The Olive Woods
One of the greatest things about Olive, and one of the more
difficult challenges facing we who are trying to put out a newspaper
for the community, is that not much of the "usual news value"
type ever happens here. At least in a manner that affects everybody
in the town, on all sides of the reservoir. Or of all ages. Or
of both political and non-political bents.
As a result, when a sad occurrence, such as the recent suicide
of an Ulster County jail inmate from Saugerties in the snow-laden
Samsoville woods, does occur, it draws added attention. We haven't
gone into all the why's and how's in these pages. That's the job
of other news sources, for those who need to know such things.
Better, in The Olive Press, to focus on the fact that something
happened, and where. Now we must ask ourselves, why here? What
is it about our woods, about this rural Eden, that allows such
tarnishment, such a fall from Grace?
One person we talked to in Krumville this past week spoke about
the kid who disappeared down in the Esopus Valley last summer,
and hasn't been seen since. He went into the woods in Marbletown
and has supposedly been making do up here in Olive. How and why?
He was scared and something drew him in. We're trying to find
out what happened for future issues.
A woman on Cold Brook Road asked what prompted the Bostock Road
man to set a trailer on fire and run into the woods with a shotgun.
Several people in the Winchell Falls area, over by the Ashokan
Field Campus, recalled kids who'd gotten lost over the years,
or just walked into the woods and disappeared. A friend up in
Watson Hollow is worrying that he might be getting cabin fever.
He's been worrying about the woods, about the things he thinks
he sees moving in the darker depths. But then he says such thoughts,
such fears, are forcing him to look deeper into himself and understand
how he ticks.
Similar sentiments were expressed by the others who spoke to
us over the last week of chill and unwavering sunlight. We live
in a special place here, one whose beauty is stark and provocative
and also something of a barrier to the greater ideal of community
many flatter or single-roaded places have.
Olive has no real center since the lost of its namesake city,
now beneath the Ashokan's waters. And yet, despite (and maybe
because) of its challenges, our town has an undeniable character.
Which is what we're trying to get at in this paper, the better
to make this place for all here.
The thing about these Olive woods, these mountains and hollows,
the ghosts of an older, more cohesive town, is that they're a
shared element in our community. And they make us deeper. When
it gets to these days of cabin fever and chilly vistas, we learn
to rise beyond our fears into a shared sense of exploration into
what it is that has brought us here, or keeps us in Olive after
Moreover, sharing such thoughts, it's what makes us all read
these pages for a sense of who we are, and what it will be that
will keep us together. Sure, there will be issues, master plans
and disparate ways in which we want to see our town grow. Differences
of opinion will arise around our schools - even our senior housing.
And more "news worthy" items will come and go, But through it
all, we'll continue to be a community.
A thoughtful place. A better town, in the final rounds.