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September 28, 2016
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In My Humble Opinion

Nice work if you can get it…

“The man who only lives for making money, lives a life that isn’t necessarily sunny,” wrote Ira Gershwin back in the day. “Likewise the man who works for fame—there’s no guarantee that time won’t erase his name” (www.songlyrics.com). The ditty, written in the 1930s, goes on to explain that only a girl can right all things wrong and make a man complete, so I generally skip over that part, replace “girl” with “dog” and keep singing.  Read more

Three plays and a concert (Sung to the tune of ‘Three Coins in a Fountain’)

Okay, fine… I won’t sing, but I can tell you that there was plenty of fine singing going on at Bethel Woods the other night. I did indeed, have three plays and a concert on my schedule, so before heading out to the Pavilion on Saturday, (www.bethelwoods.org) I drove in the opposite direction (www.fbplayhouse.org) on Thursday and caught a performance of “The Addams Family” in Forestburgh. The entire clan was creepy, kooky, mysterious and ooky in the best of all possible ways. To read my full review of the show, visit www.riverreporter.com/artsandleisure.  Read more

Busman’s holiday

Seven years ago this week, I walked into the office at The River Reporter in Narrowsburg, NY, having been invited to share my humble opinion on all things Arts and Leisure for the summer months. Little did I know that 365 (counting today’s page) columns later, I would still be traversing the Upper Delaware River region in search of same. But here I am—happily typing away while doing the math. On average, I write about 800 words a week, (not counting the feature articles,) which when added up, comes to almost 275,000 words (oh, my!) over the years.  Read more

Mixed reviews

Benjamin Franklin once said that “honesty is the best policy,” and like so many other pithy comments of his, the expression is still around. My poor mother tried to instill this concept in my young head, and although I had my mouth washed out with soap a couple of times, I still tried to lie my way out of trouble on occasion. It rarely worked. As I matured (don’t go there!) I found that both Franklin and my mother were right, of course—and as I embraced honesty, the idea of becoming a critic appealed.  Read more

In the good old summertime

June is officially bustin’ out all over. The hills are alive and the Upper Delaware River region is thrumming with activity. In the last few days, the Wonder Dog and I have been to the theatre, a concert under the stars, attended a block party and watched some belly dancers shaking their groove thing. We’ve seen a lot of friends and neighbors out and about, so I know you all are keeping an eye on our “Where and When” section in The River Reporter (see page 26), which is a great way to stay informed about everything going on in your neck of the woods.  Read more

People-watching 101

I’ve always liked people-watching. Even as a kid, I would often sit back and watch them go by, talking amongst themselves, unaware that anyone else was looking. Little wonder then, that I discovered a way to do so in my professional life, from behind the lens, observing the world around me and talking about the people later on from the safety and comfort of my office chair.  Read more

All work and no play…

Word on the street (and by “street” I mean Wikipedia) is that it makes Jack (and by “Jack” I mean me) a dull boy, but what does the old proverb really mean? The Internet source informs us: “It means that without time off from work, a person becomes both bored and boring.” Wait… what? First off, I’m hardly a boy, so there’s that. Secondly, how can one be simultaneously both bored and boring? And I’ve been called a lot of things, but dull is not one of them, nor is it a word often applied to life here in the Upper Delaware River region.  Read more

Let them eat cake

I like cake. Actually, if it’s sweet, I probably will like whatever it is. In point of fact, I completed yet another trip around the sun this past week, and there has been plenty of cake to go around. I’m not big on celebrating birthdays, but I’m thankful to have friends who care, and upon their insistence I have blown out the candles a few times over the last several days. My birthday has always been close to Memorial Day (sometimes even simultaneous), and as a kid, I naturally thought that all of the barbeques, celebrations, parades and general hoopla were all for my benefit.  Read more

Just making conversation

Let’s face it, I talk a lot. How fortunate for me then, that I found a way to do so and get paid for it, right, wrong or indifferent. Sadly, in this day of texting and instant gratification, the art of conversation is getting lost in the shuffle, but old warhorses like me keep plugging along, be it small talk or engaging with others on bigger issues, and life here in the Upper Delaware River region provides plenty of opportunity for both.  Read more

I’ve got a secret

First of all, let me just go on the record and declare that if you share a secret with me, I’m really good at keeping it. Conversely, if I’m told something without a confidentiality clause attached, I consider it fair game and am more than likely to blab—man about town that I am. Fair warning.  Read more