Ah Spring!!!!!! So many things to do here, but there is also such energy available to go towards them. There is so much energy moving forward at Central House and so many projects begun.
We’ve been getting an incredible amount of work done on weekends. These days it’s just Cathy, Helen Farrell, Jamie Hunter and myself most of the time. I’ve been making a weekly Saturday ritual of going down there for classes and rituals, cooking dinner and helping out however I can. I’m looking forward to having opportunities to learn new skills needed to fix the place like welding, glazing and electrical work.
The first thing we did after the Season of the Tree was paint the bar/dining area white with tan trim and it looks GREAT! You wouldn’t believe how much brighter it is in there. We also removed the alcohol paraphernalia from the back of the bar and replaced it with goddess imagery. The television set on the high shelf has been replaced with the kernos that Helen made. One of these days I’m hoping to get some pictures up on the website.
The south/front gateway to the temple grove had been blown down in a windstorm during the Season of the Tree, and it is now fixed and up again. Nonetheless, we’re still taking it as a sign from Mother to replace the gates with concrete, neoclassical pillars like we have hoped for!
Helen has been working like crazy, clearing out and painting the bedrooms in the rear wing behind the theater to be her bedroom and workroom. Soon she hopes to be here permanently and open up a pottery.
Cathy has fixed her lawn tractor and has been having an absolute blast on it, keeping the grounds mowed. (Who says grounds keeping can’t be fun?). We have also been working very hard on clearing brush and planting flowers and herbs. The grounds now look better than they have in a couple of years!
We’ve been opening up a lot of sealed doorways. The refrigerator has been moved away from the door that goes between the living room and dining room by the basement stairs and it is now in use again! The side door in the dining room that goes out to the side porch is now open, too. Cathy and Helen have been working on opening up the long-sealed back door in the kitchen. I do hope that the fire safety inspection people will appreciate our efforts in adding more fire exits!
It’s interesting what you find in an old house when cleaning it out. I have started working on clearing out room #4 to prepare it for drywalling and new wiring. I wound up unearthing a framed photo of Stonewall veteran Marsha P. Johnson there. Curious, since just the previous week, an older gay man who had been a close friend of hers had come up to visit us and reminisced quite a bit about her. I’m told that Sylvia Rivera herself had hoped to come and live at Central House before her untimely death. Sadly, though, that was not to be.
And that’s another, wonderful thing about Central House: the myriad of connections to history that it has, and not always just the kind of Catskills history that you would expect!