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December 28, 2014
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I love the Catskills!


With Valentine’s Day swiftly approaching, I continue to recuperate at home and ponder. Is it possible, I wonder, to send a Valentine to a place? How would I address it? “Dear Upper Delaware Valley” sounds strange, but is all-encompassing. “To whom it may concern” is a little too formal. If I could, I’d hire a sky writer to spread my message high above in the clouds, for all to see.

Delivery methods aside, I feel the need to express myself, and acknowledge how much I adore this region and the loving friends, neighbors and communities who have come out in droves to tell me how they all feel. Long after the pain subsides, I will always remember the incredible support and encouragement I have received along the way, for the wave of love is, well... unforgettable.

That song, written by Irving Gordon, reverberates in my head during the day, as I open the cards, read the emails and see the scores of posts on Facebook, wishing me a speedy recovery. Where else but the Catskills would this happen? Of course I have heard from friends everywhere (unforgettable, both near or far) but it is here, at home, that resonates the most.

Even though I am still unable to venture out into the world, it does continue to turn. I wish I could get to the Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop’s (www.scdw.net) “Evening with Irving Berlin—and More” on February 10, but alas! I won’t make it, but you can. Call 845/436-5336 for details.

“Love is everything,” a themed exhibit presented by Wurtsboro Arts Alliance (www.waagallery.org) is opening on the 11th, and sounds like a great way to get in the mood for Cupid’s special day. Undoubtedly, I’ll be watching reruns of “Murder she wrote” and bemoaning my fate.

Across the county, “Be Mine” (this year, “Be Mine Always”) is back at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA, www.artsalliance site.org) in Narrowsburg and is always a fantastic (IMHO) ode to love, translated via poetry and art. The exhibit continues through the 18th of this month, but I still can’t walk that much. The DVAA has presented this group show for a few years now, and it’s consistently worth seeing.

The “chocolate indulgence party” and special Valentine’s dinner at Aroma Thyme (www.aromathymebistro.com) in Ellenville, NY sounds incredible (as Nat King Cole would say), but again, I’d have to sprout wings to make it. I trust some of you will and report back to me. My invitation to the Brookhouse Gallery (www.brookhousegallery.com) arrived in a timely manner, and the opening reception on the 18th is bound to be memorable, but sadly, I have to decline.

As I peruse the many events, gatherings, shows and exhibits that celebrate love in the coming days, I can’t help but feel an even stronger desire to recover as quickly as my broken body will allow and get back out there, traversing the countryside, basking in the glow that the Catskills emits.

Considering the overwhelming show of love and support that has washed over me during the last month, it would be impossible to respond on an individual basis, so I’m eternally grateful to have this column as a platform to say “thank you” to one and all. I read each and every note, letter, email and tweet (@jonathanfoxIMHO) during the day, and “like a song of love that clings to me, how the thought of you does things to me.” I’ve stopped questioning what I could possibly have done to deserve all of this love and attention, and simply accept it as a gift of life from the community that I cherish.

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge a few special angels in my life, without whom I would not be writing this today. I love you all, but a special shout-out to Jamie Weisenecker, JoAnne Bitjeman, Lance Tursi, Cherise Barasch and Jackie D’abbraccio is in order. What these folks have done for me is staggering... dare I say “unforgettable, in every way—and forevermore, that’s how you’ll stay.”

To the entire region-at-large... I’ll always be thankful. This love letter is long overdue, and the postage alone would bankrupt me. Words fail me (who’d have thunk it) and I suddenly feel inadequate in expressing what I feel in my heart. While I remain flabbergasted by the love, I accept it gratefully. That’s why, Catskills, it’s incredible that a place so unforgettable—thinks that I am unforgettable too.