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The Top Of The Mountain



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We had a lovely call this week from Carolyn Gies, who was so happy to have read about the late Paul Cullens in our most recent “ABCs of Newtown” offering. Carolyn noted that she and her late husband, Jim, met through Rev Cullens, who was the subject of Shannon Hicks’s story in the March 19, 2021, issue of The Newtown Bee. Cullens performed the wedding ceremony for the Gieses, Carolyn also pointed out. There were decades of overlapping events between the couple and the former pastor, who was, Carolyn said, “a wonderful, wonderful person.”

Charles Rafferty will formally celebrate the release of his 16th published title this weekend. His new book is a collection of flash fiction. Rafferty’s publisher, Gold Wake Press, is planning a free virtual event for Saturday, April 17, at 5 pm, with Rafferty and three additional authors — Matt Mauch, Andres Rojas, and Bess Winter. The four will offer readings during the 60-minute Zoom event. To learn more, visit Gold Wake Press’s Facebook page and look under Events.

Who’s a Good Egg? It turns out it’s The Newtown Bee — at least according to John and Vicki Boccuzzi, who dropped off the nicest of notes to us last week, and our very own Good Egg Award! “We passionately believe that the very backbone of democracy is the free local press,” they wrote, adding, “We feel lucky to live in a town that supports a local newspaper...” Is it wrong to award a Good Egg with another Good Egg? Because that’s what we think the Boccuzzis are, who dedicate a lot of their time to improving life for senior citizens in town!

Earth Day is Thursday, April 22. While there are no festivities planned again this year in town, The Lions Club is going to be plenty busy on April 24, and hopefully Newtown residents will be supporting all of their efforts. Beginning bright and early on that Saturday morning at 7 am, the Lions will be collecting nonperishable food, cleaning products, and personal hygiene items until 5:30 pm, at the Newtown Community Center, 8 Simpson Street. (The food drive runs daily through May 15 during Community Center hours.) These items will help FAITH Food Pantry support community members in need. Then you’ll find more Lions members on the front lawn of the Newtown Middle School, 11 Queen Street, from 9 am to 2 pm for the Lose the Litter event. If you want to clean up Newtown’s roads in honor of Earth Day, the Lions will provide garbage bags and gloves; and Treasure Hunt 2 is an opportunity for you to donate loose change, between 10 am and 2 pm, that will help the Lions update and install playground equipment at Treadwell and Dickinson parks that accommodates special needs children. (Kids who donate coins will get a gold-wrapped chocolate coin in return!)

Don’t panic if you missed the annual April 15 deadline for filing tax returns: both state and federal returns have been given leeway. Deadline for filing this year is May 17, 2021. Do I hear a few deep breaths being taken?

Martin West shares a photo he took of a beautiful bobcat on Meadowbrook Road, Tuesday morning. I love getting photos of the varied wildlife that exists in our town (editor@thebee.com, since cats don’t get their own e-mail here...) and hope you have been following the miniseries in this paper by reporter Alissa Silber, about coexisting with the wild creatures that call Newtown home.

Even if you missed the first presentation on race sponsored by the C.H. Booth Library, you can register for the April 21 program when Aqua Drakes and Katie Burton will offer — via Zoom — “Allyship in Focus.” Learn about ways racism manifests itself and how people may unwittingly contribute to it. Register at chboothlibrary.org for the 7-8 pm program.

So much art in town — I can’t decide where to pussyfoot to first. The Society of Creative Arts in Newtown show continues at the Municipal Center through the end of the month, with an exhibit of members’ works. If you stop by to admire (or buy!) those works, you’ll also find a wonderful display in the Municipal Center showcase by the Clay Date Potters. That collection is on view through the end of May, also during Municipal Center hours. Don’t forget to stop by the C.H. Booth Library to take in the oil and watercolor paintings by Ruth Newquist, either, during library hours, until April 23. If you want to be inspired or just admire the work of talented artists, these are great opportunities.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary; how does your garden grow? We all know that rhyme; but did you know the 2nd Governor’s Horse Guard wants to help your garden grow? Garden compost is available from the 2GHG this coming Saturday, April 17, and on Saturday, April 24, as well. Bring a shovel and a bag, pail, or tub to fill up with homegrown manure that is ready for spreading on your garden, anytime between 9 am and 1 pm, behind the dog park at 21 Old Farm Road — not at the 2GHG horse barn. No trucks or trailer loads, please. Rain dates are on Sunday. We are all so good at this now, but just a reminder that face masks must be worn, and social distancing practiced. The cost for this garden gold? A donation of $10 — or any amount — is appreciated.

We’re still waiting for a few more crafty Newtowners to send us photos of what they have created using the pages of The Newtown Bee. Three more lucky participants will get a lovely, handmade face mask, too. (The mask is made of a bee-design cotton material, naturally.) What will you make? Fold it, staple it, glue it, paint it... then send a photo of your finished product to eliza@thebee.com. Ready? Set, Go!

Speaking of verses we love, I’m really missing the Risk-A-Verse program sponsored in pre-pandemic years by the Cultural Arts Commission during each National Poetry Month in April. The month is not yet gone, though, so if you’re still trying to figure out how you can celebrate poetry, poets.org has some suggestions for Poem In Your Pocket Day on April 29: Select a poem and share it on social media with #PocketPoem; record a video of yourself reading a poem, then share it on social media; e-mail a poem to someone; schedule a video chat and read a poem to your loved ones; add a poem to your e-mail footer; or read a poem out loud from your porch, window, backyard, or outdoor space. Why wait until April 29, I say? Go for it!

No need to wait so long, either, for another riveting column “pawed” by me. Be sure next week to... Read me again.

The Newtown Bee has a Good Egg to call its own, thanks to the Boccuzzis.
This bobcat paused for a photo on Meadowbrook Road earlier in the week. —Martin West photo
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