Reading an essay that mentioned Phoenicia brought back a flood of memories of childhood visits to Omma and Oppa Holzers who owned a grocery/butcher shop maybe as far back as the forties through the sixties. My dad hunted with Oppa (Grandpa) who was a NY state guide and his son, Al, often in the Slide Mountain area, for over a decade.
I remember their apartment above the store in town, but my fondest memories were times spent at their log cabin arrived at by an old army jeep and up a steep mountain road. As a 10 year old, Oppa led me on walks along the creek, showing me where trout larva developed under rocks. When we found the remains of a fawn he explained what a hard winter it had been that year and how the deer had been so starved they ate the not yet buds from the trees.
I was allowed to take off, alone and unsupervised for the entire day with the advice that if I got lost to "go down" and I would hit a creek or a road. I did get lost, and often, once finding an abandoned resort from an earlier time, which I busily explored for hours.
Omma's gift, besides fabulous cooking, and great recipes for game meat, was her crafts. She showed me how to weave on her loom, braid rugs and knit the European way, as opposed to the innefficient American way. I still have a couple of pieces of ceramics she fired from the clay dug from Muddy Brook.
In their later years, when the old cabin needed too much work and was too difficult to get to in the winter, they built a small home, an A frame if I remember correctly, at the turn off to the old cabin and across the dirt road from the brook, with a fine view of open fields to either side and the mountain behind them.
Seeing photographs of the Adarondacks makes my heart long for that terraine again. I just wanted to share this very fond memory and see if anyone remembers these two wonderful German refugees who embraced their new land and community with so much love.
Thanks for reading.