Originally posted on the Albany Times Union –
September 11, 2010 at 2:51 am by Freddie Dunn
As I drove along Academy Road in Albany yesterday afternoon, I passed this sign that I’ve passed dozens of times before. Only this time something beyond the sign caught my eye. With traffic, I caught only a glimpse of what I thought was a large flag. I went on and did my errant, but made a note to be a bit more observant on the return trip.
And observant I was. So much so that I had to stop and take a picture, which you’ll see at the bottom of this post. It’s self explanatory, even though I don’t have the entire scene that I saw, in the picture…just the “heart of it”.
Gotta be about 20 years ago, we took some of the kids and toured “The City”, the Bronx Zoo, Times Square, the Empire State Building, the World Trade Center and a bunch of other places. It was one of the summers we vacationed in cities rather than in Maine or the Adirondacks.
At the turn of the 21st century, one of our daughters was bouncing around the world sending us pictures, and telling us stories about the places she had been, and occasionally bringing us presents from the cities she visited.
Nine years ago today, I was working nights and sleeping days. The phone rang shortly after I dozed off. It was my wife; she said that I might want to turn the TV on, and hung up. I sat spell bound for the next several hours.
A few days later, we heard the story how my wife’s neice’s husband, who lives in Connecticut, was delayed at home and was late leaving for work. Their daughter was on a high school field trip, on the Beltway in DC, when the bus driver received a call to cancel their sightseeing trip.
A few months later, our daughter’s pictures and stories and presents stopped; replaced by our not asking where she was going, where she was, or where she had been, because we knew the answer would be, “I can’t tell you”. Those travels were now highly classified.
A few years later, after dropping my son-in-law at his cousin’s in Greenwich Village, I went a few blocks farther, and my daughter(a different one), my sister and I viewed an enormous excavation. I can’t describe the errie feeling I had standing there in the early winter dusk looking down, and up, and around. The chill I felt wasn’t from the weather. I didn’t want to stay, but I didn’t want to leave either. Maybe it would have felt different if it were daylight, but I don’t think so. It sure wasn’t the scene it was 20 some years earlier. It was not the same scene my nephew would have seen if he hadn’t been delayed at home, nine years ago. Nor was it the scene my wife woke me up to see on TV nine years ago today.
A year ago, I had a tour of the Pentagon, where my niece’s interrupted field trip had been headed 9 years ago today. The last thing I did on the tour was to visit the small(small as in about the size of the back room in the Perfect Blend) chapel. I’m not sure if that’s what it’s officially called, but that’s how I refer to it. No chilling feeling this time. Rather a warm feeling, and a bonding with the people and families, whose memories I was reading/sharing. Memories about the last days, or hours, or minutes, or seconds that they recall of their loved one.
Some day, maybe I’ll get out to Shanksville. I missed it when I was in that area last February.
Click the links in the post to see the names of the victims who unexpectedly gave their lives on what we call 9 11.
Thank You, God, for sparing my family and extended family nine years ago, today.
May God continue to console the families that lost loved ones on 9 11.
Posted in Freddie Dunn
Spent an enjoyable afternoon at Mountain Winds Farm in Berne, NY. Sapmaster, or is that Syrup Master, Randy Grippen, presented nearly a two hour presentation on how maple sap gets transformed into wonderful things like maple syrup, maple cream, and of course maple candy.
It started with about a 3/4 mile wagon ride to the edge of the sugar bush. There, Randy told us how the trees are tapped and how the sap makes the journey down to the sugar house, aka the place where the sap is boiled in the evaporator until it reaches the desired temperature to become either syrup, cream or candy.
What I was most amazed with, was that it takes about 9 miles of tubing to connect the almost 1200 trees in the bush to the sugar house. The other tidbit was that sap is boiled to a certain amount of degrees above the boiling point of water. Did you know that the boiling point of water isn’t always 212 degrees F, but varies depending on atmospheric conditions?
As you’ll see from the pics, everyone, regardless of age, enjoyed the tour. Thanks, Randy, for taking the time to tell us the process. Sure made us more appreciative of the hard work that goes into a gallon of syrup.
