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Ashland Speaks: ‘The biggest little quilt show in the Catskills’

May 15, 2019 11:38 am Updated: May 15, 2019 11:42 am


Mother Nature decided she needed a new coat for Mother’s Day. I guess she was tired of green, so this year she went with white. The Sunday Morning crowd at Jim’s was discussing how much snow was on their windshields. The higher up in the mountains, the more accumulation. Up in Jewett, the rhubarb was covered. Val had come over the day before, after she saw Judy in the garden weeding her asparagus, and wanted to know if she could start planting her herb barrel. Guess she found out the answer by herself.

Roberta Banks had a very pleasant surprise last week. Her mini horse had its own mini horse. It came as a complete surprise for Roberta and Bruce.

Correction on the Kaaterskill thrift store opening and East Jewett rummage sale. Sometimes, when I forget the actual information, I write something close enough, knowing I will get a correction. Dena Lawrence sent the correct information ASAP. The Thrift Shop in Hunter opens at 10 a.m. May 25. East Jewett’s rummage sale is June 7-8. Thank you for reading and editing.

Had a reply to my plea for information regarding the motorcycle accident in the ‘40s.

Just read the request in the column for information regarding a motorcycle accident in 1941. As I know of whom Ruth Northrup was, a couple of hints. Ruth was a relative of my late 1800s-early 1900s Ashland family and I have 2 small paintings that she did. Ruth was as part of the Cross/Parker family and I know the family has extensive genealogy and newspaper clippings that was kept by the late Carole Truesdell. I don’t know where the collection went though, after Carole passed away. Knowing Carole, she shared it. I did a quick newspaper search and did not find anything, but I’m sure the Windham library has an extensive collection of the Windham journal for 1941. Unfortunately, I don’t know who sent this, as it came via email, but thank you for reading my column and sending the information to pass along.

Laura Ferro, from the Patchworkers quilters stopped in to give me the information about their quilt show, “The biggest little quilt show in the Catskills.” It will be held on Aug. 10 and 11 at WAJ. There is a $3 admission fee, proceeds go to local organizations and Food Pantries. It’s no longer an annual event because it takes so much longer for them to produce quilts. The numbers of quilters have dropped, and it’s harder to sew what with arthritic fingers and old eyes. My question to her, how do you thread your needle? Stiff fingers trying to hold the needle, eyes that can’t see the needle’s eye. Laura said she decided to make a long tail so she wouldn’t have to rethread so much, then the thread knotted. Maybe some young people would like to volunteer at threading a bunch of needles for the women.

The May Ecumenical in Lexington was great — More than 30 attended, with many churches represented, as Charles Goeckel gave an inspiring talk on the retreat at Huntersfield. It is now a rehabilitation center with 11 clients. While there, the residents are put to work, learning a trade, taking care of animals and the earth, taking responsibility for their lives, all with the Hand of God guiding them. A truly inspiring morning.

The Lexington UMC will be holding their annual Strawberry Social on June 8. You KNOW that is a must to attend. No word from Jewett, yet.


Bob Bernack is home again after being in the hospital where he had a pacemaker installed.

Barb Cooke and Diane Cross will be having surgery and need healing prayers.

Also keep Nellie Langston, Lula Soule and Dr Dan in your thoughts and prayers.


May 18 Chicken BBQ Ashland Church.

May 24 Chicken BBQ Lexington Methodist Church.

May 25 Kaaterskill Thrift Shop opens Hunter.

May 30 WAJPL Spring Luncheon Thompson House.

June 1 and 2 Tractor Pull and show at Ashland Town Park.

June 4 Ecumenical Mitchell Hollow Mission Church Windham 11 a.m. covered dish.

June 7 Rummage Sale East Jewett 4-7 p.m.

June 8 Rummage Sale East Jewett 9 a.m.-noon.

June 8 Strawberry Social Lexington.

June 18 to June 21 Gettysburg & Hershey Per Person..Double Occupancy..$529. Call MaryLouise at 518-622-3397.

June 28 Windham Hensonville UMC Rummage Sale 4-7 p.m.

