Preserve BEFORE It’s Sold

Found this in my FB Memories. Kind of ironic that the Newell Farm is now under the shovel, two years, almost to the day that I wrote this.

Why can’t people think ahead, and do something about the land and/or building (think about the church in Waterviliet that PC bought, or the house in Defreetsville where Target/Home Depot is, etc etc),BEFORE, it is sold and developed.

There’s a 125 acre plot adjacent to a parcel that I mentioned in my “Views” post that is up for sale. It was last actively farmed about 30-35 years ago.

Who, in the surrounding neighborhoods, is going to step forward and purchase it for non-development purposes, BEFORE it’s sold to a developer? Or will they wait until it’s sold, and then WHINE, “Why”?

Before some one jumps on me, I have no problem with a land owner selling their property. After all, it is theirs, and they’re free to do what they want to do with it, under permitted options. After all, they own it, and have paid taxes on it.

It’s the people that whine and cry after land is sold, rather than purchasing it themselves, or organizing their neighbors and friends, to pool their resources, to purchase it.

Why not form a neighborhood organization to purchase the land, and let it become passed down to future generations as a perk to owning a house in a particular neighborhood?

It’s kind of like Camp Woodstock in East Berne, NY. Many years ago when the corporation that owned it, deemed it unprofitable, and wanted to sell it, the lot owners, who owned their individual camp sites, stepped forward and bought the rest of the property from the corporation, Now, besides owning their individual private camp site, they also own a share in the entire campgrounds, for which they pay an annual fee, to cover associated expenses of the Association. And they have land, a pond, a pool and buildings that they can use and enjoy.


015.JPG 2We’re been enjoying a mild winter, here in the Albany area, this year. Above normal temperature. Below normal precipitation.

Not bad, or is it.

We do need at least normal precipitation to keep our ground water levels up. Otherwise, wells will go dry. Lakes, streams, ponds, rivers and wetlands will be below normal. And with that, changes in the ecology.

Warm temperatures when plants need a rest. What’s going to happen to the plants that started to bud in December? What’s going to happen to the fruit crop in the Northeast? The berry crop? The Maple sap yield?

How about the fall planted flower bulbs that need to freeze, or at least get close to it, in order to bloom in the Spring.

Along with that, there are crops that prefer to be blanketed in snow – insulated from the cold.

Global warming? Well, the early explorers of the New World IMG_4120would have liked the conditions of “today”, so they could have found the Northwest Passage, or sailed the now unfrozen northern water routes across the Artic to connect Eurasia.

IMG_4123And yes, I realize that our regional, actually continental, weather is also affected by wind and water currents in the Pacific Ocean.

Anyway, these are just my random thoughts about what the effect of our so far mild winter will have on us in the coming year.



Back around 2005, I started hauling auto parts out of a Chrysler plant downstate. One night during a friendly conversations with one of the employees there, he asked me what kind of car I drove. I replied, “A Honda Element.” He retaliated that I should be driving a US made vehicle, not a “foreign” one, thereby supporting the US worker and economy.

He was a bit surprised when I told him that although the profit from my Honda probably went to Japan, the US worker and economy actually benefited from it, because it WAS manufactured here in the USA by US workers. Granted 12% of the parts were imported from Japan and England, but the remaining 88% were made here. Not only that, I continued, but the last Chevy and Ford products that I purchased, were made in Canada. AND the last two Chrysler vehicles that I bought were made in Mexico or Canada.

So much for Buy US. Five vehicles made on the continent of North America, but only the “foreign” one was made in the United States!

