Austin’s best act was reciting the ballad “The Cremation of Sam McGee” by Robert Service, while accompanying himself on the piano.
Austin and Jane raised a great group of kids who have reflected well on their genes and guidance. Austin left us too soon, but made good use of his talents while he was here. I have missed Austin a lot and I just wanted everyone to know how much.
I received a nifty guide to “Birds of South Texas, Including the Lower Rio Grande Valley” from my correspondent on the banks of the Rio Grande. In as much as she spends a good portion of her time rescuing cats, having them spayed, and returning them to the neighborhood, I would be surprised if there are any songbirds left in her area of Walk The Plank (the real name of her road). The Audubon Society now alleges that feral and residential cats do away with at least two billion song birds annually, up from a billion a few years ago. These cats have few predators. Dogs, coyotes and wolves can’t climb trees, polls, or houses, so the cats keep multiplying. Little Snuggie, purring on your lap, doesn’t burp up a tail feather and tell you how tasty sparrows are, so you have no idea who she did in for a teatime snack.
Joseph Spalding is a long-time Skaneateles resident who enjoys sharing his observations about the Skaneateles lakeshore and community. He can be reached at 685-6937.