Click on the large picture, then you can keep clicking for a slide show.
Beans, beans, beans,
Pumkins and squash.
Oh my gosh.
This gallery contains 8 photos.
Actually, I visited them both in Phoenix back in February/March. Based in California and Texas, respectively, they have stores scattered across the country, but to the chagrin of Capital District residents, not in upstate New York. Rhyme and reason to locations, I didn’t persue.
Off to Trader Joe’s. I was told that a TJ store in NYC is the busiest; and I thought I was told that’s it’s(maybe the only one) open 24 hours daily.
The staff was friendly and helpful. And on direct questioning, they all were happy with their jobs and the company. Stores are on the small side, compared to the super markets we are acustomed to here. In fact, the store I visited was formerly a pharmacy, a CVS, if I recall correctly. Small, but well laid out, with spacious asiles. This becomes more understandable, as one wanders thru the store, and notes that it stocks mostly all private label, and one size items.
Across the parking lot was another grocer mentioned on blogs on the Times Union, Whole Foods. Again, with a presence on the east coast, but not here. Here, too, the employees were friendly and helpful, and also spoke well of their employer and were happy with their jobs.
This store was a tad larger than Trader Joe’s, but so was the selection. Actually, I’d say it was sized like some of the former Grand Union stores. Private label, but also a mix of “branded” items. I noticed honey produced and packaged in Vermont. Yes, more variety, both in brand selection, and to a degree package size.
While I didn’t stump the cashiers, they paged the store manager for me, to help answer some of my questions. The manager did tell me that none of their products contain trans fat. In my opinion prices were premium, way more so than at Joe’s.
As I toured that day, I also stopped in several Southwesten regional stores, the first being Sprouts. To me, sort of a glorified farmers market in a store front. Definitely not a farmers market, but the vast majority of the venue gave me that feeling. I did find, and brought some sugar-free white chocolate/almond bark and some sugar free salt water taffy. Most delicious, and tastes like real sugar laden candy!
I mentioned these three stores, not because I think they will ever be in the Northeast, but because they are outstanding nitch stores. And worth a visit when you are in their area.
And, before I get trounced upon, I don’t believe any of the above mentioned businesses plan on coming to Bethlehem, at least not in the near future.
On the other end of the scale, one day, I got over to a Costco…to say that I was impressed would be a grossly over-stated exageration.
My daughter told me that since moving to Phoenix from Denver last August, her weekly grocery bill has decreased significantly. Her usual grocery shopping haunts, Sunflower, Fresh and Easy, and for primary grocery shopping…Super Target. Another daughter in the military in Virginia, finds Targets grocery prices to be quite compatable to the base commissary.
- I would love to see TJ’s and WF’s here to give us some choice –Price Chopper and Hannaford’s have a monopoly and the organic food has much to be desired….Golubs have way too much influence…..Comment by JDW — April 10th, 2010 @ 7:44 pm
- For those who want fresh and organic food that is made locally, get ready for the Saturday Delmar Farmers Market. We had an amazing first year and we begin again on June 5, at the middle school. There will be 30 vendors with every local vegetable and fruit imaginable that is in season. We will also have fresh made cheeses, yogurt, breads, cakes, muffins, pies, breakfast and lunch dishes. There will be local and fair trade crafts, local music, environmental tables and more. Come join the fun, Saturdays, 9 AM – 1PM.See you there,Paul Tick Market ManagerComment by Paul — April 11th, 2010 @ 8:51 am
- I would be happy to see a Trader Joes within reasonable driving distance. Maybe Albany, or even Latham! Did you happen to find out if they might at least be coming a little closer to Bethlehem? The closest one I know about is in the Amherst, Ma area!Comment by Chris — April 11th, 2010 @ 9:28 am
- Thanks for the reminder, Paul.The Tuesday market at the Methodist Church on Kenwood Ave should be starting soon, too, shouldn’t it.Comment by Freddie Dunn — April 11th, 2010 @ 12:49 pm
