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Come Hither

For woman's her-story this year I chose two different woman to sing about. Two woman as different as day and night having left strong historical footprints here in Central New York. The first woman once lived in a farmhouse on a hilltop overlooking the valley between Waterville and South Hamilton not far from my home. In the early 1800's, she bore 10 children who were highly educated but as corrupt as they could come. She beat them not because they stole but because they got caught and rewarded them when they didn't. This rowdy family of outlaws recruited many others and roamed throughout Central New York and other neighboring states stealing horses, guns, wagons, jewelry and pretty much anything they could get their hands on. They counterfeited money, made illegal whiskey, burned down buildings and went as far as murder when people got in their way. The woman who helped mastermind this gang that grew to be over 200 strong was none other than Rhoda Loomis The second woman who has greatly inspired me was as good and Rhoda was bad. I discovered her while sitting at the hard times cafe randomly pulling her Woodwoman II book down from the bookshelf over table nine while waiting for breakfast one stormy morning in Eagle Bay. I became addicted to this woman's life's story right away and now have most of her books. Unlike Rhoda Loomis this woman had no children but dedicated her life to conservation and health of the Adirondacks and wrote about the ecology of many places around the world. She took twenty five years in which she studied and made the cause her own but sadly witnessed the extinction of a loon like bird called the Poc or Giant Grebe which once nested on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. This woman never married ( but had some steamy affairs) and lived in a cabin she called Thoreau II inside the blue line of the Adirondack Park. Still alive today, this womand and is truly an amazing strong woman who has lived and incredible and meaningful life. Her name is Anna La Bastille