For our summer finale, Janine Fallon-Mower will join our Pocket Guide to Woodstock Village History Walk this Saturday, August 25th, starting at 10 am at the Golden Notebook, 29 Tinker Street. Our tour will include a visit to Mower’s Flea Market, a beloved enterprise with its own colorful history. (Okay, pop quiz time: What do Woodstock’s outdoor markets and the Maverick Concert Hall share in common? No, not bugs on certain afternoons. Both can trace their origins to Red Cross fundraisers held during World War I.) But if John Mower, her husband, answers the question, “Where was the concert held?” by saying, “Right here on the lawn,” as he’s wont to do with a wink, don’t believe him.
Many of our walks have waxed nostalgic about Woodstock’s history as an arts colony, which is seen in the galleries, and as a Sixties mecca, which can’t be avoided, not with the tie-dye competition on Tinker Street. What I treasure about Janine is that she’s a historian of Woodstock as a real town, not just as a summer retreat of celebrated figures, but as a community where families have lived for generations, earning their livings by means that may have seemed ordinary at the time but seem extraordinary to us today, such as working in bluestone quarries or running summer boarding houses. In doing research for The Pocket Guide, I found Janine’s Woodstock history books invaluable. Her Mower family history has marvelous tales and details. (I’m still tickled by having read that “Albany ice cream” was once prized by youngsters in town. So there was life before Häagen-Dazs.) Janine’s two collections of historical photos, Woodstock and Woodstock Revisited, let us see more than words can convey. Yet when you talk with Janine, you sense that her passion for local history is more than a book project—it’s admiration for the many people and families whom she’s known.
Please join us for our final summer walk. The tour takes about an hour. The fee is a book purchase or $10.
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The Mother Grouse Blog is produced by Will Nixon, author of My Late Mother as a Ruffed Grouse and Love in the City of Grudges available on-line.