Altamont, Aug. 29., 2013

After a week of listening to fair music, rides and concessionaires calling to get your attention, the quiet is almost disturbing. Many people are remembering the rides and food at the fair while others are thinking about the end of summer, which seems to be rapidly approaching.

Fortunately, our household was filled with thoughts of both the fair and the end of summer. The fair has been an important part of our lives where we have made many friends from around the state because of our involvement. One of those friends is Fran Ripley, a former resident of Altamont, who has, for years, been a fixture in the sheep barn. She now travels across the state by bus in order to share her expertise about wool and weaving with others attending the fair.

Fran is an amazing person. She knits, does tatting, spins wool, does crewel, embroiders and dyes her own wool. As she talks to people who walk through the sheep barn, her hands keep busy with some form of spinning or knitting. Her skills have been honed over the years and she is a wonderful resource about anything wool. Her talents are even more amazing because Fran is losing her sight and that does not slow her down a bit. We were so very pleased to see her again this year.

Speaking of wool reminds me of an exhibit that peaked my interest. We have had friends who exhibited sheep and all of the items that can be made from their wool. This year, I was more interested in the Alpaca exhibit. Years ago, I only knew about Alpacas that were in the Chilean Mountains. Today, I have seen them in Lee, Mass., on Martha’s Vineyard, and right here in Altamont. (Or at least close to Altamont.)

The expansion of Alpaca farms seems to be due to the soft fleece and gentle nature of the Alpaca. Most of the farms also make and sell the wool and items made from the wool.

While we were reminiscing about  Fran, Alpacas and the fair; my husband Jim was putting the finishing touches on our plans to go to Hyannis for a visit with some friends and then back to Mattapoisett for a good old fashioned clam bake.

Our friends live right on Narragansett Sound so a lot of our entertainment was just sitting on the front lawn to watch the sail boats and ferries go back and forth through the channel and on into the Atlantic. We were right across the jetty from the Kennedy Compound and could see their sail boat when it went out for a sail.

On one side was a public beach with lifeguards and in the other direction was a private beach. Due to the sun and mild breeze the beaches were both loaded with people. Although we could have gone swimming right in front of our friends’ home we decided to be lazy and just do some people watching. It was very relaxing and a lot of fun.

Our major outing that first day was to a local restaurant that boasted great seafood dinners and it did not disappoint us.

The following day some friends form Florida came to Hyannis and invited us to lunch at the yacht club. The club was nearby and had been recently remodeled. As we dined at a waterfront table, we enjoyed the various boats coming and going in the harbor. Children were running in and out of the water while a club employee was busy trying to put up a volleyball net in the soft sand. The food was very good but the people-watching was even better.

Although we enjoyed our friends’ hospitality and were sorry to move on, the next stop was another treat for the end of the summer. We arrived in Mattapoisett, Mass. to join my high school friends for our second clambake of the summer.

After a nice reunion and social time at Pat’s house, we moved on to the bake and enjoyed a couple of baskets of steamed clams and a cheesecloth bag filled with sausage, sweet potato, corn, hot dog, white potato, linguica, and onion. We washed this all down with a lot of talk, laughter and a few cold beverages.

Regardless of the time of year and what has just happened we always have something else to look forward doing. I have noticed that the leaves are already beginning to change and that makes me look forward to fall foliage. What are you looking forward to?

Contact information

Notice to the parents and or custodians of students in the Guilderland Central School District: The district has requested to be informed of the student's correct contact information as well as all updated medical information.

The district requests that all information be verified and/or updated regarding your child as soon as possible, but no later than Sept. 20.  If assistance is needed to verify or update your child's information, contact Kim Ten Eyck at the school's district office at 456-6200, ext. 3123.


 The Ladies Auxiliary of the Altamont Fire Department will hold a Brooks-BBQ on Friday, Sept. 6, at the fire hall on Main Street.  Dinners will be available from 3:30-6:30 p.m.

The cost of a full dinner is $10, child's dinner is $7 and a 1/2 chicken is $7.  This is a take out dinner only.

Canine classic

The Canine Classic 5 K run/walk will take place on Saturday, Sept. 14, at 10 a.m., in Voorheesville at 70 School Road.  The first 50 entries will receive a free T-shirt with their registration.  Proceeds from this event will benefit the Guilderhaven Animal Clinic.

For additional information contact Amber Pitcher at 765-0111.


On Friday, Aug. 30, friends and customers are invited to stop in at Key Bank on Park Street in Altamont  between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., to say goodbye and best wishes to Louise who will retire that day.  She would appreciate your stopping in so that she can thank all of the wonderful people she has known for the past 10 years.

Best wishes and much happiness are extended to Louise who has always greeted customers with a hearty hello and smile.

Library closed

The Guilderland Public Library will be closed on Saturday, Aug. 31 and Monday, Sept. 2 in observance of Labor Day.

Blood drive

The American Red Cross has announced that there will be a blood drive on Friday, Sept. 6, at the Guilderland town hall in the meeting room.  The town hall is located at 5209 Western Ave. Collections will be from 1 to 6 p.m.

GSD study

The Guilderland School District will hold a meeting on Sept. 3 to learn  more about building capacity.

For additional information go to   The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the Guilderland High School large group instruction room. 


Happy-anniversary wishes are extended to:

—  Carol and Ron Lindell celebrating their special day on Sept. ; and

— Kristen and John Smith and Dorothy and Neil Taber whose anniversaries are on Sept. 3.


Happy-birthday wishes are extended to:

— Shirley Neet on Aug. 30;

— Pam Klarsfeld Brunk, Robert Haviland, Robert Masamillo, Amy Scherer and Andy Scherer on Aug. 31;

— Ron Clough and Linda Rabin on Sept. 1;

— Maureen Cardone, Kerry Farley, Corrie Elizabeth Paeglow, Steve Suriano and Paul  Trendell on Sept. 3;

— Sherry Makepeace Sands on Sept. 4; and

— Jim Bourdeau, Jessica Breitenbach, Scott Freeman, Emilie Louise Gokey,  Alice Jacklet, Jim Liegeot,  Tracy Delaney Schanz and Greg Tymchyn on Sept. 5.