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December 07, 2016
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Spring in the Catskills is off the hook!

Coventry, NY resident 12-year-old Johannes has been fishing with State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther “since he was three.”

Nodding her head in agreement was Roscoe Mayor Betty Grossman, who had driven up from Florida to celebrate her birthday on the auspicious day. “Wouldn’t miss it for the world,” she shared, while hugging friends and loved ones who had shown up to wade into the frigid waters, along with the rest of the town. Having heard that celebrity Sally Jesse Raphael would be in attendance, I was crestfallen when State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther informed me that Raphael was scheduled to appear at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum in Livingston Manor later in the morning. I asked pal Jerry Cohen to snap a pic of the TV icon for me, before heading home to dust off my tux and head out the door, with Dharma the Wonder Dog all dolled up.

Our formal attire was called for, since the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce (www.catskills.com) “The Catskill Club” speakeasy fundraiser was being held at the nightclub “Hype” in Monticello (www.monticelloraceway.com), which had been transformed into a 1920s speakeasy, replete with secret codes, gaming tables, flappers, gangsters and a few gun molls dancing the Charleston while dice were tossed and the roulette wheel spun. Fortunate to have two ladies on the hook, I escorted The River Reporter’s Barbara Soscie Matos to the black tie soiree, and the party was in full swing by the time we made our grand entrance. Sponsored by Empire Resorts, EPR Properties and Hart Howerton, song stylist Donna Singer (www.donna-singer.com) headlined the entertainment, which was further enhanced by costumed members of the Spencer Daniels Agency, the Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop and the Swing Shift Orchestra, all of whom added (IMHO) fantastic ambiance to the affair.