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October 22, 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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Fireworks and more

BETHEL, NY — The Town of Bethel’s annual Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration will take place on Sunday, July 3 at dusk on Kauneonga Lake.  Read more

Get me to the church on time

I think about writing all of the time—and especially this column. As I plot out the details of the coming week, the column begins to take on life in its own ever-changing, capricious way, almost becoming alive in my anthropomorphic mind as I wend my way through this entertaining, never ending tour of the Delaware River Valley. Sometimes I stop to snap a pic of a baby skunk by the side of the road, and this act alone gives birth to a paragraph or two. Other days, it’s the weather.  Read more

Old pastures

The multi-flora roses are in bloom. Their sweet, spicy fragrance meets you along the old paths. These great bushes of white roses, entwined with grape, humming with bees, are long ago escaped and gone wild. They encroach the roadsides and are taking over the old pastures.

My cousins and I played baseball in these now overgrown fields. The grass was cropped then by the Herefords my uncle pastured there. Buttercup and bull thistle—whatever a cow wouldn’t eat—grew tall.  Read more

Waking up

On the night of May 26, my husband called me downstairs. He had been checking the radar weather map, and when the wind and lightning started, he knew I would be safer on the first floor of our house. "This is going to be a bad one," he said. Neither of us acknowledged that the horrific images of Joplin, Missouri were forefront in our minds.

Fear gripped me as we huddled against the storm, the likes of which I had never before experienced. You know what I'm talking about. You were there too.  Read more

Primitive landscapes by Korb at River Gallery

NARROWSBURG, NY — An exhibit of paintings by local primitive artist Cheryl Korb will come to River Gallery – The Art of Living on Saturday, June 25, opening with an artist’s reception from 6 to 8 p.m. The show will run through August 20.

A self-taught artist from northeastern Pennsylvania, Cheryl Korb still lives on the farm where she was born. After raising a family of three children, she had time to pursue her dream which was to make paintings inspired by Grandma Moses. Cheryl began painting the landscape she knows best: her own backyard.  Read more

The television star

Six weeks ago, I received an unusual request from our friend Misako Ishimura. Misako is a member of the Japanese Women’s Fly Fishing Organization. She wanted me to participate in the making of a fly fishing film that would be sponsored by the Shimano Tackle Company of Japan, the tentative title being “Fly Fishing in the Catskill Mountains of America.” The show is to be shown on Japanese television. Misako, or “Misa” as she prefers to be called, is such a wonderful, bubbly little lady it was impossible to refuse her plea.  Read more

A walk around the block

What marvels may be seen, out there amidst the green? Each of these images (also see photos at top left) was photographed within walking distance of The River Reporter’s office on Erie Avenue in Narrowsburg, NY, proof that one need not venture far to find something fascinating in the natural world. Take a stroll today—and don’t forget your camera!

Country Ark Farm

MILFORD, PA — For 23 years, the Ciancitto family has been quietly going about their chosen work, down a dirt road just outside Milford, where they care for more than 100 domestic and exotic animals whose existence enriches the lives of people challenged with various disabilities.  Read more

Audubon in Manor, all week long

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — There will be a celebration of all things Audubon in Livingston Manor from Friday, June 24 through Sunday, July 3.
The week will get started with the opening of an Audubon and Friends art exhibition at Flour Power Bakery, with a reception at 5:30 p.m. in the upstairs gallery. The exhibit will be open to the general public through July 17. It will feature 17 artists and photographers, and the Sullivan County Audubon Society will highlight the exhibit with an information station on our local birds and butterflies and information on their activities in Sullivan County.  Read more

‘Flicks from the Underground’

NARROWSBURG, NY — The eighth annual DIGit festival will conclude with “Flicks from the Underground,” a screening of videos and films from performance artists from the 1970s to the present, curated by video artist Ron Littke. The videos, originally intended to be shown in galleries, clubs and performance spaces, are funny, irreverent, surprising and different. Most of the videos come from the Franklin Furnace archives. Many haven’t been shown publicly for over 20 years.  Read more

Readings from ‘Bad Church, Good Church’

DINGMAN, PA — Local author and journalist Tom Kane will give a reading of his recently published book, “Bad Church, Good Church: A Memoir of a Former Catholic Priest” on Thursday, June 23 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Dingman Township Branch of Pike County Public Library. The event is free and open to the public. The branch is located at 100 Bond Court, on Log Tavern Road near the intersection with Route 739 in Dingman Township.

