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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 22, 2005

Going out for Plum Fest:
Old homes honored, new bonds fordged as Clarksville celebrates

By Holly Grosch

NEW SCOTLAND — Both history and hamlet pride will be celebrated this Saturday as the Plum Fest, in its sixth year, returns to the hamlet where it started—Clarksville.

"There’s a lot of history here dating back to the 1600’s and the first patroons," said Susan Dee, a Clarkville resident, the event’s publicist. The Clarksville Historical Society, the New Scotland Historical Association, and the town of New Scotland are hosting the event.

Today, says Dee, Clarksville is a strong community which is caring, open, and neighborly.

"I know everyone on my street," Dee said.

Dee was a city person. She grew up and lived in cities until her mid-30’s. Now, she said, "I have great pride in the fact that I wave at everyone because somebody probably is a neighbor."

This wasn’t the mentality Dee had when she first arrived in Clarksville in 1985. As a single woman, she said, "I was the kind of person who liked to be anonymous." This was particularly for the safety but also the anonymity, she said.

She purchased an affordable fixer-upper, which had historic architectural features, and moved into the neighborhood. Immediately the neighbors were knocking on her door to say hello and welcome her.

At first she was hesitant about living in such a tight community. "I didn’t need everyone to know my business, especially as a young single woman," Dee said with a laugh.

But she learned to appreciate the benefits of a caring hamlet. In the ice storm of 1988, she said, she was frightened when there was crashing all around her. She was debating trying to drive to a friend’s house in Delmar so she wouldn’t be alone. Just as she was getting her coat, to try to brave the storm, a neighboring family came knocking on her door. Knowing she was alone, they asked her if she was okay, and wanted her to come over for dinner.

Today, Dee and her husband of 16 years love Clarksville. They still reside in the house she bought, fixed, and painted in her younger years.

She also works in Clarksville now; she manages a consulting firm out of her home.

"You learn a balance you come to appreciate," Dee said, of caring about neighbors but also respecting privacy.

Clarksville is part of the town of New Scotland, but is in the Bethlehem School District, so this hamlet has a sense of belonging to both town centers.

"Some people consider that schizophrenic, but I don’t," she said, explaining that the relationship between both towns is really a focal point of what Clarksville’s culture and community is about.

Shared history leads to current focal point

Clarksville was originally part of the town of Bethlehem and was known as the village of Bethlehem P.O., until New Scotland seceded from Bethlehem in 1882, said Marie Hornick, Plum Fest co-chair and a trustee of the New Scotland Historical Association; she is also a member of the Clarksville Historical Society.

In 1833, the hamlet was re-named Clarksville after the postmaster of the time, Adam Clark, she said. Clark had been the second postmaster to Bethlehem P.O. in 1826, but was the first postmaster of the newly formed hamlet.

At Plum Fest this year, the historical societies and town are dedicating two markers on Saturday recognizing the hamlet’s postmaster history. One will be placed in front of Clark’s old house on the Delaware Turnpike at 2:30 p.m.

Clark had also been an innkeeper of the Clark Hotel, which was demolished in 1962.

Bethlehem P.O. had been the very first post office in the whole town of Bethlehem, Hornick said.

The first postmaster, from 1812 to 1826, was Judge Henry L. Meed. The post office was inside the Meed House, Hornick said. This Saturday at 11:30 a.m., a second historical marker will be unveiled at the Meed House, a large yellow house on the Delaware Turnpike across from Plank Road.

Meed was also the town of Bethlehem’s supervisor from 1821 to 1822, Hornick said.

New Scotland and Bethlehem town officials will attend the Meed House to recognize the interconnected history of this Clarksville site, Hornick said.

A postal cancellation will be available all day at the Clarksville Post Office. The stamp says Clarksville but also has Bethlehem P.O. in parenthesis, Hornick said.

All there is to offer

"I’ve enjoyed Plum Fest every year," Hornick said; this is the first time she’s been one of the lead organizers. She saw it as her turn to give back since she has enjoyed the annual opportunity to explore New Scotland, she said. Many years she found herself driving down country roads she had never seen before.

The festiva, which circulates among the town’s five hamlets, because New Scotland is plum in the middle of the county.

The Clarksville Community Church and the Clarksville Elementary School are main centers of this year’s festival, along with the Onesquethaw firehouse.

