Early Winter 2021

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Pete Caldera Sings Frank Sinatra Nice and Easy Journal Entries of the Upper Delaware River Region • Serving PA, NJ & NY

Early Winter 2021

Publisher & Editor

Amy Bridge publisher@milfordjournal.com

Creative Director

Jimmy Sheehan jimmy@milfordjournal.com

Associate Editor

B’Ann Bowman bann_bowman@yahoo.com


Amy Bridge amy@milfordjournal.com Susan Mednick susanmed2@optonline.net Kimberly Hess Kimberlyhess212@gmail.com


Anna Hersch, Martin Schmalenberg, Paul Michael Kane, Norma Ketzis Bernstock, 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.

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 www.milfordjournal.com




Early Winter 2021

• art •

Lynn Isaacson


• history •


• food •


• life •


• nature •

Building Bones

Cookie Culture

Pete Caldera On Reserve

6 • journal entry 7 • poem 22 • in memorandum 34 • market scope 43 • signs

Pete Caldera Sings Frank Sinatra Nice and Easy Journal Entries of the Upper Delaware River Region • Serving PA, NJ & NY

Early Winter 2021

Cover Line Pete Caldera brings his special style to a Frank Sinatra Holiday Show at the Milford Theater. Left photo editorial credit: mark reinstein/Shutterstock.com. Right photo courtesy of Pete Caldera. 5

Journal Entry Dear Readers, As I write this entry, it’s Election Day here in our beautiful town of Milford, PA. The country, the world, seems to be divided politically, but a theater is a home for the arts, where we put our differences aside and welcome everyone, no matter our personal politics or beliefs! As the new Artistic Director of the Milford Theater, I am here to welcome everyone to take part in shared artistic experiences, whether that’s a film that makes us all laugh or a play that might make us cry—whether it’s watching your kids perform on the stage in a musical or watching an incredible musical performance by a Grammy-nominated singer. The Milford Theater is here for us all, and like all of us these past months, it has had quite a journey. After nine long months, we have completely restored this beautiful building that was built in the 1920s. The theater now boasts brand new seats, state of the art sound, a lobby bar for cocktails and concessions, a new projector and film screen, and best of all… HEAT! No jackets required. You will find such comfort and entertainment here. Some of you may know that I grew up in Milford before moving to New York City to become a film producer. I lived and worked in NY for 20 years and came home with my family to find comfort during the height of COVID. When I was approached about becoming the

artistic director of the theater, the thing that excited me most was that I would be able to help bring this town together to heal from such a difficult time. That, along with providing you amazing entertainment in all forms, remains my goal. Our doors will be open to you year-round with live performances, staged plays, films, acting classes for kids, dance performances, events, and even weddings! I would love to hear from the readers of The Journal to learn what you’d like to see at the theater. Please send your suggestions to boneil@milfordhospitalitygroup.com. Lastly, I hope you and your families have a wonderful Holiday Season. Please come visit us at the new Milford Theater. Our full list of programming for December and a wonderful article on Pete Caldera, the best Frank Sinatra singer you have ever heard, await in this issue.

Guest Entry Beth O’Neil Artistic Director, The Milford Theater



Thanksgiving, a Feast I think turkey, stuffing and cranberries, probably sweet potatoes and a green veggie would be enough, but Lee insists on corn pudding, Max only eats white potatoes, Sue says Waldorf salad is tradition and Randi’s roasted vegetables were a hit last year. And while the turkey roasts we’ll all be hungry so I buy bagels for lunch, smoked salmon, humus and guacamole, tortilla chips with salsa, Havarti cheese and crackers, dried apricots, figs and clementines on sale. Sam just wants dessert and Bill assures him there’ll be pumpkin and apple pies, Jen’s brownies, Christina’s chocolate chip cookies, butter pecan ice cream and a box of truffles. And because it’s also Sue and Sam’s birthdays, Jimmy brought Krispy Kremes all the way from New Paltz. But twenty pounds of turkey overwhelms the pan, I forget the giblets in the neck which reminds me of the book I used to read to my first graders, the one about the Tappletons, how the frozen turkey bounced out the back door, rolled into the pond, how the salad got fed to a pet, potatoes dripped off walls from an unwatched blender, pies sold out at the bakery. But our family at long last feasts, the chutney with grapes gets rave reviews and even though I forget the coffee and tea (though no one complains), we feel satisfied and full, and like the Tappletons, we all agree, this Thanksgiving was special and it had very little to do with the food! -Norma Ketzis Bernstock




By Anna Hersch

An Artist’s Journey

Lynn Isaacson


ow does someone evolve from conceptual artist, whose gigantic canvases dwelled in the intellectual realm of art history, to potter, whose utilitarian bowls, plates, and cups fit nicely on a kitchen shelf? Lynn Isaacson of New Prospect Pottery believes that serendipity played a big role in her journey, along with her day job, her friends, and even some New York City landlords. On a recent afternoon, Isaacson sat in her spacious studio near Pine Bush, NY, and shared some of her many stories— some funny and all wise—about her long life as an artist.

Photos at left and above by Billy Carpio

“I got my MFA in painting, rented a tiny studio on Union Square, and had some work in galleries in the city. I was doing painting and sculpture and was one of the founding members of a cooperative gallery, the Noho Gallery on LaGuardia Place,” she begins. The gallery later moved to Soho, so the Noho Gallery was on Mercer Street in Soho. Her early work can easily be called conceptual, based on ideas and concepts rather than the object produced. She constructed tight geometric, three-dimensional forms on her canvases, which she then painted. The painting grew out of color theory, the study of how colors interact. For instance, the same red line looks orange when surrounded by yellow but rose when surrounded by blue. Isaacson repeated the resulting images, using them as modules to form large, complex canvases. “The geometry I used in my paintings was very regular, very tight, for a very long time,” she said. “I had gone to art school in the sixties when you had a blue canvas with an orange border. There was no sense of how it was even painted, so that’s what I did. I used little foam rollers and got rid of the hand of the artist because you just wanted the color to speak for itself.”

She also worked very large, and that required some acrobatics in a miniscule New York City studio. “To line up the lines and the stripes, you had to be really precise. The piece was eleven feet long, and the only way I could do it in the tiny studio was to set the modules diagonally on a table and crawl under the table to get to the other side. I could not get far away enough to really see what it looked like, and I never saw it until I hung it in the bigger space at the gallery. “I was in the studio maybe ten years,” Issaacson mused, “but it became oppressively expensive, so I had to give it up in the late 1980s. I knew I had to get rid of my living room furniture at home and work small. I also wanted to loosen up.” At home, her materials changed, but the modules and stripes remained. She favored the American log cabin quilt design that uses strips of cloth to form the modules, repeated in different colors to make a quilt. “I also liked handmade papers, and I always did needlework, knitting, and things like that. “I bought some vintage Japanese fabric—I don’t even know why I got that. The men’s kimono fabrics are geometric, while the ladies’ and children’s fabrics are floral. I really liked the geometric men’s fabric. I collected a lot of that, as well as handmade papers, to make the log cabin patterns, and then I would use them as modules. I would use the wrong side of the sewing. Then I started sewing into the paper with these gorgeous German threads. So, it was oil on paper, paper on paper, and fabric on paper.” Isaacson taught school in the South Bronx for most of her life, but she struggled because the art classes were never Continued on next page




funded correctly. “I taught practically every kid in the school; it was like gym. You were used as filler. Maybe a class would meet once a week for forty-five minutes, and you had maybe forty classes every week. If you have 1,200 kids, you never get to know anybody. “You are getting $250 a year for supplies,” she continued, “so you can’t even buy a pencil for everyone. I was very creative about it, but you need paint brushes; you need stuff. How much can you do with newspaper and flour and water? There is just so much that you can do. I needed to do something different. I needed a change of pace!” A combination of smart politics, serendipity, and chutzpa created the opportunity that Isaacson needed. “I had just come off a year’s sabbatical at City College when the ceramics teacher at the school retired. I wanted to teach ceramics, but the school principal would not fund me.” Luckily, Isaacson had met a lot of people while on sabbatical, including some on the Board of Education. She called a contact there who offered her funding directly from the board. “So,” she said, “that’s how my career in ceramics all started. I enjoyed it, the kids enjoyed it, and the Board of Ed was giving me money.” Her art practice seeped into her teaching in ceramics class. “I did quilt design with them, modules. We used a lighting grid from the top of an elevator to cut out square tiles, and we did mosaics. And I taught math methods. We did a lot of stuff based on math.” She created images from numbers and dates, using, for instance, the Roman numeral II because her cousin had died on February 2nd. Isaacson went on to teach near the Grand Concourse, where a friend opened a new school with a ceramics shop designed just for her, and at Lehman College, part of City University. Outside of her teaching, the transition from painting to clay took awhile. “I was a painter!” she exclaims. “Still clay is really seductive, so I started learning about contemporary pottery. I didn’t even know what I liked. I remember seeing this cup, and it had a lumpy white glaze. I said, ‘Ewww, it looks like brains.’ But, I went online and bought a little cup from Japan with the creepy glaze. It was a red clay cup with white creepy, glowy glaze. I put it in my living room, and I looked at it every day. I fell in love with this little cup! I was looking hard at pottery and being astounded at what I ended up liking.

During the same period, sometime in the 1980s, she started to study seriously and to meet a series of potters that would help transform and shape her process. At the Art School at Old Church in Demerest, NJ, she studied with Susan Beecher, beginning a life-long association. At a conference in Florida, she met Earline Green, whose work on tiles Isaacson called “life changing.” But, during all this time, she had no pottery studio of her own. Continued on page 12 10

Photos courtesy of Lynn Isaacson

“It turns out that I really like very simple Southern pottery, American jugs from the South. Simple, plain, and, I guess, geometric. Where my paintings were all about color, I don’t think any of my pots are all about color. I like contrast between surfaces, but it’s more the form. A simple form is really hard to make. I still struggle.”

A Wood Firing at New Prospect Pottery Firing pottery in a wood kiln, essentially a 6’ x 15’ brick oven, takes teamwork, extensive expertise, and not a little moxie. After loading the pottery deep into the kiln, a team of 16–20 people work in round-the-clock shifts to gradually heat a wood fire within to 2200° over about three days, keep it steady, and then slowly cool the kiln over the days that follow. A doorway receives the wood, an open grate below glows with the embers, and small openings on three sides allow the fire to draw oxygen.

Photo by Billy Carpio

The team moves rhythmically around the kiln, constantly peering into all the openings and watching for a lively fire that heats evenly throughout. The position of the logs, the evenness of the color of the embers, a tiny thermometer reading, the type of smoke coming from the chimney, and the sound, color, and movement of the flames—they miss no detail! Finally, with its insatiable appetite for pine, oak, and ash wood fed, its logs properly arranged, its embers evenly raked, and plenty of well-regulated oxygen, the wood kiln settles contentedly into producing beautiful finishes on the pottery harbored within.



