Top of the Mountain
Now that they are safely back on this side of the pond, I feel comfortable sharing a photo from Nancy and Phil Crevier’s recent jaunt to Ireland. Nancy couldn’t help herself when she saw this book (pictured) in Marsh’s Library, she said. She had to snap this photo of Further Discovery of Bees, published in the 1600s. The library she found it in is just around the corner from St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, and it’s absolutely filled with elaborately carved oak bookcases, crammed with 25,000 books, manuscripts and maps dating back to the 15th Century. It was “astounding,” she shared, “to see these ancient volumes!” Further Discovery of Bees was among the books and manuscripts displayed under glass.
As we noted just a few weeks ago, WSHU’s “Still Newtown” 11-part podcast, which was developed in partnership with this newspaper, was nominated for a prestigious 2023 Peabody Award. Developed and hosted by WSHU Reporter Davis Dunavan, the series chronicled the life of this community a decade after 12/14. It was released in early December, one week ahead of the tenth anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. While we know countless listeners have been touched and genuinely appreciated the WSHU series (thank you again to everyone who reached out to share those thoughts), “Still Newtown” was not among the Peabody winners this year. Congratulations to the 35 projects selected to represent the best of 2022’s broadcasting, streaming, and interactive media. Winners were announced last week.
C.H. Booth Library is looking for readers to participate in a Life Story Program planned for this spring and summer. The program will provide an opportunity for individuals living with memory changes to highlight meaningful events of their lives, with volunteers writing and preserving those memories for them. Participants and volunteer writers are needed. Contact Adult Services Librarian Shari Merrill at 203-426-4533 or SMerrill@chboothlibrary.org to learn more and/or sign up.
Newtown United Methodist Church is also looking for people to participate in something. A Community Tag Sale is being planned in the parking lot of the 92 Church Hill Road house of faith, and a few vendor spaces are still available. All are invited to rent a spot, available for a $20 donation, on Saturday, June 3. Setup will open at 8 that morning, and then the event will run from 9 am until 1 pm, timed to overlap with much of the activities that will also be occurring during The Great Pootatuck Duck Race just down the hill that day. There were just a few spaces available as of last Friday morning, so if you’re interested contact the NUMC office at 203-426-9998 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit numc.us right away. If you aren’t the vendor type, but love a good tag sale, keep that day in mind as well.
Unfortunately, NUMC also had some disappointing news to share this week: Saturday’s Spaghetti Supper has been canceled. Reservations for that hybrid event — diners were offered in-person and curbside options — were due Monday, and organizers just didn’t have the numbers to move forward. I know I took care of reserving two dinners for my humans. Karan Goodhue and Candace Rothe hope to try again in the autumn, but it’s unfortunate this long-standing tradition isn’t seeing a better revival.
A final reminder this week that Ben’s Bells Project-Connecticut will be hosting its largest annual fundraiser, the 2023 Celebration of Kindness, next Thursday. The May 25 event will run from 6 to 9 pm at Reverie Brewing Company, 57-B Church Hill Road. The evening will include live entertainment, food, drink, and a live and silent auction. Guests will enjoy all of that while supporting kindness education and studio programming. Ben’s Bells Founder Jeannette Maré will also be a special guest. Tickets are $75 for adults. Due to the generosity of an anonymous donor, tickets for ages 18 and under this year are $1. Reservations are available through bensbells.org/ctcelebration.
Over in the Enjoy section of this week’s print edition (and online under Cultural Events), you’ll find a recap of some work done recently by members of The Garden Club of Newtown at their Victory Garden space. The club members were assisted by a team of high school students who, according to Garden Club member Louise Zierzow, “did a lot of heavy lifting, especially moving compost for us.” The young adults — Connor Child, Bryana Diaz, Gio Rivera, and Zosia Teraszkiewicz — deserve a Good Egg Award, Louise tells me. “They deserve a basketful!” she said. We’re happy to comply with that request. Thank you Connor, Bryana, Gio and Zosia, for making that work session much easier for those ladies.
Congratulations to the four Maplewood Senior Living chefs who picked up top prizes during the recent 2023 Connecticut Assisted Living Association (CALA) Chef Challenge. The annual competition recognizes excellence in senior living culinary experiences, and Maplewood chefs picked up wins for the eighth consecutive year. The top Maplewood chefs this year are Walter Parks, Jr at Maplewood at Orange, who won first place in the seafood category with an exceptionally rare perfect score; Adam Liotta at Maplewood at Newtown, second place prize in the seafood category; Cameron Matthews at Maplewood at Southport, second place in the meat category; and Picasso Petion at Maplewood at Strawberry Hill, third in the meat category. Teams are judged by a panel of professional chef judges for first, second and third place prizes. Judging is based on a combination of recipe quality, variety and creative use of products, as well as presentation and kitchen protocols. I’m heading toward Maplewood Orange right now for some of Walter’s first place entry: cast iron seared diver sea scallops on a bed of applewood, smoked bacon, sautéed leaks and potatoes topped with porcini mushrooms, asparagus tips, and white wine truffle butter. Yummm!
Did you know? New data reveals the keto diet is the most Googled diet among Connecticut residents (followed by the Mediterranean, DASH, paleo, and alkaline diets, in that order). Fairfield County is reportedly the best of this state’s eight counties for small businesses based on returns, income, income taxes, and other factors. And Connecticut has the fifth highest rate of pet disease in the country. These are among the random story pitches received via email recently. We passed on them, choosing instead to remain focused on our hyperlocal coverage, but thought readers might be interested in some of the things that come across our desks that we just have to pass on.
Sandy Hook resident Lois Barber continued a longstanding tradition on May 8 when she visited Newtown PD with a gift for Chief David Kullgren. For years Lois has worked with her contacts in Congress to have a flag flown over The Capitol Building shipped to her, which she then delivers to the police department. The flag is donated in honor of a Newtown Police Department officer.
As I prepare to return to my favorite place in the sun I’d like to take a moment to thank every man and woman serving in the US military. Chattanooga (Tenn.) just celebrated its 74th Armed Forces Day Parade on May 5, continuing its honor of hosting this country’s longest continuously running Armed Forces Day. To everyone who honors our flag and defends our freedom, thank you. I appreciate your service — on Armed Forces Day and every day — and I humbly salute you.
Don’t forget to think of me next week when it’s time to … read me again.