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.
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Woodstock, New York
It seems only yesterday that we sent you an appeal for support. We were a band of 4 people who barely knew each other, embarked on an adventure, a quest. None of us mentioned it, not even to each other…but you were our only hope.
We were processing a 501(c)3 to open the Reservoir Food Pantry. And, until it came through, we needed a sponsor willing to share theirs. So, you got the letter, and invited us to lunch at Zen Mountain Monastery so we could meet and make our appeal. We joined you at your table on Sunday, October 27, 2013.
We begged, really, but you never let on. We went away that afternoon energized by your openness, professionalism, interest, concern. Eventually you did what you did and we received the support from your group.
You gave us a raft on which we floated until we got our own 501(c)3 and gained acceptance with the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley.
So, today, as a result of your efforts, there is now a pantry on Route 28 in the Ashokan Reservoir area of Ulster County in New York serving over area households every Monday afternoon at 2 and every Tuesday morning at 9.
The majority of these people are seniors. For the most part, they have worked and lived all their lives in this area. They paid their taxes, raised their children, and contributed to their community. And now, in the 21st century they are finding they don’t have the resources to feed themselves. They constitute the senior citizen faction of the new 21st century Struggling Class.
The pantry volunteers look forward to serving the hungry for many years to come. They’ve had the last year to become a very dedicated and close knit group. The community appears to accept the services offered by these very special people.
IN CONCLUSION: Thank you Konrad Ryushin Marchaj for all you have done for yourself and your fellow man. I saw you change the world around you for the better. That counts for a lot in my book.
I wish you well on your continued journey of spiritual growth. I am proud to have been touched by you. On behalf of all the hungry people volunteers feed weekly, I offer gratitude. It is an honor and a pleasure.
I cannot thank you enough for your trust, your support, and your confidence in our humble venture
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Please refer this article to your preferred social media network. And, please forward this article to your interested friends. More people in this world need to know about the goodness of Konrad Ryushin and the volunteers of the Reservoir Food Pantry.
Tara Sanders, a Woodstock based yoga instructor, is the program director in the nonprofit Exhale to Inhale. Born in Woodstock, Tara has traveled extensively to faraway and exotic places such as Thailand and India.
Now, she’s returning to Woodstock to share her talents with area residents as she uses her yoga classes at Exhale to Inhale to empower survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault as they heal through yoga. Exhale to Inhale yoga guides women through postures, breathing and meditation. Taught in trauma-sensitive style, students are enabled to ground themselves in
As this happens, the women connect to themselves and work toward empowerment and worthiness. This practice can be transformative for victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence when they shed the cloak of victimhood.
Healers and body workers have long known that when the body is traumatized, the event is stored in the muscles.
Tara teaches yoga without music. She does not touch the students to correct a posture. Lights remain on throughout the class. These sessions offer survivors an opportunity to reclaim their lives through the healing and grounding of yoga.
Tara uses the yoga classes to help her students feel safe, strong, and in the present moment. As she teaches, she is a conduit for healing and healthful programs in our community.
Tara Sanders is well trained for her position as program director at Exhale to Inhale. She received her 500 hour certification through YogaWorks in NYC and is trained in Divine Yoga Nidra. Other trainings include:
Off the Mat
Karma Kids YTT
Trauma Sensitive YTT.
She studied with David Emerson, Jenn Turner, and Bessel Van der Kolk.
Exhale to Inhale is a New York-based nonprofit offering free weekly yoga classes to survivors of domestic and sexual assault. Tara will offer free public yoga classes on 4 consecutive Saturdays beginning May 30th. These classes, held from 11 am to noon at the Center for Creative Education, 15 Railroad Ave., in Kingston, will introduce Exhale to Inhale to our area.
These 4 classes are open to the public. There is no charge and reservations are not necessary. The space is large. There is room for all.
After June 20th, Exhale to Inhale yoga classes will be taught free of charge to women in area shelters, halfway houses, and other venues where women victims of domestic violence will be comfortable.
Exhale to Inhale has partnered with Upstate Films to screen “The Hunting Ground”, a documentary about the huge, yet hidden problem of sexual assault on college campuses throughout our country.
“The Hunting Ground” will screen on Saturday afternoon, May 30th at 1:30 in Woodstock at Upstate Films. On Sunday, May 31st, “The Hunting Ground” will screen at Upstate Films Rhinebeck. The cost for the tickets is $11 for adults, $9 for seniors and students.
$1 for each ticket sold will go to Exhale to Inhale. Funds are needed to support its programs which empower women.
To contact Tara Sanders: Tara.Sanders@exhaletoinhale.org
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art provided by Jennette Nearhood