Voices Journal Volume 2014: 3-4
Edited by Todd DeGarmo
Articles In This Volume
These stories were told by Alice Testrake at her home in Ripley, NY, in the winter of 2013–2014. Family members were sometimes present. Her memories were collected and illustrated by Art Facilitator Valerie Walawender, MA, as part of Hospice of Chautauqua County’s Art Enrichment Program.
There’s a common perception that all of the old-time Jewish bungalow colonies in New York State were in the Catskills. Maybe the majority were, but not all. Off NY State Route 9D, in Dutchess County, at the foot of a mountain, lies a large parcel of land with several modern houses on it. If you went back 50 years, during the era of my childhood, however, you would have found one medium-sized house and a group of wooden bungalows, painted white with red roofs; a swimming pool; two see-saws and a jungle gym for kids; and a social hall (called the “casino”).night, and waiting cars and trucks quickly collected the barrels and boxes of imported liquor. The bungalow colony was where my Belarusian-born maternal grandfather, Harry Rothstein, and his friends held forth every summer.
The essays in this volume address queer identity and sexuality in such varied places as Mennonite mummers’ plays and Chinese folklore. In case the reader was about to dismiss the writings as not relevant to contemporary American life, rockabilly culture and cinematic interpretations of the Brothers Grimm are also covered.
Noted landscape architect and urban planner Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., laid out Highland Park, part of one of four park systems that he designed and implemented in the US (the others are in Boston, Buffalo, and Louisville)...the park was founded as an arboretum for the display of a collection of exotic—as well as native—trees and shrubs donated by the nursery firm of Ellwanger and Barry...To an extent this is an open-air museum, illustrating a certain historic biome, which can no longer exist unaided. At the water tanks, however, there is no discernible orderliness in the arrangement or succession of imagery produced, apparently, by individuals perhaps more or less motivated by an anarchic attitude or even ideology.
Samuel Untermyer purchased what was then the Greystone Estate in 1899, and in 1915, he hired William Welles Bosworth, a École des Beaux Arts-trained architect and landscape designer, to createthe “greatest gardens in the world.” The centerpiece is the Walled Persian Garden, inspired by the Indo-Persian gardens of the ancient world, which, in turn, were inspired by descriptions of the Garden of Eden.
Petrifaction legends told in Turkey are one of the most interesting subjects that draw our attention. Although the legends are said to be stories that have been told over a long period of time with no proof of existence, the legends told in Turkey about these rocks are so logical and authentic that whoever experiences them find themselves deeply affected. When having a look at the map of the petrifaction legends told in Turkey, you realize how common they are, especially in the east, southeast, and northeast of Turkey. The bride, groom, bride and groom, camel, dragon, and wedding procession rocks are the elements integrated with the petrifaction legends. Both listening to the legends from the local people and seeing the related rocks can be a good opportunity for visitors who are interested in cultural heritage. In this study, we have tried to draw attention to the petrifaction legends told in Turkey and the related elements (rocks) in terms of tourism. It is hoped that it will contribute to Turkish culture and tourism.
On Long Island, many baymen earned extra money on the side, bringing booze from offshore boats that traveled from the West Indies to the waters offLong Beach. Their small garveys and skiffs were difficult to detect, especially at night, and waiting cars and trucks quickly collected the barrels and boxes of imported liquor.
Finally, there is a book worthy of Caffè Lena’s rich history. This big, beautiful, oversized hardcover is a love letter to the Caffè, the many musicians who’ve graced Lena’s tiny stage, and to folk music itself.
So now I had a job as a showroom model. I had to wear a black dress, heels, makeup, and my hair put up. Quite a change from jeans and sweatshirts. I took the subway from 116th Street to 34th Street and walked to the Brooklyn & New York Fur Manufacturers on 29th Street. When a buyer came—say from a department store in St. Louis or Des Moines—I would slip into a fur coat and walk across the show room, turn, pause, hold the coat open, then closed, and then leave the room. Unless the buyer had a question or wanted to look some more, I would not speak except to say the model number.
Yacub Addy, Ghanaian drum master from Latham, New York. A master of traditional music of the Ga ethnic group, a creator of new works rooted in tradition, and a committed educator, Yacub Addy is part of the renowned Addy family of drummers, singers, and dancers from Avenor, Accra, Ghana.
Just as those of us who live up north like to protest that “there’s more to New York than New York City,” I like to say there’s more to Upstate than wild rivers and rugged mountain peaks. There’s plenty going on culturally as well.... pancake breakfasts during maple syrup season, fish fries during Lent, chicken barbecues all summer long, harvest dinners in the fall, and chicken and biscuit suppers and spaghetti dinners in the winter months. There are outdoor events all year long—maple festivals in the spring; firemen’sfield days, fireworks, parades, and county fairs in the summer; college homecomings and hunting club gatherings in the fall.
March is a busy month for Irish storytellers. I spoke with Bairbre McCarthy on the phone about her CD, The Keeper of the Crock of Gold: Irish Leprechaun Tales. Drawn from her book of Irish stories, the CD is a combination of “old retellings”and original stories by McCarthy that “stick up for the rights of Leprechauns.” Throughout the stories, McCarthy weaves in sean-nós singing by her daughter Mary Willems and fiddle playing by Maura McNamara. In our conversation, she tells me about her roots, about her activism for Leprechaun rights, and about becoming a professional storyteller in America: