I was so busy in June that I can't believe it's July already. I decided that this year I am going to do a few fun things, locally, instead of waiting until I travel to another state to relax.
Last month I took advantage of Clinton County Museum Day. I started out with good intentions of seeing as many museums as I could; however, I hate to say it, I only got to one, the new home of the Northern New York American-Canadian Genealogical Society in Keeseville.
While there, I told Clinton County Historian Anastasia Pratt about a photo of Anna Nash that my mother found and wanted to pass on to Clinton County. Anna had lived in the Dannemora area. In the middle of our conversation, I looked up, and a woman was standing beside us, listening most intently. She said, "Did you say Anna Nash?" I told her I had. She said, "I live in Anna Nash's house in Saranac, and I have been looking for more information on her and her family. Descendants of Anna's stopped at our house inquiring if we had found anything that would give them information or any photos."
I was shocked. What are the chances that on this day, at that moment, somebody would be looking for the very person I am talking about? What a pleasure it is to be part of filling in the blanks in somebody's search, whether family or otherwise.
I left there with my next museum in mind: the Babbie Rural and Farm Learning Museum in Peru. On the way, I passed by a couple of garage sales, trying to keep my mind on my mission. When I got closer to Peru, however, I could not avoid one sale that had a bunch of older furniture outside.
Looking through sale items, I found a small book that looked familiar. I opened it, and lo and behold, it was a companion book to one I have that belonged to my grandfather Walter McGibbon. The inscription in my book states it was given to him by his mother when he was 1 year old. Such heirlooms are precious, but this one is very special because one year later his mother died from tuberculosis.
Moving on from that sale, I turned down the River Road, toward Babbie's, when I spotted another yard sale. "I'll only stop for a minute," I told myself. I spotted a box with purses in it, and I found a white Capezio purse without spot or blemish, but no price. I was quick to buy it when the lady said "25 cents."
Time was marching on, and I wanted to make the last guided tour at the Kent-Delord House, so I decided to save the Babbie Farm for a day when I could spend more time there. I re-checked the schedule and discovered I had made a mistake: The last tour started 15 minutes before I reached Plattsburgh. Bummer! Oh, well, there's always next year.
I wasn't ready to go home, so I decided to stop by the Humane Society's thrift shop on Bridge Street, just to browse. I spied a baby carriage outside the shop. Not just any baby carriage, mind you, but an English baby pram. It looked just like one I had for my daughter in the 1960s.
My heart was beating wildly (well, maybe just fast) as I reached for the price tag. Only $25. I really think it is the exact one I had. Yes, I bought it, loaded it into the pickup and headed home. Upon closer examination, it's not the same one but darn close. I'm going to polish it up and wait for some great-grandbabies to come along.
Museum Day was exciting, even though I only got to one place on my itinerary. Guess the only thing I would change for next year is to extend the event to two days. There are a lot of museums, historical societies — and yard sales — in June in Clinton County. How can one possibly get to them all in just one day? It's a hard job, but someone has to do it, right?
One last thought, as always, please be kind to each other. The world needs more kindness.
Susan Tobias lives in Plattsburgh with her husband, Toby. She has been a Press-Republican newsroom employee since 1977. The Tobiases have six children, 18 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. They enjoy traveling to Maine and Colorado, and in her spare time, Susan loves to research local history and genealogy. Reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.