With the baby boomers came the bucket lists. Playing on the phrase “kick the bucket,” the bucket list includes a list of things to do before dying. The concept has since been stretched to include a list of things to do before other milestones, such as getting married or starting a career.
Here in upstate New York, where the summers can be rather brief and iffy, summer bucket lists need to be applied before they get buried in the snow.
“I’ve signed up for the Color Me Rad 5K Run, in Albany,” said Cathy Roloson, from DeLancey.
Scheduled for Sept. 21, the 5k run will be decisive check off Roloson’s list of things to do this summer.
“After smoking more than 30 years, I quit last year, and started exercising and running,” Roloson said. “My first run was in Oneonta, New Year’s Eve. (It) took me over 44 minutes to run/walk the 5k.”
Roloson figures if she can do it, anyone can do it. “I’ve never ran before in my life, but since I started, I meet new people and don’t even think about smoking. I feel more energetic now.”
“I recently ran the Boiler Maker 5k in Utica in 33 minutes,” said Roloson, who has also run in Cooperstown and Delhi.
“But the July 4 Tuff Enuff Obstacle Course in Oneonta was really fun. Oh God, they had us crawling in mud, carrying tires, rolling tires, climbing walls, walking on a balance beam, crawling through culvert pipe — it was great.”
While Roloson will join thousands in a race for the finish line, Donn and Donna Carlton will be quietly plucking and moving rocks — the main ingredient in Bovina soil.
“We are cleaning up an area that was blasted, and it requires picking out loose rocks and hauling them away,” Donn Carlton explained. “We can only hope this project ends before summer ends.”
The couple did check one item off their list, though.
“We’d been planning a cruise to Alaska for years, and got to go this summer,” Carlton said. “It was fabulous.”
While the Carltons’ goals are personal ones, Walton Village Mayor Ed Snow has a summer “bucket list” for some more public projects.
“Before summer’s end, the village anticipates welcoming a clothing store on Delaware Street and the finalization of the purchase of the old Mason building, intended to be used as a dance studio,” Snow said. “These activities will be added to three other newly opened businesses this summer. A new hot dog/ice cream shop, a new tattoo parlor, and a photo/card shop all recently opened.”
Snow became mayor in April during a financial crisis for the village. “Changes have been made. It’s been a busy summer for the positive,” he reflected.
It’s not all serious business for Snow, though. “We also look forward to the 4-H members finishing their project of decorating the fire hydrants,” he said. “The kids are decorating the hydrants according to where they stand in the village. So, the hydrant in front of Brandow’s looks like a duck and the hydrant in front of the Big M looks like a piece of fruit.”
In Delhi, Adam Riva has lingering on his summer bucket list a kayak trip down the Susquehanna or Delaware River. “It doesn’t matter which river, but my friends and I want to kayak. I also want to go on a motorcycle ride through the Catskills,” Riva said.
But the college student said he is feeling pretty good after checking off his summer bucket list a trip to the Grand Canyon with his buddies.
“Bryce Canyon was amazing,” Riva said. “We were cheap and camped out and washed our clothes in streams, but got to hike and see awesome natural rock arches, caves and ravines.”
Rosemary and Whit Whitaker, from Franklin, shake their heads when asked what is left on their summer bucket list. “We’ve done really well finishing up summer projects,” said Rosie Whitaker. “We even have the dock built on the pond.”
“But we’ve been trying since spring to purchase 10 acres,” explained Whit Whitaker, who retired and closed his automotive dealership in Sidney in 2007. “The process drags on and on. It’s almost laughable. It’s a simple deal between us and the seller. The surveyor and lawyer are helpful, the Town of Franklin Planning Board is helpful, and the seller tries to be helpful, but it took the seller months to find the property abstract in their house. Their filing system must be a sight to see.”
Milford residents Marie and Snapper Petta said they plan to travel to the Adirondacks in what remains of the summer, and clean out a 150-year-old barn on their property.
Marie Petta, manager at Bugbee Child Center in Oneonta, will take time off to, “Paddle our guide boat on Raquette Lake in the Adirondacks, and then we will pick up a custom-made armoire to bring home.”
The armoire will be placed in in a bedroom and will be part of another “bucket list” goal.
“We are planning to open Red Hill Farm Bed and Breakfast,” Marie Petta explained, adding that “one of the bedrooms is set aside for our grandchildren.”
Just as people have bucket lists, so do institutions.
“SUNY Delhi is wrapping up its $15 million renovation of Sanford Hall this summer,” Communications Director Kimberly MacLeod explained. “The project has transformed the 48-year old academic building to provide state-of-the-art facilities that serve the School of Nursing and the business program. It will also feature Centennial Center, a high-tech meeting and conference room that is available for community use.”
Jill Cline, director of Catskill Artisans Guild in Margaretville, has been bustling around for a month getting ready to check a big item off her list.
“The Guild is opening a new location in Delhi Village, on Main Street,” Cline said. “The interior of the building is getting an overhaul.”
Cline said she hopes the site will be open in time for the Delhi Harvest Festival on Sept. 29.
Michael Triolo, from Stamford, pondered his summer bucket list on both a personal and a professional level.
As supervisor of Stamford, Triolo said, “Our board wants to expand the Hobart Farmer’s Market. It will be open until October.”
The reflective Triolo then added, “I want to enjoy each and every day of summer and spend time with my family.”