The Hermit and Us: Our Adventures with Noah John Rondeau
by William J. O'Hern
People who already define their bliss as the moment when they cross over the “Blue Line” into the Adirondack Park will find The Hermit and Us: Our Adventures with Noah John Rondeau a most satisfactory reading experience while they are waiting—or while they are enjoying—their next trip. Those who have never viewed the splendid mountains, fished the cold waters, or rambled along a balsam-scented trail may very well develop a yearning to do so.
Author William J. O’Hern—known as “Jay” to his many friends and readers—has once again shown himself to be a tireless researcher. And while letters, journals and old newspapers and magazines are valuable to his work, Jay favors a more hands-on approach. A seasoned Adirondack adventurer himself, he has always preferred to interview people who have knowledge about his subjects. Moreover, he likes to visit the places he writes about.
Jay has spent many years backpacking into those wild places, adding to his extensive collection of remembrances and photos of the Cold River hermit shared by those who trekked in to the wild territory to share time with their friend Noah John Rondeau. In The Hermit and Us, Jay describes those treasured meetings.
For all, their most important destination was Cold River Hill, site of Noah John Rondeau’s hermit home, which he often called “Wig Wam City, Population 1.” Of course, Rondeau was not your average hermit, in that he had many friends and gave a proper mayor’s welcome to pretty much anyone who stumbled into his “city.”
The Hermit and Us: Our Adventures with Noah John Rondeau includes reminiscences of Richard Smith, Clarence Petty, Adolph Dittmar, Helen Colyer Menz, Mary Colyer Dittmar, Clarence and Stacia Whiteman, Charlie and Polly Russ, and many other old-time associates the author interviewed, people who mountain-hiked to the Cold River Town Hall where the hermit stacked his wigwam-like habitation.
The Hermit and Us: Our Adventures with Noah John Rondeau invites readers to relive the experiences of dozens of Noah’s closest friends and relatives. The book is richly enhanced with dozens of photos that have never been published until now. You will enjoyed your virtual trip so much that at times you will be sure you caught a whiff of warm balsam air or heard loons calling far off. It’s the kind of armchair trip you enjoy so much, you hate to turn the last page.