The Journal

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Journal Entries of the Upper Delaware River Region • Serving PA, NJ & NY

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April 2020


April 2020

April 2020

Publisher & Editor

Amy Bridge

Creative Director


• art •

Associate Editor


• history •



• food •


• life •


• nature •

Jimmy Sheehan B’Ann Bowman Amy Bridge John Streb Susan Mednick Kimberly Hess


Yann Giguère Dodransbicentennial

In a Jam

Animal Love Running Around

Michael Hartnett, Julia Schmitt Healy, Claudia Caramiello, MaryAnne Francisco, Vera Moret, Zoe Gleason, Eric Francis, Robert Bowman


The tri-state upper Delaware River highlands and valleys are a place of rare beauty…. Seeing the region and living in it almost aren’t enough. Such beauty should be captured on canvas or film so that one can truly appreciate it, glimpse it in the quiet of an art gallery or museum, or between the pages of a poetry book or literary sketch. The Journal Group’s mission is to capture these momentary snapshots of beauty graphically and through the written word. We celebrate our area and the uniqueness of the people who live and work in the tri-state region. From Pike to Wayne and Monroe to Lackawanna Counties in Pennsylvania, upriver to Sullivan County and on to Orange County in New York, and to the headwaters of the Wallkill River and along Sussex County’s rolling hills in New Jersey, with quaint, historic towns and hamlets at the center, the Journal Group opens its doors to our communities, businesses and organizations, to serve as a communicative journal of all that we have to offer for those who live here and for those who love to visit us, too.

6 • calendar 10 • journal entry 11 • outdoors 37 • signs

Publication Information

The Journal Group publishes The Journal ten times a year and distributes it in eight counties in PA, NJ and NY. We assume no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts. Contents may not be reproduced in any form without prior written permission. We reserve the right to refuse to print advertisements that we deem inappropriate. All rights reserved.

Uniting PA, NJ & NY PO Box 1026 • Milford, PA 18337 • 908.578.3138 Journal Entries of the Upper Delaware River Region • Serving PA, NJ & NY


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April 2020

Cover Line Meet Mr. Marnie and Dottie through virtual tours at Tamerlaine Sanctuary in Montague, NJ. Photo courtsey of Tamerlaine Sanctuary & Preserve

Clara 5


April 6:00–9:30 p.m.



Listed below are public and nonprofit events that were scheduled to take place in April. Because of the coronavirus pandemic and the accompanying guidelines on social distancing, most, if not all of them, have been cancelled, postponed, or rescheduled. We’ve included them here for your reference. If you are interested in any of them, please check the organization’s website for updates on rescheduling in the upcoming months.

April 1st

Wednesday 4–7 p.m. .............................

EXPO 2020. Crystal Springs Country Club, Hardyston, NJ. Hosted by Sussex County Chamber of Commerce. Business expo bringing business & local community together. Info: 973.579.1811, www.sussex

April 1st–4th

Wednesday–Thursday 3–7 p.m. Friday 3–6 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m.–noon .............................

Sister-to-Sister Prom Shop. Project SelfSufficiency, Newton, NJ. Gowns & accessories for girls in need. Info: 973.940.3500,

April 2nd

Thursday 6 p.m.



Cheesemaking. Thrall Library, Middletown, NY. Learn the basics. Supplies provided. Free but registration required. Info: 845.341.5483, 4–6 p.m.


Celebration of Kindred Spirits: Painters & Poets. Artists’ Market Community Center, Shohola, PA. Reception: pairing art & verse. Sponsored by the Barryville Area Arts Association. Exhibit: April 1st–17th. Info: 5–7 p.m.


(East) Coastal: Opening Reception. Amity Gallery, Warwick, NY. Photos of Atlantic Coast by Jerry Novesky. Info: 845.856.4955.

Art & Nature Workshop. Pike County Public Library, Milford, PA. Spring flowers & animals. Also April 16th, Dingman Township. Made possible by grant from Greater Pike Community Foundation Richard L. Snyder Fund. Info: 570.296.8211, 570.686.7045,

6:15–7:30 p.m.

April 3rd–5th

7 p.m.


Jazz Reinvented. Delaware Valley High School, Milford, PA. Al Chez Brothers of Funk Big Band. Includes performance by DVHS jazz band. Hosted by Kindred Spirits Arts. Info: 570.409.1269, www.kindred

Friday–Sunday Noon–5 p.m. Wally Wine Fest. Waterfront at Silver Birches, Hawley, PA. $35–$40. Sample domestic & international wines. Food & gift vendors. Silent auction benefits Lake Wallenpaupack Fireworks. Info: 570.226.4388,

April 4th

Saturday 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. .............................

Rugged Run. Pope John XXIII Regional High School, Sparta, NJ. Obstacle course & exercise stations. $20–$25. Benefits Pope John High School’s activities, clubs & teams. Info: www.popejohnathletics. org. 9 a.m.–noon


Starting a Vegetable Garden. Cornell Cooperative Extension, Middletown, NY. Learn tried & true methods. $10. Info: 845.344.1234, 6

2:00–4:30 p.m.


On the Trail of the Timberdoodle. Kittatinny Valley State Park, Andover, NJ. Presentation & short hike. $5; pre-registration required. Info: 973.786.6445, Facebook: Kittatinny Valley State Park. .............................

April 7th

Tuesday 10 a.m.–4 p.m. .............................

Chamber Expo 2020. John S. Burke Catholic High School, Goshen, NY. Hosted by Orange County Chamber of Commerce. Consumer networking event. Info: 845.294.1700,

April 11th

Saturday 11 a.m.–3 p.m. .............................

Spring Fling Family Fun Day. Sussex County Fairgrounds, Augusta, NJ. Free, fun activities for the whole family. Hosted by the Sussex County 4-H program. Info: 973.948.3040, 5–9 p.m.


Milford After Dark. Downtown Historic Milford, PA. Art, music, food & shopping. Sponsored by Milford Presents. Info: www.

April 13th–May 8th .............................

A Taste of the Poconos. Participating restaurants in Pike, Wayne & Monroe Counties. Info: 570.421.5791, PoconoRestaurant

April 14th

Tuesday 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

40th Anniversary Gala. Perona Farms, Andover, NJ. $150 general admission. Supports Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice. Info: 973.383.0115, www.karenannquinlanhos 7 p.m.


The Prom: Roaring Twenties Speakeasy and Ball. Best Western Inn at Hunt’s Landing, Matamoras, PA. Dinner/dance. Hosted by TriVersity. $35–$65. Info: Facebook: TriVersity–Center for Gender & Sexual Diversity. 8 p.m.


PechaKucha Night. Amity Gallery, Warwick, NY. Illustrated story telling. Refreshments will be served. Suggested donation: $5. Info: 845.258.0818.

April 19th

Sunday 1 p.m.


