Archive for September, 2013

Trust in yourself …

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013
Ashley Babbitt

Anyone who has witnessed me outside of The Evening Sun building trying to purchase a beverage from the vending machine might think I am a psycho.

I put in my dollar bill – I’ll admit, it’s pretty crumpled and folded after being in my pocket all day – and the machine spits it back out. So I try again. And again, and again and again.

“Come on. It’s a real Federal Reserve Note. I swear. An actual paper I-O-U. Take it, I’m thirsty.”

Then I go back to my desk, announce I’ve been talking to the vending machine, and start talking to my co-workers about silver.

Let’s rewind a month or so, the weekend of the Chenango Blues Fest. Awesome vendors from all over brought the fruits of their labor to sell to patrons checking out the music. Blues Fest is my favorite time to be a Chenango County resident. I always leave with a refreshed soul, lots of unique goodies and empty pockets. This year I did a couple not-so-smart things. I bought a pair of earrings, put them in, decided to put my hair up, and one of the earrings fell out somewhere in the grass. Down $20. Then, at some point throughout the day, I dropped $30 out of my pocket (perhaps I should use that wallet I carry around in my purse).

Anyway, I didn’t realize I dropped any money and I made my way to the Tie Dye Yogi tent, where I make a purchase from Joe every year. I found this terrific shirt, blue with a white heart dyed into the bottom left corner. Score! Upon reaching into my pocket to pull out my FRNs, I noticed they were no longer there. Total bummer for gal looking to make a purchase. I searched through my purse for probably seven minutes with no luck. I found a five dollar bill, but that wasn’t going to help. I told Joe I’d catch him next year.
I started walking away when I checked a zipper part of my purse one last time. Two ounces of silver from the Suns of Liberty Mint.
I first learned of the Suns of Liberty Mint while attending PorcFest in New Hampshire. I think I bought some of their silver quarters then, and have since made purchases online.

I’d say tangible wealth is pretty important. What would you do if your bank went bankrupt?

Employees used to be paid in silver coins for the work they did. With the popularity of direct deposit (and let’s face it … convenience is a drug), many folks never even see the fruits of their labor. They get a receipt letting them know how much is in their account, they use a plastic card to purchase their goods, and get an e-statement each month letting them know the remaining account balance.

“You know, Ashley, silver will never replace our money. You shouldn’t waste your money on it.”
…Really? I understand the government’s monopoly on money, but I’d disagree that silver is a waste. Fiat currency is not backed by silver or gold reserves. It’s not backed by anything. It’s just printed and used as legal tender. Silver (or gold, or other precious metals) has intrinsic value.

The value of silver is constantly changing, but it has worth. It’s physical, tangible, actual wealth. It’s not a paper I-O-U.

“Ah, I don’t have any cash but I did just remember I have some silver, if you’re interested,” I said to the vendor at Blues Fest. He was all about it. We agreed on how much the shirt was worth and made the trade. Perfect. He had tangible wealth to take home to account for the labor and time he put into creating the shirt, and I left a happy camper.

There are lots of advantages to possessing silver – or investing in silver. I’ve since used my silver quarters as a bartering tool on a number of occasions. It’s also a great conversation starter for folks who may not be familiar with its benefits.

While at PorcFest I had the pleasure of meeting Dave Breger, or Silver Dave, the founder of the Suns of Liberty Mint. Dave – A former Green Beret in the US Army – said he came to the realization after ten years that he was not defending liberty, but corporate interests at the cost of the freedom of every person in the world, including himself.

“It had become clear to me that the fiat monetary system is the basis of government power,” he said.

It was two years ago when he decided he was going to make divisible silver, in small portions so that folks were able to use it as a bartering tool.

This has indeed worked well.

It took time, research and experimentation but today he is able to make 1,000 bars by himself in a single day.

“We started with almost nothing,” he said, adding the mint now has machines that operate at maximum efficiency. He has lived in a garage for about 13 months and takes pride in producing a quality product.

“I always believe that the greatest things never come easy,” he added.

What is great about this for me is that he and the Suns of Liberty Mint provide something that is not only interesting to me, but has a real purpose.

I see it as a terrific alternative to fiat money. Sure, some places only want your FRNs that are only worth the paper they’re printed on, but other small businesses or individuals get a thumbs up in my book when they express interest in something a little different.

It’s probably time to boycott the use of the vending machine outside the office. It never seems to be content with my I-O-Us, and I’m sick of arguing with it.

I enjoy purchasing silver when it makes sense to me, I like to save some and then allot myself some to spend. I like to see where I can use it.

Let’s be honest … Chenango County isn’t the most forward thinking place on the planet. We’ve all got our ways of doing things. But I have been absolutely shocked by the positive reception when I say, “Well, I can give you a little bit of silver for that instead of cash, if you want.” I’ve used them as a tip at a restaurant, a gift for a friend, compensation for a job completed at my house … lots of things.

When I look at my bank account I realize I don’t have a whole lot of extra after everything is paid. However, I do have the satisfaction of knowing I have a nice little bit of cute silver, and that silver actually means something.

Each silver quarter from the Suns of Liberty Mint has its weight, .25 troy ounces as well as the purity, .99 fine silver stamped on it. It also, as perhaps expected, a sun.

Rather than “In God we trust,” – something I’m not all about in the first place but is all over the monopolized paper currency in circulation – the silver quarters are stamped with “Trust in yourself.”

Now that’s something I can support. Absolutely.

Who will I debate with now?

Saturday, September 14th, 2013
Ashley Babbitt

The summer before I went off to college in Buffalo I worked with Headwaters Youth Conservation Corps. I learned how to cut wood with a saw, use a hammer, build foot-bridges, maintain trails … a bunch of stuff. It was pretty cool. I met some interesting folks, and my best friend also was on board the team with me. Basically we got to spend all summer out in the woods. I can’t complain about that. Anyway, one of the aforementioned interesting individuals was the recently departed staff writer for The Evening Sun, Kevin Doonan.

It was June of 2006. I remember Kevin started later than the rest of us. He graduated from Sherburne. I want to say I learned his first day that he played soccer, but maybe I made that up. He could carry heavier things than I could. Quick with come-backs and had a laugh you could hear from the other side of Rogers Conservation Center. His plans were to go to school in Potsdam, which he did.

The following summer, between freshman and sophomore year of college, we all returned for a summer of working in the woods, Kevin included. It was sometime during that stint with Headwaters that I had a run-in with poison ivy (or oak, or sumac … poison something). It wasn’t fun. Regardless, I think it’s safe today all of us in the group learned a lot and grew as people.

From 2007 to 2013 Kevin and I crossed paths once, at The Blarney Stone Pub in Norwich. Just a quick, “Hey, how are ya?” and swapped a couple memories from Headwaters. We both attended Binghamton University, but we didn’t cross paths once. I commuted.

Then, I got a job as a staff writer for The Evening Sun. Lo and behold, Kevin Doonan was also employed by Snyder Communications. Starting a new job can be nerve-wrecking, but it was neat to know that I wasn’t going to be solely working with strangers – even though I would have no problem with that.

Senior reporter Shawn Magrath, Kevin Doonan, and little “cub reporter” me, rounded out the reporter staff for Chenango County’s Monday-Friday publication – aside from Sports Editor Pat Newell, who attends games and handles all of the local sports action solo.

I sometimes see on social media sites people complaining about how they can’t stand their job, or the people they work with. These folks can’t wait for Friday to roll around because they’re unhappy with how they’re spending their days. This isn’t the case with me.

The dynamic of the office was terrific. Kevin’s laughter was infectious – albeit loud, and Shawn is always spot-on with one-liners when they’re least expected. Kevin would walk in with a bang and Shawn’s swagger when entering the building was often undetectable, though I’ve since caught on.

Shawn keeps the plants thoroughly watered (even the one in the kitchen), and I’m always aware of when he is about to make a phone call … he is sure to clear his throat every single time.

Kevin would have a bagel in the morning – half of which he usually ate on his 25 mile commute each morning. Then he’d eat a yogurt at some point. …It’s just funny the things you pick up when spending a good chunk of the day with the same folks.

Prior to deadline is quiet time. I have to admit, we weren’t always silent. Some mornings we were reminded by The Evening Sun’s Managing Editor Brian Golden we had time to converse after 10 a.m.

We had many “firsts” as a team of reporters. The first time we all stood up from our desks in sync. The first time we were all in the office kitchen at the same time. The first time we left at the same time. …Fun things.

We’ve taken photos of “copious amounts” of marijuana, followed fires, documented recoveries of bodies, attended arraignments of alleged murderers.

