GEAR| It’s time for your Filson cruisers to come out

FilsonThe Filson Mackinac Cruiser, an American icon since 1914.

When I arrived in Saranac Lake as a cub reporter at the beginning of the decade, the man to scoop was Ned Rauch. Working for our rival, the Plattsburgh Press-Republican, Ned was a hell of a reporter. He’s also a fairly stylish fellow and, when the weather turned cold, he broke out a well-worn Filson Mackinaw Cruiser that was often accompanied by a terrific old Daily News beanie.

As the weather lurches toward wintry, I’m sure Ned, now living, writing and performing in New York, is donning his cruiser.

Manufactured in the United States since 1914, the six-button jacket from Seattle’s C.C. Filson Outfitters, is an American classic. Filson, of course, first made its name as a Seattle outfitter in the Klondike gold rush of 1897. The cruiser, patented by founder C.C. Filson, has basically remained the same since it was introduced. Constructed from 26-ounce wool that can hold thirty percent of its water without feeling damp, the jacket has four front pockets, two-hand warmer slots and a large, rear pocket for maps or whatever else you’d like to carry in it.

Priced at $279.50, it’s an investment to be sure, but take comfort in the fact that your grandson will probably wear it.

Filson Mackinaw Cruiser

MUSIC| Frankenpine features an old friend

“A Frankenpine grows in Brooklyn.”

So says the recently-launched Web site of Frankenpine, a bluegrass-rock group that features Kimberly Chase on vocals and guitar, Matthew Chase on banjo, James Maher on guitar, mandolin, and vocals Ned Rauch on steel guitar, Liz Bisbee on fiddle, and David Coben on bass.

Rauch, of course, is an old veteran of the Adirondack press corps and a very good friend. He moved south from the divine lands earlier this year to pursue a life as a journalist and artist in New York. Landing a gig with this wonderful group was a step toward success. Again and again this week, I’ve gone back to Frankenpine’s growing site to enjoy their lovely portfolio of tunes which, as they say, “evoke the mountain hollar” while embracing contemporary rock.

As you’ll see on their index of shows, they’ve got a number of gigs scheduled. All of them, for now, seem to be planned at times my odd newspapering schedule won’t accommodate.

Nonetheless, I hope this tree continues to grow.

Take a listen to “Rivers and Tides.” on Facebook