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No jacket required

TRR photo by Jonathan Fox Armed Forces National Color Guard escorted Monticello HS senior Dan Braunstein (far right) to the stage for his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, opening the seventh annual Thunderbash

May 4, 2012

I’ve never considered myself shallow, much less a clothes horse, but this past weekend, all illusions were shattered. Once again, the events schedule overflowed throughout the region, and with Memorial Day upon us, Dharma (the wonder dog) and I are busier than ever. Now that my “living stuffed animal” has eclipsed any delusion that I might have had regarding personal popularity, I’ve thrown up my hands and given in, as Dharma’s invites flood my mailbox and requests for her appearance at local celebrations ramp up.

In anticipation of Thunderbash (www.thunder102.com), the dog had been asked to attend the pre-bash party at the Villa Roma (www.villaroma.com) and DJ Paul Ciliberto grudgingly extended the invitation to me, since “someone has to drive her there.” Unwilling to be seen in the same outfit two nights running, I chose basic black and a motorcycle jacket, knowing full well that I had intentions of showing up at the Monticello Casino and Raceway (www.monticellocasinoandraceway.com) in full cowboy regalia for the seventh annual fundraiser, benefiting St. Jude’s Children’s research hospital and the YMCA of Sullivan County’s Strong Kids program.

The mixer, which included a preview of performances by local favorites Iron Cowboy (www.ironcowboyband.com) and brothers Ken and Barry Somerville (www.somervillebrothers.com) was great fun, but I was distracted by the constant barrage of requests for photo-ops with (uh huh) the dog. Even country superstar Ira Dean was so smitten with the pup that he insisted on posing with her highness. Exhausted from schlepping her around, I had to pass on my planned visit to NACL (www.nacl.org) in Highland Lake for its “work party.” The NACL leaves no stone unturned involving the community in their efforts to entertain with new, original theatrical productions and have a unique way of making work fun. I suppose if they had invited you-know-who, she would not have let me rest. The theatre’s new season promises (IMHO) to be inventive and exciting, so I might have to augment my wardrobe before venturing out.