A. Gordon Siegel
A. Gordon Siegel is a native and life-long resident of Staten Island. He is a retired English teacher and dean of students and producer of the film “Once Upon a Time on Staten Island.” The author currently resides on Staten Island with his wife and son and dedicates much of his spare time to a tree farm in the western Catskills.
Son of Sisyphus
In the late 1960’s, Bert Robbin is a recently appointed English teacher at P. Piper Hamelin JHS, located in a suburb of New York City. At the ripe old age of 27, still searching for his first romance, Bert finds a barely affordable apartment of Lilliputian dimensions on the “swinging”, fashionable upper east side of Manhattan --- where singles mingle and hopefully become doubles. Unable to rise to his parents’ lofty expectations of a career in law or medicine, Bert is determined to succeed as a public school teacher. But the New York City Board of Education and P. Piper Hamelin JHS are having difficulties of their own --- challenging even for the most seasoned of pedagogues. The system is buffeted and befuddled by frequent teacher union walkouts, minority unrest, and a rising tide of disruptive and violent students. In the meanwhile, an overarching racial and social conflict, aggravated by a frustrating and unwinnable war in Vietnam, tears at the threadbare fabric of American society. Bert is naïve, often diffident and indecisive in this time of convulsive change. But he is intelligent and determined. Bert emerges Phoenix-like from the turmoil of his times with a new, confident perception of himself and his mission.
Visit Art Siegel, Master Forest Owner and certified member of the National Tree Farm System, at his farm in Walton, New York.
Permit him to share with you his philosophy of responsible land stewardship and a myriad of recreational activities at the farm.