Want to know more about the Andes Roundtable? Josh Bobley provided the following information:
Recent presenters included Kirby Olsen (philosophy professor and poet); Ann Epner (Executive Director, Pine Hill Community Center); Gerry Pellegrino (wine and spirits merchants); Gary Rosa (judge and attorney); Joel Tyner (politician: five-term Dutchess County Legislator); Shawn Dacey (SUNY Oneonta student who discussed his recent trip to North Korea); Dr. Lynn Schneider (Shakespeare expert); and Margo Farrington (poet). Brian Greene, famous physicist, says he will make a presentation in the coming months.
Ellen Fauerbach made a presentation on July 25th on her adventures in Japan. Bob Armstrong, a banker, will talk on August 1st. David Burns of Argyle Farms will talk about the economics of raising animals, on August 29th.
Past speakers are too numerous to list. There have been hundreds representing all walks of life.
To get on our mailing list, contact Josh Bobley: firstname.lastname@example.org. Josh shares the facilitator role previously held solely by his father Roger Bobley, with Jack McShane, Bill Piervincenzi, Sharon Ruetenik and Maria Ditchek.
WHAT IS THE ANDES ROUNDTABLE?
The Andes Roundtable is a group of friends who meet weekly to listen to lectures or hold discussions in an effort to learn more about the world, clarify our ideas, understand one another better, and feel connected with our fine community.
WHEN AND WHERE DOES THE ROUNDTABLE MEET?
The Roundtable meets every Wednesday (except on major holidays) from 7 PM to 9 PM at the Hunting Tavern Museum on Main Street (Route 28) in Andes, New York.
HOW DOES ONE BECOME A ROUNDTABLE MEMBER?
The Roundtable is not an incorporated organization; in fact, it has no “official” members. In regard to the Roundtable, the word “member” simply refers to an individual who attends meetings; whether he or she attends regularly or sporadically is irrelevant. Everyone is welcome. No reservations needed. Just pop in.
WHAT IS THE COST OF MEMBERSHIP?
There are no dues to pay. However, when you attend any given meeting, you are asked to contribute $2 at the door. Half of the proceeds goes to the non-profit Andes Society for History and Culture, which owns the Hunting Tavern Museum; the other half goes toward providing refreshments at meetings (generally decaffeinated coffee and cookies), and other required supplies.
ARE MEMBERS NOTIFIED OF UPCOMING TOPICS OF DISCUSSION?
Josh Bobley, one of the facilitators, maintains an e-mail list of those who have asked to be included on it. Every Sunday, he notifies members of what to expect at the following Wednesday’s meeting. When a particularly notable speaker will be addressing the group, he also places an announcement about it in the “That’s Entertainment” section of the Catskill Mountain News, which is published on the day of the event.
WHO ATTENDS THE ROUNDTABLE?
While people of all ethnic backgrounds and political beliefs are very welcome — in fact, encouraged — to join us, the members who attend most often happen to be retired or semi-retired, liberal, white, and non-religious. This is too bad, since the more diverse the group, the more interesting the discussions could be.
WHAT ARE THE PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUNDS OF MEMBERS?
Roundtable members include several professors and teachers, four New York City policemen, a retired fashion model, a kitchen designer, a dog breeder, several physicians, several business people, several social workers, a speech therapist, a massage therapist, a physical therapist, a concert pianist, a judge’s secretary, a computer expert, an outdoor guide, several fine artists and artisans, a restaurateur, a few writers, an art-and-antiques dealer, an art gallery owner, a chiropractor, an astrologer, a magician, several real estate agents, and others.
HOW MANY MEMBERS ARE THERE?
While our e-mail list consists of 334 addresses (representing close to 600 people), the number of members who attend any given meeting has varied from about 5 to 60. Generally, though, the range is 10-20. The actual number depends on the topic or speaker, the weather (which can be extreme in the Catskills), and the time of year (since a good number of members winter in the south).
WHAT ARE THE MEETINGS LIKE?
Typically, meetings consist of four types: 1) a speaker (usually a resident of Andes or a nearby town) addresses us on a subject he or she is conversant with, and holds a question-and-answer session, or a discussion, afterward; 2) an “open” discussion is held, in which anyone present can bring any topic to the table; 3) a pre-assigned topic is discussed; and 4) a movie is shown, or a slide presentation given, followed (if time allows) by a discussion. Meetings tend to be lively, with a good deal of give-and-take among members and between members and lecturers. In fact, several speakers have commented that they have found the Andes Roundtable to be among the brightest of the groups they have addressed.
WHAT ARE SOME TOPICS DISCUSSED, AND WHO HAS ADDRESSED THE ROUNDTABLE?
Our unofficial motto being “All Things Considered,” we have talked about, and heard lectures on, a great diversity of topics. We are privileged to include among our members some exceptionally accomplished people. For example, concert pianist Justin Kolb and his manager wife, Barbara Mellon, invite us to their home for an annual lecture and recital by the maestro. Bill Piervincenzi, a retired Nassau Community College biology professor and an unusually dynamic teacher, gives several popular talks a year on subjects ranging from evolution to Italian cooking. Stanley Fish, Professor of Law at Florida International University and a renowned Milton scholar, author, Constitutional law expert, New York Times blogger and Op-Ed contributor, delivers an always-well-attended annual lecture to the Roundtable. In addition to these heavy hitters, we have been addressed by other unusually talented and creative people, as well.
DOES THE ROUNDTABLE OFFER AN HONORARIUM TO GUEST SPEAKERS?
No. Those who address the Roundtable do so without charge. While their motivation may be multi-dimensional, a prime reason is simply to contribute to the vitality of the community. Our small, rural area is populated with many talented people, and if someone has something to contribute to the commonweal, he or she usually does just that. ~