Email not displaying properly? Click HERE to view this email in a browser.
Saugerties Adult Learning Community
  VOLUME V: ISSUE 2    October 2018
6b0c2607-30c8-43ce-9466-d43151030915.jpgDear Lifespring Members,
The chill in the air is a portent of the winter season to come, but in the meantime we get to celebrate the hopefully-fabulous autumn colors, more vivid than in many seasons past, thanks to the plentiful (some may say too plentiful) amounts of rain in the past several months, combined with pleasant days and cool nights. We are also celebrating Lifespring’s 10th anniversary, a major accomplishment on the part of our all-volunteer organization and the many thousands of volunteer hours that it has taken to bring us to this point in our history.

Speaking of volunteers, please take close notice of the Message from the President by Susan Puretz in this issue, which contains a very important plea from our President.

I hope that the semester will be a rewarding one for you, and that when it’s over you’ll have the pleasure of looking ahead to the Winter Presentations to be held at the Saugerties Public Library on December 5, 2018, January 9, 2019, February 6, 2019, and March 6, 2019.

In this issue we continue our popular poetry and photography features. In Poetry Place the featured poets this month are Tobe Elle, Faith Fury, Marlin Klinger, Ernst Schoen-René, Joanne Martignoni, and Esther Rosenfeld, the editor of Poetry Place.

The photo theme for this issue’s Photo Op is WATER, in all its many incarnations, real and imaginary. The photography contributors are: Nora Adelman, Juliette Eisenson, Jim McGarry, Laura Phillips, Mary Zeeh, and Harvey Greenstein, the editor of Photo Op.

Other highpoints of this issue are the popular presenter Five-Minute Interview featuring the charmingly-engaging Anne Richey and an insightful critique of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by our resident book reviewer Irene Rivera Hurst.

Look for a new mini-feature, Artists Spotlight, where we will focus on one of the many Lifespring members who practice in the visual arts—ceramics, drawing, painting, printmaking, and textile arts, plus whatever other arts I may have neglected to mention. We’ve not included photography since we have a separate feature for that with Photo Op.

Remember to check out the Library Corner, which has an update on the Healthy Lifestyles series coordinated by one of our Lifespring members, Susan Kahl, and also see the short article, Easy Walks, with a focus on the pleasures of roaming the grounds at Montgomery Place. And don’t miss the welcome to new members in Member News by Susan Davis. Finally, relish the hopefully-inspirational quotes about Volunteerism throughout the issue.

Please enjoy this issue and please don’t be shy about sending in your feedback, suggestions, and submissions—if you have an idea for a column or an article, just drop me a line at

With all best hopes for the months ahead, and a strong reminder to vote!

“What is the essence of life?
To serve others and to do good.”

from the President
Read more
The five-minute interview
Read more
Programs and resources
Read more
Read more
Autumn in the air
Read more
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Read more
Montgomery Place Estate
Read more
Welcome and a call for volunteers
Read more
“The best way to find yourself is to
lose yourself in the service of others.”

—Mahatma Gandhi
Commemorating the beginning of our 10th Year!!
Lifespring: Saugerties Adult Learning Community is beginning its tenth year, and while many other Lifelong Learning Institutes (LLIs) across the country can celebrate surviving the same length of time, I believe that Lifespring is unique.

What makes us unique?
What makes us unique is not that Lifespring is one of the few LLIs, if not the only one, that is town sponsored rather than affiliated with an institution of higher learning. What accounts for our uniqueness is the inclusion of the word “community” in our full title. That word choice was well considered because the original jumpstarters, the group responsible for “birthing” Lifespring, wanted something special in addition to offering learning opportunities. Their vision was for members to feel a sense of connection and relationship to a learning community. I hope you’ll agree that the many members socializing in our hospitality room is one indication that their vision was achieved.

Another indication of vision achieved is that behind the scenes, there are also many, many dedicated Lifespring community members who volunteer tirelessly to make certain the lights are on, the coffee is brewed, the signs are posted, the instructors/presenters are in their well-managed classrooms, the AV is working, the courses are stimulating and worthy, communications to members are engaging and informative, the registration process is accurate and accessible, the finances are in order, events are well planned and executed, along with countless other tasks, big and small, that work in concert to make Lifespring possible. All accomplished 100% by our member volunteers!

Will Lifespring continue?
While I am hoping that Lifespring will survive for at least another 10 years, I have some uneasy feelings because, as you all know, Lifespring is an all-volunteer organization and unless members step up to the plate to volunteer for the various tasks necessary to its existence, Lifespring will cease to function.

