The Journal Spring 2024

Page 1


Spring 2024 Uniting the Upper Delaware River Region of PA, NJ & NY
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‘’Cinco de Mayo’’ at the La Posada Garden

Join us for exclusive food & drink specials and live music from 3-6PM by sensational latin group, Group Warachando. 570-296-9940


The Journalists

Julia Schmitt Healy • Bob Chernow

Travis Hudelson • Jane Primerano

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


The Poet

Paulette Calasibetta 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.

Publication Information The Journal Group publishes The Journal ten times a year and distributes it in eight counties in PA, NJ and NY. We assume no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts. Contents may not be reproduced in any form without prior written permission. We reserve the right to refuse to print advertisements that we deem inappropriate. All rights reserved. Publisher & Editor Amy Bridge
Associate Editor B’Ann Bowman Editorial Readers Robert Bowman Amy Smith Graphic Design Maureen Taylor Spring 2024 Advertising Team
Kimberly Hess
Susan Mednick
Cover Line Robert De Niro on the set of Casino Photo by Phil Caruso
5 Contents 12 • art • Phil Caruso 18 • food • Food Connections 22 • history • Under Water 28 • life • Karl Latham 32 • nature • Nature’s Place 6 • journal entry 7 • poem 10 • around the towns 38 • signs Spring 2024

November 3, 1941–March 19, 2024

Alan Kaplan dressed in black, from head to toe, every single day. He was the quintessential visual communicator. A photographer who didn’t want to stand out. The attention, he would muse, should be on the photographer’s subject, not on the photographer.

My friend Alan had an amazing background. Long before he and his wife, Wendy Stuart Kaplan, bought their weekend house in Milford and became entrenched in all aspects of the community, Alan had had a career in NYC as a commercial photographer, with clients such as American Express, Nokia, Citibank, and Jack Daniels. His photos were plastered on subway walls and on buses that lumbered through city traffic.

Alan would expound on his art, “It’s much more effective to capture the interstitial humanity…brief seconds that will create a profound shock of recognition with the viewer —that’s what I capture.”

In our June 2014 issue, Michael Hartnett and Alan discussed his early work with Italian Vogue and GQ International; his surreal film, A Study in Grey, for which he won a Silver Cup at the Cannes Film Festival; and the pleasure he took in his renewed passion for working with pastels— art drawn in a most vibrant and gestural way—and how different that felt from his photography work.

Speaking with Alan was interesting, unique, and fun. In our long conversations, we would share our perspectives on life, community, and, at times, The Journal. My thought processes would constantly expand with his intellectual curiosities and suggestions that seemed voluminous.

We spoke with Alan again and featured his photographs in our April 2017 article, “Genus Loci,” after Alan and Wendy returned from the Omo Valley in Ethiopia where they had interviewed, filmed, and then produced Fragile Beauty, a short documentary about an endangered tribal culture deeply rooted in the past. The film won Official Selection in the Chelsea Film Festival, as well as others. At this point Alan and Wendy were asked to join the infamous Explorers Club.

Their Visual Journeys series continued with short films that showed the interconnectedness of humans, a theme that ran close to Alan’s heart. In 2018, Whisperers and Witnesses: Primate Rescue, filmed in Cameroon, won Best Documentary at the Chelsea Film Festival.

For The Journal’s 10th anniversary, we revisited a few artists in our communities who continue to evolve, and of course, Alan was on the short list. Amy

6 Journal Entry
Photo © JoAnne Kalish Alan Kaplan



seeds of passion

nurtured in mother nature’s womb

swaddled in spring meadows host spring

cups of crocus spill saffron tea over warmed Earth

golden eyes flirt and flutter in ruffled silk spring ushers in new beginnings

birthing buds migrant birds

winter on sabbatical

and Photo by Paulette Calasibetta
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Around the Towns Spring

Tuesdays through May 28 6 p.m.

Virtual Parenting Workshops. Project Self-Sufficiency, Newton, NJ. Learn how to build positive parenting skills, prevent behavioral problems, and encourage effective anger management. Free and open to the public. Info: 973.940.3500, www.projectselfsufficiency. org.

April 22nd

Monday 6–9 p.m.

Taste of Vernon. Red Tail Lodge, Vernon, NJ. Highlighting local eateries. $45. Benefits local philanthropic organizations. Hosted by Vernon Chamber of Commerce. Info: 973.919.9439,

April 24th

Wednesday 7:30–9:00 p.m.

Macro Photography. Sparta Ambulance Building, Sparta, NJ. Presentation by Nick Palmieri on equipment used for close-up photography. Info:

April 25th

Thursday 6–9 p.m.

Heroes Haven Gala. Osiris Country Club, Walden, NY. Presents Reward for Distinguished Service to Captain Robert J. “Pete” Petry. Cocktail reception & live entertainment. $150. Info: 845.325.2203,

7:30 p.m.

Arsenic and Old Lace. Performing Arts Center, Sussex County Community College, Newton, NJ. A classic play. $5–$10. Also April 26th–27th, May 3rd at 7:30 p.m., May 4th at 2 p.m. Info: community/performing-arts-center-shows

April 27th

Saturday 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

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

Noon–3 p.m.

Spring Fling. Veterans Park, Wurtsboro, NY. Crafts, bird show, face painting, food & more. Sponsored by Wurtsboro Board of Trade. Info:

5–8 p.m.

