subscription newsletter text is here, as are photos
past newsletters are available at: http://www.dteator.com/glhg/glhg.htm
It was story-telling at its best – good delivery,
places we know or have heard of, interesting people even if had not known
them before this night. Chuck D’Imperio spun a web of stories he has
found along his way in Upstate New York, more of which can be enjoyed in
(Quick aside: I bought, for the Historian’s
folders, not only the aforementioned book but also Great
Graves of Upstate New York: Final Resting Places of True American Legends
as well as Upstate New York: in 100
Words or Less. NOTE: Chuck has two other published books and, coming
out later this summer, a book about Unusual Museums, of course, in Upstate
OK, back to the story. (This is kinda like Chuck’s
speaking style.) So, Chuck discovers the rest of the story, about Ethan
Allen, Benedict Arnold (before the betrayal), Lake Champlain, and so on.
Chuck’s first story of the evening came from Great
Graves, the second chapter of the book, retelling the story of Annie
Edison Taylor. And in Chuck-style, we find out that Annie is a
60-something woman, down on her luck, and she puts herself in a barrel on
the Niagara River and lets herself go. Becoming the first person to
survive the drop over the Falls, she launches her own publicity tour in
hopes of making enough money for a better life. It works for about a year
but then her fame fades (the plunge happens only a few days before the
assassination of McKinley in nearby Buffalo) and Annie dies “blind and a
pauper in the Welfare Ward of the Niagara County Home” in 1921. Chuck,
of course, tells the story better.
A passing note: on my way home, I thought about Chuck’s stories, and reminisced about the story-tellers I have had the fortune of hearing—Walter Ingalls, Harriett Rasmussen (in her quiet way), Toot Vaughn, and so many more. And I should reassure everyone that we all, yes, I mean all, are story tellers, and the telling is more important than the wondering how we appear in public. So, get out there, and tell some stories. Better yet, tell some stories that resurrect worthwhile tales of the past that many may have forgotten. Even better-er (you can tell I was an English teacher!) yet is to write them down so others can share them years and generations later.
The evening had started at the end of a wet, soggy, 63° day – a tough June day. Still, we had about twenty-five brave the elements to share the evening. In attendance, from what I remember: Walter & Donna Ingalls, Christine Mickelsen, Stephanie Ingalls, Ron Golden, Bette Welter, Mary Heisinger, Bob and Marie Shaw, Robert & Johanna Titus, Lew & Sue Knott, Don & Deb Teator, Tim & Judy Adams, and Roger Morey. Sally & John Dyce are Coxsackie people but hail from Sydney, thus recognizing a hometown boy. And there must have been a few more but they are lost in the mists of my brain. (If you let me know who, I will mention them in the next newsletter.)
Starting the meeting, I retold how worthy and educational the Greene County Historical Society’s house tour was earlier in the month. The sites stretched from the U&D train station in Haines Falls to the Westkill–Spruceton Rd (I bet not many Greenvillers even have an idea where Spruceton is.
Our next meeting will be held in collaboration with the Civil War Round Table, on Wednesday, July 10. General and Mrs. Grant will make a special appearance, with the General talking tactics and war, and Mrs. Grant discussing a favorite topic—Morgan horses.
A thank you goes to Stephanie and Christine for taking care of refreshments so capably. (Much appreciated here; it is one facet of meetings I enjoy partaking in but would rather not have to arrange.)
I mentioned the Clematis Garden 2013 tour (past, by the time you get this newsletter), another worthy community-building event.
Another plaintive request of mine was for each of us to look at our photo albums and to label them. If you were not around, would other people know who are in the pictures and where the shot is taken? I note this because of a scanning session where most of the photos I saw could not be identified. And I have seen thousands of photos that get thrown out because no one can make sense of them, other than a generic, anonymous curiosity.
Looking ahead, our August meeting, sponsored with the Library, features a slide show of Greenville history. Although a few slides from last year’s show (the first one) will be repeated, I still have enough often seldom seen ones to keep things interesting. The focus in the second half of the show will be Norton Hill and Freehold.
On a local community note, stop into Tops (the former
Bryant’s), step inside twenty feet, turn around, and look at the front
wall. Stretching from entry door to exit door are vistas of local history,
all of which you have seen because of the photos in the Historian’s
files. From what I understand, Tops makes it a practice to include local
scenes in their stores, and a nice job was done for Greenville.
Shown somewhere in here are a couple photos of the Chuck D’Imperio meeting.
Remember, Wednesday, July 10 for General and Mrs. Grant. (not our usual day of week!)
For those of you who came out on a soggy evening in June, thank you, and a pat on the back.
June 2013 meeting: Mary H updating group on Civil War Round Table