This memory was triggered by a post on Face Book today about a former US bakery that was purchased by a Canadian bakery, and is now owned by a Mexican bakery. Locals here will recognize the name Freihofer’s

Among the comments to a post it was shared to:

SevenTown HoundSevenTown Hound I didn’t check the above post out. I doubt Thomas produced very much of their product in Mexico for the US market. However – Thomas is only one of the brands – Click the sidebox on the left to see some other brands – that were acquired a few years ago by Bimbo Bakeries of Mexico in 2008, from George Weston Limited a Canadian company which owned many baking facilities in the US.
Bimbo, like Nestles, Ahold, Delhaize, Trader Joe’s, Aldi, and more foreign conglomerates control a vast amount of the food industriy in the US.
And while I think it’s a US owned company, I’m not sure, look who sorta controls the US dairy industry –
I’m very concerned over the future of food in this country, when you consider the relatively few, and ever increasing in size, US & foreign corporations that control our food supply.
I’m just a dummy who reads labels on food/grocery products to see the source/ownership. Besides, for several years I trucked in/for the grocery/food industry. Ever stop to think who manufactures “your” brands?
Bring Back American Jobs And Buy Products Made In The USA The Thomas’ at my local supermarket were all labeled Mexico when this going on.
SevenTown HoundSevenTown Hound I would guess that you live in the Southwest, where Bimbo already had a strong distribution field before they acquired the Thomas brand. By no means am I defending Bimbo.


When the kids were younger, we camped in Maine many summers. As we’ve aged, despite loving the outdoors, we’ve taken to staying in more modern accommodations when we travel.

This past week, we headed back to New Hampshire to a quaint Bed and Breakfast where we have stayed several times before. Knowing the owners, Craig and Eileen, is why I think we got the special family discount rate.

Anyway, it’s time to show you why this B&B in Portsmouth is so enticing.


Located in the somewhat White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Located in the somewhat White Mountains of New Hampshire.


Fortunately, we just missed an avalanche.

Fortunately, we just missed an avalanche.

A zip line on the premises.

A zip line on the premises.

Able to walk to nearby Alpine skiing.

Able to walk to nearby Alpine skiing.

Always a place to take a nap, or just lay back and enjoy the views.

Always a place to take a nap, or just lay back and enjoy the views.

Fast competent service by a well trained staff.

Fast competent service, by a well trained staff, taking Grandma’s order.

Breakfast is always ready whenever you roll out of bed.

Breakfast is always ready whenever you roll out of bed.

My First Watch

My First Watch

in the Albany Times Union –

 Browsing through the 2009 Farmers Almanac, I noticed a full page ad for an atomic watch. The ad stated that the watch never had to be reset for daylight saving time changes. And you don’t have to read it because it’ll talk to you. And it’s accurate to the second for a billion years, or some thing like that.

I thought to myself, “Wow, a hundred bucks for a watch that does all that, wow. My first watch did all those things and didn’t cost that. What are those people trying to push over on me? ”

I don’t remember when I was given my first watch. I was just a little kid, but I still have memories of it. It went with me all about the neighborhood when I was a kid growing up and playing in Delmar, sorta midway between Elsmere and Slingerlands.

The name of my watch escapes me, however, it definitely wasn’t Rolex or Timex. For some reason, I think Alco may have been part of the name. Most of my playmates had a watch like mine, as did a lot of grown-ups.

My watch had “THE” technology of it’s day, and all the bells and whistles, too. I never had to wind it, or reset it for daylight saving time, and it even told me the time. There was no problem knowing when it was 2AM in the wee hours of the new day, 11:20 in the morning, noon, 4:25 in the afternoon, 6 o’clock, 7 o’clock or 11:10 in the evening, as well as various other times of the day and night.

It was the link to being home when mom said to be…no excuses!

Funny thing about that watch. I couldn’t hold it, see it or even touch it. But as a kid, I always knew where it was, and never misplaced it.

I’d still be using that old watch today, if I hadn’t lost a few parts to it. So, staying with the times and technology, my cell phone alarm now alerts me to the changing time.

