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October 25, 2014
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THE CATSKILLS — Martin (Marty) Podskoch is afraid of heights, but that didn’t stop him from writing “Fire Towers of the Catskills: Their History and Lore.” Fascinated with these relics of our past, he visited all of the fire towers in the Catskills region and talked to the fire tower observers and their families. So how does he get to the top of a fire tower? “I just close my eyes and hold on to someone’s shoulders and follow them up,” Podskoch said.

A few weeks back, a neighbor told me he was finding what looked like berries on the ground, even though he said no berry trees were anywhere in the area. I asked him about the size and color, and...

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Fall brings the changing of the foliage to the Upper Delaware Valley. Along with the falling leaves come the “slippery rail” excuse for train delays. It seems, according to New Jersey Transit (NJT...

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Apparently there is no evidence whatsoever that Marie Antoinette actually uttered such a callous statement in response to her subjects’ bemoaning their lack of bread. But it has stuck to her shoe...

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I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Wikipedia defines it as “an old adage, typically stated as: ‘Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.’” Ain’t that the truth. At the risk of sounding like a total nut...

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The great battle of our time will be over water—pure, fresh water in particular. All earthly life depends upon water for survival. The human population worldwide, now 7.3 billion, is projected to...

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The fast-flying days of flaming fall foliage have held us in thrall lately as the Upper Delaware Region advances toward the cold and inward months of winter. Watching the leaves turn through...

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Beyond befuddlement

Now that spring is upon us and we’re ready to don lightweight fabrics, I researched bamboo as an alternative to environmentally unfriendly cotton. What I discovered reinforced the fact that it’s often really, really befuddling to make sustainable choices.  Read more

Bear awareness

I awoke at 2:30 a.m. earlier this week to the sound of garbage cans being dumped onto their sides. This was followed by 20 minutes of rustling and tearing, as a black bear snacked on my neighbor’s garbage. The bruin then strolled down the road and repeated the activity at another neighbor’s driveway. The next morning was garbage day for residents of our rural road. Morning light revealed the remnants of the raid scattered around.  Read more

Celebrate, celebrate... dance to the music!

Seeking the lyrics on line to the Three Dog Night classic, I was redirected to www.oldielyrics.com. Oldie. If I weren’t so happy to be out and about this past weekend, the reference to my age might have aggravated me. Attempting to abide by doctor’s orders, I resolved to “take it easy” last Saturday, while celebrating in Jeffersonville, NY with thousands of St. Patrick’s Day revelers.  Read more

WCM kicks off the season on April Fools

HORTONVILLE, NY — The Weekend of Chamber Music will celebrate April Fools Day with “Fools & Fiddlers,” a concert at Hortonville Presbyterian Church on Hankins Road at 3 p.m. The concert begins WCM’s 19th season in Sullivan County, and is followed by a meet-the-artists reception.  Read more

Sponsors sought for Wally Lake Fest

HAWLEY, PA — Planning has begun for the third annual Wally Lake Fest, which takes place Friday, August 24 through Sunday, August 26. The festival was created to help summer last a little longer on the lake and in Hawley and since its inception, the last weekend in August has been one of the busiest weekends of the year as people flock to the Lake Region for the festivities. Wally Lake Fest is presented by the Downtown Hawley Partnership and made possible through dedicated and generous sponsors, volunteers, organizers, local businesses and supporters.  Read more

‘Vaudeville in the Catskills’

HURLEYVILLE, NY — The Sullivan County Historical Society and The Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop will present “Vaudeville in the Catskills” on Saturday, March 31 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 1 at 2 p.m. at The Sullivan County Museum and Cultural Center, 265 Main Street.  Read more

Flea market opens for the season

MIDDLETOWN, NY — The flea market at the Orange County Fairgrounds large parking area in Middletown will open for its sixth season on Saturday, March 31, weather permitting. The market runs every Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April through November, and will be open during the annual Orange County Fair. Admission is free.  Read more

Author to speak at luncheon

HONESDALE, PA — Author Neela Vaswani will speak and sign copies of her books at a buffet luncheon benefiting the Wayne County Public Library on Thursday, April 12 at 12 noon. It will take place at the Hotel Wayne, 1202 N. Main St. Vaswani is author of the short story collection “Where the Long Grass Bends,” and a memoir, “You Have Given Me a Country.” She and Silas House co-authored the middle grade novel-in-letters, “Same Sun Here,” which was released in February and is currently the number-one selling book for young adults in independent bookstores.  Read more

Quilts celebrate nature

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — On Sunday, April 1, Morgan Outdoors will unveil its sixth annual “The Great Outdoors—Quilts Celebrating Nature” show at 46 Main Street. The public is invited to the opening reception on April 1 from 2 to 3 p.m. The quilts will be on display from April 1 to 29.  Read more

Before Hollywood there was Cuddebackville

PORT JERVIS, NY — Seth Goldman, executive director of the Neversink Valley Area Museum in Cuddebackville will present a free program at The Hub @ The Port Jervis Free Library on early film making in the area on Saturday, March 24 at 3 p.m.

