Information resource for New Hope, PA and Lambertville, NJ


FACES & PLACES ARCHIVES

March 2001- August 2001

LOCAL COLOR

Marcy and Judi -Mar 2001
by Marilyn Bullock

Special Note: This month's Local Color is dedicated to those of us who have ever lost a beloved friend.

During this past year, I lost two dear friends. (Neither were New Hope residents but frequented our area often.)

Marcy
I will never forget the first time I met Marcy 21 years ago. She was only 3 years old. This lovely, petite, dark-haired pixie was clinging tenaciously to her mother's leg, moving away as I tried to coax her out of hiding behind her mother - it was like trying to befriend a small scared puppy.

I fell in love with Marcy immediately and over the years we became friends. She was the flower girl at my wedding. I went to her school functions. I became a trusted confidante whom she could call whenever her mother was unavailable.

Marcy was born with cystic fibrosis, a chronic, progressive, and frequently fatal genetic (inherited) disease of the body's mucus glands. Sadly, many of my memories of Marcy are of her in the hospital during her bi-yearly "tune-ups".

Marcy was a talented student and poet, a devoted friend, and a fun person to be with. She did not let her disease get in the way of having a good time. In January of 2000, Marcy graduated with honors from the New School in New York City.

She was able to fulfill her dream of teaching for a few short months before her disease took her in July 2000. She was only 24.

Judi
While Marcy was excelling during her final two years at college, my dear friend Judi, Marci's mother, was battling stage 4 breast cancer. Judi was always a survivor. She had overcome a difficult divorce. She had to wake up each day knowing that her only child had a life threatening disease. Now cancer.

Judi wouldn't let ANYONE get her down. When told she had breast cancer, Judi gave herself a couple of days to feel sorry for herself and then consciously pulled herself out of it. "I'm going to beat this", she used to say. And beat it she did - several times.

She underwent chemotherapy treatments multiple times and survived the grueling bone marrow transplant treatment. When Judi was in the hospital at the same time as her daughter, things got a little rough. Judi, who normally would be at her daughter's side every day she was in the hospital, had to deal with only talking on the phone.

Judi knew the value of living life fully. She had a huge circle of friends, relatives, and colleagues who loved her and helped out when she needed support of any kind. However, her last hospital stay was too much for her. She passed away quietly a few weeks after Christmas - her husband, Gil, and best friend, Barrie,at her side.

Sometimes I wake up and think that it was all some kind of cosmic joke - that my two dear friends are still there - just a phone call away.

I know that they ARE there, but in a different way. Judi and Marcy will always be in my heart, lifting me up when I feel low, cheering me on when I do something particularly good. They colored the lives of many people while they were here. They will continue to flower our memories with petals of hope and love.

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Betsey Blair-April 2001
by Marilyn Bullock

Betsey Blair is graceful, talented, beautiful, and generous. And, like many of us who live in the New Hope area, Betsey loves it here! She has been a resident of New Hope for 3 years and has lived in Bucks County for over 20 years.

So what makes Betsey so special?  Instead of sitting around dreaming of what she could or should do, Betsey gets up and "does". She has many interests and maximizes them to the best of her ability.For instance, she has been teaching and performing dance for 20 years and is qualified to teach beginner through advanced ballet. She currently instructs ballet at the Buckingham School of Dance. She has performed ballet, contemporary dance, and avant garde performance in Bucks County and Philadelphia. Her performances include parts in "Sleeping Beauty" and the "Nutcracker" at the Pennsylvania Dance Theater in Doylestown, PA.

Betsey is also a Group Fitness Instructor at the Center Club in Lambertville, NJ and in Buckingham, PA and at the Body Shop in Horsham, PA. She teaches a "mean" Spinning class, incorporating heart rate monitoring and useful tidbits of training information into her workouts. As a Personal Fitness Trainer, she prefers to work with dancers and cyclists who want to target specific goals in their own training regimens.

A perpetual student as well as a natural teacher, Betsey is studying Reiki locally and hopes to integrate Reiki into her other training endeavors. She is also a part-time student at Bucks County Community College, where she is working towards a degree in sports management.

With all of these activities, you would think that Ms. Blair has little time to do anything else. Not so! As a single mother, she has also raised a teenage son, Gray, varsity wrestler and soon-to-be senior at New Hope/Solebury High School.

Oh yes, and Betsey has 3 cats and 3 dogs that keep her company (when she is at home)! If you are interested in contacting her, call 215-862-6882 or email her at jack@voicenet.net (jack is one of her dogs.)


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"Lady Logan"-May 2001
by Marilyn Bullock

"Lady Logan" comes alive!

Never was the phrase "it was meant to be" more applicable as with the recent acquisition of the Logan Inn by Pam and Carl Asplundh. For 13 years the couple dined at the Logan Inn, usually for breakfast, commenting each time "If WE owned this place, we would…." And, of course, they came up with hundreds of ideas to make the Logan Inn look like their dream palace.

Well, NOW IS THE TIME, as construction and renovation, led by Bill and Chance Worthington and supervised by Steve Shagen, on the Logan Inn near completion. Pam and Carl are hands-on owners, spending most of their time overseeing the changes taking place at their "new" inn.

What many people don't realize, despite the many changes, is that they are trying to keep as much of the original building in tact as possible. In fact, during renovations, they discovered two original cisterns (wells) that had been covered for many years. One of them is located in the porch dining area, safely covered with Plexiglas and available for the public to view the original stonework that holds the well in place.

Aside from the general ambiance and history of the Logan, it was the personnel that kept the Asplundhs coming back time and again. Maggie Smith-Calderon started out as a server and has worked at the Logan for 14 years. She and her family became friends with the Asplundhs when they found out that their children were similar in age. Maggie is now the general Manager of the Logan Inn.

The night the Asplundhs took possession of the Logan Inn, they invited Maggie and her family to stay overnight with them at the Inn, sort of like an "old-fashioned slumber party." The only other guests that night were some ghost seekers who had asked to further explore the much talked about "sightings" at the Logan Inn. The Asplundhs and Calderons had a great time and the ghost seekers captured photographs of luminescent "spheres", not visible to the naked eye. It is interesting that, even the skeptical construction workers who have been toiling at the renovations for 3 months, are now "not quite sure" anymore.

Pam sits in the reception area of the Logan Inn, proudly looking at all the changes in which she has played such an important role. "All it needed was a little TLC", she says.  Lucky for New Hope that the Asplundhs have TLC running through their veins and then some.

The Logan Inn is located at Ten West Ferry Street, New Hope, PA 18938. Call 215-862-2300 for reservations.

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Robin Larsen-June 2001
by Marilyn Bullock

Intense and fun-loving. Humble but not shy. Robin has been an effective mover and shaker, as well as a talented visual artist, in New Hope for many years. What she has NOT sought or attained is the public recognition she justifiably deserves!

Robin describes herself as "an artist with a sense of promotion and a believer in community service." She sees herself as an example of the late 60/early 70's, growing up in the south, marching for people's basic rights, and attending college during the Vietnam War. "I learned early on that if you spoke up and, more importantly, took action, it had meaning."

