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December 05, 2016
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Along came a spider

“Eco-system” painter Ken Cro-Ken “sets a painting in motion” as the Weekend of Chamber Music musicians look on.
TRR photos by Jonathan Fox

Responding to an email from college chum Laurie Graff, Dharma accepted the invite to hear her read an essay she penned for inclusion in a new book, “No Kidding—Women Writers on Bypassing Parenthood.” On the way, I screeched as a searing pain hit my left hand and veered a bit, but not suspecting that anything might have taken a bite out of me, I steered toward Livingston Manor and the Catskill Art Society (CAS) (www.catskillartsociety.org). Graff, (“You Have to Kiss a lot of Frogs,” “The Shiksa Syndrome”) and I studied theatre together in college and she has gone on to have an incredibly successful career as a writer, which inspires me to think that there’s hope for me yet. Her reading was in conjunction with the CAS gallery’s new show “Out Of Place,” which showcases the work of Charles Wilkin and Lisa Samalin. I was particularly drawn to Samalin’s gargantuan murals, but my concentration was focused on Graff, so I plan to return to CAS in order to absorb the show more fully.

Seeing Laurie (www.lauriegraff.com) was a treat and her essay, (much like her novels) was excellent, so it came as no surprise that she was beyond entertaining. My hand itched like crazy during the reading, but I gave it little thought until reaching home, when my vision blurred, my legs became wobbly and my stomach churned. By the next day. I could barely walk and a visit to the doctor (“Looks like the work of a ‘Yellow-Sac’ spider”) did nothing to assuage my fear. Steroid injections (aarrgh), antibiotics and bed rest (yeah, right) are in order. Arachnophobia is optional. And how was your week?

For more information about yellow sac spiders, visit