate diversity and the future of the Adirondack Park it is high time to hear from another voice besides mine.  Today I bring you a subject matter expert: traveler and travel writer Carol Cain.

Born in Brooklyn to a Dominican-Puerto Rican family, Carol lived and studied in the Dominican Republic as a teenager before returning to New York City to pursue a career in public relations.  She speaks three languages. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Call for Torch Runners: Olympic Flame Ceremony Friday

lpflamecauldrontestThe 1980 Olympic Flame Cauldron in Lake Placid will be lit Friday, Feb. 7, as the Adirondack region gears up to celebrate this year’s Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

The public is encouraged to attend this free ceremony, which is intended to both commemorate Lake Placid and the Adirondacks’ Olympic heritage and to honor the region’s many local athletes who have represented Team USA in the past, and those who will compete in Sochi, Russia.

Following the 6 p.m. lighting, Olympians and other runners are invited to join the torch run on a route from the Flame Cauldron at the North Elba Horse Show Grounds, down Route 73 then along Main Street. The procession will end at Mid’s Park, where a smaller, portable Empire State Winter Games cauldron will be lit. That cauldron will continue to burn throughout the Empire State Winter Games and throughout the competition at the Sochi Olympic Winter Games. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Artists Celebrating Historic Saranac Lake With Benefit

unnamed(5)Members of the Adirondack Artists Guild and Historic Saranac Lake will celebrate Saranac Lake history on Friday, Feb. 7, from 5 – 7 pm, with the opening reception for “Our Kinda Town” an exhibit and silent auction which will run through March 2.

Each year the Artists Guild selects a local not-for-profit for the February show and creates works of art that relate to the theme or mission of the organization. Founded in 1980, Historic Saranac Lake is a not-for-profit architectural preservation organization that captures and presents local history from their center at the Saranac Laboratory Museum. Built in 1894, the Saranac Laboratory was the first laboratory built for the study of tuberculosis in the United Sates.  Historic Saranac Lake operates a local history website of over 5,000 pages of at www.localwiki.net/hsl. » Continue Reading.