Robin moved from New Orleans to this area 23 years ago - but not before she developed the first comprehensive art program in the state of Louisiana, served as Bicentennial Coordinator in 1976, and directed or co-directed 5 other arts programs in New Orleans. After relocating to New Hope, in addition to creating her wood and fabric sculptures, Robin entered a long career in the area of arts promotion.

Among the many projects she has undertaken are:
· Director for River Center for The Arts, 1981-1982
· Project Manager for the New Hope Art Show from 1981-1985
· Exec. Director of New Hope Magazine (now Nouveau) from 1983-1985
· Gallery Director, Larsen Gallery - 1978-1988
· Chairman of Showcase the Arts of New Hope - 1986 - 1989
· Producer of Salute to Theater, 50th Anniversary of Bucks County Playhouse, 1989
· PR Consultant, 1987 - 1990
· Co-owner, Larsen Dulman Gallery, 1988 - 1991
· Production Director, The New Hope Modernists, 1988 - 1992
· Founding Director, the New Hope Lambertville Gallery Association, 1984- 1995
· Artistic Producing Director, New Hope Performing Arts Festival, 1986 -1997
· Exec. Director, New Hope Arts Commission, 1986 - 1997
· Owner/Consultant, Larsen Designs, 1995 - Present
· Producing Director, One Theater Group in NYC, 1998 - 1999
· Exhibition Coordinator, Works in Wood Exhibition, 1998 - 2000
· Served on the boards of a dozen arts groups, including her present affiliations with AIR (Artists in Residence) , the Community Education Committee (New Hope/Solebury School District), and Contemporary Arts Commission (in Scranton, PA)
· Won numerous achievement and recognition awards

And NOW, Robin Larsen is the Event Coordinator for the First Annual Bastille Day Celebration. Looking at her accomplishments, we should be ready for a highly successful and FUN event this year on the July 14th weekend.

When she is not in volunteer and community meetings, hammering at her computer for some new promotional event, or spending a few free moments with her adored grandchildren, Robin lives (quietly?) in New Hope with her husband, John Larsen, co-owner of John & Peters. "I always hope to take joy in the work - to know that the measure is in the DOING, not always in the immediate reward." Contact Robin at 215-862-3396.

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Susan Sandor-July 2001
by Marilyn Bullock

Beautiful, talented, gracious, energetic, and gardener extraordinaire, Susan Sandor, owner of Strenk Sandor Advertising, is not quite comfortable talking about herself. She spends so much time promoting other people and their businesses, she doesn't have much time to think about how exciting her own life is!

Twenty years ago, Susan went to Charles Morris Price School of Advertising and Journalism in Philadelphia to take one evening course. Four years later she had completed the entire program, attending evening classes and working during the day. One of Susan's daytime jobs was working for a local magazine in advertising sales. On a beautiful day in 1982 she walked into the Four Season's Mall to solicit ads from Herbert Sandor, who owned the building and three shops. Little did Susan know when she woke up that morning that, by the end of the day, she would have three new ads, a new client, and a future husband - all from one sales call! Herb and Susan have been married for 14 years.

Shortly after completing her advertising courses, Susan decided to start her own agency. Strenk Sandor Advertising offers complete advertising services for small to medium sized businesses: market research, finding a name, designing a logo, copy-writing, branding, photography, and public relations. Susan loves it all. "Advertising is my passion," she laughs, "When I'm not working in the office, I'm reading advertising trade journals and magazines."

Her devotion, energy, and professionalism are what appeal most to her clients, some of whom are: Charles Tiles; Pine, Wreath, and Candle ("I have one problem with the ads you are running for me. I am running out of inventory."); G. Evan's Antiques ("She's amazing!') Gardner's Antiques ("The ad is absolutely gorgeous…beautiful…really magnificent.") Orb Silversmiths; Lachman Gallery ("Great job!…Thank you for your hard work."); Doylestown Women's Health Center; and the Cookery Ware Shop. Susan enjoys the diversity of her profession and the new challenges each day. The best reward for her is to know that she is doing a good job for her clients.

Advertising isn't Susan's only passion. Gardening takes her mind off of the constant creating and planning for someone else. She maintains gardens at the Sandor home in Solebury and also at her office, which overlooks the Delaware River. In fact, the Sandor home was recently part of a garden tour sponsored by the New Hope Historical Society. Susan's gardens have also won the Bucks Beautiful Garden Award sponsored by the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce.

Oh, yes, and then there are the chickens, Stella and Irene, who live in a small fenced-in section of the back yard and have their own little house. "We've always raised chickens," smiles Susan, as if she lived on a Kansas farm instead of a prestigious Solebury property, "But I really miss the rooster (he disappeared a short while ago.")

We talk a bit more, Susan laughing and talking excitedly about her business, her gardens, her and Herb's love of entertaining, and I am in awe. After a few more comments, she asks, "Are you sure this doesn't sound too boring?"

No, Susan. We don't think so.

The Strenk Sandor Advertising Agency is located at 32 S. Main Street, New Hope, PA 18938. Call her at 215-862-5510.

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Kirin Mishra-August 2001
by Marilyn Bullock

In New Hope, Kirin Mishra IS Yoga. Her quiet passion for yoga, her family, and life in general radiates from within. Born in India, raised in South Carolina (her father is a geneticist), a brief time in Chicago, Kirin moved to New Hope five years ago and fell in love with the positive energy here.

Kirin didn't "learn" yoga the way most of us are learning it. She was raised with it - it was in integral part of life in her family. Many people think of yoga as a religion or as a form of exercise. Yoga was originally designed as a series of asanas (asana literally means "seat") or positions that prepare the individual to do the work of meditation and to heal the body to its natural state.

Yoga is a discipline, a practical philosophy to experience individual consciousness through the union of body, mind, and spirit. We are each responsible for our spiritual growth and healing and yoga provides us with a way to move towards optimum vitality.

Kirin, who recently opened Saraswati River Yoga on Old York Rd., recommends approaching yoga slowly. With yoga, one size definitely does NOT fit all. All of Kirin's instructors are taught to help students modify poses to suit their own physical limitations. In fact, Kirin suggests that, in any given class, there should be about 20% of the class that you should not be able to do. This gives the student room to learn more and progress to more advanced classes.

You can do yoga as much or as little as you like. Obviously, making it a daily part of your life will help keep your body closer to its natural state. But yoga even once a week is better than none at all!

It takes at least eight years to train a yoga instructor effectively. They must learn anatomy and physiology as well as yoga philosophy and meditation. Kirin's standards are very high and she considers her instructors to be the best of the best. Kirin is a mother first.

The mother of three daughters, she understands the importance of family interaction and nurturing. She wants Saraswati River Yoga to become a family center and to that end, offers children's and teen events and classes along with the yoga, Sanskrit, and meditation classes.

Kirin is happy to be sharing her love of yoga with others and is grateful for the support she has received since opening her center. Saraswati River Yoga is located at 415 S. York Rd. New Hope, PA 18938. 215-862-4520. Or visit www.saraswatiriveryoga.com.


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ART & ARTISTS

Steven Thompson - Mar 2001
by Marilyn Bullock

He looks like a GQ model and, when you meet him, it feels like you've known him for years. Steven Thompson is a dynamic, creative, talented, and beautiful individual.

Steven is one of the "New Hope Commuters". He lives in New Hope on the weekends and lives and works in New York City during the week. What does he do? He is the co-owner of a highly successful interior design company called Design Force, located in trendy NoHo, NY.

Steven wasn't always an interior designer. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a degree in architecture, he looked for an architectural position in the Boston area. This was during the recession and there were not many architecture jobs to be had; so he moved to NY and expanded his search to anything design related.

When he landed a job with a design firm that does interior design for hotels, Stephen knew that he had found his nitch! "It was the best thing that could have happened. I'm certain of that!" he says. Interior design, although not what he had studied, turned out to be what he is best suited for and what he truly loves doing. He gets to see his work come to fruition much faster in the interior design world than he would in the architecture business.

After 2 years, Steven went to work for another interior design company where he stayed for 9 years. While there, he became the Director of Design before he was 30 and he helped grow the business from 5 people into a 45 person firm. It was here that Steven met his future partner, Bob Goldberg.

Steven and Bob started Design Force 15 years ago. They now have 7 employees and work primarily on interior design and architecture for hotels and restaurants. In the late 1980s, when a few of their clients asked them to redesign their own homes, Design Force started to add residential projects to their portfolio. This work comes about primarily through word of mouth and is usually new construction or major renovations.

Some of the projects Design Force has worked on are: the Stanhope Hotel in New York on 5th Avenue, for which they won an award; the Sugar Bay Plantation resort in St. Thomas; and The Gotham, also in New York. They have also completed projects in Austin, St. Louis, L.A., and Washington DC. One of their current projects is the Park Hyatt in Philadelphia.

Steven's favorite place to work is "in the country" - in New Hope. When he is not working, he loves to garden and listen to music. But most of all, he loves to entertain with friends at his "country home" in New Hope.

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Bridging Art & the Community-April 2001
by Marilyn Bullock

Artsbridge began in 1993 as "a non-profit organization of arts supporters, award winning artists, writers, and performers whose work connects the culture and commerce of the river region surrounding New Hope, Pennsylvania and Lambertville, New Jersey."

Artists include visual and performing artists as well as writers and authors. Run by an all volunteer group of dedicated artists and art supporters, Artsbridge is truly a community driven and supported organization.

The volunteers enthusiastically believe in what they do for the community. Pictured are: Karen Davies; Alexis Campbell, President.; Aileen Cramer, in charge of mailings; and Edie Sharp. Edie and Karen are co-chairpersons of the gallery and exhibition committees.

Artsbridge has a members gallery located at Prallsville Mills, Stockton, NJ.  Members and well-known and emerging artists submit their works for presentation in the gallery. Each month, works are selected to provide a wide variety of media and styles and a reception is held the first Friday of each month to open that month's new show.

Artsbridge also hosts monthly events and programs that are open to the general public. These programs are held at 7:30 PM on the third Wednesday of every month, usually at the Riverrun Gallery at the Laceworks Building in Lambertville. At one of these events you might experience anything from a musical number to a storyteller to a ballet performance.

Every year, Artsbridge hosts a national juried art show which gives local artists an opportunity to compete with national artists. The Show Opening Reception will be held on Friday, April 6, 2001 from 6 - 9 PM and is open to everyone. This year, as in the past, the First National Bank of Newtown has given funds for a Purchase Prize for the Michener Museum. In addition, art patron, Gerald Lenfest of West Chester, PA, has donated funds for a second Purchase Prize for the Michener Museum.

All events, show openings, and contests are funded entirely by memberships and donations. Current membership is about 500 people. General Membership costs $20 per year. For more information, visit their website www.artsbridgeonline.com or call 609-773-0881.

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Pierre LeFebvre-May 2001
by Marilyn Bullock

Not a lot of people can claim that their artworks reside with such notaries as Queen Elizabeth II, President Giscard d'Etang of France, King Carl XVI of Sweden, Pope John II, Premier Gorbachev, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the White House, the Smithsonian Institute, Buckingham Palace, and Elycee Palace….. except perhaps, Pierre LeFebvre!

Quick to smile and tell you a story with his ever-present French accent, sculptor and master artist Pierre LeFebvre is a gentle mix of artist, family man, and gentleman.

Pierre was born and raised in France, where he studied at Les Arts Decoratifs. He later moved to Pennsylvania where he was awarded a full scholarship to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA.) It was here that he developed his talent for realism, first with the human figure and later on with wildlife likeness'. After graduation he taught sculpture at Chestnut Hill College. For three years he was commissioned by the American Bicentennial Commemorative Society to prepare works in preparation for the 1976 celebrations in Philadelphia.

In 1977 Pierre went to work for the Boehm Studio in Trenton, NJ, which creates and produces fine porcelain statuary and corporate gifts. For a while he was one of six master artists creating the original works, from which molds would be made and then limited edition copies make from the molds. Pierre was well-known and respected.   Until recently and for the last 10 years, Pierre was the sole designer at the Boehm Galleries. The Galleries recently decided to sell products already in stock instead of creating new pieces of artwork.

Pierre now takes on freelance jobs, where he sculpts in his home with oil-based clay. He also creates bas-relief portraits for the discriminating collector. You can contact Pierre at 215-885-1951.

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Bastille Day Artists-June 2001
Biographical information provided by Robin Larsen, ConcordeFineArts.com.

The July 14th Bastille Day celebration in New Hope will feature New Hope artists, Bob Beck, Susan Roseman, James Feehan, Robert Whitley, Gail Bracegirdle, Mavis Smith, Taylor Oughten, Peter Petraglia and French artists, Michele R. Lavalette, Dan Jacobson,and Graham Bannister. Their works will be exhibited at The Old Stone Church, S. Main St., New Hope. The Opening Reception is scheduled for Friday, July 13th, 5:00 - 7:00 PM.

American artists
Front: Gail Bracegirdle, Mavis Smith, Susan Roseman,Robin "I'd rather eat dirt than have my picture taken" Larsen - Bastille Day coordinator.
Back: Taylor Oughten, Will Anderson - Bastille Day sponsor, Peter Petraglia, Bob Beck, James Moon Feehan, Robert Whitley

Here are a sampling of biographies.

Bob Beck
"Painting is an act of intimacy; an opportunity to perform at a near euphoric level. The finished work is a record of that experience; infused with the energy of the moment, be it the open exhilaration of a High School basketball game or the subtle allure of a Bucks County hillside. My art is not defined by subject, geographic location, or stylistic school. The common thread is method. I paint the things that life parades in front of me. The paintings are direct and accessible, a reflection on my view of life. Inside and outside, day and night; nudes, biplanes and fireflies; it shows just how much I enjoy a parade." - Robert Beck

James Feehan
Feehan's work has always explored a fantasy world rich with narrative images. The playful juxtaposition of animals, people and exotic locales has repeated revealed an underlying sense of whimsy in his work. These new paintings and prints embody a newfound richness and depth with strongly evocative figures realized out of a dramatic color field. As with his previous work, they remain filled with mystery and often seem rooted in another time.

