Van Wyck Gazette Summer Issue 2017

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Summer Issue 2017

Van Wyck Gazette

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

Van Wyck Gazette

Joseph Caplan This Summer Issue covers the gamut of places to go and things to do with our exciting racing theme: start your engines, start your grilles. Don Rosendale shares his vivid memories of vintage auto racing in the 60’s from a behind the wheel perspective at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut. Historical images from their archives and track photography illustrate his poignant yet humorous story. Start your grilles with a fabulous recipe by Isabel Minunni. My advice is simple, Corona on ice, chicken on the grille and a copy of our Summer Issue 2017 on your reader.

EDITOR IN CHIEF / CREATIVE DIRECTOR Joseph Caplan DESIGN / MEDIA Margot Stiegeler CONTRIBUTORS Samara Ferris, Adrea Gibbs, Meryl Hartstein Michael Jurkovic, Lori Ann King, Thor Larsen, Katie Maus, Isabel Minunni, Peter Rae, Don Rosendale and Joseph Yeomans PUBLISHER Caplan Media Group, Inc. Fishkill, NY SUBSCRIPTIONS To receive Van Wyck Gazette by mail visit our website and subscribe ADVERTISE If you would like to advertise with Van Wyck Gazette, please email vanwyckgazette

Greg Corell provides our cover art which illustrates the substantial impact of The Roost Studios and Art Gallery in New Paltz on both visual artists and local SUNY students.

Printed by Trumbull Printing, Trumbull, Connecticut

Mike Jurkovic, Senior Writer and CAPS (Calling All Poets) Member, shares his interviews with Roost founder Marcy Bernstein and other notable artists such as Stacie Flint.

Table of Contents


Creating a Happy Relationship


Lime Rock Park

Adrea Gibbs, a dog lover and perpetual satirist, shares her insights about the dog days of summer in a humorous essay.


Start Your Grills

Lori Ann King, sports nutritionist and bicycle aficiando, pens her tribute to fathers in a touching narrative.


Samara Ferris, our intrepid adventurer, shares her arduous, highly detailed step-by-step climb up the coveted “Stairway to Heaven” on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Katie Maus floats a few ideas in her expose about sensory deprivation for a few hours of total relaxation.

Meryl Hartstein introduces a brand new quarterly feature,the “Ask Meryl” column by Strategic Life and Relationship Coach, Celebrity Confidence Expert and Founder of Bounce Back Women. If you would like to ask Meryl a question about a life situation, interpersonal relationship or life in general: submit your question thru Lastly, a word of appreciation to our eclectic group of writers, loyal advertiser base and Mr. Rick Roso of nearby Lime Rock Park. Joseph Caplan AWF ANB APK AKN VIS BLS NAT TCC AWL

12 16 18 22

Meryl Hartstein

Don Rosendale Isabel Minunni

Stairway to Heaven Samara Ferris

Creating a Collaborative Community Mike Jurkovic

Life Lessons From My Dad Lori Ann King

For Your Birthday We’re Gonna Float Katie Maus

So How About Those Dog Days of Summer? Adrea Gibbs

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Creating a Happy Relationship Contrary to many beliefs, there are happy relationships. Not everyone is destined for divorce, breakup and heartache. There are many who survive the ups and downs and continue to be happy where they are. The following will keep it fresh, exciting and hopefully without drama. Communication: We all know that communication is crucial to getting along, but many of us shut down instead. It’s easier sometimes to just sweep our words under the rug. That’s the worst thing you can do. It only collects anger and resentment. That doesn’t mean you have to spew out words immediately when you get annoyed, but if it’s something that you can’t dismiss, then you ought to have a talk. You will be surprised how much better the relationship will feel if you aren’t harboring unspoken words and feelings.

Meryl Hartstein’s Quarterly Column:

“Ask Meryl” Meryl Hartstein has survived adversities to become an advocate for giving back and guiding other women find their success no matter what challenges they may face. In addition to her role as a published author, she is a Strategic Life & Relationship Coach, Guest Speaker, Celebrity Confidence Expert and Founder of Bounce Back Women, a non- profit foundation. If you would like to “Ask Meryl” a question about interpersonal relationships or other appropriate topic, visit our online site. Our expectation is the publication of wise guidance to those who pose a question of significant interest to our avid reader audience. The publisher reserves the right to screen content.

Identity: It’s crucial to keep a separate identity in any relationship. You are not changed into someone else when you decide to be someone’s partner. You need to keep your identity intact. Your interests, your friends and most importantly, your space needs to be respected by one another. It’s much healthier to have outside interests apart from one another. If not, there will be little to talk about if you are together nonstop and inseparable. This keeps can turn a frown upside down! Going that extra distance is worth the relationship interesting and fresh. it. Just by remembering their favorite foods, buying them a little Laughter: Part of friendship is laughter, token of your appreciation, or just by telling them how much they so why shouldn’t it also play a huge part mean to you, really can strengthen a relationship. Just as women in your relationship? Learning to laugh at want to be adored, men want to feel appreciated. It’s those little even serious situations makes life so much extra gestures, that we can do, that will make them want to make happier. It lightens the load and can turn you happy in return. Remember, what you give is what you will negativity into positivity. Finding happiness receive. together is what it’s supposed to be. Passion: We all know about physical passion in a relationship, Laughter creates memories. Having a but emotional passion is necessary too. Knowing that you are similar sense of humor is bonding and desired on every level can be very hot. Planning intimate time connects you on a different level. The more together brings anticipation, and it keeps things fresh, just like laughter, the less arguing! when you were dating early on in your relationship. Letting your Niceties: In our day to day language, partner know how attractive you think they are can be a real turn we sometimes forget simple words like please and thank you. If on. Tell them how happy they make you, and what you want to you can use them on a consistent level, they will become more do to them, when you are together again. automatic. When you have a close relationship to someone, To sum this all up, what we give is what we will receive. Yes, laziness can start to settle in. We forget the niceties that we used its true men and women are completely different, but we all want to use in the beginning of our relationships. It’s a sign of respect to be loved. If you practice respect, kindness and honesty, most and it makes a huge difference. relationships will thrive. It’s an ongoing effort that takes two for it Extras: Those little extras that we can do for our loved ones to work!

Lime Rock Park Don Rosendale For anyone whose memory of Lime Rock is based on the days when a “race car” was an MG with the spark plugs changed, a visit to that sports car racing track 15 minutes beyond the New York State line in Connecticut for the Pirelli World Challenge over Memorial Day weekend must have been a culture shock.

Sports cars racing under the Bailey Bridge, still in use today The “tow” rig for the Pirelli race wasn’t a pickup truck with a few spare parts thrown in the back dragging a rickety trailer, but typically a Volvo truck as tall as my house and a rig capable of four cars. Instead of MG Midgets and Triumph TR3’s the cars on board were $250,000 Ferraris, Bentleys and AMG Mercedes. If I owned one, I wouldn’t trust it to a parking attendant much less put it on a racetrack where it could be dented or wrecked. Lunch for driver and crew wasn’t a hero sandwich in a cooler, but in a restaurant-sized tent with tablecloths and silverware. But a couple of things haven’t changed at Lime Rock since the 150-or-so races since the first starting flag was dropped in 1957. The most memorable race wasn’t won by a 12-cylinder Ferrari, but a funny little “midget” that looked a lot like a motorized baby carriage. And that sweeping downhill turn into the straightaway still separates the men from the boys.

Start of the “big-bore” feature race, first-ever race weekend, April 1957 That memorable race was called a “Formula Libre,” which meant you could enter just about any kind of car as long as it had been driven in some sort of race. To appreciate that, you have to understand the different world of sports cars and sports racing that existed in the Fifties and Sixties, sometimes considered the “Golden Era” of sports car racing, when Lime Rock was young. What Hugh Hefner and Playboy told you in those days was that you could drive your MG, Alfa-Romeo or Austin-Healy to the track, put in “cold” spark plugs and go racing. The cars of that era were equipped to enable that. There were accessible bolts that let you take off the windshield and bumpers and there were no windows to add weight but “side curtains” to be cast aside. “Safety” consisted of a seat belt from an Army surplus store and a nylon jump suit that had been “fireproofed” by soaking in boric acid. Sports car people flashed headlights when they passed each other, except for Porsche drivers who only flashed at other Porsche drivers. They had a superior attitude over other kinds of car racing, like the Indianapolis 500, which was considered just “driving around in circles.” While the new era of sports car racing tracks like Lime Rock had left turns, right turns and hills to go up and other spots to come sweeping down. And that “sweeping downhill” turn is at the heart of this tale. Lime Rock had only been open two years when it announced a “Formula Libre” race in July of 1959. It created a lot of excitement, because there was $5,000 in prize money. The race attracted a rainbow of different kinds of cars. There was the Aston-Martin which the year before had won the 24-hour race in LeMans and a Maserati that had triumphed in Formula One races. Drivers came from Europe and Mexico. And then Rodger Ward showed up in his Offenhauser Midget. “Midgets” were at the bottom rung of oval racing as the “midget” didn’t have

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a gearbox, it was either in gear or out. No brake pedal either, just a long lever on the outside. It’s “Offy” engine produced just over 100 horsepower, which was laughable compared to the 300 horsepower Jaguar on the starting grid. But Rodger Ward had twice won the Indianapolis 500. And then there was this sweeping downhill turn leading into the straightaway, still there and scaring the heck out of drivers on Memorial Day. Not to go into a long lecture on racing dynamics, but if you enter a straightaway 5 mph faster than me and accelerating, you’re doing 15 mph faster than me before you reach the end of the straight. A famous racing driver was once quoted as saying that he never takes his foot off the gas. He has a string tied between his belt buckle and the big toe of his right foot. Sometimes he has an involuntary intake in his abdomen which pulls has foot off the gas. The downhill at Lime Rock is one of those “belt buckle” moments. It’s fast and sweeping and sharply downhill, and you not only have what horsepower the engine might be pumping out, but also the pull of gravity. It takes a very brave man to keep his foot planted on the throttle, and I must confess that on the occasions I drove down that hill at Lime Rock I had a full dose of belt buckle withdrawal symptoms. But on that day, Rodger Ward did not, flinging his little Offy down the hill and around the curves like a skier doing a downhill. And bested the best that the best sports racing cars and drivers in the country.

The very first race at Lime Rock, April 28, 1957, was won by Ted Sprigg in an Alfa Romeo.

To give you an idea, Ward set a lap record of 1 minute, 4 seconds. Almost forty years later, with better tires and bigger engines and a recently resurfaced pavement, times on Memorial Day are still in the one-minute range. Memorial Day was the first weekend of racing at Lime Rock this summer. There is sports car racing at Lime Rock starting on Memorial Day, followed by the IMSA Grand Prix on July 20

Rodger Ward beating the big-name cars and drivers with a KurtisOffy midget, Formula Libre race at Lime Rock Park, 1959. He’s passing Chuck Deigh in a Formula 1 Maserati 250F!

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Summer 2017 Issue

The A Paddock during Lime Rock’s early days (late 1950s) and through the summer, culminating on Labor Day weekend (September 1-4) with what I think is a thrilling throwback to those “sporty car” days, the 35th Lime Rock Vintage Car races. The old MG’s and TR 3’s and Jaguar XK-120’s will come out of the garage, take the side curtains off, change the sparkplugs and do laps around Lime Rock again. ---

1959 Maserati Tipo 61 - Photographer Casey Keil All photos courtesy of Lime Rock Park Archives

Don Rosendale in the 60s and 70s held Sports Car of America Rock hill, but did manage to win the SCCA New York Region Senior Racing and FIA International Racing licenses. He was Amateur Driving Trophy in ’65. Alas, it’s pewter and not silver and never able to keep his foot on the throttle coming down the Lime he’s never been able to figure out how to polish pewter.

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Italian Style Summer Grilled Chicken 12 chicken thighs

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Isabel Minunni

Start Your Grills The season is finally here and for me it was long awaited! I have been eager to bring out all my favorite summer recipes that have been in hiding over this past winter season. Al fresco dining is one of my favorite ways to entertain, even on a weekday night, if you keep the menu simple! This recipe is one of my favorites for just that reason; it’s easy, delicious and ready to impress! Perfect for your next gathering!


