Van Wyck Gazette Winter Issue 2016 Holiday

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Winter Issue 2016 / 17

Van Wyck Gazette

Look for our Holiday Gift Guide inside this issue! Fishkill • Beacon • Wappingers Falls • Poughkeepsie • Newburgh • New Paltz • Rhinebeck • Woodstock


Table of Contents

Joseph Caplan Welcome to our Winter Holiday Issue & Gift Guide 2016 which shares the theme of gift giving in a few novel ways; art, music, health and nature. While the Nobel Prize for Literature was taken by Bob Dylan “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition” it might not have happened save for a motorcycle accident so many years ago. Justin Cole reflects on events in Woodstock that reshaped the attitude of the musician and icon. Everyone enjoys the gift of music by Dylan, acoustic or electric. One of our features is about Community Supported Agriculture at the local Fishkill Farms. While you purchase a share of their organic fresh produce, the availability and selection of fruits and vegetables provides a benefit to the farmer and environment in terms of sustainability. Chris Jodlowski examines the benefits of farm to table agriculture in his first person take on the trend. Our feature about the Jolly Rovers is truly a gift to read. Their determination to preserve natural trails in the Hudson Valley provides a benefit to the avid adventurer and protects our precious environment. Mike Jurkovic introduces the team of characters who shape the nature trail you might hike. To celebrate the season of giving, our gift guide offers a selection of works by local authors and poets such as: Frank Meyers, Elizabeth Passo with Jon Carraher, Joseph Yeomans with Lewis Gardner, Diane Lang, MA, Meryl Hartstein, Peter Aaron, Barbara Reina and Mike Jurkovic. Katie Maus shares her article on whether to read a print or digital copy, which expands upon our gift guide, and elaborates on the simple pleasure a book provides. As a visual gift, Don Rosendale presents a brief but candid history and pictorial of works by local artist Leland Neff. Everyone does interact with at least one company at some point. Adrea Gibbs opines and shares some wisdom about the work environment in her very candid piece about life in the corporate culture. Fresh from her debut on live television local chef Isabel Minunni shares her fine gourmet recipe. Plus sports nutritionist and exercise physiologist Lori King writes about a few tips on how to cope in the face of seasonal overwhelm. Artist and Professor Moh’d Bilbeisi presents our cover art which portrays a scene of majestic natural beauty. Moh’d captures a subject with a minimum of ink or color yet a maximum of visual drama. The cover reflects our philosophy that the gifts of health, appreciation of art and music, plus protection of our gorgeous Hudson Valley endure long after the last present is opened. I hope you enjoy our brief interpretation of giving on behalf of those writers, photographers, artists and others in pursuit of their dreams to share both their talent and vision to enrich the health conscious lifestyle and stunning natural environment. Warm wishes, The group of contributors at Van Wyck Gazette

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Hudson Valley’s Role in Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize

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Building People, Building Trails

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Fishkill Farms - Winter CSA

Justin Cole

Mike Jurkovic

Chris Jodlowski

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E-Books vs Print Books

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2016 Holiday Gift Guide

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A Christmas Present for the Horseman

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Finding Humanity in a Corporate World

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Ringing in the Holidays

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Tips to Overcome the Stress of the Season

Katie Maus

Don Rosendale Adrea Gibbs

Isabel Minunni Lori King

Moh’d Bilbeisi is an imaginative professor, architect, illustrator, and watercolorist who is driven by an incredible passion for self-expression through art. His works are often noted for their unique dynamism, elegance, and technique. Moh’d has developed an innovative style that blends precision with abstract expressionism. His use of vibrant watercolors and expressive brush strokes make his work an excellent choice for a wide range or projects and purposes. Moh’d is accomplished in using watercolors, ink, and graphite/pencil as well as modern digital techniques. His work is highly collected by individuals, nationally and internationally. In addition, corporations and other entities such as Ducati USA, BMW, SKFGroup, Oklahoma State University, Emirates Air, and Hilton Intl. have utilized Moh’d’s talents for graphic illustrations and ads. He is also a noted author of several books such as Graphic Journaling and co-author of Words and Colors, Firmitas, among others. “Grand Tenton National Park”


The Hudson Valley’s Role in Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize Justin Cole Bob Dylan has won the Nobel Prize in Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” Dylan has always been an enigmatic figure in music. His words paint a vivid picture for the listener, but retain a cryptic nature so that a definite meaning of the song is always just out of grasp. This, tied in with his extensive catalog of music and lyrics spanning more than 50 years, has made him a figurehead of the songwriting medium. All of these facts make the troubadour a justified choice for the prize. Perhaps what has been overlooked is the role that the Hudson Valley has played in his legacy and subsequently his Nobel Prize. In 1966, Bob Dylan was 25 years old and had been on a rapid incline from obscure Greenwich Village singer-songwriter to folkBob Dylan performing in Los Angeles in 2012 rock superstardom. Hit albums such as “The Freewheeling Bob Chris Pizzello/Associated Press Dylan,” “Bringing It All Back Home” and “Blonde on Blonde” revealed the innovative nature of his songwriting. They showed event that saved his life at the peak of his celebrity. that Dylan was more than just another voice in the crowd, he was This time of retreat proved critical to his success and evolution becoming the enigmatic voice of a generation. as a songwriter. Still, all of that came to a halt on July 29, 1966, when Dylan During this time of recovery, Dylan began reading and writing crashed his Triumph Tiger 100 motorcycle near his home in on his own terms. He started writing songs for the sake of writing Woodstock, NY. songs; he wasn’t writing as a means to record a new album or In similar fashion to the rest of Bob Dylan’s personality, much fill a tour. In fact, he was able to truly find his voice by injecting mystery enshrouded the accident as no ambulance was called equal parts poignant poetry with catchy melodies. During this and he was not hospitalized for his injuries. Even details as to time, he began playing music with The Band in West Saugerties, what caused the accident have been shaky and varied in the NY in a house called “The Big Pink.” It was here that Dylan and years since. Instead of the hospital, he was driven to a doctor The Band would record “The Basement Tapes,” an expansive that he knew: Dr. Ed Thaler of Middletown, NY. For the next month, archive of songs, demos and lyrics. Some of these songs never Dylan stayed with Dr. Thaler and his wife Selma in their home, saw the light of day, others like “I Shall Be Released” and “Tears of Rage” exemplified the new direction of Dylan’s work. He wanted learning to live a “regular” life again. to control his career instead of having fans and agents direct his After this strange accident, the Hudson Valley forever became every move. a part of Dylan’s musical influence and changed the trajectory of Essentially, Bob Dylan was able to reinvent his path, fix his his musical career. focus and proceed to make music on his own terms. Up until the time of the accident, Dylan was touring and recording That was 50 years ago, a dog-eared page in a long book of at an unprecedented rate. He was becoming tired, burnt out and life. Since then Dylan has released 30 albums and has toured was rumored to have been taking large amounts of amphetamines across the globe. However, if it wasn’t for that fateful crash in to keep working on his music and touring. He was further and further being pushed into the same stratosphere as contemporaries Woodstock and the time he spent in the Hudson Valley, the world like Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. But unlike these two, Dylan may have lost the influential work of Bob Dylan. was forced to stop in his tracks. After the crash, Dylan put off tour Though his time in Woodstock may not be as expansive as the dates and retreated to his home in Woodstock, NY. Some historians time he has spent touring the globe since then, the Hudson Valley have said that the motorcycle wreck may have been the single will always serve as a symbol of the pivotal change in his career.