Robert Whitley
Internationally renowned master craftsman and furniture designer Robert Whitley is equally accomplished in contemporary furniture design and museum quality antique restoration and reproductions. Whitley has dedicated 50 years of his life to preserving and honoring traditions of fine craftsmanship while replicating treasures of the past and creating tomorrow's treasured keepsakes. His unparalleled craftsmanship and innovative sense of design have established him at the forefront of furniture making and contemporary craft. His original pieces are modern in design with minimal ornamentation. They rely on the beauty of the natural materials and the sculptural designs for their elegance. Whitley still uses time honored techniques of hand rubbed finishes and shaved spokes, which create in his furniture a sense of ageless beauty.

Michele R. Lavalette
The wonderful thing about Michele's work", says one collector" is her ability to capture the many aspects of light as it interacts with nature".This accomplished ability is especially attractive to flower lovers. Michele's talent is expressed through the full spectrum of artistic media. Flowers radiate their bright beauty from her oil canvases. The misty beauty of water scenes are accomplished through pastels and a keen sense of graphic design is realized with stencils. This command of many techniques allows her to select the appropriate venue to capture the many images which comprise this popular artist's vision

Graham Bannister
It is possible to fall in love with a painting at first sight, and that's exactly what happened to me when I was staying with friends in Cornwall in the early 1980's. What struck me about the painting was Graham's incredible ability to portray his subjects in detail while giving them a life of their own and a depth, which captured this essence. When I was lucky enough to meet Graham in person, I knew he was one of those artists whose talent wouldn't pause or diminish but simply keep growing. For more than ten years Graham has been living firstly in Tuscany, then the South West of France and finally Brittany, places that have influenced his work greatly, especially in his use of color. - Cindy Blake

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Christyl Cusworth-July 2001
by Marilyn Bullock

Who hasn't visited the People's Store in Lambertville? Bet you didn't know that the top floor - the third floor above street level- is the studio of Christyl Cusworth, Paintings Conservator?

When Christyl graduated from Trenton State College (now the College of New Jersey), she didn't know that the next few years of her life would lead her into the painting conservation business. Like many art students and budding artists, Christyl took a variety of jobs before finding her niche.

For 3-4 years Christyl was a carpenter and home restoration specialist in the Trenton area. After that, Christyl and her friend, Frank, took over a bronze casting foundry just outside of Trenton. They built a larger furnace and renamed the business Antietam. Over the next two years, Christyl and Frank were very successful, casting the artworks of Julian Schabel, Meg Webster, and others.

When the art market crashed in the late 80's and galleries were no longer willing to pay for large art pieces, Christyl and Frank dissolved the business. Christyl moved to Louisiana to stay with a friend and ended up living there for over four years. While she was there, she worked freelance for the Louisiana Children's Museum and she apprenticed with Shamil Salah, a professional painting conservator. It was with Shamil where Christyl learned to diagnose, treat, and conserve paintings while maintaining the structural and aesthetic integrity of the artwork.

In 1996, Christyl moved back to this area and opened a shop in New Hope - working in a room so small that she only had 1-2 feet of room on each side of the table. Two years ago, she moved her business to the People's Store in Lambertville where she now has enough business to keep her working 60 hours per week!

"Some restoration techniques are worse for the painting than if you do nothing," says Christyl. Owners of original artworks should be careful to choose a conservator, not necessarily a restorationist. A conservator is someone who uses reversible materials, materials that can be easily removed to take the painting back to its original condition. Christyl uses the code of ethics set forth by the American Institute of Conservation, of which she is a member.

Christyl has put together a list of tips on taking care of your paintings. Among her recommendations are: never expose your paintings to extreme environmental conditions, never force them into a frame, and never clean them without the experience of a professional conservator.

When not working, Christyl stays busy working on her home in Lambertville or creating her own artwork. She hopes to one day do a bit of traveling - perhaps on a new motorcycle!

Christyl Cusworth Paintings Conservator is located at 28 North Union St., 3rd floor, Lambertville, NJ 08530. Phone 609-397-5441. By appt. only.

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James Feehan-August 2001
by Marilyn Bullock

Local Artist James Feehan has his studio in an old factory-like building that was once used for cutting surveyor stakes. When he and his wife, Susan Roseman, also an artist, bought it, there was no floor and no glass in the oversized windows.Today, the building has the warm feel of an old barn and the positive energy of a successful, yet modest, artist.

Don't expect to sneak up on James unexpectedly in his studio. His five dogs will greet you before he will and, although they are friendly, quiet they are NOT!

James didn't always know he wanted to be an artist. In retrospect, however, he probably should have had an inkling if his future vocation. The parochial school James attended in Syracuse, NY had no art classes, so, at the age of eight, he signed up for a series of art classes at the local museum. When he was in high school, he was once again faced with having no art classes to attend. An art teacher from a neighboring school befriended him, providing guidance and direction, albeit with little or no hands-on instruction. James was gradually building his portfolio and doing something he loved to do. Perhaps it was this early introduction to art in a non-judgmental way that gave James the freedom to create his own unique style at such an early age.

After graduating from Boston University and then spending a couple of years in the Green Berets (an alternative to the draft), James moved to the New Hope area at the invitation of his former college roommate. Here he worked for many years as a waiter to support himself while he produced paintings. He met Susan about a year after he moved to New Hope and they were married 16 years ago.

James freely admits that the life of an artist is not as romantic as some may think. You have to be able to "derive enough satisfaction" from your own work because you don't always get positive feedback.

James' style has been called surrealistic although he says he is not a surrealist. "Fabulist" - the craft of creating fables and stories through his artwork - better describes his work. His paintings are often whimsical and lyrical and always filled with people, animals, and rich mysterious landscapes. James' style, like that of most artists, is a distillation of many other styles. He is currently leaning towards the Northern Renaissance style of painting (à la Van Eyck), creating most of his own paints using old egg tempera and emulsion recipes. These custom-made paints give his work a depth and old-world quality one won't experience with more traditional painting techniques.

On Tuesdays, James teaches a small group of students at his studio. He coaches students in somewhat the same way he was coached - not a lot of hands on but heavy on encouragement and support. He also helps students with design and technique.

James and Susan have no human children but their 5 dogs, Ernie, Ginger, Mickey, Artie, and Boo, are with them constantly. You can view James' paintings at River Bank Arts on Bridge Street in Stockton, NJ. And, if you are lucky, you might find James there too! Call 609-397-9330.

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AROUND TOWN
The Concordia Players - Mar 2001
(information taken from the Concordia Players website)

What is Chamber Music? Chamber Music is music that was written for a small ensemble, usually string or woodwind instruments. It was originally meant to be performed in an intimate setting.

Did you know that New Hope has its own chamber music group? Concordia Chamber Players began in 1997 as "The New Hope Players". Since that time, the objective has been to work as a bridge to unify the communities of New Hope, Lambertville and the surrounding areas through the intimacy inherent in the experience of live chamber music. This was possible by the grace and vision of Michelle Djokic, a world class cellist who debuted at age 13 with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and whose roots are in New Hope.

Michelle is the founder and artistic director of the Concordia Chamber Players. The other players came to New Hope because of their friendship with Michelle and their love to play in "chamber" with treasured colleagues.

"Concordia Chamber Players are so good, you simply have to hear them to believe it!" said Laura Hahn, president of Concordia's Board of Directors, who, along with Michelle, is the driving force behind the ensemble. Concordia is supported by many local individuals, businesses, and organizations, most notably Partners in Progress (PIP), which sponsors activities that benefit the community. Concordia is a non-profit, volunteer organization.