Shawn – a stranger to me in the beginning – is quick-witted and has terrific math skills. If you’re wondering how old someone is if they were born in December of 1927, and need the answer quickly, ask Shawn. He’s also great at keeping track of the milk in the fridge and – of course – writing. It seems he is lucky, too. Just about every morning he catches the green light at the intersection we both have to go through to get to the office. I sit there at the red light, waiting to go straight, and he takes his right, cruising right on by and beating me to work. I point at him every time this happens. He never sees me, but strangers do, and I get weird looks.

Kevin and I hardly ever see eye-to-eye, on about any issue you could think of. Well, I guess there were a couple where our opinions were maybe-sort-of-semi-similar, but for the most part, no way. We could spend hours debating about gun rights, transparency of government, police accountability, economics, crimes that are malum prohibitum, if cats are better than dogs, and which types of coconut water are tastier than others. Literally, so much fun.

Shawn interjects here and there, but for the most part his opinion on the above matters remain somewhat of a mystery to me, and I enjoy that. Although I know he prefers dogs.

We all got our work done, but still had time to enjoy the fun in it. After all, what’s a job if it only feels like a job? I have said this before, but I’m in this to live for living. I can’t let my occupation define me as a person, it’s not how I roll. Waking up every day and being excited about what’s going to ensue … that’s awesome.

That being said, Kevin has opted to pack up camp and head to Baltimore. I’m happy for my friend and former co-worker. I’m absolutely sure he will have a terrific time. And if the wind is right, we’ll all still be able to hear him laugh from six hours away.

The only thing that stays the same is change. While the dynamics of the office without Kevin’s presence will certainly be altered, it should be fun and exciting nonetheless. The entirety of The Evening Sun’s staff will certainly be a little busier now, but it’s nothing we can’t handle. We’re pretty hardcore. Especially Shawn (you should see him as he departs the office to go to a meeting … talk about pumped up).

Alright, this has been long enough. Good luck, Kevin. Thanks for giving me all the junk you had on your desk you didn’t want.

I shall now be cliché and quote Bob Dylan … “The times they are a’changin’.”

“Comfortable hole, Bye”

Friday, September 13th, 2013
Kevin Doonan

Cleaning out my desk has turned out to be a lot easier than I thought it would be. Moving on can be tough but everything comes to an end, every end is a new beginning, yadda yadda yadda. 
Working at The Evening Sun has been pretty awesome and I will miss it. Unfortunately gum can only be chewed so many times before it loses its flavor. 
As this is my last contribution to the paper I feel there are a few things I should clear the air about. I think guns are cool and like having them, but do not believe there is any logical explanation for every whacko to in turn have one and therefore question my own right to possess lethal weapons without 1) being a member of the mafia, 2) being a hunter 3) being an avid shooting competitor. “But I need it for protection…” lock your door, get a Taser, learn how to defend yourself. If you need a gun to defend yourself it may be because you’re overzealous or easily provoked. I would like to think we have come a long way since the O.K. Corral, but if the aggressor is packing heat then well yeah a shotgun probably would come in handy.   
Also I think people make law enforcement a necessity. Whatever slight anyone may feel about the existence of police is a fair tradeoff for the countless sex offenders and violent criminals who are to a degree kept at bay by law enforcement. I love people, I think we are all fascinating, interesting, beautiful creatures. However, I wouldn’t trust my neighbor nor the mother who bore him not to sell my kids a pound of heroin should they come on hard enough times. Within us all moors the ships of good and evil. Without the checks and balances of an organized society who’s to tell which ship will cast off. To the utopian anarchists who think otherwise, take a vacation in Columbia, maybe you’ll get lucky and someone will mention you on the radio afterwards.    
On another side note sometimes – and this is just a thought which has occurred to me – arguing about the specifics of high-volume hydraulic fracturing is a little like arguing about whether or not Santa Claus is trespassing.
Digressions aside, I love Chenango County. As a 24 year old single guy though, I find it might not quite be my speed. At least for now. I do have every intention of one day settling down and growing roots – as well as children, which also require a copious amount watering – in the area. The truth is I have neither the inkling to berth in port nor the consort to do so. So for now it’s time to go out into the world and see what there is to see. 
You haven’t heard the last of me though for I will be contributing frequently to 30 Seconds. “What the heck was that liberal garbage in today’s paper! I am canceling my subscription because I have been offended by a tittle to an article I haven’t read! Rabble rabble rabble.”
To the individuals I have worked with it, it has been great. I’ve loved everyone of you and I wish you all the best of luck.
P.S. in case anyone read my “thumb” today and did not get that I was joking, I was. I think the paper will not even notice my departure.

A universe governed by irony

Friday, September 13th, 2013
Shawn Magrath

• In an unexpected twist of fate mixed with a dash of irony, fire ripped through parts of the newly rebuilt Jersey Boardwalk on Thursday. Of course, the New Jersey landmark made national headlines when most of it was swept away by Superstorm Sandy last October. Most of us, I’m sure, can recall the image of the mangled roller coaster that became a symbol of the damage Sandy left behind. Although no reports of injury have yet been reported as a result of the fire, my thoughts are with those who are dealing with the this second hard-hitting punch in less than a year. In the midst of the devastation, one thing is clear: God must have a grudge against the Jersey shore.

In Boulder Colorado, a place that was battling severe wildfires just a few short years ago, residents are taking on enormous amounts of flooding. Fire where there was flooding and flooding where there was fire… The universe really is governed by irony, isn’t it?

• It turns out Apple’s new iPhone is a disappointment. Apple makes a good product, but the company’s real success over the last two decades is attributed to its ability to innovate and introduce the world to cutting-edge concepts – features that I think that are lacking in Apple’s “latest and greatest.” Perhaps if the new iPhone made breakfast once in awhile, or slapped a hearty high-five every time I sent a text, I would have more faith that Apple will continue its success for another decade. But until then, my feelings are… complicated.

• In events closer to home, the Chenango County Board of Supervisors approved entering a 30-year lease agreement with the Eaton Center for rented space for the the county courts and court staff. Admittedly, I don’t have the fiscal sense to say this is a good or bad deal for the county, though I’ve gotten an ear full from both sides of the debate since a resolution to enter a lease was passed on Monday. Unfortunately, some of the finer details of the agreement took place behind the closed doors of executive session (a reporter’s enemy). I do, however, feel comfortable saying 30 years is an awfully long time. Just something to consider…

• Friday marks Kevin Doonan’s final day as an Evening Sun reporter. He’s devastated. But like a trooper, he’s working his way through this dark hour by cleaning out his desk and listening to R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” over and over and over and over. And just as former ES reporter Melissa DeCordova did when she left, he’s pawing through drawers of old, useless hard copy to leave behind with anyone who’s willing to take it. It’s the reporter equivalent of saying, “I never used this. Here, you throw it out for me.”

Remembering Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001

Friday, September 13th, 2013
Patrick Newell

We’re two days removed from the 12th anniversary of 9/11 attacks, and I retraced my steps to that Tuesday morning – a unremarkable start to my day in every way until all hell broke loose.
Coming off a Monday night of sports, I had my usual array of soccer games to report; moreover, Tuesdays during the fall we publish our weekly football contest, and I typically spent a few hours on Monday evening going through all of the entries, writing up a small article with the results of the contest, and then typing in the picks for our experts to appear in the Tuesday edition. I can’t remember exactly, but I believe we had moved to a two-section paper in 2001, and my deadline to finish the sports section was 8 a.m. Prior to that, I had the same deadline as the front section — 10 a.m. With this new schedule, I would arrive for work in the 6:30 a.m. range (I have picked up a little speed, and now it’s around 6:40 a.m.), to design my three pages for the sports section integrating national news, local news, and complementing that with a standings and statistics page. Following my deadline, I would catch up on paperwork, and go through my schedule for the upcoming evening. Considering I was to return to work around 4 p.m. for a long evening of attending and reporting games, it was my norm to exit the Sun’s premises before 9 a.m. Moments before I was about to leave, word came of a commuter jet striking the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Our publisher, Dick Snyder – whose office was located down the hall from us in the Pennysaver building here in Norwich – stepped into our office to notify our staff of the plane crash. I was off of my deadline, so I (and a few other employees), trekked to Dick’s office for more information. I believe Jeff Genung, our editor, even left his desk for a few moments to take a look at the news on Dick’s television. Rumors were rampant regarding the source of the attack, and as TV reporters were trying to make some sense of it all – and as the burning North Tower was on screen – what looked like a toy airplane crashed into the South Tower. My own speculation after the first plane hit the North Tower was that it was a flight gone awry.. After the second crash, all of us in Dick’s room knew something was terribly wrong. Little did we know how wrong. Three daily papers serve part or all of the Chenango County area, and ours was the only one to have up-to-date reporting of the 9/11 attacks. Such is the benefit of a late-morning/early afternoon newspaper. Watching the tragedy unfold before my eyes – and millions of others – I wonder if this is what TV viewers felt when they saw Jack Ruby step out of a crowd and shoot Lee Harvey Oswald as Oswald was being transported to another jail.

