Van Wyck Gazette Spring Issue 2017 - 25th

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Spring Issue 2017

Van Wyck Gazette

Fishkill • Beacon • Wappingers Falls • Poughkeepsie • Newburgh • New Paltz • Rhinebeck • Woodstock


Table of Contents

Joseph Caplan Our cover art by Joseph Yeomans projects the celebratory joy of life, maybe from the winds of change, the warmth of spring or even the resilience of our culture. Along the theme of change is our feature Calling Upon History by Mike Jurkovic about lone visionary Herve White and subsequent creation of Maverick Concerts, the oldest continuous summer music festival in America. Our other feature, The 21st Day by Samara Ferris, narrates her participation in the Woman’s March, a vision of one woman embraced by millions. The resilience of our culture is marked by musician Steve Kelman in A Whirlwind Trip to Nashville, his visit to Music City or Nashville, Tennessee. Balanced by our interview Cadillac Restorations by Don Rosendale of those who restore the iconic Cadillac brand vintage motor vehicles of Motor City or Detroit, Michigan. To share our enthusiasm about the celebratory joy of life, Lori King narrates tips about The Happiness You Seek. While Adrea Gibb reflects about the many nuances of emotionality in The Anniversary Excuse. The warmth of spring might best be voiced by actor and poet Lewis Gardner is his aptly titled poem Spring Break. And culinary expert Isabel Minunni shares her recipe for open faced salmon sandwiches in Spring is a Time for Renewal.

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A Whirlwind Trip to Nashville

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Cadillac Restorations

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The 21st Day

Steve Kelman

Don Rosendale Samara Ferris

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Calling Upon History

14

Spring is a Time for Renewal

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The Happiness You Seek

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A Visit to Abu Dhabi and Dubai

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The Anniversary Excuse

Mike Jurkovic

Isabel Minunni Lori Ann King

Thor & Arlene Larsen Adrea Gibbs

Van Wyck Gazette is proud to publish the writings of our prolific group of contributors, so many of whom shape the Hudson Valley cultural and literary scene. Of course, a word of gratitude to our loyal advertiser base.

Spring Break Everyone who felt good today after seeing the first green buds on the trees should rise at 10 a.m. from their desks, computers, beds, or steering wheels, find a window to admire the new green world and yell as loud as possible: We Made It! Cover Image: Joseph Yeomans, Illustrator Poem: Lewis Gardner, Poet and Actor


Steve Kelman

A Whirlwind Trip to Nashville “Roll into town, step off the bus, shake off the where you came from dust” – Jason Aldean “Lets go honky tonkin baby, we’ll go honky tonkin around this town,” – Hank Williams On a recent whirlwind trip of the American mid-west I, along with two traveling buddies, “rolled” into Music City, USA, also known as Nashville, Tennessee. We entered the city with Bob Dylan’s 1969 recording Nashville Skyline on the rent a car CD player. The music served as a most appropriate soundscape for our visit which would take up the store during daytime hours. better part of two days. Most of the clubs had at least two floors where music could be While in town we toured the Country Music Hall of Fame, the found on each one. Oh and there was no cover for any of these Grand Ole Opry, RCA Studio B, had lunch at Hattie B’s Chicken establishments. and saw the Pantheon, a life sized replica of the one located in The way it works is these bands, which played everything from Greece. southern rock (Lynyrd Skynyrd) to traditional country (Hank For our evening adventure we visited Broadway, which is better Williams), would play a one hour set and then vacate the stage known as the Honky Tonk Highway. for the next act. This would go on until the early morning hours. Here there are a string of clubs offering almost around the clock At 3:00 am things were still going strong. So was I, it was an live music by bands basically playing for tips and the hope (forlorn extremely humid night and besides, sleep is over rated. for the most part) of being “discovered.” The Grand Ole Opry Among the clubs we sampled (along with the beers} were A music tradition and a must visit when in music city, this is the Tootsies, Legends Corner, Robert’s Western World, Tequila place where the biggest names in country and bluegrass music Cowboy, Ripley’s Second Fiddle and Laylas Bluegrass Inn. have been performing, in its present location since 1974. That Among these establishments Tootsies also doubles as a shoe said, the Opry has been around for more than 75 years in various


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Spring 2017 Issue New Music City.” Of course they are referring to Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, along with a group of world class session musicians, that played on literally hundreds of recordings over a period of more than four decades. Centered around the legendary friendship of Cash and Dylan “the exhibit illuminates Nashville’s rise as a world class recording center on par with New York, Los Angeles and London,” according to Kyle Young, the director of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Our visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame also included a tour of the legendary RCA Studio B, the “Home of 1000 Hits.” Within these hollowed walls the likes of Fats Domino, Chet Atkins, Dolly Parton, Dottie West, Jim Reeves, Roger Miller, Willie Nelson, the Everly Brothers, George Jones, Roy Orbison and especially Elvis Presley all recorded. Located in the famous “Music Row” section of the city, Studio B hosted around 18,000 recording sessions over a twenty year period (1955 -1975). Presley alone recorded more than 200 songs in this studio including some of his biggest hits such as “Little Sister”, “Are You Lonely Tonight?” and “It’s Now or Never.” No visit to Nashville would be complete without having lunch at Hattie B’s. For those who love fried chicken (and even if you don’t) this is the place to go. And if you enjoy hot food, the meals here will make your nose run! If you go, the lines could be long but, it will be worth it.

