Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Bucolic Plague - Josh Kilmer-Purcell

This couple of urbanites escape the rat race of New York City when they buy an historic home in Schoharie County, New York. That's when the real rat race begins ...

Josh and Brent head upstate to pick apples every fall, but in the fall of 2006 they happened upon a remote village that seemed dropped from another century. Sharon Springs, a little enclave in Schoharie County, rolled past their car windows in all its fall splendor. Its main drag was chock-a- block with old homes and commercial buildings that time had forgotten - turn of the century hotels, stores, rooming houses, bath houses, private homes that recalled the heyday of the town as a summertime retreat for those seeking the healing powers of the town's sulphur springs that belched both gases and water. The days of the sulphur spa passed and the town fell into a sort of Rip Van Winkle lethargy that spooked the Beekman boys, as they rolled into town. Yet, they stayed overnight at the local hotel, ate well, slept great, had good conversation with the local folks, and in the morning they grudgingly packed their duds and their apples and headed back to Manhattan. Josh Kilmer-Purcell moans about having to return to the workaday existence of the city even as the couple begins the drive back to the city. And then, an historic marker slides up on the right and the car brakes for a quick read, and the view of a beautiful old Federal colonial mansion is beyond the sign, and lo and freakin' behold, there's a realty sign. The place is for sale. The boys turn to stare at each other.

In a New York minute, their fates are sealed and the Beekman boys are moving willy-nilly toward a brush with mortgage bankers  AND nature that will change their lives! You can practically hear them humming the theme to Green Acres even as they're headed back to the city to begin the process of buying a country place and making a lifestyle change that will be the best thing they've ever done!

From then on, it's all dead flies, rotten eggs, baby goats, close encounters with farm machinery, making fast friends with the locals, brainstorming how to finance this grand scheme of escaping the big city, et cetera. It's great fun and really pretty funny, as Josh K-P has a wicked sense of humor and a writing style that is sarcastic, self-deprecating, and slightly barbed. I wondered what Martha Stewart thought of his accounts of their meeting and his comments on her lifestyle empire.

It's always nice to hear of a success story and the Beekman boys have been wildly successful in making the move upstate, building a marketing plan for their gentleman's farm, building their brand and cashing in on the commercial potential of their goat herd. To boot, Josh got his wish of retiring to the country and writing a memoir!

Smart! Very smart, Josh!

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