What Makes Us Tick

Part of the mission of Life in the Finger Lakes magazine is to publish stories about things in the area that even lifelong residents may not be aware of. I think that’s what makes this publication unique. Let’s just say that we may have a template for success, yet we stretch and bend that template frequently for the purpose of originality.

One such unique story in this issue deals with the Cato Hardware, a great little store in northern Cayuga County. Many of you may have never been to Cato or visited the hardware store, but I’ll bet you have a similar store in your area. Visiting a Home Depot or Lowes has its advantages with the wide variety of tools and hardware available. Heck, they even sell plants and pool chemicals. But if you were to walk onto the well used hardwood floor of a local establishment like Cato Hardware, you can ask a question about plumbing, carpentry or electrical work and the proprietor and his staff will be able to tell you exactly what supplies and tools you need for the job, because they truly have the experience. There is still a need for niche businesses like this, especially when the closest big box hardware store is 40 miles away.

Did you ever wake up one day and say, “I think I’ll go to the local cemetery to see what famous people are buried there.” Well, you’re in luck because we have an article that covers just that. “Secrets of a Successful Cemetery Sleuth” on page 73 is a good primer for terminology and ways to research cemeteries. I really had no idea how many famous people are laid to rest in the Finger Lakes. There may even be one at a small village cemetery near you. If you like history, this is a great way to learn more about this interesting area.

I recently read The Mighty Queens of Freeville, a memoir by Amy Dickinson. A number of years ago Amy became a syndicated advice columnist, the successor to Ann Landers. In her best-selling book Amy offers an honest and very personal view into her life and the village of Freeville. In this issue, Bill Wingell writes about Amy and her family and provides us with some background information. See page 40. I hope after reading the article you’ll be encouraged to go out and purchase Mighty Queens, or check it out of the nearest library.

You wouldn’t have a copy of our magazine in your hands without at least one story about exploring the great outdoors. Flip through this issue to read about a great spot to explore on the southwestern shore of Skaneateles Lake called the Bahar Nature Preserve and Carpenter’s Falls Unique Area. You can also get more information on a beautiful trail that runs from Watkins Glen to Millport. The Catharine Valley Trail will eventually go all the way to Horseheads when completed. Another great story in this issue deals with the West River at the south end of Canandaigua Lake. Putting in a kayak or canoe there enables you to see wildlife as rare as the river otter.

We like to bring a variety of stories to you every issue. I hope you continue to enjoy our magazine, a unique and interesting perspective of the Finger Lakes.


by Mark Stash