November 19, 2017

Christ the King Hosts Annual Ecumenical, Community Thanksgiving Service, Tuesday

Happy-Thanksgiving-Cornucopia-3

The annual Community Service of Thanksgiving, sponsored by the churches of Lyme and Old Lyme, will take place at 7 p.m. on Nov. 21, at Christ the King Church.

All are welcome to attend this ecumenical service of prayer and song, which will feature music by the choirs of First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, and Christ the King Church. Clergy from the various faith communities will participate, as will lay members and community leaders.

A free-will offering will be taken up during the service to benefit the New London Homeless Hospitality Center, and donations of nonperishable foods will be collected for the Shoreline Food Pantry, to help our neighbors in need.

Everyone, regardless of religious affiliation, is welcome to attend the Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service.

For more information, visit www.christthekingchurch.net.
Share

Old Lyme Historical Society’s 2018 ‘Now and Then’ Calendar Makes Perfect Holiday Gift


The Old Lyme Historical Society (OLHS) will be celebrating the release of the new 2018 Now & Then Old Lyme Community Calendar at a free public reception Thursday, Nov. 9, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the OLHS building at 55 Lyme Street, Old Lyme.  The calendar, along with other publications, will be for sale at the event. All are welcome to attend: wine, beer and light refreshments will be served and a door prize will also be awarded.

There will be a weaving demonstration, exhibition and sale by the Connecticut Handweavers Guild.

This is the fifth year that the OLHS has published this popular calendar that incorporates a different set of photographs from the organization’s archives, again juxtaposing the historical images with contemporary ones of the same scene.  The images included in the calendar are a small sampling of the many interesting archived photographs of Old Lyme establishments,  landscapes, and scenes dating back to the beginning of the twentieth century.

Each calendar month is generously sponsored by a different community organization and includes the dates of their events throughout the year.  The intent is to highlight and assist in marketing activities occurring in Old Lyme in 2018 as well as remembering the past.

The Sponsors of the 2018 Now & Then Community Calendar are: the Town of Old Lyme, Speirs Plumbing, PGN Library, Lyme Art Association, Carousel Shop, Black Hall Grille, First Congregational Church, Bee & Thistle Inn, Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, Florence Griswold Museum, Cooley Gallery and the Old Lyme Historical Society.

The 2018 Now & Then Old Lyme Community Calendar was designed by James Meehan and edited by Alison Mitchell.  Michaelle Pearson was the copy-editor.

The mission of the OLHS is to “collect, preserve, and interpret the rich history” of Old Lyme.  To find out more about the OLHS and its interesting activities, explore their website at www.oldlymehistoricalsociety.org or stop by its office at 55 Lyme St..

Share

Interested in Work of Child & Family Auxiliary? New Volunteers Always Welcome

 
 New members are always welcome to join theChild & Family Agency’s Lyme/Old Lyme Auxiliary and help with their various fundraising events—from the Polar Express and the Cookie Walk during the Holidays, to the Annual Sale in the Spring, and the biennial Lyme/Old Lyme Garden Tour in June.  Give as much time as your schedule allows.
      
Child & Family Agency is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to the well-being and development of all children and their families, with emphasis on the unmet needs of children lacking physical, emotional, and intellectual care and nurturing. With offices in New London, Essex, and Groton, and programs dealing with children’s health care, child abuse, family violence, teen pregnancy, parent education, and child guidance, Child & Family Agency is the largest nonprofit children’s service provider in southeastern Connecticut.
Agency funding comes from a variety of state and private sources, with the Auxiliaries raising critical unrestricted funds. Volunteers and supporters are always welcome. For more information, visit www.childandfamilyagency.org.
Share

Friends of Lyme Library Host Sunday Movies: See ‘All Quiet on the Western Front,’ Nov. 19

The line-up for the remaining Sunday Movies to be hosted by the Friends of Lyme Library in November is as follows:

All Quiet on the Western Front
Nov. 19,
 at 2 p.m.
From 1930, based on possibly the most famous book about the First World War, which ended on Nov. 11, 1918. The film rights were bought by Universal Studios and the director, Lewis Milestone used thousands of German army veterans as extras to make the film as realistic as possible. It was considered a truthful account of the war by most critics. Nominated for four Oscars, it won for Best Movie and Best Director. A true classic. 2 hrs. 37 min.

After each movie there will be time to socialize and discuss the film. There is no charge for the event. Feel free to bring your own (non-alcoholic) refreshments.

Share

Vote for Old Lyme as TripAdvisor’s “Best New England Fall Foliage Getaway”!

Photo of Old Lyme from the Trip Advisor article on “Best New England Fall Foliage Getaways.”

We’re delighted to share the news with our readers that Ashlee Centrella of TripAdvisor has informed us that Old Lyme has been selected as one of their 16 Best New England Fall Foliage Getaways.  That’s good news in itself, but we also have the chance to vote for Old Lyme to be THE Best New England Fall Foliage Getaway!  This honor will be bestowed on the town in New England that offers, in Centrella’s words, “the best small-town charm vacations in New England,” combined with the best fall foliage.

You can read TripAdvisor’s article on the 16 candidates for the honor at this link and most importantly scroll to the bottom to vote (for Old Lyme, of course!) at the end of it.  You don’t have to give your email or register for anything so please, please help Old Lyme win this award.  We’re currently running second with 11 percent of the votes cast, significantly ahead of Essex, Mass. and Damariscotta, Maine, which both have precisely 0 percent of the votes, but way behind Millinocket, Maine, which has a whopping 63 percent of the vote.

So, dear readers, get your fingers to work, and let’s vote like crazy so Old Lyme not only overtakes Millinocket, Maine, but also goes on to win this contest!  We know the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce will be supporting this effort as it would obviously be extremely beneficial to all our tourist- and hospitality-based businesses to win this competition.  We thank the Florence Griswold Museum sincerely for already having highlighted the contest and voting option in their communications.  We are sure the Town of Old Lyme and other civic and community institutions in town will be putting out the word too. Let’s see if we can get some poster up around town publicizing the news.

