Are you originally from the area, or did you relocate here? If so, why?
I am originally from Windham area. My Mom and Dad moved there in 1970 from Renns. Co, so I was 3 then and pretty much spent my whole life here in the Catskills. Moved to Prattsville because my wife and I found a house and property that we liked.
What is your occupation?
I work for NYS DEC as a Forest Ranger covering Greene county.
Why are you on the board as President?
The board President role kinda just fell in my lap. I joined the board to get involved w/ the Pratt museum. I always had an interest in history. I was asked to join the board as a general board member at a time when the board was turning over to new members. When the board met to appoint officers I was asked to be President because I lived in Prattsville and fit the role, so I volunteered to take on the role.
If you met Mr. Pratt in person, what question might you ask him?
Meeting Mr. Pratt in person would certainly be quite an experience. I would certainly try and gain some of his insight and knowledge because he certainly was quite an innovator and extraordinary individual for his time. I would love to capture his vision for Prattsville and incorporate that into the challenges we face w/ the museum today.
What does the museum symbolize to you?
The museum symbolizes sacrifices one man went through for his community and his family. It symbolizes a very influential period in history that a lot of folks have forgotten about. It symbolizes a tool to educate people who visit the Catskills what really happened here and what life was like “then” and how much has changed.
What did you think when you saw the damage done to the museum from the flood?
Words really can’t describe the damage that was done in Prattsville. I really never thought the Town would recover and some of it hasn’t yet, but things have really progressed.
What do you hope to see for the future of the museum?
As far as the future of the museum, we are moving along… slowly w/ challenges, but I think we will get there just like everyone else has. I would like to see the Pratt museum become and integral part of the mountain top. We need to make some infrastructure improvements and do the outreach to get more people here. I would like to have the Pratt Museum become that place where folks can visit, learn our history here in the Catskills and come back whenever they visit here. Getting exposure is critical. Having the museum become more of an attraction for the visitors we get here in the Catskills is critical. That will get us the exposure we need to become that place folks talk about when they leave here and come back to when they visit again.
Anything you’d like to add?
I would like to add that the Pratt Museum is really a unique place. It represents a very important time in history ie civil war, industrial revolution, tanning, etc. These are events that we need to keep learning about and teaching others about too. I think the Zadock Pratt museum can do that.