The Permanence of Legacy

Today the exchange of information and ideas in an ever-shifting digital world is what seems to drive people and business and is fleeting at best. Yet, creating something physical and real has staying power. Deep down people want to leave some sort of legacy that the world recognizes. It can be anything: a work of art, a song, a law, a philosophy or even a child. I think that deep down everyone wants to do something so that the world will remember them.

Max Erlacher of Corning is one such artist that the world will definitely remember. His legacy involves glass etchings that are in the collections of Princess Diana, John F. Kennedy, Cornell University and the Smithsonian. Max is a Master Engraver and can spend hundreds of hours working on one piece. That dedication requires extreme patience and true love for his craft. To read about Max and his work, turn to page 38.

Another way to create a legacy is to be very good in a particular sport. The 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea, will have six young people from the Finger Lakes Region competing in freestyle skiing and moguls. All of them are from the greater Rochester area and they got their start at Bristol Mountain, where they had an excellent coach named John Kroetz. It’s amazing, really, how a high number of elite athletes came from one small area of New York State, to compete against the very best in the world. It’s a good example of preparedness meeting with opportunity. Read about the Super Six on page 30.

Bringing to life the story of a famous person is a way to preserve her legacy, and to create your own. Maggie Moore-Holly of Rochester is a reenactor and her focus is Harriet Tubman, who played a big part in the Underground Railroad and helped to free numerous others from slavery (see page 42). Through much research and time spent studying Tubman, Moore-Holly portrays the humanitarian in a realistic fashion.

We can all think about our own legacies, and the time we put toward creating them. I can tell you, it is time well spent.


by Mark Stash, mark@lifeinthefingerlakes.com