And if YOU represent an organization that can share this news and the voting option with your members and supporters, then please go ahead and share, share, share via e-mail, social media, and even good old snail mail!

Thank you and VOTE OLD LYME!

Share

Old Lyme Country Club WGA Holds End of Season Awards Luncheon

The OLCC WGA winners gather for a photo, from left to right, Esther Boyle, Eleanor Perkins, Karen Danielson, Carol Gordon, Helene Nichols, Carolyn Daddona, Sharon Craig (with boot), Kacey Constable, Katie Bollo and Elizabeth Conlon

The Old Lyme Country Club Women’s Golf Association (OLCC WGA) held its end of season Awards Luncheon Thursday, Oct. 5.  Hospitality Chairwomen Jacquie DeMartino and Mardee Moore organized a lovely buffet meal.  Vickie Winterer and Eleanor Perkins, the Awards Chairwomen, provided an elegant selection of glassware awards. 

And the winners were:

18 Hole Champion: Helene Nichols

18 Hole Champion Runner-Up: Carolyn Daddona

9 Hole Champion: Maggie Johnston

9 Hole Champion Runner-Uo: Sharon Craig

Senior Club Champion: Helene Nichols

Senior Club Champion Runner-Up:   Carol Gordon

Individual Handicap Champion: Elizabeth Conlon

Individual Handicap Runner-Up: Katie Bollo

36 & Over Champion: Esther Boyle

36 & Over Champion Runner-Up: Eleanor Perkins

Member-Member Champion (2): Kacey Constable & Carol Gordon

Member-Member Runner-Up (2): Karen Danielson & Helene Nichols

Most Improved: Elizabeth Conlon

Most Chip-Ins: Carolyn Daddona

Low Putts: Karen Danielson

Class A Ringers: Lori Polito

Class B Ringers: Carolyn Daddona

Class C Ringers: Ann Jose

Share

See ‘Faerieville USA’ at Flo Gris Museum Through Oct. 29

Children delight in the fun and whimsical creations while adults marvel at the creatively conceived and handcrafted works of art.

The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn., presents Faerieville USA: In and Around a Wee Faerie Town on the grounds of museum’s campus through Oct. 29. It was announced on Friday that although the Museum and grounds will be open tomorrow, Columbus Day, the special events scheduled for the day –  the Quirky and Creative Artisan Faire and parade led by the Chester Fife and Drum – have now been moved to Sunday, Oct. 22, due to the inclement weather forecast for Monday.

Visitors follow their map of Faerieville to 31 hand-crafted faerie scenes. Visitors will stroll along Wee Faerie Boulevard and marvel at the quintessential small-town features such as the wee faerie bakery, library, and flower shop. There’s everything faeries need to live, work, and play. This annual event has come to signify an enriching, not-to-be-missed outing for visitors of all ages.

This year’s Wee Faerie Village is the ninth of the Museum’s annual outdoor creative installations. Challenged to create their scenes using natural materials, most artists work for at least six months on their creations.

Erica Mann, a preschool teacher who resides in Pomfret, Conn.is fashioning the Faerieville Elementary School and Athletic Park for this year’s Wee Faerie Village. She says she’s enjoying thinking back to her favorite memories on a playground and them imagining how those old favorites could be constructed from natural materials like sticks, bark and moss.

A first-time contributor to the Village, Mann states, “I want to create a space that the littlest of faerie folk would love. Being a teacher myself, it is so perfect that I am creating the Faerieville Elementary School. I am designing a magical little place that I would want to teach if only I could shrink down and become one of those wee faeries!”

Wee faeries always welcome!

Artists are selected from across Connecticut and a few from outside the state. This year, students from Deep River Elementary School, Haddam-Killingworth High School, and the Interdistrict School for Arts and Communication (New London) returned to participate in the event. New to the artists’ roster this year are students from Pleasant Valley School in South Windsor, who are contributing the Faerieville Art Museum.

A special feature of Faerieville is Sand-topia, a small city made entirely of sand. Sand sculptor Greg Grady transforms a seven-ton pile of very dense, flat-grained sand into an intricate marvel-worthy mini metropolis.

Special Events

As part of its Wee Faerie Village exhibition, adults and families with children can enjoy a month of faerie-themed activities. Events include, parties, performances, book discussions, and craft activities. Many events are included in Museum admission. Visit www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org for a complete list.

Sundays, October 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29

Every Sunday in October from 11am to 5pm visitors can drop in for Americana-inspired hands-on projects. A different project each week. Program is included in Museum admission.

Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 9
These events have now been postponed to Sunday Oct. 22, due to the inclement weather forecast for Monday, Oct. 9

The Museum will open on Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 9, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Faerie dance lessons begin at 11:30 a.m. At noon, Chester Fife & Drum Corps will lead visitors in a parade through Faerieville. Wings, crowns, tiaras, and Americana attire are encouraged. Hands-on crafts from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., shop for artful objects created by local artisans and crafters inspired by the faerie realm. This quirky and creative artisan fair is a special one-day, pop-up event at the Museum. Program is included in Museum admission.

Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 5:30 p.m.

Join artist Maureen McCabe and gallery owner Jeff Cooley at the Cooley Gallery, 25 Lyme Street, Old Lyme for an intimate artful conversation about the work in The Fantastical Art of Maureen McCabe and Ersnt Von Maydell, a gallery show inspired by the fantastical artwork of Baron Ernst von Maydell (German, b. 1884). Cooley is a longtime collector of the fairy-filled images and McCabe created a new body of work inspired by the Baron’s whimsical paintings. A light reception concludes the event. The Fantastical Art of Maureen McCabe and Ersnt Von Maydell is on view at the Cooley Gallery October 7 through November 12, 2017.

Saturday, Oct. 14

From 11am to 4pm visitors can enjoy Faerieville’s Farm Day and Pumpkin Patch Party. Wonder through the pop-up barnyard and impromptu pumpkin patch. Meet Gemini the calf, Poppy the goat, Shasta the donkey, and hens Idina and Girdy before choosing and decorating the perfect pumpkin. Animals are visiting from Wounded Eagle Farm in Canterbury. Pumpkins, gourds, and other fall produce for sale by the Davis Farm of Norwich. Apples for sale from Haywood Farm in New Hartford.

