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The Chatter for March 2012

The Chatter for March 2012

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Published by Carlos Stewart
You may not live in small town America, but you can pretend that you do
You may not live in small town America, but you can pretend that you do

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Published by: Carlos Stewart on Mar 01, 2012
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Vol. 2 . . . . March 2012 . . . . No.


March is jammed packed full of celebrations – some I'll bet you didn't know about! On March 11 th Daylight Savings Time begins. That means “Fall back – Spring ahead” set your clocks one hour ahead. Women's there is the “Ides of March” on the 15 th – which we know now there is no need to beware. It was simply the way the Romans said March 15th but if a soothsayer tells you to beware, best heed his/her advice. History Month is celebrated and, of course, St. Patrick's Day as well as St. Joseph's Day on March 19 th .Also,

ST. PATRICK'S DAY According to the experts, in this case, National Geographic, the reality is there were never any snakes in Ireland. But, there were enough “snake worshipers – i.e. “pagans” to cause the church some consternation. St Patrick was directed by “a voice” to devote his life to converting the Irish to Catholicism. He died on March 17, 461 after a very difficult life. After his death on March 17, 461 he began to gain recognition and the mythology around his life grew. On the upside, St. Patrick's Day offers cultural identity to Irish Americans as well as help spur tourism in Ireland. MARCH IS WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH ~ A CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION
In 1978 a school in California began celebrating the contributions of women. Soon the celebration expanded to other schools and communities. In 1980 President Jimmy Carter issued a proclamation declaring March 8th as National women's History Week. The next year Congress passed a resolution establishing it as a “Women's Education – Women's Empowerment.” national celebration. Six years later it was expanded to the entire month of March. This year's theme is, It was only recently, in 1972, that Title IX of the Education codes of the Higher Education Act Amendments was passed It was enacted in 1977. It prohibits gender discrimination by federally funded institutions. It was the catalyst to allow women more opportunities to obtain scholarships and to attend classes that had been closed to women. It was argued that women lacked the moral and intellectual capabilities to attend secondary

educational institutions. Harvard was founded in the 1600's – 2 centuries later, rather than admit women they opened their sister college, Radcliffe. Co-education in the Ivy League Colleges began to take hold in the 1970's. There are now more women enrolled in college and earning honorary degrees than men.

The evening began with a cocktail hour at the bar of the American Hotel. With spirits and wine freely flowing, the crowd quickly grew as did the conversation. The laughter crescendoed at the rate in which glasses emptied. The intention of the evening was to tell stories. Often in the bar of the American, a newcomer to town will

meet up with a “local”. Before too long the stories begin. They have become old news to those of us who have the pleasure of calling this place home, but for the newcomer, the enchantment has just begun. They become entrenched in the simplicity of their collective meaning. This is a place where community is a notion we have never lived without.

As the dinner bell was rung, the tales began. All of the good old stories, the hanging at Spook Hollow told by Jean Bakkom and Maureen Lodes, Wynona Dingman throwing her mother from a moving automobile as told by Dorcas Comrie who patiently proceeded through the hysterics of the dining room, and of course, all held together by Nancy Pfau, town historian, who neatly wrapped it all up. The audience consisted of a number of regular customers of the American Hotel who live outside the village limits. They had been baited by a story or two during their numerous visits, and they couldn’t wait for more. They traveled from as far as Utica and Albany to meet the local icons they had only heard of and to listen,first hand, to the tales they had to tell. It was a night filled with laughter, friendship and camaraderie. It reminded us all that, although our day-today lives provides us with the proverbial tunnel vision, we are all in this together. There has never been a town so loved, and that in turn, had afforded its inhabitants such a grand tale to tell. I couldn’t help but think as I exited the evening, what stories will Sharon Springs someday tell about us? With special thanks to Jean Bakkom, Sandy Manko, Dorcas Comrie, Nancy Pfau, Maureen Lodes and to the many, many generations before that paved the way for us all!

