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.”
Meanwhile, Jayme Keable of Plattsburgh took a family vacation last summer to Arizona to visit her “little” brother, Josh Keable. The man is 29.
While there, Keable; boyfriend Josh Chapman; her parents, Linda and James Keable; and daughter, Megan Trombley, visited the Grand Canyon, where the photo was taken of Megan holding the Press-Republican with Dustin Dunlap, also of Plattsburgh.
“Visiting my little brother, Josh, we were able to see the Grand Canyon. My mom always brings the paper with her on vacation. It was her idea,” Jayme said.
While in Arizona, the family also visited Tombstone and Sedona.
Jayme won her prize through a random drawing pulled from all Vacation Contest entries.
“It was a great family vacation, and I was thrilled to hear I won a prize,” Jayme said.
Kinley and Keable each received $50 restaurant gift cards for their efforts.
Of the entries received, 11 came from vacationers visiting spots within the United States. Florida topped the list with five, followed by two each in Hawaii and at the Grand Canyon. One entry came from Burbank, Calif., and one was from the Davison family of Plattsburgh.
Katie and Lindsay Davison hold their paper near what looks like something from “Star Trek,” but is really the Morning Glory Pool at Yellowstone’s Upper Geyser Basin in the Wyoming portion of Yellowstone Park. Dad Don Davison said the color is created by natural thermophilic bacteria.
John Carey took his paper to the British territory of Gibraltar. He said the Barbary macaques inhabit the famous rock.
Farther afield, China had the most visitors who made it through customs with their Press-Republican packed among their belongings. Paul Adams of Peru made his third trip to China, this time to celebrate his son’s marriage.
Press-Republicans showed up in Spain three times and twice in Africa and Costa Rica. Other countries visited by contestants included Bermuda, Scotland, France, Turkey and Ireland. Three readers took cruises.
Photo submissions were down this year, with about 34 coming in over the season, said Jack Downs, coordinator for the contest.
“I believe the submissions were lower because we didn’t promote the contest as much as we have in the past,” Downs said.
He hopes more readers will remember the contest this vacation season and include their newspapers as part of their regular packing routine.
As for the reminders within the pages of the Press, he said, “We hope to do better with the coming contest year.”
ONLINE GALLERY View all entries from this year's Newspaper on Vacation contest in the galleries at www.pressrepublican.com.