Spring Hike: Pompey Ridge to Chado. Walpack Historical Society, Layton, NJ. Info:

April 22nd

Wednesday 6 p.m.


Pass It Along Volunteer Recognition Celebration. Lake Mohawk Country Club, Sparta, NJ. Dinner & awarding of scholarships. Info: 973.726.9777,

April 23rd

Thursday 6:30–10:30 p.m. .............................

Hot Time in Old Town Tonight. Skyview Golf Club, Sparta, NJ. Gala to benefit Sparta Historical Society. Music, dinner. $100. Info: 973.726.0883, www.vankirkmuseum. org.

April 24th

Friday 4–6 p.m.


Working Pike Job Fair. Best Western Inn at Hunts Landing, Matamoras, PA. Hosted by Pike County Workforce Development Agency. Info: 570.296.2909.

Sullivan County High School Exhibition: Opening Reception. CAS Arts Center, Livingston Manor, NY. Co-hosted by Sullivan County BOCES. Exhibit: April 24th–May 15th. Info: 845.436.4227, www.catskillart

Sunday 2–4 p.m.

April 17th–26th

April 24th–25th

In Further Retrospect. Time and the Valleys Museum, Grahamsville, NY. Presentation by John Conway. Members/free, nonmembers/$5. Info: 845.985.7700, www.

Pippin. Sussex County Community College, Newton, NJ. Presented by Drama Geek Studios, in-residence community theatre. Info: 973.512.8251, www.dramageek


April 5th




April 6th–11th

April 18th



Monday–Saturday 1–5 p.m. Spring Break Musical Theatre Workshop. Forestburgh Playhouse, Forestburgh, NY. Instruction in acting, singing & dancing for teens.$200. Presented by FB Playhouse Studio. Info: 845.794.2005,

Friday–Saturday 6 p.m.–10 a.m. Solar Sleepover. The Museum at Bethel Woods, Bethel, NY. Explore history of Woodstock festival, study night sky and identify stars. Ages 6-13. $30. Info: www.

Saturday 10 a.m.–1 p.m.

April 25th

Earth Week Walk. Hawley Trail Extension, Hawley PA. Hosted by Delaware Highlands Conservancy, SEEDS, and NEPA Sierra Club. Free but registration required. Info: 570.226.3164,


Saturday 8:30 a.m. Dentistry from the Heart. Horizon Dental Care, Route 6, Hawley, PA. Free dentistry day for adults over 18. Info: 570.226.8800, 7

Calendar 9 a.m.


5K Sap Run. Jeffersonville, NY. $20–$25. Hosted by Jeffersonville Area Chamber of Commerce. Helps support Service Dogs for Vets with PTSD. Info: 845.482.5688, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.


Spring Artisans Fair. Blooming Hill Farm, Blooming Grove, NY. Local crafts, music, organic farmers market. Info: 845.238.5004, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.


Earth Day: Nature Special. High Point State Park, Sussex, NJ. Yoga on the Mountain at 10 a.m.; Poetry Walk at 11:30 a.m. $5 donation. Info: 973.875.1471, www. 10 a.m.–4 p.m.


Vendor & Craft Fair. Delaware Valley High School, Milford, PA. Sponsored by the Delaware Valley Music Dept. Booster Club. Info:, Facebook: DV Music Booster Club Vendor & Craft Fair. 11 a.m.–3 p.m.


Spring Fling. Wurtsboro, NY. Crafts, bird show, duck race & more. Sponsored by Wurtsboro Board of Trade. Info: www. 11 a.m.–4 p.m.


Earth Day Festival. PEEC, Dingmans Ferry, PA. $5/car. Hikes, crafts, food, music & more. Info: 570.828.2319, 2 p.m.


Tricky Tray & Cookie/Cake Walk. Lackawaxen Fire Hall, Lackawaxen, PA. Benefits Growing Lackawaxen. Info: 570.352.5425. 5:30 p.m.


Foods of the Delaware Highlands. Silver Birches Waterfront, Hawley, PA. Dinner with live & silent auctions. $140. Benefits Delaware Highlands Conservancy. Info: 570.226.3164, 6–10 p.m.


Beefsteak Dinner Fundraiser. Dingman Township Volunteer Fire Department, Milford, PA. $55. Benefits volunteer fire department. Dinner, music, dancing. Info: 570.686.3696. 6:30–9:30 p.m.


Spring for Dance: Performance Gala Event. St. Patrick’s Hall, Milford, PA. Dance performance, dinner. $60. Supports Hanna Q Dance Company. Info: www.han 8


April 25th–26th

Saturday 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Sunday 10 a.m.–4 p.m. .............................

Franklin-Odgensburg Mineral Show. Franklin, NY. Indoor and outdoor show. $7/adults, $4/children ages 6-16. Info: 845.649.9623,

April 26th

Sunday 8 a.m.


Creek 5K. Forevergreen Nature Preserve, East Stroudsburg, PA. Kids dash, run/ walk, wine tasting. Benefits local conservation efforts. Info: 570.424.1514, info@ 1–4 p.m.


Thomas Alva Edison: His Life, His Vision & His Genius. Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta, NJ. 2 p.m. talk. Hosted by Sparta Historical Society. Info: 973.726.0883, 2–4 p.m.


Great Covered Bridges of the Mid-Hudson Region. Time and the Valleys Museum, Grahamsville, NY. Presentation by Ronald Knapp, co-author of America’s Covered Bridges. Members/free, non-members/$5. Info: 845.985.7700, 2:30–4:30 p.m.


Kids in Nature: Nature Detectives. Brandwein Nature Learning Preserve, Port Jervis, NY. Hands-on activities for elementary-aged kids. Also last Sunday of each month until November. Info: 845.672.9297,

April 27th

Monday 6–9 p.m.


Taste of Vernon. Heaven Hill Farm, Vernon, NJ. Sample food from area chefs; music by local musicians. $45–$80. Benefits the Vernon Coalition. Info: www.ver

April 29th

Wednesday 5–8 p.m. .............................

Building for the Future Champion Awards. Sky View Golf Club, Sparta, NY. Cash bar, dinner, awards. Hosted by Center for Prevention & Counseling. $100. Info: 973.383.4787,

April 30th

Thursday 5:30–8:30 p.m .............................

Ottaway Medal Dinner. Anthony’s Pier 9, New Windsor, NY. Honors citizen who embodies community leadership and commitment. $150. Hosted by Orange County Citizens Foundation. Info: 845.469.9459, 9

Journal Entry

Outdoors Hiking For these two trails in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DEWA), trail maps are available on-line: www. McDade Trail: Flat groomed trail for walking and biking. Parallels Delaware River from Milford to Stroudsburg. Numerous access points along Rte. 209. Cliff Trail: Spectacular views of the river valley from atop the Pocono Plateau. Access trailhead across from Raymondskill Falls lower parking lot.

