The Wild Rose - Guest Suites

66 Rock City Road, Woodstock, New York 12498
Innkeeper(s): Ms. Marti Ladd

DAD'S MAGIC CLOTHES 16 Jun 2012, 3:07 pm

In the mid-seventies, when plastic colored Swatch Watches were the rage, Dad had a drawer full.  His wardrobe was a riot of color, his dark-eyed swarthy tone carried it off, his loud personality took it on. He’d choose a watch to match a shirt, every day of the week. And on Father’s Day I’d send him the perfunctory cards (no less than two) and a Tommy Bahama silkie. It was the shirt he’d wear the next time we’d see each other.  Every August I’d go home to Cape Cod for a lobster dinner on his birthday.

“Purple suits you,” I said with a slurp, tearing a lobster shell from my teeth. “It’s the color of power”. Picking up my glass and rising to my feet, albeit with a plastic bib, 'Cheer’s Dad, same time next year’. 
His eyes fell to the plate, which had barely been touched. The last surgery to abate the stomach cancer gave him two years - but there was no getting out of this recurrence, and it was just a matter of time. I broke into the claw with vengeance, fighting back tears, and missing the way Dad and I would, under normal circumstances, have had a race to the tamale. 
“What wish never came true for you? I asking. His eyes wandered listlessly through the dining room at that seaside restaurant. “I always wanted to drive a fire truck”, He said. “I wanted to lay on that horn, and drive fast through the city, and say...”I’m coming through, ya bastards, get the fuck outta the way”! His volume was loud enough, and out-of-the-blue cursing made the neighboring tables notice, and my mother to bark a familiar response, “Arthur! Please keep it down”. She embarrassed easily, even after fifty two years of marriage to Mr. Brooklyn. Tonight, he didn’t have the stamina to protest. 
“A-nnnd....” He added, “I was never a virtuoso.” My father was a beautiful tenor, not a “professional’ in the modern sense of the word, but his voice was a trained instrument. As ‘cantor’ of the Cape Cod Synagogue, he’d led a congregation of hundreds for many years. Singing had been the way to assimilate Orthodox Jewish roots, and spirituality with his God-given talent. 
“I know, I had a good run, he said picking no bones. “But, I would have liked to have Mastered it, perform with other great musicians...A virtuoso”! He yelled, striking his hands in the air like a conductor.
That was the weekend my folks retired our family home on the Cape. They were consolidated to Florida. I loaded my car with as many pieces of small furniture and pictures as it would hold, knowing a moving truck with the big pieces would arrive after the contracts were signed. “You want everything, right?” Dad mocked, “Where the hell are ya gunna put all this crap”? By crap, he was referring to the antique heirlooms my mother had collected from her mother. I laughed, “I’ll take it all except that shirt on your back”. Pink was an anomaly in my wardrobe, not his.
The week before Thanksgiving I got ‘the call’ - Dad had spent the night in the ER, was going home to begin Hospice care. In the days that followed I spent time in Dad’s closet, watching him sleep through a crack of light, watching him sleep through the morphine, waiting for brief lucid moments to touch his face and hands. Every Father’s Day shirt was hanging there, neatly buttoned, hangers color coordinated along the rack. I chose a few eye-catchers, my sister and brother did the same. The nurse was trying to wake him up for another round of dope but he didn’t want it.  “No”! He said loudly and to the point. The nurse persisted. And so did he. In Spanish, just in case those listening had any doubt, “Adios! He laughed....”Adios, Motherfuckers!” He was going out like Bruce Willis in Diehard. That was my father.
When I cleared his office of files I found a folder stuffed with seating charts to a hundred venues. My parents were avid theater goings, music lovers, supporters of the arts. They had shared a rich life together - “la dolce vita” as he’d say often. They loved nothing more than getting dressed-up for a night out. How could I toss such memories?
That was the winter of my discontent. We had record snowfall, business dropped off worser than average and I was desperately alone. Grieving the loss of my father unleashed the prisoners of my mind’s cell block. I’d practiced depression before but this was a new ‘dark night of the soul’. The Sequel. The Fucker. But on one more whiteout weekend, friends from Austin rescued me. They came to record at Levon Helm’s place, they were friends of a family...and we laughed, toasted and roasted each other for a week leading up to their performance at the Midnight Ramble. As Carolyn chose her stage clothes for the night, she thought out loud, “Hmmm, needs bling” and lucky for her a bling’ity beaded vest was recently acquired in a box from mom.  Turning to Robbie, the drummer of this blues-rocking band, “What about you, need something in a large, right”? And, then it happened. It was as if the purple paisley shirt with the pretty pearl buttons jumped off the shelf and threw itself on his back. 
That night Dad sat-in from far away. At the Helm, as it were, to the hottest ticket in town. No chart needed for the best seat in that house, my beloved father had made it to the masters chair. And as I watched mom’s beads glitter in the stage lights and dad’s colors flailing rhythms, they were together once again beyond the music.

