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September 15, 2014
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Happy Holidaze!

The Catskill Distilling Co serves up a beautiful backdrop for Mike Jung's opening act.


Speaking of kids, I made my way (without getting lost) to the George Ross Mackenzie Elementary School in Glen Spey, NY, to bask in the glow of the Eldred Performing Arts Club presentation of Robert Fulghum’s “All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten,” which was (under the direction of Justin Glodich) funny, moving and inspirational, with music (and a bake sale!) to boot. The entire cast (I counted over 20), and two acts chock-full of anecdotal stories and songs, brought the audience to their feet and (as usual) I cried a little bit.

The students and faculty involved were (IMHO) incredible and I gathered my (dim) wits, wiped my tears and checked the map for directions to the labyrinthian Villa Roma Resort (www.villaroma.com) in Callicoon. I believe that I coined the phrase “All roads lead to the Villa Roma” and yet... I almost always lose my way, regardless of the barrage of arrows pointing me in the right direction. The second annual Holiday Shopping Bazaar was in full swing with more than 50 vendors, scores of sponsors, promoters and supporters, and after a series of wrong turns (my fault, not theirs) I spent several hours on the convention floor, drooling over the sale of antiques, fine art, jewelry and holiday treats that helped serve as a benefit for local food pantries in Orange, Sullivan, Wayne and Pike counties.

Still dazed from the abundance of holiday spirit, I recycled my useless GPS and relied on memory (uh oh) to direct me toward the spirits created locally by the Catskill Distilling Company (www.catskilldistilling.com), and joined Jill Padua and friends as they welcomed singer/songwriter Patrick Fitzsimmons (www.patrickfitzsim mons.net) along with local folk singer Mike Jung, both of whom entertained the crowd as part of the (always-a-good-time) Riverfolk Concert Series (jillskitchen.com/riverfolk).