John Kincheloe will read from his new book, Heroes for Hire, a Tall Tale of the Catskills
A longtime Halcottville resident, John tells the story of the summer of 1969, his introduction to the Catskills and to our mountain way-of-life. Seems he and his twin brother, George, accepted the offer of George’s Harvard residence-hall advisor, grad student Andy Van Benschoten, to work as hay-hands for Andy’s father on the family’s New Kingston dairy farm. Andy would be off to Europe.
The boys miss New Kingston on their first pass through, quizzically asking each other, “Was that a town we just drove through?” Turns out, New Kingston, Rollie and Faye Van Benschoten’s multi-generational farm, nearby Margaretville, and the rolling Catskills became among the most important places in these young men’s lives.
Heroes for Hire is a rollicking good story and a re-introduction to the way things were when Delaware County had more cows than people and the rhythms of farm and village were the rhythms of the seasons. Locals will recognize the characters and the hard-work of the farm. Readers will enjoy the frolic and sheer fun of being young. It’s the rock-n-roll summer of ’69 so, of course, Woodstock plays a role, and since these hay-hand brothers quickly become locals, the trip to Yasgar’s farm is all back-road.
John Marshal Kincheloe teaches high school social studies at Stamford Central School. He’s the drummer for the popular regional band, Blues Maneuver. All John’s family is musical. His daughter, Arleigh, and son, Jackson, will appear at the Mountain Jam Music Festival this June at Bethel Woods, site of the original Woodstock. Their band, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, with a national reputation and following, will perform the festivals’ first evening.