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The family that plays together...

"We are family," declared weekend visitors Michael & Lisa with son Indie at Callicoon Creek Park, who "stumbled on the place" after dining on main St

September 6, 2012

My online dictionary defines “family” in a number of ways: “A group consisting of parents and children living together in a household,” “A group of people related to one another” and “People related to each other and so to be treated with a special loyalty or intimacy: I could not turn him away, for he is family.” Lest we forget, American journalist and author Edna Buchanan once declared that “Friends are the family we choose for ourselves.”

The definition of family is subjective these days as we embrace individuals and groups as our own. Here in the Upper Delaware valley, this notion is (IMHO) even more evident, since we encounter one another on a daily basis, at work, at play and sometimes, we gather in solidarity for a common cause. As I traversed the countryside this past week, I observed all of the various family groups gathering for one reason or another and, happily, felt connected to each.

As we all know, cats are particularly prolific and that saloon ( on Route 17B has spawned another offspring, this time in the form of the Stray Cat Gallery, a new home for local artists to exhibit their talents and share stories with friends and family on how it all comes together. The grand opening last Friday was a collage of artwork created by a diverse family of like-minded individuals and several were on hand to schmooze and celebrate during the event. Multimedia guru Ray Fiero, sculptor Zac Shavrick, woodcarver Paul Stark, potter Ellany Gable, ice sculptor Tom Holmes and jeweler Tamera were but a few of the 20 creative geniuses represented. Sullivan County entrepeneurs Stacy Cohen and Monty Sachs were both on hand at the reception and as usual, Dharma ( the “official dog of the Dancing Cat”) and I ran into our incredible family of friends who embrace us as one of their own.