And so, one of the most universally reviled years in the history of humankind has ended: 2020—poster child of the pandemic, political division, economic upheaval, riots, debates, the deaths of …
And so, one of the most universally reviled years in the history of humankind has ended: 2020—poster child of the pandemic, political division, economic upheaval, riots, debates, the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd—is over.
Locally, we’ve seen the sad closing of Gerard’s Cafe, vandals attacking free speech, bridge demonstrations and political resignations. However, to be fair, there were also little glimmers of sunshine that managed to peek through the storm clouds that dominated the past year.
Tusten Hope, a local food drive, got many families through the bad, early days of the pandemic by giving groceries to those in need. Shout out to the Narrowsburg Inn for providing the distribution site. The food pantry at Saint Francis Xavier Church, 151 Bridge St., continues to provide every Thursday, year-round, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The Narrowsburg Union, the DVAA, the Big Eddy Film Festival and Tusten Youth were able to continue programming with responsible modifications. The efforts of all involved in making these things happen are appreciated.
Speaking of appreciation, how wonderful was the birthday parade celebrating Beth Peck’s recent birthday? As her neighbor, I’ve got to admit there was a little confusion seeing the emergency vehicles wind through the flats with sirens and lights blaring. However, the long row of cars and trucks that followed quickly proved something celebratory was happening. Friends and family drove past Mrs. Peck’s house, waving, banners flapping, hopefully reminding her how loved and appreciated she and her family have been. Amongst their many milestones are the grocery stores, whose mission statement promises “to maintain strong community bonds through service;” the bench on the river inviting visitors to enjoy the view; and helping to start what has become this newspaper, the Tusten Historical Society and the library, which continues to serve the community.
Happy birthday, Grandy.
Speaking of the library, let’s look forward to 2021. In addition to innovations such as curbside pick-up, Western Sullivan Public Libraries will soon be offering a podcast organized by Dale Blagrove. Featuring local performers doing classic radio shows, the first offering will be “Our Miss Brooks.” Actors donating their time include Heidi Mollenhauer in the title role. Joining her for the first episode will be Kyoshin Lohr, Matt Nolen, Tommy Cambridge, Susan Mendoza, Lisa Gonsalves, R. Scott Porter, and Ken Parks, with Warren Anschutz as the announcer. Sound engineering, editing and expertise are being donated by Alan Kehoe.
The first episode, complete with a laugh track and local commercial parodies, finds Miss Brooks’ need for glasses leading to a fan dancer in a French bathing suit hiding in the closet of Madison High’s principal. Saucy stuff to be sure.
Like all the library’s services, the podcast will be offered for free. Be sure to check the library’s Facebook page and other social media outlets for download and subscription links.
In 2021, let’s just look to the inscription on the Peck’s bench for inspiration. “Welcome. Come sit awhile and when you go... leave just your footprints.” Remember, it’s up to you to decide if those footprints are headed in the right direction.