It has come to our attention that we have grossly mischaracterized the 2023 Central Pennsylvania Ragtime & American Music Festival in our review of the event published in November 2023.
Festival Director Andrew Greene wrote to say, “The main issue with the article is this line: ‘A more significant impact was that the caterer ran out of the two entrees at dinner before all the patrons, including some on the train who were not attending the festival, could be served.’
“That is simply false. All paying passengers did receive their dinner meals, the only affected patrons were the train crew for the day. Having that line in the article implies that we (the Central Pennsylvania Ragtime & American Music Festival / East Broad Top Railroad) did not appropriately plan for the event, which we did, and we do not want falsehoods about our event being spread.”
Jazz Travels columnist Bill Hoffman offers this retraction: “In my report of the Central PA Ragtime Festival I made an incorrect statement. I wrote that the entrees on the dinner train ran out before some patrons got their food. That did not happen. What did happen was that some of the train crew did not get entrees, but all paying guests were served. I apologize for this mistake; I should have verified that with festival director Andrew Greene before submitting my column.”
As Editor of The Syncopated Times, I am equally culpable for the misstatement being circulated and am mortified that it got into print. I did not realize its full implications as I was editing the November issue. It should have occasioned a pause as I was copy editing, though my main objective is to format text and correct punctuation, spelling, and factual errors while racing to meet my printer’s deadline each month.
Bill Hoffman has been an honest and careful writer whose prose rarely needs more than light editing. As such I did not think to question any part of what he wrote. It may be that the job of editing and laying out a 40-page paper each month is too great a responsibility for one person when reputations are at stake. When the editor is tired and subject to debility, grave errors are bound to make it into these pages.
As Editor and Publisher of The Syncopated Times, I deeply apologize to Andrew Greene and everyone else involved with the Central Pennsylvania Ragtime & American Music Festival.