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Stairway to Heaven: Climbing the Infamous Haiku Stairs of Oahu Samara Ferris It was grey at 5:00 am and the parakeets were just beginning their frantic chatter. The road, lined with small white houses surrounded by toppling waves of bougainvillea and rows of upright hibiscus, was quiet beneath a layer of wet fog. My brother stepped out of the car and tied a brown bandana dotted with images of cactus and wagon wheels around his forehead. We stuffed our jackets and water bottles into our backpacks and re-tied our hiking shoes, ladened with red mud from the wet Hawaiian coast we had trekked just a few days prior. We parked the car around the corner of a corner of some sprawling, serene street, and began to walk toward the mountain ridge that lie in the distance. I began to laugh at the silliness of parking so far from the trailhead of the hike when my brother looked at me with stern eyes, and with the willingness of the uninitiated, I shut up and followed suit of passing by unnoticed. The road led to a single-floor wooden house obscured by a towering fence opaque, cream-colored, and so high above my head that I could barely make out the pink face of the soggy-faced bald man as he slipped his head up and above the edge of the fence and pointed his jaundiced, angry blue eyes at my brother, my boyfriend, and me. Suddenly a camera appeared in his hands and with incessant clicks, he began to capture every moment of our illegal ascent through the bamboo grove adjacent to his property that led to a maze of back roads that eventually led to the beginning of the steps of the infamous Haiku Stairs outside of Honolulu. “Get off my goddamned property! I’m going to the police! I have pictures of all of you…ALL OF YOU!” he yelled, his face puffing up like some overinflated Pepto Bismol-hued balloon. “I’m sorry sir, we’re not trying to—” my boyfriend Paul began to reason… “—screw you!” I interrupted, “You don’t even own this property… take my damn picture, I hope the police DO come!” I yelled defiantly, my arms beginning to quiver with rage, my head suddenly growing

hot, and my hands beginning reflexively to form into tight fists. “Should we keep going?” Paul respectfully wondered, admonishing me by the presence of his peacefulness and kindness. “F**k yeah!” I yelled, grasping at some expletives that I began to hurl in succession at the man whose face resembled a hog the more I stared. My brother began to mentally weigh the options, his gaze focused on the cool mountain, still wet with the heavy mist of Hawaiian mornings, then he looked back at me, his foot planted between two strands of browning bamboo, shrugged his shoulders, and said, “Guys, let’s just keep going,” with the coolness usually reserved for those lucky few whose wealth renders them impervious to external conflict. My hands still clenched, I stared into the stolid blue eyes of the man, still clicking away on his camera every few seconds, his cheeks imbued with the red-veined pinkness that is born from years of boredom, joylessness, rage, and a few too many Mai Tais while watching Wheel of Fortune 5 days a week. I tried to regain my composure, ravenous for a brawl, and yet knowing that light was quickly arriving and still we had not set foot on even one of the 3,992 steps that make up the Haiku stairs…that is, 3,992 steps that must be walked up and then must again be walked back down. Persuaded by the terror of jostling myself down the tiny, almost child-sized metal steps, glistening with pools of slippery mountain mist as night began to crawl over the mountain and upon us, extinguishing all light, I summoned my zeal for a good fight and focused it instead on the upcoming physical ordeal. The man still called after us as we ignored him, climbing over 6-foot-tall chain link fences posted with State of Hawaii no “No Trespassing” signs in English and in native Hawaiian, through bogs of red-earthed mud, and through groves of bamboo and elegant stalks of wild ginger whose head of red tubed flowers resembling royal scepters imagined from long ago. A sense of wonder filled me with the electric energy of discovery. We walked past an old concrete building, shining with gold and

red and cyan blue graffiti, past more signs detailing the danger of the now illegal hike, written in flowing Hawaiian. Canopy trees shaded the roads up the foot of the mountain, branches stretched out like the arms of a waiter carrying delicate dishes atop the tips of his fingers. Clots of small green leaves huddled together in shelflike quivers of foliage, remarkably similar to those graceful canopy trees that silhouette the horizon in auburn-scaped images of the Savannah. And yet we were here: cool, wet, seething orange-and-red-earthed Oahu; the fragrance of the jasmine-like Puakenikeni flower, tuberose, and plumeria riding the trade winds across the island, the sounds of tropical birds clattering in staccato and undulating rhythms escorting one wherever he go.

My brother climbing atop the satellite of the old military communications tower...because climbing 3,992 steps was not enough for him!

The quiet of the mountain eventually found us after losing our way a few times in the muddy labyrinth. Finally, we arrived at the beginning. An overweight security guard in an aging white sedan languidly pushed open the driver’s side door and indifferently said that he was obliged to warn us that we were trespassing on government property and to inform us that the hike was dangerous and illegal. As soon as he said his piece, he slopped himself back into the car and began to tear pieces off of a piece of sweet bread. We asked him a few questions and received back a meager response. Now quite confident that there was no real concentrated effort by the government to stop us, we began to ascend the most muddy, slippery, steep, and small staircase one could feasibly imagine climbing without dying on the second step, still standing—at least partially standing—since its year of creation 67 years ago here in the Koolau Mountain range. Convinced that we were the only ones with the courage and fitness to climb this seemingly unending staircase, we climbed and stepped and pulled ourselves up the first flight of the journey, stopping every twenty steps for a breath, pulling our bodies up the vertical incline with the knowledge of its difficulty—so difficult that we were the only ones to pursue its apex, to climb its factrade, which seemed to tower precariously over the city below, seemingly right above the highway where the cars were mere playthings and even the slightest wind became aggrandized by this razor’s edge along the spine of the

mountain range without a single windbreak. A slight breeze along the water’s edge, far off and down below would ripple upward, upward, upward, until, without anything to stop it, it became a gust pushing into the sides of our bodies, pushing against our unsteady stance as we climbed higher and higher into the cloud cover, above the city, away from the morning perfume of buttercup yellow plumeria, and into a section of the staircase so warped it seemed as though a giant had taken a menacing hold onto it to thwart visitors to his mountaintop hermitage. We stop and stare at the landslide that took away this piece of land, now a hollow sinkhole with a tangle of steps and steel and twisted arm rails that lie across in haphazard angles. I begin to doubt the sanity in remaining committed to such an undertaking and think of turning back and enjoying a day reading in the sun on some beach to the North, drinking passion fruit tea and sampling the local food truck fare…perhaps a fish taco? A cool acai bowl topped with curls of fresh coconut and local honey… My brother jumps forth like a gazelle, all of his agility focused in the certainty of his feet, in the certainty of his stride. Reluctantly, I move forth, scuttling across the strip of broken footing as if I am a hermit crab clinging to the rocks on shore as the tide begins to fight to take me away. I can see myself plummeting off of the steep face of this hike, my boyfriend having to climb back down and watch as some trained officer carries my limp and bruised body onto the helicopter where it will be delivered to the morgue. I am speechless at my realization of the closeness of death. Just as we pass through the knot of steel and the clear earth, barren from the recent landslide, I know that the possibility of acute danger is a very real thing, not just lazy words out of the mouth of some indifferent guard—if he could even be called that.

