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Today I took in a bit of my father's past, and finished with a visit with another cousin on my father's side.
Cousin Bobby Jones took me into Buffalo, where our fathers grew up. First we stopped at venerable Nichols School, our fathers' day school, that my dad faithfully supported all his life. We went through a couple of the older buildings; they have modernized a great deal but you get that old school feel.
Bobby's wife Julie taught chemistry and physics at Nichols for 18 years, until her children decided they would prefer public school. My favorite story: A student came up to Julie, declaring he was feeling woozy and thought he could hear "seals barking." Well, he was. Nichols is across the street from the Buffalo Zoo! Time constraints prevented Bobby and me visting there.
We drove out to the home our fathers grew up in: 101 Frontenac, or just 101. Many great stories. We figured the route from there to Nichols, and while it was not "many miles through the snow up hill both ways" it would have been a hike with hockey equipment, etc. Bobby's best story: as a toddler he was loaded on a sled and Grampa Jones dragged him to the local store to get groceries, then loaded the groceries and pulled them back. Upon arrival, the family discovered no Bobby. He was found in a snow drift a ways back, having fallen off the sled.
101 Frontenac was for sale. Bobby thought we should all pitch in and buy it and take turns living there. Pass.
We drove to the cute village of Orchard Park, New York, where Julie owns and runs a terrific little bed, bath, gift and apparel shop called Malabar. Check it out. She has a gift for every occasion. Friend, Buffalo native, and actress Wendie Malick is a frequent visitor and Julie was busy boxing items to send to her. That's Julie and Bobby on the chairs out front.
Sorry for the less than stellar pictures. My camera crapped out and I used my cell phone. I will get a replacement camera, rest assured.
I travelled across upstate New York, and spent a delightful evening with cousin Curtis Mills and his friend Linda (and their six-month old puppy Tupper) in his lovely old farmhouse in Gloversville, New York. Fun Gloversville fact: it is the lifetime home of author Richard Russo, who wrote Empire Falls. It will be fun to read that and picture these surrounding. He recently published That Old Cape Magic, so I will be reading that too!
Today's beer: Saranac Amber Wheat Ale, a seasonal beer made by the Matt Brewing Company, New York's oldest brewery. It was excellent, and quite different then most wheat beers I have had.
Great catching up with Curtis, and getting low down on his neck of my father's family. He is an internist in the Gloversville area, as is Linda. Today I am off to see Curtis's brother Doug, who is in Saratoga Springs, New York.