Found these old photos which brought back an array of emotions and wonderful memories.
The Catskills is diverse in topography -- farmland (an hour to the south was Woodstock--my most favorite place on earth), mountains for skiing, traces of native american and cowboy ancestry (an hour to the north was Oneonta), and the people who lived along that line couldn't have been more different, yet so vital. Eventually, I'd start an employment agency, which would serve that radius.
Early 80's Woodstock was alive with hippies, yuppies, and Hells Angels gathered on the square to reminisce and bask in the glory each group vied to offer. And at no time were there problems. All went about their business as if 1969 remained frozen in time, war free. With hemp clothing and candle stores cattycornered, artisans of every genre along the main street, and food that catered to the most discriminating, it is a remarkably eclectic and inspiring town, surrounded by the good earth.
Although Oneonta's nickname is "City of the Hills," the word "oneonta" is of undetermined origin, but popularly believed to mean "place of open rocks" in the Iroquois language. This refers to a prominent geological formation known as "Tablerocks" at the western end of the city and is home to the State University of New York at Oneonta.
And between the two is a string of farms; some large, some small, some dairy, some cattle, along with large homes of those who moved up from the Metropolitan area to live; those who craved the quiet and verdance of the Catskills but close enough to work and play in the City--New York City, that is.
Honky-tonks catered to the local cowboys and cowgirls, where my mother felt at home listening and singing to her favorite country artists along with the locals. And Native Americans sold and shared their wares and culture with those of us who'd hope to help resurrect their past into the present.
Back at the farm, however, when my parents, other family members, or friends visited, there was plenty to do on the Old MacDonald's, so called for no shortage of animals (and space). To the right of the driveway was a pond, home to several white Peking ducks; chickens and geese clucked and honked a visitor into the house; Angel and Chestnut, quarter horses, grazed alongside some cows and two goats; and there were dogs and cats, enough to fill a small animal shelter. It truly was a slice of heaven on earth.
|My father and nephews feeding Angel & Chestnut|
All, a little piece of heaven on earth!