I want to take a moment in this Journal Entry to thank the many people who have reached out to me after reading my tribute and poem to Martin Schmalenberg in our last issue. I’ve heard from friends, both old and new; acquaintances; and people I’ve never met or who never knew Martin.
Many told me that after reading that issue, they felt as if they’d come to know him a bit. Many told me that my poem touched their souls and brought tears to their eyes. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me; your sweet words mean so much.
Well, it looks like we made it through the winter!
I’m sorry for all the cold-loving, snow-loving people out there, but no, I’m really not. They’ve certainly had their years. Personally, I am always ready for spring to come after fall; they’re my favorite seasons in the Northeast. It’s time to start tending to the earth again, so I’m including a poem here by a local poet that I think many spring gardeners can relate to.
Therapeutic Gardening • By Maureen Newman
Waiting for the warmth of the earth
To plant and cultivate seeds, Like a bird in a nest ready to give birth This serene ritual satisfies needs,
Spade in hand preparing the ground Beautiful surroundings bring peace, Butterflies and nature all around Can’t help but feel tension release,
Sun on my face and a gentle breeze
Now it’s time for seeds to get sown, Flowers, vegetables, many of these Will gratify when all are grown,
Weeding, watering, and nurturing all Plants thrive and to my delight, The garden flourishes and gets tall What an awesome, satisfying sight.
Hope Springs Eternal
‘‘The time is nearing,” Mother smiled, as her axis tipped once more, and she could feel the warmth of the sun, covering her breast. There was still hope for this world, she marveled. The system was still working.
The Spring thaw, once more, was giving birth to the earth’s agitation. Waterways, erupting through the winter ice, irrigating the earth in their noble fashion. Seeping into each nook and cranny, giving renewing substance to the roots, lying dormant under the soil.
“Wake up,” Mother is propelling. “Worms, do your duty. The earth needs your nourishment. Wake up, my seeds, bring forth your fauna. Your newborn cousins, animal, and human alike, have need of you.”
“Wake up,” Mother is saying, “your slumber is done, awaken my children, your work has begun.”
Thursday 5:30 p.m.
70th Anniversary Celebration. Lafayette House, Lafayette, NJ. Silent auction. $45. Dinner, auction & more. Hosted by the Sussex County Bird Club. Info: www.sussex countybirdclub.org.
Saturday 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Spring Fling. Wurtsboro, NY. Crafts, bird show, duck race & more. Sponsored by Wurtsboro Board of Trade. Info: www. wurtsboro.org.
11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Earth Day Festival. PEEC, Dingmans Ferry, PA. $5/car. Hikes, crafts, food, music & more. Info: 570.828.2319, www.peec.org.
Sunday 2–3 p.m.
Frederick Cook: Arctic Explorer. Time and the Valleys Museum, Grahamsville, NY. Illustrated lecture about Cook’s expeditions 1897–1908. Members/free, nonmembers/$5. Info: 845.985.7700, www. scnyhistory.org.
Monday 6 p.m.
A Taste of Talent. Perona Farms, Andover, NJ. Tasting stations from local restaurants. Live music. $300. Benefits Project SelfSufficiency. Info: 973.940.3500, www. projectselfsufficiency.org.
Thursday 5:30–9:00 p.m.
Ottaway Medal Dinner. The Barn at Villa Venezia, Middletown, NY. Sponsored by VISION Hudson Valley. Medal recipient: Donna Cornell. Info: 845.469.9459, vision hudsonvalley.org.
Saturday 9 a.m.
Spring Antiques and Vintage Market. Sparta VFW, Sparta, NJ. Hosted by the Sparta Historical Society. Benefits Van Kirk Homestead Museum. Info: 973.726.0883, www.vankirkmuseum.org.
10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Community Marketplace: Opening Day–Family Fun. Netcong, NJ. Vendors, nonprofit & community organizations. Hosted by Netcong Community Partnership. Info: gonetcong.com.
10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Spring Vendor/Craft Fair. Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Sparta, NJ. Free admission. Info: www.sothnj.org.
4–6 p.m. .............................
Members’ Exhibition: Artists Reception. Pocono Arts Council. Stroudsburg, PA. Exhibit: May 6th–June 24th. Info: 570.476.4460, poconoarts.org.
10 a.m.–6 p.m. .............................
Sugar Loaf Spring Festival. Sugar Loaf Art & Craft Village, Sugar Loaf, NY. Vendors, music, food, drinks & more. Info: 845.570.5189, www.sugarloaf.com.
Sunday 1–3 p.m.
Spring Beauties: Wildflower Walk. Brandwein Nature Learning Preserve, Port Jervis, NY. Learn how to identify wildflowers. Best for ages 5 and up. $5. Registration required: brandwein.org.
Walk N’ Wags. Pine Island Park, Pine Island, NJ. Dog walk-a-thon. Food, music, activities. $25–$30. Benefits Warwick Valley Humane Society. Info: 845.986.2473, wvhumane.org.
Wednesday 6:30–8:00 p.m.
Wild Edibles. Lacawac Sanctuary, Lake Ariel, PA. A walk around Lacawac looking for perennial vegetables, medicinal herbs, mushrooms, and other edibles in the forest. $7. Registration required. Info: 570.689.9494, www.lacawac.org.
Thursday 5–10 p.m.
Girls Night Out. Honesdale, PA. Business specials, discounts & giveaways. Registration required. Hosted by Greater Honesdale Partnership. Info: 570.253.5492, visit honesdalepa.com.
Awards Dinner. Farmstead Golf and Country Club, Lafayette, NJ. Honoring local businesses & individuals. $60. Hosted by the Greater Newton Chamber of Commerce. Info: 973.300.0433, www.greater newtoncc.com.
Saturday 8 a.m.–10 p.m. .............................