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Summer 2017 Issue beneath me at any moment, my strength dissolving into jelly. My knees can no longer support my weight without giving out here and there and my arms are sore from trying to pull myself up the steps because it is too steep to climb. I look at the man in his sixties, the little eight-year-old boy, a group of overweight girls with stern faces and one in flip flops and what could be called a sporty skirt, and I feel very, very small and very, very regular and very, very unprepared for the difficulties of this reality, now well aware that much of this trip so far has been under the gaze of overestimating myself and underestimating the efforts of others. I feel very lazy and very stupid, and I vow to finish this hike no matter how long it takes or how badly my body screams with soreness, with pain, with thirst and exhaustion. A few more scrambles upward and more and more groups of people of all ages, shapes and abilities squeeze past us. After what may have been one, two, or four hours, Paul and I spot a flat, concrete landing that, from our vantage point, seems to be the top of the mountain. We spot my brother there, listening to his radio, slugging water, his legs hanging off the edge, and lighting up a joint which gets passed around as we try to regain our breath and appreciate the view: the clouds opening around us, the sun gazing through, and the whole Koolau Mountain range an array of vivid and muted greens as the peaks fade farther and farther into the clear blue distance. “You know, that wasn’t so bad after all,” Paul says triumphantly. My brother stares at him in silence. We look above the platform. It comes into view: more than a thousand stairs left to the top. My brother Ian breaks out into an I can’t believe you thought that was the whole hike guffaw. “That woman wasn’t kidding,” I think, “we’re not even halfway up!”

A landslide in recent years affected this section of this illegal climb. Then, suddenly, the image of our absurd stupidity and also of our rare courage and ability fall below like a penny thrown from the wing of the Empire State Building: I hear voices. “Do you hear something?” I ask Paul, beginning to think that perhaps by some feat of physics we can hear the voices of the people far below us as if they are right here, their words being carried by the wind. He stammers and looks around in confusion, clinging to the loose side rail, a false sense of security. Straight ahead I look up and see almost completely vertical in front of me a wall of mud and rock with steps upon it so steep that the parade of people climbing down are descending as though from a 1,000ft ladder. Without betraying even a slight look of perplexity at our presence, two, three, nine, fourteen, twenty-two or so people creep past on a ladder-stairway so narrow it can barely contain one full human. My eyes bulge, aghast, staring as teenagers, twenty-somethings, one eight-year-old and even a man in his sixties push through as if it were a moderate hike on a well-traversed trail through the joyful woods of Asheville, North Carolina. I look at the woman who seems to be the spouse of the man in his sixties and ask her how it was up there. She looks at me and says without passion, “Eh. OK. We were hoping to see the sunrise but there was too much cloud cover. Oh well.”

The joint calms me down and we start again, trying to enjoy the ride, and actually now beginning to. I begin to feel energized, excited, willing. The sun shines upon us and we’re here. On this majestic space above the city on this unlikely island in the middle of the Pacific, and it hits me that this is perfect. When, sunburned and crazy from exercise, we arrive at the top, windy and wild, Ian sets up a hammock over the side of a cliff and I watch in disbelief as he climbs into it as it balloons with the wind, and tries to relax. Realizing we’ve all got too much adrenaline running through our veins to keep calm, he decides to go in the polar opposite direction and begins to climb onto the roof of this tiny communications tower at the top of this windy mountain overlooking the sea, standing at the very tip of the roof’s Eastern corner and posing as if he were a famous mountaineer leering over some formidable frosted Alpen ledge for some half-dead schmuck stuck following around crazy mountaineering junkies for that perfect shot promised to National Geographic. I snap a photo and laugh, realizing that if my brother hadn’t taken up the opportunity to nearly be blown off the top of a mountain, I probably would have. It’s in the blood after all. Someone’s got to do it.

Then I ask her about how far is left to go. She looks at me seriously and says, “Well, put it this way: you are about 1/10th of the way there. And I don’t mean of the whole hike. I mean, just on the way up.”

He shuffles down the side of a satellite wider than the width of one of those false wood-paneled trailers with a hole in the roof rotting in the middle of the woods in the Catskills, the Oregon forests, outside the hippie camps of North Carolina, in the middle of the menacing wilderness of Alaska’s frontier, as the wind whips his jacket this way and that and as he stuffs a purple Okinowan sweet potato into his mouth to free his hands.

After hearing these words, I sincerely want to cry. I feel as if I were choking and that no matter how much I breathe, it will never be enough oxygen. My thighs already feel as though they will collapse

When he comes down, Paul and I are inspecting the inside of the tiny concrete room that was once the army’s main communications center on that side of Oahu because of its unimpaired reach.

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Ian slinks by chewing a handful of raw kale, holding it with a fist as children often hold bouquets of freshly-picked wildflowers: choking the stems with all fingers. He alternates bites of purple sweet potato which tastes like honey and also like smoky bacon and bites of dark green Lacinato kale with the texture of alligator skin.

and fat and simple emerald towers all individual and yet melding together as an entwined, singing collective. Everyone is quiet as we breathe in the regality of this space where it seems we have become a part of the forest, entangled in its bodies, creeping through its frothy, murmuring chorus that just happens to be the only path that avoids I laugh, thinking, of course, and then after a slew of pictures, we confrontation with the guard. begin the descent back down from the quiet land of what I assume I hope the forest will go on forever, wishing we could be lost here can only be the bizarre, imperfect, roughly-won “Heaven” to which for hours, for days, so that I can remain in with these beings that feel the stairway is said to lead. as if they have invited me to bear witness to this performance, to be The climb down is exciting yet more difficult, though it is hard to ensconced in its tranquil magic. realize that it is because the wave of endorphins that kick in after pushing your body so far beyond its comfort zone are powerful enough to convince one that the sweet potato was spiked with ecstasy. We make it down in good time with a sense of jolly, practically skipping down the steps until one of us inevitably misses a step, comes close to the knowledge of death again, and then eventually once again forgets and keeps clamoring down with naïve celebration and in a style bordering upon carelessness.

