Juliet: What brought you to Woodstock?
Lou Deering: Originally I was buying a business that I had been working at down in Fishkill and at the last minute the deal fell through so I went on a mad scramble to find somewhere to open a store. I was looking in Rhinebeck, I was looking in New Paltz, I was looking in Cold Spring … parts of Poughkeepsie.
A friend of a friend had heard I was looking, called me, and told me there was a space available in town. I came and looked at it. It was at the corner of Deming Street in the old Deanie’s building. They were finishing the renovation and the spaces were beautiful. I think I was open in less than a month.
I was commuting from Poughkeepsie when I opened the store for the first few years. It turned out to be a lucky choice.
JL: And then … ?
LD: Then I realized it was home. So I moved here.
JL: What is your first memory of Woodstock?
LD: The first time I came to town I came to see a Chekov play at River Arts that Joanne Woodward was doing. It was 1985, I think. I drove from Poughkeepsie up here and then got to town and then took these little roads up into the mountains … and came to this barn in the middle of what I thought was nowhere and got to see Joanne Woodward do a Chekov play in this beautiful space. It was summertime so you know … the fireflies, all of it. It was great. That was my first memory.
JL: Since you’ve been here, what about Woodstock has changed?
LD: Woodstock I think sort of constantly changes but the real heart of it doesn’t. I think the noticeable thing for me was right after September 11th when a lot of New Yorkers moved up here full time who had been here part time. At the same time all wheel drive vehicles were becoming popular so it became much more of a year-round community for a lot of people.
JL: What’s your favorite thing about being here?
LD: (pauses) Should I name all of it? (Both laugh) There’s so much great stuff here in town. There’s theater … there’s music, the retail community is terrific. Nature … I get to go hiking every day, biking … but it’s the people. It’s really the people who make the difference here.