September 27, 2022

Search Results for: Family club

New ‘Family Club of CT River Valley’ Formed in Response to National Mom’s Club’s Intransigence on Racism,

Members of the new Family Club of the Connecticut River Valley share a smile in this photo taken when they gathered on the beach with some of their children. From left to right are Maraia Ener; Charity Archbald; Danielle Kuczkowski; Rachel Kaplan; and Jolene Brant. All photos submitted.

LYME/OLD LYME/AREAWIDE — The regional Connecticut Chapter of the Moms’ Club has been around for some 12 years and during that time, has supported many women as both new and seasoned moms. Recently, however, it took the difficult decision to leave the national umbrella of Moms’ Club and break away to form the Family Club of the Connecticut River Valley (FCCRV.)

Stefanie Hill, FCCRV Administrative Vice President, explained to LymeLine that this was not a decision taken lightly, noting that there had always been times when it was easier to look the other way when it came to the national Moms Club’s messaging and policies. For example, she pointed out, “We were not allowed to meet more than once a month during evenings or weekends because we were supposed to be at home supporting our husbands.”

Hill added, “We also assumed it was just old wording, which stated that the club was only “for at-home moms,” because our own club welcomed working moms.”

Club members could live with those things, she said, but then came the summer of 2020 when a major racial reckoning surfaced in the US. Understandably, Moms Clubs all across the country started discussing their response to this situation since, Hill said, “As moms, this affects us because we are actively raising children — the next generation in our society.”

One Club Chapter in California decided to make a simple statement and promise, “We stand with all moms and pledge that racial discrimination will stop with our kids.”

The national Moms Club, however, decided not to permit use of that statement and determined, to quote Hill, that, “Somehow standing for basic human rights is “political activity.”

The national Club took things even further, saying in a nutshell that if individual Clubs did not agree with the national position, then they should leave.

And so, over 200 chapters (including the regional Connecticut chapter) and thousands of members did leave due to the national Club’s stance that race itself is political and discussions about racism should not be entertained.

The local Old Lyme-Old Saybrook Moms Club took a vote among their own members and decided unanimously to leave the national club because, in Hill’s words, “We felt strongly that we needed to hold the organization, which we were a part of, accountable. Silencing conversations about race in our homes is harmful because silence is exactly how racism has continued to be so pervasive in our country.”

She added, “While we may think we are teaching “color blindness,” we are instead ignoring the realities of both personal and systemic racism that continue to harm people of color.”

Hill continued, “As parents we have the power to change the narrative for our children – that all skin colors, religions, genders, sexual orientations, abilities, and identities are valued. We are a part of a collective society and injustice towards those other than ourselves should not be ignored.”

The new Family Club of the Connecticut Valley organizes a variety of activities during the year. Here children of members are seen exploring the riverside during one of the events.

After the decision had been taken to leave the national Club, board members from the local club took up the call to action to form a more inclusive group.

In many ways the FCCRV is similar to the previous structure, which supported moms through making connections, but now it welcomes in addition dads and anyone serving in a parent role.

The mission statement of the FCCRV is, “… to create and promote a supportive network of families in the Connecticut River Valley, emphasizing inclusivity, diversity, kindness, and community engagement, to strengthen our parenting experiences and enrich the lives of our children.”

Hill emphasized the FCCRV is not a social justice club but they will not quash conversations about race as an essential parenting issue,” but instead encourage them.

She added, “While change is never easy, adapting is necessary … Family Club is choosing not to live in the past but instead to hope for a better future for all children. There is still a movement for social justice happening in our country that can’t be ignored. And parents in our communities still need support.”

Jolene Brant of Old Lyme, president of the newly-formed club, summed up her own feelings on creating the organization, saying, “I feel like now that we have created the Family Club, friends are joining and our membership is growing.”

The FCCRV now has some 30 members and welcomes new ones from Old Lyme, Lyme, East Lyme, Waterford, Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Chester, Deep River, and Essex. Many parents in the club are new parents or have elementary aged children, but parents with children of all ages are welcome.

Events hosted by members are held during the day, on weekdays or weekends to suit the varying schedules of members but monthly “social” meetings generally take place after school or on weekends to try and accommodate the most families. Evening ‘happenings’ for adults only are typically organized once a month and range from trivia nights to dessert and drinks.

One of the Club’s service activities was preparing flowers for the residents of Essex Meadows.

The Club plans two to four service projects a year to participate in the local community. One of these was preparing flowers in vases to take to the residents of Essex Meadows along with examples of artwork created by members’ children.

During the month of May, the FCCRV hosted a highly successful Diaper Drive to benefit the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries. The Drive not only raised funds bit also collected over 2,000 diapers for families in need.

Looking to the future, Brant concluded on a positive note, saying, “We are making an impact in the community with our outreach efforts, we are here to make our community stronger, and we are providing families with as much support as possible. I feel like we are making a difference, and I feel a sense of accomplishment.”

Editor’s Note: Visit this link for more information about the Family Club of the Connecticut River Valley, including details of how to join.

Letter to the Editor: Democratic Candidates, Who Are Members of MOMS Club, Deeply Trouble This Voter

To the Editor:

I was all set to vote this Tuesday for the Democratic Party slate of candidates in Old Lyme, but now do not intend to vote at all. A number of the candidates belong to the national  MOMS Club, which is deeply troubling. This is an organization which promotes conservative values and encourages its members to look to say, 1957, as the ideal for the role of women and men in the American family. This, along with their embrace of religion, makes me runaway as fast as possible. Who among the leadership of the town Democratic Party approved this direction?


Jonathan B. Wilder,
Old Lyme.

Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival Offers Full Day of Art, Music, Food, & Family Fun; Fireworks Tonight

Friday night’s concert at the Florence Griswold Museum attracted the usual large crowd.

The 32nd annual Old Lyme Midsummer Festival returns this year on Friday evening, July 27, and Saturday, July 28, with new offerings and returning favorites for its attendees. The Festival is produced by the newly-formed Old Lyme Arts District. All events and activities are free unless otherwise noted.

Saturday Morning 5K

There is always a large crowd thronging the starting line prior to the 8am start of the traditional 5K Run, which this year benefits the Timothy P. Buckley Memorial Fund.

Saturday’s festivities begin with a morning 5K Run/Walk and Kid K. produced by the Lymes’ Youth Services Bureau (LYSB) and benefiting the Timothy P. Buckley Memorial Fund, the 5K Run & Walk begins at 8am at 59 Lyme Street and brings participants through the historic Old Lyme village. The Kid K takes place on the high school track at 9am. Registration fees for the 5K (run and walk) are $30 for adults, $15 for youth (18 and under). Registration for the “Kids K” fun run is $10. Chip timing will be provided by Timing Plus New England for 5K runners only. Commemorative T-Shirts will be available for the first 200 registered participants. Registration is online at or onsite beginning at 6:45am behind LYSB. The 5K’s lead sponsor is Simpson Healthcare Executives.

Classic Car Show

The Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Club will host their Classic Car Show on the lawn of the Bee & Thistle Inn from 9am to 2pm on Saturday.

At 9am, the annual Classic Car Show begins on the lawn of the Bee & Thistle Inn. Produced by the Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Club, the show supports scholarships and the good works of the Lions. Car Show attendees pay $5 at the gate and submit their ballots for show favorites among the antique, classic and exotic vehicles. To register a participating automobile for $10, go

Dog Show

The annual Parading Paws Dog Show will be held on the back lawn of the Florence Griswold Museum and will judge participating canines on a number of qualities including best costume, best trick and best smile. Presented by Vista Life Innovations, dog registration will be held from 10am-10:30am, and judging will begin at 10:45am.

Art Sales

The Fence Show Artists display and sell their work at the Old Lyme Inn.

Art is for sale at four locations during the festival. The annual Fence Show Artist Sale begins at 9am on the front lawn of the Old Lyme Inn. Paintings, photography, and more by local artists will be hung Parisian style on a winding fence for customers to peruse and talk to artists on site. Students, alumni, and faculty of the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts will present their works for sale as well as demonstrate art techniques beginning at 9am. Paintings of all sizes and price points can also be found at the Lyme Art Association beginning at 10am. Phoebe’s BookCellar will sell vintage posters, framed art and map prints at the Library beginning at 9am. All four art sales conclude at 4pm; however, on Sunday the art sale continues at the Lyme Art Association from 10am-5pm. For a list of participating artists, go to

Festival Partner Vendor and Information Stands

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a table at the Midsummer Festival in front of the Lyme Art Association (LAA). Information about the Chamber and also Chamber member businesses will be available and Chamber members will be on hand to answer your questions.  There will also be a gigantic draw taking place for wonderful prizes including:

  • Two tickets to ‘A Chorus Line‘ at the Ivoryton Playhouse
  • Four free admission tickets to the Wadsworth Atheneum
  • $400 gift certificate for advertising on &
  • Old Lyme wall plaque from The Carousel Shop
  • Gift certificate for Old Lyme Wellness
  • Tote bag from the Florence Griswold Museum with admission tickets to the Museum and more
  • Gift certificate for Salt Marsh Tours

More prizes are being added daily so come on down and make a donation to the Chamber’s Scholarship Fund that supports seniors graduating from Lyme-Old Lyme High School. You will then be allowed one free entry to the draw.

