Uniting the Upper Delaware River Region of PA, NJ & NY
Late Fall 2023
Publisher & Editor
Amy Bridge email@example.com
Amy Bridge firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Mednick email@example.com
Julia Schmitt Healy • Bob Chernow
Joe DiMaggio • Patrick B. Tipton
Lisa K. Winkler • Eric Francis
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
Editorial Readers Robert Bowman
Kimberly Hess firstname.lastname@example.org
along Warren and Sussex Counties’ 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.
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.
Late Fall 2023
Make Me Famous, showing October 14th at the Black Bear Film Festival.
Photo by Marcus Leatherdale
5 Contents 12 • art • Make Me Famous 16 • Black Bear Film Festival Schedule Main Stage Salon 20 • food • Ideal Farms 24 • history • Restoring Willy 30 • life • A Portrait of Love 36 • nature • Homegrown 6 • journal entry 7 • poem 10 • around the towns 42 • signs Late Fall 2023
Since 2015, Milford’s Artful Bears have resided in front of businesses around town from August until October. Each bear was lovingly created from a foam hunting target and is part of the Black Bear Film Festival’s legacy.
The 2023 bears will be auctioned off at the the Festival and would make for a wonderful conversation piece in your home or garden.
Honey Bear by Chrissy Montague
Change Bear by Kat Hamilton
Ursa Mathematicus by Sarah Howell
High Fashion Guan Yu by Glenn Mai & Charlie Mai
Bearoness by Kim Glodek
The Quilted Bear by Janet Gaglione
Let the Sea Set You Free by Gabrielle Solch
Ecumenical Food Pantry of Pike County by Reggie Maher
Daveisms by Tamara Chant
comfortable in my own skin
lyrical raindrops dance through heavy fog of my youth
I reflect on lost buttons of too much wear and tear
a life broken in by an abundance of uncomfortable tattered shoes
faded jeans I wore just yesterday unable to zip I try to find a pair that fits
I choose the sweats of a lifetime washed memories softened, cozy they stretch to my frame fit me just fine I am comfortable with who I am
with who I am not as I sit and write dog by my side no thought of tomorrow
- Michelle Oram
Photo by Jerry Reganess
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Around the Towns
Sunday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Applefest. Warwick, NY. Crafts, food, music, children’s carnival & more. Hosted by Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce. Info: 845.986.2720, www.warwickapplefest.com.
11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Taste of the Harvest. Seminary Hill Orchard & Cidery, Callicoon, NY. Brunch & music. Hosted by Delaware Highlands Conservancy. $125. Info: 570.226.3164, delaware highlands.org.
Three Wishes…A Tribute to Broadway. Newton High School, Newton, NJ. Performance by Harmony in Motion: A Women’s A Cappella Chorus. $10–$20. Info: 973.250.3179, www.harmonyinmotion.net.
Monday 10:30 a.m.
Teeing Off for Veterans. Black Bear Golf Club, Franklin, NJ. Benefits Project Help. $225. Includes golf, buffet dinner, silent auction & more. Info: 973.875.2068, www. projecthelp.us.
Friday 7 p.m.
Operatic Extravaganza, St. Patrick’s Church, Milford, PA. Featuring soloists of Academy of Vocal Arts. Hosted by Kindred Spirits Arts Program. $25. Info: 570.409.1269, www.kindredspiritsarts.org
Saturday 9 a.m.–2 p.m.
Antique & Vintage Market. VFW Hall, Sparta, NJ. Hosted by Sparta Historical Society. Info: 973.726.0883, vankirkmuseum.org.
10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Fall Farm Fest. Minisink Heritage Center, Westtown, NY. Museum tours, raffles, food & live music. Benefits the Heritage Commission. Info: 845.726.4148, VisitCarols Cabin@gmail.com.
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. & 2:00–3:30 p.m.
Dramatic Production: Laurel Hill Burial Ground. Grey Towers, Milford, PA. Guided historical walk through Milford’s original town graveyard. $20–$25. Info: 570.296.9630, greytowers.org.
11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Celebration of the Lenape. Dingmans Ferry Historical Society Museum, Dingmans Ferry, PA. Presentation by Adam Waterbear DePaul. Free. Info: dingmansferryhistorical society.org.
11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Children’s Book Festival. Stanley-Deming Park, Warwick, NY. Book signing, children’s concert. Presented by Albert Wisner Public Library Foundation. Info: www.warwick childrensbookfestival.org
11:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Fall Festival. Stillwater, NJ. Pony rides, hay rides, food, music, craft vendors & more. Info: www.historicstillwater.org.
11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Food Truck, Music & Art Festival. Sussex County Fairgrounds, Augusta, NJ. Benefits the Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council. Info: 973.383.0027, www.scahc.org.
Heritage Weekend. Sussex County, NJ. Sponsored by the Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council. Tour of historical sites, museums, farmers’ markets. Info: 973.383.0027, www. scahc.org
Harvest & Heritage Days. Honesdale, PA. Hayrides, pumpkin painting, crafts. Hosted by the Greater Honesdale Partnership. Info: 570.253.5492, visithonesdalepa.com.
10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Harvest Festival. Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm, Stroudsburg, PA. Historical demonstrations, crafts, food, music. $18. Info: 570.992.6161, www.quietvalley.org.
The Big Sip: A Wine & Spirits Festival. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY. Featuring regional wineries & distilleries, live music, food. $90. Info: www. BethelWoodsCenter.org
Sunday 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Fall Festival. Spring Street, Newton, NJ. Classic car show, live music, craft vendors & more. Free. Info: 973.300.0433, greater newtoncc.com.
Lenni-Lenape Life: 1600–1780. Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta, NJ. Fall exhibit explores social customs, history, religion, family life & more. Hosted by Sparta Historical Society. Also October 22nd, November 12th & 26th. Info: 973.726.0883, www.vankirkmuseum.org
Greater Pike Community Foundation Awards Dinner. Cedar Lakes Estate, Port Jervis, NY. Info: 570.832.4686, www.greaterpike.org.
Monday 7 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Swing with Bling: The Julia Quinlan Women’s Golf Invitational. Farmstead Golf &
A A Littl G
County Club, Lafayette, NJ. $200. Includes luncheon, raffles, & more. Info: karenann quinlanhospice.org.
Black Bear Film Festival. Milford, PA. Info: 570.409.0909, www.blackbearfilm.com. See pages 16–19 of this Journal for film schedules.
Saturday 4–9 p.m.
Fall Festival. Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Sparta, NJ. Chili cookoff, pumpkin painting, bobbing for donuts & more. Info: www.sothnj.org
Sunday 2 p.m.
PA 151st Civil War Regiment: Trading Rulers for Rifles. Delaware Township Building, Dingmans Ferry, PA. Free. Info: dingmans ferryhistoricalsociety.org.
Friday 7:15 p.m.
Joys of Backyard Bird Feeding. Sparta Ambulance Squad Bldg, Sparta, NJ. Guest speaker: Jim Walker, Wild Birds Unlimited. Free. Info: www.sussexcountybirdclub.org.
Saturday 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Sussex County Harvest, Honey & Garlic Festival. Sussex County Fairgrounds, Augusta, NJ. Info: www.sussexfarmvisits.com.
Psycho. Tusten Theatre, Narrowsburg, NY. Retro Cinema Nights. Signature drinks and concessions. Info: 845.252.7576, delawarevalleyartsalliance.org.
Saturday 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Fall Craft Fair. Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Sparta, NJ. Crafters, vendors, food truck & more. Info: www.sothnj.org.
