Summer’s end has been dramatic. Aug. 23 surprised us with the shake, rattle and roll of an earthquake. The mountains surrounding us are not as solid as they appear. I was practicing cello/violin duets with a friend when the floor began to move. Our music stopped and the house rolled like a boat. The movement lasted 15 seconds, but we both knew it was an earthquake. Strangely, the plumber working in the basement felt nothing. Meanwhile, workers at the county buildings went outside to the front lawn for safety.
This was a first earthquake for some, but quakes are not unknown to Elizabethtown. Besides last year’s Quebec quake, at least four quakes hit the Adirondacks between 1910 and 1920. A big one shook the area in 1889, and lasted 45 seconds. It knocked dishes from shelves and toppled chimneys. Loud booms came from moving earth along a line called Logan’s Fault. More recently, in 1983, a 5.3 quake was centered in Blue Mountain Lake, but it only toppled 20 tombstones.
Another end of summer event was Hurricane Irene. Many of us stocked up on food, and checked our generators. Grand Union and Stewart’s parking lots were packed on Saturday. As of this writing, the storm is still pounding. Didn’t we have enough rain in April?
Sept. 5, Labor Day, was created to honor working men and woman. It now marks the last Hurrah of the Adirondack summer, that short, sweet season of gardening, swimming and picnicking. The first Monday of September has been called Labor Day since 1882. A century ago E-towners celebrated Labor Day with sports. Baseball was popular and young men played teams from neighboring towns. The ball field was the empty lot next to St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church. Golf tournaments and tennis matches also drew crowds. Elizabethtown’s Labor Day was far different than the celebration in Port Henry, where parades, speeches and pageants filled the streets.
This year we’ll fire up our barbeque grills, take our last swim and enjoy a “Piano by Nature” Concert at the Hand House. It seems like the summer of 2011 is going out with a BANG!