Alas, the emerald forest gives way to a dirt road and, surprisingly, to a carpet of wild ginger whose naked tubers are hunched and pushing themselves out of the eroding ground. My boyfriend and I stop and coat ourselves in mud, sticks in hand, trying to dig up some of the wild ginger to take home, to plant—assuming we can sneak it through customs—as we break off pieces and the spicy, warm scent reaches our noses and takes us to yet another place: to another time with another reason; to a place lush and green and windy and When we arrive at the bottom we are warned by some hapless wild, without gravel and communications towers and computers upon hikers just beginning their hike that the security guard down there is which to type these stories. pretty grumpy and that they thought they heard police near the Ginger in hand, in shirt, in pockets, in socks—filling up every crevice entrance in the residential street where the pink-faced man was and possible holder—we sneak through a back yard laden with clouds snapping pictures. of red, papery bouganvillea, and past the house of the pink-faced Feeling too good to compromise our joyful high, we spend the last man who I imagine is chugging a Just Add Booze! Mai Tai imbued long leg of our trip after the 7,984th step wading through one of the with $2.50 worth of $10/gallon jug of rum. most beautiful accidental features of the hike: an enormous forest composed of glossy trunks of waving bamboo that creates the most peaceful and gorgeous hollow tapping rhythm you could imagine. Not one other vegetative creature grows in that forest, and all around all the eye can see is perfectly linear shafts of vivid green chambered bamboo swaying softly to its own music, shining like a million thin

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It’s a disappointingly uneventful walk back to the car, and probably we could have pranced past the sweet roll-eating guard after all without consequence.

But then again, that would have neglected to consider the mysterious magic of the wondrous, rigorous, and self-awakening journey of the Stairway to Heaven.

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Spring 2017 Issue

Creating a Collaborative Community Mike Jurkovic

David Wilkes - Ghana March 2016 “So, well, what’s the question? How did we start?” “Yeah,” I said, as several of the curious climbed the stairs from Main Street to check out Deidre Leber’s reflective and fluid exhibition. Stacie Flint, another Roost Studios member and buoyant water colorist, greeted and guided those venturing in. “I’ve lived in the New Paltz area since ’86 and I’m an artist who, like most artists, knows a hundred other artists who, over the years, always talked about a space to present ourselves, hold art events, classes . . .But everyone has busy lives so nothing ever really gets started.” “Then unexpectedly, two years back, I was in a bad accident that brought my overloaded life to a halt. I couldn’t teach due to an extensive and extended recovery period, so I was home, in between multiple procedures, feeling sorry for myself. David Wilkes (“Her significant other,” Stacie adds) was looking for industrial dark room space when he found this beautiful, inviting room. I quickly got bigger ideas.”

“David Kanney, our landlord, generously suggested we invite everyone up for chocolate and cheese to check out the room and Marcy Bernstein - Artist the vibe (that vibe, I might add, is decisively Soho, with the windows After slowly strolling humid Huguenot Street, Emily and Susan on Main open to the vibrant hum of touristy chatter and SUNY were girlishly intent on shopping along Main Street. I, being from exuberance. The sunset over Mohonk in the western window ain’t Mars, was in a whole darker frame of mind. Because with seventeen shabby either.) years of Beacon under our belts, I was hoping Calling All Poets “So I Facebooked everyone and, in the spirit of a pop-up gallery, wouldn’t be rent-chased away from home. So I had no idea I was got some art hung on the walls and all these people showed up. walking into CAPS new hub when I first entered 69 Main Street The story gets into the paper and before you knew we had eighteen or, as it’s now well known as Roost Studios and Art Gallery. Truth artists who signed a year long agreement to be part of it.” be told, I quickly caught the buzz of possibilities when I read their “I called it the Roost Studios because we’re a flight up, and it mission statement suspended in no uncertain terms above the feels like a loft, right on the corner of Church and Main and you gallery entrance: Actively seek unique voices and new audiences. can see all the activity and the mountains and it felt like we were Foster collaborative partnerships. Build community. roosting up here creating.” “You belong here,” Marcy Bernstein, Roost’s founder, told me “I was born in Szechuan, China and belong to the 16th generation a few days later. of Wu Dang Taoist martial art protégées. I don’t just have a We concurred. responsibility to teach Tai Chi and other Taoist martial arts, I have “This is what Roost Studios does: it becomes whatever its the responsibility of carrying on the principles of Tao, which members want, whatever sparks their interest, and then goes off includes creating opportunities to bring everyone together to work and takes a life of its own and we forget how the whole thing even in harmony with nature and one another. At Roost Studios I can got started.” – David Wilkes, artist and Roost Studios member reach much more people and help them to experience the serenity

and growth that comes from the study and practice of Tai Chi. Roost Studios is a bridge which brings people together via art and I hope that I will create more meaningful art of Tao through this wonderful bridge.” - Jing Shuai, Martial Artist & Roost Studios member “A huge source of the energy here is our proximity to campus. The students are so excited. We actually have seven student interns working nine hours a week, earning three credits by being involved in all aspects like gallery sitting and various gallery responsibilities. I can almost see it becoming a practicum course as an extension of their art courses.” “One is focusing on art education and running workshops. Another is an art history major and wants to run a gallery someday and is working on outreach to art buyers to come by appointment to see what actually going to bring buyers to the gallery. Another is studying art marketing. Another is a graphic designer designing our flyers. . .and since I’m planning to return to teaching after one more major surgery, all this student interest and activity is a huge, huge, help.” In a little over a year, Roost Studios has expanded its reach to include not only Calling All Poets but an exhaustive array of workshops and classes that include: Paint & Sip classes every first Saturday. Akimbo: Theater Classes for Girls ages 11-14. Dinner Date/Kids Create, a unique program that allows parents to drop their children off for two hours of creative fun while they dine at select local eateries with a 10% discount. There’s also Goddess Dancing, Model Mondays, Tai Chi Classes for Children and Adults, Creative Tango Classes, Ballet for Kids, Final Friday Films . . .

