June 22 – 29, 2017 Vol. 19, No. 3

On the Stand: 25 Years Ago

A collage of covers from the first season of "Summertime in the Belgrades"

by Esther J. Perne

Twenty-five years ago gas cost around a dollar, a Bush and a Clinton were campaigning for president and in the Belgrades a new publication appeared. It was billed as the weekly guide to the best of the Belgrade Lakes Region and its mission was to represent the wonderful positives and proactivity of this unique lake-rich area: the history, the livelihood, the outdoor lifestyle, the enrichment and the mystique of such a vast and diverse region.

"Other people dream of a Belgrade Lakes-style summer," the paper pointed out to readers. "You are living it. In a world where change is the norm, changes in the Belgrades never seem to alter the basic beauty, peacefulness and rusticity." Twenty-five years ago, the region pulsed on small-time, small-town, small-news events just as it does today.

The Calendar of Events was filled with a schedule of summer theater productions, car shows, square dances, children's reading programs, fishing tournaments, canoe races, nature appreciation workshops, chicken barbeques, parades, public suppers, free concerts indoors and out, and, of course, mailboat rides on Great Pond.

A few highlights of that summer:

People were just starting to ask, wouldn't it be nice if the next generation and the one after that and indeed the ones beyond could enjoy the lakes and the land the way they were?

Because they did ask and because they joined forces, preserved land, monitored water quality, and advocated remediation the Belgrades continue to offer the basic beauty, peacefulness and rusticity that other people only dream and those who work, play, visit and vacation here continue to live.