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...where life is slow, and ripe with rural treasures

Monday, November 18, 2013

Duck & Cover to Pack & Run to Coffee Table Time

As a child who was in grade school in the 1960s, I am one of those in the generation who experienced  duck and cover rehearsals. Duck and Cover, which was taught to children from the 1950s to the early 1980s, was a suggested method of protecting oneself against the effects of a nuclear explosion. The idea was if a kid went under the desk upon seeing the first flash of a nuclear explosion, he or she would be protected from a soon-to-follow explosive wave that would blow in glass and other debris. Duck and cover probably wouldn't have done much to prevent exposure to radiation, but I guess the thinking was that if kids were flat on their faces on the floor, they would at least avoid getting jagged pieces of window in their eyes.

Anyway, that's the age in which I grew up: nuclear bombs and hiding under desks. September 11, 2001, brought fear and preparedness to a whole new generation, and jangled the memories of us under-the-desk kids. While I remember only vaguely my duck and cover activities, I recall with startling clarity how in the weeks after 9-11 I was driven to get a go-bag together. Decades had passed and here I was, now an adult, who had transformed from duck and cover to pack and run.

The other day I was rooting around in my downstairs guest bedroom and came across a tiny blue suitcase under the bed, the contents of which I had forgotten. Turns out it was my go-bag. When I lived on Long Island after 9-11, I felt I needed this important tool in the event of -- you'll excuse the expression -- shit hitting the fan in New York City (grid shutdown, biological warfare, another terrorist attack, whatever). Where I would have gone with go-bag in hand, of course, was Sherburne. Now that I'm in Sherburne full time, the go-bag became a forgotten item and ended up under an infrequently used bed. 

I felt a little like Pandora when I clicked open the suitcase. What would be in this bag? What paths had my rattled mind been traveling when I filled a small suitcase with items I might need when hearing about some pending or actual disaster, grabbing the bag, and hitting the road in a hurry? What had I considered to be essentials for my five-hour trip north to central New York?

Here's what was inside:

-Box of Band-Aids
-Tube of Neosporin ointment
-Bar of soap
-Tiny tube of hand lotion I got once in an airplane give-away pouch
-Collapsable cup
-Six tea bags
-Packet of decaf coffee I apparently stole from a Radisson Hotel
-Sample packet of cappuccino I got from a promotional vendor 
-Flashlight with no batteries
-Folding hairbrush
-Tiny Phillips-head screwdriver
-Packet of tissues
-Two cellophane-wrapped toothbrushes and two really tiny tubes of toothpaste
-Tic Tacs
-Pack of cigarettes
-Three books of matches, one of which was from Sherburne's Honky-Tonk Saloon
-Two candles, one taper and one tea-light
-Roll of Scotch tape
-Pair of contact lenses
-Several packets of expired Vioxx (a drug now discontinued, and the only product that ever helped my periodic back pain)
-Razor (not for box cutting, for leg shaving)
-Box of rice
-Small (and I do mean small) copper pan
-Green magic marker
-Deck of cards

Rattled mind is right. WHAT was I imagining? Clearly I was worried about armageddon bad breath with two toothbrushes and Tic Tacs packed. And of course, when global meltdown occurs we ladies want to be sure our gams are smooth. Six tea bags? Okay, I suppose a person could drink six cups of tea in five hours, but where did I think I was going to get the hot water from? Oh that's right. I had the tiny copper pan. Maybe I was imagining that I would, for some reason, be unable to make it to Sherburne and would have to spend the night camped out by the side of the road (or more helpfully, by the side of a stream). So there I would be, sitting around a campfire by candlelight cooking rice, drinking cappuccino out of a collapsable cup, smoking cigarettes, popping Vioxx, and playing Solitaire. Later I suppose I planned to scrawl "Farewell!" on a bridge abutment with the magic marker before climbing back in the car for the final leg of the trip.