Toast to Milford. Milford, PA. Celebration of food & drink, free tastings. Hosted by Milford Presents. Info: milfordpa.us.
Spring Has Sprung Bike Ride. High Point State Park, Sussex, NJ. 8-mile loop. $5 donation. Sponsored by Friends of High Point State Park. Registration/Info: 973.875.1471, www.friendsofhighpointstatepark.org.
5–6 p.m. .............................
Art in Bloom: Reception. ARTery Gallery, Milford, PA. Milford Garden Club’s floral interpretations of art. Exhibit: May 11th–June 6th. Info: 570.409.1234.
Saturday 4 p.m.
Music of Sibelius, Mozart, and Dvorak. First United Methodist Church, Newton, NJ. Performance by New Sussex Symphony. $10–$15. Info: 973.579.6465, www. newsussexsymphonynj.org.
Community Takeout Chicken BBQ. Time and the Valleys Museum, Grahamsville, NY. $15. Info: 845.985.7700, www.time andthevalleysmuseum.org.
May 20th & 21st
Saturday & Sunday 7 a.m.–4 p.m.
Warbler Weekend. PEEC, Dingmans Ferry, PA. Guided birding excursions. $30 per day. Bring a lunch. Info: 570.828.2319, www.peec.org.
10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Farm Animal Frolic. Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm, Stroudsburg, PA. Baby farm animals, games, refreshments & more. $10–$18. Also May 27th & May 28th. Info: 570.992.6161, www.quietvalley.org.
Sunday 10:30 a.m.
Gordon & Ginny Shelton Memorial Walka-thon. Sussex County Fairgrounds, Augusta NJ. 1.8-mile walk benefits SCARC and SCARC Guardianship Services. Info: 973.383.7442, www.scarcfoundation.org.
Wednesday 4–5 p.m.
Boundin’ Furbearers. Van Scott Nature Reserve, Beach Lake, PA. Learn about furry animals that live nearby. $5/members, $10/non-members. Info: 570.226.3164, Delaware Highlands.org.
Saturday 10 a.m.–1 p.m. .............................
A Moveable Feast: A Historic Tour of Milford with the Pinchot Family. Milford Community House, Milford, PA. Lecture, tour & food tastings. Hosted by Grey Towers Heritage Association. $25–$35. Info: 570.296.9630, greytowers.org.
Sunday 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Art in the Park Day. Peters Valley School of Craft, Layton, NJ. Studio tours, fine craft demonstrations, hands-on activities, food & live music. Free. Info: 973.948.5200, www. petersvalley.org.
Pinchot’s horsehead sculptures.
Photo by Jay Lozada
Living Life to the Fullest The Art of Rosamonde Pinchot
had a choice in life as a young woman: to excel in one thing or to have fun doing many things.”
When I first met and spoke with artist Rosamonde Pinchot for this story, I was immediately delighted that she chose the latter. A woman of great warmth, sly humor, and rich talent, she relocated to Milford, PA, a year and a half ago.
The Pinchot name is very familiar to most people in the tri-state area and beyond. One of her paternal ancestors was an officer in Napoleon’s army. On her mother’s side, her grandfather, a famed automobile and airplane manufacturer, designed the first circular flight plane to become airborne in France. “The circular element was quite a feat,” she explains. “Most people believe the Wright Brothers were the first, but essentially all they did was glide an airplane from a high hill.”
Rosamonde’s great uncle, Gifford Pinchot, was the renowned 28th governor of Pennsylvania and the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service after it was established in 1905. Gifford enjoyed a close relationship with President Theodore Roosevelt, who shared Pinchot’s passion for the conservation of natural resources.
Born in Paris to an American father and a French mother, Rosamonde still shares the Pinchot commitment to conservation. Every time she sees a grand old tree being cut down in town, she gets frustrated and contacts someone in local government.
“It’s a shame that there aren’t more restrictions on this sort of thing. I can chop down a 200-year old tree on my property, but I can’t change the glass in my windows,” she laments, referring to her 1850s Milford home. “On top of that, I get agitated whenever I think back to the fact that nearly 80 percent of the old magnificent trees in the thousands of acres of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington State were destroyed by the logging industry and its road encroachments.”
But it is her love of both horses and art that led her into a quite fascinating life with a career in sculpting and jewelry making. Her life adventures and attitude also gave rise to a palpable joie de vivre. “We’re here only once,” she observes. “I say, make it fun.”
Her attraction to horses developed at a young age, when she thoroughly enjoyed riding with her family and friends. “Later, when I got to the United States and studied at Bennington College in Vermont,” she recalls, “one of my trotters ran into a farmer’s barn. I remember the farmer saying to me, ‘If you’re going to be running horses into my barn, at least let me train you how to handle them better.’ ”
Returning to France, she became one of that country’s first female jockeys. Asked how she remains so fit and trim, Rosamonde explains that she “sort of” adheres to “the jockey’s diet: steak and lettuce every day, with perhaps a bit of French dressing.” She later admits to loving smoked salmon, chicken, croissants, cheese souffle, pate de campagne, and a very chilled Blanc de Blanc on occasion.
Since she was a child, she was drawn to not just riding horses, but to bringing them to life through her art. She paints, draws, and has made exotic jewelry throughout her adult life, but her specialty to this day remains sculpting horseheads. Her latest work will be featured in the near future in the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York.
Rosamonde relishes telling stories about “my vivid family,” and her home is filled with family photographs and cherished albums. Aunt Rosamond, after whom she was named, was a well-known American socialite and stage and film actress. One of her great uncles was Stephane Mallarme, a French poet and translator of Edgar Allan Poe’s works.
She also recalls a relative on her mother’s side who was a gifted painter of pastels and a great grandfather who owned
11 By Will Voelkel Art
Continued on next page
Rosamonde, 14 years old, riding her mother’s horse.
