Scattered clouds
Scattered clouds
80.6 °F
September 02, 2015
River Reporter Facebook pageTRR TwitterRSS Search

In My Humble Opinion

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

Past-present-future

Forty-six years ago this week, Sullivan County was in the news. That little music festival (www.wood stock.com) had come to town, and along with an impressive line-up of performers, more than 400,000 fans showed up to spend three days cavorting in the fields of Yasgur’s farm, unwittingly making history that reverberates to this day. Arlo Guthrie was here, along with Ravi Shankar, Sly & The Family Stone, Joe Cocker, Joan Baez, The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and The Who.  Read more

Seventy-six trombones and an opera

While it may seem like an odd pairing, I had the pleasure of attending performances of Meridith Willson’s “The Music Man” and Gioachino Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” over the last week, and the two productions have a lot in common. Both shows are entertaining, musical, lyrical and downright fun, and although wildly different, the message is the same. As the popular misquotation runs, “music soothes the savage beast”—and by “beast” I mean me. Let’s face it, I have issues, and last week was rough.  Read more

A midsummer night’s dream

Actually, it was more like a midsummer dream of a weekend. While loath to admit that July is already gone, the plethora of events here in the Upper Delaware River region has been staggering of late. Not for the first time, I was asked if I had (oh, the horror!) a twin brother, since I was spotted in more than one place at the same time. But it’s all an illusion—and the result of (happily) over-extending myself.  Read more

You can choose your friends…

I was fairly young when I read Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” but it certainly made an impression on many levels, including the now-famous quote: “You can choose your friends, but you sure can’t choose your family… whether you acknowledge them or not, and it makes you look downright silly when you don’t.” Okay, then—I’m acknowledging them. They’re here. In fact, they have been here all week.  Read more

Bewitched, bothered and bewildered

I’m unsure whether I can feel all three of those things at one time, but I’m here to tell you that it is possible to experience them all in rapid succession. Of course, the reference itself is to a famous Rogers and Hart tune written for the 1940’s Broadway musical “Pal Joey” and is still popular to this day. Everyone and their mother has recorded it, including Doris Day, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Carly Simon, Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Torme. I won’t sing it for you, but if Sinead O’Connor can do it, why shouldn’t I?  Read more

May the fourth be with you

And what a fabulous fourth it was! There was so much happening throughout the Upper Delaware River region that it was difficult to decide where the pup (www.facebook.com/DharmaTheWonderDog) and I would end up, but we cruised through the Catskills at a good pace, attempting to cram in as much fun as the rest of you. Although there was plenty of precipitation, the weather did nothing to dampen our spirits, and we managed to hit some of the hot spots in Sullivan County, saving PA for next week.  Read more

The Jazz Age

I’m often puzzled as to how I will be able to string multiple events together into one cohesive column, and there are times when I fail miserably. I never pick and choose destinations in order to fit into a common theme, but rather “go with the flow” and hope that inspiration strikes somewhere along the line. The world of arts and leisure here in the Upper Delaware River region is always ripe with diversity, and yet more often than not, I find that patterns emerge in the least likely of places.  Read more

In the good old summertime

Yes, it’s finally here—summer. Concerts under the stars, barbeques, fireflies, dips in the lake and camp for the kids. Summer. It conjures up so many memories of my youth that I can’t help but wax nostalgic as I careen from one end of the Catskills to the other, criss-crossing the Upper Delaware River region in a never-ending attempt to soak up as much as I can before leaves of red and gold begin their annual descent. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s just concentrate on summer for a bit. Ahhhh.  Read more