The go-bag has now been dismantled as I have no where to go but where I am. Should I get word that the world has melted down, I'll be sitting in front of my fireplace drinking wine from a crystal glass, slippered feet on the coffee table. I will ponder the age-old questions: man, woman, birth, death, infinity, and hope I survive. If I don't, I don't. I will not be chewing Tic Tacs, will not be brushing my teeth nor writing final notes on concrete. I will not be dealing cards. And I guarantee: the least of my worries will be hairy legs.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

SSIRP Hires Preservation Architects Crawford & Stearns

Press Release

November 6, 2013, Sherburne, New York: Save The Sherburne Inn Restoration Project, Inc. (SSIRP), the nonprofit organization formed in January to save the historic Sherburne Inn, announced today that it has retained preservation architects Crawford & Stearns, of Syracuse (crawfordstearns.com).

It was a challenging decision," SSIRP President Kathleen Yasas said. "We received bids from four architectural firms and all presented outstanding services. In the end, however, the SSIRP board felt that Crawford & Stearns was the best fit."

Crawford & Stearns, founded in 1979, focuses on preservation of architecturally, historically, and culturally significant resources. The firm's expertise is vast, and includes main street and downtown revitalization programs and local landmark preservation.

Architect and partner Randy Crawford, with whom SSIRP will be working closely, is a licensed architect with an advanced degree in the history of architecture. He is qualified under Federal 36 CFR requirements to practice architecture, architectural history, and historic architecture, and has been in private practice for over 35 years. His principal expertise and experience lie in the areas of historic preservation planning and design review, small town revitalization, and commercial revitalization with a particular emphasis on the sympathetic adaptive reuse of historic properties. Mr. Crawford is a frequent speaker on various aspects of historic preservation and has served on the boards of several professional, private, and public boards including the Preservation League of New York State, the Regional Council of Historical Agencies, and the New York Chapter of the Association for Preservation Technology.

"We're thrilled to be working with SSIRP on restoring The Sherburne Inn," Mr. Crawford said. "We think SSIRP's vision is great for the community. This building is an important local landmark, and we at Crawford & Stearns feel its rehabilitation will help revitalize the entire region."

Successful projects require accurate on-site investigation and documentation, the sensitive accommodations of applicable building codes and life safety standards, the incorporation of specific spatial and programmatic needs established by those using the building as well as by various funding and regulatory agencies, the incorporation of environmentally responsible and sustainable design principles, provisions for handicapped accessibility, and an awareness of the physical limitations inherent with an existing structure, as well as the appropriate treatment of historically and architecturally significant features. Crawford & Stearns' partners and senior staff have actively pursued advanced studies in both academic and practical applications and are associated with professional organizations committed to these principles.

"We're looking forward to kicking off the planning stage of this project and working with C/S to bring back a commercial establishment that means so much to our village, "Ms. Yasas said. "SSIRP's goal is not only to save an historic landmark, but to encourage economic development in Sherburne."

The Sherburne Inn, which opened its doors for the first time in 1917 as a hotel and restaurant, has been a mainstay on Sherburne's anchor corner for almost 100 years. In late 2012, the building was threatened by demolition when a chain store proposed to buy The Inn and an adjacent historic building, tear both down, and erect in their place an all-night convenience shop and gas station. SSIRP negotiated an alternative plan with then-owner and local businessman Jim Webb, and purchased The Inn on April 25, 2013.

About Me

Newspaper columnist; blogger; author of Delta Dead; author of 101 Tip$ From My Depression-Era Parents; author of Australian Fly; editor: ...And I Breathed (author, Jason Garner, former CEO of Global Music at Live Nation), "A History of the Lawrence S. Donaldson Residence"; "The Port Washington Yacht Club: A Centennial Perspective"; "The Northeastern Society of Periodontists: The First Fifty Years"; editor: NESP Bulletin; editor: PWYC Mainsail; past editorial director: The International Journal of Fertility & Women's Medicine; past editor of: Long Island Power & Sail, Respiratory Review; Medical Travelers' Advisory; School Nurse News; Clear Images; Periodontal Clinical Investigations; Community Nurse Forum