Photo courtesy of Rosamonde Pinchot
a beer factory. “Unfortunately,” she laughs, “he lost five cents on every bottle of beer that was sold, so clearly he was not a great businessperson.” Now that she’s in Milford, Pinchot is “desperately seeking a really good art agent to represent me.”
“I’ve lived in Paris, New York, Nigeria, California, and other places,” she explains. “Who would have thought I’d end up in Milford, where my family enjoyed so many good times at the house.”
The “house” is Grey Towers, the Pinchot family’s summer estate, now a National Historic Site. “I met Great Uncle Gifford and his wife Cornelia for the first time at Grey Towers.” She smiles and laughs as she continues, “I was introduced first to Gifford, who then proceeded to introduce me to Aunt Cornelia, who was reclining on a couch in the great room before looking toward me. ‘Don’t be ridiculous,’ replied Cornelia, ‘Rosamond is dead,’ ” referring to her actress aunt, who died in 1938.
Her aunt’s name was spelled Rosamond, but her mother decided she should be named the more French Rosamonde. Her name originally combined the Germanic elements hros, meaning horse, and mind, meaning mud. So it’s only appropriate that Rosamonde works with horses and mud.
When Pinchot settled in Milford a year and a half ago, it was to be closer to family. She hasn’t been back to Grey Towers since she moved to Milford, but says she would relish a return visit.
Rosamonde’s horsehead sculptures have been featured in museums and fine art galleries frequently through the years. Her sculptures have been sold through galleries in New York City, including exhibitions at the Rockefeller Collection and the Empire Galleries, the Altermann Galleries in Dallas, and several galleries throughout California.
Rosamonde often begins the creative process by crafting small, detailed wax models that may eventually be used to become limited-edition crystal figures. This begins a very long and arduous process working with a foundry that scans the wax figure by computer and blows it up to a 36-inch size that is then covered in clay. Throughout the process, Rosamonde makes precise adjustments, particularly on the eyes and the mouth to express both the motion and the emotion as realistically and artistically as possible.
Once the piece is finalized, it is cast in copper and tin to create the bronze finish and then polished to the proper luster. “And finally,” she notes, “the patina is added, and that takes the work of the very best specialists.” Her current work-in-progress horsehead sculpture has taken over a year of working five-hour days.
12 Art Continued
Photos by Jay Lozada
Her paintings (she appears to be fondest of Peonies, which she created in pastels) have earned great respect, and her fine craft of jewelry making has also gained renown over the years. Her specialties, equine and African wildlife pendants and brooches in silver, gold, and precious stones, were featured in Cartier, Neiman Marcus, and Dunhill of London catalogs in the past.
But horses and horsehead sculptures remain closest to her heart. “Each sculpture I have created reflects my love of these incredibly affectionate animals. I chose many years ago to focus on sculptures as opposed to paintings or drawings because of the tactile nature of sculpting.” The use of her hands to create a three-dimensional work of art still visibly thrills her.
What’s next? Continuing to create art in her out-of-town studio, Rosamonde is currently having renovations done to
her Milford home, and “I’ve got a children’s book in mind (about horses and sculpting, of course), and I’d love to create large urns that would have a horse mane ribbon attached.” And with the engineers’ blood that runs in her family, she’s lately had ideas about designing a porpoise swimsuit with a motor in the fins.
“Many of my friends are starting to die, and at this stage in my life, I like to keep active with my art and what I call my ‘twisted’ ideas because, frankly, I try to stay more alive than dead.”
Rosamonde Pinchot: a gifted artist, a fascinating storyteller, and someone of whom her French and American ancestors would be extremely proud.
Will Voelkel is an occasional contributor to the Journal and a big fan of the regional arts scene.
Peonies by Rosamonde Pinchot
By Amy Bridge
The Legend of Gyp’s Tavern
t’s not uncommon for a kid to think, “One day, I’m going to run off and join the circus.” But George Rosselli’s father, also named George, was no common kid. He was born in Newton, NJ, on October 10th, 1910, the second eldest of fourteen children.
In 1926, a traveling circus came to Andover, and George Sr. entered the boxing contest that was part of the entertainment. He won the match and ran off with the show, only to return home a year later with the nickname Gyp. Nobody is really sure how he got the nickname, but it stuck.
George remembers his father as an entertainer, an old school carnie. “He was a man’s man, grizzly is the word that comes to mind—a true outdoors man.”
After the circus, Gyp continued his adventurous life. He didn’t talk about it much, but George knows that his dad did drive a truck for the famous mobster and boot legger Dutch Schultz during Prohibition. He then turned professional boxer, and in the early 1930s, he became the New Jersey heavyweight champ for the Civilian Conservation Corps camps. (The Civilian Conservation, CCC, was a government-sponsored work relief program, part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal during the Great Depression.)
In the mid-1930s, Gyp tended bar at a large, well-known Western-style dude ranch situated at the Delaware River in Walpack, known as the Lazy K Bar Dude Ranch. New York City guests would come to stay at the ranch. At that time, the car ride out took about three and a half hours. Those who traveled by rail were picked up at the Branchville train station and transported to the ranch. Locals say that quite a few famous musicians and movie actors made their way to Gyp’s bar at the ranch.
Entrepreneurism ran in Gyp’s family. One of his brothers, John, started what became a well-known antiques and interior design firm in Manhattan with his wife, Bunny
Williams. Back in New Jersey, a sister Mary and brother Sam owned the Rosselli Meat Market on Trinity Street in Newton. Another sister, Lena, opened Lena’s Steak House at Kemah Lodge; brother Frank started the Lafayette House; and sister Suzabelle owned Suzabelle’s, which is now the County Seat in Newton. One sister, Coppi, (Catherine Rosselli Brown) was the proprietor of the Century House in Hampton. George noted that among Gyp’s 14 siblings, they owned 10 liquor licenses in the county.