Concordia also upholds a deep commitment to the education and engagement of young people in the appreciation and enjoyment of classical music, most notably through Informances for schoolchildren. Informances are classroom demonstrations and performances by a Concordia musician during the week prior to the concert. During these hour-long sessions, the musician and children dialogue about the music, the instruments, the sounds, and the feelings they can evoke.

If you missed the previous performances, you still have an opportunity to experience the Concordia players this season. The 2000-2001season concludes April 22, 2001, with performances of Gaspar Cassado's Suite for Unaccompanied Cello, Igor Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat, and Gabriel Faure's Piano Quartet in C Minor. The musicians will be clarinetist David Krakauer, founder of David Krakauer and the Klezmer Maniacs, violinist Zori, violist Rinehart, and cellist Djokic.

The Concordia Players perform at the Stephen Buck Theater on the grounds of New Hope-Solebury High School on West Bridge Street (Route 179) in New Hope. Concerts start at 3:00 and single tickets are $20. Tickets may be reserved by calling 215-297-5972.

If you wish to reserve tickets online or learn more about Concordia, contact www.concordiaplayers.org. Tickets also can be purchased at Dresswell's in Lambertville and Farley's Bookshop, Camel Walk, or Delray Plus Home Center in New Hope.

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You've been SHAD!-April 2001
by Marilyn Bullock

Rain or shine, the last full weekend of every April is dedicated to the two-day celebration known as the Shad Festival, sponsored by the Lambertville Area Chamber of Commerce. This year marks the 20th Anniversary of this ever-popular event.

What is available for the expected 30,000 Shad Fest visitors? Food, original works by local artists and craftsmen, games and activities for children, food, live entertainment, walking tours, food, poster display and auction, brewery tours, food, shad hauling demonstrations, official Shad Fest T-shirts, food, and more………

A highlight of each festival is the Shad Festival Poster Auction, which raises money for local high school graduates who plan to study art in college. The posters are created and donated by Lambertville and New Hope area artists.

The Shad Festival is really an eco-tourism festival. Twenty-five years ago, when the shad stopped running due to pollution, federal and state agencies stepped in to find solutions to the problem. Jack Curtin, a community business leader, was the originator of the Shad Festival 20 years ago - created to celebrate the shad coming back to spawn. There are now local citizen and watchdog groups who monitor the health and ecology of the Delaware River.

Shad spend most of their adult life at sea but migrate to their natural freshwater streams to spawn. After spawning, the adults return to the ocean. As the young shad mature, they will eventually migrate to sea. Not only is the shad one of the most difficult fish to fillet, but its white, rich flesh tastes unlike any other fish.

Lewis Island, just off Lambert Lane, is home to New Jersey's only commercial shad fishery. During your visit to Lambertville for the festival, you can watch demonstrations of shad hauling.

The Shad Festival is sponsored and run by the Lambertville Area Chamber of Commerce. Steve Stegman in chairman of the festival. Ellen Pineno, Office Mgr., coordinates the entire event along with her assistant, Maryann Sterbinsky. They will work overtime the weekend of the festival, making sure things run properly and taking care of emergencies.

Make sure you stop by the Chamber of Commerce table, near the Sojouner at 26 Bridge St. to purchase your OFFICIAL Shad Fest T-shirt. This is the first year that there will be TWO Shad Fest T-shirts for sale. The T-shirts were designed by local artists, Kevin Griffin and Bob Deverall. For more information about the Shad Fest, visit www.lambertville.org or call Ellen at 609-397-0055.

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Boy Scouts-May 2001
by Marilyn Bullock

While the rest of us were decorating Easter eggs and enjoying Sunday dinner, the Boy Scouts of Troop 401, General Nash District , were hiking along the Towpath, on the Pennsylvania side, intent of attaining a 50 Miler Award, a Delaware Canal Patch, and an End to End patch.

The Troop started their 60 mile trek in Easton Pa. When I met up with them, they were only a day away from the end of their journey, Bristol, PA. The last 22 miles of their journey would be on bike and then another 12 miles of hiking. The walk was for 5 days total and each scout had to carry his own camping equipment and supplies, upwards of 30 pounds in each backpack! (If you don't think 30 pounds is heavy, try carrying it around for 50 miles!) Their food consisted mostly of dehydrated food and energy bars and they carried a water filtration system with them in case they could not find access to a good water supply.

In addition to the awards mentioned above, they will also qualify for a No-Trace Award (for leaving their camping areas cleaner than when they arrived) and a Service Project Award (for clearing weeds, trash, and debris from around the canal lock at Point Pleasant. This was a 2 hour project.

Participants in the adventure were: Back row: Dave Huntoon, Phil Huntoon, Rudy Rauschenberger, Dylan Rauschenberger, Dan Shalkowski, and Kevin Weber . Front Row: Bryan Weber, Dave Koenig, Jr., and Dave Koenig, Sr. The scouts range in age from 12 to 16.

The trip was coordinated by Asst. Scoutmaster Dave Koenig, Sr. He started planning in September of 2000 because it took all that time to coordinate the camping sites and plan the trip properly.

Highlights of their trip included: having to find an alternate camping site Day 1 - their proposed site was flooded; finding turtles along the river - they even found a dead snapping turtle (I didn't know there were snapping turtles around here!!!); chatting with Ranger Charlie Broadwater; and just generally enjoying the renovations and cleanup of the towpath and canal!

Part of the requirement for attaining their patches was that each scout and scout leader had to write a 250 word essay on their trip - and the essay had to include 200 words or more about the history of canal.

Wait! There's more - the adventure is not over yet! The final part of the journey will take place in May or June of this year - a 10 mile canoe trip down the Delaware. This will complete the qualifications for the Delaware Canal Patch. Go for it, guys!

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Bastille Day - the Celebration-June 2001
by Marilyn Bullock

Why a Bastille Day Celebration in New Hope anyway?

The answer leads to one man - Will Anderson. Will has lived in Solebury for over 5 years. As the founder of ConcordeFineArts.com, his mission is to be an advocate for the arts as a community volunteer. Will has represented Merck & Co., Inc. as a Trustee for the Arts in support of Merck's strategic philanthropic goals.

The idea for ConcordeFineArts.com came about after a trip he and his wife, Pamela took to Paris in 1998. He had been reading quite a bit about Thomas Jefferson, one of the greatest Francophiles to come out of America, and became sensitized to the richness of the French culture.

In France, Will found the people helpful and delightful and through the art, museums, outdoor cafes and the energy of the river that runs through the city, he started to feel a greater connection to New Hope. It was while in Paris that Will thought that it would be a great idea to develop a website that showed the relationship of the artists and the lifestyles in both communities.

Since 1999, through extensive research, Will has discovered the history of Franco-American roots - roots that were established many decades earlier during the American Revolution and the New Hope Art Impressionists movement at the turn of the century.

Robin Larsen had been curating the ConcordeFineArts.com website. In the fall of 2000, Will proposed to her the idea of formally launching the website via a Bastille Day celebration, an idea that came about after finding out that each year the Alliance Française (an organization of local Francophiles) located in Doylestown had an annual Bastille Day picnic. Robin thought it a great idea, especially since Bastille Day had been celebrated in New Hope years ago - Mechanic Street was closed to local traffic and became a weekend street party!

And so, Bastille Day is born again in New Hope! The following is a planned list of activities:

Friday July 13, 2001
5:00-7:00 PM Art Across the Ocean. Opening Reception for Exhibition of Works by French and American Artists Featured on the Concorde Fine Arts website The Old Stone Church, S. Main Street Open to the public

7:30 - 9:00PM A Reception at the home of New Hope Mayor Larry Keller to honor French Consul Daniele Thomas Easton and Visiting French Artists Scene from Moliere & Music in the garden $10/person. Tickets limited so register in advance. Call 215-862-3396.

Saturday, July 14, 2001
12:00PM - 4:00PM Union Square -Alliance Française* Bastille Day Picnic (members and guests)

*About the Alliance Française-Alliance Française is a world wide organization which started in Paris, France, 117 years ago.They offer French classes (4 levels), discussions in French on various topics twice monthly (at the community center of Westwyk on Hastings Court in Doylestown, PA), conferences, lunches, dinners. They also have a library (about 200 books), French newspapers, magazines, videos, cassettes. They recently started to sponsoring two scholarships to High School students who will pursue the study of French at the University level.

11:00PM - 4:00PM Old Stone Church (in back of) Pétanque Tournament for adults and children. Pétanque is pronounced "pay-tonk" and is one of Europe's most popular outdoor games, a distant cousin of horseshoes and a close relative of Italian bocce ball. It is EASY TO LEARN! Come and enjoy the fun. Event will be limited to 60 people overall and will be scheduled on a first-come/first-serve basis. Pre-register at C'est La Vie French Bakery & Café. Cost is $2 per person - teams of 3.

12:00PM - 4:00PM Union Square and Ferry Street Landing
- Storming of the Bastille
- Art for Young People: Animal Sculptures in Clay
- Wearable Bag Hats
- Sidewalk Chalk Painting
- Face Painting
- Various Street Performers
- Mimes & Stilt Walkers
- Balloon Animals
- Performance by the Urban Funk Monkeys, a local band
- And much more!

Parry Mansion Interactive History- Reenactment troops and famous French historical figures Art Tour of the Mansion - special tour focusing on the art and French influences at the historic site (fee to the Mansion) Traditional folk musicians

New Hope Solebury Library Madeline Look Alike Contest Readings of French Books - Babar, Tin Tin, Madeline, The Little Prince and others Children's Book Sale

New Hope Fencing Academy Open House & Fencing Demonstrations throughout the day

C'est La Vie French Bakery & Café Live Accordion Music from 2:00 - 3:00 and from 4:00 - 6:00. They will be performing "bal musette", accordion music and songs that were made famous by Edith Piaf and Maurice Chevalier. This kind of music makes you want to dance - as in Paris where on Bastille Day people dance in the streets and at small cafés to the music of accordion players

6:30PM -9:00PM The Night They Invented Champagne Bastille Day Celebration at Union Square. Fabulous Food prepared by some of the area's finest chefs - Fine Wines & Festivities Entertainment by Soprano Martina Mettes and accompanist Maria Aquilina Walsh. $35 per person. Ticket sales will be limited, so order in advance. Call 215-862-3396.

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Resources for Wellness and Holistic Living-July 2001
by Marilyn Bullock

The following article is about Resources for Wellness and Holistic Living, a new venture started by non-other than your NewHopePennsylvania.com editor, Marilyn Bullock. I really enjoy interviewing the people in and around New Hope and writing about them. I am unaccustomed to writing about myself and would normally not choose to do it at this time. However, I strongly believe in what I am doing and want to make as many people aware of it as possible. Please bear with me. The following is excerpted from the introductory materials I sent out to about 300 practitioners in our area.

Resources for Wellness and Holistic Living is a local community of wellness practitioners dedicated to increasing public awareness of whole body health and personal development. Practitioners meet locally once every one or two months to interact with colleagues or to attend Wellness Resources training or seminar events. The long-term plan of Wellness Resources is to be a national non-profit professional organization for holistic practitioners of all disciplines. Membership benefits are: Internet presence, invitations to attend Resources for Wellness and Holistic Living members-only events, discounts to public events.

The Resources for Wellness and Holistic Living community is currently centered in the small geographical area that falls within a 45-minute drive of New Hope, PA. Other towns and cities will be added gradually, allowing us, as we grow, to build a solid network of reliable practitioner members and interested public supporters.

Information about Resources for Wellness and Holistic Living is available to practitioners and to the general public via the Internet. The Resources for Wellness and Holistic Living website (www.resourcesforwellness.org) includes practitioner listings, information about holistic treatments and services, an events calendar, a classified ads sections, a "members only" section, and much more.

Why did I start Resources for Wellness and Holistic Living? In 1999, the day before New Year's Eve, my doctor called to tell me that the lump I had recently discovered in my right breast was cancerous. Only someone who has been told they have cancer can understand the range of emotions that followed! After getting over the "woe is me" stage, I had to make some serious decisions. I am familiar with traditional cancer therapies, having, over the last four years, witnessed several good friends struggle with chemotherapy treatments before their bodies finally gave up the battle against these harsh chemicals. My whole being knew that chemotherapy would not be an option for me and I quickly put myself under the care of local practitioners whose services I had used in the past.

For traditional treatment, I ultimately decided to undergo a lumpectomy and local radiation. My complementary treatments included: high dosage supplements, homeopathic remedies, acupuncture, chiropractic, daily visualization exercises, Essiac tea, Neuro-Emotional Technique (N.E.T.) treatments, and energetic healing. I also dramatically changed my diet and my career. No longer the "corporate sales person", I made a conscious decision to follow my heart. I am now a website designer and editor (www.designsbymarilyn.com.) I have always enjoyed the technical aspect of computers and my college major was art. Web design allows me to enjoy both!

In January 2001, during a massage session, I received a "message" to pull together a group of holistic practitioners - with the intention of creating some kind of interactive community oriented towards holistic and natural healing. I proceeded to invite about 12 practitioner friends and acquaintances to my home for an initial meeting in February 2001. When I described to them my vision of creating a community of practitioners that is dedicated to the promotion and support of the holistic philosophy, they were extremely supportive. Resources for Wellness and Holistic Living was born and I invite you to visit whether you are healthy or ill.

As for my current health, I feel happier and healthier now than I have ever felt. When people ask me why I left my previous career, I not so jokingly tell them "I did it for my health!" For more information on Resources for Wellness and Holistic Living, give me a call at 215-862-6489.

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Free Library-August 2001
by Marilyn Bullock

The Free Library of New Hope and Solebury has been at it current location on Ferry Street since 1973. Before that , the building was a Presbyterian church and the library was housed at the Parry Salt House, what is now Martine's Restaurant. Our library is Central Bucks County's oldest library for a community our size. It has won honors for its children's programs, volunteer corps, and community service.

Much of the credit goes to Frances Greene, who has been the librarian at the Free Library for 13 years. Frances came to the library at the recommendation of a friend, a principal at one of the Hatboro Schools near where Frances and her husband live. Her biggest dream for the library is to GET MORE PEOPLE TO USE IT! She is adamant about that.