Photo courtesy of

State Parks Lily Pond: Pristine large pond for boating and fishing. Picnic pavilion. Several hiking trails at far end of pond—Huckleberry Trail and Foundation Trail.

What to Do Outdoors While much in our area is closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, there are still opportunities to get outside and experience nature. We’ve listed some of them here. Please confirm with the sites before visiting.


It’s Out of the Ordinary ell, that’s an understatement, considering the ohso-many adjustments that we all are making.

Personal, private, business, children, spouses, paychecks, girlfriends, boyfriends, just friends, lovers, mothers, fathers, teachers, school, shopping, money, no money. Online, offline, draw the line. Nurses, doctors, health care workers. Leadership? Hospital ships? Kinship. Is recycling an essential business? Are liquor stores? For that matter, what does essential mean? News, no news, nothing new, everything

new. Time to step back, step down, step up. Time to create, to reflect, to read, to play. Time to consider. We hope that you enjoy the on-line version of The Journal. It’s our eleven year anniversary… sure didn’t expect to be celebrating this way! Stay well, stay safe, and stay healthy.

Amy, Jimmy, B’Ann, John, Susan, Barbara Jean & Kim 10 • • The Journal

Waterfalls Bushkill Falls: 8 waterfalls, hiking trails. 21 miles south of Milford on Rte. 209. Right on Bushkill Falls Rd. Confirm opening date. 888.287.4545, Raymondskill Falls: Large falls, platforms and rugged stairs alongside, access to top and bottom. 2.5 miles south of Milford on Rte. 209. Dingmans Falls: Boardwalk through ravine brings visitor to two waterfalls. Handicapped friendly. 7.5 miles south of Milford on Rte. 209. Sign on right. Shohola Falls: Large falls that you can get close to on State Game Land. Large lake for boating. Hiking trails. 11 miles from Milford on Rte 6 East. Tumbling Waters Falls: At PEEC (Pocono Environmental Education Center). Numerous hiking trails (maps at front of building), waterfall. 15 miles south on Rte. 209. Right on Briscoe Mountain Rd. 570.828.2319,

Promised Land State Park: Nearly 60 miles of hiking trails. Lakes for boating, picnic areas, waterfall. Take Rte. 84W to Promised Land. Exit # 26, left on Rte. 390. www.dcnr. History Grey Towers National Historic Site: Home of the Pinchot family. Gifford Pinchot was considered the first conservationist. Grounds open daily till dusk. Old Owego Tpke.–just off E. Harford St. (behind Apple Valley Restaurant). www. Roebling Bridge: Roebling’s Delaware Aqueduct, also known as the Roebling Bridge, is the oldest existing wire suspension bridge in the United States. Once an aqueduct to transport coal across the river. Minisink Battleground: Sullivan County Park. Site of only Revolutionary War battle in the region, between Mohawk Joseph Brant’s Tories and local militias. Across Rte. 97 from Roebling Bridge. Scenic Driving Tours Hawks Nest (NY Rte. 97): Travel along the Upper Delaware River with great views of river and valley from Port Jervis, NY to Hancock, NY. From Milford, drive east on Broad St. (turns into Rte 209). Continue through Matamoras, over bridge into NY, after underpass make left onto Pike St. which turns into Rte 97. Rte. 209: Travel through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area. Wooded plateau on one side with waterfalls; Delaware flats (McDade Trail) and river on the other side. 25 miles from Milford to Stroudsburg. Old Mine Rd: One of the nations earliest roads. Pass through lush woods, old homesteads, and cemeteries on the NJ side of the Delaware River in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Worthington State Forest. From Milford, take Harford St. to Milford Bridge. First right on NJ side. Compiled by Marie Liu. 11


By Julia Schmitt Healy

Japanese Woodworking Traditions at Mokuchi


fter the second furniture designer from Brooklyn recently booked my Airbnb room in order to learn Japanese woodworking techniques, I knew something interesting must be going on at Mokuchi Studio. My guest told me that it’s “a beautiful and soothing space in which to learn the art and philosophy of Japanese woodworking.” A visit was in order. Located in a woodsy section of Port Jervis, NY, Mokuchi Studio is workshop, school, and home to the artist Yann Giguère and his family.

Photos courtesy of Yann Giguère

It was early March as I drove up the winding driveway through the forested land. Tall stacks of natural wood beams dotted a clearing. Near the house I could see that the family garden was already being readied for planting. Bluestone edging defined the sections, and in one, garlic shoots were popping up in abundance.


I entered the portico, featuring hewn, rounded posts and designed with several clear panels above that allowed light in. Yann greeted me warmly and explained that he recently built the portico so classes will be able to work outside should weather be a bit inclement. The studio occupies the former living room of the house. The smell of wood competed for my attention as I observed the unusual tools, in-progress projects, shoji screens, stacks of wood, and piles of shavings.

Yann handed me a cup of tea, and we sat down at his cherrywood table. There was so much I wanted to know, but I started out asking him about his background. He told me he was born in a small town in French-speaking Quebec, Canada. He is not of Japanese heritage. After high school, he got a student visa and moved to Fairfield, Iowa, where he attended what is now called Maharishi International University in order to practice transcendental meditation as well as to learn English. While there, he found his way into a woodworking class, and at the same time, found himself. His teacher at the school was Duncan MacMaster, who exposed him to Japanese woodworking methods and tools. Yann stayed for a total of six years, with brief sojourns elsewhere. One crucial summer was spent taking a class in Seattle with teacher Dale Brotherton, who is well-known in the field of Japanese woodworking. Giguère eventually moved to the Seattle area and became Brotherton’s apprentice—for eight and a half years! “I worked five days a week at minimum wage. It took me that long and was super intense. I learned so much,” he says. “Japanese woodworking is a unique style of woodworking, and it takes time to learn to use the tools and understand

Continued on next page



the approach.” Parts are not glued. Square joints are carved and hold the pieces together. He explained (and showed me later) how one “cuts” the wood surface with a plane, instead of scraping or sanding it. “This creates a smooth surface.” In fact, running my hand along his table, I realized it was the smoothest piece of wood I have ever touched. I asked what kind of wood he uses. “The best wood comes from trees in the deep forest. They grow slowly, they have tight growth rings, and the trunks grow up straight. It takes 75 years to grow those, so it’s a holistic approach. When you think of Japanese woods, you have to understand the Japanese live on an island. They can’t just cut trees down. They have to use sustainable forestry and think about how tree-cutting affects streams and water.” He tells me he “especially loves white oak and white pine,” but these days “Douglas Fir seems to be the cheapest and most commonly used wood as it can grow quickly in full sun.” When Yann left the Seattle area, he was planning to work on a big project on the East Coast. It fell through, so as a freelancer, he went wherever jobs were. He worked with and learned from other people in the field, among them, Doug Adams, who was a teacher and craftsman working in the Japanese tradition in New Hampshire. Yann went to Virginia, then Nashville, and finally found himself in North Carolina. He taught woodworking at the Penland School of Craft, where his classes filled up steadily. There he met a student who was to become his future wife—Margaret Spring. 14