After years of working for others, Gyp wanted to open his own tavern, which he did in the late 1930s on Kittatinny Lake, in the building that now houses the Stokes Forest Sports Shop on Route 206 in Sandyston. And this is where the infamous stories of Gyp meeting and befriending George Herman Ruth—the most beloved of all baseball players, the Babe—took place.
One-time Yankee pitcher, Russ Van Atta was born in Augusta, NJ, and throughout his life, he enjoyed hunting and fishing in Stokes State Forest. He was the one that introduced his teammate, Babe Ruth, to Sussex County. Together, they would frequent local joints such as McKeowns, currently known as the Carriage House, or the Culvermere Lake Resort and Hotel on Route 206 in Culver Lake, whose property is now part of the 2,000 acre Bear Swamp Wildlife Management Area.
Babe, who was born in Baltimore and spent many years in New York City, retired from baseball in 1935. Greenwood Lake, NY, along with Cranberry Lake and the Sandyston area in Sussex County became his playground.
Babe and Gyp became fast friends, linked by their freespirited natures. Together, they spent hours hunting, fishing, and hanging out at the Hercules Hunting Club in Walpack, the fishing club in Stokes on Lake Ocquittunk, and the Agar Farm in Sandyston, which was a hub for drinking and playing cards.
On left page, top left: Babe and Gyp, top right: Babe Ruth, bottom: Lazy K Bar Dude Ranch. Above on this page: Gyp Rosselli. Photos courtesy of George Rosselli Continued on next page 15
Gyp and the Babe
Gyp’s Tavern thrived, his collection of antique guns lining the wall next to photos of his friend Babe Ruth and boxer Jack Dempsey. George explained that Shotgun Week, or the opening of deer season in December, was big at the tavern. If they didn’t make money then, it would be a long winter. So, Gyp, ever the entertainer, wanted to keep his customers happy, and he would think of things to do on the spur of the moment to amuse them.
When Babe came to visit the tavern, which was often, Gyp would ask him to bar tend, and then Gyp would get in his car and ride around telling people the Babe was there. Once a carnie, always a carnie.
In 1947, Gyp bought a mail order log cabin and built it next door to the original tavern, and moved his business in there. The red log tavern building still stands to this day. In 1948, his buddy, Babe Ruth passed away, just 53 years old.
Gyp had a daughter, Lana Joy, and went on to have two sons, George and Buddy, who were basically weaned at the tavern. George recalls waiting tables starting when he was about 10 years old. (This wasn’t a “violation” of child labor laws back then, George assured me.) He has many stories
to tell about how he helped his father amuse the customers, including the mongoose one.
When the bar was packed, Gyp would yell over to George to go get his mongoose. A mongoose is mostly found in Africa, so there weren’t many spotted around town. George would bring a box out to the bar with a hole in the back. Inside would be a furry tail that was attached to a string. There would be 20 or 30 guys standing on top of each other to see the “mongoose.” George would pull the string, the box’s lid would fly open and the tail would go soaring out. This spooked the on-lookers, who would then fall to the floor, collapsing on top of each other, making for a great joke.
George recalls his brother, Buddy, doing card tricks and lasso tricks on top of the bar for a drunken crowd. For George, this wasn’t an ordinary childhood, but in reality, it was much tamer than his father’s had been.
Gyp Rosselli lived a fast and furious life and just as his friend Babe Ruth had, Gyp died young, in 1971 at the age of 61. Gyp and the Babe both liked to live as large as possible, and the story of their friendship is the stuff that legends are made of.
History Continued 16
Paintings by Ann Smiga Greene
Low Tide 18
Ramen and Art
“Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colors, there are only so many flavors— it’s how you combine them that sets you apart.”
-Wolfgang Puck, Austrian chef
When someone mentions ramen, your first thoughts probably go to the store-bought dried noodles you bring to life with boiling water and the addition of the enclosed flavor packet. Cranky Noodles in Sussex County, NJ, our favorite local noodle bar, inspired my daughter Ina and me to attend an online ramen class offered by King Arthur Baking Company baking school. We learned to make fresh ramen noodles and created a wonderful bowl of Japanesestyle soup. Like Cranky Noodles, we took ramen noodle soup to the level of culinary art.
Defined as wheat noodles served in a rich broth with toppings, ramen arrived in America in the late 19th century, becoming deeply linked to the culture of postwar Japan.
Four major types of Japanese ramen evolved with distinct tare (or base) flavors: shio, (salt-based); shoyu, (soy saucebased); miso, (soybean paste-based); and tonkotsu, (pork bone broth-based).
Complexly flavored, the perfect bowl of ramen combines broth with noodles and additions of your choice. Embellishments include toppings, such as slices of roast pork, chicken, or beef, and vegetables, such as mushrooms, bamboo shoots, bok choy, carrots, or chopped green onions. The final touch includes an optional addition of a soft-boiled egg.
We often refer to the best chefs as “artists” because, via their creativity, their learned techniques, and their experience,
By Ann Smiga Greene 19
Continued on next page Food
Photo by Ina VanVooren
they bring cuisine to masterful levels. As an artist myself, I often see the parallels between cooking and making art and want my students to understand that whether you create your masterpiece in my studio, in your own studio, or in a kitchen, focused inputs of creativity and energy will bring your efforts to a new and different level.
Your unique approach and preferences make all the difference and provide a signature to your work. When you begin to create a new recipe or fresh painting, allow yourself room for extra creativity. Your effort plus your intuition will lift your work from good to great. Ask yourself what you have in the refrigerator (or in the cupboard) that will take your soup “over the top” (pun intended). What do I have in my toolbox that brings singularity to this painting with a “flavor” no one has tasted before?