- Chris, I spoke with store managers in TJ and WF about expansion. They both referred me to their respective web sites. checking them out, I haven’t see any notes of expansion for upstate NY.There’s a store locator on TJ’s and WF websites…click on the orange highlights in main post to go there.Comment by Freddie Dunn — April 11th, 2010 @ 12:52 pm
- Hey, Paul. Not sure if this is an after or before thought….Is there going to be a national promotion again this year, where consummers can vote for their favorite farmers market for some grant money or something like that?If so, let us know E-A-R-L-Y so we can all vote.Comment by Freddie Dunn — April 11th, 2010 @ 1:13 pm
- If in spring, a young man’s fancy turns to love, than a farmer’s fancy must turn to harvest.My e-mail just brought this notice.The Bethlehem Grange Community Center on Route 396 Selkirk, will again have it’s Farmers Market on Thursdays from noon-5PM starting May 20th thru September 23rd.I’ll plan on doing a blog on the local farmers markets as we get closer to start up times.Drop me an e-mail c/o firstname.lastname@example.org any info you have on other local markets.Comment by Freddie Dunn — April 11th, 2010 @ 1:28 pm
- As a LI tansplant, I enjoy a cheaper standard of living here EXCEPT for food shopping. I never knew I was leaving behind so much that was taken for granted. A whopping 2 choices of supermarkets here that get to charge whatever they want because there’s no competition? No double coupons? No Trader Joe’s? No Fairway? Stew Leonards? After 9 years here I still make frequent food shopping trips downstate to supermarkets which are now the equivalent of a trip to Disney World for me, such is the starkness of the local food landscape.Comment by Concerned Citizen — April 21st, 2010 @ 11:56 am
- Concerned…let’s not forget Sav-a-Lot, Wally World(aka Walmarts), Target, to some degree KMart, Aldi….For basic items – one size, one brand, mostly private label – it’s hard to beat Aldi.Regarding private label items, especially food, there is not much, if any, difference in quality, in my opinion.One day recently, I happened to have an item on the pantry shelf from 3 different markets, at 3 different prices. Checking the labels and codes, they were all processed in the same plant, with only the slightest variation in ingredients.Actually, I frequently find store brands to have less fat, sodium and sugar than national brands…that’s a lot of the difference in taste, but in their own way, healthier.So, I’m talking thru my hat? Here’s only one example. I used to truck canned veggies from a processing plant. When I arrived, I gave them the order number that I was to pick up. There were row upon row stacks of silver cans in the warehouse. They were pulled and labeled with the distributers name of whom I was trucking for that particular day before they were loaded on my truck. I was convinced of the quality issue when one day I saw several skids branded with the name of a well known national brand.Comment by Freddie Dunn — April 21st, 2010 @ 12:33 pm
- Freddie Dunn, thanks for your comment. I am well aware that some items are made in the same place e.g. Price Chopper bread is actually Friehofers etc. When you try a no name brand you take a chance. More often than not you are pleasantly surprised!Comment by Concerned Citizen — April 23rd, 2010 @ 12:32 pm
- Trader Joe’s fans might like this post by Chris Churchill – http://blog.timesunion.com/realestate/we-want-trader-joes-in-omaha/2925/Comment by Freddie Dunn — April 30th, 2010 @ 12:06 am
July 30, 1966, the day started like most days with a bright sunny sunrise, and only got brighter. Had a quick breakfast with my dad and a friend, Lou Cusinato, who was visiting from north Jersey for a couple of days. Still remember sleeping on the screened-in porch because it had been a warm evening.
A couple of hours later, Lou gave me a ride to the little town of East Greenbush, NY, that ended up changing my life forever. And, he also confirmed what a true friend he was by keeping a hugh secret all day.
Even though it was a Saturday, we went to Mass at St. Mary’s Church. Couldn’t believe how dressed up people over there were, for a Saturday.
Then we had lunch at Cordial Greens Country Club with a select group of friends. I borrowed my dad’s car and went home and traded it for my car, and drove out to take a tour of Howe’s Caverns, before heading to Cobleskill, NY, that would be home for the next few months.
Kind of any ordinary day, wasn’t it. Well, maybe to start, but that sure changed in a blink or two of an eye or two.
