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Letters to the Editor 

Last Updated: 08/13/2013 4:39 pm
I’m sending this e-mail to voice my disappointment over an article in your July issue, Beth E. Wilson’s “Touch Not the Cat.” I’m a weekend resident of Catskill who was off ended by this article on two levels. The first is obvious, Wilson’s tone is mean-spirited and condescending. I found this particularly surprising from a publication whose mission is “nourishing and supporting the creative and cultural life of the Hudson Valley.” Catskill is a village that’s had a hard run of it. In the last few years, a wonderful transformation has occurred that has revitalized the area. That transformation didn’t come without a lot of eff ort from the community itself and the Heart of Catskill organization that sponsored “Cat-n-Around Catskill.” Shame on Wilson and Chronogram for not recognizing that. And I posit that not so much for hurt feelings, but for an inability to serve the purpose of your publication.

The second offense is more directly related to Wilson’s evaluation of the Cat project. Here’s a news flash—this isn’t about sculpture. (The opening quote is profoundly misplaced.) “Cat-n-Around Catskill” is a community-based fundraising project that uses design to celebrate heritage. Wilson missed the point and should go elsewhere to review true sculpture.

I’ll be the first to admit that when I first heard about the project I was concerned about how it might be perceived. I had lived through the Cow Parade in Manhattan—and genuinely enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure how that would translate in Catskill. To my surprise and delight, I must admit that my fears were unsubstantiated. What do you see on the streets of Catskill today? Families strolling from cat to cat taking pictures, generally accompanied by squeals of delight from the youngest members. Just last week I strolled through town with my visiting nieces and their excitement over the cats was truly inspiring. Both immediately returned home to draw picture after picture of the cats they saw—and the cats they wanted to create. Can we measure the influence this will have on their creative development? Well, that would be hard—but it’s not insignificant to note. On that point I don’t think Wilson has walked down Main Street Catskill—or if she did, she didn’t observe the reaction these “works” are having.

Generally, I enjoy your nicely produced publication, but I had to take issue with this article. It’s just the sort of misplaced bitterness I run upstate on weekends to avoid. I, for one, don’t want to read the same article on Hudson’s Dog project.

Todd Whitley, Catskill
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