The Top of the Mountain

This curious kitty has heard back from another reader of our “Way We Were” column, regarding the photo of two boys near the edge of a body of water, which ran in the August 8 issue of The Newtown Bee. Jacquie Dachenhausen had contacted me last month, saying she felt fairly certain the boys were her son and his best friend. Gail and Chuck Luf, though, also believe that they know the boys. “I think it’s my son, Josh, and James Barrett, a Fresh Air guest we had many years,” says Gail. If she recalls correctly, the photo was taken at Dickinson Park at a Fresh Air families’ picnic, in either 1986 or 1987. Gail has sent me another photo of Josh and James to compare and contrast — and I’m still befuddled. Looks like we need a vote!  

St Rose eighth grader David Jensen’s mom, Karen, lets us know that his St Rose confirmation project, “Cash for Cans,” has been highly successful. “David raised $544.50 for the Danbury Hospital Kids Care Club to help the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit,” Karen says. “We approximate that was 10,890 returnables. It took David two months, going almost daily, with his grandmother, to Caraluzzi’s during July and August,” she says. David presented the check to the hospital last week. If you weren’t able to be part of David’s “Cash for Cans,” you can still make a donation to Danbury Hospital or the Danbury Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), 24 Hospital Avenue, Danbury, CT 06810, with checks made payable to WCHNF (Western Connecticut Health Network Foundation). David’s interest in the NICU, by the way, is pretty personal. He is a 2000 “graduate” of the Danbury NICU, coming into the world with breathing, heart, and blood sugar issues.

We are back in the groove, with Labor Day behind us and schools back in session. Now it’s time to think about joining one of the many great organizations around town. Anyone who loves to sing, or is willing to learn how, is invited to join the Newtown Choral Society. The group rehearses every Wednesday evening in the chorus room at Newtown Middle School, from 7 to 9 pm, beginning September 10. Director Mary Andreotta is happy to place you in the section best suited to your singing ability, but don’t worry — an audition is not required. The Newtown Choral Society presents a winter concert and a spring concert each year. For more information, contact Laura Lerman at lel@se-ltd.com.

Our unofficial flag caretaker, Dave Lydem, is just a little peeved, or so I hear, that the flagpole is being used as a billboard, particularly during the annual Labor Day Parade. I know it seems like a very central place to catch other’s attentions as to your announcement, but tape can adhere and peel off the paint; not to mention, it may be a little distracting in a spot that is already distracting enough. Hey, I know: why not take out an ad in The Bee?

The Newtown Labor Day Parade is always a highlight of living here, for me, and now that the parade has passed me by, I’m excited about all of the Cultural Arts and Arts Festival events coming up, all month long. You can find out all about them at NewtownArtsFestival.com. Let’s see, there’s the ArtWalk in Sandy Hook Center, beginning this Saturday. No doubt you have not already reserved your place for “The 3 Wordsmiths” event at the library, Monday evening, September 8. Essayist Barry Dougherty, poet Charles Rafferty, and actor Patrick Kearney will read and perform personal works for your entertainment. On September 11, it is the opening night for the two-person play, Doubt, at the Newtown Meeting House. The cast includes Newtown’s Kate Katcher and Patrick Kearney (Where have I heard that name before?) appearing courtesy of the Actors Equity Association, Norwalk’s Molly Garbe (AEA candidate), and Denise Johnson. Save your energy, though, because the next night is the Rooster Ball at Fairfield Hills, kicking off the festival days at that location over the next weekend. Music is by Gene Dobbs’ Ultimate NU-Cullers Band. There is so much more going on, you’re just going to have to visit the website, where you can also register for events and get tickets.

Speaking of ArtWalk, I understand that Migrant Salon, has had a change of name to Mine Art! Gallery, but not a change of address. Still located beneath Subway in Sandy Hook Center, at 117 Church Hill Road, Suite D, the art gallery owned by Allison Hornak has open hours five days of the week, says Allison, and will take part in the first Sandy Hook ArtWalk. For more information, visit www.mine-art.tumblr.com.

Am I surprised to see that Newtowner Kevin Hoyt ran away with first place — by several seconds — in this past weekend’s Newtown Road Race? Nope, not at all. Kevin puts on so many miles about town each week that if you told me he had run over to Dickinson from the center of town last Saturday morning, to warm up for the race, I would believe you. Congratulations to Kevin, by the way, not only for that run, but for recently qualifying for the 2015 Boston Marathon.

Next week, Thursday, September 11, marks the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our country that destroyed the World Trade Center buildings, damaged the Pentagon, and brought death to airline passengers in a field in Pennsylvania. Howard Lasher, a retired Wall Street trader and executive who lost friends and colleagues that day, invites the public to a special gathering honoring all who died in the tragedy, at his Route 302 property (68 Dodgingtown Road). Guests may gather near the sextet of maple trees painted to resemble the American flag for the 8:15 am ceremony.

Congratulations to Johnny Williams of Johnny A. Williams Woodshop, located beneath the Weathered Way on Obtuse Road. Johnny has been selected by Martha Stewart and judges as a finalist in the 2014 Martha Stewart American Made Awards, in the Design category. This is a nationally recognized awards program celebrating those who use their passions to create handcrafted goods for their own small businesses — and its all “Made in America.” Johnny crafts one-of-a-kind pieces of wood furniture and other wood products in his shop, and it is worth a stop by the 3 Obtuse Road woodworking shop to see his work. Visit www.JohnnyAWilliams.com to contact him, and to view photos of some of his furniture.

I hope you appreciate the passion with which I pursue the news for this column, even though Martha has yet to honor me. Be sure next week to… Read  me again.

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