The Top of the Mountain

Sandy Hook resident Ken Johnson will meet up with an old friend next week, says his daughter Kelley. Her dad has been selected by the Liberty Foundation Veterans’ Tours to fly in the B-17 Flying Fortress Memphis Belle that will be visiting at Hartford’s Brainard Airport, Monday, August 12. The 87-year-old Mr Johnson was a tail gunner for a B-17 in World War II. The World War II Boeing B-17 Memphis Belle will take to the skies over Hartford on the 70th anniversary of its last flight. The Memphis Belle is one of only 13 B-17s that still fly today. The B-17, dubbed the “Flying Fortress” as a result of her defensive fire power, saw action in every theater of operation during WWII. The majority of all WWII B-17s were operated by the 8th Airforce in Europe and participated in countless missions from bases in England deep into enemy territory. Memphis Belle was built toward the end of the war and never saw any combat. It is painted in the colors and nose art of the original historic Memphis Belle B-17 that flew countless missions with the 91st bomb group of the mighty 8th Airforce, and was the first B-17 to complete 25 missions. Public flights will be available August 17 and 18. Flights begin in the morning with ground tours in the afternoon. Hours are from 10 am to 5 pm. Contact Scott Maher at 918-340-0243 or at smaher@libertyfoundation.org for more information.

Last Friday morning, The Bee had to cancel an ad that had been placed Thursday afternoon for this week’s Newtown Bee. The good news is, everyone was happy about the cancellation. Richard Cole had stopped in the office on Thursday, visibly upset. He told the ladies in the Classifieds department that he had been to a local restaurant earlier in the week, and distinctly remembered wearing his treasured blue USS Midway baseball hat. He did not remember leaving the restaurant with the hat, however, and when he went back to pick it up, it was nowhere to be found. The hat has great sentimental value to Mr Cole, so he took a chance and came to visit The Bee’s office to place a Lost & Found ad. On her way home from work Thursday evening, Bridget Seaman, who you have probably seen in the front office of the newspaper, went down Church Hill and, on a hunch, turned onto Queen Street … and saw Mr Cole’s hat. Some Good Samaritan had placed it on top of the utility box at the corner, and she recognized it immediately. Bridget picked up the hat, drove back to The Bee, and called Mr Cole with the good news. Mr Cole visited The Bee to retrieve his hat the following morning, smiling this time and bearing a box of baked goods for his new favorite Bee… and canceled his ad.

Speaking of Coles (and this is another Cole family) Sheila Cole and the rest of the staff in the tax collector’s office are wondering who sent them the lovely bouquet of flowers last week? The flowers were addressed to “The Girls and Tyler in the Tax Office,” with a note congratulating them on making it through another July — but the note was not signed. The staff sends out many thanks to whomever the thoughtful person is!

The Avielle Foundation, created to honor Avielle Richman, and others who have been victims of violence, launched an online fundraising auction this week. The auction opened on August 6, will continue until August 20, and proceeds will benefit the 501(c)(3) foundation’s support of brain health and education. There are 81 items up for bid, ranging from vacation getaways and sports memorabilia and event tickets local to New England. There is clothing and jewelry, and dozens of restaurant and entertainment offers. Interested? Visit biddingforgood.com/AvielleBen for additional information about the auction, all of its lots, and to place a bid if something piques your interest.

Newtown’s Julie Allen Bridals will provide the fashions for a bridal show at The Candlewood Inn in Brookfield on August 20. The expo will run from 6 to 9 that Tuesday evening, and the first 50 brides-to-be who attend will have a chance to win $25,000 for their wedding. Organizers are putting together an event that will make it easy to plan your perfect wedding including vendors for photography, videography, transportation, bridal fashions, invitations, jewelry, and more. Also, there will be tons of door prize giveaways, plus the grand prize: a Caribbean cruise honeymoon. Not enough? Casting producers from TLC’s Say Yes To The Dress will also be at the inn, looking for brides-to-be to be featured on the popular program. Admission is $8. Additional information is available online at WeddingSteps.com.

Resident Bobbie Bowles has noticed something this year, and if you spend anytime outside, you probably have, too. There have been hardly any Monarch butterflies around this year. Putting on my thinking cap, I recalled that it has been multiple years since I have seen any number of the regal orange and black butterflies. It is an ever-increasing ecological issue, and if you want to find out a bit more about the plight of the butterfly (as opposed to the Flight of the Bumblebee), visit www.monarch-butterfly.com.

I got a call from a grandma who is so proud, she is about to bust her buttons. Zulmira Videira of Monroe has a grandson, Tyler Griffin, who lives in Newtown and celebrated his birthday on August 5. This year, the 9-year-old had a special wish: he wants to donate any gifts he gets to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford. All of his friends and family invited to his August 18 party have been asked to check the hospital’s in-kind gift suggestion list online at www.connecticutchildrensfoundation.org, or to donate Amazon gift cards, and Tyler wants to visit the hospital with any gifts he receives, Grandma tells me. “He says there are people who needs things, and he wants to cheer other kids up,” she says.

Well, I can’t think of a nicer note on which to end the week. I’m looking forward to uncovering more good news this coming week, so be sure to… Read me again.

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