Bert Feldman - noted penguin and friend


Bert Feldman was senior editor of The River Reporter and previously was senior editor of the Sullivan County Democrat. He was an adjunct professor of history at Sullivan County Community College, official Town of Bethel Historian, and a former sheriff's deputy who worked the long weekend at the Woodstock festival of 1969. A trait which he carried into each of these roles was his integrity and the pride that he took in the craft of writing - cranking out a seemingly endless flow of columns, for the pittance that the newspaper paid.

Many who knew Bert saw the collection of penguin figurines that he and Anne kept in their home. He recalled more than once how it was that friends and relatives began showering him with the arctic bird statues. In the court transcript of his landmark First Amendment lawsuit against Town of Bethel supervisor George Neuhaus, Bert's attorney was quoted as describing the Plaintiff as "a well known peenie weenie and a noted penguin" - the last word most likely a mis-transcription of for "person" and the remainder a mystery. But the appellation stuck, perhaps partly because Bert was short in stature and it wasn't hard to imagine in him a resemblance to a portly little fellow waddling around an iceberg.

Bert was a good friend. Memories include the phone ringing one Saturday morning with no warning, asking if Carmen and I would like to join him and Anne on an expedition to a used bookstore near Albany. This was followed by a day in the back seat of their Volvo of being regaled by stories and jokes. He and Anne were always pleased to attend family events and he responded favorably to almost any invitation to speak in public. He loved language. He loved to talk. It was also Bert who introduced me to the Masonic fraternity.

This directory contains a small selection of his columns, placed online with the permission of his widow, Anne. It seems noteworthy, however, to recall that Bert never owned a computer, preferring to do ply his craft with an old Remington manual, as shown below.

Between the lines, 04-01-1982
We're back, 03-22-1984
Honored in their generations, 01-30-1986
Be proud America, 01-23-1986
Take me out to the ball game, 03-1988
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, 01-26-1989
The right to assemble, 08-12-1993
More from the Clio file, 06-23-1994
From the Clio file, 06-18-1994
Some unsung heroes, 01-01-1998
Our bicentennials and our county, 01-01-1998
The thin line is getting thinner, 03-12-1998
Who's this guy El Nino, anyway?, 03-19-1998
Euthanasia: good or bad?, 03-26-1998
Your attention please: time marches on!, 04-02-1998
Casting pearls, 04-09-1998
Why have our children gone wrong?, 04-16-1998
Me and my shad, oh!, 04-23-1998
The glory and the shame, 04-30-1998
I remember Mama, 05-07-1998
What's In A Name?, 05-14-1998
The high price of freedom: Memorial Day 1998, 05-21-1998
Never pretend to know for whom the bell tolls, 06-04-1998
You're a Grand Old Flag, 06-11-1998
We called him 'Pop', 06-18-1998
Is this the collapse of modern civilization?, 06-25-1998
God bless America, 07-09-1998
The new revelations, 07-16-1998
A disaster in New York, 07-23-1998
A disaster in New York, part 2, 07-30-1998
Shoot, if you must, this old gray head, 08-06-1998
Lo, the rich Indian, 08-13-1998
Beat me Daddy; Eight to the bar, 08-20-1998
Panem et circenses, 08-27-1998
The hills are alive with the sound of music, 09-03-1998
A macabre digression, 09-10-1998
A day in the garden, 09-17-1998
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, 09-24-1998
The hills are alive with the sound of music, 10-01-1998
Red, purple, yellow, and bronze, 10-08-1998
Congress: confused and chittering chimpanzees, 10-22-1998
Let us hate our neighbor week, 10-29-1998
Congressional chihuahuas, 11-06-1998
Christmas fun facts II, 12-10-1998
Have you been dreaming of a white Christmas?, 12-17-1998
Ring them bells!, 12-23-1998

republished columns, original dates uncertain
Origins of Sullivan County town names
We gather together.., republished 11-25-1999
Lest we forget, republished 11-11-1999
And now a message from our sponsor.., republished 07-15-1999
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, republished 06-24-1999
Disorder in the courts, republished 04-08-1999
It seemed to me in 1984, republished 01-14-1999
It seemed to me in 1983, republished 01-07-1999

Bert Feldman, 1922-1999 . . .
Friends recall Feldman's wit, humility, wisdom, The River Reporter, June 17,  1999, by Tom Rue.
Feldman memorial redux, The River Reporter, 06-10-1999, by Tom Rue.
Bert Feldman dead at 76, The River Reporter, 02-11-1999, by Tom Rue.
Remembering Bert, The River Reporter, 02-11-1999, by Pam Chergotis.
Sullivan legend Bert Feldman dies at 76, Times Herald-Record, 02-05-1999, by Jeremiah Horrigan.

MARCH 1993
DECEMBER 24, 1990