The intent of this blog is to promote human equality, human progress, human peace and justice, and optimism. To accomplish this, to encourage the discussion of ideas after identifying and discovering problems, and then creating positive solutions for "we the people," in order to provide for the "general welfare" and "domestic tranquility" of America now and its "posterity" into the future. To encourage an emphasis on separation of religion and state for all, no matter if this is for those "of faith" in a Maker / Creator (Deists, God-loving people, Christians, various people of spirituality) and atheists or agnostics.

Archive for July, 2008

Lisa Vroman at the Glimmerglass

Miles away in Florida and wishing I could be at the Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, NY.  Why?  Lisa Vroman is headlining the Cole Porter production of Kiss Me, Kate.  From what I see on the web site (, several dates are now sold out, so she must be doing something right.  Or, maybe I should not attribute it only to her.  But, since she headlined at several of our concerts of the Choral Society of the Palm Beaches (PBCC, Eissey Campus Theatre) and at a benefit concert here in Palm Beach County for a soldier’s family who lost their father in Afghanistan, I am inclined to say some good things about her – even if I cannot be at a performance this summer in Upstate NY. 

While I don’t know Lisa very well, we attended Crane School of Music and I had the opportunity to play in the opera orchestra while she was on stage there.  We also participated in several “student-produced” stage productions at Crane School of Music. 

On Broadway, I saw her perform the role of Christine in The Phantom of the Opera.  She invited me and my guest backstage to meet the other actors and actresses.  I stood on the Broadway stage!  Thank you, Lisa!  It was a great experience in New York City! 

So, I encourage all those in Upstate New York and those visiting there to go see an Upstate New York girl perform in Kiss Me, Kate at the Glimmerglass!  Before the end of the season (August 23). 

And while you are at it, listen to Lisa on her CD (available at, Broadway Classic.  You will be glad you did!


Cruises on the Lake

Imagine the pristine hills and lakes of Upstate New York before the European settlers colonized the area.  When cruising on the freshwater lakes of New York and taking in the rural scenery, visions of Native-Americans in their natural habitat arise.  The thought of cruising on a commercial boat – not the urban type of “cruise the club scene” – brings the traveller back to reality.

Cayuga Lake, one of the Finger Lakes, is a gem.  The reason I find this lake to be such a gem is the time I spent on Cayuga Lake and the memories that remain.  I did enjoy other lakes in the region and enjoyed the Fulton Chain of lakes, particularly Seventh Lake near Inlet, NY, but I remain a bit biased towards Cayuga.  

On a map of Upstate New York, place the right hand there with the palm of the hand on Lake Ontario.  Cayuga Lake is the pointer finger.  Owasco, Seneca, Keuka, and Canandaigua Lakes form the thumb (Owasco) and three other fingers. 

Map of Upstate New York showing location of Cayuga Lake

Map of Upstate New York showing location of Cayuga LakeMap of Cayuga Lake and the other Finger Lakes. Cayuga extends northward from Ithaca. The top portion of the lake is situated between Seneca Falls and Auburn.

On July 5, 2007, I re-visited Cayuga Lake and all its splendor.  I discovered Cayuga Lake Cruises ( and the beautiful M.V. Manhattan .  Together with a friend, we enjoyed a scenic tour of the lake and had a delicious lunch while on board.  The Manhattan proceeded up the west side of the lake as we viewed the cottages, boats, and people who lived along the lake. 
Travelling along the East side of Cayuga Lake, July 2007.
Travelling along the west side of Cayuga Lake, July 2007.

About half way up the west side of the lake, the captain directed the boat across the waters to the east side.  The east side was a distinct contrast in terms of geology.  The view of the cliffs was impressive, but less homes are built on the east side of the lake due to the cliffs.       

An occasional home sits at the top of the cliff.  As we
viewed the cliffs along the water, we wondered about the natives who lived here and what they would have viewed.  After all, the word, Cayuga, is derived from the native language.  Cayuga was a tribe and language of the Iroquois nation.
Travelling in the M.V. Manhattan on the east coast of Cayuga Lake
As we ended our journey along the east side of the lake and approached the city of Ithaca, we could see, in the distance, Cornell University on the hill – an awesome view from the lake.
Finally, the Lighthouse – at the end of the “journey!”
Almost 25 years living in Florida did not diminish the memories of Cayuga Lake and the days I spent on it.  Somewhere on the east side of the lake was the cottage my family once rented with another family.  The memories from that vacation are still vivid.  In fact, I can pinpoint the date of August 1963 and the week Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, son of then-President John F. Kennedy, died in infancy.  I recall listening to the news describing the loss of the First Family’s child.  I was eight years old.   
I also recall an Egyptian family lived next door to our rental unit on Cayuga Lake in 1963.  I recall the tasty Egyptian food, some with grape leaves, that was shared with us.  Later, our family visited Washington, DC, and answered an invitation to visit this family at the Egyptian Embassy in Washington.  They were at the embassy as employees of the Egyptian Diplomatic Corps.      
When visting Ithaca, NY, in the summer, this cruise is highly recommended and well worth the cost.  Cruises on Cayuga Lake have been available for many years.  The M.V. Manhattan is not the first and it has been on the water since 1987.  (The owners in 2007 had operated the boat since 2001). 
The M.V. Manhattan is available for dinner, lunch, brunch, and happy hour cruises.  The cruise line also caters to group functions, private charters, and cocktail cruises.  We reserved our seats and paid $28.00 per person for the Luncheon Cruise, but it is best to contact Cayuga Lake Cruises for the latest information about any cruise. 
Captain and crew of the M.V. Manhattan.
Left to Right: 
B.J. Bliss, Nate Newton, and Captain Bob Dutcher,
Crew of the M.V. Manhattan, Cayuga Lake Cruises,
Ithaca, NY
Contact information:
Cayuga Cruise Lines
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 238
Ithaca, NY  14851
Boarding Address:
708 W. Buffalo St. (across the tributary from Kelly’s Grill)
Ithaca, NY   14850

Tioga Herald is Awesome!

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