Monday, February 12, 2007

Treasures of Cambridge # 34 Treasures of Cambridge # 34

This is an ongoing project to document the portraits and stories of as many area residents as possible. The Cambridge area is a great place, made that way by the wonderful people who inhabit it. Life is short, and we are all to soon forgotten. So take a moment to honor yourself and your place in the history of our area. It is easy, fun and costs your nothing but about 20 minutes of your time.

Make an appointment by contacting me, John Carlson at

Ted Berndt pictured in front of the vault in the former Bean Head’s Coffee House, has lived in the Cambridge area for the past five years.

Ted grew up in central New York and tells us that a branch of his family tree originated in northern Washington County with the Van Patten’s and Wilson’s of the Whitehall area. Fate would bring him back to the area; as an employee of Pfizer pharmaceuticals, this was his territory and in the realm of the heart, the place where he would meet the woman he would marry. He sees it as kind of a “homecoming,” to come back here after seven or eight generations.

About his introduction to the area, Ted says, "The first time I rode over from Greenwich on State Route 372, I couldn’t believe it was a state highway and it opened up to this beautiful valley, and fortunately, I met my wife here, and maybe I will never leave."

Ted has been a management consultant for the past several years and now works as a per diem advanced EMT with our local rescue squad and a licensed outdoors’ guide. "I like to spend two hundred days a field, hunting and fishing and helping other tourism based businesses in the area." He loves the fishing in the area with the Battenkill, and goes on to say, "and the variety of the fishing on the Walloomsac and Owlkill is a real treasure."

Ted compares our area to where he grew up in a rural community on Lake Ontario (the place he maintains, still has his favorite fishing!). He feels that even with the economic ups and downs we have seen, that people in here are very fortunate. "I have been all over New York State, and this is a slice of Americana," true small town USA. For a small community, he marvels at its diversity, and the fact that it is within commuting distance of four cities.

Ted wants to be remembered as somebody who cared about other people. A person who "went the extra mile for neighbors, and even strangers." He goes on to say, "the first thirty-five years of my life I was a workaholic, and moving here made me see there is a community out there, there are people that are worth getting to know."

During our talk together, Ted told us he and his wife are expecting their first baby, congratulations!


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