Fall Festival. Community House Lawn, Milford, PA. Costume contests & more. Info: email@example.com, milfordpa.us.
Friday 7 p.m.
Americana Meets Old Masters. Presbyterian Church, Milford, PA. Performance by Greg Giannascoli, percussionist. Hosted by Kindred Spirits Arts Program. $25. Info: 570.409.1269, www.kindredspiritsarts.org
Sunday 1 p.m.
Neversink & Denning History Afternoon. Time and the Valleys Museum, Grahamsville, NY. Explore photos, records, stories
& artifacts. 2 p.m. program honoring the 125th anniversary of the Daniel Pierce Library. Info: 845.985.7700, www.timeandthe valleysmuseum.org
Saturday 2–4 p.m.
Confluence: Land, Water, Wildlife. ARTery Fine Art Gallery, Milford, PA. Opening reception for exhibit of winning photographs. Hosted by Delaware Highlands Conservancy. Exhibit: November 10th–December 4th. Info: 570.226.3164, www.delawarehighlands.org.
Tuesday 5–8 p.m.
Chamber Champion Awards Dinner. Woodloch Pines Inn, Hawley, PA. $60. Hosted by Pike County Chamber of Commerce. Info: 570.296.8700, pikechamber.com.
Friday 7:30 p.m.
Birds of the Colombian Andes. Sparta Ambulance Bldg., Sparta, NJ. Hosted by Sussex County Bird Club. Info: www.sussex birdclub.org.
Saturday 6–8 p.m.
Game Dinner. PEEC, Dingmans Ferry, PA. $45. Enjoy the bounty of the season Info: 570.828.2319, www.peec.org.
Art Affair: Wonderland! Villa Venezia, Middletown, NY. Hosted by Orange County NY Art Council. Art installations, performances, and exhibits. $205. Info: 845.202.0140, ocartscouncil.org.
Friday 6 p.m.
Winter Wonderland Parade. Honesdale, PA. Santa parade, shopping. Hosted by Greater Honesdale Partnership. Info: 570.253.5492, VisitHonesdalePA.com.
Saturday 10 a.m.
Holiday Parade. Spring & Moran St., Newton, NJ. Hosted by Greater Newton Chamber of Commerce. Info: 973.300.0433, www. greaternewtoncc.com
Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Christkindlmarkt. Port Jervis, NY. German Christmas market. Crafts, food, entertainment. Info: 973.534.4177, Facebook: Christkindlmarkt Port Jervis NY.
Wednesday 5:30 p.m.
Funding Their Future. Perona Farms, Andover, NJ. Hosted by Sussex County Community College Foundation. $100. Info 973.300.2121, Facebook: Sussex County Community College Foundations.
A Film about Creative Ambition Make Me Famous
Edward Brezinski is not a name that likely comes to mind when one thinks about the East Village art scene of the 1980s. Rather, one might think of people such as Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel, or David Wojnarowicz.
But we can’t count Brezinski out; he may yet find his place in the art world, thanks in great part to a recent film that opens a window into his work, his artistic desires, and his life in the East Village during those tumultuous years. Make Me Famous focuses on Brezinski during that time and chronicles the various people who made up the scene—gallerists and artists alike—and the adventurous work they made, sold (or tried to sell), and promoted.
I recently spoke to the director/producer husband-andwife team of Brian Vincent and Heather Spore about the arduous journey they took to create this engaging, and for me nostalgic, movie.
“What was the genesis of this film? How did you come to make it?” I asked. Spore began, “We’re both actors, so we’ve been interested in stories and storytelling for a long time. A few years ago, I read Cynthia Carr’s book, Fire in the Belly—a biography of the artist David Wojnarowicz who was a seminal figure in the art world of the 1980s.
It sparked our interest in the era. We were too young to have experienced the East Village of that period in person, but we were fascinated by it.”
Vincent added, “Like many actors, I was working a catering job and met a fellow waiter who was none other than Lenny Kisko.” They got to talking and realized they both shared an interest in the art scene of the ’80s East Village. It turned out that Kisko was, and is, the biggest collector of Brezinski’s work and knew him back in the day. “I hadn’t heard of this artist,” Vincent said, “but was interested in finding out more about him.”
He went to Kisko’s apartment and remembers it was “wall-to-wall Brezinskis. Every surface was covered with his expressionistic works. Kisko talked a mile a minute about the guy, and it made me wonder what had happened to him. Then I thought this might be a good subject for a play.”
“A play?” I ask. “Yes, originally, I thought I was going to write a play.”
Once Spore and Vincent started researching the idea of using Brezinski as the center of their story, they realized the extent of the job. There were numerous people, both
13 Art By
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• This page:
Edward Brezinski. Photo © Katherine Dumas
Photo © Andreas Sterzing
dead and alive, who would have to be a part of the narrative. So it became clear that they had to make a movie, which neither of them had done before.
“We were fortunate to get a New York State Council on the Arts grant, and that got us started.” So they jumped into the unknown.
They learned about the many sides of their subject. Brezinski was gay and was “always out—never in the closet.” His personality was such that he was often not cooperative. He’d have fits in public. He’d get angry. He drank too much and was not a nice drunk. He would “shoot himself in the foot,” as it were, sometimes alienating people who could have helped his career. And then there came a moment when Spore and Vincent had to ask the biggest question of all: was he still alive?
The filmmakers tracked down and interviewed a long list of artists who had associations with Brezinski. Their memories are not happy ones: “He was always trying to make it.” “He had a mania to be noticed.” “Other people’s success upset him.”
He would go to art openings and hand out cards to publicize his next self-produced show. His focus became more about promoting his art than about taking an interest in the art at the exhibits. Often drunk, he would be a bit of a loose cannon at these events. Once he flung red wine out of his glass at a well-known gallery dealer because he felt snubbed by her.
Another time, at a Robert Gober exhibit at the Paula Cooper Gallery, he ate a chemically-preserved donut that was on display in the show. Ostensibly, he said he was hungry, but it is thought the real reason was his contempt for the work. As one artist puts it, “He created angst” around him.
I tell Vincent and Spore how amazing I think the vintage footage is in this film, and they tell me that they actually started making the movie before they even knew the footage existed!
The filmmakers learned about the videos through Lenny Kisko who mentioned a guy named Jim C (whose real name is James Love Cornwell IV). He was a roommate of Brezinski’s for a while and also was a partner in the Magic Gallery that they ran out of their sixth-floor walkup, which was across the street from the New York men’s shelter on Third Street.
It turned out that Jim C documented the goings-on in Brezinski’s world. This is remarkable because back then equipment was cumbersome and expensive. Getting Jim C’s 110 hours of videotape to use was fortuitous, and it makes the viewers feel like “flies on the wall.”
Discouraged by the New York art scene and the lack of interest in his work, Brezinski moved to Berlin in the early 1990s, where he continued to struggle. His poverty, drinking, and lack of artistic recognition fueled his anger. He took to shenanigans like painting “I HATE YOU I
14 Art Continued
Top left: Producer, Heather Spore.
Top middle: Marguerite Van Cook and James Romberger, founders of Ground Zero Gallery in the East Village. Top right: Director, Brian Vincent. Bottom: Edward Brezinski. Photos courtesy of Red Splat Productions
HATE YOU I HATE YOU” on street walls. He got into bar brawls. Eventually, he moved to Nice, France, where he apparently painted tourist scenes for quick money.
