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A heaping serving of memories

Cookbook to highlight history of Ecobelli’s Tam O’ShanterRestaurant in Ballston Spa

The collecting of memories was actually started as a thank youto investors of a film, “Chickadee,” written by Lora Lee and Tom that is currently in process and will begin actual filming later in the year. The film will recount inpart Laurina’s early life, which was surrounded by a controversial court case that influenced laws concerned with child abuse.

That history was revealed to the siblings when they were just teenagers. Laurina gave them a diary, her diary that contained writings on her childhood, many of them unpleasant and connected to the court case. Lora Leeand Tom were interested in writing, so it wasn’t long into their adulthood that they set out to honor their grandmother and her story.

Lora Lee wrote a play about her grandmother that wasoff-Broadway several years ago. As she and Tom worked together, it evolved intoa film. Seeking investors, they thought it would be nice to do something forthem.

“We wanted to give something back to our investors so I startedwriting memories about the restaurant,” said Tom. So, he and Lora Lee began composing memories in the form of pamphlets, never guessing it would turn in tobook form.

Publisher Richard Vang of Square Circle Press heard about their project through Schenectady County historian Don Rittner, who is also aSchenectady film commissioner.

“In every town there is a favorite restaurant, or pub where everybody goes and is well known in the community. We focus on historical works, so it was natural for me to get involved with this project. I jumped onthe chance to work on it. For me it was a personal memory, part of the fabric of Upstate New York,” said Vang.

As far as what genre the book fits into, Vang described it as a mix between a memoir and a cookbook, which is becoming popular in the literary world. The book is about Laurina’s later life at the restaurant, and the filmis about her earlier life.

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