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Community 10.10.19

France Magnifique

La Fédération Franco-Américaine du NY is sponsoring a trip to France, featuring the 75th Anniversary of D-Day & Normandy, April 23 – May 7, 2020. Rates include round trip air from New York, air taxes and fees/surcharges, hotel transfers, and 20 meals. Highlights of the trip: Paris, River Seine cruise, Normandy, Omaha Beach, Le Mont St. Michel, Loire Valley, 2-night Chateau stay, winery tour, Lyon, Les Halles de Lyon, Paul Boscuse Market, Avignon, Creme Brûlée Cooking demonstration, Nice, Monaco. Plenty of time to explore on your own. For more information, pricing or a brochure, call Lisa at Plaza Travel at 518-785-3338 or

Rensselaer County Recovery Helpline


Do you need help with substance use issues? Are you interested in volunteering for the helpline? The Rensselaer County Recovery Helpline offers information, local resources, and referrals for individuals and their families regarding substance use issues. The toll-free line is available 7 days a week from 9am-9pm. Each volunteer chooses shifts of 4 hours at a time to be on-call. When someone calls the number, a volunteer answers on their own smartphone, and can enter information to a database on their own computer, allowing for easy and quick access to resources. The information is sent to one of the 9 leaders, who will then assist the caller. If you or someone you know needs information, resources, or a referral for a substance use problem, call 1-833-467-3123. For more information, or if you are interested in volunteering, contact

Feel Good


Hold My Hand

My six year old grandson and I

Were walking through dark woods

On an early morning turkey hunt years ago.

“Kinda spooky out here, ain’t it?” he said;

“Hold my hand….!”

I did; things became less spooky.

My elderly fishing partner was stumbling

As we crossed knee-deep river rapids.

I moved closer to him and said, “Hold my hand.”

Macho, ex-Marine that he was….

He just glared at me, and

Refused my hand.

So, I extended my bait net toward him,

And said, “Grab on!” He did and we crossed safely.

“Hold my hand”…”Grab the net”….Same effect!

My youngest grandson was attempting to cross a creek

On a log that I warned was far too slim for a safe crossing.

“Just hold my hand,” he said.

That’s all it took….

He crossed safely, and said

“Told you I could do it!”

It is amazing the support and security

That can be gained

By just holding someone’s hand.

I find great comfort in knowing that….

Getting older, and far less nimble on my feet,

I’ll soon be saying…

“Hold My Hand!”

-Llyod Barnhart

West Sand Lake

Memoirs of an Amnesiac: Bus Tokens

Autumn reminds me of college and the many bus rides I took back and forth to Montreal. I came to know the Northway pretty well.

No sooner did I climb aboard in Albany than we stopped for a meal at the Spa City Diner in Saratoga. On a back street near the diner I noticed a shop with its name painted on the front window: “Vir. Mary Beauty Salon”. Looks like the window wasn’t large enough to spell out “Virgin”. What kind of wondrous transformations took place inside?

Customer: “Quick, make me look gorgeous!”

Beautician: “Honey, I’m good at my job, but I don’t perform miracles.”

Customer: “Why not? In this shop maybe you should.”

Back on the bus, our driver greeted newcomers over the intercom. He pointed out features of the bus, as well as the rules. One day he was surprisingly grumpy, and seemed to scold us in advance. He said, “Don’t keep coming up to ask me when we’ll arrive at your destination. We arrive when we get there!”

I’ve never forgotten those words. I wish I could have shared them with a few teachers and bosses over the years, the slave-drivers who expected everything done yesterday. In any piece of music, it’s not just the notes which matter; it’s also the time between notes. Anyway, I’m retired now, so there’s a lot less pressure.

Just one thing: Now that I’m in God’s waiting room, how long before I’ll be called up to the Pearly Gates? No worries, I’ll arrive when I get there.

Ron McKee

Averill Park

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