The annual Minisink Valley Kiwanis Pancake Day will be Jan. 19 in the Minisink Valley High School. Now in its 60th year, it is one of the region’s best known and served events of its nature, and one that always attracts a crowd, regardless of the weather.

Kiwanian David Morse remembers one year there was a snowstorm, but the crowd still came. “In fact, I think it was the year we had the most people,” he said. It’s not unusual for the steady traffic to number more than 1,000 on any of its third Saturday dates. “It’s the people,” Morse said. “They come and visit, enjoy the food and the service, and then they go out into the lobby, or, weather permitting, on the sidewalk and continue talking. It’s a great event, real community.”

There are two servings: One from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., and the other from 5-7:30 p.m. The service is so exceptional with 100 percent Kiwanis work power. It is unheard of to hear complaints.

The menu includes all-you-can-eat pancakes with real maple syrup, freshly made apple sauce, made-to-order eggs, and a secret recipe for the most delicious sausage balls. Orders are taken restaurant-style and served on tables covered with tablecloths, real dishes and table service.

Mark your calendars for the 2019 Minisink Valley Pancake Day. Tickets are $10 for adults, and it varies for children, but never priced too high. For information, call Morse at 772-2953.

This & That

Richard A. Pines, a Middletown native and resident for 26 years, lives in Tucson and has been teaching school for more than 15 years. His favorite pastime seems to be the stage, and he’s proud to share his successes with family and friends.

He’s had numerous spots on television with “Days of Our Lives” and “General Hospital." He’s also written a book, “Actor’s Rendezvous,” detailing a grueling 1,400-mile journey in Los Angeles trying to break into the Hollywood scene.

Recently his father died from Parkinson’s disease, which has prompted him to write a short film about how greed destroys relationships and mental illness destroys lives. He grew up watching “old western movies” with his father. He wanted to honor his memory by writing about his dad and a cherished weapon, a 50-calibre Civil War carbine. The film is titled, “Bequest.” It opens with a dying Civil War veteran that just happens to be young Pines. The film has won several contests, including the prestigious Culver City Film Festival and its best first short.

His next project is a screenplay, “Purgatory Plains,” a full-length western that has been recognized as 2019 Semi-Finalist Best Screenplay by Los Angeles Cinefest and 2019 Official Selection Best Screenplays -Chandler International Film Festival. We wish our Middletown native continued successes and good luck. His father would be proud. For more information on Richard Pines, visit

Barbara Bedell’s column appears daily. She can be reached at 346-3125 or by email: