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September 17, 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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UpFront opens new show

PORT JERVIS, NY — UpFront Exhibition Space will hold a reception for its August/September 2012 show on Saturday August 18 from 6 to 9 p.m. There will be live music by Walt Edwards along with complimentary refreshments. The show will run through September 20.

The exhibit includes the work of over 30 artists of all mediums.

Among the other artists are Adrienne Butvinik, Georgina Copanzzi, Debbie Gioello, Gordon Graff ,Julia Healy, Peter Koenig, Geoff Morse, Nick Roes, Joan Standora, Paul Thomas, Linda Witting and Greg Zukowski.  Read more

Rolling River holds outdoor dance party

PARKSVILLE, NY — The Rolling River Cafe Gallery & Inn will celebrate its fourth anniversary with an outdoor dance party on Sunday, August 18. The music line-up will start with Rolie Polie Guacamole at 3 p.m., followed by bass Tom Caltabellotta and tenor Mariano Vidal, an operatic duo, at 5 p.m., and local group The Radyos from 6 to 8 p.m.  Read more

DVO Shakespeare trio concludes with ‘Merry Wives’

NARROWSBURG, NY —The Delaware Valley Opera production of “Merry Wives of Windsor” will be performed at the Tusten Theatre on Friday and Saturday, August 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, August 19 at 3 p.m. The “Merry Wives of Windsor” is the third performance of the DVO’s summer season “Shakespeare Sings.” It is a rollicking domestic comedy based on the classic story of Sir John Falstaff in Shakespeare’s historical plays based on English kings Henry IV and V. Tickets cost $25 for general admission, $20 for seniors and $10 for students. Visit delawarevalleyopera.org or call 845/252-3136.  Read more

‘Letters to Daddy’ tackles bullying

BETHEL, NY — “Letters to Daddy,” the peer-to-peer, original musical stage production that teaches children life lessons to cope with issues like bullying, will be performed in the Event Gallery at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts at 4 p.m. on August 30.

“Letters to Daddy” empowers children to resolve challenging issues by building character, engaging them through peer-to-peer influence and establishing higher moral and ethical standards. Nearly all cast members, ages 10 through 14, have a personal story about bullying, and many have derived strength from participating in the production.  Read more

Sing in a concert of carols

MILFORD, PA — The Delaware Valley Choral Society invites anyone who loves to sing to join it for its next concert, titled “Christmas Olde and New.” A variety of Christmas carols will be performed, along with Benjamin Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols” in it’s original form.  Read more

Galveston, Texas

Colin and I are at Home Depot picking up some art supplies for our upcoming shoot. We are in Galveston, TX for 10 days shooting reenactments and interviews for the documentary I’ve been working on. I am enjoying the break from the editing room and dabbling in the art department.

It’s obvious to the local cashier when we get to the front of the line that we aren’t from the area. She is very warm and friendly.

“What are you doing in Galveston?” she asks. We pause, unsure exactly how to answer. Many people in Galveston are not fond of recounting this dark memory.  Read more

Back to the future

As I roamed the Upper Delaware valley over the last week, I kept hearing about the plethora of events occurring simultaneously ‘round every bend. Concerts, art exhibits, plays and poetry readings were (and are) popping up all around us. Clearly, we can’t make them all. But I have chosen to highlight a few that I have been to, as well as gaze into the crystal ball and preview what lies ahead, hoping that many of our faithful River Reporter readers will meet up with me (and Dharma, of course) along the way.  Read more

Lights out

A couple of years ago, and with great zeal, I replaced the incandescent (IC) bulbs in my home with CFLs, touted as superior in terms of energy savings and thus, I naively thought, superior in terms of environmental sustainability. I knew that CFLs should be recycled rather than tossed in the garbage, but I thought I wouldn’t have to worry for at least five year, their alleged lifespan. So I was surprised when my bedside reading lamp bulb died a few days ago, sooner than my older ICs.

There I stood, peeved in the dark.  Read more

Enjoying local bounty

NARROWSBURG, NY — The crowds enjoy roast pig, prepared 10 different ways by 10 chefs, along with a multitude of vegetarian fixings, at Pig Mountain 2. The festival was held on Saturday, August 11 on Main Street in Narrowsburg, and enjoyed balmy weather and an enthusiastic clientele despite a threat of thunderstorms early on in the day.  Read more

An absent-minded professor

At a recent meeting of the “Bamboo Gang,” Roger Menard showed off a pretty rod that had a very curious history. As Roger explained it, while fishing he had met a fellow angler whose father had worked for Jim Payne. This fellow noticed Roger’s bamboo rod and asked if Roger had ever put rods together. When Roger answered “yes,” this fellow said he would send him some glued-up sticks for a seven-and-one-half-foot rod. These sticks would already have the ferrules attached.  Read more

