In my humble opinion

Many hands make light work

Posted 2/21/23

The meaning of the above phrase is fairly clear. It pairs nicely (IMHO) with “Two heads are better than one,” and “It takes a village.” In the past week alone, I’ve …

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In my humble opinion

Many hands make light work


The meaning of the above phrase is fairly clear. It pairs nicely (IMHO) with “Two heads are better than one,” and “It takes a village.” In the past week alone, I’ve experienced  the “many hands” syndrome more than a couple of times—the first being last Thursday, when I joined River Reporter employees at a festive gathering held at the ultra-cool Blue Fox Motel in Narrowsburg, NY.

A bevy of writers, reporters, photographers, salespeople, etcetera gathered to “celebrate all of the work from last year, and get energized for what is to come!” according to the invitation.

I couldn’t help but consider that phrase (“many hands—”) since that is indeed what it takes to put together an award-winning newspaper week in/week out, and I admire the team’s efforts all year long.

I took plenty of photos, albeit under less-than-ideal lighting (think mirror ball and lots of color), all without checking my settings on the camera. “But I’m a professional—what could possibly go wrong?” I thought, while aiming my lens at publisher Laurie Stuart. “Smile!” I then said to reporter Liam Mayo. “You look cool.” Famous last words.

On Friday, I left Camp Fox with the intent of taking more pics, this time at the 45th annual WSUL 98.3 Heart-A-Thon, but was thwarted before hitting the actual road. A tree had fallen, completely blocking my egress, and I stopped dead in my tracks, knowing that I needed help.

“It’s a pretty big tree,” I moaned into the phone, after calling the Bethel Town Hall Highway Department for assistance.

“Don’t worry, we’ll get someone out to help you,” secretary Kelli Bonnaci said, soothing my frazzled nerves. “Sit tight.” Meanwhile, my neighbor, Herbie, showed up to survey the scene, expressing confidence that we could move the tree trunk together.

“I don’t know about that,” I whimpered, as I tugged and pulled with him to show I was willing, though clearly ineffectual. While I was attempting to prove my manhood, a burly dude pulled up in a truck, chainsaw in hand, and one-two-three cut the felled tree up, swept it aside (while I took photos, of course), and ushered me out and on my way. Many hands. Just not mine.

I arrived at Resorts World Catskills, which was hosting the Heart-a-Thon, and proceeded to shake hands, schmooze the room, and snap pics, once again (I’m a professional!) without looking at the camera’s settings. I counted 25 people (all dressed in red) manning the event, and more in the back room where folks were taking part in the blood drive. The drive was sponsored by the Liberty, Monticello and Livingston Manor Rotary clubs.

“Don’t worry, I’m a professional!” I crowed when someone asked to see the photos as I worked the room. “Trust me,” I assured them with an air of confidence. “I don’t need a hand, you’ll look great!” I wouldn’t say my response was haughty, per se, but I wasn’t looking for help either. Hindsight is 20/20.

Before loading the photos onto my computer, I checked Rotarian Gary Siegel’s Facebook page regarding the final stats.

“Wow!” his enthusiastic social media post trumpeted. “$103,198 raised!—It never ceases to amaze me how family, friends, colleagues and organizations step up in the Sullivan Catskills!” Gary had written to the many hands that helped.

“So thankful for the enormous support raising money for education, prevention and treatment of heart disease here in Sullivan County! In addition [to the dollars], over 50 pints of blood were donated at the blood drive administered by the New York Blood Center at a time it is so needed. It’s a pleasure,” Siegel stated in conclusion, “to be part of the awesome team that gives unconditionally to this great cause.”

I have to agree with Gary. It’s beyond impressive to see so many hands at work, raising money, raising awareness and raising the bar each and every time they step up to bat in Sullivan County.

Imagine my dismay then, when I looked at the weird photos on my screen, wondering what could possibly be wrong. I picked up my camera and gasped. Somehow, I had set the camera on “scene” (whatever that is) and never checked it during the three days that had elapsed. Out of 195 photos, maybe four looked OK; the rest are blurry, out of focus and just plain bad. Guess I could have used a hand after all. My apologies to the many hands making light work. I’ll see myself out.

Ask the Google: Q—Where does the expression come from? A—“John Heywood was the person that first penned the phrase ‘many hands make light work.’”

Next week: Who is John Heywood?

many hands, Blue Fox Motel, River Reporter, Resorts World Catskills, Heart-A-Thon, blood drive, WSUL


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