Posts Tagged ‘Adirondack Outlaw’

Friday, January 14, 2022

Postcard Picturesque

Small Town Adirondack Life Captured on Camera

jackie ely cat

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.

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Friday, January 7, 2022

Raising A Glass! From an antique bottle

cut bottles

Celebrating my Adirondack Bottle Diving adventure forward into 2022

This past year brought what appeared to be an exciting culmination point in my three-year Adirondack bottle diving adventure.

First, I discovered a one- of- a- kind vintage Saranac Lake “F.M. Bull” glass & wood stopper pharmacy bottle. Then, Historic Saranac Lake Museum’s Archivist/Curator, Chessie Monks-Kelly, and I joined forces in an endeavor that culminated not only in that F.M. Bull bottle being on display in their pharmacy bottle collection, but also in twenty-five more of my antique Saranac Lake “Collins Brothers” bottles being made available in a very successful fundraising effort through Historic Saranac Lake’s museum store.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Enterprising Lads

enterprising lads

In Honor of Old Newsboys Everywhere.

 We All Started Somewhere.

We moved to Saranac Lake from Lake Placid in the summer of ’73.  I had just finished 4th grade.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Winter 2021 Views Through a Henge

solstice

I don’t claim to be any expert on henges. I’ve simply always found henges to be intriguingly cool. So, one summer I built one, using hand cut stones from old farmhouse and barn foundations on my land.

We all know “Stonehenge”. But what truly is a “henge”? I did some research before building mine.  From my study of henges, I determined that most henges are basically a big circle of stones.  They are not all built the same way, but they share similar purpose. In a nutshell, it appears most henges are constructed to measure and celebrate the comings and goings of seasons.

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Sunday, December 19, 2021

Santa’s Spirit Revisited

christmas 1973December 1976: I must have been about thirteen years old at the time. We lived in Saranac Lake. I was in 8th grade Middle School at Petrova.

Our family attended the Methodist Church in town. My parents were members there. Much to my chagrin, we went to church regularly. My brother and I, (somewhat begrudgingly on my part), started every Sunday morning with an hour at Sunday School, all spiffed up in our Sunday best, before heading upstairs to join our parents for a whole ‘nother hour of church service. I would MUCH rather have spent Sunday mornings upstairs in my bedroom listening to Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 on my radio.

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Friday, December 17, 2021

Roast Grinch: A holiday feast

holiday grinch roast

So, you’ve been doing some hunting, managed to bag a few Grinches!  Congratulations!  NOW What??

Well, I wanted to take a moment and offer some suggestions and an easy original Grinch recipe from my own Whoville Santa’s chef pantry.

Now – Whoville Santa is a firm believer that proper Roast Grinch preparation begins in the sleigh.  He recommends that once you bag a Grinch- field dress it right away!

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Monday, December 6, 2021

Truth is stranger than fiction, so too is life’s circle

full circle

I don’t know if this little story’s “bona fidis” qualify it as authentically blue-line “Adirondack.” I guess I’ll leave it to others to decide that. What I do know is this. Regardless of geography, truth is quite frequently stranger than fiction. Each day in life’s circle re-proves that.

At this point it should surprise no one to know that my father, Tom Monroe, spent his career in the NYSDEC. I have frequently referenced this rise through the ranks while writing my numerous Adirondack adventures and stories. From 1974 until 1994, when he finally retired, he served as Region V’s Regional Director. As a result, my brother and I were raised within and by our dad’s DEC family.

Life moved on. I grew up, went away to college, served time the army. My father retired. My DEC roots faded from view.  My wife Robin and I met, married and settled in Watertown.  We bought a house there, settled down, went to work raising our three children.

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Friday, December 3, 2021

One Eyed Jacks and a fateful night at Meadowbrook

“A crew of hardy young Adirondack men, a deck of playing cards, a cabin, a pair of “One Eyed Jacks”, a whiskey bottle, & a shot glass”

whiskey and one eyed jacks

     It was getting late. Time measured by the near empty whiskey bottle and battalion of “dead soldier” beer bottles standing in neatly rowed formation on the floor in one corner.

We were young Adirondack men, sitting around a worn deck of playing cards at a table in a cigar smoke filled cabin after an honest day’s work.  Young men discussing recent adventures with women and fishing as we collectively evolved our individual world views.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Poem: One Night, Adirondack

adirondack night

One Night, Adirondack

How Much Would You Pay

For One Night of Quiet Solitude

By A Crackling Campfire

Under the Stars

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Friday, November 26, 2021

Blown Up & Stuffed: Football memories

Varsity Football Memories & Lessons, taught by a true Adirondack coaching legend

saranac lake football

Saranac Lake High School. Varsity practice field – July, ’78:

“Hey MONK!  Get over here!”

I shot my best friend Chris a quizzical look. (Yes! THAT Chris, SLHS track star of Olympic Outlaws fame).

“Does Coach Raymond mean ME?!”  Chris shrugged and nodded.

“Looks that way.  Better hustle over find out.”  My first ever football practice. Already I was “Monk.”

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Thursday, November 18, 2021

What’s In a Gnome?

gnomes

Early one fall, several years ago, my wife Robin & I were planning our Christmas gift shopping list.  We asked my mom, who lives with us, and has everything;

“Mom-What do you want for Christmas?”

Mom’s answer?

“A really neat Garden Gnome.”

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Friday, November 12, 2021

Adirondack Dinosaurs

pitcher plant

“Adirondack Dinosaurs are far from extinct. In fact, certain species are quietly expanding their territory, migrating. Ancient carnivores slowly reclaiming what was once their domain. Patiently biding their time while they plot their next move. Watching us. Waiting to reclaim their Adirondack apex predator throne.”

Ever since I was a young boy, there have always been three things I’ve dreamed of being when I grow up: major league baseball player, writer, archeologist.

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Sunday, October 31, 2021

The Hunter: A (nearly-true) High Peaks tall tale

hunter

“What was that noise I just heard? Was that just a squirrel or a chipmunk? Or is somebody watching me? Are we ever truly alone in the woods?”

 “In the mountains lurk predators that remain undiscovered.”

**********

Author’s Note: Everything in this story is either true, or could be. I truly enjoyed writing it.

**********

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Friday, October 29, 2021

When The Gales Come Early

misty morning

“The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down

Of the big lake they called Gitche Gumee’

The lake it is said, never gives up her dead

When the skies of November turn gloomy”

      These classic song lyrics from Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald” haunt the forefront of my mind as I put pen to page in an effort to somehow capture the events of this true Adirondack Outlaw father/son canoe mounted duck hunt survival story.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Phoenix Rises! Celebrating a restored lean-to

new leanto

From the ashes of our beloved Bull Rush Bay lean-to’s old cedar logs, life rises anew!

Meet “The Phoenix”

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