Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head
Hopefully by the time this edition of the award-winning River Reporter hits the stands, the endless rain will have stopped—but as I sit at my desk to put the proverbial pen to paper? Well, let’s just say that it’s wet out there, and has been for what seems like forever. I thought about building an ark, but who has time? Besides, if every animal in the Upper Delaware River region decided to join me on an excursion to who-knows-where, I’d be up to my eyeballs in you-know-what and it’s enough just to have to clean up after my dog.
Complaining (what else is new) to the boss about not wanting to be outdoors, she admonished me (what else is new) and told me to “buck up” since we were both scheduled to make an appearance at the Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association 19th annual brochure exchange (say that three times fast) where members gather each year to (duh) exchange brochures. Learning that this year’s event would be held at the brand new Kartrite Resort and Indoor Waterpark in Monticello, NY, I perked up considerably, since I’d been anxious to see what all the fuss was about. “Connect with your colleagues,” the invite read, “and exchange your companys’ brochures while enjoying some award-winning barbeque (the reason I attended) courtesy of Hog Heaven (like ‘em on Facebook).”
Miraculously, the sun came out, and as TRR publisher Laurie Stuart schmoozed and exchanged, I stuffed my face while making arrangements to take a tour of the resort with the pup in her stroller (don’t judge) leaving the boss high and dry. There are not enough superlatives (IMHO) to describe my visit, but as Arnold Schwarzenegger would say, “I’ll be back.” Inviting, fun, exciting and stunning are words I would use if pressed, because the overall design is gorgeous, with beautifully appointed lounges, attractive restaurants, luxurious rooms and a wet and wonderful world that I would describe (you may quote me) as the “Willy Wonka of Waterparks.” Intrigued? Visit www.riverreporter.com to view more of my photos before hightailing it over there, come rain or come shine.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once wrote that “Into each life a little rain must fall,” suggesting that we all experience both joy and sadness at some point in our lives. Fittingly, in between the dark clouds, rays of light shone on last weekend’s Allyson Whitney Foundation (AWF) “Peace, Love, Run 5K fundraiser, which was a bittersweet mixture of both. The AWF mission “is to shine a spotlight on an under-served demographic of young adult cancer patients and to place an emphasis on the need for rare cancer research. The foundation primarily provides direct financial assistance to young adult patients battling cancer with ‘Life Interrupted Grants’ to ease financial burden so that they can concentrate their energy on healing” (www.allysonwhitney.org). Each year the AWF 5K attracts hundreds of participants who run, walk and stroll around Sullivan County’s Kauneonga Lake in support of the cause, raising more than $300,000 since its inception in 2012. Mike Chow (with a new AWF record of 17:08.3) and Barbara Ferrante (21:51:5) led the pack in their respective categories, but everyone is a winner at this annual event, which raises awareness and thousands each year, making it possible for founder Barbara Strong and her army of angels to assist those in need. More photos help illustrate Allyson’s legacy at www.facebook.com/theriverreporter.
It poured all night. Even Dharma balked at stepping outside the next morning. “Who’ll stop the rain?” I moaned—a tip o’ the hat to Creedence Clearwater Revival—as I put the stroller aside and leashed my dog like a normal guy. “Celebrate Cobalt’s Class of 2015 and wish them well in their new endeavors!” yet another invitation on my desk beckoned. With the promise of more delicious food (www.naturalvalleykitchen.com) and a silent auction of downright amazing scenic design art work created by the students during their two-year program, I threw caution to the wind and braved the elements.
“Cobalt Studios is modeled after the guilds from the Renaissance,” co-founder Rachel Keebler states online. “Here we combine the classroom experience with the workshop experience. We reflect those guilds where a cohesive group of artists nurtured a respect for their craft as an active part of their community life, bound together through mutual respect; craftsmen who taught the traditions, skills and art of their craft.” The graduates tearfully paid tribute to Keebler as they were handed their certificates while friends and family admired the students’ masterpieces of theatrical illusion. Humbled by their talent, I snapped some photos and sloshed my way to the car.
Prince had his “Purple Rain,” Elvis his “Kentucky Rain,” and Mariah Carey annoyingly sang her way “Through the Rain,” but I’m probably most like Led Zeppelin’s “Fool in the Rain.” Stay dry!