~ And thank you to Heidi Meka, manager extraordinaire of the American Hotel. The hotel is closed until

April 5th for a much needed vacation. For more information visit their website.www.americanhotelny.com

The skunks came out in February this year – which according to local farmers means “winter is over!” ground. So, I will reflect on winters past. My mother loved to tell stories of skiing, skating, sleigh rides, and However, it certainly does not seem as though we have had a winter this year with little to no snow on the other winter sports of her generation. Two of my favorite photos in Sandra Manko’s Reflections on Sharon show the former Ski Slope and 900-foot ski tow rope near the Dugway and the Ski and Winter Sports Club available at the museum yet, they’re a great collector’s item. marching down the main hill with their skis over their shoulders! If you have not seen the Ski Sharon posters Imagine coming to school in a horse and sleigh! My mother and her sister laughed about the many times they shared the sleigh with some of the young boys from the school who loved tossing snow balls down their necks – the resulting wet clothing was not quite as funny in the day however! I remember the thrill of racing down landing in the Creek, although not always successfully – the long wet walk back up the hill was uncomfortable but never stopped us trying again. Skating on Bowmaker’s Pond is one of those odd memories. Mostly I remember walking over in extreme cold, having to sweep and shovel snow off the ice, and by the time my skates were on wishing for a warm fire someplace to thaw out, which may be why I cannot really skate today. ~ Thank you, Nancy Pfau, Sharon Springs Town Historian Nancy's article brings back a memory from some years ago. I was talking to Dorcas Comrie(curator of the

the hill on Chestnut Street [it’s now overgrown with pine trees] on sleds or toboggans and swerving before

Sharon Springs Historical Society's Museum) about the Victorian Era. I had just finished reading The Happy

Valley a wonderful book by Pauline Dakin describing life in Cherry Valley (with some fabulous photographs) during the Victorian Era. As I went on about the lovely dresses and the romantic notion of summer picnics, lawn tennis and charades in the evening, Dorcas said, “I have just one word for you – outhouses!” Sometimes memories and musings are much kinder than the reality.

After having been married for 30 years my husband and I have a codified language based on expressions and exclamations that have stuck with us. For example one that still makes us laugh is, “Make it happen captain!” I'll save that story for another day. Apropos to the upcoming Spring season – Philip was talking to an older farmer who said he knew it was Spring when he could feel the warmth of the sun through his jacket as he spread manure on the fields. Although we aren't spreading manure, since then we are acutely aware of “the sun's warmth” and know when we had better get our seed orders in and start planning this year's garden.


Well, I have a bit more space to fill so bear with my meandering memories. Philip attributes much of his country knowledge to our neighbor, Norman Palmer, an old time farmer and friend. Norman taught him how to keep honey bees, find ginseng (he called it shingshang) and how to “put up preserves for the winter.” ground) is covered with little yellow dots. After the long winter the worker bees clean out the hive and do their business outside – hence the little yellow dots.

For beekeepers a sign that Spring is here is when the outside of the hive (usually there is still snow on the

We’re all familiar with the March 17th celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, but not many people realize that on March 19th, Italians the world over celebrate the feast day of St. Joseph, patron saint of Italy and of households. Like so many Italian-American families, especially ones with a Giuseppe or Joseph, we celebrate

this holiday by setting up a special altar and inviting family and friends for a festive dinner, which usually includes pasta dressed with fennel and seasoned breadcrumbs. The altar consists of a table with a statue or picture of the saint in the middle. It has a curtain backdrop decorated with garland made of bay leaves, bay leaf branches, flowers and oranges. It’s laden with breads made in various festive shapes along with a variety of vegetable dishes such as broccoli rabe, asparagus frittata and fried artichokes or cardoons. There are also Giuseppe. The sfingi recipe follows. Pastry: plates of fruits, bottles of wine, and delicious St. Joseph’s Day ricotta creampuffs, known as Sfingi di San

1 stick of butter 1 cup water ¼ teaspoon salt

¼ tsp orange zest 1 cup flour 4 large eggs

In a 3-qt. pot, melt butter in water and add salt and orange zest. When butter is melted, take off heat and

add flour all at once. Stir with wooden spoon until it forms a ball. Add eggs one at a time until eggs are well mixed in. Spray a cookie sheet with vegetable spray and drop a heaping tablespoon of dough spacing 2 inches apart. Bake at 425 degrees in pre-heated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for 15 minutes more or until golden and puffy. Cool on cookie rack. Ricotta Cream Filling: 1 lb. Ricotta 1 cup of sugar (more or less to taste) ¼ cup pistachio nuts ¼ cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chip ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ cup candied lemon peel

Confectioner's sugar for decoration when ready to serve

Finely chop the nuts, candied lemon peel and chocolate. Blend with the cheese, vanilla and sugar. Taste and adjust sugar if necessary. serve. Slice a pocket on the top of the pastry and fill with the ricotta cream. Dust with confectioner's sugar and Makes 16 to 20 creampuffs.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
If you are trying to sell a house - bury a statue of St. Joseph, upside down, in the yard. Legend has it that originally it was done in a threatening manner, “You will remain buried until this house sells!” More recently, works! St. Joseph is buried with a more respectful supplication asking his blessings to sell the house. Friends tell us it

The village has received a grant from Creating Healthy Places to create an exercise and activity area in Chalybeate Park. The $10,000.00 grant monies have been designated for an exercise space with Fit-Trail as well as covering during the summer concerts. equipment (wood and galvanized steel) workstations and a retractable tent for exercise classes & workshops

Doug Plummer & Margi Neary, who head up the Village’s Economic Development Committee, will co-chair the Park Project Committee. Representatives from the Chamber, Enjoy Sharon Springs, the Rotary, the Committee for the Park Project. The park project is expected to begin this Spring and be completed by the fall. the grant and do some other projects that will take work & funds. The Sharon Springs Citizen's Council of the Arts summer concerts series is held in the park – under a very aged tent. The park is also used for vendors during the Garden Party and Harvest Festival. The location is perfectly situated in the center of the village and can be a versatile space for locals and visitors. This is a wonderful step forward in upgrading the infrastructure. Next – new sidewalks . . . ? There are a number of Chalybeate Springs in the world. A European physician, in the 17 th Century, claimed the Chalybeate waters could cure, "the colic, the melancholy, and the vapours; it made the lean fat, the fat lean; it killed flat worms in the belly, loosened the clammy humours of the body, and dried the over-moist brain.” (http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Chalybeate) The same physician is said to have written this verse” business community, the school, the Youth Commission and the Historical Society comprise the Community This is a community project with fundraisers and volunteer work groups – we want to go beyond the scope of

These waters you in age renew Strength to the weak and sickly add Give the pale cheek a rosy hue And cheerful spirits to the sad
The waters are no longer flowing at The Chalybeate Temple, built in 1910, but legend has it the waters are so rich in iron (used to treat anemia – hence “give the pale cheek a rosy hue”) that one's teeth would turn brown of Historical Places. from drinking it. It was bottled and sold for medicinal purposes. The temple is listed on the National Register The first known use of the word chalybeate dates back to 1634. It was probably derived from New Latin, chalybeatus, irregular from Latin chalybs steel, from Greek chalyb-, chalyps, from Chalybes, ancient people in Asia Minor. It means, impregnated with salts of iron; also have a taste due to iron.

THANK YOU to Leila for inviting me to share a bit of self-healing Qi Gong practice, which was so vaguely described by me in last month's Chatter. It's hard to tell if the name Qi Gong is better said or left out. QI (Chi) is Universal Energy, and the practices

are for the intention of feeling this energy and harmonizing with it, so it can move through us more freely. When we unite our focus with this flow of Qi, it creates a powerful force for healing. Early Spring is such a good time for this, with the 'quickening' of new life all around, sap flowing in trees, etc. And I personally feel the need to loosen up. The most inspiring teacher I had was Master Binhue He, who has gone back to China, where he was

nicknamed 'The Cancer Conquerer', for his ability to help thousands of people to heal themselves when other treatments failed. For some years he was president of WISH (World Institute for Self Healing), which had offices in the US and Canada. He once explained that there are at least 36,000 kinds of Qi Gong, under is meditative, focuses on right mental attitude for healing, internal environment, and 'Spontaneous' QiGong movement. I wanted to make it clear that I won't be teaching a specific form, such as the 'Wild Goose', which I practiced for a long time in the UK. It's time-consuming to learn, and even then it was expressed that the 'Spontaneous' form is actually the highest - like the mother of all forms. For thousands of years this formless form was directed from within, as original inspiration flowing out - maybe inspired by animals but not imitating them per se. We each have our own natural way of moving, which will be unique every single day, unrepeatable, as we're constantly changing. When I used the word 'unfurl', it's like when a newborn baby stretches and opens its hands and fingers and mouth, in an essential way of its own. This is why baby massage expert Peter Walker said in the first three weeks of life do NOT do any baby massage, just hold the baby so it is supported, safe and free to move. Spontaneous Qi Gong is a little like that. Your movement might be so subtle as to be hardly visible - it might be internal, like feeling the breath. Or it could be loud, active, then still, flowing like a dance, jumping up and down, curling up, WHATEVER. It is yours and nobody is going to be looking at you or judging your skill. It's not about that, it's about tuning into an essence from which your life can flow in a way that's healthy and more fun. 'Liberate Trapped Energies", as a Peruvian shaman puts it. I'll do my best to help you get started, to share with you a few simple tools which you can use on your own - for releasing 'old' Qi, gathering new energy for the day, etc.- even making 'talisman water, and exploring the effects of your thoughts on the body. At the class you are free to sit or to stand during the movement part. Please wear comfortable clothes. I hope to see you there! The class is 8 pm to 10pm ~ $10.00 per person PS - just so we have an idea of numbers (keeping in mind the beautiful upstairs space) or if you have Hall Gallery (518)284-2402. Happy Spring! several categories such as martial arts, preventive (exercise), and his field which is Medical QiGong - which

questions, please call me ahead if you can. Pam Livingston (607) 264-9907 or speak to Leila at the Village

