Wednesday, August 15, 2012


My son and his partner David had a big engagement party at David's parents house in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on August 3rd and 4th, 2012.  It was a great party Friday evening, Saturday evening, and the Sunday morning parting.  Here are some pictures and a You-tube taken during the party.

David and Colin have been together for about 5 years.  They currently live in Los Angeles, where David is studying at Cal Arts, and Colin is looking for work after taking time off for the summer break in Lancaster.

Colin is on the left facing the camera, David is on the right, profile to the camera.  The party was in the backyard of David's folks in Lancaster, under a tent on the large patio next to the pool.
I like this picture because it shows a moment of an affectionate touch between two people who are completely comfortable with being together.  Facing the camera is David's Grandmother Doris (on his dad's side of the family) who is a wonderfully articulate person, and a great fan of David's.

This is the entrance to the tent off the driveway,  where people arrived for the party.
One of the few posed pictures from the party.  L-R Rahmin, Aurora, three friends whose names escape me, Colin, and Craig.
David's mother, Linda, is in the blue dress, while David's older brother is facing Linda.
David's dad, brother, and sister-in-law.
Backs to the camera, L-R, Aurora, Paige, and Gabe.  In the distance, Deezer (David's father) and friends at the salad buffet table.
A view of people hanging out at the pool party.
Chelsea, my partner, relaxing for a moment.
Grandson Caleb was the only child at the party.  He mostly was in the pool, and when he was not swimming he was reading a book.
In the background, the prefoessional photographer at the party is taking a picture of Caleb with book, while in the foreground David's sister-in-law and Rahmin chat while Chelsea looks on.
My younger daughter Amanda poses for the camera, at the table with old friend Amber from high school days at Stuyvesant and ever since then.
My older daughter Jonica (on left in picture) takes a break with two other women in little black dresses.
Jonica talks with Colin, while Paige's younger daughter looks on.
Paige's older daughter (face to camera) talks with a friend.  The flower arrangements on the tables were all created by Jonica.
L-R Paige (who came from South Carolina for the party, an old friend of Colin's from the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC), Jonica, Colin, and Paige's younger daughter.
A group around the salad buffet table.  The food was wonderful.  Great salads, and some pig based dishes that were excellent for the meat eaters.
I gave a toast to David and Colin, with some tips on marriage from someone who has been already divorced two times, but has made it 20 years and counting on the third try.

There was a motor home annex at the party for people who needed a period in air conditioned comfort from time to time.  Paige and her daughters slept here.  L-R Colin, Craig, Amber.

People standing around after the party was over. There was a sad feeling that "the party's over, its time to call it a day" as everyone prepared to travel home.

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Miss Chelsea reclining in the Motor Home, listening to conversation.
An already married couple: Amber and Rahmin, in the motor home.
Jonica's flower arrangements all set up on the bar on the day after when the party was almost over, with people leaving for Los Angeles, New York, South Caroline, and other points in Pennsylvania.  In the background Colin and Craig fold table clothes and take down the tables.  Chelsea sits on the steps to the hot tub whirlpool with a pensive look on her face.
With the tables done, Colin, David, and Amanda chat on the patio.
Caleb was not feeling well after to days submerged in the pool.  Mother Amanda and Amber try to cheer him up, while Chelsea observes and thinks.

This is me, smiling at how wonderful the get together turned out to be, and wishing everyone good luck as we parted.  Thank you Deezer and Linda for having us all at your home on an occasion we will never forget.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


The 34th Annual Rosendale Music Festival and Street Fest took place on July 21st and 22nd.
More than 25,000 people attended the festival over two days.  Rosendale has gone through a considerable metamorphosis during the time of the festival.  There is much evidence of vitality on Main Street, which is the long axis from bridge to bridge of the festival activities.  There are five stages distributed off Main Street with 5 different bands playing every hour from 11:00AM-7:00PM Saturday and Sunday.

This row ofvendors on Main Street included (R-L) Green T-Shirts and Bags, Pine Hill Books, and Freshly Made Paella.

The building housing the Guitar Store, across from the Pine Hill Books Booth in front of 391 Main Street is a good example of how painting the Edwardian Era buildings to bring out their details has dressed up the Rosendale Main Street to make it more festive and inviting.
Festival goers browsing at the Pine Hill Books booth appreciated the mix of Steampunk, science fiction, fantasy, horror, localhistory, and childrens books.  The comics and vinyl records were also popular.

The Pine Hill Books booth crew included Caleb, Marilyn, and Chelsea.
The Green T-Shirt and Bag people had attractive merchandise.  They came to the festival from Manhattan.

The Rosendale THeater has been taken over by a group of people from the town and is run cooperatively.  A film festival was offered as a part of the Music Festival.  Home made ice cream was sold throughout the festival from a vendor cart in front of the cheese store.
An intense band of two plays their country rock music at one of the smaller festival stages at the upper bridge in Rosendale.

Sunshine, good music, and friendly sunflowers made this venue featuring country and folk music attractive to many at the festival.

Hula hoop dancers in front of the musicians were a fun aspect of the festival.
This little old house nestled on Main Street is a pleasing part of the street.

The Interactive Drum Area in front of one of the stores was a great idea, and one of the best ideas at the Festival.  People of all ages would stop by as the walked up Main Street and join the impromptu groups playing the percussion instruments.  Sometimes the rhythms were enchanting.
If you look through the front counter of the paella stand you can see the home made "Catskill Mountain Rickshaw" carrying a festival  goer down Main Street.

The booth of the Roller Derby "Team Misfits" from Kingston attracted a lot of attention.  They are joing a local Roller Derby league.
The listing of the bands playing at the "Firehouse Stage" on Saturday.  Big Bowl of Soul was at 1:00PM. They were excellent!
In my opinion, this was the best band at the festival: Big Bowl of Soul."

The lead singer for Big Bowl of Soul.

The trombone and sax players from Big Bowl of Soul.
The weird special mirror in the mirror booth along Main Street.  A passerby has taken their picture in the mirror as it rotates.

Friday, August 10, 2012


Attendees at the August 6, 2012 Shandaken Town Board Meeting discussing  the designation of land use on the Belleayre Ridge.

Heather Roberts makes her Parks and Recreation report, which included a recommendation of Gilmour Consulting as consultant to advise on the creation of a recreation plan for the town, and discussion  or possibilities concerning the use designation of the 1200 acre Belleayre Ridge parcel.

Kathy Nolan commented on the proposal to outlaw the use of fracking fluid for snow removal, and on the designation of the 1200 acre parcel.

Gary  Bales, representing Dean Gitter  commenting on the use designation or the 1200 acre parcel purchased from Gitter in 2011. 

Walter Crump, a landowner from Lexington and Shandaken who recommended the abolishing of the “Forever Wild” policy.

Man who recommended the outlawing of transport of fracking brine  on Shandaken roads

By Rusty Mae Moore


            Board Member Jack Jordan reported at the Town Hall meeting Monday that the newly appointed Shandaken Town Museum Director Earl Hatleburg of Chichester has resigned.  Hatleberg was just introduced at the July Town Board meeting, and served for less than a month. No reasons were given for his resignation at the town meeting, but later discussion with a Board member suggested that a disagreement as to pay and hours was the issue..  Jordan said that a search for a new Museum Director will be conducted.

            The Town Museum, located on Academy Street in Pine Hill, is housed in a nationally landmarked former school house built in the 1920’s.

            The museum was founded in the 1980’s by Nancy Smith, who is currently the Shandaken Town Historian.  Smith resides in Big Indian.

            In recent weeks Nancy Smith has been leading a band of volunteers in the task of refurbishing the exhibits in the ground floor of the museum.  Each Thursday at 10:00AM several energetic senior citizens appear at the museum to wipe down with Clorox towelettes the exhibits of the tools of everyday life for families in the rural 1900’s.  There are sets of carpentry tools, cobblers tools, printers tool, seamstresses tools, cooking implements, farming and gardening  implements among others.  There is a handsome 19th Century piano, and a display of period military uniforms worn by sons of Shandaken.  One of the most interesting displays is a treadmill to be powered by a goat or dog which provided power for washing machines or fanning mills.  There is a light fixture from the Phoenicia Bridge of the early 20th Century.