But, I’ll never forget my first watch, composed of the Delaware and Hudson RR locomotives, the church bells, the fire whistles.


cropped-015.JPG-21-e1338061358983.jpgOver on the Face Book page,  “If Your From Delmar , New York You Remember ??” a member recently posted, “Ok, let’s give it up. Which Bethlehem police officer gave you the biggest break? Details not necessary, but it will make fascinating reading!”

Yea, I got some breaks a few times; but that FB post triggered memories of encounters with BPD of a different matter than traffic violations. I remember two instances that happened a few years apart, but were of a very similar nature, and occurred a mile apart.

Let’s start with


Those of you who know me, know that back in the early 1960s, I ran some beef cattle and dairy replacement heifers in Glenmont, NY, on the former Normanskill Dairy Farm #2.

Today, you would recognize it as the site of Wal-Mart’s, Lowes, and a few other businesses on the west side of NY Route 9W. Or if you’re an outdoorsy person, you may have hiked the part known as Shiffendecker Farm. Now you all know.

It was a Friday morning, this I remember because I was also working for the Geurtzes at Woodridge Farm, and Fridays meant I delivered eggs in the tri-village area of Bethlehem.

Sometime midmorning, one of my customers told me to call Joan. You read that right! Remember, this was 30 years before the modern technology of the cell phone began to blossom.

Joan told me that Bethlehem PD had contacted her that MY cows cows 4were out of the pasture, and roaming on the grounds of Glenmont School, across from the farm. And you thought the cops didn’t keep tabs on you back then. She told me that it was OK to skip out from my route and take care of the bovine matter.

On 9W, between the barn and Bender Lane, I saw a NYS trooper guiding 2 or 3 cows toward the fence. I told him that I was probably the person he was looking for. He smiled and helped me guide the still uneducated critters to a walk thru gate leading to a small yard next to the barn. Cows secure, trooper thanked me for my assistance, got in his car and left.

Walked the cows thru the barn and out to the big barnyard leading to the pasture, and off they went to joint the rest of the herd that was content to be uneducated. Did a quick walk around, and fixed the spot where the wannabe students had embarked on their short voyage to an elementary education. Situation under control. Time to go back to work and peddle the eggs.

As I turn around from closing the gate to the big barnyard, a Bethlehem PD car pulls in.

“All taken care of, officer,” which it was, and figured I’d get a Great, have a good day, reply.

“The chief wants to see you”, and he got back in his car and waits for me to get into my vehicle.

Ok, Freddie, let’s think about this. I was in Delmar when my boss alerted me to the errant cows, guessing that I hadn’t been to a certain customer’s house yet. PD is located in Delmar. State Trooper had already got the cows off the school lawn and across 9W by the time I got there. And he left. I found and took care of the spot where the cows got out of the pasture. Everything’s taken care of and cricket. They’d known about it longer than I, and NOW the BPD shows up? No sense arguing. Do what you’re told.

So, I headed up Bender Lane, and let my mean streak set in. With BPD following me, I STOPPED for  EVERY intersection between 9W and Bethlehem Town Hall on the corner of Delaware and cow 9Adams. EVERY should be defined as ANY side street that entered the route I was traveling on, even though there were no stop signs or traffic lights, or legal requirement to do so. I figured that if I had to take time to visit the “station” when a NYS Trooper hadn’t said anything to me, and BPD showed up after the incident had been corrected, I’d get my personal bit of satisfaction.

Finally, at the station, I parked on Adams and crossed the street to talk to the chief, who was out on the sidewalk talking to a couple of people. He turned to me.

With my lip zipped, I listened to him go on and on and on about what would happen the next time that my, or any of the neighboring farmers cows got out, knowing full well that what he was telling me was akin to what a male bovine leaves behind after food digestion has taken place. (You do understand that, don’t you readers?)

Holding my tongue until I was sure he was ALL done, I asked, “What about the people who live in the house there, opened the gate, to go into the pasture to burn their household trash, and left the gate open?”

The chief and the officer looked at each other, and without either saying a word, the officer got in his car, and peeled, yes, peeled rubber out of Adams St.

