Ashokan Farewell

Everett came home to visit this past weekend with Gabby. Gabby is working toward a master’s degree in regional planning at Cornell, and is doing some interesting work in the Catskills this summer. Among the groups she’s working with is the Ashokan-Pepacton Watershed. Of course it immediately brings to mind the Jay Ungar tune “Ashokan Farewell,” (listen here) made famous in Ken Burns’ The Civil War. A few years ago, when I interviewed Ken Burns, he described Ungar as the “Jewish boy from the Bronx who wrote the Scottish-Irish lament about fiddling camp breaking up.” Ungar and his wife, Molly Mason, run the camp at the lakefront Ashokan Field Campus of the State University of New York at New Paltz. Ashokan was the name of a Catskill Region village that is now mostly covered by the Ashokan Reservoir.

But I digress. Gabby was telling me about how the Ashokan-Pepacton Watershed Chapter of Trout Unlimited supplied 29 Catskill artists with an aluminum blank cut-out of a leaping trout to stimulate community awareness of the conservation issues facing the Esopus Creek and the Ashokan Watershed. The works of art are on display throughout the Ashokan region and will be auctioned off to help raise funds to support the efforts of APWCTU. See more about it here.

As mentioned in a previous post, Everett has stated that artists who create artwork are adding more manufactured goods to our world, and it is best not to destroy natural environments or materials in the creation of anything, let alone art. Gabby cited the Leaping Trout Project because it is a way artists are bringing greater awareness to a conservation effort. Touche!

The roster of artists is impressive, and the works are colorful and fun, such as the work by Richard Treitner above. I hope we can bring something like this to the greater Princeton region.

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