This past year, many people here in the Adirondacks and around the country have experienced what has been termed as a “Life Storm.”
This storm is culminated by circumstances that test our strength, devour our peace and steal our joy. The truth is there may have been many storms in your life, not just in the past year but sporadically throughout your life. Like weather storms, life storms can come in slowly and leave quickly or roll in quickly and linger for some time. No matter the substance, life storms can feel personally aimed and centered on us. It can be lonely when the darkness creeps in and there seems to be no shelter.
The Ticonderoga Historical Society is set to present a free program, “Adirondack Jews – Community and Contribution,” at 7 pm on Thursday, November 29 at the Hancock House, 6 Moses Circle in Ticonderoga.
The Adirondacks are rich with accomplishments and contributions by individuals of Jewish heritage. This program will look at people such as Louis Marshall, an attorney and conservationist and his son Bob Marshall, a founder of the Adirondack 46ers and The Wilderness Society. » Continue Reading.
Perhaps the single-most-recognizable symbol of the Halloween season is the traditional hollowed out pumpkin carved into a smiling or ominous, illuminated-in-the-dark face. But, “Why,” I’ve often been asked, “is it called a jack-o-lantern?”
While much of what’s known is ambiguous at best, the first widely-accepted mention I can find dates back to the five classes of fairies in Cornish lore: the Small People, the Brownies, the Spriggans, the Buccas, Bockles, or Knockers, and the Piskies. The Piskies went about confusing wary travelers; getting them hopelessly lost and eventually leading them into bogs and moors with a ghostly light called Ignis Fatuus; ‘the foolish fire’. Among the named Piskies were Will-O’-the-Wisp, Joan the Wad, and Jack-O’-Lantern. » Continue Reading.
The Rev. John G. Fitzgerald, or “Father Fitz,” as he was known to contemporaries, was the first resident Roman Catholic priest in Old Forge. He is fondly remembered as a missionary to the widely scattered working people of the region and as a prolific builder of churches. His obituary in 1925 and local histories rightly focus on his time in Old Forge, but Father Fitzgerald had a significant career prior to that. His early assignments reveal a resourceful and energetic clergyman who made an impact across the Adirondacks and North Country. He served the people of northern New York State for a total of 49 years providing faith, culture, and kindness.
John Gerald Fitzgerald was probably born November 19, 1850 in Deptford, Kent, England (now part of Greater London). His parents, Patrick Fitzgerald and Joanna O’Connor, were both born in Ireland. John was educated in Catholic schools in England, namely: Blackheath; Sedgley Park in Wolverhampton; and St. Edmund’s in Ware, Hertfordshire. Records from St. Edmund’s show that a John Fitzgerald attended the school from 1868 until 1871. Soon after, John emigrated to the United States where he attended St. Joseph’s Provincial Seminary in Troy, NY. He was sponsored by the recently established Diocese of Ogdensburg. At seminary, John served as choirmaster and developed what would become a lifelong interest in music. He was ordained at Troy by Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid of Rochester on June 10, 1876. » Continue Reading.
“Restoration can follow” says the preacher of our litanies of loss. His name is Oliver, no ordinary guy. Of the gift of tongues he will allow an incident in Desert Storm, glossed by Holy Spirit wind. A Bedouin came by by camel with a child needing–needing what!? “One of our Assemblies of God boys prayed that someone understand. And God said ‘Why don’t you?'” Heeding which he did, reducing Babel’s noise to apprehend the need at hand. At hand today: Oliver’s stated theme: “Except the Lord build, we build in vain” –from Ezra’s ancient Hebrew book. Grief and loss can blossom as a fruited plain and compost be more and sweeter than it seem. Lift another rock; take another look.
The Expressions of Faith Gospel Choir of St. James Episcopal Church of Baltimore, Md. (the third oldest African American parish in the Episcopal church), is set to visit the Adirondacks July 28-29. The Choir will present a floating concert along Blue Mountain Lake on Saturday and a concert and church service Sunday at the historic Church of the Transfiguration, Blue Mountain Lake.
The Expressions of Faith Choir was founded by the Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. » Continue Reading.
In life and in death we belong to God, I tell my sons. We are having one of our obligatory parental monologues as we sit on the cabin porch. My two sons are aged sixteen and thirteen. I call these monologues ‘obligatory’ because I feel obliged to have them. What the guys want is their breakfast. Their mother is a night person who likes to sleep late on vacation. I am a morning person who likes to get up early on vacation. Night to me is like a prelude to death, a hint or foretaste, a feeling not so much of powerlessness as of do-lessness. Some nights feel better than others. » Continue Reading.
Due to recent events, I’m now the only non-vegan member of a household. Granted it is a household of two where my omnivore status is respected, but the adjustment has taken longer than expected. It was some time before I stopped worrying about the welfare of tofu animals and was able to buy tofu turkey, ham, and sausage without suffering pangs of guilt.