Toast to Freedom 9 May 2012, 12:23 pm

Amnesty International based their production team here last April, during the recording of this music video - a 50th anniversary celebration with over 50 musical participants. Filmed at Levon Helm's, this production is edited beautifully from footage supplied by artists at their home studios, as well. A shout-out to Carl Carlton (Wild Rose Alumni) and Larry Campbell (hometown guy) for bringing this gift to fruition.

LIKE I BELIEVE, BABY 15 May 2009, 8:58 am

Marty Balin was the founder and a featured vocalist for Jefferson Airplane from 1965 to 1971. Miracles - from Starship's "Red Octopus" album is perhaps my favorite love song ever written, make no mistake. Certainly the most sensuous. I'm still blown away by the intimacy, the intensity of the lyrics. Marty's haunting vocals made him one of the most distinctive and charismatic singers on the rock scene.

"If only you believe like I believe...," are sentiments from Marty's heart. "I'm a spiritual-oriented person and I believe that music and art can help change the world for the better" he says.

Balin says of the song: "I wrote 'Miracles" about Barbara (his girlfriend at the time), and also about the miraculous powers of Sai Baba. I went to Puttaparti with Barbara and saw Sai Baba. We journeyed through the South Indian desert to the village; the song emerged from that darshan, that experience.""When I wrote 'Miracles,' I had my love for Barbara and my love for Sai Baba -- two very different forms of love -- running through me. So the song is about both of them. I picked up my guitar and I started singing: 'If only you believe, if only you believe like I believe, we'll get by' The words flowed one after another, along with the music; I got the song written down in one draft, on a sheet of yellow paper."

On a sunny spring morning, both Marty and guitarist Slick Agular played three special requests for the Innkeeper. "Today", "Coming Back to Me", and "Miracles".

ALL BELLIED-UP 22 Mar 2009, 11:36 am

The Innkeeper attends her first Middle-Eastern Hafla with 20 performers and guest Asharah from Washington, D.C. It was a night of tribal and caberet belly dance that embraced this powerful feminine dance form.

Mira , a fine artist in oil painting from Hyde Park, NY moonlights as a belly dance artist. Her permormance began with a dramatic fan-tail dance behind peacock feathers. Sensually captivating choreography and costumed in deep jewel tones, this performer left little doubt in my mind that I was in the right place at the right time!

And who would beg to differ, to watch the ancient beauty of a goddess in Isis wings.

After attending Ashara's intense dance seminar, my body was utterly I ante-up a pain-for-gain payout to the goddess.

But, they make it look so effortless.

Dance on - Sisters!


MAGIC IN THE STARS 10 Feb 2009, 4:52 pm

The Innkeeper celebrates her 48th birthday on Feb. 6, 2009 at the MusiCares - Person of the Year Tribute, honoring Neil Diamond.

