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From Edison to iPhones Corning Inc. Celebrates 150 with an Epic Erie Canal Birthday Barge By Carrie Hagen

Bounteous Buckwheat Burdett’s Elf in the Oak David Armstrong Remembered

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MAY 20181


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Volume 13 Issue 5

14 The High Road

From Edison to iPhones

By Michael Capuzzo

Derek James, never-say-never local driver, makes good at the races.

By Carrie Hagen

16 Oregon Hill Winery

Corning Inc. celebrates 150 with an epic Erie Canal birthday barge.

By Mike Cutillo

Karon Swendrowski cultivates her husband’s legacy at Oregon Hill Winery.

20 Rolling On

By Gayle Morrow

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No fast skating, but lots of community involvement in Tioga.

Remembering David Armstrong

22 The Beauty of Buckwheat By Roger Kingsley

By Beth Williams On the 20th anniversary of his death, his family celebrates his life and his life’s work.

Pancakes...food plot...cover crop...what’s not to plant?

GLASSFEST SECTION 36 Ceramic Landscapes at The Rockwell Museum

By Gayle Morrow

24 The Fires of Creation

Professor Wayne Higby’s ceramic art lands at Smithsonian’s Corning affiliate.

By Nicole Landers Father and son glassblowers Leon and Eli Applebaum transform nature into transparent art.

38 GlassFest Schedule 41 Donna’s Restaurant By Mike Cutillo

50 A Seat at the Table in

Upstate New York

By Cornelius O'Donnell

Cooking up a storm with the fabulous Beekman boys.

30 The Elf in the Oak

By Janet McCue A family’s roots run deep in a new Burdett restaurant. Cover by Tucker Worthington, courtesy Corning Museum of Glass; (from top) courtesy Corning Museum of Glass; courtesy Don Kline; courtesy Sahaj Glass Studio; courtesy Elf in the Oak.

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w w w. m o u n ta i n h o m e m ag . co m Teresa Banik Capuzzo Michael Capuzzo Associate Publisher George Bochetto, Esq. Managing Editor Gayle Morrow Director of Operations Gwen Button Advertising Director Maia Mahosky Sales Representatives Robin Ingerick, Linda Roller, Richard Trotta Gallery Manager/ Circulation Director Michael Banik Accounting Amy Packard D e s i g n & P h o t o g r ap h y Tucker Worthington, Cover Design Contributing Writers Anne Lugg Alexander, Maggie Barnes, Melissa Bravo, Mike Cutillo, Alison Fromme, Carrie Hagen, Holly Howell, Roger Kingsley, Don Knaus, Nicole Landers, Janet McCue, Cindy Davis Meixel, David Milano, Cornelius O’Donnell, Brendan O’Meara, Linda Roller, Ruth Tonachel, Joyce M. Tice, Beth Williams, Dave Wonderlich C o n t r i b u t i n g P h o t o g r ap h e r s Mia Lisa Anderson, Deb Behm, Melissa Bravo, Bernadette Chiaramonte, Diane Cobourn, `Bill Crowell, Bruce Dart, Ann Kamzelski, Jan Keck, Nigel P. Kent, Roger Kingsley, Jonathan Mack, Tim McBride, Heather Mee, Ken Meyer, Brian Oglesbee, Linda Stager, Curt Sweely, Tina Tolins, Sarah Wagaman, Christian Watson, Curt Weinhold D i s t r i b u t i o n T e am Layne Conrad, Grapevine Distribution, Gary Hill, Duane Meixel, Linda Roller The Beagle Cosmo (1996-2014) • Yogi (2004-2018) ABOUT US: Mountain Home is the award-winning regional magazine of PA and NY with more than 100,000 readers. The magazine has been published monthly, since 2005, by Beagle Media, LLC, 87-1/2 Main Street, Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, 16901, and online at www.mountainhomemag.com. Copyright © 2018 Beagle Media, LLC. All rights reserved. E-mail story ideas to editorial@mountainhomemag.com, or call (570) 724-3838. TO ADVERTISE: E-mail info@mountainhomemag.com, or call us at (570) 7243838. AWARDS: Mountain Home has won over 85 international and statewide journalism awards from the International Regional Magazine Association and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association for excellence in writing, photography, and design. DISTRIBUTION: Mountain Home is available “Free as the Wind” at hundreds of locations in Tioga, Potter, Bradford, Lycoming, Union, and Clinton counties in PA and Steuben, Chemung, Schuyler, Yates, Seneca, Tioga, and Ontario counties in NY. SUBSCRIPTIONS: For a one-year subscription (12 issues), send $24.95, payable to Beagle Media LLC, 87-1/2 Main Street, Wellsboro, PA 16901 or visit www.mountainhomemag.com.

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Hats Off!

ut on your best bowler and join us for a pre-derby party at the Mountain Home Art Gallery on May 4—the first First Friday of the season—for our newest exhibit: the Creations of Christine A. Moore, “the milliner of the Triple Crown.” Established in 1994, Christine A. Moore Millinery is based in New York City on 34 th Street between the fashion and accessories districts. Although Christine designs a wide range of women’s and men’s hats, she is best known for her explosive racing styles for the Kentucky Derby, two of which are in the Kentucky Derby Museum. In 2009, she partnered with Churchill Downs and Mattel to design the official Barbie derby hat, and in that same year her hats were used in the official Kentucky Derby poster. She has designed Oaks and Derby hats for Kentucky’s former First Lady Jane K. Beshear and Preakness hats for former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and current Mayor Katherine Pugh. Christine has been on the Today Show six times live from Churchill Downs where NBC calls her “the milliner to the Triple Crown.” In March of 2018 she was named “Featured Milliner of Kentucky Derby 144.” She is also the official milliner for Breeders’ Cup, America’s Best Racing, the Iroquois Steeplechase, the Jim McKay Maryland Million Day, featured designer at the Preakness Stakes, Keeneland, and the Florida Derby. Christine has worked closely with Longines helping to highlight fashion trends at many racing events across the country. Christine A. Moore Millinery has worked with corporations providing lifestyle and racing fashion experiences for companies such as

Under Armour, Woodford Reserve, Red Door Spa, Pivotal Payments, Bare Essentials, Navistar, Grey Goose, Black and Decker, and CXI to name a few. Christine’s hats have graced many magazine covers including InStyle with Katy Perry, Vanity Fair with Jennifer Lopez, Sophisticated Living, SENSE Magazine, the Baltimore Sun, and was the first milliner to be showcased on the cover of Churchill Downs Magazine. In the fall of 2009 Christine was named the ‘official hat designer’ for the prestigious Naples Botanical Garden and has since partnered for prestigious events such as the Central Park Conservancy, the Trust for the National Mall, and the Huntsville Botanical Garden. Christine’s hats have been showcased on many television shows including Nashville, The Carrie Diaries, Gossip Girl, and Horse Players. Christine’s hats are available at the finest boutiques throughout the country. Her other collections include the Blake Collection for men, casual collections for Summer, Beach, Fall, Winter, Resort, and a Dessert Collection unveiled at “Taste of the World,” a Breeders’ Cup 2016 event at Warner Bros. Studios. Each hat in her collection has a drawstring in the grosgrain (hat band) to adjust for size and comfort. Each of her straw creations is hand dyed to the desired color, blocked on wooden forms, wired, lined, and handmade trim applied adding a quality finishing touch to her designs. Christine A. Moore Milliner y is known for their fine finishing work, attention to detail and customer relations. Her designs are light in weight giving a softer wearable feeling. Each hat is individually made with great care in NYC, USA. 5


From Edison to iPhones Corning Inc. Celebrates 150 with an Epic Erie Canal Birthday Barge By Carrie Hagen

Vitreous future: a rendering by McClaren Engineering Group of CMoG's upcoming GlassBarge.

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Courtesy Corning Museum of Glass


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n the early nineteenth century, a manmade canal about four feet deep and forty feet wide turned New York into the Empire State. Construction began on the Erie Canal in 1817. Eight years later, at 340 miles long, it measured as the second longest canal in the world. By connecting Albany on the Hudson River to Buffalo on Lake Erie, the Erie Canal offered a clear passage from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, synchronizing tributaries and smaller canals across the state. No longer did western outposts or eastern seaports need wagons and unpaved roads to transport hundreds of pounds of goods: canal barges could hold literal tons, and what travel took six weeks by land took six days by the Erie Canal. Transportation costs dropped by approximately 90 percent, and manufacturing increased throughout New York City. Attracting brokers and buyers away from the docks of Philadelphia and Boston, New York’s harbor eclipsed Philadelphia’s as the nation’s chief seaport. “There never has been a more rapid growth of a metropolis,” says Captain Jonathan Bouleware, executive director of the South Street Seaport Museum in Manhattan. “The Erie Canal was a game changer.” As New York City became a financial mecca, industrial expansion fueled population explosions in and around villages settled along the Erie Canal: between 1820 and 1850, Syracuse grew from a town of less than 2,000 to one of over 25,000 (a growth rate of 1,150 percent). In 1868, near the peak of the Erie Canal’s popularity, the Brooklyn Flint Glass Company used it to relocate from Brooklyn’s banks to Corning, New York. The decision was an economic one. Corning was closer to Pennsylvania’s coal country and positioned along New York’s waterways, which gave the glass works better access to lower energy costs. Loading their business—bricks, molds, glassblowing pipes— onto canal boats, the Brooklyn Flint Glass Company journeyed north along the Hudson River. Past Albany, the mule or horsedrawn barges turned westward on the Erie Canal, then south towards the Finger Lakes, eventually landing in Corning, where Brooklyn Flint evolved into Corning, Incorporated. •

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Starting this month, the journey from Brooklyn to Corning will be replicated with a thirty-by-eighty-foot barge full of glassmaking equipment. The Corning GlassBarge will launch from Brooklyn Bridge Park then take a four-month journey along the waterways that carried the company 150 years ago. Joining the tour will be a flotilla of historic boats, including the W.O. Decker, a Brooklyn-built wooden steam tugboat belonging to the South Street Seaport Museum, and the Lois McClure, a replica of an 1862 canal barge owned by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. At key ports along the Erie Canal, the boats will dock and a traveling team of educators, historians, and artisans will invite the public onboard for history talks and hundreds of free glassmaking workshops. The tour, organized by Corning Museum of Glass, celebrates 150 years of Corning, Inc. and will serve as New York State’s 2018 signature event for the Erie Canal’s bicentennial. The joint celebration is fitting: the Erie Canal facilitated Corning Inc.’s dominant rise as a glass manufacturer, and the company’s story


RELAX AT YOUR OWN CUSTOM-DESIGNED CABIN Courtesy Corning Museum of Glass

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exemplifies the significance that the Erie Canal had on American industrialization. “By celebrating their milestone through performance glassmaking on the water, educating and entertaining along the way,” says Bill Sweitzer, Marketing Director for the New York State Canal Corporation, “Corning Museum of Glass illustrates that the Erie Canal is still the innovative waterway that changed New York nearly 200 years ago.”