Don’t know what transpired at the house, but I do know the “burn gate” was never left open again!!!!


cows 5Three or four years after I sold my cows, I got this surprise call. It was a Sunday morning and my wife and I were dressed and ready to walk out the door for church, when the phone rang. “Mr.Dunn?”


“This is xxxx, Bethlehem Police.”

“Yes, xxxx, what can I do for you?”

“I just talked to your brother, and he wants to know if you can help him get some cows off the by-pass?”

Chuckling, “xxxx, you know I don’t have a brother. That was my uncle and you want my dad. Tell you what. You call my dad, and I’ll go see what I can do. OK?”

“OK. Thanks.”

Told my wife what was going on. That I(we) would miss church. Changed into work clothes. Jumped in the car, pulled the four-way flashers on, and headed for the by-pass.

When I got there, the BPD officer had the cows along the fence. We quickly found where the critters had gotten out. Walked them thru the gap, and patched it up. All’s good.

With that, my dad pulls up in his car, gets out and heads over to us. He looks at me, “How’d you get here”, meaning how did I know about the incident.

Sometimes, I’m a man of few words. “Fast”, was all I said.

I thought the officer was going to split his uniform, he was laughing so hard.

cows 6And there were some instances when I got calls that my cows were out that I questioned. W-h-e-r-e?? W-h-a-t color? Knowing they weren’t, and couldn’t possibly be mine, I still went and checked the situation out just in case I could help.


IMG_0523 (2)015.JPG 2My wife and I took the opportunity to head up to Portsmouth, NH for a couple of days last  week. The occasion? To visit our daughter and son-in-law. Well on the surface, anyway. The real reason was  to see our 6 week old grandson.

We were up when he was 2 days old; and I took my sister up to see him a couple of weeks ago, too.

Little kids are sooo therapeutic for my wife. She just holds and holds and holds them. She did let me hold Grandson for a few moments – like long enough for her to snap a couple of pictures of me holding him. I think that was just so she had proof that she shared him, and didn’t hold him the entire time we were there.

She even convinced our daughter and son-in-law to let “us” baby sit him, while they went out to dinner.

Dixie-pup kept an eye on grandma to make sure that Grandson didn’t disappear. Dixie’s radar like eyes and nose were locked in on him at all times.

Son-in-law is a civilian employee at the local Navy yard. Funny how on a cool day, like Friday was, when I hear Navy, I think of heavy warm blue pea coats.

IMG_0611After daughter did a couple of errands Friday morning, she, grandma, Grandson, and I, headed up to visit Ogunquit, ME. Ogunquit has been a favorite vacation spot for us since the early 1970s. Anytime we’re in the nearby area, we try to stop by and take a short walk on the famous 3 mile, non-commercial, sandy beach.IMG_0575

Being a bit cool and slightly breezy, Daughter grabbed a sweatshirt, I, a fuzzy lined windbreaker, Grandma, a light blue rain jacket, just in case. Grandson was happy under a blanket in his stroller.


While not packed, there were quite a few people on the beach. They weren’t spread out too much because the tide was coming in. Despite 61 degree water, there were some dedicated people splashing around in the water.

We did our walk, I got some pics, and we headed for the Weather Vane on Badger’s Island, Kitterly, for lunch; but it had closed for the season on Labor Day. Because of that, daughter was given a $5 gift certificate good at any of their locations, and I verified that my 10 year old gift certificates were still valid at any of their locations.

IMG_0731So, we hopped across the Piscataqua River to Portsmouth for lunch on the River House’s deck on the river.

Daughter found a parking spot right out front! Grandma and I walked down to the deck to reserve a table and place our 3 orders, while daughter stayed in the car for a few minutes to feed and change Grandson, before joining us.

Remember that light blue rain jacket of Grandma’s? Well, I think Grandson has a future in the Navy, or as a magician, because daughter told us that during the changing process, he turned it into a pee coat.