Altamont, Aug. 8, 2013

Every once in a while you may see a re-run clip of a young voluptuous blond, dressed in a bikini running on a beach. As she splashes through the edge of the surf, music from Ravels ‘Bolero” builds to an exciting crescendo filling the screen with excitement.

Well, I’m not blond and I don’t wear a bikini, but put my feet in the water on a beach, with the spray from the ocean on my face and the heat from the summer sun bathing my body and I feel just as carefree as a bathing beauty in the movie 10!

Some of you may wonder what brought on this smile while others have already picked up on the signs. They all add up to one thing another road trip. And just like many of our trips in the past, we started by picking up our friends, Harvey and Di Levin, and traveling all the way to the Burger King that is about six blocks from their house. Obviously, we did not want to dirty our kitchen on the first day of a short vacation.

The simile was also prompted by our decision to go to the seashore for this vacation. In the spring, the four of us talked about where we wanted to go this summer for a short get-away. We have been to many local places and wanted to try a new location.

A couple of years ago we went on a cruise to Canada and New England, stopping at Newport, RI; Boston, Mass.; Bar Harbor, Me.; and Halifax, Nova Scotia. All were familiar to us because we had traveled to each city by car in the past.

Coming into each city’s port is a very unique experience. The views are different and the lifestyle is different. We also took some tours that gave us a new perspective of the history and life of the early residents.

While musing over our past travels we realized that there is one place we have not been to that would make a fun trip. My husband, Jim, went to work on the computer and tailored the plans to create a fun vacation that would fit our time schedule. We did not want to wind up running all over the place and come home more tired than when we started.

Actually, the breakfast at Burger King was part of the timing because our first stop was in my hometown of Fairhaven, Mass. Although Fairhaven has a very rich history tied to the growth of our country and to the fishing and whaling industry, it has something that is very important to the four of us today. It has Gene’s Famous Seafood Restaurant!

Gene’s is one of those local restaurants where you can eat-in or out. Although they are not on the waterfront, they do just as much business because they have good food and good prices. A family owned business, Gene’s now has their third generation cooking, bussing and cleaning tables getting ready to carry on the family tradition.

The atmosphere is very casual. When you walk in the door, you place your order with the cashier who writes it down on a paper bag while passing it on to the cooks. Within minutes the order is ready and you are on your way to a table to devour the feast they prepared for you.

Their secret, in addition to the good food and good prices, is the fact that they are ready for a crowd and move people in and out fast while not pushing you.

Jim had an all meat lobster roll and clam chowder, New England style. I had the seaman’s platter and we all shared a bag of clam cakes. Harvey and Di ordered the same and grabbed a picnic table inside where we could enjoy eating and talking about what we were going to do next.

Just as an aside, we always talk to the owners and their family members who are there when we are. They know all about my ties to Fairhaven and we have watched their children grow up over the past 45 years, when we travel back to my homestead.

The men in the family are also Masons and Shriners and the women are members of Eastern Star so we do have that connection with them also. We found out about their membership because they have a container designated for people to deposit their soda can tabs. They use the tabs for the children in the Shriner’s Hospital in Boston.

After filling our stomachs, we decided to take a short tour of West Island in Bristol, Mass.

West Island is connected to Sconticut Neck in Fairhaven by a causeway so it can be reached by wheels and feet. The gardens, waterfront cottages, lighthouse, sailboats, sea gulls all are picturesque. It is a place you would expect an artist to be sitting on every lawn trying to capture the peaceful look of this community.

From Sconticut Neck we drove down the coast for a short distance and wound up on the waterfront at Horseneck Beach. Once again, we were overwhelmed by the peaceful feeling you get standing on the shore with waves splashing up over the rocks. Bikes, motorcycles, and cars rolled along the causeway while young people hopped in and out of the water trying to beat the rolling waves and laughing when they slipped and fell into the cold water.

