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December 24, 2008 - John Stack
I moved to Saranac Lake in March of 2000. I had always wanted to move up here for the snow and Whiteface and the mountains. But, how unprepared I was. This town is the greatest little town I have ever known. The warmth and friendliness of the people from the very beginning was something I had never experienced before. I tell people that if I ever win the lottery, I’m just buying a bigger house here!
Anyway, I spent the previous 8 ½ years in and around the Newburgh area. I could probably count on one hand close friends and people I was thankful to know. When I went out running down there, no one knew me. When I ran local races I knew no one. Here, there a good chance 1,2, 3 or more people may wave to me on my runs. I always know people in the local races. So, without further ado, I will present the people who have made this area so great to me (in no particular order)
Dick Branch at Sturdy Supply for his help. Matt Gatesfrom Verizon . The guy who plowed out the end of my driveway when my kids were shoveling. The guys who watch for runners and back up to let me go by or give me a wide berth. My boss Danny Lancor, who supports me no matter what foolishness I bring. Craig and Terry Chevalier– who are ALWAYS there for my family, and really help make this town special for us. Big Cat who helped me move my whole house when I just met him that morning. Bill Peer, for being a good guy and putting 110% into all he does, and for his leadership for the summer fun runs and Ice Palace Fun Run. Kenny and Trish Fontana of Blue Moon for just being delightful people. Dermott Morgan for just being a great ambassador for this town. Kelly and Brian Battastoni for selflessly keeping our pickup hockey league going. Lisa Meissner who is a lot more than just a local marathoner. Peter Crowley for giving me the forum here are ADE to vent and inform at will! Sandy Aery for composure and fortitude to do what was right in the face of unwarranted opposition. Kenny Boettger and his wife Julie, for all they’ve done for the biking community (and for Julie who sewed my biking shorts just a week before Ironman!). Brian Delaney for all he has done to put on a top notch summer mini-tri series. Ace Hardware staff who waited 15 minutes after closing for my wife to get something she needed at the store. Phil Gallo for friendship and running and biking partner. Nancie Battaglia who is just a wonderful person. Graham Fraser and Ted Kennedy from Ironman USA who have always had the time to stop and talk and be there for me and the community. Dave Tyldsley(?) for always being a good guy and a great coach. Dorothy Yanchaitis for being a friend and supportive. For my Odyssey team of my sons Jay and Mike, plus Gian Fontana, Jack Yanchaitis and Cody Gates who showed me how smart, inquisitive, resourceful and calm under pressure a group of five 10 year olds can be (winning the regionals was really a bonus!). And finally to the Pine Street Pool League which gives me a chance to have close friends over weekly, and for the Pine Street Irregulars to still hold an 18 game lead over the Moody Pond Marauders. There are others I have not mentioned, but not forgotten.
I hope you all can name just as many good people that make this area so great. If ya can’t, this list sure isn’t a bad place to start.
Happy Holidays to all!
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