Easton Farmers' Market Volunteer Scott Zukowski talked to me recently about how everyone can help the Market win #1 in the nation:
"This came about this past week. I had an idea, because we're number two in the nation behind a farmers' market in Frankfort, Kentucky, to get the word out utilizing some of our local resources. So, I connected with Laini Abraham of Laini's Little Pocket Guides. Laini and I started working on a layout and I spoke with Fran, who's the owner of American Printing, who does all the printing for the Farmers' Market and is just a great guy helping out the community. So in the space of a couple days, with a deadline of Thursday afternoon, we got this in ahead of time and I picked up the printing of this mini-flyer, which shows Sunny the Horse and asks everybody to vote for their favorite farmers' market, which should be Easton Farmers' Market! We're the oldest, continuous open-air farmers' market in the United States, opening in 1752 and celebrating our 263rd anniversary. Currently we're number one in the state in all five categories (on the flyer) and number two in the nation in all five categories. Voting will go on until the middle of September. This town really has a great sense of community, from our hosting a pig roast last Sunday with Jeremy from Two Rivers being the chef for that... You can't thank these people enough for all they do; the community is amazing. It just keeps getting better and better."
Let's get this going! If you haven't voted yet, do it! Go here to cast your ballot: http://markets.farmland.org/market/easton-farmers-market-pennsylvania/
It's Clam Jam today downtown from noon to six. Here's organizer and 3rd & Ferry Fish Market owner Mike Pichetto to explain what a treat you're in for if you go check it out. Tell us in the comments section if you're planning on going, or if you went, what you thought.
"It's the second year for Clam Jam. We're expecting a great turnout--somewhere around 12,000 people or so. We have about 14 local restaurants participating with vending stands on the street. We have Leaf Cigar and Social Still sponsoring a cigar/cocktail lounge. Weyerbacher is sponsoring an oyster and beer pairing tent over in the parking lot on Third Street. We're vending Stockertown Beverage's beer right out in front of the restaurant, and we have a bar outside on the street as well. There's a kids' area down on the end of Ferry Street. Gym tiME from up in Forks is sponsoring it. They have activities running every two hours starting at noon, going through six. There's kids' food down there as well, and a face painter. "U U U" is the headlining band, and we have Uncle Rocco playing as well and Blue Heart's Revelry. After the festival at six, we have a party inside here at 3rd & Ferry. We have an emcee for the day, Baron Ambrosia, the culinary ambassador of the Bronx--he's an Emmy award winning TV personality--he was on the Cooking Channel for awhile. Just a great day, good food, great weather, and we're hoping for a great turnout."
You can call 3rd & Ferry Fish Market for more details at (610) 829-1404.
Woman (off camera): "Roxy is a rescue Greyhound. She was a racer in Florida and she broke her right rear leg during her last race. So, they had to find somebody, a rescue group, that would pay for the operation, because the track did not do this and neither did the owner. It was like no one cares. She was available at two-and-a-half years old. We got her roughly at three, and we've had her for three years."
Man: "She's from the Pocono Greyhound Rescue. Her racing name was Rockin' Rita."
Woman: "And I'm Rita, so that didn't last very long..."
Man: "She had sixty three races."
Woman: "...and she only won once."
Meet Raven and Jada.
"What gave you the idea to do the Frozen motif?"
Raven: "We originally did these costumes for Comic Con and we got completely mauled by little kids, and thought we could do this for events and parties."
"So what's the coolest experience you've had so far?"
Jada: "There was this one little girl in pig-tails and a red dress and she was really tiny and adorable and she came over and she was so excited about our outfits and she was, like, touching our hair and touching our dresses and she was like CUTE!"
You can get more information at their page: Facebook.com/WHOSYOURCHARACTER
Preston Keith Hindmarch is a local artist who will be displaying his work at the Easton Cemetery on Sunday, August 23rd from 1 to 4 PM.
"There's going to be five paintings of important historic people who are buried (in the cemetery) that are historic in Easton's history. It's Thomas Coates, Norvin Rinek, Traill Green, William Cottingham, and Andrew Reeder. We're actually going to have tours that go out for those five people, so you'll be able to go out to the plot and have a little history lesson out there and be able to see some fine artwork too (laughs), and of course the cemetery is beautiful, too. They'll also have the chapel open and the mausoleum open."
Kim (right) and Rocky talk about VALOR:
"A friend of ours introduced us to VALOR. It's a homeless vets' organization, helps people transition. If you're living in tents, we go out twice a month locally and feed 'em, clothe 'em. We have people there to do their hair, people who do paperwork and help 'em get the benefits they need, medicine that they need. They need a lot of volunteers."
To get involved, go to www.ValorClinic.org
Robin from the Arch (Autism Resource Community Hub) of Lehigh Valley tells about their first annual Ride With The Dog For Autism:
"They go to Blue Mountain Pub, and then the Krumsville Inn, and then the Arch (Autism Resource Community Hub) of Lehigh Valley, and then they go to Scott Motors, Sports and Cycles in Coopersburg and then here. And when they get here, it's a poker run so they have the best hand drawing. There's a tricky tray and a 50/50. And then everyone eats."
"So why did you personally get involved with the cause?"
"I work at Arch of Lehigh Valley, which stands for Autism Community Resource Hub. We service children throughout the Lehigh Valley with autism, from birth to 21. Common Ground Motorcycle Club came to us and wanted to do this fundraiser. All proceeds of the event come to the Arch of Lehigh Valley. All money we raise stays in the Lehigh Valley. It doesn't go anywhere else."
"What's the best thing that's ever happened to you?"
"I'd have to say having a grandmother like I do. She's been terribly influential. I've lived with her since I was ten. My mom passed away when I was younger, and my grandmother here (points to grandmother off-camera) and my grandfather back home really have...
