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November 29, 2015
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TRR photo by Laura Silverman

Long before the Plymouth brethren sat down with the Wampanoag Tribe at the 1621 feast generally considered to be the first Thanksgiving, the Lenni Lenape occupied the Upper Delaware area, enjoying the bounty yielded by the land and the water, and holding ceremonies to thank the gods and spirits for it and to participate in its renewal. Unfortunately, the surviving information about many of these ceremonies is sparse. But we do know something about “Gamwing,” or the Big House Ceremony, a post-harvest festival that has some features similar to our own Thanksgiving.

According to Benjamin Franklin, both “stink after three days” (, and he very well may have been right. I tested...

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The natural world is endlessly interesting and many of us who are not scientists nevertheless devote careful attention to what we observe around us. That devotion is not wasted, and in fact, is...

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There are quite a few couples who commute regularly on the train. They have their routines like anyone else, and when they act as a team it is noticeable. Artie and Pat are one such couple. On any...

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With the big day looming, no doubt you’re giving some thought to what will grace your Thanksgiving table. Who am I kidding? You’re probably going to make the exact same menu as last year (and the...

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But, as Harper (“To Kill A Mockingbird”) Lee once famously said, “You can’t choose your family.” As Thanksgiving approaches, this ever-so-slightly paraphrased sentiment rings true for many of us,...

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On Friday, November 13, the sky at Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest, NJ dawned red with broken clouds and a southwest wind of 10 to 15 mph. The wind wasn’t entirely favorable for migrating...

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PA’s natural strengths

Those who seek proof that Pennsylvania is one of the most beautiful states in America need look no further than photographer Michael Gadomski’s newest book, “Reserves of Strength,” which takes its title from Rachel Carson’s statement: “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”  Read more

Ninth annual small works group show at local gallery

NARROWSBURG, NY — “Art in Sixes,” an exhibition of small art works by local artists, opens at the Delaware Arts Center’s Alliance Gallery on Saturday, November 23, with a reception from 2 to 4 p.m.  Read more

Perpetual crowd pleasers play Harmony Presents

HAWLEY, PA — Harmony Presents will present Roosevelt Dime on Saturday, November 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the Boiler Room, located on the lowest level of the Hawley Silk Mill. This jug-band blues, New Orleans soul and neo-folk musical group was called a “perpetual crowd pleaser” by The New York Times. They play banjo, gut-bucket basses, clarinet and saxophone.  Read more

Middle school presents popular musical

MILFORD, PA — Delaware Valley Middle School will perform “HONK: A Musical Tale of The Ugly Duckling,” the award-winning and critically acclaimed musical by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. The performances will be November 22 and 23 at 7 p.m. and November 24 at 2 p.m. in the Delaware Valley High School auditorium.  Read more

St. Nicholas Faire set at Grace Episcopal Church

HONESDALE, PA — Come out and see St. Nicholas during the annual St. Nicholas Faire at Grace Episcopal Church, 827 Church St. on Saturday, November 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bring your cameras for opportunities to take photos with St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children.  Read more

Nesin Cultural Arts to present ‘The Nutcracker Festival’

MONTICELLO, NY — Visions of sugar plums will be dancing in the heads of many during The Nesin Cultural Arts and BALAM Dance Theatre “Nutcracker Festival.” The production will take place on Sunday, November 24 at 4 p.m. at The Eugene D. Nesin Theatre for the Performing Arts at 22 St. John St.  Read more

CAS Winter Members Show celebrates the season

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The Catskill Art Society will present its annual CAS Winter Members Show, an exhibition of work by CAS member artists displayed throughout the CAS Arts Center at 48 Main St, from November 23 through December 31. The opening reception is November 23 from 2 to 4 p.m. All are welcome and light refreshments will be served.  Read more

‘Arabesque’ at the Stray Cat

BETHEL, NY — The Stray Cat Gallery on Route 17B will hold an opening reception for its new show, “Arabesque,” on Saturday, November 23 from 4 to 7 p.m. The show runs from Friday, November 22 to Wednesday, December 4. The show will feature three artists who have a fascination with pattern, which they employ in their works to create diverse interpretations of nature.  Read more

Slam Allen’s ‘Day before Thanksgiving’

BETHEL, NY — Bluesman Slam Allen will perform at the Dancing Cat Saloon and Catskill Distilling Company’s “Day before Thanksgiving” show at the Distillery on Wednesday, November 27, starting at 8 p.m.  Read more

Songwriters Circle returns to the Distillery

BETHEL, NY — The Sullivan County Songwriters Circle, aka SC Squared, is resuming its Saturday sessions at the Catskill Distilling Company on Route 17B in Bethel. The next session will be Saturday, November 23 from 3 to 5 p.m. SC Squared is created in the spirit of Nashville’s acclaimed Bluebird Cafe for songwriters to share their songs, craft and influences. It’s a safe place to air out new songs, favorites and works in progress. The event is free and open to the public. Visit, or call 845/583-3141.

The ‘Gift of Dance’ for the holidays

HONESDALE, PA — The Honesdale Dance Studio will present “The Gift of Dance” on Saturday, November 23 at the Honesdale High School auditorium; doors open at 12 noon and the curtain opens at 1 p.m. Every year for the last 10 years the Honesdale Dance Studio has held this fundraiser for the Wayne County Children’s Christmas Bureau, and has raised over $10,000 for the charity to date.  Read more

Over the river and through the woods

While I may not be going to grandmother’s house, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and many have already made plans. Grateful to have options this year, I’m still vacillating, but might make a few stops on that day. Meanwhile, I’ve been traipsing through the woods, putting miles on the truck and hauling the dog from one end of Sullivan County to the other this past week. At times, I manage to cross the Delaware River and experience what Pennsylvania has to offer, but the county I call home ( covers nearly 1,000-square miles, so there was plenty to keep me occupied without crossing the border during the last few days.  Read more

Growing community; One email at a time

vir•tu•al (adjective):

(1) Very close to being something without actually being it

(2) Existing or occurring on computers or on the Internet

[]  Read more

The madness of mobs, the wisdom of crowds and the paradoxes of democracy

The days before the recent elections were filled with interesting, heartfelt, and vociferous debates among my circles of online friends and correspondents—not about any of the candidates, mind you, or any of the particular issues involved, but rather about whether or not we should even bother to vote.  Read more

‘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

Thu., Nov. 13 Popular Google Apps
Thu., Nov. 13 Fall Foliage Mixer
Sat., Nov. 15 Fall square dance
Sat., Mar. 14 St. Patrick's Day Parade