Right now, one of my major concerns is for the Curriculum Committee. This is the “heart” of Lifespring. The committee members work to create and develop the wonderful course offerings that you have become accustomed to seeing when you open each semester’s new catalog. And at this point in time, we very much need additional Curriculum Committee members!

Whether you are a brand new member of Lifespring or a member of many years standing, my fervent request is for you to consider whether this critical, essential, core work fits your interests and abilities, and if you think it does, consider joining us on the Curriculum Committee. To find out more about how the Curriculum Committee operates and to sit in on a meeting, please contact me at

It is up to you to keep Lifespring alive by being not only a member of Lifespring but also a volunteer for Lifespring. We are more than happy to speak with you about ways to match your talents and interest with a wide array of volunteer positions.

“Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the
earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring,
patience, and just plain loving one another.”

—Erma Bombeck
The five-minute interview
This issue features Anne Richey, who has taught many courses for LLIs at Bard, SUNY New Paltz, and for Lifespring. A student of John Burrough’s work, she serves as a docent at Woodchuck Lodge in Roxbury, New York, where Burroughs summered during the last ten years of his life. She is the author of Church of the Robin’s Ha-Ha!: John Burroughs’ “Natural Religion” and Other Poems.

Durham, North Carolina—Secret hide-a-away in Main Street Public Library (no more), slightly sour smell of tobacco wafting through high school windows from local factories (no more), “free-range” skating and cycling at age 10 (no more), the Rexall soda fountain (no more)—but despite all that’s vanished, I love going back. Durham, part of the Research Triangle and home of Duke University, has become a very classy, cosmopolitan city. And there’s always Duke Forest.

Alma Maters (schools you’ve attended and degrees you’ve attained)
BS, University of North Carolina, Greensboro—called the Woman’s College when I first attended, because women (with the exception of a couple of majors) were not admitted to the main campus in Chapel Hill until junior year. This was total BS but turned out OK because I could watch the poet Randall Jarrell play tennis from my dorm steps. MA, Georgia State University in Hot’lanta Georgia.

Career (“jobs” you’ve done and your satisfaction with any or all)
English professor—30 years of love/hate.

Favorite kind of music to listen to (or to play if you play an instrument)
I love “early music” and played recorders in the Emory Early Music Consort for a number of years, always wishing I were in the viol section, but a shoulder injury prevented that. When I die, I want to go to Bach Heaven, as long as Elvis has a gate pass too.

Favorite book you’ve read in the past year OR favorite book ever
This year: Why Does the World Exist? by the science writer Jim Holt, in which he interviews scientists (mostly physicists) and philosophers about the ever mind-boggling question of why there is something rather than nothing (or is nothing something???). Of course, he finds no definitive answer but his quest makes fascinating reading.

Favorite Broadway show or TV show in the past year (or ever)
I watch stuff online. I have a thing for the World Science Festival and for my favorite historian of religion, UNC professor Bart Ehrman, a former fundamentalist who saw the light.

Favorite movie in the past year (or ever) OR favorite painting or artist
This Year: The Shape of Water

A “guilty pleasure” that you have and are willing to share with the readers
I’m a chocoholic, but I can’t say I feel guilty about it unless I forget to brush my teeth.

One important thing you’ve learned throughout your life that you’d like to share
Explication is “saying a poem over again, only worse”—which you quickly learn when you read Emily Dickinson.

Time travel destination (if you could travel either back or forward in time, where would you go and why)
Anywhere, any time without Donald J. Trump. Now would be good.

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands—
one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

—Audrey Hepburn
Millie Goldberg
Lifespring is blessed with many talented people among our membership, and we’re going to be featuring some of them in the newsletter.

<i>Sacred Space</i>, Millie Goldberg We’re beginning in this issue with Millie Goldberg, a sculptor in clay. Most recently, this summer, her work was included in an art exhibition, Art at Leeds, in Leeds, New York.

Over the course of the past fifty years, Millie has been a sculptor and a psychotherapist. She says that her “strong connection to Mother Earth” has been the underlying force for her continued work in the medium of clay. Here’s how Millie discusses her relationship to her work and why she’s now exhibiting publicly:

“The source of my creative energy is my relationship with Spirit. It is from this source that the Sacred Feminine and Sacred Places emerge. It is now, after all these many years, that I have been encouraged by Spirit to share my creations with a wider audience.”

