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The Top of the Mountain



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Laurie and Jim Borst rubbed the sleep out of their eyes and looked again last Friday morning. Sure enough, there was a black bear ambling across their Beechwood Drive yard. Laurie was able to snap a photo of the bear, which she guessed weighed about 150 pounds, before it disappeared into the woods. It was surprising, she said, how quickly the bear was moving. You might want to take a peek outside, if you live in that Sandy Hook neighborhood, before putting any small pets out to enjoy the morning or evening air.

It’s important to keep up on other news sources. So when I was pawing through The Washington Post earlier this week, I came across an article graphing dog vs cat ownership in the US and abroad. I’m pleased to see that cats outnumber dogs in households of the Northeast, and of the top ten cat owning states, Connecticut ranks fifth. According to this story, there is a ratio of 1.57 cats to dogs in our state. Purr-fect, I say.

Congratulations to the 16-Year-Old Prep Division of the Babe Ruth League and Coach Ed Brady for capturing the state championship last Saturday, July 26. The Newtown team played a mixed schedule of 16U and 18U games in its first year in existence, beat North Haven 4-2 for the championship, and finished with a record of 13-3.

Newtown Congregational Church will host a performance by the 16-member band The SilverTones, Friday, August 15. The performance will be in the church sanctuary, beginning at 7 pm. Members play everything from the ukulele and electric guitar to banjo, snare drum, and acoustic guitar, with plenty of vocals by residents of area towns. The group performs music by The Eagles, The Mamas and The Papas, Tony Orlando & Dawn, and The Beatles. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $5 for ages 13 and under, with a family max of $30. Tickets will not only get you in for the performance, but also include a reception after the show, featuring ice cream and toppings from Ferris Acres Creamery. Call Marie Sturdevant at 203-740-2733 for additional information, or visit Booth Library (25 Main Street) or the NCC office (14 West Street) to purchase tickets.

The “Nourishments” column on melons last week, in The Bee, stirred up some memories for Newtowner Dottie Evans. “Do you remember the song we used to sing at camp?” she asked. I take her word for it, that it is a “CATchy” tune.

“Plant a watermelon vine upon my grave

And let the juice (slurp, slurp) seep through.

Plant watermelon vine upon my grave

That’s all I ask of you.

Now the parson had a chicken

And it tasted mighty fine,

But there’s nothing I like better

Than a watermelon rind.

Plant a watermelon vine upon my grave

And let the juice (slurp, slurp) seep through.”

Dan Cruson got to combine his talent as a former teacher with his job as town historian on Monday, when he hosted a group of 28 students visiting from China. Dan took them on a tour from top to bottom of Main Street, with hardly a glitch in helping the visitors understand Newtown’s history; except, Dan says, the stop in front of Newtown Savings Bank. Explaining what a mutual savings bank is to a bunch of foreign teenagers was a real challenge. I feel confident, anyway, that those kids will leave Newtown with a solid grasp of our town’s past.

Local film producer Craig Rogers is considering a video on “How Not To Get Down From A Ladder,” starring himself. That will be followed by a documentary on the steak vs ice pack debate for a black eye. Hope you’re feeling better, Craig.

We caught Jim Shortt of Shortt’s Farm in Sandy Hook taking a break on Tuesday with sons James and Jesse, after a busy afternoon at The Farmers Market at Fairfield Hills. Looks like Jim found something very interesting in the book to point out to the boys.

Calling all golfers! Newtown resident Jay McDougall is chair of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz Dealer Championships, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz of Danbury, and benefiting Ability Beyond. Jay is a member of the Ability Beyond Board of Trustees, and has been involved with the organization for many years. The tournament takes place Monday, August 11, at Ridgewood Country Club in Danbury. (Two winners here go on to the Eastern Sectional Tournament in North Carolina, in October.) Registration and lunch is at 11 am, there is a 12:30 pm shotgun start, playoffs, and then cocktail hour, dinner, and awards. For information, call Samantha Cosentino at 203-826-3181 or e-mail her at Samantha.Cosentino@abilitybeyond.org.

This little blurb is from the C.H. Booth Library website, and I thought it worth passing on: “New Stories for Newtown Award for Words and Images invites you to submit your best art and writing work. The deadline has been extended to October 31, 2014. You can pick up registration forms at the C.H. Booth Library or download the form at http://bit.ly/SFtl36.” The contest is for any student currently residing in Newtown/Sandy Hook, who is 19 years of age or younger. Okay, artists — go for it!

An oldie but a goodie has been making the Internet rounds this week, as I’ve heard from three different sources: What’s the difference between a cat and a comma? One has claws at the end of its paws, and one is a pause at the end of the clause. (Well, you see why I had to pass it on.)

I certainly hope there won’t be a pause in your following of the words of my paws. Be sure next week to… Read me again.

James and Jesse Shortt ponder a book with dad, Jim, resting after an afternoon of work at the Farmers Market at Fairfield Hills.
This bear wandered through the Borst's Beechwood Drive yard last week.
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