The Beacon Sloop Club Broadside is the official monthly newsletter of the
Beacon Sloop Club, Inc.
The Beacon Sloop Club, Inc. is a non-profit, volunteer environmental education/action and sailing organization dedicated to cleaning-up the Hudson River and it’s environs. Our main focus is the Beacon, Fishkill and Newburgh area.
Members meet the first Friday of every month at the Sloop Club Building located just across from the Beacon Train station. Look for the building with the pine tree growing out of the roof! A potluck dinner starts at 6:30, bring a covered dish to share and your own place setting. The general meeting starts at 7:30 and lasts about an hour or so. The meeting is followed by a sing-along.
NEXT EXEC. COM. MEETING IS TUESDAY, August 22nd, 7:30 p.m.
NEXT MEMBERSHIP MEETING IS FRIDAY, September 1nd at 7:30 p.m.
There’s a New Newsletter Editor!
Please submit articles by the 1st Monday after the Friday meeting for the for the
Beacon Sloop Club Broadside to email@example.com
"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild airÉ"
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Lucille Weinstat will be having a Solo Photography Exhibit for the month of September at Shelter House in Downing Park in Newburgh. She is showing her photos of birds. Enter through the South end of the park on Carpenter Ave. Opening 9/9 from 3-5 PM. All welcome. Lucille studied photography with Richard Frye at York College. She belonged to the Jamaica Camera Club years ago, and has a "drawerful"of ribbons won in competitions. She has been a docent at the Katonah Museum of Art, and has belonged to Barrett House, Garrison Art Association and the Katonah Museum Artists' Association. She has been an exhibiting member of Women In The Visual Arts in Florida. She has shown locally at the Tree of Art gallery in Newburgh, the Heritage Gallery in Rhinebeck, the Howland Center for the Arts, Barrett House gallery, the Garrison Art Center, and the Cottage Place Gallery in Ridgewood, NJ.. She is having a lot of fun with her new digital camera, although it takes a lot of patience to wait for the right moment when photographing birds- sometimes lying on the ground, or craning upwards (bird-watchers' neck) .
Marcia Frahman is a semi-retired social worker who does drug and alcohol counseling for folks with HIV/Aids. This has been on the increase among young people who have a lot of misinformation, and a devil-may-care attitude since the advent of meds. It has also been on the increase among African-American women, and among older people who are widowed or divorced, but unaware of how to have safe sex. She points to successes in that many of the young people are returning to work and having healthy babies with modern treatment.
Marcia is a native Californian with 2 grown children. When she moved to this area, she met Tom Baldino, who was her next door neighbor. She had locked herself out, and rang Tom’s bell for help. Tom climbed up over the roof and into her second story window, came down and unlocked the door. (We didn’t know you were a second story man, Tom!) They have been together 9 years.
She has traveled a lot in Europe and S. America. In 1986 she volunteered to help escort refugees from the despotic Arena administration in El Salvador (death squads and concentration camps) back to their farms. They took 475 people back, despite land mines. She was arrested and deported to Guatemala, but returned to El Salvador. A year later she received a letter containing beans from their first harvest. In 1988 she was a UN observer in the El Salvador elections.
Still volunteering, she organized and coordinates Beacon Reads for the Howland Public Library. She was recently elected President of the library board. She and Tom also volunteer for the Fishkill Historical Society. She is on the Wednesday night crew on the Woody Guthrie.
Clifford Seth has been a member of the BSC for some time, and a regular at our sings after meetings. Professionally he is an independent writer, technical reporter, and editor specializing in industrial applications of environmental equipment. (Safe drinking water, and safe waste-water disposal, for example.) He documents success of equipment for trade and business magazines.
Clifford is known for his extensive commutation. He lives in Manhattan, but travels in the Hudson and Delaware River Valleys. He is interested in reviving the historical connection between the Hudson and Delaware Valleys environmentally, commercially and culturally. Bicycling is his primary mode of transportation!
He has been folk singing for about 15 years and was active with the Pinewoods Folk Music Project in New Jersey. His first professional song-leader gig was at the Phil Ochs night at Howland Center in November.
Welcomes and Thank Yous
I have enjoyed the position of temporary editor for the BSC Broadside. For me it has been like preparing an amazing meal, which takes hours to prepare yet minutes to devour. I would like to welcome and thank in advance our new editor, Linda Beatty (firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>), and Vane Loshua, who has offered to help with the printing of the BSC Broadside newsletter.