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Building People, Building Trails Iron Bob Mike Jurkovic

“I was going through a very tough, emotional time,” he openly “This is my workspace, man,” Iron Bob says with a deeply reveals as we survey the valley. “Illness, deaths of friends and satisfied, nearly spiritual sigh as we summit Bear Mountain. With family, when I saw this blurb on the web about learning trail making autumn stirring, he gazes out over the Hudson. “This is my cubicle.” skills. I came out here in spring of 2009 and I started splitting and shaping stones and working alongside other volunteers. And eventually you become more than friends, more than family. We became a community creating a legacy not easily dismissed.” Looking back on the tangibility of the work he says, “All these stepping stones we cut ourselves from existing rock on the mountain. There’s about seven hundred of ‘em,” he says, very matter-of-factly. Considering each of these slabs is easily five feet long, two feet wide, eight to nine inches deep, and weigh eight hundred to a thousand pounds, his matter-of-fact summary seems wildly understated to a guy like me who is awed just by hiking up a trail of them.

Winch I’m going to loosely estimate it was my senior year in O’Neill High when last I stumble-bummed up Bear Mountain. As president of the non-school-sanctioned Garrison Youth Association, I was cutting class and riding a beer buzz daydream on this glacierpocked peak. Since then I have ventured with surer steps through Mohonk, Minnewaska, Awosting, Mt. Beacon, Croton Reservoir, Break Neck, Overlook Mountain, and my spiritual landing and power spot, Fahnstock State Park, where the hawks always hail my ascent to Sky Top. So imagine how improbably cool it was to meet Iron Bob Brunner, one of the founders of the merry band of land pirates known far ‘n wide from New Hampshire to Texas as the Jolly Rovers. Emily and I were at Leslie’s pool party. Iron Bob is her cousin, kilt and all.

Rolling the Stone Executive Director Chris Ingui, alongside Iron Bob and Artie Hidalgo, co-founded the Jolly Rovers in 2011, was at his own personal and professional crossroads when he answered that same fateful ‘net blurb in 2008. “It changed me.” he readily admits, and then adds a jovial nudge at his friend’s memory. “Bob’s recollection of the number of stairs is way off. The actual count is closer to eleven hundred.” Understated, indeed.


Jolly Rovers - Sam’s Point The inductions of both men into the art of trail building weave the professional work being done,” Iron Bob explains. “But after together as all truths tend to do. “It starts on Bear Mountain,” working so well together, Chris, Artie and I sat down with a couple Chris begins. “They [the NY/NJ Trail Conference, the Appalachian bottles of wine and talked about becoming a traveling crew. ‘Taking Trail Conservancy, the National Parks Service, and others] were a couple years into a decade- long relocation of the Appalachian Trail. So I answered the blurb. Next, I’m learning masonry and rigging by working alongside Tahawus Trails trained teams,” he continues, his face lighting up as did Iron Bob’s when retelling the origin tale. For us lowlanders, Tahawus Trails LLC trains non-profit and volunteer groups in the art and science of imagining, creating, restoring, and maintaining any type of trail for man or beast. It was that training that set the Rovers on their merry way. The Tahawus trail teams were recently in-part responsible for the restoration of The Great Gorge Railway Stair Case at Niagara Falls and The Fallingwater Pathway at the Frank Lloyd Wright Kauffman Home in Mill Run, Pa. Iron Bob’s words hike in. He and I are still up there watching the river. The story, regardless of the voice, weaves and wefts like woodbine. “The idea was to train volunteers to supplement

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Jolly Rovers And I’m thinking on the other end of the wireless that that’s the it on the road’ as Chris likes to say. Other trail crews and professionals said we were nuts. We’d never get the people. But Jolly Rovers credo to the core: Your work defines your heart, your now we have a crew of over forty great friends who communicate, soul, your character. Not some low-life election. party, and work beside each other to make things last. It’s an Artie continues readily. “Thirty days after I left the MTA, I was honor, really.” training with Eddie Walsh and Tahawus,” he recalls fondly, as if In Chris’s words, “Your first thought as a volunteer is these this chapter of his life story was the whole book. “I was really one people are nuts.” of the avid hikers in the group. But you get a job, become a parent. “We don’t turn anyone away but we let it be known up front it’s You don’t get out as much as you used to. “I did one thousand demanding work. And you gotta work with us four days to show hours of volunteer work when I first hooked up with Tahawus.” us you can use the tools and work safely . . .that you’re physically up for the challenge and can give us ten days a season.” For the record, that season usually runs March through November. Five weekends, eighty hours. “We do 100 trip days a year with over 7,000 volunteer hours annually. This equates to over $160,000 worth of volunteer time a year.”