Photo by Billy Carpio


Serendipity changed all that. She took advantage of her landlord’s eagerness for her to vacate her rent-controlled apartment so he could charge the market rate. “I ended up getting $75,000 for moving. A third of that went to Uncle Sam, and the rest went to the studio. Out I went from the city to upstate New York in 2006,” she said. Once in Pine Bush, her practice, like the roots of the trees enfolding her new studio, began to spread out in ever-changing directions. “It was a slow start. I was selling some stuff in the farmers’ market maybe once a month, and I met some people there. I had one electric kiln.” Susan Beecher was building a salt kiln at the Sugar Maples Center for Creative Arts, where she also taught. No one else she knew had that type of kiln at the time, so Isaacson joined the crew building it. The pottery she had admired for so long was all salt-fired, and she later built her own kiln for salt firing. Meanwhile, a friend invited her to the firing of a kiln heated with wood. She had never heard of wood firing. “My friend used all the lingo, and I didn’t know what she was talking about. Whadda you mean? Ay yi yi! I’m looking at the pictures, and I hadn’t a clue.” They rented a van anyway and drove their pots out to Iowa where Ken Buchell, whom Isaacson already knew from Old Church, introduced her to the magic of wood firing. “Once I saw the results, I was planning to build a wood kiln. 12

The advice I got was to go and fire in as many wood kilns as you can.” She learned the art and science of carefully loading the pots into the kiln, when to stoke, how to very slowly raise the temperature to around 2200°, and then how to very slowly cool everything off before opening the door. The opening of the door reveals the colors and patterns created by smoke, outside the control of the potters. Because the firing usually takes about six days of roundthe-clock, tough work, a group must come together and work in shifts. The kiln must be montitored and tended, and the participants have to be fed and even housed. “Sixty-five hours on your feet, carrying the logs, throwing logs into a 2200ºoven, flames coming out, you’re tired; it’s hard work. Barbara—she’s seventy-five years old—she drives up from Brooklyn. She’ll do an eight-hour shift. Hour eight, everybody else is exhausted, but she’s carrying logs—and she makes food! She usually brings bagels. Puneeta, a friend from Long Island, makes Indian food and will often bring things that she has made, so the place smells delicious, like the best Indian restaurant. It is so good!” Usually, the participants stay in area B&Bs or hotels, but recently twenty people came to her home for a week-long workshop with Justin Lambert, the designer of Isaacson’s wood kiln. Her place resembled summer camp with meals served, plenty of hard work, and lasting friendships being formed. Continued on page 14



Photo by Billy Carpio


“Every meal was here. [laughing] Food all over the place. Doug, who comes from Ithica, cooked the first two nights. I had hit the wall and never made 6 p.m. I had an eighty-threeyear-old woman and her husband on an air mattress in the office. I don’t know how they stood up. Doug was on an air mattress in the basement. People were sleeping on the couch. I woke up very early in the morning because the change of shift is at 5:30 a.m. I would get up and make coffee and tea at 4:30, then go out to the kiln. Afterwards, it took me a week and a half to just do the laundry. The towels, the sheets!” Isaacson’s studio is, by now, something like a fascinating museum of pottery process. Her four kilns, electric, gas reduction, salt, and wood, each produce entirely different finishes. She creates her own transparent or opaque glazes, tailored to each piece being fired. Unlike many potters, she 14

uses a variety of clays and fires at very high temperatures. She shares her vast knowledge and experience with anyone who passes through—and lots of folks do, constantly. In spite of the endless possibilities of her studio, she has stayed with the discipline of simple and useful shapes. Her kitchen shelf looks like a jewel box full of precious plates and cups, just waiting to receive colorful Hudson Valley produce. Any bowl, plate, or mug bought from her website will allow the purchaser to luxuriate in drinking a rich morning coffee from a practical work of art. ......................................................................................... You can explore that everyday luxury at New Prospect Pottery on www.newprospectpottery.com. Or you can visit the studio with GOST, the Gardiner, NY, Open Studio Tour, slated to resume next spring.



The sad state of what must have been a wonderful chapel at the Queen of Peace Retreat and Saint Paul’s Abbey during its relevant years. The care put into constructing this room is clearly on display—as is the disrespect of vandals who gained access illegally.

A shot from within the walls of the Queen of Peace Retreat and Saint Paul’s Abbey in Newton, NJ. This is one of the many hallways inside the structure. This was a residential wing, so these would be guest rooms.


By Paul Michael Kane

The Forgotten Ruins in and around New Jersey’s Roadways

The exterior of the Queen of Peace Retreat and Saint Paul’s Abbey in Newton, NJ, as captured from the side of the road.

Abandoned Beauty


ou may pass them every day, and more often than not, probably don’t give them a second thought.

The skeletal ruins of a church along Route 94 in Frelinghuysen, a leviathan of a building that once was a mansion but now sits abandoned on the campus of a community college, or a once-majestic abbey lying just past the intersection of Route 206 and Stickles Pond Road, left to the cruel intentions of mother nature.

