Dry January is a phenomenon that is sweeping the world. It was started in 2013 in Great Britain by the charity Alcohol Concern. British celebrities Alastair Campbell and Peter Osborne decided to
Old Uncle Bill Makes the NY Times
Compared to my wife's family, my family just got off the boat. Hers goes back to early colonial days on her mother's side, and it seems that many of them were inveterate pack rats. We have boxes and drawers of photos, letters and memorabilia, some of it fascinating. When my granddaughter expressed an interest in the Civil War, I showed her three photos of my wife's great-great uncle, William Hemstreet. The first was of him as a private in 1861, then as a captain in 1865, and last as a colonel in 1899, when he was Mrs. Grant's escort in the parade after her husband's tomb was finished. I had the photos mounted by the Corner Frame Shop on Franklin Street in Nyack, and they now hang in our hall. Last night, I was leafing through the Times, when I came across Uncle Bill's name in an article about an Edgar Allan Poe exhibit at Columbia University. I knew that Uncle Bill had the mantle from Poe's house in upper Manhattan, but it was not until this year that l found out that he had donated it to Columbia. Actually, it was a pretty long piece, and Uncle Bill's role was prominently mentioned, so the old boy may be long gone, but he's not forgotten.
I have been a resident of Tappan for forty years, and still live in the 1860 Italianate Victorian house my wife Jean and I bought all those years ago. I have always been active in the community, inclu....