Saturday, Oct. 21
From 11am to 4pm Leslie Evans, Director of the Avery-Copp House Museum, offers a drop-in presentation on the historic use of herbs in attracting or distracting faeries, protection from witches, or controlling others emotions (ie. love potions). Participants discover the “magical” property of these herbs before creating their faerie amulet sachet. Herb-infused snacks and beverages will be available for tasting. Program is included in Museum admission.

Saturday, Oct. 28

Visitors will have Halloween fun from 11am to 4pm with treats and hands-on crafts. Visitors are encouraged to dress up as faeries from around Faerieville (a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker) to march in the Cavalcade of Costumes Parade. Parade begins at 12noon. Craft-bag prizes for all participants. Program is included in Museum admission.

The Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm with extended hours on Sunday from 11am to 5pm. The Museum will open on Columbus Day, Monday, October 9 from 10am to 5pm. Admission during the exhibition is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors, $13 for students, $5 for members. Children 12 and under are free thanks to the support of an anonymous donor. Admission includes the outdoor walking tour of the faerie village as well as the Florence Griswold House, Chadwick Studio, Rafal Landscape Center and the Krieble Gallery with three special exhibitions.

Share

Lyme Land Trust Executive Director George Moore to Retire, Search for Replacement Underway

George Moore, Lyme Land Trust Executive Director, has announced his retirement.

George Moore, the Land Trust’s Executive Director for the last five years, has announced that he will be retiring when his replacement can be brought on board.

Land Trust President John Pritchard made the announcement and said, “The Land Trust is deeply grateful for George’s service and dedication over the last 14 years. He was elected to the Land Trust Board as a volunteer director in 2003. In 2007, he was elected Board President, and in 2013 the Board appointed him as its first Executive Director. Through his vision and effective management, George has helped transform the Land Trust into one of the most active and successful in the State.

Prichard noted that among his many accomplishments – in addition to the day-to-day management of the Land Trust — are building the Land Trust’s membership to the point that it represents half the households in Town; the acquisition of numerous preserves on his watch, including Chestnut Hill, Walbridge Woodlands, Banningwood and most recently, Brockway- Hawthorne; assisting with securing the coveted national accreditation from the Land Trust Alliance; initiating the President’s Circle composed of the Land Trust’s most generous supporters; arranging for the production of the PBS film on the Land Trust and conservation in Lyme, as well as its sequel, The Rest of the Story (both of which can be viewed here); and organizing and managing the Land Trust’s highly successful annual fundraiser, a regionally recognized, fun and scenic biking event for all ages and abilities: the Tour de Lyme.

The Land Trust has commenced a search for a new Executive Director. Potential applicants for the position can find the job description and application process at the following link: http://www.lymelandtrust.org/employment-opportunities/

Share

Lyme-Old Lyme Troop 26 Boy Scouts Conquer ‘Swamp Base’ in Louisiana

These intrepid Lyme-Old Lyme Troop 26 Boy Scouts and Scot Leaders attended ‘Swamp Base’ in July of this year. From left to right, (front row) Brooke Smith, Swampbase guide; Mike Miller, Theodore Wayland, Dennys Andrades, Maxwell Bauchmann, and Peter Bauchmann; (back row)  Mark Wayland, John Miller, Evan St. Louis, and Mary Powell-St.Louis.

Editor’s Note: This personal account of the Swamp Base 2017 experience was submitted by Life Scouts Evan St. Louis and Theodore Wayland.

The steady lapping of our oars was only interrupted as we had to lean back in our canoe seats to avoid low branches, while we were keenly observed by the alligators swimming by …

On July 7, Lyme-Old Lyme Boy Scout Troop 26 became the first ever Connecticut troop to attend the Boy Scouts of America High Adventure called Swamp Base. This program is based at the Atchafalaya Swamps in southern Louisiana. On the day of our arrival, our crew of five scouts and four adult leaders visited the nearby town of Lafayette, to sample local cuisine and to become acclimated to the local temperature and humidity. 

The next day, our first full day in the area, we traveled to a historical region called Vermilionville and learned about the Acadian culture of southern Louisiana. We met our guide for the trip, Brooke, a sophomore at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL.) That night we thoroughly checked all our equipment and provisions then fell fast asleep in the ULL dorms.

Cypress groves stand tall in the Henderson Swamp.

Our swamp venture began very early that next morning as we drove to a spot at the start of a canal and launched our canoes. The canal went on for 4.4 miles. At the end of the canal, it seemed as though there was a wall of trees, and that section of paddling was aptly called “The Wall” by our guide. That area was perhaps the most challenging section of the whole trip. There were trees and shrubs very close together, and you had to stay in the middle of the waterway to avoid wasp nests.

Thankfully, we made it through this section unscathed and there were no wasps anywhere else on the trip.

After the narrows opened up into the Henderson Swamp, there was much more room to maneuver. The first day we traveled 19.3 miles to houseboats where we would be sleeping. The Henderson swamp had areas where the Cypress trees were logged over 100 years ago, and any trees that are left were considered the runts back then.

Our houseboat captain gave a fascinating overview on the alligators of the Bayous, and their role in the environment. At this point, we had seen enough alligator behavior to realize that they are more scared of us then we were of them, and would try to avoid us.

The next morning, we had an exciting airboat tour of the outlying areas of Henderson Swamp where cypress trees grew in groves. It truly is amazing that the Cypress trees can grow in over six feet of water. After all of the beautiful sights on the airboat tour, it would be back to traveling under our own power.

This day we would cover 10.3 miles; however, after paddling only about a mile from the houseboats, we had to portage our canoes over a levee. This portage was 900 feet long and over the 25-foot-tall levee, but with the extra weight of gear and canoes, it felt much longer. The late morning heat was near its peak adding to the challenge of this portage. After that, the paddle was nice and slow with a wide-open waterway, with plenty of shade from the heat.

