Maybe it's hard for people who aren't close with Tom and Susan Lawson to separate them from the Adirondack Club, but to many others and me, they are family.
I spend a lot of time with the two of them because I work for them. Tom and Susan would correct me here and make sure to clarify that I work WITH them, not for them. This year of working with them has been, hands down, the most positive and rewarding working experience I've ever had. It is very rare to find someone as successful as Tom who still believes that kindness is a virtue and that people should be treated with respect no matter who they are. I have seen Tom make decisions over and over again based on morality, not based on personal gain. I can tell you that he consistently does the "right thing," even when it is very, very difficult. Besides my faith in Tom and Susan's abilities professionally, we have developed a very cherished relationship outside of the workplace.
Last year, as summer was approaching, my husband and I needed to find a place to live. Without hesitation they offered us a roof over our heads and refused to accept rent. When my car was in the shop, they lent me their car. When my dog got hurt, they would drop everything and make sure he was taken care of (You could say that they are animal lovers, but that would be the understatement of the century.) The list of acts of kindness that Tom and Susan have shown my family is too long to mention, and they have shown the same kindness and generosity to countless other Tupper Lakers. They care so much for the personal well-being of this community that they put their own personal needs beneath the needs of Tupper Lake; I can attest to that.
For anyone who doesn't know Tom or Susan personally, here is a little inside scoop:
My favorite thing about Susan is hard to pin down because she is such an amazing cook that it kind of clouds any other aspect of her personality, but I will try. She has an incredible ability to make people around her feel like they belong right where they're standing and that whatever they have to say is valid. She has taught me that I am much more capable than I thought I was, she is always willing to learn something new, and she values her salad spinner way more than any designer handbag. She emanates love and compassion in every aspect of her life.
Tom is the most generous person I have ever met. He always does the best he can to help out anyone in need. He's a veteran, a perfectionist and a donut-oholic. He has a heart of gold and a work ethic like I have never seen. I know his intentions, and I know his character. He is so dedicated to the wellness of Tupper Lake, it is unbelievable.
It breaks my heart when I hear or read inflammatory statements made about the Lawsons. It is absolutely appalling that people can feel so much hate toward two people who have, at this point, dedicated their lives to making Tupper Lake a better place. If you see the Lawsons around, thank them for being such supportive community members. Regardless of your feelings about the Adirondack Club, Tom and Susan Lawson are genuinely good people.
Angie Gullen lives in Tupper Lake.