Adirondacks Village Celebrates Journalist’s Many Accomplishments

JackLaDukeHeadshotMarina LaDuke, married to Jack for 49 years, was the first female photographer on staff with a Canadian daily newspaper. During her career, she worked mainly for the Ottawa Citizen and Montreal Gazette.

And Jack. Well… Before retiring from full-time duties in 2008 (he still freelances in upstate New York as a photographer for local PBS and print outlets), the 80-year-old (pictured) pretty much saw and did it all. That’s why he was honored just before the holidays with a special ceremony in the village of Saranac Lake. From a report in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise:

[Suranac Lake Mayor Clyde] Rabideau asked LaDuke how he got the film from his stories on the New York-side of Lake Champlain to WCAX’s [Channel 3 TV] studios in Burlington, Vermont.

“It involved a lot of gymnastics,” LaDuke said. “I would come out to Saranac Lake, shoot a story, take the film and drive like hell to Plattsburgh, to the boat launch at Cumberland Head. I’d have a roll of film in one hand and a five-dollar bill in the other hand.”

“I’d go to the head of the ferry line and say, ‘If you’re going to Burlington, will you drop this film off wherever you’re going? Here’s five dollars and a telephone number. Drop it off and they’ll come and get it wherever it is.’ We did that every night for 25 years. It made the air every night.”

Until the advent of electronic video cameras and satellite news vans made this routine no longer necessary.

As part of the December 22 ceremony, the former Adirondack bureau chief for WCAX also got to add his signature to the village’s Pine Cone Book of Distinguished Guests. Just a few weeks after being inducted into the Vermont Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

[Photo via: Facebook]

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.