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MARTHA SEZ: ‘They were not upset by being confronted with a bear’

September 14, 2018
By MARTHA ALLEN , Lake Placid News

Here in the Adirondacks we rely on our tourist economy. People come here from all over the world, but mostly from New York City-known in these parts simply as "the City"-and Montreal.

Some New Yorkers have resided in the City all of their lives, but others are transplants from everywhere and anywhere.

World famous people, infamous people and people known and beloved mainly by their own friends and relations visit. All are welcome, and all are good company because, no matter what their everyday lives may be like, while they are here in the Adirondacks, they are on vacation. A person on vacation is lifted from the humdrum routine of daily life and, for a time, free. Those of us who serve the public are therefore generally dealing with people who are in good spirits and not in a hurry.

No matter what kind of mood I am in when I leave the house, I find it will improve when customers start coming into the store and telling me their stories. I listen to a mother and daughter from Chile who live in the City and are flying out to Saudi Arabia to visit their son and brother who is working there.

A middle-aged couple who came in told me they are on their way to Dubai, a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates, for a job. I went home at the end of the day to consult my globe and do some Google research.

The United Arab Emirates is a federal sovereign absolute monarchy composed of seven emirates, like kingdoms, each governed by an emir. Dubai is one of these seven emirates. Abu Dhabi is another emirate, the capital. I still have a lot to learn. I so seldom get out of town.

One of my favorites was a merry and outgoing woman about my age from South Carolina who came in with her husband. They married young, she said, when she was a lifeguard. She would sit out all day long in her little bathing suit applying suntan oil everywhere the little suit didn't cover.

"Nobody wants me to take my clothes off anymore," she announced in her charming South-in-the-mouth accent.

"But," she added dramatically, "it used to be darlin'!"

Her husband stood nearby, smiling, clearly enjoying listening to her stories as much my co-workers and I did.

A young couple, spending their honeymoon in Keene, came in the other morning and announced that they saw a bear when they emerged from their cabin.

"We watched it for a good three minutes," the bride said.

They were not upset by being confronted with a bear first thing in the morning, but seemed rather to be pleased by it. I chalk this up to the fact that they were on vacation, and moreover on their honeymoon.

The moment was bittersweet, however, since they were soon to be separated for several months, the husband flying back to Michigan to his work with Ducks Unlimited, the wife returning to her job as an engineer at a big company in New York state where she was under contract to remain until December.

Apparently, it was impossible for her to quit, or even get fired.

"A supervisor was yelling at me for making a mistake," she said, "and he said he knew when I was hired it was a mistake to hire a girl as an engineer. I told him I could take out my jack knife and turn him into a girl."

She smiled up at her husband and he smiled fondly back at her. She looked so sweet.

"He threatened to fire me," she said, but instead the supervisor was sent to HR (human resources).

Once again I went home to perform some Google research. With an emphasis on science and research, Ducks Unlimited works to restore grassland, replant forests, build and restore watersheds and create conservation easements. The young man spoke so enthusiastically it made me want to donate and become a DU member.

No matter how the clutter in my apartment multiplies during the week, no matter what worries plague me as I drink my first cup of coffee, I am cheered by the company of the people I meet during the day. The town used to quiet down after Labor Day, but over the last few years we have plenty of tourist visitors every season.

My co-workers and I have adopted a new expression: It was darlin'.

Have a good week.



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