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We're Not from Around Here

Updated: Oct 26, 2021

Wiki defines “Upstate New York” as the area of the state lying north of the New York City Metropolitan area.

Though most New Yorkers I know use the term upstate to refer to any portion of the Empire state which is north, of where they happen to be standing at the moment.

While the Wiki definition does leave the matter of where the New York Metropolitan area ends and upstate begins opened to individual interpretation where ever that line is, it divides two New York’s separating upstate’s hunter-gatherers from downstate’s Uber Eats crowd.

With the Adirondack Mountains separating the two!

It’s Trivial

When the bartender of a North Country pub announced that it was trivia night my fiancéeic Gaetana, Guy, immediately became excited.

Always appreciative of my penchant for recalling meaningless facts, my kinda-wife thrilled at the prospect of showing off to the bar, my knack for the pointless.

Until dreams and reality collided.

Sponsored by the local lumberjack’s association the top prize for the night was a STIHL chainsaw AND a one-year membership in the local logger’s association.

Awarded to the room’s biggest geek of wood and forestry!

Rounds one and two went as you would expect when you bring a paint dealer to an arborist’s outing. If not for a layup question about the type of wood used to make baseball bats (ash), Team Lipton would have been shut out of the first two-rounds.

Round three would start with a bonus question. A round of drinks for first team to shout out the name of a tree displayed on the bar’s large-screen tv.

Yammers of “Eastern Cottonwood,” “American Chestnut,” “Butternut” and “Betula Alleghaniensis” came from the room.

Tired of losing, and having spent the day feeling lumberjackie in the soft-pink and lavender flannel shirt, Guy implored me to ”guess a tree!”

Which I knew better than to do and she did not.


While Guy was confirming the downstate bias of a bar full of upstaters, members of the AllPro group, the member-owned cooperative of independent paint dealers, were preparing to gather in Nashville. THE co-op’s first face-to-face show since the onset of the pandemic.

Despite few companies likely to offer discounts or buying opportunities due to ongoing shortages, traveling to the AllPro show remained a priority for most of the group’s members; I’m told that the show was “sold out!”

Not surprising.

As a 20-year member of AllPro I valued the networking and learning opportunities available at the shows more than I ever did the buying opportunities. This year’s lack of buying opportunities combined with the high turnout tells me most members of the group feel the same way.

To my friends, the members and vendors of THE AllPro group, I’m sorry that I was not able to join you in Nashville last week and I look forward to seeing you all in March.

On Thursday’s podcast I’ll be joined by Ben Maibach, president of Wooster Brush. Wooster recently announced an expansion, nearly doubling their footprint in the eponymous Ohio city which birthed the nation’s oldest brush-maker.

I continue to record my pod and vlog casts wearing swag sent to me from dealers around the country. This episode with Ben was recorded wearing a slick cap thanks to original Minuteman BJ Andriot of in Shelbyville Kentucky.

If you’re an independent paint dealer I’d love to record an episode wearing your swag. If you’d like your store to be featured a on a future episode of my pod/vlog cast, shoot me an email and I’ll let you dress me!


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