WKNY, a Good Local Radio Station

Here I am with radio host Warren Lawrence after our interview.

Here I am with radio host Warren Lawrence after our interview.

Last week I drove up to Kingston to do a radio interview promoting our new book, Historic Hudson Valley: A Photographic Tour. While it would have been possible to do this by phone from home, I prefer face-to-face contact and getting actually to meet people. In this case, it was well worth the trip. Warren Lawrence, who is the Program Director for WKNY (1490 AM) and who invited me, is also the Morning Show host, and it was energizing to see him in action. It would be hard to find someone more dedicated to this work, and once we got talking, we were on a roll. I hope he enjoyed it as much as I did!

Since WKNY is a local AM station whose signal doesn’t reach as far as

When Warren told me the radio station was next to the Big Bubble Laundromat, it proved very easy to find!

When Warren told me the radio station was next to the Big Bubble Laundromat, it proved very easy to find!

where I live, I listened to Warren’s morning program a couple of times streaming online to familiarize myself with the content and dynamics. It is definitely at least a notch or two in quality above some other local stations, including some FM stations whose signals reach much farther. Notably, neither the music nor the talk revolve around the latest celebrities. Another recent guest, for example, was a lady from the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum in Cornwall, Orange County. It’s gratifying to see this lovely museum being publicized as an alternative to water parks as a place to take children on a summer day. And as for the music–well, when Warren played Roberta Flack from 1972 singing “The first time ever I saw your face,” I knew I was far away from being beaten over the head with the Top 40.

If you’re driving north on the Thruway in the Hudson Valley and are looking for quality radio to keep you company, you should be able to pick up WKNY’s signal beginning around Exit 17 (Newburgh). When I left Kingston after this delightful experience, the signal stayed with me all the way to Rhinebeck, my next stop (more about that another time), across the Kingston-Rhinebeck Bridge to the east.

Mountain Top Historical Society Exhibit Highlights Twilight Park

Ed IMG_1414 sThe Mountain Top Historical Society (MTHS), based in Haines Falls, is simply amazing for the amount of work they do to preserve, chronicle, and educate people about the history and culture of this area of the Catskills called “the mountain top” — think Route 23A in Greene County, Hunter, Tannersville, Haines Falls, and you get the idea of the location of this fascinating region. Yesterday I journeyed to the MTHS’  beautiful 20-acre campus to view their current exhibition celebrating the 125th anniversary of Twilight Park.

Ed IMG_1419 sHow to describe Twilight Park? Discreet. Low key. If you’re driving west on 23A, keep your eyes peeled for the left-hand turn once you exit Kaaterskill Clove or you’ll miss the entrance.  Twilight Park is a summer community founded by Charles T. Wingate in 1888, at a time when such communities were growing in popularity. It didn’t take long for the new community to experience considerable growth: by July 1888 there were already six log cabins, five cottages, a clubhouse, a pharmacy, and tennis courts. Sports of all kinds have been a mainstay of Twilight Park, as have the arts. The first exhibit of the Twilight Park Artists was held in August 1947. Originally begun as an experiment exclusively for Twilight Park residents, the show is now open to all artists and is held the second weekend of August.

Ed IMG_1420 sThe MTHS exhibit celebrating the 125 years of Twilight Park is a comprehensive and varied collection of memorabilia that brings to life this Northern Catskills summer community. Sports trophies abound, as do visuals documenting the community’s ongoing interest in and involvement with the arts. There is even a tea set from the days when the Ladies Auxiliary held tea lunches to benefit the local church.

The exhibit is in the restored Ulster & Delaware Railroad Train Station on the MTHS campus. Enhancing the exhibit will be two upcoming lectures. On Friday July 12 at 8 pm, historian Bob Gildersleeve and Joanne Ainsworth, author  of We Are Creating a Community, will present “Creating a Community: Early Images of Twilight Park” in which they will introduce glass plate negatives that have been donated to the Society by Dr. Stanley Leavy. On Friday July 19 at 8 pm Nicholas Lemann will present “The Prehistory of Twilight Park,” focusing on Charles Wingate, the Twilight Club in New York City, and the historical and intellectual thinking that gave rise to Twilight Park and similar communities.

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If you’re interested in the history of an amazing community in the Northern Catskills and want a great introduction to the tireless work of the Mountain Top Historical Society and its picturesque surroundings, I can highly recommending attending one of these events. Visit the MTHS website for further information.

Book coverIN OTHER NEWS: Our book Historic Hudson Valley: A Photographic Tour is published this month! Click the image for details.