Tom DeLooza - Stairway

. . . A special summer series for kids includes classes in the Art & Culture of Kung Fu and Artist Corner Workshops. Upcoming gallery exhibitions include Five Series by photographer David Wilkes (June 8 – July 2); Susan Slotnick (July 6 – July 30); Jing Shuai and Chris Moratz (August 3- August 27) and The Ekphrasis Project (August 31 – October 2) a highly anticipated collaboration between Roost Studios artists and CAPS poets blending the visual and the written. “I have long wanted to bring to life the visual aspects of creativity with the written word. Our move to New Paltz, and to Roost Studios especially, has begun to manifest that dream. We are all eagerly looking forward to the Ekphrasis September gallery.” - Glenn W. Werner, VP, Calling All Poets and Ekphrasis project coordinator. “As an artist who typically chooses to disappear into my studio to swim in my thoughts while wading though a variety of hand-made props and equipment to bring life to my vision, Ekphrasis has offered me the opportunity to share my work and space with artists outside of my standard working process.” – Tom DeLooza, Kingston artist, wet-plate collodion photographer Did you have all this outreach in mind when you first envisioned Roost Studios? “Y’know I did,” Marcy says confidently. “The mission statement was in my head right from the start. That’s why we incorporated as a non-profit to serve the broader community.”


• • • • •

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The two main areas that really developed was our partnership with SUNY New Paltz and New Paltz High School. We’ve already given a $500 scholarship to a graduating senior going into the visual arts and we have six high school students working on community mural projects.” “They’re working on their third mural right now,” she says, pride and exuberance mixing freely. “The first was a mural at the New Paltz Reuse & Recycling Center. Roost provided the materials and the mentoring. It was a huge success and won a $1500 grant from the Maya Gold Foundation, a new non-profit empowering teens to access their inner wisdom and creativity.” (www.mayagoldfoundation. org) “Then Chuck Bordino, director of the New Paltz Recreational Center called us to do a mural in the entranceway to the center where the town hall meetings are held and televised. The kids designed a Walk Through Time In New Paltz and it should be completed this summer. What’s additionally very cool is that a college student interested in teaching high school just stepped in to direct and mentor.”

Stacie Flint - Dreams with an Angel

“The mural starts with the Lenape Indians, the stone houses, Sojourner Truth, the diversity banner, and Aunt Judy.” (Aunt Judy Lefevre was a slave who, at 14, was given as a wedding gift to Ulster County residents Andries Lefevre and his wife Magdalene Elting. She was freed by state edict in 1827 and lived until 98 in the Clintondale area.) “I think the greatest surprise, and delight, for me has been the students who have rolled down the hill from SUNY requesting internships. They bring fresh energy and ideas and we offer them an opportunity to try out those ideas in a ‘real world’ setting. Some have defined projects and receive college credit for their work with Roost Studios. Others volunteer because they want the experience of working in a gallery or creating and implementing arts programming. These past 14 months have been a wonderful experience for me personally as I’ve worked with my fellow Roost members creating an arts presence on Main Street that responds to the needs of the community. It’s astonishing, really. If you build it, they will come.” Lauree Feldman, Treasurer, photographer Marcy and I begin to wrap our conversation. “I should also mention we leave space in the gallery calendar for three community based exhibits. Two for younger, emerging artists (ages 21-40) and a third we hold as part of a holiday gala that brings in art from the surrounding community.”

Lauree Feldman - Children of Jerusalem Mission point #6: Build community by bringing artists, patrons, students, teachers and enthusiasts together. “The Roost is a home for art and artists. What distinguishes it is the inventive leadership, especially regarding programming. The Roost Studios folks know an artist’s life is complex, and art is woven into so many aspects. From Tai Chi to life drawing, to dance workshops and movie discussion nights, Roost goes beyond 2D and 3D art to embrace the creative life. And it’s a home to CAPS poetry! – Greg Correll, artist, writer, CAPS webmaster “Creative educational partnerships was a key concept for me. How exactly that was going to manifest was not that clear at all. I’m guessing now it was a good way to start. Get the bigger idea out there and see where the enthusiasm is and who shows up and steps up.

“I have taught art for many years and may be the most public face of Roost Studios but we have some really amazing and energetic people on our board. A lot of this wouldn’t be possible without Lauree’s boundless energy, business acumen, and commitment. Jeff Goldman, Jonathan Pazer, David, and Stacie have truly all been truly invaluable getting Roost Studios up and running and sustaining our momentum.” Once more, from the self-fulfilling mission statement: Provide a gathering place for artists, audience, teachers, students and enthusiasts. “From this place I wish to contribute to what is really good in life.” - Stacie Flint, Roost Studios artist member, Secretary I’m telling you as Marcy told me: You belong here too. For exhibition times, class and workshop schedules, membership information, email newsletter Other Roost Studios associated sites to visit - - -

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Life Lessons From My Dad A Father’s Day Tribute

Lori Ann King June is a time of celebration: Fathers have their day, gardens are planted, schools get out, the days get longer and summer officially begins. This is Dad’s favorite time of year and in honor of Father’s Day, I thought I’d share a few life lessons I learned from him. 1. Work Hard Dad is one of the most hard-working men I know. Prior to his retirement, he often worked 50-60 hour weeks, and that was Monday through Friday. His first job paid the bills, while his second or third job paid for toys, vacations, and dreams. His message was clear: “…with a little determination and a lot of hard work, you can do anything and be anything you want to be.” 2. Pursue Your Dreams Dad gave me my dreamer’s heart and assured me that if there is something I really want, I should never turn my back on it. Even when one of those dreams took me 2,000 miles away from him to live in Gunnison Colorado, he supported me, believed in me, and respected my dreams. 3. Show Up I honestly don’t know how he did it. Regardless of how many hours Dad worked – on the job, the yard, the house, the boat, and the pool – he always showed up. Family was his priority and he made it to a majority of my soccer and softball games and track events and to Sister’s band performances and tennis matches. Not to mention he was home for our family dinner most nights of the week.

