As a child, I grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from the late forties to the mid-sixties. I did not care about the ethnicity of my friends. All I knew was that they were my friends. More...

Posted 4/24/2018 10:15 PM


Several years ago, my daughter Sharon was starting a job as an RN in an Elmira, NY hospital. It was an unfamiliar community and she needed to find an apartment so it was my task to find a place in a good neighborhood at the right price. More...

Posted 4/18/2018 12:00 AM

Happy Tails

For 50 years, the Heart of the Catskills Humane Society has served and supported homeless and unwanted animals throughout the region. More...

Posted 4/10/2018 09:52 PM

Here’s to St. Patrick!

It’s that time of year where everyone claims to be Irish, myself included! Here’s to St. Patrick!  While I was attending seminary, I had the opportunity to study in Wales for six weeks. The topic? St. More...

Posted 3/20/2018 09:23 PM


An experience with God

In 1982 at 26 years old I had an experience with God. Prior to this I had always belvieved in God as taught in our family church, but the moral compass never took too well. More...

Posted 3/6/2018 11:49 PM

Chocolate, Hot Dates, Fasting and Contrition: Valentine’s Day and Lent

Knowing that this reflection would publish in February, two obvious subjects presented themselves. More...

Posted 2/20/2018 09:09 PM



Recently Father Eric, a fellow clergyman and I were taking down Christmas decorations at Holy Innocents Cathedral. The beautiful Nativity under the altar had now been removed and we both felt somewhat of a letdown. More...

Posted 1/30/2018 10:03 PM


“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven; a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot... a time to weep and a time to laugh....”. More...

Posted 1/16/2018 08:37 PM


Happy New Year!! Or Not?

Most of us enter a New Year with a sense of optimism and anticipation, but sometimes unexpected events have a huge impact. More...

Posted 1/2/2018 09:33 PM

Kicking The Bucket List

“Volunteer Your Way Around The World”  More...

Posted 7/18/2017 10:24 PM


A USA Today feature this spring demonstrated the reason the National Federation of High School Associations (NFHSA) has mandated that member states institute mandatory pitch counts in school baseball programs this spring. More...

Posted 4/4/2017 09:26 PM

Catskill Portraits to place focus on our neighbors

The Catskill Mountain News is pleased to introduce a new weekly column by Bovina resident John Tucker called “A Catskill Portrait.” More...

Posted 1/10/2017 09:53 PM

Cultural Connections:

From Tin Horns to Twitter

Tina Mole was elected Chairman of the Delaware County Board of Supervisors last week, the first woman ever to hold that office. It’s a milestone for sure when 220 years of precedent are upended in a single moment. More...

Posted 1/10/2017 09:53 PM

Cultural Connections:

From Tin Horns to Twitter

If there’s a reader among us who doesn’t know the story of the first Thanksgiving, we’d be hard pressed to find him or her. More...

Posted 11/22/2016 10:23 PM

Here's the Scoop: April 13, 2016

What’s your reading?

As I note occasionally in this space, I’m a “routine oriented” kind of guy. That’s a nice way of describing some of the things I do. And do. And do. More...

Posted 4/12/2016 07:00 PM

In This Place: April 13, 2016

Springtime for Maggie

Now that spring is finally on the way, I thought it was time to see how Maggie Scudder’s clan was faring some 60-odd years ago. Spring cleaning, new calves and some spring fever (well, spring mumps at least) were all in the picture. More...

Posted 4/12/2016 07:01 PM

Here's the Scoop: March 30, 2016

Hear ye, Hear ye — no more!

I listen to lots of music. As general rule, when I get up, the radio goes on. That’s mostly for news, though, so I have some idea of what’s happening in the world — even if I may not want to know. More...

Posted 3/29/2016 07:40 PM

Here's the Scoop: March 23, 2016

We should be scared. Very scared

Like thousands of other people, I was amused/ashamed by this week’s news report of an Easter Bunny (I suspect there’s more than one) getting into a brawl with a mall visitor. More...

Posted 3/22/2016 09:16 PM

Gardening Tips: March 23, 2016

St Patrick’s Day

For one day a year it seems that almost everyone is of Irish descent. It is true that many of us in America share some trace of Irish ancestry but many people do not know why that is the case. Well, it all has to do with potatoes. More...

Posted 3/22/2016 09:16 PM

In This Place: March 16, 2016

The Pluck of the Irish

Whether they stir the heart with pride, or make you cringe at the facile stereotypes, these tidbits of Irish-ness from the pages of the News do at least highlight the tenacity and colorful character that eternally enlivens the offspring of the Emeral More...

Posted 3/15/2016 06:31 PM

Here's The Scoop: March 9, 2016

Heads Above the Rest

I’m still a bit jet-lagged from my recent excursion down south, so it’s hard to get back into the swing of column writing. That’s not exactly true. Well, the part about writing is, but I’m firmly back in a New York State of Mind, as they say. More...

Posted 3/8/2016 10:13 PM

Gardening Tips: March 9, 2016

Maple Season

I just watched an interesting You Tube video on making a small scale, reverse osmosis device. More...

Posted 3/8/2016 10:13 PM

In This Place: March 2, 2016

Spring of Learning

This time of year, 110 years ago, an ardent campaign was begun to rebuild Margaretville’s high school. More...

Posted 3/1/2016 06:38 PM

In This Place: February 24, 2016

February Flotsam

Here are some items that drifted “downstream” as I was making my way through these late winter days decades ago. Don’t worry, I am not going to rub our noses too much in good snow years; like you, I think this ubermild winter is nothing to dwell on. More...

Posted 2/23/2016 06:57 PM

In This Place February 17, 2016

Dug Himself in Too Deep

Floundering around as usual for a timely topic, I once again fell on some amazing fodder for you budding crime or mystery writers. More...