In 2007, the American Embassy in Paris called a long-lost friend of Brezinski whose number was on a piece of paper in one of his coats. They told her that Edward Brezinski had died in a hotel room. As a result, a one-paragraph obituary for Brezinski was written by the artist Walter Robinson for his online publication, Artnet. It reiterated the Robert Gober donut incident, which, unfortunately, was part of his legacy.
But in researching this movie, the filmmakers found inconsistencies. They did a background check that indicated he was still alive. They did an ancestry.com search, which listed him as “still living.” The Social Security Administration said he was “not deceased.” When the filmmakers contacted the writer of the obituary, he was surprised that Brezinski might still be alive and commented, “He might get called for jury duty! Who knows?”
The couple then discovered Brezinski’s death also wasn’t listed in the Master Death File in France. Did he fake his death, they wondered? The plot thickened, and the movie takes on the aspects of a mystery as they go to France to see what they can learn. Did they find him? No spoilers here…you’ll have to see the film!
It is remarkable that Vincent and Spore were able to make such a complicated film using mostly their own
resources. “We had no major institutions supporting us,” they said. Nor do they have a distribution deal. “We are doing that ourselves, too.”
It’s been in theaters in Toronto and London and, as of this writing, is currently having a run in New York City at the Roxy Theater. “We want to keep it in theaters, if possible, with live audiences. It’s best to see it on the big screen, so we won’t be making it available for streaming for a while.”
Since watching Make Me Famous, I’ve been thinking a lot about the many messages and themes it addresses: ambition, disappointment, jealousy, self-worth, striving, struggle, survival, anger, creation, being ahead of one’s time. And the list could go on.
“I can’t wait to see how the Milford audience will react at Black Bear,” Vincent says. I tell him with assurance, “They are going to love it.”
Make Me Famous will be shown at the Black Bear Film Festival on Saturday, October 14th at 6:15 p.m. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Director Brian Vincent and Producer Heather Spore. For more information on the film, visit www.red-splat.com or search Facebook for Make Me Famous
Julia Schmitt Healy is an artist, professor, and writer, living and working in Port Jervis, NY. She is represented by Western Exhibitions, (westernexhibitons.com), and her work can also be seen at juliahealy.com.
Artist Peter McGough. Photo courtesty of Red Splat Productions
Black Bear Film Festival
October 13–15, 2023
Main Stage Films
Presented at the Milford Theater
Fri. 7:30 p.m. • Sympathy For Delicious
When a motorcycle accident leaves up-and-coming DJ Dean O’Dwyer paralyzed, he abandons his turntables for the world of faith-healing.
Drama, 96m. Directed by Mark Ruffalo. Written by Christopher Thornton. Starring Christopher Thornton, Laura Linney, Juliet Lewis, and Orlando Bloom.
Preceded at 6:00 p.m. by Red Carpet Reception.
Sat. 9:30 a.m. • Short Block: Coming of Age Collection
After festival rejections, a director revises his short film into a painful, blunt, and funny dissection of the film and his life.
14m. Directed by Sean Wainsteim.
A job seeker, who has spent three years looking for a job, reconciles with a gap in her resume and a personal gap in her life.
15m. Directed by Jeonghui An.
ENTIRETY One’s Fulfillment
Extremely poor Addu is required to make a Kandil (lantern) for a class project but cannot afford the materials.
27m. Directed by Sumedh Madhukar Jadhav.
Bitterness threatens to destroy a small farming community until a stranger arrives with a curious proposition.
21m. Directed by Andy Kastelic.
Due to war with Russia, Misha must flee Kyiv to a small Polish town, where he struggles to adjust to his new reality.
16m. Directed by Nata Onysh, Veronika Shuster.
The Old Young Crow
An Iranian boy befriends an old Japanese woman at a graveyard in Tokyo.
12m. Directed by Liam LoPinto.
Sat. 11:30 a.m. • Hayseed
A small town church congregation is under investigation after their reverend is found dead.
Drama. 1hr 45m. Directed by Travis Burgess.
Sat. 1:45 p.m. • Lakota Nation vs United States
A chronicle of the Lakota Nation’s fight to reclaim control of the Black Hills and an investigation into how sacred land was stolen in violation of treaty agreements.
Documentary. 2h. Directed by Jesse Short Bull and Laura Tomaselli, Executive Producer Mark Ruffalo.
p.m. • Short Block: Character and Casting Collection
Introducing Billy Bradley
A chance meeting with a Broadway legend and a life altering diagnosis finds a former child actor forced to decide: save his life or revive what’s left of his career. Based on actual events.
Drama Short. 14m. Directed by Michael Charles Roman. A Thousand Times A Day
Natasha loses her son in a tragic drowning and blames her brother, Jeremy. Their relationship is shattered, but they both learn that their only chance of survival lies in forgiveness.
Drama Short. 16m. Directed by Chantelle James. The Sweet Taste of Freedom
A man facing a long prison sentence has 48 hours to put his life in order.
Drama Short. 34m. Directed by Matthew Penn.
Sat. 6:15 p.m. • Make Me Famous
A madcap romp through the 1980s art scene amid the colorful career of painter, Edward Brezinski, hell bent on making it. Brezinski’s quest for fame reveals an intimate portrait of the art world’s attitude towards success and failure, fame and fortune, notoriety and erasure.
Documentary. 93m. Directed by Brian Vincent.
Followed by onstage Q&A with Director Brian Vincent and Producer Heather Spore.
Schedule www.blackbearfilm.com • 570.832.4858
• Creep Show Collection
Meet and greet with local filmmakers immediately following in the festival tent.
The Wyrm of Bwlch Pen Barras
Early one winter morning, in the rural town of Rhuthun in North Wales, three men are called upon once again to carry out a terrible assignment on the Bwlch Pen Barras mountain pass.
17m. Directed by Julien Allen.
Following a bitter argument with his abusive girlfriend, blue-collar gearhead Theo embarks on a journey towards self-harm, resulting in a dire confrontation with his inner demon.
13m. Directed by Rhett Bradbury.
They Come Back
Two long-time friends go into the woods in the hope that a lost loved one returns. Made in Northeast Pennsylvania.
9m. Directed by Zack Wilcox.
After losing a wig competition, a talented hairdresser becomes obsessed with creating the perfect wig and goes on a killing spree to secure the ultimate hair donor.
13m. Directed by Dannie Sinisi.
The Two Gamblers
Two gambler friends just don’t know when to quit.
10m. Directed by V.Q. Holliday.
Above The Staircase
While home alone one night, a man grows increasingly disturbed by a pair of mysterious black shoes that seem to move on their own.
13m, Directed by Dennis Sema.
A jaded radio host in a cycle of hopeless and demoralizing monotony makes a life-altering decision while on air.
23m. Directed by Bradley Hawkins.
Sun. 9:30 a.m.
A documentary that explores the intersections of environment, industry, and identity in Northeastern Pennsylvania over the past 300 years, blend-
ing 4K cinematography, local historical footage, and a sweeping score into a contemplative meditation on culture, place, and public memory.
Documentary. 1h 26m. Directed by David S. Heineman.
Sun. 11:15 a.m. • Forty Years in a Box
Opening a box of 40-year-old 16mm film leads the filmmaker on an unexpected path into an exploration of time, aging, and self-acceptance.
Documentary. 81m. Directed by Shira Levin.
Followed by a Q&A with Director Shira Levin, hosted by John DiLeo.
Sun. 1:30 p.m. • International Film Collection
Anna, Francesco, and Giorgio hide at home and fake a Bahamas vacation.
