Meet Laura Donaldson

When we first met Laura Donaldson a few years back, we quickly discovered a woman with multiple talents and passions who wears many hats. And she always does it with a smile. This innkeeper, seamstress and fountain of local knowledge is featured as this week’s Profile.

 

Name:  Laura Donaldson

Where do you live?

Between Schroon Lake & Olmstedville! 

Full time? Part time? Seasonal? 

Full Time

When did you move here or discover this part of paradise?   

Born and raised on Trout Brook Road, moved away for 15 years and had the opportunity to move back to my family property in 1990

Where did you grow up?

In Schroon Lake and graduated in 1976.

How do you -- or did you -- make a living?  

I run two businesses: I'm a seamstress/tailor and also run the Rocky Acres Bed & Breakfast, I have catered with Gourmet Gals six years, worked as an election board officer 25 years, worked at a school cafeteria, bus monitor and cleaner for many years, Schroon Lake Chamber of Commerce summer worker 13 years, At the Strand Theater I helped at the andy or ticket counter as needed.

I also clean and care-take for a few homes. The last two years I have opted out of many jobs - just keeping my businesses and the care taking and cleaning. 

How do you spend your free time?

Volleyball, kayaking, but mostly redoing my yard and improving my home

Coffee, Tea, or…? 

Water, Diet Dew, a Whiskey Sour or Margarita :)

What’s your idea of a perfect Saturday? 

Getting things accomplished!

What’s your favorite local restaurant? 

Pitkin’s for burgers, Flanagan’s for veal parm, Sticks 'n Stones for fungi pizza and Witherbee's for prime rib. I've earned these hips- love food:)

Favorite season(s) and why?

Fall. For the colors, less bugs, it's cooler, I can hike, bike and kayak

What’s on your nightstand?

Phone, little Christmas tree to remind me of my hubby and parents favorite time of year. A clock.

What are you listening to? 

A Movie

What are your current addictions?

Fit Bit and Diet Mountain Dew, éclairs

Who/what makes you laugh?

Just about everything. My girlfriend Nancy. I have a warped sense of humor. 

Talent you would most like to have?

More knowledge to do all the projects that I would like to have completed

What’s the best kept secret about Schroon Lake and or surrounding areas?

What great, caring and creative people we have in our midst

What do you hope they say about you at your funeral? 

That I was creative, happy, self sufficient, strong, determined, friendly, motivated, faithful: that she made the most of her life, the old fart

The Story Behind The Happy Face of the ADK General Store’s Oliver Diaz

Photo Courtesy SUNY Lamron

Photo Courtesy SUNY Lamron

We first encountered the smiling face of Oliver Diaz a couple of years back, behind the counter of the Adirondack General Store.

His parents Maureen and Robert had just become the proud, new owners of this ADK icon, and the whole family was busy pitching in.

Robert, Maureen and Oliver at their store in the summer of 2014. Schroon Laker Collection. All Rights Reverved

Robert, Maureen and Oliver at their store in the summer of 2014. Schroon Laker Collection. All Rights Reverved

Unbeknownst to us at the time, Oliver was a budding comedian, with a serious passion for making people laugh. Just how serious? Well this Junior English and French double major is now a member of SUNY Genesco’s improvisation troupe No Laugh Track. You can read more about how comedy changed Oliver’s life and if he’ll make a profession out of it, in this feature published in the school’s Lamron Newspaper, which you can read right here.

 

 

 

 

Meet Mark and Sharon Piper

Mark and Sharon Piper with their niece,  Allison.Photo Courtesy The Pipers

Mark and Sharon Piper with their niece,  Allison.Photo Courtesy The Pipers

We first met the Pipers when we stayed at their glorious Bed and Breakfast just after they had become the inn's new owners in 2009. What an experience! And what a breakfast! It was in the fall and it was cold. But the hospitality offered was swarm and heart felt. After years of renting, we were up here looking for a camp, which we eventually purchased the following year.

Meanwhile, soon after arriving,, Mark and Sharon soon became fixtures around town. Sharon took on multiple roles at the Schroon Lake Chamber of Commerce, got involved with ROOST and was one of the architects behind the Schroon Community Garden, to name just a few of her philanthropic endeavors

Mark -- with his guitar and ukulele -- found out how to play and share his passion at every conceivable location in the North Country. He's most known for his role as the Master of Ceremonies at the now famous Open Mic Night Thursdays at Witherbee's Carriage House. He's written and recorded dozens of songs, including homages to Schroon and Witherbee's.

