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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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Which one are you?

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 out over the water and bayside I loved. Very gradually I became aware of a darkening hue toward the horizon. I looked and looked, baffled. Suddenly, like a punch in the face, I realized it was a layer of smog, creeping from New York City eastward toward Long Island where I stood barefoot on the shoreline—devastated. I was struck with the awfulness of this byproduct of modern civilization.  Read more

Shine on harvest moon

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 many glorious aspects to embrace, including (but not limited to) the burst of fall foliage that sweeps across the Upper Delaware River region and the plethora of festivals celebrating the annual harvest.  Read more

Big Eddy Film Festival announces film selections

NARROWSBURG, NY — The Big Eddy Film Festival has announced its official selections for its third annual event to be held at the Tusten Threare in Narrowsburg September 19 to 21. The film selection includes four documentaries, two narrative features and 21 short films, plus a program of films currently being made by local youth. Five of the film selections have a local connection to Sullivan County and/or the Catskills region. There are two programs of family-friendly short films.  Read more

Double art openings at the DVAA

Paintings and drawings by mother and son

NARROWSBURG, NY — “Mother and Son: Paintings and Drawings” by Diane Green and Isaac Green Diebboll opens with a reception on Friday, September 12 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Delaware Arts Center’s Alliance Gallery. The reception will feature a special piano performance by Isaac. The exhibit will be on view through October 4.  Read more

Acoustic Bluegrass jam at The Cooperage

HONESDALE, PA — On Wednesday, September 17 another Acoustic Bluegrass Jam will be at The Cooperage from 7 to 10 p.m. This Acoustic Bluegrass Jam will be led by Buckshot Jenkins and Ron Penska. It’s an event for both bluegrass musicians and bluegrass listeners alike. All instruments will be welcome, but leave your amps at home.

Bluegrass is a form of American roots music within the country music genre. Its roots are actually found in Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and English folk music with later influence coming from the music of African-Americans through the incorporation of jazz.  Read more

Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen returns

HONESDALE, PA — RiverFolk Concerts will welcome back the award-winning bluegrass band Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen on Saturday, September 13 at 7:30 p.m. at The Cooperage. Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen play a wide variety of new acoustic American roots music focusing on bluegrass and acoustic country, yet blues, folk, swing and jazz also shine through as influences. In 2013, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen received three awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association and for 2014 they have been nominated in four categories.  Read more

The Old Time Fiddlers celebrate 35th anniversary

BEACH LAKE, PA — The Old Time Fiddlers are celebrating 35 years of performing traditional music. They have a special concert and workshop on Saturday, September 13 to commemorate this occasion. Tim Crouch will offer a workshop on fiddling at the Beach Lake Fire Hall at 2 p.m. This workshop is free for fiddlers or people thinking they want to learn how to play the fiddle. At 7:30 p.m. a concert will commence, featuring The Old Time Fiddlers followed by Tim Crouch.  Read more

CineArt presents ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’

CALLICOON, NY — CineArt will present “The Hundred-Foot Journey” at the Callicoon Theater from Friday, September 12 to Monday, September 15 at 7:30 p.m., with one matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday. The film stars Helen Mirren, Manish Dayal and Charlotte LeBon and is directed by Lasse Hallström and produced by Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg. The film is rated PG.

Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family clashes with Madame Mallory (Mirren), the proprietress of a celebrated French restaurant, after they open their own eatery only 100 feet from her restaurant.  Read more

Movies in Monticello: ‘Belle’ and ‘Up’

MONTICELLO, NY — The Youth Committee of the Monticello Interfaith Council, in partnership with the Village of Monticello, is holding an ongoing series of free movies for the community. The group holds matinee showings on the second and fourth Sunday of each month at the Ted Stroebele Recreation Center. Snacks and refreshments will be available.  Read more

Laugh Tour brings live comedy series to Livingston Manor

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The Laugh Tour comedy series will be held on September 13, October 11 and November 8 at the Arnold House, 839 Shandelee Rd. On Saturday, September 13 at 9 p.m. the headliner is Ophira Eisenberg. She has been seen on “The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson,” Comedy Central, VH-1, NPR’s “Ask Me Another” and “The Today Show.” The host is Rich Kiamco, as seen on “The Howard Stern Show,” “The Wendy Williams Show,” BRAVO, “Good Day NY,” and WE-TV.  Read more

Tribute to American Movies: Manhattan Symphonie returns to Milford Theatre

MILFORD, PA — The Manhattan Symphonie ensemble is returning to the Milford Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on September 13. The concert is presented by Kindred Spirits Arts Programs.  Read more

Conan featured Nick Vatterott headlines Comedy Night

HAWLEY, PA — Nick Vatterott headlines Comedy Night at Harmony Presents in the Hawley Silk Mill on Friday, September 12 at 8:30 p.m. In 2010, Vatterott was named one of the “break-outs” at Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival by the Hollywood Reporter and since then has performed on “Conan,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and has a half-hour special on Comedy Central. Also performing are comedians Mara Marek and Andrew Collin.  Read more

Historian Carol Smythe on her new book

GRAHAMSVILLE, NY — Town Historian Carol Smythe will give a talk on her new book, “Around Neversink: From the Rondout Reservoir to the Neversink Reservoir,” at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 13 at the Time and the Valleys Museum on St. Rt. 55.  Read more

The Boxcar Lilies: Angelic three-part harmonies

HAWLEY, PA — Harmony Presents will host The Boxcar Lilies in the underground theater of the Hawley Silk Mill on Saturday, September 13 at 7:30 p.m. The trio plays a mix of folk, country and bluegrass accompanied by clawhammer banjo, ukulele, bass and washboard.  Read more

Coaxing music from a cigar box

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.  Read more

Science and sensibility

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 the fact that this was not a conventional photovoltaic (PV) array, but rather a solar thermal installation using concentrated solar power (CSP). The plant deploys 300,000 garage door-size mirrors that concentrate sunlight to boil water in three 40-story towers, producing steam for turbines that generate electricity.  Read more

Bamboozled over bug I.D.’s?

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 nearby, many will not associate it with a red-winged blackbird. It probably is the same species, but is a female. The dull-colored female has none of the contrasting black-and-red plumage of the male.  Read more

Americana romp with Spuyten Duyvil

HAWLEY, PA — On Saturday, September 6 at 7:30 p.m., Harmony Presents will showcase Spuyten Duyvil (pronounced “Spite-n Dive-l”). Hailing from the Hudson Valley, the band features vocals, traditional jug band energy, slide guitar, incendiary fiddle and Chicago-style blues harp.

Stephen D. Winick of the The Huffington Post described the band as “channeling straight honky-tonk country one minute and drug-addled mystical blues the next... ”  Read more

Free Milford walking tour highlights Pinchot family history

MILFORD PA — A walking tour of downtown Milford that illustrates the many contributions to the community made by the prominent Pinchot family since the 1800s is planned for Saturday, September 13, beginning at 11 a.m. Participants should meet on the lawn of the Milford Community House at the intersection of Broad and Harford streets, rain or shine.  Read more

Wyndham Baird covers Bob Dylan songs

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — On two nights next week, Wyndham Baird performs “Another Side of Nashville,” songs from Bob Dylan’s “Blonde on Blonde” and “Nashville Skyline” era. On Tuesday, September 9 he will appear at the Old North Branch Inn (845/482-5925) in North Branch and on Wednesday, September 10 at the Dancing Cat Saloon (845/583-3141) in Bethel. Each performance begins at 8:30 p.m. Admission is free with a suggested donation.