In my humble opinion

May Day

By JONATHAN CHARLES FOX
Posted 5/4/22

According to the almighty Google, May Day is “a public holiday, usually celebrated on May 1st or the first Monday of May. It is an ancient festival marking the first day of …

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In my humble opinion

May Day

Posted

According to the almighty Google, May Day is “a public holiday, usually celebrated on May 1st or the first Monday of May. It is an ancient festival marking the first day of summer.”

Dear Wikipedia: I think summer actually begins on June 21. Even though I feel ancient, it looks like the dates have been changed since the inception of May Day. But it’s still a traditional spring holiday right here in the Upper Delaware River region, all across the USA, and in many European cultures. “Dances, singing, and cake are usually part of the festivities.”

Even though it has already come and gone, I’m seeing birds nesting, buds emerging and the temps are rising ever so slowly. While there may not be a song in my heart (“I was walking through the park one day”), I’m still hopeful that spring has officially sprung. So far though, there has been neither dancing nor singing at Camp Fox, much less cake.

While scrolling through the various descriptions of May Day, I was reminded of a different connotation.  According to www.wonderopolis.org, mayday (one word) “signals a life-threatening emergency, usually on a ship or a plane, although it may be used in a variety of other situations. Procedure calls for the distress signal to be said three times in a row.”

“Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!” is the phrase used around the world to indicate the need for assistance. Naturally, that made me think of “Beetlejuice,” but that’s another story, and I certainly won’t say his name three times in a row.

Hoping I would not have to yell “Mayday” out the window any time soon, I got my trusty 17-year-old truck out of winter storage this week and put the hatchback in the garage. While summer has yet to officially begin, I think we’re out of the woods as far as freak snowstorms are concerned, so I tossed the Wonder Dog into said truck and drove off in search of adventure.

I had placed a call to local artist Jay Brooks, asking if I could borrow an easel or two for my upcoming exhibit at Gallery 222 in Hurleyville, NY (see page 15). On my way, I noticed that the odometer was about to roll over to 200,000 miles, so I drove slowly, hoping to capture the moment for posterity.

As it happens, the numbers changed just as I was leaving Jay’s studio, so I stopped dead in my tracks and asked a mail carrier, who was stranded on the side of the road, to take my picture. It might be dorky, but I was pretty psyched, and jumped up and down just like in a TV commercial. I tagged Nissan in my social media posts, on the off chance that they might want to throw a brand new pickup my way, although mechanic extraordinaire Mike Fox (no relation) thinks I’ve “easily got another 50,000 miles to go.”

A friendly cow crossed the road to check out all of the excitement. After a brief bovine chat, Dharma and I made our way to Narrowsburg and the “Galleries at the Union” Bethel Council of the Arts 2022 members exhibition. Truth be told, with my own exhibit opening next week, I was curious to see what others were presenting, especially the photographers, since that’s what I do, both for the award-winning River Reporter and my own personal pleasure. That’s right, I have a life outside of work.

A large number of local artists are represented at the Union; the exhibit includes the photographs of Bethel resident Keith Newman. Keith and I often photograph similar scenes in similar places, since we both reside in the same zip code, and I’m always interested to see his unique take on familiar ground. The entire exhibit is well worth a visit and is on display until June 4, so I’d suggest driving over, regardless of how many miles you might have on your vehicle.

While there, I ran into Narrowsburg Union employee Jared Collins, who was about to debut a show of his own. “I’ve never done anything like this before!” he enthused. “Curator Pat Carullo made it all happen.” Jared’s moving images are featured in the “digital gallery” month-long exhibit titled “Fishin’ not Catchin’,” featuring slow-motion videos of fish he has hooked being released. It’s a 20-foot-long panorama of Collins throwing out a line, some “Go-Pro” footage of ripples in the water and more fish. Jared was excited to show me the images playing across screens in the darkened room, and it’s kinda cool (IMHO), so look for it while at the Union.

It’s about to get busy in these here parts, so be sure to check our calendar section weekly at www.riverreporter.com to keep up with all the action.

Fun Fact:  “Beetlejuice” is a 1988 Warner Bros comedy film starring Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Catherine O’Hara, Jeffrey Jones and Winona Ryder. It grossed over $73 million worldwide.  

And this: A GoPro is a “handy, portable, and durable action camera” that can be mounted to your head, helmet, bike handlebars or surfboard. It is popular among athletes (and fishermen) because they capture high-quality footage without the need to hold it.

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