‘That later we, though parted then,
May still recall these evenings when
Fear gave his watch no look;
The lion griefs loped from the shade
And on our knees their muzzles laid,
And Death put down his book.’
And here, survival tips for Hanging Tender 2009, the first with Barack in the saddle (with gratitude to Linda Aldredge for poring over all eventualities and crafting a list of stuff to bring and do). As ever, the horseplay will be conducted largely on Juliette and Julian’s land on Townsend Road in Bovina, with satellite rough-housing at Linda’s Treepalace across the road. Directions can be gleaned from the internet with the incantation bramley mountain road bovina center ny. Townsend dead-ends off Bramley Mountain Road on the left, zoom in and you’ll see.
This year’s is the earliest yet: Saturday July 25th, the Heart of Summer. No more layering up and huddling beneath blankets to ward off the effects of an arctic Bovina September. Music will begin at 3 in the afternoon in the barn and this year’s lineup, as assembled by Mike Taylor, is the broadest and brightest yet.
There will be unchaperoned activities earlier and throughout, including (but not limited to) swimming in a choice of ponds: one in a wooded glade for those of the Rupert Graves/Simon Callow/Julian Sands skinny-dipping scene from A Room With A View persuasion, the other in an open meadow for those of a more ambidextrous Glenda Jackson/Jennie Linden Women In Love bent. There will also be a good-sized bonfire ’round midnight in case any of the chaps wish to continue the theme by stripping down and oiling up in Oliver Reed/Alan Bates Greco-Roman stylee. Children are a critical ingredient, please bring them. Given their tendency to band together in feral packs to giggle at the naked hippies or lock people in the portajohns and rock them to-and-fro (and bearing in mind that there will be no roaming battery of child-minders) parents are asked to keep a generous and watchful eye on their progeny. There are bodies of water as well as tall things, sharp things, heavy things, hot things and some peculiar things any of which could be the genesis of deep therapy in later years.
Rule of thumb is camping. Other than for band members, there won’t be any place to sleep in any houses (honestly, there won’t). But there will be a twin flowering of tent cities: one in a field (with its own firepit) adjoining the one with the music-barn and another at the (similarly pitted) treehouse site a short walk away. Bring tents and camping gear; sleeping bags, something soft to lie on … stoves are also useful for the establishing of multiple coffee/breakfast/lunch/dinner-making outposts. There is a single hydrant for cold potable water at Juliette’s, but no such thing at Linda’s (so think drinkable water). There will be a couple of portajohns, come early. No showers, but good clean ponds. It does get dark and when it does it sometimes gets chilly, so think flashlights and late-night hoodies and a pair o’ pants. If freak showers are forecast, plastic poncho. For the daytime, significantly less clothing is prescribed, but a towel is handy if you don’t want to publicly air-dry. If you’re going to bring a dog be certain it is poultry, cat and other dog friendly. All three roam the site and would prefer to do so afterwards. If you’re not sure whether your dog will chase a chicken or a duck, don’t bring him (because he likely will).
Hanging Tender is an essentially uncatered affair. There will be grills on the go, but bring stuff to make, cook, eat, drink. There’s a tendency for half the flock to roll up each with a cheerful watermelon or a half-a-dozen ears of corn. This tends to get a little colorless. Feel free to spread out across the panoply of the edible firmament. Short of fermented shark and dog soup, your efforts will be greeted with enthusiasm, even awe. So bring a bulk-pack of discount wieners only if you plan on eating a bulk-pack of discount wieners. There are a few off-campus food options too – Heaven in Bovina is open on Saturday and Sunday until 2 in the afternoon for baked type stuff and Russell’s Store (also Bovina) all day both days for sandwiches General Store type matter. There is the wonderful Slow Down Cafe in Andes as well as pizza and burgers. Delhi has Japanese, lousy Chinese and really good American. For on-campus supplies (a cooler’s not a bad idea) there are supermarkets in Delhi and Margaretville, good farmstands and local meat nearby and Delhi also has the great store Good Cheap Food. Booze-wise, bring it. Most people find they need it. Liquor stores in Delhi, beer all over the place (but not in Bovina, which is historically ‘dry’).
For those averse to greasy poles and fusty mummybags, various bed-and-breakfast type places nearby offer accommodation of a less rudimentary (but correspondingly less fun) variety. These include:
One really important thing. This year for the first time we’re asking people to dig a little into their pockets (on a purely voluntary basis) and make a contribution to the welfare of the bands. They do all this every year for the pure love of music, fields, barns, ponds and alcohol. It’s amazing and inspiring, but neither of these things help pay for the gas to get up to the Catskills. There will be buckets out and announcements from the stage. We’re hoping everyone will be able to give $10 or so, if at all possible.
It’s going to be another great summer happening, this year right when the fields and the sun at are their highest.