The Clarksville PTA is moving up its usual October craft fair for the Plum Fest. Town historian, Robert Parmenter, will present a slide show at the school of Clarksville’s historical sites.

The Clarksville Community Church is running a pig roast from 4 to 7 p.m. A car show will be held in the school parking lot.

The firehouse will hold a breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. and will conduct an extrication demonstration with its new equipment purchased with the money raised from previous breakfasts, Hornick said.

In the evening at 7 p.m., the band Mind’s End, sponsored by the town’s recreation department, will play at the firehouse. Hornick said a beer license has been secured, so no outside beverages are allowed.

Clarksville is the home to many organizations not seen in other parts of town.

The Northeast Cave Conservancy is hosting its annual Community Day in conjunction with Plum Fest. Cavers will give surface tours of the cavesites, talking about the geology, Susan Dee said.

Mountain Spinners will demonstrate weaving and spinning.

The Onesquethaw Fish and Game Club will teach fly-fishing and fly-tying techniques.

The Onesquethaw Watershed Conservancy, with a cold-water research group, will lead an educational seminar on Trout Unlimited, a program to improve the quality of the water in the creek, to revive what was a thriving trout stream in the 1930, said Hormick.

Hormick was excited the other day when a neighborhood kid retrieved a four-inch crayfish from the creek — the water hasn’t been clean enough to support this type of life for years, she said.

From creek to mountain vista

Another year-round regional attraction in Clarksville is Bennett Hill Preserve. The preserve’s 155 acres are owned by the Mohawk-Hudson Land Conservancy.

"It has become one of our more popular preserves," said the land conservancy’s president Daniel Driscoll. One of the reasons it is so popular, and regularly has hikers, he said, is because the trails are in walking distance for the the people living in Clarksville.

Bennett Hill Road resident Steve Siegard will be leading a guided hike up Bennett Hill during Plum Fest, starting at 10 a.m..

Some of the plant species that are noteworthy on the hill including bear berry and pitch pines, Driscoll said.

The land conservancy acquired the property in 1998 when Dr. Jerry Bilinski of North Chatham gave it to them. The conservancy then organized a committee in the Clarksville area to maintain the trails on the preserve.

Siegard is one of the committee members, and a member of the Adirondack Mountain Club, Driscoll said.

Bennett Hill is 400 feet high; the view from the hill includes downtown Albany to the east and the Helderbergs to the north and west, Driscoll said.

The hill is made up of primarily of sandstone and shale, with very little soil over the bedrock. The shale sits on limestone, Driscoll said, so there are a number of sinkholes at the base of the mountain, since limestone is easily dissolved by water.

There is a wetland on the top of the hill. Water flows down the northeast slope of Bennett Hill and then into the sink holes at the base, Driscoll said. That water then reappears 1,500 feet later in the Onesquethaw Creek, he said.

There are also a number of springs at different location along the trails, Driscoll said.

To follow the large loop trail on Bennett Hill takes the average person two hours, Driscoll said. People are welcome to hike Bennett Hill all year-round, he said, explaining that the conservancy’s mission is to preserve open space for recreational use.

After a hearty hike, walkers can enjoy a number of lunch options at Plum Fest, including Crazy Herb’s Texas Barbecue as a fund-raiser for the Clarksville Historical Society, and lunch by the PTA.

A few of the other staple attractions at Plum Fest include the historical associations’ white elephant sale and drawings; a community-wide garage sale distinguishable by purple balloons at each participating house; children’s activities, such as making bird houses; and an ice cream social.

The Plum Fest, said Dee, increases knowledge of local history but also provides community fun.

Historic home reunites ancient kinship

By Holly Grosch

CLARKSVILLE — John Hoagland and his wife, Jean, have been stewards of the Houghtaling House since 1972 when they moved in. This Sunday, the day after Plum Fest, a ceremony will dedicate an historical marker, donated by the Clarksville Historical Society, in front of the Hoaglands’ home.

The community is invited, but this won’t be a typical local ceremony. Instead, descendants of the man who built the home will come from across the country.

"Most of them don’t know each other," Hoagland said, as he talked about one woman coming up from Florida.

The Houghtaling House is the oldest house in Clarksville, he said, and while the plaque will read 1770, Hoagland thinks the house was built in 1765.

"I feel a kind of stewardship for an old house like this," Hoagland said.

The Hoaglands own 10 acres surrounding the white wooden building. After living in one place for 32 years, you grow to love it, Hoagland said. He has tried to maintain its 18th-Century character by avoiding things like aluminum siding, but at the same time, the couple has modern-day amenities like indoor plumbing, central heating, and a swimming pool, he said.

After his home was placed on the New York State Register of Historic Places in January of 2004, and then the National Register in July of 2004, Hoagland then began researching, locating, and contacting direct descendants of the original owner, Teunis Houghtaling.

""I’m not a genealogist," Hoagland said, but he believes he has found 500 names of descendants, although he hasn’t been able to verify them all, and most of the names came from second-hand sources, he said.

But there is a family cemetery with about 40 gravesites on his property, which helped him to link genealogy.

The property had originally been 100 acres.

Hoagland wrote in a recent issue of the Clarksville and New Scotland historical society newsletters that Teunis Houghtaling was a fourth-generation descendant of Matthys Hooghteling, a Dutch immigrant who settled in Coxsakie in the 17th Century.

Teunis Houghtaling’s gravestone, on the Hoagland property, indicates that he died in 1806. The property remained in the Houghtaling family until 1887 when it was sold to Mead, a descendant of the family, whose name was originally spelled Meed. Mead owned it until 1928, Hoagland wrote, when it was then sold to Charles Van Wie, an adjacent dairy farmer who sold the 10 acres and the historic house in 1931, he said.

"My family roots came from Holland," Hoagland said, and so did the Houghtaling family at around the same time, so Hoagland feels a sense of kinship with the Houghtalings.

After the hurricane:
Helping the forgotten places

By Holly Grosch

NEW SCOTLAND — Folks in this still rural town of 8,500 have pitched in to help a similar town just 50 miles north of New Orleans.

Mike Malark, a long-time New Scotland Kiwanian led a truck full of donated goods to a town known for it’s strawberry festival and a downtown center of antique shops — Ponchatoula, population 7,500.

Malark’s contact in this Louisiana town was a Ponchatoula Kiwanian, Mike Bermer, a retired captain from the Sheriff’s department.

Both men praised the efforts of individuals for "pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps" and helping others in the community recover from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

Once the trucked goods, were unloaded in a Ponchatoula warehouse, Bermer said the extra would be distributed to the outlying areas.

A lot of the relief supplies are being sent to the town of Franklinton, about 60 miles away from Ponchatoula, "They were hit really hard," Bermer said.

Another area in desperate need is Washington Parish, Bermer said.

Parishes in Louisiana are like counties in New York. Ponchatoula is part of Tangipahoa Parish which neighbors Washington Parish to the west.

There has been so much attention focused on New Orleans, but these are the little forgotten places, Bermer told The Enterprise by phone on Wednesday.

"Very poor, hard-working people, who work really close to the land," he said. And when a hurricane comes through and destroys the land, these people are left with nothing, he said.

Timber and farming are the main sources of income down here, he said. Seventy-five percent of the timber industry was lost in Washington Parish, Bermer said.

The electricity is still out in Washington, Bermer said, and dairymen, still have to continue to milk their cows, but there are no machines to pump and no way to store the milk, and no way to ship it out, so they are just pouring it into the ditches, Bermer said.

For Malark, just back home in Voorheesville, the memories are still vivid as he talks passionately about his experience.

"There is huge devastation...We didn’t go to New Orleans, we didn’t have to," Malark told The Enterprise Wednesday morning; he had just returned late in the middle of the night.

"The hurricane took the whole town by surprise," Bermer said of Ponchatoula.

"We have never been hit this hard before," the hurricanes that everyone always used to talk about were the ones of 1965 and 1969 — Besty was a Category 4, Bermer said.

Ponchatoula didn’t have flooding problems like New Orleans did but it was hit by a Category 5 hurricane, Malark said. "The wind was just as devastating...There were thousands and thousands of trees down...damage to buildings...power lines down...pine trees were snapped in half... hardwood trees ripped out of the ground," said Malark.

"We were just not ready," Bermer said, "Katrina took the roofs off on Main Street...and thousands and thousands of trees snapped like twigs."

"There is just so much devastation," Malark said. One brand-new housing development with 400 homes is completely gone, totally dead, he said; all that’s left is sticks or concrete slabs.

One man told Malark that he wouldn’t have been able to identify where his house used to stand, except that he had just remodeled his bathroom and the new floor tiles remained.

The whole parish was without electricity. There are six major towns within Tangipahoa Parish, with a total of 125,000 people, Bermer said.

Ponchatoula just got its power back on, Malark said, so now it is serving as a distribution center for getting food out to all the outlying areas, Malark said.

"Most of the people aren’t in New Orleans anymore," he said, but have been relocated.

Malark is concerned about all the New Orleans families that were uprooted and shipped to Oklahoma. "What are they going to do in the winter"" Malark asked; he said he knows they aren’t prepared.

Malark is the lead organizer for Kiwanis International’s New York State Katrina relief efforts. He made contact with a local Ponchatoula Kiwanis group, to transfer the food.

"The Kiwanis have one of the best networks in the world," he said.

Malark left New Scotland last Thursday, September 15th, with a tractor-trailer truck one-third full of food, New Scotland Kiwanis member Dick Ramsey reported on Friday.

Then Malark drove to Long Island, Staten Island, and New York City to pick up more boxes, Ramsey said.

Malark said he is making a second trip down to Ponchatoula next Thursday, Sept. 29th.

"I’m willing to stop in New Jersey, or Tennessee," he said, if more Kiwanis groups want to join this project, and hand over packed boxes of food.

The Kiwanis club is not excepting clothing anymore. What the people in Louisiana need now is food — canned meats, tuna, canned beans, pasta, rice, "rice is big down there in the south," Malark said.

What is also needed, Bermer said, are diapers and baby formula, because there is more of a need for that than was first anticipated.

Bermer said he appreciates the way Malark and all the people across New York have pulled together to help out.

Ponchatoula’s newspaper just started printing again three days ago, Bermer said, and one of its main articles was about the relief effort coming from New York.

Working together

When Malark arrived in Ponchatoula he was met by Bermer who escorted Malark into town, but not for safety reasons, for direction.

Malark said that he never felt unsafe at any point.

What he saw was "people out there cleaning up the debris," picking up on their own, and pulling themselves back up by their own boot straps, Malark said.

"People were taking care of each other...working side by side...people helping people," Malark said.

It took only five hours for the New York Kiwanis truck to be unloaded, he said.

Local volunteer groups helped at the distribution warehouse — Ponchatoula Kiwanis club members, Key Clubbers, college students, members of Christian organizations. Although they "have enough reasons to be aggravated...they were all smiling as they were unloading the truck," Malark said.

In the warehouse, it was over 100 degrees. Malark was sweating so much, he said, "I could wring my shirt and pants out." It was 90 degrees outside but, with humidity, it felt like 110, he said. "Everyone did what they had to" all the while remaining "very Kiwanian — very friendly," Malark said.

A man on crutches was doing what he could and people in their 80’s were taping up boxes, he said.

When the electricity was out after the Hurricane, Malark was told that people who had generators were taking in food for other families, to refrigerate it, and everyone was cooking out on Barbecue grills, sharing what they had.

When Malark arrived in Louisiana, it had only been three weeks since the storm hit and one man, whose roof had completely blown off, had already built a brand-new roof with the help of the community, Malark said.

"They got off their butts and are doing it themselves;" the people of Ponchatoula are not waiting around for FEMA, Malark said, referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

They are cutting up the trees, re-covering houses, replacing roofs and most of the businesses have re-opened said Malark.

"That’s what they did and they did a great job," Malark said.

If right now, you drive through Ponchatoula, it appears as though it was never hit with a hurricane, Bermer said. But, in reality, about one out of every six houses had damage, Bermer said.

"Forty percent of the people around here are contractors or builders," Bermer said. The morning after the hurricane, everyone was out cleaning up. All residents had to do was put their debris out by the side of the road and it would be picked up, he said of the efficiency of his community.

Everything has been repaired, so now those contractors and builders are reaching out to other neighboring towns, Bermer said.

Bermer explained how New York donated goods will be moved from the Ponchatoula warehouse outward. He is a member of the First Baptist Church in Ponchatoula and his Baptist church has made contact with other Baptist churches throughout the other parishes for further drop-off and distribution spots.


After Malark’s truck was unloaded, and the work was done, he toured around to see what the devastation was like, traveling in a 70-mile circle.

"There were some areas where you saw very little damage, and then, for a quarter of a mile, total devastation; for another 150 yards it looked okay, and then devastation again," Malark said.

He only traveled on the main roads because the secondary roads were still closed off since trees and power-lines were still down.

He saw tent cities, Malark said.