Photos by Paul Michael Kane

These were once vital, relevant buildings that were painstakingly constructed with care and the utmost attention to detail. For one reason or another—most of the time—due to a monetary concern, they have been left neglected, lay derelict and, to most, become an eyesore. The photographer in me sees these as perfect subjects. My job as an image maker is to tell visual stories through places like the Spring Valley Christian Church, the Horton Mansion, or the Queen of Peace Retreat and Saint Paul’s Abbey, buildings full of character and history that is just begging to be shared. I spend most of my time in and around Sussex County

and have found it full of ruins of both historic significance and aesthetic value. And as many of them as I have found and documented with my photography, I am always delighted to learn of others that have remained hidden by the passage of time and the neglect of their caretakers. I have made a bit of a career out of helping to save buildings like this. My favorite example is the 1799 Lazaretto, located outside of Philadelphia, which was slated for demolition. A group hired me to come in and photograph the building, top to bottom. It took three years, but we managed to save the structure, and it is now being restored, in small part because of my photography, and will serve both as a museum and municipal offices. In my own small town of Ogdensburg, New Jersey, I found a hidden gem of historic substance in the old Fox Studio Film Vaults. The vaults were constructed in the 1920s and were used to store film, highly flammable celluloid reels. They were shipped across country by train and found their home right here in Ogdensburg. While there are no more reels to be found, the ruins of the vaults rest within the fences of a modern self-storage facility. Continued on next page



The front porch of the Horton Mansion, a structure on the campus of the Sussex County Community College, Newton, NJ.


There are ruins of mills and mines, mansions and more littered throughout the hills of Northern New Jersey. It’s a never-ending photographer’s paradise of history, texture, color, and form. The trick has always been getting the necessary permissions to gain access to these structures, many of which pose certain physical risk to anyone brave enough to step through rotting doors or broken windows. As a rule, I never trespass…ever. I want to document these buildings and be able to show my audience how they currently stand. I don’t want to have to worry about getting fined for trespassing when I enter a structure. Creativity is hard enough without having one foot out the door in case you see the cops coming. Doing what I do with all permissions granted is the only way I am able to truly capture the essence of a building. 18

The question I get asked most about photographing these buildings is what gear I bring along with me. I do like to travel very light when I am on these sorts of expeditions, so it’s usually one DSLR, in my case a Nikon D500 with a super wide-angle lens attached. My preference is the Sigma 10-20mm. That lens affords me a very cinematic view when I am tucking myself into the corner of a room, and it allows me to capture up to three of the four walls surrounding me. Join me now as I show you around my favorite locations in and around New Jersey. I’ve gained access so you wouldn’t have to and am very proud to show you these images! ............................................................................................ Paul Michael Kane will be hosting a program, “The Unseen Sussex County—Abbeys, Mansions & Mines” on December 2nd at 6:30 p.m. at the Sparta, NJ, Library. Photos continued on pages 19-20


Inside the conveyor belt of the Stirling Hill Mine, Ogdensburg, NJ.

A magnificent staircase at the center of the Horton Mansion in Newton, NJ, which also served as a religious boy’s home for a time.

The Spring Valley Christian Church as seen from the road.

The interior ruins of the Spring Valley Christian Church in Frelinghuysen, NJ.





Bob Keiber in a scene from the movie, Trust Me I’m a Lifeguard

In Memorandum

Robert John Keiber January 21, 1944–October 18, 2021


ob Keiber passed away last month. Many remember Bob as a supportive, kind, and talented person, and yes, he was all that. Bob also had a great sense of humor and a unique approach to life.

Working closely with Bob on the Board of the Black Bear Film Festival, I saw that he was a creative soul who was never afraid to try something new. There were no boundaries for his ideas, and his tenacity saw him through to the end of any project. Bob was a renaissance man, whose creative muse spoke to him in all of his approaches to life. His prolific career included heading up the Media Communications Department at NY’s Rockefeller University, starting a theater company in the West Village, acting in over one hundred TV commercials, and playing the role of the original Kit on the soap All My Children. His love of art led him to curate the art galleries at Berkeley College, NYC, before settling in Milford, PA. Song writer, movie actor, and painter, too, Bob had vision and ran with it, always mixing in a sprinkle of charm and his own brand of wit. Bob loved to write and published quite a few books. Over the years, he often submitted articles with photographs, 22

poems, and haiku to The Journal. A favorite was his photo essay about his “Love Affair with His Lake” that we ran in August of 2019. His book, Urban Hykool, is a modern commentary about life in the Big Apple as seen through Bob’s eyes: Parcel driver throws boxes to back of the truckeach of them marked “fragile”. Bloomingdale’s beauty. I stare, she smiles and walks on. We had a moment. Seems out of place. tuxedo with cello rides Subway to the Met.

One of his books was called My Cancer Diary. As a seventeen-year cancer survivor, Bob gave back with advice and genuine concern. He handed his book freely to people in need and donated profits from the sale on Amazon to cancer research. People like Bob Keiber don’t come around too often. We were lucky to have had him in our corner of the world.




By Amy Bridge

American Christmas Cookies from around the World


ome bakers all over the country are gearing up for their traditional holiday cookie bake-a-thons, gifting baskets, tins, and plates piled high with gooey, nutty, sugar-powdery, homemade deliciousness to friends and family. Cookie cutters in various shapes and sizes—candy canes, snowmen, snowflakes, Christmas trees—come out of storage and shine on display atop the kitchen counter, waiting next to packs of room-softened butter and boxes of granulated sugar. Michael Bublé’s soft, low voice tells us that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and the cookie makers know that the holiday season is now under way. America is a melting pot. The cookie recipes that we bake here have been incorporated from recipes that were passed down from generations of unique heritages, customs, and traditions throughout the world. The sugar cookie, for example, has its roots in Medieval Arab tradition. As a matter of fact, we are hard pressed to come up with an original American Christmas cookie. The chocolate chip cookie qualifies as American—it was created in Massachusetts by Ruth Graves Wakefield of the Toll House Inn—but it is enjoyed at all times of the year. The peanut butter cookie comes close to being an original American creation. George Washington Carver included three cookie recipes using crushed or chopped peanuts in his 1925 work on growing and preparing the peanut for human consumption, which included over three hundred peanut products. But the recipes didn’t refer to peanut butter, which wasn’t listed as an ingredient until the 1930s. Regardless, the peanut butter cookie is not just a holiday recipe, either. In the spirit of sharing some holiday love, we’ve reached out to a few home bakers in our area and asked them to share some of the traditional family recipes that they include in their holiday cookie repertoire. Enjoy!

Nonna Capicotto’s Italian Cookies Rosemarie Mazzei 6 eggs 2 cups sugar 4 tsp baking powder 2 tsp vanilla 1.5 cups shortening (butter or margarine) 5 cups flour ¼ tsp salt Let shortening get soft. Cream with sugar until smooth. Add eggs, mixing about 3 or 4 eggs at a time. Mix until smooth. Add vanilla and mix in. Sift flour with baking powder and pinch of salt. Add flour mix, folding it into batter. Batter should be tacky; if more flour is needed, add it. Spoon batter into a cookie press, either an electric or manual press. Bake 10–12 minutes at 350 degrees. Yields 150 cookies.

Greek Orange Whiskey Cookies Karen Kontizas 32 oz flour 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 2 cups sugar 1-1/4 cups margarine 1 cup Mazola oil 2 eggs 1 small jigger of whiskey 1/2 cup orange juice 2 tsp orange or lemon extract First mix wet ingredients and then gradually add the dry ingredients. Spoon onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, a tablespoon at a time. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Continued on next page 25



Norwegian Krumkake Edith Klev Johnsen

Scottish Shortbread Margaret Syme

4 eggs 1-1/4 cups sugar ½ lb butter, melted and cooled 2 cups flour

1 lb salted butter 1 cup sugar 5 cups flour

Beat eggs together with the sugar. Mix in the melted butter and flour. Pour about a tablespoon of batter into the center of a waffle iron and close top. Cook on the stove for a short time, until golden brown. Remove from iron and roll while still hot. Set aside to cool. May be eaten as is, filled with custard or whipped cream, or dipped in melted chocolate or powdered sugar.

With a pastry cutter, cut the sugar into the butter until it’s blended. Add flour in 1 cup portions and cut crisscrosses using 2 knives until the mixture looks like course meal. Press the dough into an 11” by 16” pan until the depth is uniform. Score into desired piece sizes and prick each piece with a fork. Bake at 300 degrees for an hour, remove from the oven, then rescore with a knife. Put a dish towel over the cookies and then place a cooling rack on top of the towel. Turn over to cool. Continued on page 28





Mexican Polvorones con Nuez (with nuts) Danielle Alejandra Garcia Ramirez 1 cup powdered sugar 1 cup unsalted butter (softened) 2 cups pastry flour 1/2 tsp salt 1 Tbs vanilla extract 1/4 cup pecans Cream together the butter, sugar and salt till silky. Add vanilla extract. Slowly incorporate flour 1/4 cup at a time. Then add chopped pecans. Shape into little balls (about a Tbs each), place on a greased baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 12–15 minutes or so (they shouldn’t get brown). Remove from oven, let cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar to taste. And last but not least, we highly suggest Dorie Greenspan and Pierre Hermes’s, World Peace Cookie. This recipe of chewy, chocolatey, incredible goodness can be found in the cookbook, Dorie’s Cookies or by Googling it on the web. According to its author. World Peace Cookie And last but not least, we highly suggest Dorie Greenspan and Pierre Hermes’s, World Peace Cookie. This recipe of chewy, chocolatey, incredible goodness can be found in the cookbook, Dorie’s Cookies or by Googling it on the web. According to its author, “The World Peace Cookie lives up to its name. If everyone had it, peace would reign o’er the planet. I’m convinced of this.”





By Martin Schmalenberg

It’s All About and Family Impressions fromHope a Master

Life Caldera with Layla Pete

Without a song, birds would be out of work. -Francis Albert Sinatra I was a young boy growing up in New York City W hen during the 1950s and 60s, a passionate Yankees fan and later a Mets fan, an event occurred that would change my world for the rest of my life. A music group called the Beatles (you may have heard of them...they had some good songs!) appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. As a fourteenyear-old, I was immediately transfixed by their sound, their appearance, charisma, and telegenic magnetism. The group would change contemporary music forever. It was a phenomenon in-the-making, and a legend was born.