As we were on our way out of town we made a final stop in Centennial Park, Nashville’s version of New York’s Central Park, for a visit to The Parthenon. A life sized replica of the one in Athens, Greece, the structure houses a wonderful art museum which features American artists from the 18th and 19th centuries. The Nashville Parthenon was built in 1897 for the occasion of the State locations throughout the city including the Ryman Auditorium. of Tennessee’s Centennial Exposition. Everyone from Hank Williams, Bill Monroe and Patsy Cline to We certainly packed quite a bit in during our whirlwind visit. Next Vince Gill and Blake Shelton has performed on this legendary time I’m in music city I’ll hopefully have a little more time to take stage. The 1970s comedy show Hee Haw was taped here as in the sights and sounds. I will certainly make plans to visit the well. We took the back stage tour and saw it all, the dressing Ryman Auditorium, the Johnny Cash Museum and the Ernest Tubb rooms, the stage, of course, and the back stage gallery which Record Shop on Broadway, which was closing when we walked has “nearly 400 photographs showcasing the countless characters by it. and cherished moments that have made the Grand Ole Opry Our trip to Nashville was part of a much larger road trip: a visit the American icon it is today.” to Mammoth Cave National Park and numerous cultural and historic Country Music Hall of Fame/RCA Studio B sites in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. A highlight of our tour of the Country Music Hall of Fame was the featured exhibit “Dylan, Cash and the Nashville Cats…A

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Cadillac Restoration Don Rosendale If as a kid you eyeballed that 1955 Biarritz convertible in the Cadillac showroom when Manhattan’s Seventh Avenue was known as “Automobile Row”- you know, the red one with tail fins and the “Dagmar” bumper guards - but didn’t have $7,700 in 1955 money (after all, that would be $60,000 in today’s money) and said to yourself “someday I’m gonna have that car” then Chris Semke is your go to man.

From left: Chris Semke and Frank Nicodemus in front of some of their rare Cadillacs

If you want one for yourself, surf an antique auto site like Hemmings, where you’ll find some 850 Cadillacs listed, reflecting that growing interest in collecting and restoring vintage Cadillacs. There’s an interesting 1979 Eldorado coupe in the Midwest for $3,700, and if you buy that and cruise to Wappinger’s, Chris and Frank will have it looking just like it did on the revolving platform Chris, with his business partner Frank Nicodemus, operates with the pretty model at the New York Auto Show four decades what is considered the country’s top Cadillac restoration shop, ago. Maybe better. Castle Cadillac, in the Hudson Valley town of Wappinger’s Falls. Semke says that the interest in preserving vintage Cadillacs Of course, Chris warns, you won’t be able to swing a Biarritz - just as some people renovate fancy foreign iron like Ferrari and of that era in any kind of decent shape without a new mortgage Bugatti - comes from people who loved the cars but couldn’t afford on the home; the most recent auction sale of a restored 1958 them at the time. But now older and richer, decide to splurge. Or there are owners who inherited the cars from grandparents and Cadillac Brougham was for a cool $297,000. are preserving them for the next generation. But, while the Cadillac restoration craze is nationwide, Chris But Semke says restoring a vintage Cadillac today isn’t just a describes some of the most rare and valuable Cadillacs that are question of going to a GM showroom and buying the parts. Because garaged right here in the Hudson Valley. the parts, especially trim and chrome, are in ever decreasing For example he tells the story of when in 1963, Ernest DuPont, supply. whose family controlled General Motors, ordered a Cadillac Series As part of the solution, Chris and Frank hoard old Cadillacs 62 Coupe DeVille. General Motors did what it almost has never and Cadillac parts. Walking through the Castle workshops you’ll done: it stopped the assembly line as the car passed through and added interesting touches – a dual electrical system was installed see vintage cars stashed like shirts in a department store and literally thousands of Cadillac hubcaps. And what pieces aren’t as backup and a manual metal sun roof. in what Nicodemus calls his “library” - well, Frank and Chris will Chris describes how in 1976 Oldsmobile was going to build a just recreate them. car called the Toronado XSR (1977) which included the power “It’s amazing what you can do with 3-D printers these days, T-tops. The idea was dropped by Olds because of the expense there are even ones that print in metal” Chris marvels. And what - it would cost an extra $5,000. So instead T-tops were installed on seven new 1978 Eldorados - one of them, a beige one, on the can’t be recreated with electronic help, if Frank is known as the “Cadillac of Cadillac restorers,” then Chris is the Picasso of Semke/Nicodemus showroom floor. recreating fins and fenders. The color combination of Mountain Laurel and Mandan Red But if you want to win ribbons at an antique car concourse roof (code 50) is a rare color combination and Nicodemus thinks d’elegance, you’ll need Chris and Frank to take the car to a higher the local model is the only of its kind. level.


Nicodemus gestures to the shiny bolts atop the radiator of a Cadillac in the shop for restoration. “See that bolt? It has ‘T.R.’ stamped on top of it. These are the same bolts Cadillac used in the originals, some were cadmium plated and some were plain, it depends on the year” But when the Castle shop restores a Cadillac, it’s with the authentic “T.R.” bolts and he says, “Not something we get from Home Depot.” And the fenders are attached with 24 bolts, not the dozen bolts GM would have used for a Chevrolet. Anything less will get black marks from finicky car show judges.

tour. But it’s not his connection to Mick Jagger that Nicodemus is most renowned for. It’s the frame off: meaning the sheet metal is taken off the car chassis for restoration authentic to the last bolt.

Semke met Nicodemus when he was restoring a Cadillac of Nicodemus was a teenager when he first fell in love with his own, a black 1967 El Dorado. After a few years of buying parts Cadillacs. It was a Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz in heather metallic from the maestro, Semke decided they had so many common owned by a neighbor. The very first Cadillac he himself owned interests they should join forces. was a 1955 El Dorado Biarritz convertible. Now as for that ’79 El Dorado you drove from Ohio and asked “It took 15 years” from the day he first saw it until the owner the Castle crew to bring to show winning gloss, what’s that going was ready to sell, Nicodemus recalls, “but I finally got the call he to cost? was ready to sell.” Nicodemus still owns that convertible, with its It’s like the old line - if you have to ask you can’t afford it. wire wheels and red hubcaps, which was seen by millions when the Rolling Stones borrowed it to promote their Bridges to Babylon