Three organizations from Lyme-Old Lyme Schools will be located outside the LAA.

  • The Lyme-Old Lyme High School Softball Team will be holding a hug Bake Sale to raise funds for supplies for the team.
  • Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s Mock Trial Team will be dispensing “Legal Advice” in return for a donation to their team expenses.
  • Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School’s Mentoring Program will be hosting a table full of information about the program and with plenty of volunteers on hand to explain the program in person and hopefully to sign up people willing to be involved in this valuable program.

Artisanal Merchants

There’s always a vast array of flowers, fruit and vegetables at the Bohemian Street Fair on Saturday at the Florence Griswold Museum.

Bohemian Street Fair will be held on the front lawn of the Florence Griswold Museum Saturday from 9am-3pm. Over 40 vendors will be on hand with a selection of artisanal home goods, specialty food items, jewelry, and more. The street fair is named for the bohemian spirit of the artists who once stayed in Miss Florence Griswold’s boardinghouse at the turn of the 20th century. A list of vendors can be found at

Other outdoor shopping includes a variety of merchant tents on the lawn of the Lyme Art Association, and the annual “Midsummer Book Sale” at the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library where “gently loved” paperbacks and more will be available from 9am-3pm. The Library is located at 2 Library Lane.

Patricia Spratt for the Home opens its workshop at 60 Lyme Street for its annual Midsummer Warehouse Sale Thursday, July 26 through Saturday, July 28 from 9am-4pm. The annual three-day sale offers up to 80 percent off Spratt’s high-end table linens, pillows, and more.

Musical Performances

In addition to the Friday night concert, a full afternoon of live music will take place Saturday afternoon at LYMESTOCK 2018 on the Lieutenant River Stage at the Florence Griswold Museum. Produced by MusicNow Foundation, the concert begins at 12 noon and will feature select award-winning musicians from the New England Music Awards and the New England Radar Awards. Also featured will be emerging Connecticut young artists (under 25 years old) performing singer/songwriter, jazz, blues, folk, classical guitar, and indie rock.

A full lineup of performers can be found at The concert is suitable for all ages, and attendees may choose to bring a blanket or chair to sit and enjoy the music. The concert is made possible through a grant with the Connecticut Office of the Arts and sponsors Reynolds Marine and Black Hall Outfitters.

Other musical performances include the funk music of festival favorite Mass-Conn-Fusion, beginning at 11am under the food tent at the Old Lyme Inn.

At Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds, festival attendees will enjoy a dynamic modern dance performance by GUSTO Dance, IMMIX Dance Project and Mystic Moves Dance Theatre at 2 p.m., followed by the engaging vocals of local acoustic duo Jekyll & Hyde from 4 to 5 p.m.

Hands-on Participation

Participatory art will take place at three locations during the Saturday Festival. The Lyme Academy College will have Open Figure Drawing available on the Academy front lawn from 12 to 3pm.Easels will be set up in front of a live model and attendees are encouraged to step up to any available easel and sketch the model.

A Community Sculpture invites participation at the driveway entrance to Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds.

A community sculpture will be on display at the entrance of Studio 80, and participates can use available markers to draw on the sculpture.

The Hands-On/Minds-On Station will once again be at the Florence Griswold Museum’s Hartman Education Center. With over a dozen participating nonprofit organizations, including Arts District partners Old Lyme Historical Society, OL-PGN Library, and the Lymes’ Youth Services Bureau, children are sure to find a creative or thought-provoking activity to enjoy.

The Hands-On_Minds-On Station at the FloGris has something for everyone regardless of age or ability!

The OL-PGN Young Adults Librarian will also have on the lawn of the Museum a screen-printing activity for all ages. Bring your own t-shirt or purchase one for $5 and try your hand at screen printing.


As a celebration of Old Lyme’s artistic heritage, attendees are encouraged to visit art exhibitions during the Festival. Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds presents its Summer Sculpture Showcase 2018: An Exhibit of Unique Landscape Sculptures on its outdoor sculpture grounds. The Lyme Art Association features American Waters: A Marine Show and Hudson Valley Art Association. The Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, in addition to its Student Showcase, presents the remarkable Cities of Peace. At the Florence Griswold Museum, see Art and the New England Farm and tour the historic home of the Lyme Art Colony (Special Museum admission $5).

Outdoor Dining

In addition to food trucks with a variety of options at the Florence Griswold Museum, three restaurants will be open for lunch during the Saturday Festival. Café Flo, at the rear of the Museum, offers seated lunch on the veranda overlooking the Lieutenant River. The Bee & Thistle will offer a special lunch menu for service in its sunken garden. The Old Lyme Inn will serve on the patio and indoors through lunch until 9pm.

The Town of Old Lyme’s fireworks display rounds of a wonderful day for all.


The Town of Old Lyme hosts its annual, free fireworks display around 9:15 p.m. behind the Lyme-Old Lyme High School.  Spectators should stand on the LOL Middle School field.

Directions, Parking and Shuttle Buses

The Festival takes place on historic Lyme Street, which is immediately off Exit 70 on I-95 South, or left off Exit 70 on I-95 North, then right onto Halls Road to Lyme Street. Although the festival length is considered a walkable distance, a shuttle bus will be available to all locations. Parking is available at the Museum, High School, Old Lyme Marketplace, and Lyme Academy College. Most activities take place between 80 Lyme Street and 100 Lyme Street.

The 32nd annual Festival is a production of the Old Lyme Arts District, a partnership of 17 arts and cultural organizations and businesses on Lyme Street.

For a complete list of participants, sponsors, as well as a printable guide to the Festival, visit

Platinum Sponsors of the Arts District include Pasta Vita, The Day Publishing, Essex Financial Services/Essex Savings Bank, and

Shoreline Club of Soroptimist International Hosts Holiday Dinner & Fundraiser Tonight

The Connecticut Shoreline Club of Soroptimist International has announced that Jonna Gerken, President of the Society of Women Engineers, will be its guest speaker at the new chapter’s first Holiday Dinner and Fundraiser. The event, open to the public, will take place on Dec. 13, at 6 p.m. at Flanders Fish Market & Restaurant, 22 Chesterfield Rd, East Lyme. Buffet Dinner is $40 and for Students it is $30. There will be a Silent Auction.

For tickets or to donate an item, contact Deb Moshier-Dunn or 860-444-9247

Gerken will address STEM (Science, Technology Engineering Math) and how young girls and women can achieve economic independence by pursuing careers in those fields. Jonna Gerken is a manager in manufacturing engineering for Pratt & Whitney. She oversees the program chief manufacturing engineers in their work to ensure all engine components meet manufacturing readiness levels appropriate to their life-cycle stage.

Gerken holds a B.S. in industrial and management engineering and an MBA in technology development, both from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is a life member of SWE, a senior member of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, and an associate value specialist with SAVE International. She received the 2016 Petit Family Foundation Women in Science Leadership Award from the Connecticut Science Center, the 2014 STEP Award from the Manufacturing Institute, the 2011 Pratt & Whitney Diversity and Inclusion Award, the 2006 SWE Distinguished New Engineer Award, and was a 2004 New Faces of Engineering Finalist for IIE. The Society of Women Engineers has nearly 40,000 members worldwide.

The Connecticut Shoreline Club of Soroptimist International was chartered in February 2017. Soroptimist is an international volunteer organization working to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. CT Shoreline members join with almost 80,000 Soroptimists in about 120 countries and territories to contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women and girls.

Soroptimist, a 501(c)(3) organization that relies on charitable donations to support its programs, such as the Live Your Dream award to support women who are supporting their families and the Dream It, Be It program to empower middle and high school girls. For more information about how Soroptimist improves the lives of women and girls, visit or

The Dec. 13 event will feature a silent auction with gift certificates, baskets and artwork. Funds raised will support the club’s programs and scholarships. The chapter welcomes new members. To learn more, ‘like’ Soroptimist International Connecticut Shoreline on Facebook or visit

Child & Family Welcomes New, Prospective Members to Fall Meeting Tonight

Child & Family Agency’s Lyme/Old Lyme Auxiliary invites current and prospective new members to its Fall Membership Meeting and Dinner this Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Hamburg Cove Yacht Club in Lyme. All are welcome to come and learn more about Child & Family Agency and find out how the Lyme/Old Lyme Auxiliary supports the agency’s work.
New members are always welcome to join the Lyme/Old Lyme Auxiliary and help with our 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 2017.  Give as much time as your schedule allows!  
The Fall Membership Meeting begins with a supper and social at 6 p.m., followed by the meeting at 7 p.m. The Hamburg Cove Yacht Club is located at 13 Cove Rd., Lyme. Call Diane Brown at 860-434-7555 with any questions, or email
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

Discover the “Art of Growing Food” with Celebrated Author Ellen Ecker Ogden, Today; Benefits Child & Family

Ellen Ecker Ogden will speak at Child & Family's Kitchen Garden Author Luncheon on June 17 at Old Lyme Country Club.

