Well folks, it’s still in the works

Members of the Harrietstown and Saranac Lake governing boards, 17 years ago in June of 2007, thought it was a good idea to form a joint recreation committee. I still believe that commission could work for the benefit of all … but another idea that went nowhere.

Molly Erman reported the meeting for the Enterprise — the following is an excerpt from her Page One story:

“The town of Harrietstown and village of Saranac Lake boards took steps toward forming a joint recreation commission as they met Thursday to discuss several possible joint ventures between the two local governments.

“All five members of the Harrietstown Town Board were in attendance, while Susan Waters and Mayor Thomas Michael served as sole representatives of the five-member village board. The meeting was held in the Harrietstown Town Hall.

“Waters led a power-point presentation on the proposed recreation commission. According to her, recreation is a priority in that it is a key feature of the Saranac Lake area and a mainstay in the local economy.

“The two boards moved to a joint roundtable discussion immediately following Waters’ presentation, at which time the Harrietstown board appointed members Brian McDonnell and Ron Keough to serve as representatives on the recreation commission. The Saranac Lake Village Board will meet on Monday, when all its members are present …”

I also want to mention that Supervisor Miller was a former Saranac Lake police officer and a Vietnam Marine combat veteran.

[So, Brian and Ron, I’m wondering if you have any reports on the project that I could peruse?]

Fatal crash in the Notch

(The Enterprise,

March 8, 1976)

Patsy Ezzo, 82, died on that cold, March day nearly 50 years ago when his car seemed to ride the ramp of snow and ice on the retaining wall and catapult into the AuSable River.

There was speculation at the time that Patsy may have suffered a heart attack that caused the accident, although his body was never recovered. More speculation was that his body could have been lodged under a rock deep in the roaring water or even eventually ended up in Lake Champlain.

Although I had left the Enterprise a couple of years prior, Bill McLaughlin called me to go with him to the site of the accident. Most news reporters are like the old fire wagon horses, even retired — when they hear a siren or a bell they start stomping in their stall, ready to go.

It was well known, at least in this area, that Patsy was a “bookie.” This was well before gambling was legalized and being a “bookie” had an almost mystic about the moniker.

Again, the story told at the time that Patsy was heading to a big card game Plattsburgh and it was also “common knowledge” that he always carried large sums of cash.

So, when Bill and I arrived at the scene, the New York State Police were all over the place so Bill and I walked much further down along the highway wall thinking we may be able to spot his body.

Now Bill, slipping into his sometimes gallows humor, says to me, “now Riley if we spot his body don’t go yelling to the police until I get his wallet.”

Now, an excerpt from the news story:

“Patsy Ezzo, 82 years old, was heading toward Wilmington yesterday afternoon when his car went out of control and plunged into the icy AuSable River.

“Ezzo was apparently washed out of the car into the swift flowing water, and is presumed dead, according to the State Police in Ray Brook. The search was called off temporarily after failing to find anything.

“Ezzo’s car hit the retaining wall which separates the narrow, winding road from the river 20 feet below. The wall is approximately three feet high and made of stone. Yesterday there was a ramp of rock-hard snow leafing from the road to the top of the wall.

“Reports of eye-witnesses said ‘the car somehow became airborne and sailed over the wall.’ An examination of the scene this morning showed that Ezzo’s car had apparently ridden the ramp of ice and snow to the top of the wall and into the river.

“At the spot where Ezzo’s car went over, nothing had been touched and only the broken glass, some burned out flares and the remains of the car’s air filter on the riverbank below were left to mark the tragedy.”


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