The Neversink Valley Area Museum’s mission is to preserve and document the history of the peoples and industry of the Neversink and Shawangunk valleys of New York’s Catskill region. Goldman is the acknowledged expert on the early film industry and the films made in the tri-state area in the early 20th century.  Read more

‘With Love from Shakespeare’s Women’ to raise funds for DVAA

NARROWSBURG, NY — Act Underground will present “With Love from Shakespeare’s Women” as the first of a series of Arts Alive/Savor the Arts fundraisers this spring benefiting Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA).  Read more

‘Eat Drink Man Woman’ at Sunday Night Cinema

HONESDALE, PA — The Wayne County Arts Alliance will present “Eat Drink Man Woman” on Sunday, March 25 at 8:15 p.m. The offering is part of the Sunday Night Cinema series, “Cinema Gastronomique: Movies about Food and Dining.”

Multiple Academy Award winner Ang Lee is the director of this cinematic feast about a master chef whose food personifies his love for his three very modern Taiwanese daughters, all of whom long to flee the paternal nest. Voluptuous use of food stands as a metaphor for the daughters’ sexual exploits and the family’s rollicking dysfunction.  Read more

April show opens at Starlight

STARLIGHT, PA — Members of the Big D Arts and Crafts League will open their new show on April 5 at the Inn at Starlight Lake. There will be an array of oils, watercolors and photographs. The group is giving special recognition to one member, Diane Kimberley. Kimberley was an educator for 25 years in New Jersey. She is a watercolor artist and also creates unusual pieces of pottery. She resides now in Scott Center, where she has a studio and works on her paintings and ceramics.

The inn is located on Starlight Road. For more information visit www.innatstarlightlake.com or call 800/248-2519.

The 2012 prophesies: Fact or fantasy?

Doomsday is a strong word. Merely uttering it aloud conjures up all sorts of scenarios in one’s head, but ultimately it leads to the same conclusion. No matter how you slice it, and regardless of the language, dictionaries around the globe agree that doomsday is defined as “the last day of the world’s existence.”  Read more

Exposed or hidden

In recent weeks, I have been playing the role of fly-tying instructor for those new to the art. Ah yes, I realize some might say that this was akin to the lame leading the blind. So be it. In fact, at both classes, before I even put thread to the hook shank, the words of the lead instructors in charge indicated there was a flaw in my technique. They had told the students to place the hook in the vice with the hook point exposed. Ooops! I could only hope that no one would notice that I had placed my hook in the vice with the hook point concealed.  Read more

Springtime paddling

Milder weather arrived in earnest during the first half of March, and that brought on an urge to launch the kayak and do a little paddling. During a sunny day just before the Ides of March, I set out on Walker Lake in Shohola, PA and found many signs that spring was well on the way.  Read more

A house on B Street

With my aunt in recovery from a recent stroke, and her husband in the hospital, her children were faced with the prospect of completing the impending sale of their summer home on Fire Island.  Read more

Feather identification

While walking in the forest recently, a friend of mine came upon a small pool of feathers on a fallen log and found herself wondering what bird had become sustenance for another creature. Utilizing a wonderful website and database established by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) through its Forensics Laboratory, we were able to determine that the mottled black and white feathers had most likely belonged to a downy woodpecker.  Read more

From Tusten to Tanzania and back

NARROWSBURG, NY — Hannah Ross of Narrowsburg, a senior at Juilliard, a member of the Delaware Valley Chamber Orchestra and a recipient of the 2008 Bodenstein Music Scholarship, along with members of Juilliard’s music, drama and dance divisions, will come to the Tusten Theatre on March 17 to perform and to show a slide show presentation related to work they will be doing this summer, when they will travel to Arusha Tanzania to lead workshops in music, dance and drama at the Umoja Youth Empowerment Centre.  Read more

Worth a thousand words!

Lately I have been on a personal mission, searching for the meaning of life. An existential crisis of sorts, this road trip in my mind has taken me down a variety of paths, some of which I have visited before—while others are a road less traveled.  Read more