Many thank yous to Tom LaBarr who spent a great many hours in the printing and mailing of the Broadside BSC Newsletter.
African Drumming with Kazi Oliver
Kazi will continue in the Fall on Fridays except the 1st Friday of the month.
Info: (845) 863-0975 / (845) 226-6463
Fiddlin' Fall Fundraiser at the Maritime Museum
Friday, Sept 1st, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason
will perform a benefit concert at the
HUDSON RIVER MARITIME MUSEUM,
5pm - 8pm. Concert at 6pm.
50 Rondout Landing in Kingston.
The evening will feature some of the best American acoustic music, along with tours and a reception aboard the 106' Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.
The Clearwater will be docked and open to visitors. Light hors d'oeuvres & beverages provided.
Info: 845-338-0071 ext. 10
Purchase tickets directly at the museum gift shop,
Concert Ticket Price: $20
*All proceeds will benefit the Hudson River Maritime Museum and help build a strong partnership in education with the Clearwater.
Every Sunday Farmers Market
at the Beacon Waterfront 10-4pm
All Local Hudson Valley Products
Sprout Creek Farm Cheeses
(Toussaint and Ouray Cheese)
Fresh made Lamb, Mushroom Spring Rolls
Fresh Made Pasta
Mario’s Brick Oven Bread
Mary Finger Organic Free Range Eggs
Special Large Quantity orders call 845-562-0192
!!! Notice !!!
The Sloop Club has installed an alarm system to protect the Woody and the Club House.
Everybody who needs access to the Club House and the Club’s Boats will need to get a code to disarm the security system.
The locks on the Sloop Club have also been changed to prevent members from entering the Club House, without a code, and setting off the alarm!
Contact Tom LaBarr to get your access code and key. You will also be given instruction on disarming and arming the security system.
Nautical Word of the Month
Last month’s word challenge: Heave and A-Weigh - Signifies that the next effort will start the anchor from its bed, and make it a-trip. "Heave and a-weigh, sir, from the forecastle, denotes that the anchor is a-weigh; it inspirits the men to run it to the bows rapidly. Heave and In Sight - A notice given by the boatswain to the crew when the anchor is drawn up so near the surface of the water as to be seen by its muddy water surrounding it. Heave and Rally - An encouraging order to the men at the capstan to heave with spirit, with a rush, and thereby force the anchor out of the ground. When there is a rising sea "heave and rally implies, "heave and stand to your bars, the pauls taking the strain, and the next wave probably lifting the anchor. Heave Short - to heave in on the cable until the vessel is nearly over her anchor, or sufficiently near it for sail being made before the anchor is tripped. Short, is when the fore-stay and cable are in line.
Next month’s word challenges: Current & Current Sailing
From "The Sailor’s Word-Book: An Alphabetical Digest of Nautical Terms, by Admiral W. H. Smyth, 1867.
Submitted by Tom LaBarr
Environmental Education/Action Report
We are re-forming the Environmental Education Committee. We would like to have at least one member from each Woody crew to help. These environmental educators would seine for fish and display them in the Sloop Club’s large aquarium. The educators would then use the "fish key to help the guest identify the types of fish in the tank. They will also use the plankton tow to catch plankton and other small river life. These would then be placed in a small shallow pan for children young and old to capture with an eye-dropper to inspected and identify under a microscope. This is a way to introduce and educate our guests to river life. Steve Animerva & Ed Fitzgerald have already volunteered. Would any body else like to help? New ideas are welcome.
There will be a meeting Friday, September 15 at 18:00 (6:00pm). We will take an inventory of what we have and discuss what we need to order. If you need more info please call Tom LaBarr at 831-4267.
Beacon Sloop Club Minutes, August 4, 2006
Phyllis Newham, President, presiding.
Opening Songs - Sue Altkin, Ingrid Heldt, Kurt Hausk, Pete Seeger, and Michael Scolnick led several songs before the meeting began.