Cooking and painting are visual, experiential, and tactile processes. You may prefer impressionism to abstract art or colorful high key art to soft grayed hues. You may prefer shoyu to miso. Whatever your preferences, the handling of the medium and your disciplined balancing of color, shape, value, texture, and line will take you from good to great. Your skillful balancing of sweetness, spiciness, saltiness, acidity, umami, and texture will provide the depth of flavor that will take your noodles from decent to delicious.
Whether you cook or make art, practice makes perfect. Artists and chefs start by learning the basics, i.e., materials (ingredients), techniques, and composition (flavors) and continue the journey by adapting and adjusting based on outcomes. Practicing the basics consistently and repeatedly each time you’re in the kitchen or in the studio—and learning from each experience—will ensure that you create your own unique work of art.
All fine arts, visual, culinary, etc., tell a story and elicit an emotional response from the participant. Great paintings come from the soul of the artist; the best memorable ramen comes from a kitchen filled with joy and laughter. Love and intention put into a painting or a meal can produce a true masterpiece.
I suggest the following recipe to anyone making ramen with hopes that you will use it, modify it, and embellish it as you see fit. As with watercolor art—whether abstract or representational—your goals can include both creating a masterpiece and producing a work (meal) with your own unique signature.
Ann can be contacted via the contact form on her website at annsmigagreene.com if you are interested and would like more information about her paintings or classes.
Food Continued 20
Easy Shoyu Ramen Soup
(For each serving of soup)
2 cups beef, chicken or vegetable broth
¼ cup shoyu tare (recipe below)
3 oz ramen noodles (homemade or purchased)
1 soft boiled egg
Toppings of your choice, i.e., sliced red or green bell pepper, sliced cooked beef, pork, or chicken, cooked or fresh mushrooms, baby spinach, broccoli, julienned carrots, bok choy, peanuts, or other Japanese toppings as listed below.
• Heat broth in a saucepan. Add the prepared shoyu.
• Cook noodles according to directions.
• Place noodles in bowl and add the prepared shoyu broth.
• Add toppings and a soft-boiled egg.
2 cups soy sauce (regular or low sodium)
¾ cup sake
¾ cup mirin (sweet rice seasoning)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 green onions, chopped
• Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan.
• Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
• Remove from heat and strain the solids. Let cool.
• Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Authentic Japanese ramen toppings:
Chashu • Braised pork belly
Menma • Seasoned, thinly sliced bamboo shoots
Negi • Japanese long green onion (Welsh onion)
Kimchi • Pickled and spicy vegetables such as cabbage
Ajitama • Soft-boiled eggs marinated in a sweetened soy sauce mixture
Moyashi • Bean sprouts
Nori • Dried edible seaweed
Kamaboko • Steamed fish cake
Narutomaki • A type of kamaboko (aka naruto) with a sawtooth edge and a pink spiral design made of filleted and minced meat (surimi in Japanese) and other seafood, such as shrimp and squid
By Julia Schmitt Healy
An artist’s dream is often to be discovered and have their work appreciated and collected during their lifetime. That’s rare. Many artists—if not most of them—just survive by doing other work and making their art on the side in what can only be described as obscurity.
Those artists who make work “no matter what” have a deep desire just to make things. That desire outweighs ideas of financial success or pursuing fame and glory as the end goal.
This is the story of a women who died in Port Jervis in obscurity and whose art work is now, thirty-seven years later, being shown in art galleries and international art fairs.
Dorothy F. Foster (April 13, 1903–August 22, 1986) was born in Jersey City, NJ, to Frederic and Mary Elizabeth Foster. She was one of three sisters. Her father died when she was five years old, and her mother moved to Manhattan. Dorothy attended Wadleigh High School for the Arts and received a diploma in Decorative Design and Interior Decoration from the prestigious Cooper Union in 1927. While at Cooper Union, she was awarded a Silver Medal for her Rendering in Oils.
It is known that Dorothy worked as a textile designer for Sulka in Manhattan, a silk tie company that existed until 2002, when their last store was closed. Apparently, she loved to travel, visit art galleries, and stroll Central Park according to her self-published book, The Noisome Day, the Stilly Night.
In the 1970s, Foster moved to Port Jervis, NY, where her sister Muriel lived with her husband Frederic, who was a French chemist working at the local silk mills. Dorothy moved into senior housing, where, clearly, she was drawing all the time—on newspapers, envelopes, cards, paper plates, magazine clippings, and anything that came her way.
She referred to her drawings as “doodles,” and she made thousands of them. They are mostly small in size, but very graphic. Her technique was to use ballpoint and what looks to me like red marker and green colored pencil on found papers. She also made some paintings, but my sources feel they were “not as good.” (I have not seen any of them.) Once she died, her work was packed up and stored in her sister’s basement. Continued on next page
Tucked Away in a Port Jervis Basement The “Doodles” of Dorothy F. Foster
Dorothy Foster’s drawings courtesy of Fleisher/Ollman Gallery
In the early 2010s, Dorothy’s great-nephew, Robert Young, inherited Muriel’s Port Jervis house and its contents. He came up north from Texas to begin the task of cleaning the house out and contacted various dealers to come look at what was there. One was Debbie Raia, coowner of a Port Jervis antiques emporium.
“There were various pieces of fabulous furniture—a canopy bed, original hand-painted bathroom fixtures, glassware, kitchenware, just lots of stuff,” Raia says. She didn’t see any drawings—indeed, they may have still been in the basement. In appreciation for helping advise on some of the house’s contents, Young gifted her a small photobook containing 23 of Dorothy’s works. (See photo at bottom right.)
Enter Charlie Giachetti, who at that time owned the Old Lumberyard Antiques in Milford, PA. He was also one of the first dealers to see the contents of the house. When he saw the drawings, he bought a large amount of the work. The pieces were put into binders, and he began to sell them. At one point, he tried to put some in an auction, but they “did terrible.”
Soon after that, Jill Wojtaszek, who also used to have an antiques business in Port Jervis, stopped by the Lumberyard, “because people like me like to see what other things dealers have,” she says. She found herself quite taken with Dorothy’s quirky images. “They haunted me. I felt I hit a payload.”
Wojtaszek brought in a friend the next day, and they pulled the ones they liked most. Together they bought 50% of what Charlie had—maybe 1500 pieces or so, she estimates. They had some drawings framed and then exhibited them, first in a now-defunct Honesdale gallery and then twice at the Upfront Gallery in Port Jervis, beginning in 2015. Over a couple years, she sold “a lot of them.”
After a bit of time, Robert Young himself decided to open an antiques/thrift store in Port Jervis. Apparently, he hired people to man the store when he was in Texas, in some cases letting them stay in the still-unsold house. Raia says, “His shop had a variety of items...he bought unclaimed storage lockers as a sideline, so it wasn’t all antiques. It closed, and then it was reopened under a different name.” She continues, “I think he sold the Foster drawings he had for five dollars each. Once the house was sold, he closed the store for good and moved back to Texas.”
But before he left, Claire Iltis, a gallery associate living in Philadelphia, was visiting an artist-friend in Port Jervis, and they poked around Front Street and went into the great nephew’s store. Iltis was smitten with the Foster drawings and bought 20 or 30 to sell at the gallery she works at— Fleisher/Ollman. That gallery is known for specializing in outsider and visionary artists, as well as representing some contemporary artists. Continued on page 26
24 Life Continued
Robert Young was in the store when Iltis visited, and they chatted a bit. Turns out the memories he had of “Aunt Dot,” as he called her, fit the description of an artist: She wore straw hats year round and loved to braid ribbons or yarn into her hair! And clearly, she was obsessive in her approach and dedication to making her art.
A business relationship between the Philadelphia gallery and Young ensued whereby all of the drawings he has left would be sold through Fleisher Ollman with a percentage going to him.
In early March of this year, the gallery sponsored a large booth at the Outsider Art Fair in Manhattan, and the Foster works were prominently displayed. And purchased, I might add! There was such frenzy that they actually sold one drawing twice by mistake. One of Foster’s images was even the featured logo on the posters and brochures for the event. Her small works now fetch over $1,000 each.
One might ask: What makes these works so sought after? The art world has a special name for works that are made outside of the mainstream: Outsider Art. Often it is made by non-academically-trained people. But sometimes, artists, who have had some art training, go off on their separate ways, making things completely to the beat of their own drums.
That is how Dorothy fits into the description. She was a tireless “doodler” (her description), yet one who signed and titled each work. She knew they were worth something. She even saved rejection letters from exhibits she tried to enter. It’s somewhat heart-breaking, yet rejection didn’t stop her.
As an artist myself, I can say, I find her work very compelling. Her imagery is very 1930s in its patterns and designs. You can see her decorative roots. Using mostly black ballpoint pen, she drew stylized leafy or geometric borders. And her recurring figures are raccoon-eyed divas and women/girls/ elves wearing Maid Marion-style pointy hats—or are they dunce caps? Usually, each piece has rounded corners at the top, forming a not quite proper tympanum shape.
Dorothy Foster shares a grave with her sister at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Port Jervis. Jill Wojtaszek visited it years ago. “It was hard to find, but I found it,” she notes. Dorothy died without recognition...but isn’t it better to be recognized now rather than never?
I ask Wojtaszek if she wishes she had held on to Dorothy’s drawings. “I still have a few of them. But I made enough money on them. I’m glad to see them getting this kind of exposure.” ....................................................................................
Julia Schmitt Healy is an artist and sometimes-writer who lives and works in Port Jervis, NY. Her work is represented by Western Exhibitions in Chicago, Illinois. For more information, visit Juliahealy.com or westernexhibitions.com.
Dorothy Foster’s work can be seen at Fleisher Ollman Gallery, 915 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA. For information about the gallery, visit fleisher-ollman.com or call 215.545.7562.
Photo by Cathy Rosselli
Wingspan~ 70 Years of Birding
s it their delicate wings that take them to heights we can only dream of, or perhaps their symbolic representation of peace and love? Is it their innate talent for song that serenades our mornings and makes us smile? Maybe it’s the adorned myriad of colors they so humbly sport, that change with the light, inspiring the beautiful in us. Are they our connection with our primordial past? Perhaps it’s that birds have outsmarted all science, all logic…and yet there they are.
Whatever answers we seek, one thing is certain, these elegant creatures keep us in awe. Their delicate sticks of legs perched on equally fragile branches, their masterful nestbuilding skills or instinctual time telling; announcers of the seasons, hunters of prey, talent of dance, speech, and of freedom…
Their inspiration has inspired many to gather and feather their own curiosities for a better understanding and appreciation of our airborne counterparts.
Every year, billions of migratory birds travel north in the spring and south in autumn. Some have short journeys; others have the ability to transit 3,000 miles without a single landing. Our very own region of the country is very fortunate to benefit from such migrations, and it is something worth acknowledging.
The tristate area, for example, sees thousands of migratory waterfowl, such as ducks and geese, which find their temporary homes along the pristine Delaware River, as well as at our precious inland lake areas. And the Kittatinny Mountain range is a principal northeastern flyway for large numbers of aerial birds such as hawks and eagles in the spring and fall seasons.
What better location in which to form a local bird club! And that’s just what happened in 1953.
The Sussex County Bird Club (SCBC) has been going strong for the past 70 years, educating and encouraging people to appreciate the natural world and its inhabitants, surrounding them. It is the only bird club in Sussex and Warren County, NJ.
The term “birding” has virtually become a verb in the English language, revealing the sense of community club members share and the pride of their common interest. “Do you ‘bird’?” “Why, I’ve never tried it.” is an exchange I imagine occurring between birders and non-birders from time to time. Clearly, birding has earned its name, for the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation estimated twelve years ago that in the United States, there were no fewer than 46 million people who counted themselves as birdwatchers. Although that number sounds high, it represents only 14% of the total population, which makes clubs like the SCBC all the more essential.
SCBC’s objective is “to encourage the study and appreciation of birds and other forms of nature, and to further the cause of conservation of our natural resources.” The club, its members, and its activities all serve to instill the gratitude of growing up amid still largely undisturbed natural forests, clear sparkling waterways, and fresh air, and more importantly, to ensure its stability and longevity for generations that follow—to directly impact the lives of young people. Some of the ways they accomplish this is providing speaker programs at their club meetings, organizing field trips, hosting a website, and through social media.
Mr. Jack Padalino, President Emeritus of SCBS, clearly sees the club’s aim to impact the next generation when he states, “I trust that the future of the SCBC includes a focus on young people as birders.” Jack learned about a bumper sticker that reads, “Take a Kid Birding,” and he has kindly offered it free to Journal readers. (See the end of the article.)
Continued on next page I By
Immature male red-winged blackbird. Photo by Cathy Rosselli
Photo courtesy of Sussex County Bird Club
Many old school thinkers believe it is better to be actively “entertained by the woods” outside our doors rather than be passively occupied by whatever indoor technology has or doesn’t have to offer. (This writer couldn’t agree more.)
Adding to the club’s educational outreach, the SCBC publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Flyway. It is an ornithological cornucopia of all things bird, including seasonal and rare bird sightings, field trips, books, club news, personal anecdotes from the field, and annual sightings reports.
This year’s spring issue recorded the 2022 Annual Bird Sightings Report that tallied no fewer than 246 species, including six rare species for the region: pink-footed goose, marbled godwit, little gull, yellow-crowned night-heron, lark sparrow, and arctic tern. A surprising fact: arctic terns hold the longest [recorded] migration distance of any migratory bird between the Arctic and Antarctica—almost 60,000 miles in a year!
The Flyway’s educational findings are made possible by members and by outside volunteers such as the New Jersey Eagle Project volunteers, as well as organizations such as the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ and the NJ Dept of Environmental Protection’s Fish and Wildlife, to name a few.
Mr. Bill McDaniel, President of the SCBC, volunteered to provide Journal readers with a more in-depth scope of what makes the club tick:
Are there any commonalities among club members, besides the love of birds?
While the club membership is composed of people from all walks of life, and children through seniors, our members enjoy many nature-related hobbies such as growing orchids, African violets, and other house plants, as well as gardening focused on native species to help restore our insect communities and native plants that our native birds require to raise the next generations. Many members also enjoy nature/wildlife photography and wildlife conservation.
Do you feel that the club has had a big impact on the community?
This is difficult to measure, but our members are learning firsthand the difficulties that birds, their environment, and nature in general are having due to habitat loss, climate change, and the introduction of invasive species. Every person can make a positive impact on this, and our members carry that message.
Has there been a noticeable change in bird species sightings over the past several decades?
Very sadly, the numbers of species and their populations have been dropping over the last 30 years. Once common species are seen less and in smaller numbers. There are many reasons for this, the biggest being habitat loss—locally and at their wintering grounds. The rainforests are vanishing. Pesticides and herbicides kill weeds and insects and poison the birds. Building and window collisions kill millions a year, as do feral cats and domestic cats who are allowed outdoors.
How do you imagine the future of the SCBC?
We are looking forward to growing our membership and introducing people to the wonders and benefits of birding. Recent scientific research has shown that seeing or hearing birds improves people’s mental wellbeing for up to eight hours, decreases stress, and sharpens concentration. Our club offers expert guided field trips through wonderful local habitat. We hope to attract all ages to experience and enjoy the outdoors.
What compels someone to become a birdwatcher?
Birding is a very accessible hobby. At its most basic, you don’t even need to leave your house to observe birds. Just look out your windows. Many of our members put feeders out to see who visits their yards. Noting bird colors, shapes, and sizes makes for a great experience. Beyond that, our numerous trails and parks in Sussex County are a great way to get out in the fresh air, get some exercise, and see birds you may not see in your own yard. Continued on page 32
Nature Continued 30
Eat like a bird
Wild goose chase
As the crow flies
Proud as a peacock
Free as a bird
Take someone under your wing
Happy as a lark
Feather your nest
Top: Pheasant. Bottom left: Chipping sparrow. Bottom right: Red-winged blackbird.
Photos by Cathy Rosselli
It would be interesting to know what rare birds have been sighted.
One of the reasons the club was formed 70 years ago was because a green tailed towhee showed up in a yard (we believe in Franklin, NJ). This is a western species that took a wrong turn or was blown east by a storm. A few people saw it and began meeting at each other’s houses, talking about it and sharing other bird stories. Also, we have had a few rufous hummingbirds, which usually show up in the late fall. They are a western hummingbird that somehow also made a wrong turn. Another is the northern wheatear, an Arctic species that was seen at the Liberty Sod Farms in Warren County quite a few years ago, and in 2015, a member saw a beautiful painted bunting in Andover on the cheapest feeder with cheap seed! It stayed for almost a month.
