Richard Edelman invited us to his front lawn in Saugerties where a parade happened by today. The parade reached our view point at 11:30am or so and only ended at 1:15pm. There were way too many fire trucks and too few marching bands. Then, the Saugerties Vintage Tractor Club appeared with some 22 old tractors. The high light of the day.
The John Deeres are my sentimental favorites. During my college days in Wisconsin I worked for a dairy farmer, Henry Moeller, who had a tiny, by Wisconsin standards, farm with 85 head of milking cows and a few hundred acres of corn and hay. He had a recent vintage Massey Ferguson tractor, but also, being a thrifty guy, he had retained his circa 1948 John Deere Model B. The sound of it running is so characteristic. Here is a video of one being started. Listen for the sound.
It is doubtless a fact that most Northerners, including the writer, think that slavery in America was a Southern problem. In the North slavery was an occasional institution, or so we think.
A week ago on Thursday 6/8/17 I attended a program at the library, “Abolition and Women’s Rights in Local History” presented by the students of Hudson Community Schools’ Writing Center at the Hudson High School. More about this project here.
“James W. C. Pennington” by Cecille Ruiz – click to see full size image
The bulk of the program revolved around presentations by the students of their research and creative projects about slavery, abolitionists and women’s rights activists of the 1830s-1850s in upstate NY. The word and image projects are on display in the library now.
Slavery in Hudson and Columbia County
But, I want to focus on just one aspect here. The program opened with readings of notices of runaways slaves from the Hudson River Valley. Many were notices from slave owners in Hudson and Columbia County dating roughly from 1795 to 1840. The source of these notices is In Defiance: runaways from slavery in New York’s Hudson River Valley, 1735-1831 ((Stessin-Cohn, Susan, and Ashley Hurlburt-Biagini. In Defiance: Runaways from Slavery in New York’s Hudson River Valley, 1735-1831, 2016.)) It is available in the library.
One hint about the deep history of slavery in our region is the fact that over 50% of the runaways spoke both Dutch and English.1 This is clearly an indication that they lived here long enough to learn two languages.
Here are a few samples from the book: (click on images for full size)
p324. Stessin-Cohn, Susan, and Ashley Hurlburt-Biagini. In Defiance: Runaways from Slavery in New York’s Hudson River Valley, 1735-1831, 2016. [↩]
OK you Hollywood moguls and wannabes, what does a producer do? What do all of the variants do? Executive Producer, Associate Producer, Managing Producer, Supervising Producer, Co-Executive Producer?? How do they stay out of each other’s way?? How much are they paid, salary and residuals?? Should this be my next career stop??
Netflix has just released War Machine onto the streaming media waters. This movie fits into the long tradition of American media mostly puffing up our military exploits or turning them into light tragi-comedy. Brad Pitt, applying the acting style of a trimmed down George Clooney, portrays the fictional General Glen McMahon. Broadly and obviously based on the story of the real General Stanley McChrystal who took over the War in Afghanistan in June 2009 only to be ousted in June 2010 after a profile appeared in Rolling Stone Magazine revealed much foolishness and derogatory comments about President Obama and VP Biden. The movie has its comedic moments and the very broadly played General MaMahon is bound to either really annoy those enamored of the US military or fulfill the image of buffoonish generals that others may prefer. Continue reading →
A Norwegian Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson, Fargo Revenge Flick
In Order of Disappearance, available on Netflix and Amazon, stars Stellan Skarsgard as Nils, a droll snow plow driver who seeks to revenge the murder of his son at the hands of a bunch of drug dealers in some snow plagued town somewhere in Norway. What follows is a part Rashomon, part Fargoesque tale of murderous revenge bundled up with comedic moments and lots of snow.
I give it a Mr. Wonderful’s maximum thumbs up.
BTW – you probably will recognize Skarsgard. He was in Good Will Hunting, and the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo among many.
The May 3rd post “Unbelievable” on our favorite local blog GossipsOfRivertown.blogspot.com caught our attention. This F.H.Stickles concrete truck dumping waste concrete next to a stream running into the Hudson River is a local demonstration of one of the central laws of capitalism.
Every company seeks to get someone else to pay for as many of its costs of doing business as possible. The laws of capitalism require this. If all of Stickles’ competitors are similarly avoiding the costs of disposing of their waste concrete they must do likewise. Otherwise their cost of doing business would be higher. In the short term their profits will be lower. In the longer term they will be forced out of business because they will have to charge higher prices. This is so regardless of the moral values or sense of community of the owners of F.H.Stickles. This how capitalism works.
Carole Osterink reported in her post “Unbelievable” on May 3rd about the dumping of waste concrete by F.H.Stickles Concrete on a site off north 2nd Street adjacent to a small stream that drains into the Hudson River perhaps a hundred yards away.
This practice is in violation of state and Federal regulations of concrete washouts of concrete trucks and other equipment used to deliver concrete at constructions sites. A quick internet search found EPA guidelines as well as NYS regulations about the handling of this hazardous waste.