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Samara Ferris

The 21st Day Its beginning is reminiscent of a bar joke. There is a Catholic priest, and a Unitarian preacher stands with her congregation. There’s a group of college-aged girls beside me, carrying their signs and giggling about their donned cat ears. A Hamptons-esque couple offer their just-purchased, untouched black coffees to a nearby lesbian couple after overhearing their conversation about their need of hot coffee. The women politely decline and go back to tending to their little boy who is darting between static and impatient marchers, dressed in a shiny Superman costume. Every so often a wave of yells permeate the skies above this city; above these streets where nearly a quarter of a million people have coalesced; above this midtown intersection where the march has come to a permanent halt, all of the avenues being filled with bodies, with signs, with children grasping homemade cutouts dotted with glitter and streaks of crayon. Three girls escape through the window of their flat— a dashing corner building with its stone façade and carved ledges—and creep onto the vast, unused balcony loaded with air conditioners, carrying a banner whose message is written in script with thick, black paint. Fingers shoot up and point to the girls, who are ducttaping the banner across the heavy pillars of the railing. Cheers emit from the mouths of onlookers, hungry for action and movement, and a sea of cameras and phones explode onto the near horizon, documenting the act. I meet a group of people in New York, coming all the way from Oregon to become bodies on the ground, bodies showing their presence, bodies calling for new energy policy that cares for our natural habitat, that pays homage to the scientific data of climate change. Men clasp the hands of their mates, both male and female, calling for equality. There is a black woman with a rich Jamaican accent, saronged in a mass of beautiful Batik cloth who looks upon my friend and I, uniformly and perhaps even a bit saccharinely bathed in pink, and in a sweeping motion of her hand, as if blessing the entire crowd before her, issues a stanza

of “God bless you’s” with her eyes pointed up toward the sunlit sky. There are slogans worthy of million-dollar endorsements, the hilarity ensuing after each reading of them as we turn our focus and see a whole new vision of signs. No matter one’s stance on the current president, “Ikea has better cabinets” is deserving of at least a few glances and a full round of laughs, especially as one realizes how nearly impossibly true the line is, as you well know if you have ever spent three days putting together anything from Ikea, only to have it topple apart one day, collapsing upon the floor in a heap of pressed wood, breaking a stack of glasses and my favorite coffee mug on the way down. And in what seems to be a miracle of humanity, representative of this benevolent march filled with a plethora of different and confusing and beautiful and sometimes even contradictory demands and messages, no one—not one of the quarter of a million marchers—is arrested. There are no smashed windows. There is no violence. There is no irreverence so great that some body must be controlled, must be collected into the back of a gleaming NYPD car. And with these varied messages: some encouraging energy reform, others representing the current president with a barrage of insults, caricatures of his blonde hair flowing around like a frayed cotton ball, and still others demanding affordable healthcare, immigration reform, maternity leave, access to legal and safe abortions, there seems to be a unifying thread that maintains the security of the streets, that inspires couples to offer their hot coffees, that encourages Unitarian preachers and Catholic priests, lesbian couples, and girls taking selfies in cat ears to all co-exist: the unwillingness to compromise human decency, whereby differences to not divide but instead force us to look upon our society as an extension of ourselves and our desires for health, happiness, freedom, and respect. How else can this many people wade through standstill New York traffic and sweaty, stuffed public transportation and gather together in the hundreds of thousands early in the morning on a Northern winter’s day, pregnant with hope and anger and bitter reflections of inequality, of loss, of yearning for a better future without any violence? Without any arrests? Without any robbed registers or smashed windows? Without any abuse of the police, camped out behind roadblocks


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encircling Trump Tower? How else can this many diverse people coalesce without chaos and brutality if not for the overwhelming spirit of decency and uplifting humanity present in these days, at these marches, the largest protest in American history, which took place on the 21st day of the new year of 2017, in locales all around the world? And after that renaissance of action and hope, there was the inevitable disappointment that followed. There were many men and women who criticized the march as childish and grossly naïve, as action-less, and ineffective. And these thoughts began to permeate the minds of those who did not see a tangible effect of the movement, who realized that this historic day did not have immediate, historic consequences. Pondering the rebellions in American history, it is easy to equate a physical response given in a timely manner to a physical demand. In the general timeline of social reform washed over in a matter of sentences in textbooks, the information is there: it seems to conclude that after social outrage became at a point so large as to eclipse normal patterns of living, a movement took place. And, following the movement, society, humanity, government, whatever it may be, changed irrevocably and radically, as a direct response to a call for it to do so. But change is hard. Change is painful. Change is expensive. It is challenging and for some of us, it is more than we are willing to bear. Change is the last-ditch effort employed to mend a broken society; it is the very last thing to occur until times become so unstable that without it, we would confront monumental disaster, chaos, violence, economic hardship.

schools in districts all together, joining them together in one large school where gerrymandering will be less successful in manipulating the inhabitants into racial segregation. Is it also unbelievable that in September of 1957—three years after the Supreme Court’s ruling of segregation of public schools as unconstitutional—The New York Times reported that in the those three years, four Southern states had shown minimal progress toward full integration while seven Southern states had shown none at all? Is it then not also a confrontation with the appalling slowness of decency and change to discover that in July 1964—a little over ten years after the ruling—after years of marches, boycotts, sit-ins, violent hate crimes, integration resistance, law suits, arrests of peaceful protesters, and racism-fueled murders, Robert F. Kennedy’s Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed, only then making it illegal to discriminate against anyone due to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin?

