“It’s meant to be viewed in profile,” artist Allan Rubin informed, as he posed with his latest “Can-O-Masters” creation, “DANTE,” which is on display as part of the CAS members show in Livingston Manor.

I’m not getting any younger

That’s right—I completed another full revolution around the sun over the holiday weekend, but truth be told, it wasn’t exactly a picnic. When I was a kid, I lamented the fact that so many of my friends were out of town for my birthday, as their parents took advantage of Memorial Day weekend to open cottages for the season, or take that first little trip to celebrate the “unofficial” beginning of summer, even though there were a few weeks of school still on the calendar. Nowadays, of course, it’s a three-day weekend and most folks have Monday off. But I always have to remind myself that many spend the holiday observing (and rightfully so) the traditions set forth: to remember those who died while serving in the armed forces, which can put a damper on any festivities I might plan.

And damp it was this past week, as the dark skies not only threatened, but delivered. It rained on my birthday and I took to my bed, whimpering like the Wonder Dog, (who was in no mood to go out either) ruminating about my lost youth and cursing the ticks, having been diagnosed with Lyme disease, which has made me more exhausted than usual. Although my social media page blew up with birthday greetings, my mood remained as dark as the clouds, and I continued to pull the covers over my head, wishing for the day to end without fanfare. Noting that the Narrowsburg Farmers Market (www.narrowsburgfarmersmarket.org) was scheduled to open “rain or shine” on Friday, I sighed and heaved myself off of the couch to check out the “Farm, Fare & Libations” advertised on their website, along with a promise of special events and live music on the roster for the coming months. It’s pretty cool (IMHO) that this market, located on the grounds of The Narrowsburg Union, is “the only Friday night market in the Catskills” making it convenient for residents and visitors alike to “pick up everything you need to start your weekend right!”

Although it’s early in the season, several vendors were set up, and I started by schmoozing with “farm market cheerleaders” Danielle and Jennifer (www.naturalcontents.com), who were offering samples from their new cookbook. Then I went on a round of pop-ups offering fresh veggies (Gorzynski Ornery farm), comfy socks and slippers (www.buckbrookalpacas.com), sweet things that I’m allergic to (www.2queenshoney.com), scrumptious jams and jellies and more. I’d name them all, but instead would urge you to check out the market yourselves and see what the fuss is all about. I even ran into Sherri Eccleston (www.SherrisSoaps.com) who, having heard that I had the dreaded Lyme, suggested I try one of her all natural insect repellants to protect me and the pup against future heartache.

Spying little ones in tutus (www.Facebook.com/catskilldancecompany) preparing to entertain, I joined the proud parents whipping out their cell phones and took a few pics of the adorable four- and five-year-old girls twirling and giggling to the music, trying as hard as I could to remember being that young and innocent. I schpritzed myself liberally with Sherri’s magic potion and headed for home, mildly depressed that twirling is no longer in my repertoire, while refusing to divulge my actual age.

“You’ll have to cut off my leg and count the rings!” I told painter Sharon Molloy (www.transformationalspaces.org) the next day, when she asked what year I was born, during the opening reception of the Catskill Art Society (CAS, www.catskillartsociety.org) Members Show in Livingston Manor, NY. Molloy’s installation, titled “Infinite Fields/Worlds Within,” explores “microscopic patterns, structures and shapes, which are part of the biological process; tied into our experience—and which we are mostly unaware of.”

I perused the gallery far too fast, because I was feeling wiped out, and after breezing through, quickly promised to return to check out the amazing works that the CAS members have to offer through June 25. “Oh no you don’t,” artist Allan Rubin shouted across the room. “Come check out my latest!” Rubin (www.Facebook.com/AllanRubinArt) is accomplished in several disciplines, but his latest passion, the “Can-O-Masters” series, continues to blow me away, so his request was easy to oblige.

“I’m working on a ‘Masters’ exhibit for the fall,” Allan informed. “Maybe you’ll put it in The River Reporter?” Rubin’s oil painted metallic sculptures are as described—made out of cans—and I still marvel at the cleverness that abounds in this series, which depicts famous people from various artistic walks of life. The piece in question represents Durante degli Alighieri (known simply as Dante), an Italian poet of the Late Middle Ages, and (according to Rubin) is designed to be viewed in profile. “Can’t wait!” I responded, “but first, strike a pose—I’m not getting any younger!”


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