That night, we slept on Rougarou Island in hammocks covered with mosquito-netting. The Rougarou was a creature similar to a werewolf in the legends of the Laurentian French communities – fortunately there were no modern versions present during our trip! We also had a blowgun contest with very basic materials – this was fun, but may not have provided us too much security if a Rougarou showed up.

Our next day of paddling was 14.4 miles and not too difficult, but the wildlife was probably the most diverse that we saw throughout our trip. We saw a wide variety of birds and plants in different areas, and quite a few alligators, the most on any day of our journey. Midday of this paddle, it began pouring with rain, and there was an interesting sight of the giant raindrops bouncing on the water as they hit it, but multiplied millions of times. This was the point we were really glad to have dry bags, so none of our gear got wet.

After the rain stopped, we still had to cross two lakes, which were strenuous, but we knew how close Island Outpost was, our final stop. Once we arrived, the Boy Scout crew that had arrived the previous day helped us get our canoes onto the dock. On Island Outpost, there were showers, and clean water was readily available. We would be sleeping in cabins for two nights, on bunks in rustic cabins, after enjoying our jambalaya dinner prepared for us. 

Catfish for dinner!

The next day at Island Outpost we had no paddling and enjoyed other relaxing activities including swimming, boating, and paddle boarding. There were fishing trips by boat, and setting out catfish jug lines. After later checking the jug lines to harvest our catch, we enjoyed a catfish fry that would be a side to gumbo for dinner with plentiful Cajun spice to notch up the heat.

The morning of the last day, we woke up before 5 a.m. to be able to see the sunrise at 6:13 a.m. on Sandy Cove from a great vantage point. We were in the water at about 5:30 a.m. and started immediately. We made it to the outlook point just in time, because within a minute of us arriving, the top of the sun had started to peek above the horizon. It was definitely worth waking up for, to see the sun climb up into the sky rapidly.

A beautiful early morning view of the bayou.

After eating breakfast on the water, we continued paddling, trying to get to the next scheduled portage early before it got too hot. We went in between ancient Cypress trees on the edge of Lake Fausse  Pointe. There were a few alligators there that were very close to us. It was fabulous here too in terms of both the view and the overall cleanliness of the area.

The second portage was easier than the first, except for the very end. The end of the second portage, behind the levee, was referred to as the “Swamp Stomp” – an area several hundred-feet long where there was thick mud and certain areas of waist-high water that we had to wade through pulling our canoes. Once we were through the Swamp Stomp, we came out onto a chilly river.

This part of our trek was the easiest, because there was a current that carried us almost the whole way to the end of our journey. We had gone swimming off the canoes from time to time on previous days of the trip, but with this current it was not necessary to paddle as much, and at this time it was much more refreshing and enjoyable to be in the water.

The conquerers of Swamp Base High Adventure 2017 stand with paddles in hand at the end of their successful journey.

At the end of our paddling adventure, we had completed 61.6 miles of canoeing the swamps and lakes of this amazing area over five days. We had a sense of accomplishment at completion, and all of us agreed if offered the chance to conquer the Swamp again, we would be there! 

Y’all come back now, won’t ya?!

Share

“Ironing” Things Out: Old Lyme Teen Raises Awareness About Deadly Iron Overload Disease

Hemochromatosis activist Patricia Moriarty

Patricia Moriarty, resident of Old Lyme and rising senior at Phillips Exeter Academy, is having a Hemochromatosis Awareness Week in Old Lyme during the week commencing July 31. Patricia will be holding various events and handing out flyers throughout Old Lyme making people aware of this disease and spreading word on hope.

Hemochromatosis is an iron overload disease that kills many adults and is avoidable through regular phlebotomies. Family members of Patricia’s have suffered from this disease, which became her call to action. July is National Hemochromatosis awareness month and she wants to spread the word throughout Eastern Connecticut.

As part of her awareness campaign, Patricia will be a guest on the radio show Healthy Rounds on WTIC on July 29, with Dr. Anthony Alessi. Patricia lost her grandfather to this disease and is committed to spreading the word on this preventable but deadly disease. Other members of Patricia’s family sought out the simple genetic testing and also have this hereditary and potentially deadly disease. Fortunately, with simple DNA testing and routine blood work, one can avoid the long-term organ damage that results from not seeking periodic phlebotomies throughout the year.

In the fall of 2016, Patricia started The Phillips Exeter Hemochromatosis Awareness Club and has hosted awareness days at her school and at other community events.

Additional information about the club founded by Patricia can be found on her Hemochromatosis Awareness Facebook page, titled Exeter Hemochromatosis Awareness Club.

Share

Lyme Land Trust Celebrates 50 Glorious Years of Conserving Land


The Lyme Land Conservation Trust celebrated its 50th anniversary last Saturday with a barbecue picnic on the field next to the iconic Grassy Hill Church that the Land Trust saved several years from being turned into a housing development.


In keeping with the Land Trust’s tradition of focusing its energies on environmental preservation rather than social galas, the picnic was low-key and informal.


President John Pritchard’s remarks were brief, noting the Land Trust’s astounding success in helping to protect the rural character of Lyme, thanking the picnic volunteers, and reminding the picnickers that they are responsible for the Land Trust’s achievements.


He then turned the microphone back the Plywood Cowboy band, which provided lively music for the event.

And clearly a good time was had by all!

Share

State Budget Discussion at OL Church Draws Large Crowd With Wide Range of Concerns, Questions

Attendees at Monday night’s state budget discussion listen attentively to a speaker.  Photo by Jacob Ballachino.

About 60 community leaders and citizens, including members of the clergy from both New London and Middlesex Counties,  attended a “Conversation on the State Budget,” Monday evening at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL)

Only two state-elected representatives attended out of a total of the 55 senators and representatives invited. State Rep. Devin Carney, (R-23rd), whose district includes Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and the southern segment of Westbrook, and State Rep. Melissa Ziobron (R- 34th), whose district includes East Haddam, East Hampton and Colchester, attended.