The reason Lou took me to St. Mary’s, was so he and Ellen Hilton could sign a piece of paper certifying that Ellen’s sister, Marlyn, was joining the local witness protection program. Isn’t that what you call it when someone changes their name and moves out of their hometown?
And those friends at Cordial Greens – they had gathered there to continue celebrating that special occasion. There was even a local band there. The Hilton Brothers, if I recall correctly.
And that Marlyn girl. Don’t know if she had had too much champaign, or if she just thought that she was Gypsy Rose Lee. Wearing a long white gown, she sat down on a chair in the middle of the dinning room, where everyone could see her, and called me over. She told me that there was something she wanted me to get off her leg, a garter. What she didn’t tell me was that it was almost high enough on her leg to have been a necklace, instead of something to hold her stocking up. Think we turned more shade of pink than an evening sunset.
And that’s the story of the day Marlyn Hilton, changed her name to Marlyn Dunn, or when she really wants to hide, to Mrs. Fred Dunn, and I‘m sticking to it.
And my true blue friend, Lou’s secret – he never bent under pressure from my brothers-in-law, to tell them where we had hidden my car – thus it never got “stolen” or decorated on that memorible day.
Probably if I was smart, I’d add
Happy Anniversary to my wonderful wife, Marlyn.
Seems like it was only yesterday.
This gallery contains 50 photos.
On the calendar, Summer is 3 weeks away, and Winter is 6 months.
So what! Or should it be, “Sow what?”
Tried something a bit different this year. Pot plants. No, not that kind.
A pot of peppers….sprouting.
A couple of pots of beans….only 2 plants up so far.
A couple of potted Cherry Tomato plants – store bought “started”….several green fruits and quite a few blossoms.
And some store bought marigolds and petunias…thriving. Both the potted ones and those in the ground.
Why the pots? Easy. Easy to care for. No tilling the ground. Easy to weed. Slightly above waist height on the rails of the poach deck. And it satisfies my wife’s, and my desire for a garden.
Let’s not forget the exotic plants that are my fun thing, namely the cacti and carnivorous plants that I’m still patiently waiting to see poke their green presence into view.
Nothing there to worry about, except the exotics. and they’ll be in the house before the first frost, for sure.
Actually, the above has nothing to do with the title of this post. It’s what’s known as filler or a distraction to get your attention.
Getting to the nitty gritty, this is why I am comtemplating Winter?
What I did was plant some deer food. At least that’s what I told my wife and a few other people. Are you thinking corn and alfalfa? Nope!
When I’ve done this before, or “inherited” the crop that someone else has planted, the suburban deer, for the most part, ignored it. So, I decided to try it again, and see what happens this time.
Years ago when I did this, the deer never ate it, even though we had a winter herd in the neighborhood of 25 plus animals. Guess they didn’t like my choice, because mine was left alone, while all over the rest of the town, folks saw the deer daily, nibbling on their crop.
Even today, I still wonder why the deer choose the neighbors yards over mine. I’m not complaining. Just wondering. Maybe I had bad breath or used the wrong underarm fragrance, because the winter after I moved from that house, the deer visited and feasted on the crop with a vengeance. So much so, that the new residents decided not to provide feed for the deer anymore.
The house we moved to, and lived in for 20 years or so, had a nice crop of deer food already in place, and Bambi’s parents did stop by for a snack a couple of times.
With those memories in place, I decided this week to take another shot at planting deer food.
You did notice, didn’t you, that I never said that I was unhappy because the deer payed my crop only a few visits. In fact I was downright happy that they didn’t!
Just what is this juicy treat that the neighbors pleaded with the deer to leave alone, and I was extremely happy when they neglected to visit mine?
Densiformus, Hicks and Browns as in Yews, for hedges and bushes.
Now you know how many of the people in Bethlehem, and else where, unexpectedly, and unhappily feed the deer during the winter.
First posted May 28, 2010 at 1:34 pm by Freddie Dunn in the Albany Times Union.
With a few updates/revisions 11/13/2015 Here is the link to the original Times Union post.