NACL opens with “Darwinii”

HIGHLAND LAKE, NY — NACL Theatre will open its 11th season on Sunday, June 26 at 4 p.m. with “Darwinii: The Comeuppance of Man.” The play is written by Glen Berger (author of Broadway’s “Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark”) in collaboration with performer/theatre maker Brett Keyser. It features Keyser in the role of Cristóbal, an Argentine man accused of various crimes, including stealing original Charles Darwin manuscripts from rare book libraries around the world. Why? Because he’s convinced he’s the great-great-great-great bastard grandson of the father of Natural Selection.  Read more

Simon’s ‘Biloxi Blues’ at Forestburgh

FORESTBURGH, NY — Neil Simon’s hit, “Biloxi Blues,” will play at the Forestburgh Playhouse through Sunday, June 26. The play, written by Simon at the peak of his comic power, is a heartwarming story based on his own experiences in the army during Wolrd War II. The coming of age chronicle centers on the main character, Eugene Morris Jerome, played by Tyler Bellmon, when he is drafted and sent to Biloxi, MI for basic training.  Read more

Capturing winged beauty

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — “Birds of Sullivan County—A Photographic Exhibition” will open at Morgan Outdoors on Saturday, June 25, with a reception from 4 to 5:30 p.m. It will run through July 24. Photographers include Stephen Davis of Eldred, Gene McGarry of Woodstock and Valerie Freer of Ellenville.  Read more

Garden party benefits DVAA

YOUNGSVILLE, NY — There will be a garden party benefit for the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance’s (DVAA) Arts Alive Drive on Saturday, June 25 from 5 to 8 p.m. at The Cutting Garden, 4055 State Rte. 52.

Enjoy the garden while helping the DVAA to reach its goal. Wear your best garden party outfit, and enter the contests for The Best Party Hat, The Best Gardening Hat and the Most Unique Hat. There will be prizes, punch and party food.  Read more

Hudson in one-woman show at CAS

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — Singer-songwriter Karen Hudson’s one-woman show, “Compartments—Shedding Light on Dark Places,” will be presented on Saturday, June 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Catskill Art Society (CAS) Arts Center. The show is a concert and art exhibit that combines music, storytelling and mixed media art. It features sculptural dioramas Hudson created based on autobiographical events and fears that arose from them, and the songs that tell each story, with special guest guitarist “Homeboy” Steve Antonakos.  Read more

Extension to hold golf tournament

SWAN LAKE, NY —Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Sullivan County will hold its fifth annual CCE Golf Classic on Saturday, July 9 at 11 a.m. at the Swan Lake Golf and Country Club. The rain date is Sunday, July 10 at 12 noon.

This day includes a dinner after the round and some chances at prizes donated by local businesses. There will be hole-in-one prizes donated by M & M Auto Group. There will also be a putting and longest drive contest.  Read more

Jazz at the museum

CUDDEBACKVILLE, NY — The Neversink Valley Museum of History and Innovation will present an evening of jazz and blues with vocalist Ellen Kaye and guitarist Ethan Fein on Saturday, June 25 at 7:30 p.m. That evening, the D & H Canal Park Visitor’s center will be turned into a New York City jazz club.  Read more

Summertime, when the livin’ was easy

The summer blockbuster that just came out in movie theaters about the kids and the aliens doesn’t make much sense. I went to a matinee last Sunday. It was playing every hour, the way those big movies do. I left feeling a little let down and overall disappointed.

It just wasn’t... believable.

Don’t you find that the “Summer blockbuster that just came out in theaters” can’t quite live up to it’s own hype? You’ve seen the posters everywhere; you’ve caught those vague TV spots. The pull quotes. That buzz. Spoilers.  Read more

Haystock 2011 to benefit Farmhearts

CALLICOON, NY — Haystock, a fundraiser for Farmhearts, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping our regional farmers, will be held at the Delaware Youth Center at 8 Creamery Road on Saturday, July 2 at 6 p.m. The event will also serve as the July meeting of Tusten Concerned Citizens.  Read more