Labels: pHOTO:mARIANA rOTHEN
A few columns back i mentioned I had only been arrested once. Well, that's not quite true. I should have noted that I only spent one night in jail in my life. I have, in fact, been arrested three times. The first was that time in Tenn. for not wearing a helmet. The next time was in Montgomery, NY. Mistaken as "the mad bomber", I was manhandled (as well as womanhandled) by a bunch of cops who thought my mouthing off, after being asked for ID, was direct evidence of me being someone who would place a threatening phone call to the local bar. I have always been a proponent of "stand your ground" when it comes to dealing with John Law. A disorderly conduct charge was eventually administered by the court for saying "Fuck You." to a cop. "$40. Pay the clerk." I'm guilty of being an asshole. My third arrest was for marijuana and LSD in Rockland County, NY. This one gave me a taste of what it's like to be in the system.
Summer's almost over. The more distressed branches of the maple trees are starting to turn red and every day there are fewer mini-vans on the road. Time to hit Staples and load up on pens and notebooks. Before you know it the kids will be back in school, the bucks will be shedding their velvet and searching out a doe in estrus. My bow is ready. In the larger universe the march on Washington celebrated it's 50th and the Syrian Government has just dropped chemical gas on its own people. But what is everyone talking about? All grown-up tweenie star Miley Cyrus' VMA performance during their lame-o awards ceremony. Elbows are akimbo.
Labels: pHOTO:r. KERN
Nothing like a weekend at Wolf Lake to lower the blood pressure and refresh the soul. The occasion was my 71st birthday. The weather cooperated and the party was well attended by friends and family. Surprise visits from Ct. brother Smokey and old friend PAPER publishing magnate DH and fam. rounded out the usual suspects and supermodels. Shewho was the consummate hostess, Mupp and Ginger (always invite the owners) the gracious landlords, and even Teehoo showed up (as herself) for the Q and beer. The gift theme was books and booze. I'm a lucky man to have the time to read, as well as the constitution to drink. Sometimes I can do both simultaneously. Theology and bourbon go very well together. But none of this is what I want to talk about. I want to discuss the upcoming referendum on Casino gaming in NYS. Couldn't you see that coming?
A day after receiving a 35 year sentence for espionage from a U.S. Military tribunal, Army Private Bradley Manning announced today that he now thinks of himself as a she, and wants to be referred to as "Chelsea". KK. No problem. To say this kid has issues is an understatement. Here he....I mean she... is facing a long stretch in Federal prison and what's his first act as a convicted felon? Sexual identity switcheroo. Does this make him a WAC? Is it like ordering kosher on an airplane in order to get a better meal? Will he go to a women's prison? So many questions.
I graduated high school in 1970. As a male, you had two choices back then- army or college. The Vietnam war was still raging and my draft lottery # was 33. I picked higher education. I hated the regimental, institutionalization of secondary school, but the prospect of having my head shaved and dropped into the middle of some jungle, half a world away, while being handed an AR-15 and ordered to kill someone....well the choice seemed obvious. I put three years in at three different colleges, dropping out when Nixon ordered the end to the draft. Four years of marriage and the work-a-day world led me right back to college. This time I loved it. Nothing like work and a wife to turn you into a scholar.
As you all know, i don't have kids. I have cats and surrogates. Both the cats and the surrogate children are dealt with in similar ways. If it's really cold out I'll let them in the house. Otherwise they are on their own. I feed them when they bitch enough and my lap is always open for a short visit, providing they don't scratch or drool too much. These surrogates can be related or not. I feel the same about all of them- Swifty, Skype, Mathew, Lil Bobby, Tristan Epic, Wheels Budde, Junebug Caprice, Lucas Diamond, Ooo-la-la Short, etc., etc. There are too many to mention. They are all great kids. But I must admit, because Shewho is my sole heir, Teehoo is just a titch closer to my heart. She'll eventually get all my firearms.
