JIM COLLIGAN PHOTO
With Independence Day coming up next week, we here at Gimme Shelter are back in the business of bemoaning that Americans are woefully weak when it comes to having any real knowledge of the history of their country.
Well, not actually bemoaning. Maybe a bit concerned? Amused? Anyway, as a great sage — the name escapes us — once said, “Those who forget history are … are …” You know, something bad will happen.
We think. (more…)
AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO The interior of Shelter Island’s Union Chapel.
A good rule of thumb is never to sit across the table from someone called “Honest John” when he’s dealing cards.
But John French, a 19th century builder who did extensive work in Brooklyn — including the Brooklyn Academy of Music — came by his nickname, well, honestly. He was known by his contemporaries for “mixing mortar with conscience,” according to an article in the Republican Watchman of 1876. (more…)
AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO STARS Café owner Pepe Martinez, flanked by wife and café co-owner Lydia Martinez Majdišová and children Sebastian and Emma, became a United States citizen on April 7.
Last Thursday the family was up before 5 a.m. and Lydia Martinez Majdišová was pleased the kids didn’t have to be cajoled and hassled to get out of bed like most school days.
Emma, 13, and Sebastian, 9, were sleepy but happily excited and Lydia felt the same. They were all nervous, but what surprised Lydia was her husband, Pepe Martinez. When facing something new and challenging he never shows nerves or expresses his emotions, she said.
But today was different. He was as keyed up as his wife and children and showing it. (more…)
REPORTER PHOTO A selection from the 16 editorial awards that the New York Press Association honored the Reporter with this past weekend.
Your hometown paper brought home 16 awards for editorial excellence from the New York Press Association’s (NYPA) spring convention, held April 7 to 9 in Saratoga Springs. (more…)
AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO The bell tower of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.
One day last week I decided to ring some church bells.
I’ve had this feeling before. The last time was more than 10 years ago when I asked if I could ring the bells of Orient United Methodist Church, and the sextant obliged me. Call me crazy.
Church bells have always stopped me. Literally, if I’m walking and hear them in the distance. Or if I’m driving and hear their music on the breeze, they stop my thoughts. The solemn beauty of the bells, sounds giving texture to the air, always call me back to something that doesn’t allow for expression, because I can’t quite connect the feeling to words. (more…)