            The upstairs level of the museum has a series of alcoves focused on each of the 7 hamlets which make up the Town of Shandaken: Mt. Tremper, Mt. Pleasant, Phoenicia, Shandaken, Big Indian,  and Pine Hill.  A new feature of the display is several mannequins dressed in late 19th and early 20th Century apparel.

            It is fervently hoped that a new Museum Director will be found soon so that the museum can reopen on a regular basis.  There have been four Museum Directors since the summer of 2009, with the Museum remaining closed for months at a time between directors.

            The Shandaken Town Museum is important to both the economic and cultural development of the town.  Residents will be able to learn about the history of their community, and visitors will be given a better sense of the people and families which have evolved into the population of the town today.


            The DEC  purchased a parcel of 1200 acres lying between the ski area and the Belleayre Lake at Pine Hill from Dean Gitter in 2009.  This land lies in Shandaken, and it has been up to the town to recommend to the DEC the use classification of the land: “wilderness”, etc.  Several members of the public in attendance raised different points of view on the best use for the land.  It was eventually decided by the Board that the 1200 acre parcel should have the same use rating as the Belleayre ski area and the Pine Hill lake, which will facilitate the interchange of recreationists using both areas.  This land is part of the “Forever Wild” program.

The Parks and Recs Board recommended the “intensive use” classification for the Bellayre Ridge.

          Kathy Nolan, a former Democratic candidate for Town Supervisor, proposed a designation of the use for the “Belleayre Ridge” as “Wilderness”.  Nolan remarked that “wilderness areas bring millions of dollars.”

            Gary Bales, a regular attendee at Town Board meetings who is associated with Dean Gitter  said to the Town Board “Your vote tonight must be based on what is best for the town.   The is property adjacent to Belleayre .  Orda is about to take it over.  We should be looking to maximize the potential for recreational activity”  Bales advised the Town Board.

            He said the use classification should give maximum opportunity for the use of the land.  The Shandaken Town Board decision is important, but “the DEC will make their decisions.”

            Town Board member Jack Jordan said ”The best use [for the Bellayre Ridge] is definitely something that would contribute to our economic advancement.”

           “If Bellayre expands it would create the possibility of economic development” Jordan continued.

            The Town Board voted 4-0 (Member Bernstein was absent) in favor of classifying the “Belleayre Ridge” parcel for “intensive use”.  As stated in Resolution #123-12  “this conforms to the classification assigned to Belleayre Ski Center and the Belleayre Beach, and is appropriate because the land is, in fact, and extension of Belleayre Mountain.” The parcel remains in the “Forever Wild” distinction in the Catskill Forest Preserve.


            The Town Board passed a resolution prohibiting the use of used fracking brine as a de-icing agent on Shandaken roads.  One speaker from the public proposed that the transportation of trucks carrying fracking fluid also be prohibited, but the Board did not make a formal resolution on this.


            Supervisor Rob Stanley explained in his remarks that the Town Board considered that the  DEC is indefaulty for not providing funds for an “approvable” sewer project.  The Environmental Faciities Corporation considers the town to be in default for not approving a sewer plant with the funds which were available in the block grant. 

            To the writer of this blog, the Phoenicia sewer issue continues its arcane  evolution toward a solution which will be feasible for Phoenicia and New York City.


            Stanley announced that Shandaken Day will be held only in Pine Hill.  The Move to Highmount in the evening which was originally planned has been cancelled due to complications related to the takeover of Belleayre by ORDA.


            Work on stream stabilization will get underway in coming weeks, to be completed before September 30.  Funding comes from the Natural Resources Conservation Service coordinated through the Ulster County Soil and Water Conservation District.  Bid specifications are available, and contract awards will be made on August 20.