If timbers could talk


If the timbers of what is now known as the Ransom Steele Tavern could talk, I would love to know what they are whispering.  Maybe thank you?  Can you imagine what it was like back in day in Apalachin, NY around 1830’s when the idea of this building located on the corner of Pennsylvania and Main was devised.  Once the word got out about that a group of folks were going to fabricate a large public building,  a new sense of community was born.

Large timbers were settled on and then brought down by a sharp bucksaw with a couple of strong backs.  They were then dragged by the neighbor’s farm horse down to the local mill to get squared up  The tools back in the day were simple. Chisels, mallets, draw knifes, sharpening stone and a vision.  Timber framing demands a level of intimacy and dedication that tends to make people extend the limits of their abilities. When people extend their limits, tools will be asked to do the same.

Mortise and tenon joints, scarf joints and queen posts were all taking shape.  Over the course of several months, maybe years, all the pieces were really coming togther.  Armed with a mental image of what to develop, the frame starts to unfold, timber by timber, joint by joint, in a systematic way so that each timber can be visually seen and placed in the frame. Finally 4 timber frame bents are ready to be tipped up. A date was set for a barn raising.  June 5, 1831, 184 years ago.

Standing on a large stump, Ransom thanked everyone for being here to help and then said,   “The time has come to get these beautiful timber frames standing up and linked together.   Afterwards lets celebrate with some fine food that the ladies have cooked.  We’ll drink some of that brew Holmes makes and have a sip of that other libation that Barton makes all while we listen to those fiddle and banjo tunes that Forrest and Jewett have been playing.  Thanks again everyone.  Lets go!!”

The Apalachin Publick House was born.

Mike enjoying the best seat in the house opening night

Mike enjoying the best seat in the house opening night w/Driftwood.

I think this is what Mike, Steve and Michael felt once they started to pull back all the layers of the tavern.  The tavern cried out to have them keep this be as a place of gathering for Apalachin.   Every square inch of the Ransom Steele Tavern was touched over the past couples of years.  The fact that a stage was one of the first things to built, set the stage, so to speak.  Putting a stake in the ground to have another celebration at the Steele made it all real.  The opening weekend was the start of new life for the historical tavern.  It was like doing another barn raising all over again.  Difficult to describe in words, but you can catch a glimmer of something special when you stand back after a barn raising and begin to realize what just happened.  I like to think Ransom is in Mike’s shadow on opening night smiling.

Cheers to the vision!!


Miner-ing in the Adirondacks


Marie, David, Sue, Mary and Tracy(Jane’s daughter)

Over the last week in June 2013 from NY, Maine, Texas, Georgia, and Illinois arrived the families and friends of the Miner family.   The setting… well nothing but two beautiful lodges and two camps, a beach,  kayaks, firepit and SUP’s (that’s for stand up paddleboard) all at a little lake in the southwest area of the Adirondack’ called White Lake.  The lake was clear and refreshing and small enough to not get lost on.  Most camps were not directly on the water, but their boathouses were.  There was one these boathouses at the property we were at, which was being held back from falling into the lake by two large gauge wires, tied back to an old tree.  It must have been a real classic in its hay day.  There were 4 little changing rooms doors.  Little getaways.

Great planning and coordination made it all happen.  Families were assigned a meal to prepare and holy crap, did we eat.  Everyone meals were fantastic.  From homemade Mac&Cheese, to TexMex made fresh, onto the 25lb’s of brined pork tenderloin  and tender…(pause for effect here) it was.   Awesome desserts, snacks and ice cream.  The food was outrageous.

The weather generally was good.  Those who choose to adventure in or on the water had access to canoes, kayaks, SUP’s and foam float that provided endless screams of elation.  There was also this little gas can which provided the environmental damage to the beach as we made cement, dams and castles for hours.

The children were the biggest trip.  1000’s of smiles and shrieks of joy and  elation, to tired tears and temper tantrum and for the young parent’s, restful naps.  Sometime you would even see a little one sticking her foot in her mouth that was covered in chocolate.  I liked to believe that most of them will remember this time we had.

I know we all want to do it again.  Time goes so fast, that we have to make it happen again.  Cheers, peace and Love.

Below is link to a vid I made with all the pictures I took.  Enjoy.

Miner Family 2013 from ClydeLiberty on Vimeo.

First time Sugarloafers


All the good lifts were closed. But what gorgeous day.

Last weekend, my brother and his family came out for a little ski vacation. I wanted to take them to Sugarloaf for a big Maine adventure. The last time we had skied together was back in the 1990’s. We had gone to Sunday River back then, but I wanted to show them the big dog in Maine. Sugarloaf USA.
We made plans back in October to line up a place. I found a nice condo about 10 minutes away. The crib was very nice and comfortable. As always, these weekends of fun and adventure come and go so fast. A bonus was the weekend before which we received a blizzard which certainly added to the pleasure of shooshing down the slopes.
Our intention was to ski 3 days, but Mother Nature displayed a nice blow of wind on Monday which put all the good lifts on wind hold. It was a gorgeous day, but the wind howled. For 24 hours! Tuesday turned out to be a real “corka” for skiing according to my Tueskidaze buddies. Oh what a difference 24 hours can make.

We still had a great time together. Millions laughs and smiles. Enclosed is little video of our weekend. “Taking Liberty’s @ Sugarloaf”. Enjoy.

( )==’=::

Taking Liberty’s @ Sugarloaf from ClydeLiberty on Vimeo

Hoedown at the Apalachin Tavern

Evening time at the tavern

Night before the Hoedown

Nuzzled down along the southern side of Susquehanna River, there is a little town known as Apalachin NY. I’m not sure if its is even town, considering there really isn’t a downtown. Maybe that will change if the tavern’s doors open again. In order to be a town, don’t you think there should at least be a downtown or even an uptown. Apalachin could be a township or a village, but I think its really classified as a hamlet.
Anyway, there is this really cool place in Apalachin called the Apalachin Tavern. It was built in 1831. The stone foundation of this timber frame building is impressive. Four feet wide and as straight and true as the time it was first laid some hundred and eighty years ago. My brother and his wife recently bought this joint and decided to open its doors to celebrate a milestone birthday and give family and friends the opportunity to work off some of the Thanksgiving day calories to a little foot-stomping music.

I created a video montage of that evening. Enjoy.

Party @ the Apalachin Tavern from ClydeLiberty on Vimeo.

Tippin up a beam

My Sensei and I spent a couple of afternoons building a timberframe bent. After driving some pegs in her to sturdy her up, we were ready to raise her in ceremonial fashion. Fortunately for us, the Hound happened to stop by. Impecable timing to say the least. Especially, since I told him that I was recording as a keepsake. Enjoy this mixed vid of raising the beam in place. Keep an eye on the Hound. Both of them.

Tippin from ClydeLiberty on Vimeo.

I NEED a brew suggestion. Can you help?

Now that I have your attention, seriously, I really could use a suggestion for a style of beer to brew. Here’s why… I started my first batch in 1991 with friend of mine, Steve V. I know this time was 1991, because that was the year Sam was born, and I had him down in an unfinished basement with bottling homebrew. I remember Sue thinking that I was already corrupting him at just months old. This first fermentation happened soon after my brother Mike told me about home brewing. I was immediately intrigued and excited. I thought “holy shit! I can brew my own beer?” Yes. Yes, I can. OK, so the first batches, definitely were experiments, but what the hey…its home brew and your proud of the fact that you made your own al-ke-haul.

Top Fermentor Wyeast - American Ale

Several batches later, getting tired of bottling, I happened to mentioned to my buddy Bernie, “Man, I need to keg. You know those soda kegs..(Cornelious Kegs), I need to find a couple of those.” “Briney” he started, “Don’t worry. I’ll find you some.” Sure enough, I soon had two. This was the start of a better way to handle the brew and to make it more consistent. Please remember, you really do want your brew to be delicious. Not scary to drink, yes.. yes.. ok start nodding your head in approval and say …Delicious. Say that it out LOUD right now. It’s such a good word. “THAT IS SO DELICIOUS”. See what I mean. Ok maybe not, but you get the point.

I have this one dependable recipe that is called “Anchor Steam clone”. The recipe is very simple and it is a great tasting brew. I brought a growler of it out to NY for the Holidaze and shared my cup around the table. The verdict was is in. Yes. Delicious. The Clone really does get better as time goes on and that’s because it’s lager and lagers like cold aging. About two weeks ago, I brewed a Black Cherry Ale. I called it “Sirius Black Cherry Ale”. I thought of that name because I just read the Harry Potter “Order of the Phoenix” and if you read it, you know happens. Seriously!

Ok again …Back to mission, break out the whip cream, wait.. another story…beer suggestion. I need that beer suggestion. I’m getting back into the brewing thing again. Please submit requests and lets see what happens. I’m going to brew tomorrow, so pressure is ON PEOPLE

Warmest regards,


In a happy place

Git’n home for the holidaze.

That is a PLATE

I always seem to take the last minute to pack a bag for Thanksgiving, but what do you need really to head home?  Couple tee shirt’s, clean undies, your favorite shit to bring wherever you go and your all set to go.  My bag is usually pretty light, but there are some suitcases that get tossed in the back of the family truckster that usually weigh a friggin ton compared to mine.  With everything packed and ready to go, we left on another road trip back to NY. Which also has me wondering…  Ever since I was born, I have been doing the trip from NY to NH, NH to NY, NY to ME and back to my home in Maine for a fifty years.  The trip is a lot faster today than it was years ago.  I think my parents told me that the trip used to take 12 hours.  Can you imagine that?   That is a real haul of time that you need to spend in a car, to get to a place you really want to get to.  When you finally arrive, everyone is happy to see you.  That’s what so special about traveling to my growing up home for Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is the best holiday for me.  I get to see my whole family and just hang out for a few days with no agenda, relaxing, catching up with everyone.   If your lucky, you may even go a see a band that plays music that get’s you all happy inside too.  That’s another story.

I always make the last minute phone call home to see if there is anything special I need to pick up.  Usually, its a couple of handles of Mr. Beam that does the trick there.  Additionally, maybe a couple of other items for reserve stock.  This year, I also brought some ingredients for a drink that one of my buddies told me about.  Black Rickey.  Jim Beam, Blackmaker Liqueur(root beer), and Fireball Cinnamon Whisky.  It’s a drink that kind of grows on you.  I’m not sure it was a hit.  No one really asked for one.  I think that most of them were scared.  I need to perfect it and try presenting it again.  I think it has potential.  A couple years ago it was an Old Fashioned.   That recipe became legendary.

Around the Table

When the big meal rolls around, there is an air of excitement in Mom and Dad’s home.  Everyone’s has had a few goodies to get their stomach ready for a feast.  I get to sit a the head of the table on the other end of the table.  I’m the oldest and its at that moment I feel like a king.  For me time slows down for a few seconds.  The blessing is the best part.  My Dad wrote the blessing this year.  He had written a little something about everyone.  Dad just loves having everyone around and encouraged Mom to take over reading the blessing.  That was probably just a well, because my father has a diction that is quite remarkable.  Sometimes Dad says something, and you know exactly was he meant, but the truth is, he totally butchered it with his own form of language.  We call it Libisms.  There is a list. Another story for another day.

I also went to see my sister in law this weekend.  I really want to mention her because she(Jane) lives in a state hospital.  It’s tough going to see a loved one in such a place.  It really make you stop and and think about so many things that we all should be thankful for.

The next day is equally as gastronomical.  On one of the days, post Thanksgiving, we have a Polish nite.  You can’t believe this round of food.  Homemade Pierogi (Polish pronunciation: [pjɛˈrɔɡʲi] , a dough dumpling stuffed with a filling such as potato or cheese, typically served with onions or sour cream.  This year we made a lazy pierogi.  It was like a lasagna.  Side dishes included are: Cabbage and noodles, sleva fletchi(totally butchered the name I need to find out the real spelling), but it is more cabbage with meat, onions tomato sauce and salsa. (It is so good), and finally kielbasa.  Eat a load of this stuff and you go stand in a bar for 5 hours.  You will rip yourself a new one if you are kind to everyone in the bar and hold it in for the entire time.  Explosive.  It was epic.  It made people laugh.

I must close now… To all my family and friends, I really am truly grateful to be within your inner circles.  This weekend has made me truly realize that I am a lucky man.

Clyde Liberte´

(  )==;=::