While I was already entrenched in the newspaper business in 2001, our three current reporters were still in school, while current editor Brian Golden was in early 20s and at least seven or eight years away from his first newspaper job. Here are the remembrances of the current staff:

Ashley Biviano: “I was in 8th grade. It happened during math class, but they never told us. I went to English class, and still not a word until the bell rang, when the teacher said, “Oh, the Twin Towers fell down.” In the cafeteria, one kid was running around yelling how someone was going to bomb the school. Then, in Mr. Telesky’s class, we finally got to turn on the TV to see what the heck everyone was talking about. Mr. Telesky was awesome.”

Shawn Magrath: “I was in 10th grade. I watched the second plane strike the South Tower exactly as I walked into my second period Earth Science class.”

Kevin Doonan: “I was in seventh grade Spanish class, in my middle school at Chambers and West Street in Manhattan. I remember the white rain choking the air, the confusion, and the terror. More than anything I remember the quiet calm between explosions and the placid certainty of death.”

Brian Golden (Note- this is an excerpt of a column Brian published regarding the attack): “I remember sitting in the living room of my apartment, drinking coffee, reading a book (probably Tolkien), and waiting for a typical day of carpet installation … power stretchers, staple guns, seam irons, stair tools and tackstrips included.
Hearing my phone ring shortly before 9 a.m. was certainly no warning, in and of itself. Knowing full well it would be either my father (on his way to pick me up for work) or Adam (Bosworth, we typically spoke mornings to discuss all things related to our band), I was completely unprepared for what followed. I received a call from Adam, who had a strange strange note of hysteria in his voice I’d never heard before, immediately related the news that – just moments before – a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. Having no cable at the time, I immediately flicked on the radio, just in time to hear, in a strange sort of terrible harmony, Adam and whatever newscaster was on the air at the time begin screaming “NO” and for a pilot unseen to turn the plane. And that’s when United Airlines Flight 175 struck the South Tower. I remember spending the rest of that day in a kind of haze.”
What are your memories of that day? Feel free to share with us.

Follow me on Twitter @evesunpat

First-week gridiron notes

Monday, September 9th, 2013
Patrick Newell

Greene’s Dave Gorton filled in as interim varsity head coach last season directing the Trojans to a win over Whitney Point. Gorton helmed Greene in Tim Paske’s stead, and Paske eventually stepped down as head coach following an eighth straight winning campaign. Gorton inherited a fair number of returning players, but knew a lot of young players – sophomores and even a few freshman – would not only have to fill varsity spots, but likely play prominent roles this season. Knowing you’re the “new guy” directing a winning program, outside scrutiny is a given, but Gorton and his staff have eschewed and perhaps ignored the expectations of outsiders. “The focus, whether you are a first-year head coach or a veteran coach is the kids,” Gorton said. “We want to control what is in our power to control, and that is our preparedness and effort. The entire coaching staff is focused on the players, and any pressure we feel is intrinsic because we want them to have a chance to be successful on every play.” So far, so good for Gorton, his staff, and the collective varsity unit. Greene throttled Bainbridge-Guilford on the road, 37-0, Friday night. The offense had one drive in which it drove 95 yards on 19 plays, it ran 69 plays overall, and held B-G to just two first downs for the game and 18 total plays. Linemen Wyatt VanderBunt, Alex Kozisky, Nick Adams, Phil Nelson and Jeff Pornbeck controlled the game, Gorton said. Third-year quarterback Joe Beckwith was nearly perfect, running back Joel Roselle was his physical self, and first-year defensive coordinator, John Martinson, had the Trojans’ defense well prepared forcing three turnovers and negative total yards until the third quarter.

Oxford’s 32-14 loss to Dryden was not nearly as bad as it looked. From this writer’s perspective, the Blackhawks’ Friday game was a veritable nailbiter as it was the only local grid contest decided by less than three touchdowns. In losing by 18, Oxford had three drives stall inside the Dryden red zone with untimely penalties conspiring against those possessions. Clearly, moving the ball was not much of a problem for Oxford. The Blackhawks ran for 284 yards and passed for 112. Those are numbers that usually end in victories. “We had some guys out there playing their first varsity games, and we were a little wide-eyed and bushy-tailed,” said Oxford coach Ray Dayton. “But I like what I saw and I liked our effort. We played snap to whistle.” Sophomore running backs Nick Neer and Jon Heggie led the Oxford ground game with 105 and 80 yards rushing respectively. Sophomore quarterback Angelo Gonzalez finished with 112 yards passing on 6 of 11 attempts. The Blackhawks square off with the always-tough Walton Warriors Saturday. Walton edged Whitney Point, 18-16, in its first game.

