During the year, there are numerous visits to Eisenhower Lock.
The Gardener and I enjoy watching ships passing through the St. Lawrence Seaway. We have visited Eisenhower Lock (and a few years ago, Snell Lock, too!) for 55 years now.
It was exactly 55 years ago this past week (a few years before we moved to the north country and built our home here) that we made our first stop in Massena. We were traveling from Ithaca to the Laurentian Mountains and stopped at a restaurant on our way north.
A gentleman sitting at a table nearby told us that if we stopped in Massena, we should make sure to visit the St. Lawrence Seaway. The words of an unidentified, friendly promoter of Massena we met in a restaurant as we traveled sparked our interest in this area.
We took this gentleman’s advice and stopped in Massena. Those we met in a restaurant on Main Street now so many years ago also were friendly and so helpful providing information about the Seaway. We visited both Snell and Eisenhower Locks and were fascinated with the passage of ships through the lock system.
The next year, we took my father to Montreal. Our trip that summer involved driving south from Montreal to Ithaca.
It was about 4 a.m. when we were near Massena. We stopped and were able to watch the passage of ships.
That next spring, we had decided to move to New York state (we were then living in Ohio). After an interview at Salmon River with jobs set for the fall, we moved to Northern New York. Each year since that time, we have had the marvelous opportunity to visit the Seaway, watching the amazing passage of ships — large and small — and visit with the friendliest of people.
As we entered the reception area at Eisenhower Lock last week, we were greeted by the familiar face of a gentleman we count as a friend: security officer Frank. He not only welcomed us but remembered our names and history with the locks. This gentleman’s friendliness and kindness each year always means a great deal.
This past week, the Gardener and I stopped at the Celine G. Philibert Memorial Cultural Centre and Museum on Main Street. I have visited the Massena Museum at other locations. Since we moved to the north country and now have a family who has their roots here, I have become interested in the history of the area.
The new Massena Museum is absolutely beautiful (with plenty of free parking spaces). We were so pleased when we entered and went to sign the guest book to see a Thomas Hart Benton painting.
That painting and the chairs nearby that were used for the seating of dignitaries at the opening of the St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project welcomed us. What a joy it was to see these items, which I am sure we have seen before at the power dam.
The exhibit at the museum was marvelous and, as the Gardener said, “fascinating.” I loved seeing a reminder of the Baptist church and the synagogue.
There were china dishes from the Shine Inn — all displayed beautifully. I loved the displays of the grocery store, Civil War artifacts, the Bushnell House and so many pieces shared of the history of Massena and the north country.
There also was a beautiful display of Amish quilts as we entered. How beautiful they were and how amazing the artistry in each one.
I especially enjoyed a room set aside for a single display, which we were told would change from time to time. When we visited the museum, the room was filled with a display centering on the Boy Scouts and a Massena dignitary David Peterson.
How wonderful it was to see Mr. Peterson’s many accomplishments in Scouting. Our thanks to the museum for sharing this display and reminding us of all Mr. Peterson has contributed to Massena and the north country, especially through his Scouting.
I would urge you to take time this week to stop at the museum. I am certain you will not be disappointed. How marvelous it was to be reminded of times gone by and the history of Massena.
Mike Gagne will celebrate his birthday on Aug. 13. I always enjoy visiting with Mike — except during football season depending upon the success or lack thereof of my favorite team, the New York Jets, and Mike’s favorite team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Have a terrific birthday, Mike. You certainly deserve only the best as you celebrate!
Last week while shopping, I noticed a pumpkin-flavored cookie (there was no purchase made of this item). I looked with sadness at the display — the arrival of pumpkin flavored items usually means it is time for the season to change.
There are no longer s’more-flavored drinks or cookies offered. Pumpkin fall flavoring has arrived.
I thought that perhaps it was a mistake. Then on Sunday when I stopped at Dollar General and made a few purchases, there was yet another pumpkin-flavored siting.
As I stopped at the counter to pay, I noticed a display nearby for a pumpkin-flavored chocolate bar. When I commented about the pumpkin-flavored item’s arrival, the cashier told me he was in fact stocking the shelves with Halloween candy. I love the beauty of fall but honestly am not ready for a change of seasons — and am not looking forward to pumpkin-flavored items on the menu.
My thoughts this week are with the victims of the shootings in Texas and Ohio. Please take a moment and reach out in kindness to another. If you can hold your spouse, child or parents in your arms, please hold them a bit tighter this week. And thank a friend for a kindness shown or remember to share a warm smile or greeting with a stranger. We must all reach out in love to another in an effort to make the world a beautiful place to live.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
“How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it.”
— George Elliston