It seems absurd today that such realizations of racial equality could have met with such resistance and that change could have been so tormentingly, violently slow. Perhaps in an era when the ethics and strength of forerunners of a bygone era have brought us to a reasonably comfortable and safe state in our’s society’s existence, and when convenience has grown to such a point that immediate gratification of most needs necessitates no patience or fortitude, it is easy to forget that the treating of all humans decently was won at a very steep price over a great many years. It may be our inclination to expect change to arrive with celerity in a clean and pleasant manner, just as one would pay a bill online or trade in one’s leased car for a new one. But change is the thing that comes last. It comes with difficulty and endurance, On May 17, 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, disappointment and setbacks. It comes with an understanding Kansas sparked massive outrage in the country over theories of of an oft-unjust world and the acknowledgement that striving for racial inclusive- or exclusiveness based on the U.S. Supreme betterment is not only a possibility but a necessity. Change comes Court’s ruling that segregation of public schools is unconstitutional, after the long, hard road has been traveled, and often, those an idea that seems basic, obvious, and matter-of-fact today. And agents fighting for change perish before they can witness the yet, it is an almost unbelievable fact that in times as recent as victories of their battles. 2011, segregation of public schools attained through illicit It was not a universal imperative to be in the march that came gerrymandering into school districts of mostly black and mostly to fruition on that 21st day of the new year. There was no one white sections of the town of Cleveland, Mississippi did exist, a message, and there was no one people. It was not a prerequisite fact which the Federal Government has fought with what legal of a progressive society to support the march, nor may it contain power it can wield over the state, stating that the town has “failed to meaningfully integrate,” and thus must eliminate all separate all of the ideals of a person’s heart and mind. One may not think


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Va n Wy c k G a z e t t e that it accomplished anything at all, and at that thought, we celebrate the ability to think and speak freely in this cherished world. One may love the president or loathe him, may be pro-this or pro-that, may have been in or out of the movement, may even have thought it wasteful and entitled—a bunch of upper-east-side ladies whining—and yet one thing persists above all else: the everlasting love of humanity so great that anything less than the most equitable, just, and fair laws and customs sculpted to uplift decency and respect can be deemed acceptable. And that is the true spirit of the day, inherited through the movements of the brave people in history that have sought to make better the world they had been given, urged to rebel against injustice in their country precisely because of their love for it and their love of all humans in this great human family. (Photographs by Samara Ferris)


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Spring 2017 Issue

Calling Upon History Mike Jurkovic

the Spirit of the Maverick Horse.

Hervey White Founder of the Maverick

Granddaughter of union welder, local NAACP president, and renowned civil rights leader Ellsworth V. Potter, who, on the Newburgh waterfront in 1942, secured from the then segregated International Boilermakers Union full membership for the 29 African Americans and all the women hired to boost wartime productivity in the shipyards. So she knows a little “something” about history and her part in it.

“I was raised and trained classical,” she recalls fondly, without hesitation. “I grew up with Bach and Brahms, Mozart and Mendelssohn in one ear and Ella, Miles and Charlie Parker in the other. I was soprano in our amazing chorus at St Georges Church and the Chaminade Chorus at NFA. I waited excitedly every year to sing in the Hallelujah Chorus.” As these warm remembrances cross her face I believe I see Hervey White, Maverick’s founder, nodding behind her, his calloused hand on her shoulder. A cold, Catskills northerly sweeps down Ohayo Mountain and weaves sonata-like through these hand hewn walls, one can only Tree growing through roof of Maverick Concert Hall imagine the music that has resounded through these old pines “This sweet old lady takes my face into her warm hands, kisses since 1916. Back when the Ulster-Delaware Railroad brought the me and says “And you’re black!” recalls Kitt Potter, the new sound of children celebrating those archived summers. And, of executive director - Maverick’s first in its century-plus history - course, Woodstock, post-Dylan. Post August ‘69. “Just look at this and listen to the wind blowing through the when telling me about her introduction to the Maverick board and tree,” she exudes, as we step out into the frozen forest that cradles its membership. But color is hardly the point or the lone color on her broad the old hall. “Ohhh if these trees could talk!” she enthuses. spectrum. Born on Beethoven’s birthday with perfect pitch and a stunning contralto to soprano range, this Hudson Valley kid learned chorale at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Newburgh and NFA (Newburgh Free Academy) then left for Howard University. Came back scatting, singing soul and successfully developed human service and education programs and organizations back in her home town, notably securing over $1 million for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Newburgh. And she’s here now, calling upon Hervey White’s pioneering, ever present presence to help her amp up

“I come out here,” she says, taking in the cold air and brilliant blue sky. “I come out here and ask Hervey for wisdom.”

The huge tree growing through the roof on the right side of the hall complains stiffly, icily. Since Maverick’s schedule wraps every September, the drafty hall is all packed up, waiting for a new season. It’s hundred and second new, consecutive season, to be exact. Making Maverick the longest running chamber music festival in America.


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Kitt Potter performing But to understand the spirit upon which Ms. Potter calls, we have to go further back to when writer, poet, reformer, and socialist Hervey White, born in Iowa and pained by the poverty he witnessed spread through Europe since the dawn of the Industrial Age, returns home via Chicago in the late 1890’s. There, in a settlement house founded by Jane Addams, (feminist, and no less, if not much more so, a social reformer and arts activist) White and his fellow thinkers and doers The Maverick Horse - sculpture by John Flannagan (among them Clarence Darrow, painter Bolton Brown, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and British financier Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead) Development, community and media relations, event planning, began formulating the idea of an arts colony where artists needn’t management. I guess I had what the board was looking for: someone to take the baton and help them to move this great struggle financially to advance mankind forward. In the shadow of Mount Guardian was as good a place to start as institution into its next exciting century.”