Carney and Ziobron answered questions from the audience carefully and thoughtfully, shedding light on how the budget process is proceeding. They also listened attentively to concerns raised by many of those who attended.

Chief among those concerns was expressing the importance of maintaining appropriate and adequate state funding for programs that are critical to those most in need throughout the state. In light of pending federal cuts to health care programs, maintaining the State of Connecticut’s support of medical care for the low-income and elderly was a constant theme of the evening.

Many of those who attended made it clear that, if the priorities and commitment to support the neediest among us were clearly articulated, paying higher taxes would seem both an appropriate and honorable response. Cutting taxes was not considered a priority. Several speakers commented how it is a privilege to live in this area and, as a consequence, there should be an expectation to pay a fair share to compensate for those who shoulder unreasonable burdens in Connecticut’s cities.

There was a lively discussion about the state pension-funding crisis during which former State Senator Melodie Peters reminded the audience that state employees had paid into those funds over many years.  She expressed her firm opinion that it is critical now to honor the state’s commitments to those people.

There was almost universal consensus that the state is in a challenging place in terms of the budget and compromise on all sides in the legislature is imperative. Frequently, questions were raised about why the two parties seem so crippled by partisanship.

A wide-ranging discussion about increasing state revenues ensued. Questions were raised regarding the possibility of re-implementing tolls and taxing sugary drinks. Another audience member asked, “Could we add a small fee onto our car registrations to fund our state parks and their employees?”  A third speaker questioned whether the state could consider raising taxes on those in upper income brackets.

The subject of the questions then moved to business with one audience member asking, “Can we incentivize businesses to come to this state?” while another questioned, “Is it possible to raise the minimum wage so that people in the state have more ability to participate in our economy?”

The Rev. John Selders of Amistad Congregational Church in Hartford, Conn., who serves as coordinator of the Moral Monday, Conn., program, and Moral Monday Board Member Pamela Selders helped to lead the discussions, along with FCCOL Senior Associate Minister Carleen Gerber

Share

Old Lyme Historical Society Honors Special Member, Retiring Board Members; Presents Scholarship

The Grange Hall on Lyme Street is home to the Old Lyme Historical Society.

The Old Lyme Historical Society, Inc., (OLHSI) at its annual meeting on June 12, recognized the following people:  departing Board members:  Julia Griswold, Dolores Green, Sheila Wertheimer, Martha Hansen, Jennifer Hillhouse and Tim Griswold.

Martha Hansen was recognized for her many years of service to the Board as secretary and webmaster.

Jennifer Hillhouse and Tim Griswold, founding members of the Society, were honored for their 12 years of service to the Board, Griswold having served as Co-Chairman for five years during which time he spearheaded the campaign to purchase and fund the former Grange building on Lyme Street.

The Old Lyme Historical Society Annual Meeting was held on June 12, 2017 at 55 Lyme Street. The Society elected its 2017-2018 officers (shown from left): Mark Lander, Co-Chairman, Andi Williams, Secretary, Ned Farman, Co-Chairman and Ann Marie Jewett, Treasurer.

New Board members were welcomed: Sandy Downing, Andi Williams, Nick Westbrook, Matt LaConti, John Pote and Mark Terwilliger. Officers for the upcoming year were announced: Co-Chairmen: Ned Farman and Mark Lander, Secretary: Andi Williams and Treasurer: Ann Marie Jewett.

This years OLHSI Carol Noyes Winters Scholarship recipient was Lyme- Old Lyme High School senior Rose Datum. Shown with recipient Rose Datum are her parents Michael and Jennifer Datum, Rose’s sister Chloe and OLHSI Scholarship Committee member Kevin Cole.

The Carol Noyes Winters Scholarship was awarded to Lyme-Old Lyme High School Senior Rose Datum, who will attend UConn.

This years OLHSI James Brewster Noyes Award recipient was Architect Stephen Joncus. This award honors a Society member who goes “above and beyond” in time and effort to support the Society. Shown from left are Architect Stephen Joncus and board members Martha Hansen and Mark Lander.

The James Brewster Noyes (Chairmen’s) Award was given to Society member Steve Joncus is recognition of his efforts on behalf of the remodeling of the Society Building and his work with the Tuesday Morning Work Crew.

Share

Lyme Farmers Market Now Open for the Season Saturday Mornings

Fresh vegetables galore will be on sale again at Lyme Farmers Market on June 4.

Fresh vegetables galore will be on sale again at Lyme Farmers Market on June 3.

The Lyme Farmers Market will re-open for the 2017 season on Saturday, June 3, from 9 a.m. through 12:30 p.m. at Ashlawn Farm in Lyme. It is the only market in New London County to be held on a working farm and its mission is to promote sustainable agriculture with locally-grown and -produced food, crafts, and specialty products.

New_logoOnce again, vendors from the past 15 years will be present, along with several new ones. Market-goers will enjoy high quality organic produce, along with baked goods, seafood, meats, wine, and handcrafts.

AS well as music, there will be live music on opening day.

Mark and Alisa Mierzejewski of Burgis Brook Alpacas will serve as Market Masters, scheduling vendors and coordinating the market field with jewelry designer Melissa Punzalan. Alisa Mierzejewski is also producing the market’s website and weekly newsletter.

The market is a non-profit entity, able to accept contributions and apply for grants to promote sustainable agriculture.

Share

No Parade (Again) for Old Lyme but Indoor Ceremony Still Exudes Memorial Day Spirit

Despite the wet weather causing the cancellation of Old Lyme’s traditional Memorial Day parade for the second year in a row, more than 100 people still turned out for the Memorial Day ceremony held in Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School’s auditorium Monday morning.

From left to right, Commander Bill Appleby, American Legion Post 41’s Veteran of the Year Mervin Roberts and the Rev. Mark Robinson of Saint Ann’s in Old Lyme.