Sloop Woody Guthrie - Kip Touraine, Tom Baldino & Tom LaBarr: 1. Fire & Security. There had been a fire set in a plastic bucket in the Woody, as reported in the Times Herald Record. Luckily, Tom Baldino found it smoldering and put it out. It caused a little damage to the deck holes and frame, but not enough to meet the insurance deductible. An Alarm system will be installed on the boat shortly, including a high water sensor and other security measures. Quotes were obtained and options are being reviewed. Our insurance premium should decrease once the system is installed. 2. Advertise Sailing & BSC. Gigi & Steve made posters advertising sailing and the BSC, which will be put on the Ferry, the Kiosk at the riverfront, and at the Metro North Train Station. The Farmers Market will help in promoting this. Phyllis is working on a small brochure to be handed out at festivals. 3. Woody Sails. Guests have been out on the Woody four nights a week. The Woody has been invited to do guest sails in Garrison. It will take guests out at the Corn Festival. 4. Raffle. Raffle tickets are now being sold at $5.00 each for a chance to win a gourmet dinner for 6 on the Woody for 10/7/06. The drawing will be held on 9/26/06. 5. Environmental Education/Action Committee. Tom LaBarr would like to re-form the Committee with a member from each crew. These environmental crew members of the Woody would catch fish for display and present other river life to educate those who visit the Woody. Steve Animerva & Ed Fitzgerald volunteered.
Harbor - Tom LaBarr reported that he attended a planning meeting regarding Beacon Harbor. Numerous plans for the harbor are under consideration. The BSC and its needs should be considered in the plans. He stated that the BSC was being considered for the position of Harbor Master.
Building - 1. Submurged Mower. A lawnmower (lent to BSC by Mark McCarroll) was taken from the side of the BSC by vandals and pushed into the river. The tides caused it to become stuck under the dock. The mower was retrieved by BSC members and Mark says it still works! 2. Thanks to Volunteers. Sue Altkin thanked: Lou Sebesta & his volunteers for cutting firewood; Ron Bel for his help in building maintenance; David Eberle for putting an extension over the roof of the multrum supply cabinet & Pete Seeger for purchasing a lock for it; Pete’s friend for the fish plaques that adorn the south side of the building & Mike Sherker for hanging them. 3. Floor. Sue reminded us that the clubhouse floor will be painted. The Gunk Swab Concrete Cleaner discussed at the July meeting will not be used to clean the floor due to environmental concerns. The floor will be power washed instead.
Newletter - Tom LaBarr asked for help in printing the newsletter. Vane Loshua volunteered to help with printing. Tom also reported that Linda Beatty will be putting together the newsletter starting in September. All articles & items to be submitted for the September monthly newsletter should be e-mailed as an attachment in Microsoft Word to Linda Beatty at firstname.lastname@example.org . Thanks to Joyce Hanson for all her work on the newsletter.
River Swim/River Pool at Beacon - Allan Zollner & Cindy Cowden reported. 1. Prototype. A Weed Wallow took place on 7/23/06 and many water chestnuts were pulled from the water at the north end of Riverfront Park, so the prototype could be installed. The cement pad was poured and the floor is coming soon. Anchors have already been installed. The prototype should be installed this month. 2. River Swim. The 3rd Annual Great Hudson River Swim was held on 7/30/06. It was a huge success with 157 swimmers. Thanks to the swimmers, the 54 kayakers, the Woody Guthrie and its captain & crew, the Police Boats, the Coast Guard, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the Newburgh Fire & Departments, etc. Thanks also to the BSC and the landlubbers who set up tables and volunteered to help.
Treasury - Jim Finnigan asked that you please refer to the report in the newsletter for account balances. There was no income and $300 was spent.
Corn Festival - Mike Sherker said additional volunteers are needed for the 8/13/06 event. A meeting will be held on 8/7/06 at the BSC for additional planning.
Clearwater Sail for BSC members - On 8/18/06, the Clearwater will sail out of Waryas Park in Poughkeepsie at precisely 6pm and return at 9pm, carrying aboard members of the BSC. Please be ready to board at 5:30 p.m. Bring something to share for dinner. No hard alcohol or dogs allowed. This is a free sail and for members only. While all the spaces for this sale are taken, you can call Dona Crawford at 845-657-8880 to see if there are any alternate slots available.
Nominating/Search Committee - Phyllis Newham announced the formation of a nominating/search committee to seek nominees for this year’s election. The committee members will name their own chairperson. The following individuals volunteered: Mike Sherker, Claudine Craig, Sue Altkin, Steve Anamerva, David Eberle, and Karen Flaherty. It was suggested that Connie Hogarth and Nate Binzen be contacted to see if they would also serve on this committee.