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• Seventeen years before it moved, the Brooklyn Flint Glass Company surpassed international competitors to receive the gold medal for glassware at the 1851 World’s Fair in London. One New York Times reporter found the company’s exhibition of a “diotropic lens lantern” for locomotives particularly noteworthy. “By a peculiar formation of the lens, the rays of light are multiplied, and concentrated, and yet thrown a long distance in advance,” read the paper. “The diotropic lens is certainly well worthy the inspection of all who have occasion for a lantern of great power.” Already the object of international recognition, the business retained its customer base when it left Brooklyn at the bidding of investors who wanted a lower premium on coal costs. A glassmaking furnace requires a cord of wood a day to operate at temperatures over 2,000 degrees. With closer proximity to fuel sources, a reputation for quality, and an eye for practical household innovations, Corning thrived in its new location. The company’s decision to move, wrote the Times in 1909, made its president, Amory Houghton, Jr., one of the wealthiest men in Western New York. • “Remarkable things have happened in Corning, New York,” says Rob Cassetti, senior director of creative strategy and audience engagement for the Corning Museum of Glass. The museum, which opened in 1951, hosts one of the world’s most significant glass collections—documents of Corning’s inventions and glassmaking innovations that have “shaped the modern world” beyond china and crockery. Counted among Corning designs See Barge on page 10

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Barge continued from page 9

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and/or discoveries are Thomas Edison’s first light bulbs, PYREX®, CorningWare®, optical lenses, optical fiber, telescope mirrors, television tubes, computer monitors, and LCD television screens. (A reinstated gallery at CMoG entitled “Crystal City” will highlight Corning’s rise as an American and industry center for glass cutting.) Rob Cassetti attributes the company’s longevity to its aptitude for focusing “high tech glass applications” on “very specific technical problems.” Steve Jobs may very well have agreed. In 2007, he approached Corning with a specific challenge: to create a glass cover for a new product that Apple would call the iPhone (mission accomplished). Since 2001, Cassetti has taken glassblowing demonstrations on the road, trips that he calls “mobile glassblowing deployments.” His team has traveled to forty different cities across North America, including Salt Lake City, where Corning Museum of Glass launched its mobile glass studio in events leading up to the 2002 Winter Olympics. Ten years ago, realizing the overlap of Corning’s 150th anniversary and the Erie Canal’s bicentennial, Cassetti began pondering the idea of a glassblowing studio aboard a cruise ship. He envisioned a floating barge that would replicate the 1868 Brooklyn move and also incorporate a statewide series of events highlighting the Erie Canal’s history. Cassetti contacted the New York State Canal Corporation for direction. The agency, responsible for running New York’s canal systems, put him in touch with a fishing guide who offered advice on the route and ports of call. Cassetti’s team then needed to tackle the technological challenges of retrofitting a boat with a glassmaking studio that would pass Coast Guard inspection and certification. For assistance, they sought the help of the McLaren Engineering Group, a firm specializing in maritime projects. GlassBarge will feature all-electric glassmaking equipment patented by CMoG and used at each port by artisans in hot glass demos. Over the four-month tour, GlassBarge will dock at Yonkers, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Albany, Little Falls, Sylvan Beach, Baldwinsville, Fairport, Lockport, Buffalo, Medina, Brockport, Pittsford, Seneca Falls, and Watkins Glen. The event will conclude with a celebration in Corning on September 22. During the exhibitions, a narrator will explain See Barge on page 12


Courtesy South Street Seaport Museum

Restored purpose: The historic 1930 wooden tug, W.O. Decker, will be escorting the GlassBarge on it’s commemorative journey.

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Photos (3) courtesy Corning Museum of Glass

Barge continued from page 10

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the glassmaking process while the artisans work. “Glass is such an unfamiliar material,” says Rob Cassetti. “You need someone to tell you what’s going on.” Even outside the confines of a barge, storytelling is a tough task for glassblowers using stainless steel jacks, tweezers, and other tools to manipulate molten glass upwards of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. At each port, the team from CMoG plans to give free thirty-minute demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Reservations are encouraged and will open on www.cmog.org, the museum’s website, four to six weeks before each stop.) Stories of glass innovation aren’t the only ones that the GlassBarge will tell in honor of Corning Inc.’s 1868 move from Brooklyn. Historians and educators in tow will also remember the Erie Canal’s bicentennial anniversary with tales of life aboard a working barge in the nineteenth century. Although work started on the Canal in 1817 and finished in 1825 (the years of construction being celebrated as a bicentennial period), portions opened in 1820. Horses and mules pulled wooden barges that held up to thirty tons along the water, which then only measured about four feet deep. By 1868, the Canal had increased in depth and could manage barges carrying over 200 tons. In 1872, considered a peak transport year, the Erie Canal facilitated the movement of over seven million tons of goods and collected over three million dollars in toll monies for New York (the state ceased canal tolls in 1883 when railroads Shape shifters: (from top) competed for shipping Chris Rochelle, Helen business). Throughout the Tegeler, and G. Brian Juk 1870s, propeller-powered are a few of the gaffers you steam tugboats became a can watch on the barge. main driver of canal barges. Captain Boulware, of the South Street Seaport Mu s e u m , re m e m b e r s meeting Rob Cassetti at a maritime event a few years ago. Hearing about the GlassBarge idea, Boulware learned that Cassetti hadn’t yet identified a tugboat to pull the barge along. “I said to him, ‘Why, we’ve got a Brooklyn-built tugboat,’” recalls Captain Boulware. The W.O. Decker, considered the last surviving New York-built wooden steam tugboat and part of the museum’s fleet, will tug the GlassBarge. The 1930 boat is currently being refit for the journey. Its participation, says Rob Cassetti, “made the story that much richer.” Also accompanying the GlassBarge are two vessels from the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum: the C.L. Churchill, a 1964 tugboat, and the Lois McClure, a replica of an 1862 canal barge. Erick Tichonuk, co-executive director of Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, has studied underwater archaeology and the hidden stories of shipwrecks, many of which were canal boats, over his thirty-two-year career at the museum. The presence of the Lois McClure, says Tichonuk, adds to the event’s tangible history. Both boats on loan from the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum will be open for the public to explore while Tichonuk and his team discuss what everyday life was like on a canal barge in the nineteenth century. In 1835, Nathaniel Hawthorne recorded his observations


welcome to of traveling along the Erie Canal in an essay called “The Canal Boat” that ran in the December issue of New-England Magazine. Hawthorne was taken with life on the boat at night, when lanterns burned against the darkness “at either end” of the vessel and only a curtain separated the bunks of men and women inside the cabin. Hawthorne reported a “diversified panorama along the banks” during the day, scenes that included dark forests of white sylvan trees, “thriving” villages of crowded docks and taverns, and “Poverty personified” in one isolated area where a woman in tattered clothes watched “while a tide of wealth was sweeping by her door.” The writer also likened the Erie Canal’s attitude towards capitalism to the path of the humans riding along it. “Through the thickest of the tumult goes the canal, flowing between lofty rows of buildings and arched bridges of hewn stone. Onward, also, go we, till the hum and bustle of struggling enterprise die away behind us, and we are threading an avenue of the ancient woods again.” By 1845, 25,000 men, women, and children operated over 4,000 boats on the Erie Canal. Some of these vessels were passenger boats, known as “packets,” but the majority were cargo boats, with many engaged by families. Crew positions were among the thousands of jobs enabled by the Erie Canal’s shipping boom. Erick Tichonuk says that running a canal barge offered financial independence to anyone who could get a bank loan and purchase a vessel. Trips began when an operator visited a broker, selected cargo, and found a tow and any help in loading the boat. Families, says Tichonuk, would often participate in this process together. Once on the water, “Canallers” had to account for cooking, cleaning, minor repairs, security, and tending to any cargo and animals. While families did associate with one another, canal life could be violent. Navigators often had to fight for positions in the narrow lines that approached locks and bridges, usually while maintaining delivery schedules. Tichonuk’s team is researching and authoring a forty-page booklet on the histories that converge in the GlassBarge tour, and at each port will convey stories from the annals of their museum in a unique format. “In the past, events have included a moving boat and talking about history,” says Tichonuk. “This time, we’re adding the arts (with glassblowing) to the humanities.” Rob Cassetti always looks forward to the response of people who watch glassblowing for the first time. “It’s fascinating to see something being made in front of your eyes,” he says. “In fifteen to twenty minutes, a molten gob of goo becomes a finished thing you are familiar with, a blown object like a vase or a bowl.” The experience “captivates groups of third graders just as it captivates senior citizens.” Cassetti emphasizes, however, that while GlassBarge features Corning’s history, it aims to highlight a much larger narrative. “This is our canal story,” he says. “There are equally compelling other ones.”

Inspired and haunted by true stories, Keystone Award-winning writer Carrie Hagen is the author of We Is Got Him: The Kidnapping that Changed America. She lives in Philadelphia.

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Courtesy Faun James

Fast family: Brothers, Derek (far left) and Matt James (pictured with parents Faun and Mike James) share a passion for rally...just not the same car.

The High Road

Derek James, Never-Say-Never Local Driver, Makes Good at the Races By Michael Capuzzo

I

n life’s journey, there’s always some crazy young man or woman who takes the loneliest and most dangerous road, the impossible route through the remotest mountains, the darkest and bleakest forests, throwing all caution and common sense to the wind. Some dreamer who insists I don’t need a wrench to fix my car if it breaks down in the wilderness. I’ll use a tree branch if I have to. His name is Derek James, and he takes that road at a hundred miles an hour. That road is 119.4 miles of Tioga County’s best twisting, turning, climbing, descending dirt roads during one of the world’s roughest, toughest rally races. It’s

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the forty-first running of the legendary Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally, set this year for June 1-2. Against considerable odds, Derek, who works as an oil field security guard in Potter County, is one of the racers, competing against some of the country’s most famous rally race car drivers, including Travis Pastrana. Derek is twenty-one years old and he’s living some darn-fool dream. It’s working out. He’s making it. D e re k g re w u p i n We s t f i e l d , Pennsylvania (pop. 1,190), about as far from the Indianapolis 500 or Daytona 500 as a human can be. But he had a tradition. “It was me and my dad’s tradition,” he

says. “My brother always went Black Friday shopping with Mom, and I got to go the [STPR] rally with Dad. It was our big thing.” (His brother, Matt, of Bloomsburg, is now competing against him in the STPR, having declined Derek’s pleas to be his co-driver). For his senior project at Cowanesque Valley Junior Senior High School, Derek volunteered as an interngopher for STPR. Then he went to college to study race car driving. He recently graduated from the Alfred State College program in Motor Sports Technology. Becoming the program’s first rally driver was “the whole reason I went to Alfred,” he says.


welcome to He built his first rally car in college. It was his first “big project car,” an old Ford Focus that already had a rally car’s heavy duty suspension and steel roll cage, as well as serious engine issues. Love is blind, and he fell hard at first sight. “Dad, this is the car,” he said. He bought it and rushed the repairs in two weeks for his first rally, the Empire State Performance Rally in Narrowsburg, New York. He didn’t have a co-driver, or navigator. He put out a request on Facebook. A twenty-four-year-old engineer from Baltimore, a rally fan with no racing experience, said, “I’ll be your co-driver.” Derek met him at the race, and recalls, “I wasn’t even sure it was him.” Other fans, students from a technical college, served as his pit crew. He started out with big hopes, and the fuel pump died. The engine kept stalling out. The pit crew used a tree branch to straighten out the suspension and put it back in the car. But Derek, a freshman in college, finished fourth. He was really hooked now. He learned in his college class a philosophy to carry him through life. “That’s the thing about rallies,” he says. “You press on regardless. No matter what happens, you press on.” Derek has competed in the STPR twice. If he was your son, you wouldn’t have wanted to see it either time. The first year, early in the race, “I lost brakes and hit a tree, which was a very just a bad situation,” he recalls. The second year, he made it nearly to the end of the race, and “the fuel pump goes.” “I did nothing wrong. Stuff breaks,” he says. At the Waste Management Winter Rally in Wellsboro, “we were doing very well,” he continued. “I was right there. I was very close to winning it.” That is, until right near the end when he “pushed it a little too hard and hit a tree.” It was devastating. Winning the STPR was his biggest dream. But recently, he made a leap toward an even bigger goal: to make a life around the smell of the racing oil and the roar of the crowd. Derek in March announced that he had accepted a position as a fly-in mechanic with Carlin Racing for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series. “JAMES SIGNS CONTRACT WITH VERIZON,” said the headline in the Westfield Free-Press Courier, his hometown paper. On Facebook, 264 people said they liked his news, and dozens made comments: “Keep the pedal down, my friend, you have a great future ahead…Your grandpa would be proud of you…you’re so lucky to be living your dream.” “My mom and dad have always been huge supporters of my passion for motorsports, and I can’t thank them enough,” Derek says. “Alfred State College did a wonderful job getting me the technical training I needed to work in such a professional environment.” He thanked “my good friend Tad Uzzle” for introducing him to Carlin “and speaking so highly of me.” Derek says he is “very excited,” and that “this will be nothing shy of an adventure.” Meanwhile, “this certainly will take away from Rally,” he adds, “but I still plan on doing events when I have the time.” You’ll see him in June racing a black 2011 Ford Fiesta. He fell in love with this car, fell hard, at first sight. “I found it wrecked and completely built it as a rally car from the ground up,” he says. His goal racing this beauty is “to get to the podium” with a prize, or at least to “finish every rally” he enters.

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Courtesy Karon Swendrowski Family tree: Karon Swendrowski continues the winemaking tradition for the next generation.

Oregon Hill Winery

Karon Swendrowski Cultivates Her Husband’s Legacy at Oregon Hill Winery By Mike Cutillo

L

ook up reviews of Oregon Hill Winery and you’ll see words such as “hidden gem,” “quaint,” and “a delight” used as descriptors. They’re all true, but there is so much more to this lovely winery, tucked in the rolling hills of north central Pennsylvania, about eighteen miles south of Wellsboro. It’s also about passion, love, and even legacy.

Eric Swendrowski, the son of European parents who ran a German-style restaurant, became the youngest winery owner in America when he got his license to open Oregon Hill Winery in 1983 at the age of eighteen. Two years later, he sold his first bottle of wine on July Fourth weekend, and two years after that, in 1987, he met Karon Jackson at a concert. Karon (above)

was working in the travel industry at the time, but would become his partner at the winery and eventually his wife and the mother of their two daughters. The winery flourished—winning awards and gaining a reputation for producing a wide variety of wines, from traditional reds and whites to other fruit vintages such as peach, blackberry, and raspberry. See Oregon on page 56

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In 1792 coal was discovered in the Blossburg area during the building of the Williamson Road. The coal quickly became a valuable resource that brought people to the area to work in the coal mines, and many of the towns in our area were created because of the mining that took place.

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Blossburg was home to William B. Wilson, the first US Secretary of Labor. After Wilson’s death in 1934 the family farm was sold to the American Legion Post No. 572 of Blossburg. The Legion Post is still located there today.

The

Although mining no longer takes place in the area, we honor our past with the annual Coal Festival. The first Coal Festival was held Memorial Day weekend in 1993, 201 years after coal was discovered in Blossburg.

MONDAY—SATURDAY: 7AM—5PM SUNDAY: 9AM—2PM • BREAKFAST ALL DAY SUNDAY

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C O U P O N

Open Monday—Saturday 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Closed Sunday

COAL FESTIVAL

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May 23—May 26

ENTERTAINMENT

LOCAL PERFORMERS TAKE THE STAGE CARNIVAL & COAL MUSEUM FOOD AND FUN FOR ALL! WEDNESDAY – Senior Night 2:00 Festival Opens for Senior Day 2:00 – 4:00 Prescription Drug Turn-in hosted by the Blossburg Police Department* 2:00 Blood Pressure checks by the Blossburg Ambulance Department 3:00 Elvis Impersonator 6:00 Coal Museum Opens 6:00 Carnival and Booths Open Contact Jess (570) 404-4529 Other Events TBA THURSDAY – Family Night Sponsored by Ward Manufacturing 6:00 Coal Museum Opens 6:00 Carnival and Booths Open 6:00 Fire safety demonstrations by the Blossburg Fire Department 6:00 Ambulance Tours by the Blossburg Ambulance Department 6:00 – 7:30 Bike Rodeo sponsored by the Tioga County Sheriff’s Department and the Blossburg Police Department 7:30 – 9:00 Acoustic Pawnshop Other Events TBA FRIDAY 6:00 Coal Museum Opens 6:00 Carnival and Booths Open 6:00 Royalty Pageant Contact Jessica at (570) 404-4529 Other Events TBA SATURDAY 10:00 Parade Lineup at School Contact Annie at (570) 404-0282 11:00 Parade Contact Annie at (570) 404-0282 12:00 Museum, Booths and Carnival Open 12:00 Chicken BBQ benefiting the Endless Mountains Chapter of Pink Heals 12:00 26th Annual Coal Festival Car Show 12:00 Wood Carving Demonstrations (ongoing) 1:00 Uptown Music Collective Performance 1:00 Fire Department Water Battles 2:00 Horseshoe Tournament Contact Cliff (570) 659-5921 2:00 Beard Contest Adult Raffle (time TBA) Contact Megan at (570) 404-1659 Fireworks at Dusk Other Events TBA MONDAY Memorial Day Ceremony at Veterans Memorial in downtown Blossburg (time TBA)

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ADMISSION—All visitors must purchase a $3.00 pin that is good for all four days of the festival and all events held at the Coal Festival in Blossburg. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. except on Saturday when we open at 8 a.m. Brought to you by:

19


Gayle Morrow

Rolling On

No Fast Skating, But Lots of Community Involvement in Tioga By Gayle Morrow

T

he blue pair of child-size Reeboks on a set of wheels is not only well-worn but community-worn. “Half the town of Tioga has worn them,” says Debora Clark, pulling the skates from a shelf of other rentals. She explains that Francis Murphy, who died in November of last year, made the skates, and that they were often the go-to pair for young beginners. And that’s not all that Francis gave to his community. The building that houses the Tioga Roller Skating Rink is owned

