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From Fly Creek

August 30, 2012

Great, echoing space!

All that wonderful space is now in our garage, barn, and basement, which all look so much bigger and better than before. The result follows on our part in mammoth Fly Creek Yard Sale, a tradition that’s become a valued part of  the hamlet’s life — not to mention a prod for procrastinations finally to hoe out rooms, corners, and closets, and make some loot, to boot.

And did we hoe! Anne and I, plus more than a little help from good friends Doug Zullo and Rich McCaffery, hauled up from the cellar’s darkness all the yard-sale stuff that didn’t sell last year (and mostly did, this time!), plus  clinking boxes of wine bottles from our cidermaking days, plus a bunch of furniture that we two thought we might use again someday, but never did. From barn and garage came a parade of duplicate tools for garden and repairs, dating from Anne and my combing households fifteen years ago and then getting too busy to cull things out. And lots of guy-toys also came to light, farm and shop implements that I’ve used across my own twenty years here, and all the way back to when my dear Gwen and I bought Stone Mill Acres in 1977.

But now I’m too shaky to handle the bigger guy-toys safely, and it’s better for all that they go.

And did they go, as crowds closed in on Fly Creek from all the compass’ points. As I chatted up customers, I ran an informal survey. My gosh, they were here from Milford and Oneonta and Morris and Laurens; from Otego,  Unadilla, and Sidney! From the north, they’d poured down from Schuyler Lake, Richfield Springs, Mohawk, Herkimer, and even Remsen. And a clutch of Uticans was in the crowd, too.

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From Fly Creek
  • From word to phrase to sentence As usual, Dennis Savoie started it. Old friends, we long ago discovered our mutual interest in oddities of words and language usage. His most recent challenge to me: Is our flag properly called "spangled" with stars?

    July 24, 2014

  • 'They were out of step but Jim!' All right, skip the drolleries about the headline. The quote is actually the title of a 1918 song by Irving Berlin, who, with George M. Cohan and other songsmiths, was producing patriotic pieces by the dozen as the Yanks were going "Over There!"

    June 19, 2014

  • Replanting has taken root Lots of boxes still to be unpacked and stuff to be put on shelves and into closets, but Anne's and my shift into Cooperstown is almost done. We're securely replanted at 24 Delaware Street and already feeling at home.

    May 8, 2014

  • There's reason to hope I hadn't planned this piece for my April column, but something happened that was impossible to ignore. Within a week, three different friends (count them, three!) from different parts of the country emailed to say they'd come across an old Crier column that they'd saved for twelve years and had sent to many friends because it meant much to them.

    April 17, 2014

  • Let not thy left hand know That headline's a Bible allusion, trenchant advice not to preen when doing good: "But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth." Amen, I say.

    March 6, 2014

  • How good to be back! "Tis I, the Spirit of a Thousand Columns Past, back after a twelve-month silence to talk at you again in the flesh!"

    January 2, 2014

  • Mammon Triumphs in Turkey Bowl Editor's Note: We're thrilled to announce the return of our columnist, Jim Atwell, and his legendary column "From Fly Creek." Jim's column will be an occasional feature, when he is able to write or he has something he wants to contribute. We celebrate his return with one of his classic columns.

    December 5, 2013

  • Rolling toward a stop I’m slowing down, friends, rolling toward a stop for this column. The best way to describe my reason is through an analogy: I want you to think of me as a horse-drawn wagon and driver â€" not just as the driver, but as the whole shebang.

    December 27, 2012

  • Giving gnomes a home Whack a mole, if you must, but never a gnome. You'd enrage those who dote on them. And there are many such people, though maybe not as many as gnomes. Gnomes are everywhere.

    November 29, 2012

  • Hauling history home Anne and I have a trip ahead of us. We'll be trundling south in our bought-used-but-still-great Mercury Mountaineer SUV.

    November 15, 2012