Hollywood Euphoria: Opening Reception. Forest Hall Studios, Milford, PA. Opening of photography exhibit by Phillip Caruso. Saturdays and Sundays through summer. Info:

April 28th

Sunday 8–9 a.m.

Jim Zamos Memorial Hyper Humus Nature Walk. Paulinskill River Wildlife Management Area, Sussex County, NJ. Hosted by the Sussex County Bird Club. Info: sussex

May 2nd

Thursday 5:30–9:00 p.m.

Ottaway Medal Dinner. The Barn at Villa Venezia, Middletown, NY. Sponsored by VISION Hudson Valley. Medal recipient: Derrik R. Wynkoop. $200. Info: 845.469.9459,

May 3rd–5th


Birds and Brews. PEEC, Dingmans Ferry, PA. Weekend of bird watching on guided hikes. Beer from local breweries on Saturday. $230. Info: 570.828.2319,

May 4th

Saturday 10 a.m.–noon

Hiking in Harmony. PEEC, Dingmans Ferry, PA. Hike the Scenic Gorge Trail to celebrate the last day of Conservation District Week. Co-hosted by PEEC and Pike County Conservation District. Free. Info: 570.226.8220,

10 a.m.–2 p.m.

View from the Bridge. Western Sullivan Public Library, Callicoon, NY. Community painting party to celebrate the bridge connecting Callicoon and Damascus. Complementary coffee and food. Co-sponsored by the Western Sullivan Library and Barryville Area Arts Association. Free but pre-registration required. Info:

10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Spring Vendor/Craft Fair. Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Sparta, NJ. Free admission. Info:

11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Spring Crafters & Artisans’ Fair. Byram Township Fire Hall, Byram, NJ. Hosted by the Sussex County Arts and Heritage Council. Free. All handmade items. Info: 973.383.0027,

5:30–9:00 p.m.

Foods of the Delaware Highlands. Silver Birches, Hawley, PA. Elegant evening to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Delaware Highlands Conservancy. $185. Info: 570.226.3164,


May 4th–5th


10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Spring Festival. Sugar Loaf Arts & Crafts Village, Sugar Loaf, NY. Vendors, music, food, drinks & more. Info: 845.570.5189, www.

May 5th

Sunday 9 a.m.

Delaware River 5K Run & Walk. Riverside Park, Port Jervis, NY. Registration: $26–$35. Entertainment and food trucks to follow. Hosted by the Port Jervis Recreation Dept. Info: 845.858.4045, Facebook: Port Jervis Recreation.

1–3 p.m.

Woodland Wildflowers. Brandwein Nature Learning Preserve, Port Jervis, NY. Learn how to identify wildflowers. $5. Registration required, Info:

2–3 p.m.

Native American Stone Structures of the Catskill Mountains. Time and the Valleys Museum, Grahamsville, NY. Presented by Glenn Kreisberg. Members/free, non-members/$5. Info: 845.985.7700, www.time

May 5th–11th


Writing Retreat. Lacawac Sanctuary, Lake Ariel, PA. Undisturbed time for professionals to work on writing projects. $300, includes lodging. Registration/Info: 570.689.9494,

May 6th

Monday 6 p.m.

A Taste of Talent. Perona Farms, Andover, NJ. Tasting stations from local restaurants. Live music. $300. Benefits Project Self-Sufficiency. Info: 973.940.3500, www.project

May 11th

Saturday 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Volunteer Tree Planting. Van Scott Nature Reserve, Beach Lake, PA. Planting a total of 850 trees. Also Saturday, May 18th. Hosted by Delaware Highlands Conservancy and Wayne County Conservation District. Registration required. Info: 570.226.3164,

11 a.m.–2 p.m.

At Home with the Pinchots. Grey Towers, Milford, PA. Visit with actors who portray the Pinchots and describe the history of Grey Towers. Refreshments. Tours run every 20 minutes. Presented by the Grey Towers Heritage Association. $15–$20. Info: 570.296.9630,

$30. Registration/Info: 570.689.9494, www.

May 18th

Saturday 9 a.m.

Birding Hike at Tilcon Lake. Waterloo State Park, Waterloo Village, Byram, NJ. Hosted by Sussex County Bird Club. Info: sussex

Noon–4 p.m.

Ribbon Cutting and Stage Warming Party. Roscoe Fireman’s Field, Roscoe, NY. Unveiling of the Catskill Public Theater’s mobile stage, which will be available to rent. Party includes craft and food vendors. Info: 844.752.9748,

4 p.m.

Music of Weber, Strauss, and Williams. First United Methodist Church, Newton, NJ. Performance by New Sussex Symphony. $10–$15. Info: 973.579.6465,

May 18th & 19th

Saturday & Sunday 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 25th & May 26th. Info: 570.992.6161,

May 19th

Sunday 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

Spring for the Arts. Stroudsmoor Country Inn, Stroudsburg, PA. Celebration and fundraiser. $85. Info: 570.476.4460,

2 p.m.

Tales of Quakers & Dutchers in Colonial PA. Delaware Township Municipal Hall, Dingmans Ferry, PA. Storytelling by Jonathan Kruk. Hosted by Dingmans Ferry-Delaware Township Historical Society. Info: dingmans

May 25th

Saturday 10 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:

May 26th

Sunday 1-4 p.m.

