The 2012-2013 Press-Republican vacation photo contest has been wrapped up and put away like last summer’s wardrobe.
The annual bring-the-paper-with-you promo, which has already begun for the 2013-14 season, encourages readers to take photos of themselves reading the Press-Republican in far-off lands, or, as many of this season’s entrants did, within the continental United States, Hawaii and a former U.S. protectorate.
Jim Kinley of Willsboro decided to combine genealogy with pleasure during his vacation, and the resulting photo, of him reading the paper sitting in the center of a wooden raft known as a plte during a trip down the Dunajec River — which borders Poland and Slovakia — earned him first-place honors among Press-Republican newsroom judges.
“I wanted to see where my grandmother was born and to learn of my roots,” Kinley said.
After his mother died in 2006, Kinley found his grandmother’s birth certificate in the attic. “That document had text written in five languages — Hungarian, German, Slovak, Czech and Latin — as she was born in 1892 in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.”
He also found letters from a woman in Slovakia dated from 1949 to 1952 and a photo of his grandmother and him from 60 years ago, he said.
“With those three pieces of history, I traveled to the village, showed them to many people and was given directions to find … possibly my second cousin twice removed.”
The vacation took Kinley and his wife, brother-in-law and niece through Iceland, Sweden, Vienna, Slovakia and Poland, where they took the raft along the Dunajec.
“While rafting, I pulled out of my backpack the copy of the Press-Republican that we carried on the plane while still in Plattsburgh, and my wife took the photograph. Great trip — and a great newspaper.”