The Scene: December 2020

The Scene
By Jane Harrison

So much has happened since last we met! Some incredibly good, most dealing with our health and the spread of the virus, not good at all.

One of the biggest bright spots of November was the indictment and conviction of Joe Peters, who has mounted a campaign of harassment against the owners of CABERNET FRANK’S for several years. The sentence can be as steep as 5 years in prison (not jail) and a $250,000 fine. What’s more, it is all over the internet news, as well as the newspapers. Their choice of renown Civil Rights attorney Michael Sussman was an excellent move. I’ve known Michael for a several years, having sat on the board of his EMPOWERING movement, the Ellenville chapter. No one fights harder for human rights.

For those who are not familiar with the story, it’s not what you think it would be. It wasn’t the noise from the best live music and most popular venue in Sullivan County. Peters alleged it was because they kill stray cats with antifreeze. There was no proof. To my knowledge, none of the deceased cats have ever been necropsied to prove the allegations. In fact, I have had conversations with persons who own farms in the area who told me they have trapped and moved “many, many strays” (their words) to their properties in order to alleviate the fact that that area of Parksville was overrun and giving these poor creatures a better quality of life. The harassment had taken many forms from the shattering of a front window with either a pellet gun or air rifle when people were sitting just beneath it, to the latest… running a chain saw nonstop. Videos showed nothing being cut. I’m proud of the support this venue is getting. Those, including myself, who stand WITH the owners and refused to be deterred from frequenting this venue.
Three days of 70-degree weather in NOVEMBER!!!
I ordered “to go” from Cabernet Frank’s after not having my car for two days due to necessary repairs. And it didn’t quite go as planned.

First, it was Friday night not Thursday. Somewhere, I had lost an entire day.

NICK HEATHEN was on stage with his keyboard and his unique “in-your-face” style. Around the fire pit I met a great couple who bought a home in Parksville two years ago, coming from Brooklyn, and their two visiting friends from Brooklyn. And still another couple from the area. And then suddenly there was CASWYN MOON. And KATHY GEARY with KEVIN HANEK. And then another good friend, Amy Brightfield, (Health and Features Director for Better Homes and Gardens) whom I haven’t seen in quite a while.

The entire evening (didn’t leave until 9) was fun and uplifting, erasing the last two weeks of COVID stress and auto mishaps. Amy and I caught up with the duo of CASWYN and NICK in the background. Then CASWYN and I spoke to the duo of KATHY GEARY and KEVIN HANEK. I couldn’t help notice how much stronger KATHY’S voice has become and the lilt reminds me of Irish voices I’ve heard. She has come a very long way in just this summer and her first steps onto a stage with her originals.

Black Friday saw the only indoor Craft Show I know of since last year. It was held at the CLARYVILLE EVENT CENTER. I’ve been to the Event Center and I know how large it is so social distancing will not be a problem. Masks were required and temperatures were taken prior to entry. Seven artists (hence the mini) including KATE’S HERBALS and KATHY JEFFERS POTTERY, displayed their works for gift-giving this Christmas season. It was good for the community and the soul of the artist.

Another artist friend, CHRIS PARROW, a watercolorist and potter, is opening her studio on the weekends for those looking for interesting handmade gifts. Masks and social distancing are required. The studio is located in Napanoch and for hours and address or directions, please call Chris at (845) 985-7564.

Please be very careful this Holiday Season. Even the small communities who saw almost no COVID cases in the spring have doubled or even tripled their numbers. Walmart in Monticello has reported that two employees that tested positive continued to work. This is not a hoax, people.

Have a lovely, quiet Holiday this December so we can gather together and celebrate next December.
Stay well, stay strong.

Until next time……