It is exciting to announce that 2023 is a very special year for the SCBC as it proudly celebrates its 70th anniversary, a milestone for dedicated members and the community alike. This year, the club has been awarded a medal to recognize its role in Leadership in Environmental Education by Orange County’s Paul F. Brandwein Institute, which serves in the advancement of excellence in science, education, and conservation. To celebrate this special honor, a gala dinner will be held for its members, staff, and affiliates on Thursday, April 27.
Club members and nature lovers alike would agree that bird watching perpetuates our curiosity and inspires us to learn more, but a more fundamental benefit would be the recognition that we can no longer be passive observers. Going forward, we can play an active role in bird habitat preservation by being mindful of our ability to compensate for the reduced amount of wild forests and wetlands for our feathered cohabitors who provide us beauty, inspiration, and connection to all things primeval.
We can play a small part by planting native plants in our yards, maintaining trees for nests, leaving grasslands in wild forms, and ensuring that ponds and waterways remain free from debris. These are just a few simple human acts, enabling birds to do their fundamental purpose: propagating, pollinating, regenerating, and balancing the biosphere that sustains us.
For more information about the Sussex County Bird Club, visit sussexcountybirdclub.org, see Sussex County Bird Club on Facebook, or email info@sussexcounty birdclub.org.
Journal readers: Get a complimentary “Take a Kid Birding” bumper sticker by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to Mr. Jack Padalino, 1293 Milford Road, Dingmans Ferry, PA 18328-0100.
Photo courtesy of Sussex County Bird Club.
Middle: Owl and owlet.
Bottom: Downy woodpecker.
Photos by Cathy Rosselli
Aries (March 20-April 19)
You have a second chance to start over; to take hold of your time, your resources, and your physical space. This arrives after many months of feeling bogged down in circumstances you didn't understand, most of which had their roots in your own lack of mental clarity. We live on board a whipping star, where time is the essence of our fleeting experience. Therefore, learn to use time to your advantage. Recognize that it's your most precious resource.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
The Sun entered your sign on April 20th, with the gust of a total solar eclipse behind it. That is emphasis, and it's a running start. However, you don't need to make any effort to move quickly, only to stay in the stream of the events that are taking place. If you don't cling to the shore or strand yourself on a rock, you will be in the flow. This translates to flexibility; and having a center and a point of focus but making sure that it's movable.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
The recent solar eclipse and sign-change of the Sun feels like one of those warp speed special effects from Star Trek. The quality of movement is exponential, and a release from ordinary time, space and gravity. Yet you must keep coming back to yourself, and express yourself from within, informed by your inner awareness. From that point, you will be able to make decisions that can have an effect on the outer world of people, places and things.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
The emphasis of your chart is shifting to your place of orientation — the family of people whom you consider your friends. The real ones are the very ground you walk on; the reason you have even a moment of feeling safe in the world. This does not include everyone. The sincere people will show up ready to do something useful with their time and energy, specifically following your example.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
You ultimately have to take the step that nobody can take for you. You can wait for it to happen, or for someone, or some circumstance, to push you. That is not where you're at. Rather, you're at the place where you are being called to step into your authority over your affairs, your reputation and your responsibilities. You can say that the rewards outweigh the risks — of thinking you're betraying something or someone by doing what is right for you.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Sometimes truth is experienced as an approach-avoid situation. Some days you can handle more than others. You are about to enter a review, where you have the opportunity to question and re-learn material that you've explored and encountered the past few months. There's been plenty, and the question now may center around its relevance. This is not a matter of whether something has value, but rather what that value is.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
True bonding with another person is based on trust. And trust is one of the rarest qualities in the world today. Under current influences, I would propose that trust is about grounding your relationships in the physical world, by which I mean in the same room, at the same time: actual meetings. There
are many reasons for this, though the bottom line is that if you are grounded in your body, you can get anywhere from there.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
The Sun's entry into your opposite sign Taurus will help you see the human landscape around you more clearly. Remember that it's not where you used to live. Most people do not conduct themselves like they did in the past. Yet if you look and more accurately listen, you’ll find individuals who share common ground with you. Relationships are functional and thrive based on shared values. It is that simple, and that complicated.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
Jupiter, the Sagittarius planet, is in rare form right now; urging you to be bold. That means curious, expressive and open-minded about who you are. Thoughts should be the most flexible thing in all of existence, though they are really one of the most rigid and crystallized. You have extra help from Pluto in Aquarius, which is giving you the power to learn, unlearn and relearn. Any mental or creative shakeups will help you be free of past ideas so you can allow in what is new and perhaps a little strange.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
What is so interesting about Capricorn, in my reading anyway, is that contrary to the usual perspective of your sign being "all business," the way you want to make your mark on the world comes down to beauty, balance and a touch of wisdom. Part of your mission, now and for the foreseeable future, is to lead the way forward with calm logic and rationality. This does not rule out sensitivity to beauty or human foible, but rather emphasizes our need for useful ideas to live by. You have a special gift here.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
In the Sagittarius horoscope above, I began a discussion of learning how to unlearn as an essential resource in our times. Yours is a fixed sign, so the unlearning process is potentially challenging. Two tools can assist you greatly. One is gaining a sensitivity to when you do not know something. The other is to foster your curiosity, which is to you what breath is to a yoga student. The other essential skill, perhaps the most of all, is pattern recognition. This is different from projection. It's much gentler, and easier on the eyes.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
You know that to succeed in the monetary sense of the idea, you must take initiative, and not just wait around for things to happen. Part of that involves using the power of attraction, and focusing on what you want. Yet the true beauty of your financial existence is that it's collaborative; it's based on relationships. You succeed the best when you are working with people you care about, and with whom you share some sense of truth, justice and aesthetics. Find some nourishment in everyone and in everything. Make sure that profit in all forms is also blended with other fruits of the relationship.
Read Eric Francis daily at PlanetWaves.net.
Signs Planet Waves by Eric Francis 35