Our Hometown Newspaper – the Woodstock Times

I walked over to the CVS today and got the latest copy of the “Woodstock Times”.  It’s a sellout publication in Woodstock.  How could it not be?  It’s got  the latest obituaries,

stories about community events (more fun than a soap opera)

a full color picture on page 1 (always)

and, a Letters to the Editor section.

I mean, what more can we all ask for?  An  edition once offered  a full color photo of a statue of Buddha perched atop a bright blue sign saying:

WELCOME TO WOODSTOCK

We are all here because we are not all there.

I mean, how can I not buy a copy of the Woodstock Times this every week?  It’s better than any tabloid anywhere.  Donald Trump  doesn’t even have a chance with this one.

If you live in Woodstock or visit Woodstock, you can buy a souvenir bumper sticker at Houst with the Buddha post on it.  Buddha won’t be on the bumper sticker.  But, that’s not the important part of the message anyway.

Then, when you return home to wherever in the world that may be, you can display this wonderful sign which reads:  We are all Here Because We are Not all There.  Personally, I can’t think of a better souvenir of Woodstock than that.

But, back to the Woodstock Times:

Because of the propensity of cotton tops in the area,  obituaries are always popular.  A couple of winters ago we were dropping at the rate of 1 per week.   Every week  Stuart Klein and I visited in Bread Alone for a few minutes and   chatted about who died the week before.

Both Stuart and I were grateful to see spring arrive that year.  First, we were grateful to see a few forsythia blooms just to see something besides winter.  And, second, we were grateful to be alive and mentally together enough to know we were looking at forsythia blooms.

The weekly Letters section usually begins about   page 14 or so  with a letter from Howard Harris.  Howie has been sending letters to the editor for years, decades maybe.  For years, he wrote them in haiku.

Howie’s letter is traditionally the first one to go on the page.  Howie taught me many years ago (when I first began writing letters about the pantry) that the letters are more or less sorted by when they come in.    “Email your letter over on Friday, Thurman.  That way you’ll have a good chance of reading it in the Woodstock Times.”  Howie’s advice worked every week for years.

Brian quit printing my letters years ago but Howie still plugs along with his weekly letter.  A couple of years ago or so, he dropped the haiku and now uses a straight 2-4 paragraph letter denouncing any local activities involving the local Zoning Board of Appeals and whatever else he’s thinking about.  His letters have great interest  and are probably read by 95% of the people buying the Woodstock Times  weekly.  Personally, I miss the haiku.

Standard letters written by Woodstockers include:

comments on the Arab Israeli conflict,

opinion pieces on all sides of whatever local fight is in progress,

thank you letters offering recognition about a job well or poorly done.

During election season, the Letter section is filled to capacity with letters for and against the various candidates and the issues they represent.

But, no matter what’s happening, I look forward to Sparrow’s message.

One thing the Woodstock Times does not have is a list of breakins, brawls, speeding tickets.  If we want to read about that stuff, we have to buy the Daily  Freeman.  While it’s nice that the Woodstock Times  doesn’t waste space on sleaze, it gives the reader the feeling that nothing ever goes wrong around here.  This  is definitely not the case.  We have as many vandals around here as any other town but we just don’t mention them.

An important  part of the paper is the weekly listing of meetings which usually appears at the top of page 3.  These meetings are important.  Whenever a decision is brewing, interested parties and protestors need to know exactly where and when the meeting will be held.   It will never do to show up at the wrong time or place (which I did once).

Town Board Meetings are big sellers with a list of commenters who sign up a few minutes before the meeting so they can have a 2-minute “say” about anything they want in the “Public be Heard” segment of the meeting.   Always popular in this segment is  comment about any project that is just beginning, is ongoing, or is finished.

The Woodstock Times  is delivered to Woodstock stores every Thursday afternoon after 2:00.  Apart from the first section  featuring news, letters, meetings, obituaries, the second section is a real seller.  That’s the Almanac.  Everything that’s happening around here, both large and small, appears in the Almanac.

My favorite section in the whole Woodstock Times  is the cartoon by Swami Salami.  Swami Salami’s cartoon is displayed, usually, in the upper left hand corner of page 15.    My week is just not complete without seeing Michael Esposito’s  message.

Thank you for reading this blog post.  Please forward it to your preferred social media network.

Thurman Greco

Woodstock, New York


Dec. 15th – Tom Pacheco & Brian Hollander Play Peace Concert

Tom Pacheco, an extraordinary and diverse singer/songwriter/guitarist, will perform his annual Holiday  Peace Concert along with Brian Hollander on December 15th at 8:00 pm at the Rosendale Café, 434 Main Street, Rosendale.

Tom Pacheco and Brian Hollander have played together at concerts throughout the years.    This is always a favorite  concert that fans in the area look forward to all year long.  The audience always enjoys their performance.

Tom Pacheco is a personal hero of mine because of the support he gave to the food pantry.  He gave two concerts raising thousands of dollars to feed  hungry people.

I hope to see you there at the concert.  Come early,  if you can, for dinner.  The Rosendale Café does not have reservations and the food is delicious!

For more information, see

http://www. rosendalecafe.com

http://www.tompacheco.com

call 845-658-9048.

Thank you for reading this article.  Please share it with your preferred social media network.

Thurman Greco

Woodstock, New York

A chapter honoring Tom Pacheco is in the memoir “I Don’t Hang Out in Churches Anymore.”


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Woodstock Community Holiday Potluck on Christmas Day

Dear Neighbor, Friend, Woodstocker

Every holiday for the past 20 years or more, Woodstockers have celebrated Christmas with others in the Community Center at the annual Potluck on Christmas Day.

We all have stories and memories  as we celebrated the holiday there while we ate too much delicious food and visited with relatives, friends, neighbors.  We swapped stories, caught up on the news.

This annual potluck dinner on Christmas Day  is a true community event with everyone participating by bringing a prepared dish, helping decorate and set up the room, and then afterward, cleaning up.

This year is no exception. Toni Weidenbacher, as always,  is  at the helm.  And, this year is no exception as Toni asks for our participation.

Just as in all the other years, preparation is  needed to pull off Woodstock’s most meaningful and important event which seems like a mountain that can’t be climbed.

But, always, just as in all the other years, I know you’ll step up.  With every dollar you contribute, with every food item you donate, with every hour you volunteer, with every story you share at the potluck, you bring us all in  town one step closer to the best Community Holiday Potluck on Christmas Day ever.

And, for you to really feel like this Christmas Day Potluck is the best ever, you need to give of yourself in the preparations.  When you give, you feel as if the event is really a part of you.  You’ll have more fun that way!

What does Toni need?  What does the Potluck on Christmas Day need?  What does the community need?  Well, that depends on what you can do.

Can you bring a cooked dish…prepared and ready to serve?

Can you send a few dollars to Toni?  The funding for this year’s Potluck has disappeared.  Contact Toni at toniweidenbacher@gmail.com or at 845-679-7281.

Can you go around town on Christmas  morning  and pick up dishes that someone in the community prepared?

Can you give a child a nice Christmas gift?  Gifts are needed for all ages and all stages.

Can you donate fresh vegetables for the salad?  Someone has already donated the greens.  About 400 people are expected to attend so about 100 tomatoes are needed.  (Just to give you an idea of what might be on the list.)

For every thing you can do for the Holiday Potluck on Christmas Day at the Community Center, we are all truly, deeply, profoundly grateful – this year and every year.

Happy Holidays,

And thank you in advance for spreading the news about this article.  Please tell everyone.

Thank you for reading this article.  Please refer this post to your preferred social media network.

Peace and food for all.

