Tuesday, September 6, 2016

New York's Attic: Antique appraisals at the Lake Placid train station


In this month's podcast of New York's Attic, professional appraiser Ted Comstock helped with a fundraiser that resembled the “Antiques Roadshow,” offering appraisal services free of charge while the public brought in antiques from home, hoping that their objects may be worth a lot of money. Even though it rarely works out that way, Comstock is sometimes surprised by what comes through the door.

On Aug. 13, Comstock volunteered his appraisal services at the Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society’s Heritage Day, held at The History Museum in the Lake Placid train station. During the event, Lake Placid's Doug Hoffman learned about his cookie jar and Edison battery.

Listen to the podcast here.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Stories from the Attic


In 2017, I will be entering my 15th season with the Adirondack Attic History Project, which started in 2003 with the "Adirondack Attic" newspaper columns, then the book series in 2004 and the radio show on North Country Public Radio in 2010. Plus, I've spent all that time traveling around New York state telling stories about Adirondack history based on the artifacts I've found.

If there is a demand -- and I think there is -- I hope to share even more "Stories from the Attic" in the future, not just from the Adirondack Park but from around the U.S.

There are endless stories to be told and plenty of museums and historic sites to explore. I hope our 15th year is a turning point, bringing back the newspaper column and expanding the 5-minute radio program to new markets. If all goes well.

Using the "Adirondack Attic" program about Fort Ticonderoga's silver bullet, which first aired in 2010, here's what it would sound like.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Dan & Andy show Aug. 25 in Raquette Lake

For those planning on attending the St. Williams on Long Point lecture on Thursday, Aug. 25, remember that the program will be held at the Raquette Lake School starting at 7 p.m.

This is the first and only "Adirondack Attic Musical History Tour" program this year with singer-songwriter Dan Berggren and author Andy Flynn.

The "Adirondack Attic Musical History Tour" vibrantly brings history to life. This special presentation mixes folk songs with stories and images from the archives of the Adirondack Museum.

The program has something for everyone, whether you are a lifelong Adirondacker or a visitor from outside the area interested in the history and time honored traditions that make up the Adirondack story.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Adirondack Attic: Catholic Summer School of America

I really enjoyed visiting the Clinton County Historical Association and Museum earlier this month to learn about the Catholic Summer School of America, which was in operation south of Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain from the mid-1890s to 1940.

Thanks to museum director Melissa Peck and volunteer Roger Black for their hospitality.

My Adirondack Attic program on the museum's display was aired Aug. 9 on North Country Public Radio. Listen to the program here.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Adirondack Attic: Six Nations Indian Museum

I recently had a wonderful visit with John Fadden at the Six Nations Indian Museum in Onchiota. For my July edition of the Adirondack Attic program on North Country Public Radio. John told me about the many beaded record belts his father, Ray Fadden, made to help tell stories from Iroquois lore. Ray was an educator and opened the museum in the summer of 1954. He was also a 1934 graduate of the Fredonia Normal School, long before I graduated from SUNY Fredonia in 1991. His beaded belts have been placed on the walls of this tiny museum.

Listen to part of the interview with John Fadden.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

New book signings planned

I will be participating in two book-signing events this holiday season.

The first one is at the North Country Community College Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 22 in the NCCC gymnasium in Saranac Lake. I will be at Table 31. All my books will be available for purchase.

The second one is at The Bookstore Plus in Lake Placid, where I will be signing copies of my latest book, "Lake Placid Diet: How the Olympic Village saved my life." The signing will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28. The store is located at 2491 Main Street.

I hope to see you at one of these signings, even if it's just to say hello. Obviously, I'd love it if you picked up a copy of one of my books as well. Here is the list of the eight books I currently have available:

"Lake Placid Diet" ($17.95)
"Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Memories" ($24.95)
"Adirondack Attic" volumes 2-6 ($18.00)
"New York's Adirondack Park: A User's Guide" ($8.95)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Lake Placid Diet book now available

As I was struggling to lose the weight I'd gained over the summer, due to the inability to exercise because of my gout, I was looking for inspiration. So I began re-reading the Lake Placid Diet columns online at the Lake Placid News website.

