The way things were
by Anne Weaver

ABOUT THE WEEK OF DEC. 19, 1963, a new element of safety was being added to the Christmas season. Christmas tree decorations, which had long been fingered as important factors in the upsurge of residential fires during the holidays, were getting safer.

One example of a danger that was fast being eliminated was the fire hazard presented by the Christmas tree icicle. Old-fashioned lead icicles were rapidly being replaced by metallized saran icicles that did not support combustion.

There was a growing trend toward use of the newer type. Whether this could be attributed to increasing safety consciousness or a preference for the brighter, stronger aluminum-surfaced icicles was unimportant. The important point was, knowingly or not, Americans were making this most festive of seasons safer.

The third edition of “Adirondack Profiles” by William Wessels of Blue Mountain Lake was just off the press. The first two editions sold out in two years.

In a recent review in the New York State Conservationist magazine, Roland B. Miller commented, “Adirondack Profiles” is indeed a worthy volume to be added to the treasures of the Adirondack book shelves.” Lowell Thomas in the foreword said in part: “Mr. Wessels gives a brilliant portrait of New York’s fabulous mountains, past and present, as he sketches his ‘Adirondack Profiles.’”

The book is well illustrated. A new book by the author, another Adirondack Profile, entitled “Moses Cohen, Peddler to Capitalist (an Adirondack Pioneer),” would be off the press in December, paperback $1.80, illustrated. Both books were distributed by Hamilton Advertising Agency Inc., Blue Mt. Lake.

The big-game hunting season in NYS was over. Statistics indicated fewer deer, bear and hunters were killed during 1963 than in 1962. An Associated Press tally showed nine hunters lost their lives while after big or small game. Two others died of heart attacks. Last year’s toll was 15 and four.

A spokesman for the NYS Conservation Department said final figures on deer and bear taken were not yet available. He said, however, that the total probably would be below previous years.

The big-game season in Northern Zone, which includes the Adirondacks, originally was scheduled to end Dec. 3, but was extended to make up for eight days lost when the woods were closed.

At HAMILTON COUNTY, two grand prize winners (of 36) in the 1963 Louis A. Wehle Fishing Contest were caught in Hamilton County lakes. In the lake trout division Pat Shaul, Chadwickes, took a 21-pounder from 4th Lake. Second prize went to Kenneth Wiediger, Utica, for a 17 lb., 9 oz. laker caught in Blue Mountain Lake.

Hamilton County Clerk Earl C. Farber was issuing low number auto registrations. He stated that he positively would not hold any low numbers after Jan. 1. “If your application for a low number is not in immediately, don’t be disappointed if your number has been issued to someone else,” Mr. Farber said.

At INLET, representatives of the Central Adirondacks Association, Old Forge, discussed with officials of the state Department of Public Works at Albany the resurfacing of 23 miles of Route 28 between Blue Mountain Lake and Old Forge. The visitors cited the importance of their area as a resort center and an access to Lake Placid, the possible site of the 1968 Winter Olympics.

Superintendent of Public Works J. Burch McMorran, a member of the Adirondack Mountain Authority, expressed his continued interest in the Route 28 resurfacing program and said it would proceed in stages as state road funds became available.

Representing the CAA were Nicholas S. Valantine Jr., Maurice Callahan, John Collins and Supervisor-elect L.D. Helmer of the Town of Webb. Also present were A. Richard Cohen, a member of the Adirondack Mountain Authority; Fred Williams; Pitt Smith, CAA publicity director; and Edward Risley. The DPW was represented by Deputy Chief Engineer for Highway Planning Maynard Bebee.

At LAKE PLEASANT, is it worthwhile to attract families and other groups to a winter sports area by providing for their enjoyment an old-fashioned, folksy, homelike kind of Christmas / New Year holiday?

The inhabitants of this little village were sure people like to be entertained in such an atmosphere, the kind of environment that takes one back to the days when boys and girls looked forward eagerly to the appearance of Santa Claus, carols were sung, people dropped in at their neighbor’s homes and all the traditions of an old-time American village were enjoyed to the utmost.

Speculator was one of the comparatively few towns in which such nostalgic delights could still be savored. Visitors found “Open House” everywhere. Everyone was made to feel at home in homes away from home.

This area has always catered to families and groups. That is one reason why so many of them are “repeaters,” coming year after year. There were some home-cooked church suppers, community singing, candlelight services and a beautiful Christmas crèche in the center of the village.

Nearby was the town’s skating rink, where music added to the fun and lights permitted night programs. The hotels, lodges and restaurants provided après-ski entertainment. Movies and dances added to the fun.