Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
So here’s the thing. I do not plagiarize—at least not on purpose—but I kinda sorta did this week, and this is how it all went down.
I always keep a list of scheduled events with me and make notes as they play out over time. Aside from an art exhibit at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, I had tickets for a drag show at the Forestburgh Tavern and the Honeybee Fest slated for earlier that same day, taking place in Narrowsburg, NY, home of the award-winning River Reporter. So…
My first stop was at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) for an exciting exhibit of new paintings by David Barnett simply called “Home.” Barnett, whose extensive resumé includes painting scenic backdrops for the Metropolitan Opera, works out of a studio in Milanville, PA, where he creates “large-scale paintings inspired by the works of Klimt, Munch and Toulouse Lautrec.” His bio states that “since moving to the Upper Delaware River region two years ago, he has been influenced by the elegance and beauty of the landscape and its residents.”
While admiring one such painting, I overheard locals Jim Sullivan and Thomas Bosket excitedly telling friends that the painting behind them was inspired by a photo taken on their property. “Wow,” Jim said. “We had no idea, this is a total surprise. It’s so nice to feel like you’re a part of the community. Look at the detail!”
Indeed, Barnett’s attention to detail is impressive, especially when his subjects are in the same room, corroborating the artist’s impressions. I also overheard NACL general manager Julio Garaicoechea describing how he had commissioned Barnett to create “With Tito Puente,” featuring his parents and on loan from the family for the exhibit. Hey, David, I bet your itchin’ to paint me and dog, right? Call me.
Checking my email, I spied a note from the folks behind the upcoming (September 29) Barryville Butterfly Bike Ride, informing me that they would be present at the Narrowsburg Honey Bee Fest and suggesting that I stop by their booth for more info. Now in its fourth year, the honeybee festival, (is it one word, or two? Even the organizers can’t agree), which at its heart is dedicated to promoting “awareness, demonstration and education about our declining honey bee population,” also manages to draw large crowds (many sporting wings and antennae) to vendors, a costume contest, music, marching band and so much more—including bees.
I allowed Dharma to steer her own stroller (don’t judge!) toward one of my favorite vendors, Jo Clearwater, who was busy (www.organicfairyfloss.com) spinning her all-natural cotton candy, and placed my to-go order for later in the day. Promising to stop by on my way out, I noticed a plethora of bees swarming the outside of the machine, which magically spins “real organic cane sugar” into (IMHO) pure heaven. “They aren’t bees actually, they’re yellowjackets,” Jo said. “They’re attracted to the sugar. Oh look!” she said, “There’s one on your finger.”
I shrieked, (don’t judge) as the thing stung me without provocation, and jumped a little, yelping my way to the observation deck overlooking the beautiful Delaware River. Just then the Wallenpaupack High School Buckhorn Band began its great program, replete with bee attire and color-guard flag waving, and I snapped pics, including one of my continually swelling finger(s) courtesy of the damn bee, er, yellowjacket.
“IMHO—Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” I jotted in my notebook, before heading to Forestburgh and the aforementioned show, “Drag me to the Top” starring beautiful butterfly Paige Turner. She wowed the sold-out crowd for two hours of unmitigated hilarity, music and audience interaction, which I photographed while whining about my damn finger and how much it hurt to literally anyone within earshot.
Turner’s comedy and real, live vocals were top-notch. The audience roared in approval repeatedly as she regaled us with songs and stories that seamlessly wove a story, while she careened across the tavern stage in outrageous outfits, sporting a mile-high wig and a grin that could light up Broadway. After sharing my “brilliant” idea for a headline with a pal at the show, I was horrified to see that same headline the very next day in another local paper. I won’t say which, but it rhymes with “Times Herald-Record.” Crestfallen, I noticed its wording: “Fly like a butterfly” it said in big, bold letters, “Sting like a bee.”
“Well, that’s not right,” I said to the dog, swollen fingers flying across the keyboard. Sure enough, I was right: the famous Muhammed Ali quote says “float,” not “fly.”
“I’m using it,” I rasped out loud. After all, I did my homework.
To view more photos from the Narrowburg Honeybee Fest visit the Arts & Leisure photo gallery at www.river reporter.com.