Letter to the Editor: The Train Station – Phoenicia New York

Dear Editor:

Flying Cat Music recently hosted a concert at the Empire State Railway Museum in Phoenicia with Malcolm Holcombe, an extremely talented and nationally respected musician who resides in the Swannanoa Valley, outside of Ashville, North Carolina. Not long after the day of his show the following letter arrived (physically) in our mailbox, unsolicited from Malcolm. It speaks to the concern he felt while he was hear for the preservation of our local history, of the railroad and the train station where the concert was held. We thought it should be shared with other fellow residents of the Catskills. With his permission, here is what Malcolm Holcombe sent us.  - Tom Rinaldo, Flying Cat Music, Phoenicia

“The Train Station – Phoenicia New York

the warm applause from the audience and their gracious laughter in the railway hall will always be remembered. i hope these folks will return to this special place to savor the beautiful mountains within this tapestry of history.

the motion of visitors adventurous expectations should continue to be fueled by Phoenicia’s train station continued operation as a viable gift shop and music venue offering a window into the past.

this railroad line, station and the tracks themselves are a part of the sinew of the history of Phoenicia, ny. the souls here and now are struggling to preserve and promote understanding and wisdom in these miracles of hard work and transportation that can only lead to a more prosperous future enriching one’s heart and mind with memories.

i have seen my grandfather’s log home in western north Carolina be consumed by greed and a shopping mall. a cabin he built by hand, hewed logs cut on the land where he raised tobacco and livestock. are we safer and wiser to destroy the past? should we boast of concrete and technology in the same breath of the fire of destruction of history of our being and endurance?

i have a love of the mountains, from the appalachians to the catskills to the alps and the hills of central italy. the rugged men and women who built roads and railways to venture to the unknown and share knowledge and stories. why do we need to sever the bonds that bring us together…the very arteries that strengthen our commonness?

destruction of the noble evidence of past triumphs and man’s worthy successes sours on cherished memories.

i hope and pray this special monument of memories will survive the short-lived political whims of short-term satisfaction.

i remain your humble servant in music,

malcolm Holcombe”