Canaries in a mine, frogs in a pond

Years ago, miners entered a mine to work, and sometimes they were accompanied by a canary in a cage. The idea of the canary was that if there was a low oxygen level or hazardous gas present, the canary would show signs of distress before the miners did; this gave the miners time to evacuate. Thankfully, modern innovations like portable gas meters and self-contained breathing apparatus have eliminated the need to sacrifice any more canaries. The job description of a canary, had it been listed by the mining company, would probably read “bio-indicator.”  Read more

Mazfest: Peace, love and music in Roscoe

ROSCOE, NY — What began as a small, one-day music festival has grown into a mini Woodstock-esque event hosted by the Livingston Manor-based rock group Mazmyth. In explaining the name of his band, guitarist Matt Smith said, “Matt Smith sounds like Mazmyth when you’re slurring your words. It had us laughing and it just stuck around.” And from there sprang the name for the entire music festival, Mazfest.  Read more

Bake your way into history

MILFORD, PA — The Pike County Historical society will host a historically inspired baked goods contest on August 12 at the Columns Museum in Milford. We are asking interested parties to tour the museum and look for inspiration in our holdings and exhibits. The contest entries should depict something or someone that you think best represents Pike County history. The final products will be judged at 2 p.m., and prizes will be awarded for the “Best Historical” and “Most Creative” baked goods.  Read more

SCDW presents ‘The Producers’

SOUTH FALLSBURG, NY — “The Producers,” the musical created on the basis of the Mel Brooks classic, hits the boards at the Rivoli Theatre in South Fallsburg for six performances from August 10 through 19, presented by the Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop (SCDW).  Read more

Meaney is “Rising Star” at Bernie’s

ROCK HILL, NY — Bernie’s Holiday Restaurant will team up with Catch a Rising Star (CARS) on August 11 to present a night of comedy with Kevin Meaney. Doors open at 8 p.m., and show time is 9 p.m.

Meaney has been a popular standup comedian for more than 25 years, drawing upon his family relationships for much of his material. Tom Shales of the Washington Post said, “Picture the precocious love child of Jonathan Winters and Ethel Merman and you have some idea of Kevin Meaney’s act.”  Read more

Revisiting the glory days of Catskills hotels

CUDDEBACKVILLE, NY — Join the members and friends of The Neversink Valley Museum of History and Innovation on Friday, August 10, at 7:30 p.m., when entertainer and educator Larry Strickler conducts a virtual trip up Route 17, with a stop at the Red Apple and a game of Simon Sez in a presentation, “A Catskills Tummler Looks Back 50 Years and Beyond: From Schloime Ehrenreich’s Hotel to Kutsher’s Country Club to the D& H Canal Park Visitor Center in Cuddebackville.”  Read more

Nick Cobb headlines Laugh Tour

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — Nick Cobb of Comedy Central and Last Comic Standing will headline the next show of the Laugh Tour at The Nutshell, on August 11, with doors opening at 7 p.m. Also performing will be Regina Decicco and Akash Bhasin. As always, Rich Kiamco of The Howard Stern Show and Sirius XM will emcee.  Read more

Nostalgia Expo

DINGMANS FERRY, PA — There will be a Multi Media Memorabilia and Nostalgia Expo from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, August 12, at American Legion Post 851, 107 Ball Park Rd. off Wilson Hill Road. Comic books, Sports cards, gaming cards and entertainment cards will be featured as well as rare records, CDs, DVDs, old TV, film, toys, action figures, Nascar, video games, original comic book art, animation cells and more. There will also be a flea market and craft fair in different rooms and outside, weather permitting.  Read more

Museum celebrates Woodstock’s 43rd

BETHEL, NY — Starting on Wednesday, August 15, visitors to The Museum at Bethel Woods can enjoy four days of activities that commemorate the 43rd anniversary of the 1969 festival. Activities will include a 1960s Costume Contest, with prizes including a pair of tickets to see Judy Collins in the Event Gallery on Saturday, December 15; continuous showings of “Woodstock: Three Days of Peace & Music;” and authors and artists on hand throughout the weekend to sell and sign their books and artwork. Visit BethelWoodsCenter.org or call 866/781-2922.

Poetry at Harmony

HAWLEY, PA — Harmony Presents at the Hawley Silk Mill will host “Labor and Transformation,” a book launch and reading by a pair of poets, on Saturday, August 18.

Mary Olmsted Greene, author most recently of “Women Outside,” will read from “Permission,” published in 2012 by Stockport Flats. Lori Anderson Moseman, author of many books of poetry and coordinator of the new Confluence series under Stockport Flats, will be reading from her book “All Steel,” published in 2012 by flim forum press.  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