Ellen Ecker Ogden will speak at Child & Family’s ‘Kitchen Garden Author Luncheon’ on June 17 at Old Lyme Country Club.

Are you tired of tasteless tomatoes, half-ripe honeydews, or limp lettuce? Do you worry what else might be on the produce you purchase at grocery stores?  If you’ve considered growing your own food so it will be fresh, natural, and ready when you want it (without a trip to the store!), then spend an afternoon with acclaimed food and garden writer Ellen Ecker Ogden, who will present “The Art of Growing Food” as the featured speaker at Child & Family Agency’s Kitchen Garden Author Luncheon.

Ecker Ogden is the Vermont-based author of The Complete Kitchen Garden, The Vermont Country Store Cookbook, and The Vermont Cheese Book, among others.  She is also co-founder of The Cook’s Garden seed catalog, a small family seed business dedicated to finding the best-tasting European and American heirloom vegetables, herbs, and flowers, and she lectures widely on kitchen garden design. Her articles and designs have been featured in such national publications as Better Homes & Gardens, Martha Stewart Living, and the New York Times.

Child & Family Agency’s Kitchen Garden Author Luncheon takes place on June 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Old Lyme Country Club (I-95, exit 70).  The event begins with a book signing by Ogden at 11:30 a.m., followed by lunch at noon; Ogden will then give her talk, in which she will outline her six steps for successful garden design, based on classic garden design principles.

At the end of her presentation, Ogden will raffle off a one-and-a-half-hour vegetable garden consultation. Tickets are $50, and may be obtained by mailing a check to P.O. Box 324, Old Lyme, CT  06371 (include name, address, phone, email), or by visiting  Questions? Call 860-443-2896 or email Seating is limited.

The Kitchen Garden Author Luncheon is presented by the Lyme/Old Lyme Auxiliary of Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, who bring you the Lyme/Old Lyme Garden Tour every other year. (The next Lyme/Old Lyme Garden Tour will take place next year, in June 2017.) Meanwhile, with this year’s Kitchen Garden Author Luncheon, you can satisfy your garden cravings and help children and families at the same time!

Proceeds from the Kitchen Garden Author Luncheon benefit the programs and capital projects of Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping at-risk children in the context of their families. With a staff of more than 190 dedicated professionals and a service area covering 79 towns in New London, Middlesex, and New Haven counties, Child & Family Agency is the largest private, nonprofit children’s service provider in southeastern Connecticut. In 2015 more than 18,000 children and their families received services from Child & Family Agency. Find out more at or call 860.443.2896.

Old Lyme Country Club Trial Memberships for 2015

Try Old Lyme Country Club (OLCC) for the 2015 Season and enjoy full use of a wide range of sports and social activities, including golf, tennis, swimming, dining and more.

“Absolutely convenient. No tee times.” That’s what OLCC golfers appreciate the most. This family-friendly, low-key course is easily accessible, but sporty and challenging!

“Absolutely convenient. No tee times.” That’s what OLCC golfers appreciate the most. This family-friendly, low-key course is easily accessible, but sporty and challenging!

A limited number of trial memberships are available for the 2015 Season. This plan offers affordable dues and no first year initiation fee.

The Old Lyme Country Club Pool continues to be the best-kept secret in the Shoreline area. The sparkling pool provides a wonderful variety of activities for adults and children, and the pool terrace is a favorite spot for relaxing, entertaining, partying and dining.

The OLCC pool continues to be the best kept secret in the Shoreline area. The sparkling pool provides a wonderful variety of activities for adults and children, and the pool terrace is a favorite spot for relaxing, entertaining, socializing, partying and dining.

To obtain all the details on this remarkable offer, email the membership office at or visit the membership page on the OLCC website at

Members get involved in year-round racquet sports at the OLCC where there are 4 Har-Tru tennis courts and 2 Platform Tennis courts to keep them active through the whole year.

Members are involved in year-round racquet sports at the OLCC where there are four Har-Tru Tennis courts and two Platform Tennis courts to keep them active through the whole year.

Child & Family Hosts Tour of Lyme Kitchens Today

A contemporary kitchen from the upcoming Lyme tour.

A contemporary kitchen from the upcoming Lyme tour.

The Lyme/Old Lyme Auxiliary of the Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut hosts “Kitchens of Lyme,” a tour of six beautifully appointed kitchens, on Saturday, June 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Explore the area along quiet country roads of Lyme with views of Hamburg Cove and the Connecticut River. You will see a balance of “whimsy” and “wow” in the use of space in the different homes.

The kitchens range in size from a little jewel with a charming marble wall picturing distant hills to a contemporary kitchen/family room housed in a large, old stone artist’s studio.


A gourmet cook’s kitchen (above) includes a wood burning stove and overstuffed chairs with beautiful views out the double French doors.

cooker&fridge_450x599A newer kitchen features reclaimed timbers and floors, high ceilings, and a fireplace, while an antique one includes gorgeous old copper pots and pans that create the feeling of gracious living in a time long past.

It will be a lovely day, enjoying the countryside and gathering ideas to take home.  Whether you are a gourmet chef or more interested in décor, you are sure to find inspiration visiting the “Kitchens of Lyme.”

Lunch by the Cove or in Town:  The “Munchies Truck” will provide delicious lunches for sale at the Hamburg Cove Yacht Club in Lyme, where you  can enjoy your picnic at the tables by the water.

You may also arrange lunch at one of our area restaurants.  Your support of the “Kitchens of Lyme” will benefit the many programs of Child & Family Agency.

You may purchase tickets at $25 in advance by sending a  check made payable to; Child & Family Agency with a self‐addressed stamped envelope to:  Kitchens of Lyme, P.O. Box 324, Old Lyme, CT  06371.  Or, you may purchase tickets at: The Bowerbird, Old Lyme; Hadlyme Country Market, Lyme; Balleks Garden Center, East Haddam;  Child & Family Agency, 255 Hempstead St.,  New London 06320.  Or, online at:  For ticket questions, contact Lynn Fairfield‐Sonn at 860‐443‐2896 x 1403  or Fairfield‐

Tickets may be purchased for $30 on the day of the tour.

Directions for tour:

From New Haven and West: I‐95 N to Exit 70. Take a left at the bottom of the ramp and follow Kitchen Tour Signs.

From New London and East: I-95 S to Exit 70.  Go straight at the bottom of the ramp to the third traffic light, turn right onto Route 156 and follow Kitchen Tour signs.

Editor’s Note: Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut’s mission is to promote the well-being and development of all children and their families, focusing in particular on the unmet needs of children lacking physical, emotional and intellectual care and nurturing.  Programs deal with children’s mental health, child abuse prevention, the treatment of family violence, teen pregnancy, children’s health care, childcare, and parent education.  Last year families were served in 79 towns in New Haven, Middlesex and New London Counties, the Child & Family Agency service region. Visit to learn more, volunteer, or donate.

A Weekend of Celebrations at Old Lyme Inn, Side Door Jazz Club to Celebrate First Anniversary

Ken and Chris Kitchings are ready to welcome guests to the Inn's celebratory weekend.

Ken and Chris Kitchings are ready to welcome guests to the Inn’s celebratory weekend.

The Old Lyme Inn and its on-site Jazz Club, The Side Door, at 85 Lyme Street in Old Lyme, invite the public to one great weekend, with two reasons to celebrate.

On Saturday, May 10, The Side Door will celebrate a one-year milestone of hosting talented jazz artists, each and every weekend throughout this first year.  Doors open at 7:30 p.m. for a “birthday party” that includes free champagne toast, hearty hors d’oeuvres, and, of course … cake.

Performers taking the stage at 8:30 p.m. that night include jazz virtuosos, Larry Corvell, Buster Williams, Javon Jackson and Lenny White.  Tickets are $75 each and may be purchased online at  Seating is limited in this intimate club setting and early reservations are suggested.

For more information about the anniversary weekend performers visit, their websites at:                        

On Sunday, May 11,  from noon to 7 p.m., the Old Lyme Inn will host moms and their families with a three-course meal from a specially prepared menu.  Offering a fresh take on traditional favorites, including: oyster Rockefeller, filet of beef, passion fruit crème brulee, and many other options, mom will be assured an delicious experience filled with great memories.

To add to the occasion, and in recognition of our Jazz Anniversary Weekend, Guitarist Tommy Giarrantano will be entertaining in the lobby for the enjoyment of all guests to the Inn that afternoon.  Seating is limited and reservations may be made online at or by calling 860.434.2600.  This three-course meal is prix fixe at $55 per person/$25 for children 12 and under.

