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December 02, 2015
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In My Humble Opinion

You can choose your friends…

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, as we choose with whom to break bread on turkey day. For me, it’s my family of friends, who have made a conscious decision to spend time with me (and I them) rather than getting together out of a sense of familial duty, based on bloodline, which often has no bearing on whether we actually like each other or not.  Read more

Fish and Visitors

According to Benjamin Franklin, both “stink after three days” (www.ushistory.org), and he very well may have been right. I tested Franklin’s hypotheses over the summer when my family visited for more than the allotted days, but somehow they managed to stand the test of time. Still, when I venture outside of the Upper Delaware River region (which is very rare) I try not to overstay my welcome, rather than risk emanating effluvia (look it up!) myself.  Read more

If I could turn back time…

Well, even if I could, I’m not sure that I would, but every once in a while, it sure is fun to revisit the past. One such opportunity arose last weekend in the form of the Bethel Theatre Works (BTW) production of “Vaudeville in the Catskills-Swings into the Sixties.” The company’s artistic director, Victoria V. Leighton, has been inviting me to their productions for a few years now, but busy bee that I am, this was my first opportunity to take in one of the shows.  Read more

Funny, he doesn’t look flu-ish…

There, I said it. That old chestnut has popped up repeatedly as I ride out the horrible (I mean horrible) cold that descended several days ago and (as of this writing) still clings to me, as I shake, rattle and try to roll with it. My bones hurt, my eyes hurt and, if I had my druthers, I’d hurt the one who gave it to me to begin with. More often than not, it’s impossible to pinpoint the exact moment when one has been exposed to germs that can take down the bravest of souls, but in this case, I’m well aware of where and when this nightmare started.  Read more

Trick or treat

It’s a little spooky how quickly the year has flown by. Seems like only yesterday that I was writing about the darling buds of May making their first appearance and making plans for the lazy, hazy days of summer—which are now a thing of the past. In fact, when I awoke yesterday, there was literally frost on the pumpkin, and I began the mildly arduous task of digging out the long johns and putting my patio furniture away for the winter. As always, I’m a bit behind schedule.  Read more

I’ve got a secret

It’s not the kind of secret I want to keep to myself, but rather spread the word about, which I’ve been attempting to do for lo these many years. The Catskills, and Upper Delaware River Region, is home to such a great variety of entertainment and arts and leisure opportunities that it, well, keeps me employed. This is not the kind of secret one wants to keep under one’s hat, which is why I’m constantly trying to get you all out there, all year long, joining me and my dog as we traverse the countryside spreading the good word.  Read more

Me and my shadow

I’d love to think that you all have grown tired of putting up with me and how I prattle on about my adorable puppy, but according to each and every one of you, Dharma the Wonder Dog is the reason you tolerate me and smile as I approach, pen in hand. To be honest, had I known that she would be the key to whatever “success” I might enjoy, I might have aligned myself with cute animals for the last 30 years, rather than count on what could be described as a marginal ability to convey my feelings about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Read more

All work and no play…

Well, my active life here in the Upper Delaware River region is anything but dull. Just to be sure that I was properly defining my state of being, I looked it up, since “active” means different things to different people. According to my trusty dictionary, active means A: “being in physical motion.” Well that’s certainly true, but the definition does not include the words “whirling dervish,” which I feel like much of the time. B: “functioning, or capable of functioning.” Capable?  Read more

Lights, camera, Parksville?

An unlikely combination of words on the page to be sure, and yet… there they are. Although the Upper Delaware River region is hardly a stranger to filmmaking, I’ve never really considered the Catskills a movie-making Mecca. It’s no secret that there have been films featuring the region, while directors and cinematographers have long considered our neck of the woods an ideal location to shoot their movies because of the natural beauty that abounds and the rich history that reverberates. First and foremost “Dirty Dancing” springs to mind.  Read more

Mixed emotions

Those two words pretty much sum up what I’m feeling at the moment. The summer was a rollercoaster, and even though I swore that I would take more time to stop and smell the roses, the last blooms have already faded away, and the best I can do now is sniff over what might have been. Last summer, I spent as much time as possible swimming in Crystal Lake.  Read more

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