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Along the Canal                                                               June 2013

                                            Vicky Daly

You Never Know What You’ll Find

            One of the pleasures I never have sufficient time to indulge is the opportunity for an uninterrupted time to read. My choice of reading material is diverse and may be a novel, history, biographies or whatever looks interesting at the time. When our children were small I specialized in short stories for obvious reasons.  Travel, especially by air or train, provides that opportunity; reading in the car not so much and never on a boat. There is so much to see when you are on a boat, especially on the canal.

            I had an A #1 opportunity to read early in May and I took it. We were returning from a tour of the National Parks in the Four Corners area. (If you have not been there, go! The parks and the landscapes  between them are magnificent.) The tour ended in Las Vegas before a lengthy flight home which involved a change of planes in Denver and then again Chicago before arriving in Rochester. To prepare myself for that much sitting I picked up that morning’s NY Times in the Las Vegas airport at 4:30 AM. And read I did  - all the way home, finding  two items which pleased me greatly and which I want to share with you.  It’s so nice to find positive references in the papers. I need to tell you I read the ‘soft’ stuff first in the papers. It sort of cushions all the bad news on the state, federal and international level.
            A delightful find in the Arts section of the Times, 5/15/13, was an article by Joseph Berger on a new exhibit of the Museum of the City of New York ( a great place to visit ). The exhibit is entitled “A Beautiful Way to Go: New York’s Greenwood Cemetery”. It was the first residential cemetery in the area, as opposed to church, private and military. What pleased me was the following:
            As the exhibition points out, the cemetery was founded a dozen or so years after the opening of the Erie Canal, which turned New York into the umbilical cord between Europe and the Midwest and fueled the city’s explosive growth.
            We all know this to be true, but it is very nice to read it in the NY Times.
Every Wednesday there is a section of the NY Times devoted to Dining. That particular paper had a featured article entitled “Turning A Colorblind Eye to Spring: Twenty Wines for $20 each, minus preconceived notions” by Eric Asimov. A preconceived notion he references is that New York State wines are not worth one’s attention. BUT, among the European and California wines that day was listed  a Pinot Noir from Red Tail Ridge Winery on the west side of Seneca Lake.  The labels of all Finger Lakes wines list their Finger Lakes location. I believe it is a law. That is good for everyone. If this is of interest to you,  take a look at Summer in a Glass: The Coming of Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes.  It is about the wines but, even more, it is about the people who make it. Evan Dawson, whose name may be familiar to television viewers in the Rochester area, is the author. It is a good read.
And on the local level: Congratulations are in order for the 3 new Eagle Scouts: Chris Heckman, Boy Scout Troop 166, Macedon, and Stephen Lucas and Jeremy Unterborn, Scout Troop 96, Palmyra. They are fine young men who have accomplished much and, as their leaders remind them, much will be expected of them in the future. I have no doubt that they will continue to make us all proud. Congratulations, too, go to Pat Gorthy, author of Peppermint Summer,  A young girl’s journey on the Erie Canal in 1860 to visit her grandparents’ peppermint farm in Lyons. Not just a delightful read, the book preserves and shares an important part of Wayne County and Erie Canal history. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the book will go to the Hotchkiss Building museum in Lyons.


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