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On the road again

By JONATHAN CHARLES FOX
Posted 10/16/19

“Man, you sure get around!” an acquaintance shouted in my general direction last Saturday, having spotted me in more than one town over the last few weeks. “Are you sure you …

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On the road again

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“Man, you sure get around!” an acquaintance shouted in my general direction last Saturday, having spotted me in more than one town over the last few weeks. “Are you sure you don’t have a twin?” That concept alone—more than one of me—is enough to send spooky shivers up anyone’s spine, including mine. “Nope, it’s just me,” I hollered back in passing. “I’m always on the road. But hey,” I said, “you’re here too, right?”

It’s a well-known fact that The River Reporter crew covers a wide swath in the Upper Delaware River region. “Four counties, two states and a river,” is emblazoned across the banners that we wave, and we mean it. Of course, many staffers are busy covering the news, sports and politics that make headlines, but it’s my job to make sure that the world of arts and leisure is reported on as well. There are weeks, months and years that I put a lot of miles on my dog’s vehicle. In the last week alone, I’ve been to Barryville, Monticello, Hortonville, Forestburgh and Callicoon, to name just a few of my New York stops. We even schlepped all the way down to Bloomingburg, home of the Town of Wallkill Boys and Girls Clubs (BGC) of Northern Orange and Sullivan Counties, (say that three times fast) so yeah, it’s safe to say that we get around.

To claim that autumn is my favorite time of year would be an understatement, but sadly, it is also the most fleeting of seasons to capture in photographs. Thankfully, my work takes me to many places, and the fall foliage turned out to be spotty here and there. But it was also quite spectacular in places, thanks to the effects of our “microclimate,” which Wikipedia defines as, “a local set of atmospheric conditions that differ from those in surrounding areas, often with a slight difference, but sometimes a substantial one.” I’ve taken a lot of pictures this fall, and the oh-so-vibrant color in many is hard to believe, but I have witnesses who will attest to the fact that I have not altered my photos in any way.

There was plenty of color to be seen in Barryville, NY last weekend when the annual salute to all things pumpkin was in full swing, with scads of kids in costumes, the always-delectable bake-off, live music, autumnal-themed vendors galore and carving and decorating contests for all age categories. Yep, that’s Pumpkin Fest, brought to us by the Greater Barryville Chamber of Commerce (GBCC), which somehow manages to outdo itself every year. There were plenty of dogs (and even a bird or two) to keep Dharma interested as I made my way through the crowd, chatting with friends and neighbors, “oozing charm,” as TRR’s Elizabeth Lepro once said to describe what it is I actually do. That description (IMHO) sounds like something that probably requires ointment, but potato/potahto, I suppose.

Thanks to the effects of living in a “micro-climate,” there are still pockets of vibrant color to be spotted on the road.

I made sure to leave some extra time for fall photo-ops on my way to Circleville and the sixth annual “Grown Here Farm-to-Table Experience” fundraising dinner supporting the BGC. It drew a large crowd anxious to taste the splendid four-course meal, created by local chefs and paired with fine wines, auctioned off to the highest bidders between courses. “This year we’re thrilled to honor Dan Depew, chief communications officer at Middletown Medical and former Town of Wallkill supervisor,” my invitation read. “Dan and his colleagues at the town board were instrumental in relocating, funding and building our current space in the Circleville Park, and he has dedicated over 16 years to public service and his local community.”

Congrats to Dan and the BGC for another successful fundraiser. As executive director Lori Rivenburgh said in her closing remarks, “If we all do a little, we can accomplish a lot.”

Accomplishments come in all forms, and that includes creating “the world’s largest s’more” which turned out to be an event of epic proportions last Sunday afternoon at the Kartrite Resort and Indoor Water Park in Monticello, NY. Presented by the Kartrite and Stuffed Puffs marshmallows, (uh huh, there’s chocolate inside!) the resort’s official attempt at beating the Guinness Book of World Records’ previous entries (267 and 350 pounds) of one big, giant s’more handily trounced the old records by a long shot. Comprised of 200 pounds of graham crackers, jammed with 255 pounds (more than 4,000) Stuffed Puffs marshmallows, the party had kids and adults enthralled, watching the Kartrite gang build the giant tasty treat. Face painting, marshmallow-tower building, games and updates every 30 minutes by iHeart Radio DJ Greg T. all helped to make for a great afternoon that smelled heavenly, too. New York State Sen. Jen Metzger was on hand to make an official proclamation, along with Sullivan County Treasurer Nancy Buck, who was there (I’m guessing) to make sure that the counting was legit. Yes, I’m exhausted, but by the time this issue hits the newsstands, I’ll be on the road again.

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