July 3, 1931 – Paul Schaefer to JSA

  • July 3, 1931 – Paul Schaefer to JSA –

Dear Mr. Apperson:

Yours of June 30th was much more to me than “just a letter.” My several attempts to get you on the phone were not very successful. Perhaps when you have more leisure we can get together.

The contents of your letter verified more than one idea which has persisted in my mind. Foremost among them is the fact that the Club could stick a little closer to the stated Club Policy than it has been. Because we it doesn’t, however, is no reason why some of us should become disinterested. On the contrary it seems that if we really love the Adirondacks it is all the more reason why we should stick and try, in our little way, to carry on the wonderful work of true conservation that has already been done.

We are not a few who do not agree with some of the things the parent Club would expound. Dr. Orra Phelps, in a recent letter to me enters into a hearty and immediate disagreement with the apparent “let down the bars” policy which seemed to dominate the last issue of “High Spots.” The only possible way to combat this is to study all angles of each question and present, as you suggest, friendly opposition to the sponsors of each question. To my mind, just because we are in a different era than 1900; just because others would take progress into the wilderness whenever possible, is not sufficient reason that the State and the Club should conform.

For one I have gone into the various angles of the proposed amendment to Section 7 Article VII of the Constitution. I have had some rather lengthy correspondence with President Carson, with Deputy Commissioner Carl E. Ladd and a long talk with the Secretary to the Commissioner, Herbert E. Gasten. We had Saturday trip not so long ago. Also I have talked many times with Dr. R. C. Hill, president of the Sch’dy Conservation Council, the Mohawk Valley Towns Assn. Council and 16- affiliated organizations. Have been going into data on both sides of the question for some time. Also have talked on the subject to the local club which I helped organize – the Mohawk Valley Hiking Club.

I have given what data I could collect to several prominent local out-door people who are going over it in an attempt to form an opinion for the press. Prof. Peter Weld is one who has expressed his enthusiastic interest to me.

The position I myself might take is rather an humble one. To collect date – give it to those who can look at the thing with a clearer perspective than mine – which sadly lacks both age and experience. … I have been on both sides of the fence several times since I started studying the Hewitt amendment. …I do know, however, that having been nurtured by an Adirondack cabin for the last ten years I have a rather intense love for the historic, traditional past, the glorious present, and a very real desire to contribute my bit for the future Adirondacks.

It was certainly a pleasure to know that you are a charter member and organizer of the Club. I am deeply interested to know your conclusions and our possibilities.

Thank you for your invitation for me to lunch with you. Being in the contracting game I find that there are obstacles to be overcome in accepting it. I could easily accept, but it might have to be in working clothes. … The race today is nip and tuck… (The old, old racket, I suppose! But —–!) Perhaps I could drive out and see you some evening for a few minutes. What ever you say.


Paul R. Schaefer