Metal: From Earth to Form and Fashion. Van Kirk Museum, Sparta, NJ. 2 p.m. talk. Exhibit open every other Sunday April 14th to June 28th. Info: 973.726.0883, www.

May 27th

Monday 10 a.m.

May 12th

Sunday 3 p.m.

Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea. Lacawac Sanctuary, Lake Ariel, PA. At the historic lodge.

Memorial Day Parade. Sprint Street, Newton, NJ. Followed by remembrance of our fallen heroes at Memory Park. Sponsored by the Greater Newton Chamber of Commerce. Info: 973.300.0433, www.greaternewtoncc. com.

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The Photographer You Didn’t Know Was There Phil Caruso,

Film Still Photographer

If there were an Oscar given for Best Still Photography in a Feature Film, it is certain that Phil Caruso would have a few of them displayed in his den. Known for iconic shots such as the image of Forrest Gump on the park bench, his work is what I might call “famously anonymous.” We recognize his photographs, but we likely assume that they are just single frames from the movie. That, they are not.

The quality of an individual frame from a movie is not high enough to be used in such things as posters, publicity shots, and print ads. So photographers are hired to embed themselves on sets basically as “flies on the wall.”

We in the tri-state area are fortunate that Phil Caruso, one of the best in this business, is being featured in an exhibition at Forest Hall Studios in Milford, PA, with an Opening Reception on April 27th from 5 to 8 p.m.

He will be showing what he describes as “celebrity photos” from his long career—images of Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Francis Ford Coppola, and the like. Titled “Hollywood Euphoria,” the show will consist of about thirty-eight pieces, 24 by 36 inches, and two pieces, 44 by 60 inches, which have been curated by photographers Christopher Makos and Paul Solberg.

Recently, I spoke on the phone with Mr. Caruso, who resides in upstate New York. He’s a great conversationalist and has a jillion stories, so what was supposed to be a 30-minute interview went on for well over an hour.

“My father was a cameraman,” he begins. He shares that as an eight- or nine-year-old child, he was allowed to act as projectionist when the family was viewing 16-millimeter films. “There were cameras in the house, so I came to photography early.

Continued on next page

Art By Julia
Left page: Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump . This page: Martin Scorsese with Panavision, Casino 1995. Photos by Phil Caruso

“I worked for ten years doing industrials, commercials, and such. Then I got into the union and broke into doing movie stills.” He tells me he has been in this business for “forty or fifty years and I probably have worked on 150 movies.”

How did he get his start? “Ron Howard. That was my major break.” In the late 1980s, Howard was starting his own company and was directing the movie Parenthood, and he hired me. Then I did Backdraft.”

Soon, Caruso was working with Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro on Cape Fear, and after that he became their go-to still photographer. A year or so later he got the job on The Age of Innocence—a happy experience in that he met his wife, Kathy, on the set of that movie.

As we talked, I couldn’t believe how many people in the industry Caruso has worked with and photographed. Just to drop a few more names: Tom Hanks, Marlon Brando, Matt Damon, Nick Nolte, Terry Gilliam, Uma Thurman, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ethan Hawke, Gary Sinese, Al Pacino, John Waters, and the list goes on.

14 Art Continued

“It’s not as glamorous as it may sound,” he says. “You’re working constantly, trying to get shots. You really need to have a work ethic. And then I would say to myself, ‘This is it! This is the shot.’ I would just feel it. And this was when you couldn’t see your photo right away—it had to first go to the lab for processing.”

The idea is that you need to get as close as possible and yet not be obtrusive. He would sit or crouch under the cameraman, which would be made even more difficult with more than one camera around his neck. He has been told by actors and actresses alike, “I never saw where you were!” or “How did you ever get these shots?”

Caruso just seems to have a knack for knowing where to sit and when to press the shutter. Previously, he has said, “I can sense when a reaction will occur between individuals, and I try to remain the outside observer so as not to interrupt the sensitivity of the moment.” He’s kind of a “human chameleon” with a camera.

Caruso tells me he has always tried to stay ahead in terms of technology. Over the years, he has amassed a large

Continued on next page Left page: Top: Martin Scorsese on the set of Casino . Bottom: Gary Sinese, Forrest Gump . This page: Top: Martin Scorsese and Sharon Stone, Casino rehearsal. Bottom: Robert De Niro
Photos by Rachel Indano Photography

istering farmland preservation programs to keep development off the most sensitive and productive land, but the need for farmers to work together and to have an advocate was imperative. The Foodshed Alliance brought together farms and also brought in consumers to meet the farmers.

“One of the early events was the farm to fork dinner as a mixer of sorts, combined with a fund raiser. One paywhat-you-want dinner brought so many farmers with so much food that the seven chefs couldn’t keep up with it,” Close recalls. Green Drinks, a cocktail hour get-together at places such as The Inn at Millrace Pond in Hope and Krogh’s in Sparta, served the same purpose for a few years.

All these events helped drum up support for the farmland preservation programs that pay farmers for the development rights on their land in exchange for a guarantee that it will always be kept in active farming. However, selling the development rights doesn’t guarantee a farm will be profitable. While western Jersey farms do sometimes market their goods in New York City, that model doesn’t work for everyone.

The Alliance moved the Blairstown Farmers Market to a new space with more parking, then started a winter farmers market for Morris County at the Alexander Hamilton Elementary School in Morristown. That successful market was turned over to another non-profit, Grow It Green Morristown. Market Manager Andeana Gonzales and her staff now operate it at the Convent Railroad Station.

Close remembers a Virtual Farmers Market that was so successful it outgrew its space after two years.

Perhaps the most visible work of the Alliance is SAgE: Sustainable Agriculture Enterprise. This provides long-term affordable leases to organic farmers. Leasing land is a great way to get started in agriculture, if the lease is long enough for the farmer to get established. One- and two-year leases are not, but they are the norm in many areas, especially where the property owner is actually interested in selling.

Eric Derby, who used to be hands-on in the SAgE program, explains that its purpose is to provide land access to emerging farmers. SAgE, which holds 19 farm leases on 100 preserved acres, offers five-year leases.

SAgE started at the Muckshaw Ponds Preserve property in Fredon, NJ, a 201–acre tract that was first preserved by the Nature Conservancy at the height of the building boom in 1988 and then was turned over to the Ridge and Valley Conservancy in 2020, according to Bob Canace, a former R&CV trustee and a mentor to the Alliance’s early employees and volunteers.

“The portion of Muckshaw Ponds suitable for farming then was gifted to the Foodshed Alliance along with a $100,000 endowment,” Canace explains.

Right on Route 206, south of Newton and adjacent to the historic, but decaying, St. Paul’s Abbey, the SAgE farms show just what local farming can do, especially the student farm of Sussex County Community College with its colorful pollinator garden just off the traveled way.

Erin Collins, program supervisor of the agri-business and horticultural sciences programs at SCCC, says about twen-

Food Continued 20

ty of her majors work the student farm, but she is encouraging other students, such as culinary arts majors, to join up since the plot produces food for their café. Two other SAgE properties are located in Stewartsville, Warren County, and Sergeantsville, Hunterdon County.

Derby notes that the Alliance is developing the Center for Food, Farming, and the Environment, and it is looking for a large barn to use for that program, one that hopefully can be leased from the county or town ship. The barn would hold a market stand for SAgE farmers, a farmer education area, and a logistics and support center for another of the Alliance’s programs, Local Share. It would also have a wash and pack facility.

Local Share started about six years ago with volunteers gleaning apples from Longmeadow Farm in Hope, Warren County. It has since expanded to many different farms producing a vari ety of fruits and vegetables.

vest apples for shipment. Inevitably, the people who flock to his farm from late August through October leave apples on the trees and on the ground.

“The season stops for people at the end of October,” he says, noting that even if there are apples available in early November, people just don’t think about picking them. The Local Share volunteers who glean them are preventing waste as well as providing food.

According to the Foodshed Alliance website, since Local Share started, volunteers have gleaned 732,917 pounds of fruits and vegetables and 20,691 dozen eggs. This farmfresh surplus food from 30 farms is delivered to more than 100 service agencies.

Brad Burke, owner of Longmeadow Farm, calls Local Share a “good, mutually beneficial relationship.” Because he operates a pick-your-own apple farm, he doesn’t har-

The gleaning programs are also beneficial to children, such as the Boy and Girl Scouts who participate. “They feel they are doing something bigger than themselves,” he notes.

Burke has worked with other gleaning groups, such as Farmers Against Hunger, Urban Agriculture and America’s Grow-A-Row, but he likes the fact that the Foodshed Alliance is local.

“The Foodshed Alliance is continuously looking for more ways to help the agriculture community and the area at large,” Kendrya Close says. She works closely with the Northeast Organic Farming Association–New Jersey and area business groups to bring the Foodshed Alliance message to the public.

The Foodshed Alliance is based in Hope, NJ. For farmer training or other events or to volunteer for one of their programs, visit


Diving for History

It was late summer in 1725 and the captain of the French transport ship, Le Chameau (in English, The Camel), was heading for Canada. His ship, ordered by Versailles to replenish paper promissory notes with coins meant to be circulated in Canada, was armed with 48 guns. She held, among other things, 82,020 livre tournois, French gold and silver coins.

Her camel-shaped figurehead pointed toward Fort Louisbourg, but off the coast of Portnova Island, Cape Breton, Canada, the wind steered the ship toward the rocks and reefs that the captain had tried to avoid. They never made it to land.

Some two hundred and thirty-four years later, Mike Haas sat in front of his family’s TV set watching Sea Hunt, Flipper, and Diver Dan, but so did a lot of kids in the1960s, and they didn’t all become scuba-diving treasure hunters.

When Haas was ten years old, he accompanied his father, who tracked the Transatlantic Cable for Bell Labs in New Jersey, on a trip to Augusta, Maine. There they visited a

quarry testing a submarine, manned by “frogmen.” Young Haas was fascinated, and that visit left a big impression.

Fast forward thirty years and Haas had become a police officer in Randolph, NJ.

Fate and opportunity collided when he was asked to start a dive team with four other members of the force. He then joined and ran the Morris County dive team and did underwater search and recovery work for twenty years.

Over that time, work and pleasure intertwined. Haas started diving off the coast of NJ with Paul Hepler who ran The Venture III, a charter boat for wreck divers out of Shark River. “He knew the ocean like the back of his hand,” Haas reports. “Hepler knew more shipwrecks than anyone. There are about 3,000 of them off the NJ coast, dating back as far as the 1700s up to modern day.”

When I recently visited Haas at his Blairstown, NJ, home, he showed me a few of his diving souvenirs. There was a Revolutionary War gun part, a cannon ball from the Civ-

Photos courtesy of Michael Haas

il War, and a perfume bottle in the shape of a shoe. A bronze plate from the Ella Warley, which was a Civil War blockade runner that sank off the New Jersey coast, hung on the wall. There was also the inner ear of a whale from millions of years ago sitting on a shelf, next to the top of a clay olive jar and other relics of the ocean’s past.

“I’ve been told that if you can dive in NJ, you can dive anywhere,” says Haas. “This is due to the rough seas of the northeastern coast, as well as the deep water, lack of visibility, and the indigenous marine life.”

Haas showed me megalodon teeth that he found in North Carolina. A megalodon is a prehistoric shark that lived about 20 million years ago, which had approximately 250 teeth in its mouth. Only about 19 of them have ever been found. According to Haas, a seven-inch tooth holds the record. In an interesting aside, the Japanese consider the shark a revered animal, and a buyer there would pay two to three thousand dollars for just one average-sized tooth.

In 2002 when Haas retired from the police force as a detective sergeant, he pursued his diving in Canada, where he dove on the H.B.M.S. Feversham and Le Chameau “It was here that I learned how to treasure hunt the right way: move overburden, which is sand, crushed shells, and other items, out of the way, slow and easy,” he says.

The Feversham was a British frigate on her way from New York City to Quebec in the year 1711. She was to unload her supplies and then station in Quebec during Queen Anne’s War against French Canada. On a cold and stormy October night, she broke up on the rocks and her contents remained sunken for over two hundred years, just two miles away from where Le Chameau would meet a similar fate.

“Diving in Canada felt like being in a washing machine on the agitate setting, but we made the best of the tidal changes and wave surges,” Haas states. “For fifteen years, I was a diver for a man who had permission from the Canadian government to salvage the ancient ships under the Canadian Treasure Trove Law, which has since been repealed. The government took up to ten percent of representative samples of each species and put them into a museum. There’s a beautiful maritime museum in Halifax that displays our group’s findings.

“In order to dive for treasure, throughout the world, the head of the diving mission must make a legal application through the government. They call it ‘seizing or arresting the shipwreck’ through the courts. The government looks at everything found.”

Numismatists from Sotheby’s actually came to the Feversham to examine the rare silver coins that they procured. Because the waters were cold, the coins had been



protected from heavy corrosion. Included in the treasure were Massachusetts pine tree shillings; some coins were cut into fractions, such as halves or quarters. This showed that people made change in the early 18th century by actually cutting a shilling into pieces.

The value of any item salvaged from a treasure ship goes through the roof. What didn’t go into a museum was brought back to NY and auctioned off.

One item found in the Feversham search was a gold ring set with 4.78 grams of blue emeralds. Haas explained how this was found. “When objects fall to the bottom of the ocean, the minerals in the water react to various metals and then concrete or harden. We worked with hammers and chisels to take off big chunks of debris and brought them up to the surface. Our conservator x-rayed the pieces in a lab and found the ring in a big chunk of

concretion. It was determined that the ring was probably made in the 1690s by an artisan in South America.”

In the mid ’90s, Haas connected with Alan Gardner through Paul Hepler. Gardner, an avid treasure hunter, lives in the Bahamas and has been searching for the remains of the Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas for many years. “Paul, Alan, and I volunteered to dive in and around the Bahama Banks, searching unsuccessfully for the remains, which are spread out over a seven-mile radius,” Haas explains.

“This ship was traveling from South America in 1656 and was loaded with treasures that Indigenous South American slaves had mined and minted for Spain’s King Philip V. She had stopped in Cuba and was making her way up the Florida Straits, the corridor between the Bahamas and Florida, on a return voyage to Spain, when she sank. The motherlode of the treasure has yet to be found.”

AlanExploration, now known as AlanX, is an organization founded by multimillionaire Carl Alan, whose goal is to find sunken treasures. Alan, a philanthropist and explorer, lives in the Bahamas. You may have seen Carl Alan on 60 Minutes recently discussing his project: searching for the motherlode of the Maravillas in coordination with the Bahamian government.

Alan uses underwater metal detectors and magnetometers to search the warm and salty waters. Haas and Gardner did volunteer dives with Alan’s team.

“We were in search of the stern castle, which is where most treasures were kept under lock and key, located in the back of the ship near the captain’s quarters. Inside, there is said to be a solid gold statue of Madonna and Child. King Philip had planned to use it to buy his way into heaven,” Haas recounts.

When asked if he is going to continue on his mission to find the gold, Haas answers, “I hope to be going down to the Bahamas soon. I received a call last week from Alan Gardner inviting me to join again in their search, ‘We could always use your help,’ is what he said. Right now, the wind is blowing, so we have to wait for more favorable weather conditions.”

Haas relates his career as a police officer to that of a scuba diving treasure hunter. “I’ve always loved looking for stuff. It’s all about the journey. Whether it’s forensic police work or underwater diving—go find the bad guy, go find the treasure. It’s all about devotion, tenacity, and patience. Never give up.”

A YouTube episode of the media series, Outdoors with Carl Alan, features “19th Century Shipwreck Cannon,” diving for the Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas

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A World of Drumming

Karl Latham

“Iwas in the middle of an all-night recording session at the House of Music in South Orange, NJ, and George Clinton, leader/creator of Parliament-Funkadelic, was in the B studio mixing a Brides of Funkenstein release. We got to hang out for a few hours, and what did we discuss, of all things, Noam Chomksy,” Karl Latham tells me with a chuckle.

As with many top-tier supporting musicians, you may have heard or been influenced by Karl’s playing, although you might not know his name. I met Karl through a friend, quickly developed a relationship, and then became his student. In addition to opening new worlds of drumming for me, Karl imparted an overwhelmingly positive and supportive attitude toward life, which has changed how I approach the world.

Karl has lived in Amity, in Orange County, NY, for the last ten years, next to protected farmland. He purchased the former studio/home of iconic bassist Mark Egan, with a studio designed by John Storyk. From his home studio, he teaches, records personal projects, tracks for projects, and adds drum tracks remotely for other artists. Prior to Amity, Karl lived in Sparta, NJ, for twenty years, chairing the Sparta Cultural Affairs Committee for ten years.

Music runs through his family. His mother gave up a promising singing career to raise a family, and he came to music early through the influence of his older brother.

Despite (or perhaps because of) the family’s music history, he had some resistance from his father about a musical career. Early, he’d focused on classical music, and when graduating high school, he had his choice of top music schools. After a year at Berklee College of Music (which many consider to be the top music-career launching pad), Karl got a gig with a group traveling to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. He left school and joined them.

Unfortunately, while there, the group’s manager disappeared, along with their funds and the return tickets, and he was left stranded in Haiti. His father agreed to send him the money for a ticket home—on the condition that he buckle down and attend traditional college. So, he enrolled in Ohio University. He didn’t even take his drums with him.

Sometimes, however, destiny doesn’t allow anything to get in the way. While attending college, Karl found a drum set to borrow and was soon playing several times a week. Friends told him about a drum contest sponsored by Carmine Appice (a rock drummer who’s played with everyone


from Vanilla Fudge to Ozzy Osborne). He entered, won for the state and region, and received second place nationally. (The winner now plays with Earth, Wind & Fire.)

Another mentor also helped push Karl into a music career. One of his professors, who regularly came to see him play, mentioned that given he was not attending class anyway and obviously had a passion for music, he should “stop kidding himself” and get serious about what he loved.

He began playing full time and was regularly on the radio (CD 101.9, NYC’s smooth jazz station in the ’80s). But he didn’t tell his father he’d gone back to music until it became too obvious to avoid.

Today, Karl is included in Drummerworld’s Top Drummers list. He credits his wife Ann with giving him the confidence and the impetus to become a full-time musician. They’ve been married for over thirty years.

As a freelance drummer, Karl has performed with many notable artists: Johnny and Edgar Winter, the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Star Big Band, and members of the Fantasy Band, including Dave Valentin, Dave Samuels, Chuck Loeb, Noel Pointer, Victor Bailey, Cornell Dupree, Roy Ayers, Larry Coryell.

29 Continued on next page
Above: With Paquito D’Rivera and the Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Latin Experience at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Photos courtesy of Karl Latham

Karl’s career has spanned the globe, performing, recording, and producing with Grammy Award winning artists, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members, and a multitude of internationally acclaimed musicians, and he has made some great memories along the way.

“When we were touring,” Karl recalls, “German vibraphonist Wolfgang Lackerschmid kept saying, ‘Hey man, we should stop by the flat of my friend, the princess,’ when we were driving by Regensberg on an off day. I did not realize he was being literal. We pulled through the gate of the castle of princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis, had dinner, and spent the night. It was the only time in my life that I was served my soup by two princesses and gave an impromptu drum lesson to a prince.”

Another time, “I wore a Beatles Abbey Road T-shirt in a rehearsal with Bernie Worrell (of Parliament, Talking Heads, and many others). A few days later at a concert, we were playing his set, and he looked over at me with a very sly grin and just broke into ‘Come Together.’ We had never discussed it or played it before.”

Karl has subbed on the Broadway productions of Bring It On, Hamilton, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and Ain’t Too Proud.

Karl has seen much of the world through drumming, and from 1996 to 2006, he spent about half of each year touring with various musicians. This allowed him to experience many parts of Europe and Africa, often close up while traveling by van.

“On an amazing gig in Tuscany, we were there for a week to play a single ninety-minute concert. We were playing for a very influential entrepreneur. He hosted many dinners and lunches throughout the stay. Driving back from one of the lunches, he had all the cars pulled over, took me by the hand, and pointed to a villa on a hill, saying, ‘Karl, you know Gladiator.’ I had no idea what he was talking about. Then he said, ‘You know, the MOVIE!’ It was the main villa in the film (which I had not seen). He pointed again and with a huge smile said, ‘I bought it; I called it Gladiator.’ ”

While Karl has touched a lot of people directly and indirectly as a player, he’s also touched many directly as a teacher. He’s an adjunct professor in percussion/drumset at Drew University, the County College of Morris, the Passaic County Community College, and Raritan Valley Community College. He’s also a member of the Percussive Arts Society’s Education Committee and teaches locally at Blair Academy.

“I love and learn from all my students. Teaching makes me look at what I do in a different way.” Coming from Karl Latham, a globally recognized master, these are powerful words. Having experienced Karl’s teaching person-

ally, I’m struck by the positive impact and support he gives all of his students, who range from children through working professionals.

I asked Karl about what teaching gives him. His response is telling. He mentioned that he learns as much from his students as they learn from him, and that being asked to demonstrate something forces him to reevaluate how he does it himself.

Current and Upcoming Projects

Karl always has several projects in process. A few current projects include:

l Sharing the drum chair for the Dizzy Gillispie Afro-Latin Experience and Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars.

l Releasing Transcendence with Bob Gluck and Christopher Dean Sullivan.

l Upcoming CD releases: Living Standards with Karl Latham and Big Fun(K) with Don Braden/Karl Latham.

l Gigging with a variety of artists.

To find more information and see Karl’s live schedule, visit

30 Life Continued

A Botanical and Geological Road Trip

The Orange County Arboretum


Driving north through hilly terrain and winding roads, I suddenly entered a broad flat valley surrounded by the Shawangunk Mountains of southern New York and the Pochuk Hills of northern New Jersey. The road straightened out for miles, and I noticed the black soils of freshly plowed farms in all directions. As a geologist, I immediately considered that these were rich organic lake bottom soils, which formed after the glaciers melted and created a lake, trapped by the surrounding mountains.

I would later learn that I had driven through the “black dirt region” of southern Orange County, NY. The earliest European settlers could not farm this region because of the swampy wet soils. The next wave of immigrants from Poland and the Volga region of Germany, however, recognized similarities with their homelands. They set about digging ditches and draining the wetlands, knowing that the soils below would be productive agricultural land. Onions were the first prized crop, and the New York City markets were not far away.

This geology and history lesson was a bonus for me because my primary mission for the day was to visit the Orange County Arboretum in Montgomery, NY, minutes outside of the larger town of Goshen. The arboretum is located within the Thomas Bull Memorial Park, which was created in 1965 after the descendants of Thomas Bull donated 189 acres. The park now contains 719 acres and offers a golf course, picnic grove, fishing, ice skating, tennis, boating, a dog park, and horseback riding.

The arboretum master plan was drafted in 1990, and today is maintained by the Orange County Parks Department with the Friends of the Orange County Arboretum as an Advisory Board. Most of the arboretum funding derives from the Friends and benefactors. A wealthy landowner from the “black dirt region” donated funds to build a visitor center and the original greenhouse, which is critical to fundraising for the arboretum.


Today, all annuals and perennials on the grounds are grown in the arboretum’s five greenhouses. The arboretum also contains several different gardens, water features, artworks, memorials, and the Ottoway Reception building, which is normally available to rent but is currently undergoing renovation after a fire.

The grounds and greenhouses are under the direction of resident horticulturist Peter Patel, who has degrees in

Horticulture, Urban Forestry, and Greenhouse Management. Patel grew up in nearby Goshen, and as a child, he played and learned to ski at the park on the now defunct T-bar slope.

Patel was a great guide for me as we toured the arboretum. He loves his job and “buying plants with other people’s money,” he joked. “I try to get the obscure, get the unusual plants.” Patel is knowledgeable, passionate, and indebted to his volunteer staff. “Volunteers are why this place is here,” he says. They plant, cut, and fertilize. During the winter, over one hundred volunteers plant seeds and plugs of 325 different species of flowers, herbs, vegetables, and shrubs in the greenhouses that are sold at the annual plant sale in May. The extensive list of plants is then detailed on a spreadsheet with various product information. While there are plenty of winter greenhouse volunteers, Patel says that it is a challenge to find summer help to maintain the gardens.


The Remembrance Walkway and Garden (9/11 Garden) is a formal garden dedicated to the 44 individuals in Orange County who lost their lives. They are celebrated every year in a program attracting up to 600 people. A cherry tree alley leads to the centerpiece of the garden: a six-foot-in-diameter, ten-ton granite sphere that spins in a raised pool, surrounded by a circle of yew bushes, brick walkways, and bronze plaques honoring each county resident who perished. Roses and ornamental grasses complement the memorial.

Continued on next page

Left page:
Top: 9/11 Rememberance Walkway and Garden. Bottom left and right: The Alpine Garden. Photos by Peter Patel

Geological Tour

v The use of stone is particularly noteworthy throughout the Asian and Alpine gardens and the Lustig Water Feature. The stone creates topography and adds weight and balance to the plantings.

v Foot traffic patterns are well designed and provide both up-close views of specimen trees and broader landscape views, plus visual surprises around curved pathways made of cut and natural bluestone and gray crushed stone.

v Natural stone benches were among the simplest, most primitive, and beautiful I have seen. Located in perfect resting and viewing areas, most were thick slabs of bluestone supported on either end by a properly scaled wooden stump or boulder that was slightly notched so the slab set an inch or two into the supporting structure.

v Steps consist of rough-cut and smooth-cut bluestone. The placement and arrangement of granite, conglomerate, and limestone boulders is very naturalistic, giving one the impression that they were either outcrops formed millions of years ago or that they were deposited by the receding glaciers some 12,000 years ago.

The Children’s Garden. This page: Views of the arboretum. Photos by Bob Chernow
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Aries (March 20-April 19) – You are entering a phase of existence – lasting years – that will stand apart from anything you’ve experienced before. The message of your charts is about doing the work of self-actualization. The simplest way to describe self-actualization is to recognize that your relationship to yourself is your one and only priority in this world. The condition of other relationships are expressions of your commitment to your own being. You must have a point of orientation from which you can define “self” and “other.”

Taurus (April 19-May 20) – This may be one of the most unusual and brilliant months of your life, if you can hang loose and shed some attachments to the past. You don’t need familiar right now — you need bold and adventurous. Embrace the sense of ‘no turning back’ that’s likely to infuse your every step. These coming weeks and months are all about making unexpected discoveries. remain open minded, go with the flow, and stay in contact with what you’re feeling rather than trying to pretend you’re not.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) – As the world goes wild and unexpected and even impossible developments seem to burst out of nowhere, resist the temptation to be razzled and dazzled by the show. Keep your awareness turned inward, and calmly study your responses to people and situations. Sedna enters your birth sign for the first time in 11,400 years (yes, since back in one Stone Age or another). This represents a profound and necessary shift in the mental environment — especially your own.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) – If astrology means anything, this will be one of the most unusual months of your life. The central image is a kind of debut where you emerge into the world as the person you always thought you might be. While you’re a private person in many ways, your current necessity is to be recognized and noticed. This is not a matter of ego, pride or fame. In order to do your best work, others must know about you.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) – You know that the way to higher consciousness is through your own self-awareness, and your commitment to growth. The April 8 eclipse was a bonanza of self-actualization. It was about awakening to who you are, and who you always were. This, in turn, offers an opening into many new possibilities, all of which you contain within you (and always have).Think of the eclipse of the Sun, the celestial body associated with Leo, as a curtain drawn back, revealing something within your own awareness

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) – This is your moment to reach escape velocity on a concept of relationships you no longer can abide. Most relationships are formed on the basis that you will remain the same person who you are today, and that is why growth is so stressful. Yet growth and healing (as one idea) is your single highest priority. You know that no matter what else happens, you must be your own person — and that and nothing else is the basis of your relationships.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) – From one day to the next, you may feel like you’re waking up in a different world. Imagine the world is becoming a wholly transparent place, where you can gaze at all of the situations in your life and have the ability to move through the different spaces — anywhere you want. What will you do with this freedom? I suggest taking your time and getting to know people. Slow down and mingle with anything you’re considering being part of.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) – The universe has a way of clearing the path when people make a decision to do what is truly right for them. And even if you encounter obstacles, they will be learning opportunities, and provide you with valuable experience. Therefore, do not fall for the illusion of a blockage of any kind, or of external resistance. Your charts describe the fastest way to take a curve is to take the inner lane, then move silently past whatever might have blocked your way.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) – The seed of your creative impulse is self-discovery. You are not here to produce anything; you are here to understand yourself — and that gets the results. Those are shown in an April 20 conjunction of your ruling planet Jupiter with revolutionary Uranus. This is about you inventing a new approach to your work, based on your newly-acquired self-knowledge. Then the healing process shifts to your relationships: seek collaboration rather than completion.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) – You’re in a profound process of sorting out your priorities, your ideas and your sense of belonging on the planet. Events in Pisces are saying you must get over your guilt complex, and not let your emotions cloud your mental clarity. Yet the centerpiece of present astrology involves your home-making and security angle. I suggest focusing specifically on the spaces you live in, and make them perfect for who you are.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) – Pluto in your sign indicates that you now have the strength to never allow yourself to be persuaded by what you don’t agree with, or what is not true. Your mind is shockingly fresh right now, and you may walk around with the ongoing amazement that you’ve never seen the world quite like you do now. This includes anything you thought you knew about yourself. Fortunately, given many factors, the time is right for radical growth and progress.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) – The unusual sequence of events that span the incomparable month of April 2024 take you through some strange inner territory as the world goes through its upheavals. Whatever your outer circumstances may be, how you regard yourself is the defining factor in nearly any outcome. The concept of “enemy” really means “inner persecutor.” At the moment you’re going through a profound rite of passage in the realm of experience known today as self-respect or self-esteem. This involves understanding all facets of the value that you put upon yourself.

Read Eric Francis daily at


Three Weekends!

Sparta NJ Renaissance Festival

September 9-10, 16-17, 23-24

Sussex County Day

September 17

Sussex County Fairgrounds

Augusta NJ

52nd Annual

Peters Valley Craft Fair

September 23-24

Sussex County Fairgrounds

Augusta NJ

Sparta NJ

Haunted Wild West FestDaytime

September 30 – October 30

Every Saturday & Sunday

Wild West City Stanhope NJ

Skylands Stadium

Wild West City After Dark

Oct 6 - 30

Friday & Saturday nights


Wild West City Stanhope NJ

Sussex County Harvest, Honey & Garlic Festival

October 21

Sussex County Fairgrounds

For more information and a complete list of events visit: The Sussex County Chamber of Commerce received funding through a grant from the New Jersey Department of State,

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information 120 Hampton House Rd. Rt. 206 Newton, New Jersey 07860 973-579-1811 VISIT FOR Golf, Restaurants, Outdoor Adventures, Spas, Resorts and Much More! Sussex Skylands received funding through a grant from the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel & Tourism. Request Your Free Visitor’s Guide 39
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