“Everyone works way more than eighty hours,” Chris affirms, a quiet pride in his voice. “Several even go over three hundred.” “If you don’t use it, you lose it,” I hear Bob say. “It’s a skill-set y’know.” “The Rovers accomplish, through hard work and cooperation with those we care about, the creation of lasting things of beauty.” Karen Nelson, Board Secretary 2014

“Bob, Chris, and I immediately developed a bond, a shared spirit, and camaraderie,” Artie continues. “This bond became The Jolly Rovers. This bond develops among all crew members. It creates a sense of tribe, where every member is respected and valued. We all work hard together doing potentially dangerous work. It’s crucial that we work cohesively and rely on one another. This deep reliance creates and fosters a deep trust and sense of loyalty among the crew.” “It’s a gift,” he gratefully repeats.

“There is something elementally satisfying about the challenge, both personally and as a group. Anyone can thrive in a warm living room.” Bob Chapel, Crew Member

“I was looking for a rain jacket,” Marc Sierzega, crew member and Fishkill resident, recounts. “Y’know, I’m at an age where I could be some of these folks’ “About eight years ago I walked into an Eastern Mountain Sports grandfathers,” Artie confides to me as another voice intertwines into the pirates’ tale. “We come from all walks of life: Architects, store and the salesman starts telling me about trail work and asks engineers, nurses. It’s like the most gratifying thing watching would I be interested. A month later I’m with the Ralph’s Peak these kids and the great work we do.” Artie can’t seem to contain Hikers (RPH) Crew in Dutchess County.” himself and most certainly seems recovered from the national “I did a lot of outdoor and landscape work with my dad,” he hangover from Election Day. “It’s a gift,” he declares. recounts, “so, I was accustomed to it. But I’ve been a plastics


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Va n Wy c k G aze t t e

machinist for twenty-seven years. Getting involved with trail work masonry work. But who grows up splitting stone and flying it in was a second chance for me.” the air? It’s like you’re stepping back in history and you get to “Every July, RPH holds a three day work and barbeque weekend. participate in it.” *** Whoever shows up gets three meals a day and work to do. In

2011 the Rovers came out with a project and that’s how I hooked Postscript 1: In December of 2015 as the Rovers officially up with them. Their training was complete – tools, safety, rigging became its own 501c3 non-profit organization enabling them to – and in the end I was invited to join. I’ve been a Rover ever take their mission and skills beyond the borders of New York and since.” Another Rover joins the fray, but Marc still volunteers with New Jersey. the RPH Crew. Postscript 2: Early in the August morning of the evening Iron “When you subtract profitability from the equation,” Iron Bob Bob and I first met, a still unexplained fire destroyed the Rovers gurus me, “you tap a whole new well of your own worth to the office and storage facility alongside Chris’s home in Warwick. Much of their equipment was destroyed in the blaze. Through world.” Chris recalls, “Someone asked Mike Anderson, one of the fundraisers and online donations, the Rovers have received over professionals I worked with, how he found this work when no one $10,000, making it possible to replace most of their equipment knows it exists. Most people [who Iron Bob humorously refers to and work is soon to begin on the rebuilding of the office and as “the white sneaker crowd”] just think the trails were always storage space. here. And Mike answered, ‘Sometimes you get lost and you get To discover more about The Jolly Rovers, become a member, found. This job found me.’ ” or donate directly, please visit: “We are building with stone, and building friendships - both to The Jolly Rovers: www.jollyrovers.org last a lifetime and longer.” - Alicia Mandelkow, Project Leader www.facebook.com/jollyroverstrailcrew Rocks were flying through the high, clear air at Sam’s Point as Other informative websites include: NY/NJ Trail Conference: the Rovers worked to complete one of their most recent projects. www.nynjtc.org Restoring Russell Wright’s Stone Walk at Manitoga in Garrison is another recently completed beauty. Echoing shouts of “Tension! Appalachian Trail Conservancy: www.appalachiantrail.org Slack!” The chalkboard scrape of rock against rock. The sharp National Parks Service: www.nps.gov crack of hammers coercing stone into shape. The rolling thunder Tahawus Trails, LLC: www.tahawustrails.com of boulders spiraling down a chasm. The exuberant, heartbeat sound of friends working, laughing, happy with their work, building history. . . “No one grows up doing this work anymore,” Chris resonates. “Some people grow up in carpentry. Some grow up doing basic

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Fishkill Farms - Winter CSA Chris Jodlowski Sounds of emptiness fill the spaces between shelves stocked with jars of jams and jellies and refrigerators chilling meats, cheeses and produce. Mechanical hums from around the room harmonized with faint background music. On one end a girl in her early twenties squats, loading gallons of cider into a glassfront cooler. She hears the door close, offers a pleasant smile and goes back to bumping the sliding glass door open with her elbow as she slides and arranges the jugs. * * *

