•50 Years Ago - February, 1959•

Tree tapping time will soon be here, and farmers will set up their equipment for the annual sugar bush harvest.

"It is the time to come and tap a fragrant bounty in the tree - Let buckets brim with crystal sap, unbridled stream race skyward, free." --William Vincent Sieller

Girl burned in school lab, teacher hurt

Lynne Smith, a 10th grade student of Warrensburg High School is in Glens Falls Hospital suffering from 2nd degree burns on the face, shoulder and hand which she received Feb. 3, 1959 while working in the school chemistry lab.

The quick action of science teacher Rudolph Meola was praised when he tore off his heavy tweed jacket and quickly wrapped it around Lynne's body, smothering the flames and preventing even more injury to her and other students. In the process he received severe burns on his hand.

The group of which Lynn was a part was at work on an experiment of extracting chlorophyll from leaves when the alcohol from a beaker caught fire and blazed up. Lynn threw up her hand to protect her eyes which showed presence of mind, for she was quickly enveloped in flames.

Dr. John Cunningham and the emergency ambulance were immediately summoned while school nurse Jessie Robinson administered first aid and then rode to the hospital with Lynne. She was transported by Richard Kline and Hugh Trenary. Principal Durwood Weaver investigated and made a full report at the school board meeting.

Lynne Smith was in the hospital for several weeks. Some of her scars were permanent but not on her face. She is the daughter of Wilford "Woody" and Lenore Smith of Warrensburg. Woody died in 1983.

Today Lynne is the wife of Orson Richards and lives in East Greenbush. Their son, McLaren Richards and his wife have two children and he runs the Riverside Gallery in Warrensburg.

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