Four families from New Orleans bought one home in Ponchatoula to share, so that their children could continue with school, Malark said. He added he didn’t know how they paid for it, but it shows that the people who can afford to get houses are starting to resettle.

Driving back to New York in the daylight, for a good 140 miles there was devastation "all over," he said. "It’s in states on both sides...It’s amazing how far it goes both west and north."

Malark met a team of truckers at a rest stop who were from New Orleans. They told Malark that their houses were totally gone; they got their families out and have no intentions of ever going back. They don’t want to raise their children in such a politically incompetent and corrupt place, Malark relayed.

Malark said he too blames the New Orleans mayor, and the state governor for not doing what he thinks they should have been doing — mobilizing an evacuation procedure from the start.

"I think New Orleans is a product of poor leadership," Malark said. "FEMA is not a first-response team"; it’s not meant to be, he said.

He thinks that there is a gap between the disaster-relief mechanisms in the country and that the nation needs a first-reaction group.

"If I was down there with my family, I would walk 20,000 miles to get them out of that town," Malark said.

Malark said he heard everywhere he went concerns about where all the displaced citizens of New Orleans are going to go.

The parishes outside of New Orleans are suburban, Malark explained. Many people who live in the suburbs do so to avoid the crime of a city, and now there are concerns about where all the displaced city dwellers will go, Malark said. Many people he spoke with are concerned about the "criminal element" being brought into their communities, Malark said.

He also added that, if the refugees were to flood into Ponchatoula hungry, the local people would most certainly feed them and help them out, but they do not have the facilities to put them up.

A number of the New Orleans evacuees have moved to Ponchatoula; Bermer did not share this mentality that Malark perceived from others.

"There have been no circumstances at all to warrant concern," Bermer said.

"We have put 740 new children into the public schools," Bermer said. "Traffic is jammed up for us, but spirits are really high...We are welcoming them with open arms... There is no gouging going on," Bermer said.

And the newcomers are rolling up there sleeves and helping out the community as well, Bermer said. Most are planning on staying, he added.

The talk around town is that it’s a shame that a national disaster had to happen in order for the people of Louisiana to feel united, Bermer said. The mentality used to be, "The people of New Orleans are one type of people — North Shore people are different than us... but since the hurricane, it’s not like that; everyone’s just pulling together," Bermer said.

When asked what was the overall feeling of the people in Ponchatoula, Malark said that he didn’t see frustration as one might expect. "No, I didn’t see frustration," Malark said. "I did not see people giving up, but instead people working with neighbors."

For the first two weeks, Bermer said, everyone was really pumped up and go go go. "Everyone is exhausted right now," he said. And, just as they have finally begun to breathe a sigh of relief, he is seeing fear emerge in people because there is another hurricane brewing in the gulf — Rita.

"We don’t need to be hit again right now," said Bermer.

Evacuation signs were being posted again on Wednesday, closer to New Orleans, he said. "There is a lot of concern about another hurricane," Bermer said. People don’t think they can handle another one right now, he said. "We are all just doing a lot of praying."

New artist in town livens the landscape view

By Holly Grosch

NEW SCOTLAND — An artist has moved into town and so have his life-size steel sculptures.

When 31 year-old artist Jack Howard-Potter, originally of New York City, moved to 94 Normanskill Road in July, four of his human figurative statues came with him. Poised on his front lawn they intrigue the many passers-by.

Howard-Potter says his art is a blurring of realistic and abstract genres but rooted in traditional anatomy.

He studied human anatomy at the Arts Student League in New York City.

He welds rods of steel together to make the skeleton of a human figure in various positions. From there, he has been experimenting with the different ways to describe skin, he said. He finihses the skin application process by grinding down all the seams.

Sometimes for skin he cuts thin strips of steel, which he wraps around the wire frame, spaced about two inches apart from each other. Other times he pulls flat, panel sheets of metal to cover the statue, creating what he calls "fully-skinned" models. And for other sculptures, he leaves the rods exposed, not giving the statue skin at all.

Some of his figures have defined fingers while others have hands represented solid pads.

Howard-Potter’s understanding of the human body has evolved over the years as he continues to experiment with the positive and negative spaces of his figures, he said.

Leaving some negative, open space, "makes it less predictable," he said. "The mind will fill in that negative space."

An example of positive space is a defined six-pack of muscles detailed in the wires of a figures stomach.

