Wow. How great is it that Tim Fortune and Kelly Morgan are the king and queen of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival? We're so thrilled, we're almost speechless.
Ha ha! Just kidding about being speechless. We have plenty to say about these two people we've known and loved for a long time.
We're not going to get into most of their long, amazing catalogs of volunteer work - you can find those elsewhere in today's paper - but there are some things we have to mention.
Remember the welcome-home parade for Olympians in Saranac Lake in March 2010, shortly after the Winter Games in Vancouver? Wasn't that one of the best times ever? The spirit in the air was electrifying. Well, you can thank Ms. Morgan for it because she led the Women's Civic Chamber in pulling that whole thing together. It was a huge, complicated job, arranging on short notice the schedules of the region's many Olympians and getting almost all of them here for the event - but the result, for hordes of children and adults, was tremendous.
Beyond that, don't you like it when all that litter, revealed by the spring snowmelt, gets picked up in Saranac Lake's parks and other public spaces? Well, Kelly led the Village Cleanup Day for several years, also in her role with the Women's Civic Chamber, so you can thank her for that, too.
Those are just a couple of the many, many great things she has happily volunteered to take on in this village.
Most of all, don't you like it when someone greets you in passing with a smile and a cheerful greeting? Well, Kelly exceeds almost everyone in that regard. She spreads joy wherever she goes.
As for Tim, well, he started the art revival that has flourished in Saranac Lake and transformed the village, to the point of being the envy of the North Country in regard to the arts.
Now, we know Winter Carnival monarchs are meant to be picked for their volunteerism rather than professional work, and Tim has so much of that, as you can read elsewhere in today's paper. But let's not forget that a person's professional work can go so far above and beyond the basics that it enhances the quality of life of thousands of neighbors. It spreads to all avenues of the arts, not just painting, it was done for free and with great love, and it was done for the benefit of the entire community, not just the arts community.
Without question, Tim is the local art scene's founder, dean, mentor and humble servant. And what a painter! Any time we're tempted to think the Adirondacks have been painted to death, a good look at a Tim Fortune canvas cures us of that. His hyperrealistic nature images are so fine, beautiful, transcendent and carefully crafted, they make us hope that if we observe the world carefully enough, we, too, can see creation with such clarity.
Both Tim Fortune and Kelly Morgan are most deserving of this community honor, and we join the community in congratulating them. We also thank and congratulate those who nominated them and the past kings and queens who chose them.