Letters

Everybody Wanted to Join the Circus
I particularly enjoyed reading James P. Hughes’ article about the Sig Sautelle Circus (“Homer’s Sig Sautelle,” Life in the Finger Lakes, Summer 2008).

My dad, G. Fred Beaudry Jr., told me about the Sig Sautelle Circus. The person Dad mostly talked about in connection with the circus was Nub Maltby, who was an acrobat, as I recall. I’m not sure where Dad met or encountered Nub – it might have been at the YMCA – but when Dad was a kid he wanted to be just like Nub. Dad told me he wanted to join the circus and be an acrobat, but his mother said, “No way!” My father was born in 1890. His father, G. Fred Beaudry, Sr. sold bicycles at his store in Cortland. When Dad was a 4-year-old he became a trick-bicycle rider. Dad’s older sister, May, and his younger brother, Leon, were trick riders as well. In fact, they performed at local bicycle competitions and area fairs. Undoubtedly, this was good advertising for Grandpa’s bicycle business.

My grandfather was a dealer for Stearn’s Bicycles, but apparently sold White Flyers, too. I found an article, which was included in White Flyer Tips, published January 20, 1897, by The Barnes Cycle Company of Syracuse, Vol. 1, No. 24, entitiled “Six Beauties.” It read as follows: “Some time ago there appeared in this paper a picture of little Fred Beaudry of Cortland, NY, one of the youngest trick riders in the country.  Little Fred is not, however, the only flower of the family. He has two sisters, May, aged 10, and Ida, aged 8, who with Fred are shown in the cut presented herewith. All three are trick riders of no mean ability, though the little girls are not allowed to go upon the track, and consequently look upon their younger brother with envy of his sex. They are a trio of handsome youngsters on handsome wheels, and Tips believes itself justified in the caption [3 White Flyer bicycles, May, Ida and Fred] of this article.”
Fred Beaudry III, Owego
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We stumbled across this hawk at the end of April when we were hiking in the woods behind our house in Trumansburg. It was absolutely amazing how interested and comfortable the hawk was with us. I was so fascinated with this that it led me to learn more. The Native Americans consider him the “Great Messenger.” His message to us was to share this with your magazine.
Fred & Eileen Schmidt, Trumansburg
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From a Foodie
I have been enjoying your magazine having bought most of the issues so far. I think I will soon be subscribing. I use your magazine to research material for my blog, which I invite you to look at: www.fingerlakesfeasting.com. I am a great supporter of this area having been born here and spent most of my life here. As a foodie, my blog has provided the means to satisfy my urge to concentrate on the food growers, producers and restauranteurs of the area.
Celia Clement, Ithaca
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From First-Time Readers
I have recently become a subscriber to Life in the Finger Lakes and must tell you what a joy it is to read. In the recent summer edition, I particularly enjoyed viewing Den Linnehan’s photographs and reading about John Adamski’s efforts to create a Finger Lakes museum (a great idea).

The Finger Lakes region is a special place, something I recognized upon arriving from Long Island at Cornell in 1977. I have since been fortunate to raise a family here while making a living at forecasting and researching the changeable weather in New York State’s “land of microclimates.”

Yet while I thought I knew much about the region, just one edition of Life in the Finger Lakes has taught me I have much to learn!
Kevin Williams, Director of Meteorology – WHEC-TV (News 10NBC), Penfield
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Correction
In the Summer 2008 issue, we credited a photo on page 113 to the wrong photographer. The correct photographer’s name is Jane Kinyoun from Keuka Park.
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The Folks Behind Hiawatha Island
Thank you for the very good article on my two books (“Book Look,” Life in the Finger Lakes, Summer 2008). You really did read them! I think it’s the first article that hasn’t primarily quoted promo material that I had written, and reflected the writer’s views.

I was also pleased to see Bill Wingell’s feature on Hiawatha Island and his focus on Emma Sedore (“The Many Lives of Hiawath Island”). Not only is she a neighbor, but also she has been helpful in gathering background material for both of the books. I was also glad to see John Spencer get credit for his major contribution toward making Hiawatha Island happen. He’s a very interesting character and has been the mover and shaker and doer behind many of the improvements in and around Owego. In fact, he is very shy about the hundreds of hours he spends as a volunteer and in motivating others, the thousands of dollars he raises to accomplish projects, the boards he has or does sit on, as well as operating one of the largest used and rare bookstores in New York State. He is also a nationally recognized figure among his rare book colleagues, and has personally encouraged and guided me to write, publish and distribute my books. I think Riverow Books and John Spencer might provide the grist for a future article that Life in the Finger Lakes might want to consider.
Bob White, author of Yours Truly, C. P. Avery and Susquehanna Scandal, Owego
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Putting Things Into Perspective
This wind generator, towering 10 times taller than the silo on the adjacent farm, is located high above the Atlanta Back Road in Cohocton, Steuben County, and is part of a wind farm project that is under construction there. Although they are not yet functional, I nonetheless found the controversial towers to be somewhat graceful in appearance. When I told that to an area resident, he said, “That’s because you don’t have to look at them all day like I do.” I guess that puts things into perspective. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
John Adamski, Dansville
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Send your thoughts and letters to mark@lifeinthefingerlakes.com or Life in the Finger Lakes Letters, P.O. Box 1080, Geneva, NY 14456.