Monday, December 3, 2012

Model-train scenes bring joy to Livingston Manor

From Record Online:  Model-train scenes bring joy to Livingston Manor

LIVINGSTON MANOR — On a mammoth construction of tables inside Catskill Art Society's huge ground-floor window, sat a replica of the building that once was.
North Branch resident Marc Switko and his 10-year-old daughter Emma found it as they stood over a mammoth table-top replica of Livingston Manor and its structures, part of the hamlet's "Trains on Main" showcase of model trains.
There was a replica of Main Street Farm, which sits just across the street from the society. There was the Robin Hood Diner and the Livingston Manor School District building.
"And I saw the Hoos building," Emma Switko said. "I went to the Lazy Beagle all the time."
Eleven days after the Nov. 20 fire that destroyed the landmark Hoos building and four local businesses, Livingston Manor buzzed with a day full of holiday activities.
There has been mourning for the business owners and the loss of four Main Street businesses. There also are fundraisers and calls to spend holiday cash in Livingston Manor as a show of support.
"It was a beautiful outpouring of love," said Morgan Outdoors owner Lisa Lyons said. "Quite a few angels talked up having people come here to shop."
Four days after the fire, about 100 people attended the opening of the society's members show. Executive Director Ann Manby partly attributed the larger-than-normal turnout to a desire by some to support the hamlet in the wake of the fire.
Elaborate model-train scenes created by board President Charlie Irace and Manor resident Charlie Sanborn greeted visitors to the society, Morgan Outdoors, Flour Power Bakery and the local library as part of "Trains for Main."
Catskill Art Society also opened the doors to its annual members' show and set up a crafts bazaar in one of its gallery spaces. There was also caroling, and the Plunk Shop held an event featuring clown-themed art.
"It's brought a lot of joy to this area and the people that come and see it every year," Manby said.
Irace has spent five years creating the Manor replica, adding and refining buildings each year. He decided to keep the Hoos building in this year's display, despite concerns by others.
"I just thought it had to be in to help heal things," Irace said.
Like his daughter, Marc Switko was transported by Irace's display of his native Livingston Manor. He remembered when the Catskill Arts Society building housed a movie theater, when Madison on Main was a pharmacy and Morgan Outdoors was a grocery.
He also remembered eating cheeseburgers at the carryout that once shared the Hoos building with the Hoos bakery.
"I hope something happens with that space," he said.


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