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October 24, 2014
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features

Fire on the mountain; Fire towers of the Catskills and their vigilant observers

THE CATSKILLS — Martin (Marty) Podskoch is afraid of heights, but that didn’t stop him from writing “Fire Towers of the Catskills: Their History and Lore.” Fascinated with these relics of our past, he visited all of the fire towers in the Catskills region and talked to the fire tower observers and their families. So how does he get to the top of a fire tower? “I just close my eyes and hold on to someone’s shoulders and follow them up,” Podskoch said.  Read more

Tinseltown on the Delaware: Milford welcomes 15th annual Black Bear Film Festival

MILFORD, PA — Milford rolls out the red carpet this Friday evening, as the Black Bear Film Festival (BBFF) kicks off its annual three-day tribute to the art of independent filmmaking. Over the weekend, moviegoers will be able to view more than two dozen feature films, documentaries, shorts and more, many of them award winners.  Read more

Autumn harvest of the Native Americans

As a lifelong lover of pumpkin pie, I was delighted to learn that the main squash of the Lenape was pumpkin. The Lenni Lenape (Delaware) Indians were quite agricultural, with a focus (like many Native gardeners) on the “three sisters:” corn, beans and squash. These three staple crops supported Native American culture over much of the country.  Read more

Wood carvers hone their skills at fall gathering

CHERRY RIDGE TOWNSHIP, PA — Wood carvers from far and wide came to an informal “carve-in” this past weekend at the Cherry Ridge Campsites outside Honesdale. Hosted by the Cherry Ridge Carvers Club, the event drew 150 people, not counting boys from four local Scout troops who came to learn the basics of this underappreciated hobby.  Read more

Have you dreamed of writing a book? Digital age self-publishing can make that pipedream come true

NARROWSBURG, NY — Once upon a time, books were written almost exclusively by a small group of brand-name professional writers, most of whom boasted impressive academic and publishing credentials. But the advent of the digital age has made it possible for a new breed of author, the so-called “independent” writer, to produce a book without the assistance of a traditional corporate publishing house. E-books and print-on-demand production methods have revolutionized what was once an elitist industry.  Read more

Two young survivors

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Two successful businessmen. Two beautiful and loving families. Two young boys with leukemia.

Unhappy story? Not for the Mongiello and Scancarello families—Anthony Scancarello (age 8) and Anthony (“Lilo”) Mongiello (age 5) are leukemia survivors. And that’s not the end of the story either. The boys and their families are working hard to help other leukemia sufferers.  Read more

Coaxing music from a cigar box

NORTH BRANCH, NY — Cigar box guitars—made from cigar boxes, as the name suggests, or almost any other kind of box that serves as a resonator— have served generations of musicians. Some of them simply couldn’t afford to buy a regular guitar and some went on to become famous, including music legends Jimmy Hendrix and Paul McCartney, said Mike “Katfish” Karash at his recent workshops at the Old North Branch Inn. Most folks who play them don’t make it that far but simply enjoy playing or making the instruments.  Read more

The Great Zucchini Cook-off, or What’s a person to do with ALL those zucchini?

MOUNT PLEASANT, PA — August 8 was National Zucchini Day, also known as “Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day.” If you are a gardener and grow zucchini, this surely will put a knowing smile on your face, because chances are you, too, have grown too many zucchini and have begun giving them away. Or perhaps you’ve been the recipient of some other gardener’s zucchini largesse.  Read more

Taking the Ice Bucket Challenge

GLEN SPEY, NY — The Eldred High School girls varsity soccer team kicked off what will be a school-wide sports team Ice Bucket Challenge after their morning practice at George Ross Mackenzie Elementary School Thursday, August 21. It had been scorching hot the previous few days, but on this day, clouds appeared, and it was cool. The girls, however, were hot after their soccer practice and took part enthusiastically, pouring the ice buckets, standing in a line, encouraging each other.  Read more

Lenape Nation journeys down the Delaware: New treaty seeks partners to be caretakers of the land

At the Zane Grey Museum in Lackawaxen on August 4, representatives of the Delaware Highlands Conservancy and the Wallenpaupack Historical Society signed the treaty, along with Robin Hoose (Lenape name: Good-Hearted Woman), a volunteer with the Lenape Nation for the past 12 years, who assisted with public relations for the trip and shuttling the paddlers on the journey.  Read more