Neighbors, friends (some we hadn't seen in years), an art teacher, a town council member and curious strangers who had seen Bill Buell’s article in the Gazette turned out on September 20th for great community open house at the Castle on East Side Drive, Ballston Lake. The two town historians (Town of Ballston and Town of Clifton Park) were amazing, talented story tellers, and one came in costume assuming the character of William Bliss Baker's father, Colonel Baker - a story in itself. The docents (Joanne Devoe, Sue Bishop and Susan and Bill Van Slyck, Pauline Boehm, Bill Koebbelman, Terry Harlow, and Mary Anderson) had adsorbed our stories about the kitchen area, the second floor master bedroom and the third floor studio - the history, the art, our tall tales - and told them well.
Everyone had such enthusiasm! Other BLIA members who helped out included Judy Brodeur, Roger Brodeur, John Gill, LJ and Joe Vanderwerker, Wes DeVoe, and Bob Benson. Rey Whetten told geology stories about the stone floors in the house and passed out Fossil Hunt handouts for the children with photos of the fossils to find. Rey and I printed identifying tags for all of the art work in the house...over 50 pieces in all. In the garden room, The Victorian Ladies were truly elegant in their beautiful period dresses, hats and gloves, and the Victorian tea with all the delicious and elegant "finger" sandwiches (from LakeSide) and lemonade and iced tea (from Stewart’s) was a tremendous hit.
There were even mini PB&J sandwiches for the children.) The table looked just gorgeous...white lace table cloth over green damask and crystal bowls and silver platters. One of the punch bowls had belonged to Rey’s parents who used it for UConn faculty parties. On the lower level, by the lake, some of the Lake Association guys built a campfire and told stories about "how the Castle found the Whettens". People came by bicycle, by car and by boat and most of the East Side
Drive neighbors walked. We had an "after party" around the fire pit for folks who had given up a beautiful Sunday afternoon to help out. It was so relaxing and so much fun to share even more stories about the afternoon. It was an afternoon to remember for a long, long time.