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December 08, 2016
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It isn’t easy being green

The Stoutmen’s traditional “toe tapping reels and beautiful Irish ballads” got some folks on their feet at The Shady Lady in Hancock, NY.

Since the wonder dog was welcomed at the Shady Lady, I had no qualms about schlepping her along to Bethel the next day to say “hi” to Elizabeth Rose and set for a spell with her new group, the Sullivan County Songwriters Circle (, which is in residence at the Catskill Distilling Company every Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. Rose casually waved at me, while giving an over-the-top welcome to Dharma, and proceeded to entertain. “We always start out with a tribute to the Great American Songbook,” she informed the small crowd, “before doing what we’re here for—showcasing local talent and their original compositions.” Doing just that, Rose began with a fabulous rendition of “Ain’t Misbehavin’” written by Fats Waller, Harry Brooks (music) and Andy Razaf (lyrics), before moving on to her own hilarious “Enlightenment” and equally interesting, but more thought provoking “Oil.”

This was my first time hearing her and she was (IMHO) thoroughly entertaining, engaging and witty, just before another first occurred. The dog got so carried away with the tunes that she leaped out of her sling, gamboled about and (for a brief, shining moment) was a bit of a bother, pulling some of the focus from the entertainment and being less than a perfect guest. On the other hand, Rose was perfectly charming, laughing as Dharma zoomed around playing and asked that she “come back anytime.” I scooped her up and growled, “We’ll see about that,” before heading out to prepare for the next day and the first annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Narrowsburg, NY.

Since there were emerald-hued cavalcades and celebratory processions happening all over the region, I had called upon Sullivan West high school freshman Eric Michael Breihof for assistance, as he is quite the photographer and already well known in the area for his expertise behind the lens. “Wow, that sounds great!” he enthused. “I’d love to take photos for The River Reporter; sounds like fun!” Relieved that I could count on Eric to cover Saturday’s Jeffersonville parade (see his terrific shots on page 18), I acquiesced, and allowed the dog to come along on Sunday (wearin’ the green, of course) as we joined The River Reporter staff and spectators braving the cold for the parade. Despite the chill in the air, everyone had a swell time and donned boas, clovers, bowlers and beads as the festooned trucks, cars, flatbeds and ATV’s snaked their way through town, the kids gleefully snatching up candy tossed by those on “floats.”