20

by the Tioga Grange. Francis had been very involved with Grange on the state and local level since he was a young man, and was especially interested in helping the young people of the community get involved with Grange. Known officially as The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, Grange is a fraternal organization, founded after the Civil War, that encourages family-based promotion of the economic and political well-being of communities and agriculture. In a nutshell, it’s neighbors helping each other, and that

was Francis. Debora is one of several active Tioga Grange members who, over the years and along with Francis, has kept the Grange and the Tioga Roller Skating Rink alive, and she can’t credit him or the community enough. “It’s amazing to see the community come together,” she says. She goes on to explain that the rink opened in 1960 as a fundraiser for the Tioga Grange, and, from the beginning, “it was his baby.” Francis never married, had no children of his own, but “he was all about kids,” Debora


continues, adding “I think every kid in town has been here. He was everybody’s babysitter.” Francis gave skate lessons, his mom ran the snack bar, and it was his own sound system that provided the skating soundtrack. When he was sick and in the hospital last fall, that system caught on fire. Since then, a couple of local DJs have stepped in, loaning a sound system and providing the CDs that help make skating around and around on that wooden floor so magical. That wooden floor, however, is part and parcel of an old building, one that needs upgrades and work (read money) if it is to remain a usable and viable member of the community. And what a shame it would be if that were not the case. “There is so much history in this building,” Debora says, pointing to the old signs (many penned or purchased by Francis, like the “Fast Skating Not Allowed” sign, and left hanging in his honor) and the variety of other memorabilia both upstairs and down. There is a collection of vaudeville tickets, mementos from a time that the train stopped here and the acts that were aboard would give a performance or two. There is

a stage that still gets periodic use and still sports artwork and props from years ago. Upstairs there is a kitchen, and the big room with the unique “floating floor” (it’s great for dancing, Debora notes) that can be rented for receptions, birthday parties, and the like, including the popular-thesedays “princess parties” for little girls, and “superhero parties” for little boys. Another upstairs room is the temporary home for the old movie projection equipment Francis purchased years ago from the Twain Theatre in Mansfield. There is also a wealth of county Grange records here, Debora continues, some dating back to the late 1800s, and plans for a Grange museum. “There are people who come in and say it’s like walking into the past, and we intend to keep it that way,” Debora says. A n d a s Fr a n c i s Mu r p h y w a s community-minded, so are the folks who are carrying on his work here. There are the necessary fundraisers and work-bees for the building, which resulted in a new roof last year. “The heating system is what we’re working on now,” says Debora. “The biggest help is Hall’s Home and Lumber. We call

and say ‘we have a problem’ and they say ‘we’ll be there.’” However, nobody has lost sight of the Grange’s mission. There are karate lessons here on Mondays and Wednesdays, and the facility rental charge is minimal so that community members can afford to let their kids participate. Junior Grange members serve as “party hosts” on the weekends when the building is rented for birthday parties. Saturday nights are community fundraising skate nights, with local food pantries and Second Chance Animal Sanctuaries being two of the most recent beneficiaries. “The Grange and skating rink, they’re one, they’re Francis,” says Debora. “We thank Francis every day for doing so much for the town. He was very involved with Tioga Old Home Day. He was always a part of the community, but in the background. We all wish Francis was still here to see how many people use his rink.” Find the Tioga Roller Skating Rink on Facebook for information about skating times, building availability, and ways you might be able to help out “the best small rink by a dam site.”

21


Roger Kingsley

Got you covered: One of buckwheat's many attributes is its virtue as a cover crop, filling in idle fields between plantings to enrich the soil.

The Beauty of Buckwheat

Pancakes...Food Plot...Cover Crop...What’s Not to Plant? By Roger Kingsley

W

hat’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word buckwheat? Is it pancakes? Is it coal? Did you think of honey? What about a little boy, or an animal’s name? To help me lead off this story, I asked a number of people that same question. Whereas some responses surprised me, pancakes as the most common reply did not. One person even said whitetails which, well, you’ll see. While pancakes would certainly have been my answer if you had asked me, buckwheat 22

itself stacks up a bunch of worthy reasons why I’m writing about it, and most likely ones you didn’t know about. Totally unrelated to wheat, nor is it a grain, buckwheat is a non-native annual plant that produces clusters of beechnutshaped seeds on stems that can range from two to six feet tall. When the seeds are milled, the resulting gluten-free flour is a high quality protein, rich in iron, high in antioxidants, and a source of all nine essential amino acids—the ones our bodies

can’t produce. Therefore, buckwheat has been touted as one of the healthiest foods that we are not eating enough of. You learn a thing or two about a plant when you start growing it, and such was the case when buckwheat became a routine spring planting on our farm. Not as a cash crop for human consumption—like tens of thousands of acres are across the country—but rather a wildlife and habitat enhancement crop primarily for a species See Buckwheat on page 52


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Courtesy Don Kline

“In my pictures, I attempt to feel a sense of place, a moment of light, movement, and mood reflective of the world around me. In essence, my paintings reflect specific times and emotions of my life.” ~ David Armstrong

Remembering David Armstrong On the 20th Anniversary of His Death, His Family Celebrates His Life and His Life’s Work By Beth Williams

I

t has been almost twenty years since Pennsylvania artist David Armstrong died, but his paintings and life have certainly not been forgotten. David Armstrong was born in Connecticut, but fell in love with the Pennsylvania countryside while attending college at Bucknell University in Lewisburg. He and his wife Georgia—they met at Bucknell as a freshmen—purchased a small farm in Unityville, Lycoming County. Armstrong has been called one of the foremost American realist painters. His daughter, Katy Armstrong, in conjunction with Don Kline, owner of

Valley Gallery and Gifts in Jersey Shore, are commemorating his life and the twenty-year anniversary of his death, with the release of limited edition prints throughout the year. For those of you who are not familiar with David Armstrong and his art, he was not only a celebrated and prolific artist, but he was also an ardent environmentalist and conservationist, and very generous in general. He used his art to benefit many organizations. In 1980, he put on a show with John Denver at the Hammer Galleries in New York City to benefit Denver’s Windstar Foundation, which promoted

both environmental harmony and world peace. Armstrong’s first one-man exhibition of watercolors was at the Hammer Galleries in 1974. He continued to have one-man exhibitions every other year there until his death in August of 1998. At every exhibition, his paintings were sold out. Armstrong had thoughts of studying piano until he took an art course at the Taft School in Connecticut with Mark Potter, who became his mentor. That course determined another—the course of Armstrong’s life. Georgia Armstrong recalled that Potter had a different take on how to teach art. Rather than suggesting See Armstrong on page 26

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Courtesy Katy Armstrong

Valley Gallery and Gifts

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ARTIST DAVID ARMSTRONG PRINT SALE

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In honor of the 20th Anniversary of David’s passing in 1998, Valley Gallery is featuring his remaining prints for sale for 2018 or until sold out. Other titles available for sale: Arbor- $150.00, Clayton Holt, Faces in my Garden, Her Story, Mountain Air, Red Maple, Winter Whites—$175.00; Blues and Snowman—$180.00; Deer Tracks—$185.00; and October Shadows—$195.00 Visit our web site: www.donkline.com to see all images.

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In addition to our many beautiful paintingsby the best local artists, our gift shop has:Beautiful Gifts Handmade by Local Craftspeople,Embroidered Towels, Potholders(many designs including Penn State,Steelers, Eagles, etc.), Jewelry, Micromitts,Quilted Purses, Pottery, Candles, Tarts,Candle and Tart Warmers, Stained Glass,Scrubblies, and Primitive

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The Quilt - 1982 Armstrong continued from page 24

that students try a variety of mediums, Potter told them that if they liked what they were doing, they should throw themselves into it and not explore other options. That worked well for her husband. “He loved every day what he was doing,” Georgia says. “His only frustration would be the weather, because it could change a scene before he finished painting and he would have to wait for the scene to return.” Armstrong always did his art right out in nature where the scenes were. He purchased an old Amish plow horse named Bess, and a buggy, shortly after he and Georgia moved to Unityville. He would throw his canvas and watercolors in the buggy and set off with Bess to paint in real time in the real world. Georgia, Katy, and son, Chris, all had very similar memories of how they felt watching David Armstrong paint. “Witnessing that huge blank white paper and all those sketchy lines becoming a landscape was never less than absolutely miraculous,” Katy says. “It was amazing to watch it come together in real human time. He was a wonder to me,” says Georgia. And Chris adds,


“The work was like breathing to him, and witnessing the process of creation from beginnings to final result was like magic. One of my fondest memories, and there are so many, is of getting off of the school bus with my sister and walking down the hill to the house and seeing Pa sitting on the ground one leg folded under him, one knee up, painting under the apple tree. He was very accessible while he was working. And it was always amazing to stand looking over his shoulder at the reality he was seemingly effortlessly re-creating, whilst he carried on a seamless dialogue with us about our day and our studies.” Chris Armstrong is a very talented artist himself and specializes in seascapes. He also went to the Taft School and studied with Potter. He tributes Potter with teaching him technique, but says his father was the biggest influence on his art career, which wasn’t always easy. “I would draw next to him and then get frustrated in the comparison and he would laugh and say, ‘Keep going! Remember, I have twenty years on you!’,” Chris recalls. John Baylor also has many stories about David Armstrong’s art and life. John’s wife, Nancy, was David’s manager for a number of years and John helped set up shows. He recalls that during the first show he helped set up, he noticed that some of David’s paintings had frames that were held together with electrical tape. So John decided he should learn how to frame, and he did. John also spoke of all of the celebrities that David drew into his life. Arnold Palmer and his wife, Winnie, were collectors of David’s art, as was former Pennsylvania governor William Scranton. Actor Jack Palance took art lessons from him, and the two put on a show to benefit the Geisinger Children’s Hospital in Danville in 1992. So if you are now intrigued, and want to see or purchase a David Armstrong print, make the trip to Valley Gallery and Gifts in Jersey Shore. As you drive along the back roads, passing Amish farms and mule-driven plows working the field, you won’t believe that an art gallery with the works of David Armstrong is anywhere around. But it is. Don Kline became the official printer for Armstrong’s art in 2009 and uses the giclee printing process to achieve archival quality reproductions. Katy Armstrong is still determining the best way to commemorate the twenty years since her father passed away. “I am considering new images to print and running specials on previous images. I am considering printing his self-portrait, Wolf Moon, issued as a giclee in November. It is also possible that we will consider showing his originals,” Katy says. She recently ran across a scrap of paper on which her father had written: “I want to help people to see, see the common place in an uncommon way.” “On any given day I appreciate anyone and anything that helps me see things differently, especially their beauty or splendor,” Katy continues. “It’s my hope his work will still inspire people to stop and stare and appreciate the amazing world around them.” Check out Valley Gallery and Gifts online at www.donkline. com. See more of David Armstrong’s work at www.davidarmstrong.com/prints. You can also see Chris Armstrong’s art at www.armstrongartists.com. Beth Williams lives in the wilds of Steuben County, works in the wonders of the library at Mansfield University, and is perpetually writing a novel.

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Photos by Cagwin Photography 29


Courtesy Leon Applebaum Fired up: Forty-five years ago, Leon Applebaum found himself ‘addicted’ to glass.