Pause, at least for a few moments, on Monday and remember to thank and say a prayer for those, military and civilians, who gave their lives, so we can have Freedom. And a thought and a prayer for those out there today protecting us, wouldn’t hurt either.Memorial Day evolved from a celebration started to honor the fallen soldiers of the Civil War. Little did those proud founders realize that their humble effort would continue even to today.
On May 28th, 2012, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day read:
According to Professor David Blight of the Yale University History Department, the first memorial day was observed by formerly enslaved black people at the Washington Race Course (today the location ofHampton Park) in Charleston, South Carolina. The race course had been used as a temporary Confederate prison camp in 1865 as well as a mass grave for Confederate soldiers who died there. Immediately after the cessation of hostilities, formerly enslaved people exhumed the bodies from the mass grave and reinterred them properly with individual graves. They built a fence around the graveyard with an entry arch and declared it a Confederate graveyard. The work was completed in only ten days. On May 1, 1865, the Charleston newspaper reported that a crowd of up to ten thousand, mainly black residents, including 2800 children, proceeded to the location for included sermons, singing, and a picnic on the grounds, thereby creating the first Decoration Day.
HOWEVER, Checking that page today, I found this revision posted there:
The first known observance of a Memorial Day-type observance was in Charleston, South Carolina on May 1, 1865. During the war, Union soldiers who were prisoners of war had been held at the Charleston Race Course; at least 257 Union prisoners died there and were hastily buried in unmarked graves. Together with teachers and missionaries, Blacks in Charleston organized a May Day ceremony in 1865, which was covered by the New York Tribune and other national papers. The freedmen had cleaned up and landscaped the burial ground, building an enclosure and an arch labeled, “Martyrs of the Race Course.” Nearly ten thousand people, mostly freedmen, gathered on May 1 to commemorate the dead. Involved were 3,000 schoolchildren newly enrolled in freedmen’s schools, mutual aid societies, Union troops, and black ministers and white northern missionaries. Most brought flowers to lay on the burial field. Today the site is used as Hampton Park.. Years later, the celebration would come to be called the “First Decoration Day” in the North.David W. Blight described the day:
“This was the first Memorial Day. African Americans invented Memorial Day in Charleston, South Carolina. What you have there is black Americans recently freed from slavery announcing to the world with their flowers, their feet, and their songs what the War had been about. What they basically were creating was the Independence Day of a Second American Revolution.”
Professor Blight admitted, however, that this event in Charleston did not lead to the establishment of Memorial Day across the country.The sheer number of dead soldiers, both Union and Confederate, who perished in the civil war meant that burial and memorialization would take on new cultural significance. Particularly under the leadership of women during the war, an increasingly formal practice of decorating graves had already taken shape. In 1865, the federal government began a program of creating national military cemeteries for the Union dead.
Indeed, a “slightly” changed narrative of the 1865 events. Why the change? I have no idea.
To the right is a picture of my dad, Fred F Dunn, and me, ready to head out and march in the Memorial Day parade, sometime in the late 1940′s. Dad let me wear his WWI medals. My American Legion Post 1040 cap, which my mom altered to fit me, was provided by Johnny Oliver. And the Fort Crailo Band was the featured marching band. These are my first memories of Memorial Day.
Charles Dunn, dad’s grandfather, served in US Union Army during the War Between the States, as did two of his sons, Charles and George. They, too, were residents of Bethlehem. Since the 1860′s though today, many members of the Dunn and Hilton families, have, or are, servining our country in various branches of the military.
To Dad, Great Grampa Charles, Great Uncles Charles, George, Uncles George, Ed, Frank, and Colin, cousins Jim and Jim and Jerry and Margaret and Kevin and Colin and Patrick and Kernie, brother-in-laws Art, Larry, Bill, and John, father-in-law Roland(civilian Army employee), nephews Carl, Sean, and Sean, Jimmy, Brian, James, niece Capria, and of course daughter and son-in-law Liz and Jeremy, and son-in-law Craig(civilian Navy employee), and everyone who serves, or has served, to keep the United States of America free, goes a big THANK-YOU, not just today, or Monday, but EVERY DAY.
- Please feel free to share with us, your family and friends who have, or are serving our country.
http://www.usmemorialday.org/observe.htm provides some related interesting reading.