Posted 2/16/2016 05:57 PM


This past winter certainly had its share of windy and snowy days, especially in the tumultuous month of March! More...

Posted 4/24/2018 10:15 PM

“Watch out for the deer, they’re everywhere!”  Every year about this time, I hear the warnings, and try to heed the advice to be on the lookout for the deer on the roads. More...

Posted 4/10/2018 09:52 PM

Easter Morning

In the Gospel, everything gets turned on its head: the last is first; the leader serves; strength is made perfect in weakness. The Easter proclamation is no different: victory is won by defeat, and death overcome by death. More...

Posted 4/3/2018 08:21 PM

Holy Week Reflections

The arrival of Holy Week causes me to think about the concept of forgiveness even more than usual. At times I have needed to forgive, and have really, really struggled to do so. More...

Posted 3/27/2018 06:22 PM



During the mid-eighties when the AIDS epidemic was in its early days, Father Dante and I began to foster and adopt children living with HIV/AIDS. Four of our sons living with the virus died at very young ages. More...

Posted 3/13/2018 08:34 PM

For the last two weeks, we’ve watched the human spirit at its best. The Olympics provided a beautiful window on the world’s best athletes in competition. More...

Posted 2/27/2018 11:54 PM

Prayer Changes Things

I remember a story about a woman who brought home a wall hanging that said, “Prayer changes things.” She put it in her kitchen above her sink. Her husband came home, and said, “Take that down, please.” She said, “Why? More...

Posted 2/6/2018 09:47 PM

Catskills Rising

As a millennial living in the region, but not originally from here, I’m always fascinated by conversations with those who did grow up in the mountains. More...

Posted 1/30/2018 10:03 PM


Choices, Choices, Choices

For traditional Christians, the Christmas season lasts a good while. More...

Posted 1/9/2018 09:06 PM

Catskills Rising

Facetious Filipov

It was a deliciously warm and sunny afternoon when I took Ilyusha Filipov to Blue Bee’s in Delhi for a short interview and a bite to eat.  More...

Posted 12/20/2017 12:26 AM


“When I stepped off of the bus at the Hluhluwe Game Preserve in Zulu Land I was overcome by a feeling that I had been there before, a feeling so strong that it brought tears to my eyes,” Iris Mead told me as she sat at her kitchen table.& More...

Posted 5/9/2017 10:59 PM

Cultural Connections:

From Tin Horns to Twitter

A Culture of Caring By Joan Lawrence-Bauer More...

Posted 2/14/2017 09:46 PM

A Catskill Portrait

Working with animals a lifelong passion for Tricia Spickerman

Tricia Spickerman lives with her family in a white farmhouse on Coulter Brook Road, about a mile east of Bovina Center. The property includes a stable and a couple other buildings that sit above Coulter Brook itself. More...

Posted 1/10/2017 09:53 PM

Cultural Connections:

From Tin Horns to Twitter

Traveling the roads through the Catskill Mountains during the holiday season offers a glimpse into the holiday traditions cherished by families and communities in the region. More...

Posted 12/21/2016 12:48 AM

Here's the Scoop: April 20, 2016

Forgetting the Big Picture

This wasn’t planned as an Earth Day activity; it just sort of conveniently fell into the proper time period. The “Big Drop” technically occurred a bit before Earth Day, but I still think it counts. More...

Posted 4/19/2016 08:45 PM

Here's The Scoop: April 6, 2016

Snow creates sticky situation

I wasn’t going to mention the weather this week, since many people seem to have that well covered on Facebook. But here goes: It snowed. Quite a lot. More...

Posted 4/5/2016 05:36 PM

In This Place: April 6, 2016

The Past is a Foreign Country

That almost proverbial phrase, “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there” is actually the opening line from The Go-Between, a novel by L.P. Hartley. More...

Posted 4/5/2016 05:36 PM

In This Place: March 30, 2016

Opening Day

It’s that time of year already! (Already?! More...

Posted 3/29/2016 07:41 PM

In This Place: March 23, 2016

Can Spring Be Far Behind?

Here are some images from this time of year from the archives, all reminders of what we can anticipate — or dread! More...

Posted 3/22/2016 09:16 PM

Here's the Scoop: March 16, 2016

Dark Mornings of March

It’s that time of year again. Or, is it? Yes, it’s time for confusion! More...

Posted 3/15/2016 06:31 PM

Gardening Tips: March 16, 2016

Springtime in Dixie

When I walked out to my car yesterday morning I noticed that it was covered with pollen. My first impression was that it was just dust, but after a few seconds thought I realized that the season is changing down here in central Florida. More...

Posted 3/15/2016 06:31 PM

In This Place: March 9, 2016


My salute to Women’s History Month is a bit “backhanded,” but I thought it would be fun to share with you what passed for a sort of women’s lib 100 years ago, so we could all enjoy how far attitudes to women’s autonomy and equity have come since then More...

Posted 3/8/2016 10:13 PM

Here's the Scoop: March 2, 2016

Where the heck are we?

Unfortunately for me, the whole “team looking for a lowcost pitcher” thing didn’t work out so well during my recent travels into the south. More...

Posted 3/1/2016 06:38 PM

Here's The Scoop: February 24, 2016

Travel preparation

I was recently called away on an important business trip — the News’ latest feature — firsthand coverage of spring training. It was a tough assignment, but I volunteered. Taking one for the team is how I looked at the situation. More...

Posted 2/23/2016 06:57 PM

Here's The Scoop: February 17, 2016

Check the video

There’s probably a name for this — some type of syndrome — when you are sitting somewhere, minding your own business and you hear unexpected outbursts of laughter, maybe a few animal noises, or some strange music. Or, all three. More...

Posted 2/16/2016 05:57 PM