To review the full Mother’s Day menu, visit

The view from the veranda at the Old Lyme Inn long ago.

The view from the veranda at the Old Lyme Inn long ago.

The Old Lyme Inn building was constructed circa 1856 by the Champlain family.  The 300-acre-estate was a working farm until the Connecticut Turnpike construction began in the early 1950s.

It once housed a riding academy, where Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis reportedly took lessons.  At the turn of the century, many of Old Lyme’s famous impressionist artists hauled their painting wagons into the beautiful fields and Connecticut woodlands behind the Inn.  The Inn’s barn also served as a studio for artists from the Florence Griswold

When the turnpike arrived, the Champlain family home was sold and ultimately became the Barbizon Oak Inn.  The Inn was named after the Barbizon School of painters, as well as the 300-year-old Oak tree located on a hill behind the Inn property.  It was a friendly establishment with rooms for boarding.

In 1965, the building endured a major fire that ultimately closed the Barbizon Oak.  With its staircase and interior walls destroyed and not replaced, it passed through the hands of new owners several years later that ultimately restored the building and deemed it the Old Lyme Inn.

In 2011, Ken and Chris Kitchings, long-standing members of the Old Lyme Community purchased the beautiful, but sadly neglected, Old Lyme Inn.  Following an extensive and passionate renovation, the Kitchings have brought this icon back to life, providing the community with a place to eat, drink and celebrate.

The Sidedoor Jazz Club is the realization of a long cherished dream.  Ken Kitchings has always been a true fan of jazz music and brought many great artists to The Garde Theatre in New London, CT during his time there.

Once the inn became an established part of the community, Ken set his sights on an unused “side door” space attached to the inn, visualizing the perfect jazz venue: intimate, welcoming, elegant and a quality, great sounding room in which the very best jazz artists would be happy to play.

George Wein cuts the ribbon to signify the opening of The Side Door while a delighted Ken Kitchings stands at right.

George Wein cuts the ribbon to signify the opening of The Side Door while a delighted Ken Kitchings stands at right.

On May 10, 2013 its door and stage was opened by none other than the venerable George Wein and his Newport All Star band, cutting the ribbon and giving his blessing to an awestruck Ken Kitchings.  This gala night opening  set the standard and placed The Sidedoor firmly on the jazz venue map.

Old Lyme Country Club Honors Six Past Presidents

Six Past Presidents of Old Lyme Country Club gather for  a celebratory photo, from left to right, Robert Bollo (2008-09), John E. Friday, Jr. (1994-97), Helene Nichols (2009-12), Richard Ermler (2004-05) and Thomas F. McGarry (1983-84).  Photo by M. Lorenz.

Six past presidents of Old Lyme Country Club gather for a celebratory photo, from left to right, Robert Bollo (2008-09), John E. Friday, Jr. (1994-97), Hélène Nichols (2009-12), Joseph H. Rhodes, Jr. (1967-68), Richard Ermler (2004-05) and Thomas F. McGarry (1983-84).  Photo by R. Lorenz.

Service.  Leadership. Change. 

These were the themes of an Old Lyme Country Club (OLCC) past presidents’ event held recently to recognize six former OLCC presidents’ service and leadership.  The past presidents were praised by Mark Pierce, the current president, in a toast highlighting their endeavors, challenges and successes for their contributions and efforts leading the club in five different decades.  

Past president Joseph H. Rhodes, who served in the 1960s, saw much change during the past 50 years, however the OLCC values of respect, friendship and family remained steadfast.  Helene Nichols, who served during the recent great recession and is the club’s 2013 Women’s Golf Champion, excelled in communications and managing change. 

After the final toast featuring the El Presidente, a cocktail made popular in Cuba during the 1920s by Cuban President Gerardo Machado, a member summed up the event to thank the past presidents by quoting President Calvin Coolidge, “No person was ever honored for what he received.  Honor has been the reward for what he gave”.

73 Glorious Years! Old Lyme Country Club Honors Its Longest Serving Member, Other OLCC Veterans

Janet Littlefield celebrates her 73rd year of membership of the Old Lyme Country Club.

Janet Littlefield celebrates her 73rd year of membership of the Old Lyme Country Club.  Photo by Bob Lorenz.

The movie “Gone With The Wind“ won an  Academy Award for Best Picture, Franklin Roosevelt was the US President and Janet Littlefield joined the Old Lyme Country Club (OLCC).  The year was 1940 and last week, the OLCC honored Janet and 21 other long term members with a delightful dinner celebrating and recognizing their contributions and camaraderie during the past 33 years.  

Group photo of the OLCC long-serving honorees.  Photo  by Bob Lorenz.

Group photo of the OLCC long-serving honorees. Photo by Bob Lorenz.

The club celebrated these anniversaries with a dinner, an emotional sharing of the Club’s oral history, a game of OLCC trivial pursuit and a sharing of fond memories and events that shaped the OLCC’s first 98 years. 

Another highlight of the evening were many member stories of similar experiences of friendship and life’s events across many decades. 

The OLCC was founded in 1916 as a small informal Club organized by members of the Old Lyme community to promote recreational sport and social activity.

Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club Art Show on View at LAA


Guests mingle at last year’s LOL Junior Women’s Opening Reception for the ‘Expressions’ art show.

The opening reception for the Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club (LOLJWC) annual “Expressions” Art Show will be held on Friday evening, April 26, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Lyme Art Association.  The yearly fundraiser features a wide array of works from noted local and regional artists.

The opening night reception will feature live music from local band, The Side Doors, along with live and silent auctions.

For more than a quarter of a century, the LOLJWC Art Show has served as the biggest fundraising event for the organization.  Over the years, hundreds of thousands of dollars raised at the show have gone directly to help local charities.  This year’s beneficiaries are: The Lyme Art Association, Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, Safe Futures (formerly the Women’s Center of Southeastern CT), the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library and the Lyme Ambulance Association.

"Shoreline Memories" is one of the works featured in this year's 'Expressions' Art Show.

“Shoreline Memories” by Katherine Simmons is one of the works featured in this year’s ‘Expressions’ Art Show.

For the first time ever, artwork by 35 artists invited to participate in the LOLJWC Art Show will remain on display at the Lyme Art Association through Sunday, June 9.  Art sold both during the opening weekend and through the extended run will continue to generate funds for the beneficiaries.

Tickets are available now at $25 in advance; $30 at the door.  Tickets may be purchased at the following locations: Lyme Art Association, Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, Salon Pure in Old Lyme.

The LOLJWC is celebrating 48 years as a not-for-profit service organization.  The club’s objective is to bring together local women interested in community service, fellowship, and cultural, educational and civic advancement.  New members are welcome and encouraged to join.

For more information on the LOLJWC and the 26th Annual Art Show, visit

Duck River Garden Club Hosts Horticulturist and Author, Nancy Ballek, Tonight

Duck River Garden Club hosts Nancy Ballek Mackinnon, horticulturist and author, on Monday, March 11, at 7 p.m. at the Lymes’ Senior Center on Town Woods Rd.   Nancy, who is a partner in Ballek’s Garden Center in East Haddam,will speak on, “Perennials for 10 Months Bloom.”

Ballek’s Garden Center is located on a farm that has been in the family since 1662.   Nancy’s first three college credits in horticulture were earned in 1974 on a trip to Scandinavia with her mother Anita, learning innovative methods used at nurseries and municipal gardens.  She received a degree in environmental horticulture and landscape design from the University of Connecticut graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1978, and joined Ballek’s Garden Center soon after.

The family’s eclectic and wide-ranging horticulture interests are reflected in her selection of products for sale, which include everything from garden statuary to thousands of species of annuals and perennials.

Nancy is the author of,  “The Gardener’s Book of Charts, Tables & Lists:  A Complete Gardening Guide” created to make it easier for horticulturists to select the right plant for the right place.

All are welcome at this meeting.

Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club Announces 2013 Art Show Beneficiaries

The Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library is one of the beneficiaries of the LOLJWC 2013 Art Show.

The Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library is one of the beneficiaries of the LOLJWC 2013 Art Show.

