Before I first met the Beekman Boys, there were numerous phone conversations. Conversations where I had no idea which voice belonged Brent and which belonged to Josh.

Is the one with the southern accent the drag queen?  Is the funny one living at the farm, or is it the one that just wants to talk about scheduling?

As we looked over our calendars to choose the first weekend of filming and eventually settled on one just days away, I inquired about the activities that fill their typical weekends. There was the usual gardening, and packaging of soap orders, and they had just found out that the piglets would be old enough to be picked up, so the camera could tag a long for that.

“Oh, and the tractors need to be lined up.”

“I’m sorry, what?” (I’m not sure if I said that out loud, or just in my head.)

The curt southern tone continued, “Well, I don’t like when the tractors are just randomly sitting around the property. I think they should be lined up by the barn, so they’ll look nice when people drive by.”

I had now figured out that the voice with the southern accent belonged to the one who had worked for Martha Stewart.

Shortly after hanging up the phone, I set to work typing up a rough schedule of the tasks they had mentioned would fill the weekend, along with setting aside time to do on-camera interviews with each of them. After I barely even hit send, I had a response from Brent:

I can already tell this weekend is going to put me in a bad mood.

I felt nauseated. Was he kidding? Or was he really dreading the prospect of filming that much? I sat there for a moment, wondering if I should respond when another email came through, but this time from Josh.

Great. We’ll use it for filming.

When filming began, it was just myself and my friend and director of photography Pyongson Yim. We had driven into the village late on a Friday evening and had been greeted by Doug & Garth at the American Hotel with wine and lobster chowder. The short drive between the hotel and their home revealed the entirety of main street, and the realization that Sharon Springs wasn’t referred to as village just to appear quaint.

For past projects, I have traveled from Cabo to Toronto and everywhere in between, but I couldn’t recall finding any place as beautiful as the Beekman Farm.  I walked around the property pointing out shots I wanted to capture and obsessing over the perfect clouds that drifted overhead. I longed for a moment to sit on the porch and enjoy the graham cracker ice cream Brent was hand churning in the back yard. But instead, the next two days were spent chasing Brent, Josh, Farmer John, (and a pig later to be known as Bess) around the farm.

That first shoot was exactly one year ago today. And while Brent has still never allowed me to sit on the porch and enjoy a bowl of ice cream, I continue to find myself just as taken with the Beekman as I was the first time I pulled into the driveway.  Thank you, Brent and Josh for an adventurous, humorous, and inspiring first year.

Happy Anniversary, boys.

Angela Rae Berg is the director of The Fabulous Beekman Boys.  Make nice-nice and she will give you all the behind-the-scenes dirt on what you didn’t see in the show.

Have you met the Beekman Boys in person?  What was your first impression?  Tell us!!

by Angela Rae Berg

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Linda Schnell- Leonardi

Am I allowed to reply, since it seems that everyone above lives in or near Sharon Springs, yet I live about a 6 hour or so drive away? I saw the tv commercial for the Fabulous Beekman Boys on the tv one night. It was a quick commercial, and I liked what I saw. It was late at night, I work evenings at a bookstore, and used to relax after work with a little bit of tv watching before going upstairs to sleep. I saw the commercial again, and said to my partner, Gary, I WANT TO WATCH THAT! I never had control of the remote, so I was standing my ground right there and then. At work, we receive many many advanced reader copies of books from various publishing houses. When they arrive, they are placed in the employee lounge on a high shelf. We are allowed to take, and keep any one we want, with the understanding that we may never sell them, as they are uncorrected proofs of the not yet officially published book. That said, I always scan the shelf looking for a title that I think might be of interest, and who wouldn’t want a free book? One evening, during my lunch break, I was skimming through a People magazine that was left on the lunch table in the break room. There was the ” books to look for ” page. What do you know, one of the titles looked familiar. Arent those the FBB who are going to have that tv show that I want to watch???? I jumped up from my seat, and went right over to the collection of free advanced reader copies, and there it was! A copy of The Bucolic Plague. Mine! I went home to read, devour was more like it, Hey these two guys are living my dream, how did that happen? Good for them!!! Meanwhile, the show starts and over the course of the first season, I watched and totally became a fan. I liked their home page on FB, I think there were about 4,000 likes at that time. Back to the real question, how did/when did I first meet the Boys? Later that summer I made a plan on how that was going to happen. My youngest daughter had just graduated University and was lucky to land a good job in Cleveland Ohio. She needed help setting up her apartment. Gary and I were in need of a vacation, and Gary had never been to Canada, or the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame, so what I did was map out a way to do it all. We started our trip by driving out to Cleveland to stay with Rachel for a few days, and see the sights, help her get settled in her first ever apartment, and enjoy being with her, as she was going to be so far from home, here in NJ. Off to Niagara Falls, where we did all of the tourist things, that included getting up at o’dark thirty to be first in line at the Maid of the Mist! Saw all that Niagara Falls had to offer at that beautiful time of the year, it was August. We then drove to Sharon Springs for a one night stay over at The American, where we met the Garth and Doug, and Heidi. We went over to the Mercantile, and there was Dr. Brent. I was very shy, yes, me, sometimes that happens. Dr. Brent, my partner, Gary, and I shared a very light hearted conversation about this and that, and Gary asked if I had brought my book along to be signed. I said that I did not want to be pushy, after all, I had never met Dr. Brent before, so it was agreed that I would stop by the next morning before we headed out of town. And so that is how I first met Dr. Brent. This smart, kind, funny man made me feel welcome into his store, and I felt as if I had just met a new friend. I got to meet Josh, the author whose books and short stories I had just found and read, a few months later. I must say, I had butterflies in my stomach when I met him at Terrain, in PA for a book signing gig they had. What if he was not up to having another ” fan”. NO problem! The other part of the Fabulous Beekman Boys, was just as humble and sincere as Dr. Brent. I became a supporter of their dream because of that. There was no presumptive, I am the star, you are the fan. It was more of, we are all human beings, and we can all use more friends in life. Welcome. Peace out, and Be Well, linda

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Michelle

When I first met Brent and Josh they were looking for a fixer-upper. I showed them the Beekman hoping they would love it. I kept thinking do they know how much work a big old house in the country can be, but please let them buy it.

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Megan

I think the first time I really met Brent and Josh was at the Historic House tour a couple years ago. I had always envied the fortunate people who had purchased the Beekman Estate. I was bound and determined to introduce myself. When I arrived at the Beekman house tour I was so excited that not only would I get to finally meet them but I would also get to see their digs, even if they didn't like me. When I was walking along the side of their barn and admiring the turkeys I noticed what looked to be a dead Rooster. I quickly rushed over to Brent and told him about the poor Rooster, he replied "Oh he does that all the time" I didn't believe it. As Brent and I walked toward the Rooster wouldn't you know that little fella got up and ran away. I knew at that moment the Fabulous Beekman Boys have arrived!

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Kendal

So much has happened since I met Brent and Josh almost 3 years ago!!! When I met Josh at the soap shop my first impressions were that he was incredibly funny and outgoing. We were then invited to their 4th of July party where I had the pleasure of meeting Brent. He was the quiet one tending to the bbq. I kind of felt bad for him because Josh was such a social butterfly and Brent seemed so shy 🙂 I kept him company for a while asking him about what he did (he was a doctor) and where he got his accent (North Carolina). The party was wonderful and I was very impressed by their homemade cherry pie. I did notice the Martha Stewart Living magazine with the cherry pie recipe on their kitchen table and was a little confused…why I hadn’t received that one yet?!? No one ever told me that Josh was a New York Times bestselling author, or that Brent actually worked for Martha Stewart and that’s how he got that magazine! After reading a column by a Dr. Brent Ridge in an issue of MSL a couple of months later and hearing some Sharon Springs gossip about Josh being an author I Googled my new friends and found out on my own!