15m. Directed by Vanja Victor Kabir Tognola.
Where it Begins
With the company of his cat, Homeira, Ebraam is now an agent of justice.
24m. Directed by Mohsen Asdaghpour Amirhoussein Talebi.
Nora and Hae Sung, two deeply connected childhood friends, are wrested apart after Nora’s family emigrated from South Korea to the United States. Twenty years later, they are reunited for one fateful week as they confront notions of love and destiny.
Drama, Romance. 90m. Directed by Celine Song.
Sun. 3:30 p.m. • Award Announcements
Festival Tent, light refreshments
Sun. 4:00 p.m. • John DiLeo Presents
Time After Time
Mixing thrills, comedy, romance and fantasy, Time After Time is a standout film from 1979 you should have seen but probably didn’t! H.G Wells (Malcolm McDowell) has built a time machine, and he plans on using it to travel to a Utopian paradise in the future, but before he can, Jack the Ripper, on the run from police, uses it to escape and travel to 1979. Wells follows and enlists the help of a bank teller named Amy (Mary Steenburgen) to catch Jack before he continues his killing spree.
Sci-Fi Drama. 1h 52m. Directed by Nicholas Meyer. Starring Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen.
Followed by film discussion led by John DiLeo.
www.blackbearfilm.com • 570.832.4858
Black Bear Film Festival
October 13–15, 2023
At Good Shepherd Episcopal Church • 110 W. Catharine Street, Milford PA
10:30 a.m. • Short Block
20m. Directed by Michael Dwyer.
A documentary detailing the life of Tomiko Morimoto West, a Hiroshima bombing survivor who talks about her life before, during, and after the war and her one wish she desires for the world.
8m. Directed by Ryan Dellaquila.
After his dog dies, a firefighter is determined to give his beloved pet a proper sendoff.
3m. Directed by Michael Du Vide.
A comedy film about loss and the spiraling madness in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
The Curtain Call Gang
27m. Directed by Bryon Jones.
In the late 1800s, a gang of three sharpshooters discover a horrific secret hidden within a small town of Dayvul Valley.
15m. Directed by Loring Murtha.
A married couple have their lives interrupted when their aunt comes to stay with them and turns out to be a bigger troublemaker than they imagined.
12:00 p.m. • Short Block
15m. Directed by Gegi Li.
A young teen gets pregnant and wants to keep the baby, while her mother insists she have an abortion. The two realize they may have more in common despite their conflicting wishes for themselves.
Wherefore Art Thou
16m. Directed by Diane Cossa.
A retelling of the classic “Romeo and Juliet” through the perspective of an elderly woman and the different time periods of her life.
14m. Directed by Laine Zipoy.
A teen and her babysitter face the hardship of their teen years during life in 1976.
In The Gray
15m. Directed by Paul Robinson and Sashia Dumont.
Three sisters lose their estranged father to murder and have different points of view while coping with his death.
You and Me
14m. Directed by Natalia Shaufert. Two women are brought together through loneliness and failed relationships to begin a shared journey of sharing a child together.
2:00 p.m. • Short Block
15m. Directed by Yafa Ezzat Shahroor and Mo’men Ghanim Hasanain.
A documentary of a young Middle Eastern girl talking about her father’s influence on her passion for storytelling and life since his passing.
15m. Directed by Pedram Gharehbaghi.
An unsuspecting man gets invited to dinner with a strange group of people without realizing what their appetites truly crave.
13m. Directed by Judit Kocsis.
A young girl wants to break free of the restrictions her religion enforced and have her own chance at fun with the other kids at school.
10m. Directed by Ruchama Ehrenhalt.
An exploration into how skin color influences children and their view of the world and what it means in their society.
Lake of Dreams
4m. Directed by Axel Wener.
An experimental film about a man fixated about his dream woman that explores his feelings through dance.
4m. Directed by Joshua Marquez. Two brothers must fight off an evil that’s chasing them if they wish to live another day.
3:30 p.m. • Student Film Block
A Familiar Face
4m. Directed by Antonia Georgieva.
A girl haunted by a past man in her life seeks out the help of a therapy pig that helps her confront her crippling anxiety.
17m. Directed by Lee Emmerich.
A filmmaker documenting the memories and stories of his family-owned farm and what future lies ahead for the farm.
9m. Directed by Anali Cabrera.
A young man reaches a turning point in his relationship with his mother when she discovers the double life he leads.
4m. Directed by Annie Otto. After accidentally downloading a virus onto her computer, Sam transports into her computer to face the digital invader herself.
25m. Directed by Morgan McCall.
A young girl sent to a halfway house to find some peace of mind discovers the horrors living in the walls of the house.
www.blackbearfilm.com • 570.832.4858
4:45 p.m. • Student Film Block Death In Normandy
4m. Directed by Leo Kahn.
A stop motion about soldiers battling and fighting for their lives during WWII.
4m. Directed by Casey Schaffer.
An experimental film exploring the communication barriers in today’s modern world and what it means to listen to someone in this day and age.
3m. Directed by Megan Sechrist and Quinn Starrett. When a woman is tasked with going on an undercover date to retrieve owed money, she lands herself in a speakeasy, and a lot of trouble.
The Girl Who Feeds The Ducks
8m. Directed by Troy Costlow.
A teenager tries to impress a girl he’s only seen while she’s feeding the ducks.
45m. Produced by students of The Homestead School.
At Grey Towers National Historic Site, 122 Old Owego Turnpike, Milford, PA
11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. • A Sense of Wonder
Documentary. 55m. Directed by Kaiulani Lee. Cinematography by Haskell Wexler. An intimate portrait of America’s most successful advocate for the natural world, Rachel Carson, screened in The Bait Box at Grey Towers at 11a.m. and again at 1p.m., with light refreshments. The grounds are available for free self-guided tours to take in the sense of wonder of the birthplace of America’s conservancy movement.
At Triversity Center, 201 W. Hartford Street, Milford PA
2:00 p.m. • Short Film Block
11m. Directed by Maren Lavelle.
A quiet but imaginative eighth grader attempts to find the courage to approach her secret crush while working on a middle-school production of “Romeo & Juliet.”
10m. Directed by Vinny Anand, Ronald Austin Jr.
p.m. • International Short Film Block Game Over
28m. Directed by Saeed Mayahy and Miriam Carlsen. A documentary following a group of teenage boys from Afghanistan currently living in Turkey and their journey trying to get into Europe in hopes of a better life.
Treasure By The River
12m. Directed by Hanjie Bao and Manting Huang. A young teen explores her town and asks for the help of the people there as she tries to find her grandmother’s precious bible.
16m. Directed by Antonia Georgieva.
A writer living in a cramped apartment with his landlady grows more paranoid with each passing day about his living situation.
Somewhere to Stay
15m. Directed by Amirhoussein Hatami.
Concealing a devastating secret about his daughter, a father has told everyone she is missing, while pretending to search for her alongside his son.
When a finance all-star walks in on a scandalous scene involving his boss and trans sister, he’s thrown into a world of turmoil as he confronts his own values and beliefs.
Your Next Door Neighbors
8m, Directed by Ana Jimenez.
Grandma is coming to dinner and Rosa wants her to see the best of her family, but as a series of events reveal their quirky and dysfunctional secrets, she must learn to accept them to have a perfect night of bliss.
Friend of Dorothy
2m. Directed by Megan Sechrist.
Two young ladies in the 1960s reveal they are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, also known as “Friends of Dorothy” and deal with prejudice towards members of the community in that time.
To All That We Are
5m. Directed by Kristian Cahatol.
Two non-binary college students explore their journey of life through accepting themselves and how their identity shapes the world around them.
At the Columns Museum, 608 Broad Street, Milford PA
3:00 p.m. • To Serve Man
The classic episode of The Twilight Zone derived from a story by one-time Milford resident Damon Knight.
In the 1950s, Milford was the place to be if you were a science-fiction writer. The Milford Writers Conference was co-founded by Knight, James Blish, Virginia Kidd, and Kate Wilhelm. They were all writers in the genre originally referred to as Futurians, and all went on to become famous in their own right. Kidd started the Virginia Kidd Literary Agency, which is still operating right here in Milford. Blish, Knight, and Wilhelm are heralded authors who boldly led the way for their peers in those early days and influenced generations of science-fiction writers.
Admission is free. Cash refreshment bar.
www.blackbearfilm.com • 570.832.4858 Continued
Photo by Lisa K. Winkler
Where the Food Comes From Ideal Farms
Jan Jorritsma turned off her golf cart and began unloading buckets filled with vibrant zinnias, cosmos, and cleomes. The sunflowers and snapdragons had already finished flowering by late August. Placing the flowers in the shade allowed her a little time before bundling them into bouquets.
Spreading over more than 200 acres, Jan’s family enterprise spans both sides of Route 15 in Lafayette, New Jersey. Ideal Farms and Garden Centre has been in existence since 1910, but the farm business has changed over the decades—beginning with dairy cows and evolving to beef cows, chickens, ducks, and goats; vegetables, flowers, and fruits.
Jan admits farming wasn’t her first career choice. “I grew up here, working. My entire family lived near each other. Cousins, my three siblings. We had free-range. I was more into horses. I rode and showed them.”
But the appeal of farm life pulled her in.
“The farm is a family tradition,” she says, “going back 100 years; it was started by my grandfather. My father and my two sons work here. When I met my husband, we started out selling fruits, vegetables, and Christmas trees. Little by little we decided to do more.”
Today, there is a retail farm store where the old bull barn once was. They sell home-made baked goods and many
other products, including honey, birdhouses, sheds and swings, cider, pottery, and Christmas ornaments.
Her grandfather, Jacob Tanis Sr., immigrated from Holland and settled in Paterson, NJ. He sold the extra milk produced by the family’s dairy cow and decided to expand, landing in Sussex County. He built up the herd to 2,000 cattle and increased his property to over 3,400 acres. Initially called Ideal Guernsey Cattle, the farm became known for its high quality standards.
His son, also named Jacob, scaled back the dairy operation in the 1960s and transitioned to beef production with Aberdeen Angus cattle. Jan, Jacob’s daughter, the third generation in the Tanis family, entered the business in 1984, focusing more on vegetables and fruits than on livestock.
“We have seven cows,” Jan continues. “All for beef production. I knew I didn’t want to milk cows. And to think, my grandfather milked his herd by hand, three times a day until he put in pipelines.”
The farm is year-round, offering seasonal produce. The Jorritsmas rotate the crops to return nutrients to the soil and help interrupt pest and disease cycles. They employ five full-time workers and take on seasonal help during the fall harvest in October. While Jan’s three siblings didn’t go into farming, her two sons and daughter-in-law have. Her son Kyle raises the cows and chickens for their
Food By Lisa K. Winkler
Continued on next page
Photos courtesy of Ideal Farms
meat and sells firewood. Her son Benjamin maintains the farm’s biodiesel operation. Her daughter-in-law Lindsey Struble Jorritsma, Kyle’s wife, manages the laying hens.
“We have about 100 chickens. We bring them in at night to keep them from being snatched up. Even with the fence, foxes get them. A few get out,” as she points to a gregarious white hen walking near the store. “She’s looking for a donut.”
Other than the family, most of their help comes from neighboring towns. Teenagers and college students return year after year.
“For many of them, the farm is their first job,” Jan continues. “They learn what goes into farming. The long hours, no matter what the weather is. They work here and then go on to do other things. One woman is 55. She started as a young woman and still fills in when we need her.”
The farm delivers produce, eggs (both chicken and duck), and frozen meats to local stores, including Key Food in Milford, PA. While some of their business is wholesale, most is retail at the farm store and at two farmers’ markets, one in Montclair, NJ, and the other at the Manhattan Plaza Market on West 43rd Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues.
“We load up and leave early in the morning and often don’t return until 8 p.m. It’s a long day, but for us many of the customers have become friends. We know their names, their dogs’ names; they tell us about their families. I feel really good that we can bring them fresh, healthy foods.”
About thirty goats live on the farm in their own enclosure, complete with sheds for giving birth. They are pets, Jan says. Ideal doesn’t sell goat milk or meat or process their hair into yarn. Instead, the goats enhance the farm’s attractions. The store sells bags of goat kibble for $1 for people to feed the goats. She has named most of them. There’s Bert, Ernie, and Grover. There’s Muffin, who Jan had to bottle feed when he was small. There’s a new mother, Lightning, who gave birth last week. Her calf is yet unnamed.
Fall is the farm’s busiest season, not only for harvest, but for all the activities. There are hayrides and pumpkin picking. School groups, mostly pre-schools, come for tours that include a hayride that passes through a haunted tunnel; an apple and a donut are given as souvenirs.
A huge turkey named Tweedledee ambles about the goat pen and is also a pet.
For Jan, who is up at six every day and works until dusk, seven days a week, there’s no other way to live.
Food Continued 22
“What I love most about farming is showing people where their food comes from. We just point to the fields. I also love that it’s always something different. Sometimes the something different is not a fun thing. We just had one of our trucks break down, so we had to take another truck. On the farm, there’s always something.”
And what does she like least?
“When the truck breaks down,” she quips.
For people considering becoming farm ers, Jan advises they do their research.
“Don’t do it for some romantic notion about how easy farming is. It’s not. Talk to other farmers. There are always challenges. You never know what the weather is going to do. A vehicle can break down in the middle of mowing hay. It’s a seven-day-a-week job.”
Lisa K. Winkler divides her time between Milford, PA, and Summit, NJ. She’s a former newspaper reporter and public school teacher. She writes under lisakwinkler.wordpress.com and for several non-profits and is in the midst of writing a historical fiction novel.
Ben Jorritsma, Jan’s son, has been making biodiesel for the past ten years to fuel the tractors, trucks, oil heaters, and various other pieces of equipment at Ideal Farms. He collects waste vegetable oil from the farm’s bakery and local restaurants and converts it into usable fuel. Ben uses a handmade system of holding tanks and a water heater to initiate a chemical reaction called transesterification that converts the waste vegetable oil into biodiesel and a liquid glycerol by-product, which can be used in either liquid or bar soaps.
“I take vegetable oil that I collect from restaurants, and I put it through a chemical process where I get a thinner liquid that I can use that’s more compatible with the fuel systems on diesel vehicles,” Benjamin said.
He delivers a tank to various restaurants for them to deposit their leftover cooking oil and then picks them up. However, he still has to purchase some diesel fuel to fulfill the farm’s needs.
Patrick Tipton and the finished jeep.
Bottom right page:
Restoring the 1943 Willy MB.
