Friday, August 24, 2007

Newby News

After spending many years in Westchester, Jim “Miracle Man” Murphy has moved back to Catskill to serve as Columbia/Greene manager for First Niagara Mortgages. According to The Daily Mail (8/23), he achieved national fame 24 years ago on “Good Morning America” when, while working as a painter on the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, and with hands lathered in baby oil to repel aluminum-based paint from adhering to his skin, he slipped and plunged 162 feet into the Hudson. After landing headfirst in mud at bottom of 4 feet of water, he survived with a broken arm. >Speaking of survivors, advertising guru Nina Sklansky moved from Greenport to Catskill 17 days ago, and had the good fortune to be out last Friday night when a massive maple tree, blown over by the fierce winds from the sidewalk verge, crashed down on the roof of her Second Empire house. Fortunately, too, neighbor Stan Raven reached her by telephone to convey the news, easing what otherwise would have been the shock of discovery. Ms Sklansky was “astounded and delighted,” she told Seeing Greene, at the speed and efficiency of clean-up work done by Village Public Works Department crewmen. >Versatile artist Brian Dewan flew to Los Angeles for the opening tonight of a gallery show of his work. A GreeneLand resident as of last July, Mr Dewan not only paints pictures but also composes and plays music and, with his brother Leon, invents instruments. And writes poetry. And makes film strips and furniture designs. Check him out on Wikipedia, Google, and the website It’s a trip. > From Aberdeen (Scotland), by way of Go-Go dancing, chambermaiding, silver service waitressing, barmaiding, train-cleaning, fish processing, double glazing-peddling, story-making and top-drawer journalism comes new GreeneLander Ann Cooper. Credentials: Proof of rare literacy and wit: >Recent settler Warner Shook, the theater maven, will soon be leaving his marvelous East Catskill home, and partner Frank Swim, for stints of directing in Seattle (Clare Booth Luce’s timely play “The Women”) and then in Los Angeles (Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest”). >Ex-Hudsonian Johnnie Moore will be absent from his splendid Athens home for most of the coming eight months, as he tours with “I Love A Piano,” a revue of Irving Berlin songs. He’ll sing and dance in a troupe of six performers and eight musicians. Following rehearsals that start next week in New York, the show opens September 21 in Boston. Details:


ELECTED to the Hall of Fame of the U.S. Meeting and Planning Association, at the group’s convention this week in Florida: Franklyn Dickson, of Maple Crest.

RETURNED to masthead of The Daily Mail, as Executive Editor, after unexplained 6-week absence: Theresa Hyland.

LEARNED from experience in the business: the “hardest thing about running a good restaurant in the mid-Hudson area” is “finding enough professional staff.” That’s the judgment voiced by Carole Clark after many years operating Hudson’s esteemed Charleston Restaurant. Ms Clark now helps to staff the Catskill office of Patricia Hinkein Realty, with former manager David King having moved up Main Street to Gary Di Mauro’s new office.

ALLOWED by the Hunter Planning Board, to put some retail shops under the roof of his big restaurant building in Tannersville: Black Diamond Grill owner Bernie Zahn.

FINED, to the tune of $285,000, by the State’s Department of Environmental Conservation, for emitting too much dense smoke over the past three years from its Catskill kiln: St Lawrence Cement Company. Also required by the terms of a negotiated settlement, according to a TimesUnion report, are repairs to SLC’s pollution-control equipment and more complete emission reports.

BENIGHTED: Drivers who move into the passing lane on a highway but linger. They stay on Cruise Control while going only a fraction of a mile faster than the car they are, so to speak, passing. Don’t they know that when they accelerate, and then take foot off accelerator, Cruise Control still operates?

TOMORROW (8/25) Haines Falls: Day-long Open House at Mountain Top Historical Society, 5132 Route 23A. Dancing, music, vendors, hayrides, puppets (in a new purpose-built theater), food, greetings by Rip Van Winkle, landscape paintings, lecture on Asher B. Durand.; Hunter: Catskill Mountain Foundation’s annual fund-raising gala, with cocktails, gourmet dinner, open bar, auctions (silent and vocal), dancing (Saints of Swing), schmoozing.—all in support of CMF arts programs. Information: (518)263-2007 or Acra: At Wave Farm, artists perform animal-based themes in aid of Hudson refuge Animal Kind. Round Top: “Shakespeare in Opera” program at Altamura Center. Also on Sunday. East Durham: Irish Feis. Step dancers, 600 strong, compete at Blackthorne resort. or (518) 6342541. And speaking of the Irish:

Mary Clancy goes up to Father O’Grady after his Sunday service, and she’s in tears. He says, “So what’s bothering you, Mary my dear? “Oh Father,” she says. “I’ve got terrible news. My husband passed away last night.” “Oh Mary, that’s terrible,” says the priest. “Tell me, did he have any last requests?” “That he did, Father.” “What did he ask, Mary?” “He said ‘Please, Mary, put down that damn gun’.”

Coxsackie: “By the Light of the Silvery Moon,” a Greene County Historical Society evocation of rural life on a full moon night in GreeneLand 300 years ago. Ghost stories (Dick Muggeo), folk songs (Bob Lusk), country desserts and other treats in and around the original Bronck family dwellings. Queries: (518) 731-6490;;

Catskill: no Saturday Stroll, no Saturday Studios, but luscious Lex Grey, rock diva, performs in the morning, at the Riverside Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market, and again in the evening, at Catskill Point. In addition, the life of Barry Hopkins—artist, teacher, runner, founder of the Kindred Spirits Wilderness Experience and of the Greater Sense of Place program--will be celebrated at Cedar Grove (the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, 218 Spring St) from 5pm. Parking there is reserved for the elderly and handicapped, but a shuttle bus will run from the Catskill Middle School parking lot at 4:45pm and back after the event.

APOLOGY Although no trees were killed for the sake of this verbiage, many electrons were inconvenienced.

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