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Imperturbable Percheron draft horses | Essex Column

Beginning this Saturday and running through March the Whallonsburg Grange hosts a “Play Gym” for kids under five. The play will be led by Lakeside School’s George V. and the sessions will go from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Each participant needs a caregiver present. Two year olds may require two handlers.

The film society shows, “Twenty Feet from Stardom” Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. at the Grange. With the big screen and great new sound system, this documentary about rock and roll back up singers should be very entertaining. It shines a light on the incomparable Darlene Love and her colleagues, who are almost all African-American women working for people like Springsteen, the Beatles and Rolling Stones.

At Reber Rock Farm this morning a pair of imperturbable Percheron draft horses got a going over from a couple of students visiting from Pennsylvania. Plate size hooves were scraped clean, dusty black coats well brushed, and in a show of complete and utter patience the horses allowed collars to be gingerly slipped over their heads, followed by the rest of the leather and shiny silver harnesses.

I had the urge to escape from icy, gray Reber last weekend, so Amy and I made big plans for a day in Albany. We got a late start but the Northway was clear and the driving rain washed all the crud off my car. I’m interested in Chinese cooking, so we stopped at an Asian market just off Central Avenue for ingredients. I loaded up on chili sauces, fermented beans, dried mushrooms and the like, and studied the unusual fruits and vegetables, very few of which I could identify. In the fish section, which smelled of fresh ocean water, there were tanks of eels, crabs and carp, and a deep tub containing monstrous frogs with big white eyes. Our next stop was a nearby Italian grocery, where samples of provolone cheese and dry sausage were nearly forced on us by the engaging counter man. Of course we had to buy some, along with olive oil and a jar of fancy anchovies. We’d planned to see a couple of art exhibits at the State Museum, but it was getting on in the day and the rain was really coming down, so we headed home. I was afraid of flooding, but we seemed to get lucky this time.

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