HUDSON RIVER SOJOURN - Fireman’s Parade; Rockefeller; Traitor Sculpture

August 9, 2019

TARRYTOWN -This village above the Tappan Zee Bridge lies between Irvington and Sleepy Hollow. Downtown yesterday, we stopped for coffee at Muddy Waters, next to one of six different companies in the Tarrytown Fire Department. I noticed a poster announcing the annual Fireman’s Parade scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 10.

I spoke with Kevlar in front of the firehouse.  He was washing his car.  “We’re all volunteers but washing our cars here is one of our perks.”

Kevon is his real name “but Kevlar is how they know me in this village.”  He’s captain of the company which operates the truck behind him in the photo.  There’s another company stationed in this firehouse.  Its truck is shown in the other photo. 

The other companies are scattered around town in a variety of small firehouses.  Kevlar said Tarrytown has a population of about 12,000.

He said the parade is an annual affair.  At least 14 different departments will be represented in this year’s.  “The equipment and departments are judged for appearance.  Bragging rights. You know.” 

We do know.  The firetrucks of our many local departments in Delaware’s Cape Region figure prominently in many annual parades.

Kevlar works security at Sarah Lawrence College in nearby Yonkers.

Lots to see in this historic area perched along the river.  The train tracks run right along the river, no more than 200 yards from where we’re tied up in the Washington Irving Boat Club Marina.  This is no exaggeration: more than 100 trains - most of them eight and 10-car communter trains, pass by here daily.

Nice people at the boat club; unpretentious, affordable. “This is a workingman’s boat club,” Seth told us.  It’s been around since 1951.  It started out as a group of guys who wanted to be on the Hudson for fishing and what not.  The first facilities were poles stuck in the mud where they could tie up their rowboats.

After he achieved wealthiest man in the world status in the early 20th century, John D. Rockefeller Sr. didn’t have to worry about affordability.  In his later years he worked hard at giving away more than half of his wealth, a philanthropic tradition that continues in future generations. JDR focused on broad public policy initiatives including medical research and open space preservation.  He and his offspring have been largely responsible for preserving major open spaces for public access including Shenandoah National Park, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Grand Teton National Park, St. John National Park in the Virgin Islands; They also preserved hundreds of thousands of acres in New York including miles of Hudson riverfront with towering cliffs - pallisades - opposite the family’s summer retreat near Tarrytown. Right up Frank Lloyd Wright’s landscape philosophy: If you want the view you have to buy the view. The Rockefellers preserved those views for themselves and millions more people for generations to come.  

Here are photos from our visit to that estate as well as other remarkable sights in the Tarrytown area.