True dyed-in-the-wool sports fans, even if they knew nothing about horses, were mesmerized last Saturday, watching the Belmont Stakes, the third jewel in Thoroughbred racing’s ultimate test — the Triple Crown. Awe-struck they watched as a well-muscled, three-year-old bay stallion with a misspelled name took a stab at sports history. Let’s admit it, we all live vicariously through our sports heroes, whether individual athletes, whole teams, or incredible horses like American Pharoah.
Newtown resident and Newtown Bee staffer Bridget Seaman’s family always owned horses. And as a child, she fondly remembers how all her relatives would gather around the television every year as horse racing’s Triple Crown — The Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes — played out in black and white. By the time she was 13, Ms Seaman’s older siblings decided it was time she witnessed the real thing, so they packed her up and drove the 90 minutes from Newtown to Elmont, N.Y., to see a Belmont Stakes in person. That was 1977, the year Seattle Slew took home Triple Crown honors, and Ms Seaman still has clear memories of that momentous event. Last weekend Ms Seaman was again at Belmont Park for what has become an annual trek.
Edward Albee’s "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf" takes the audience on a journey to the deep dark places in the soul that people don’t talk about in polite company. Ridgefield Theatre Barn's production of this classic American work fearlessly takes on this challenging, riveting piece provoking laughter, tears and anxiety.
After 25 years, Newtown United Methodist Church Pasta Project Founder Martha Millett has retired.The 25th anniversary of the pasta project was celebrated in March.The dinner events have been offered regularly on the first Saturday of the month, September through June, since 1989. Mrs Millett was a NUMC trustee when she told fellow trustees she would host a pasta dinner to raise funds to help cover costs the Church Hill Road house of worship was facing with the addition of Wesley Hall. The first dinner was held in March 1989, and it was expected to be a short-term fundraiser.A quarter of a century later, the First Saturday Pasta Dinner has become a staple in the calendars of many NUMC members, and even friends of the church. The dinner has become, Mrs Millet told The Newtown Bee in March, something where members of NUMC were sharing dinner space with countless others, including “those who do not identify with any religious group.”
In the weeks leading up to this Saturday’s nine-hour Relay for Life, community members and teams that will take the field at Newtown High School’s Blue & Gold Stadium have been busy raising funds and attention about this significant, community-wide celebration of cancer survivors, caregivers, and the many friends, neighbors and family members who have lost the fight. There were raffles, car washes, beer and wine tastings, flocks of pink flamingos, last weekend’s “Power of Purple” arts festival, and dozens of other lead-up activities all aimed at making this year’s Relay for Life a huge success. Now 11 years strong, the local American Cancer Society fund and awareness-raising, non-sporting / non-competitive event has already raised more than $2.5 million. The June 13 relay opens at 3 pm and ends at midnight.
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.