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Making a difference: one person at a time

Every now and again, we have the opportunity to make a difference in someone's life. While such events may seem minor at the time, they can have a cumulative effect when they occur more often.

Rarely do such occasions occur intentionally, we can't actually seek them out. Rather, they come through some odd twist of fate or circumstance when it's the right thing to do at the right time.

In recent weeks, I've enjoyed three such opportunities. They weren't life-changing occurrences, but each proved to be a great day to be out.

The first occurred in Ray Brook in my backyard, as I fished with an old high school friend and his son. I don't know what I enjoyed more, the friendly banter, the competitiveness between father and son or the simple pleasures of watching two grown men be kids again, if only for an afternoon.

Our day concluded far too soon and as they departed with a batch of fresh brook trout destined for the frying pan. I was left with the knowledge that it had been another day well spent, in the outdoors.

Another opportunity came when a friend in Newcomb asked if I could arrange a guide for Earl Patric, a former biologist at the Huntington Wildlife Forest who was returning for the annual SUNY-ESF/Adirondack Ecological Center Reunion with his wife Jeanne and daughter Elizabeth.

Mr. Patric, who worked and lived at Huntington Forest from 1952-1966, wanted to visit Henderson Lake in Tahawus. The lake, privately held for over a century, is now open to the public. Unfortunately, I was not available to guide Mr. Patric, nor was I able to arrange for another guide.

However, after Elizabeth assured me that she was competent and confident at the oars, I dropped off a large, comfortable rowing canoe on Henderson Lake. She took over the expedition.

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