Greeting guests as they enter the Matthew Curtiss House museum on Main Street, junior docent Mairin Hayes appears at the door as an authentically dressed Colonial girl. She welcomes guests to her 1750s world perfectly preserved inside the circa 1750 saltbox home. Newtown's Historical Society opens its doors to the public throughout the year, and relies on docents to run tours, history camps, and open houses. Docents perform a critical role for the historical society, creating opportunities for the community to engage with living history.” Junior docents, according to Interim Head Docent Amy Fallas-Kerr, “are some of the society’s most enthusiastic volunteers. It’s incredibly rewarding to see them volunteer with the society throughout the years and witness the lasting impact that this program has for our local students. We hope to instill a lifelong love of history.”
Supermarket shelves swept clear of basic food items. Schools and businesses closed. Travel banned. It is the Storm of the Century — and it happens at least once each winter season. Modern technology keeps the public informed about every nuance in the weather. If a storm is in the making, there is a rush to stockpile necessities and a flurry of cancellations and postponements. When Snowpocalypse does strike, warnings keep us one step ahead of big and small disasters. Then we complain about the inconveniences of working from home, lapses in electricity, rescheduled appointments, truncated train schedules, or having to watch movies from our cozy couches and sip hot chocolate while the cold winds swirl around us. What did our predecessors do, though, when winter dumped feet of snow onto the land?
The Newtown Torpedoes youth swim program, sponsored by Newtown Parks & Recreation, held its second annual Swim-A-Thon at Newtown High School on January 31. Dozens of swimmers in three age groups – 8 and unders, 9-10-year-olds, and 11 and overs – combined to complete consecutive laps during the four-hour event at the Newtown High School pool. Swimmers are raising money through donations and pledges for the Newtown Scholarship Association to support The Daniel Barden Newtown Torpedo Scholarship, as well as go toward present and future needs of the team. Student volunteers helped set up the lanes and track laps completed by the Torpedoes swimmers while cheering them on. Among those on hand to donate their time were Newtown High swimmers who came up through the Torpedoes program. “It’s a good program and we wanted to help out because we started with the Torpedoes,” said Newtown High senior Eliza Eggleston.
“The North Wind doth blow, and we shall have snow, and what will poor robin do then?” If he is lucky, he will visit a clean and well-stocked bird feeder. We are quick to hustle off to the grocery store when winter storms threaten. But what about the many songbirds that do not have such a handy source of food available, just when it is most needed? Bird feeders can provide that source of energy for Connecticut's birds that overwinter, and offer natural entertainment for the humans perched inside, watching the birds perched outside.
Tilt-A-World, founded by Pastor Dan Kelly of Second Chance Bible Church in Bethel, has been building playgrounds for orphanages around the world for ten years. Since 12/14, though, Pastor Kelly has dedicated each of the playgrounds to the memories of the 26 people who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Nearly 50 works of art were hung in the main corridor of Newtown Municipal Center on January 23. The collection represents an annual offering by members of The Society of Creative Arts of Newtown (SCAN). The exhibition, “Color in Winter Show & Sale,” will remain on view weekdays until February 27. The exhibition, with 46 works of art representing 25 artists, stretches nearly the length of the municipal center’s southern wall. A reception scheduled for Wednesday, January 28, has been postponed, but the collection of still lifes, landscapes, etchings and other works are doing exactly what the creators of this annual presentation were hoping for when they created the winter exhibition.
Ah. There’s nothing like a steaming cup of hot cocoa and a Pop Tart to start the day. At least, that’s what I thought as a kid, when that was what woke me up and got me out the door to school. I was only half right, though. Eating something after a night’s rest is important, but choosing the right breakfast foods makes the difference between a whole morning of satisfaction and a brief burst of energy followed by a slump. My stomach is growling and even the wretched smell of cat food — my first task of the day, for the cats’ breakfasts — does not stop me from looking forward to my own breaking of the fast. There are many good reasons for fueling the body in the morning.