and harvesting a garden. As a child, I would trail behind him as he rototilled. I felt the need to “rescue” worms as he uncovered them. (I may have even brought them to the dinner table in my pocket. How did he know?) These days, we both still enjoy lettuce, tomatoes, and green beans fresh from the garden to the table. Food you’ve grown yourself always tastes best! 7. Nature Brings Perspective From sunrise Easter services on the hill to camping and hiking in the Adirondacks, somehow God always seems closer in the mountains, on the lake, or anywhere outdoors. We enjoy days of boating where we feel the sun and the wind on our face while we take in the beauty of blue skies, crystal clear waters, prestigious mountains and stunning sunsets. All the world’s problems disappeared in nature, or at the very least, our very own. 8. Time is More Precious Than Money As a child, I made a lot of my own gifts including a “Please Stop Smoking” poster and a “Tootin’ Truck driver” Christmas tree ornament. As I got older and asked Dad what he wanted, his reply was “just you.” Spending excess or going into debt is never required. Just come home and give me your time. 9. When You’re Feeling Blue, Get Busy When I was far away from home and feeling lonely and homesick, Dad’s voice of experience and a bit of tough love taught me how to improve my mood: “You need to get your act together. You’ve got to get out and make some new friends. Take walks, go jogging, join a club… do what you have to in order to get your mind off home. You could even study extra hard. I’ve been through it myself.” Indeed, he had. In the Army, he spent a year straight away from home and couldn’t even make a phone call.

4. Encourage Others While Sister and I were away at college, five years in total, Dad 10. Unconditional Love sent each of us a weekly card, writing his own words of Dad doesn’t always agree with my decisions, but he never encouragement on every single one. “We’re proud of you,” judges them or me. He supports me 100%, reminding me that “Keep your chin up,” “We believe in you,” “Keep smiling,” and I will never be a disappointment to him. He stands by me no “Hang in there and everything will come your way” were common matter what. He’ll always love me. themes. His encouragement spread to our friends, as he spent countless hours teaching us all how to water-ski, cheering us Dad taught me to drive, mow the lawn, paint, spackle, dig a on every step of the way. basement, buy a car, water ski, play ball, pitch a tent, plant a garden, and ride a bike. He drove me home from Colorado, walked 5. Do Your Own Thinking I still tease Dad about this one. His advice echoes in my mind me down the aisle and provided endless hugs through my divorce. on so many occasions. This was more than a simple request He rejoiced with me when I found true love, passion and purpose. not to follow the crowd. It was about independence and the For all this and more he supports me in joy, celebration and ability to accomplish any dream and goal as long as I put my sorrow. No matter what the goal, dream or challenge I’m facing, it is his voice that I hear saying, “You can do this. I believe in you.” mind into it. To all the great dad’s out there including mine, happy Father’s 6. Food Tastes Best When You Grow it Yourself Every Spring, Dad spends hours preparing, planting, nurturing Day.

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Summer 2017 Issue So we went, excited to do something so different from anything we’ve experienced before. When we were got there, we were given the tour and some tips/rules. Everyone has to shower before and after floating; before, so that the oils in the skin and hair don’t affect the composition of the water, and after because the water leaves you feeling somewhat slimy. It’s recommended not to float if you have a tattoo that is less than four months old, to be sure to prevent irritation. They also supply you with some petroleum jelly to put over any scratches or open cuts, so the salt water doesn’t sting. It was also advised to me to hang a washcloth on the bar on the wall in the tank in case I have an itch on my face or start to sweat. If you try to wipe the sweat or scratch your face with a wet hand, the salt would crystallize and might be itchy, detracting from the sensory deprivation. These guidelines are all for either safety/hygiene purposes or to maintain the integrity of your float. Itching or stinging would bring you out of the trance-like state you’re trying to achieve by not touching, seeing, or hearing anything—very similar to meditating, for which floating is an ideal environment. The tanks are filled with 10-12 inches of water and around 1000lbs of Epsom salts and heated to just below body temperature. The dissolved Epson salts make it so you can float in the water without any effort. It feels similar to what I would imagine floating in outer space might feel like. I had fun just moving around in the water; it was definitely a good stretch.

For Your Birthday... We’re Gonna Float Katie Maus It was definitely the most unique birthday present I’ve ever received. My best friend had heard of sensory deprivation tanks from her coworkers and thought it would be something good for us to try. She suffers from migraines and I get some pretty frustrating back pain, and floating is said to help with both, among with a few other problems: Floating: • Boosts relaxation - Decreases insomnia • Aids in healing sore muscles • Makes your skin and hair feel great • Helps regulate blood pressure - Increases energy • Raises ability to focus

It was dark and quiet, which definitely gave me time to think and relax. At first, I had some flashbacks to episodes of Fringe and Stranger Things, where these types tanks were used for vastly different purposes, but then I settled in to really get the most I could out of my experience. I went over some things I needed to do, then tried to stop thinking about anything at all. I’m an all-over-the-place kind of person, so that didn’t happen, but I definitely felt relaxed and even almost fell asleep. When the lights went on and quiet music began to play, I did not want to get up—the warm water and complete absence of strain on my body was so comforting. When I did get out and showered off to go meet up with my friend, I still felt pretty relaxed. They had a station set up to do your hair and get ready to continue the day, or just hang out and continue to relax for a bit with coloring books and hot drinks. It was a calm, pleasant environment that provided a nice way to ease back into the day. Because I only floated once, I can’t say that it had a lasting effect on my back pain or my friend’s headaches, but I felt great for the rest of the day for sure! Floating was a completely new experience for me and, even though I can’t speak to the lasting effects, I definitely enjoyed taking some time out of real-life to relax and breathe. It’s a little pricey for my budget, but floating is definitely something I’d like to continue doing on a semi-regular basis. Some local places to try out floating: Zephyr Float in Kingston: 845-853-2400 (this is where I went!) Mountain Float Spa in New Paltz: 845-256-9800 Rise Above Flotation in Mount Kisco: 914-241-1900 Long term benefits sourced from:

Events Calendar Free Movies Under the Walkway returns for it’s 3rd summer! Five free, family-friendly movies will be shown on the big screen beneath the Walkway Over the Hudson at the Upper Landing Park in Poughkeepsie this summer. Additionally, live musical entertainment, contests and fun for the whole family will precede each movie. The screening dates and musical entertainment are:

Hudson Valley Jazz Festival August 17-20 will be the 8th Annual Hudson Valley Jazz Festival, With coverage in The NY Times, DownBeat, JazzTimes and numerous local media, the festival looks to remain true to it’s core mission, to highlight local talent and supporting venues. While name artists such as Dave Liebman, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Wallace Roney, Buster Williams, Arturo O’farrill and Lenny White, have been featured, the majority of shows over the years have presented a wide range of Hudson Valley area jazz artists. The festival is a collective event made possible by the venues that present live music. The valley has no shortage of great talent and each season the series presents the local favorites and new artists. Looking to Joe Vincent Tranchina - Jazz Pianist expand it’s programming, festival coordinators seek interns, volunteers and suggestions on how to improve. Shows are held in a variety of settings, so in that regard it’s about atmosphere. A restaurant, cafe, theatre, library, community center, parks, historical society and private homes engage. Festival director Steve Rubin emphasizes the generous spirit of the presenting venues, private donors, sponsors and the attending public for making it all happen.