If you are an artist and would like to be included in this mini feature of the newsletter, please send me a note and an image or two of your work, which we’ll consider for the next issue in spring 2019. Send to

“We make a living by what we get,
but we make a life by what we give.”

—Winston Churchill
Programs and Resources
Lifespring enjoys an excellent relationship with the Saugerties Public Library; we are so grateful for the use of the comfortable, accessible, and well-equipped Community Room, where we hold many of our Winter Presentations and Special Events. You may be interested to learn that the Library publishes a timely newsletter at the beginning of each month. One can contact the Library to subscribe or simply visit the Saugerties Public Library website to subscribe or to view the current newsletter.  

One of the Library’s programs is called Healthy Lifestyles. Originally proposed as a Special Interest Group (SIG) for Lifespring by member Susan Kahl, it quickly became a Program of the Library and welcomes people from the broader area with presentations by interesting guest speakers on physical and mental health topics. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month, from 1:00–2:30 p.m. The presentations are followed by questions and discussion relating to the particular topic. There is no membership required and all meetings are open to everyone interested in learning more about Healthy Lifestyles.

The November program will take place on November 1st. It is Image of Health: What your doctor doesn’t tell you about breast cancer, focusing on breast thermography, and presented by Marilyn McClellan.

For a more detailed explanation of these presentations, please check Susan Kahl's Facebook page or the Library calendar or Newsletter.

“Only a life lived for others is worth living.”
—Albert Einstein
Each edition of News & Views offers Lifespring members an opportunity to participate in the Themed Photography feature. This issue’s theme is Water.

Six photographers are represented with Water images: Nora Adelman, Juliette Eisenson, Harvey Greenstein, Jim McGarry, Laura Phillips, and Mary Zeeh. You'll see that each has taken the theme in interesting directions and interpreted it in creative ways.

We encourage all of our members to submit photos for the next issue, which will go online in early May. For the next issue's theme and guidelines, scroll down beneath the photos.

Norma Adelman
Nora Adelman, New Zealand Vista

Juliette Eisenson
Juliette Eisenson, Out of Water

Juliette Eisenson
Harvey GreensteinThe Frog Days of Summer

Jim McGarry
Jim McGarry, Mandela Square Spouts

Laura Phillips
Laura Phillips, Water at Night

Mary Zeeh
Mary Zeeh, Will We Be Watered


The theme for the next issue will be OUR TOWNS. Think about what’s iconic in your town, or what aspect of your town means something to you, or something about the historical nature of your town, or the everyday life of people on the streets of your town, or why you love or hate your town. Allow your imagination to guide you, and remember, almost anything goes.

Please make sure to get your pictures in by February 1st.

Whether you consider yourself a “photographer” or not, we’re all taking pictures on our cell phones as well as our cameras, and it’s a lot of fun and a stimulating brain exercise to go out and look for good images with a theme in mind.

All photos MUST be in a HORIZONTAL format to be considered.
Please submit no more than 2 photos to be considered.
Each photo should be titled as follows: the title, your last name.jpg
(This means that you should RENAME your photo, changing it from the number designation.)
The photos may be black and white or color.
Please send all submissions to:

Don’t be shy; this is a great opportunity to get your photos “published” to a receptive and appreciative audience.
Welcome to Lifespring’s Fall Semester and to our October 2018 issue of News & Views. We hope you'll enjoy the visions of autumn these poets have created. As in leaves, where no two are exactly alike, so it is with these poems. Four of our featured poets are no strangers to Poetry Place and they return this issue: Tobe Elle with Aaahhh, Faith Fury with I Love the Robins, Marlin Klinger with Leaves, and Ernst Schoen-René with Frosting. We also welcome to Poetry Place Joanne Martignoni with her seasonal Haiku, and I’ve included one of my poems, Driving by Sawkill, which rounds out the selections for this issue. 

As with all first-time contributors to Poetry Place, we like to share some background information with our readers. We spoke with Joanne Martignoni and learned that this is her first semester at Lifespring, and the poem included here is the first haiku she’s had published. A West Hurley resident, Joanne is a watercolorist who has come to enjoy “playing around” with haikus after taking a class at the recent Writers Conference in Woodstock. Joanne explains that she enjoys the form as it is brief, and she draws on her artistic background to create verbal images. She has exhibited her art at Fall for Art, for the past three years.

A final thought before you dive in to the following poems—a quote from English poet and playwright, Christopher Fry—“Poetry is a language in which man explores his own amazement.”



Toby Elle

Lazy days on a chaise
A green tree vista my view
A breeze blowing gently
A nook book a - choice -a - plenty
Aaahhh - heaven gently...

Lazy days on a chaise
Colored leaves on trees my view
Cooler air makes them fall and pile
Still reading all the while
Aaahhh - ever idly…

In my rocking chair inside    
A white show my view
Winds are howling and it's snowing
Cozy with my library
Aaahhh - sometimes nodding off - nicely…


Love the Robins
Faith Fury

I love the robins, don’t you? you said.
Yes! they come to sing
of spring before the leaves bud
and the grass greens.
their stay is long and comforting,
red-breasted predictable
until colors wane to winter white
and silence settles into shortened days.
then we must wait the seasons through
until the robins bring their truth again
and I am home with you.


Joanne Martignoni

fall surprises us
watch earth colors change …then shed
make way for winter
(A Variation on Robert Frost's brilliant Nothing Gold Can Stay)
Ernst Schoen-René

Nature’s last green is gold
Vain glory ‘gainst the cold,
But gold decays to brown
And tumbles leaf-wise down;
Thus green and gold are lost
As winter comes, and frost;
But frost melts into rain
And gold-green comes again.


Marlin Klinger

In springtime we are very glad
To see the sunshine peak.
The plants and grass and trees and shrubs
Emerge and grow each week.

The world is really waking up
And plants are growing buds.
The trees are leafing everywhere
Like putting on their duds.

They spread their limbs and fill them out
And shade the yards below.
We welcome all the cooling breeze
Their limbs and leaves bestow.

But now its Fall, the shade is thin
The leaves are turning color.
They’re beautiful and bright to see
With vistas like no other.

And then they fall just like the rain
To cover walks and grass.
Now we are left to rake them up
The total bunch en masse.

Once again the trees are bare
The leaves are on the ground.
Piled up and waiting there
For us to move around.

So now we’re glad the trees are bare
We put the rake away.
But in the morning leaves are there
That weren’t there yesterday.

Why was I glad to see the leaves
Arrive in full last Spring?
‘Cause now they bring me to my knees
With all this endless raking.


Driving by Sawkill
Esther Rosenfeld

The still mirrored lake is dark.
Reflected trees, orange and gold
Lie flat—on the dark glass stillness.

The still mirrored lake is deep
And holds its waters snugly
   against the shores
Of this hushed pond.

The still mirrored lake’s waters
Hold no ducks or swans in its
   calm surface
Occasionally a brown branch floats by.

The still mirrored lake reflects
Amber shaded hills with
   deep purple folds
And holds them tight until
   the setting sun sets them free.

I move towards the setting sun
   on this stretch of road
And pass still waters that suddenly
   burn red one last time
Till silvery streaks of the nights’ sky
   etch upon rippled waters
Lying in repose, waiting for
   the light of day.


Poetry Place needs poems for our next issue. Please submit poems to
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is,
What are you doing for others?”

—Martin Luther King, Jr.
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
Before you re-engage in an election year search for authenticity and motive in non-fiction texts written by politicians and pundits of every stripe, give yourself time to read Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson. The author speaks to our humanity in a novel that features literate dialogue, wry humor, and surprising complexity. Simonson has gifted us with a diverse cast of characters and allows us to travel along with them as they confront the politics of social convention, race, class, family, money, and the environment.

In a small English village, Major Pettigrew, a strict and proper gentleman, has just lost his beloved brother when a chance encounter with Mrs. Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper in the village, begins to grow into more than a casual acquaintance. The reserved and principled personalities of the two main characters as well as the traditions of their society contribute to a story full of polite and not so polite plot strands.

Mrs. Ali, a widow, is being pressured by her traditional Muslim family to yield her shop to a nephew and disappear into a traditional role in her brother’s family. Major Pettigrew’s relatives, a hilariously crass and materialistic son who wants him to sell his home and share the cash, and a sister-in-law who wants his expensive antique rifle to sell as a set with the one owned by his late brother, are appalled by the relationship between Mrs. Ali and the Major.

As the plot hums along, it contrasts social change for the better with change for the worse. In the first category, there is the Major’s evolving affection for Mrs. Ali, centered on a mutual love of reading and respect for others. In the second, is the Major’s son, who thinks his father should get rid of his books to make room for an enormous television in order to “have something to do in the evening.” The Major, meanwhile, is bemused and hurt by what he perceives as casual racism and a lack of character in his only child.