Anyone can read these columns for free on the LPN website, but I thought, "I wish I could get all these columns in one package for easy reference." That's how the book came about. I compiled most of the Lake Placid Diet columns from the first 18 months in book form -- 264 pages -- and paid for a short run - one book for me and 249 for others who would like to purchase copies for themselves. I've found that this was the inspiration I needed, and I'm finally starting to lose weight again.

I've listed the book for sale on Amazon. Buy it here.

Here's the description:

Lake Placid Diet: How the Olympic Village saved my life

Two years after a near-death experience due to his weight, Lake Placid News Editor Andy Flynn began the Lake Placid Diet weight-loss journey, sharing his progress and struggles with readers every week. He was 470 pounds. Within a year, Flynn made enough changes to build a foundation for a healthier lifestyle, using a community approach to weight loss, and it saved his life. He found many resources to help him, including a fitness center, support groups and natural food stores. In the process he began walking in local races, completing the Lake Placid Half-Marathon twice. With 80 pounds lost, and 170 more to reach his goal weight of 220 pounds, this is just the beginning. The journey continues.
Price: $17.95
Paperback: 5.5x8.5 inches
ISBN: 978-0-99857607-6-2

Monday, August 24, 2015

GoFundMe campaign launched for Gibson Brothers book

As I get deeper into the research and writing for my upcoming Gibson Brothers biography -- "Breakthrough: The Gibson Brothers Story" -- the bills are starting to pile up. Without book sales, there is no funding source to pay for the research and pre-production costs, such as travel. Therefore, today I launched a GoFundMe campaign to offset those costs.

Please support Andy Flynn's Gibson Brothers book.

I've spend more than two years following the Gibson Brothers in locations around New York and Vermont, including multiple trips to their hometown in Clinton County. And now I'm branching out. A couple weeks ago, I covered them at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, and I will be traveling to Raleigh, North Carolina, to cover them at the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards Show Oct. 1 and the World of Bluegrass concert at the Red Hat Amphitheater Oct. 2. It's important that I cover the IBMA Awards Show since they will be hosting it this year.

Read my coverage of the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival on the Lake Placid News website.

The Gibson Brothers biography is expected to be published in the summer of 2016.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Meeting Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys

I'm extremely excited that I've been assigned to write a profile on a bluegrass band from Albany, Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys, for an upcoming issue of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. While I enjoy contributing to the Bluegrass Today website, and I'm honored the editor publishes my work, it's nice to have a freelance writing assignment that helps pay the bills.

After seeing Jim and his band perform at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in Oak Hill, New York, a couple weeks ago, I was impressed enough to want to learn more about his music and share a little bit of New York with the rest of the bluegrass world.

Those in the Adirondack region may recognize Jim's banjo player, Scott Hopkins. He's originally from Peru, New York, and he also plays banjo for Beartracks, one of my favorite bluegrass bands based in Clinton County featuring Julie Hogan and her brother Tom Venne. They are good friends with the Gibson Brothers, Eric and Leigh, who are originally from Ellenburg Depot.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Work continues on Gibson Brothers book

Thirty-six hours after I got home from the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in Oak Hill, New York, I was back in Ellenburg Depot Sunday working on the Gibson Brothers biography, interviewing Eric and Leigh's mother Shannon for the second time. I had some important follow-up questions from my first interview.

With my wife and one of Mrs. Gibson's cousins, we drove around the neighborhood so she could point out the old farms in the family's history. It was the perfect ending to a four-day weekend that began on Thursday, July 16 with seeing the Gibson Brothers perform at Grey Fox.

During the two days I was in Oak Hill, I interviewed Eric and Leigh about their upcoming gig as co-hosts of the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards Ceremony on Oct. 1 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The announcement came on July 15. It's a good thing my wife and I bought tickets already. We are excited to see the Gibson Brothers take center stage for one of the highlights of their career so far.

On my second day at Grey Fox, I interviewed Katy Daley of WAMU's Bluegrass Country radio station, and she introduced me to several people that I interviewed for the book, including Grey Fox producer Mary Doub, Rounder Records exec Ken Irwin and Kitsy Kuykendall, whose husband Peter is the editor/general manager of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. It was a fun and productive weekend, and I am excited to be neck deep in research for the Gibson Brothers book. I will see the band again Aug. 13 at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival.