Professional or local and more letters

Posted 5/1/19

Response to ‘A Memory of Margo’ Cass Collins wrote a column that ran in The River Reporter on February 6. I loved the piece and was deeply moved with the details she selected to describe …

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Professional or local and more letters


Response to ‘A Memory of Margo’

Cass Collins wrote a column that ran in The River Reporter on February 6. I loved the piece and was deeply moved with the details she selected to describe Margo as “a gift I will always treasure.”

I knew Margo in a different setting when she was a psychoanalyst in New York City. I saw her off and on for nearly 10 years and, after that, kept in touch by mail, phone and once in person when I surprised her with an unexpected visit to Narrowsburg (something I’m not sure she ever forgave me for). Back then, we called her a Renaissance woman, someone who could do it all: besides being a mother, she painted masterpieces, bought and managed New York City properties and nurtured a steady stream of aspiring clients in individual and group therapy sessions who longed to become actors, playwrights, opera singers and artists, just like her.

I was especially taken with this piece about Margo because it gave me the opportunity to spend a little more time with her and discover what her life was like after she left Manhattan.

“Sometimes she would stand, framed in the doorway, her elegance a counterpoint to our country town before its own elegance came to be, surveying goings-on, chatting with locals.

“She had many opinions. On politics, the environment, mean people, to name a few.

“... She would fall in love again, enjoy a second grandchild, paint many more canvases and try to navigate the digital world.

“Did I mention her beauty? She had a classic face with the wide-set eyes and high cheekbones of a model, full lips and long dark hair. She dressed for every occasion, often in flowing brightly colored dresses. She looked great in red.”

Sitting here reading this piece again, and again, it is almost as if I am reading the eulogy for this person, this woman, who contributed so much to my life and the others who were fortunate enough to know her.

Mary Rae

Sioux Falls, SD

Professional or local

Most readers interpret “local” to identify people who live and work in the Delaware Valley. When I wrote a Letter to the Editor titled “Sanctuary Versus Asylum” and signed the letter with a poem, I identify myself as a resident of Milanville. Some readers then call me a local poet, as if poetry were not my profession.

Indeed, poetry is my profession. I have published several books of poetry and had my work recently included in the “Fracture Anthology” alongside essays by Barbara Hurd, Bill McKibben and Derrick Jensen. Let us identify where we live independent of our professional work.

In the Delaware Valley, there are a good number of artists, actors, poets, writers and cartoonists who have been on the national stage—the New Yorker Magazine, the New York Times and in books published by major houses.

Historically, poets have lived everywhere. Famously, Dylan Thomas was born in Wales and lived his later years as an adult in New York’s West Village (and in the White Horse Tavern where a room is named for him). Marianne Moore lived in Brooklyn where she was visited regularly by Jose Garcia Villa who lived in the West Village. In England, Wilfred Owen became a well known war poet while in the British Army during the Great War. Earlier, in England’s Lake District, Wordsworth and Coleridge were considered to be local poets.

In the Delaware Valley today, there are several poetry groups and workshops doing creditable work: The

Milanville Poets UnLtd., The BlueStone Poets of the Delaware Valley, Country Voices of Sullivan County, the First Sundays Zen Buddhist Group of Narrowsburg, the nearby Alchemy Poets at the Grahamsville Library and and the Mulberry Poets from Scranton are a few. Certainly, some good work is being produced by writers who consider poetry to be their profession, even as they are local.

Mort Malkin

Milanville, PA

To residents of Tusten Township,

The Tusten Town Board has drafted four new code enforcement proposals on the topics of property management, noise, unsafe buildings and mass gatherings. These are available only on the Town Hall bulletin board or at the town website under notices on the main page:

We encourage everyone to read the property management proposal as it enacts major new laws impacting our homes, land and vehicles. We also encourage those with concerns to attend the next Town of Tusten Board meeting at the Tusten Town Hall on Tuesday, May 14 at 6:30 p.m.

Kurt Steele

Narrowsburg, NY


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