Photos courtesy of the Tipton family
History By Patrick B. Tipton
An Accidental Mechanic
On September 23, 1940, a small automobile company from Butler, Pennsylvania, delivered a prototype vehicle to a government testing facility in Holabird, Maryland. Conceived to replace the horse and mule in US Army service, the project represented a “Hail Mary pass” by management of the American Bantam Car Company to save their struggling company.
At that time, it would have been crazy to even speculate that the lowly prototype would alter the course of a war that the United States had yet to enter. And yet, the Bantam Reconnaissance Car or BRC, which evolved into the G503 jeep of World War II fame, would go on to be universally loved by soldiers, friend and foe, and heralded by General Dwight D. Eisenhower as one of four keys to the Allied victory.
Three quarters of a century later, with names like Probst, Crist, Frazer, Roos, and even Marshall largely relegated to historical footnotes, the Jeep™ soldiers on. Whether in Filipino Jeepneys, Colombian Yipaos, lovingly restored Ford GPWs, or the animated Sarge of Cars fame, the simple, rugged, and handsome design pioneered by Bantam continues to capture global hearts and minds. (Jeep™ is a trademark of Chrysler Corporation.)
My love affair with the jeep began when I was a reading-obsessed seven-year-old and discovered a trove of WWII history books in my elementary school library. There were crisp black and white images: huddled US soldiers brewing coffee on a jeep engine in the Ardennes; a pensive crew chief with his shearling and leather attired ten-man bomber crew, swarming over a jeep en route to a flight line full of B-17s and the terrors that most certainly awaited; and my favorite, a dusty jeep, parked next to a sun-faded and tattered Marine F-4U Corsair on a remote island in the Pacific, with two pilots, in sweatstained khaki flight suits, studying a map spread on the jeep hood.
I became even more enamored a few years later, when a visit to a neighbor’s South Texas ranch revealed two “flat fender” jeeps in a barn. As adolescent kids who grew up driving tractors and trucks, we were granted free reign over the jeeps. And use them we did—exploring much of that 26,000 acre ranch (including a ghost town) and taking the jeeps on epic overnight hunting and fishing adventures. We were expected to be responsible with the jeeps and our gear and to survive, and we were and we did.
I will never know whether those two vehicles were actual WWII jeeps or later civilian models. In my mind, they
were WWII veterans, spending their retirement quietly in South Texas while continuing to perform their duty as caretakers of a younger generation. I vowed that one day I too would own one.
Every issue of that era’s Popular Mechanics included an ad offering supposed top secret instructions on where and how to purchase a military surplus “jeep in a crate” for $50. Mail a $5 money order to a PO Box at Grand Central Station and the information would be dispatched forthwith.
My father unemotionally informed me that the premise was at best a mirage and prohibited me from mailing any hard-earned dollars. Although plenty of jeeps were indeed surplused in the years following WWII, it turns out that the surplus “jeep in a crate” was (and continues to be) an urban legend.
Fast forward roughly thirty-five years to 2012, past boarding school, college, law school, the bar, dating, aerobatics, marriage, law firms, investment banks, entrepreneurship, a family, restoration of a very old farm (that continues to this day), and a number of other (mis)adventures. I purchased a derelict wreck of a jeep from a field outside of nearby Greenville, NY, for a whopping $1,250.
I have always been very mechanical. Youth and then life brought me into contact with skateboards, bicycles, dirt bikes, cars, tractors, airplanes, lawnmowers, chainsaws, deadbolt locks in Manhattan apartments. I learned early, and out of individualist predilections, how to fix things.
Mostly, this “fixing” was intuitive. My paternal grandfather was a noted “jack of all trades” who retired from driv-
on next page
ing a bread truck at age 60 and then proceeded to earn a modest fortune fixing and renting old houses. He wasn’t much of a teacher, though, frequently reminding us that children were to be seen and not heard. This imposed silence included all questions in his workshop where he would often run me out when things got interesting. I think he was mostly afraid that I would get myself hurt.
Other than my granddad, there were a few mechanical mentors in my life. My next-door neighbor was a proper engineer. He liked to fiddle with machines and had a well-equipped shop. He once brought my mother a crate of WWII radio gear, including several headsets. He told my mom he thought I would enjoy the gear, and he was right. Another neighborhood kid and I managed to cobble together a working intercom between our houses. We watched a lot of Hogan’s Heros in those days and even built secret compartments to conceal the intercom.
Although 2012 saw me in the midst of adolescent/teen fatherhood and slightly hungover from the Great Reset of 2008, I thought the jeep restoration would be a fine distraction for a few hours a week. If the thought has thus far crossed your mind, indeed, my wife (of now 26 years) will almost certainly be canonized.
In retrospect, I embarked on this adventure with fewer resources than would be needed. On the plus side, I had a modest, unheated shop with sufficient space to store and work on a jeep. I had most of the hand tools too—
wrenches and screwdrivers and the like—that would be required to disassemble and reassemble the vehicle. I had mostly learned to weld during an earlier incarnation as a stunt pilot/aircraft builder. I had also repaired tractors and even rebuilt a motor with modest assistance. I figured I should be able to handle this restoration.
What I failed to comprehend is that restoring any vehicle, even one as simple as a WWII jeep, is more akin to running a public offering than what we saw Danny doing in the ’70s as he built “Greased Lightning.” Lest you misunderstand, there is indeed plenty of grease under fingernails and on clothes along with dirt and grime and grit and smells that will have your partner politely requesting that you spend the evening at some locale far, far away from any nuptial bed.
Think project management on a modestly grand scale, only with stains on spreadsheets, unrecognizable critical paths, and the facepalm-inspiring realization that the correct use of highly precise nomenclature (i.e., the words we use to identify things) is non-negotiable when dealing with parts vendors. For what it’s worth, this nomenclature issue is why any visit to an auto-parts store is likely to leave you feeling like an idiot.
There are several thousand parts on a WWII jeep, not counting bolts, washers, screws, and nuts. For a proper restoration, every last part must be removed, cleaned, stripped of paint, repaired as needed, prepped, primed, painted, and then reassembled.
Many of these parts are static in the sense that they only do one thing, for example, hold something else. Other parts, though, must be considered active as they involve movement with hinges or gears or bushings or the like. Active parts need the same cleaning and prepping as the static ones but must also be mechanically assessed and reconditioned to ensure proper function. One might assume that “proper function” would be obvious, but this is not always so with 80-year-old technology.
Unless you served in the military, you are unlikely to know that the United States government is one of the all-time great publishing houses. During WWII in particular, the War Department, with assistance from the various services and US industry, produced thousands of well-researched and well-written titles on everything from Sanitary Encampments (extraordinarily important at scale) to Army Recipes. The manuals were written for soldiers with a high school education and little-to-no prior experience. They are shockingly good, almost without exception.
Given that jeeps became so important in WWII, you won’t be surprised to learn that the War Department produced a wonderful set of manuals for the WWII jeep. The main manual is stiffly titled TM 9-803 1/4 Ton 4x4 Truck (Willys-Overland). Remember the question about “proper function”? The manuals have that covered.
26 History Continued
And so, with great ambition and excitement, I purchased the jeep manuals and began the restoration. It turned out that our jeep was a 1943 Willys MB made by WillysOverland. I think it likely saw service in Europe and somehow made its way back to the U.S. I also ended up buying a small publishing company, Portrayal Press, that publishes reprints of these technical manuals…but that is a story for another day.
