Dad left Crucible in 1928 and became a resident tool steel expert for the American Brass Company in Bridgeport, Conn. where he worked until the 1960s. Over the years we sent spent the summer or parts thereof in Skaneateles, depending on the availability of time and gasoline during WWII. Dad was a “dollar-a-year man” summoned for the war effort and he worked in Washington for the War Production Board approximately three days a week, allocating tool steel for war production. When the war was over, we became regular summer residents of the camp on Fire Lane 17.
My mom was as resourceful as her mother was. There was no electricity at the camp until sometime after WWII and she felt isolated with Anson Bentley and his boat livery as the only neighbor other than the Greenfields and the Lovelesses on the highway. She wanted a telephone. She was required to buy the polls and hire labor to plant them, then the phone company finally hooked up about half mile of a wussy party line.
By the time the ‘50s rolled around, I had met a new Skaneateles resident who went to Smith College. My mom said she had to be okay because my sister had graduated from there in 1943. Sue and I were married in 1957 and we went to Brazil where I worked as a geologist in a manganese mine in Amapa. We returned to Skaneateles in 1958 and have lived here ever since. Fifteen years ago I built my current house on the site of the family camp.
Since 1975 I have worked at Upstate Temperature Control and I bought the company in 1978 — 38 years in business isn’t too bad. I hope to walk out the door in 2014 and leave the company in the capable hands of my youngest son Bill and Peter Brillo who has walked through the door at 6:30 a.m. every morning for 32 years.
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.