In high antiquity, real people breathed yin and yang, and all living beings looked up to their virtue, thus harmonizing peacefully. In those times, leadership was hidden, spontaneously creating pure simplicity. Pure simplicity had not yet been lost, so myriad beings were very relaxed. The way of heaven is a pattern, the way of earth is a design; unity harmonizes them, time works for them, thereby developing myriad beings. This is called the Way. The Great Way is even and not far from oneself. Cultivate it in yourself, and that virtue is real. Cultivate it in others and that virtue is endless. The Valley Spirit not dying is called the mysterious female. The opening of the mysterious female is called the root of heaven and earth. Continuous, on the brink of existence, to put it into practice, don't try to force it. To know what is good for the senses and the body and roam in the harmony of the vital spirit is the roaming of the sage... THE GREEN INITIATIVE CONTINUES . . .
In 2010, 63.5 percent of the paper used in the U.S. was recovered for recycling. This is an 89 percent increase in the recovery rate since 1990. The amount of paper recovered averaged 334 pounds for each man, woman and child in the United States. Every ton of paper recycled saves more than 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of today the population is 313,101,850. You don't have to be a math swami to know that is a lot of paper! Most communities are set-up to recycle paper, either through curbside pick-up or at the local dump. Once you get in the habit of recycling it is easy and makes a big difference. Of course, magazines are appreciated at most hospitals, waiting rooms, nursing homes or pass them on to friends.

Here is a great idea to prevent berries from molding too soon. Prepare a mixture of one part vinegar(white or Drain, rinse if you want (though the mixture is so diluted you can't taste the vinegar) and pop in the fridge. apple cider probably work best) and ten parts water. Dump the berries into the mixture and swirl around. The vinegar kills any mold spores and other bacteria that might be on the surface of the fruit, and voila! and stock up on those pricey little gems, knowing they'll stay fresh as long as it takes you to eat them. Thank you, Rose Marie for sharing this – it won't be long before it's berry picking time!

Raspberries will last a week or more, strawberries go almost two weeks without getting moldy. So go forth

Introduction to reACTING w/Erich Adamoschek. Acting is reacting. immediacy that makes a dramatic performance convincing. Teens/Adults 1-2 Kids 2:15-3:15 15.00 Feldenkrais – Awareness Through Movement Class w/Diana Wells. The Feldenkrais Method is about remember how easily you moved as a child. Through gentle, pleasurable movements you will experience comfort and ease. Adults 2:15-3:45 how to release chronic tension, enhance your flexibility and balance and realize you can move with greater Space is limited . . . . Register early. 518 284-3340 or studionorthny@gmail.com


participants will engage with one another in fun games and silly scenarios to seek out the moment of

In this introductory workshop

CHERRY VALLEY ARTWORKS The fourth Cherry Valley Summer Sculpture Trail is open for submission. The deadline is March 30, 2012. This is a juried exhibition, twelve artists will be selected to receive a 200.00 stipend. There will be additional, without stipend, opportunities for sculptural entries. Artists please submit:10 images of completed work. slides, digital submission or CD acceptable, a recent CV, a 150 word artist’s statement. For the full prospectus go to www.cvartworks.org Sculpture will be displayed throughout the historic village of Cherry Valley, NY from July 7–October 7, 2012. VOLLEYBALL AT THE SCHOOL Sunday nights from 7-9 pm in the old gym, the entrance on the Route 10 side of the building. We start the first Sunday in October, to give the school time to settle into its year, and go to the first part of June when Regents Exams get under way, and we usually don't play during school holidays. There is no admission charge. Come to have a good & healthy evening out. Contact Ann Adams at 284-2048 for more information.

The annual Garden Party is quickly approaching For more information go to www. enjoysharonsprings.com


Send your profound insights, curiosities & musings to: villagehallgallery@gmail.com ~The Chatter is a free paper . . . but donations are appreciated – if you are able and willing ~ or stop by during gallery hours: Thursday – Monday 10- 4 518 284-2402

~~Thank you ~ if you see any of our contributors, please give 'em a thanks! ~~

contemporary art in a historic setting

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