Tales From an Adirondack Lifer
by Annie Stoltie
If you dig mountain living in all its grizzle and glory, read Short Carries, Elizabeth “Betsy” Folwell’s anthology of more than two decades of Adirondack Life essays. Betsy, the magazine’s creative director and, since the 1970s, a Blue Mountain Lake resident—year-round population 150ish—knows every crag and crevasse of this six-million-acre park. She knows its history, its people and places, its policies, its critters and culture.
Those of us who work with Betsy are accustomed to her encyclopedic Adirondack knowledge. For better or worse (for Betsy), we often skip the guidebooks and pop our heads into her office. (Honestly, there should be an Adirondack Betsy app.) After all, she’s the one dining and wining, boating and biking, directing nonprofits and counseling startups. In summer she and her husband even own and operate Blue Canoe, an ice-cream stand in Blue Mountain Lake. And then, when her schedule allows, when she’s not handling the behind-the-scenes action at Adirondack Life like a veteran air-traffic controller, she might get a moment to sit down to translate all that Adirondackana into prose that paints this place honestly, clearly, beautifully, with all its texture and color and complexity. That’s why Betsy’s friend Bill McKibben, who wrote the foreword to Short Carries, describes it as a “crystalline, light-filled collection—a collection, it goes without saying, that any Adirondack bookshelf would be naked without.”
Short Carries is available at Adirondack Life‘s store; Betsy will be available on Monday, June 4, at 7:30 p.m. at the Adirondack Center for Writing‘s Spring Street Reading Series, at 110 Spring Street, in Saratoga Springs. Call (518) 587-6433 for a reservation—the place fills up quickly.