Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Just Sharing a Beautiful Day

 

It’s been seven years since I moved back to my hometown, to the house my grandfather built. I still can’t believe how lucky and blessed I am to be able to live here. If you’re ever in the Niagara area, come by and I’ll show you around.

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  1. Old Buckeye Member

    Looks idyllic, Douglas. 

    • #1
    • July 31, 2020, at 9:50 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  2. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Beautiful! Glad you’re able to enjoy it.

    • #2
    • July 31, 2020, at 10:10 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Old Buckeye (View Comment):

    Looks idyllic, Douglas.

    That’s a good word. This is the view this morning from the room where I record audiobooks. 

    • #3
    • July 31, 2020, at 10:16 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  4. Gary Robbins Reagan

    More pictures please!

    • #4
    • July 31, 2020, at 10:31 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  5. danok1 Member

    Spent some years as a child in the Niagara region. Looks just as lovely as I remember.

    And I second @garyrobbins. More pictures please.

    • #5
    • July 31, 2020, at 10:45 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Beautiful photos…and yes, more please. Thanks.

    • #6
    • July 31, 2020, at 11:04 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Richard Easton Member

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    Old Buckeye (View Comment):

    Looks idyllic, Douglas.

    That’s a good word. This is the view this morning from the room where I record audiobooks.

    Nice view – how many books have you recorded there?

    • #7
    • July 31, 2020, at 11:06 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. PHenry Member

    How uncommon, yet nice, that you live in the house you (apparently) grew up in and your grandfather built! Beautiful house, made more so by the multi generational association.

    • #8
    • July 31, 2020, at 11:08 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Ooh, one more reason to visit Upstate New York. We loved the area on our trip in 2006.

    • #9
    • July 31, 2020, at 12:04 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Ooh, one more reason to visit Upstate New York. We loved the area on our trip in 2006.

    It’s all fun and games until winter sets in. /kidding, sort of

    I used to ski Holiday Valley south of Niagara, and I’ve never seen so much snow! And I’ve lived in the Rockies for 37 years! It is beautiful, though. Even under 20 feet of snow.

    • #10
    • July 31, 2020, at 12:09 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  11. PHenry Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I used to ski Holiday Valley south of Niagara, and I’ve never seen so much snow!

    My uncle lived outside of Syracuse, and he swore that they got more annual snowfall than Nome, Alaska! (Lake effect) 

    • #11
    • July 31, 2020, at 12:14 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    PHenry (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I used to ski Holiday Valley south of Niagara, and I’ve never seen so much snow!

    My uncle lived outside of Syracuse, and he swore that they got more annual snowfall than Nome, Alaska! (Lake effect)

    Yep, primary snow belt. It’s the only place I’ve been where vehicles have 20-foot flags mounted so as to be seen over the snow banks as they approach an intersection. 

    • #12
    • July 31, 2020, at 12:41 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    Old Buckeye (View Comment):

    Looks idyllic, Douglas.

    That’s a good word. This is the view this morning from the room where I record audiobooks.

    Nice view – how many books have you recorded there?

    All 51 of the published ones and the two more I have under contract. It just happens that the library, which was originally Grandma’s sewing room, has perfect acoustics. So much more pleasant than sitting in a closet with egg cartons on the walls.

    • #13
    • July 31, 2020, at 2:25 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  14. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    PHenry (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I used to ski Holiday Valley south of Niagara, and I’ve never seen so much snow!

    My uncle lived outside of Syracuse, and he swore that they got more annual snowfall than Nome, Alaska! (Lake effect)

    Yep, primary snow belt. It’s the only place I’ve been where vehicles have 20-foot flags mounted so as to be seen over the snow banks as they approach an intersection.

    The Niagara escarpment is a microclimate. Yes, we get heavy snowfalls, but the temperatures are moderated because Ontario is such a deep lake. The glacier that made the Lakes left us a lovely soil for growing fruit trees and grapes. In fact, this is one of only five places on the planet where you can grow grapes for ice wine, since the grapes have to go through several freeze-thaw cycles but never get cold enough to split open.

    • #14
    • July 31, 2020, at 2:27 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Ooh, one more reason to visit Upstate New York. We loved the area on our trip in 2006.

    It’s all fun and games until winter sets in. /kidding, sort of

    I used to ski Holiday Valley south of Niagara, and I’ve never seen so much snow! And I’ve lived in the Rockies for 37 years! It is beautiful, though. Even under 20 feet of snow.

    We have three seasons: Winter, July and August.

    Seriously, come up in September during the apple pick, or Fourth of July when the sweet cherries come in.

    • #15
    • July 31, 2020, at 2:30 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    PHenry (View Comment):

    How uncommon, yet nice, that you live in the house you (apparently) grew up in and your grandfather built! Beautiful house, made more so by the multi generational association.

    My mom and dad had a house right next door, so I spent most afternoons and a lot of evenings hanging around with Granddad and Aunt Marion. Marion was an English teacher, and taught me to read at an early age. I’m blessed to have been able to spend time with both of them. I got Granddad’s curiosity and willingness to listen to other peoples’ stories. From Marion I got a love of words and reading, although she never got me to appreciate poetry the way she did; I once asked her if there were any poets she liked that didn’t die in a ditch outside an Irish bar.

    My parents were wonderful too, and I had a great childhood. One thing that was expected of us younger kids was that we would memorize a poem or a speech, and present it at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. I always went for funny stuff from Dorothy Parker and Ogden Nash. The memorization tricks were passed on to my daughter for her Debate years, and might have had something to do with her winning five national championships.

    • #16
    • July 31, 2020, at 2:34 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  17. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Egad. I posted the picture just for fun, and this thread got promoted to the Main Feed so fast my head is spinning. Thank you all. Per request, here are a few more pictures.

    • #17
    • July 31, 2020, at 2:46 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  18. The Reticulator Member

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    Old Buckeye (View Comment):

    Looks idyllic, Douglas.

    That’s a good word. This is the view this morning from the room where I record audiobooks.

    I hope the book about the war on the eastern front in Poland is coming along well. You seem to be in a good mood, so I’m hoping it is. 

    By the way, I was using Forvo with some of my Polish vocab today and had enough time to go to the link where you can listen to the alternate pronunciations. (I’ve done this before, but today was thinking of your issue with Przemyśl.) It is sometimes interesting to hear how different Poles pronounce a word in different ways. Usually the pronunciations are all pretty similar, but there are sometimes some that sound very different to me. And I’m starting to get better at hearing that initial “unvoiced p” (as I call it).

    • #18
    • July 31, 2020, at 3:13 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    I hope the book about the war on the eastern front in Poland is coming along well. You seem to be in a good mood, so I’m hoping it is.

    By the way, I was using Forvo with some of my Polish vocab today and had enough time to go to the link where you can listen to the alternate pronunciations. (I’ve done this before, but today was thinking of your issue with Przemyśl.) It is sometimes interesting to hear how different Poles pronounce a word in different ways. Usually the pronunciations are all pretty similar, but there are sometimes some that sound very different to me. And I’m starting to get better at hearing that initial “unvoiced p” (as I call it).

    Funny you should ask. I emailed the author and sent him the first chapter, and he told me that Przemysl has a ‘p’ sound at the beginning. He also disagreed with two other pronunciations that Forvo had given me. I’m waiting for him to get back to me on the rest of the chapter, but I’m almost at the qualiling-in-fear stage. Forvo has six alternate pronunciations for Przemysl and not one of them has a ‘p’ sound at the beginning. But who am I to argue with the college professor who wrote the book? I was walking around for a week whispering “SHAH-my-sul” to myself, and he pronounces it “pshah-MY-sul.” Like “pshaw.” Pfui!

    I’ve been concentrating on another project that has a Ricochet connection, as well as the musical biography I had under contract at the same time as the WWI book, which is great fun…the stories the musicians have to tell about various big-name conductors are delightful.

    • #19
    • July 31, 2020, at 3:32 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. The Reticulator Member

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    I hope the book about the war on the eastern front in Poland is coming along well. You seem to be in a good mood, so I’m hoping it is.

    By the way, I was using Forvo with some of my Polish vocab today and had enough time to go to the link where you can listen to the alternate pronunciations. (I’ve done this before, but today was thinking of your issue with Przemyśl.) It is sometimes interesting to hear how different Poles pronounce a word in different ways. Usually the pronunciations are all pretty similar, but there are sometimes some that sound very different to me. And I’m starting to get better at hearing that initial “unvoiced p” (as I call it).

    Funny you should ask. I emailed the author and sent him the first chapter, and he told me that Przemysl has a ‘p’ sound at the beginning. He also disagreed with two other pronunciations that Forvo had given me. I’m waiting for him to get back to me on the rest of the chapter, but I’m almost at the qualiling-in-fear stage. Forvo has six alternate pronunciations for Przemysl and not one of them has a ‘p’ sound at the beginning. But who am I to argue with the college professor who wrote the book? I was walking around for a week whispering “SHAH-my-sul” to myself, and he pronounces it “pshah-MY-sul.” Like “pshaw.” Pfui!

    I’ve been concentrating on another project that has a Ricochet connection, as well as the musical biography I had under contract at the same time as the WWI book, which is great fun…the stories the musicians have to tell about various big-name conductors are delightful.

    Just out of curiosity, is your professor a native Polish speaker? 

    • #20
    • July 31, 2020, at 3:43 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. ShaunaHunt Coolidge

    I spent two summers in Upstate New York! It’s so gorgeous. Your pictures make me homesick. My first summer was in Canandaigua, Palmyra, Red Creek, Warsaw, and Lockport. Lockport was fun! I got to see Niagara Falls and Ft. Niagara. I spent my winters in Cheektowaga, East Aurora, Palmyra, and Rochester. Loved ’em all! ;)

    • #21
    • July 31, 2020, at 5:28 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    I hope the book about the war on the eastern front in Poland is coming along well. You seem to be in a good mood, so I’m hoping it is.

    By the way, I was using Forvo with some of my Polish vocab today and had enough time to go to the link where you can listen to the alternate pronunciations. (I’ve done this before, but today was thinking of your issue with Przemyśl.) It is sometimes interesting to hear how different Poles pronounce a word in different ways. Usually the pronunciations are all pretty similar, but there are sometimes some that sound very different to me. And I’m starting to get better at hearing that initial “unvoiced p” (as I call it).

    Funny you should ask. I emailed the author and sent him the first chapter, and he told me that Przemysl has a ‘p’ sound at the beginning. He also disagreed with two other pronunciations that Forvo had given me. I’m waiting for him to get back to me on the rest of the chapter, but I’m almost at the qualiling-in-fear stage. Forvo has six alternate pronunciations for Przemysl and not one of them has a ‘p’ sound at the beginning. But who am I to argue with the college professor who wrote the book? I was walking around for a week whispering “SHAH-my-sul” to myself, and he pronounces it “pshah-MY-sul.” Like “pshaw.” Pfui!

    I’ve been concentrating on another project that has a Ricochet connection, as well as the musical biography I had under contract at the same time as the WWI book, which is great fun…the stories the musicians have to tell about various big-name conductors are delightful.

    Just out of curiosity, is your professor a native Polish speaker?

    Not as far as I know. He’s the one I have to please, however.

    • #22
    • August 1, 2020, at 6:33 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    ShaunaHunt (View Comment):

    I spent two summers in Upstate New York!

    There have been a lot of changes in the past 20 years, due to several factors. Agriculture still rules, especially with new generations of kids coming back to family farms with new ideas. One of my contemporaries, Darrell Oakes, was the first to put in apple varieties on dwarf root stock; one of his sons is now putting them on trellissed trees, dramatically increasing the production per acre and making harvesting and maintenance hugely easier. They have helped develop several new varieties commercially; if you ever see some SweeTango or SnapDragon apples in the store, try ’em. Another of his sons started the winery, which is continually winning awards with their Rieslings, their awesome ice wine, and their hard ciders. My daughter Valerie went to work for them when she moved up here after polishing off college in three years (brag mode off), spent a couple of years in the cider operation and tasting room, and became an educated wine snob. Their “Steampunk” ciders are remarkable, because they are pressed from heritage apple varieties that aren’t grown commercially any more. When they put in a new you-pick orchard next to their tasting room, it was all on dwarf rootstock to make it easier for kids to pick, and they went wild with grafting, putting 350 varieties of apples on six acres. It’s not an orchard, it’s a library, and Darrell will tell you the story behind each variety.

    Another big factor has been the Amish and Mennonite folks that came up from Pennsyltucky, bought abandoned farms, and greatly improved the community. Thanks to them we have access to a lot of great local food. One of our neighbors is a butcher, whose shop is only open Thursday through Saturday; you have to get there early before he runs out. Local, grass-fed beef. Delightful sausage recipes, maple smoked bacon. Pork from pigs that have spent most of their lives in old apple orchards. The restaurants in Buffalo and Rochester buy as much as he can produce, but he makes sure we locals can still buy good meat.

    That’s another factor. U of Rochester and RIT have big hospitality programs, and there is a world class culinary school in Niagara Falls. A lot of those kids graduated and looked around and saw a lot of potential retail space in light industrial and manufacturing buildings that have come on the market with the shrinkage of the two big businesses, Kodak and Xerox. They bought buildings, polished ’em up, and opened restaurants, specialty coffee roasters, and dessert businesses. Foodies willing to drive 30 or 40 miles will find some remarkable restaurants in Lockport, Medina, Rochester and Buffalo.

    • #23
    • August 1, 2020, at 6:54 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. Phil Turmel Coolidge

    Were you already there when @mattbartle and I had our mini-meetup last year? My customer in that area is champing at the bit for me to spend more time there (when the covid hysteria ends), so I’m likely to be able to do another….

    • #24
    • August 1, 2020, at 6:58 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Were you already there when @mattbartle and I had our mini-meetup last year? My customer in that area is champing at the bit for me to spend more time there (when the covid hysteria ends), so I’m likely to be able to do another….

    I missed that! Maybe we could do another at a wine tasting room or a restaurant. Or my place, for that matter. I would love it.

    • #25
    • August 1, 2020, at 7:01 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. Front Seat Cat Member

    This nature preserve is your family compound? Wow!! It’s beautiful! How do you keep it up? Love the greenhouse too – so this is NY?

    • #26
    • August 1, 2020, at 8:02 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. The Reticulator Member

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    Just out of curiosity, is your professor a native Polish speaker?

    Not as far as I know. He’s the one I have to please, however.

    Sure. But if not, it might give one a different outlook on how best to please him.

    It’s interesting that he’s even involved. Several years ago, after I finished the book Vodka Politics, I left an audible review that was mostly positive but complained about the narrator’s butchery of the Russian names and words. The author replied to my review with a note that he had noticed that, too, but decided not to say anything because the narrator had played Chuck Norris, or some such thing whose relevance I didn’t understand. But the point is it seemed he didn’t have any involvement with the narrator.

    I can’t find that review now to check my words and the author’s reply. That’s weird, because I thought Audible and Amazon liked to have reviews. I thought I had reviewed it on Audible in order to rate the narration separately, and it’s definitely not there. 

    • #27
    • August 1, 2020, at 8:24 AM PDT
    • Like
  28. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    This nature preserve is your family compound? Wow!! It’s beautiful! How do you keep it up? Love the greenhouse too – so this is NY?

    Yup, we set it up to keep it in the family. I have a faithful gardener/groundskeeper who has been here 36 years. We manage the foundation so that it makes enough from investments to pay Ron without cutting into the principal…mostly. It’s a job. I had to learn more about the economy than I ever wanted to.

    This is NY, all right. The 90% of NY that isn’t a hellhole. New York City is not my favorite place, mostly because it scares me, but partly because its politics makes the rest of the state a hard place to live and do business in. I’m not alone in that opinion, either; my last audiobook was “Empire of Water,” which is mostly a story of how NYC stomped all over the Catskills in order to guarantee its water supply. They’re still at it, since our beloved governor is trying to force us to accept industrial wind farms, even though they are only running the Niagara power station at 60% capacity. If they really wanted renewable energy they could open a few valves at the Falls and make more than their damn wind “farm” on a good day. But as Glenn Reynolds often says, that would provide insufficient opportunities for graft.

    • #28
    • August 1, 2020, at 11:12 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  29. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    Just out of curiosity, is your professor a native Polish speaker?

    Not as far as I know. He’s the one I have to please, however.

    Sure. But if not, it might give one a different outlook on how best to please him.

    It’s interesting that he’s even involved. Several years ago, after I finished the book Vodka Politics, I left an audible review that was mostly positive but complained about the narrator’s butchery of the Russian names and words. The author replied to my review with a note that he had noticed that, too, but decided not to say anything because the narrator had played Chuck Norris, or some such thing whose relevance I didn’t understand. But the point is it seemed he didn’t have any involvement with the narrator.

    I can’t find that review now to check my words and the author’s reply. That’s weird, because I thought Audible and Amazon liked to have reviews. I thought I had reviewed it on Audible in order to rate the narration separately, and it’s definitely not there.

    This book is for University Press Audiobooks, and they are particular about pronunciation, as they should be. Most of their books are textbooks.SOP is for them to review the book when I’m done producing it, and if they want something changed, I change it. I do the same thing if I’m working with an author directly. In this case, University Press gave me the author’s email so I could check it out with him, and I sent him the first chapter after I edited it. Still haven’t had anything but the quick note about Pshaw-mysul.

    I don’t have a problem with putting in the effort to get it right. I just want to know a good definition of “right” before I start. 

    • #29
    • August 1, 2020, at 11:16 AM PDT
    • 3 likes