The Free Library is part of the 18-location Bucks County Library System. What does that mean? It means that you can take out a book in Doylestown and return it to the New Hope Free Library or to Morrisville or to the Pennswood Branch in Langhorne or to any of the other libraries. It means that, if there is a book you want, but it is located in one of the other brances, you can have it sent to the New Hope Free Library. There is also an entire section of the library set aside for video and books-on-tape rentals. And you can keep most of them at least 2 weeks!

The Free Library must raise at least 70% of its funding from private and public sources. This is accomplished via fund drives, book sales, and the Musical Fireworks program, a series of musical performances held exclusively to raise funds for the Free Library. Without John and Sylvia Walsh, it is probable that the Musical Fireworks program wouldn't exist. Each season they contact NYC, Philadelphia, and local musical artists to perform at the 300-seat entertainment center at the New Hope-Lambertville Rescue Squad Hall.

There are only 3 paid employees at the library, Frances Greene, librarian, Lisa Pruess, her assistant, and Mary Lou Chianese, the office manager. The 50+ volunteer corps helps to keep the library open 48 hours a week, Monday through Saturday.

Frances would like to see the library as a community center. As it is, Tuesday mornings are the Children's Reading Program for kindergarten through 4th grade. Wednesday mornings, there is a "Read to me Club" for ages 2 - up to but not including kindergarteners. And then there is the Thursday Club for grades 4, 5, and 6. She says that people like to come to the library to meet and greet others, to volunteer, and to just stay part of the community.

Support Your Local Library. If you have never been there, GO! If you are a supporter, thank you! The Free Library of New Hope and Solebury is located at 93 West Ferry Street. Call them at 215-862-2330.

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THEATER & MUSIC

George S(imon) Kaufman - Mar 2001
by Marilyn Bullock

George S. Kaufman (1889-1961) was one of the greatest figures during the big Broadway era. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Kaufman was a charter member of the "Algonquin Round Table", a journalistic luncheon group that met during the 1920s and 1930s. The Algonquin Hotel gathered the likes of Dorothy Parker, Robert E. Sherwood, Heywood Broun, Alexander Woollcott, Marc Connelly, Edna Ferber, Franklin P.Adams, and Robert Benchley.

In 1936 George Kaufman and his wife, Beatrice purchased a beautiful 30 acre 1740 farm a few short miles outside of New Hope. Kaufman called his homestead "Cherchez la ferme". It is now called the Barley Sheaf Farm and is an exquisite Bed & Breakfast Inn. Kaufman spent long periods of time at his home in Bucks county and worked on many of his plays here, collaborating with Moss Hart and others (he was known as the "Great Collaborator".)

The Kaufmans entertained often and had houseguests almost every weekend. In addition to the Algonquin Round Table members, guests included Moss Hart, The Marx Brothers, and Lillian Hellman.Some of Kaufman's most famous plays were done in collaboration with Moss Hart, notably: Once in a Lifetime (1930), Merrily We Roll Along (1934), You Can't Take It with You (1936; Pulitzer Prize), and The Man Who Came to Dinner(1939).

Among his later works are The Late George Apley (with J. P. Marquand, 1944) and The Solid Gold Cadillac (with Howard Teichmann, 1954). Kaufman directed several successful plays including The Front Page (1928), My Sister Eileen (1940), and Guys and Dolls (1950).

To read more about the Broadway greats who lived in New Hope, get a copy of "The Genius Belt", published by the James A. Michener Art Museum.

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Just Jazzin' Around - April 01
by Marilyn Bullock

Who says you can't find musical performances of old favorites anymore? "Just Jazzin' Around" starring RoseMarie Farrell and Al Byer will give you just that and more!

Love songs, fun songs, and Broadway tunes - on May 17th and May 24th, RoseMarie and Al will once again be performing at Odette's in New Hope, their fifth show together.

RoseMarie and Al met several years ago at Fred Miller's Copper Penny Players. In 1998 they started singing together. Their lively banter, interspersed with humor and wit, have charmed audiences at retirement communities and community centers; many Copper Penny shows; and the Odette's performances.

RoseMarie Farrell and her husband, Ray, live in Richboro, PA, where they raised six children, now all married adults. RoseMarie has been singing for two decades, performing for five years in the "Fractured Follies" in the 1980's and singing in various Long Island nightclubs. When she performs, her family is usually there to cheer her on!

Al has been a working musician his entire adult life. His musical career began as an accordionist in Philadelphia, the Poconos and the Catskills. He was Musical Director of the U.S. Army show called "At Ease", which toured military bases in the South West.

Al has played with dozens of bands in the Philadelphia area and also plays Dixieland banjo. His singing career began when he joined Copper Penny Players. He has also performed on stage - as Arvide in "Guys & Dolls" and as Ed Peterson in "Fiorello." Al lives in Maple Glen and has four grown children.

See Al and RoseMarie at Odette's on May 17th or May 24th. Their shows usually sell out 1 to 2 weeks before each performance, so book early! Call 215-862-3000 for reservations.

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Jim Hamilton- May 2001
by Marilyn Bullock

You've eaten at the World Class restaurant Hamilton's Grill Room and probably at the Fish House also. Both are owned by longtime Lambertville resident, Jim Hamilton. What some people may not realize is that Jim Hamilton is a schooled artist, accomplished set designer, teacher, philanthropist, volunteer, as well as successful businessman and town legend.

How did Jim Hamilton move from art student to restaurateur? Via Broadway, of course!

Jim has a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Master's Degree from Yale. All through college, on summer breaks, he worked with Summer Theater, gradually becoming more interested in stage and theater design than in canvas art.

After graduating college and getting out of the army, a former colleague offered Jim a job designing scenery. Soon after, an agent got him a job working off-Broadway in a Latin Quarter Dinner Theater.

Jim Hamilton's interest in Theater eventually led him to open his own theater design business in Lambertville. For 25 years he ran a successful business with over 35 employees - theater and prop design for Broadway shows, prop and float design for Ringling Brothers, lighting for the Ice Capades, industrial scenery for Ford Motor Company, and much more.

Fifteen years ago, Jim decided to retire from theater (but not work) and sold his building in Lambertville. Jim's next venture led him to restaurant design. His first project was the Swan Hotel. Fourteen years ago, Jim and four others bought the Porkyard complex where Jim designed the layouts for all the buildings, including Hamilton's Grill Room and the Boat House.

After a couple of years of restaurant design and after having taken several years of 2-week courses at the finest cooking schools in Europe (to learn how to design for cooks), Jim decided that he would never again design a kitchen for the owner of the restaurant - he would design for the MENU. "If I know the menu, I can tell you what the budget should be for the personnel, the number of required staff, the place settings. I can even tell you what type of flowers should be displayed on opening night!"

Some of Jim Hamilton's projects include: the brick terrace at the Raven, the addition to Mother's, and the newly opened Moonlight in New Hope.

During his FREE time, Jim loves to ski and travels to Colorado, Vermont, and Argentina to get his fill. Lucky for him, "I now only work half days - 9 to 9!"