“So many on the board have and continue to work so hard,” says Potter. The great milestones over time would not ever have occurred without their hard work and dedication. I can’t do it alone and need them to continue to guide and support the organization but do hope that with my taking on this post, A charismatic funk-a-teer, Marion Kitt Potter brings her own history they can take on a higher leadership role as well as once in to these hallowed, bohemian grounds and the two distinctly American, a while being able to just relax and enjoy the fruits of their fiercely independent histories hold together like Hervey placing plank labor.” But this is a switch for you. We’ve known each other a long upon plank. Not only does she have a deep, successful background in nonprofit leadership and as a community advocate, she’s sang time and you’re way more an r ‘n b and jazz kid. with and shared the stage with Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind, and “My parents always had music playing. Miles, Mingus, Vivaldi. Fire, Kool and the Gang. She’s sang for the King and Queen of Rhapsody In Blue. Ella . . I saw Duke when I was four and that Sweden, the Atlanta Falcons, and played alongside jazz visionary was it for me!” pianist Mulgrew Miller, sax great Hugh Brodie, all while winning “But when I got older, if my friends and I weren’t scaling the millions in grants to support education, business and government ‘gunks, we were at Tanglewood listening to the Boston institutions, community, youth and arts-based organizations in the Symphony Orchestra, falling asleep on the lawn and the Hudson Valley and beyond. groundskeepers waking you up. Or we high-tailed it to Montreal A forceful gust rumbles the rafters. But listen intently and, right in for the annual jazz fest. Chamber music and jazz are big parts the sweet spot, you can hear Hervey’s hammer and saw. Hear him of my blueprint. When I’m writing grants I like music that huffing and puffing, dragging the milled pine, oak, and chestnut from soothes me and keeps my thoughts in focus so I’ll get a little a nearby sawmill. When he wasn’t building, he was writing, founding Beethoven or flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal going in my earbuds the Maverick Press in 1910, so perhaps you can hear him reading and I’m totally zoned in.” aloud from his journal The Wild Hawk. See the naked nymphs frolic “I have to keep pinching myself,” she says. “I am humbled, as part of a 1917 presentation. Imagine an 80 foot pirate ship burning honored and wake up every day, if I’m not too excited to sleep, to ground at the end of The Ark Royale (1924) or imagine yourself grateful that I have a job that I love and work for leaders who in the audience on August 29, 1952 as pianist David Tudor performs are so incredibly wise and wonderful.” John Cage’s revolutionary 4’33”. “Yeah, this is my dream. It’s hard work but when the gate What made Maverick, after a whole century, decide on hiring an and box office open and everyone’s sitting here and the executive director? Maverick Horse is casting its energy upon the awesome talent “Producing 30 concerts within four months, raising and managing that Alexander (Platt, music director) brings to the stage it all funding, maintaining a beloved historic treasure and more is a lot of just takes your breath away!” work. Maverick has a very strong dedicated board and volunteer The Maverick Horse. Sculpted with an ax from a chestnut core. My expertise covers the waterfront: PR, Marketing, Audience tree in 1924 by handyman sculptor John Flannagan (believing any so in 1902, Whitehead, along with White and other artistic partners, founded Byrdcliffe. But Hervey was quickly disillusioned. His creatively confined, not freed, by the financier’s dominance. So in 1905, he took his last $200 dollars and purchased land roughly five miles from Byrdcliffe, thus beginning his own artistic quest.


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Spring 2017 Issue

that all work was useful, White paid him fifty cents an hour.) It stands eighteen feet tall and welcomed you at the head of the road for nearly four decades, until it was moved into painter Emmet Edwards’s studio to protect it from the ravages of Catskill seasons. It remained hidden, away from its home, until 1979 when it was returned to the Maverick and placed on the stage from which it casts its divining shadow and light upon the performers. Long time supporter Leslie Gerber who moved into Big Pink not too long after the Band moved out, started coming to Maverick in ’72. “I was amazed,” he enthuses, as readily today as he did then. “The music and musicians that came to Maverick were as good as any I’d seen in New York, in a smaller hall and, at a fraction of the price. The Aulos Wind Quintet, the Rogeri Trio, Charles Libov and Nina Lugovoy. The Tokyo, Emerson, and Colorado Quartets . . . all world class. Last summer’s performance of Stravinsky’s “Le Sacre du Printemps” by pianists Frederick Chiu and Andrew Russo is burned into my memory. And Alexander is a gifted conductor. His chamber orchestra concerts have been highlights every summer since 2002.” Any discussion of the Maverick, be it history deep or future facing, intimately involves its music director, Alexander Platt, whose own history records musical directorships for among others, The Racine Symphony Chamber Orchestra, The Wisconsin Philharmonic, La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, Berkeley Chamber Players and Berkeley Singers . . . his work as a conductor includes works by Berlioz, The Beatles, Bernstein. You could go through the whole alphabet. “Six years ago Alexander and the board broke daringly with tradition and introduced jazz to the faithful,” Kitt enthuses. “The difference was night and day. Jazz brought in a more diverse and youthful audience. And now that the Chamber Music of America

Organization regards jazz as a classical music form, it not only validates Maverick’s forward thinking but it allows us to approach that younger, financially secure audience and make them aware of what Maverick offers.” With her years of grant-writing and fundraising acting as a sixth sense, she sadly reveals “There is no money in historical renovation. The money’s tight everywhere given our national situation. So it always comes down to donors.” “We have concerns about the stage. They’ve recently completed a total redo of the electrical wiring because the mice and squirrels were chewing through it. And the green room, where numerous globally renowned virtuosi through the years have waited to take the stage, has been unfinished since 1905. Our next project is the roof. So new blood and new dedication is crucial. It’s how Maverick began and what is has become and what it will continue to be.” Does your office have heat at least? “We all work from home so yeah, I have heat there,” she laughs, still amazed at how Maverick runs on sheer people power and passion. “But when the new season opens on June 24 with our Young People’s Concert, I’ll be living in that green room. Meeting maestros and moms, pianist Bill Charlap (July 15) the Grammy Award winning Parker Quartet (July 16) and the Harlem Quartet (August 13) soprano Maria Jette (August 26) . . . “If Hervey thinks I’ve been calling on him a lot since I got here, wait till the season begins.” For all Maverick information and schedule: http://maverickconcerts.org For a comprehensive history and exhibition: www.newpaltz.edu/museum/exhibitions/online.html

