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Winship's 'Skaneateles' top seller at Creekside

He dedicated the book to Laurie: For Laurie who has been remarkably patient.

She also compiled the book's useful index, making it easy to look up where one might find a particular character.

Curiosity and charisma

Kihm's curiosity started during walks in the village's Lakeview Cemetery, where he would spy a rather glorious tomb. He said he would think, "Who rated that?" And, of course, he followed this by wondering why did they rate that kind of monumental splendor?

He had always wanted to write a book, but it did seem daunting, until he had the idea to instead capture his essays in a volume.

"An essay, I can write," he said.

And, it's true, it's a form Kihm has mastered. And, one that is also very engaging for the reader.

But beyond his writing, his physical storytelling during his presentation at the Creekside, was in a word, "Spellbinding," said lifelong Skaneateles resident Linda VanHoltz. "It's not just the material, but the way he speaks that is so compelling."

Village resident, Joan Thomsen agreed, "He has a twinkle in his eye, and is such a good speaker."

Former lakee resident (summer kid), turned permanent Laker, Betty Congel said, she was struck by the idea that he could not have done this book without the Internet. And, she was glad to hear that "there were a lot of skeletons in Skaneateles' closets."

Van Holtz agreed, it's just people from the outside who have this pristine idea of Skaneateles, "Anyone who has lived here knows that it has always been filled with characters."

"There were a lot of rascals out there," Kihm said.

The characters

Kihm first introduced his Creekside audience to perhaps one of his least favorite characters, George Barrow. In George's obituary it was written that he was a man who placed the interest of the village above all others. But in Kihm's research, he discovered that George was instead a big fan of George, who often put his own interest before anything or anyone who stood in his way, especially the village.

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