Grandmother: "And he's a straight-A student! He's going to the University of Maine on a full academic scholarship!"
"And the reason I'm going to study political science and psychology are on account of my grandmother and my grandfather."
The grave marker of Lucy Minturn Barnet at the Easton Cemetery holds a mystery. Barnet, who died in 1853 at 20 months, is the constant recipient of gifts 162 years after her death, including dolls, toys, flags, and figurines. No one is sure who is responsible, but the giving has been going on for years and years. Visit the Easton Cemetery and see her in person. Read about her in The Morning Call: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/easton/mc-easton-barnet-grave-20150505-story.html.
Owner (off camera): "Emmie (left) is five years old and we rescued her about a year and a half ago. She was a puppy mill rescue. Lucy is one year old and we just rescued her in June. They actually wanted to put her down because she was incontinent, so the vet handed her over to the rescue, the rescue got her the surgery she needed and we adopted her. Lucy is an English bulldog and Emmie is a French bulldog."
If you haven't thought about the importance of high quality pre-k and school age programs in our area, take a look at these amazing works of art. These were taken at the State Theater, which is hosting the South Side's Spring Garden Children's Center Art Show until the 28th. Stop by and see them in person. Admission is free.
These good folks were at the Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley Block Party in Easton last week.
"Mother Goose Club is a Youtube channel for pre-school children. We have fans as young as six months all the way up to, like, five years and all of our stuff is based on nursery rhymes to promote pre-literacy skills. Go to Youtube and search for Mother Goose Club. We have videos with songs, dances, rhymes, and tips and do-it-yourself tutorials for parents for crafts and things like that."
"What's the coolest thing you've done recently?"
"Well, I studied abroad for a month in London. It was great spending time there and *learning* while there, not just traveling around."
"What was the most important lesson that you took from your trip?"
"I think the most important lesson I learned was about the kindness of other people, 'cause they really just amazed me, whether I was in Paris or in London, how you could sit down with a stranger and they would just talk to you freely and everyone was so nice. i didn't feel like a typical American tourist. If I was lost, I would have people come up to me on the street like, 'Do you know where you need to go? Let me help you.' Even in Paris where there's a language difference, it didn't matter. Even the people I was with as well: a group of ten random strangers thrown together, even though we all go to Penn State. Some of them I know I'm going to be best friends with forever. It's been a great experience with meeting people, especially in a completely foreign place."
Nanci Hummer owns The Loving Piece at 7 North Third Street.
"I opened up last Tuesday. The store has been a longtime dream of mine. A lot of the things in here are things I've always looked for and have never been able to find in one spot. After going to shops in North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona, and California, this is a culmination of all of those places and I feel that this is not only a shopping experience, but anything that you purchase in here is a gift to yourself for the mind, body, and soul."
"So when people come into the shop, what will they find?"
"They will find organic clothing, salt lamps, tapestries, scarves, incense, candles, things that are Earth-friendly, good for the environment, good for you, eco-friendly journals, head wraps... Some may think it's along the 'hippie line,' but, hey, I think that Easton's ready for this."
You can visit her website at www.TheLovingPiece.com.
"What has she taught you that you didn't know before?"
"Ohmygosh...I know I had love in me, but this kind of love is different."
Her tattoo reads, "Dolore Faun Piuforte." I asked her what that meant:
"When I was younger, I had a hard time growing up with my father; there were a lot of issues. I would go over to my girlfriend's house and her grandmother from Italy lived with her and spoke no English. When I would come over all upset, she would say to me, 'Dolore faun piuforte,' which means 'pain makes one stronger.' And at sixteen, living in Long Island, I went to Manhattan and got it tattooed across my chest."
"I try to have an open mind and an open heart all the time; I try to help and give, especially give without the expectation of receiving back."
"When did you have to give something without getting back?"
"Well, right now I'm going through it. I mean there's a lot of people helping me. I was caught up with the law--stupid charges--so right now there's a lot of people helping me and I'm involved with a men's community, so it's nice to have that support when needed."
She is majoring in art at Lafayette and will be graduating next year.
"One of the coolest things that's ever happened to me was I was lucky enough to get chosen for a scholarship. I was able to go to Vienna and go to (artist) Ernst Fuchs's villa. I was fortunate enough to go through his house but was unable to meet him due to, I mean he's like 90 or 91. What's to say? I mean, his mother saved him in youth from the Nazis, converted to Christianity, and he built this relationship with Salvador Dali and started this surrealist, almost votive drawing style. It's crazy. And he gave me his autograph on a postcard."
Jim Toia is Director of Community Based Teaching at Lafayette College.
"I've been a sculptor since I was about sixteen years old."
"What inflamed your passion?"
"I would say the love of making art and certainly coming from my mom. She was a painter, and that was an easy thing to tap into and take off on."
"So why sculpting?"
"When I tell people I'm a painter, they ask me to paint their house. When I tell them I'm a sculptor, they don't ask me to sculpt their house. (Laughs) So it's easier to say I'm a sculptor. And I'm driven by material, and I work with nature, primarily. So, walking around the woods and gathering different pieces of natural materials is what I love to respond to most."
"The best thing that ever happened to me was when I bought my horse, Double D. He has one blue eye and the other one is brown with some blue in it, and he's a quarter horse paint, so he looks like he's been splashed with brown and he's just beautiful. It was actually my boyfriend's horse and he sells horses. I rode it to see what it was like, and I really liked him. He was going to sell him, and people kept coming out to look at him. I kept getting emotional about it, and then I was just like, 'Okay--I'm going to buy him. He's not leaving.'"
"How does it feel when you;re riding him?"
"Like you're free. Like you're flying."
These are the stories of the people of Easton, PA