Funds from sale to benefit local charities for 26th year

The Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club (LOLJWC) has announced the organizations that have been chosen to receive funding from the proceeds of the club’s annual Art Show and Auction fundraising event for 2013.
The selection of recipients was determined by membership vote at the LOLJWC December meeting.  The recipients for 2013 are: the Lyme Art Association (LAA), Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, Safe Futures (formerly the Women’s Center of Southeastern CT), the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library and the Lyme Ambulance Association.
Exact dollar amount awards will be based on the overall proceeds from the sale and will be distributed to the organizations based on their original request.
This is the 26th year that the LOLJWC has been helping to fund organizations and projects in the region with the proceeds from the annual art show.  Through the years, hundreds of thousands of dollars has been raised to benefit everything from local library computer programs, Lyme Youth Services Bureau, local fire and ambulance departments and various other service organizations.
The 26th annual LOLJWC Art Show will return to the LAA and be open to the public from Friday, April 26, through Sunday, June 9.  An opening night reception will be held on April 26 and will feature live music and a silent auction.
This year, art from the LOLJWC show will remain on display for an extended period at the LAA, and art sold from this show will continue to generate funds to support the beneficiaries during this time.
The Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club is celebrating 48 years as a not-for-profit service organization.  The club’s objective is to bring together local women interested in community service, fellowship, and cultural, educational and civic advancement.  New members are welcome and encouraged to join.
For more information on the LOLJWC and the 26th Annual Art Show, visit
Lyme Art Association, incorporated in 1914 continues the tradition of presenting fine art exhibitions and sales by its artist members in the historic gallery.  Exhibitions of Lyme Impressionists began in 1902 and were held at various locations every summer in Old Lyme until August 1921 when the present Lyme Art Association gallery opened.
The Lyme Art Association remains a vibrant art center with a gallery where professional as well as developing artists mount major exhibitions throughout the year.
Funding from LOLJWC will be used to establish a scholarship fund that will be available for individual students and adults to defray the cost of art lessons at the LAA.  Scholarships will be both need and merit based.
The Child and Family Agency of SE CT focuses on the prevention and treatment of a variety of children’s behavioral and physical health issues as well as providing early childhood and after school programs. This is the largest non-profit service provider in SE CT. The involvement with the LOL community includes providing mental health resources and programs to address family counseling issues, the growing needs of substance use, juvenile issues, intensive home based counseling services for families and consultation services that address the prevention of child abuse, family violence, teen pregnancy, health care, parent education and children’s mental health services.
Funding from LOLJWC will be used for a furniture upgrade at the organization’s Essex Child Guidance Clinic.
Safe Futures (formerly the Women’s Center of Southeastern CT) saves lives, restores hope, and changes the future for those impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault throughout southeastern Connecticut.  Each year, nearly 6,000 residents of New London County receive the agency’s free, confidential and life-saving counseling services.  In addition, Safe Futures educates thousands of area school children in violence prevention by teaching skills to recognize and reduce violence.  This past fall, the agency changed its name to be more inclusive and to reflect the importance of violence prevention and breaking the cycles of violence in the community as a whole.
Funding from LOLJWC will be used to enhance services and support provided by the agency’s Family Services Advocate to mothers and children in their emergency shelter, transitional living program and clients from the community who are victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault.
The mission of the OLPGN Library is to serve as a free center of information and foster cultural enhancement and development of an informed and knowledgeable community. As an association library, support for the operating budget is derived from multiple sources including the town of Old Lyme which contributes 41% of the operating budget as well as endowment support, contributions from Friends of the Library, grants and donations
Funding from LOLJWC will be used to run the Summer Reading Program effectively for patrons entering grades kindergarten through grade 12. The incentive based summer reading program uses awards and motivational tools to recognize summer reading efforts with prizes to encourage participation during the summer months. Funds will be used to purchase incentives, books to compliment the required and suggested summer reading lists created by the school district, and educational and enriching programming at the Library during the summer vacation period.
Established in 1976, Lyme Ambulance Association has provided emergency medical services to Lyme residents with a completely volunteer staff. The organization is the last EMS service east of the CT River to provide this service free to patients.
Funding from LOLJWC will help to install a backup camera in the second ambulance to assist the organization’s drivers to operate more safely.

Fun, Food, Finds at Christ The King’s ‘Harvest Festival,’ This Morning

All the fun of the fair will be happening Saturday at Christ the King’s Harvest Fun Day.

OLD LYME — Volunteers at Christ the King Church in Old Lyme are gearing up for the return of the annual Harvest Festival, a family-friendly event offering something for everyone. This year’s festival continues on Sunday, Sept. 18, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Don’t be late! Bargain hunters have formed a line before the doors are even open in previous years.

What will you find at Christ the King’s Harvest Festival?

Find treasures galore at the King’s Rummage Sale.

Bargains and treasures at the huge King’s Rummage Sale; a great selection of fall plants and produce from Smith’s Acres; themed baskets, original artwork, and more in the Silent Auction; delicious homemade goodies in the Bake Sale; and an assortment of games and crafts to keep the kids entertained.

There will be a large selection of games at the Harvest Festival for children to enjoy.

Come hungry so you can enjoy lunch served up by the Men’s Club — and live entertainment from talented local musicians.

If you can’t get there Saturday, you can still check out the Plant Sale, Rummage Sale, and the Silent Auction on Sunday
morning, Sept. 18, with Rummage Sale items at half-price.

Terrific treasures can be found at the King’s Rummage Sale.

As always, admission to Christ the King’s Harvest Festival is free.

Christ The King’s Rummage Sale is always a great place to look for bargains.

Christ the King Church is located at 1 McCurdy Road in Old Lyme. Visit for directions, and follow the church on Facebook (@christthekingchurcholdlyme) for updates.

For more information, visit or call 860-434-1669.

Old Lyme’s Rowing Program Sees Three of Its Own Selected to US Team for 2022 World Championships in Czech Republic

Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) graduate Hannah Paynter, seen here rowing in the 2021 Head of the Charles, has been selected as an Alternate for the US team at the 2022 World Rowing Championships. Photo submitted.

OLD LYME — Three rowers with strong Old Lyme connections have been selected for the US roster for the 2022 World Rowing Championships, which are scheduled to be held Sept. 18-25 in Račice, 25 miles north of Prague in the Czech Republic.

Liam Corrigan, a 2014 LOLHS graduate, has been chosen as a member of the US Men’s Eight for the 2022 World Rowing Championships. Photo submitted.

Liam Corrigan, whose parents have now live in Lyme after spending many years in Old Lyme, has been selected for the US Men’s Eight boat. Corrigan is a Class of 2015 Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) graduate, who went on to Harvard University, and now rows with the California Rowing Club.

Hannah Paynter, who also graduated from LOLHS in 2015 and whose family lives in Lyme, has been selected as a US team Alternate. She attended Princeton University, where she received numerous rowing awards, and currently trains with the Advanced Rowing Initiative Of the Northeast (ARION) program based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

The third rower, Dominique Williams, lives in Madison, Conn. but trained for four seasons with the Old Lyme-based Blood Street Skulls. He has been chosen to row in the US Men’s Quad boat. After graduating from Daniel Hand High School, he went to the University of Pennsylvania and now trains with the Vesper Boat Club in Philadelphia, Pa.

The 2021 Tokyo Olympics saw Corrigan along with Old Lyme native and 2010 LOLHS graduate Austin Hack row in the US Men’s Eight boat, which ultimately just missed out on a medal coming in fourth in the final.

Hack was the only returning member of the 2021 US Men’s Eight, having been part of the 2016 US Men’s Eight team, which came in fourth in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in Brazil. Hack, whose family still lives in Old Lyme, has now retired from competitive rowing.

Austin Hack (third from right) looks to his right at the end of Heat 1 in the US 8+ Olympic championship at  Tokyo.

And if you go back beyond Hack, there are several other Olympians, who came through the ranks of the Blood Street Sculls/Old Lyme Rowing Association. In 2008, Andrew Bolton was an Alternate for the Men’s Lightweight Four and in 2012, Sarah Trowbridge rowed in the Women’s Open Double Sculls.

In fact, since record-keeping was initiated in 1997, over 100 athletes in Old Lyme rowing programs have gone on to  represent their university in collegiate rowing competition

So how does a small rowing program in a tiny town continue to produce world-class rowers  on such a regular basis?

Paul Fuchs

We asked Paul Fuchs of Old Lyme that question. He was well-placed to respond since he is is a longtime board member of the Blood Street Sculls, Director of Rowing, and also the LOLHS Girls’ Varsity Rowing Coach. An accomplished rower himself, Fuchs holds the men’s lightweight course record for Head of the Charles, and competed on seven US World Championship teams. He has coached at both the Olympic and World Championship levels.

A nautical architect by profession, Fuchs is also Chairman of the US Rowing Equipment and Technology Committee and, in that capacity, will be traveling to Račice for the 2022 Rowing World Championships.

Coincidentally, Nobuhisa Ischizuka, who rows as an adult member of the Blood Street Skulls, is the President of US Rowing and also lives in Old Lyme. He too will be going to Račice.

To answer our question, Fuchs explains that, “Since we’re a small place and rarely have enough people to make a full boat of fast people,” the goal of the club is not only to teach the students to row well, but also, “to develop in them a love of the sport,” and [in some cases] a desire, “to go further with it”

Fuchs says evocatively, “We want them to get involved [with rowing], stay involved … and  evolve.”

He also commends the coaches for the program’s effectiveness, saying, “We’ve got a great group of coaches that know what they’re doing,” noting, “We all really pride ourselves on what the students are achieving.”

Another key part of the Blood Street Skulls philosophy, which helps students overcome tension and keeps them focused on enjoying the sport, relates to stress. “We don’t believe in burning them out,” emphasizes Fuchs, adding, “We want them to leave loving the sport … and if they happen to have have good high school scores, that’s good too.”