June 24

– Raiders of the Lost Ark Murali Coryell

July 8

– Wizard of Oz The Costellos

July 22

– Rogue One – Star Wars Matthew Finck & Friends

August 5

– Hidden Figures (IBM Night) The Terrence Motley Project

August 19 – Beauty and the Beast Vito Petroccitto and Friends The fun begins with the bands and children’s programming at 7 p.m., followed by the feature film at sundown at approximately 8:30 p.m. These events are at the Upper Landing Park under the stars, and all attending are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs to enjoy the movies. These community events are free and the public is invited to attend. Local vendors will be on hand to provide food and beverages, and parking is free at the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum and Metro North. The Millman Harris Romano Foundation, Walkway Over the Hudson, Upper Landing Park and New York Parks Department are the presenting non-profit partners for the film series. Additionally, the Poughkeepsie Public Library District and the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum are part of the leadership team for this program. The media sponsors are Iheart Radio and Ballantine Productions, and the promotional sponsors are Mini of Dutchess County, IBM, TEGFCU, Clark Patterson Lee Engineers, Millman’s T-Shirt Factory, Vince’s Auto Body Works, Marshall and Sterling Insurance and The Akinla Family. Event details and updates can be found on Facebook at Movies Under the Walkway, or at, and www.

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Summer 2017 Issue

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So, How About Those Dog Days of Summer? Adrea Gibbs As things start to get, change that, have gotten, significantly warmer in the last weeks and the mugginess that all-too-often becomes the distinguishing hallmark of summer in our region pops in for the occasional reminder of what is to come, I find myself pondering the phrase, “dog days of summer.” What does that really mean and what is its origin? Certainly someone, somewhere, coined the phrase for a specific purpose. So, let curiosity get the best of me, I chose to dive into the Internet waters in search of answers. Although, I will admit, I simultaneously find myself considering, seriously and perhaps, more accurately, sentimentally, heading off to the library in search of factoids, as I did when a kid, trying desperately to read (and surpass, as I will admit I have always been a bit too ambitious about certain things), enough books to earn myself the pipe-cleaner-bookworm-pin-inthe-color-of-my-choice that had been lovingly handcrafted by the children’s librarians. Then again, after exhausting the card catalog and encyclopedias, no doubt I would find myself at the public computer, regardless. According to (yes, courtesy of the Internet), dog days are: 1. the sultry part of the summer, supposed to occur during the period that Sirius, the Dog Star, rises at the same time as the sun: now often reckoned from July 3 to August 11. 2. a period marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence. It also goes on to further discuss the origins, which are tied to Sirius, the Dog Star, which is not to be confused with the satellite radio programming outfit. In fact, the Online Etymology Dictionary shares this bit of insight: 1530s, from Latin dies caniculares, from Greek; so called because they occur around the time of the heliacal rising of Sirius, the Dog Star (kyon seirios). Noted as the hottest and most unwholesome time of the year; usually July 3 to Aug. 11, but variously calculated, depending on latitude and on whether the greater Dog-star (Sirius) or the lesser one (Procyon) is reckoned. The heliacal rising of Sirius has shifted down the calendar with the precession of the equinoxes; in ancient Egypt c.3000 B.C.E. it coincided with the summer solstice, which also was the new year and the beginning of the inundation of the Nile. The “dog” association apparently began here (the star’s hieroglyph was a dog), but the reasons for it are obscure. Yes, obscure, but, still good to know should I ever be in a

position to audition for Jeopardy. So while it appears to be logical, it does make me feel a bit badly for dogs, who as one of humankinds most loyal companions, seem to be getting a bad rap. While perhaps a renegade pack of dogs might be considered “unwholesome,” most dogs are quite contrary to that descriptor. Think about those real-life heroes such as Balto and Sgt. Stubby or great dogs of literature like Rin Tin Tin, Lassie, and Old Yeller. Wholesome, faithful, dedicated. Those all come to mind. Maybe not so much when you think about Cujo, but you get the idea. Quick derailment, Sirius is actually in the constellation Canis Major, which means, essentially, Big Dog, and Sirius, the brightest star in the heavens, sits practically smack dab in the middle of it. So, back to the prior train-of-thought. For whatever reason some astronomer thought in ancient history made sense, it got that particular moniker. Clearly, no one questioned it or thought to say, “I think it looks more like a stick figure of a knight with a broadsword.” True, the guy who discovered it was due naming rights, regardless of his wild or severe lack of imagination. He probably just pointed upwards and said, “See, right there,” where that star is shining? Don’t you think that looks like a dog?” And, of course, no one would want to admit they could not see the dog, social pressures and all. Interestingly enough, upon further research, it seems that around the globe across different civilizations, everyone, well, the astronomers, at any rate, thought the constellation looked like a dog. It does make me wonder, a bit, if any of these guys actually even knew what a dog was or if they were so caught up in the night sky the only examples they saw of said animals were the artistic renderings their young (very young) children showed them made from fingerprinted clay or scribbled on some leftover parchment with a charred stick. This does call into question the need for thoughtful consideration when it comes to naming anything, children included. There is a permanency subscribed when something is given a title. Just like those horrible sticky labels people are forced to wear at any given convention, conference, mixer, or any number of similar functions, while they may roll up at the edges and feign falling off, more often than not, they hold fast to you, seemingly inconspicuous until several hours after the said event, as you are standing in line at the grocery check-out, the cashier calls you by name. The naming of Sirius in Canis Major has led to dogs being associated with the worst days of summer. Not so sure that dogs deserve that correlation, but because one guy decided there was a dog hanging out in the skies, they, and we, are stuck with it forever.

Va n Wy c k G aze t t e

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