[my Mama and her dog, Ryder]
On Friday afternoon, after an intense work week, SBX, her two daughters, and I split for our Catskills retreat. While listening to Roxy Music and Harry Nilsson, we invented new and improved ways to tell "Knock-Knock" jokes on the drive up. On Saturday, we went to the annual Cauliflower Festival in Margaretville where Gordy Stahl [our neighbor down the road who brews homemade maple syrup] was leading a line of clog dancing atop a wooden slat with a sextet of older ladies wearing red bloomers under their swirling skirts. The weather was beautiful and I purchased an impressive birds-eye view photograph of our modest lil' hamlet in Halcottsville. Afterwards, we drove over to my mom's house in Canada Hollow where we soaked in her hot tub while SBX prepared delicious mozzarella and pesto sandwiches. That evening, we attended a piano reception and art opening at Wawaka Studios across the street from our house where some of my earlier comix art hangs proudly among an eclectic group of local artists paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures, as curated by Mark and Alyssum Pilato [http://www.pilatostudios.com/pages/home.html]. Local singer, Wendy Nief, graced us with an impromptu set of jazz standards and Dick, another neighbor, surprised us with his piano chops. Dick had the room singing and dancing and the unified vibe made me swoon. With the power of my Learner's Permit, I drove SBX and I to The Public, a lounge in Roxbury, for grilled grub and we chatted with John, a successful construction and furniture maker who owns 850 acres of farm land. On Sunday, we drove to Stamford for breakfast and were greeted by a strip of straw men as the town was celebrating their annual Scarecrow Festival. We showed the girls Stratton Falls, the best kept secret in the Catskills, and climbed down the rocky side of the waterfall and inhaled the fresh water air before dropping them off for a horse trot with Alex, yet another friendly neighbor up Bragg Hollow Road. I commissioned a story for SBX to write me while I mowed the lawn. We shut down the house and drove to Brios for pizza in Phoenicia before heading back to Brooklyn for this weeks grind.