William Appleby (pictured above), Commander of American Legion Post 41, was Master of Ceremonies.  The ceremony began with the Invocation given by the Reverend Joseph C. Ashe, pastor of Christ The King Roman Catholic Church in Old Lyme, which was then followed by the arrival of colors into the auditorium.  All serving and former members of the armed forces, including the Lyme-Old Lyme veterans assembled on the stage, saluted the colors as they were marched down the stairs of the auditorium.

Under the leadership of Choral Director Kristine Pekar, Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s Select Singers followed with a stirring rendition of the national anthem.

The winners of the American Legion/VFW Essay Contest for fifth graders in Lyme and Old Lyme read their essays titled, “What Memorial Day Means to Me.” Appleby told the winners that although the rain had denied them the chance to be driven Lyme Street in an vintage Mustang in the Memorial Day parade, they would have a second opportunity during the Sound View Independence Day parade on Saturday, July  3.

Abby Hale, who attends Mile Creek School was awarded the bronze medal as Second Runner-up, while Jack Porter, who also attends Mile Creek, was the First Runner-up and received the silver medal from Commander Appleby.

Emma Baehr, a Lyme Consolidated School student, was the gold medal winner.  Her essay ended with the poignant reminder that all those who had given the ultimate sacrifice had done so in order that, “We may continue to enjoy our lives and enjoy our freedom that they fought so hard to keep.”  Each of these students received a medal, a proclamation from the American Legion, a monetary award and, “most significantly,” in Appleby’s words, will also have a flag flown in their honor over the US Capitol in Washington DC.

Performing again and displaying extraordinary talent, the Select Singers then sang “America The Beautiful.”

The Reverend Mark Robinson of Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church in Old Lyme gave the Benediction remembering those, “for whom the trumpets have sounded on the other side,” and urging that “Their sacrifices here help to establish the freedom for which they died.”

Mervin Roberts, Chaplain of the Fire Department, then gave the homily, which he explained is something defined as “a philosophical dissertation grounded on a Biblical or ethical subject.”

He commented that during the traditional parade and post-parade ceremony, “We celebrate our heroic military, mourn our departed, offer prayers, honor our ancestors, award prizes and enjoy a parade.”

He asked a little later in his homily, “So what did I neglect to mention?” and answered his own question with the words, “Plenty. Lives cut short, sometimes needlessly, heroes forgotten, relatives and friends gone.”  Roberts went on to explain the history of Memorial Day, which used to be called “Decoration Day” at that time when July 4 was known as “Declaration Day.” The former “got started around 1863 during the Civil War.’ and, “… began, get this, in the Confederate States to honor rebel soldiers who had died in battle.”

A smiling Mervin Roberts (left), Chaplain of Old Lyme’s Fire Department and American Legion Post 41’s Veteran of the Year 2016-17, stands with the Reverend Mark Robinson of Saint Ann’s.

Noting, “Freedom in principle is great but in practice it’s certainly elusive and it’s certainly not cheap,” Roberts added, “The dozen cemeteries of Old Lyme serve to remind all of us of the price that has been paid to keep us free.”

Roberts concluded, “There were some who gave their lives for causes no longer popular, for wars unnecessarily fought or poorly led. Wars were also fought for a concept now often swept under the carpet, the concept that freedom is worth fighting for, actually giving one’s life to preserve, and the corollary to that is that freedom without justice is not true freedom.”

Veteran of the Year Mervin Roberts is seated  second from left while everyone in the auditorium honors him with a standing ovation.

Commander Appleby then introduced the 2016-17 Veteran of the Year, which was none other than Mr. Roberts! Appleby quoted Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, who had said at the dinner when the award was made, “Can anyone think of Old Lyme and not think of Mervin Roberts?” Following Appleby’s words, Roberts was given a warm and extended standing ovation by the audience

Wrapping up the proceedings, the traditional three-shot-volley was fired outside — but within earshot — of the auditorium, ‘Taps’ (with an echo) was played, and then the flag-bearers solemnly filed out of the auditorium while salutes were made.

Share

The Lyme Tree Woman’s Exchange Awards Grants to Three Non-Profits

The three recipients of $1,000 grants from The Lyme Tree A Woman’s Exchange in Old Lyme,(from left to right) Kathy Allen of Thames River Community Service, Inc., Kathy Zall of the New London Homeless Hospitality Center, and Robert Wilkins of Dance With Wood, gather for a photo at last Tuesday’s ceremony.  All photos by Jacob Ballachino.

A short ceremony was held Tuesday at The Lyme Tree Woman’s Exchange of Old Lyme when grants of $1,000 each were presented to representatives of three local non-profit organizations.  The Woman’s Exchange, a non-profit gift shop featuring mostly hand crafted and artisan items made by consignors, as well as jewelry, baby and children’s clothing, antiques and collectables, donates all of its proceeds to other charities.

The three recipient organizations on Tuesday were the New London Homeless Hospitality Center, Thames River Community Service, Inc., and Dance With Wood.

Kathy Zall, Executive Director of the New London Homeless Hospitality Center (third from left) accepts a grant check as she stands with (from left to right) Hilde Reichenbach, Sandy Dowley, and Joan Culbertson, all of The Lyme Tree, A Woman’s Exchange..

The New London Homeless Hospitality Center provides basic necessities such as underwear, socks and toiletries as well as shelter to the homeless.

Kathy Allen of Thames River Community Service, Inc. (second from left) receives her check from The Lyme Tree A Woman’s Exchange.

Thames River Community Service, Inc., supports individuals and families, particularly single mothers, who are moving from shelters into more permanent quarters providing them with start-up packages of dishes, kitchen items, bedding, linens, and so forth.

Robert Wilkins accepts a grant on behalf of Dances with Wood, presented by (from left to right) Hilde Reichenbach, Sandy Dowley, and Joan Culbertson.

Dances with Wood provides wooden kits to seriously ill children in hospitals; the kits include all the parts, tools, and instructions to make boats, boxes, barns, trucks and cars with the aim to empower creativity within hospitalized children.

