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


Fruition – a Special Woodstock Chocolate Store

Angel 3When you walk in the space, Fruition feels like it’s been there forever.   Even though it only opened last  April.  Somehow, Fruition belongs in this town, in this building which it shares  with Jarita’s Florist.

Each day in Fruition is different from the last.  The chocolate bars are different.  The sample flavors are different  because it takes about 10 days to make a batch of candy bars.    For one thing, they are handmade in small batches using only organic, fair trade cacao beans  personally selected by Bryan and Dahlia ….. These beans come from Peru, Ecuador, Trinidad, Dominican Republic.

The beans come directly from the farm to Fruition with no stop along the way for e processing by anyone else.  Even though the cacao is imported, the other ingredients, fruit, maple syrup, honey, spirits, dairy are sourced locally.

Each candy bar is signed by Bryan.

Brown Butter Bourbon Caramels

Hazelnut Gianduja Truffle

Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Sourdough Truffles

Crystalized Ginger with Matcha Couverture

On the shelf recently  were certificates explaining the awards Fruition has received:

Milk Chocolate Bars with an Infusion

Plain Milk Chocolate Bars

Toasted White Chocolate

Strawberry and Toasted Cashew Guindija

On another shelf I saw over a dozen different candy bars assembled in a Curated Craft Chocolate Collection.  These bars, jewels all, are chocolates that Bryan and Dahlia have found in their travels throughout the world

But, not all of the chocolate found in Fruition is in a bar.  The hot chocolate mix comes in a beautiful tin as do the chocolate covered cranberries.

The Chocolate Tasting Party kit comes in a box.

Small jars of pink Peruvian Sea Salt are found on another shelf.

Do you love chocolate?  If so, visit this store…unlike any other you’ll find anywhere else.  It’s dedicated to the results of a search for the very best cacao beans on the planet.    The final product is a spiritual experience for the consumer.

http://www.tastefruition.com  

Thanks for reading this blog.  The stories are true.  The people are real.

Please refer this article to your preferred social media network.  And, also, please share this article with fellow chocolate lovers everywhere.  They’ll love you for it.

Thurman Greco


Gender Neutral Restrooms in Woodstock?

psychedelic glasses

On weekends, Woodstock is one crowded place.  This famous little town has much to offer:

Mowers Meadow Flea Market

Gwen’s Gems

Bread Alone

Houst

Maria’s Bazaar

Byrdcliffe

Woodstock Artists’ Association Museum

The Woodstock Drum Circle

Assorted festivals, and other weekend events throughout the year help boost the crowd.

Once you hit town, it helps to know where the restrooms are…especially because there aren’t that many and they aren’t that well advertised.  And, if it’s a gender neutral restroom you’re looking for, you may be disappointed.

The Sunflower has a restroom  located behind the produce department.  It’s used by employees, grocery shoppers, residents,  and tourists alike.   This is one busy place.

There is a public restroom in a cinder block building next to the Chamber of Commerce information stand.  This building is located right at the beginning of Rock City Road.  On busy days, you may miss it because this is where the famous tie dyed Woodstock T-shirts are sold.  The T-shirt display is actually in front of the entrance to the women’s room.

If you’re looking for a restroom during the winter…forget this one.  It closes every year after November 30th  and doesn’t open again until April 15th.

The Town Hall has a  restroom although the location in the building is not that easy to find.  It’s there, though.

The Woodstock Free Library has a restroom located  just past the children’s area.  This is actually a nice one but the library isn’t open everyday.

And, that’s about it.  The whole thing can be a bit discouraging if you have bought into the attitude Woodstockers seem to have about being on the cutting edge of every trend and attitude.

Of course, if you are eating at Landau,  or Oriole 9, you don’t have to worry.  They have facilities for their customers.

But that’s a bit of a challenge for the rest of us.  A good thing to do is to buy a cup of coffee and a pastry at Maria’s and use the restroom there.  While you’re shopping for your coffee and pastry, you just might catch sight of a local celebrity which will make for a good story when you return home.

Another option is to ask to use the restroom at the CVS.  It’s not a public restroom but the employees are sympathetic to your cause and, if the cash register lines aren’t too long, they’ll  unlock the private restroom.

Please note:  Try to leave it as clean as you found it.  If it gets  dirty too many times, they may suspend this service.

I’m really hopeful for our future here.  Trends in the area are toward gender neutral bathrooms and this is just the kind of thing Woodstockers can understand.  Gender neutral bathrooms are turning up in some neat places.The new Honest Weight Food Coop in Albany has a spiffy gender neutral restroom.   The Whitney Museum in New York City has a gender neutral restroom also.

Hope springs eternal here.  And, actually, we’ve got a better chance at a gender neutral restroom  than we have at additional sidewalks.

Thanks for reading this blog post.  The story is true and the people are real.

Please share this article on your favorite social media network and with anyone else you think might be interested.

Don’t forget to join the email list.

Thurman Greco

Photograph donated by Renee Ruwe

 

 

 

 


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