Because parks have closing hours and even the most dedicated fishermen must go home to their own beds, there are certain times when Irondequoit Bay is rarely seen by the lens of a camera. These hours are lonely and forbidding. The puddles along the trails feel deep and fresh, as if the woods are occupied by lurking mammoths. And in the cold breeze the shadowy presence of ghosts can be felt hovering above the water.
The sign at the bottom of the hill, the one near the Kayak shop, says, “From Irondequoit Bay, Indian trails led southward to Seneca villages and on to the Ohio country. “
At dusk, when the air thins and the sky turns a dark lavender, those footsteps no longer feel so historic after all; they are no longer cultural artifacts left over like molds from the 17th century. They are here. They breath. They move through the Hawthorne trees. They are as absent and as real as the empty bench on the bank of the marsh.
“During the past million years there were four glacial ages that covered the Rochester area with ice and impacted the geography of the area. The most recent glacier that left evidence here was about 100,000 years ago and it caused compression of the earth by as much as 2,500 feet (760 m).About 12,000 years ago, the area underwent massive changes, which included the rerouting of the Genesee River and other water bodies. Since the earth rebounded from the melting glaciers more rapidly in Canada than in New York, water from Lake Ontario was spilled over New York due to its lower elevation. During this time, the original outlet of the Genesee River was flooded out, creating Irondequoit Bay.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irondequoit_Bay
“In the spring of 1687 at his headquarters in Montreal, the Marquis Denonville and his staff poured over maps, even as Dwight Eiesenhower and his staff did in 1944. The Marquis jabbed a forefinger at a place on the map. “there,” he said, “is O-nyui-da-on-da-gwat, the bay of the Senecas, the gateway to their empire. ”
Elevation : 250 feet Area: 1,660 acres Shoreline Length: 17.7 miles Max Depth: 73 feet Town: Irondequoit, Penfield, and Webster
Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College.
I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism.
Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones. So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join.
I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.”
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