Fast forward to a move to Brooklyn where Margaret was based, and several years working there. A marriage, and now a daughter—Artemis—ensued. A couple of years ago, they began searching for a location where they could live, have a workshop, and raise a family. They took various trips here and there. The Hudson Valley was too pricy. Newburgh was a possibility. They weren’t sure. Maybe something in Pennsylvania? They drove there. Yann tells me, “We came across a bridge and found ourselves in Narrowsburg. It seemed different.” They realized they were back in New York, and thus started looking in the area. When they saw Port Jervis and environs, along with the train and other amenities, they decided to land there. The rest is history. Margaret, who has become active locally in women’s events, is able to work part-time, and they have adjusted their schedules in such a way that they can share parenting responsibilities. Nowadays, Yann himself has his own apprentice. (I can hear him sawing in the basement woodshop as we talk.) The classes and workshops he offers are filled. He sells specialty tools. He does custom work and keeps active. Last year, he built a frame building for a friend, which he says was like “putting a large puzzle together.” He tells me he has a clear, relaxed focus when he works. “It’s a focus that comes with training. You guide your mind. You are not being guided by your mind. Your mind becomes the tool.” Continued on page 16 15


Yann Giguère


Giving Voice Just as I was ready to leave, I realized I had a few more questions for Yann. The Journal: Where did the name Mokuchi come from? It doesn’t seem to be a “real” word in Japanese. Giguère: It’s a creative name. Moku means wood. I added the Chinese word Chi, which means essence in Chinese—so it means the “essence of wood.” The Journal: Can the public visit your studio? Giguère: Every five or six weeks, we schedule an Open Studio. People can come here and have a cup of green tea and see our work and also buy our specialty tools if they like. The Journal: Have you taught in our area at other venues? Giguère: I have conducted a few workshops at Peters Valley School of Craft. Otherwise, my teaching has pretty much been here at the studio. We are currently postponing classes because of the coronavirus pandemic. We are not offering on-line classes because it’s hands-on work. The Journal: I see your website mentions a yearly “Gathering.” Can you tell me more? Giguère: It’s called Kezurou-kai USA and is open to all to attend. We meet yearly in the Peekskill area to share our work and processes. It’s so much fun. We even have competitions, such as seeing who can make the thinnest wood shaving. A human hair measures 50-100 microns, and we use planers to cut shavings that are 3 microns or so! A red blood cell is 5-6 microns. This is thinner! You measure the shaving digitally. It’s like gauze. The Journal: What plans, if any, do you have for your large property? Giguère: Eventually, we hope to build a separate store and perhaps a classroom, too. And maybe we’ll build a new house further back on the property at some point. .............................................................................................. For more information about Mokuchi Studio, visit www.mokuchi Julia Schmitt Healy is a visual artist, writer, and teacher who divides her time between Manhattan and her country studio in Port Jervis, N.Y. Find her work at



Top 10 Edison Inventions According to Electronics Weekly Phonograph Durable light bulb Electrical vote recorder quadruplex Sextuplex and multiplex telegraph Carbon microphone Electricity distribution system First commercial fluoroscope (for X-Ray examinations) Stock ticker Kinematograph (motion picture camera) Kinetoscope (peep hole viewer)


By MaryAnne Francisco

The Sparta Historical Society

Thomas Edison’s Vision for a Better World

10 Inventions You Never Heard Of from Science Magazine Spirit phone Phonograph for dolls (talking dolls) Concrete furniture Concrete house Alkaline battery for electric cars Method of preserving fruit in glass Electric power meter Magnetic ore separator Pneumatic stencil pen Electronic vote recorder 15 Inventions That Changed the World According to Business Insider Electrographic vote recorder (6/1/1869) Automatic telegraph (6/22/1869) Electric pen (11/22/1877) Phonograph (2/19/1878) Carbon telephone (12/9/1879) Practical electric lamp (1/27/1880) Electric lighting system (3/22/1881) Electric generator (10/18/1881) Motograph (loud speaking telephone) (5/29/1883) Fuel cell technology (1883) Universal stock printer (3/17/1885) Ore separator (3/30/1889) Kinetographic camera (8/31/1897) Alkaline battery (7/31/1906) Portland cement (11/19/1909)

This spring, the Sparta Historical Society welcomes the 175th anniversary of Sparta, NJ, with its year-long town celebrations—once they are cleared to have planned celebrations, that is. So for now, here is some history of the one hundred and seventy-five-year-old town as told by MaryAnne Francisco of the historical society.


re-colonial Sparta was inhabited by the Lenni Lenape Native Americans. At the historical society’s Van Kirk Homestead Museum, you can find projectile and arrow points from our own property, discovered along the banks of the Wallkill River denoting over a thousand years of nomadic hunting activities.

Courtesy of Sparta Historical Society

Photos courtesy of Sparta Historical Society

In the 1750s, the Dutch discovered red ores in the area and tried to mine copper. No permanent settlers arrived until the 1770s, when Robert Ogden and his wife, Phoebe, built their home and constructed an iron forge on lands he had acquired. They called their house and farm “Sparta” to inspire their sons to be brave.


The first public building in Sparta was the Presbyterian Church, which was founded in 1786 and is on the historical registry. The town itself was incorporated on April 14, 1845, with a population of about 1,900 people. It was comprised of portions of Byram Township, Frankford Township, Hardyston Township, and the now-defunct Newton Township. Ogdensburg was later created on February 26, 1914, from a portion of Sparta. For over 100 years, iron, zinc, and limestone mining supported the town. But today these operations have ceased, and the town is now a residential community of about 19,000. Skip forward to November of 2002, when Marjorie Strohsahl and Ed Fritsch, along with a small group of charter members, founded the Sparta Historical Society to provide the Sparta area with educational lectures and seasonal trips to historic sites. As the fledgling group grew, it began to look for a historic property in Sparta to preserve.