The Fires of Creation

Father and Son Glassblowers Leon and Eli Applebaum Transform Nature Into Transparent Art By Nicole Landers

S

erendipitous circumstances led Leon Applebaum to find his life-long passion working with glass. Today we may see glassblowing as primarily an art form practiced by small studio artisans, but it wasn’t until 1962 that glassblowers even contemplated performing their craft outside of a factory setting. It was “lucky timing,” Leon recalls, that sealed his fate as a glassmaker. He was studying to be an art teacher at the Toledo Museum of Art during the early days of what is now known as the American Studio

30

Glass Movement, and was surrounded by innovators. With the support of colleagues, TMA ceramics instructor Harvey Littleton built the first working glassblowing oven in a workshop setting. Leon’s instructor, Fritz Dreisbach, is now known as the “Johnny Appleseed of Glass” for his success in constructing art glass studios across the nation. Having chosen glass making as his subject, Leon was in his element. Fortyfive years later, Leon describes himself as “addicted” to the medium, striving for

better and more interesting pieces every year. As is often the case with artists in all genres, Leon’s talents matured over time. In fact, he admits that he didn’t really know how to blow glass properly before spending one year at a Swedish glassblowing school. His method in college was trial and error. In Sweden, a country with a long history of glassblowing, students as young as fifteen begin serious study of the craft. Leon was twenty-six at the time, and See Fires on page 32


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DISTRICT

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Experience Glassmaking!

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree: Leon Applebaum's son Eli has followed in the glass tradition, currently as an apprentice at AO Glass in Burlington, Vermont. Courtesy Yates County Arts Center

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Fires continued from page 30

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describes his experience there as “a kind of growing up,” spending a lot of time walking in the woods and many hours methodically creating glass pieces under the supervision of a master glass blower. He used his newly honed skills to obtain a job at the world-famous Kosta Boda glassworks in Sweden before returning to the United States to study at the Rochester Institute of Technology. That move explains how Leon came to settle in the rural Finger Lakes region. After graduating from RIT, Leon was resident artist at the Mill School of Arts and Crafts in Naples until its closure in 1979. Having fallen in love with the area, Leon and his wife and business manager, Malinda, found an isolated property in Prattsburgh where they built their studio and raised their two children. The name, Sahaj Glass Studios, was inspired by Malinda’s spiritual name, meaning “to be in the flow of life,” which captures the essence of glass in its liquid, molten form and also the nature of the business as it leads the flow of their lives. Pristine, transparent glass is swirled with various shades of the rainbow, sometimes interrupted by clear bubbles, in Leon’s best-known Lava series of bowls. These objects are thick-walled and substantial, often both pure art and functional bowl. Leon refers to this series when asked what his most significant accomplishment has been over his long career. It was the proceeds of Lava bowls that supported Leon and Malinda’s two children through college. Their son, Eli, and daughter, Simrit, renamed the bowls “tuition bowls.” Leon affirms, “I’m a success because I was able to do that.” His drive to grow and improve motivated him to visit the Czech Republic, another country rich in glass making history. The International Glass Symposium is held every three years in Nový Bor, where artists from across the world are invited to share their techniques and knowledge with other glassmakers. See Fires on page 35


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Photos (3) courtesy Sahaj Glass Studios

By Duncan Smith

GAFFER


Fires continued from page 32

Leon attended the meeting four times and feels fortunate to belong to the international community of glass artisans. Over the years, apprentices from the Czech Republic have traveled to work with Leon at the Prattsburgh studio. An apprentice from closer to home, son Eli has worked in Leon’s studio from the time he was a young teen. Although he studied international business in college, Eli’s recent career path has consisted primarily of honing his glassblowing skills. He worked with his father for five years, apprenticed at Simon Pearce Glass in Vermont and at a glass factory in the Czech Republic, demonstrated glassblowing skills on cruise ships in conjunction with a Corning Museum of Glass program, and is currently a full-time apprentice at AO Glass in Burlington, Vermont. In Leon’s most recent series, Transformation, he takes his inspiration from the cyclical nature of life. Leon describes these pieces as sculptures because the majority of his time on each piece is spent grinding, polishing, and cutting into circular forms. Working from conceptual designs and drawings, Leon blows and forms glass in the hot shop as a “means to an end.” He reveals his “secret weapons” to be a metal gear fashioned with a handle, and a meat tenderizer, objects not traditionally used in glass making but which add detail when the glass is extremely hot. The creative process continues in the cold shop. It is at this stage when Leon keeps an open mind and may let the piece take him in a different direction, cutting out bubbles he doesn’t want or emphasizing aspects that Glass acts: (from top) take shape during the molten a textured bowl; a Transformation; and a Lava phase. The Transformation Bowl. pieces present textures and movement that mimic nature and, sometimes, industrial patterns. Leon’s willingness to take risks in the name of creativity is evident in pieces that seem to defy the laws of gravity, as with a c-shaped form precariously balanced on an arch of glass. These days, Leon and Malinda escape to Cocoa Beach, Florida, during the winter months, where they have developed a faithful following of collectors and exhibit in many galleries, and where they gather rays of inspiration from the spectrum of colors that emerge with every sunrise and sunset. By the time spring returns, their stock has diminished and they make the trip north to begin again, refreshed and renewed. This season, Leon plans to focus on his sculptures, playing with the texture and color for which he has come to be known. GlassFest attendees can see and purchase Leon's work at the Corning Museum of Glass. The Applebaums welcome prearranged visits to Sahaj Glass Studios. Call (607) 522-4334, email sahaj@ empacc.net, or go to www. leonapplebaum.com. Local galleries carrying Leon’s work include the Arts Center of Yates County in Penn Yan and Artizanns in Naples.

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Courtesy Brian Oglesbee

Landscape as metaphor: Wayne Higby creates mountains of “physical poetry.”

Ceramic Landscapes at The Rockwell Museum Professor Wayne Higby’s Ceramic Art Lands at Smithsonian’s Corning Affiliate By Gayle Morrow

T

hough Alfred University’s Professor Wayne Higby is known the world over as a ceramic landscape artist, he says his work is “a meditation on the relationship between mind and matter” and is “not about landscape.” However, his upcoming show at The Rockwell Museum is characterized as “geology meets chemistry in ceramic landscapes …” Both are thought-provoking statements, not mutually exclusive, and well worth exploring. That can happen, beginning May 18, when the artist and his work will be on hand at 111 Cedar Street, Corning, starting at 5:30, for the opening of Wayne Higby: Forging a New American Landscape. “As the director and chief curator of the new Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, I am particularly happy to connect our museum here at Alfred University in Alfred, New York, with the Rockwell

Museum of Art in Corning, and to the Corning community,” says Professor Higby. “Our two museums have begun a wonderful friendship through the important opportunity extended to me as an artist. A solo exhibition of my art at the Rockwell is a singular honor.” “We are lucky to have him as a regional resource,” says Brian Whisenhunt, The Rockwell Museum’s executive director. “He’s been exploring landscapes for so long. There is a direct line between what he’s doing now and what American artists have been doing for centuries. We can really engage viewers with these objects.” Wayne Higby was born and grew up in Colorado, graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder and from the University of Michigan. He has taught at Alfred State University since 1973, where today he is the Robert C. Turner Chair of Ceramic See Higby on page 39

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Presented by Corning’s Gaffer District and Chemung Canal Trust Company

MAY 24-27, 2018 GLASSFEST.ORG

THURSDAY, May 24, 2018

ROCK THE PARK

Glass Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

5:30pm

2300°: GlassFest

6–8pm

(Corning Museum of Glass) (Corning Museum of Glass)

FRIDAY, May 25, 2018 MASTERPIX™ Fine Glass Prints Scavenger Hunt Business Hours (Participating Businesses)

Outdoor Hot Glass Demos (Centerway Square)

Finger Lakes Wine & Beer Tasting (Participating Businesses)

12–8pm 5–8pm

presented by Simmons-Rockwell Auto Dealerships (Riverfront Centennial Park)

Kids Activities Live Music - Lucky Number

3–8pm 6:30–7:45pm

Live Music - DSB “America’s Favorite Journey Tribute Band” 8:15–9:45pm Kids Glow Stick Giveaway Fireworks

8pm 10pm

SUNDAY, May 27, 2018 MASTERPIX™ Fine Glass Prints Scavenger Hunt Business Hours (Participating Businesses)

ROCK THE PARK

presented by Simmons-Rockwell Auto Dealerships (Riverfront Centennial Park)

Street Exhibits, Artists & Vendors

10am–4pm

Live Music - DSB Detour: A Journey Through Classic Rock 8:30–10pm

Outdoor Hot Glass Demos

11am–5pm

presented by Simmons-Rockwell Auto Dealerships (Riverfront Centennial Park)

GlassFest 8K Race, 8am (War Memorial Stadium)

MASTERPIX™ Fine Glass Prints Scavenger Hunt Business Hours (Participating Businesses)

Street Exhibits, Artists & Vendors

11am–7pm

Outdoor Hot Glass Demos

11am–8pm

(Centerway Square)

(Centerway Square)

ROCK THE PARK

SATURDAY, May 26, 2018

(Market St)

(Market St)

Kids Activities Live Music - Quentin Harriger

12–4pm 12–1:00pm

Live Music - Ayla Brown & Rob Bellamy 1–2:30pm Memorial Day Salute Live Music - Tony Jackson

2:30pm 3–4:30pm

**schedule subject to change** Check glassfest.org for updates! Photos by Alexandra-Elise Photography

This schedule brought to you by 38


Courtesy: Wayne Higby Higby continued from page 36

Art and the director and chief curator of the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum. Professor Higby (above) is also vice president emeritus of the International Academy of Ceramics in Geneva, Switzerland; honorary professor of art at Shanghai University; and has earned the Distinguished Educator Award from the Smithsonian, of which the Rockwell Museum is an affiliate. His work, which includes vessels, sculptures, and murals, is held in permanent collections throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo. “Some of his work is in our permanent collection, too,” notes Brian. The exhibit at The Rockwell Museum, which runs through September 4, will explore Professor Higby’s forms, techniques, and firing processes. The following week, on May 23 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Professor Higby and glass landscape artist Richard Parrish will co-host a panel discussion entitled “New Perspectives on American Landscape.” Brian will moderate. Registration for the May 18 opening is requested by May 17. The opening is free for museum members; tickets for not-yet members are just ten dollars. The Rockwell Museum’s eclectic calendar of events is updated regularly at www.rockwellmuseum. org, or call (607) 937-5386. Don’t miss the Wayne Higby exhibit or the opportunity to learn about how he creates what he calls “a place full of silent, empty space where finite and infinite, intimate and immense intersect.” “My upcoming exhibition is especially meaningful to me, because of the The Rockwell Museum’s roots in an excellent collection of art representing the American West,” notes Professor Higby. “Although my work is not always about a specific place and often not at all about the American West, I grew up in the American West and the panoramic space of the western earth and sky has inspired in me a longing for the poetic ideals of the American landscape.”

