Flat Andre Crosses the Tappan Zee

crossingthetappanzeeI usually stick to my side of the Hudson. I’m familiar with the river towns and of course my beloved Old Dutch Church and my spiritual family at the Reformed Church of the Tarrytowns, but I decided today was the day to take Flat Andre across the river to face the Second Act of the story of his capture and death. Our destination – the Tappan Historical District.   Continue reading “Flat Andre Crosses the Tappan Zee”

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Flat Andre Visits the Old Dutch Church Part 2

I can’t resist adding a second part to my original post. The most incredible thing happened yesterday at the Old Dutch. For the first time any of us can remember, we had a Hessian visit the church. Now when we tell the story of the Headless Horseman, we also touch on the role that Hessian mercenaries played in the American Revolution, especially in the area around the Old Dutch Church and Sleepy Hollow. Let us take a moment to remember this grievance against King George the III as it is enumerated in the Declaration of Independence: Continue reading “Flat Andre Visits the Old Dutch Church Part 2”

Flat Andre Visits The Old Dutch Church

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British actor JJ Feild as Major John Andre in the AMC production TURN.

We are used to having fans of the first internationally acclaimed American writer, Washington Irving, visit The Old Dutch Church and Burial Ground. Followers of the various television and film adaptations of his story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” are always on site looking for tell-tale signs of the Headless Horseman. But we have a new fandom visiting us – followers of the AMC series TURN, Continue reading “Flat Andre Visits The Old Dutch Church”

Sleepy Hollow S4 Ruminations

Sleepy Hollow S4 has me thinking in a way it never has before. The writers, who wrote these episodes long before the November elections, have displayed prescience concerning current events in the real America. I’m probably reading too much into it, but after episode 11, the Way of the Gun, I can’t look away. Up until this episode, the writers have been carefully crafting a difficult but plausible transition necessitated by the loss of Abbie Mills at the end of S3, which moved the action of the play from my beloved Sleepy Hollow to Washington, D.C. (But make no mistake, this relocation did not diminish the memory of Abbie who remains very much on the minds of Ichabod and Jenny throughout the whole season thus far.) The writers took the remnants of the original story to a location we all have our eyes on right now- the capitol of our nation.

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I don’t need to rehash the story because the people who will read this have already watched and re-watched each episode at least once or twice. But last Friday night, when Ichabod Crane took a magic bullet for Agent Thomas, and our champion of democracy was turned into the Horseman of War, I just lost it. My genre story suddenly became an allegory. This little story started with a grade school play about Valley Forge, a place where great sacrifices were made, and where soldiers were molded into an Army inspired by the vision and words of General Washington, a true leader. Cut to the final scene and we see a would-be leader, Malcolm Dreyfus, with the assistance of his demonic companion, Jobe, point his weapon and hit the wrong target, Witness Crane, who begins his transformation into the very being he has been called to destroy – The Horseman of War. Before our very eyes we watch as Tom Mison masterfully uses word and expression and voice to show Crane trying to resist, but finally overcome – “I have become war!” Who didn’t feel a wave of hopelessness at that declaration.ichabod war

Before this year, my twitter feed was mostly Sleepy Hollow. But gradually my feed has become post after post of a president making decisions that are dragging a lot of us in a direction as far away from the principles of democracy as Crane now finds himself. At the agency of another, Crane is turned into a thing he has raged against. And every time I check twitter or the news media I feel the same about our nation. At the agency of our current president,  we are become War!

This is just my reflection. But it reminds me of how important genre shows are. They can be stories or allegories. They can play with the past, present, and future. Fact, fiction, and legend can exist together.  You can spend your time wondering what will happen next week, or you can reflect on a single moment that seems to reach out at you and shake you from your complacency. Sleepy Hollow has had a tough 4 seasons, but for those of us who have stuck with it, we continue to be enthralled as the writers explore the value of our democracy through the life and times of Ichabod Crane.

Photos – Fox

 

 

 

 

Weekends at the Old Dutch Church – Annual Dutch Fest – October Weekends

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Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman, Sleepy Hollow, NY

The roads around Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown are packed this time of year as folks from all over make the trek to these river towns in search of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I wonder if Washington Irving knew that this place he described as “drowsy” and  “dreamy” would become the destination of choice Continue reading “Weekends at the Old Dutch Church – Annual Dutch Fest – October Weekends”

Saturdays at the Old Dutch Church – July 30th, 2016

old dutch frontOn Saturdays, the folks that make their way up the hill towards the Old Dutch Church do so with various intentions – or no intentions at all. Some find themselves walking through the church doors not really knowing why they came. They know nothing of Irving, The Legend, the Dutch, or the history, but they show up, as if answering a summons from On High. Continue reading “Saturdays at the Old Dutch Church – July 30th, 2016”