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December 03, 2016
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Back in the saddle (again)

In the truest sense of the word, Stacy Cohen, left, and Peter Florance keep author Jonathan Fox steady on his feet as they announce his triumphant return to the crowd at the Dancing Cat Saloon in Bethel, NY.

Not yet able to actually dance, I settled for “rockin’ to and fro” and reveled in all of the attention, including Florance and Cohen making a bit of a fuss, bringing me up on stage and exuberantly acknowledging my attendance (“look everybody—The River Reporter’s own Jonathan Fox is back in da house!”) as I waved and blushed ever so slightly. Not waiting to be asked, I requested one of my favorite New Kings covers (“Secret Agent Man”), and the band obliged with its usual flair, once again bringing down the house with its energetic spin on one of the many classics the group reinvents for a new generation of enthusiasts.

Although slightly delirious over my newfound freedom, it did not escape my attention that my not-so-secret stalker Nora Brown had slinked in the back door (probably seeking to snag yet another by-line) with husband George (as always) in tow. Instead of pretending that I hadn’t noticed, I invited them to join my table, assuring Ms. Brown that “I got this one covered” and proceeded to show her how a camera actually works, while acknowledging that I was “on to her” after last week’s (slightly too good) fill-in reporting, which I had (in hindsight) foolishly asked her to do.

Brown batted her eyelashes at me and attempted flattery, but she wasn’t going to fool me again. I informed her that I “had it all on film” and suggested she sit back and enjoy the New Kings like the other spectators, pretending that we were still friends, while secretly harboring jealousy over her numerous talents. Then and there, I whipped out my trusty iPad and searched for interpretation of “back in the saddle” which, as suspected, is direct. The website www.freedictionary.com simply delineated the definition: “Doing something you stopped doing for a period of time.”

Fresh out of Gene Autry’s “lowly jimsonweed,” I sneaked out for a guilty-pleasure cigarette and breathed a smoke-filled sigh of relief, finally feeling that I might actually be well on my way to recovery, or as the old song goes, back in the saddle again!