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Considering a living history

One of things that I found to help "make sense" of everything that is happening in our region is to reflect on the words of others who have explored some of the same issues. It's nice to know that we are not alone in our effort to document events and share perspectives. Many times we find these reflections are expressed in a way that is more eloquent, and meaningful, than most of us could ever hope to achieve.

As I researched last week's local history story, and thought about some of the recent conversations I have had with residents about the preservation of the Adirondacks - a quote from William Chapman White's classic book, "Adirondack Country," caught my eye.

He writes: "As a man tramps the woods to the lake he knows he will find pines and lilies, blue herons and golden shiners, shadows on the rocks and the glint of light on the wavelets, just as they were in the summer of 1354, as they will be in 2054 and beyond. He can stand on a rock by the shore and be in a past he could not have known, in a future he will never see. He can be a part of time that was and time yet to come."

In reading this, I believe White understood the nature of this region, and the timelessness of it. From this perspective, our personal view of history is intimately connected and fluid - representing a small snapshot as fleeting as a "glint of light."

This summer we have learned a lot about the history of our region. From Indian Lake's Sesquicentennial and the Blue Mountain Lake Museum, to Newcomb's Teddy Roosevelt Celebration and dozens of smaller events in between - we are a region that honors our history even if we hesitate to call it our own.

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