Teddy Roosevelt is revived by Joe Wiegand, who impersonates the famous president for events all around the country. He’ll be at Newcomb’s Teddy Roosevelt Weekend Sept. 10 and 11.
The Adirondack's favorite president, Teddy Roosevelt, will be stopping by Newcomb for his namesake weekend Sept. 10 and 11.
Well, it's not quite Roosevelt, but it's as close as modern man can come. Joe Wiegand is a presidental impersonator of some note. He was even invited to the Bush White House to practice his craft. This will mark his third year at Newcomb. This visit, he'll speak on being an outdoorsman in the Adirondacks.
The News Enterprise spoke to Wiegand about his impending visit. His comments follow:
News Enterprise (NE): What's your choice method of transportation to get to Newcomb?
Joe Wiegand (JW): While I'll be traveling to Newcomb by car, I have mostly enjoyed walking about town and walking at Tahawus. The fresh air of the Adirondacks is invigorating.
NE: What's your favorite part of your visits to Newcomb?
JW: The people of Newcomb are the best, and there are too many favorites to choose just one. Paul and Stacy Hai have been wonderful hosts, and the people of the region are fortunate to have a learned conservationist and dedicated public servant there on the front lines. Skip Hults and the faculty and staff at Newcomb School are an inspiring bunch, and what a wonderful tradition of international youth exchange. Finally, all of the good folks at the Newcomb Days/ Teddy Roosevelt Days Committee have been a tremendous example of community volunteerism. It's an honor to play a small part in their efforts.
NE: Are you planning to stop anywhere else in the area? If so, where and why?
JW: The necessities of my itinerary, performing in New Orleans right before and in Buffalo right after, will keep me from my normal round of visits, but when I have time, I greatly enjoy visiting the wonderful people at North Creek's Depot Museum and at the Museum of the Adirondacks in Blue Mountain Lake. I'm hoping to perform throughout the region in the summer and fall of 2012.
NE: Who's your favorite person to take along on trips like this?
JW: A good friend, Jeff Gronauer, of Lake Placid, guided me up to the top of Mt. Marcy along the long route from Tahawus. As a hunter, a conservationist and a friend, Jeff is a fine example of the hardihood of life in the Adirondacks.
NE: I understand you were asked to speak on being an Adirondack outdoorsman. What makes the Adirondacks a favorite destination?
JW: The Adirondacks are not only special, they are essential to interpreting Theodore Roosevelt. It was here in the Adirondacks that a young Teddy Roosevelt had some of his early adventures. Indeed, his first real publication, co-authored with H.D. Minot, was "The Summer Birds of the Adirondacks in Franklin County, New York," self-published while TR was still a college student at Harvard.
As Governor, T.R. came to visit Santanoni, and, of course, the telling of his rise to the presidency cannot be told without telling of his midnight ride from Tahawus to North Creek. That TR became the President of the United States while careening through the night on a buckboard in the Adirondacks is one of those "only in America" kind of stories. Perhaps, it really is better known as an "only in the Adirondacks" kind of story.
Information on Teddy Roosevelt Weekend can be found at www.newcombny.com under the Events heading.