May 15, 2013 —
It happens to the best of us. My mother was a stickler regarding good manners and raised me with a keen awareness of the social graces, including her zero-tolerance policy for tardiness. This mindset has served me well over the years, but periodically, things happen that are simply beyond our control and the past week has illustrated the point nicely. The fact that Mother’s Day fell squarely in the middle of it all did not escape me, but I was forced to accept the irony and let the chips fall where they might.
With so many opportunities to explore in the world of arts and entertainment in the Upper Delaware Valley, I often find myself seeking a new experience, so I jumped at the chance to check out a fashion show in Jeffersonville, NY last Friday—something that I had never done. I’m hardly a “fashionista” and know little about clothing, other than what I see on television shows like Project Runway. Aside from that, the shop that was presenting the evening (www.facebook.com/TheClothesLineNY ) caters to women (another subject that often escapes me), so my interest was piqued even more. Knowing nothing about a particular subject is often liberating, so I did a quick check about the shop online, and learned that proprietor Danielle Hilson “opened The Clothesline in April 2010, fulfilling a lifelong dream. Born in France and raised in the U.S., Danielle has always had a love of clothes and shopping.”
Because I’m having issues with my truck, and not wishing to be late, (fashionably or otherwise) I accepted the offer of a ride from my fashion-forward gal pal, Tamara, and we sauntered in ahead of schedule, which gave me an opportunity to meet some of the lovely models and schmooze with Hilson, who was finishing a final run-through before the public flooded in, anxious to get a sneak peek at the new lines being presented. I learned that Hilson had just returned from India and that the ladies would be showcasing the dreamy creations she picked up there, along with casual wear, work clothes and evening attire. Suitably titled “Spring into Summer,” the show went off without a hitch, and I enjoyed snapping photos on the makeshift runway and watching the ladies strut their stuff. “The color of the season is orange,” Hilson declared, while describing the outfits, sharing her expertise of all things trendy, while I snapped away, feeling every inch a paparazzo.
The next day brought a downpour of epic proportions, and even the Wonder Dog hesitated before venturing out. As a result, I was more than a little late arriving at Foodstock (www.wjffradio.org ), the annual celebration of wine and good eats presented by radio station WJFF to showcase scores of vendors; it is a perennial favorite amongst local connoisseurs. The parking lot was still full when I arrived (www.villaroma.com ) and I literally raced in the doors, camera in hand, prepared to absorb as much as possible in the little time I had left. Waving, shouting and running, I snapped some photos, while stopping (gasping for breath) to ask WJFF’s acting station manager Adam Weinreich about the day and how it all transpired. “It’s been a huge success,” Weinreich said with great enthusiasm. “We had 400 guests and a slew of station volunteers, and more than 50 vendors sold $13,000 worth of local products. The event has been a huge boost for WJFF’s spirits and finances.” I shook some hands, paused for folks to take snapshots of the dog and perused the booths before heading out again, late for a date with a band named “Rico Suave’s Chimps in Tuxedos” at the Dancing Cat Saloon (www.dancingcatsaloon.com ) in Bethel.
Although they were not dressed in formal wear, and I was running behind schedule, the musicians were playing (and singing) their hearts out by the time I arrived. Rico Suave (still unsure what’s behind the name), Richard Cottet, Bill Tamburrino and Jeff MacAulay were rocking the house. Having done my homework (www.chimpsintuxedos.com ), I already knew that although relatively newly formed, the group is comprised of guys who “grew up listening to, and playing music of the ‘40s and ‘50s,” and have a great love of classic rock and Motown, all of which they perform. I’m not sure what I expected, but their covers of “House Is A Rockin,” “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch,” “Round Midnight,” and Van Morrison’s “Domino” were (IMHO) beyond fabulous. Incredibly tight harmonies, stellar vocals and amazing mastery of the instruments combined to entertain the crowd throughout two full sets. Couples danced, singing along to the familiar tunes of assorted generations, and I was swept along, glad to be a part of the experience. Unaware of the chimps until now, I’m happy to have made their acquaintance and will go out of my way to hear them again. My mom might have disagreed, but I say “better late than never.”