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Reader's Digest 'photog' shoots LP

JOE SEELIG Highlands Today
Published:   |   Updated: March 11, 2013 at 08:34 PM

A freelance photographer and his helper working on assignment for Reader's Digest magazine shot up the Town of Lake Placid on Tuesday – gathering photos for a story slated to appear in January's edition.

Lake Placid is in the running for a feature "America's Most Interesting Town."

Photographer Adam Krause is based out of New York City, but also lives in Florida.

His helper, Bryan Soderlind, of Orlando, who is a photographer in his own right to hear Krause tell it, said they met at the University of Central Florida where they played tennis together.

They dropped into the Toby the Clown Foundation, where they met with Big Al, Raggles, Taggles and Giggles, who aren't the least bit camera shy.

The photographers also could be seen around town taking photos of some of the town's many murals and attractions.

Assuming all goes as planned, the magazine should be on news-stands by mid-December, according to Beth Dreher, senior editor at Reader's Digest.

The magazine will reveal the town that won 'America's Most Interesting Town' in the January issue, Dreher said.

"Lake Placid is among those we're considering," she said in a previous report.

At the Caladium Arts and Crafts Cooperative they were preparing for a big shindig for Tuesday night scheduled from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., celebrating its 20th year.

Food was being prepared, punch bowls were ready to be filled, and a cake.

In commemoration of the town's 85th year, "Big Al" the clown, also known as Albin Pelski, played the role, for a 20-minute video on the life of Melville Dewey, the Town's founder, but without the clown makeup.

A makeshift theater area was set up for the film's showing – depicting two school girls who are assigned to do a story on Melville Dewey's life – and are mystically transported back to meet the inventor of the Dewey Decimal System himself.

After coming to Florida for his health, Dewey was the proponent of Lake Stearns formally changing its name to Lake Placid, after its sister city Lake Placid, N.Y.

"It's hard to believe 85 years ago he came to town and changed the name from Lake Stearns to Lake Placid," Pelski said. "I can only imagine what it was like back then; I've seen pictures."

Dewey also helped build the Lake Placid train depot.

The co-op survived due to a lot of hard work by a few individuals, said its president Mike Yeager.

It is supported with 25 percent of merchandise sales, the other 75 percent goes to the artists; membership dues and special events, he said.

The Lake Placid Mural Society, the Depot Museum, and the Toby the Clown Foundation, also were celebrating 20 years.

The Lake Placid Historical Society was celebrating its 30th year. (863) 386-5834