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Here comes Santa Claus!

Nine-year-old David Young admires the trains on Main at CAS. In his opinion, “They’re cool!”


December 8, 2011

Every year at this time, I read statistics regarding how folks from all walks of life fall prey to depression and sadness during the holidays, and I felt as if I was about to join the ranks this week. Being constantly bombarded by the commercialism of the season doesn’t help, since I know in my heart that the celebrations of different faiths really have little to do with money and that millions of people around the globe are rejoicing from a spiritual point of view.

That being said, I have found that small town life and the festivities that abound here in the Catskills are less concerned with who spends the most money, but rather with the true spirit of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the like, so I made a decision to ignore the “Bah Humbug” in me and scour the Upper Delaware Valley in search of good will toward man.

Determined to get with the program, I kick-started the truck and made my way to Livingston Manor for opening day of “Trains on Main” at the Catskill Art Society (CAS) (www.catskillartsociety.org) in conjunction with the gallery celebrating its 40th anniversary. Instantly, my mood was elevated to one of good cheer, as I observed both kids and adults being magically transported to a winter wonderland of miniature trains and villages, and I joined the crowd participating in a sing-along as the fabulous Mountain Tones (mountaintones@aol.com) entertained, as they always do. There are train exhibits at both CAS and Main Street neighbor Morgan Outdoors (www.morgan-outdoors.com) through the month of December. Local locomotive enthusiast Charlie Sanborn informed me that the trains will be running every Saturday afternoon, in addition to simply being on display.

Santa made an appearance at CAS and the little ones sat on his lap, had their pictures taken and whispered in his ear. As the jolly one revved up his sleigh, I decided to follow him and discovered that his next stop was the Bethel Woods (bethelwoodscenter.org) Holiday Market, which was thrumming with activity.