Jonathan Kruk as 'Sinter Klaas'

Jonathan Kruk’s latest story collection

Cold Spring storyteller Jonathan Kruk will host a launch party to celebrate the release of his recent CD: Santa on the Hudson this Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Butterfield Library. The album features the tale of how a dour olde-world bishop became a “right jolly old elf” thanks to help from colonial kids in America. Kruk says that the story selections [on the album] were inspired by Washington Irving, Hans Christian Andersen, old traditions, and his mother. In addition, Kruk will read from A Christmas Carol. A visit from Saint Nick is scheduled, along with Al Hemberger.

Kruk describes how he got his start on his website.

I found refuge during my trying teen times, at the Katonah Village Library. It was the turbulent late 60s, early 70s when the library gave me sanctuary. I read books on the great coming changes like Future Shock and The Greening of America.  I delved into romantic poetry for ideas on how to impress girls. Unfortunately, they found my version of a teenager’s “ode to his coy mistress” not very groovy. Mrs. Beardsley, the unflappable librarian, helped get me through this rejection. She provided guidance and escape in books on self-help and science fiction.  Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land seemed to offer both.

The Katonah library, especially the original section, provided not only a sanctuary, but gave me direction.  Books in the children’s room like Johnny Tremain and a talks by local historians Bo Kelly and Pud Addis got me scouting for signs of patriots and the Kitchawancks. My street once served as a spy route and hiding place for the wandering old Leatherman. Hooked on local lore, it is a big part of my performance repertoire. The library led me to the Hudson and a meeting with the Headless Horseman.  Now, along with finger fables, the river and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow are my “signature” stories.

The party will be held at the Butterfield Library from 11 a.m. to noon. The event is free and open to children and parents alike.

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