June 29 Rummage Sale (Bag Sale) 9 a.m.-noon Windham UMC.

Aug. 10 Patchworkers Quilt Show 10 a.m.-4 p.m. WAJ.

Aug. 10 Brooks Chicken BBQ Jewett Fire Dept.

Aug. 11 Patchworkers Quilt Show 11 a.m.-3 p.m. WAJ.

Aug. 16 Golf Tournament to benefit Westchester Burn Unit Windham C C.

Aug. 24 Rip’s Country Bazaar Haines Falls.

Sept. 22 Catskill Glee Club concert benefit Ashland UMC. Center Church, Windham.

Please send me your events at least 2 weeks prior


Why Not So Much Trash

Outside of my Grandmother’s hotel there was a large tub with a faucet of good spring water and a long handled dipper hanging on a nail. You could get a cold drink anytime you wanted, no paper or plastic cups to dispose of. No plastic water bottles to throw away.

We ate off of china dishes for all three meals, which were then washed and put away. Before they went into the wash water, they were scraped and the scraps went out to the various animals. Hogs and chickens LOVED them. When we peeled vegetables, the peels went, either to the animals, or into the compost pile. Leftovers went into bowls and into the icebox, or into the soup pot that was constantly boiling away during the cold weather. The bones were thrown out for the crows to pick, and eventually, they, too deteriorated into calcium for the soil.

We grew our food, raised our animals, or bartered with our farming neighbors for what we didn’t have. When we trimmed the meat before cooking, we saved the fat. Have you tasted food made with rendered chicken fat? The crispy brown pieces that were left were such a treat as a predinner snack. Try frying up the skin of your chicken, instead of throwing it away. A touch of the resulting fat in your cooking is delish. The crispy skin itself is better than bacon. Pork fat made lard for pie crust, or anywhere Crisco is used today. Beef fat made tallow which was used for soap. Ashes from the wood stove were soaked to make the lye necessary for the soap. Roberta Banks still makes goats’ milk soap which is so gentle that since I’ve been using it, has been keeping my hands soft without the usual winter dryness and cracking.

We had no foam containers. All jars and any plastic containers were washed out and reused multiple times. No plastic bags. When you went to the store, your bread came in waxed paper which was used to wrap your lunch until it fell apart. If you went to the butcher store, the meat was wrapped in brown paper, tied with string, which was reused. Paper bags were reused for book covers, wrapping paper, shelf liners. Every household had a special place to store their carefully folded bags. Newspapers were used for washing windows, with vinegar, absorbing spills, and wrapping items for storage. What was left, was burned in the wood stove.

When we went on a picnic, we took out our picnic basket which had our plates and utensils. If we used plastic, it wasn’t thrown away, but rewashed for the next outing. We even had a picnic table cloth, usually red checked, that was washed and stored in the basket.

Soon came the invention of Melmac. Dinner sets made of sturdy plastic which was originally pastel. It was virtually unbreakable, which made it ideal for every day use. What household didn’t have a set of Melmac in the ‘50s? The dinner table was set in shades of pink, blue, green and lavender. When we tired of that, we switched to Corelle, a lighter plate than traditional china, but with many designs. We no longer had to wash our dishes by hand, as we all had automatic dishwashers. Everything went in, a button was pushed, and out came sparkling clean dinnerware. Large family dinners became a joy for the women. No longer did they have to spend hours in the kitchen at the sink. But, you still had to load and unload the washer. Woe is me! Solution — paper plates. When you’re finished, pass the garbage pail and everyone throws out their dish and cutlery.

No one’s going to eat those potatoes, throw them in, too. Bag it up and let the trash man throw it in the dump.

We used wooden pencils that we sharpened, pens that we filled with ink. Newspapers were used for sewing patterns, any plastic bags we got were rinsed and reused. I just finished cleaning the leftovers from the rummage sale. We had bags and bags of clothes that we redonated. The church sold bags of shirts, pants, baby dresses, coats, hats, sleepers, and there were still bags left. Why do we need so much? Why do we feel that we have to buy, buy, buy, just to throw it away next season? I think my next story ( or near future) will be on electronics.

My adage: Waste not Want not.