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The Inseide Dope: Reflecting on another year gone by

January 15, 2013
By Bob Seidenstein ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

When we hear the phrase, "year in review," most of us think of a rehash of the previous 365 days' most significant events and celebrities. Well, cheer up, dear reader, because I'm not about to lay that scene on you.

First, when it comes to events in the news, rarely are they significant. Sensational, yes. Significant, rarely.

I think almost all news can be described by the Tom Robbins quote: "And the world situation was desperate, as usual." (And as far as I'm concerned, you can substitute "nation" and "state" for "world," with no loss of accuracy).

Article Photos

Bob Seidenstein
(Enterprise photo)

As for celebrities? There are two focal quotes I feel explain celebrities perfectly.

The first is from Fred Allen: "A celebrity is a person who works hard all his life to become known, then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized."

The second, referring to the ubiquity and brief lifespan of fame due to electronic media, is Andy Warhol's quote: "In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes."

And so when tasked with putting together The Year in Review for the ADE, there's no way I'll waste print on the outside world and its movers and shakers. Instead, I'll deal with what and who are really important namely my fellow Saranac Lakers.

In doing so, I'm guided by a quote from that stalwart citizen of My Home Town, Peter Duprey, who said, "The best thing about Saranac Lake is EVERYONE'S famous." And so we'll cruise the highlights of 2012 through the people who really matter our local luminaries.

First we'll hear from some of the Blue Moon crew.

Ken Fontana, who with his wife Trish, is the Moon's owner said, "There's no one highlight. I'm fortunate I've had many good highlights this year."

Clair Ryan Bovee, the Moon's majordomo, had no problem identifying hers: "I married Josh!"

The flower of the wait staff, Ania Zmuda's, highlight was of a philosophic nature: "I'm learning how to be alone and how to like my own company."

Next we hear from the halls of academe.

Bruce Young, of the NCCC faculty, immediately responded with, "Having Leo Brill in my film class," which obviously speaks for itself and for Leo.

Ed Coppola, who also teaches at NCCC and started there decades ago, said, "My Intermediate Algebra class. They were hard-working and engaged and just a delight to work with."

Finally, from the other side of the desk, is Linnea Shumway's highlight. Linnea goes to Paul Smith's College (and, incidentally, is one of my rave-fave students). "I got an A in Hospitality Futures. I worked hard and expected a B or B+, so the A was a real accomplishment."

Not all highlights took place within the Blue Line. Some of our stars had out-of-state and out-of-sight adventures.

Samantha Benware managed a long-overdue vacation a seven-day blast in Las Vegas. "It was great. I slept late, took in a couple of shows, had wonderful meals, and just about broke even at the tables."

Kelli O'Sullivan rocked her summer vacation. "I saw friends and relatives in the Carolinas and Georgia. The two best things were going to an awesome waterfall in North Carolina, and going to the aquarium in Atlanta. I think of the trip as my East Coast Tour."

Karen Miller, ever the naturalist, visited a cousin in Prescott, Ariz. and had two major surprises. "First, I saw Abert squirrels. They've got the funniest-looking ears. Then I saw javolinos wild pigs, that are also pretty funny looking. I thought I'd seen every kind of animal the U.S. has to offer, so it was a delight to see new ones."

Other trips were less geographic than metaphysical.

"My highlight," said Barb Curtis, "was playing music with The Lemmon Drops. It provided a lot of enjoyment, which was just the experience I needed."

Mr. Ampersound himself, Mark Coleman, modeled the essence of balance: "I had no highlights and no lowlights. Everything maintained a decent level. And that's OK."

Here's the dirt on Joe Keegan: "I got the most satisfaction planting and growing a vegetable garden. And coming out of that, I added to my recipes. The garden provided something for every meal we had this summer."

Lindsay and Cameron Anderson combined the geographic with the metaphysical: "We celebrated our fifth anniversary at Cameron's dad's place in Stonington, Maine," said Lindsay. "It was a great time, and a poignant one. His dad's 87. He's had the place for years, and he just put it on the market, so it's probably the last time we'll go there."

As for my highlight? It was easy to decide on: My sister-in-law was seriously ill, and she no longer is. I couldn't ask for more than that.

And now, since all the misinterpreted Mayan end-of-the-world prophecies have come and gone, it looks like we'll have 2013 after all. So here's hoping you and yours take advantage of it and have a fruitful and fulfilling new year.



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