The latter point relates to the fact that several of the, ‘”Eight or nine rowers,” who started their rowing careers with Blood Street Sculls, went on from high school in 2022 to row at college with financial scholarships in hand. Four 2022 LOLHS graduates were planning to continue rowing at college.

Asked his personal feelings on the success of the Blood Street Sculls rowing program, Fuchs responded, “I just like that we’re producing something that a lot of people like. The kids are accomplishing stuff, they’re learning stuff, but most importantly, they’re having fun.”

Editor’s Note: i) Hearty congratulations to all three rowers!

ii) We have corrected the location of the World Championships thanks to a reader, who kindly pointed out they are taking place in Račice in the Czech Republic, and not Prague itself. We apologize for the error.

A View from My Porch: 50 Years — A Retrospective

Photo by Tetiana Shyshkina on Unsplash.

Editor’s Note: We send warmest congratulations to our longtime contributor Tom Gotowka and his wife Christina on their Golden Wedding anniversary.

Christina and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary this past July 22nd, and that’s gold. 

In preparation for the event, I spent some time reminiscing about those years, and I am sharing some of my thoughts in this “View,” and I hope, not much to her dismay. As I reconsider that half century, I also reflect on the political and environmental factors that had an impact on us. One of my reviewers has said that the essay is a bit maudlin, but E. F. Watermelon has ceased operations and “Fifty” requires more than Connecticut’s finest chocolates.

Hence, this “View”.

We met as undergraduates at the University at Buffalo. I don’t recall the exact circumstances, but I have a vague recollection of being erudite and charming. The new University President, Martin Meyerson, had vowed to make Buffalo the “Berkeley of the East,” meaning its intellectual equal. 

We were near the end of the Sixties era, and almost past a decade that had been marked by extreme unrest due to the war in Vietnam, the civil rights movement, and the assassinations of JFK, MLK, Jr., and RFK. 

Dion sang “Abraham, Martin and John”, and included Lincoln in his tribute to the memory of the four murdered American leaders, who had such a profound influence on civil rights. (N.B., “Has anybody here seen my old friend Bobby?” makes four.)  

In early-1965, and now as the elected President; Lyndon Johnson escalated Vietnam “hostilities” with a sustained and relentless bombing campaign, and followed it with an endless deployment of ground forces. 

By 1968, his “Operation Rolling Thunder” had dropped an estimated 643,000 tons of bombs on North Vietnam. On one mission, war hero John McCain’s A-4 was shot down. He was seriously injured in the crash, captured by the North Vietnamese, and remained a prisoner of war in the “Hanoi Hilton” for over five years. 

A common protest chant during “Rolling Thunder” was: “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” Piling on, Arlo Guthrie had published Alice’s Restaurant” in 1967; which wasn’t really about littering in Stockbridge. Mass

Vietnam also generated a rise in draft resistance; and we entered a university that was a hotbed of protest and dissent. In that manner, Meyerson fulfilled his “Berkeley of the East” goal; — i.e., Berkeley also had a history of activism and revolution layered on its academic excellence. 

Tragically, the new decade had just started when, on May 4, 1970, members of the Ohio National Guard fired into a crowd of Kent State University demonstrators, killing four and wounding nine students. The “Kent State Massacre”, as it will always be known, triggered a nationwide student strike and forced hundreds of colleges and universities to shut down, many for the reminder of the term.

A year later, NPR’s “All Things Considered”, in its first-ever broadcast on May 3, 1971, covered the more than 20,000 protesters who gathered in D.C. to demonstrate against the Vietnam WarTheir 24 minute “sound portrait” of what was happening on the ground was inducted into the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress in 2017. 

Curricula Vitae:

Christina had been at the “3 Days of Peace and Music” in Woodstock; and, of course, drove a vintage red VW Beetle convertible. 

She wore Birkenstocks or clogs, but I wore Weejuns. She grew up on Long Island’s north shore, on Gnarled Hollow Road in East Setauket; and I in the “lakes district” of Western New York. (See: 

She was a Yankees fan, so we could never objectively discuss baseball. 

We were both educated in parochial schools from first through twelfth grades. Immediately after high school, she was educated as a dental hygienist, and planned to practice part time to support the first four years of college expenses. 

 Remarkably, she bowled a “three hundred game” in Phys. Ed. while a dental hygiene student at what is now SUNY at Farmingdale. Unfortunately for bowling fans, she did not pursue the sport beyond the amateur level. 

She loved folk music and had an acoustic guitar. It would eventually become clear to me that Joan Baez would always be her touchstone.

 We may have originally connected because I know lyrics, even the most obscure. She had never met a man who could recite Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” extemporaneously … and in its entirety. Who would have guessed then how prophetic “I’m on the pavement, thinking about the government” would be in our future lives?

She set some boundaries early in our relationship and told me that she planned to youth-hostel her way through Europe on a EuroRail Pass for the upcoming summer before our respective graduate programs. 

Having fulfilled that plan, she entered the School of Graduate Education on her return from Europe; but for me, it was the School of Dental Medicine. 

Courting in Buffalo:

Buffalo is not Boston; it may be more Chicago. However, I’d argue that for college kids or grad students like us, it was a reasonable facsimile. When we began our college lives, over 50,000 students from both public and private collegiate institutions were living in the city. We both lived in Buffalo’s North Park neighborhood, which had a real “town and gown” business and residential mix. 

We dated, and much of that centered on campus events. We saw Jerry Rubin, co-founder of the “Yippies” (i.e., the Youth International Party), who appeared before a crowd of over a thousand just a month after his conviction in the “Chicago Eight” conspiracy trial. We also saw Mary Travers, performing solo, and the Chuck Mangione “Friends and Love” concert. 

I introduced her to the mainstays of the local cuisine; “beef on weck”, “pizza and wings”, and Ted’s hot dogs with the “works”. Date movies were “Midnight Cowboy” and “Butch and Sundance”. 

The University did have its own “Buffalo Nine”, a group of Vietnam War protesters arrested together in 1968 at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Buffalo. 

My family was very impressed with Christina. Coincidentally, Robert Redford’s “Gatsby” had just begun production with abundant publicity. So, their expectations for the north shore were high; and I told them that East Setauket wasn’t really that far from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “West Egg”. I admit that there was some concern that this young and blonde Long Island woman might be just a little too exotic for a kid from Western New York.

Anna Mae, et al:

I was eventually invited to meet the Jenkins family. Her mother, Anna Mae, was a gracious Yankee woman and a single parent who raised five children. Her home was filled with antiques. Anna Mae was a force in the local parish, and a touch imperious. 

She was very welcoming, but I couldn’t stop thinking of her as Katharine Hepburn in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”. I learned early in that week that she would not argue, but relied on a world-class “withering look” to express disagreement.

Christina’s siblings included her oldest brother, Ross; who was “Longines Sports Timing”, and focused wholly on winter sports. Nancy was a nurse, Dean was a teacher, and Gregory, the youngest, was on his way to “boarding school”. I also met her very close friends, the O’Sheas, who hosted many of the pre-wedding events. My impression was that Dr. O’ provided occasional counsel, while Mrs. O’ served as another big sister.

The Wedding:

About a month before our nuptials, five men were arrested in a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate hotel and office complex in Washington. 

The break-in had no impact on wedding preparations. What almost did, however, was my best man’s arrival on Thursday. Scott could have been the twin brother of Jim Morrison, lead singer for the “Doors”. Anna Mae asked me whether she should get the barber in town to stop by; he was a member of the parish and would be happy to do so. We deliberated and went with “Scott-as is”.

The wedding ceremony was held in the new St. James Church. Christina had planned on the original historic chapel, which dated back to the founding of the parish in 1889; but that wasn’t possible with what proved to be a crowd on the altar 

The groom and groomsmen all wore traditional morning suits on that very humid 95-degree day. The bride and her attendants were all cool and beautiful. Anna Mae had style and status, so we had three concelebrants on the altar; two for the home team and one for the visitors. Father Nesslin, for the visitors, was my AP physics teacher at the Mindszenty School. 

The ceremony was accompanied by the choir’s performance of four songs:

  • Pete Seeger’s “I Can See a New Day”;
  • Tom Rush’s “The Circle Game”;
  • Paul Stookey’s “The Wedding Song”;
  • Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria”.

As I recall, well over 100 guests then celebrated under a large tent on the Jenkins’ lawn.

The Hopkins Inn:

Ours could not be an extended honeymoon. I was in the final months of completing requirements for graduation and board exams; and Christina was wrapping up her thesis. 

A friend recommended the Hopkins Inn on Lake Waramaug, in Litchfield County. The Inn was run by an Austrian family, and was an excellent choice. Lake Waramaug was only a few miles from Henry Kissinger’s future home in the Kent area; and was the site for some of the qualifying rowing trials for the 1972 Munich Olympic games

Tragically, the Munich Olympics, which began in late August, were overshadowed by the September 5th “Munich Massacre” of Israeli athletes.

We returned to Buffalo and consolidated living arrangements, completed academic requirements, and eventually shipped out to the Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Md. 

Before saying goodbye to Buffalo, we saw the Grateful Dead at the “Aud”; — “Trucking, up to Buffalo”; and stopped in at the Parkside Candy lunch counter for coffee, unaware at the time that it was their lemonade, which would become famous when Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) ordered it while sitting with Iris Gaines (Glenn Close) in “The Natural.”

Anchors Aweigh:

“Pax River” was a very big deal. It headquartered the Naval Air Systems Command, and the multi-services Test Pilot School. Several billion dollars of fighter and surveillance aircraft were housed on the base. The jet jockeys (i.e., the Naval Aviators) were all “Mavericks” at a time when Tom Cruise was still getting ready for “Risky Business.”

The Pax River Naval Hospital was first-rate and a few years in that environment convinced me that “solo practice” would never be a good fit. 

Christina had a horse in Maryland; a grey gelding hunter. I had no experience with horses, so I began training as an apprentice horse groom. Christina had her thesis typed and delivered on time to the University, taught in one of the local schools, and competed in show jumping competitions in Maryland and Virginia. 


Richard Nixon and Watergate dominated the news between the wedding and our transition to Pax River. In 1972, Nixon’s VP, Spiro T. Agnew, was investigated on suspicion of criminal conspiracy and extortion, and resigned from office. Nixon replaced him with House Republican leader Gerald Ford. At the same time, The Washington Post set the standard for investigative journalism with Woodward and Bernstein’s dogged coverage of the break-in. 

The Senate Watergate Committee opened hearings on May 17, 1973. Note that the 1976 movie about Watergate, “All the President’s Men”, would be the third time that Redford intersected with our relationship.

Old Lyme neighbor, the honorable Lowell Weicker, then the outspoken 41-year-old freshman Connecticut senator, was chosen as one of seven members of the Senate Select Committee to investigate Watergate.

He wrote in 1973 that “For this senator, Watergate is not a whodunit; it is a documented, proven attack on laws, institutions and principles”; and also disclosed a White House memo from 1969 in which presidential aide Jeb Stuart Magruder suggested using the IRS to harass unfriendly news organizations.

On Friday, Aug. 9, 1974, Nixon ended his presidency and departed with his family in a helicopter from the White House lawn. Within minutes, Gerald Ford was sworn in as the 38th president of the United States. Thirty days later, President Ford pardoned Nixon 

I still remember how, when I left the Naval Hospital that Friday afternoon, Nixon’s picture was still displayed as Commander-in-Chief. However, on Monday morning, President Ford’s picture was on display. I assume that this bit of housekeeping had somehow been duplicated at military and other government facilities across the globe. Of course, Nixon had done a TV broadcast the night before his exit.

I completed my active duty and we moved to Connecticut, where Christina had an academic appointment at Tunxis Community College in Farmington, and I had secured a staff appointment at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford.

Saint Francis Hospital:

My job was to manage a large grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for the development of a hospital-based group dental practice; and recruit the members of the group. Late in my hospital tenure, I received an appointment as the Robert Wood Johnson Scholar, at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Eventually, I moved on to Aetna Health Plans. 

The Other 36 Years:

I am embarrassed to say that the above chronicle reminds me of the punchline of a joke that I often shared with one of my daughters. It goes, “That’s enough about me, what do you think of my hair”?

We bought our first home in West Simsbury at the base of Onion Mountain. We also managed to develop a division of responsibilities that has lasted the entirety of our marriage. Christina is strategy, I am tactics; or alternatively, “outside” versus “inside”.  

We had five beautiful and much-too-adventurous children over the course of our marriage. Those births all relied on the Lamaze Method, which includes psychological and physical preparation by the mother and her “coach” as a means of suppressing pain and enabling delivery without drugs. I believe that Lamaze and other types of “natural childbirth” are less popular today than with our contemporaries. 

We were lucky. We matured professionally in an era when academic growth opportunities were available and well-funded. The two of us were awarded joint-fellowships at the University of Washington in Seattle. 

Christina received an advanced degree in Human Development and Gerontology from the University of Saint Joseph, and that became the focus of her teaching career. In her quest, she was able to spend a summer in China with Yale, participate in the Women’s Health and Healing Program at Berkeley, and the Hawaii Great Teachers’ Conference. China yielded several “Silk Road Revisited” presentations and a gallery exhibition of some amazing photography. 

She was passionate about teaching; and I had been told at college gatherings by at least one student and a few of her faculty colleagues that her style was energetic and entertaining. She was willing to mentor junior members of the faculty and young women, who may have been the first in their family to enter college. I also learned that her handouts and student contracts were legendary. (“Will this all be on the test?”) 

We also co-authored a paper on healthcare costs that was published in the American Journal of Public Health. 

I don’t know whether she meets whatever the accepted definition of “feminist” is, but I do know that she is a very strong woman; and when appropriate, is outspoken in her beliefs.  We have raised three daughters who are also strong; and two sons who are very comfortable with women in more senior or equivalent positions. 

With a growing family, we built a larger home, also in West Simsbury, and turned our attention to introducing the kids to higher education options and some thoughts about careers.

The Turn of the Century:

There was widespread fear as we approached 2000 that computer systems would shut down. The “Y2K Bug” was a potential computer problem associated with the longstanding programming method of formatting and storing calendar years as the final two digits of the year; which  couldn’t be used after the year 1999 (e.g. “00” could be either 2000 or 1900, etc.).

Fortunately, there was no generalized systems failure, possibly due to the pre-emptive action of government and private industry information technology experts. 

On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, 19 al-Qaeda terrorists took control of four commercial airliners and used them in suicide attacks on four strategic sites in the United States; and led to the still-ongoing Global War on Terrorism. Eleven days after the attacks, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge was appointed as the first Director of the Office of Homeland Security in the White House.

The Homeland Security Act was passed by Congress in Nov., 2002, and the Department of Homeland Security became a stand-alone, cabinet-level department.

On July 31, 2022 Ayman al-Zawahiri, known as the planner of “Nine-Eleven” and successor to Osama bin Laden, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan.

On to the Shore:

We left West Simsbury for the Connecticut shore and built a home on the exact “footprint” of a 1930s cape that sat on the banks of the Duck River on Library Lane. We were drawn to the site because it reminded us of our children’s favorite childhood book, “Wind in the Willows”.

Here’s a bit of Mole’s first conversation with Ratty: “You must think me very rude; but all this is so new to me. This is a river and you really live by the river? What a jolly life!” Ratty responded “It’s my world, and I don’t want any other.”

This relocation would prove to be fortuitous. About a dozen Halloweens ago, the boffins at Yale installed a new heart in my chest with all the connections. Christina kept me focused and my “eyes on the prize” through that grueling period leading to the procedure; after which I was inducted into the highly exclusive and very demanding society of the immuno-suppressed. I still like “long walks on the beach”, but mostly on cloudy days or late in the afternoon; and I’ll often wear a mask in public places, even in the off-season. 

We were here for the Federal Railroad Association’s “half-baked and harebrained” (to quote US Sen. Richard Blumenthal) proposal to improve service by rerouting its Northeast Corridor through Old Lyme’s historic district; and the subsequent resident and bipartisan protest by elected officials, which eventually resulted in the withdrawal of the proposal.

Christina is now a retired professor, and some of her passion for teaching has shifted to her studio and her glorious gardens. She, with other like-minded women also comprise the “Flo-Gris Garden Gang”; (I believe that they still are all women); and without much fanfare, maintain the extensive museum gardens.

Another passion is fitness She has become a “gym rat” and always knows “how many steps?”. She is in two book clubs

Some Thoughts:

I still know all of the lines to “Subterranean Homesick Blues”, but like to experiment with occasional changes in sequence. Our daughters sent us back to the Hopkins for our anniversary, which is still outstanding and they’ve installed air conditioning. I want to acknowledge that Christina is nearly 400 days younger than I and her youthful energy and outlook has contributed to our relationship. 

I believe that if she has any regret, it would be her failure to negotiate détente with the local gang of rogue white-tailed deer, who regularly raid her gardens. 

I was inspired to draft this retrospective by a similar piece that was done by some ‘Englisher’ several hundred years ago; and coincidentally, also at the tail-end of a plague. Unfortunately, and unlike my essay, his work ended,

A glooming peace this morning with it brings.
he sun, for sorrow, will not show his head …
For never was a story of more woe
Than this [of Juliet and her Romeo.] 

In closing, I’ll cite Churchill’s comments on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table: “It is all true, or it ought to be; and more and better besides.”

Editor’s Note: This is the opinion of Thomas D. Gotowka.

Tom Gotowka


 About the author: Tom Gotowka’s entire adult career has been in healthcare. He will sit on the Navy side at the Army/Navy football game. He always sit on the crimson side at any Harvard/Yale contest. He enjoys reading historic speeches and considers himself a scholar of the period from FDR through JFK. A child of AM Radio, he probably knows the lyrics of every rock and roll or folk song published since 1960. He hopes these experiences give readers a sense of what he believes “qualify” him to write this column.

Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival is Today! View Full Schedule of Events Taking Place at Various Locations Along Lyme Street

Shortly before 8 a.m. this morning when the 5K race begins, a large crowd of runners will gather at the starting line.

OLD LYME — After a two-year hiatus, Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival is back!

This celebration of art, music, food and family fun will be in full swing today offering events throughout the day at a variety of locations along Lyme Street from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m.

Things start up again at 7:30 p.m. tis evening when the Old Lyme Town Band gives a concert at 7:30 p.m., which is followed by a fireworks display hosted by the Town of Old Lyme, starting around 9 p.m., that will round off the Festival.

Here is a listing of most of the events being held today. Visit ExploreOld Lyme for more information and all the latest updates.


Join LYSB’s popular 5K event when you can run, walk or simply cheer on the participants. Winding through the village streets, this annual run brings runners and their supporters from across the region. The 5K Run & Walk starts at 8am and he Kids K at 9am. Register on site beginning at 6:45 a.m.

Enjoy the artwork of the ‘Plein Air’ artists in front of the Old Lyme Inn

Art and more will be on view and for sale at various locations:

  • The Fence Show Artists are back on the lawn of the Old Lyme Inn all day Saturday.
  • Works by the artists of the Lyme Art Association will be on sale across the street at their home gallery
  • Works of art and fine crafts by the alumni of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts will be on sale on their campus.
  • Specialty pieces by local artisans will be on offer at various locations along the festival.

The Lion’s Club hosts their annual Classic Car Show celebrating the classics, the antiques, and the exotic. Once again on the grounds at 100 Lyme Street (now the CT Audobon Society’s RTP Estuary Center), the cars on display will soon have you thinking about your own future wheels.

Learn more about entering your car here.  The suggested donation to view cars is $5.

The cutest, brightest, best-dressed pups are invited to come compete for their very own “Best of” Award in the Parading Paws Dog Show. Does your dog have the best trick? A great smile? Learn more about this annual favorite produced by Vista Life Innovations and held from 10 to 11:30am at the Florence Griswold Museum.

New this year, the Florence Griswold Museum expands its Hands On-M!nds On Children’s Activities along its Artist Trail. You’ll find on the Trail a variety of activities by local nonprofits that will have your younger family members thinking and doing.

Check out the American Art face cutouts for kids at the Lyme Art Association.

And from 11am-12pm children will have the chance to try wire walking at the OL-PGN Library.

A highlight of the Festival was planned to be an Author Talk on the lawn at the OL-PGN Library with bestselling author Luanne Rice, pictured above. Sadly this event has now been postponed until October due to unexpected circumstances.

There will be special sales at the Florence Griswold Museum’s Shop and at Patricia Spratt for the Home.

Free art exhibitions will be on view at all the art institutions on Lyme Street and at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds.

Co-founder of MusicNow Foundation Ramblin’ Dan Stevens will be entertaining at the Midsummer Festival.

There will also be live music performances throughout the day. Ramblin’ Dan Stevens and the Fiery Band  will perform from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., and John Brown and the BackPorch Pickers from 1:30-4 p.m. outdoors on the Sounds on the Grounds Stage at Lyme Academy. is proud to be a Platinum Sponsor of the Midsummer Festival.

Death Announced of David William O’Donnell of Old Lyme; Brother of Scott, Graduate of OL High School

OLD LYME — David William O’Donnell of Old Lyme passed away Tuesday, June 7, 2022, at Middlesex Hospital.

He leaves behind his wife Linda; a brother Scott O’Donnell … and two nephews, Owen and Adein O’Donnell.

David was born in Keene, N.H., the son of Carol Rose and Andrew O’Donnell. At age 10 he moved to Old Lyme. He graduated from Old Lyme High School, and joined the Army, …

David married his wife Linda Jean Murphy, June 30, 1984, at Rogers Lake Clubhouse in Old Lyme. In 2008 he moved back to Old Lyme with his wife, to be closer to his family …

Visit this link to read the full obituary published June 10, 2022 in The Day.

Happy Midsummer’s Day! Old Lyme Celebrates Summer Solstice with ‘Make Music Day,’ This Evening 

Local musician and ‘The Voice’ finalist Braiden Sunshine will give a concert on the lawn at Lyme Academy during Tuesday’s ‘Make Music Day’ festivities.

OLD LYME – A popular live music stroll along Lyme Street, Make Music Old Lyme, returns Tuesday, June 21, 2022 from 5 to 7 p.m. An international celebration of free music for all, the Old Lyme Arts District is producing the town’s event in conjunction with the Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition and the MusicNow Foundation.

As in previous years, the Make Music Old Lyme celebration takes place on Lyme Street, spanning from the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme where Steve Dedman will play, to the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts where Braiden Sunshine will entertain on the front lawn.

On the Center School front lawn, the Old Lyme Town Band will entertain from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

The Lions Club will be serving items from their grills in front of Center School.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Club will also be in front of Center School with grill items including hamburgers and hot dogs for sale from 5 to 7 p.m.

A dozen or so musicians will play in front of businesses and public buildings along the three-quarter-mile length of Lyme Street south of Halls Road. Genres include bluegrass, folk, indie-rock, and pop.

In addition to Braiden Sunshine, Steve Dedman, and the Old Lyme Town Band, musicians also on the Music Stroll include Midnight Anthem, Moving Target Band, John Brown & Friends, Steve Patarini, Lucas Neil, Colin Hallahan, Hot Strings Café, Five Bean Row, Ned Ruete, Sue Way, Jordan Cavalier, and Paul Loether.

An exuberant parade of all the musicians along Lyme Street ended the 2019 ‘Make Music Day.’

To  summarize who will be playing where (with thanks to LYSB for creating the list!), the Lyme Street music line-up is as follows:

  • Colin Hallahan & Friends @ LYSB
  • Hot Strings Café @ Pat Spratt for the Home
  • Nightingale’s Showcase@ Nightingales
  • Five Bean Row @ 71 Lyme Street
  • Braiden Sunshine @ Lyme Academy of Fine Arts
  • Old Lyme Town Band @ Center School
  • Midnight Anthem @ OL Town Hall
  • Steve Patarini/Not My Friend @ OLPGN Library
  • Lucas Neil @ Old Lyme Ice Cream Shoppe
  • John Brown & Friends @ Cooley Gallery
  • Moving Target Band @ Village Shoppes
  • Steve Dedman @ First Congregational Church of Old Lyme

Other activities/food offerings during the Stroll are as follows:

  • Children’s crafts @ Old Lyme Historical Society
  • Lions Club Grill @ Center School
  • Del’s Lemonade @ LYSB

Sunny Train to Perform at LYSB From 4 to 5pm

Sing, dance and play with LaLa and ChiChi of Sunny Train, Connecticut’s favorite rockin’ railroad family band!

Returning this year an hour before the stroll, Sunny Train, pictured above, will perform a children’s concert with lots of audience participation at LYSB from 4 to 5 p.m.

A children’s craft will be available in front of the Old Lyme Historical Society from 5 to 7 p.m. during the Stroll. 

Some businesses on Lyme Street will be open during the Stroll including The Cooley Gallery, The Chocolate Shell, Old Lyme Ice Cream Shoppe, and Carla’s at the Nightingale Cafe.

Lawn chairs or blankets are encouraged for the Braiden Sunshine concert at Lyme Academy, the Old Lyme Town Band at Center School, and Steve Dedman at the First Congregational Church.

Moving Target Band will once again be on the lawn at The Chocolate Shell

According to Cheryl Poirier, one of the volunteer organizers of the event, “We’re thrilled to bring back Make Music Old Lyme and provide local residents a great evening of entertainment.”

She continued, “Dan and Gail Stevens have done another remarkable job putting together a great lineup for us. We are are fortunate so many musicians will perform in the true spirit of the international Make Music Day’s ‘free music for all.’”

Launched in France in 1982, Make Music Day is an international musical festival open to all who would like to participate, and takes place in over 1,000 cities in 120 countries on June 21, the summer solstice. The State of Connecticut Office of the Arts debuted the State’s effort in 2018 with 528 free musical performances at 224 locations across the state, including Old Lyme. 

For a complete lineup of activities (including weather contingencies), visit

A handout with musician locations will be available at the event. The Old Lyme Arts District is a partnership of a dozen organizations and businesses promoting arts and culture on Lyme Street.

For further information on individual organizations involved in make Music Day, visit theses websites:
Old Lyme Arts District website 
Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition:
MusicNow Foundation and Nightingale’s Acoustic Cafe
International Make Music Day
Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Club