Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Adirondack Country. William Chapman White (7).

New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 1954.

Why read it? The history of the Adirondacks, the names, the lakes, the peaks, the guides and impressions of the tourists and the seasons. "As a man tramps the woods to the lake...he knows he will find pines and lilies, blue heron and golden shiners, shadows on the rocks and the glint of light on the wavelets, just as they were in the summer of 1954, as they will be in 2054 and beyond; he can stand on a rock by the shore and be in a past he could not have known, in a future he will never see; he can be a part of time that was and time yet to come."

"As a storyteller no one surpassed Mike Cronin, guide and teamster; he was unique, however, in that he had only one story; it was the tale of how he drove Theodore Roosevelt out of the woods below Marcy in September 1901, after Roosevelt, then vice-president, had received the news that President McKinley was dying from an assassin's bullet.... Mike never seemed to remember to tell one astounding fact in the whole episode, that each of those black horses had two hundred hooves; if Mike liked a listener well and if the listener didn't look too skeptical, Mike presented him with one of the genuine horseshoes that his black team wore on that ride; there used to be about four hundred homes in the Adirondack country that proudly treasured a genuine shoe from Mike's black team." P. 158 ……… "Like most of the guides, Les Hathaway stuck to just one section of the woods, the area around Saranac Lake; 'There's maybe only a couple hundred square miles I know but Mister, I know' em, every rock and stump on 'em; the trouble with people today is they're so busy coverin' ground they ain't got time to notice what's on the ground they're covering.'"?. 162.

To be continued.

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