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September 16, 2014
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Photos by Anya Tikka

NORTH BRANCH, NY — Cigar box guitars—made from cigar boxes, as the name suggests, or almost any other kind of box that serves as a resonator— have served generations of musicians. Some of them simply couldn’t afford to buy a regular guitar and some went on to become famous, including music legends Jimmy Hendrix and Paul McCartney, said Mike “Katfish” Karash at his recent workshops at the Old North Branch Inn. Most folks who play them don’t make it that far but simply enjoy playing or making the instruments.

When the water started to fall, my first thought was that it was raining. But the downpour seemed much closer and not muffled by the windows of our apartment.

My second thought was that I...

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Many people who venture outdoors will recognize the red-winged blackbird for what it is; a black bird with red or yellow shoulder patches. However, if the same people see a streaky brown bird...

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I got some shocked questions recently from friends horrified by gruesome reports of birds fatally burned mid-air at a solar energy facility in the Mohave Desert. Buried in the news coverage was...

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Yes, it’s here. Actually, by the time this column hits the stands, September’s full moon will have come and gone, but still… even if I wanted to stop the seasons from changing I cannot. Autumn has...

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I remember a very early morning when the Great South Bay where I grew up was smooth as glass. I had just gotten back from college, and I was very happy to be home. I stood on the beach and looked...

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Fifty years ago, on September 3, 1964, the Wilderness Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, following 60 drafts authored primarily by Howard Zahniser of The Wilderness Society...

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Light the Tree

When I was growing up, my parents and I went out in our yard to cut down our Christmas tree every year. This made sense because I grew up in the middle of the woods. (I have memories of trudging though the snow and it being very, very cold.)

The trees were usually of the Charlie Brown variety; thin but very pretty. We decorated them with ornaments collected over the years and colored lights while we listened to Christmas music. (Usually “The Nutcracker,” but in full disclosure I also really liked the “All-4-One Christmas Special.”)  Read more

Sullivan West students have a Tuba Christmas

NEW YORK CITY — Students from Sullivan West participated in the 28th annual Tuba Christmas at the ice rink in Rockefeller Center on Sunday, December 11. There were 502 performers this year at the event, a new record. Shown here are Cole Sensiba, left; Sabryna Keebler; Trish Ellmauer, elementary music teacher; and Gabe Pinciotti.

It takes a village...

I’ve heard that expression bandied about for years, and being unclear as to its origins, did some research. Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org) never fails me, and I learned several things pertaining to the adage, including the fact that “It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us” is a book published in 1996 by First Lady of the United States Hillary Rodham Clinton. In it, Clinton presents her vision for the children of America. She focuses on the impact individuals and groups outside the family have, for better or worse, on a child’s well-being.  Read more

Hanukkah decoded

With so much information available on the Internet these days, I thought it might be interesting to explore the meaning of various terms and traditions associated with Hanukkah, which started on December 20 this year. Having been raised with a Jewish education, I was surprised to discover some unknown facts and a few rare insights, as well as historical tidbits, songs and poems that enliven homes as families gather all around the world to celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights.

What is Hanukkah?  Read more

River love

The Delaware River is many things to many people, in addition to sustaining the abundant variety of flora and fauna that characterizes the Upper Delaware region. Named America’s Most Endangered River in 2010 by the American Rivers Organization and Pennsylvania’s River of the Year for 2011, the Delaware continues to elicit the passionate devotion of thousands who cherish its generous gifts. From sportsmen, recreationists and residents, to artists, writers and visitors, the Delaware has touched the spirits of people of all ages and from all walks of life.  Read more

Trout hunting

As a young boy, I always enjoyed taking exploratory hikes into forested hills and valleys far off the beaten path. My curiosity would urge me to seek whatever mysteries lay in the valley just over the next hill. When I am on a trout stream, the current pushes me along until I discover what lies around the next bend. Sometimes this curiosity leads to difficulties. My aging legs remind me that I am no youngster. Yet my curiosity suggests that the unknown and beautiful lies only a bit further on.  Read more

Late fall bugs

After the Halloween snow that coated the roads and trees, it seemed that winter was trying to get a foothold in time for November. November, however, was not ready for winter. The Halloween snow soon melted, and by the end of the month, the weather was very mild. During the weekend after Thanksgiving, temperatures were approaching 60 degrees.  Read more

Shopping Local

Rural schools or Wayne County  Read more

Mrs. Claus tells a story

MILFORD, PA — The Ann Street School will host Story Time with Mrs. Claus on Saturday, December 17 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. The school is located in the Milford United Methodist Church, 206 East Ann Street. Children will hear a special story from Mrs. Claus, make a holiday craft, eat yummy treats and have a chance to have a picture taken with Mrs. Claus. The cost is $5 per child. Call 570/296-6124.

