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August 27, 2014
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It isn’t easy being green

Photographer Brad Walrod makes frequent stops along the byways of the Upper Delaware River Valley to shoot nature scenes.


Glancing at the pup’s Blackberry, I saw that she had an art show scheduled, featuring photographs of dogs, so we steered towards Youngsville and Anne Hart’s “Domesticies” (www.thecuttinggarden.org), where she was presenting “Two Friends and Their Photographs” with Nyssa Calkin (the dogs) and Brad Walrod’s nature studies. Admonishing Dharma (the wonder dog) for not informing me about Walrod’s contribution to the show, I observed her indifference as we strolled in and perused the small gallery located in the back of Anne’s smart shop. While I cornered Walrod for a moment to discuss his beautiful landscape shots, I couldn’t help but notice Calkin chatting with Dharma. “I’m a little bit of a dog fanatic,” I overheard Nyssa say, “and my son William is the same way. But I’m also in the process of forming the Upper Delaware Film Fellowship.” When Dharma cocked her head in confusion, Calkin clarified. “It’s going to be a social networking group for photography enthusiasts in the region. I want it to be inviting to everyone, amateur or professional, regardless of their skill set,” she explained. “I’m hoping that as a group, we can share our passion for various aspects of the art form and grow together, contributing tips on how to capture images and our favorite locations.”

Alerting Dharma that she had another engagement, she growled but acquiesced, understanding that she had another commitment as a judge for a talent show, benefitting the I.O.U. Thrift Shop in Callicoon, held each year at the Presbyterian Church in Hortonville, NY. Now in its 28th year, the show (and MC Richard Ross) have become fixtures in the community, drawing a dizzying array of local talent that cannot be seen (or heard) anywhere else. I was hoping someone would sing the Menken/Ashman tune “Somewhere That’s Green” from “Little Shop of Horrors,” but that’s about the only performance that didn’t take place that night. With 18 acts comprised of musicians, storytellers, comedy sketches, spirituals, folk songs and four-part harmonies, there was something for everyone and every act took home an award. “Look! There’s the dog!” I heard (more than a few times) as Dharma took her seat, joining fellow judge Carol Montana and sniffing a “bribe” from one of the contestants. “You created this monster,” Ross laughed. “Just accept it; she’s better looking anyhow.”

To see photos of all of the acts from the Hortonville Talent Show, visit www.Facebook.com/theriverreporter.