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TI Life Happenings in October

Canadian Thanksgiving and Columbus Day Weekend truly signals the end of Summer, 2014.  Mother Nature was kind with no micro-bursts, but a cool July and lovely August.  She supplied island squirrels with a bountiful crop of acorns (most in my memory) and this last week she produced such strong winds that it kept many of us either stranded on an island or stuck on the mainland!  Stay safe and get ready for pumpkins.

Inside October:

Art and Poetry:  We introduce Shapes of Rocks… Artist Judith Gould; Pay tribute to the late John Russell in Ode to a Friend… by Daniel (Sandy) Gregory and Kim Lunman tells us  Remington Comes To Brockville.


Nature and Adventure: Patty Mondore presents Songs in the Night and I go on a RiverQuest on a Quest. In addition we receive a River’s Gift from Lillian Cooledge.

History:  Nancy Bond remembers Clayton’s Railroad Depot; Rex Ennis provides A Tale of Two Clubs… and we publish an article from the 1924 Forest and Stream Magazine, An Alexandria Bay “Musky.”

Island Life:  Lynn McElfresh gives us an Introduction to Island Life 101 while Kim Lunman introduces… TI Life Happenings in October

New Contributor

Daniel (Sandy) Gregory - Ode to a Friend…

Dan Gregory, or Dr. Daniel (Sandy) Gregory, is a North Country native.  He graduated from Hamilton College and the University of Virginia, School of Medicine and his career and life’s work in medicine are exemplary. He served as consultant to the U.S. Pubic Health Service Hospital, in New Mexico, providing healthcare to the Navajo Nation where he pioneered a study of cholesterol gallstone; a life threatening health problem among the American Indian of the Southwest.  In 2002-2004 he was included on America’s registry of Outstanding Professionals and named by the Consumer Research Council of Medicine as one of “America’s Top Physicians.”  In 2013, Dan retired from medicine and now pursues his “life-long passion” for writing, where he is a proud member of the Cooperstown NY’s “Smithy Writer's Circle.”

1000 Islands Names ‘Best Boat Ride’ In the Nation…

USA Today hosted the 10 Best Readers’ Choice Boat Rides in the Nation, with four weeks of voting in June, readers selected the Thousand Islands as Number 1, beating out Number 2 - Niagara Falls.  “The beautiful Thousand Islands (1000 Islands) area - between northern New York and southeastern Ontario - was called ‘Garden of the Great Spirit’ by native Americans.”  We who live here know the region is #1, but now it is nice to see that everyone knows!

Grandchildren Remember

Robert and Paula Street from Bostwick Island, Admiralty Islands, had a lovely surprise when their four children: John (San Diego CA), Sarah (Plano, Texas), Christopher,(New York City) and Polly, (Los Angeles) presented them with a  beautiful hand-crafted bench.

Bob explained; “All summer long I see my friends’ cottages filled with multi-generational love and enjoyment. They are not alone. This was the 50th anniversary of my Dad’s last summer at the cottage, a time before my children were born. He’d spent summers as a child at the cottage next door, which his father, a Dean at Syracuse University, had built. Dad bought this land in ‘39 and built a little cottage in 1953- 54. Although a nationally known scientist (synthetic rubber), and executive at Firestone, his love of space was Bostwick Island. The cottage is now expanded in significant ways with much dedication from Peter Reid, our jack-of-all- trades associate who takes care of everything. To our amazement, our children and grandchildren secretly commissioned Peter, to build a memorial bench on this 50th anniversary and they presented it to us yesterday. “In loving memory of John N & Dorothy H Street, from your grandchildren.” Wow, what can I say? It is designed with Half Moon Bay motif in the back. The seat & back are from half-round cedar siding that was part of his original cottage. The legs and structure are built from an oak tree that had been cut down to make room for the 2003 expansion. The bench will sometimes be at our Half Moon Bay cliff retreat, where we participate in summer Sunday Vespers services, and will often be on our deck facing the sun and moon rising. We are not alone.”

A Special Moment

Tim Kocher, Riverview Photography shared a rare view of the landscape. When I asked if he had used Photoshop, he explained, “The only thing I used Photoshop for was to merge 2 photos together. Other than that... believe it or not... it's all natural.”


The Blue Antiquity of Dawn

The Blue Antiquity of Dawn: Poetry and Philosophy by David Lyttle, was published by Friesen Press in June 2014.  We were introduced to David and his River poetry in David Lyttle’s Poetry in December 2011.  This new book is both a delight to read, but also, as he explains, “is about the beauty and ferocity of my life; and because I assume that I am like everyone else, this book is about the beauty and ferocity of life in general.”  The Lyttle family are neighbours in the Admiralty Group and he signed his gift to me with, “To Susan Smith with thanks for everything you have done for the River.”  High praise from a gentleman, whom we all admire.


Revised Pages:  Properties & Excursions

Properties:  When Paul Malo created Thousand Islands Life in 2005, he did so with a hope that much of the "past" would be appreciated.  He wrote at that time: "In the interest of finding appreciative stewards of historic properties, Thousand Islands Life presents some real estate of exceptional importance when offered for sale."

Since Paul started the properties page, we have had thousands of interested “hits.”  This month we updated the page format and we will continue to present these properties.  All inquiries for these should be made to the agent on each property listing.

Excursion: Have you found an exceptional place to visit?  Rex and Janet Ennis found the Rainbow Sweets Café in Marshfield NH - that is almost worth leaving the islands for a visit. [See Tripadvisor reviews

Our River’s Loss

Sherman C. Ward Jr.