Green House Just a few weeks ago, Fishkill Farms’ entire 150 acres were crammed with visitors vying for their share of a peaceful afternoon on the farm. Cars packed with families prowled rows of lawnsturned-parking lots, kids in orange vests waving them in. Apple cider - hot and cold - was dispensed gallons at a time; apple cider donuts by the thousands. Apple pies, apple sauce, apple butter. Apples in every possible configuration. Bands played and a haze of apple wood smoke hung in the air, anointing the masses lined up for burgers and chicken. In between, locals weaved through the crowd to pick up their share of the farm’s crops from the summer Community Supported Agriculture - or “CSA” program. CSA is a means by which customers can pre-pay for a share of what local farms grow each year, ensuring the farmers, in turn, have found a guaranteed home for at least a portion of their produce. I stopped in around mid-October to catch the preparations for the winter CSA in action. Beyond the bustle around the farm, even more was going on behind the scenes. An entirely different cast of fruits and vegetables were being planted, harvested and stored in preparation for the farm’s winter CSA program. While families picked apples and pumpkins, a small army of farm workers rolled bins of apples, squashes, potatoes and other root vegetables around into storage. For Fishkill Farms’ Business Manager, Mark Doyle, the weeks spanning October and November are a busy time when the summer wind-down and winter preparations converge during the peak fall season. As he makes his way across the farm, employees stop Mark to ask questions or update him on some ongoing progress. The Winter CSA, like its summer cousin, is a lesson in seasonal agriculture, albeit from an entirely different approach. Weekly summer shares rotate through an evolving sequence of fruits and vegetables cycling to ripeness weekly. The winter rendition depends on produce that’s coming in late through the season, some that’s been stored in late summer and early fall and still more that was frozen back in earlier months. Whereas the summer program puts a farm at your disposal, a winter CSA is like having your very own root cellar, larder, cold storage, deep freeze and

Mark Doyle with Crimson Radish


Apple Storage Apple Storage cider press. Mark took me around the farm to show me various “We bring all of these employees in for the summer and if we spots where some of the winter produce was coming from and shut down and send them away for the winter, we risk losing where it was headed. As we talked, our stroll became a walking them. Then we have to find new employees and put the time into training them. So not only does it help support the farm, but it’s tour of each. Behind the barn and down a hill, now shielded from the din he keeping local people employed as well. On top of that, it’s a great paused before a pair of long metal frames sheathed in plastic way to maintain the relationship we have with our members.” sheeting. Inside, raised beds sprouted a palette of greenery as if within those walls, the clock was reset to early June. “Inside these greenhouses we can simulate spring all winter,“ Mark explained. “If it gets really cold, pipe in hot water from a big outdoor wood boiler to keep the temperature up. These are all plants we’ve started to be ready for the winter CSA. We’ll provide fresh young greens right through the winter. Spinach, bok choi, lettuce.” We moved down the hill to several exposed rows of ruffled foliage. “Down here we have kale, brussels sprouts and some other winter-hearty greens. These will do well right down to twenty-five degrees. In fact, as it gets cold, they become nice and sweet. Then farther down, some root vegetables. A lot of those get better after the first frost as well. Carrots for instance, take on a wonderful complexity after they get a frost. It’s a completely different flavor. On the ground a few turnips lay scattered down the row. Mark explained that sometimes some of the vegetables aren’t fit for retail for one reason or another - be they split open or damaged by insects. Those are left to be tilled right back into the ground to return their nutrients to the soil for next year. Mark pulled a few remaining turnips from the ground and examined them in the relative silence of the back fields, reflecting on the significance of keeping the CSA members coming in year round. “As important as all of the activity through the summer and fall is to health of the farm, the CSA program really is the foundation of what we do here. It’s a critical part of sustaining us every year.” While summer CSA programs have popped up across agriculturally-rich Dutchess County, winter versions aren’t nearly as common. That surprised Mark as he construed that not only was the demand there from the participants, but that it seemed both a natural extension of the summer and a way to keep the doors open through the winter.

We made our way back up the hill, past a refrigerated shipping container packed with a variety of potatoes and then to one of the farm’s huge commercial buildings. Inside, workers moved purposefully between stacks of crates labeled “butternut,” “acorn,” and “kabocha” tucked away until they’re called out of hibernation in weeks to come.

Then, of course, there were the apples. One of the great mysteries of the Winter CSA is the farm’s ability to dole out fresh apples - well over a dozen varieties at any given time - for months after they’re picked. While we stood in a cold, gym-sized room, the secret was revealed as two huge bins on wheels busted through the doors, drawn by a pair of the Farm’s seasonal help. Inside, crates are piled to the ceiling and held at 31 degrees. And that’s only a portion of the apples that will be brought out over the coming months. Fishkill Farms keeps even more offsite in what’s known as “Controlled Atmosphere” where the temperature, humidity - even the oxygen levels - are closely maintained in vault-like storage. “We’re always so happy to see our CSA members over weekends in the dead of winter, when there are only a few hardy souls venturing through the front gate.” Mark said with a smile. * * * Back in the store, deep in winter, the crowds are gone. Only a smattering of locals stop by to pick up holiday turkeys, pick out Christmas wreaths and gather their winter CSA in relative tranquility. On this particular weekend the haul includes two kinds of squash - the popular butternut and a less familiar kombucha - red potatoes, rutabaga, and beets. Additionally, pears, quince, a bag of pitted and halved peaches that were picked and frozen back in warmer days and, naturally, apples - half a peck of mixed and a gallon of cider. My bags heavy, I pause for just a moment more to enjoy the silence. I anticipate the longer days and warmer weather, but for the moment I have “my” farm all to myself again.


Katie Maus

E-Books vs Print Books: How should I read? People have preferences, of course, but does it really make a difference when it comes down to it? As a lover of literature, a technologically savvy millennial and sniffer of old books in one, I’m just here to give you my opinion. I’m 25 years old, which means that I grew up on the cusp of today’s internet obsession and good old-fashioned “play outside until Mom flashes the lights” type childhood. This rapidly evolving time-lapse gives millennials an interestingly unique perspective on the issue of print versus electronic media. While the younger generation craves that instant gratification of live-tweeting, we remember the 45 minutes our dial-up used to take before we could even check our MySpace. Conversely, we grew up able to check the news online the day it happened rather than waiting for a newspaper to come out the next day or even the next week. This perspective combined with my six years of literary education has resulted in me thinking a lot about reading on a device rather than reading a physical book. E-Books They have the convenience that satisfies the burning need for instant gratification. Just finished the second book in a trilogy at two o’clock in the morning? That’s okay, the final book can be immediately downloaded to find out what happens next. When I am travelling, I like to bring several books because I read a lot or may not know what I’ll be in the mood to read. Rather than carrying a bag full of books, I can just download a few on my e-reader and pick one on the plane. Better still, if I travel somewhere I don’t speak the language, I can still purchase a new novel online in my home tongue. A backlight on an electronic device also makes reading at night

