Dean Clough

April 4, 2022

Portico Darwin: Depart Tupper Lake + Almost 2 Years On . . .

In a mountain getaway made unusual by both a touch o' the virus and also the surprise guest appearance of the Manor's namesake, I wrapped it with a great weekend, including a sweet visit to Lake Placid yesterday for lunch.  Thank you to Dr. Shelly Murphy for opening up the Manor to me, and what a blast being able to hang out together, despite me being sick.  And of course, major gratitude to Bulleit Bob and wife Betty, who were their normal fabulous selves during my visit.  Here are a few selected photos.  No Travel Guide for Tupper Lake - there are two already!

2021 Travel Guide | The Portico Darwin Website and Newsletter

Today I head to Albany, before winging it back to the coast Tuesday to jam with The Stones.  Actually, we do wing it to San Diego Friday to jam with Andy and Libby Baines Jones, and their 6 month old son, Dean Andrew Jones, Jr.  Can't wait to meet the young lad!

As I depart, I reflect on what has changed in Tupper Lake since my first visit to Murphy Manor in September of 2020.  I then visited solo in February 2021, with Julie in May of 2021, and I just left now, here in April of 2022.  In that time, here is what has changed in Tupper Lake:

You see, nothing has changed at all.  Now, the talk remains the same:

  • they've got the funding in place and they're starting the new hotel
  • they've got the funding in place and they're starting the rebuild of Oval Wood Dish

Either/both of these could conceivably be the nudge this area needs to develop some semblance of a local economy.  But despite the assurances - even from the well-connected sources I have here - I remain very skeptical I'll live to see Tupper Lake ever have a thriving economy, at least one that lasts 12 months a year.

But something is finally - finally - starting to sink in to my thick head.  I always feel I'm being reasonable when I say something like, "Well, of course no one wants it to become like Lake George, or maybe even like Lake Placid.  But . . . there's got to be a happy middle ground somewhere."  For those unfamiliar with the area, Lake George, while scenically tip-top, has a woefully tacky downtown which still manages to attract throngs that make locals cringe at the traffic in season.


Of course, nobody wants that in Tupper Lake, especially me.  I don't want anything like it.  But what's dawned on me is that there's a large contingent of residents that want zero growth or economic development.  Not projects that are small, sustainable and appropriate for the area, but zilch.  Nada.  Zero.  No new residents and no new businesses, thank you very much.  I get that now.   

But I still love this ginormous proposal I made for the area.  In fact, it's a personal favorite in terms of my own writing.  Pure fantasy, sure, but creative.

Portico Darwin: A Proposal for Tupper Lake (

Thanks again to all of you expressing concern over my health.  I again will say I am glad I had 3 shots, and will book my 4th shot ASAP.   

Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.

For those of you wanting to know what it was like to be in quarantine for 7 nights in a mansion on a giant frozen lake, put on my Spotify Ambient Playlist (which consists solely of the music by the band Liquid Mind), and then stare at this photo.


About Dean Clough

Plans To Enjoy Life.