Year after near-fatal crash, NY distiller reflects

25 Nov

Ralph Erenzo (right), co-founder with Brian Lee, co-founders of Tuthilltown Spirits in Gardiner, Ulster County, was in a near-fatal auto accident in December that has required a long recuperation period. Here is an update on his situation, in Ralph’s own words.


It’s been nearly a year since my little run-in with an inhospitable maple and its companion boulder on the way home just before Christmas. The doctors told me the recovery, miraculous as it is, would take another year or so. In spite of the extensive injuries, after some time in rehabilitation I’m walking and talking and can’t wait to get out on the road again to see you all.

I’m nothing short of amazed at the skill and compassion of the doctors and especially the nurses at Albany Medical Center who brought me back from the brink more than once.

Toward the end of my stay in [the intensive care unit], my family introduced me to the blog they’d kept and, to my great surprise, the “comments” section of the page where they‘d posted comments by a host of supporters and well-wishers. I was amazed to read letters from all of you, many of whom I had not met, along with fans of the distillery.

I learned some important lessons about life as each comment reminded me over and over how much I did not know. I didn’t know the most valuable lesson of all, we all have a much deeper affect on people than we know. I was moved by how many people cared about my situation, people I knew and many whom I have not met.

My life is a much richer experience as a result of my accident and my close pass at the it’s possible end. I’m blessed to have survived and to learn this valuable lesson.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

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Posted by on November 25, 2011 in Distillers


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