2018 CAMPGROUND ACTIVITIES

Friday Evenings: Candy Bar Bingo, Movie & Popcorn Night Saturday Mornings: Arts & Crafts, 11:00 p.m. in the pavilion ($ cost) Weekends: Wagone Rides, Card Games, and Horseshoe Tournaments (depending on participation) May 13th— MOTHER’S DAY PANCAKE BREAKFAST: Pancakes, sausage, coffee and juice. Moms eat free! Adults $5, kids $2. 9:30 AM in the pavilion. May 25th- to 28th—MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND – POOL OPENS: Ice Cream Social, Camp Bell BINGO, Horseshoes, Euchre and a Dance with DJ Biggie Entertainment! June 2nd & 3rd—STONE SOUP, 1 BETTER BAND & HORSESHOE TOURNAMENT: Join the group by helping prepare Stone Soup, join the benefit Horseshoe Tournament, and enjoy the band “1 BETTER” from 7-11 pm.

July 28th—MICRO BREWERY TASTING & OLDIES NIGHT: Saturday: 4-6 PM Local Micro-Brewery tasting to raise money for our charity, Camp Good Days. Followed by Oldies Night Luau Party with DJ Biggie. Aug 4th—NASCAR WEEKEND PEDDLE CART RACES: 2nd annual peddle cart races. Heats by age group. Prizes awarded. Karaoke Night with DJ Biggie. August 11th—LOCAL WINERY TASTING: Saturday: Join us for a Wine Tasting ($5) 4-6 PM. Donations go to Camp Good Days & Special Times

June17th— FATHER’S DAY PANCAKE BREAKFAST; Pancakes, sausage, coffee and juice. Dads eat free! Adults $5, kids $2. 9:30 AM in the pavilion.

August 17th & 18th—CHRISTMAS IN AUGUST: Saturday: Noon, lunch and photo with Santa ($3.00). Wagon ride to the ice cream shop with Santa, later a wine & cheese party with Santa (7-11 PM) and dance with DJ Biggie Entertainment!

June 23rd—POT LUCK DINNER & TRIVIA NIGHT: 6pm. Watch our Square Dance Club dance all weekend.

August 25th—“BOOTS ON” BAND from 7-11 PM: Local Country band. Cover charge for the band - $5.00 per person for non-campers, kids under 8 free.

June 29th to July 1—KICK-OFF TO SUMMER & SAM PALLET BAND (7-11 PM): Slip N Slide during the date, Wine Tasting ($5) from 4-6 PM (all for charity) and Dance with DJ Biggie on Sunday.

Aug 31st-Sep 2nd—LABOR DAY WEEKEND CELEBRATION: Saturday: Ice Cream Social, Camp Bell BINGO, Horseshoes, Euchre and SUNDAY Dance with DJ Biggie Entertainment!

July 6th to July 8th—4th of JULY CELEBRATION: Saturday: Ice Cream Social followed by Camp Bell BINGO, and Horseshoe Tournament. Sunday: Dance with DJ Biggie!

Sept. 16th—HORSESHOE TOURNAMENT: 10 AM to find out who is the “Best” and who gets the “Horse’s Ass” trophy. Food and non-alcoholic beverages. Donations benefit “Camp Good Days”.

July 14th—DEATH BY CHOCOLATE & TRIVIA NIGHT: 7PM for a pot luck of CHOCOLATE. Share your favorite and follow it up with some Trivia!

October 5th to 7th—HALLOWEEN WEEKEND: Prize for the Most Unique RV decorations! Saturday: 11 PM, in the pavilion, free Halloween Activity; 2 PM: Trick or Treat Kid’s Parade and Costume Contest. Wagon ride at dark. Sunday, 7-9 PM Join us for a good old fashion Barn Dance. Watch our Square Dance Club dance all weekend.

July 20th to July 22nd—3rd Annual SAW MILL FESTIVAL & CROSSROADS BAND: Lots of activities and trophies for winners from different age group and activities.

Call 607-527-3001 or visit campbellcampground.com for full event listings and more information

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Mark Twain Country

BEAUTIFUL The Carole King Musical

2027 Lake Road Elmira, NY 14903 Full Display Showroom Professional Installation Serving the Twin Tiers

The inspiring true story! Carole King made more than Beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation. • 8 Performances Tuesday – Sunday May 15-20, 2018 • Added Matinees! Group Discounts!

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Clemens Center – Downtown Elmira 207 Clemens Center Parkway, Elmira NY Box Office: 607-734-8191/800-724-0159 Visit ClemensCenter.org for a complete listing of events

NATIONAL SOARING MUSEUM

Soaring Capital of America info@soaringmuseum.org

Open Daily 10-5 51 Soaring Hill Dr. Elmira, NY 14903 607-734-3128

Featuring one of the largest collections of Gliders and Sailplanes in the world.

Exits 48 or 51A off Route 17 & 86

Draper’s Super Bee Apiaries, Inc. Honey...How sweet it is!

We produce and sell high quality, natural honey products and much more.

Come take a tour of our facility!

Reservations are recommended for large groups. Call for details.

Monday-Friday 8am-5pm Saturday 8am-1pm

www.draperbee.com 40

32 Avonlea Lane Millerton, PA 16936 800-233-4273 or 570-537-2381

Photo by Matthew Murphy

The Clemens Center excites and delights audiences of all ages!


2018 NEW YORK STATE

GLASSBARGE

Weekend Stops for Summer

Donna’s Restaurant

T

here are two ways to look at Donna’s Restaurant, a longtime fixture at 48 E. Market St. It is either the best eatery that also displays the most incredible collection of Pyrex cookware ever. Or, it is the greatest museum of Pyrex cookware that also happens to be home to a restaurant that pumps out the self-proclaimed world-famous Nutter Butter Peanut Butter Chocolate Ribbon Pie. Wait. Owner Donna Robbins—who has had the place for thirty-two years and worked in the same spot for another twenty before that, under two previous owners— would tell you it is both. And she’d be right. Home of comfort food—think chicken and biscuits, meatloaf, stuffed shells, macaroni and cheese on Fridays—and new-fangled concoctions like the aforementioned pie, Donna’s has something for everyone in a comfy, fifty-six-seat, prime downtown corner setting right across the street from Tommy Hilfiger. First Donna tells us about that pie: “It is my own recipe. Actually, I saw something similar to it that wasn’t a pie, and I kind of didn’t like the way that it was done, but I liked some of the ingredients in it and so I decided I was going to try to see what happens if I made it into a pie, and it’s taken off like crazy.” She’s made thousands over the years, about four to six a week, and has it “down to a science.” Strawberry rhubarb pie is another dessert favored by her customers, many of whom are now thirdgeneration fans. But it is that vibrant, colorful Pyrex collection—currently six shelves’ worth, with dozens of other pieces in storage—that has out-oftown diners snapping photos like they are at the Grand Canyon. “It was just one of those things,” Donna says of how the collection got started years ago. “You see a pattern and then you get some, and then another pattern would come along and you get some of that, and since I’ve been displaying them, people would say, ‘Oh, it’s easy to buy you something for Christmas,’ so they would take and buy me more.” Other than displaying the cookware—color-coded, she says, “the pinks with the pinks, the blues with the blues, the yellows with the yellows, the reds with the reds”—she doesn’t use any of it other than a particular yellow bowl for puddings and some clear ones for baking. The reaction from customers/fans is heartwarming. “They’re like ‘Oh my God,’ and then they’ll say ‘I’ve never seen that piece before,’ or ‘This is what my grandmother had,’ or ‘My mother had this.’” Her most treasured piece is a 1925, single-cup, etched teapot. So, yes, as you can imagine, for a restaurant filled with all kinds of made-from-scratch, delectable goodies, Donna’s also is something of a museum-goer’s delight. Call (607) 936-9732 for more information.

~Mike Cutillo

FREE GLASSMAKING DEMONSTRATIONS

Commemorating the150th anniversary of Corning Incorporated and the signature event for the Bicentennial of the Erie Canal the GLASSBARGE will recreate the relocation voyage of the Brooklyn Flint Glass Company (now Corning Incorporated). Traveling north on the Hudson, then westward along the Erie Canal and on to the Finger Lakes...the GLASSBARGE will port in Yonkers, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Albany, Little Falls, Sylvan Beach, Baldwinsville, Fairport, Lockport, Buffalo, Medina, Brockport, Pittsford, Seneca Falls, and Watkins Glen. The community-wide celebration in Corning will conclude the journey on September 22.

MAY 17-28: BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK JUNE 1-3: YONKERS JUNE 8-10: POUGHKEEPSIE JUNE 15-17: KINGSTON JUNE 21-24: ALBANY/TROY/WATERFORD JUNE 30-JULY 1: LITTLE FALLS JULY 7-8: SYLVAN BEACH JULY 13-15: BALDWINSVILLE JULY 20-22: FAIRPORT JULY 28-29: LOCKPORT AUGUST 3-5: BUFFALO AUGUST 11-12: MEDINA AUGUST 17-19: BROCKPORT AUGUST 24-26: PITTSFORD SEPTEMBER 1-3: SENECA FALLS SEPTEMBER 14-16: WATKINS GLEN SEPTEMBER 22: CORNING

For more information, www.cmog.org/GlassBarge 41


HAMMONDSPORT

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11 am — 10 pm

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41 Shethar Street Hammondsport, NY

607-246-4000

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To complete your Visit to Market Street, accommodations are available in our 4-Room Inn right above Burgers & Beer of Corning! Pillow-top Mattresses • Small Dining Area Plush Leather Couch in Front of Firelace Desk • Flat-screen TV w/DVD • Wet Bar Just steps from Corning Museum of Glass, Rockwell Museum of Western History and Many Others!