Although we may not think of eating as able to change anything except our waistline, choices around diet do have serious and far-reaching consequences across the world. Volumes have been written on the human rights, energy policy, health, and environmental implications of food choices. But distilling even one of these points to a digestible portion-size requires more than just an essay. » Continue Reading.
This Easter, my family is choosing to leave the traditional religious service behind and mark the day on the top of Little Whiteface. Though not everyone commemorates Easter, we hope a sunrise service will be a tradition my child embraces – as well as on that briefly takes her focus off candy hunts.
Every year Gore and Whiteface Ski Resorts offer a nondenominational service that brings everyone closer to nature. Each Easter the two Adirondack ski resorts offer free gondola rides so that everyone can be part of this unique experience. » Continue Reading.
Orson Schofield “Old Mountain” Phelps (1816-1905) was the archetypical Adirondack guide.
Guide historian Chuck Brumley attributed this to the wide literary attention Phelps received from early city visitors to the High Peaks, including Verplanck Colvin and Charles Dudley Warner. Phelps was painted by Winslow Homer. He became a stock character in the guidebooks of E.R. Wallace and S.R. Stoddard.
Phelps certainly had the requisite outdoor skills to be a well-known Adirondack guide, and he cut many High Peaks trails still in use, as well as naming a number of high peaks. But it was his personality and aphorisms that caught the imagination of many of the “city men” he guided. He amused and impressed his clients with rustic humor and philosophy.
It is this aspect of Phelps that is apparent in a previously unknown collection of papers recently acquired by the Adirondack Research Library of the Kelly Adirondack Center of Union College. » Continue Reading.
Three Muslim community members will lead a panel discussion hosted by the Saranac Lake Ecumenical Council’s Peace with Justice Committee on Monday April 4, at 7 pm in the Cantwell Community Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library.
North Country residents will have an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the five pillars of Islam: faith, prayer, charity, fasting, and pilgrimage. » Continue Reading.
We all affect the lives of others, but the sphere of influence for most folks is limited. Relatively few among us substantially impact multiple generations, but the innovative work of a pioneering North Country native has affected nearly every American and Japanese citizen, plus countless others, for the past 125 years.
Malinda Ann Judson Richards, self-described as Linda Richards, was born in 1841 near Potsdam in St. Lawrence County. Her father, a preacher, named her after one of America’s first female foreign missionaries, Ann Judson. The family left Potsdam and moved to Minnesota when Linda was four years old, but just six weeks after arriving there, Sanford Richards died of tuberculosis. His widow, Betsy, moved the family to Vermont to live with her father. Linda later recalled fond memories of the relationship she shared with her grandfather during this time. They lived with him until he remarried in 1850, at which time Betsy purchased a nearby farm. » Continue Reading.
How can the Adirondack Region be more welcoming to refugees in a time when the need is acute but the political atmosphere is often hostile? On Dr. Martin Luther King Day, the Keene Valley Congregational Church (KVCC) hosted a Refugee Summit for area faith communities to begin a discussion about how to open hearts and homes to refugees in a time of international crisis. Conceived by the KVCC Steering Committee and Minister Milton Dudley, the three-hour event was attended by about seventy people from nearly a dozen churches and faith organizations from throughout the North Country and as far away as Saratoga Springs.
Speaking of the high turnout and the immediate sense of purpose in the room, Reverend Dudley said the gathering went “way above and beyond” his expectations. “I think the spirit here is ‘We want to do something, so let’s go.’ The analysis will come later.” » Continue Reading.
One mystery remains which my research into the early cabins on Raquette Lake’s Indian Point has never fully solved. Why did the last two generations of our family have no knowledge of the original Thacher cabin on Indian Point from 1878-1886? Why are there no photos or drawings? Why was it abandoned?
Today, my family is proud of its Irish heritage thanks to the courage of my grandfather Kenelm R. Thacher in marrying Catherine Callahan. Family lore has it that after the marriage Kenelm Thacher was labeled the black sheep of the family, the result of the bigotry toward Catholics by members of my Protestant family. My aunt spoke of certain Thacher family members who crossed the street in downtown Albany, rather than converse with her parents. It turns out however, that my grandfather was not the first Thacher to marry a Catholic, to the chagrin of some of his family. » Continue Reading.
The Reverend Philip Allen is pastor of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Indian Lake as well as St. Paul’s in Blue Mountain Lake and St. Joseph’s in Olmstedville.
He grew up on the family dairy farm in Peru, New York, entered seminary in Ogdensburg, and spent his career in parishes of the Ogdensburg Diocese in northern New York. He has been in Indian Lake for three and a half years and has also served in churches in Saranac Lake and Ausable Forks, among other communities. He has been an avid hiker and at the age of eighty-one is one hike short of completing the Adirondack Forty-Six for the twenty-fifth time. » Continue Reading.
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