Friday, August 19, 2005

Skirling, Soaring, Scolding, Padding

First comes the skirl, then comes the sight, of 150 plaids-kilted bagpipers marching down the ski slope at Hunter Mountain. It’s an awesome start of the weekend’s International Celtic Festival, replete with caber tossing, Irish music, Celtic products. For details: 263-4223 or Equally special in GreeneLand this weekend will be the Great Northern Catskills Balloon Festival, in the Town Park on Route 32 in Greenville. There’s an opening ceremony at 5 o’clock today. On Saturday and Sunday, balloon launching starts at 6 (s-i-x) in the morning. The festival offers rides (helicopter as well as balloon), crafters, musicians and, at 9:15 both nights, fireworks. 966-5050 or Also noteworthy this weekend: Rocking. The B-Side Band at Athens Riverfront Park from 7 pm. tonight. Paddling. Guided kayaks and canoes through RamsHorn/Livingston Sanctuary, rich in flora and fauna, Saturday afternoon, with the Audubon Society’s Larry Federman. Also on Monday. Equipment provided. 678-3248. Shopping. Farmers’ & Artisans’Market, from 9:30 am. at Catskill Point (foot of Main St, Catskill) tomorrow. Vendors, music, demonstrations. Classic Rock. Richard Street and The Temptations, at Catskill Point from 7:30 pm. Saturday. A HOCA special. Listening. Opera stars Mignon Dunn and Camille Coppola performing with artists in residence at Altamura Summer Institute, 404 Winter Clove Road, Round Top, Saturday. 622-0070 or Gawking. Vintage cars & ‘bikes on show all of Sunday at Rielbauers Resort in Round Top. 622-9584. Mushrooming, from 9 am. Sunday at Cornell Co-operative Extension’s Agroforestry Resource Center in Acra. 622-9820 or Recollecting. Home and farm life during the American Revolution elucidated by costumed Historical Society guides, at the ultra-historic Bronck house and museum, just off Route 9W in Coxsackie, from 1:30 pm. Sunday. 731-6490 or OPENED: elegant new lodge at Hunter Mountain. It’s called the Kaatskill Mountain Club (except in Daily Mail of 8/13, where it becomes Katskill) and is being marketed as a “fractional ownership” (read: time-share) facility with hotel-like guest arrangements. An on-line advertisement for the place touts Hunter Mountain sub-literately as “the Catskill’s premier resort” and, a sentence later, as “the Catskills premier resort.” DAILY MAUL. While we’re being fussy about the literacy of putative professionals, it behooves us to memorialize the quarter-page house advertisement (DM, 8/17) that shouts ATTENTION READER’S, thereby inserting a superfluous apostrophe. And the ad’s next two lines invite us to “Get Ready for Hudson Valley Newspaper’s ‘Road Construction’ Contest!!!” thereby (since the sponsoring company is Hudson Valley Newspapers) putting an apostrophe in the wrong place. “SEAGULL” STORIES. On opening night (8/5) of the performance of Anton Chekhov’s play at Catskill Point, at the poignant moment where Nina picks up what appears to be a dead seagull, a flock of birds appeared on the Hudson, as if on cue; one broke from the flock and flew south. And at another point in the play, where Trigorin speaks of “when I hear the whistle of the train,” an Amtrak went by in the background, visible across the river. Such events, richly appreciated by the audience, served to vindicate the idea of staging the play outdoors and indoors at the Point. So did the turnout: far greater than what GreeneLand’s Tourism office had anticipated. Expect to hear more of what impresario Joseph Capone dubbed “Classics @ the Point.” ANOMALIES? Day & Holt, the GreeneLand hardware and antiques store, is run by neither a Day nor a Holt. Though started by Jeremiah Day and Samuel Holt back in 1810, it has been in the Patrick Walsh family since 1911. Bill’s Grill hasn’t been operated by a Bill for many years, although Bill Beck did open it and still owns the building. Al’s Tires is Ralph Basley’s place of business. Tony’s Luncheonette isn’t Tony Grillo’s luncheonette any more; its Rick Saparata’s. Joey’s Pizza is Laurie Berkowitz’s place. And Arthur Webster is long gone from Arthur’s Hair Studio; as of last April it had passed into the hands of Bitta Svensson (who has retained the window’s “Tan Naked Here” invitation). On the other hand, Ray Rothrock does run Ray’s Appliance; DiStefano’s Barber Shop and DiStefano’s Meat Market are run by third-generation DiStefanos; a Ritter operates Ritter’s Garage; sundry Lacys drive Lacy Ford/Lincoln/Mercury/Subaru, and hard-working Christmans do run Christman’s Windham House. Also peculiarly apt is the name Onteora, which was bestowed eponymously on the child who was born back in 1907 just as her parents reached Catskill Point aboard the cruise liner “Onteora.” Her grandson Bruce Whittaker came to be president of the Bank of Greene County. LEANING dangerously: bell tower of former Christ Presbyterian Church on Franklin Street in Catskill. That’s a major reason for the elaborate scaffolding now girding the place, as authorized at substantial expense by Jim Manfredi (distinguished Manhattan oncologist) and Mark Beard (distinguished painter). Only the birds and the resident raccoon were happy with the deteriorated, out-of-plumb tower. HOW LONG a sentence would be appropriate for somebody who attacks a drug peddler with a baseball bat? Should be shorter if the injuries are minor, or longer? What about motive? If the attacker, instead of resenting the drug racket, is demanding either delivery of his drug of choice or return of his down payment? Those questions have a bearing on a current GreeneLand case (with ace defense attorney Dennis Schlenker in one corner) that has not yet landed in court. (Who’s the smartass who asks what brand of bat was wielded?) DREAMS Dept. Some day, let’s hope, main streets of Catskill, and of Hunter & Windham & Athens & Coxsackie, will be subjects of web sites that are as attractive as that of –check it out— BYGONES. “Aunt Florence [Vincent] was a familiar figure on Main Street…. She and her ancient Buick approached the shopping area via the steepest hill like a charging lion. She did not believe in parking meters and refused to deposit coins. When escorted to the police department because of this infraction, she complained so vehemently about their use that, in desperation, the officer would tell her to just go home. The police became so weary of the scolding they received when tickets were placed on her car, they finally allowed her to park without charge, and notices were no long put on her windshield.” That’s from Edith Cole Silberstein, in Our Lovable Eccentrics (Thomas Cole National Historic Site, 2005). It’s about the eldest of three children of her grandfather, who was Thomas Cole’s oldest son. BYWORDS. Forget world peace. Visualize using your turn signal. He who laughs last thinks slowest. For every action there is an equal and opposite criticism. Give me ambiguity or give me something else. Consciousness: That annoying time between naps.


Anonymous said...

I think you don't like me!!! The Heart of Catskill Association/Catskill Chamber of Commerce is presenting Richard Street and The Temptations at The Historic Catskill Point tomorrow night (Saturday) at 7:30PM. Certainly must rank among the premier events in the county this weekend!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dick!