One overstuffed weekend: Roosevelt, Vezina, Hembeck

At the FDR library, I saw a poster chastising “the Jews” for taking the jobs of “white Christian men”; some things never change.

ER and FDR

For whatever reason, I wasn’t sleeping well two weeks ago. When I booked our hotel for our trip to the Mid-Hudson for the first weekend in August, in my fatigued fog, I totally forgot that my wife had told me to secure a place for TWO nights and that she had even arranged for a cat sitter. I was just so happy that I finally remembered to book it at all. We had made this sojourn 1.5 hours south a few times, and it had always been one night. This time, though, we had added a couple of elements, so the extra time would have been helpful.

Instead, we headed out Saturday and went to Val-Kill, Eleanor Roosevelt’s home. There will be much more on this.

Then to Hyde Park to visit the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. It was all but closed for repairs last year when we visited the mansion – though not TOTALLY closed, as the attendant at the locale properly noted – so the tickets we got last year for the site were still valid. I needed more time in the museum than The Daughter had to give; I got through the Depression era, but I really didn’t see the World War II stuff. Still, a great exhibit. I’ll go back some time, and it’s inspired me to want to see the other Presidential libraries, most of which are in the center of the country.

One thing that struck me at FDR’s library was a newspaper editorial cartoon of FDR and Congress rolling up their sleeves and getting to work on the nation’s problems together; THOSE were the days. Another was a poster chastising “the Jews” for taking the jobs of “white Christian men”; then again, some things never change.

We went to an annual party and The Daughter got to swim. Had a GREAT conversation with a minister and his social worker wife; we seemed to be on the same page in terms of social justice and the church’s role in same. But I was disappointed that my oldest friend from college was not present.

Finally, we went to our hotel. By this point, it was dark, and it was difficult to see, so we overshot it. FINALLY to bed, but one or more of the people in my room was snoring, and I got less than optimal rest.

Sunday morning, we went down to see what the hotel offered for breakfast. It was paltry: some fruit, hot chocolate, and instant coffee, and packets of oatmeal, which wasn’t so bad except there was no MILK and we would have had to use Coffeemate, a non-dairy creamer. We went out for breakfast, then checked out of the hotel and went to see Maria.

Maria Vezina is the sister of the late FantaCo cartoonist Raoul Vezina, who had died in November 1983, at the age of 35 of an asthma attack. I hadn’t seen her in nearly three decades. While she lives and works in New York City, she was up in the Mid-Hudson with TONS of boxes of Raoul’s stuff. I sorted out certain items for a possible project. She thought it would have taken me three hours, but I did it in 50 minutes; I knew what I was looking for. More details if this pans out.

Then we departed for the home of Fred Hembeck and his wife Lynn Moss. I met Fred back in February 1980 when FantaCo published his second collection of comic book-related strips. We made the sojourn to visit them for three or four years, then not for three years because of conflicts, then for the past two or three years. Fred and I have this shorthand way of talking that occasionally confounds my wife. Fortunately, she could go out with The Daughter to the pool. They made us a nice dinner, then we left for home.

I never realized how large one upstate county could be!

We stopped in New Paltz, my college town, to catch the Thruway, but, northbound, it was a parking lot, due to, as it turns out, an overturned tractor-trailer. So we took back roads to Saugerties, didn’t get to Albany until 9 p.m., and were exhausted.

After all that, I figured we’d follow that up with a nice quiet weekend. But the Daughter had a certificate for a FREE day at Great Escape, the Six Flags park about an hour north of here, and the coupon expired on August 11, so guess what WE did on Saturday, the 10th…


Poor Lynn Moss

When I worked at FantaCo back in the 1980s, I would see Lynn Moss occasionally. She was very patient with this guy she was married to. I really appreciated how she tolerated the comic fandom/geekdom she found herself was surrounded with. Also, her husband can be PRETTY obsessive, and he would (probably) agree with the assessment.

And, since her husband’s website has now become the mecca for all things comic book (and Beatles and “24” and their daughter Julie), it can only be worse now. Of course, in this case, she has only herself to blame, since she is the webmistress of said website. Though she has taught him some stuff, like how to do the daily postings, she’s still there to troubleshoot.

I tried to call her husband a couple of weeks ago when his webserver was (as it turned out) temporarily down, but he was out taking Julie horseback riding. So Lynn and I got to talk for the first time in at least 17 years, I believe. It was great. We talked about humor (something for a future blog, I think), FantaCo, blogging (she had read my then most recent post), and her technologically impaired spouse.


I’ve subsequently discovered that Lynn and I have a mutual acquaintance who was living on State Street in Albany at the same time Lynn and her hubby were first visiting FantaCo, a mere two blocks away, but never ran into each other. This is a fact that I gleaned because she saw mention of an old high school chum of hers in one of my blog posts, which pleased me greatly.

So happy 26th anniversary, Lynn Moss and Fred Hembeck. Maybe Carol, Lydia, and I will actually SEE youse guys and Julie one of these days. If you haven’t already, read the LOVELY story about the photographer at their wedding here, and see some of those pictures here (June 23).

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial