A lousy bloodhound

I live in a stinky suburb of a small city in upstate New York called Glens Falls. My suburb, South Glens Falls, is stinky because there are two papermills a few blocks from my place. Each night around 7pm they omit a sulfuric gas that slinks its way down the streets, over driveways and backyards, through the screens of my windows and into my nostrils. Sometimes I get angry about it. It would be nice to live in a town where the air smells like regular air ALL THE TIME. However, most of the time I succumb to the putrid odor and I’m defeated by it. I can’t fight the air.


It was about a year ago that I learned that the odor came from the papermills. Before that, I thought it was a low-tide type of smell eminating from the Hudson River, just a stone’s throw from my place…well, a LONG stone’s throw. I would walk along the river, sniffing. It was stronger over there…but also over there? I was a lousy bloodhound.

The most bewildering part was that I seemed to be the only person in South Glens Falls who noticed the smell. In the midst of the poisonous stench, others were going about their routines. Talking, laughing, yelling at dirty children, drinking beer, etc. Normal SGF stuff. How could I be the only one bothered? Maybe I had yet to develop the tumor, caused by the gas itself, that would keep it’s vicitms from detecting it’s very presence? Time was ticking and I was raging against the low-tide tumor.

So one day I asked someone who would know — my grandfather. He worked for one of the papermills for over 20 years back in the 70s and 80s. He told me that they’re cleaning out filters and we’re smelling the outcome. They’re supposed to do it overnight when residents would be oblivious and sleeping, but apparenlty 7pm qualifies for ‘overnight’ in Glens Falls. People do go to sleep early around here.

Most of the blog entries you read here will be composed while I’m marinating in the eggy stench. Unless, of course, there is a breeze blowing away from SGF and in that case this little suburb smells just like everyone else’s.



7 Responses to “A lousy bloodhound”

  1. 1 jill
    July 22, 2007 at 1:54 am

    I will enjoy reading your blogs Kari… thanks for joinging the blogging world and blessing us with your art in photography and writing. I’ll add you to my blog roll okay? I haven’t noticed the the smell of SGF…. I have yet to spend enough time there I guess or else the tumor is heriditary and I got it somehow.

  2. July 22, 2007 at 2:51 am

    I remember when we drove through the paper factory town near Hanover (ie. Stinky Town) and you almost gagged because you felt like you were eating trash… I’m sorry you have to live that reality each day… I really like your blog. And in response to Jill having a tumor – don’t joke about that one – or we may have to take you to Dr. David’s at 7am again.

  3. July 22, 2007 at 4:01 am

    I can’t wait to hear your take on life. You always make me laugh. I could smell the fumes of South Glen Falls through my computer.


  4. 4 Ronster
    July 22, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    I remember visiting a factory in Tarboro, North Carolina in the 1970s. This town had several paper mills, and a strong sulfur dioxide smell hung in the air 24 hours a day. I don’t remember anything like that in South Glens Falls?

    I’m glad that you entered the blogosphere. This will be a great outlet to exercise your creative writing skills and entertain the readers. I’m looking forward to your entries.

  5. 5 Becca
    July 22, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    Wow, AWESOME! I love that caterpiller picture. And nice job conveying the nastiness of the two sulfurous, duelling papermills! I think it makes the smell waaay worse, too, knowing WHAT is causing it… Maybe your blogger-protest will be the first step in a revolutionary SGF ecology movement. (So what if all your neighbors vote Republican and think “Green” is just a color? You could even organize a few picketers to march back and forth across the bridge, shouting stuff. Now THAT’s how to make the smell go away!)
    I like your blog A LOT, Kari, and am SO excited to read more. πŸ™‚

  6. July 22, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    Okay, it’s been 24 hours, time for another post πŸ˜‰

  7. 7 julie
    July 22, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    So if the filters smell nasty… why doesn’t paper smell? or rather… why do I like the smell of paper??? Next time I visit you I’m going to bring earplugs for you. I know you’re supposed to put them in your ears… but I think they’d work in your nose too!! (side note: little stiansen nieces and nephews… do not attempt this at home!!) I wonder how it would affect your breathing… or your voice!!!! I don’t know.. I thought it was a good idea. πŸ™‚

    love you, hope to chat soon!

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