Isabel Minunni

Spring is a Time for Renewal! Open Faced Grilled Summer Salmon BLT 4 – 6 ounce Alaskan sockeye salmon 2 Green onions - chopped 4 tangerines - juiced 2 cloves garlic - chopped 4 slices prosciutto 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper 2 cups lettuce - arugula or spring mix 1 ripe avocado - diced 2 cups grapes tomatoes - quartered 16 asparagus spears 4 slices ciabatta bread - toasted 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar 2 figs

In a shallow dish add salmon, onions, tangerine juice and garlic and let salmon set in marinade for 20 minutes. In a frying pan cook prosciutto on medium heat on both sides until browned and crispy, set aside. Remove salmon from marinade and place marinade into a small sauce pan. Cook marinade on medium low heat for about 5 minutes or until reduced by ¼. Let cool, whisk in olive oil and mustard and season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, add lettuce, avocado and tomatoes and desired amount of dressing and mix to coat. In a small sauce pan add vinegar and figs and simmer until reduced by half until it has a syrupy consistency. Pour through sieve to strain out figs and seeds. On a very well greased hot grill cook asparagus until just tender. Cook salmon on both sides for a couple of minutes or until just cooked through. Place a slice of toast onto serving plate/s top each with an even amount of asparagus, a slice of prosciutto, filet of salmon and the desired amount tomato salad. Drizzle with fig balsamic reduction and serve. (Serves 4) Enjoy!


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Autumn 2016 Issue

The Happiness You Seek

or freedom from illness. Financial potential can be recognized with a certain dollar amount earned, saved, or given. Spiritual True or false: If I’m successful, then I’ll have happiness. potential could involve inner peace, forgiveness, or love for In other words, which is the cause and which is the effect? Are mankind. With relational we may seek friendship, marriage, you happy because everything is going well, or is everything children, or the improvement of a certain relationship. Career potential may mean receiving a promotion or new job. going well because you are happy? Lori Ann King

Benefits of Happiness If you answered true, you have chosen to allow your circumstances So, what’s the big deal about happiness? Achor’s research to dictate when and if you’ll ever be happy. And let’s face it, there’s a lot that can go wrong or simply off track in a typical day. If you’re showed that your brain at positive performs significantly better waiting for everything to be perfect, you may find yourself waiting than it does at negative, neutral, or stressed. Furthermore, happy a long time. You are giving away your power and essentially, your people: joy, because you’ve made SUCCESS the cause and HAPPINESS • Are less stressed, have better health the effect. • Increase their productivity • Experience more positive social interaction This quickly turns into a belief system where happiness is • Can increase their performance in sales dependent on your circumstances. You start thinking and believing “I’ll be happy WHEN…I lose 20 pounds...I graduate...I get Becoming Truly Happy married...I get divorced...my partner is happy…I have a child... Happiness is a choice. It shows up in our attitude of gratitude the kids are older...I earn more money...I own a home…I retire... and our actions of love, forgiveness, and kindness. It begins in when my boss leaves...when a political candidate wins, loses, our thoughts, as we become more conscious of what we think retires, or is replaced…the list is endless. about. Most of us have more negative thoughts than positive. I understand how you feel. I felt the same way. And what I found The more we try not to focus on the negative, the more focused is that when you makes success the cause and happiness the we get on negativity. Use the law of substitution instead. As a effect, you miss the opportunity to be happy now or worse yet, negative thought enters your mind, count backward five, four, three, two, one! And during that time replace the negative thought you miss it all together. What if you turn it around: If I’m happy, then I’ll be successful. with a fond memory or something positive. Increasing Happiness I don’t know about you, but that sounds a lot more empowering! Happiness takes practice and training your brain, just like you When you choose HAPPINESS as the cause, you empower would your body. Here are a few tips to practice being happy, yourself to be happy regardless of the circumstances or your regardless of your circumstances: environment. You put the power in your own hands to change 1. Gratitude your world and the world around you. You are giving yourself List at least three NEW things daily you are grateful for. It permission to be happy first, which in turn, causes the effect you could be a loved one, a job, a vehicle, or simply opening desire: success! your eyes in the morning to live another day. Charles F. Haanel, author, philosopher and businessman, wrote: What we all desire, what everyone is seeking, is Happiness and Harmony. If we can be truly happy we shall have everything the world can give. If we are happy ourselves we can make others happy. Seeking happiness Happiness, as defined by Shawn Achor, one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between happiness and success, is “…the joy you feel moving towards your potential.” Your potential could be physical, financial, spiritual, relational, or career oriented. Your physical goal may be weight loss, athletic performance,

2. Kindness Consciousness As you notice kindness in the world, the world seems more kind. And don’t wait to see kindness, practice kindness daily. Pay for someone’s toll, or coffee, do the dishes at work, send an email of gratitude, or sing someone’s praises on social media. 3. Sit and be still Meditation is more than relaxing or daydreaming. As you focus on your body and breath, you learn to be more present. As random thoughts or your “to do” list comes to mind, practice letting them go and simply remain aware as an observer. Benefits of meditation can include relaxation,


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Van Wy c k G az e t t e improved immunity, better focus, less depression and anxiety, and overall improved well being. 4. Journal Relive a positive memory or moment. Think back over the last 24 hours and describe one positive experience. This will cause you to stop thinking of your productivity and begin to focus on meaningful experiences, relationships, and interactions. 5. Exercise There is a mind-body connection that improves learning when we move our body! Exercise can lower instances of depression, release “happy” chemicals called endorphins, build confidence, and help you manage stress. I’ve been doing these five things with daily consistency and the results have been amazing! I had a friend recently comment on how happy I seem. And I was able to tell her that I truly am happy. And she was happy for me! My relationships have improved. I’m seeing more kindness in the world. I’m relaxed. AND, I’m more productive. I find tasks getting done with ease and almost effortlessly. I’m quicker to smile and to laugh. I’m making eye contact and having great conversations. Spreading Happiness When you choose to be happy you automatically give a gift to those around you. Smiles, laughter, and energy are contagious. As you shine your own light of happiness, you give others permission to do the same. You can be both relaxed and enthusiastic which has a positive effect on the people you interact with. The beauty is, like attracts like, so you will find yourself attracting more happiness into your life! And as you cultivate more happiness making it the CAUSE, I’m confident that the success you seek will show up as the EFFECT.