Proposed Changes to the By-Laws - 1. Executive Board Action. The Executive Board held a workshop meeting where both the current bylaws and the proposed changes were carefully reviewed. No vote or action was taken at that meeting. The Executive Board also met at their regular executive meeting on 7/25/06 and raised the issue of the proposed changes during a full agenda. A vote was taken and all of the proposed changes were rejected. 2. Resolution. The Executive Board passed the following resolution, which was read at the general membership meeting: "Now be it resolved that the Executive Board of the Beacon Sloop Club will work in good faith and in a spirit of cooperation with the Beacon Sloop Club membership in order to address all issues and concerns addressed by the membership. 3. Publication of proposed changes. A letter was read that was signed by several of the club’s members, requesting that the proposed changes be printed in the club newsletter. Michelle Marcus stated that while she was for publication of the changes, she objected to letter’s language that accused the board of holding a secret meeting, as the workshop meeting was open and was not made a secret. Claudine Craig moved to, "put the proposed bylaws changes that were presented to the Executive Committee into the newsletter. Polly Armour seconded the motion. There was much discussion on the subject, as some said it would be too costly and others said they wanted to view the changes. A vote was taken and the motion passed by an obvious show of more hands in favor. Allan Zollner then moved that the Bylaws Committee provide a statement on why they made their proposals and that the Executive Board provide a statement on why the changes were rejected. There was a lively and lengthy discussion on this motion with many opinions expressed. Someone asked that the question be called for a vote, but Mr. Zollner decided to withdraw his motion in light of the discussion. 4. Additional Amendments. Someone asked if amendments could still be proposed to the bylaws. The answer was yes, as the Club’s bylaws provide that amendments to the bylaws may be proposed by petition of any 10 members of the Beacon Sloop Club or any three members of the Board of Directors (Executive Board).
Trash - All refuse must be taken out of/away from the BSC building after the meeting ends, for recycling and trash.
Announcements - 1. Coordinator needed for Spirit of Beacon Day. This will take place on Sunday 9/24/06 (rain date a week later). Volunteers were needed to help and especially to coordinate the BSC’s participation in this event. We will have a booth and/or participate in the parade. Mary Schmalz volunteered to help, but not to coordinate. Mike McCarroll also said he=d help. Pete Seeger will get folks to come to a meeting to set this up. 2. Hudson River Ramble - Mary Schmalz says that the BSC=s participation in this event will take place on 9/17/06 (rain date 9/23/06). The Woody will be taking guests out from 10am to 4pm. Other events in the ramble include the Madam Brett walk on 9/16/06 from 10am to 1pm and the Mount Beacon hike on 9/23/06 from 10am to 4pm. 3. Fire Tower. Lou Sebesta said that action is taking place on the refurbishing of the tower. T-shirts are being sold to raise funds.
- Reported by Michelle S. Marcus (there was much to cover, sorry for the length).
30 Years Of Beacon Sloop Club Memory’s (By: Richard; July 06)
The Beacon Sloop Club is an important Hudson Valley Community asset, which I first visited in 1976. The tides in the circle of my life would bring me (a land-locked land-lobber) back many times. My most recent visit back to the Beacon Sloop Club was in July of 06. I noticed that I had a different perspective on life today then I did 30 years earlier when I first visited our club. I also noticed that the world changed a lot as well.
They say, "ignorance is bliss, but even for the informed back in 1976 it was a happy time. There seemed to be few problems in our national community and the world problems both political and economic such as world hunger were very well hidden from most of us (by the limited access to just a few channels of mass media at the time.) The Vietnam War, which started because of the terrible Tonkin Gulf Episode (that some said was manufactured like Pearl Harbor was before that and like the manufactured 911 events more recently). Whatever the legitimacy of the cause the Vietnam War, it was over and that meant that the parade of many recent high school graduates being reported in the local newspaper as coming home in body bags after being killed in the unjust war for Tungsten and Corporate Profits every other month stopped as well. By the skin of my teeth (about four days), I did not get drafted, and our civilized world felt more fair and just and secure.
Today it is frowned upon for anyone to question the validity of war, or to question the definition of victory, or to question if the war costs too much in terms of lives, or in ambassador good will, or in terms of monetary loans and commitment on our children’s future of over 500 billion dollars. In contrast at that time in 1976 there was a general optimism that we, each of us, could contribute to the democratic system that we had. That in turn, contributed to a general sense of fairness and security and the world was generally perceived of as a fair place to live in. You could pick out things that were in need of fixing and help to fix them.
