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August 26, 2016
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Photos by Michael Roberto

CALLICOON, NY — It was first built in 1852, a few years after the first train ran through what was then Callicoon Depot, part of the railroad-related boom that turned a single house into a bustling community. Originally, it was built in the Greek revival style, but sometime around the turn of the 20th century, the roof was raised and two stories and a mansard roof were added to create the iconic structure that dominates Upper Main Street in Callicoon today. For well over 100 years, it was a vibrant part of the hamlet’s commercial life. Then, for some years, it lay dormant.

Actually, it was 47 years ago, and it happened on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, NY. But life on this planet was so different back then, it might as well have been in another galaxy altogether...

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Walk near almost any patch of forest, or even your backyard now, and you will either see or hear one or more chipmunks. As they dart around foraging for seeds or nuts and chattering, and perhaps...

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There was a tradition in many homes growing up, including mine, of setting up the Lionel Trains and tracks in some part of the house for the Christmas holidays. I am sure if my dad had his way...

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Spoiler alert! This one’s a little maudlin. While I did attend an actual fair last week, (

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Many of us were lucky enough to have some early fishing experiences. Yet, as Robert Frost reminded us, “knowing how way leads on to way” we get sidetracked with “little things.” Little things like...

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Were you aware that Pennsylvania has a Wildlife Action Plan that guides how the state strives to conserve its most threatened wildlife species? First published in 2005, the 2015-2025 plan has...

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‘Two cups packed pumpkin…’

We had a good yield of pumpkins from our garden this year—a grand total of 14 from the few seeds we planted. The plants were lush and twining, woven with the morning glories. They even sought out the branches of the neighboring fir tree for a frolic. Considering our usual lackluster results, this year’s harvest was a bumper crop.  Read more

November dragonfly love

The first few days of November yielded a couple of mild days before a cold front brought some brisk northwest winds and nighttime temperatures that hit the teens in many areas. Some flights of avian harbingers of fall such as the migrating golden eagle and the first flocks of bufflehead had already made their appearance; however, it was the flight of another critter on a couple of local lakes that drew my attention on these first mild days in November.  Read more

The reviews are in!

I’m going to go out on a limb here and write about something I rarely do in this column—me. I know it’s unusual and not at all in character to touch on personal issues in this forum, but I’m hoping, dear Reader, that you’ll indulge me. All kidding aside, a good deal of the past week has revolved around my doing something quite different and risky, pushing boundaries far outside of my comfort zone, and I’m thankful that I managed to escape (for the most part) unscathed.  Read more

The estate dinner

The dinner was on the books for a few weeks before Emily and I got dressed up and walked the few blocks to the fancy restaurant in the West Village where we were to meet Harris. He had been a good friend of Emily’s father, Carl, before he died, and now controlled his estate.

Needless to say, I wanted to make a good impression.  Read more

Jems raffle, ‘Jeffersonville Matters’

JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — An artisanal holiday raffle drawing will be held on Friday, November 29 following the “Dworetsky Holiday Parade” in Jeffersonville. All proceeds go to community improvements and beautification by Jems (Jeffersonville Enhances More of Sullivan), a Sullivan Renaissance volunteer nonprofit group.

First prize is “Meadows in Boom,” a quilt by anonymous valued at $800; second prize is “Custom Portrait” by Brock Lady, valued at $400; third prize is “Hand knit lace shawl” by Barbara Yewchuk, valued at $150. The shawl and quilt are on display at the Jeffersonville library.  Read more

Theatre fundraiser for food pantry

MILFORD, PA — The Ecumenical Food Pantry of Pike County will host a reading of the play “Billy the Boy Queen” by Michael Buchanan, featuring Joseph Fuqua at the Milford Theatre on Sunday, November 24 at 2 p.m. All proceeds will go to the food pantry.

At present, the Ecumenical Food Pantry of Pike County serves approximately 68 families or 245 individuals a week with an average of seven new families or 25 individuals each week.  Read more

Two women, 12 instruments and a jam at DVAA

NARROWSBURG, NY — The Delaware Valley Arts Alliance invites musicians of all levels to a jam session with Simple Gifts, a duo made up of two women playing twelve instruments who specialize in Romanian, Klezmer, Greek, Irish, Scandinavian and Appalachian folk genres. The jam session takes place Friday, November 15 at 7 p.m. in the Krause Recital Hall at the Delaware Arts Center, 37 Main St. The event is free.  Read more

‘Myanmar Through My Lens’ photo presentation

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The Catskill Art Society will present local artist Bruce Janklow for a photography presentation and discussion focused on his latest trip to Myanmar at the CAS Arts Center at 48 Main St., on Sunday, November 24 at 2 p.m. This event is free and open to the public, and small donations will be accepted at the door.  Read more

Jazzmosis, Yasgur and the return of Jazz Brunch

BETHEL, NY — The Catskill Distilling Company on Route 17B will host a double-header featuring the bands Yasgur and Jazzmosis on Friday, November 15, starting at 8 p.m.

