By Jane Harrison
With so many Sullivan County residents being vaccinated along with the relaxing of restrictions statewide, I’m seeing more venues opening up for live music. My second dose was Saturday, March 27, and I’m looking forward to getting back out into the world a bit more.
I’m not changing much in my “going outside” life. I will remain masked, I will still carry hand sanitizer and wipe down surfaces, I will still have my “inside clothes” and my “outside clothes”– the outside clothes being hung in direct sun when possible and if not, tucked in a large bag that has been sprayed or wiped down with disinfectant. Obsessive? Yes, probably. Every year since I was sixteen and had both pneumonia AND pleurisy I have been afflicted with something every winter…upper respiratory infection, bronchitis, bronchial pneumonia…. the list goes on, but this year? Not even a mild cold.
The weekend of March 19-21 is what gave me hope for the summer. Not only was the weather summer-like but CABERNET FRANK’S in Parksville and RAFTERS in Callicoon both opened their doors and outside stages to live music. SOUL CAKES from the city shared the stage Friday night in Parksville with NICK HEATHEN and CASWYN MOON. All three are fantastic on their own, but to have them back-to-back on the same night was pure pleasure! Saturday had THE JOHNNY JULES BAND, and you know how I feel about them!
RAFTERS opened their outside stage on Sunday afternoon to their wonderful OPEN MIC, which, I was happy to see, did still bring musicians and bands from Brooklyn all the way to Pennsylvania.
And by the amount of people that showed for all events, I’m not the only one starved for the company of others in the presence of wonderful live music! I’m so sorry I can’t give you pictures! My phone face cracked right over the camera and is now in for repair.
With all of the hopeful news, there’s also a few pieces of disturbing news. CABERNET FRANK’S neighbor Joe Peters, continues his harassment of the owners NOT because of the music venue. After constant harassment over the last five years (Peters has only lived there for six), the Sullivan County court system slapped him on the wrist with 45 days in jail for continuously violating the restraining orders…then let him out after only 25 days. Upon returning home, the first thing he did was stand in the middle of the street yelling about anything and everything in violation of the condition of his release.
Next to the music venue is BEAVERKILL STUDIOS which was a growing multi-media studio also owned by the couple bringing much needed tax dollars into the county. Growing, until Peters allegedly started physically threatening people who came to do business there. The court system did nothing, and the business dried up. CABERNET FRANK’S is a bit different. Peters doesn’t dare physically threaten as it’s not uncommon to see off duty officers not just from the county, but from New York City, New Jersey and Pennsylvania who have second homes here, as patrons.
As often as the couple tried to get a restraining order to get Peters to cease and desist, it was years before the court system granted them one. Peters ignored it, and all subsequent ones. The harassment only escalated until the court system finally took notice, which landed him in jail.
The real question is “Why?” I’ll let you all read between the lines.
Stay masked, stay strong and stay well…. the music will be here again soon!
Until next time……