I miss the old days when we were all together. We are Canadians, and live on a Canadian island, but many of our neighbors and good friends are not here this summer, as they are Americans and the border is still closed. I want our readers to know that I am not being political when I post current articles on our Facebook page; I can't change the course of events, and I do appreciate the letters and suggestions we received.
One suggested that allowing property owners to cross, bring their own supplies and quarantine for 14 days could be feasible. Another suggested an island swap, with properties owned by Canadians swapped with Canadians taking up residence in a US owned property. Both suggestions sound reasonable. But someone else has to publicly champion these.
Suffice to say, we want to see masks worn everywhere; we want to see the infection rate go down in both large Canadian cities as well as US states; we want to see that everyone stays well. I hope that is not too much for which to ask.
Small World Story
On July 10, 2020, Julia A. Glover posted a beautiful photograph of two ships passing in the St. Lawrence Seaway. I immediately asked and received permission to share on TI Life. Then the next day, on July 11, 2020, I received a message from Richard Haydon, a steady contributor to Prescott Anchor and other Seaway Facebook pages. Richard wrote, "Susie, of the two boats you are going to put in TIL, the closer one was involved in a head-on in the Welland Canal today, video is on Prescott Anchor." Turns out the video, made by Alex Stewart, was not only on one or two Facebook pages, but picked up by the big time boys, appearing on networks and in other media. A couple of requests later, I too received permission to share it on TI Life. But there is more to the small world story. Richard Haydon and I grew up together in the tiny community, Ville de Léry (QC). What are the chances that TI Life would bring us back in touch? (and as an aside, the Alanis (red ship) was on the side of Wind, while the Florence Spirit (black hull) is on the side of Coal.
Video captured on the Welland Canal and shared courtesy of photographer Alex Stewart, who was at the right place at the right time to capture what we hope, is a once in a lifetime happening.
Writer Chris Brock's column in NNY 360, Daughter of north country philanthropist dies at 98, published on June 24, 2020, provides a tribute to June Noble Smith Larkin Gibson, whose family created the E. J. Noble Foundation. The Foundation is well known and appreciated in the North Country, but few know that this lovely lady was instrumental in my keen interest in the Thousand Islands.
It is a long story, but I loved this place as soon as we rented a houseboat in 1971. I had to learn why someone would name an island Deathdealer or Bloodletter - why the border zigged and zagged down the River. One day I called the Thousand Islands National Park, asking where I could get more information. The park lady suggested I visit her mother, who was a professor of history at a college in Montreal. I made an appointment, but when we met, rather than listening, I told her everything I knew - and I am thrilled I did, for when Parks Canada wanted to have a history written about recreation in the islands, that professor recommended me!
One of my first interviews in 1975, was with a lovely lady in the US. She was on a board of directors, of a major corporation, and they were having a board meeting in Alex Bay. I was told that I could write a note to her, and if she was not too busy, she would most likely meet me in the lobby. So, I wrote a note: "Dear Mrs. Larkin, I am writing a research paper for the St. Lawrence Islands National Park, Parks Canada, Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, Government of Canada... I have a few questions about the history of recreation in the 1000 islands, and I am hoping you can help." Yep... I thought being just Susie Smith, would never cut it, but having all those government people behind me, may get me a meeting. Never did I realize that the lady who came out of the room laughing, would be so nice, so kind and most of all so willing to help. She gave me at least a half dozen topics to research and also gave me the places to find the information and I was on my way to 30+ years of fun.
Yes, we have lots for which to thank this lovely lady. The River will miss her.
Coping with COVID-19
Two projects that say it all... Our thanks to Glennis Newton, Kington, ON and Amy Gladle, Cape Vincent, NY.
Comments from June 2020
Both authors and this editor, appreciate each and every comment left on TI Life articles. This past month, June 2020, we received two comments that bare repeating:
"Sabrina" commented on On My Planet These Days I am... by Marie-Anne Erki.
Your whimsical art invokes such happy childhood emotions in my soul. I have such vivid memories of first encountering Le Petit Prince, thanks to an enthusiastic grade 4 supply teacher, and Saint Exupérie's style of storytelling and art has now been brought to another level. I might just recognize those two little blonde munchkins as well! Thank you for reminding us of beauty, curiosity and joyful discovery during a time of isolation and negativity.
When Patrick Metcalf "The Legend of Ole' Snaggly Teeth" in verse, we received a comment from "Tim.". I knew there had to be a story - yes, Tim and Patrick were college roommates. Knowing that makes me LOL.
I can say I knew when a door met your boot,
Pizza and Beast were considered loot,
A long red headed last shot you down,
A wrascally professor dubbed you a clown,
Pledging meant more than flag,
Drinking evolved beyond a brown bag,
HFF was not three random letters,
And weekends got better & better,
To you I give the highest of praise,
To past tomorrows and better days.
A dozen articles this month
History well learned – Lynn McElfresh: Grenell Island’s Chapel First Wedding; Tom King: "Miss Kingston" – Grande Dame of the Thousand Islands; Richard Palmer: Cooper's Ark: A Failed Effort of the War of 1812 and Linda Twichell, Early Families of Westminster Park: The Twichell Family, Part 2
Nature gives a smile – Paul Hetzler: Shady Business
Inland News Stories – April Johnson DiRinaldo & Brian Johnson: Finding Grandma; and Kathi & Dennis McCarthy: The Making of "Drain the American Revolution" on Carleton Island and Cape Vincent
Artists – Beverly Furer, Maureen Sheridan and Susan Smith: House Painters...
Summer Essay – Patrick Metcalf: Adjusting to River Time
A Book for the Cottage – Wind Water Waves, Short Stories by Tom French
And Dan LeKander – Sudoku Puzzle #67 (the impossible series continues...)
And as always...
If you are on the River, or on the shoreline this month, please take photographs for TI Life. By now, your fish stories must have started, and what about Social Distancing ideas to meet with family and friends?
By Susan W. Smith, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
[Special thanks to the team that makes TI Life happen: Bill Stallan, Rick Taylor, Dane Zabriskie, Georgia Barker, Bill Stallan, and new member Elspeth Naismith.]