He's played most restaurants and bars in town, and is one of the star attractions on the Schroon July 4th Concert PlayBill. He's also a guitar teacher and has a new career, which you can learn about when you read their profile!

Where do you live?

Schroon Lake (north end of town)

 

Full time? Part time? Seasonal?

Full time

 

When did you move here or discover this part of paradise?

2009

 

Where did you grow up?

Sharon in Massachusetts and Mark near Washington DC

 

How do you -- or did you -- make a living?

We are Innkeepers but have "side" jobs too. Mark is a voice over actor, musician/music teacher and Sharon works in the travel business as an online implementation manager for business travel.

 

How do you spend your free time?

What's that? (We do enjoy traveling)

 

Coffee, Tea, or…? 

COFFEE!

 

What’s your idea of a perfect Saturday? 

If there are no guests, it would be to sleep slightly later, but not too late, pack up the car with hiking gear and get out into the woods and the Adirondack quiet. Then dinner al fresco, by the firepit.

 

What’s your favorite local restaurant? 

That is an impossible question….we have a favorite on every menu!

 

Favorite season(s) and why?

Fall. The leaves are turning, the weather is slowly cooling down and we are practicing gratitude for another wonderful summer in Schroon Lake.

 

What’s on your nightstand?

An alarm clock, a good reading lamp, a book, hand lotion, and in Sharon's case, Tums. :)

What are you listening to? 

We play piano music in the living room of the Inn, but in the owner's quarters, we never listen to the radio because Mark plays his guitar every chance he gets.

 

What are your current addictions?

We confess to none, although Mark is lost without his podcasts. :)

 

Who/what makes you laugh?

Classically funny movies/Monty Python style humor

 

Talent you would most like to have?

Our superpower would be knowing every language, to be able to communicate with anyone in the world, including animals.

 

What’s the best kept secret about Schroon Lake and or surrounding areas?

The ruins of the fort in Crown Point by the bridge (not really a secret, but a great picnic spot by Lake Champlain.

 

What do you hope they say about you at your funeral?

That we brought joy to people's lives and they were happy to know us

Meet Rännei (Bensen) Rambow

Name: Rännei (Bensen) Rambow

Where do you live?

We live just north of the Schroon Lake Central School

Full time? Part time? Seasonal?

Full time

When did you move here or discover this part of paradise?

 I was born here. I'm a third generation native of the Adirondacks :)

Where did you grow up?

Right here in Schroon Lake... on Charlie Hill Rd

How do you -- or did you -- make a living? 

I primarily work for a woman who lives in town doing office/bookkeeping work. I also work for Word of Life at the Family Lodge part time. And I am also a photographer.

How do you spend your free time?

I love to go photo-hunting on beautiful days!

Coffee, Tea, or…? 

Anyone who knows me know this answer! Coffee!!!

What’s your idea of a perfect Saturday?

 I love to take day trips - a nice drive over to Vermont, taking photos along the way, maybe stopping at an antique shop or two, is relaxing to me. But I also love a good day at the beach!!!

What’s your favorite local restaurant? 

Oh goodness! I feel like I would be betraying friends if I picked one over any of the others! I like them all!!

Favorite season(s) and why?

It's not really a season, per say... Anytime from May til Mid October. I love May because it's still springtime, but it's warm like summer. The tourists haven't arrived in full swing yet and we can enjoy the town and the lake while it's still somewhat quiet. June is beautiful as it gets hotter and the tourists arrive and things get a little more lively! July... well I mean, the best day ever is the 4th of July! I love that the whole town comes out to celebrate our anniversary! ;) It's such a fun day! August you start to feel the town thinning out a bit as folks head home for school and work but there are still lots of things to do. September it starts to cool off and the town gets much quieter after Labor Day but it's still hot enough for long beach days without the crowds (is my introvert showing?). Then October - I mean, you cannot beat the fall colors in the ADK! 

What’s on your nightstand?

A lamp, a clock (battery operated... had the power go out on me one too many times), my phone (I always tell my friends that if they need me to call me, I don't care what time it is), a noise machine, and "The Ultimate Nikon SLR Handbook Volume 1"

What are you listening to?

 Last week's episode of Downton Abbey

What are your current addictions?

Mostly coffee :)

Who/what makes you laugh?

My family!! Both of my parents have a fantastic sense of humor! Our family loves to laugh!

Talent you would most like to have?

I'm thankful for the talents that I have, but I've always wished I could draw. 

What’s the best kept secret about Schroon Lake and or surrounding areas?

Ah, it's not the best kept secret for nothing! My lips are sealed!

What do you hope they say about you at your funeral? 

That I lived in such a way that the love of Christ was evident in my life.