Labor Day is over now. The warm summer days and summer moons are quickly becoming a memory…or maybe even less as Woodstockers move on to the promise of a harvest moon and the local tradition of the unveiling of the winter boots.
When swimsuits, bare feet and slow walks back up Tannery Brook from the stream are replaced with winter boots – something happens to the soul.
The transformation to Autumn in Woodstock is not a gradual, gentle event. Instead, everyone seems to charge into the new season with renewed enthusiasm. People walk briskly along the sidewalks, shop in the stores, eat in the restaurants, and attend local meetings with feet shod in purchases from Pegasus or maybe (if truth be told) Montano’s in Saugerties or Kenco in Kingston.
Last summer’s swimmers who didn’t have the wherewithal for a fancy swimsuit swam in their street clothes and dried them out as they walked along Tannery Brook. Now, with autumn upon us (and winter on the way), these same people are getting their boots at Woodstock’s most creative boutique – the Family of Woodstock Free Store.
There is an excited air of expectancy all over town.
“Woolly worms are scrawny this year!”
“The Almanac is calling for a mild one.”
“Last night’s weather man predicted an early snow – maybe in October.”
People flock to buy tickets to the now famous Woodstock Film Festival which, in reality, plays films in movie theaters all over the area:
Upstate Films I&II in Rhinebeck,
UPAC in Kingston,
Upstate Films in Woodstock,
Orpheum Theater in Saugerties,
BSP in Kingston
This area event is based in Woodstock – but it’s not really of Woodstock. Ricos, stars, and wannabes flock to town during film festival week. Every available mansion, house, B & B room, apartment, bedroom, sofa, tee pee, porch, shed, yurt, and pup tent is rented out at top dollar to them.
They come rushing in and then, just as quickly, go rushing out with the last show, pausing only to get everything clean at Woodstock Laundry. This short laundry stop allows people to chat with one another one more time before they take off to places far and near: New York, Chicago, Detroit, Miami, LA and points further out.
Hallowe’en is a merchant event in Woodstock. People of all ages flock into town in their costumes for a street party created when Tinker Street businesses set out candies and other goodies in front of their shops. By the time the party is over, there won’t be even 1 can of shaving cream or whipped topping to be found in town. For my $$$, the best place to enjoy this event is in a top floor room at the Village Green Bed and Breakfast. From this room, you can enjoy the entire show without getting covered in whipped topping.
In the weekends after Labor Day, the vendors at the Mower’s Meadow Flea Market begin to add merchandise which can be sold for cold weather use and for holiday gifts. We never really know exactly when the Flea will shut down each autumn. It all depends on the vendors renting the spaces. Everyone wants the place to stay open as long as the vendors can stand it.
The real question every year is “Will winter be early?” The unspoken statement is “Will the flea close early this year?” It depends on how much stamina and determination the vendors can muster as the weekends get colder and colder.
The locals hang out in front of Maria’s as long as they can every fall. Then, reluctantly, they move indoors. Maria has a very comfortable cafe there. The food is really the best in town. But, the locals like to sit outside as long as they can…talking and visiting with one another. Both the known and the unknown gather in blessed anonymity.
The same is happening at Bread Alone. The little side patio will be full as long as anyone can stand the cool temperatures.
This last spring the Landau winterized its covered patio hoping to convince us all that it’s still summer as we drink a beer and eat a burger. One thing they didn’t winterize is the picnic table area alongside the building where the smokers, pet owners, and their dogs sit.
Even though it’s still only September, people are planning both the Thanksgiving Dinner and the Christmas Dinner. These 2 traditions make living in Woodstock all worthwhile, really.
Everyone comes together and puts on the most fabulous feasts imaginable. People donate turkeys. Other people cook the turkeys. Yet other people bring special side dishes. But…more about that in another blog post.
For now…let’s all enjoy our new winter boots.
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photo by Jennette Nearhood
Woodstock is Not a Vaccination Town (If you’re from Woodstock, don’t even bother to read this post.)
MY OLDEST DAUGHTER, MICHELE ALMOST DIED FROM CHICKEN POX. We covered her hands with thick mittens in an effort to keep the scarring down as she scratched the scabs continually for about a week. At one point we put her in a bathtub filled with cold water and 8 bags of ice when she got delirious with fever.
Chicken pox survivors are, later in life, subject to the ravages of shingles. What an awful, painful disease. As soon as that shot came out, I got immunized because I never, ever want to suffer with shingles. Michele, now over 50, recently got her shingle shot, too.
As a child, I became ill with what we called the “10-day measles”. I WAS IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT. No one came in my room but my mother for fear that it would be spread around the neighborhood. The room was pitch dark the entire 10 days because of the danger of permanent blindness.
For what it’s worth, Woodstock IS an Arnica town. And, it’s NOT a vaccination town.
As September rolls in, the pharmacy employees are preparing their stores for immunization season. THE NEW 2015-16 FLU SEASON VACCINE IS ALREADY IN TOWN. And, truth be told, we can get flu, meningitis, pneumonia, and shingles shots all year long at
Personally, I think the signs are sent out to the stores to be left up all year long but as the months go by, they begin to look a little ragged. Some of them just disappear. You know how it goes.
The signs are already up in the parking lot and the pharmacy entrance at the RiteAid. The RiteAid has serums on hand for all vaccinations. The chairs are in place back in the pharmacy area. The only thing missing is the privacy screen. They plan to have it ready when they need it.
The CVS is almost the same except the signs aren’t in yet. They’ve been shipped, they just haven’t arrived yet. However, the serums are in the pharmacy. The chairs are in place and the privacy screen is operational.
Village Apothecary has the serum but doesn’t put out signs. They have a discreet privacy area located in the rear of the pharmacy. The setup at the Village Apothecary is very professional. Josh can speak reasonably and knowledgeably as he answers any and all questions you might have about vaccinations. They have all vaccines available at Village Apothecary.
Frankly, I don’t even know why the pharmacy employees at any Woodstock area pharmacy even bother to put out the signs. IT MUST ALL BE BASED ON WISHFUL THINKING BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW ANYONE IN WOODSTOCK WHO’S WILLING TO FESS UP TO GETTING INOCULATED.
When I’m sitting around a group of people and the conversation begins to lag, all I have to do is say the word “vaccination” and everything gets lively in less than 3 seconds.
I’m the only person I know in Woodstock who gets vaccinated for anything. And, since I’ve been immunized against everything, no one wants to sit next to me at the table when they hear this. IT’S AS IF I’VE SUDDENLY COME DOWN WITH COOTIES JUST BECAUSE I’VE HAD A FLU SHOT. The whole thing reminds me of Arlo Guthrie’s Group W Bench experience.
Love ’em or hate ’em, there doesn’t seem to be any middle ground for immunizations. Well, I’m not one to shy away from a controversial subject, so I chime in whenever I want to share my experiences with contagious diseases. After all, I’m way into my 70’s so I’ve seen a few in my time.
There is absolutely no need for a person to suffer with any of these diseases. Every time I talk with a person who’s against immunizations. I learn she’s never seen anyone with chicken pox, measles, mumps, smallpox. (And, some of these diseases are making a come back.)
When they hear this, they usually say they have to go home. I KNOW THE PARTY’S OVER.
We have inoculations against tetanus, diptheria, mumps, measles, whooping cough, meningitis…and more. These infections are all serious (often life threatening illnesses) and can lead to lifelong disabilities.
The way we keep these terrible diseases in the past is with inoculations. When immunization rates are high in a community, it’s difficult for the disease to gain a foothold there. This offers “herd immunity” to those who are unprotected.
There’s not much herd immunity in Woodstock. TRUTH BE TOLD, THERE MAY NOT BE ANY HERD IMMUNITY HERE. I hate to discourage tourists from visiting our famous and fabulous community. But, really, you’re taking a chance if you depend on herd immunity to protect yourself in Woodstock.
The way I see it, if any Woodstockers do get vaccinated against anything, they probably sneak over to Kingston so nobody will know the awful truth. (And, by the way, I saw a fresh flu shot sign up in Kingston today outside a CVS.)
September’s here now. I’ve been waiting until after Labor Day to get my flu shot. I know full well that no one in Woodstock agrees with me. I blame it on the fact that I wasn’t born here and I didn’t come from Brooklyn.
That’s my excuse for believing in vaccinations. That, life experiences, and scientific evidence.
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