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December 04, 2016
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The greatest love of all

Monticello HS senior Jake Cohen plays a mean guitar at the Harvest Festival.

Strolling the Harvest Festival on the grounds of Bethel Woods ( this past weekend offered more inspiration from the youth of America. In addition to observing families having a swell time, there were kids performing as part of Dancing Cat Saloon ( proprietor Stacy Cohen’s “Musicians Gathering—The Next Generation.” Cohen’s mentoring and encouragement has inspired many youngsters to follow their dreams and “never to walk in anyone’s shadows,” and they hit the main stage with verve and talent that is admirable and should absolutely be fostered.

Sixteen-year-old Jake Cohen (no relation) is just beyond TNG age and the Monticello High School senior was also at the festival with his guitar, jamming with adults and displaying his burgeoning talents for the crowd as he continues his musical education. This kid has a promising future and seems intent on following his dream, having already discovered that “If I should fail, if I succeed, at least I will live as I believe.”

Although the final curtain has fallen for the season at the Forestburgh Playhouse (, its Theatre Arts Center is also encouraging young people interested in the arts as they “continue to bring live theatre to the underserved area high school students” in its New Audience Project, with an upcoming tour of Tennessee Williams’ classic “The Glass Menagerie” in October.

Associate managing director Sarah Norris is “excited to be entering the project’s fourth year of producing shows and workshops to the schools” and most certainly can be counted among those who believe the children are our future and (I believe) is instrumental in “giving them a special place that they’ve been dreaming of.” As parents, educators and adults, I absolutely feel that it is important to “let the children’s laughter remind us of how we used to be” and hopefully help us to teach them, by example, that “learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.”