Almost three years later and I now think they are both pretty funny. After reading Josh’s books I have added “clever” to his list. And Brent is definitely not shy – no shy person could ever earn the nickname Brentzilla.

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Amanda

I first met Josh and Brent while working at the American Hotel. The two of them had come in for a drink. I remember being introduced to them by Doug and Garth, owners of the American Hotel and good friends of Josh and Brent's.

I had read Josh's memoir, I'm Not Myself These Days, before I ever got to formally meet him. I LOVED the book, so I was especially excited to see him in person. He greeted me with a warm smile and was very kind. I couldn't help but wonder how the same person standing in front of me was also the same person I read about in his book.. where were the fishnets??

Brent greeted me politely but he was a little more restrained. I felt that he might be slightly more conservative than Josh, but I thought he was nice. I knew that he had worked with Martha Stewart, so I was already, admittedly, a little starstruck.

Then, one day, a film crew out of LA came to our tiny little town in Sharon Springs and were about to film a reality show with Josh and Brent. And I was lucky enough to have been recommended for a position on the crew by the manager of the American, Heidi. And that's when I really got to know Josh and Brent.

I still feel that Josh is the easygoing, dreamer type and Brent is a bit of a perfectionist, planner type but I've learned a great deal about (and from) them through this whole experience.

Thank you for a great year.. endless cases of Diet Dr. Pepper (which, for those of you who don't know, Brent enjoys thoroughly) and casual conversations on the way to the train station included..and for all the laughs, lessons and general stuff of life inbetween.

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Karen

The Beekman Boys’ fabulous soapmaker, Deb, suggested I stop by the soap workshop to meet Josh and Brent because they were interested in work from other local artists, and she thought they might like my handweaving. (Not that my weaving wasn’t sufficient in itself, but) to make a neighborly impression, I baked a fresh apple cake that morning. I think we all enjoyed the cake (though I don’t really recall…I do remember they both loved the cinnamon buns I made a few weeks later); Brent and Josh thought my handwoven textiles would be a nice addition to their line of products; and I was thrilled to have found such a great market for my cloth. May the Beekman, Sharon Springs, and all of Schoharie County shine and prosper as the rest of the world continues to discover the treasures of upstate New York.

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Elizabeth

I met Josh and Brent through my wonderful Mum, Karen-the-Weaver, but I feel like I've known them even longer than I have since I heard so much about them from my Mum while I was living out in MN with my husband, finishing up my (first) Bachelor's degree.

I heard all about their cinnamon bun breakfasts with Mom and Dad; Brent's work with Martha; Josh's hilarious and heart-touching first book.

I ended up meeting Brent for the first time shortly after I moved back to NY, and drove with Mom to Debbie's shop to catch up, and drop off textiles. Brent was wearing his usual khaki shorts and blue T-shirt, working on packaging. I remember thinking "wow, he's really cute" and being charmed by the hint of his southern accent. After that, it was quite a while before I got to meet Josh, but I was so pleased to Have Brent stop by my wedding only a few weeks later…Josh couldn't come as he was busy making goat's milk caramel that day.

I think the very first time I was finally able to meet Josh, was when I went to the Beekman to wrap soap with everyone…including the film crew. I was so charmed by how shy Josh seemed, and how sweet and elegant he was (and is!). I remember being in the kitchen with Josh's mother (the next day I believe), and at one time during that day, having to back myself quickly against the cupboards to stay out of a shot as Josh stormed through with a cameraman right behind him.

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Mary

Angela, it was also difficult for me to know which friend was Josh and which friend was Brent. Since no one can see them but me, I had no one to help me. Now, I know that Josh is the tall one and Brent is the one who hops on one foot and makes me laugh. Josh likes to make up silly verses and Brent makes up the rules for our games. They are my very best friends and it makes me happy they have moved into my house. I wish my family could see and hear them too. Although, there are times I think Father would become very angry at their “doings”… he would not
understand.

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