Thurman Greco

Woodstock, New York


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Barn Duty at the Food Pantry

It snowed a little bit last Saturday when I was at Mower’s Meadow and more is expected this week.  The books and clothing all got a mini dusting of the first snow of the season.

Whenever that happens (the first snow of the season) I always  remember one of the first things I learned about the Woodstock community and its residents when I moved here:  Labor Day means we pack away our dreams of a summer moon and drag out the brand new boots we were  waiting to put on.

And, further into the memory is the afternoons in the pantry when the cold was so cold and Bob Otto and Tony Cannistra  about froze to death in the barn.  They   distributed frozen food to the shoppers from that dirt floored room in the unpainted, uninsulated, unheated  building behind the church parking lot.

Even though the pantry couldn’t open until 3:00, Bob and Tony unlocked the barn and got to work at 2:30.  “Come on over!” they called to the crowd gathered in the parking lot.  “We’ve got chopped meats, cutlets, steaks, roasts, mac and cheese packages, frozen juices.”

2:30 in the parking lot was described by some of the volunteers as a circus.  I lovingly thought of it as a bus station in a third world country.  And, actually, I thought of it as more than that.

I once spent a couple of hours in an out-of-the-way airport in  Venezuela that was overcrowded with hundreds of gold miners who  themselves waited for planes.  They either waited for planes to get further into the interior of the country to hunt for gold or they waited for planes to return to civilization to sell what they found.  Whatever their destination, the place was packed.

But, whether we were all coming or going at the pantry, we were in a hurry, too.

In the pantry, we were always in a hurry.  The crowd was always larger than the hallway, the parking lot, and the barn entrance.  And, they wanted to get the long wait behind them  so they could have a two or three minute  shopping spree in the tiny room.

And, after the shopping, they were always in a hurry to get their new found food home because the event had taken all afternoon.  For some, it took more than just all afternoon because they got to the pantry late morning.  Hitch hikers started out early and, if they got a ride quickly, they were in the parking lot before noon.

My memory always includes a vision of Bob and Tony  taking turns to come into the hallway to warm up, whatever that meant.  Even though the hallway was crowded, there was just not quite enough body heat generated to call the place cozy…or even cool.  The place was cold.

I never said a word about the temperature because I was afraid that if I did the volunteers would walk off.  I just went about my business pretending that I wasn’t wearing two sweaters under my coat.  Volunteers made statements about the temperature of the hallway as they wore two hats.

“My hands are frozen!” Bob always remarked as he briskly rubbed them together, hoping the friction would get the heat going.  Just outside the door to the building, Bob  stomped his feet, trying to get some feeling into his cold toes.

Tony was less vocal but just as cold when he got his short break.  I always suspected that he had a small hidden flask to help warm himself up.  How else could he be so calm about fingers one degree away from frost bite?  I never saw any evidence but it was the only excuse I could find for a person in such cold weather conditions.

Because, not only were the two men standing in the cold, they were handling frozen meats, vegetables, fruits, juices.  All of it came rock solid frozen from the food bank.

Before the pantry opened, Tony also doubled as the parking lot manager which put him in the middle of the confusion.  Just the parking lot was a fulltime toughie job.  But, somehow, Tony made the parking lot and the barn distribution look easy.

But, no one complained.  Ever.  They had gotten a three-day-supply of food a week ago and it was all gone now.  They were hungry.  They were the struggling poor.

Thank you for reading this article.  Please share it with  your favorite social media network.

Thurman Greco

Woodstock, New York


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Yoga and Carolyn – a Best Kept Secret in Woodstock!

Do you attend  a yoga class regularly?

No?

Well, you’re missing out.

Well, actually, I’m missing out, too.  I used to take a yoga class every day.

Then, life happened and I really just never got back into the daily morning yoga groove.  But, it’s okay.   I found Carolyn Abedor.  So, now, I take a  morning yoga class at 9:30 every Thursday.

What can I say?  With Carolyn Abedor teaching our class, I feel better than I’ve felt in years.  What’s her secret?   Carolyn takes her class time seriously.  She focuses on our spines  so that we stand straighter.  We breathe better.  Our balance improves.

I feel more confident when I have a class with Carolyn because my body is rejuvenated.  I know this reads redundantly but it’s true.  I know that my chance of falling is smaller after a class with Carolyn.

So, after a class with Carolyn, I stand taller, with happier shoulders.  I walk straighter on stronger legs.

But, that’s not all.  An hour with Carolyn and yoga is an hour promoting homeostasis which is all important.  I leave the class more grounded.  I feel that I have offered my spiritual body a chance to harmonize  itself through Carolyn’s instruction.

During the hour, wellness is all important.  Joint health stays  on the agenda.    Emotional balance is part of the routine.

Okay, you’ve got the picture I think.  Where is Carolyn?  She’s in the yoga building at Access PT on Route 212 next to St. Gregory’s.

And, what makes Carolyn so fancy?  Well, it’s her experience and her credentials.  She’s a physical therapist AND a yoga teacher.  This combination of education and training and experience make Carolyn an exceptionally wonderful teacher.

I LOVE Carolyn!

I look forward to seeing you on Thursdays at 9:30!

Thank you for reading this article!  Please share it with your preferred social media network.

Thurman Greco


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You are Invited to a Book Signing!

Please join me at the Mower’s Meadow Flea Market at 10:00 a.m. this coming Saturday, September 22nd  where I’ll be reading from my recently published book, “I Don’t Hang Out in Churches Anymore” and there will be a book signing  for you at that time.

Light Refreshments will be Served!

I hope you can make it to this book signing on Saturday morning.  The author talk will be interesting. The chocolate brownies promise to be delicious!  My pen will not run out of ink.

My daughter, Michele Garner, designed the cover.  My writing teacher, Cullen Thomas, came up with the title.

And, of course, what better location for the book signing  than the Mower’s Meadow Flea Market?

Then, after the author talk and the book signing, you can visit all the booths at the market!

Look forward to seeing you!

Thurman


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Nancy’s Come to Town and She Brought Ice Cream with Her!

Sometimes I’m just grateful for kind words and surprises.  I don’t ask why I got selected.  I just enjoy.  And, that includes ice cream!

I feel that way about Nancy’s Ice Cream Parlor in the brick building across the street from the library.  I don’t know why she chose to bring her fabulous ice cream to Woodstock instead of a hundred other adorable communities in our area.  And, frankly, I don’t care.  I’m not even bothering to ask her.

I just show up and order the ice cream, eat the treat, get blissed out and return home smiling.

Nancy uses only the purest ingredients to make the many flavors of  ice cream   on the premises.  They are sourced locally.  Her chocolate, for example, comes from Fruition.  The result is a product which, when eaten, has the potential to be  a spiritual experience.  What more can I ask for?,

Specials, that’s what.  Just the other day it was blueberry pie a la mode.

Nancy’s Ice Cream was open over the winter, too.  For some strange reason, I just never noticed it until this July.  Well, now that I know about Nancy, I’m hoping she’ll stay open over the winter this year.

If you haven’t tried Nancy’s Ice Cream, go on over and enjoy the best milk shake you’ve ever had…or the best sundae you’ve ever had…or the best…….you name it.

And, spread the good news.  Nancy’s come to town!

Thanks for reading this article.  Please share it on favorite social media network!

Thurman Greco


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A Woodstock Christmas

.snowy branch

Everyone’s getting excited because, well, it’s Christmas.  And, we pretty much all get excited around here for the holidays.

Tinker Street and Mill Hill Road are busy this year with tourists, relatives of tourists, friends of tourists, neighbors of tourists, enemies of tourists.  They’re walking around with colorful shopping bags in their hands.

Upscale shoppers and shopping abound.

While people shop and visit, I look to see if there are lots of shopping bags, or even  some shopping bags, or even a few shopping bags.