The soup-to-nuts restoration took me about 36 months of on-and-off work over nearly seven years. I learned many technical skills in the restoration process. Things like how to remove and replace frame rivets when you don’t own a factory’s worth of equipment. I disassembled differentials and steering boxes and transmissions and transfer cases and dreamt about bearing clearances and firing orders. I hammered and I dollied. I scrounged parts at flea markets and happily accepted “old junk parts” in exchange for moving boxes, dust-and-excrement covered, of course, from some dead relative’s attic. I joined online forums and learned to weed though the digital detritus to figure out who was truly “in the know.” I rebuilt an engine and was positively elated to exclaim, “It’s alive,” when my creature ran for the first time.
Mostly though, I learned that restoring a jeep is about 90% grunt work—in this case, cleaning and painting parts. The remainder involves technical skills that, with time, can be mastered by anyone. Showing up regular-
ly is a big deal, preferably every day for at least a little while. You can’t restore a jeep or for that matter build a successful business in a weekend, but you can sneak up on success if you show up consistently and grind away.
I also learned that I enjoy the process and being in my shop so much that I have since restored several other vehicles and became inspired to start a weekly TV show about the journey of restoration and craftsmanship— you can watch ShopTime™ on www.portrayal.tv every Thursday evening at 7 p.m.
Finally, I have learned that the wonder experienced by so many GIs upon first setting eyes on a WWII jeep was no byproduct of the era. Our jeep elicits enthusiastic honks and waves wherever we go. Children smile. Photographs are taken. Even veterans are moved to share the pride and sometimes pain of their service.
Why the anthropomorphizing of an 80-year-old vehicle? A shrink might say to explain and integrate an experience, a fine explanation when discussing a WWII vet, but it doesn’t explain the modern reaction. Some vehicles just take on human qualities.
If you see us out and about, give a honk and a wave and come take a photo. We intend to share our stewardship while it lasts.
A ldo Sayre, 102-year-old veteran, Master of Ceremonies at the 2022 Branchville Memorial Day celebration.
Photo courtesy of the Tipton family
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Portrait in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
Photo by JoAnne Kalish
For the Love of Art
Artist Will Barnet was born May 25, 1911, and died in 2012, at the ripe old age of 101.
Throughout Barnet’s career, he made outstanding contributions to American art as a painter, printmaker, and teacher, depicting the human figure and animals in daily life and in dreamlike worlds. Will Barnet was a major contributor to the National Arts Club (NAC) and had a lifelong dedication to arts education. In 2011, he was awarded the Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.
As a photographer, there are iconic images that can change your career and the way you grow, not only as an artist but also as a human being. This is a story about a relationship between the great American artist and a talented photographer, who happens to be my partner, JoAnne Kalish.
Early one winter morning, a call came in from Art and Antiques Magazine. It was an assignment for JoAnne to photograph one of the finest painters of our time—Will Barnet. The assignment was to be done at Barnet’s studio at the National Arts Club in Manhattan.
JoAnne proceeded to do all of the pre-production work for the portrait in his studio, but the day before the actual shoot, the magazine called and said Barnet had cancelled because he was not comfortable being photographed. (A few weeks prior, JoAnne had had a lovely conversation with Mr. Barnet and presumed everything was fine, so it was a big letdown.)
A month and a half later, JoAnne received a second call from the magazine saying the shoot was back on again. After a brief conversation with Barnet, JoAnne assured him there was no need to worry. She decided to change her normal protocol and go with only one camera, two lenses, no assistant, and no studio lights—the absolute minimum equipment. She brought along her love of art and a total respect for the artist.
As Barnet busied himself painting, JoAnne became a fly on the wall. JoAnne has the ability as a photographer to put people at ease by making them feel comfortable in front of the lens. It was almost as if they had known each other for years.
By Joe DiMaggio
Continued on next page
Photo by Joe DiMaggio
When the assignment was completed, she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror—her face was covered in blue paint. They both laughed, and that was the start of a beautiful relationship.
From time to time, JoAnne would drop by the studio to say hello. Barnet was an encouraging teacher who radically changed not only her career but also the way she looked at art.
When it came to JoAnne, Barnet was extremely generous with his time. One day, JoAnne was in the neighborhood and decided to call and say hello. It was a beautiful spring day. Barnet invited her to meet in the park. During their conversation, he became very serious and told her that out of all the well-known photographers who had photographed him over the years, including the great portrait photographer Arnold Newman, her portrait was his favorite and asked if it could be used as his official portrait.
JoAnne later confessed that she had secretly wished she had taped the conversation. In her words, “He always made me feel special. Each and every time I spoke to him, I felt myself smiling for the entire day.”
That was Will Barnet—a warm generous person and one of the sweetest men you’d ever want to meet!
I remember one exceptional New Year’s Eve, when Barnet called to wish JoAnne a Happy New Year. That message will resonate with her forever. One of the greatest artists of our time took a moment out to call and wish her well.
About three years into their friendship, she was invited to his studio, and she asked if she could bring me along. I was meeting a gallery owner that day and happened to have my Time/Motion work with me. That is a technique I had been working on over the years incorporating slow motion photography for a unique perspective.
32 Life Continued
Left page: Will Barnet and JoAnne Kalish.
Photo by Joe DiMaggio • Right page: JoAnne Kalish and Joe DiMaggio.
Barnet asked to see some of my work. He looked at each piece carefully and said, “You’re not a photographer, you’re a painter!” That’s something I will always remember.
Another time, Barnet called and invited us to lunch at the National Arts Club. During lunch, he proceeded to talk a little about politics, and much to our surprise, he mentioned he had been in charge of the WPA during the Great Depression as applicable to the arts. We were floored.
At the end of lunch, JoAnne excused herself. Will leaned in, looked at me, and said, “Joe, you do know I’m in love with JoAnne?” I looked at him, put my hand on his, and said, “That makes two of us.” We both smiled.
JoAnne’s portrait of Will Barnet hangs in the permanent collection of the portrait section in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Joe DiMaggio and JoAnne Kalish are independent and internationally known photographers, originally based in New York City. After 9/11, they made a decision to close down their studio there and open a studio and gallery in Milford, PA.
For more information, visit www.dimaggio-kalish.com or email, email@example.com.
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By Bob Chernow
A View of the Farm
Homegrown, A Documentary
The Journal had the opportunity to interview Lee Emmerich about his new film, Homegrown, in advance of its showing at the Salon during the Black Bear Film Festival in Milford, PA, on Saturday, October 14th, in the 3:30 p.m. film block.
Growing up on the family flower farm in Warwick, New York, Lee Emmerich developed a deep love of the land, learning the value of hard work and the importance of family.
As a young boy, he would help out in the greenhouse, sell flowers at the farmers’ markets in NYC, and play on the 30-acre farm, purchased by his grandfather in the 1960s. Later, as an undergraduate film student, Lee remembers reading articles in the New York Times about old family farms and the challenges their owners faced; it felt close to home.
What was originally conceived of as an undergraduate project about family farming and generational succes-
sion, the short film Homegrown is an autoethnographic documentary about farm succession, family history, and the relationship between farming and filmmaking.
But this film has universal appeal far beyond the agricultural world. Ostensibly, the film deals with expectations: those we face in life, those we place upon ourselves, those our families place upon us, and other perceived expectations we may feel from our families, whether real or imagined.
The decision whether to stay and run the family farm or leave and pursue a love of filmmaking is the conflict at the core of the film. Lee explores these expectations primarily through spontaneous interviews with his mother and father, Virginia and Chris Emmerich, when he asks each of them questions about life, family, and farming. Lee is curious. He wants to know what his parents are thinking. He wants to know what his parents are feeling. He seeks their affirmation. He seeks their approval.
Photos courtesy of Lee Emmerich
Making this film forced Lee to sit down and have a hard discussion with his parents with whom he had never previously discussed the family farm succession. Lee realized it was a compelling story to which he had firsthand access, and while very nervous, he pushed himself to the conversations with his mother and father. “It’s scary and vulnerable to give up that part of yourself,” he admitted.
The expectation that Lee might take over the farm is the undertone that resonates throughout the film. It comes front and center when Lee, pointing his homemade camera into the truck’s mirror, sees his reflection and asks each parent if they assumed he would take over the farm. An honest exchange ensues in which Lee claims that he felt the expectation even though both parents say that they did not anticipate that their son would run the farm.
“What do you think about filmmaking as a career?” he asks each parent.
Lee cites the book In the Blood: Understanding America’s Farm Families by Robert Wuthnow as a huge influence in his personal growth. Based on hundreds of interviews with family farmers, the book details the beliefs, culture, hopes, and conflicts that exist within the family farm community. Lee explained his own personal view: “There is a sentimental attachment to the land. The land itself reminds me of my family and parents. I love all the parts of my farm.”
Lee is named after his grandfather Leroy, who bought the farm but worked in the film industry in NYC. While making his film, Lee discovered some old film cans with reels shot by his grandfather, who worked for a marketing company. It did some niche work, for example, marketing the Danny Kaye Show to get it a corporate sponsorship such as Armstrong Tire. His grandfather, who died before Lee was born, remains a “mythical figure” to him since they were broadly in the same visual media industry.
In a candid exchange near the end of the film, Lee’s father provides some validation to Lee saying, “I didn’t do what my dad did; you are doing what my dad did.”
“It’s cosmic, man… the idealistic life of a farmer,” his mother sarcastically explains. “It’s not so cosmic.” There are long hours to put in. “I could not do it if I did not love it. It’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle.” She recounts how difficult it is to find staff who are willing to work hard and put in the hours needed. She can tell right away if somebody is cut out to work on the farm.
Is Lee concerned that his mother believes that people of his generation may not be willing to work so hard? Does Lee wonder if she is referring to him? Filmmaking is hard work. Filmmaking is a lifestyle.
Continued on next page
“It’s not that I don’t want to work hard; it’s the kind of work I don’t want to do,” Lee tells his mother. “I accept that,” she responds.
Lee’s interest in film began early when as a child he made his own pinhole cameras with wooden boxes even though he never took a formal photography class. Indeed, he told me that this film was made with a homemade camera in addition to a Sony FX6 cinema camera.
Lee carefully chose the title, Homegrown, alluding to his character where he envisions himself as a plant that his parents may have grown on the family farm. Lee admits that he is very critical of his own work and feels a “ton of pressure….and it’s hard to say that I am a filmmaker.”
The short film does a good job of presenting some reali-
ties and hard truths of farm life. “We can’t do this forever,” states his father. When Lee asked his mother, “How do you retire?” she responds, “You sell the farm or give it to your kids to take over.”
As his parents approach retirement age, the future of the farm is still in question. “Change is hard,” his mother explains. She could not think of any farmer that is retired and notes that she herself is not ready for retirement. His father, on the other hand, says that he would not mind it but admitted that it takes a lot of money to be retired.
His father is considering a subdivision where the family would sell the farm but keep the house. His mother would rather sell the farm and house together because she feels it would be difficult to live in the house but not have access to the land. His father is currently 65 years old and hopes to retire at 70. Does that mean that Lee has 5 years to reconsider his plans?
Lee tells his parents, “I want to be able to come here always.”
When I asked if he might take over the farm, Lee replies that it is not in his plan. At 24 years old, he is not ready to make that decision. In five more years at age 29, he still may not be ready to make that decision.
“Just because I made a film about it doesn’t mean it’s resolved,” Lee concludes.
Bob Chernow is a geologist who recently retired from teaching and enjoys gardening and spending time outdoors in Swartswood Lake, NJ.
Nature 38 Continued
Lee Emmerich is a filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to his parents, Lee cites several people who were influential in producing Homegrown. NYU film historian and professor Dan Streible pushed Lee to learn about how films get produced and to dig deeper into seemingly inconsequential details. Lee also credits Cheryl Furjanic and Pegi Vail, both production professors for the Culture and Media Program at NYU, and his supportive student cohorts who encouraged him to pursue this personal project.
Lee is already doing early research for his next project, which involves how technology has affected the NYC subculture of messenger bikes in the 1980s compared to food-delivery bikes today.
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Aries (March 20-April 19)
You have just passed through turbulence that may have shaken up your work-related life, such as scuffles with higher-ups. Your best strategy is to lay low, paying attention to what is going on around you. There will be openings for you to make changes. There is no rush. It’s a good idea to keep your ears open for facts, figures and other information that may have been missing.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
Focus on originality rather than success. Never settle for one answer to a question, or one solution to a problem, no matter how simple it may seem. Even seemingly elementary puzzles can have a diversity of possible keys that turn the lock. Creativity means finding the one that is most suited to your circumstances and needs.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Now would be the time to have a potentially difficult discussion related to household matters. If you live alone, make necessary repairs, reorganize trouble spots and clear out what you don’t need. Small adjustments to the flow of your interior living space can make a big difference in the flow of your life. Pay attention to cluttered pantries, cupboards and your refrigerator.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
After spending many years in Gemini, an early centaur planet has started its journey across your sign. It is Asbolus, its theme is being able to stand up to adversity; it will be in Cancer until 2040 and serve you well as the world continues its birthing process into the Next Age. Because Asbolus strengthens, you may be noticing many things calling you to rise to the occasion.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
Your motto could be, “My life is not about them. My life is about me.” This is the big lesson that so many refuse and resist — and yet life is offering you an opportunity to embrace, and claim who you are. Whether people claim to respect you or not is irrelevant. As you may be discovering, your quest is one for self-respect.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Get obstacles out of the way. You may not be able to move or resolve everything that is obstructing your path. But you will do well if you address one small matter, and one large one. You could do something ordinary like sort out all your papers and mail; that will help you get a sense of control or mastery.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
Everyone is a big star, though you’re getting a moment to shine brightly. Either the world is all about you, or the world is all about what you learn, observe and discover. The difference pertains to your mental orientation. Your life is always about you.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
The meaningful planet Ceres has entered Scorpio, which it does every four years. She arrived with questions. An important one is, how does the food you eat make you feel? Do you think about what goes into your mouth, what it contains? And do you consider what comes out of your mouth, and how it makes you and others feel?
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
Living on your reputation has never been more complicated. As bold as Sagittarius is said to be, humility is a vestment you wear well. It’s best to understand the nature of your talent and your abilities, while never boasting about them. Let your accomplishments speak for you.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
One can be told that they are worthless, but if they believe in themselves, they can accomplish great things — even what some would call the impossible. I suggest that you come to a full stop every time you hear yourself say or think the word, or when you find yourself accepting something without evidence. Take note.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
The great changes that will help you establish a new foundation of your life will take place in the spring. Leading up to then, you are being guided into a new idea and experience of who you are. Before that happens, it’s necessary that you clear a few more obstacles from your ‘unconscious’ mind.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
There are three planets retrograde in Pisces (Saturn, Nessus and Neptune). That may seem to impede progress; in truth you are being called inward, and summoned to reconcile with yourself in many different ways. There is a sense of proximity to all that is natural, all that is the most real and alive in its own right. That is you.
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