Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day Two in Palmyra

Yesterday we spent the morning in the Smith homes and the Sacred Grove again--this time with Patrea and her family. It was just as wonderful the second time. We spent the afternoon in the Grandin building where the first Book of Mormon was printed. The fact that a press the size of that one was in a small town like Palmyra is nothing short of miraculous. But what doesn’t often get mentioned is the long involved binding process. The folded signatures of each book had to be cut open. First each signature (a paper with 16 pages printed on it) was cut in half with a bone knife. Then the two halves were folded, stacked with other signatures and the edges planed off so the pages could open. Once the signatures were compiled, each book had to be hand sewn together! And each leather cover had to be glued to cover board and then to the book. Then each book, again by hand, had to have the gold lettering that formed the title embossed on the spine one letter at a time. It took years to get all 5,000 books finished. Again, it is amazing a bindery that could handle such a large printing order was even in such a small town. So many miracles!

Palmyra is in the Finger Lakes region of New York which is still small towns and breath-takingly beautiful. Rich green corn fields abound broken occasionally by brown fields of grain. Homes on large lots with sweeping green lawns surrounding them stretch on for miles. No one fences their yards. There is no sign of cement—no sidewalks, no curb and gutters—only nature at her comfortable best.

We are staying in Canandaigua which is about 20 minutes south of Palmyra at the northern tip of Canandaigua Lake. Last night we took a dinner cruise with Patrea and her family around the lake on a real paddle boat called the Canandaigua Lady. Fantastic food. Brilliant sunset. Beautiful clean water. Friendly, accommodating crew that even let me steer the boat for awhile. In short, an amazing evening. We invited two of the crew members to come to the pageant with us tonight. We’ll see if they show up!


Alyssa said...

Looks like you're having so much fun!

Wendi said...

That's all pretty amazing. I'm glad you're enjoying yourself. :) Did you know my dad was Bishop of the Palmyra ward when we lived there? We lived in an old parsonage with an actual barn and chicken coop in the back yard over in West Walworth. And I went to Kindergarten at a school named Free Will Elementary. Interesting, huh? They used to put me in the back of their Pinto station wagon and I'd sometimes travel with my dad to Super Saturdays in places like Canandaigua, Ithaca, Buffalo, Rochester, etc. Fond memories of being an only child back in the day. :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds wonderful! I am truly thrilled and grateful that you are well enough now to be able to see and participate in all the activities there. I think a person is never quite the same after a visit to the Sacred Grove, etc. and seeing the paegent. Enjoy :)

Talena said...

Mom, hi, sounds like you are having an awesome vacation! I love reading your reports. Is this your first time there?