In my first year of college at Orange County Community College (now Suny Orange) in land-locked Middletown, I had met several people and one of them was Dave D. who had grown up in the McQuade Orphanage in New Windsor NY. He told me about the Beacon Sloop Club (which apparently had done out reach there at McQuade’s.) And he told me that the club was a fun and happy place where you could learn to sail for free, you could help out on the less than ten year old Clearwater Sloop to clean up the Hudson River and some times Pete Seeger showed up. Pete who? I responded. "Pete Seeger, he is a songwriter and activist who wrote a lot of songs Dave retorted. Then Dave read off a list of songs that Pete had written. It was the days of 8-Track players but I had few 8 Tracks so I checked my small vinyl album collection to find that I had The Byrd’s version of "A Time To Every Purpose "which apparently Pete arranged while inspired from Ecclesiastes found in the Torah. (And I found that I had an album of greatest hits, which included Pete himself singing Guantanamera, a beautifully emotional song in Spanish, which was a language that I did not understand at the time. I had heard of a few of his other songs, while there were others that I had not heard of but which sounded very interesting from the title. In addition to the musical interest, I had seen open slicks of oily pollution on the Hudson River from the Tapan Zee Bridge since I was about 9 years old, on that river that my family enjoyed so much and it needed some cleaning up badly. So on the next "first Friday of the month", despite the expensive 45-cent a gallon cost of gasoline; Dave and I drove over to the club meeting in Beacon.
I had fun at the meeting and the famous 50’s-year young Pete was there. I would get membership in Clearwater and the Beacon Sloop Club a little bit blurred as I signed up for some sailing classes, I got volunteered to help with some things like dock work and raking and stuff like that around the club house on the next couple of Saturdays. And so I got pretty close pretty quick. To my surprise the Clearwater Sloop was not moored there in Beacon but Pete who I had seen at the meeting was at the work party. He seemed like a good guy and I got to talk with him. I got to see first hand how clever he was and experience his charisma. At one point in the midst of our work Pete quoted me some very relevant Thoreau by title and verse, I responded as a smart-alecky teen with the only Thoreau that I knew, "Details details details we fill our lives with details". Later that same day we had to inspect the then new Clivus Multrim toilet system. We were amazed that the waste came out not smelling of shet (human manure). Eventually while at the club over the many months I would hear lots of other clever songs. Many times when we volunteered some work around the club Pete would buy us a can of soda. There was a commercial song that had been being advertised on TV in the 1970’s about buying the world a certain kind of caffeine filled soda and teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony and all that. It seemed appropriate for Pete to be buying us soda and teaching us to sing along. I also realized that other people’s songs might affect even a musician-singer. Unfortunately for this memory, every time that Pete asked us what kind of soda we would like him to get for us, I always chose the non-caffeinated one. They did not have caffeine free cola in those days.
Well I would acquire books and albums of and about Pete and the Clearwater from a variety of sources beginning with the most traditional corporate chains stores to the temporary flee markets. I heard and liked many of the clever songs that inspired you and helped you to exercise your mind. One of the more influential of Pete’s songs on me was "Little Boxes". I thought not only ugly little ticky-tacky houses but ugly little tacky limited boxes that we think in as well. By this time (when I was 18) there were a lot of people competiting for my thoughts; those for the ended war, against future wars, for God, against God, no God, left politics, right politics, be an individualist, be a collectivist, look for a better world, make the world better, forget about a better world just make your life better, and so forth and so on. There is a line in the song that goes something like "we all get put into little boxes and they all look just the same". That line some how made me think that I would be destined to be stuck into some type of cookie cutter box, either be a pro-military republican, an anti-military republican, a democrat, a communist, a fascist, a Moonie, a Baptist, an atheist or, or, or. It was as if I was warned that I might have to live my life locked into the perspective of one of those boxed up mindsets making judgments without all the information. But having been warned of the likely fait of most young Americans like my self, I was thusly allowed to choose to avoid such a fait. Because of that song, I was able to choose an alternative, and to be a bit more of a thoughtful a gas station off the beaten path I was connected to the rest of the world. And then I considered the many people who I did not know but who have heard some of Pete’s inspirational music by just walking into this out of the way land locked gasoline station so far away from the Hudson River, which I was born on.
I didn’t stay in that job long, I soon got a job in an ecology unit on the Hudson River and had a lot of personal solo experience with our river, seeing flocks of wild swan, unique boats and trains in transit, unique drift wood, perceiving the ebbs and flows of the tides. But this dream job was received during the time of Reganomics, and Ronald soon closed the ecological facility as unnecessary and I would get another job far from the river and use it to support my new dairy goat farm.
