Lake House Owner Won’t Refer To Locals As “Inbred Hicks”

By Dodie Fingerton

Published May 31st, 2015

Kayaker on Great Sacandaga Lake

DAY — A Westchester County man with a summer home on Great Sacandaga Lake announced Saturday he will no longer refer to locals as “inbred hicks.”

Dr. Steven Martsen said he made the decision after a series of pleasant interactions with a local tree-topping service.

“They showed up on time, worked real hard and charged a fair price,” said Martsen. “They seemed like genuinely nice people.”

Martsen, whose cabin recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation, hired Craw's Tree Topping to cut down a few dozen 200-year-old pine trees that were partially obstructing his view of the lake.

“The crew looked normal and acted normal. There was simply no proof that these men — or any of the other locals that do odd jobs around here — are the product of inbreeding.”

But Dr. Fritz Hemplestead, a neighbor of Martsen's who lives in Bethlehem in the off-season, disagreed.

“I hired a couple of local inbred hicks to clean out my septic system last April, and both looked kind of strange.”

Hemplestead pointed to an “interesting anomaly” associated with the local phone book. Of the 9,624 residents listed in the Corinth, Lake Luzerne and Hadley-area directory, 3,632 — or 38-percent — have the surname “Craw.”

Dr. Martsen, however, said he doesn't see that as proof of inbreeding.

“There's probably a simple explanation,” he said. “All I can tell you is that while they were here working, I didn't see any sign of recessive genetic mutation. They communicated verbally and walked in an upright position without limping. In addition, I saw no fluctuating facial asymmetry or apparent loss of immune system function.”

Hemplestead said he wasn’t surprised by Martsen’s comments, noting the Westchester resident is a Democrat who opposes collared shirts and has a long history of nonconformity along the tight-knit lakehouse road.

“He doesn't even golf. Can you believe that? And he's for health-care reform. Of course he's going to say he doesn't believe those folks are inbred hicks. That's just Steve being Steve. It's like he really believes that all men were created equal.”


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