Goshen inspires Christmas greeting

| 29 Nov 2012 | 11:09

By Geri Corey

— Although originally from Long Island, Bob Weinberger has called Goshen home for 54 years. It was here that he worked in the junior high and coached the varsity basketball team, and his wife, Doris, worked as a home economics teacher in the high school. It was here that they bought a home, settled down, and raised their family.

Bob enjoys life in a small town, particularly during the holidays. The quaint village shops, big Victorian homes, church steeples, Lawyer’s Row, library, courthouse, and the trotting horse track and museum all are picturesque reminders of Goshen’s past.

Through the years Bob and Doris made lots of friends, and, as happens in life, some of them moved away. What better way than a nostalgic Christmas card to keep in touch with faraway friends?

So with an artistic leaning, Bob began drawing pen and ink Christmas cards in 1991 using Goshen as his model. People were so delighted to receive their card that first year, they called him with compliments. The card brought back fond memories of Goshen for them.

Bob hasn’t missed a year since then. The arrival of his card every year is an anticipated joy of the season for many people, and not just for those who moved away, but for many who still live in Goshen.

“A lot of friends have moved from Goshen and at Christmas, when it’s a time of remembering, I bring them a wish for the holiday season and a part of Goshen, too,” Bob said.

Each year he sketches a different section of Goshen. Sometimes combines different areas into one card.

This year’s card is a simple black and white sketch titled “Church Park on the Square,” which Bob calls “the centerpiece of the village.”

The inspirational message of the card surfaces through the use of a dark blue sky bearing one impressive golden star peering down on the buildings, trees, monument, and an empty bench, half-buried in fresh-fallen snow in the square. Church Park has special meaning for this artist.

“Church Park gives the indelible impression that it is a fixture of a small village lifestyle — a place for solitude, socializing, community events, and dreaming among the monuments," he said.

It’s in the heart of the village, where a Christmas tree, Nativity scene, and Menorah are on display every year.

Messages of peace and hope

The messages Bob writes for his cards promote peace, hope, and thankfulness, to remind people of the meaning of Christmas. The star made its first appearance on a Weinberger card in 1992 and, soon after, he added a dove to each card. In his 1993 card, he wrote:

The real Christmas feeling

That warm friendly glow

Comes from greeting the people

We’re happy we know

His 2000 card, commemorating his 43 years of living on Crescent Avenue, includes a drawing of his house with snow and children playing. There’s even a deer overlooking this delightful winter scene. Inside it said:

Our wish for Christmas remains the same,





At times, Bob strayed outside the village and his inspiration came from nearby farmhouses in the town. In 2005, he sketched Oak Ridge Farm: 1813, owned by Jean and Bill Strong. The message that Bob wrote for this card that showed the splendid farmhouse and cows dotting the field was a reverent one:

Strange and Wonderful Things Still Happen

On the Night of the Lord’s Birth

And One Does Not Always Need a Clear Night

To Follow a Fabulous Star

Bob admits that some of his cards are better artistically than others. Some have truer colors, sharper dimensions, or a more accurate perspective.

“My artwork is a lot of trial and error,” he said.

Still, the cards are a Goshen treasure, not just because they say “Merry Christmas” in an exceptional way, but because they chronicle Goshen and show changes that have occurred in the village through the years.

Yes, many people each year happily anticipate opening the latest Bob Weinberger creation. If you’re fortunate enough to be on Bob’s mailing list, be sure to hold onto these one-of-a-kind Christmas cards that ring out a cheerful “Merry Christmas!” You’ll surely want to share them with your grandchildren some day.