It was at about that time that I was offered an opportunity, by a conservative group, to go down to the Dominican Republic to give out Spanish Bibles so I learned level 1.5 Spanish and went. That was an eye opening experience to see such a third world country, a large community of mostly pleasant people, so close to home, who were both very poor and whose culture also was not entirely destroyed by mass media (because the many rural towns had little access to mass media) and so their own cultural memories, accents, and styles of songs (styles of meringue most notably) were less polluted by the larger world culture.
I would bring home an island gal as spouse for a few years, my Friday nights were now commited and I was obligated to another responsibility (except in July and August) and we did go to but a few BSC meetings. When we would soon thereafter get a 28 foot fiberglass sail boat, we would try to moor it at the sloop club but as it turned out, we could only moor it at a club on the west side of the river two miles north of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge. Now mean while my grandmother was a sweet old Kulak farmer descendent who had moved to the newly acquired family store on the Newburgh waterfront from her birthplace in Massachusetts when she was in second grade. She lived close to Newburgh for the rest of her life until age 87. All my life she had instilled a love of Newburgh, the people of Newburgh and the Hudson River within me. She told me stories of her youth when she with my great uncles and aunts would go skating on the river in the winter, walk across to Beacon, bounce on icebergs and hop from iceberg to iceberg in the early spring, in the good weather she and her brothers would some times skip going to church and instead take the nickel for the offering and use it to cross to Beacon in the ferry boat. Her husband had many stories of the Hudson River; as a child he enjoyed swimming with other children to the tourist boats and catching the coins that the tourist would throw to them. It was not only coins that he would catch, he enjoyed catching fish in the river as supplemental food to feed the family he grew out of and then later feeding the family he started with similar fish from the Hudson River. Grandmother was so ecology minded in the old time sense of the word that she would not flush the toilet but twice a day and she would wash out her tin cans and cut both sides of the cans off before she put them in the recycle bin. She made over a thousand dollars bringing old newspapers to the caboose recycle center at Newburgh’s junior high school. She didn’t just talk about river memories she took us to see the sunset on the Hudson River especially in the autumn. She was a dear woman and not the kind of woman you would want to see upset. But my grand mother had not been happy that I took sailing lessons since I first began back in 1976, it was not until after we got the boat on the river that I learned the reason, that she had had a serious boyfriend in her youth who was supposed to meet her at the Trading Post in Fort Montgomery NY, but who stood her up and she found out the next day that he had died, drowned in the Hudson river, hit hard in his head by the boom of a small sailboat not to far from Newburgh, NY. It might have been helpful if she had told us this before we bought the boat. Every time that we went out for a sail she worried. But it was not a wild boom that would hurt us; the sailboat was in fact a good and bad experience. It was one experience that cost a lot of money (as sailboats don’t nickel and dime you to death they $50 and $100 dollar you to death.) I sold the boat after a year and a half. With a plan to replace the big sailboat with a more manageable fleet of smaller boats: a small rowboat, a canoe and a sunfish; a plan that is two thirds completed.
I would have a few opportunities to share the idea of ecology. The most significant was with Pete Rassemusen who unfortunately passed on before it could be fully instituted in his business. However the new owners of his business seem to have been influenced strongly by Pete Rassemusen’s ecological view.
I remember a situation of syncopated timing in the autumn of 2001 I went to a "moving sale which was across from Downey Park in Newburgh NY. There was a guy moving from there and he had a table for sale in his moving sale. It was a good practical wooden table. I had shopped for such a table for several months prior to that but in a situation of bad timing I had settled for one not as nice and not as historic as this moving sale table. You see this table was the very same table that many of the Clearwater Sloop founders sat around for many hours for many nights back in the 1960’s. Pete, Arlo, and many of the other founders had worked there. If I had had a place I could have stored it, and a way to move it to my home far away. I would likely have bought it but I just did not have the space and the table was likely sold to some one who did not appreciate it as much as I would have.
In those days I was still going to the Great Hudson River Revival religiously and taking a picture or two of Pete and Toshi and I got some interesting pictures of changes over the years. I think it was the first year that it got back to the Croton Point Park location for the revival (when the pollution seepage went away) that a situation of perfect timing occurred. I had just been at the revival a few minutes when I met a gal from Newburgh who was in the club booth and who was charged with finding a mooring bobber for the club. No sooner did she put up the index card at the club booth asking for it then I walked by and offered mine. She accepted graciously in exchange for a tax-deductible receipt.