It is obvious in talking to Jim Hamilton that he is not comfortable talking about his own accomplishments. He prefers to site his father's deeds (his father was a doctor in Lambertville). But just ask anyone around town - Jim has cast his own shadow on Lambertville, New Hope, and beyond. And we all get to enjoy the comfort and beauty of it. Thank you Mr. Jim Hamilton!

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Entertainment at the Bastille Day Celebration!- June 2001
by Marilyn Bullock

Music and entertainment will "stimulate your senses" for much of the day, Saturday, July 14, 2001, as ConcordeFineArts.com sponsors the First Annual Bastille Day celebration in New Hope.

During the day, at Union Square, enjoy the jazz sounds of The Urban Funk Monkeys, local pop/jazz group. Dave Aaronson, John Krist, Jared Mancuso, and Sam Strzelec have been playing together for over a year and have published their first CD, entitled "On the Bus". Dave is the drummer, John plays lead guitar, Jared plays bass and backup vocals, and Sam is vocals, rhythm guitar and keyboard.

If you prefer the haunting sounds of Paris, visit C'est La Vie French Bakery & Café for "le bal musette" and other popular French music, performed by Accordionist Simon Vannelli of Marseilles, France from 2:00 - 3:00 and Len Polis, "Paris Moscow", accordion/guitar ensemble from 4:00 - 6:00.

On Saturday evening , Union Square will come alive with classical music performed by local artists: Soprano Martina Mettes and accompanist Maria Aquilana .

Martina Mettes is a native of Netherlands and has been singing since she was a child. She has performed in France, Japan, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey . While living and performing in France, she had the opportunity to appear in a recital in Monaco with well-known French Baritone, Gabriel Bacquier. Her love of French language and culture has led her to perform several times for different chapters of the Alliance Française. She will be performing works by Jaques Offenbach and by Georges Bizet on Saturday evening.

A high-energy New Hope resident, Maria Aquilana Walsh is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and Columbia University Teachers College. She studied piana at Penn State and on Long Island and taught music in the Freeport and Farmingdale Schools on Long Island. Having recently retired as Director of Fine Arts in Farmingdale, Maria now teaches private piano accompanies choirs and soloists.

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Ed Wilson- July 2001
by Marilyn Bullock

If you were hanging out at the Logan Inn a couple of weekends ago, you might have enjoyed the lively music performance by Ed Wilson. Shy, modest, and reserved, Ed Wilson lives a life many of use might envy.

Ed lives on an old farmhouse outside of Washington Crossing, NJ, repairs guitars, and performs professionally, singing and playing acoustic guitar. He has so many calls for performances that he "could work every night of the week" if he chooses to do so. And all this is via word-of-mouth.

Sound like a dream job? It hasn't always been smooth rolling. Ed started playing guitar when he was only six years old. However, he didn't start playing professionally until ten years ago. He's lived in the area all of his life and has worked at "just about everything you can imagine." One of his jobs was working at Russo's Music Center in Trenton, where he learned guitar repair. Now he repairs guitars in his home shop and has a large client base.

In 1991 he joined the Johnny Charles Band, a blues band out of Somerville, NJ. During his second week with the Johnny Charles Band, the lead singer quit and Ed was asked if he could sing. "I don't know," he said. He tried it and he was good. He got to be really good by sitting for hours in his room listening to the styles of Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Steve Ray Vaughn, and BB King.

The Johnny Charles Band was well known for being the opening act for many well-known blues artists, including BB King. Ed stayed with Johnny Charles Band for 5 years. When the "acoustic movement", as Ed calls it, took hold in the 90's, things picked up for Ed in terms of his performing. He also played for a while with a nine piece band, Grand Central, out of East Brunswick, NJ.

Ed finally broke out on his own in 1996. Since then, he's had the opportunity to perform with several bands who have had major recording contracts, among them singer/songwriter Chris Harford and Ween, with whom he co-wrote a song in 1994.

Nowadays, Ed concentrates on his solo work and guitar repair. He also plays with a cover band, The Chain Smokers, three to four times per month. What makes Ed good is his dedication to his art. He puts 100% emotion into each performance. He still can't quite fathom his own popularity but thinks it is partially due to his ability to impersonate artists. At each performance, Ed consciously makes the decision of how much of his own voice he will use and how much he will impersonate artists such as Cat Stevens, Van Morrison, James Taylor, and Bob Dylan.

What does Ed like most about his life? Firstly, he loves his wife of five years, Joyce. Secondly, he loves to sit on the porch with his dog, Rahji. Ed enjoys hiking, the shore, and is also an avid record collector, with over 1,000 albums in his possession.

Ed's plans for the future? An original band…. stayed tuned! Contact Ed at jbwew@bellatlantic.net or go see him at Joseph's Garden Grill in Langhorne on Sat. July 7th or at the Brick Hotel in Newtown on July 8th, 22nd, or 27th.

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Bucks County Playhouse-August 2001
by Marilyn Bullock

This year, the Bucks County Playhouse celebrates its 62nd season. Located in the center of New Hope, the Bucks County Theater was a catalyst for New Hope's retail development. When a group of theater buffs, including Moss Hart, bought the gristmill in 1939, to turn it into a theater, they didn't know that the landscape of New Hope was about to change. There were 70 performances the first year (1939). Of all those performances, there were only 28 seats that were not sold! With the tourists flocking to New Hope, restaurants and shops sprang up all over town.

For the first few decades after its opening, the Bucks County Playhouse attracted the talents of Edward Everett Horton, Hume Cronyn, Mildred Natwick, Katherine Locke, Joe E. Brown, Charles Butterworth, Louis Calhern, Grace Kelly, Jack Klugman, Jessica Tandy, John Carradine, Kitty Carlisle, and Angela Lansbury.

Ralph Miller took over the Bucks County Playhouse 26 years ago and has been running it ever since. He is committed to maintaining the quality of shows and performances at the playhouse. He is also in the process of forming a theater/music camp for underprivileged children.

Others who have been working at the Playhouse for many years continue to make it a mainstay for Bucks County theatergoers. The talented Stephen Casey is the current artistic director and has been with the Bucks County Playhouse for over 10 years. Kara Powers , assistant producer, has worked 8 of the last 10 seasons as an actor and still performs occasionally. Michael Naylor, in charge of Marketing and Communications, has been with the Playhouse for over 14 years.

Shows run throughout the year Tuesdays - Sundays with matinees on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Group tickets and Season Tickets are available and there is discounted parking available to subscribers in the theater parking lot. The Bucks County Playhouse also runs a Summer Children's Theater on Fridays and Saturdays. These shows feature classic fairy tales and stories and are performed by local children and high school students. The children love to see other children on stage and the Summer Children's Theater has become a huge success.

Some folks think that the heyday of the Bucks County Playhouse is long gone. To the contrary, new Broadway stars are still in the making here in lovely New Hope. Audra McDonald, who played here in 1990, has gone on to become a 3-time Tony Award winner, having played in "Avita", "Man of La Mancha","Master Class","Ragtime", and "Carousel" at the Lincoln Center. Jason Raize, who played the Phantom here in 1994, went on to become the original Simba in "The Lion King" on Broadway.

Come visit the Bucks County Playhouse soon. You never know who the next Broadway star will be! To get a list of upcoming shows, go to What's New or visit the Bucks County Playhouse website at www.buckscountyplayhouse.com.

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