Friday, May 08, 2009

Satiated Saturday

In just one GreeneLand village, on just one day, too much is happening. The village is Catskill. The day is tomorrow. Public events start quietly at the Community Center, with a seminar for adults on managing their legal and related affairs, the guidance being provided gratis by an ace lawyer and two program-administering nurses. Later, starting at 4 pm at the C C, comes the launch of an on-line version of the new community radio station, WGXC (meaning Greene & Columbia counties), with various speakers and events culminating in--drum roll, please--live extracts from the impending home-grown musical, "River of Dreams." That performance will be beamed from across the street at the Union Mills Gallery (where author Hudson Talbott will autograph copies of his book River of Dreams and will donate the sale proceeds to the Center. Meanwhile, a rubber duck race will be staged on the west side of Catskill Creek, from the Middle School parking lot. Starting time is said to be 1pm, with a post-race celebration to follow at the Creekside Restaurant. Meanwhile, along Main Street, shops and galleries will be participating in Second Saturday activities. Meanwhile, parking lots around the County Building will be occupied by two-, four-, and more-wheeled participants (along with their owners) in the Village Car Show. That's a 3-8pm spectacle, augmented by live music. Meanwhile, up the hill, a special program devoted to the late Raymond Beecher, county historian, philanthropist and promoter of good GreeneLand causes, will unfold (from 1pm) at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site (which Mr Beecher saved from demolition). Meanwhile, at nearby Beattie-Powers Place, the Fortnightly Club unfolds a wine & cheece fund-raiser throughout the afternoon. Meanwhile, back on Main Street, a 6pm reception will hail the reopening of the Play Of Light gallery, showcasing the holographic and laser light magic achieved by the late Rudie Berkhout.
MORE CATSKILL. There's a good chance, moreover, that the new River Street Bakery will open at Brandow's Alley on Tuesday (following a trial run during the Saturday festivities) and that the new Port Of Call restaurant at Catskill Point will on Wednesday, from 6pm, have what proprietor Frank Guido dubs a "pre-grand opening." (To that event, says an advertisement on, "Your invited." CATSKILL acquired its name, says Town & Village Historian Richard Philp, in consequence of "a Dutch tradition of honoring a distinguishing person by naming a geographical site after him or her." The honoree here was "early 17th-century statesman and poet Johannes Katz." The kill part is Dutch for creek (sowhen we say "Catskill Creek" we commit redundancy). That bit of history is just a morsel in the feast served by Mr Philp in his new pictorial history: The book's 208 historic photographs are accompanied by captions that go well beyond immediate description to mini-memoirs (William Van Vechten Jr and his pet woodchuck, for example). The cover picture here shows "local citizens crowding onto an experimental lifeboat" that had just been made locally during World War I. Catskill Village will be available in nine days from the publisher; CATKILL-based Greene County Bancorp has withdrawn its application to "participate" in the Federal bank bailout program. According to a company announcement, taking the Federal money would have or could have been coupled with accepting onerous "regulatory burdens," and anyway, the bank has arranged an alternative: a revolving line of credit for $5 million from Atlanta Central Bankers Bank (sic), to be tapped in case of need. But there's no need, the announcement adds. The bank's "regulatory capital" supply exceeds what is required legally "by substantial margins." Anyhow, the announced withdrawal of application was not preceded by a company announcement of application, and we now know that, back in February, when we said in Seeing Greene that the bank had not sought bailout money, we were wrong. CAN'T STOP writing about Catskillians. Stories by writer Ann Cooper, who is fully imported from Scotland, have appeared lately on line ( and in RAW (=Random Acts of Writing). And Linda Overbaugh, veteran director of the Heart of Catskill Association (=Village chamber of commerce), as special honoree at the Beaux Arts Ball of the Greene County Council on the Arts, was hailed for "steadfast commitment and unselfish contributions to the quality of cultural life in Greene County." [REMINDER. Comments are welcome, but they must be signed by their authors]


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