Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tonight on WIOX, Catskills Food Ways

For Catskills Folk's  third weekly show in a row, tonight August 23 at 7 pm, Ginny Scheer will present a program about traditional foods in the Catskills on WIOX 91.3 FM and wioxradio.org.  The focus this time will be on a series of recipes Ginny collected in the 1970s when she first moved to the Catskills, including pickles fermented in a crock and meat brined in a crock before smoking.  There will also be family and community recipes for more pickles, plum ketchup, suet pudding, and chokecherry jelly.   Future Catskills Folk programs on the food ways theme will include woodland plants used for food, traditional dishes derived from dairying and recipes centered on the production of cole crops, especially cauliflower. Please join Ginny for these radio programs and call or write with traitional family recipes you would like to share: vscheer@juno.com or 607-746-3521.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

On WIOX Tonight, 2 Hours of Catskills Folk

In a special two hour Catskills Folk starting at 6 pm August 16, Ginny Scheer will host a two-part program, first about a folk artist from an upcoming exhibit and second the final part of a previous program on tourism in the Catskills.

Last week Ginny discussed the work of Nellie Bly Ballard, a folk artist from the mid-20th century who painted landscapes from around Roxbury, NY (see blog article below).  Ballard will join this
week's featured artist, Don Strausser, in an exhibit created by Catskills Folk Connection called "Growing Up to Bush."  It will be on display from October 1 through November 5 in the Walt Meade Gallery at the Roxbury Arts Group, Roxbury, NY.  

Hilt Kelly and the Sidekicks at the Halcott Grange, with guest fiddler Henry Hermann.
  Don Strausser is on the far left.

You may recognize Don Strausser's name from his career in music as lead guitar in Hilt Kelly's square dance band, the Sidekicks.  Many do no know, however, that Don's talented fingers on the guitar could also wield a paint brush.  Until a few years ago when his eyesight began to weaken, Don painted favorite original scenes from his area of Greene County, near Lexington, and favorite views from magazines and other publicaitons.  What makes all these paintings unique is that they are painted on a variety of materials: slate, household objects like an ironing board, tools such as saws, as well as canvas board.  Perhaps the rarest of 'canvasses' for his art are the huge shelf fungi Don found on his travels in the woods.  On these he painted scenes or carved line drawings on the velvet side of ther fungus.       .

This blog's Gallery contains a good selection of Don's work, as well as a photo of Don at a music workshop.

Join Ginny tonight at 6 pm  on the air at WIOX 91.3 FM or streaing live at wioxradio.org to learn more about Don's painting in his own words, and to hear about Ginny's research about farm boarding houses and other forms of tourism in the 20th century Catskills.
Hubbell Farm Boarding House, Bragg Hollow
Hewitt's Crystal Spring Farm, Denver, NY

August 28 Is Next Catskills Folk Connection Square Dance



Catskills Folk Connection's monthly square dance will take place Sunday, August 28 from 1-4 pm at the Bovina Community Hall, 1866 County Route 6, Bovina, NY.

The Tremperskill Boys will provide old-fashioned Catskills dance tunes for their regular caller, fiddler John Jacobson, and for guest caller Wes St. Onge, well-known musician in the western Catskills.  Both callers are familiar with the dance repertoire of Hilt Kelly, the late, legendary fiddler and square dance caller from the Catskills.

Join us for an afternoon of family fun.  Beginners are welcome and all dances will be taught.  Suggested donation for adults is $7 and children under 13 are free.   For more information, call Ginny Scheer 607-7446-3521 or e-mail at vscheer@juno.com.

Folk Painter Nellie Bly Ballard featured on WIOX



Last Tuesday,  August 9, 2016, I featured the late artist Nellie Bly Ballard on Catskills Folk, my bi-weekly radio program on WIOX, 91.3 FM community radio for the Catskills.  Nellie was active in the mid-twentieth century in Roxbury painting landscapes of her native area.  Some of her paintings were farm portraits, some were views of familiar valleys or villages, and others whose locaitons we have not been able to identify may have been fictional.  Though she only painted for the last two decades of her life, Nellie was very prolific and a number of her paitnings have survived in collections around the Northeast.  Catskills Folk Connection, along with the Roxbury Arts Group, will be presenting her work along with paintings by another local artist, Don Strausser, at an exhibit called "Growing Up To Brush" in October at RAG's Walt Meade Gallery in Roxbury.

Here is a photograph of Nellie Bly Ballard in her studio with a number of her paintings, followed by examples of paintings that may be in the October exibit: