There was a celebration recently to honor Norma Goff at the Essex Community Church for all the work she does on behalf of the church and community. Her grandsons provided the music, son Todd called in from Afghanistan, and a nice check was presented for the Charlie Goff Fund.

For you movie buffs, the film society's next offering is Academy Award winner "The Fighter", which will be shown this Sunday evening at 8 at the Whallonsburg Grange.

On Saturday, the Grange will host the acoustic band "Molasses Creek" from Ocracoke, North Carolina. The group formed in 1993, has released 10 albums, and features great harmonies, hot instrumentals and a fine sense of humor. You and your family are encouraged to meet the band at 1 p.m. at the Grange, where they will put on a program aimed at young people to acquaint them with the instruments and music. At 7:30 p.m., Molasses Creek will give a concert, with tickets going at only $6.

My neighbor Holly French reports that the maple syrup season has been slow so far, but they're hoping later this week the sap will be flowing better.

The big news in Essex is the New York State Board of Place Names has finally approved the change in the spelling of Whallonsburg. Visitors usually incorrectly pronounce it "wall uns berg" , embarrassing themselves and irritating the locals. The new spelling will be the phonetically superior "Waylonsburg" which is easy to say correctly and has the added benefit of honoring the late great country singer and North Country favorite, Waylon Jennings. Mr. Jennings, although a proud Texan, adored the Champlain Valley and had a camp on Willsboro Point. It was there he wrote his most famous song, "Too Dumb for New York City, Too Ugly for LA, Just Right for Essex." The Grange is planning a major celebration of Jennings' life with a dance and barbecue later this summer, featuring Texas two-stepping and a group sing along. A six part lecture series will follow next winter on Jennings's local connections and his impact on country music as a whole.

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