When there are no shopping bags, I know we’ll have an empty store or three over the winter.  And, this is important.   Our business district has been expanding this year.  We’ve got growth on Mill Hill Road down by the intersection of 375.

Dr. Longmore’s old place has been transformed into a tap room.  A new tattoo artist has moved in next door.  Abbe is back behind EvolveD.  This part of town is looking safe.

At the other end of town, there’s expansion toward the post office.  A new deli, a new tattoo parlor.  The turquoise shop is now  down by the new hotel.  Gossip has it that it’s called the White Dove Hotel.  But, further gossip has it that it’s sold and is now called something else.  Who knows?

The big event in Woodstock this year isn’t downtown.  This year, the big event is out off of 212 at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation which is celebrating Christmas Eve with Chinese food, latkes and a reading of “Oy!” by Rich Orloff.

This event, which is totally free and open to all, is the place to be on Christmas Eve this year!

Enjoy!

Thurman Greco

Thanks for reading this blog post!  Please share this article with your preferred social media network.

Blog posts have been kind of empty these past few months because I’ve been working on “A Healer’s Handbook”.  That project is now completed so I’ve got more time for other things.  “A Healer’s Handbook” is available on Kindle and Nook and will soon be available in the paper version.  Hope you enjoy reading it.

Artwork is by Jennette Nearhood.


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The Forsythia is Out!

Tannery brook in snow

When the forsythia blooms, I always rejoice.  I’ve survived another Woodstock winter.  It’s not that winter here is bad…it’s just that we always lose some plants and some businesses.

We lose people, too.  One winter my peers were dying at the rate of about one a week.  It made for some depressing chats at Bread Alone, for sure.

So…when the forsythia blooms I walk around the town and see what plants and what businesses have survived.  To put it another way, I’m looking for the casualties.  This winter has been very mild and the casualties have been few overall.  Woodstock is ready for its annual rebirth.  As are the residents.

Provisions is still open.  Hurrah!

The T-shirt parlor is actually sporting a Help Wanted sign in the window.  We don’t see many of those in Woodstock, so it’s a welcome diversion.  Hopefully this will be  the start of a new fad and we’ll see more Help Wanted signs around town as business picks up.

There are some empty buildings, though.  Down in the financial district, Dr. Longmore’s office is still vacant.  Some neighboring store fronts surrounding his old office are also vacant.

On Rock City Road, there are a couple of empty buildings.  One shop was open for years and years.  Our community will miss this store.

The space  behind the Bank of America is still available.

Several months ago Not Fade Away moved into the old Mid Hudson Valley location so the old Not Fade Away store is available now.

The Turquoise Lady has moved into Christine Varga’s old place.  So, that means the old Turquoise Lady storefront is vacant.

And, over on Tannery Brook across from  the world famous Wooden Kazoo store, there is a new concept being born.  The old sign is gone, as is the row boat which, I think, is being replaced by a bathtub.  There is a large white flag flying outside.

As I walk around, I see that Fiona is open and filled with wonderful things  we can all bring home.  I’m suspecting  people will be coming from all over the globe to spend a few minutes getting a reading at Fiona’s.  It’s certainly worth the trip.  After all, when you’re good, you’re good.  And Suzan Saxman is good.

And…Pegasus has sandals in the window!  Now, that’s a step in the right direction!  Sandals mean the summer is going to be here any day now.  We can all  enjoy life a little more with sandals.

Storefronts tell an economic  story about Woodstock and are important to us all here.  But, sandals cut right to the soul as they prepare us to play in the stream, shop at the flea market on Saturdays and  pick up a bangle  at Gwen’s Gems.

Last summer’s dreams have long since been forgotten so the need to fill the gap in our hearts is strong about now.  This is the spiritual awakening we all look forward to experiencing.

Thanks for reading this blog.

Please refer this article to your preferred social media network.

Don’t forget to join the email list.

Thurman Greco


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