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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, (

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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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For the love of wood; Local festival expected to draw thousands

MILFORD, PA — Skilled woodcrafters will amaze you. Experts in chainsaw carving will impress you. The music of wood instruments will float through the air. Visitors to the 10th annual Festival of Wood, to be held this weekend at Grey Towers National Historic Site, will experience all of this and more, including the chance to see and purchase the works of 25 fine-art woodcraft vendors who create beautiful one-of-a-kind works of art and useful handmade objects from humble chunks of wood.  Read more

A new day in local real estate by Diane Butler

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Like the rest of the country, I have for the past few years sat glued to the television and newspapers looking for any sign of relief from the Great Recession.

As an associate broker and realtor for the past 25 years in Sullivan County, I have watched the rise and fall of many a market, and I am finally happy to say that our market is now climbing back to a stronger and healthier selling climate.  Read more

Snakes in the lake

With the arrival of warm mid-summer days, many of us are taking advantage of the swimming and fishing opportunities in nearby natural waterways, and many people encounter wildlife of all types while in or on the water. The more interesting descriptions come from encounters with snakes—sometimes heard for example: “I saw a water moccasin on my dock yesterday.” The fact is that in our region, only two venomous snake species are found: the timber rattlesnake and the northern copperhead. Neither is particularly attracted to aquatic environments.  Read more

A tale of two lakes

Since my last column, I’ve had the opportunity to fish two different lakes. Ordinarily I would be checking USGS sites on my laptop to find some cold, clear stream or river. However, the weather patterns this year have not been kind. We have had one weather event after another. Almost all of my regular haunts are “blown out” and the rivers have been running the color of coffee, two creams.  Read more

Deeds to do, promises to keep…

I don’t want to bum you out, but… summer is half over. Hard to believe, right? Around Memorial Day, I vowed to “stop and smell the roses” and take my time this season, relish the moment and drink it all in. You know, be in the now. Maybe I should have just made a decision to begin drinking. With a firm resolve to spend the lazy hazy days of summer “feelin’ groovy,” I made sure to have my Simon and Garfunkel CDs in the truck, to facilitate the notion that their advice—“Slow down, you move too fast”—would magically empower me to feel like “kickin’ down the cobblestones” etc.  Read more

Miles to Dayton in Hawley

HAWLEY, PA — Featured in Oprah Magazine and selected as emerging artists of the year by Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, folk-rock band Miles to Dayton will come to the historic Boiler Room of the Hawley Silk Mill on Saturday, July 26 for two shows in one night at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., brought to you by Harmony Presents. Having opened for The Subdudes, Richie Havens, Leslie West, Jorma Kaukonen, Tom Paxton, Jen Chapin, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, among others, this band blends elements of folk, rock, classical and funk. Miles to Dayton features four-part vocal harmony, improvisational violin and cello, and a rhythm section.  Read more

Llearn about llamas

MILFORD, PA — “Llearn about Llamas” will be the theme of an open barn day at Foster Hill Farm, home of Snyder Quality Llamas, on Sunday, July 27. A new feature this year is a Fiber Artisans Festival with vendors promoting products made with llama and alpaca fiber. Between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. there will be demonstrations of fiber handling, carding, spinning, felting and more, and there will be tours of the various barns and pastures that nearly 60 llamas call home.  Read more

Celebrate Callicoon

CALLICOON, NY — The Callicoon Street Fair will be enhanced this year with art and music in the park and around town on Saturday, July 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The day will have events for all ages and there will be vendors all along Main Street.  Read more

Old time fun at the Old Time Fair and BBQ

GRAHAMSVILLE, NY — The popular Old Time Fair & BBQ will be held rain or shine on Saturday, July 26 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Grahamsville Fairgrounds on St. Rt. 55.  Read more

Library holds Batman Birthday Celebration

CALLICOON, NY — As the Dark Knight celebrates his 75th anniversary, DC Entertainment has asked libraries across the U.S. and Canada to join the celebration with parties and more this July. The Western Sullivan Public Library (WSPL) will hold a Batman Birthday Celebration commemorating 75 years of service from the Caped Crusader. The WSPL has reserved a booth at the Callicoon Street Fair in order to share this celebration with the local community.  Read more

