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August 28, 2016
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Photos by Michael Roberto

CALLICOON, NY — It was first built in 1852, a few years after the first train ran through what was then Callicoon Depot, part of the railroad-related boom that turned a single house into a bustling community. Originally, it was built in the Greek revival style, but sometime around the turn of the 20th century, the roof was raised and two stories and a mansard roof were added to create the iconic structure that dominates Upper Main Street in Callicoon today. For well over 100 years, it was a vibrant part of the hamlet’s commercial life. Then, for some years, it lay dormant.

Actually, it was 47 years ago, and it happened on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, NY. But life on this planet was so different back then, it might as well have been in another galaxy altogether...

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Walk near almost any patch of forest, or even your backyard now, and you will either see or hear one or more chipmunks. As they dart around foraging for seeds or nuts and chattering, and perhaps...

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There was a tradition in many homes growing up, including mine, of setting up the Lionel Trains and tracks in some part of the house for the Christmas holidays. I am sure if my dad had his way...

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Spoiler alert! This one’s a little maudlin. While I did attend an actual fair last week, (www.delawarecountyfair.com...

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Many of us were lucky enough to have some early fishing experiences. Yet, as Robert Frost reminded us, “knowing how way leads on to way” we get sidetracked with “little things.” Little things like...

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Were you aware that Pennsylvania has a Wildlife Action Plan that guides how the state strives to conserve its most threatened wildlife species? First published in 2005, the 2015-2025 plan has...

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Building a masterpiece; One LEGO at a time

WAYMART, PA — There’s nothing like a kid’s imagination.

Put 41 kids under one roof, ask them to build a house out of LEGOs®, tell them it’s a contest, and you’re sure to get some colorful and creative structures. The young contestants, ranging in age from five to 12 years old, gathered Saturday afternoon for the annual LEGOs competition sponsored by the Wayne County Builders Association (WCBA) at Ladore Camp and Conference Center in Waymart.  Read more

Ah, brief spring!

Maple catkins droop as tender Amelanchier blossoms herald the arrival of shad plowing upstream to deposit their lucre of roe in the riverbank. Everywhere forsythia and daffodils arch their slender necks in a riot of yellow, proclaiming the end of another gray winter. Redbuds will follow magnolias, then dogwood, each one taking its turn in the unfolding until all are green again, the architecture of branches obscured by leaves that sway and float in the breeze of spring, the warm breath of summer.  Read more

A stinky survivor

A sure sign of spring in the Upper Delaware region, particularly near waterways and boggy wetlands, is the green rising of skunk cabbage plants. So named for the repugnant odor of decaying flesh that the plant emits when bruised, this hardy perennial is also commonly referred to as polecat weed and hermit of the bog.  Read more

And now… the answers to Clem’s annual quiz

1. Bobby Thomson almost became the “goat” in the third 1951 playoff game because early in the game with Whitey Lockman on first, Thomson singled to left. He dashed past first without hesitating, only to find that the third base coach had held Lockman at second base. The giants found themselves with two men on second base, killing a giant rally. That was really dumb base running on Thomson’s part.

2. The three umpires pictured on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post, painted by Norman Rockwell, who were contemplating calling a rain delay, were Larry Goetz, Lou Jordan and Beans Reardon.  Read more

Cell phone changes

My brand new iPhone 5 sparkles more beautifully in this moment than it ever will again. It has yet to be scratched, dropped, or cracked. Inevitably, it is all downhill from here.

Transferring information, contacts and apps from an old device to a new one was the easiest it’s ever been. Literally I just plugged the new iPhone in, and a few minutes later, it is exactly the same as the old iPhone. It feels like magic.  Read more

Weekend of music at the Dancing Cat

BETHEL, NY — This weekend the Dancing Cat Saloon and Distillery on Route 17B has a little something for everybody, starting early on Thursday, as always, with the Musicians Gathering at 7:30 p.m. in the Saloon. On Friday, April 26, local songwriter/singer Janet Burgan will present an evening of her acoustic music in the Saloon starting at 7 p.m. Joe Del Priore of The Hudson Current wrote, “She is nothing less than a vocal lava flow, sweeping over a room…” On Saturday, April 27, local favorites The New Kings with Peter Florance will heat things up in the Distillery starting at 8 p.m.  Read more

American Boychoir sings at Bethel Woods

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The Shandelee Music Festival will celebrate the opening of its 20th anniversary season with a concert by American Boychoir at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on Sunday, April 28 at 3 p.m.