Sherman C. Ward Jr. died at the age of 92 on October 1, 2014, at his home in Alexandria Bay.  Readers of TI Life met this dedicated river artist in our April 2010 issue, written by Hope Marshall. 

Hope profiled Sherman’s passion for theatre, with both Sherman and his wife, Ann, previously holding positions on several boards and theater associations.   In 2009 the Theater Association of New York honored Sherman when they established “The Sherman C. Ward Jr. Distinguished Volunteer Award,”

In addition to theatre, Sherman produced hundreds of paintings and prominent sculptures.  There are many proud islanders wearing his jewelry pieces, with his St. Lawrence Skiff being a favorite. He was one of the founders of the Dingman Point River Artist Studio Tour, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year. 

Rest in peace River Friend, you will be missed. [See the Watertown Daily Times for a retrospective of Sherman’s career.] 

Joseph T. Ficano

Joseph (Joe) Ficano died on September 30, 2014, in New Hartford, NY.  Joe, as he was known, lived on Picton Island, was both a friend and volunteer for several river organizations.  We copy part of his obituary, which summed up his love of the River. 

“He loved hunting, fishing, skiing, golf and above all boating on the St. Lawrence River, and spending time at his beloved camp on Picton Island, Clayton, NY. "Messing about in boats" really sums up his passion for the River along with the endless "little jobs" of repairing docks, building shelves, organizing his work shed, and continual tinkering.”   Click here to see the full obituary.

Dr. Lawrence Withington

We report with sadness the death of Dr. Lawrence F. Withington, on September 23, 2014.  Back in March of this year, Nancy W. Del Borgo, invited Watertown Daily Times readers to send a card to her father, Dr. Lawrence Withington, who was turning a remarkable 104 years old.  We at TI Life met Dr. Withington through is son, Dr. Richard (Dick) Withington’s writings.  Dick W. provides TI Life with many heart warming articles throughout the year.  Back in December 2012 he wrote “Dear People of the United States of America and Canada” about a letter that Dewitt Withington, Dr. Lawrence’s grandson and Seaway Pilot, delivered to his father.  We join the many Withington friends in paying tribute to this remarkable Centenarian. [WDT tribute]

Please Don’t Forget

FACEBOOKRemember our facebook page throughout the month, as we post information and photographs & follow us on twitter 2

We also appreciate having you hit our  donate button[3] button and donate!

Do you write about the River - near to it, from above or below?  If so, please consider submitting an article.  Let us know what you like, or dislike, about TI Life, so we can all share more ideas.  And… most of all; please ask questions and leave comments.

By Susan W. Smith, Editor

Special thanks to our editors: David Ray, Jane Taylor, Bill Stallan, Beverly L. Ouderkirk and Georgia Barker.
  • Photo by Judy Starr Rapp.JPG

    Photo by Judy Starr Rapp.JPG

  • Early morning walk on Howe Island by Andree Thrope

    Early morning walk on Howe Island by Andree Thrope

  • Mark Russell captures a wild day on 40 Acres.

    Mark Russell captures a wild day on 40 Acres.

  • The Rift by Dennis McCarthy

    The Rift by Dennis McCarthy

  • Admiralty Islands view by Doug Goodfellow

    Admiralty Islands view by Doug Goodfellow

  • Over 4,400+ saw Doug Tulloch's photograph on our TI Life facebook page.!

    Over 4,400+ saw Doug Tulloch's photograph on our TI Life facebook page.!

  • Judy Orr

    Judy Orr

  • Martin Zonnenberg captures a family

    Martin Zonnenberg captures a family

  • Going by Grindstone by Martin Zonnenberg

    Going by Grindstone by Martin Zonnenberg

  • 300+ ft

    300+ ft "Pearl Mist" docks at Clayton. Photo by Ted Mascott

  • Paul Hartwick proves Canadian Thanksgiving temperature was a perfect fall day.

    Paul Hartwick proves Canadian Thanksgiving temperature was a perfect fall day.

  • Canadian 1000 Islands Park Island mariners by Paul Hartwick

    Canadian 1000 Islands Park Island mariners by Paul Hartwick

  • Early morning Sunday, October 12, 2014 by Doug Tulloch fog

    Early morning Sunday, October 12, 2014 by Doug Tulloch fog

  • Scott Stren presents Friendly Island

    Scott Stren presents Friendly Island

  • Andrea Metz captures Columbus Day at Cedar Point

    Andrea Metz captures Columbus Day at Cedar Point


Please feel free to leave comments about this article using the form below. Comments are moderated and we do not accept comments that contain links. As per our privacy policy, your email address will not be shared and is inaccessible even to us. For general comments, please email the editor.


John A. Keeler
Comment by: John A. Keeler
Left at: 7:42 AM Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Great Morning, I received my "October-1000 Islands". Great to remind me how fortunut, I & my family, were to view pixs of "HOME".
My wifes Father, Harold Comstock, was Caretaker at "Dark Island",for a number of years. Considering, Mr. & Mrs. Thayer, only came up in August, We have many GREAT Memories of "Dark Island" & the river..
Thank You, John A. Keeler, Jacksonville, FL.
Tom B
Comment by: Tom B
Left at: 8:18 AM Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Pictures are beautiful and allow me to reminisce about the summer of 2014 but now make me anxious to be on the river in the Spring of 2015.