Back in 1996, the Sparta Board of Education had purchased the Mohawk Dairy and Van Kirk Homestead to build a middle school. The Homestead that had been occupied by the Van Kirk family for over 200 years remained after the school’s construction. Even though it was in disrepair, the house and grounds provided an opportunity for the society to fulfill its vision. The Homestead was initially leased and was ultimately purchased in November 2013. Major repairs followed including a new roof, furnace, and septic system. Work on the interior began in May 2014. Busy volunteers were hoping to open the house by September. Their efforts paid off. Drop-in visitors, noticing activity, offered encouragement as well as wonderful treasures tucked away in attics that could add to the history of the Homestead, Sparta, and the region. The house opened in September 2014 to an enthusiastic audience. The Van Kirk Homestead Museum tells the story of America through local industrious people and the influences that a growing and evolving nation had on them over the past 200 years. It offers a view of day-to-day life through Period Rooms such as our Victorian Parlor and Civil War Bedroom, farming, industry, and recreation in the Sparta Gallery, the History of Mining in Sparta, and the Farm Model Gallery. Also, visitors can explore our new transportation exhibit in the restored wagon house, the new kitchen exhibit and mining exhibit. Finally, a wider view of events, trends, and interests have created our collective American experience in a seasonally changing Exhibition Gallery. Continued on next page




This brings us to what goes around, comes around. Remember that Sparta’s history was mining, and who came to Sparta with both an iron mine and later a lime quarry but Thomas Alva Edison.

his heavy iron mining equipment to other mining companies to recoup financial losses while applying some of it to his next venture, the development of Portland Cement in New Village, NJ.

Postponed for the time being, the Sparta Historical Society has put together its spring exhibit called Thomas Alva Edison: His Life, His Vision and His Genius, which was scheduled to open at the end of April. This exhibit is not about mining but rather about Thomas Alva Edison’s ingenuity. It has received items loaned from both the Menlo Park Historical Museum and National Park at West Orange, including items from many private collectors.

I end this article with quotations* from a true entrepreneurial spirit, Thomas Edison. May they inspire you to greatness!

During Edison’s lifetime, he registered for 1093 patents. Most people know of him for the electric light bulb and the phonograph, but there was so much more. One of my favorites is the invention of the first talking doll, which had a creepy voice based on today’s standards. This exhibit explores Edison’s vision for a better world. He became the best known inventor at an early age and was known as a dogged worker—often sleeping no more than four hours per night. Most of his inventions were huge successes that made life easier and more enjoyable for every family in America and beyond. More importantly, he is considered the father of modern corporate research & development.

• Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. • Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless. • There is no substitute for hard work. • I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. • If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves. • What you are will show in what you do. • Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. • The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are: Hard work, Stick-to-itiveness, and Common sense. • Maturity is often more absurd than youth and very frequently is most unjust to youth. • Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. • I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun. *Originally published on, February 11, 2016.

Not everything Edison created was an instant or direct success. His iron mining efforts in Sparta were termed “Edison’s Folly” by many, and the discovery of vast iron deposits in Minnesota proved them right. In Sparta, Edison had spent a huge amount of time and money creating equipment to separate iron from the rock. In Minnesota, the deposits were mostly iron so extraction was much easier and cheaper. However, Edison was never deterred by failure. He sold 20

........................................................................................ We look forward to your visit to the Van Kirk Homestead Museum and to any of Sparta’s 175th town anniversary celebrations. Check our website to get updates on our events. The Sparta Historical Society is located at The Van Kirk Homestead Museum, 336 Main Street, Sparta, NJ. (www.vankirkmu, 973.726.0883, 21


By Claudia Caramiello

MoonShadows Farm


andering into Fresh Pickins, the artisanal-style farmers’ market shop in Sandyston, NJ, on a late February Monday afternoon, I am greeted by three things —amiable smiles, Fred the resident cat, and an ample display of all-natural jams, jellies, marmalades, and fruit butters from MoonShadows Farm. With a wide array of tempting flavors such as cinnamon pear jam, pumpkin butter, and a curiously named frog jam, it’s difficult to decide which to purchase. Being that it’s cold, a taste of summer sounds heavenly, so I choose the inky purple-hued blackberry jam. It is a wise choice.

Photos courtesy of MoonShadows Farm

Luscious, sweet, yet never cloying is a hallmark of quality jam. MoonShadows Farm, a company located in East Stroudsburg, PA, in the heart of the Pocono Mountains, captures this by relying on tradition. A tradition that began 100 years ago.


Antoinette and Edward Kraston, originally from Poland, immigrated to America in the mid-teens of the twentieth century and opened a general store in New Rochelle, NY, called White Way Dairy. The name was a nod to the section of Broadway nicknamed The Great White Way, which was one of the first electrically illuminated streets in the country. A customer favorite was Antoinette’s homemade jams and jellies, which she continued to make even as she grew older. Naturally, her grandchildren loved the sweet jams and enjoyed visiting Grandma Kraston whenever she was prepar-

ing them. “Grandma was an excellent cook,” says grandson Jim Guinn. In the 1960s, the city of New Rochelle took the general store by eminent domain to build the New Rochelle Mall. Afterwards, Antoinette bought a house in New Rochelle and remained there for the rest of her years. One day in 1988, Jim Guinn and John Doyle, a family friend, were cleaning out the home, which was up for sale, and they unearthed a treasure. Tucked away in an old hat box in the dusty attic were Grandma Kraston’s hand-written recipes. Guinn and Doyle, who were both teachers in the South Bronx, began making a couple of cases of jam every week, which were sold at the old Marshall’s Creek Flea Market on Route 209 in PA. They were approached by someone asking if they would wholesale their jams. Until then, Guinn and Doyle had never considered making jamming their business. Over the years, the business, called MoonShadows Farm, grew. Working a full-time job in the Bronx became challenging for Guinn, so he left teaching and took a job driving a school bus in Stroudsburg to devote more time to the flourishing business. Ultimately, Guinn left the bus-driving job to run MoonShadows Farm full-time. Doyle devotes his weekends, summers, and after school to the business. They have gone from making a couple of dozen cases a week to making over 3,300. Continued on next page 23



They still rely on hand making all products in small batches. Not wanting to run a commercial facility with employees, nor wanting to have a company process the products in what Guinn feels is an impersonal way, Guinn and Doyle got creative. They decided to search for a small existing artisan enterprise to help make the recipes. “We wanted to work with people who were already passionate about what they did and who would personally make our products by hand,” says Guinn. Creating a great tasting jam is a balance between art and science. According to Guinn, co-packers may know the science, but artisans know the science and the art. “When something is made in small batches, it involves more care than if made in huge vats,” he says. “You can’t get that great taste from machinery and computer programs. Have you ever doubled or tripled a recipe? It just never tastes the same. Small batches assure peak flavor since the product is being made all the time and is not stockpiled.” With 90 percent of the products being made off-site by dedicated artisans, MoonShadows Farm is truly a family enterprise. An enterprise that Guinn and Doyle find rewarding. “When someone tells us they love our products, and even better, when they tell us a product reminds them of what their mother or grandmother used to make, it doesn’t get any better than that,” Guinn remarks. Asked how the name MoonShadows Farm was born, Guinn recalls an enchanting August night back in 1995. Having purchased an eight-acre piece of land with a house that was originally built in 1840, they wanted to name the property but couldn’t decide what. Then fate intervened. “One night there was a bright full moon in a clear sky. It cast beautiful dark shadows across our moonlit back field from the trees that lined it. Immediately, we decided that MoonShadows Farm was the name, and we used the name of the property for our business name.” Offering a line of fine country foods that include fruit spreads, peanut butter, salad dressings, as well as personal care items, MoonShadows Farm’s products are sold at tourist attractions, farmers markets, and dozens of country stores throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and even Virginia. Although MoonShadows Farm does not have a store on the property and the farm is not open to the public, online ordering is available on the website, and MoonShadows Farms ships to all 50 states. All products are natural, including their soaps, luxury lotions, and body washes, which have 100 percent pure plant-based ingredients. ............................................................................................. For more information or to order, visit 24



By Michael Hartnett

It’s About Our Future

Tamerlaine Sanctuary & Preserve




eeing Bubblegum, a healthy goat happily feeding at Tamerlaine’s hay trough, one could only guess about the redemptive story behind his journey to the sanctuary.