The choir includes boys in grades four through eight from around the world. Embracing all genres of music, the choir has performed with James Levine, Wynton Marsalis, Sir Paul McCartney, and at the Oscars, with pop diva Beyonce.  Read more

A weekend to celebrate ramps

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Ramps Fest will be held the weekend of May 4 and 5, presented by Slow Food UpDeRiVa. On May 4 there will be a “Ramp Tramp” at Channery Hill Farm in Callicoon Center at 2 p.m. Participants will take a walk and learn how to identify and conscientiously harvest wild ramps, and take some home.  Read more

Contra Dance at The Cooperage

HONESDALE, PA — The Cooperage Project will hold its first Contra Dance of the 2013 season on Saturday, April 27 from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at The Cooperage.  Read more

Chamber Music at St. Andrews presents baroque opera

SOUTH FALLSBURG, NY — On Saturday, April 27 at 8 p.m. “The Judgment of Paris” (1700), a semi-staged Baroque opera by John Eccles, opens Chamber Music at St. Andrew’s 12th season of free concerts. Harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper, directing from the keyboard, and a talented group of young, accomplished singers will make this a unique musical offering. Also on the program are harpsichord sonatas played by Cooper.

Reservations are required; call 845/292-8967 or email pcfriedman27@gmail.com.

Students’ musical delivers anti-bullying message

MILFORD, PA — A cast of fifth and sixth graders from Delaware Valley Elementary School (DVES) will present “Letters to Daddy,” a musical with an anti-bullying message, at the Delaware Valley High School auditorium on Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27 at 7 p.m., and on Sunday, April 28 at 2 p.m.

Filled with singing, dancing and entertainment, this is the first production ever presented by DVES students.  Read more

‘Seriously good music’ at The Cooperage

HONESDALE, PA — “Concerts in the Coop” presents Grammy-award-winning French guitarist/composer Stephane Wrembel on Friday, April 26 at The Cooperage. The show starts at 9 p.m.; doors open at 8:15 p.m. BYOB. Donations will be collected at the door.  Read more

Once in a blue moon

Before you start sending letters, I am aware that this astronomical event has not happened in a while. In fact, a second full moon within a single calendar month is rare, which is how the colloquial use of the term came into being. A quick check online illuminated this concept while informing me that usage of the phrase is actually not at all unusual. Within minutes I discovered a brewery, a cafe, a boutique and a board game, all named Blue Moon. Songs have been written and poems have been penned, but the definition of a blue moon remains the same—infrequent, uncommon and odd.  Read more

Swimming with pachyderms in Thailand

LAMPANG, THAILAND — Fremont resident Don Downs and his wife Edie travelled to Thailand in February and spent a couple of days living with elephants.  Read more

Sore throat; many events

How come when I was a kid and I got strep throat I could still go out and play? Now that I am in my 50s, it’s taking forever to go away—two weeks on antibiotics, plus the doctor wants me to go see an ear, nose and throat specialist on May 2. If my throat still hurts by then, I am going to be a bit cranky.  Read more

Community spirit soars at African drum and dance event

BETHEL, NY — Maxwell Kofi Donkor and Sankofa returned to Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on April 14 as part of the center’s World Stage Series. The series has grown in popularity in recent years and offers free events to the community, providing a wide range of performances from all around the globe. Last Sunday, the Event Gallery was filled to capacity with families, many of whom arrived early to participate in a signature aspect of the series, a hands-on art activity, this time based on the traditional arts of Africa.  Read more

Nature springs forth

Officially, spring has been here for a few weeks, and the sun has been getting higher in the sky. The cold weather, however, has been showing resistance in leaving, as it usually does by this time. I have seen snow and ice on the ground in shaded areas in northern Delaware and Sullivan Counties as late as the 8th of April this year.  Read more

Steel Magnolia to headline ThunderBash

LIBERTY, NY — Steel Magnolia will headline the eighth annual ThunderBash, presented by Thunder 102, The Town of Thompson and Concord Associates at the Monticello Casino & Raceway on April 27 at 5:30 p.m.

The event will feature Nashville recording artists Tommy Steele and David Adam Byrnes, along with regional favorites Iron Cowboy, Somerville and 2012 Texaco County Showdown Winner Cathy Paty performing with Somerville and guest host Mr. Nashville, Billy Block.

ThunderBash will open with the National Anthem performed by the Eldred Key Elements.  Read more

Acadian food and music launch DVAA fundraiser

NARROWSBURG, NY — “A Taste of Acadia” kicks off the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) fundraising series “Savor the Arts” with two events on Sunday, April 21 at the Tusten Theatre. An authentic Acadian luncheon (from the French Canadian Maritime Provinces) will be served from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. in the community hall below the theatre. A concert will follow at 2 p.m. by the Prince Edward Island-based Acadian band Vishtèn, playing a blend of Acadian and Celtic music performed on the fiddle, guitar, accordion, piano, whistles, bodhran, jaw harp and moog, with percussive step dancing.  Read more

Werner and Koppel jazz up Milford

MILFORD, PA — The Werner/Koppel Jazz Duo will bring their sound to the Milford Theatre on April 26. The duo features American pianist Kenny Werner and Danish saxophone luminary Benjamin Koppel. This concert—the first of a series soon to be announced—will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Werner has performed with the Village Vanguard Orchestra and jazz stars like Toots Thielemans and David Sanchez. Danish saxophonist and composer Benjamin Koppel doesn’t only perform with Werner, the two are also the co-directors of the Valby Summer Jazz Festival.  Read more