so much easier. There’s nothing worse than falling asleep while reading, only to have to get back out of bed to turn out the light. My personal favorite use for e-readers, especially being an English major in college, was reading my assignments on them. If I didn’t know the meaning of a word, I could look it up right there on my device. Taking clear notes right on the page was easier than ever (and I didn’t need to mark up a physical copy of a novel, something that always makes me cringe!) The greatest part for me as a student was that so many of the classic novels I needed for school were FREE. Even the ones that weren’t free cost so much less than purchasing them at the bookstore. The convenience supplied by this technology is simply unmatchable. E-Books make being an avid reader (not to mention an English student) so much easier. Print Books Of course, there is much novelty and culture missed when one forgoes print books for their electronic counterparts; not to mention, print books have conveniences of their own that e-books cannot match. Holding a book in your hands is worlds different from looking at it on a screen. That coupled with being able to physically turn the pages makes an enormous difference to many. The smell and feel of a book for lots of people adds to the overall experience of the story, allowing them to become completely submerged in a new world. Sometimes it is easier for a student to take notes directly on the page, so he or she can flip right to it in class. E-Readers are often not just for reading; they usually function as an entire tablet as well. This can be a positive or a negative. It’s convenient, but if you’re getting really into a story and suddenly your “book” dings with a new email notification, you’re bound to be tempted to check your email, or at least just be jolted out of your reading zone. While it’s nice to have a backlight for reading in the dark, reading at the beach or outside at all can be more challenging on an e-reader; paper doesn’t have a glare. Admittedly, there are


Va n Wy c k G a z e t t e e-readers with screens designed to prevent this issue, but the other problem that comes with perks such as lights and attached dictionaries is the battery life. While the batteries on most e-readers can last for long times, they inevitably do run out. A paper book will never run out of battery. If you don’t have access to electricity, you can still entertain yourself for days on end. The final positive for paper books that I want to bring up is actually an opposite positive for electronic reading: that instant gratification we’re all so fond of today. Sure, it’s great to have the next installment when you want it, but what about cliffhangers? An age-old technique to get readers to stay involved, with today’s technologies is becoming more difficult. It happens with television shows as well because of the advent of services like Netflix and Hulu; when one episode of a show is over, we move right on to the next one. The way series were created, we were meant to spend time wondering what will happen next. Between the sixth and seventh Harry Potter books, I spent months wondering who RAB was. After Ross said “Rachel,” we had to wait an entire week before we found out if Emily would give him another shot. Now, we can download the next episode or book instantly and never work out for ourselves what we think might or should happen next. Occasionally it does happen that we need to wait for the next installment to be released, but otherwise the wait and wonder time is minimal. When forced to choose between the convenience of an e-book and the timelessness of a physical book, many will stick with tradition. After reading all that, you’re probably thinking, “okay, so what’s the answer?” In my opinion: it doesn’t matter! As long as you’re reading, you’re educating and entertaining yourself. It’s cold outside, so grab some hot cocoa and your favorite book, no matter what form it’s in, and curl up next to the fire and READ.

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A Christmas Present for the Horseman

Kentucky Derby by Leland Neff

riding side saddle (“aside” rather than “astride” as those in the know will inform you) with flowing apron, top hat and veil. You can pick up one of those Munnings today for around $300,000 if you shop carefully. I found Neff in Breakabeen on the West Side of the Hudson, where I learned why one of the country’s top fashion photographers had forsaken a six figure practice and Dom Perignon lifestyle in the Hamptons to breed and paint horses in a remote place where the nearest watering hole is a bar selling $1 beers. Once you get past the $1 beer tavern in Middleburgh, Route 30 will take you to Breakabeen and then to the 150-acre farm where Neff paints, teaches painting classes and splits his own firewood. Neff is the son of a Navy fighter pilot, and product of a nomadic life. He was born in Virginia and moved to Texas, where at the age of three he saw a mare with a white foal and was instantly entranced. He learned to ride by being propped up onto a barrel racing horse and for the next two years rode in Texas rodeos. He had his first art show when he was six in his mother’s home town of Conesus. By the age of 13 his paintings were hanging in galleries. He graduated magna cum laude from New York’s Pratt Institute and the college honored him with a one man show. But instead of a paint palette, Leland’s work for the next few years was with Kodachrome, because he found photographers got paid 10 times as much as illustrators.

Sketching a picture of a horse seems easy. Like there is a head He snapped photos for high fashion ads for Bergdorf, Burberry, and four legs and a tail and…. until you pick up a pencil and find Bloomingdale’s and Barney’s, and fashion spreads for Estee out why there are only a handful of successful equine portrait Lauder, Clairol and Revlon. It was a life he recalls that kept him painters in the country. on planes from New York to Europe. If you listen to the expert at Sotheby’s, the art gallery, as I did in search of a Christmas present for myself, you’ll find that one of the best equine painters is right here in the Hudson Valley. His name is Leland Neff. Sotheby’s compared him to Alfred Munnings, the renowned English painter. Munnings was a favorite of the Downtown Abbey set who would commission him to paint an oil on their favorite steed in the fox hunting field --- elegant ladies

His epiphany came when he attended the Hamptons Classic horse show on Long Island. “This is where I belong” he decided and began painting horses and riders. When he wasn’t in the Hamptons he was at the Saratoga racetrack painting jockeys and race horses. Notable among these is an iconic one of Rachel Alexander, the filly who won the 2009 Preakness, so popular it is on a line of postcards.