Photos courtesy of Pete Caldera

I, and about a zillion young guys, went right out and had to have a guitar and shoes with Cuban heels. We did our best to try and be just like them. We learned some of the chords to their songs, and tried to get away with growing our hair longer. We wanted to emulate them and perhaps get girls to listen to us? Their style and music seeped right into our DNA. For generations, this phenomenon of idolizing popular singers has been happening. Before my time, there was Elvis Presley, and before him, the biggest name of all was Francis Albert Sinatra, aka the Chairman of the Board. Sinatra’s attraction seems universal. His sixty-year career left a legacy that reverberated deeply with aspiring singers and musicians. He is generally perceived as one of the greatest musical artists of the 20th century and one of the bestselling singers of all time, having sold an estimated 150 million records worldwide. How did he do it? Sinatra blended a mix of jazz, blues, folk, and pop styles with his ability to understand and properly deliver the lyrics with his warm baritone voice. In his younger days, he pract-

iced singing to the melody of a trombone, which helped him learn to sing pleasantly, seamlessly, and in a smooth unbroken manner. Singers of his generation were able to use the newly improved microphone, patented for multimedia use, such as radio and television, which enabled them to sing in a much softer, personal, and nuanced style. Sinatra’s vocal technique and choice of songs represented a strong departure from the “crooner” style of his childhood idol Bing Crosby. He sang songs that he thought his target market, which was primarily upper class, would easily relate to: parties, love affairs, champagne, and the good life in general. Like me, 55-year-old Pete Caldera grew up in New York City and rooted for the Mets. At the age of fourteen, Caldera would find himself immersed in a musical phenomenon that would impact his life forever: Frank Sinatra. Caldera’s mother was a passionate Sinatra fan and asked her son to tape The Sound of Sinatra radio show every week as he was growing up. Soon, the songs and lyrics became a part of his DNA. He began raiding her vast Sinatra record collection, and although not a musician, young Pete discovered he could carry a tune. For him, singing came quite easily, and he would often practice in the car with tapes. While many young people his age were listening to rock and pop, Pete never really got interested in those sounds. Instead, he was fascinated by the Big Band Era of the 1940s, with the likes of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Tommy Dorsey. Inspiration came from musicians and singers, such as Bing Crosby and Billie Holliday. Continued on next page




Although Pete Caldera rooted for the Mets, he landed a job covering the Yankees for northern NJ’s Bergen Record. He is past chairman of the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Caldera’s sports writing career also led him to become prolific as a Frank Sinatrastyle nightclub singer. Caldera has a different approach to Ole’ Blue Eyes than most of his contemporaries and is very careful to explain his particular style. He insists he is NOT an impersonator, but more of an impressionist. “I gained a great deal of insight on the legendary singer by listening to DJ Jonathan Schwartz, WNEW FM on Sunday mornings. He often spun interesting stories and anecdotes about Sinatra, the man, in between playing the great songs,” Caldera relays. Caldera sees himself as a vehicle to interpret the songs and the re-creation of the style of those eras. His phrasing is vintage Frank Sinatra, circa 1960, his voice drenched with Hoboken rasp and delivered with Sinatra wise-guy wit. His favorite Sinatra period is the early 1960s when he sang for Capitol Records. He is proud to tell you that he saw Sinatra perform 15 times before his death in 1998. During spring training, 1999, Caldera was covering the Yankees when some of the other sports writers who were familiar with Pete’s singing talents prevailed upon him to sing Bobbie Darin’s song, “Sunday in New York.” It was then that his contemporaries began to realize that he could really sing. “I was covering the Mets for the Record in 2002 when Bobby Valentine was managing the team, and Valentine introduced me to Willy Rizzo, son of Sinatra’s famous friend Jilly. At that time, Willy operated Jilly’s nightclub in Chicago, and whenever the Mets arrived in town to play the Cubs, I was often invited to sing with the band at Jilly’s.” This was the catalyst that really catapulted Caldera’s second career.


Caldera, the entertainer, can be heard frequently in the tri-state area where he books private parties and corporate events, and he does occasional gigs in Las Vegas. He currently performs “Sinatra Saturday” with the renowned eleven-piece Stan Rubin Orchestra, which plays at the exclusive Carnegie Club lounge on West 56th Street in Manhattan. He auditioned for the singer’s spot in the band and says good naturedly, “If Stan wasn’t a Yankee fan, I wouldn’t have gotten the gig.” Rubin retorted, “Although it was amazing that Pete covered the Yankees as a beat writer, I wouldn’t have hired him if he wasn’t a good singer. And the fact is, Pete beat out 30 other singers for that spot.” When asked if he preps before each show, Caldera quickly says, “Of course...preparation to create a mindset...a mood...and I always insist on a tux. There’s a wonderful feeling when I put on that tux, singing those great songs in front of a big band...you get a hint of just how great it must have been to be Sinatra.” Pete Caldera has been blessed with the ability to balance two passions professionally, and if imitation is the highest form of flattery, Ol' Blue Eyes is looking down approvingly, knowing that Pete Caldera is doing it HIS WAY... with style. ....................................................................................... Pete Caldera will be performing a Frank Sinatra Holiday Show on December 4th at 7 p.m. at the Milford Theater in Milford, PA. For tickets, visit www.milfordtheater.com.


Market Scope


ooking for ice-skating music? Is lounge, bachelor pad, or Polynesian music your thing? Original Vinyl in Warwick, NY, is the shop for you.

It’s not unusual for serious collectors to stop in with magnifying glasses and research books to look in the runoff grooves for indicators of the elusive first editions and other finds.

Want a working vintage Edison Diamond Disc phonograph with some original quarter-inch thick records to go with it? Original Vinyl is your place.

The glass display case under the checkout counter is their shrine to Elvis Presley and the Beatles. Jim pointed out his two favorites, the never used bottle of Elvis Shampoo and the circa 1965 Beatles Serving Tray. Sorry, neither are for sale.

