Saturday, January 29, 2005

Indian Depredations on the Ulster Frontier

Isn't that a great title for a book? I've had this idea for awhile now. I want to take all the Indian articles from Old Ulster magazine and combine them, maybe with "The Indians", an 1846 account of the Wawarsing Indian raids during the Revolutionary War. The only thing is, everytime I get started, some new project, or computer crisis, distracts me. I hope things are different this year.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Used New York State Book Collection

Every once in a while I get a chance to buy a collection of books, more rarely one in my field - New York history & genealogy. Well, on a recent Sunday, after agravating my herniated disks (3!) shoveling icy snow, I bought 20 boxes of an Albany resident's books. It was a great (if painful) expedition, and the books are mostly the reprint titles I sell everyday, but - thanks to a few gems, and a pharmaecopia of drugs - I will survive both physically and financially. I started to list them on my OP Book Page (I don't do booksites like Alibris or ABE) so you can check them out if you are looking for used New York books.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

New Jay Gould bio due this Spring

Edward Rehenan, who has written, among other things, a biography of John Burroughs, and the Astor children, tells me his new book on Jay Gould will be out this year. To see a cover image and get more information follow this link:
Renehan/Gould I'm looking forward to reading about New York State's - and the Nation's - most ruthless robber baron. He had an estate in Delaware County, I think. Look for: "The Dark Genius of Wall Street" on my shelves (and website) in June.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Book Binding

It's one of those romantic thoughts - totally not realistic - that someday I'll have the time to learn book binding. It's like the same way I thought that if I owned a book store I'd sit in my bookshop and read all day. That never happened! So, I passed up the chance to buy all the materials & paper, and the boards & clamps, when the local book binder died a few years ago. Now, I don't have anyone to recommend when folks ask for a book binder. So, if you know of a reasonably priced, capable binder, would you please let me know?

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Web Cams Saugerties Main Street

My Web Cams started out as my part in the traffic study for the Village of Saugerties Traffic Committee. At first I was videotaping the intersection, then just the street in front of my shop, to support my traffic count results of one vehicle every 4.3 seconds! Then, The Computer Guys, a shop across the street, helped me set up a webcam - and set up two cameras themselves. At first mine was only on when my computer was on - basically during store hours - but now I have a separate dedicated computer/server for them. I'm still working the kinks out (there is only enough bandwith for one camera so far, and some other small technical problems keep croping up) but I hope it will go smoothly soon. Meanwhile . . . enjoy the view of my New York hometown.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

New York State - History, Opinions, and Books

Alf Evers passed away on December 29th, 2004, at the age of 99. He was a remarkable historian, author and friend. His monumental regional history, "The Catskills, From Wilderness to Woodstock" is an 850 page compendium - almost an encyclopedia, except it reads like a novel - that garnered praise as a model for local history authors everywhere. The link is to a page marking a celebration of his life that Ulster County Historian, Karlyn Elia, with assistance from the New York Regional Publishers Association, held in October of 2001. His memorial service will be Sunday, 1/09, from 2 to 4, at the Bearsville Theater, in Woodstock.

New York Times recognition

Hot Damn! Yesterday's NY Times had an article about how great Saugerties is, and included this quote:"Several art galleries and four independent bookstores thrive, including the Hope Farm Press & Bookstore, a repository of publications about New York State,". It just shows that one can work hard for 18 to 20 years building a great collection of New York State books & a reputation for square dealing, and suddenly become an overnight success. Ironically, it is not my first mention in the Times. I made the architecture section about 10 years ago with information on the origins of the name Onteora, which here is a mountain and a school district, but in NYC is the name of a building. I've been mentioned several times since then - mostly in puff pieces on tourism - but yesterday's mention brought the most response. Even a radio station called this morning to ask about it. Go figure.

Friday, January 07, 2005

My aching back

The first real snow here in the mid-Hudson Valley of New York State and my back went out shoveling it. ARGH!!! I wouldn't mind, but I have a 9AM appointment this Sunday (forecast - more snow) to buy a genealogy and local history library. If I can get there in the bad weather, how the heck can move those boxes? The last time my back hurt this much I went to New York City for cortisone shots at the Hospital for Special Surgery. $3000 later I could walk again, but jeez!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

New York Colonial Papers on CDROM

LeGrand Weller, who has a huge interest in New York State Colonial History, and will be speaking at Fort Ticonderoga next September, just combined most of his fully searchable digitized histories of New York: Documentary History of New York (4 vols); Documents Relative to the Colonial History of New York (15 vols); Narratives of New Netherland; History of New Netherland (2 vols); History of the State of New York (2 vols); History of the Five Indian Nations Depending on the Province of New York, Parts I & II; and more - with his new, "The Ecclesiastical Records of the State of New York" (7 vols) to create one CD containing 35 volumes of important New York State history. It is a complete New York State library on one cd - amazing!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Think globally, act locally - New York State / Saugerties

I went to our Saugerties, New York, Village Board meeting last night as a participant. Normally I'm there to take notes which I send to a concerned citizen mail list I maintain (send me your email to be on it) and which is also published in the local newspaper, but last night I wanted to try and impress the board with the need to consolidate services with our Town. I presented a one page plan detailing a step-by-step way to analyse the various costs and revenues to see which departments could be combined. New York State is the highest taxed state in the US. It seems that no one can fix that dysfunctional government, but I hoped the local elected officials would at least hear my constructive comments about reducing costs - and thereby taxes. Well . . . they "heard" them, but I don't think they were impressed! Now to go to the Town Board meeting and tell them. I'll let you know how it works out.