Adirondack Voices


Driving the black top
On the way to the town of Adirondack
Uncle Danny built the cabin near the roaring brook back in 1937
There still is a sandbar near the Public Beach
But some of it has been dredged, but you can still walk out pretty far,
but watch out for that drop off, it's sudden.
There used to be so many seagulls there competing
with the squeals of the children,
Echo from Loomis Estate
Pine trees on the bank and mountains,
Up from the beach, on the way to the general store, we stop,
The old church, with the sign, "sinners, saved, servants needed, saints created,"
I walk on pass by the post office,
Go to the general store
Smell rich coffee, stronger than the pine smell outside
Eggs and bacon sizzle
Good banter, and I select my newspaper, coffee to go
Want to be solitary like that one lone gull eyeing that one fish
In that big lake

Frank Attanasia

Dear Colleen Ryor and Ace Boggess,

Let me first sincerely thank you for deeming my poem acceptable to appear in
The Adirondack Review. It is quite an honor to have one's work acknowledged. My hope is that it shares with others the special precious gift that the Adirondack Park has for everyone who takes the time to experience it.

I was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1953. I have been traveling to Schroon Lake since the age of four. My uncle Danny built a cabin on the East Shore of Schroon Lake in the 1930s. Since that time, it has been a family retreat for all of us. In those days until the larger highways were built, and the Thruway/Northway constructed, it would take close to 12 hours from Brooklyn to the Adirondacks, as my remembrance is the only route was 9 North.

Over the years, I spent many a summer, learning to swim, fish, sail, and just enjoy the pristine beauty of the region. I now have two children of my own, Matthew, age 12, and Christina, age 8. I am proud to say that they have both learned to swim, and not swallow lake water in Schroon Lake. They have also learned a reverence for the environment and its creatures, and that we are supposed to be good stewards of these gifts so entrusted to our care.

I have been married to my wife Harriet since 1989. She is a Lutheran pastor and I am a social worker. We took our first trip as a new married couple to Schroon Lake in the summer of 1989. I work for the Metropolitan Hospice of Greater New York, as a bereavement coordinator, and also as a pastoral care person. I am a Synodically Rostered Deacon of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America-Metro New York Synod. I serve a parish in Brooklyn, Bethany Lutheran Church, in the capacity of Parish Associate for Ministry in Daily Life. The parish I serve sits approximately six miles from the World Trade Center.

My connection to the Adirondacks, as I mentioned above, has long family roots. I feel blessed that it is a treasure that I have been able to share with my wife and children, who are avid wildlife observers. When people tell me of the exotic trips they have taken across the country, or around the world, some of which I have had the good fortune to take as well, it is always to the Adirondacks that my heart returns. I see my grandparents who taught me how to fish. I see my uncle Danny who was an avid Brooklyn Dodger fan, teach me how to water ski. I have spent spiritual moments of prayer, and putting into perspective the sick and terminally ill patients I have ministered to, and how at night the stars seem so clear and close -- Harriet knows the constellations better than I. I just think of the stars as a quilt made of the faces of the people I have served at the Hospice, as a blanket of eyes, watching over all of us and the world, hopefully praying for us and for peace in the world. I also remember sitting on the Public Beach with my father, now a retired New York City firefighter, learning of his fellow firefighters being lost in a blaze, during the summer of 1975, or 1976. Had my dad not been on vacation, he would have been at that fire. An eerie memory, given what happened to the firefighters at the World Trade Center tragedy.

We have made some nice friends over the years, who were quite concerned about us and our proximity to the tragedy. We were quite fortunate that four family members were rescued. My wife and I were able to stay at the Silver Spruce Bed and Breakfast during the early part of October 2001. It was a brief respite from the tension of New York City, and in some ways, it could be felt even as we journeyed up Mount Severance.  We were able to experience for the first time the autumn foliage, (see the poem about Oliver's Pond), and Loons playing on the Lake, as motor boats were not chopping it up. We have made good friends with a gentleman who owns the Bait and Tackle Shop in Schroon Lake Village, and alerted us to your publication. It keeps us connected to the Park, while we are here in Brooklyn. The foliage, and overall scenery, we think rivals the Rockies. We feel, and this is just from our spiritual orientation, that one gets as close a glimpse of the creator's handiwork, when one visits the Park, whatever season one chooses. We have also been blessed to have good friends at the Wayfarer Inn, who have prayed for us during these difficult times, for our city, state, nation, and world in general.

I have been fortunate to have poetry and a clinical piece published in The Healing Ministry
Journal, published by The American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care. Poetry has also appeared in Feelings of the Heart Journal, Wellspring,The Journal of Practical Theology, and The Feather-Church Poetry Review of London.

I have been writing poetry since grade school, but kind of kept that gift under a bushel barrel. I am glad I have been blessed to let it out to share with others. I hope it touches others and is a positive contribution to you very wonderful publication.

Frank Attanasia
Brooklyn, New York