Pam and Jim Eigo opened their business in 2017 because of their love of, and connection to, the music industry. They currently carry over 100,000 used records, which they sell both retail and online. They just may have one of the biggest selections of rock, jazz, country western, and bluegrass in the area, as well as a growing classical and show tunes section. The Eigos have two shops located in a strip mall in Warwick, and with a wink of the eye to their industry, they’ve named their stores, Side A and Side B. Side A is a traditional record shop that will bring you back to the old days, with albums separated categorically and alphabetically by large white file folder tabs, displayed in vintage custom-made record cases. Pam’s acrylic blackon-white “transfer” art adorns the walls with portraits of musicians such as Dolly Parton, Billie Holiday, and Bruce Springsteen sharing space.


Original Vinyl

The Side B store features all of the oddball stuff. In there, you will find a large collection of 8-track tapes, a wall of 45s, the 78s, vintage carrying cases, and new and used turntables. “We are an official ‘Record Store Day’ store,” Jim says. “We purchase exclusive limited- edition new releases made available by the various record labels. We’re looking forward to the “Black Friday” vinyl offerings on November 26th. We had people lined up at our doors at 5 a.m. for our June and July Record Store Day events!” Good humored, Jim loves to share stories about the many fascinating characters that he’s met in the music business. He likes to say, “Every record tells a story, every album cover tells a story.”


Photo by John Kocijanski

“Standing on the lip of the Upper Delaware River on a Sunday with little or no traffic going by, when the weather is 5° above, and the wind is blowing downriver, and a mature eagle lights in a tree across from the blind to pose for a 45-minute study, it’s spiritual, it’s like being in church, it’s a magnificent experience!” -Joel Murphy, Eagle Watch Volunteer



By Amy Bridge

Photos above and on following page courtesy of the Delaware Highlands Conservancy

The Van Scott Nature Reserve The 144-acre Van Scott Nature Reserve is now open to the public in Beach Lake, Berlin Township, PA. We had the opportunity to speak with Diane Rosencrance, Executive Director of the Delaware Highlands Conservancy, about their mission and their vision. Tell us a bit about the Delaware Highlands Conservancy and how you came to establish offices at the Reserve. DR: The Delaware Highlands Conservancy is a non-profit organization that conserves open spaces, natural landscapes, farmland, water, and wildlife habitat in the Upper Delaware River Watershed region to protect these places for future generations and enhance the quality of life for all who live in or visit the region. We strive to provide opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to learn about the importance of natural re-

source conservation, sustainable farming, wildlife habitat, and protecting clean water. By offering this quality programming, we hope to inspire action to protect our vital natural resources. We feel extremely fortunate and grateful to the Van Scott family for donating the Van Scott Nature Reserve to the Conservancy in 2020. Dr. Eugene Van Scott identified Delaware Highlands Conservancy when the family decided that they wanted to donate the former dairy farm property to an organization that would keep the property for wildlife habitat and would provide programming for the community to learn more about its natural resources and how to be environmentally responsible. We were presented with the opportunity to own our first nature reserve and headquarters in which we could offer expanded conservation education programs. We could not have had a better fit with the Conservancy’s mission and vision. Continued on next page



What is it like to work in this amazing place every day? DR: The renovations to the office have just been completed, so I cannot speak directly about working at the Reserve every day yet. However, I can say that every time I drive on Perkins Pond Road and see the Van Scott Nature Reserve on the hill, a feeling of home, happiness, and excitement fills me. It is a beautiful place that offers so many opportunities for the Conservancy, but even more importantly, I am thrilled about what we can offer for our community! I am really looking forward to being at the Reserve more often to walk the trails, view the plants and animals, enjoy nature, and share its beauty with others. What is the difference between a nature reserve and a nature preserve? DR: They are really the same. However, I personally tend not to use the word preserve as it means to maintain something in its original or existing state. Our natural resources 38


are ever-changing. With that said, resiliency of our natural resources is vital as we look to mitigate climate change. Can a visitor hike the grounds? What will they see? DR: Absolutely, we certainly do welcome visitors to walk the trails at the Reserve, which are open sunrise to sunset daily. On the Explorer Trail, the longest trail loop, visitors will walk through the meadows (in the spring and summer, everything is in bloom and the many pollinators are fun to watch), encounter the two ponds, and skirt the forest. The Butterfly Trail takes you to see the spectacular view of the surrounding forests and mountains from the high point of the Reserve which is one of my favorite places. If you want to explore the forest and its inhabitants, take the Woodland Trail. The Bluebird Trail will allow more opportunities to see bluebirds with the installation of the bluebird nesting boxes coming in the spring. You can learn more about the Reserve and download the trail map at www. delawarehighlands.org/vsnr. Continued on page 40


