8-19-14 Ain’t It Funny How Time Slips Away

“When you’re 20 you care what everyone thinks, when you’re 40 you stop caring what everyone thinks, when you’re 60 you realize no one was ever thinking about you in the first place.”




7-29-14 River Pool At Beacon – Guest Blog

I am turning the words over to Katherine today…

In 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013 I participated in the Annual Great Newburgh To Beacon Hudson River Swim   across the Hudson to raise money for the Beacon River Pool. The Hudson is America’s “first” river and this swim demonstrates that we can clean up the Hudson for the benefit of all. It was an amazing experience – imagine finding yourself in a Hudson River School Painting. It’s ridiculously thrilling. ———————–


As many of you know, the pool is a creation of the community and Pete Seeger was one of the lead creators. It will be odd to swim this year, the 11th year of the swim, without him leading us all in a rousing version of This Land Is Your Land but that is why I feel that it is even more important that I swim this year. An important part of the community has moved on and we need to help keep the idea and the reality alive.

RSJohnson_Hudson_ 130727-84

As my friend Karen Frillman put it:

“Pete created paths for so many people to walk down. He loved life. He wanted everyone – and that meant anyone- to feel their humanity- to enjoy the pleasure of singing tunes together and better yet with harmony, to eat a home baked strawberry shortcake and in the case of the riverpool, to dip into his beloved Hudson on a hot day and have fun! I feel he reminded me how great it is to be part of something bigger than myself, to get involved, be conscious, don’t say it can’t be done but how can we do it? Pete, you were a great teacher. Thank you.”

So if you want to help out River Pool and continue to support healthy, clean, swimmable Rivers hit the Join Us button RIGHT HERE!. If you are uncomfortable with putting your information out on the net you can certainly send me a check for River Pool that I will bring to the swim. Or if you just want to come out and cheer on the swimmers, join us riverside in Newburgh August 2 around 11:30 for the gathering and 12:30 for splash time!! Thank you in advance and look for Robert’s pictures of the event sometime after August 3rd.

Boro Walk

7-16-13 The 10th Annual Great Newburgh To Beacon Hudson River Swim

Hudson Swim

As some of you know Katherine (that would be my wife of 28, and partner of 36, years) swam the Hudson to benefit River Pool in 2008-09-10 but was unable to do so for health reasons the past two years.

Well- SHE IS BACK. This year the swim is on Saturday, July 27th If you can donate to the cause of River Pool,  that is great, but whether or no, please send your encouragement and good wishes.

I will have pictures of the event as soon as I am able after it happens. It is always a great day. 250 swimmers and about 100 kayakers, plus the sloop Woody Guthrie and usually Pete Seeger comes out to sing them on. I don’t know if he will be there this year as his wife Toshi just passed away the other day at the age of 91 (they meet in 1943!) but he and Toshi are always there in spirit.

You can learn more about River Pool HERE.

5-15-11 Shad Fest! Riverkeeper! Giant Puppets! BagPipes! Slide Show…(replaces 5/20/11 post)

The day of the Shad Fest dawned rainy and foggy…no surprise there – our weather has not exactly been overwhelmingly dry.

Katherine and I headed north to Garrison in the Hudson Valley to celebrate Riverkeeper.  We took the western route which meant we had to cross the Bear Mountain Bridge which is where I shot the photograph at the top of the page.  Riverkeeper has a fascinating history. Founded in 1966 as “the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association, a blue-collar coalition of commercial and recreational fishermen” it has accomplished some amazing things in its 45 year history.  Along with Clearwater and numerous other organizations they have brought much of the Hudson back to life and made it the most successful River Reclamation (watch the video!) project in the world.  There is still a long way to go…GE and the start of PCB cleanup.  What is even more disturbing, despite the great efforts of all these dedicated people, is that over 160 miles of the Hudson polluted by GE is NOT being cleaned up by them. See this post by the blog The Hudson River for more details.

However we were there to have a good time as well as learn more and I would say that a good time was had by all.  Jugglers, raptors, really good bands,  Pipers and a very impassioned speech by Bobby Kennedy. I spoke with Captain John Lipscomb, the Riverkeeper Boat Captain and hope to spend a weekend on the river with him some time this year while he is on patrol.

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