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    Merry Christmas Everyone!

    Let me just get the obvious out of the way. I know it’s a big holiday for most of you and I hope you are having a wonderful day.

    As a Jewish kid growing up, I always imagined what it must be like Christmas mornings in a non-Jewish household. I thought everyone would get up early and open presents in their pajamas. All the while, Mom was cooking a hot breakfast.

    Am I even close, you guys? Herman tells me in his family the tradition was to open presents on the night before. So maybe it’s different in each home. Speaking of homes, Herman just put up for sale the last vestige of the family property that he grew up with. This is twenty years after the passing of his parents.

    The first property that was sold was outside of Johnstown where Herman grew up. It was part of the old farm that Herman’s grandfather bought in 1916. Then the farmhouse and surrounding acreage went. Previous to this, his father had sold most of the farm to a developer who made a golf course there, now called Fox Run.

    Anyway, Herman’s last piece of property is in Caroga Lake where we lived before our new house was built on the East Shore near Sherman’s Amusement Park. The old camp was built in 1935 and Herman’s parents bought it in 1949. It even came with a boat and furnishings, but was a rustic, unfinished camp until I came in the picture.

    When I saw the dark, dingy, small rooms and clutter, I had to make some changes. So one day while Herman was at work and a carpenter friend was fixing the roof, I asked him how the interior would look with the upstairs gutted and cathedral ceilings. Well, it didn’t take long to find out how much more open and bright the whole place looked. So that’s what we did. (Of course, Herman didn’t find out until it was too late to stop the process. Luckily, he liked it too.)

    But it’s one thing to alter a property, and another to sell it. Herman has mixed feelings about letting it go, but let it go he must and we’ll be glad to have someone there who really seems to appreciate the history and ambience of the place. At least that’s what we hope will happen.

    At this time of year with the changing of the calendar upon us, it’s good to think of change for the better. That’s what I’m telling Herman anyway.


    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com