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NY CITY SHOW - There will be an art show opening tomorrow at the Chashama Gallery on 210 East 43rd Street in New York City. “Innerspace” is the title of this art show and features the recent paintings by Bombay artist Gregg Emery.

Yes, there is an Emery-connection with this columnist. Gregg is our son and is a 1990 graduate of Salmon River Central School.

The show opens tomorrow in “midtown” as the press release told me (yes, I actually received a press release on the Gregg Emery show). Circle next Thursday though, because the Artist’s Reception will be held from 6 until 9 p.m. that evening. If you are in New York City on Sept. 12 or if you might like to be – plan to stop at the Chashama Gallery and say hello to the artist.

Gregg has had a pad and pencil in hand from the time he was quite young. He always has loved sketching people. A favorite spot to sketch was the Massena Arena, where he would attend hockey games with a sketch pad under his arm ready to capture the action on the ice with graphite.

He also loved to spend time in the food court at the St. Lawrence Centre Mall sketching so many who had stopped for a moment or who were working at center court. I have watched as he has sketched in the subway as we traveled in New York City and on Saturday I watched a sketch pad taken from Gregg’s pocket as we ate lunch at Twin Leaf Restaurant.

What a joy it was this past weekend to enjoy a visit from both of our sons – Gregg and his older brother Joel and his family. On Saturday as we shared our lunch at Twin Leaf Restaurant Gregg sketched someone seated nearby.

This show features some of Gregg’s recent paintings “Gregg Emery’s stunning colors and sweeping gestures make it impossible for you not to feel elated,” the gallery curator Marc Hajjar said of the paintings.

As I visited with Gregg about his upcoming show, he told me that “With my paintings, I seek to capture sublime moments of beauty, whether in nature, from movies or even the food before me.  This awareness of beauty came and continues to be fueled by my being raised in the incredible surroundings and people of the north country.  The way I hope my paintings invite people to slow down and enjoy this beauty also comes from my days at home in Bombay.”

Yes, part of the north country will be with our son in a midtown gallery tomorrow.

This is Gregg’s fourth solo exhibition. Last year I shared some photos of his West Village show in NY City in this column, after we had had the opportunity to visit that 2012 show.

How proud we are of our family and how thrilled we are for Gregg’s exhibit to open this week. I know Gregg is proud of his north country roots. He was born in Massena Memorial Hospital and has called Bombay his home.

There are so many connections and friends associated with his north country home – Saturday morning a friend stopped – he had heard through social media Gregg was home. Within minutes Gregg had been taken away by his friend to visit with his family, before breakfast.

I know part of each of his friends who have touched his life at home - through school at Salmon River, lacrosse and the 1987 SRCS jazz band will be with him in each painting and as the doors to the Chashama Gallery open tomorrow night in New York City.

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EXTRAORDINARY SERVICE – The service provided in so many stores throughout the north country always amazes me. There are so many kind, friendly people behind the counters as I enter each shop and store on Main Street in Massena and on West Orvis Street and of course at Hannaford’s Super Market.

The amazing individuals behind the deli counter at Hannaford’s will never know how much their service and friendly greetings each week mean on a busy shopping day. Last Friday when I stopped a young woman came to the counter. I believe I had only met Blossom once before and yet on Friday she smiled and repeated my usual order asking if that was what I needed. I was thoroughly amazed by her kind thought – how marvelous to have your order remembered (or depressing because your order is the same each week!).

Blossom’s smile and friendly exchange as she prepared my order meant a great deal.

And on that day Josh was so thoughtful. I always enjoy visiting with Josh (and Francis, L.J. and Chris, too). On Friday Josh’s conversation was so pleasant, but it was his skilled service and thoughtfulness and his remembrance of my favorites at the deli counter that touched my heart.

My heartfelt thanks to each one at the deli counter this week at Hannaford’s (and throughout the store – I always exit this store in a marvelous mood after visiting with so many dear, kind people). And a special thanks this week to Josh and Blossom for remembering and for their skilled kind service. Your efforts are appreciated.

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BIRTHDAY WISHES – Courier-Observer Reporter Bob Beckstead will celebrate his birthday on Sunday. It is always such a pleasure visiting with Bob in the office or by telephone each week as he patiently answers my frequent calls about this column. My thanks, Bob, for your shared knowledge and your kind response when I call yet again to inquire about my column.

Hopefully on Sunday you will be able to enjoy your day without having to deal with newspaper deadlines. Have a great day, Bob. You deserve only the very best as you celebrate this year.

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GREAT PLACE TO LIVE – Television news reports told viewers this week that a recent study found that Americans spend 38 hours a year stuck in traffic. Even waiting at the end of our road for traffic, I don’t believe I have ever spent more than a few minutes perhaps during a week’s time. Isn’t the north country a marvelous place to live? I certainly think so.

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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK – To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it. Mother Teresa (1910-1997)

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