Art, music, poetry… All Shook Up

Saturday, September 7th, 2013
Ashley Babbitt

This is going to be short and sweet because it’s a busy weekend. I just had a couple quick things I wanted to remind the area about.

It’s Colorscape weekend. This arts festival draws approximately 12,000 people to downtown Norwich. I’ve got to be honest, I’m not too “big” on art, but I do enjoy it – I just don’t know much about it. I just like what I like and don’t what I don’t and couldn’t really give a reason why.

Regardless, Colorscape is great. I know I’ll leave with some handmade jewelry, and maybe something for my mom’s birthday (which is still almost two months away, but I’m sure I’ll see something she’ll like).

The poetry slam starts at 2 pm down at the Blarney Stone Pub. Local, regional and nationally recognized slam poets will be there, and it is honestly my second favorite thing about living in Norwich. I remember when Buddy Wakefield came to perform. I’ve seen him perform eight times since. It’s no joke when I say the young folks around here have talent. When a 15-year-old can write and perform a piece that gives me goosebumps… that’s awesome. Lots of great folks come out to showcase their skills, and it makes my heart happy. Plus, I couldn’t think of a better atmosphere than the Blarney Stone. There will be mature language, I’d imagine, so if you’re a minor you’ll need a parent with you. Naturally, you’ll need to present your ID if you’re over 21 and looking to purchase alcohol. Really though, you won’t want to miss it. [I will be MIA from the Evening Sun's booth during this time].

All that being said about Colorscape, there is something else going on you really should check out: Norwich Theater Company’s production of All Shook Up.

I had the pleasure of attending the final dress rehearsal Thursday night and can say with confidence this is a show you do not want to miss. Am I a huge Elvis fan? No. I think I could only name three songs off the top of my head, but when I met with the director a couple weeks go she had said, “This is a show people are going to want to see twice,” and that wasn’t just lip service… I would absolutely go see it again this weekend.

I’m not going to give anything away about the plot, but the cast is fantastic and it’s clear they put a lot of time and effort into their work and the crew worked . That sounds cliché, but really – you will want to catch this show. It isn’t only about Elvis tunes, the plot addresses social issues in an impressive manner, and pulls it off in such a way that messages are conveyed with humor woven in.

The audience during the rehearsal I attended consisted of me, a couple other folks, and a group of young adults from the Oneonta Job Corps. During the intermission I talked to a couple of the guys who were in town from Oneonta and they had nothing but good things to say about the show.

“Was that the end? I really hope not. I want to see what happens. Man, this is good. I didn’t know what to expect,” said one young man.

Their reaction and participation as an audience was terrific. I loved that they loved it as much as I did.

The entire cast is fantastic and talented, and I don’t want to leave anyone out, because I was genuinely impressed by everyone. Jes Sheldon and Jon Stockton are wonderful as leads, and it’s hard to believe with their performance resumes they’ve never shared the stage with one another. Meredith Cathcart has a great voice and stage presence as does Ericka Tyler. Steve Emmons is super entertaining as Dennis. Nick Tyler, Marty Kuhn, Jessica Richardson, Ryan DeTomi and Craig LaForte are all great. The entire cast and crew deserve two big thumbs up.

The pit orchestra does a really awesome job. I don’t have a list of who is in it, but I recognized Mark Sands and Nick Natoli, and they’re great musicians. Music Director Dave Burch obviously worked hard putting together and directing the talented group of folks.

Basically, I have nothing bad at all I could say about the show. I was super impressed and it was a lot of fun. If I can’t make it to the show tonight, I’ll probably check it out tomorrow; if there are seats left, that is.

Jes Sheldon said that even she got goosebumps during the last scene of the first act. When I had the opportunity to see it for myself, I understood why. If you have $14, go to the Martin W. Kappel Theater at the Chenango Arts Council, 27 West Main Street, either at 7 pm tonight or 2 pm tomorrow … you’ll be glad you did.