Photos courtesy of Tamerlaine Sanctuary & Preserve

Along with twenty other goats, Bubblegum was rescued by the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) from a farm in Massachusetts. It was one of the worst abuse cases that the ASPCA had ever seen in the Northeast.




A baby when he arrived, Bubblegum was emaciated and had anemia among other health challenges. He was so sick that the veterinarian didn’t think he would survive. But through the attentive vigilance of Tamerlaine’s caregivers, Bubblegum was brought back to health, and he flourishes along with the other animals at the sanctuary. Two hundred rescued farm animals, including chickens, goats, geese, pigs, ducks, horses, cows, and peacocks, all recovering from abusive situations, are being fed and cared for at this sanctuary located on Clove Road in Montague Township, NJ. Co-founded by Gabrielle “Gabby” Stubbert and her husband Peter Nussbaum in 2013, Tamerlaine started when they adopted two roosters, Yuri and Jupiter, who soon became part of the family.

“I’m all about the animals,” Peter said. “Helping and rescuing abused and neglected farm animals. The ethics of animal agriculture got me into it.” Initially, Peter and Gabby operated the sanctuary on a fortyacre parcel of land they had acquired in the early 2000s as a weekend retreat from their busy lives in New York City and as a way to be close to relatives in NJ. Gabby grew a large garden and began producing batches of hot sauce from the abundant tomatoes and peppers, selling it to raise funds for their rescue efforts. Having previously become vegans, their connection to the land grew, and they developed relationships with the animals. This reinforced their commitment to leading cruelty-free lives, dedicated to showing and sharing the overwhelming need for compassion toward the billions of animals decimated by factory farming. When Peter and Gabby adopted Jupiter and Yuri, they learned that roosters are the most disposable animals on farms. But as the birds became acclimated to their family, they saw that chickens had social needs. “We fell in love with them, and had no idea that they had such huge personalities. They are hilarious and cuddly. And Continued on next page 27



some of them don’t want anything but to be with you,” Gabby said. In 2016, Westfall Farm, a neighboring property of three hundred and thirty-six acres, became available. Established in 1774, the site has historic significance and was held by the same family until the 1940s when it was purchased by Charles G. Mortimer, the CEO of General Foods Corporation. Barns and farm buildings surround a colonial-era home in fine condition. Breathtaking views of the fields and meadows, wetlands and woods reveal the stunning beauty of this location and make it the perfect place for a sanctuary and preserve. After six months of writing grant proposals to a foundation that supports animal sanctuaries, Tamerlaine was able to purchase the land. Having established non-profit status and a board of directors, the sanctuary maintains a staff of twelve employees to care for the animals. Veterinarians specializing in the health of farm animals make regular visits. Along with their passion for animal activism, Gabby and Peter are expanding their mission to include preserving the environment for the animals. They are offering their vision to the surrounding community and for future generations through humane education programs for families, children, students, and other visitors. From saving animals to conserving the land, projects are underway for the public to come and experience a connection with nature. In support of habitat restoration, a monarch butterfly pavilion is being constructed; native plant species including milkweed are being reintroduced to support insect pollinators. Hiking trails through the varied landscape, as well as camp and picnic sites, are planned. One of the barns is being converted into offices and a hospital care unit for the animals. A gift shop that sells Gabby’s hot sauces and a visitors’ center are underway. Tamerlaine plans to host events, conferences, and retreats, including eco weddings where guests will have the opportunity to partake in the fine delicacies of vegan cuisine.


Tamerlaine is usually open on the weekends. But during the coronavirus pandemic, physical tours of the site have been suspended. So Tamerlaine is holding live virtual tours on their Facebook page at 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Online visitors including children can meet the animals and learn their names and stories. Other tours will highlight the work on the care facilities and expansion efforts. In efforts to engage with the local community and beyond, the sanctuary plans to host music concerts, art shows, photo shoots, and cultural activities once the pandemic is over. To this end, Tamerlaine hired Eliza Hubbell as education coordinator to develop outreach and foster awareness of the sanctuary and preserve. “There is no such thing as conservation and preservation without education,” she said. Guided by science and the best practices it provides, Eliza sees Tamerlaine as the perfect place to educate people about the circle of life. Along these lines, Gabby pointed out, “All of the ducks that are here currently came from school hatching projects that were dumped in local ponds.” Continued on page 30 28

Mr. Marni

Mr. Jill



Giving Voice The Journal: Could you share more about the animals? Gabby: We want a healthy animal population that gets lots of attention. Our animals are much socialized. People remark that our animals are so friendly. We hang out with them every day, so even the timid ones eventually come around. The Journal: Do you network with other sanctuaries and organizations? Gabby: Yes. We would do rescues that place animals in other sanctuaries. We took four roosters that St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center rescued from a cockfighting ring. Last summer, we worked with the Sussex County, NJ, Prosecutor’s Office and the Department of Agriculture to rescue eleven baby pigs from the most deplorable situation. We were able to home nine of them at wonderful sanctuaries across the north and southeast. The Journal: How did you choose Tamerlaine as the name of the sanctuary? Gabby: I had a beloved cat named Oscar Tamerlaine, the Magnificent, and his name became the inspiration. The Journal: Could you speak about the tours?


Peter: People meet the animals and hear their rescue stories. I explain the plight of factory-farmed animals in relation to the animals that have been lucky enough to find their way here. The fact that people have schlepped up to Sussex County tells me that the visitors are every bit as passionate about animals as I am. We’re not judging people; the sanctuary is not just for vegans to come and pet animals. Everyone is welcome here. Nothing is more rewarding to me than to watch people make the connection and interact with the animals. Every animal has a story. The Journal: What value and opportunities are you bringing to the community? Gabby: The property itself is beautiful. So, coming to visit is a value in itself. Second, people experience the restorative qualities of spending time with these rescued animals that have come from horrible situations. The animals have learned to forgive and forget and are still trusting of humans, coming up to us and giving us attention. It’s really touching, and people are moved by that. It’s very therapeutic. Tamerlaine’s mission for the animals has expanded to include the whole site, the meadows and plants, and even to the visitors and beyond. It’s about our future on this planet, and what we can do individually. Our motto is to tread lightly on the earth and to never give up. .............................................................................................. To learn more, visit

Winnie 30

Michael Hartnett is an artist and writer living in Dingmans Ferry, PA. He is the author of the nature fantasy novel Tales of Allamucha.