Performers on the stage at the L.A. Convention Center, included Terance Blanchard, trumpet; Marti Ladd, birthday girl; Cassandra Wilson, third from left; Eric Benét, next to Diamond; Josh Groban, waving; Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw, far right.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

MusiCares 2009 - Video Montage


LADY BRINGS HOME THE GOLD 10 Feb 2009, 4:11 pm

Cassandra Wilson, as she receives the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Female Jazz Voacal Album

THE POET 26 Jan 2009, 3:55 pm

Songs have the ability to capture our dreams, emotions and aspirations unlike any other art form. Such is the potency of words. In 1969, at the age of eight, one song lifted me beyond the status quo pushing ajar the door to inward perception. I cried the first time I heard Donovan’s tale of Atlantis---the pharse "knowing her fate" broke me. Juicy images of setting sail from a lost world foreshadowed a lifelong attraction to the Mystic. I've come to accept that it runs parallel to our own. Forty years passed until I meet the poet that introduced me to such wonder.

Don and his soulmate Linda Leitch are themselves limitless mortals…sharing playful anecdotes from days past and poignant affirmations of the present moment. We laughed plenty, ate heartily, and danced together to Turkish rock under a silver moon.

Their last morning was sweet departure…a reminder that chance encounters are precious yet fleeting…which is, at day’s end, the Innkeeper’s lament. The air was pungent with incence as we sat for a brief moment eye-to-eye. Mine, once again a childs, filled with tears. “Ah, …you are relieved”, Don whispered as fact.

He writes me: The Earthe turns Her Self towards the dark and curves out away from The Sun, and The Wind rushes around the corner with a message from Dame Winter, that She comes quicky with Her Frosty Breathe on every blade of grass. On the Eve of The Hallows, light the Fires of Spring.

It was October, after all, and the wind was rushing in the season of the witch!

SPIRIT IN THE SKY 9 Jan 2009, 7:48 am

At the twilight, a moon appeared in the sky, then it landed on earth to look at me. Like a hawk stealing a bird at the time of prey, that moon stole me and rushed back into the sky.

I looked at myself, I did not see me anymore, for in that moon, my body turned as fine as soul. The nine spheres disappeared in that moon, the ship of my existence drowned in that sea.

- Rumi

“Once I saw a chimpanzee gaze at a particularly beautiful sunset for a full 15 minutes, watching the changing colors [and then] retire to the forest without picking a pawpaw for supper.”

- Adriaan Kortlandt


WILL FIDDLE FOR VITTLES 29 Dec 2008, 3:33 pm

As winter tapped wildly at the window...who came a knockin' but my old friend and past brother-in-law Richard Gregory-Allen. He's a real Renaissance man with a mind for mathematics (PhD. from MIT) a heart filled with song (Woods Hole Folk Orchestra) and the true soul of a sailor.

In answer to so many questions about the Innkeeper's recipe for "down-time"...grab a willing musician and add a little funky chicken!


A Gentle Woman Farmer 11 Dec 2008, 8:44 am

Cassandra Wilson has picked up a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal album of the year! During the rehearsal phase of this album band members were guests at the Inn and I handled their catering needs at Levon Helm's studio. The gig was serendipitously fruitful for all involved...and laid a corner-stone for the tour de force recording that took place in Jackson, Mississippi.
Each day served up a different "throw-down" menu ...even a rendition of Pecan Brittle which simply became known as Pecan Crack -(a commidity... which can get you into the men's dressing room)! The hilarious jam which paid homage to the feasts will always be cherished by this girl. "'t take that cannoli away...(Reginald) ............ lasagna (Herlin)".
Cassandra's voice is a rare instrument...double smoked strings with full bodied resonance, and a reed that whispers "come hither"... rising and falling through obscure phasing like passion itself. Loverly is an organic masterpiece with superlative players. I listen between the lyrics, in the silence between words. Through the delicate shadings of meaning and emotion I hear my friend C.W.
Buttercup, you are a beacon of light ...we stand immaculate in it's radiance!