Yasgur will play their signature mix of roots rock and blues. Jazzmosis is a group of four musicians coming from very different backgrounds to explore and create a sound that has the energy of rock, the improvisational spark of jazz, and the element of surprise.  Read more

‘Crowd’: A call to all artists

LIBERTY, NY — Akira and Ellie Ohiso of Green Door Magazine have invited Andrea Brown and Elizabeth Ennis of The Outsider’s Studio Collective (OSC) to figuratively “bomb” their space at 34 S. Main St., cramming every wall, nook and cranny with portraits of people and their pets. It will be up to the viewer, faced with this universe of visages, to decide what all of these human and animal faces are thinking, feeling and talking about.  Read more

‘Last Words,’ by Laura EJ Moran

HIGHLAND LAKE, NY — NACL resident poet/playwright Laura Moran has written a new work titled “Last Words” and will perform it on Sunday, November 17 at 4 p.m. at the NACL Theatre. Both dramatic poetry and poetic drama, the performance is inspired by the last words of the first 100 women legally executed in Colonial America, and is set in the Massachusetts Bay Colony where riparian worlds collide: tame/wild, history/fantasy, spirit/body, male/female, church pews/secret coves, death/life. Where history silences, imagination blooms.  Read more

‘Jeep’ by Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop

HURLEYVILLE, NY — The Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop will present the short comedy “Jeep” (about a Brooklyn couple trying to sell a clunker of a car) at the Sullivan County Museum on Saturday, November 16 at 2 p.m. Local actors Ellen Pavloff and Bill Moloney star in the show, an original one-act play written and directed by Sullivan County’s Bill Duncan.  Read more

Local author Verb Konviser book signing

MONTICELLO, NY — Verb Konviser, local hotel keeper for many years, will sign his cookbook “The Vegetarian Hotel Cookbook” at the E.B. Crawford Public Library at 393 Broadway at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 14. His book contains many of the recipes his mother, Fannie Schaffer, created to serve guests staying at that the Vegetarian Hotel, a resort that grew to 100 rooms and had a swimming pool, tennis, handball and shuffle board courts and offered health lectures, exercise classes and nightly entertainment.  Read more

The Coal Town Rounders strike again

HAWLEY, PA — Northeast PA bluegrass band The Coal Town Rounders returns to the Harmony Presents stage at the Hawley Silk Mill on Saturday, November 16 at 7:30 p.m. This energetic group can’t help but take the stage by storm, keep feet stomping and faces grinning. They play lively, expressive and playful interpretations of historic American songs and bluegrass fused rock tunes in tight three-part harmonies.  Read more

The season of giving all year round

HONESDALE AREA, PA — Gloria Frechen got the idea to start the Community Service Center in the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church because she was inspired by the saint Dorcas, or Tabitha, referenced in the Book of Acts (9:36–42) in the New Testament. Dorcas made clothes for the poor. Frechen gives clothes to people who need them, and gives in other ways, too, including rent money, food and household supplies. So it comes as no surprise when, during my visit to the SDA Community Center, a woman who was there picking up clothes called Frechen an angel.  Read more

Great expectations

The crisp autumn air conjures up the delicious expectancy that characterized the months of November and December in my childhood. I recall my parents cooking the ritual Thanksgiving dishes, unchanged from year to year by family decree. These pleasures were followed by a flurry of activities—the Christmas tree, the food, school pageants, fruitcake baking and, of course, shopping. The extravagant department store displays made shopping an occasion that far outweighed the significance of what we bought.  Read more

Life-preserving reminders

Two timely seasonal reminders are important to take very seriously right now. The first applies to boaters enjoying Pennsylvania’s abundant waterways. The second is pertinent to all drivers utilizing PA roadways.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) notes that beginning November 1 and lasting through April 30, boaters are required to wear a life jacket while on boats less than 16 feet in length or on any canoe or kayak. The requirement applies to all Pennsylvania waters.  Read more

Discover the world of Russian borsch at the libraries

HONESDALE AND HAWLEY, PA — Nikolai Burlakoff, author of “The World of Russian Borsch,” invites you to visit the Hawley Public Library or the Wayne County Public Library to answer all your borsch questions. He will share his borsch odyssey from a hogweed plant-based soup to its presence in outer space on Tuesday, November 12. The author will visit the Wayne County Public Library from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. and the Hawley Public Library from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.  Read more

Restaurant-style fundraiser for Delaware Valley Arts Alliance

NARROWSBURG, NY — When you dine out this fall, you can support the arts at the same time. Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) and local restaurants and bakeries are partnering in “Savor the Arts—Restaurant Style,” a fundraising campaign to support cultural programs and services in the Sullivan County and Upper Delaware Valley regions. Restaurants will donate a percentage of each bill to the DVAA.  Read more

‘Hot Rod Lincoln’ rockers to headline Sullivan County Blues Festival

ROCK HILL, NY — The Sullivan Hotel will host the second annual Sullivan County Blues Festival on Saturday, November 29 and Sunday, November 30. Featuring more than critically acclaimed blues bands, the festival will also boast a number of new additions this year, including various workshops and a tent highlighting craft beers and liquors from local businesses.  Read more