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Monday, June 9, 2008

Weekend of Leisure

This weekend was lots of non-work related fun - and boy was it hot. I guess it was hot everywhere, but you especially notice it up here because usually the nights are so cool. This part of the Catskills, the Sullivan County, lower foothills of the Catskills, region can get hot, but usually the nights cool it down - we can easily see swings from 45 degrees on a June Morning to 90 degrees in the afternoon, back to 45 degrees again. But mid-90's in early June is a bit unexpected, to be sure.

Lisa's pregnant and probably the 2 most common reactions we get to said situation is 'sleep now' and 'oooh, you have to carry through the summer'. We really don't know the true meaning of either of these comments but i'm sure the understanding is imminent.

My customers and clients come to the Catskills for fun, and over the last 4 years one thing I have truely lacked is the time for some unadulterated fun. Don't get me wrong, I like fun and leisure as much as the next guy - in fact, if you can't enjoy some leisure what's the point of all the hard work. I think that's one of the things that drives my company is the pleasure we as a team get from seeing our homeowners get to enjoy their life's accomplishments - a country house, a truck, couple of dogs, a garden, some peace and quiet. It's not like these are grandiose or immodest aspirations - but they do mark a certain place and station in life. A marker of progress when you can take a break and take it all in.

Anyway, Saturday marked the opening of the Woodstock Museum in Bethel NY. For those not familar, Bethel NY (Sullivan County) was the default location of the 1969 concert after the town of Woodstock denied the concert permits at the last minute - so everyone came a little more northwest and half a million people landed in this nowhere's ville.

We all know the rest of the story and legend and about 4 yrs ago the local golden boy Alan Gerry who made his billions in cable tv and selling his life's work to Time Warner dreamed up and ponied up for an outdoor amphitheater on the exact site of the 1969 concert - so you have people like Neil Young coming back 40 years later to play on the same stage. Pretty cool, and very beautifully done.

Now, Mr Gerry has opened up a very well-done musuem dedicated to the memory of the turbulent 1960s. The opening day was Saturday.


To all you sophisticates, these little accomplishments may not seem that impressive, but to anyone who lives here and has seen a lot of dreams come and go, to see a big project get done well, on time, and attractively is terribly exciting. Sullivan County doesn't have many big wins these days.

And then on Sunday, I was invited to the Swan Lake Golf Club for a round of golf with 2 executives with the local bank, The First National Bank of Jeffersonville, and my attorney. It was what they call 'better ball' where a team of 4 plays as a team, using the 'best ball' of each shot.

What has been neat about living up here in the sticks is the return to simplicity - if I have a problem I can call the bank president and he knows who I am - in fact, this bank was the financing source that got the whole show started - they gave me my first $100k I didn't qualify for, and have followed (or sometimes led) the way upwards ever since.

I have often said I would not have been able to build this business as quickly or as solidly if not for the ability to sit down with a small bank and explain some of the reasons why the scary numbers on the finanical data I was submitting while asking for my credit line to triple was not the whole story. Very Frank Capra-esque, to be sure.

Sunday was also the big day for the Callicoon Tractor Parade - an event where all the area tractors drive to downtown Callicoon and then one by one drive by the large crowed of on-lookers. Tractors of all shapes, sizes, ages, makes and models (and the same could be said for the crowd.

Here's pic of owner of Cottage 5 playing with a baby deer he found near his new home -