Andy grew up on his family's 170 year old dairy farm, located in the western foothills of the Catskill mountains in upstate NY. He worked outside and in the barns with his father, Albert, various cousins, and his little brother. He had the responsibility of feeding about a dozen calves every morning before school. His mother, Judy, a beloved elementary school teacher, made sure he bathed between chores and going to school, to wash away the barn perfume. After school, there were more barn chores, the endless cycle of feeding and cleaning.
Around 8 years old, another cousin on a farm over the hill gave Andy his 1st motorcycle experience on a Honda 50 Mini Trail. To this day he finds a source of joy and inspiration from even talking about motorcycles. He learned how to operate a tractor at the age of 9, further feeding his lifelong fascination with machinery.
He fixes everything the business relies on. All of the machinery, tools, vehicles. He makes it possible for us to keep everything moving.
Behind the scenes
On select weekends in high school, Andy and a few friends would chain together their stereos and play records (vinyl, remember that?) for school dances. During college, at SUNY Stony Brook, he produced sound and lighting designs (and did some welding) for the college theater department. This solidified his ability to make systems work from behind the scenes. During this time his Uncle Dan bequeathed his 1976 Saab to Andy, supplementing his experience in keeping machines in working order.
Many years later, after that car was retired, Andy pulled it out of the farm's junk yard for me to drive while I was in between vehicles. That was a really fun car to drive. It was mostly mechanically sound, but the body was in poor shape. The headlights had a mind of their own.
That sound guy in the red velvet bell bottoms
After college, carpentry, landscaping, turning wrenches (including a stint at a SAAB dealership on LI, NY) and managing a 16 track recording studio kept him busy for a few years until the call of country life landed him back on the farm. Working days on the farm, he became the defacto sound guy at a local coffee house (The Night Eagle) that a friend ran as a folk music venue. Connecting with various musicians inevitably led him to Ithaca where he easily found work with sound companies who liked how he "plugged it in right the first time." Working at a nearby music festival is where Wendy walked into his picture. She was working there too and although she knew right away, it took Andy a while to ask her out on that fateful date...
I wish I had a photo of Andy wearing the red velvet bell bottom pants, work boots, and his sun hat at The FingerLakes GrassRoots Festival, that one very hot summer. At the festival, back in those days, Saturday nights were the time to dress in your festival best. It was a steamy summer evening, when Andy came out to change over the stage to the next band, in his Sat. night dress up attire. Someone up in the bleachers yelled out "Yeah to the sound guy in the red velvet pants!" The whole crowd of a few hundred sweaty, happy people waiting for the next band, went wild and cheered. Were you there? If so, and have a photo, please e mail it. We'd love to post it. Contact me here