The Problem With Living Near a World-Famous Landmark

Original Site of WoodstockI have a bad habit to confess. I like to pick up books set in and around Sullivan County and read them.

Doesn’t sound so bad? More of us should spend our spare hours reading?

True enough, but there’s a slight problem.

Our county is host to the site of one of the world’s most famous concerts ever held, and as such, people just can’t seem to keep from slipping Woodstock into their novels.

But few – if any – of them seem to do any research beforehand, leaving me to gnash my teeth at references to the concert held in Woodstock, New York, and slam the cover on mentions of a musical festival held in Wallkill.

This is where things get dicey.

I read these books, and then I complain. Loudly and to anyone who will listen (just ask my husband).

For all the perks of living near a world famous landmark, this is one of the drawbacks. It is part of your local history, and you take mangling of said history personally.

Some books make me shake my head, others make me downright cranky.

And it’s not just Woodstock. Last week I picked up Paper Towns, a novel by John Green, author of the book-turned mega hit film A Fault in Our Stars. It has a point – spoiler alert! – when the main characters enter our own Roscoe, only the hamlet Green describes is unlike any Roscoe I’ve been to.

His reference to Roscoe “high school” ruined a novel that might otherwise have gotten at least one thumb up from me, if not both of my fatter digits in the upright position.

I hear that book will likewise be turned into a movie. Let’s hope someone actually visits Roscoe, or at least takes a gander at the town’s Wikipedia page before filming.

No one will want to deal with me if they don’t.


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