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July 28, 2016
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In My Humble Opinion

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

Happy holidays!

No, it’s not a misprint. For many of us here in the Upper Delaware River region, the holiday season has commenced. Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) began at sundown this past Monday while Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) still lies ahead. Hallmark opportunities notwithstanding, the Jewish holidays are always celebrated on the same day of the Hebrew calendar and each “day” begins and ends with sunset, rather than at midnight.  Read more

Making hay while the sun shines

In truth, I know nothing about making hay, but am thankful that I live in a region where other folks do. My version of “making hay” is proverbial, rather than practical, since my skills lean more toward typing and talking than doing something useful behind the wheel of a tractor. As for the popular proverb itself, it’s fairly self-explanatory: “To take advantage of favorable circumstances. i.e. If you have an opportunity to do something, do so before the time expires” (www.freedictionary.com).  Read more

Fantasticks, Fashion, Art & Flatts–How may I direct your call?

With Labor Day looming, I’m guessing that my spring cleaning will have to wait. Observing folks throughout the Upper Delaware River region packing up their boating supplies, I’m reminded that I’m still unpacking kitchen utensils, even though I’ve been in my new digs since last winter. Clearly, I have issues.  Read more

Have I stayed too long at the fair?

Probably. The haunting ballad with that same title was composed by Billy Barnes in 1966 and plays repeatedly in my head annually, as various counties host down-home fairs that beckon throughout the Upper Delaware River region at this time of year. I try to hit at least one every summer and always look forward to seeing what the 4-H kids have been up to, log-rolling contests, rides, crafts, vendors galore and of course food, glorious food!  Read more

Dog day afternoons

As Paul Harris and Tom Jorgensen of the Old Farmers Almanac explain, the phrase “dog days” “conjures up the hottest, most sultry days of summer,” coinciding with the rising, at dawn, of Sirius, the dog star, in the constellation Canis Major. Who knew? I thought it had something to do with our dogs panting in the midday sun. Curious to learn more, I delved a bit deeper and found the origin of the expression to be even older than me.  Read more

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