Scheming over the valuable guns and dealing with Mrs. Ali’s family combine with the events generated by Pettigrew’s clueless and racist country club’s decision to hold a costume ball set in colonial India. The subsequent complexities keep Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand ever-bustling and tirelessly bright. Ms. Simonson is both honest and delightfully funny in her depiction of her characters and their lives. She has that intelligent kind of humor that catches the reader by surprise and makes us re-read a sentence several times to figure out what caused that unexpected laugh out loud moment.

Considering the nature of dialogue to which we are exposed these days, it is energizing to read a book about disagreement that is not disagreeable and to laugh at our preconceptions, large and small. Helen Simonson’s creations have brains, heart, dignity and backbone. You should definitely get to know them before the mid-term election circus comes to town.

“We can’t help everyone,
but everyone can help someone.”

—Martin Luther King, Jr.
Montgomery Place Estate
Montgomery Place Estate
This column was begun as a way to inspire those of you who may, like me, be a bit timid about hiking on the Catskill trail system, but who also, like me, enjoy a nice walk in nature where we can take pleasure in being out-of-doors, perhaps see some interesting plants or even gardens, and if lucky, experience a nice view as well.

One place that I frequent is Montgomery Place Estate with its vast expanse of rolling lawns, tucked-away formal gardens, relatively-easy hiking trails in the woods, and a spectacular view of the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson River.

Now owned by Bard College, the grounds at Montgomery Place are open daily from dawn to dusk, with no fees. The estate, a designated National Historic Landmark, was owned by members of the Livingston family from 1802 until the 1980s, when Livingston heir John Dennis Delafield transferred the estate to the non-profit organization, Historic Hudson Valley. In 2016 Bard College acquired the property.

One of the best parts about the grounds at Montgomery Place is that they are usually not at all crowded, all the better to enjoy not only the view but the delightful sundial garden, the long borders both in the formal garden and in front of the house, a calm reflecting pool, and a somewhat neglected but still intriguing “rough” garden or sort of rock garden with a pool inhabited by many turtles and frogs. If you’re interested in the history of the place, there are many interpretive signs posted here and there, thanks to the former ownership of Historic Hudson Valley.

Not to be missed, in season, is the nearby Montgomery Place Orchards farm stand, also historic by the way, with the best produce, particularly apples and pears in the fall from the Montgomery Place orchards.

If you go:
Montgomery Place Estate is located on River Road, south of Bard College. It is open year round. The MP Orchards Farm Stand is located on Route 9G, minutes from the Estate. It is usually open starting in late June through the fall season. Check their website for more information at For complete information about the Montgomery Place Estate, including its history, visit

“Whatever community organization, whether it’s a
women’s organization, or fighting for racial justice…
you will get satisfaction out of doing something to give back
to the community that you never get in any other way.”

—Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Lifespring welcomes new members
We are pleased to welcome 39 new members this year! These new members hail from Saugerties, Woodstock, Kingston, West Hurley, Shokan, Rhinebeck, and beyond!  

We hope that all new members will enjoy their classes and the hospitality room during the semester, and that they will take the opportunity to engage beyond the classroom by attending the Winter Presentations on the first Wednesday of each Winter month—December, January, February and March—as well as other special events offered during the year.

We encourage all new members to consider becoming a volunteer for Lifespring; it’s an excellent way to be a vital part of the community of people who are dedicated to making our lifelong learning institute the very best it can be. As you know, Lifespring is an all-volunteer-run organization. All members, new and returning, should consider how they can be involved, even in a small way, by volunteering to help with one or more of the many tasks that combine to make a smooth, efficient, and successful learning community. If you would like to volunteer, you may contact any Board member, or email Lifespring at for more information.

Looking ahead to Winter Presentations
Save these dates for the Lifespring Winter Presentations, offered as a way to stay connected and exercise our minds during the months when we don’t have classes. The Winter Presentations will be held at the Saugerties Public Library, in the community room, from 11:00 am–12:30 pm on the following dates:
December 5, 2018, January 9, 2019, February 6, 2019,  and March 6, 2019

Information about each presentation will be emailed to you several weeks before each event.

Susan Greenstein, Editor

Susan Davis, Harvey Greenstein,
Irene Rivera Hurst, Fran Jacobson,
Susan Puretz, Esther Rosenfeld

© 2018 Lifespring

This email was sent to
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Lifespring: Saugerties Adult Learning Community · Town Hall · 4 High Street · Saugerties, NY 12477 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp