Thursday, January 28, 2010

New York: Seneca Falls and the Finger Lakes Region

In 1998 and during a couple of later visits to New York's Finger Lake Region, was able to explore the area around Seneca Falls, Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake. The lakes are sort of like Loch Ness in Scotland -- very long and very deep, formed by receding glaciers quite a little while ago. This was Iroquois country, thick with history as well as scenic beauty.

About halfway down the western side of Seneca Lake, tried out a kayak, swam in the clear chilly water, and meandered through dense stands of timber. Checked out Watkins Glen and onto Ithaca, Cornell University and Ithaca College. Then, with a veteran of the area, on to Trumansburg, a counterculture village featuring the Rongovian Embassy to the USA that dates back to the Nixon years. Next to Lodi and Ovid, and back to Seneca Falls.

At Seneca Falls, lots to see. The high point of the first visit was the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848.

Radical sentiments in 1848 (same year, after all, as The Communist Manifesto):

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

The equality of men and women? Still a radical idea in 2010, to many in the world and yes, even in the USA. Attendees in 1848 included Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frederick Douglass, Lucretia Coffin Mott, and many other hepcats of the day.

In 1998, Hillary Rodham Clinton gave the keynote speech -- while her husband Bill still occupied the White House. She afterwards moved to New York and was elected one of the state's U.S. senators in 2000.  Today, like New York's William H. Seward, Sr., of the Finger Lakes back in Lincoln's day, she is also Secretary of State -- in the Obama Administration.

Today's Rune: The Self.


Erik Donald France said...

RIP: Howard Zinn, J.D. Salinger & Louis Auchincloss, ranging in age from 87 to 92. The latter was a Kennedy guy, cousin to Jackie O.

Zinn is to US history what Salinger is to US fiction.

jodi said...

Erik, I am still trying to convince my Dad that women are equal. He's just too old skool to really get the idea!

Johnny Yen said...

Frederick Douglass recounted his experiences as not only an abolitionist, but as a fighter for woman's rights in his autobiography, "The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass." He saw it as a logical continuation of his fight for human rights. Amazing guy.

Charles Gramlich said...

I would love to see that country. Reading about the Iroquois and the Mohicans back in childhood ignited a sense of romance to that area. I've got to take a trip there sometime. said...

Getting close to my neck of the woods in Toronto. On a clear day, we can see Rochester across the lake...We can almost take the ferry (the service always going bankrupt) across and drive to the Finger Lakes if service is not interrupted.

Distributorcap said...

the finger lake area is quite spectacular isnt it?

Erik Donald France said...

Thanks y'all!