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Eating Ivan

Eating Ivan

I’ve discovered since then that Ivan is something of a Rorschach test for people. Sometimes they think it’s cute that he had a name. Sometimes they’re delighted that he had a nice life on a farm down the road, where he had friends both bovine and human, and pretty much did whatever he felt like. But mainly, it seems, a lot of people are horrified.

Charlottesville comes home

Charlottesville comes home

The statues are in the south, but this isn’t just a question for southerners. Up here — 500 miles north of Appomattox, and more than 150 years after a Virginia farmer wrote that he’d rather “endure all the horrors of civil war than to see the dusky sons of Ham leading the fair daughters of the South to the altar” — Confederate flags wave from porches and pickup trucks.

Tale of two Catskills

Tale of two Catskills

In lieu of achieving world peace, or even Catskills peace, I’ve always wanted to write a local parody of “Oklahoma!” Clearly, the Farmer and the Cowman — er, the Local and the Transplant — should be friends. It’s like Aunt Eller says: I don’t say I’m no better than anybody else, but I’ll be danged if I ain’t just as good.

The new, new Catskills

The new, new Catskills

Culturally, the Catskills are a bright mosaic of urban and rural mores and values. But scratch the surface and we have all the problems of rural Appalachia: addiction, poverty, a greying population, a general purposelessness that siphons the brightest of our young people out of our schools and our communities.