TRR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox

While chatting with Christy Suskind Fiero, pictured here with husband Ray, I offered to pick up some BuddhaPesto at the Harvest Festival for her. Or so she says... 

People who need people…

A true cynic might say that nobody cares about anyone other than themselves today, and as of late, national headlines seem to bolster that opinion. However, as most of us know, that sentiment is seldom reflected by our neighbors here in the Upper Delaware River region, regardless of political parties and lines drawn in the proverbial sand. Here in the country, most fences (IMHO) are designed to keep livestock in, rather than neighbors out, and that has never been more apparent than in the last few days.

In the interest of full disclosure, I suppose I should admit that I talk quite a bit. That’s not to say that I’m incapable of listening, but like most Geminis, I’m usually knee-deep in more than one conversation at any given time—and sometimes, (just sometimes) my big mouth gets a little ahead of what few brain cells remain intact. As a result, I’m often a bit dazed and confused, and sometimes (just sometimes) I forget what I was talking about (or to whom I was speaking) altogether.

While perusing the fruits, vegetables and assorted edible delights at the Bethel Woods Harvest Festival recently, I found myself standing in front of the BuddhaPesto (like ‘em on Facebook) vendor’s booth talking out loud. “I was just speaking about this stuff with someone,” I said, ignoring the glances of passersby. “And I think I volunteered to get them some pesto today, but who was it? Hey!” I shouted to a lady nudging her husband and whispering. “I’m talking to the dog, see?” I said, pointing to the stroller (don’t judge) where Dharma was peering out and sniffing everything in sight, service-dog vest prominently emblazoned on her back.

“What can I do for you today?” asked the polite young man standing behind the counter. As I attempted to explain my predicament, the polite young man (Zane? Zive? Zorro? I forget) offered a few solutions, one of which was to make my purchase, and swing by later in the day to pick it up, while he wrote my name on the bag, placing it in the cooler. As if reading my mind, Zane/Ziv/Zorro (that last one seems unlikely) added a suggestion.“I’ll call you,” he said, writing my cell number on the brown paper bag. “I won’t let you forget to pick it up on your way out.” Thinking that was “right neighborly,” I spent the next two hours scratching my head. “Maybe social media can help,” I said out loud (to the dog) as the same lady walked past, shaking her head and smirking.

“Was it you?” I posted on Facebook when I got home later that day. “Help me, people,” I continued, “I bought it, but don’t remember why.” One by one, the responses flooded my in-box, and while several folks offered to take the pesto off my hands, it wasn’t until the next morning that the party for whom it was intended weighed in. “It was me!” gal-pal Christy Susskind Fiero responded. “We ran into each other at the wedding, remember? No, Christy—clearly I had not. Once I knew who it was for, I had to figure out a way to deliver said pesto, which involved more people, a trip to Forestburgh and handing it off to her BFF at the general store who promised to get it to Christy within a few days.

With  Barbra Streisand still singing in my poor addled brain I made my way to the Barryville Butterfly Bike Ride (say that three times fast). There I found even more people needing other people, in the form of folks walking, running and riding bikes along the 4.6 mile River Road route tossing “seed balls,” which will allow the monarch-friendly milkweed to germinate and provide natural habitat for the butterflies next year. Meanwhile, kids took turns swinging at the piñatas (filled with “healthy snacks”) as a fantastic mariachi band played in the farmers’ market—a fitting send-off for the beautiful creatures on their annual migration to Mexico.

Stooping to pick up my first fall foliage of the season, I snapped pics of the festivities, taking note of the adults who were helping the young ones as they lined up to take a swing with the bat. “Oh, look—there’s Mister Dharma,” said one of the parents, pointing to my pooch and giggling. “Mister Dharma?” I said out loud to no one in particular. I’ve been called worse.

To see more photos from the Barryville Butterfly Bike Ride (and seed toss!) ‘like’ us on Facebook and visit the Arts & Leisure Photo Gallery at


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