By now Pete’s music was heard on much more of a variety of radio stations and even the New York Times classical WQXR station out of NY City. The Clearwater message was getting around as well. There were other groups emulating the "Clean The River efforts for other rivers in need of cleaning also. Local cable shows like On The River, and River Keepers were getting a lot of "clean our environment message out. Businesses began to realize that it makes good economic sense to not pollute our part of the world.
Very important is the fact that the river no longer showed the visible signs of pollution, the slime of oil paints slicks on the river, long globs of a paint spills floating on the river which I saw as a youth from the Tappan Zee bridge in 1960 s was now after all the efforts of so many people, now a rare sight. And that impressed me as much as the yelky goo I had seen in the Hudson River years earlier
The Beacon Sloop club was one of the big influences in the Hudson Valley community that promoted the better world. I hope that when we are each away from the club (for what ever reason), I hope we are still supporting our important causes such as, world peace, torture reform (with efforts like those of Amnesty International), cultural tolerance and respect of our differences which fit together like puzzle to make a wonderful overall picture; ending the war (most people who are for and who are against the war, want to end it one way or another- with the exception of the people who are making millions of dollars each day that it goes on), keeping the environment well, promoting environmental health and personal health, looking at manmade and natural contributions to global warming, keeping our environment clean- working to eliminate radio active waste, such as in the form of depleted uranium, being used in our military bombs shell material; encourage the resealing of the leaking concrete Chernobyl Nuclear power plant seal while it is not as difficult a thing to do, work to encourage projects such at the Middletown and NJ Railway, where Chartwell, the new owners hope to recycling on a bulk level, in a clean and responsible way, but who in exchange for such high hopes are being treated like idiot foreigners by the "good old boys network that has thrived there for the last couple of decades. There is a lot we must do, and a lot that we can do. Singing about our better world while we are away is important, and while we are away from our support groups like the Beacon Sloop club, finding alliances in our mission to make the world a better place is important too.
I find that it is so important for us to find other support groups if we are to achieve our noble goals. As I shared with you above, many of the things that I learned are lessons from both sides of the center of politics - like that musical variance on both sides of middle C on the piano; combining those variations produces a great overall symphony. We might compare this interaction idea to the interaction of the forces of sailing a boat. A boat floating on water seems to defy physics when the force of the drag, pit against the thrust of the sail and/or the wind lift of the sail the boat moves in the water. This general interaction can cause the boat to move but skillfully done can produce movement faster that the wind. It is clear to me that politically there is justice and just causes on both sides of the center. Selfishness and sabotage-motivated people are on both sides of the political center as well and civilized interaction between them can bring forth something greater than the sum of the parts. - The Beacon Sloop Club was and is very important for me and furthermore for the rest of our Hudson Valley community as one place where some of this important vital awe-inspiring interaction can occur. Personally it allowed me to know about the box that my mind was stuck in and to expand my thinking. The sloop club helped me to be an independent thinker and to understand a lot of things from a variety of perspectives, an opportunity that not many people have had the chance to experience. In the Hudson valley I found other groups that helped me to expand my thinking, the Beacons Sloop Club, the Church at Crawford New York, the New Paltz Friends, Pine Bush Friends, the NAORA, Amnesty International, and others which prepared me to visit other places in our world such as: Dominican Republic, Japan, Ukraine, Germany, as well as other places in our USA. This is what it finally took for me to get out of the little box that I would have other wise been locked into.
As the late folk singer Harry Chapin once sung to me at a concert in Poughkeepsie, "all life is a circle- sun up to sun down thirty years after I had first stepped into the Beacon Sloop clubs club house, which is just a short hop across the river from St Luke’s Hospital where I was born, I would find my self returning with my children on my important missions; to see if a tree still grew in the club house, and to see what changes there were in the sloop club and to introduce my children to a part of what made me what I am. I hoped it would help my children to see the influence of the Beacon sloop club on me since I am a big influence on them. I had hoped to introduce my children to their long lost extended family of sorts. Yes there I was back to the sloop club in July 06 on my important mission to see what changes there were in the sloop club but instead I would see more of the changes that had been made in me since I first came here back in 1976. Then you could feel good about every day life in our country. But in our current 2006 dark times, it is clear even on the very biased mainstream media such as CNN news that there is a lot of suffering around, graphic photos of wounded innocents of war and friendly fire, and others. The New York Times bestseller books like; Reed and Cummings; Compromised, Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man, Nasa, Nazis and JFK from Adventures Unlimited Press and a few others reveal why countries like The Dominican Republic and Venezuela and in fact most of the Central and South American countries are third world countries. And these writings, when combined with articles by Gary Null and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. imply that the greedy selfish self absorbed shortsighted "powers to be are getting ready to use the techniques, which they used on third world countries to make our country into a third world country or worse a fascist dictatorship (as if they don’t realize that as they sabotage us and our democratic process, they also sabotage themselves and their own family’s future.) Now 30 years later, I see that our community does not have the same sense of a good feeling of security and fairness, we don’t have the same optimistic hope for the future, there is real unnecessary sufferings by the many people around us at home who are suffering; gasoline being over $3.00 a gallon while the Teslamotors.com car (designed in the 1920’s) costs over $80,000; transportation has become an over burden on the average family, price of food, rent and everyday living continues to skyrocket, while wages remain generally frozen below the cost of living, and all this while good paying jobs are going south faster than leaves falling off trees in the autumn wind. We see a few bad motivated people who have penetrated our democracy and who are exploiting the tragic 911 event (that they appear to have caused or allowed to happen in the spirit of Ralph Epperson’s, The Unseen Hand), as an excuse to be spying on our emails and eaves dropping on our phone calls. In 2005 they denighed that it happened. When it was proved that it is happening then it was declared by our elected political leaders to be legal - duh! The corporate owned and censored media (especially but not exclusively Fox Channel) doesn’t give much information on the other two sides of the coin in most presentations of most important discussions. Changes in our laws are being rushed through our Senate and our Congress; the Patriot Act seems to want to make it illegal to criticize our government (just like the first patriot laws back in the Stonewall Jackson era). Meanwhile strange, twisted and unjust laws are allowing politicians to use federal funds to promote political candidates who are little more that their lackeys whom they raise campaign funds for with our federal tax dollars, while the protestors outside these events are not even allowed their right to free speech and are unjustly detained and arrested. Those of us who want to try to make the world a better place could soon be in danger of legal punishment for constructive criticism. It is getting so bad that we can’t take any long bus or train ride with out showing "your papers"; like some nightmare out of a trite Combat TV series episode but which is now happening in our United States community. You can’t drive through a toll without a computer camera watching you, photo graphing your license plate, reading your license plate, and keeping track of you.
Yes I brought my children back to the Beacon Sloop Club and then I further realized that the "better world"(not open drug gang warfare in our neighborhoods or a fascist totalitarian government) will need to be wanted by my children and the rest of the next generation or it is not worth investing our time in, for what good is it if we sing and do things to make the world a better place but the next generation doesn’t want it? And while that root of that important discovery exists, there are many strange new songs and ideas and politics, which are competing for the future thoughts of the next generation. They need to see the important contribution of groups like the Sloop Club to our better future world vision.
Historically Mount Beacon is rich in revolutionary history. Earlier settlers of Beacon had fought unjust oppression in the lives of those early American ancestors of ours, specifically on the summit of the Fishkill Mountains which was used as a place to signal our fellow Americans of the invasion of the tyrannical forces (of England). In the midst of many obvious (and many not so obvious) negative political changes in our world - there is some small hope. On a personal level that last night that I visited, Pete came through and helped my children and others who were there that night to begin to get involved and singing. Hope exists that despite the high price of gasoline we all will come out and support groups like the Beacon Sloop Club, which are a great place to interact in a catalyst way to get millions of others involved and singing about making our world a better place for the democratic majority of people despite the tyrannical forces that would impose their cookie cutter boxed up thinking patterns upon us. There seems to be a lot of fun, challenging, work ahead of us in that process.
The exclusive rights to print this essay are given to the Beacon Sloop Club in July of 2006, but the author Reserves the right to re-publish this essay at a later time.
Public Sails on the Woody
There is a different Captain and crew for each weekday night the Woody sails. If you want to become a crew member, schedule a ride on the Woody by calling Susan Berliner at 845-297-7697 and speak to the Captain while on board. You don't need to have any sailing experience, just come down and have some fun learning about the sloop, sailing and enjoying the beautiful Hudson River. Monday Night: Captain Kip, Tuesday Night: Captain Patrick, Wednesday Night: Captain Tom B., Thursday Night: Captain Tom L.Friday Night: Captain Ben.