Photo by David B. Soete



Give us some examples of what a center for conserva- What are some winter activities on the schedule? tion education teaches. What are your different proDR: We have an Eagle Watch program in January and grams during the year? February with guided bus tours beginning at the Van Scott DR: The Conservancy is looking toward the future to de- Nature Reserve. Every winter, we have between 150 and velop a center for conservation education to expand our 200 bald eagles in our region. Some fly up to 900 miles programming even more. As I mentioned, the renovation to winter here. The eagles come here because our region is of the office has just been completed. We are becoming healthy enough to support them—but it’s up to all of us to more acquainted with the Reserve ourselves and want to make sure it stays that way. also offer this opportunity for our visitors. Therefore, we will be launching an Explore On Your Own program in How do you envision the center ten years from now? which we will offer materials for visitors to borrow. These are specifically designed to explore and learn about the for- DR: I envision the Van Scott Nature Reserve to be a place est, waterways, and meadows on the Reserve. In addition where the Conservancy offers opportunities for everyone to our expansion of the education program, some of our in our community, both residents and visitors, and all feel ongoing programs include the annual Photo Contest Re- welcome to explore and learn about our natural resources ception and Show, which took place on November 13th. and land conservation. I hope our programs will inspire The exhibit runs until December 6th at the ARTery in people to take what they learn at the Reserve and apply it to their own properties and their own lives—by assisting Milford. others in their current or future careers and/or by working We have ongoing Women and Their Woods events, which with the Conservancy or other land trusts to conserve and are dynamic and fun programs that teach women to care steward their properties through land conservation and for their forestland properties. We also offer Conservation sustainable land management activities. Conversations with our land protection staff and nature ....................................................................................... hikes and walks on conserved properties. We update our Eagle Watch Volunteer Training, December 4th and 11th. events with details on our website. www.delawarehighlandsconservancy.org





Planet Waves by Eric Francis


(March 20-April 19)

You may feel as if a commitment in a relationship or partnership is interfering with your self-development, and for that matter, with your wider social life as well. I would agree: you seem to be in a tight spot, though you're also fully invested. Therefore, focus on taking care of what you have given yourself to, and allow the other aspects of your life to wrap themselves around this particular involvement.


(April 19-May 20)

This month brings the first lunar eclipse in your birth sign in many years, the first of a series of eclipse events that will gradually shift your relationship to yourself and to others. Eclipses return to sign pairs (in this case Taurus/Scorpio) on an approximately nineyear cycle, so they are the kinds of events that mark decades. Generally, these involve events that interrupt the continuity of one's life. Things that have been the same forever can give way to transitions.


(May 20-June 21)

If you want to feel better, you might consider food. We all know the world has gone gung-ho over one theoretically brand-new "disease" and experimental one drug, and is convinced this is the solution to everything. All the organic vegetable coops in the universe don't seem to be enough to remind us that food and health are intimately related, and that food and water matter more than any other variable when it comes to predicting health and wellness outcomes.

past—including very distant elements of family history you may have no idea are driving you. Yet discovering the various factors and forces is the theme of the next few weeks. You are in one of those astrological phases where this is a good time to remind you that nearly all of the karma you feel like you're dragging around, working out or burning as fuel is the property of your parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.


(Oct. 23-Nov. 22)

It is likely that your exploration of your true being and your reasons for living will clash with your family, or what you consider your community. Therefore, be prepared for such an action, or make the choice to do nothing new or assert your desires (and the latter is unlikely). The reaction could take a diversity of forms, though the bottom line is the notion of being accepted by your perceived tribe.


(Nov. 22-Dec. 22)

Take this opportunity to sort out your thoughts, and in particular, your business plan for the next couple of years going forward. While Jupiter is moving indirect motion through Aquarius (which ends in late December), you have the potential for an extended moment of clarity. This means access to your thoughts relatively unclouded by your emotions or confusing astral influences. The fusion of Sagittarius and Aquarius (through Jupiter) is about practical idealism.


(Dec. 22-Jan. 20)

With the Sun now moving through Scorpio, you have likely regained your sense of perspective. You need that: the wide, panoramic view, rather than the telescopic or microscopic view. This includes your view of yourself. It's essential that you see your life in its context, which is not easy, as you are at the center of your world. And what is that context? As was once said by a sage of old, "By their works, ye shall know them."

Jupiter and your ruling planet Saturn have turned to direct motion in the financial angle of your chart. If money has not started to flow more freely, you are confident that it soon will be doing so. This, in turn, is a reflection of your deeper faith in yourself, and understanding something about the strength of your character. However, this is not about posing, or faking it till you make it. It's not about your affect but rather your psychic orientation toward yourself.




(June 21-July 22)

(July 22-Aug. 23)

Mars moving through one of the most sensitive angles of your chart is either lighting a fire under you, or setting off the fire alarm. Be cautious of the place where your own insecurities intersect with what you perceive as challenges in business and personal partnerships. Under the current astrology, it would be easy for you to feel hemmed in by rules or responsibilities you don't like.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)

You are pursuing something that is moving slower than you are, so you don't need to rush. Rather, invest your thought and energy into tracking what you want, and what direction you are headed. Slow down and pay careful attention to everything and everyone around you, rather than being blinded by desire or seeming necessity. From the look of your solar charts, you must be cautious of investing yourself in a situation that seems desirable now, but which is leading toward an emotionally and mentally complicated situation.


(Sep. 22-Oct. 23)

Who you are is in part the product of your past. Yet your current reality does not need to be dictated by your

(Jan. 20-Feb. 19)

One role of Aquarius is to bring people together. The question is, for what purpose? Your own, or something you've been told to do? For some natural and friendly experience, or to submit to the will of others? What is not written in astrology books is the two-faceted nature of your sign. In one expression, Aquarius is about individuality and freedom. In another, it is about everyone believing, thinking and doing the same thing — though this cannot happen, the effort is what matters.


(Feb. 19-March 20)

It must seem like there is quite a bit that is outside of your control, influence and awareness. Some things (and some people) have gone missing, though you might not remember till you find them accidentally. You are also under unusual pressure, though you might not be able to give it a name. It's important that you do, so that you can see the way that subtle feelings are influencing your perception of your existence, of your future, and the choices you are making now. ..........................................................................................

Read Eric Francis daily at PlanetWaves.net. 43

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