Destination, Pine Bush, New York

The street fair brings together all types of people.  There, we shed our political affiliations, drop our anger towards "those people," whoever they are, and come together to celebrate.  The focal point of what we celebrate is less important than why we celebrate - because we need to.  We need to take a day off and wander aimlessly through a crowd, perusing the wares of vendors who would probably prefer to be in the crowd themselves but have come to earn a living.

Saturday morning the sun came out and the clouds scattered like roaches in a Bronx kitchen when the light comes on.  It would have been a great day to watch the kids play sports and do a little yard work.  Instead, I placed my new tripod in a backpack made for snowboarding and hopped on the motor bike.  Destination, Pine Bush, New York.  Interstate 84 was sparsely trafficked, enabling me to keep the speed down and enjoy a carefree ride.  Despite the brilliant sun it was still chilly at highway speeds.  I wore a waterproof ski jacket as a wind breaker.  The bike has electric hand warmers built into the handlebar grips but my leather gloves were enough to keep the chill off my hands.

I turned off the highway, just past Newburgh and headed north.  Here, the country roads resemble any other in "Upstate" New York.  I put Upstate in quotes because the people to the north, where most of the land in New York is located, would consider Orange County to be "Downstate."  But the majority of people in the state live south of there and call it Upstate.  Most people outside of the state would never imagine how rural it is there.  I traveled stretches of road where you could not see another person, past acres of farmland and lonely houses yearning for a neighbor.

Pine Bush, New York
Pine Bush, New York
Walden was the first big town I drove through.  This is not the Walden of Thoreau.  That is in Massachusetts.  Walden, New York would not attract elites from the big city, looking for a quaint country setting to spend the summer.  My first impression of the town was imprinted upon me by the scent of fabric softener gushing from a drier.  Someone was doing laundry.  I wound my way through the sleepy village, over the Wallkill River, past the Angry Orchard Cider Brewery, to my destination:

Pine Bush New  York

The town of Pine Bush is growing on me.  On my first visit in April, I drove through and completely missed it, on my way to the Pine Bush UFO Group meeting.  Saturday I spent four hours there and enjoyed my stay, tremendously.  The Pine Bush UFO Fair corralled me onto Main Street, leaving its storefronts inaccessible.  But stores are only a small variable in the equation which makes a town what it is.  The people I met were wonderful.  Granted, many of the folks at the UFO Fair came from out of town, either as a speaker or a vendor, or like myself, as a guest who traveled many miles for this oddly-specific event which occupies far too much real estate in my mind.  Yet, this could only happen in a town like Pine Bush.

I arrived ten minutes before the UFO Fair began.  Main Street was closed to traffic.  Police directed cars to locations far from the action.  That was why I took the bike - that and what a beautiful day for a ride!  A cop suggested I take a closed street I was able to navigate on the bike.  There, I slowly weaved around pedestrians to a recessed parking lot and found a spot only a bike could fit in.  I stuffed the ski jacket in my backpack and pulled out the tripod.

Barry Mangione Blue Alien Mystic Musician
Barry Mangione Blue Alien Mystic Musician
Like any street fair, food played a major role.  Far from Walden, I smelled hot oil, frying something delectable.  It does not matter much what you put in hot oil.  You could batter roadkill and drop it into hot oil and it would taste delicious.  I would not know, first-hand.  A friend told me that.  You do not know him.  He is in Canada.

I passed a petting zoo and a paranormal sculpture booth on my walk to Main Street, via a parking lot lined on both sides with booths selling street fair staples like Italian Ice and grilled peppers and onions.  There was a trailer with Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Veggie Kettle Corn.  The barbecue booth, complete with barrel smoker, was the most tempting treat but I was determined to hold off on eating until I got back home.  Still, that BBQ looked and smelled like something out of a Southern backwoods cookout.

There was a cupcake vendor and an artisan bread baker.  No street fair would be complete without artisan pickles.   You heard me.  Artisan pickles.  I took my kids to the City last summer and they insisted on each buying a six dollar cucumber.  Not today, Mack - though they looked good.

Blue Alien Mystic was playing at the bandstand when I arrived.  They played a couple cover songs.  I got some video and said hi to Barry, the lead singer.  Then they played The Other Side of Space, which is my Outro theme song for the David Marceau YouTube Channel.

Another musician, Israel Sanchez was set up on Main Street.  He also played a combination of covers and originals.  I took some video.  He ran into me later in the twenty-minute line for the porta-potties.  He told me it would be OK to use the video on my YouTube channel.  Nice!   The guy traveled all the way from California for the event.  I should have interviewed him, to ask why, but it would have been awkward doing this in the line for the toilets.  I would not appreciate if someone got me on camera, doing the pee-pee dance.

Roger Phillips Gray Zone Artist
Roger Phillips Gray Zone Artist
Most of the non-food vendors sold Alien and UFO-related art or tchotchkes.  One booth featured aliens hiding in barns or sneaking up on astronauts.  The artist, Roger Phillips, is also a cartoonist.  He does a Larson-esque cartoon every day for the Roswell Daily Record, called The Gray Zone.  He was there selling his books.  I checked out some of his work.  It is really funny.

A couple booths down, artist couple Allie and Alex displayed a combination of paintings and carpentry on reclaimed pallets.  Joan the Knitter had items from her crochet club.  Steve Heller had some beautiful pieces made from chromed auto parts, complete with taillights for eyes, which really lit up.  But at $4000+ they were way out of my price range.  Steve is a big Sci-Fi fan.  He has been on a UFO kick lately but that is not necessarily his thing - just for this event.

One artist, Brooklyn resident Tim Kelly, paints and draws blue aliens.  This led me A. to buying an interesting piece of art that I could not leave without, and B. making the connection that I had to introduce this guy to Barry from Blue Alien Mystic.  They ended up meeting later in the day.

Tim Kelly Similar Alien Artist
Tim Kelly Similar Alien Artist

Tim's work comes purely from imagination, he has never had an experience with aliens.  He believes people should not be afraid of aliens.  He wants to make people feel better about something that is pretty scary.  He draws them with gender and wearing clothes, as opposed to many other artists who draw aliens that abductees describe, sans clothing or genitalia.  He does not have to think about this much, the work just flows out of him.  I was captivated.  Most of his work seemed to be paint on canvass but my eye was drawn to a sketch of The Grady Twins, the two girls from the Shining, depicted as aliens.

Then there was the kid who made some hats and t-shirts with his friends, just for fun.  Matthew from Montgomery decided to add in an alien head onto the original design his gang of buddies all wear.  It was a special edition just for this event.  He never had any experiences with aliens or UFOs.  He just wanted to come to Pine Bush and make a few bucks - nothing wrong with that.

I spoke, at length, with a couple UFO witnesses, Thom Reed and Travis Walton.  I will include some clips from those interviews, along with a montage of the sites and sounds of the 2019 Pine Bush UFO Fair in my next blog post and YouTube episode which should be released Wednesday of this week.

I made my way back to where I had parked the bike. The Italian Ice cart called out my name.  By this point in the day it had warmed up to the mid-70's Fahrenheit and my backpack was stuffed with my coat, sweatshirt, and a framed illustration of alien Shining twins.  I really wanted one of those Italian ices.  But the line was longer than the line for the toilets.  Kids did the Icy Dance which involves placing a death-grip on a parent's wrist and dropping to the pavement.  I did not want it that badly.  Perhaps I will get one at the next street fair.

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Thank you for reading and keep an eye on the sky.