Greater Middletown Chorale of Middletown announces a celebration of Flag Day with the world premiere screening of a documentary about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and music, entitled "Letter from Italy, 1944: A New American Oratorio." The film, by Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Karyl Evans and narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Meryl Streep, chronicles the creation of Letter from Italy, 1944 (LFI), which was presented to a standing-room-only audience by GMChorale in April 2013. It will be screened on June 14 at the MHS Performing Arts Center in Middletown. Ms Evans, who grew up in Newtown, will also see her latest project debut on CPTV four nights later.
Twelve years ago I whelped my 11th litter of purebred puppies. My first litter, detailed in a Bee article, was in 1986. But this was the first time I planned a litter with a bitch I had bred and co-owned but who belonged to a family as their beloved pet. Stasha was a beautiful retired champion show dog whose main vice was to jump on the kitchen counter stealing Big Macs that appeared in the house. She was spoiled and she knew it!
Newtown Bee readers last month were invited to drop off donations, items to be sent to servicemen and women currently deployed, in honor of the Memorial Day holiday. The Bee began running the annual collection in 2011, with the intent of having anything dropped off at its Church Hill Road office then provided to the VFW so that everything could then be sent off to Newtown residents serving overseas. This year, however, there was a catch: the local VFW post is not currently following any Newtown residents, which was not realized until midway through the collection period last month. VFW Post 308 Chaplain Donna Monteleone Randle said this week the problem was not insurmountable.
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, solo artist and Byrds front man and primary songwriter Roger McGuinn has reached a point in his nearly 60 year musical journey where he has arrived back where he started. And the celebrated musician has found himself not only enjoying, but delving deep into the music of his youth - American folk. During a candid and exclusive interview with The Newtown Bee ahead of his planned June 12 solo appearance at the Ridgefield Playhouse, McGuinn chatted about the various flavors of folk he enjoys exploring and playing, from traditional cowboy songs, to American sea shanties, to music from the deep south and the often haunting melodies of Appalachia. He also deconstructed his “King of the Hill” single, and revealed how his endearing Byrds hit, “Chestnut Mare” originally came to life as part of a failed stage musical called Gene Tryp.
A cool and sunny Wednesday morning found Dawn Ussery pulling out weeds at The Victory Garden. She, Maureen Friedman, and Caryne-Lynne Davis, volunteers from The Taunton Press, cleaned up several rows at the community garden in Fairfield Hills, just one of many teams participating the United Way of Western Connecticut’s (UWWC) Day of Action on June 3. The garden’s harvest is donated to the town’s food pantries. The women were part of nearly 550 volunteers from 27 companies completing projects in towns including Newtown, according to UWWC. Also at work in Newtown was a team from Newtown Savings Bank doing outdoor gardening, yardwork and maintenance at the Children’s Adventure Center, and a team from UTC Aerospace worked on the exterior paint, driveway, and landscaping at the Ability Beyond group home, 2 Old Hawleyville Road.
Health Day, the online “News for Healthier Living” newsletter, notes in a November 2014 article that a study of more than 7,000 Americans found “the higher people scored on a ‘purpose in life’ scale, the more likely they were to get various [health] screening tests over the next six years.” People who found their lives to be purposeful tended to spend less time in hospitals and were more likely to spend time on preventative health care. Having purpose in life is vital to well-being, said Andrea Ellen, vice president of marketing and communications for Maplewood Senior Living, especially as people age. “As people coexist and go through life, people feel good about having a sense of purpose,” she said, and at Maplewood at Newtown there is a thriving example of the positive effects of having a reason to rise and shine each morning, she said.
“What does it mean to have a collection?” Writer Renata Adler considered that question one recent morning, passing her fingers down the long braid that drapes over her right shoulder, much the same as in the 1978 Richard Avedon photo of her that graces the cover of her latest book. “I guess I haven’t really thought about that,” she answered. It is a question worth asking, though, as "After The Tall Timber: Collected Nonfiction" by Ms Adler was released April 7.