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August 1, 2017

A coincidence is an event that might have been arranged although it was really accidental. Here is my story about a coincidence.

For many years one of my hobbies has been scuba diving. To enhance the diving adventure to the Caribbean, Mexico and other Hispanic areas I took up the study of conversational Spanish. As a result I am now a member of not only the International Fellowship of Rotary Scuba Divers (IFRSD) but also the Capital District Spanish Language Meet-up Group (CDSLMG).

The Bennington Rotary Club has recently taken on the project of preserving the remaining bells in Town. At last year's Rotary Expo in Rutland our club had a booth that featured our work in bell restoration. Coincidently, a fellow Rotarian, Joe Duffy, from Poultney spotted our booth. He explained that his life-long profession was that of restoring bells and carillons. He gave me his business card and that week I called him. I told him that our next project was to restore the bell atop the Bennington County Court house on South St. He told me that he knows about that bell. From his computer he read, "That bell was made by the Meneely Bell Foundry in West Troy NY. It weighs 516 lbs. and was shipped to Bennington on Nov. 5, 1881." He then told me that his grandfather had worked for Meneely until it closed in 1952. He had all the records from that foundry.

Fast forward to a special meeting notice that I received from the CDSLMG. A series of sessions was to be held at the Watervliet, NY library and I was invited. I got out my GPS and down I went. After I 'arrived at my destination' I found a parking spot next to a New York State historical marker. The sign said that I was on the site of the Meneely Bell Foundry. Also it explained that the area was formerly known as ‘West Troy'.

How's that for a coincidence?

Author: Jerry Albert
Sally Sugarman (Club Member & Windmill Editor)

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