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Saranac Lake, thank you for the memories

To the editor:

I am 88 years old and spent my years growing up in Saranac Lake and graduated with the Class of 1950 in the old Petrova Avenue high school. I left home to attend RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) for art studies and then went to Buffalo State Teachers College to be an art teacher … but was drafted into the Air Force to serve in Korea in 1951.

I met my wife Mary Jo (who passed away in 2018), had six children and was married 69 years. I have lived in Tennessee since I left Saranac Lake, but have returned many times to visit parents while kids growing up. Since 2000 I have not been home. In August I decided to fly to Saranac Lake from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to the Lake Clear-Saranac Lake airport … what a great trip. Enjoyed flying over the mountains by Cape Air in the nine-passenger plane from Philadelphia.

When I got off the plane in Lake Clear, the smell of the mountain air told me I was back home. I rented a car and said to myself … let’s bring back some old memories for the next eight days. The old saying, “You can go home, but you can’t go back” didn’t apply to me because I was home, and I did go back!

Saranac Lake hadn’t changed much except for a few new businesses that have popped up, especially the new Saranac Waterfront Lodge going up on Lake Flower, but the guts of this great little city of the Adirondacks still has the personality that makes it a great place to visit and live. I met people and drove my car 250 miles during my visit, and took in the nooks and crannies of Saranac Lake I never saw while growing up. With all the back roads and hidden homes, it made me really appreciate my hometown.

One of the other reasons for coming back was to see how many of my classmates I could find who were still around. I had no luck, but the memories of all of them remain in my mind along with my alma mater on Petrova Avenue.

I thank the Adirondack Daily Enterprise for setting up my online subscription so I can keep up with the news and activities away from home.

Had a great time!

Bill Bickford

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

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