This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please inquire about permissions.
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This interview is with Seth Travins, a musician and business owner who has been a part of musical and agricultural communities in Columbia County for years. In the interview, Seth explores his life as a musician, including discussion of Hudson’s musical communities and clubs. In particular, Seth describes playing in Club Helsinki in Hudson when he first arrived in Columbia County and discovering key figures in the music scene that led to him joining the band The Wiyos. He describes touring internationally with The Wiyos, especially his trips to Scotland where he met his wife who came to live with him in Hudson. He also offers detailed information about working in regional agriculture and how he came to develop a sauerkraut line with a local dairy farm. Seth describes living outside of Hudson until his wife moved to the area at which time they chose to move to Hudson because of the ability to live comfortably without having to drive, something that his wife had yet to learn to do. Seth explores his wife’s flower business and how he collaborated with her on a storefront when he started his own sauerkraut business; he offers information about their store Flowerkraut as well as the Hudson business community. He also spends time describing changes to Hudson in the past years as tourism has become a focus with an emphasis on the benefits of such tourism and the drawbacks, including the impact of Airbnb on emptying neighborhoods and creating a “ghost town” feel, the viability of businesses like Flowerkraut because of tourism, and the rising cost of living that has displaced working people in Hudson as they look for affordable housing. Toward the end of the interview, Seth describes people that impacted his life in Hudson and the things that he will miss when he moves to Scotland in the next month with his family. He concludes the interview by singing a song titled “17 cars in 18 years” about a friend from Hudson.
This interview will be of interest to those that want to learn about Hudson’s music scene in the 21st century; Hudson’s agricultural communities; business owners in Hudson; tourism and its impact on housing in Hudson; family life in Hudson; the Travins’ business Flowerkraut; the band The Wiyos; and key figures in both the local music industry and agriculture.
Mary Catherine Foltz is a white, middle-class, lesbian who lives in Bethlehem, PA. She is an Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University and participant in the Oral History Summer School in Hudson, NY. She currently is developing an oral history project in Allentown, PA with the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.
Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”