Labels: pHOTO:r. KERN
I've been coming to Sullivan County since I was a baby. My grandfather built a little two story shack on Wolf Lake in the 40's and 50's. In the 60's my old man bought it and made it ours. And recently my brother Mupp and wife Ginger bought it. I still have (as of this writing) visiting privileges. Legend has it my grandfather had the choice of a new Plymouth or the property. His decision changed all our lives. The experience of having a lake house you can chill at all your life is immeasurable in monetary terms. It is also the reason I live in Sullivan County today. Chances are without Wolf Lake I never would've found the church..... and none of you would've burned a dollar bill.
My old man was always known as Dick "Ostie" Osterhout. Being the eldest male in my family, I took on the moniker of Ostie very young in life. My nephews Brian and Isaac also carry the nickname. Back in the seventies when pop culture started putting letters and images on everything, the Old Man decided it would be cool to put "Ostie" on hats, t-shirts and whatever else the local mall outlet could emblazon. Most of us thought it was pretty lame, and were embarrassed to wear the goofy stuff in public. But, then, as the years went by, it seemed sort of sweet to rock the Ostie wear. I gave a bunch of mine to Teehoo, who had her yearbook photo taken wearing the Ostie frock. All of the sudden it was cool to be an Ostie.
It took me a while to embrace Google. It all seemed a bit too easy, a little like Cliff Notes- those ubiquitous yellow and black classic cheaters of my youth. Did I really want to make life that easy? The short answer- yes. The library at your finger tips that is Google is now part of my every day internet activity. I'm not supposed to tell anyone that I received a National Security Letter (not even my lawyer), so I won't. Google it and find out why. You can't tell the future with it....yet, but almost everything else is possible.
You'd be amazed at how little of a plan i have as I plod through life. A friend just turned 30. I asked him if he was where he'd thought he'd be at his age? "More money and maybe a relationship....." he answered, but then confessed that he had to admit he wasn't doing too bad. I had to try hard to remember my 30th. After some doing I recollected that I was visiting from Cali, with a 19 year old beauty on my arm and a plan to take the NY art world by storm. I'm still friends with the 19 (now ? year old). NYC did not treat me as well, refusing to bow before my genius. So much for plans.
Labels: PHOTO:© GEORGE HOLZ
For those of my readers who don't already know this, we live in the largest concentration of Hasidim outside of Williamsburg. It's been that way for quite sometime. Because having kids is an intregal part of that culture, this population will only grow. For many non-Hasidim in this county, this is a source of constant irritation. As far as I'm concerned the only ones that have an innate right to reside here are the Leni Lanape Indians. Try finding one of those. So as the newly bearded hipsters drive up the real estate values in Brooklyn, and follow the old bearded ultra-orthodox up the Thruway in search of that dream bungalow for their "practice" in the Catskills, I ponder which is worse?
Since Shewho has moved up to the mountains full time, my sched. has become one of a commuter's. I work on whatever project i have going on here at my house and around 5pm get in the truck and head for WSSP, for cocktails on the back deck and a nice dinner with the "old lady". My fears of neurotically acting out, at my girlfriend being within 20 miles of my front door, seem to be unwarranted. Everything is going swimmingly....that is until the other night.
A recent ruling by the high court of the state of NY asserts that calling someone "Gay" can no longer be considered as a crime of defamation. For years calling someone a "fag" was right up there with "unchaste", "criminal" and "disease ridden" in the court's eyes. The finding in a recent case in which a man sued a woman for spreading the rumor that he was gay, in an attempt to get his girlfriend to leave him, stated that what with all the recent strides in gay rights, the term "Gay" could no longer be considered derogatory. To be Gay is to be just as wonderful (or as fucked up) as the rest of us. If my girlfriend had ever paid attention to all the gay rumors surrounding my "Gay Church" and questionable life style, she would've left years ago. I take that back. Come to think of it she's been gaying me up for years. "OK, I'll wear that shirt, but NO "cack" please. Thank you."