Oh, you have totally wandered into one of those rare Small Pines serious-minded posts. Oh, yeah. I’m totally going to ruminate.
I’ve posted previously along these same lines. However, since I honestly don’t remember what I wrote, and since my feelings may have changed now that I am a full-time resident, I thought I might write about the topic again. I may not recall my previous words, but the sentiment stays with me. I think about it a lot.
There are many Adirondacks.
I think about it when born-and-bred locals badmouth preservationists. I think about it when preservation groups refuse to see the long-time locals point of view. I think about it when I hear someone badmouth the lesser villages. I think about it when folks from the lesser villages call the vacation home folks rich snobs. I think about it when my dyed-in-the-wool neighbors don’t understand how I could find value in some of the artsy-fartsy stuff that happens in Saranac Lake. I think about it when I realize that Saranac Lake has five groups raising money for five different charitable projects, none of them working together. I think about it when I remember that many of my neighbors would likely not get along with my friends in town.
There are many versions of this awesome six-million acres we call The Adirondacks, and each of us has our own specific version; each as valuable and valid as the next. And I wonder how nice it would be if we all dropped our agendas for a while. If we were a little more, “You live that way? That’s cool. I live this way.”
Perhaps this comes from the fact that I have a hard time completely fitting in.
I’m an über-NPR arts geek who has a bad habit of adapting Victorian literature for the stage. I use phrases like raison d’etre in normal conversation, but I curse like a sailor. I like a good Chardonnay, but you could have caught me any evening last Summer with a Keystone Light in my hand. I love beautiful clothes, but I wear ripped flannel most of the time. I play the piano and I tear down houses. I have a large library of theatre memoirs, and I have a chicken coop built out of scrap wood. I straddle a line, I guess. That’s cool. Just a little hard to find anyone that I have a whole lot in common with.
Anyhow. There are many Adirondacks, and being a straddler, I’ve learned that everyone has something to offer. Everyone. Some of my backwater redneck friends are near genius, and better read than your average Columbia grad. And some of my more well-off friends are the least snobby, most down-to-Earth folks you’d ever want to tip a Budweiser with.
If we could all just give each other a little more of a chance.
How awesome would that be?