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Guest Contributors...

Thomas Ventiquattro II

America's Historic Lakes Contribution: Dear Lucy
A Love Song for the Battle of Plattsburgh

Tom Ventiquattro II resides in Burke, NY with his wife, Patricia, and children, Barbara and Thomas III. He is currently on staff as a fish culturist at the NY State fish hatchery in Chateaugay.

Tom has enjoyed a 27-year career with the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation. Tom is a native of Jefferson County, NY, having graduated from Carthage Central High School. He earned a BS degree in biology from Syracuse University and the College of Environmental Science and Forestry in 1977.

Tom's interests include; running and fitness exercise, ruffed grouse hunting, trout fishing and bird watching. He is a member of the New York State Bluebird Society, and he monitors a section of the Route 11 nestbox trail in Franklin County. Tom is also a member of the Battle of Plattsburgh Association.

Tom's passion for songwriting and performing (guitar/vocal soloist) has taken him on a continuously satisfying journey. He began learning to play the guitar at age 11 , and started writing songs at age 13 (Tom's music style covers the easy-listening categories of folk-pop, soft rock and country cross-over). His first public performance came in 1979, and he continues to entertain for weddings, parties and celebrations. In 1996, Tom met the multi-talented musician and producer, Dan Wills. That year, this pair embarked upon a recording venture for Tom's original songs, employing Dan's Slab City Studio in Earlville, and later, Malone, NY. An extensive catalog of demos was produced, and this project continues to gain momentum.

Tom's fascination with the City of Plattsburgh's role in the War of 1812, led to the writing of the song, "Dear Lucy". Tom was inspired to pen this ballad after reading a vivid account of the Battle of Plattsburgh in the Lake Champlain Weekly news magazine. The theme of this composition takes the form of a love letter written by Thomas Macdonough to his beloved wife, Lucy Ann, just after the victory on Lake Champlain. Tom and Dan recorded "Dear Lucy" in the fall of 2004, but the release of this song came just prior to the 2005 Battle of Plattsburgh celebration.

Tom is grateful for the honor and privilege of getting the invitation to include "Dear Lucy" on the America's Historic Lakes web site. He says, "I'm humbled to have my song featured within the company of contributions by so many gifted and distinguished authors and historians".

'Dear Lucy' is featured as the title track on a 15-song CD release by Tom 24 & Dan Wills. Audio samples of this album can be heard on the web at: .

Additional audio samples of recordings by Tom and Dan can be found on the web site at: This site features the album, "Twilight Blue Excursion", which includes the ballad, "Battle Of Sandy Creek". This Tom 24 composition tells the story of a War of 1812 skirmish between U.S. and British forces on a Lake Ontario tributary (Big Sandy Creek) near Sackets Harbor, NY.

America's Historic Lakes is very happy to welcome Tom as a Guest Contributor and is pleased to be able to share this original musical composition. [jpm]

Tom Ventiquattro photo courtesy of Burns Photography
Watertown, NY 13601

"...a superb job of documenting the history of Crab Island. Secrets of Crab Island has made a significant contribution
to the public awareness of this important historic site."

Dr. Russell P. Bellico— Historian/Author- "Sails and Steam in the Mountains: A Maritime and Military History of
Lake George and Lake Champlain"

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