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LIVE

GLASSFEST during

C O R N I N G , N Y

GLASS FEST C O R N I N G , N Y

Artists

May 24th, following the Glass Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 8:30 p.m., there will be a guided Artist’s Stroll, where featured artist exhibits will be in full view at multiple storefronts on Market Street. During the stroll, each location’s artist will give a presentation of their art.

Here are a few artists participating: STEPHEN BRUCKER is a glass

Spend some time in Centerway Square and watch gaffers from The Corning Museum of Glass create a one-of-a-kind glass pieces live on stage. Demonstrations will begin at the top of each hour and last approximately 15-20 minutes. The demos are fully narrated, fun for the whole family!

Friday, May 25 12:00 PM—8:00 PM Saturday, May 26 11:00 AM—8:00 PM Sunday, May 27 11:00 AM—5:00 PM

artist who operates his studio in Camillus, New York. Brucker’s borosilicate glass sculptures are centered on the expression of form and structure found in nature. Fragility, transparency, and impermanence are core conceptual topics of his sculptures.

FRED HERBST is currently a

Professor of Art and Chair of the Humanities Department at Corning Community College. Working with the Corning Museum of Glass, he developed a unique wood-fired kiln that allows for blowing glass and firing ceramics simultaneously.

JESSI MOORE

is an artist based in Corning, New York. Her current body of work uses surface, color, and light to create and capture quiet moments of observation and reflection.

43


Janet McCue Branching off: Owner and chef Cody Evans serves up hearty flare at the old family homestead.

The Elf in the Oak

A Family’s Roots Run Deep in a New Burdett Restaurant By Janet McCue

“I

’d have to be a boa constrictor to wrap my chops around that,” proclaimed Ed, my dining companion, as our waiter delivered his turkey bacon cheddar sandwich, a special for the day. The height of my Reuben didn’t challenge my chops but the sandwich, grilled to perfection, did make my mouth water. Our other dining companion, Joan, a connoisseur of the hot dog, proclaimed her daily dog, a quarter-pound sizzling Zweigles topped with the same ruby red sauerkraut that graced my Reuben, a success. The Elf in the Oak restaurant on Route 414 in Burdett, is, as the name suggests, a magical establishment. Its whimsical sign, featuring a deeply-rooted oak tree, beckons; look a little closer at the drawing and you’ll notice an entrance to fairyland and an elfin figure perched on an underground root. The owners, Debbie Griffin and her son and chef, Cody Evans, shared the family stories that inspired The Elf in the Oak. The foundation for this restaurant goes deep—back to World War I—when a Hector man, Clinton Neal, met Marion Phelps, a hospital nurse caring for wounded soldiers in New York City.

44

She, too, was Hector born and bred; her family’s home was on the site of the present-day Catherine Valley Winery, the next-door neighbor to The Elf in the Oak. Following their wartime service, Marion and Clinton moved back to upstate New York, married, become parents to three daughters, and lived in a home that Clinton built on land his father-in-law gave to the newlyweds. They sold the house eventually and moved to Elmira Heights. Debbie, the granddaughter of Clinton and Marian, kept her eye on her grandparents’ home, and when the owners were ready to sell, she was ready to buy. She and Cody then transformed the house that Grandfather Clinton built for his bride into The Elf in the Oak. “When I was a kid,” Cody explained, “my grandmother, aunts, and mother constructed miniature fairy houses out of acorn caps, mosses, berries, sticks, and stones.” Those structures captivated the younger set and convinced them of the magic of the woods. “I really believed in elves,” Cody admitted. It was the memory of these fanciful houses and the presence See Elf on page 46


Pastries in the French tradition. INTIMATE GATHERINGS IN ANY STYLE.

7am-2pm Mon-Fri • 8am-2pm Sat COFFEE • ESPRESSO DRINKS ELEGANT SPECIAL EVENTS ROOM

401 West Main St., Montour Falls, NY • (607) 210-4457

45


Janet McCue Elven Eats: The reuben, a staple at Burdett’s Elf in the Oak. Elf continued from page 44

of the stately oak in front of the restaurant that inspired the name. Walk into the restaurant for breakfast or lunch and you’ll be captivated by the aromas and friendly conversational buzz. On an early spring day, the tables were filled with locals and visitors. Four well-dressed women enjoying their meals sat adjacent to a table with three men dressed in tossle caps and cold-weather outerwear. A dad and his nine-month-old shared a meal (and some Cheerios) at a table near the window. Although it was too cold to eat outside, it was easy to conjure the image of a summer breakfast on the deck, or lunch at a picnic table overlooking Seneca Lake. The breakfast menu includes homemade biscuits that you can fill with eggs, cheese, bacon, or sausage (or all of them!). Prefer bagels or croissants? They have them, too. Like a little heat for breakfast? Perhaps “The Spicy” with its roasted jalapeño, capicola, grilled red onion, egg, and local cheddar might be just the thing. Whatever you choose, you’ll be happy with the freshness of the ingredients and the commitment to serving well-prepared food. The lunch menu includes sandwiches, soups, savory pies, salads, desserts, and specials. Cody, who received his culinary training at Paul Smith College, features local and regional ingredients in his dishes, such as kielbasa from Oink & Gobble Farm and grass-fed beef from Grass Land Farm. Summers the restaurant stays open ’til 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; stop by for a fish fry or to sample one of the wild and wonderful sundaes. The owners are planning an ice cream social celebrating the re-opening of the seasonal ice cream stand, with Debbie, Cody, and four generations of this deeply-rooted family on hand to enjoy the festivities and encourage others to bring multigenerational family members to this neighborhood cafe. Maybe someone will even be teaching the finer points of constructing a fairy house fit for an elf. For hints, call The Elf in the Oak at (607) 546-4641. Janet McCue is a freelance writer, avid hiker, and chair of the Seneca Lake Scenic Byway Committee. She's currently at work on a biography of Horace Kephart, dean of American campers, who, like Nessmuk, believed you don't go into the woods to rough it but to smooth it.

46


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Sarah Wagaman

Srah Wagaman

Jonathan Mack

T

Revelations

hroughout early spring we catch glimpses here and there of rebirth, of things poking up cautiously through the snow, of the first brave robins and red-winged blackbirds returning, but by May the undeniable evidence is there before us. There is a lot in the natural world that remains under wraps, regardless of the season, but, lucky for us, there is also an abundance that deigns to reveal itself to us in May.

Linda Stager

Jonathan Mack

Bernadette Chiaramonte-Brown

48


Linda Stager Bernadette Chiaramonte-Brown

Jonathan Mack Sarah Wagaman Bernadette Chiaramonte-Brown Roger Kingsley

Diane Cobourn

Linda Stager

Curt Sweely

49


© Christian Watson

At home on the farm: Brent Ridge (right) and Josh Kilmer-Purcell turned an upstate farm into a cottage industry.

A Seat at the Table in Upstate New York Cooking up a Storm with the Fabulous Beekman Boys By Cornelius O'Donnell

W

inter is behind us (we hope) and on a nice spring day soon I’m planning to pop up north to Route 20 and the village of Sharon Springs. I’m motivated by a new cookbook, the fourth from those “Fabulous Beekman Boys”—a.k.a. Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell—who live in that bucolic area. I knew the place years ago, back when I’d pass by it on my drives to or from seeing family in Albany. I’d take Route 13 through Ithaca and Cortland, then a side road through Hatch Lake and Eaton, and finally to glorious, scenic Route 20. Alternately I might drive east over Route 17 to Vestal then up Route 7 north to pick up Route 20, making an almost certain pit stop at Eastman’s Cheese House in Esperance for their New York State Extra Sharp Cheddar. Reinvigorated by Mom’s home cooking, the drive home on Sunday afternoons seemed shorter. And I sometimes had a companion—a care package of leftovers that got me through several meals. There was most often a substantial piece of pie (usually apple) on the seat beside me. My mom’s apple pies were so chock full of apples that the crust arched over the apple slices when baked, so we’d insert thin slices of sharp cheese above the compressed apples. With each forkful we had the flavor of the fruit and cheese. I recall that my dad also stopped at Eastman’s when making business trips west. What great memories! Anyway, back to the Beekmans. A Seat at the Table: Recipes to Nourish Your Family, Friends, and Community is the name of the

50

duo’s newest cookbook. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is the fourth from the Beekman 1802 Farmhouse. That celebrated farm-to-table is just off Route 20, where the authors, Manhattanites, discovered the place back in 2007. The Beekman name is a reminder of the family that built it, and the year it was erected. It’s a square Georgian-style residence, adorned with picket fences on its first and second floor porches and an imposing Palladian window above the fan-lit front. Brent and Josh (married to each other) are the city guys who own the place and write the cookbooks. A Seat at the Table was penned “with our neighbor Rose Marie Trapani.” Rose Marie’s last name is the name of the breathtaking cliff-top village very near to Erice on the far northwest corner of Sicily. Friends, Neighbors, and Rose Marie’s Welcome Contribution The minute I started reading this latest book, I thought it ought to be called Seasons in Sicily, as much of it celebrates that cuisine. But, allora, the recipes “read good,” and those I tested were delicious and easy to boot. The backstories included are about the diners who might be sitting around a table right now in the greater Sharon Springs area. A number of artists and farmers are also profiled in these pages, as are some of the authors’ friends. So, you’ll find a mixed bag, style-wise, in each chapter. And the photographs by Christian Watson (this is his first cookbook assignment) are all taken with natural light and are somewhat artsy/gritty, far from


the carefully lit photo shoots in other cookbooks. And only very occasionally a product that is unique to the Beekman House store, i.e. their local goat cheese, is listed as an ingredient in the recipes, and even then, substitutes are suggested. Regarding that goat cheese—shortly after Josh and Brent bought the farm (no, wait, I don’t mean that literally), they decided to allow “Farmer John” Hall, who lived nearby and was going to have to sell his place, to raise goats on their land. He became their live-in neighbor/helper. Then things progressed—they started making and sourcing soaps, condiments, woven articles crafted by an artisan friend, ditto pottery. Where better to showcase this array but in a reconditioned shop in the village? The Beekman 1802 Mercantile, at 187 Main Street, gives another reason for a spring day trip. Spring Into Spring With Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates Invite some friends over to celebrate the end of cold weather and serve these. They’re from the book—make a double batch. And soak your wooden picks for an hour before use to avoid flareups. 12 large pitted dates 12 small pieces Parmigiano Reggiano (the good one) 6 slices bacon, halved crosswise Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut a slot in each date and fill with a piece of Parmigiano cheese. Close the date, roll a piece of bacon around it, and secure with a toothpick. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Bake until bacon is crispy—15 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of your bacon. On the bottom of most recipes in the book is a blank section marked “Shared at the Table With.” Fill these in and you’ll have a record to cherish (depending on the company, of course).

