April 9, 2008: Truly wonderful

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To The Editor:
In nearly 20 years of living here, I have never written a letter to the Catskill Mountain News. While I recognize the paper’s need to keep everyone up-to-date on current bowling scores, who’s visiting or dining with whom, the top-rated Area Police News, our local school athletic programs, etc., your new column by Bill Birns, “A Catskill Catalog,” is truly wonderful. Understanding our local history is important to young and old, local, guest or part-timer. Written in a light, yet thorough manner, his column highlights historical issues about this area that are important to know and appreciate. Hopefully, our schools are sharing this information with students in addition to U.S. history, math, etc.
Our daughter was fortunate to have studied under Bill when he was a teacher. Every time I see him he always asks, “How’s she doing?” His column is another demonstration of his commitment to teaching and caring. While it’s very entertaining to read Brian Sweeney’s excellent humorous and often urbane column and Judy Van Put’s great fishing column (especially now that it’s fishing season!), we’re glad that the News has also found it important to bring Bill’s column to life. It’s a good decision. Teaching is never out of style and Bill does a great job. Thanks, Bill.

Steve Finkel,
New Kingston

Editor’s Note: There is an old saying that goes, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” I first approached Bill to write for the paper in 1978. I’m as happy as you that he’s finally doing it.