Rachel Alexandra, oil on canvas

Leland Neff, artist, painter and photographer Today, the owners of a famous racehorse like California Chrome, routinely hire Neff to do an oil of their horse. He’s diffident about his prices, only saying they start at $3,500. His large scale commissioned paintings, like that of Rachel Alexander, can cost as much as $20,000. One of my neighbor’s has one framed over her fireplace, and told me in a weak moment she’d paid over $10,000. But when indulging yourself for Christmas, what’s that? A case of a grand cru Bordeaux from Zachy’s costs more than $10,000, and so does a Rolex. But maybe a century from now your grandkids will take the family Neff to Sotheby’s or Christie’s and boast “He was the American Alfred Munnings.”

Storm Of Angels, oil on canvas


Page 16

Autumn 2016 Issue

Doing Business: Finding Humanity in the Corporate World Adrea Gibbs Perhaps it is simply the philosophy that only the key messaging matters when it comes to seducing consumers into buying any given product. A singular, dedicated focus on those flashy promotions, special discounts, and the promise of delivering “the” ideal gift, vacation, furnishings, and so forth, as that laundry list goes on and on. When you watch commercials, invariably you will see the faces of shiny, happy employees helping customers find the perfect product, give directions where to find such-andsuch, or check folks out in a jiffy, all the time laughing and chatting with customers. Whether on an assembly line or tossing pizza, they, for all intents and purposes, appear to love the work they do. Or so it seems. That may well be true of some. This is most certainly true for the union actors getting paid scale for their portrayal of these jovial employees…they are acting, after all. But compare what you see on television to the actual people who stand on the front lines of any given business. Do you always see the same enthusiasm when it comes to customer service when “real” people are involved? Sometimes you do, but more often you don’t. It may be true that the person you sought out for assistance had a bad morning (fight with the spouse, kids getting out of the house late, some stranger spilling coffee onto a clean pair of pants with no apology) and thoughts were focused on the negative even before you walked up and were shown, grudgingly, where the hammers were located, but often it is something else that permeates throughout the organization and is quietly evident. “Happy,” is a relative term and means different things to different entities. If the employee has a job and if the employee is receiving a paycheck, the company may believe the employee is happy, because they are employed and getting paid. What more needs to be done? If they are also obtaining benefits, then, certainly, they should be doubly grateful, right? Sadly, this seems to be the mindset of many companies. They see their workforce as a means to a monetary end, and as long as the sales are happening, why bother investing anything beyond the initial training? The lack of

on-going interest in the employee as an individual, departments, and the organization as a whole does more to support a culture of apathy than develop one of respect and an honest understanding of company values. In speaking with employees working in diverse businesses about the companies for whom they work, it more often paints a very different picture. Underneath the marketing glitz and the glamour is a different truth. While many media campaigns feature happy employees as a way to take advantage of the “halo” effect (read: the “good” employees are a reflection of the “good” company), for some organizations, that mirror is severely tarnished. That seems to be a misstep in some corporate culture; the image delivered to the consumer is only superficial. The false pretense of lollipops and sunshine is only front-facing and does not extend to those who are integral to the company’s success – the employees on the front line who can easily make or break any sale. To be fair, employee oversight usually isn’t done purposefully. Many businesses have worked hard to demonstrate the significance of their particular kind of magic that is central to all the organization represents an enticement to future employees. This often includes highly interactive interview processes and amazing on-boarding programs for new employees all designed with the intent of getting them to guzzle the corporate Kool-Aid freely. People are excited. They believe they matter. They believe they have something special to offer. They believe they have the power to grow, affect change, and make a difference in the scheme of things. Sadly, disenchantment often follows for those who think, and may even have been directly told, they were hired to be game changers, of sorts. Those brought in as upper management specifically with the directive to deliver something “different,” have found they, too are shut down, making them question why they were hired in the first place when, clearly, “yes” men and women are preferred. For any middle manager, supervisor, even front line staffer, innocence, innovation, and optimism may well be a death knell


Page 17

Van Wy c k G az e t t e for those with a genuine want, need, and desire to contribute to the greater corporate good. This is not to say that all corporate entities operate in this manner, they don’t, but a larger percentage does and for those there are lost opportunities when it comes to valuing all their employees.

questions, assisting getting things from the top shelf, listening to someone describe what they are looking for, and, yes, getting yelled at in public, when things go wrong, even though they most likely had nothing to do with situation…they just happened to be in proximity. A dedicated, appreciated employee with go the extra While the reasons behind this may be varied from company to mile to help make a sticky circumstance become less so. An company, there are two factors that seem to drive this wedge that unengaged employee will show clear disdain and use every creates a differential between the corporate messaging sent out opportunity to pop and snap their bubble gum during any into the world and the team members who are acting as the conversation, confrontational or not. An employee of the later messengers. The cost of on-going training and the cost of employee description will lose sales and their actions will reflect directly on appreciation. In short, money. Often, after initial training, everything the company reputation. Subsequently, that poor interaction will related to the employee stops. They are not refreshed, retrained, rear its ugly head in social media rants and, effectively, take more or reinvigorated regardless of whether it has to do with processes, time, effort, and money to scrub away what could have initially procedures, protocols or simply the value their position brings to been easily resolved all because an employee feels they have the company. They are set afloat in the company infrastructure, little or no value. If the company doesn’t care about them, then expected to figure out whatever comes their way and smile while why should they care about the company? doing so. They are not acknowledged when meeting set goals, Too many organizations segregate their teams based on level; for their accomplishments, or celebrated for little things like front line, supervisor, manager, director, etc. This creates a silobirthdays, anniversaries, or a new role. People like it when their mentality in which communication between groups can become bosses remember their birthday. For that matter, so does anyone limited to email and items posted on the bulletin board. No one who likes cake. It makes people feel good. A small act can make talks. No one shares. Essentially, no one cares as long as you a difference. But if a company is more concerned about their seem to be doing your job. What is missing is the interaction. bottom line than they are the welfare of their employees who, in The supervisor who steps in to help get things opened in the reality, have more to do with revenue generation than just about morning because an employee called in sick or will be late. The any other potential company expense, they may be amazed at manager who is willing to replace the toilet paper in the employee what a $12.99 cake from the grocery store will do for employee bathroom because it is a busy day and no one else may have morale…not to mention the bottom line. the opportunity. A director, genuinely, wishing an employee a It doesn’t take much, but it does take the realization that those good day. It demonstrates, in an actionable way, those in who are front-facing with customers are really and truly the management “get” what those on the front lines do and stepping embodiment of the core values of any organization. These are the people who not only make the sales, but are answering

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Ringing in the Holidays Isabel Minunni The holidays are a special time of year. They signify spending time with loved ones, celebrating and making a lifetime of memories. It’s a time of reflection and appreciating those close and dear to us. I am a home cook who loves entering recipe contests. I was featured on the Today Show and had the pleasure of competing and cooking for Kelly and Michael on the Kelly Show. I also won a trip to Italy. Although I enjoy sharing my love of cooking with others, what I love the most is cooking for family! I especially like hosting holidays and special occasions at home! We are a large Italian family, which means plenty of people and plenty of great food! Every year we host a Christmas Eve party. Although we do not follow the true seven fishes tradition, fish is served in addition to an abundance of meat and pasta for all! Two of my favorite recipes to serve on a special occasion, especially Christmas Eve is my rendition of Beef Burgundy (Beef Bourguignon). I use filet mignon and strain the sauce to make a more refined texture. This recipe is such a hit, it is now a tradition!

Shellfish Cioppino 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 4 cups chicken broth 1 cup clam juice 2 cups fish stock 1-28 ounce can good quality plum tomatoes 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1 teaspoon dried parsley 18 clams 6 cooked small clusters of snow crab legs - room temp. 1 1/4 pound cooked lobster - room temp. - broken up into 6 equal pieces 18 shrimps 18 sea scallops

2 tablespoons dried parsley for garnish (if desired) I absolutely love cioppino any time of year! I am a seafood lover 6 small sprigs of fresh curly parsley and this dish just screams fancy! You can choose any combination of seafood you’d like for your cioppino. The sauce can be made In a large Dutch oven with olive oil, cook leeks on medium heat ahead of time, a helpful time saver during the holidays. I choose for 3-5 minutes or until just starting to soften. Mix in garlic and a delicious assortment of shellfish for this festive cioppino. cook for another minute, add wine and let cook for another couple minutes to cook out wine. Add in fennel, bay leaves, thyme, red Shellfish Cioppino pepper flakes, broth, clam juice, fish stock, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper and parsley. Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes - Serves: 6 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 cups Leeks - sliced in ¼ inch rounds and cleaned 2 cloves garlic - minced 1 1/2 cups good quality dry red wine 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds 2 bay leaves

Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Place clams into broth until just ready to open, about 4 minutes, place crab and lobster into the pot to warm, add shrimp and scallops to cook until just opaque, about three minutes depending on size. Place an even amount of seafood and broth into 6 serving bowls and serve. Garnish with parsley if desired. Enjoy!

Warm Holidays Wishes, Isabel


Van Wy c k G az e t t e

Page 19

Doing Business: Finding Humanity in the Corporate World “Continued”

up on a busy day to help out at a cash register speaks volumes over telling someone they need to go faster when there is a line out the door. It really all boils down to treating people like people, regardless of their position within the company. Yes, a manager’s job is very different to someone who is restocking shelves, but the person restocking shelves is more likely to have a customer interaction. If the manager wants his employee to treat the customers well, the manager is in a position to model that behavior by behaving kindly to his staffer. A “job well done,” and “thank you for what very lifeblood of any organization by virtue their actions can drive you just did,” goes a long, long way. As businesses grow larger, or divert sales, most businesses would be at a complete loss. it seems the human side of business gets lost, but there is always Picture this scene from Christmas Vacation. Clark Griswold, the opportunity to make a change for the better. played by Chevy Chase, has been waiting for his holiday bonus Companies can easily be compared to holiday packages, in all year long so he can surprise his family with having an in-ground that regard. All of them are beautifully wrapped with pretty paper pool put into the backyard. He has gotten anxious as Christmas and neatly tied bows. Tearing into them, you get a sense of is only a day away and he still has not received anything from anticipation, eager to find what is inside. If when it is opened, the office. Suddenly, there is a knock, and the courier, apologizing, there is a stunning nesting doll that continues to reveal surprise delivers “the” envelope. Imagine how Chase’s character must after surprise, then you have one very happy recipient. However, have felt. The anticipation mounting as he shares his plan with if the box is empty, all the promise of the outside becoming hollow, the entire family in that special moment…only to find instead of there will be a lot of sad faces in the room and those will be the his bonus, he has received a “Jelly-of-the-Month” Club subscription. faces customers will see. That, in a comedic nutshell, does not fall far off the “corporateHumanity is all about quality of character. Corporations, being lack-of-humanity” tree. Investing in employees is an investment run by people and for people, put customers, as they must, at in good business. Jam and jelly may stay sweet for a while, but the forefront as their purchasing is critical to the business. However, letting employees know they are valued and respected has no without hard-working, devoted, and appreciated employees, the expiration date.

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Whole for the Holidays Tips to overcome the stress of the season Lori King In my childhood, the holiday’s were bookmarked with two dates; December 13th, (my sister’s birthday) was the date we traditionally set up our Christmas tree and January 1st, the day we took it down. We enjoyed three weeks of festivity, food, family and cheer.

families can create a brilliant juggling act of scheduling dates and holiday get togethers. Add in friends, work, religious services and our schedule overflows. Hopefully with abundance, but often, overwhelming.

These days the holiday season has been extended to start as early as Halloween and carry through to New Year’s, Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s or even Easter! We are bombarded in stores, on TV, social media, email and radio. I’d like to believe that this extension is filled with joy, peace and love, yet I know that the reality is it can be a time of stress, bad habits and overeating.

All these factors can make us feel negative emotions which lead us to feeling “less than” or broken. How do we stay healthy during this season? How do we stay whole? How do we spread joy, love, hope and peace to everyone we encounter, and most importantly, to ourselves?

As early as Halloween we begin to fill our bodies with foods that were meant for a day - hence the term holi-day - it’s not holiweek or holi-month. We feel the effects physically, mentally and emotionally. We spend money we don’t have and desperately hope for a tax refund to pay off our credit card. The merging of

Staying whole for the holidays is a delicate balance of loving others and our self. It also involves a bigger picture of wellness to include spirituality, relationships, finances and physical health. But we only have so many hours in a day and so many obligations. Add in the extra activity of the holiday season and these areas can suffer neglect. One solution is to multitask, weaving

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Page 21

Van Wy c k G az e t t e relationships into activity and allowing two priorities to be nurtured in one time slot. As you read the following suggestions consider the important relationships in your life. Spirituality Spirituality does not have to be sedentary. My friend Sherry begins each day with a walk to commune with God. Yoga or snowshoeing around a serene lake as the sun rises will also enhance your spiritual relationship. Do you attend a holiday service? Invite family, friends or a co-worker to join you. If you don’t have a place of worship join someone who does! Self As the demands of the holidays increase it is easy to forget about the important relationship with yourself. Self-love is the act of taking care of yourself which includes your body and your health. Self-love has respect for yourself and your own well-being. Self-love takes responsibility for your own happiness. This kind of love goes beyond self-confidence and is truly beautiful as it overflows and spills out onto others. Your time with your self in health and wellness can include running, hiking or horseback riding. It can be daily quiet time to read, write, pray, stretch or meditate. Regardless of the activity, put it in writing on your calendar and don’t cancel on yourself. Even if you have to get up a half hour early to accomplish this, it is worth it so you start the day with ease. Romance Spending active time with your partner is a great way to stay connected. I am a cyclist and date nights with my husband are often date rides! For you and your love, experiment with activities you can teach each other or learn something new together. Some ideas are ice-skating, skiing or dancing. Family Encourage the members of your family to move more. Make being active together fun with walks, bike rides, snowball fights or run for charity. You could even do a team triathlon together. Friendship My friend Jenna leads a vibrant life. Each week you’ll find her hiking in Woodstock on Overlook Mountain with five or more girlfriends. LaShelle, in California, rises at 4:30 am twice a week to meet seven girlfriends for a run before it gets hot. I meet my tribe of friends each week in the gym to train and encourage each other. Colleagues/Co-Workers If you have colleagues or co-workers, instead of working through lunch, take your meeting outside for a brisk walk. Softball leagues are popular as are charity events that involve walking, biking or golf. For those more adventurous you could experience a team building event such as a low or high ropes course. Finance Sometimes we get so wrapped up in finding the perfect gift for everyone on our list we forget the one thing that people covet: our time. Last year for my mom’s birthday we gave her “a day.” My sister and I showed up to cook her favorite foods and the entire family joined us for dinner. My mom was thrilled to have the day off from cooking and be surrounded by loved ones. A gift we gave my parents was a weekend getaway the following spring in Lake George. Everyone got a mini vacation and my parents got to look forward to another weekend with the entire family together. Volunteer Volunteering is great activity to do with loved ones. Food pantries,

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Winter 2016 Issue

domestic violence shelters and local support services all need help around the holidays. One year my co-workers and I volunteered at the Salvation Army helping to wrap presents. You could sponsor a local family or group in need. My sister leads a Teen MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) in Central NY. One year a company provided the holiday party, food, decorating, gifts and even showed up with Santa and his elves to bless this group of young moms! Physical Health Physical Health includes the important aspect of healthy eating. Here are a few final tips: 1. Water Take your body weight and divide it in half. Drink that amount of water in ounces daily. For every 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise add 8 ounces. For 30 minutes of strength training add 8 ounces. For every glass of alcohol add equal amounts of additional water. 2. Give it up! Take a break – from bread, alcohol, coffee, candy, gluten, dairy or sugar for 3 weeks. Pick one or more to eliminate temporarily and see how good your body feels without it.

foundation for weight control, appetite regulation, improved insulin sensitivity, brain health, cell and tissue maintenance and detoxification. 6. Leftovers Enjoying one holiday meal isn’t what derails you from your health goals. Sometimes it is the leftovers that you continue to eat for days after. Be sure to have take-home containers stocked to send extras home with your guests. Or, if you are a guest, offer your dish to another family. 7. Portion Size Portion size can make a huge difference toward a healthier lifestyle. Visualize a deck of cards for the size of your protein, a baseball for one serving of vegetables and a hockey puck as the right size for your starch. Be especially careful at the buffet table. 8. Tell people why If you are embarking on a healthier eating plan or lifestyle, I recommend telling friends, family and co-workers in advance and along the way. Some will join you, some won’t. By letting them know why you are investing in a healthier lifestyle you will receive more support and encouragement especially at the holidays.

3. Snack! To speed up your metabolism eat smaller meals more frequently. Aim for 5 meals a day eaten every 2-3 hours Wellness in all areas - spiritual, relational, financial and physical and include protein. Plan this the day before. It is not the - does not happen overnight or come by luck or wishful thinking. same as grazing mindlessly from the candy dish all day. It comes with a lifestyle of good habits, consistency and self love. Combine healthy activities with the important relationships in your 4. Eat Breakfast life. With a little creativity you’ll find yourself trading stress for Start your metabolism and your day properly fueled. peace, overwhelm with abundance and feel a little more whole 5. Fast for the holidays! Nutritional cleansing and intermittent fasting can be a

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