By Vera Moret

Running the Distance


y life has, in the past, been very short on time. I’m fifty-two years old and have been running for forty of those years, twenty-two of them in this area alone; so to keep myself organized, I’ve perfected a very flexible approach to distance running. I have always kept my general running paraphernalia with me in the car. Often, when my husband and I have been out running errands, he would drop me off some miles from home, and I would run the remainder of the way, arriving home with a clear head. My husband is a very understanding man. People have asked me if I want to run the NYC Marathon someday. The answer is a definite “no.”

I see how running has slowed down the aging process by decades (which was not on my mind when I began at twelve), and it is one of the best solitary activities that I can do right out my front door. It helps me cope with my long history of depression and personal problems that I have not been able to help otherwise. I consider running my meditation. It’s not for everyone, but if you are a runner who runs about three times a week, three to five miles a day, I would love to share with you some of my favorite area runs, which I think you would enjoy. Some are obvious, some are not, and I know that there are hundreds of areas that I have yet to explore. I hope to do that someday. I live in very rural Shohola, PA, about five miles from the famous Robeling Bridge that connects Lackawaxen, PA, to Minisink Ford, NY. I have the benefit of the beautiful views of the Delaware River and the surrounding mountains gazing down on me during every run. Sometimes I take the Roebling Bridge and other times the Shohola-Barryville Bridge, which is one mile from my house. Both connect to Route 97 in NY State. I find running on Route 97 a pleasure, I run mostly north and back, which takes me past the various livery and camping sites in Barryville. It’s a flat road for many miles and boasts a beautiful and little noticed waterfall on the right. Shortly after this, there is a grueling hill. Barryville itself is surrounded by such 32

Minisink Trail map

Let me explain. I’ve run five marathons and countless half marathons, all local and small scale, but I don’t really enjoy racing. It’s chaotic and loud and generally a buzzkill. I suppose it’s because I don’t run to prove anything. I do it because I love it.

hills, but the first five miles heading north are nearly all flat and all along the river. It’s truly lovely, and one can very often spot a bald eagle circling over the river. At times, I enjoy the run from the Pond Eddy Bridge on Route 97 back home. Pond Eddy is east of Barryville and west of Port Jervis, almost right in the middle of the two. It’s a self-contained, relatively small enclave of twenty-six houses that sit on dirt roads on the PA side of the bridge. Both sides of the bridge are called Pond Eddy, one in NY and one in PA. (Although the PA side is actually part of Shohola, the locals refer to it as Pond Eddy.) The run is roughly nine miles or so and has very difficult hills, but I’ve come to kind of love hills, except in the summer. I don’t know why I love them….they develop character? There is no rational reason except for the same reason people have climbed mountains for decades…because they’re there, and they love the challenge. Sometimes, I will take the aptly named River Road in Barryville instead. It’s in the heart of the village and is a no-access road that measures slightly under a mile and runs in direct harmony with the river. 33



I also love the breathtaking area around Shohola Falls, right off of Route 6 in PA, which is about ten miles outside of Milford. For whatever reason, it seems like a hidden gem, but is very much worth the visit. It’s free, and the falls are amazing. The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation area has developed the McDade Trail that runs from Milford clear through to the Hialeah Trailhead at the Delaware Water Gap in East Stroudsburg. I’ve never explored all thirty-two miles of it, but I’ve begun at the Milford Beach. You will see signs for the beach as you are leaving Milford, New Jersey bound, but before you reach the Milford-Montague Bridge. The trail is quite lovely and will gift you with an extraordinary view of the Milford Bridge from underneath. It hardly seems like the same structure. There are many different entrances to the McDade Trail along Route 209 in PA, including one near Raymondskill Road, so you don’t need to feel committed to starting at one end and running to the other. For more information about this trail, you can visit The Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC), off of Route 209 in Dingmans Ferry, PA, is another beautiful area for trail running. I have never run there, and have only visited once, but there are a wide variety of clearly marked trails for the taking. PEEC’s website is thorough and also describes the huge number of programs offered there for all ages and interests. See hiking-trails. Be sure to check before going to make sure there is access during the coronavirus pandemic. This is by no means the list to end all lists. Our area is filled with delightful hiking and running paths, from Milford’s famous Knob Trail to Ten Mile, which is a lovely park boasting both a fairly strenuous hike of about three miles and suitable running areas. Access is right on Route 97, between Barryville and Narrowsburg, NY. My advice would be to take advantage of the many park and trail websites available on line to find which area suits you best. As for me, living up here and heading out my front door to run a mountain loop following along the Delaware River is a runner’s paradise. 34



Destination Milford, PA

Planet Waves by Eric Francis

Aries 9

National Historic Landmark

Apple Valley 3 Village



Home of Lincoln Flag






Walk-Ins Welcome

Hair, Nails, Skin Care & More Meet our new Massage Therapist, Bonnie Crellin

GEBA REALTY Selling? Buying? Call Us Free Market Analysis

Monday - Saturday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

501 West Harford St 570.296.7200




(April 19-May 20)


(May 20-June 21)

While you're experiencing the desire for greater freedom to experiment, be conscious of any jealous feelings you may encounter. They have a way of taking over, and guiding one's evaluation of life, and one's decisions. The philosophy to practice is live and let live. Remember, if you choose to explore beyond your usual bounds, that implies allowing others to do so as well. This is not a tidy little equation, though. The bottom line is your selfesteem, which in this form means not having your identity threatened by the choices others make. This will challenge you to find the solid ground within yourself, and once you do that is the place to stand. If there is one advantage to the present condition of the world, it's that we are all living a little closer to the edge of existence. It's now plainly obvious that life does not always go on as usual. And in that truth are potentially great blessings.

Self-guided tour of working mill


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(Sep. 22-Oct. 23)

You may somehow feel like you're at the epicenter of an earthquake. That's the best time to live in a tent, because if it falls down, you won't get hurt. You can just put it back up. The equivalent of a tent is keeping things light. Your inner emotional environment may be amplified, which means things may sound and feel louder than they really are. So you will need to bring modulation to your inner dialog, and turn down certain voices within yourself that are causing you anxiety. Don't shut them out; rather, keep them in proportion. There is a whole other inner reality that is speaking to you now, which I would describe as a deep and necessary calling. Some words from A Course in Miracles come to mind: "My happiness and my function are one." Remind yourself of that frequently and the idea will come into focus.


(Oct. 23-Nov. 22)

Mars is on the move, which is significant to you as this is the planet that (actually) rules your sign. Yes, Pluto is important and is also in the picture, though Mars is the working end of the stick, and it's definitely working at the moment. The thing to do is to get control over your words. This holds true whatever they are about: you want to be their master and not let them master you. That means planning what you say; it means writing thoughtfully, and editing. It means delaying pushing "send" or "publish" for as long as possible. If your temper is hot, refrain from speaking, especially in meetings or in public. Work out any anger you may be feeling before expressing yourself. You're most certainly in a position to over-react. This will be all the more detrimental if you are right; your point will be lost. And here is the thing: your point is so strong, you don't even need to speak above a whisper. So you can afford to pause; you can afford to speak less. You might not need to say a word.


(Nov. 22-Dec. 22)

Remember your most cherished goals, particularly in the midst of any negotiations. Do not allow anyone to push you back, distract you, or convince you that somehow you're being unfair. It would be unwise to fight or to push back too hard. Neither should you just cave in and give others what they want, if you feel it's not the right thing to do. The way to proceed is to be gently persistent. Keep your own interests in mind. This is a form of selfishness, though I don't mean in the ultimate sense of thinking others don't matter. In fact others do matter to you, and that's the thing you must be aware of. Your idea of the 'other' is so relevant to you that you can lose track of your own needs, desires and best interests. So, all you need to do is keep them in mind, by which I mean -- really in mind. No matter what may be going on in the world or in your life, remind yourself of what you want to do the very most.

You're in a situation that you can make work for you, though this will be a conscious act, not an accident. There remains plenty that can go wrong, though the quality of your attention will be the single most important determining factor. You have many advantages in your situation, no matter how weird or difficult it may seem. And you may lack many of the disadvantages that are causing problems for others. In addition to having the deck stacked in your favor, and pretty much being the one in charge of your destiny, your influence is needed at this time, wherever you may be. Make sure you use your power in homeopathic doses. Let your presence alone have as much of an effect as possible. Your money may be influential. Living out your priorities will be especially so. There are many forms of influence and you have access to all of them at the moment.


This is a time of concentrating your energy and consciously shifting the story of your life. You will need to proceed gently, slowly and with extra awareness amid a series of seemingly sudden shifts. If you look around now, you will notice what you need to change. Anything that may seem to emerge out of nowhere will have already been on your radar for quite some time, so take a moment and scan your feelings and your instruments. Notice the things you've said to yourself at least five times, and get ready to take action on those very items. When the time comes, you will need to act decisively and with confidence. Yet that also means acting minimally, to get the effect you are seeking. Small moves mean a lot.

(June 21-July 22)

Everyone is being called to leadership, though in many different senses of the word. With the Sun crossing the reputation and responsibility angle of your chart -- the 10th house, which for you is Aries -- take the occasion to be at your very best. You have strength of character and a focused moral bearing that few possess. This exists for you as potential you know you can access, and in recent years you've been getting the message that there is no digressing from this particular calling. Now, you're actually needed. The thing you don't want to do is take a "save the world" position. Rather, begin taking note of your own state of being, your feelings and your basic needs. It's essential that you begin with yourself, because the thing you're teaching is for others to take care of themselves. From that perspective, you will see specific ways you may be of limited help. That is the idea.



(March 20-April 19)

Set aside any notion of every man for himself, and remember your ethics. You also need to keep a lookout for people who are adopting that strategy. At the same time, there will be many opportunities for you to participate in a constructive and positive way, which will serve the purpose of easing your path through the world. The qualities to focus on now are cooperation and collaboration. We are so unaccustomed to doing this that our whole orientation as a society will need to shift. And before that, individual people will need to shift the fundamental ground of conflict we usually stand on, which is necessary to have our society that is based on competition. While you cannot do this yourself, you can decide where to invest your energy. That, in turn, determines the mode of leadership you embody. There will be relatively few people who are able to stay centered, take care of themselves, and set a positive example. It's up to you to be one of them.

(July 22-Aug. 23)

It is particularly important that you take steps to guard your health, which means not taking any needless chances. Do all of the basic things you know about that have the effect of nourishing your body and your spirit. I say this knowing the same astrology calling for you to cool down a bit is also driving you to push a little harder -- hence, my recommendation. This may be a difficult balance to attain, though striving to do so will teach you how to keep your priorities in order. Food and rest are essential. Run through your agenda and cut back anything that consumes your energy needlessly. Be mindful of activities that require you to travel. Much of the shuttling around that people do is avoidable: not all of it but at least some of it. Notice how helpful removing even one thing from your agenda is, which is the thing to do when you get the feeling you cannot sustain your energy output. Then, focus on efficiency and economy. Those things exist, and are beautiful.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)

Recent weeks have probably been quite a ride for you. Yet if one thing has come into focus, it's your true need to see the world from other people's point of view. This is easy for some and difficult for others. One thing I can tell you from my long adventures both in journalism and as an astrologer is that people drop hints about their perspective. They don't just spill the beans and let it all out and reveal their cosmology. Yet those small clues can be genuinely meaningful and helpful, if you're listening, and you keep them in context. People reveal how much they think their existence is worth. They reveal what they think is possible. They reveal how they feel about others. They reveal their needs. Yet you must listen carefully, and take these things under advisement rather than acting on them in a lurch. It is, under the best conditions, difficult to get to know people, though at the moment, you have an advantage here.



(Dec. 22-Jan. 20)

(Jan. 20-Feb. 19)

Well, the world has become quite the adventure lately, hasn't it? With Saturn in your sign, you may have a much better sense of what's happening and where you fit in. This is like replacing a lens, or putting one where there was none before. You will see things you have never seen, and be able to distinguish new features in what you've been looking at for a long time. This has happened before: the "pyramid on Mars" was not really a pyramid. Yet some people still believe it is. Though you cannot always trust what your eyes tell you, you will benefit from taking it into account. More than anything, though, you are growing, changing and maturing, and this is the new lens through which you are looking at the world. Saturn's presence offers many blessings, and some appropriate challenges, which you are most surely ready for.


(Feb. 19-March 20)

There is room for you in this world. Not only that, you have a purpose and you have a calling. You're already aware of this, though the signal seems to be stronger at some times than at others. Over the next couple of weeks, you will be getting additional information about the nature of your new role. Listen to your inner voice carefully. Observe the world as silently as you can, standing back a little and appreciating what is going on. While there will be as many expressions of this astrology as there are Pisces in the world, the basic scenario is this: your signal is being increased, by which I mean the message that you broadcast to existence. And existence is going to respond as your thoughts ripple out. This may be on a microcosmic scale; it may be on some modest community scale; we may be talking about something on some mega scale, suited to your sign (which covers such things). Edit carefully; anyone may be reading.

......................................................................................... Read Eric Francis daily at

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