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A Soldier’s Journey through the Heart of the Park

March 24, 2019 | 1:30 pm

John Taibi

A Soldier's Journey

John Taibi shares the story of a World War II G.I. who has returned to America after having been held captive as a prisoner-of-war by the German Army. Upon arriving home, he was reunited with his wife of hardly a year, and the United States Army sent them both to The Club in Lake Placid for rest and relaxation following his P.O.W. deprivations and her constant worry about the welfare of her husband. To reach The Club, Sgt. and Mrs. John S. Taibi – my father and mother, along with many other former P.O.W.s and their spouses – traveled by railroad on a New York Central train through the heart of Adirondack Park to reach their destination. This would be their only transit of, and visit to, the Park. What they saw along their way, what they did while at Lake Placid, and their adjustment to normal life post- Sgt. Taibi’s honorable discharge, are subjects for examination by this presentation. This is a poignant, emotional, and wonderful story that may require a tissue or two to dry tears of love and happiness from an eye of those in the audience, possibly even the presenter. Yet, it is a previously untold story of how many former P.O.W.s were aided by the military in their return to private life following months – or years – of captivity. The railroad, the Park, and the Army made it all possible for husbands and wives of the greatest generation to live satisfactory , productive, and happy lives after they withstood the rigors of a war fought over the horizon in Europe.

John Taibi is a native Long Islander who has been residing in central New York since 1994. He and his wife, Barbara, live in a restored New York, Ontario & Western Railway depot in Munnsville that is his base of operations for researching and writing about the region’s railroad history, environment, and legacy. He is the author of thirteen full-length books and one hundred-fifteen short stories that deal with a variety of railroad subjects. John is presently researching the Adirondack Region for a 4-volume series of books about the New York Central’s Adirondack Division. Previous to his coming to upstate New York, he was a photographer whose work appeared in numerous books and magazine articles. In addition to being an author, photographer, railroad environmentalist and archeologist, he is also a popular speaker for historical societies, civic organizations, church groups, and museums. He likes to say that his programs are factual and informative and are presented in an entertaining fashion.