This is about the Howe family. In 1939, Carolyn Howe got married. One of her wedding presents was a 16mm movie camera. She took pictures of life around her in Falls Village, Connecticut. http://shirson.com/pineplainsvideos/howe/firstshots.mp4 As she became more interested she started experimenting with color and composition. http://shirson.com/pineplainsvideos/howe/improving.mp4 There is no telling where her talents could…Continue reading Howe They Farmed — A Mother’s Memories
Students enrolled in Mr. Murray’s Military History course are bringing their research and studies of the American Revolution to life. Through historic interpretation and documented analysis, students set out to recreate the life of the common soldier of the American Revolution. As part of Mr. Murray’s living history program, and supported by the Pine Plains…Continue reading Learning History By Living It!
After a four year run, the Wild Hive Farm, Store & Café Bakery closed. I made this film on its last night to preserve how its customers celebrated its contribution to the community. I could ramble on about how much this place meant to me, but I think the film shows it. Every meal was…Continue reading Last Night at the Wild Hive
It finally had to happen! This much-beloved resort where friendships and even families were formed closed down a few years ago. The regulars hoped that somehow it would re-open and they could get their memories back. I hate to be the bearer of bad news…
A whole world converged on Copake, NY, — the world of antique bicycle collectors! Why neighboring Copake which, unlike Pine Plains, does not even have ONE traffic light? Because of the 26th annual Antique Bicycle Auction at Copake Auction. They came from all over the country and Canada and parts of Europe just to buy,…Continue reading Riding High in Copake! The Antique Bicycle Auction
Once a week for many years Greg McEldowney would come and wind the Town Clock and keep it running. He passed on November 11, 2017. He was a keeper of Pine Plains history. Now he is part of it. This video portrait of Greg was made in 2015. He deserves to be honored. Pine Plains,…Continue reading The Man Who Made Pine Plains Tick
The 2015 Town Board election was very close. Even for a small town like ours, only 3 votes separated the 2nd and 3rd place candidates. Absentee ballots could change the outcome. Curious about the process, Sarah Jones, even though she was in first place by a substantial enough lead that would not be affected by…Continue reading Chads Don’t Hang in Pine Plains
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?“ If an event happens in the past and is not, in some way, recorded or preserved, has it happened? Is it history? History has to be made. This is the story of how some people…Continue reading Making History
There was a touch of Revolutionary War and black powder smoke right in the middle of Pine Plains the other day as Neil Murray was giving his students of military history some experience of what it was like to be Continental Soldiers. I grabbed a scene with my cell phone and then, so impressed with the…Continue reading Sergeant, Make It Happen!
Master Sergeant (Ret.) David A. Cookingham Jr. August 8, 1971 to May 4, 2015 The official obituary tells only part of the story: PINE PLAINS- David Cookingham Jr., 43, of Broadway, NC and previously of Pine Plains, NY, passed away on May 4, 2015. Born on August 8, 1971 in Sharon, CT, he was the son…Continue reading Soldiers’ Tales
Sal passed away in May, 2013, at the age of 77. Although I would run into Sal at one of his jobs in town, either at at Deuel’s hardware or at the vet clinic, I used to look forward to seeking out Sal each year up on the Hill at the Dutchess County Fair where…Continue reading Let’s Remember Sal….
Wheels of Time, the shop of dreams and fond memories. Whether you prefer stories about people over cars or cars over people, you can’t go wrong here! See for yourself! A Pine Plains treasure.
Every year, come Halloween, Jack O’ Lanterns, dozens of them, show up and glow on the bridge at Patchin Mills. This is the story behind them. If you have a good connection, enjoy the show full screen in HD! The music is the Symphonie Fantastique, the fifth movement with the Dies Irae theme, conducted by…Continue reading A Halloween Story: Those Pumpkins on Patchin Mills Bridge
Because it sets itself apart from the ordinary by striving to do things better and living up to its motto: Love Where You Live, it was able to invite its customers in the community to celebrate its 25th anniversary.
It’s great when a community pulls together for a cause. In this case it was pulling pork as a fund-raiser for the local historical society. Two hundred tickets were sold and late-comers had to be turned away. Perhaps some vegetarians had to look away…
Local folks who like to play bluegrass, they have been getting together on Wednesday nights for over 40 years. They never had a name for their group so I just call it The Wednesday Jam. When I came across them they had been playing in Pete and Cindy Howe’s kitchen where I took these videos.
A great introduction to Pine Plains is the Memorial Day Parade. If they’re not actually in it, they’re watching it! This was in 2000. The rest of the world, but not the parade, has changed a lot since. See for yourself as it is in 2011.
I often drove by an old building on the outskirts of Pine Plains and wondered about what it used to be. It was by a mill pond so I naturally assumed it was some kind of abandoned water mill. When I saw some activity going on around it (actually more underneath it) my curiousity got…Continue reading This Old Mill
It’s often referred to as “that old house by the bank parking lot” by people who do not remember the name, Louis Graham/Brush House. I confess that I was, up until I started filming its restoration, one of them.
This is about a dairy farmer, Barry Chase, who is about to sell his herd of milking cows. I visited with him and his wife, Rosey, a few days before their herd leaves.
If this looks as if a man is trying to disappear into that hole in the brush, well, that was the whole idea. It leads to where a huge moonshine operation had been hidden since The Prohibition in a warren of underground rooms and tunnels. I’ve heard about this for years and was finally able to take a tour. Come on along.
An old farmhouse was resting on a warped frame that could no longer support it. But this house is not going to be torn down. It will be restored after it is jacked up and moved onto a new foundation. Ever wonder how they jack up a whole house and move it? Well, see for yourself! It’s all revealed in this story.
It was a large red barn right by the side of the road. It was so well-known it was a landmark for directions. Then, on a Tuesday morning, if you were driving down the road you saw this: By the end of the day only rubble remained. By the end of the week what could…Continue reading What IS Community, Anyway?
A video visit with Verne Tower, stone-cutter, as he re-creates an elaborate marble stoop for a historic mansion in Hudson, NY. While Verne may be doing wonderful restoration and preservation of historical buildings, he is also preserving skills and technology that are disappearing faster than the buildings he works on.
It’s sad to see any business close, but in a small rural town the only hardware store is a vital necessity.
They said it would be sold on the court house steps. They were not exaggerating. Just not the front steps, the back ones. Wherever. I just had to see it with my own eyes and that means share it with you. Soooo, if you ever wanted to see what a foreclosure auction of a community…Continue reading On the Steps of the County Court House…
Talk about returning overdue library books… In what we hope will be the resolution of a long and complex story, books are coming out of storage and the library will be moved out of its old temporary home and back to its new home and… I said it was complex and convoluted! But you can…Continue reading The Long Haul Home: The Library Returns!