Lake Placid News — April 13, 1977

This space last week covered the story of Jane Weeks, one of the first female correction officers hired in New York state. It told about her resigning after one day on the job in fear of being raped or murdered.

The News was filled with stories about New York state correction facilities, and Ed Hale, owner and editor of The News, interviewed state officials about the situation with female officers. Here is one quote from Ed’s editorial in that edition: “The president of the Woodbourne [the prison in Sullivan County where Weeks was assigned] union chapter says, in his personal opinion, ‘they shouldn’t be here in the first place, women in a male facility. I wouldn’t let any female members of my family guard in a male facility.'”

Following is an excerpt from a short editorial that began, “The News also reports this week about the changing attitudes at Camp Adirondack. The camp is emerging as a prison where men on both sides of the bars can get along …”

That facility on the Old Ray Brook Road opened in 1971, is located right across from the federal prison that opened in 1980 as athletes housing for the Olympic Winter Games being held in Lake Placid. The state prison has more than 300 employees. It first opened in 1904 as a New York state tuberculosis hospital.

Now, on a lighter note …

The following is a clever piece of poetry written by Doc Otis of Lake Placid. He was the owner of a moving company, Otis Transfer, at 8 Hurley Ave. Doc was a handsome, witty guy, and I knew him only on a casual basis. I think he also had a country and western band.

Camp Adirondack, By DOC OTIS

I’ll tell of my home in the mountains,

A place where everything’s free.

There are presents for all at Christmas,

And even a fresh Christmas Tree.

A shave and a haircut for nothing,

And three good meals every day.

A new suit of clothes for the asking,

All this and we don’t have to pay.

Body building is a great favorite,

But, of course, this is not to my like,

If it’s all the same to you Warden,

I’d rather go on a hike.

This didn’t sit well with the Boss Man,

We only call him that as a lark,

The reason he doesn’t allow hiking,

He’s afraid we’ll get hurt in the dark.

We have a top baseball team here,

They hit runs and score galore,

We’re really the best at base stealing

‘Cause we’ve stolen all things before.

The man who was a judge is our umpire.

He’s a real wild type of sorts.

And the reason he’s in residence here,

He made more money than the courts.

We have color TV for the watching,

Pool and billiards for those who are tame.

A poker deck with five wild cards,

And Bingo for those who are lame.

Our tobacco is furnished for nothing,

Free glasses for those with poor sight.

A guard to watch you while sleeping,

So no one will rob you at night.

Our home is called camp Adirondack,

Where there is never a fracas or fuss.

It’s only five hours by auto,

Or a six-hour trip on the bus.

So won’t you please come up here and see me.

I won’t leave, you just never fear.

There’s one thing for sure and for certain,

You can bet I’ll be waiting right here.

Remember Bob Kampf’s weather reports?


“The following weather summary for March is taken from observations at Hilltop Meteorological Observatory at Ray Brook.

“March was a rather normal month except it did not run true to form in the wind department after several months of above-normal winds. Gusts did reach 35 mph on March 16, but other than that winds were rather light for the month of Equinox. Sunshine, too, was rather scarce, but that is not unusual for March.

“The overall mean temperature was 34.5 degrees, which is slightly above normal. This compares with a mean of 29.5 degrees for March 1976 and a very cold 24.8 degrees for March 1975. The low was recorded on March 20 with a reading of 6 degrees. Hence there were no below-zero days for the entire month.

“That is rare for this station, but checking back we see that March 1973 had no below-zero days with a low coming on March 23 with exactly the same reading of 6 degrees. The high was recorded on March 30 with a 76 degree reading. In the precipitation department we totaled 23.7 inches of snow plus some rain …”

[Bob sent in these reports as a public service, and as time went on, they were filled with Bob’s humor.]

I knew Bob quite well because we served together on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

He told me that occasionally a tourist would stop at his Hilltop Motel to get a room for the night. As they looked cautiously at the woods surrounding the place, they would ask if there were a lot of bears around. Bob, who “did not suffer fools gladly,” would answer, “Yes, those woods are full of bears. They are all over the place.” And as the frightened tourist would run for their car, he would shout out to them that the Lakeside Motel in town had a special low rate on rooms.

The motel was owned by his friends the Herberts, there was no special room rate, and the Herberts would spend many an evening trying to explain that to the nervous tourist.

You couldn’t help but love Bob Kampf, unless one might get on his wrong side. He was always totally animated: laughing, arms waving, talking a mile a minute while telling a story, and he was a great promoter of Saranac Lake. Some other time I’ll tell you how he dealt with the state of New York when they put new rules in place for motel swimming pools.