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August 25, 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, (www.delawarecountyfair.com...

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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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2013A

The first days back from a vacation are always glowing. It’s warmer than I expected it to be and it’s nice to be home. The vacation is still fresh in my mind; I can still feel the sun radiating off of my skin and the soothing relaxation in my bones.

I’m happy to be home; I enjoy the familiar sights and sounds; I get back into my routine. New York is a great city to come back to. I’m always struck by that upon returning from a trip. The first few days are full of doing all of your favorite things, all the things you missed while you were gone.  Read more

Does anybody really know what day it is?

Does anybody really care? I’m not just perplexed about the day, but the month as well. My morning stroll with you-know-who was a little confusing today. After a week of clouds, fog, rain and ice, the thaw gave way to actual sunshine, and the illusion that spring had sprung was in full force. Momentarily unsure that it was still January, I needed to clear the fog in my brain and checked the calendar to be sure. Sure enough, according to the computer, it’s still winter... but a pop-up banner caught my attention (www.library.thinkquest.org).  Read more

State park welcomes playtime in January

PROMPTON, PA — Smiles abounded on the faces of the young and the young-at-heart at Saturday’s Winter Trail Day held at Prompton State Park, PA. It was a day for embracing the white stuff and all of the outdoor winter fun that goes along with it.  Read more

Our new kitten

Our new kitten purrs like a lawn mower. At night I hear her motoring down the hall to jump on our bed, walk across our faces, and lick our fingers. Her loud, vibrating purr seems to say: “I am here. Get up and play with me.…”

The kitten is my daughter’s Christmas present. It just worked out that way. We had tried to adopt her earlier in the season, but between the vet’s schedule and her immunization timetable, she arrived just before Christmas. Rocket, our dignified, older cat, woke from her nap, quickly sized up this turn of events and ran yowling under my son’s bed.  Read more

January 10, 2013

You would not believe what is going on as I write this. My poor mother was taken to North Shore Hospital by ambulance on Long Island last Saturday night. She was having a hard time breathing, and after a week of that nasty virus that was going around, she just did not feel well. The emergency room was crazy, but they took her in right away and gave her oxygen. She had a fever of 102.8. They gave her a blood test and a chest x-ray, and told her she had a virus but not the flu.

My sister called me at about midnight and said, “They’re sending Ma home.”  Read more

On thin ice

January usually heralds the first ice fishing activity for the region; historically, the ice is usually thick enough on most lakes by this time for people to venture out onto the ice. The milder winters of recent years, however, have been a challenge to ice fishing and other outdoor activities that take place on the ice. For most of last winter, the ice was too thin to safely be on the ice on most lakes.  Read more

Winter fun set for Prompton State Park

PROMPTON, PA — The Friends of Prompton State Park will host Winter Trail Days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 12 at the park, located on State Route 170 just north of its intersection with Route 6. Winter Trail Days is a national event that coincides with the grand re-opening of Prompton State Park after sections of it were closed for the last two years.  Read more

Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet at the Cooperage

HONESDALE, PA — The Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet will perform at the Cooperage, 1030 Main St. on Saturday, January 19. The show starts at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Donations will be collected at the door.

The evening will feature a mix of jazz standards and original compositions performed by Jaxen on piano, Charley Krachy on tenor sax, Don Messina on bass and Bill Chattin on drums.

This is a BYOB event. Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase. In the event of inclement weather, visit www.thecooperageproject.org or call 570/253-2020.

Wurtsboro Winterfest

WURTSBORO, NY — The Wurtsboro Board of Trade will host Winterfest on Saturday, February 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a chili cook-off and an ice carving contest judged by local VIPs.

The Wurtsboro Art Alliance will showcase a Valentine’s Day show with local artists and their works. Sullivan Street will be bustling with events, like a mini indoor street fair, with vendors and kettle corn. The library will be hosting an inside craft area, with a book reader for the children, sponsored by the Mamakating Friends of the Library.

For more information, visit www.wurtsboro.org.

Kids say the darndest things

I woke up last Sunday feelin’ a little off. Winter, in all its splendor, can also cause a bit of depression for some folks and I was in the throes of doing research on Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) looking for antidotes, prepared to spend the day immersed in the moody blues. Checking online I discovered that “Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. If you’re like most people with S.A.D., your symptoms start in the fall and may continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.” (www.mayoclinic.com)  Read more

Sullivan County’s Cathy Paty really is a country girl!

BETHEL, NY — Born and raised in Sullivan County, Sullivan Chamber of Commerce VP Cathy Paty is most at home in the Catskills (www.catskills.com), but currently she’s expanding her horizons, with an eye on the home of country music—Nashville, TN. “Bethel, NY is, and always will be, my home,” Paty said in an interview with The River Reporter, “but I’ve been blessed with an amazing opportunity, and I’m going for it.” An active member of the community, Paty takes her job with the chamber “very seriously” but has outside interests as well, and music has always played a “huge part” in her life.  Read more

The reign of Wayne has driven us insane

“Aw, geez, now they’re really gonna try to take my guns...!”

As the news started to roll in from Newtown, CT, on December 14, I overheard that reaction. Maybe you overheard it, too, or maybe you said or thought it yourself. Let’s not rehash the heated discussions that followed the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary; those discussions, after all, have been repeated, practically word-for-word, so many times in recent years that we could probably repeat each side’s talking points in our sleep.  Read more

Close encounter

As I walked along the creek on a late autumn afternoon, I heard a rustling off to my left. I stopped to see if I could catch sight of a fox, or better yet a bear searching for a wintering spot. Instead I saw the fluorescent orange vest of a hunter.

A number of concurrent thoughts flashed through my mind. “Here I am in the woods alone, and there is a man with a gun. This must be why my mother (born and raised in the city) warned me, ‘Never, ever go outside. You could die.’”  Read more

Cottontails: appealing and plentiful

Many species of mammals abound throughout the Upper Delaware River region. One of the most abundant, and likely the most popular in terms of game animals, is the Eastern cottontail rabbit.

Ranging between 15 to 19 inches in length and weighing between two to four pounds, cottontails are so named for the white puffy tail that characterizes this appealing animal. Brown or grayish soft fur tapers to a lighter tan on top, with a white underbelly below.  Read more

‘Oh, the weather outside is frightful!’

Considering the events (or lack thereof) over the last few days, I can’t be the only one with those lyrics in mind. As a child, winter storms meant hot chocolate, waxing up the “Flying Saucer” and mom insisting on snow pants (always a good fashion statement) before we headed out the door, shrieking with glee (insert sigh here.)  Read more

Monticello Elks breakfast

MONTICELLO, NY — Monticello Elks Lodge #1544 is serving an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast on Sunday, January 13. Serving is from 7 a.m. to 12 noon at the Lodge on North St.

The menu includes pancakes, French toast, eggs, bacon, sausages and potatoes. Proceeds will be utilized for the beautification of the lodge.

Breakfast costs $8 for adults, $4 for children 12 and under and kids under five are admitted free. Eat in or take out.

For more information, call Lisa Muller at 845/807-2858.

Woodsongs Coffeehouse at Sullivan County Museum

HURLEYVILLE, NY — Singer/songwriter Rick Nestler, Van Manakas and the acoustic duo of Steve Schwartz and Antoine Magliano will play at the Woodsongs Coffeehouse at the Sullivan County Museum on Saturday, January 5 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Nestler’s reper-toire includes folk material, traditional songs, protest songs, love songs and country ballads. His “The River that Flows Both Ways” was recorded by Pete Seeger on his album “Pete Seeger’s Family Concert.” Visit Nestler’s website at www.ricknestler.com.  Read more

Surf lessons

I’m on the beach in Costa Rica right now. The waves crash big and beautiful. A dreadlocked, tan, fit American guy is explaining that falling is a big part of surfing. That I should embrace it. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the ocean, but I’ve never surfed before. I’m a little nervous.

There is a small group taking the lesson. The instructor teaches us how to stand up on the board. He draws a line in the sand, to represent a surfboard, and we practice popping up from lying to standing.

“Surfing is mental, right?” he says. “It’s all about going for it.”  Read more

Hinchey takes farewell tour; After 20 years in Congress, Hinchey says goodbye

TWENTY-SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, NY — After serving in Congress for 20 years, for the past couple of weeks, Congressman Maurice Hinchey has been engaged in a farewell tour of his far-flung district, which stretches from Ithaca to Kingston.

At multiple stops along the tour, the progressive lawmaker said farewell to officials and constituents that he has worked with and fought for over the years.  Read more

New Year’s resolutions

My son asked me what my New Year’s resolutions were. I told him I don’t make them anymore but I have some to offer the rest of you….  Read more

  • Stop assuming the worst of your fellow human beings. Maybe they are just deaf to your needs. Tell them what you want and ask how you can help them.
  • Speak softer, but clearly. Make eye contact.
  • Don’t forget to ask, no, really ask, how their day/week/life is going before ranting about your own. Don’t rant. Okay, maybe a little. Sometimes.
  • Stop watching Fox News.
  • Watch less MSNBC.