Nickou watercolor exhibition at the Liberty Museum & Arts Center

LIBERTY, NY — The Liberty Museum & Arts Center will show the watercolor paintings of Thomas Nickou in a retrospective art exhibition running now through Saturday, August 16. Nickou’s subject matter ranges from close-up views of flowers, tools and farm buildings to the broad expanse of landscapes from our national parks to the Irish and Greek countryside and the Catskills.  Read more

Speaker Kelly Alogna goes beyond the walls of the Old Stone Jail

HONESDALE, PA — The “Plain Speaking” series continues with Kelly Alogna, who will discuss the history and architecture of the Old Stone Jail, as well as the stories behind the inmates that make the jail unique, on Friday, July 25 at 4:30 p.m. at The Wayne County Historical Society, 810 Main St.  Read more

Final Friday Comedy Night at the Silk Mill

HAWLEY, PA — Nationally headlining comic James Mattern and writer of the off-Broadway musical “Gangstapella,” Rus Gutin, will headline Harmony Presents’ Final Friday Comedy Night at the Silk Mill on Friday, July 25 at 8:30 p.m. According to the LA Examiner, “Gutin’s stage persona is a compelling mixture of Woody Allen and Sam Kinison. Something akin to Jewish angst on meth.”  Read more

This weekend: 24th annual Riverfest

NARROWSBURG, NY — Music, art, and the environment take center stage at Riverfest, held Sunday, July 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Main Street. Presented by Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) and sponsored by Catskill Regional Medical Center, Riverfest embodies the spirit of our river valley and highlights the artists and musicians who live and work here.  Read more

Hickory Project to perform at The Cooperage

HONESDALE, PA — Hickory Project will be at The Cooperage as part of the Concerts in The Coop series on Friday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m. Formed in 2001, the band features hard-driving traditional and original acoustic music deeply rooted in bluegrass.  Read more

Fine art on exhibit at the Equinunk Historical Society

EQUINUNK, PA — The Equinunk Historical Society will feature artist Lauren Floden at the annual Art Appreciation Day on Sunday, July 27 at the Calder Museum, 1972 Pine Mill Rd. at 12 noon. Floden creates portraits in oils, acrylics, pastels, conte crayon, and pen and ink for both local and international clients. She welcomes commissions and works with her clients to create works of art.  Read more

Slideshow based on book: ‘Welcome Back to the Catskills’

MONTICELLO, NY — Oscar Israelowitz will present a slideshow based on his book “Welcome Back to the Catskills” at the Ethelbert B. Crawford Public Library on Tuesday, July 29 at 7 p.m. The Catskills were the summer retreat for thousands of New Yorkers for over 100 years. The program features many of the grand hotels such as Grossinger’s, the Concord and the Nevele, which all served as the training ground for some of the greatest entertainers in the world, including Sid Caesar, Eddie Fischer, Robert Merrill and Neil Sedaka.  Read more

Tristate bike ride funds summer camp for sick children

TRI-STATE REGION — Hundreds of cyclists from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and as far away as LA, Miami, Montreal, England and Israel hope to raise more than $3 million on a two-day, up to 180-mile bike trip for a cause they believe in—sending hundreds of Jewish children with life-threatening or lifelong illnesses to summer camp. The event, Bike4Chai, now in its fifth year, is a project of Chai Lifeline, a Jewish charitable organization. This summer, Camp Simcha Special, located in Glen Spey, NY, will host 420 of these children for two-week camp sessions.  Read more

Father’s Day

She responds to me with, “Oh… Daddy,” when I tell her how cute she looks in her PJs with her pig tails swinging down the hall. She is doing a quick skip as she leads me to the kitchen and can’t keep in the excitement of what she has prepared (with help from Mom). “Sit Daddy, sit,” she instructs, and like the good waitress she unfolds the paper-towel napkin she has held over her arm till now and places it on my lap. She is hopping in place with excitement. I can’t help but notice the smile, the rosy cheeks and the twinkle in those big brown eyes of hers.  Read more

Forestburgh’s ‘Whorehouse’ is open for business

The Forestburgh Playhouse’s fourth offering of the season gives audiences an opportunity to see star Loretta Swit in a new light—as Miss Mona Stangley, the proprietor of a century-old brothel operating on the outskirts of the fictional Gilbert, Texas. Loosely based on real events, the “Chicken Ranch” was a well known house of ill repute and the goings-on during the show are also based on real people and real history. Set in the 1970s, the musical follows the story of Miss Mona, her girls and the campaign of Bible-thumping television reporter Melvin P. Thorpe to shut the place down.  Read more