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A Visit to Abu Dhabi and Dubai Thor & Arlene Larsen

Sheik Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi

The next time the dreary winter weather seems to be getting you down, ignore your tendency toward the familiar and think more creatively about a change of venue. While Miami, Bermuda and Palm Springs conjure up visions of warmth, sunshine and resorts ready to cater to your every whim, consider instead some place further afield; the United Arab Emirates. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are two of the most powerful and richest of the seven city-states that make up the UAE. Believe it or not, Europeans and Asians flock to this part of the world, renowned as a tourist destination, to be pampered at luxurious resorts and hotels. They run the gamut from modest, to some of most lavish, fit for kings and sheiks.

The largest Swarovski crystal chandelier in the world inside the Sheik Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi

Enjoying the view atop of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building (124 stories).


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Because a popular tour company that we had used before was running a ‘special’, our frugal mind-set could not resist a bargain, we signed up for a trip in November. Needless to say one should avoid this area from June through August due to excessive heat. November provided sunny days, with temperatures in the 70’s and low 80’s, and the Persian Gulf swept in pleasant breezes. Besides enjoying the beaches and golf courses, shopping in their amazing, over-sized malls is the main diversion for tourists and locals as well. The shopping malls we saw were constructed and decorated like palaces, with different colored marbles, stained glass and crystal chandeliers. Some have waterfalls, mosaics, sculptures, mobiles and other art works. Some malls provide play lands with gigantic amusement rides for children. One has a professional size ice ring (we even had an ice ring in our hotel). Another mall has a large aquarium where you can scuba-dive with the fish. One even has an indoor ski slope with a chair lift so the kids can get in a few runs while parents shop. The dizzying array of shops and restaurants can keep you entertained for days. There are food shops from all over the world; Asian, Italian, French, Indian and even American fast-food. The stores run the economic gamut; Tiffany, DeBeers, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, H&M, American Eagle, etc. Any shop in New York, Paris and London is available here with no tax added.

A man-made marina in Dubai is surrounded by 100 story condo towers under construction.

Upon arrival at the airport, the first thing that strikes you about the country is the jaw-dropping architecture. This area of the world has to employ more of the world’s top architects than anywhere else. Any trip to the UAE is all about the sky line, as you ride down the streets, marveling at their gravity-defying unique designs one after another. What makes Dubai and Abu Dhabi so impressive is that almost all buildings you see are fairly new. While people have lived here since the bronze age, the area had been poor, with farming and pearl diving as main occupations until the 1960’s. With the development of the oil industry, and utilizing their advantageous location for commerce and free ports, Abu Dhabi and Dubai have exploded in growth. They import many workers and construction companies to build these beautiful skyscrapers and luxurious residences. Due to the diversity of immigrants living here, and the UAE’s desire to have a significant international role, English is the main language. Although Abu Dhabi is a Muslim nation, it provides freedom of religion to their residents. On our first full day in Abu Dhabi we were taken to the massive and recently completed Sheik Zayed Mosque. It accommodates 40,000 worshipers and is the largest mosque in the UAE. With seven enormous crystal chandeliers, ninety-six columns inlaid with marble and mother-of-pearl, and 35 tons of Iranian custom carpet, it provide a stunning visual experience. As you ride along the Corniche overlooking the Persian Gulf, you notice a large island with two buildings in the harbor. One building is the royal palace which belongs to the Sheikh, the other is the Emirates Palace Hotel. Since the Sheikh did not invite us for tea, we did the next best thing, and went to ‘high tea’ at the Emirates Palace (with its Swarovski crystal chandeliers and gold-lined walls). One of the most interesting aspects of our visit was to experience the unique Muslim culture. The people are very wealthy and welleducated. Women are given considerably more freedom than in other Muslim countries. Women wear beautiful designer shoes, lots of gold and diamonds, and drive luxury cars such as MercedesBenz and BMW. However, the burqa is their main fashion accessory. The weather was perfect, the food was diverse and excellent, their culture was unique and the people were very friendly.

Outside of Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi


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Van Wy c k G az e t t e

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The Anniversary Excuse Adrea Gibbs Anniversary. According to Merriam-Webster the definition of anniversary is: 1. the annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event • a wedding anniversary; broadly: a date that follows such an event by a specified period of time measured in units other than years • the 6-month anniversary of the accident. 2. the celebration of an anniversary. With it being the 25th Issue Special Edition of Van Wyck Gazette, I got to thinking, for better or worse, about anniversaries. The definition above is clear and, as in Van Wyck’s case, a commemoration.

this and I haven’t gotten any better over the years, even with my Google-Outlook-Facebook-JibJab-to-name-but-a-few reminders I have attempted to put in place to thwart my forgetfulness. To illustrate, a few years ago, I attended a business conference that had me immersed in seminars and meetings morning, noon and night. To say I was focused was an understatement to the point when a dinner with colleagues took an interesting turn during the conversation with awkward results. The dialogue ebbed and flowed as one might expect in those situations when the disparate topics converged on anniversaries. I jumped in to share when suddenly, halfway through my personal sordid tale of memory-lapse; I became horrified with a stark realization. That particular day, of all days, was my anniversary. To the amusement of my tablemates, after citing the eerily timely example of my selective absent-mindedness, I excused myself, equally embarrassed and mortified, to find a quiet place from which to make a call. My husband, to his credit, good-naturedly chuckled when I called. He had expected nothing less and admitted he actually enjoyed this unique aspect to our personal celebration. It has become sort of a “will she-won’t she,” scenario that delights him, most especially, when I scramble. At least he knows it is honest on my part. That year, I made it just under the wire and vowed (as I do every time) to do better. And I am. Usually.

On one side, this type of momentous occasion, like a wedding anniversary, is done up to the nines, overflowing with good wishes and smatterings of floral displays, candy boxes, and thoughtful heart-shaped gifts, integral to the proceedings. The more time attached to the event, the more sparkle, glitz and glitter. On the flip side, it can be a solemn, sobering remembrance of historical events, although there are those whose personal feelings regarding their own wedding anniversary reflect the later more appropriately. For me, an anniversary is a reminder that I didn’t remember it, again. To be fair, I am actually very good remembering anniversaries, birthdays, special events, and such…when it comes to other people. I have discovered something about the whys and ways I My lack of memory seems to be tied to anything romantic in my embrace, or rather don’t embrace, the passage of time. I have life. Scratch that. Anything in my life, period. Chronology is not my a tendency to not focus so much on the date I got married friend. because, honestly, I got married on that one day, but it is not I cut from the same cloth as a 70’s/80’ sitcom husband who the embodiment of my relationship. I am very happily married realizes in the 11th hour that it is his anniversary and, naturally, and every day is a gift when spent with him. That’s not to say every flower, candy, and department store is closed and due to that every day is skittles and whipped cream. It isn’t, because, some random convention all the restaurants in town are fully well, life is life and we each have our own views of things. But, booked, so he must now rely on sheer wits and the assistance of what each and every day is, simply, is an adventure. A new day. friends who know-someone-who-knows-someone to come up with A new beginning. It’s just like my trying to remember how old I an over-the-top affair that will fool their spouse into thinking this am. Another of my time-space continuum quirks. I prefer to enjoy extravagant plan took far longer that the 22 minutes allotted between living my life, but when I need to recall with any immediacy my commercial sponsorship to pull it off. Hilarity ensues and all is antiquity for whatever purpose, I have to do a quick calculations good before the credits roll. Fortunately for me, my husband is not based on the year. If I can dredge up what year it is. Funny that when required to scribe it onto some random document I can one of those Prime Time Dads. Sadly, for him, I am. whip out that month/date/year with no problem. That flows easily My husband is incredibly thoughtful. A flurry of sweet cards and enough. But ask me my age and it will take some quick noodling sentiments, a single rose, peppermint hot chocolate. Those are on my part. Maybe even quantum physics. just the tip of his romantic arsenal. He is the kind of guy that That said, you can see I am consistent with most things that remembers exactly what I wore on our first date. To which I was are date-related involving my personal history. Thank goodness late. By several hours. So much so, lunch had rolled into dinner. He loves that story. Particularly the part when I offered up a coupon for friends and family who are far better record keepers and can when the check came. A romantic gesture on my part. Even then, easily recall when Christmas was spent at the Arctic Circle or did I did theatrical performances in Germany, choreographed he got it. And me. musicals for a performing arts high school, or when I did my I don’t know why I have such an apparent mental block about


Va n Wy c k G aze t t e

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book signing at Borders, when Borders were still around. I vividly recall those circumstances, to the point of closing my eyes to see and hear and feel and smell and relive each of those experiences in Technicolor surround-sound. Call it personal VR. Just don’t ask me when it happened. I may have to refer to my resume. Honestly, the only piece that ever comes up missing from these mental tableaus are the dates and years. I simply am not capable of that specificity, unless it happened before I graduated from high school. Graduating from high school seemed to be the time when I lost the desire, or selectively chose not, to focus on when I did certain things. I presume that as a child so much was naturally benchmarked; transitioning from kindergarten to elementary to junior high (no middle school for me), then high school, with countless recitals, sports tournaments, competitions, and family vacations liberally dosed throughout the time line, each aligned with specific times, dates, seasons, and years. My brothers provided age-markers, too, and though the four of us spread fairly evenly age-wise over eight years, as “grown-ups,” (my Mom would argue use of that term when we are assembled is not relevant), the years seem compressed. I can tell you when we moved to Boston for a year. I think it was last year when we were last all together. Not that it matters. When I get with them, it is like no time has passed at all. And we get lots of great pictures that are, often, time-stamped. Yeah. Honestly, I believe that once I moved into adulthood, time, relativity speaking, no longer had a place in my life. It became about experience and embracing wherever I was and whatever I was doing to the fullest. Whether positive or negative it was the memory that mattered, and continues to matter, to me, not the when. As I analyze what I have done, where I have been, with whom I have been acquainted or with whom I have held steadfastly, I suppose my not knowing when we “did” something makes me appear unsentimental, though I can assure you that is not the case. Does it make me unromantic that I don’t remember the exact date my husband proposed to me? Maybe. But, I would argue, in my defense, the fact that I can conjure the exact scene off-sets a specific date that is lost to me. Could I go back, look at an old calendar and figure it out? Sure. Still, I prefer to think the little random expressions of love I show my spouse, the cards tucked into drawers and slipped into notepads, the lipstick hearts drawn onto the bathroom mirror, the bringing home of a favorite hard-tofind candy that had been sought out come hell-or-high-water in the meager downtime of whirlwind business trip, the simple act of reaching out to touch and hold hands during a poignant moment of our favorite movies let me celebrate the joy of being married to such a special person. A daily commemoration of our matrimony. Every day is a reason to be thankful and appreciative I have someone in my life who cares, supports, believes, and, most importantly, understands that my version of time, when it comes to momentous dates in particular, may be a little (okay, a lot) off. For me it is not about an odd day each year that is Hallmark-card worthy. Rather that each moment we have together, even if I do forget the occasional (well, almost always forget) anniversary, is what really and truly counts. So happy anniversary, Van Wyck Gazette. And for being in a print format that clearly displays the date for those, like me, who will no doubt probably need both a reminder and nudge when the 50th rolls off the press.

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