One of my favorite aspects of life in Peekskill is the discovery of something new and then realizing its connection to the past. Last week as I was looking for a place to purchase a Christmas tree, I happened upon a giant inflatable Santa floating high in the sky on Main Street at the corner of Grant Ave. The sign said Precision Fences but there were loads of Christmas trees for sale. Turns out Joe Cavallo, a landscape contractor bought the Precision Fence business in June from Rick Reggio and decided to sell trees from his lot. He used to sell trees when his landscaping equipment was on Route 6 in Mohegan many years ago.
He told of a woman who stopped by soon after he started selling the trees earlier this month because she wanted to support a local business.. She said she used to get her trees in the 1950 ‘s and 60’s at a lot at the corner of Broad and Howard Street, owned by a guy named Bill. I instantly had a mental image of that lot with its white lights strung above the what appeared to be enormous trees. I remembered it because I grew up a block away from Bill’s lot. He also was the proprietor of a store called Bill’s Market that I would walk by on my way to school every morning.
The balmy weather of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day brought to mind colder days, especially when I saw the windows at the Evening Start building at 824 Main Street. This is a new discovery that has no connection to my recollections of the past Christmas’ here in Peekskill, especially at the former newspaper building where I got my journalistic start.
One of the two windows shows Frosty sporting a red plaid scarf with the I love Peekskill pin. He’s pointing to Stella, the Peekskill Trolly with Santa atop directing the reindeer, taking flight into the night sky.
Brian Fassett and Sepp Spenlinhauer, who own the building, are lighting designers. The
other window features Frosty taking a breather, reclining with his head on a log. a broom in his hand.. The windows are worth taking a trip downtown to view. They add a whimsical spirit to Peekskill’s celebration of Christmas.