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Rib-Eye Steaks Palermo Style If everybody stays on for dinner, why not do an easy meat dish? The book’s got you covered on that one, and uses my favorite cheese again. Rib eyes for 4 Olive oil, salt, and pepper 1 garlic clove, minced 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley Grated zest of half a lemon 2 chopped anchovies 1 tsp. capers, drained 1 Tbsp. grated Parmigiano Reggiano ¼ c. plain dry breadcrumbs Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rub the steaks with olive oil and then season them with salt and pepper to taste. Set the steaks aside. In a bowl, mix together the garlic, parsley, lemon zest, anchovies, capers (smash them), cheese, and bread crumbs. Add enough of the remaining oil to moisten the crumbs. In a large cast iron skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil over medium-high heat and sear the steaks on one side for 3 minutes. Turn the steaks (use tongs) and pat the breadcrumb mixture over the steaks, pressing the crumbs to adhere. Place the skillet in the preheated oven and roast the steaks 15 minutes for medium rare (roast longer to your desired degree of doneness) or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Slice and serve. Ciao. Chef, teacher, author, and award-winning columnist Cornelius O’Donnell lives in Horseheads, New York.

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WWII continued from page 12

Roger Kingsley

Out standing in her field: The author’s wife, Barbara, engulfed in a sea of buckwheat.

Buckwheat continued from page 22

much like the name implies—deer! While unheard of twenty years ago in this neck of the woods, the construction of wildlife food plots during the growing season has now developed into a booming industry for seed companies, not to mention a pastime amongst hunters and landowners. And— make no mistake about it—those food plots have been mostly responsible for converting traditional hunting tactics from drives to stands. Hunger drives wildlife, and food

52

plots help lure the wildlife to the proximity of the stands where hunters await. Because of the abundant acreage of agricultural crops that deer have access to on our farm, it’s simply not necessary for us to plant food plots to sustain them through the summer. So, we focus on plants that will not only be in their prime stage when hunting season arrives, but also maintain adequate feed value through the winter— think brassicas, oats, winter wheat, and rye. Bottom line—if the severity of stress

whitetails must endure during those winter months can be minimized, that’s a huge step to growing bigger bucks and healthier deer. We also plant clovers and other highly attractive species for long-term food and cover. For that ground that would otherwise sit idle until the window of planting in mid or late summer has opened up for brassicas and small grains, that’s where buckwheat’s usefulness as a cover crop—one grown for the protection and enrichment of the soil—comes in. Protection would imply preventing erosion and conserving soil moisture, while enrichment would be the practice of tilling the growing plants back into the soil—a.k.a. green manure. In terms of a cover crop, I rate buckwheat as a star performer. Its rapid growth in a short period produces a large volume of plant material that decomposes quickly, while significantly boosting the levels of organic matter once it’s turned under. So, once again, for those plots or fields that would otherwise sit idle for a month or so waiting to be planted to the fall crop, we prepare them for that fall crop by growing buckwheat. The idiom “more than one way to skin a cat” applies to planting buckwheat as well. We’ve practiced three different means, but our favorite method is as follows, and takes place around Memorial Day—or as soon as all danger of frost has passed. First, we work the selected ground into a deep, smooth seedbed using an aggressive disk, but that’s after we have applied the specified fertilizer based on a soil test. Next, using the same three point hitch-mounted fertilizer spreader, we broadcast the buckwheat seed at sixty pounds per acre. Finally, a cultipacker is then used to press the seed into the soil. One of the most satisfying pleasures associated with sowing seeds is to watch a soaking rain pass through shortly after the work is done. With optimum conditions, buckwheat germinates extremely fast— sometimes a noticeable sprout after just forty-eight hours of very moist soil contact. With germination of that speed, weeds don’t stand a chance getting a foothold. But even if they do, buckwheat’s rapid growth and dense soil shading canopy chokes them out, eliminating the use of herbicides. Referring to optimum growing conditions again, we’ve seen waist-high buckwheat begin flowering in just over a month. And what a spectacle it is when


it has reached maturity. The profusion of snow-white blossoms in contrast with the greenness of summer creates a beautiful, picturesque scene. And what a marvel of nature it is to walk beside a field in full bloom, and witness countless honeybees collecting nectar at a feverish pace. When buckwheat has reached this stage of growth, we till it under with our disk. That green manure significantly raises the nutrient content of the soil, especially in the form of phosphorous that the follow-up crop will utilize. Keep in mind buckwheat will reseed if it’s not terminated within ten days of flowering. If time allows before the planting date of the follow-up crop, another stand can be successfully grown by simply tilling in the fully mature plants. In the meantime, a variety of wildlife can enjoy those seeds too. To prevent casualties to the honeybee population, our tillage only occurs during the coolest period of the day when the bees have returned to their hives. Last I checked, buckwheat seed was priced at eighty cents a pound. Though it slightly lacks the attractiveness and protein content of some food plot species, it’s also something to consider as a forage crop for

The

deer, or a quick replacement in a plot where a different plant failed. I once broadcast the seed by hand on top of some worked up ground just prior to a downpour, and witnessed some impressive results weeks later. When my brother Ronnie and I started growing buckwheat on our farm, every year, upon seeing those blooming fields, Dad would reminiscence of those days decades ago when he and many other farmers in our area grew it. In those days, the harvest season was a special tradition. It united neighbors for a common purpose— reaping small grains, including buckwheat. Traveling from farm to farm with a thresher, Dad recalled the memories of working alongside others gathering the harvest, while tending the machine with bundle after bundle to separate the grain or kernels from the straw. Working alongside Dad, my brother and I used to feed a thresher too, but not with buckwheat. Sadly, by that time, despite its nutritional value to humans, buckwheat had lost its popularity in the midst of “progress.” Wikipedia explains why: “The cultivation of buckwheat declined sharply

in the twentieth century with the adoption of nitrogen fertilizer that increased the productivity of other staples. Over one million acres of buckwheat were harvested in the U.S. in 1918, and by 1964, the last year that annual production statistics were gathered by the USDA, only fifty thousand acres were grown.” In my opinion, buckwheat is surprisingly underrated. In a nutshell, here’s what it can provide: an energizing, gluten-free baking flour, a source of nectar for honey production, erosion control, a soil amender, a smother crop, and a wildlife and livestock food source. Just like Dad, the word buckwheat to folks of that generation would probably bring to mind the “good old days.” But since my connection with growing buckwheat has taken place within the last few years, the good old days of growing it are right now!

A RT G A L L E RY

An award winning writer, Roger Kingsley’s articles and photographs have appeared in numerous publications, including Country, Quality Whitetails, Farm & Ranch Living, and Pennsylvania Game News.

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Congratulations to our April Photo Contest Winner...

Fruit of the vine: peach, blackberry, and raspberry wines join traditional reds and whites on the shelves at Oregon Hill.

Courtesy Karon Swendrowski

Linda Stager

Oregon continued from page 16

If you’re interested in getting on our photographer mailing list or to submit your photos for next month, email gwenb@mountainhomemag.com or call 570-724-3838.

Sadly, however, Eric, known for his perpetual smile, died unexpectedly in 2017, and Karon found herself at an unanticipated crossroads. “I had a few choices, and one was to sell everything and leave, but we’re an established business doing this for over thirty years, and we have the brand name and our clientele,” she says. “Another one was to sell someone else’s wine and just be a shop owner, but I decided to take the hardest one— to find a winemaker and continue with Eric’s legacy.” She actually found that winemaker, Aaron Rush, somewhat serendipitously; Aaron’s wife, Cat, worked closely with Eric at various Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce and business events, and knew Oregon Hill Winery’s varietals very well. It was also important to Karon that the couple’s daughters, Katarina and Alexandra, would have the option of keeping the winery open. “I want to be able to say to them, ‘Do you want to continue with this or what?’” she says. “They’re fifteen and thirteen now, so there’s a few years before they can do anything, and we want them to go to college and all that. But I want them to be able to continue with it if they want.” So, Karon keeps Eric’s dream alive, running Oregon Hill, whose main building is a converted barn originally built in the 1880s. “You walk down a few steps and it’s almost like you’re walking back in time,” Karon says. “It’s sort of as if you’re walking into a wine cellar in Europe. It’s different.” Just one more way to describe Oregon Hill Winery. (840 Oregon Hill Road, Morris; (570) 353-2711; oregonhillwinery. com) Mike Cutillo is bullish on the Finger Lakes region, where he has been a full-time journalist for thirty-five years. When he’s not writing about the wine, food, or craft beers in the area, he usually can be found sampling them.

56


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B A C K O F T H E M O U N TA I N

Fox Tots

By Bernadette Chiaramonte

A

s I rounded the hill, a family of four foxes dove into the sluice pipe under the road. I was excited to see them, of course, and I waited patiently, camera in hand. Yes! Sure enough, their curiosity got the best of them. These two peeked out and posed for me, a moment I will never forget.

58


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“I was always adamant about going for my annual screenings, so last fall when I was told I had cervical cancer at 34 years old, I was shocked. When I met with Dr. Alligood, she immediately put me at ease because we caught the cancer at an early stage. Together we decided the best treatment would be to have a hysterectomy, performed robotically, to lessen my pain, scarring, and recovery time. The surgery saved my life. I’m so grateful for the miracle of modern medicine and for having this kind of care available so close to home.” 60

Learn more about Kristen’s story: UPMCSusquehanna.org/Kristen

Mountain Home, May 2018  

"From Edison to iPhones" by Carrie Hagen. Corning Inc. celebrates 150 with an epic Erie Canal birthday barge. This issue also features Bount...

Mountain Home, May 2018  

"From Edison to iPhones" by Carrie Hagen. Corning Inc. celebrates 150 with an epic Erie Canal birthday barge. This issue also features Bount...

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