Calkins Creamery holiday open house

CALKINS, PA — Calkins Creamery, 288 Calkins Road, will host a holiday open house on Friday, December 16 and Saturday, December 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Creamery staff will treat visitors to warm chocolate chip cookies, coffee and good cheer. Guests will have the opportunity to sample the Creamery’s 14 varieties of raw milk cheeses and new pasteurized fresh cheese varieties including Moo Mozz, baby brie, and Quark cheese dips such as Georgic and Ole.  Read more

Santa and pals in town

HONESDALE, PA — Santa will be making the rounds in Honesdale during the upcoming week. On Thursday, December 15, he will visit Art’s for Him & Her Too, 843 Main Street, from 5 to 7 p.m. On Friday, December 16, he will make a stop at Little Duck House, 623 Main Street from 5 to 7 p.m., sponsored by Connections Magazine. On Saturday, December 17, enjoy a holiday pizza party with Santa and all-you-can-eat pizza, salad and beverage from 12 noon to 2 p.m. at Elegante Restaurant & Pizzeria, 851 Main Street for $7.95 per person, free for kids under one.  Read more

Santa in Matamoras

MATAMORAS, PA — Continuing on his travels through the area, Santa will arrive at the Home Depot from 10 a.m. and stay until noon on Saturday, December 17. He will give his sleigh a rest and travel aboard the Lumberland, NY fire truck. The Home Depot associates join the festivities. There will be candy canes, balloons and fun for children of all ages.

‘Christmas in Connecticut’ in Honesdale

HONESDALE, PA — At 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 18, the Wayne County Arts Alliance’s Sunday Night Cinema series closes out the year with a showing of the classic holiday movie “Christmas in Connecticut.” This 1945 comedy, directed by Howard Hawks and starring Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan and Sydney Greenstreet, centers on Elizabeth Lane (Stanwyck), a food writer who has lied in print about her idyllic rural family life and abilities as a gourmet cook.  Read more

Celebrating the solstice

BEACH LAKE, PA —Laurie Stuart will present a solstice service that explores the balancing of the light and the dark and our relationship within it on Sunday, December 18 at 10:15 a.m. at the Berlin Township Community Center. Taking off from the word “syzygy,” meaning the lining up of three celestial bodies or the combining of two of any things, either alike or opposite, the interactive one-hour service will feature stories, carols and candle lighting.  Read more

Free holiday party for K-3 kids

MATAMORAS, PA — The Pike County Chamber of Commerce, Women in Business and J-Angelo Event Planning will hold a free holiday party for children in Kindergarten to third grades on Sunday, December 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Best Western Inn at Hunt’s Landing, Fountain Room, 120 Routes 6 and 209.  Read more

Happy Holidaze!

I’m often scatterbrained and frequently perplexed—but this week, I found myself even more dazed and confused than usual. The dizzying array of holiday events, parties and fundraisers has me in a tizzy and I momentarily lost my way. Naturally, I’m looking to place blame, rather than own up to a lack of focus, so I’ll chalk it up to attending the Delaware Valley Opera’s (DVO, www.delawarevalleyopera.org) magical and enchanting production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel.” After all, those crazy kids are well known for getting into trouble and losing their way in the woods.  Read more

Forestburgh Theatre Arts Center to receive $13,500 in grants

FORESTBURGH, NY — The Forestburgh Theatre Arts Center (FTAC) Producing Director Norman Duttweiler has announced that the local not-for-profit performing arts organization will receive two state arts grants to support its work of bringing live theatre to both summer audiences and local high schools students. These are the first The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) grants the theatre company has ever been awarded.  Read more

A church celebrates with a Living Nativity

BETHANY, PA — Every year, local churches in our area find special ways to celebrate the Christmas season. Among the most interesting of such traditions is a living nativity held by the Bethany Presbyterian Church. At the annual event, members of the congregation reproduce realistic scenes from the New Testament’s story of the nativity of Jesus Christ, with actors and live animals.

Beginning in the historic church on Route 670, the scenes spill out onto the church grounds with imaginative interpretations of the traditional story, colored by modern music and even humorous themes.  Read more

Scrap Seekers

Scrap metal collection isn’t just the domain of teenagers looking to make an extra buck anymore. In years past, there were always kids asking to haul away your junk for free. It was like the paper route job of rural kids.

But now, as scrap metal prices continue to rise and people are feeling the pinch of a difficult economy, scrap collection is turning into a full-time job. It’s an interesting development in our local economy.  Read more

Tue., Sep. 16 Cub Scout Pack 71 Recruitment Event
Wed., Sep. 17 YEL! FEST #6
Thu., Sep. 18 Pork dinner
Fri., Sep. 19 Silverstein: A Theatrical Reading