I received my Spring Issue and was quite pleased to read the articles, especially the one about “When Life Was Dreamy” by Lee Burgess. My husband and I moved to Clifton Springs in 1974, and we sure enjoyed driving around the Finger Lakes. The mention of DiPacific’s on the corner of routes 96 and 332 reminded me of the many days and nights we dined there.

We spent our winters in Delray Beach, Florida. When my husband passed away 12 years ago, I gave up Florida to live in the perfect village of Fairport, New York.

I also want to comment about advice from Doc and Katy, which I saved. I never missed their radio show when I was home. Forsythia is my most favorite bush. I don’t garden anymore as I’m 90 years old, but I’m not a couch potato. I am very active and I love this magazine. It is the only one I get. It fulfills all my needs and makes me happy.
-- Evelyn Brown, Fairport

P.S. And don’t worry about the white box on the beautiful cover. I like it.

Your magazine is a delight. We were thrilled to see an article in your Spring Issue featuring Hammondsport, one of our favorite trail towns, and even more pleased to see that the Finger Lakes Trail (FLT) is mentioned on page 24. However, that mention may give readers the wrong idea! The FLT is huge!

The main path of the FLT stretches 562 miles, from Allegany State Park in western New York to the Catskills in the eastern part of the state. Hundreds of miles go through the counties of your Finger Lakes regional map. The main trail has about 68 miles in Steuben County, 49 in Schuyler, 63 in Tompkins and 55 in Cortland. In addition, there is the 25-mile Letchworth branch in Livingston County; the 55-mile Bristol Hills branch in Steuben, Yates and Ontario; the 11-mile Interloken Trail in the Finger Lakes National Forest in Schuyler and Seneca; and the 27-miles-and-growing Onondaga Trail in Onondaga County. In addition, new trail is being planned as we speak through Steuben County as the northern terminus of the Great Eastern Trail (GET), America’s newest long distance trail for hikers. The remarkable thing is that all 880 miles of the FLT system are maintained by volunteers.

Back to page 24 and the delightful “snippet of trail.” While the FLT is free and open to the public, for your own safety, please do not travel on it without a map! State-of-the-art maps can be ordered from the FLT website or purchased at a variety of retail outlets, including the Hammondsport Visitor Center. If you want a free map to the 2.45-mile snippet along Mitchellsville Gorge, get a copy of the Hammondsport “teaser map” available at the Visitor Center and other locations in Steuben County. Enjoy our beautiful footpath, and please respect the guidelines for use.

For further information, readers might wish to check their saved copy of Life in the Finger Lakes, Fall 2003, for an article and many photos about the Finger Lakes Trail. Then, check out FingerLakesTrail.org and GreatEasternTrail.org/maps.html.
-- Jay Zitter, Finger Lakes Trail Conference, Cortland

Thank you for the article on Willard in your Spring 2008 Issue, “Heavy Baggage – The Story of Willard’s Suitcases.”

The mention that I transported all of the suitcases to the State Museum simplifies a remarkable effort. The preservation of the suitcases during the 1995 closing of Willard Psychiatric Center was only possible because of the dedicated assistance of the Willard staff, not me. Upon the discovery of the suitcases, the staff worked immediately and unceasingly to catalog, pack and transport the 400 suitcases and trunks for the State Museum. The conditions in the abandoned attic were physically difficult. Many of the staff had just been laid off or were about to be as part of the closure, or were about to relocate to another facility. Many were second or third generation Willard employees.

Their effort was in keeping with a long tradition of care and respect at Willard. Their help ensured that the many stories told by the suitcases will not be forgotten. I will always be extremely grateful.
-- Craig Williams, Senior Historian, New York State Museum, Albany 

Amateurs Welcome in Our Annual Photo Contest
I want to thank you and your staff for giving amateur photographers like myself the opportunity to enter a photo contest. It is just one more reason to pursue a much-loved hobby. My family, friends and neighbors enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoy taking them.
-- Nancy Peek, Penn Yan

Nancy’s photo of Canada Geese was awarded honorable mention in 2007. The deadline for entries for this year’s eighth annual Life in the Finger Lakes Photo Contest is September 30. Visit LifeInTheFingerLakes.com for guidelines.

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