The positive space, what is visual, either mirrors or describes the negative space, Howard-Potter said.

All of his figures are three dimensional, and recently he has been creating figures that move around the viewer rather than the viewer having to walk around the art.

"It breaks down the traditional way to view art," Howard-Potter said.

And some of the figures, in athletic poses, can move on its base. A sculpture in more aerobic positions rests on a hand balancing on a pen-size pin. So it can to spin in the wind.


All of the sculptures on Howard-Potter’s lawn have a powder coat finish, with an industrial outdoor application that is used in the automachanic industry to coat cars, he said. It seals the metal, Howard-Potter said; rust is a steel sculpture’s biggest enemy.

The power coat is sprayed on and then baked in an oven, leaving a bright glow behind.

"I’m a big fan of bright color," Howard-Potter said. "It mimics the color of the landscape." At the same time, the bright colors separate his figures from the landscape, making them stand out, much in the same way people do in their daily clothing, he said.

He used a visitor as an illustration, standing in the driveway in a white shirt, which would make her visible to someone driving by on the street.

As Howard-Potter stood next to a bright orange wire sculpture on his lawn, he explained what his figures represent. This one, he said, represents pulling.

The figure’s arms are tugging on what may be a rope.

Looking at this sculpture gives the viewer the feeling of moving backward. The feet show the transfer of weight from one foot to the other, and from the tip of the toes to the back of the heel, coming down onto the ground.

"I’m trying to capture one moment in time," he said. His figures are freeze-framed in split seconds of time, he said.

When he designs them, he said, he thinks about where the person would have come from, to get to that position, and also where it is going to, he said.

He then pointed to a silver wire figure by the side of Normanskill Road. See how its one leg is raised, but one arm is dropping" he asked; the person is caught right in the middle of moving. The body was jumping, like skipping in the air, but is on its way down, so the one sculpture captures both the movement and the motion, he said.

All of his figures are poised to capture dynamic moving, Howard- Potter said. His goal is to convey a sense of fluid action in space, using an inherently rigid material.

His art references traditional classic sculpture, he said. When he walks into an art exhibit and sees plastic bags filled with green water, "It doesn’t do anything for me," Howard-Potter said.

"I’m rebelling against conceptual art," he said, by focusing on figurative steel sculptures which mimic human form.

A journey toward art from a journey in life

Howard-Potter moved to the area because his wife is studying at Albany Law School. He had lived on Nott Road in Guilderland for two years before relocating to New Scotland.

People tell him, all the time, "‘Oh, there’s somebody else doing the same kind of work over in Guilderland.’ But no, he corrects them, ‘That was me.’"

Being an artist for his livelihood requires since getting out of college, "relentless self promotion," he said.

Howard-Potter graduated from Union College in 1997 with a bachelor’s of art degree; his major was split between sculpture and art history.

After college, he moved to Colorado where he worked for a year-and-a-half with a blacksmith to learn about material and the commercial practices of metalworking. Then he moved back to New York where he found a studio in Brooklyn, and eventually displayed a number of his sculptures at a concert given by MTV in conjunction with the Tribecca Film Festival in Battery Park.

On his return to New York City, he studied and worked at the Art Students League.

Howard-Potter said that he sells his slightly-larger-than-life-size sculptures seen on his lawn, for about $7,500 each. They each take three months to complete, he says.

One of his fire-engine-red sculptures is now on display at Union College’s Arts Atrium through mid-October.

More of his works can be viewed on-line at www.steelstatue.com.

Three of his pieces are currently on public display across the country: one in Washington State at the Big Rock Garden Park in Bellingham; another at the Southern Vermont Art Center in Manchester, Vt.; and a third in Coral Springs Fla. at the Avenue of the Arts.

Flowing out of his garage studio now, are pieces of his first massive, 25-foot sculpture, three times his usual size, which he is making for Palm Beach, Fla.

Because the sculpture is so big, Howard-Potter is also for the first time working with an engineer to factor in wind load as he cross-braces the figure and selects material to support its weight.

Florida is a place where artist can get a foothold, Howard-Potter said; a lot of its cities place a priority in displaying public art, and municipalities are willing to pay for it.

The idea of public art is one that was strongly espoused by New Scotland’s residents’ planning advisory committee.

Although it would be nice, most town officials said, it would also be too expensive.

For now, New Scoltanders can enjoy a free art display from Normanskill Road.

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