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Adirondack Lifestyle ™: Jan 25, 2008

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Secret

As promised, today I will reveal the secret connection between the Adirondack North Country and the comic strip, Doonesbury. If you read my blog post about the Trudeau Institute yesterday, you may have noticed the name of the organization and its founder bears the very same surname as the creator of the comic strip Doonsebury, Garry Trudeau. Garry Trudeau's great-grandfather was Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau. Dr. Trudeau developed tuberculous in in 1873. Following conventional thinking of the times, he went to live in the Adirondack Mountains, initially at Paul Smith's Hotel, for a change of climate. He spent as much time as possible in the open and subsequently regained his health. "In 1876 he moved to Saranac Lake and established a medical practice among the sportsmen, guides and lumber camps of the region. In 1882, Trudeau read about Prussian Dr. Hermann Brehmer's success treating tuberculosis with the "rest cure" in cold, clear mountain air. Following this example, Trudeau founded the Adirondack Cottage Sanitorium, with the support of several of the wealthy businessmen he had met at Paul Smiths. In 1894, after a fire destroyed his small laboratory, Trudeau organized the Saranac Laboratory for the Study of Tuberculosis, the first laboratory in the United States for the study of tuberculosis. Renamed the Trudeau Institute, the laboratory continues to study infectious diseases."
Now for the connection to Doonesbury.
Saranac Lake, a town just north of Lake Placid, remains home to many Trudeau family members. Garry and Jane have a place somewhere there and have always been very supportive of the community. As a matter of fact, Garry serves on the Trudeau Institutes's Board of Trustees. Each year, Saranac Lake hosts the oldest winter carnival in the United States. Since the early 1980s, Garry Trudeau has designed a Doonesbury themed pin, the sale of which raises money for the community. I couldn't find an image of this year's pin, although the theme is something about Hollywood. That was a long explanation. Now I deserve to ski because, as you just read, spending time in the great outdoors is good for us!