Better late than never
Waving to writers Mary Greene, Eileen Israel, Marcia Nehemiah, Dawn McIntyre, Seiso Paul Cooper, Patricia Eakins and Midge Maroni, I snapped a pic and spied Sabrina Artel (www.trailertalk.net) chatting with station founder Kevin Gref, so naturally, I pushed myself on them, claiming that my long-overdue visit was “better late than never.” Artel, whose show broadcasts on WJFF, is one of my favorite people in Sullivan County, so she pretended to be happy to see me and share her thoughts on the two-day-long event. “It’s incredible to have the door open at WJFF and celebrate the diversity of local talent that calls Radio Catskill home,” she gushed. “These people are amazing. To be able to segue from gospel to blues, to poetry and jazz, all in a 48-hour period of programming? It’s great!” Scribbling madly, I popped by station manager Adam Weinreich’s desk to grab a quick quote. “Wow,” he whispered, “what a great turnout. Even though the pledge drive is winding down, it’s never too late to make a donation; check out our website (www.wjffradio.org) or Facebook page for more info, or give us a ring at 845/482-4141. Thanks for swinging by!” Properly dismissed, I slinked downstairs, bumping into NACL founder Tannis Kowalchuk and pals as they readied themselves to go on-air and entertain. The theatre company (www.nacl.org) has so many exciting projects lined up that I know I’ll be visiting as the season unfolds.
On the way home, I noticed plumes of steam rising into the air above Callicoon. “That can only mean one thing,” I squealed to the dog. “It’s maple syrup time.” Pulling in to the Diehl Family Farm (www.facebook.com/diehlssyrup) I knocked on the door of the sugar shack and Adam Diehl ushered me in. “Better late than never,” he intoned. “We made more than 700 gallons last year, so we’ve got some catching up to do.” Acknowledging that the weather could have been more cooperative, the entire Diehl clan was pitching in, stoking the fires and steadily creating what I refer to as “heaven in a bucket.” Oh, I tried doing it myself once and quickly learned that the task is best left to professionals who actually know what they’re doing. It ain’t easy, but this family has the process down-pat, and I eagerly await the delicious fruits of their labors. “Maybe it is spring after all,” I wheezed to the pup, “because now, we smell like maple syrup. Let’s make pancakes!”