Happy Thanksgiving to all of our American readers! This week's Throwback Thursday honors going home for the holidays. In this December 2000 photograph, here is a sign for NY 17B as found on NY 17 eastbound in Monticello. I must have been driving back from college at SUNY Oswego down to Long Island, where I had grown up and where my mother was living at the time. When I would drive back home for breaks in college, I would often take I-81 to NY 17 and through the Catskills, or sometimes I would go through Scranton, Pennsylvania by taking a mix of I-81, I-380 and I-80.
Before I moved to Upstate New York as a young man, I grew up in the Long Island town of Smithtown during the 1980s and 1990s. The recognizable symbol of Smithtown is a bronze statue of a bull named Whisper, located at the junction of NY Route 25 and NY Route 25A near the bridge over the Nissequogue River. Why a bull, you may ask. The bull is a symbol of a legend related to the town's founding in 1665 by Richard "Bull" Smythe, with a modernized name of Richard Smith. It also so happens that there is a story behind the legend, one that involves ancient land right transfers and some modern day roads as well. So the story goes that Smythe made an agreement with a local Indian tribe where Smythe could keep whatever land he circled around in a day's time riding atop his trusty bull. Choosing the longest day of the year for his ride, he set out with his bull Whisper and went about riding around the borders of the Town of Smithtown. As legend has it, Smythe t