Share

Potapaug Presents ‘Bears in CT’ at Old Lyme Town Hall, June 1

Potapaug Audubon presents “Bears in Connecticut” on Thursday, June 1, at 7 p.m. at the Old Lyme Town Hall, 52 Lyme St, with guest speaker Paul Colburn, DEEP, Master Wildlife Conservationist.

This talk will focus on the natural history, habitat, diet, behavior, population and reproduction of bears, plus the current research efforts and practical recommendations for coexistence between the black bear and humans.

Black bear artifacts will be on display.

For more information, call 860-710-5811.

Share

Dedication Ceremony for New Boathouse Celebrates Old Lyme’s Decades-Long, Continuing Passion for Rowing

Surrounded by VIPs at the Dedication Ceremony for the Fred Emerson Boathouse, Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder cuts the ribbon to declare the boathouse officially open.  Photo by Tanya Patten.

More than 100 people gathered Saturday morning at Hains Park on the shores of Rogers Lake  to join a ceremony to dedicate the recently completed Fred Emerson Boathouse.  All joined by a love of rowing, they were there to celebrate the official opening of the boathouse, which is the new home for boats owned by Lyme-Old Lyme Schools and the Old Lyme Rowing Club/Blood Street Sculls.

Old Lyme Rowing Association/Blood Street Sculls President Greg Hack spoke to the assembled crowd expressing thanks to many individuals and organizations saying, “On behalf  of  the over 150 athletes who will row on Rogers Lake this year, I would like to express how thrilled we are that the new Boathouse is now complete.  We all feel a deep sense of gratitude to the people of the Town of Old Lyme, and to the State of Connecticut, for their support throughout this project.”

Construction of the boathouse was initially funded by a Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) grant for $478,000, which was awarded in July 2013, and then subsequently Old Lyme residents approved a request from their board of selectmen in October 2014 for an additional $405,000 to be taken from town funds.  The proposed renovations were intended to make the boathouse ADA accessible, and provide sufficient space to store all the boats owned by Lyme-Old Lyme High School, the Old Lyme Rowing Club/Blood Street Sculls and Old Saybrook High School.  There will also be space available to carry out equipment maintenance and repair.  Renovation of the basketball court and new bathrooms, which would be accessible to the public, were also included in the project.

Hack continued his words of gratitude thanking Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, “for her leadership and unwavering support during all phases of the project … [Old Lyme Selectman] Skip Sibley, a former collegiate rower who shared our dream of a new boathouse when it was first just a sketch on a cocktail napkin … and [Old Lyme Selectwoman] MJ Nosal for her enthusiasm and support.”

He also thanked Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser and Athletic Director Hildie Heck, “for their support, and for recognizing how important the sport of rowing has been for Lyme-Old Lyme High School.”

Turning to the members of the Boathouse Hains Park Improvement Committee (BHPIC), Hack commended, “their tireless work, and in particular [the efforts of] our co-chairs Paul Fuchs and Paul Gianquinto.  Paul F brought tremendous expertise on rowing matters to the project, and Paul G brought intimate knowledge of construction procedures that were oh so valuable, not to mention his incredible dedication and tenacity throughout the project.”

Hack also thanked Nina Peck, “our architect, for creating a wonderful plan for the new building that is both attractive and highly functional.”

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser commented, “We are grateful to the Town of Old Lyme for pursuing the STEAP grant that helped support the construction of the new boathouse. This structure will allow our rowing programs to continue to grow and allow us to build upon our past successes. The new boathouse will provide much needed support for our student rowers for many years to come.”

Old Lyme Selectman Skip Sibley addresses the crowd at the Fred Emerson Boathouse Dedication.  Photo by Tanya Patten.

Sibley gave a brief history of the man after whom the boathouse is named, Fred L. Emerson Jr. of Lyme. Sibley noted Emerson was an avid rower who founded and financed crew programs at more than 60 high schools, colleges and private clubs throughout the nation. In Connecticut alone, Sibley mentioned, Emerson is solely responsible for the creation of programs at the East Lyme High School, the Coast Guard Academy, Old Lyme High School, Connecticut College, Simsbury High School, and the Middletown High School.  Emerson also gave strong support to university crew programs at Wesleyan, Trinity and Yale , and school crew programs at Choate, the Thames River Sculls, South Kent, and Gunnery.

Emerson was born and raised in Upstate New York where his father founded a prosperous shoe company. He started his rowing career at the Culver Military Academy in Indiana, and later captained the rowing squad at the University of Wisconsin Class of ‘32.  Sibley noted that, while competing for the Badgers, Emerson became aware of the challenges of financing a rowing program when his own varsity career was impacted by budget restrictions. This lesson inspired Emerson later on in his life to support fledgling rowing programs generously.

Sibley submitted that Emerson was widely regarded a champion of the underdog, who sponsored women’s crew long before Title IX established the legal requirement for equity across the genders.

Sibley went on to share the origins of Rogers Lake rowing, drawing his information from a number of sources.  He commented that the catalyst for US Women’s Rowing was when the U.S. announced their plan for a women’s rowing team to compete in the 1976 Olympic Games scheduled to be held in Montreal.  At that time, women’s rowing was still in its infancy — the US announcement precipitated a quantum leap in the sport onto the national stage.

Sibley explained that in February 1971 Emerson connected with Connecticut College rowing coach C. Bart Gullong.  They organized the first meeting of women’s rowing coaches from across the country and this marked the inception of the New England Association of Women’s Rowing Colleges.

The following spring, in May 1972, the New England Association of Women’s Rowing Colleges (NEAWRC) held its first regatta on Rogers Lake in Old Lyme, thanks in great part to the generosity of Emerson, who designed the 1,000-meter course, donated boats to many of the participating schools, and provided almost all of the financial backing for the event. One eight from each institution was allowed to participate, with the Princeton crew emerging victorious.

In 1974, the name of the organization was changed to the Eastern Association of Women’s Rowing Colleges (EAWRC) and 19 teams took part in the first race known as the EAWRC Sprints on Lake Besek in Middlefield, Conn.  (The schools participating were Barnard, Boston University, Connecticut College, Dartmouth, Drexel, MIT, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Middletown High School, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Radcliffe, Rhode Island, Syracuse, Washington, Wellesley, Williams, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Yale.)

Because this was the first year in which five or more women’s teams from the Ivy League participated in a championship event, this 1974 regatta is generally seen as marking the beginning of championship competition for women in any sport, in any Division I conference. Radcliffe won that event and is thus considered the first Ivy League and EAWRC champion.

Sibley concluded, “Fred’s ‘can do’ philosophy of building programs and his passion to share the benefits of rowing amongst all skills will endure for ever. And this new boathouse bearing his name is certainly a testament to that.”

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) addresses rowing enthusiasts of all ages who attended Saturday’s Dedication Ceremony. Photo by Sheree Sibley.

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) and BHPIC Co-chair Paul Fuchs also spoke enthusiastically about the boathouse and its future impact on the local rowing programs.  Fuchs noted that Saturday, June 3, is National Learn To Row Day and for the fourth year, this event will be celebrated at Fred Emerson Boathouse by opening its doors to everyone to try rowing at no cost.

Before the speeches ended and the celebrations began, Hack summed up the joy and excitement of the occasion saying, “Over 50 years ago, Fred Emerson first coached young people out of the original boathouse on Blood Street.  Since then we have grown and achieved new levels of enthusiasm and success in what are truly community-based programs.  I am hopeful that Fred would be pleased with what we have built here together.”

He concluded, “I thank the people of Old Lyme and all who were involved in the project for their vision and for their understanding about how rowing helps to make the Town of Old Lyme such a unique and special place.  We pledge to be good stewards of this new facility for decades to come.”

Share

Lyme Girl Scout Troop #63632 Celebrates Installation of ‘Little Free Library’ for the Community

The Girl Scouts involved in the creation of the Little Free Library, all of whom attend Lyme School, gather for a group photo. From left to right, Hoshena Gemme, Emma Rose Arelt, Ella Keim, Ava Gilbert, Jen Datum, Chloe Datum and Christy Cooper.  Photos by Barbara Arelt unless otherwise stated.)

A dedication ceremony was held Sunday, April 23, for a Little Free Library that has been installed in the side courtyard of the Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) courtesy of local Girl Scout Troop #63632.  The new Library is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange.

The Girl Scout Troop, which is primarily comprised of girls currently in 4th grade at Lyme Consolidated Elementary School, earmarked annual cookie sale profits to design, build, install and maintain a Little Free Library at their host site, the LYSB on Lyme Street.

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. Through Little Free Libraries, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

If you take a book (or two) from a Little Free Library, you do not need to return that specific book. However, in order to keep the Little Free Library full of good choices for the whole neighborhood, the next time you swing by the Library, bring a few books to share.  Little Free Library book exchanges function on the honor system; everyone contributes to ensure there are always quality books inside.

Last fall the Girl Scouts and their troop leader, Jennifer Datum, voted to proceed with the Little Free Library project to demonstrate the Troop’s appreciation for their community and to build teamwork skills. The Library will be stocked initially with books from Troop members’ personal collections. The girls will also be responsible for its monthly maintenance.

Chris Arelt (right), owner of Nautilus Architects, who donated the design of the Library, stands with his wife Barbara and daughter Emma Rose in front of the newly-installed Library. Emma Rose is a member of Troop #63632.

Because LYSB is located in the village of Old Lyme, the Little Free Library design needed to be reviewed and approved by the town’s Historic District Commission.  Two Troop members, Chloe Datum and Ava Gilbert, presented the Commission with a classic design donated by Old Lyme architect Christopher Arelt of Nautilus Architects, father of Troop member Emma Rose Arelt.

Construction of the library included quality materials generously donated by Rings End in Niantic. The design was built and installed by Gary Lankerd, a master carpenter based in Waterford.  Additional details were implemented by Philip Schaller, owner of Signs & Digital Graphics in Deep River.

Many of the people involved in the project attended the dedication ceremony. From left to right, Gary Lankerd (Lankerd Custom Carpentry), Christopher Arelt (Nautilus Architects), Bonnie, LYSB Director Mary Seidner, Jen Datum (Girl Scout Troop leader) and John Forbis (Old Lyme Historic District Commission.) Photo by Mary Seidner.

The Troop’s dedication and reception ceremony was for everyone involved in this project, including leaders from the Old Lyme community and the Girl Scout Council. The Troop also expressed their thanks to Mary Seidner, Director of LYSB, who was instrumental in supporting both the Troop and this community service project.

Under the direction of Troop leaders, the Girl Scouts will be submitting the Little Free Library project for the Girl Scouts Bronze Award, which is the highest award a Junior can earn.  Working toward obtaining this award demonstrates their commitment to helping others, improving their community and the world, and becoming the best they can be.

For more information about Girl Scouts of Connecticut, visit www.gsofct.org

For more information about the Little Free Library program, visit LittleFreeLibrary.org

For more information about Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau, visit lysb.org.

Share

A Little Humor in Celebration of The Bard’s Birth- and Death-Day

Today is not only St. George’s Day (the equivalent for England of St. Patrick’s Day for Ireland) but also both William Shakespeare’s birth- and death-day. Well, to be honest, the latter is a definite while the former is one which, to quote from Wikipedia, “has proved appealing to biographers.”  It is known for sure that Shakespeare was baptized in Stratford-upon-Avon in England on April 26, 1564, and so the April 23 date has simply been deduced from that.

In honor of the great Bard, we are delighted to publish this delightful submission from our good friend and book reviewer Felix Kloman and his wife Ann of Lyme.  This is sure to put a smile on the faces of all our Shakespeare-ophiles!

Memories of Yorick

Late last fall, a scrawny young mouse named Yorick politely asked to spend the winter with us, providing entertainment and conversation in return for a modest meal each day. We greeted him with enthusiasm, and shared stories . But, of late he has seemed much fatter and far hungrier. We fed him more and, of course, warned him not to go into the pantry, where we had set a trap for some rapacious relatives. He didn’t follow our advice.

Alas, poor Yorick!

 

Share