As the day started to draw to a close, we decided to head back to our motel and get ready for another busy day. On the way back we were sidetracked by a gift shop that really caught our eyes. There is never a shortage of places to shop and spend your money on the Cape, but this place was a little bit different and shouted stop to us.

Once inside we knew that it would be dangerous for us to stay too long. What a shop. They had souvenirs, gifts, clothes, toys, books and a unique snack shop in the event you got hungry or tired and needed to refresh yourself while shopping. Either fortunately or unfortunately, the men stayed outside and enjoyed the fresh air so Di and I decided not to stay long. We did manage to find a few things that we could add to our luggage for the trip home. However, prudence prevailed and we were underway before we spent our total vacation allotment.

Due to the large lunch we had at Gene’s, we just had a quick snack and spent the rest of the evening talking. It was early to bed so that we were refreshed and ready for the main part of our trip the next day.

 Because that will take a little bit of time to describe to you, I will have to finish next week. Until then, happy sailing.

Opening day

The Altamont Fair opens on Tuesday, Aug. 13. There is free parking throughout the week at Gates 1, 2, 3 and 5. The main gate for animals, fair participants, and fairgoers is Gate 2.  Walkers can enter Gate 4, which is located at the Grand Street entrance.   The entry cost of the fair is  $15 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and includes fair rides for all those who want to participate in rides. Fair entry on Friday, Saturday and Sunday is $17.  The entry fee includes parking, unlimited rides, Circus Hollywood attractions and entertainment.  Children under 36 inches tall are free. 

80th surprise

Harvey Levin of Friar Tuck Rd. in Guilderland was treated to a surprise birthday party this past Sunday in celebration of his 80th birthday. The party was given by  Jen and Tim Gerber, his daughter and son-in law and Paul and Heidi Levin, his son and daughter-in law. 

The party was held at the Gerber's home in Saratoga Springs.

Many relatives including his three grandchildren, Sam, Nate, and Abby, and his brother Melvin, Carol, his sister-in-law, her husband and niece were present for the celebration.

Other friends traveled from Altamont, Guilderland, Schenectady,  and Schuylerville as well as  Fred Gerber, his daughter's father-in-law who traveled from St. James, Long Island to be with Harvey for this special event.

The weather was perfect for the outdoor party with a wide variety of delicious foods. Happy Birthday Harvey and may you have many more.

School supplies

St. Lucy/St. Bernadette Church in Altamont is collecting school supplies for the children in the Hilltowns, food pantry recipients and Circles of Mercy (a program for women and children) sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy.

Items such as 3-ring binders, 3 ring hole filler paper, composition notebooks, index cards, high lighters, pencil cases, pink erasers, rulers are needed. The items can be left in the gathering space at the church. 

Appreciation

The community of Altamont and surrounding area extends its appreciation to the Altamont Free Library for its summer concert series that ended this past Tuesday. 

The series was made possible through Community Arts grants, a program funded by the Arts Center of the Capital Region through the State and Local Partnership Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency.  Additional funding was provided by the Altamont Free Library and the village of Altamont. 

A warm thank you to all of the musicians and volunteers for the wonderful summer programs.                               

Anniversaries

Happy-anniversary wishes are extended to:

—  Lisa and Gregory Peck who will celebrate their special day on August 10; and

— Sherry and John Ciupek celebrating on Aug. 12.

Birthdays

Happy-birthday wishes are extended to:

—  Elena Toscano and Karen Grimm on Aug. 9;

— Wallie Best, Dianne (Culella) Booth, and Don Filkins on Aug. 10;

— Susan Mudgett on Aug. 11;

— Larry Adams Sr. and Dorothy Crupe on Aug. 12;

— Harold Grant, and Kate Kowalski on Aug. 14;

— Cindy (Caruso) Kaczmarek, and Ben Pickering on Aug. 15; and

— Betty Friebel and Pamela Frondy on Aug. 16.     

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