July 7, 2022

Celebrate CT Historic Gardens Day at Old Lyme’s Florence Griswold Museum, Today

The stunning gardens at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme are in full bloom for Connecticut Historic Gardens Day on Sunday.

OLD LYME  — Connecticut Historic Gardens Day is being held this Sunday, June 26, from 12 to 4 p.m. and the Florence Griswold Museum is one of the 15 participating sites throughout the state.

Enjoy free admission to the Museum’s grounds in full bloom during this special state-wide celebration of historic gardens.

Members of the dedicated ‘Garden Gang,’ who tend the gardens, will be on site in vintage attire to answer garden-related questions and hand out tussie-mussies  to visitors.

From garden tours and presentations to refreshments, family crafts activities, special exhibits, and demonstrations with local artists, an afternoon of nature and history is offered at each location.

Visit this link to see what is happening at each of the 15 gardens on Sunday.

Enjoy the beauty of the Florence Griswold Museum’s historic gardens this Sunday.

The Connecticut’s Historic Gardens’ website offers some background to the gardens at the Museum, explaining, “Florence Griswold opened her timeworn family home to artists searching for a quiet country retreat where they could rejuvenate their spirits and find sources of inspiration. The group was known as the Lyme Art Colony and Miss Florence’s boardinghouse became the center of Impressionism in America.”

The text continues, “Miss Florence was a keen gardener, and had what is characterized today as a “grandmother’s garden,” in which masses of flowers were informally arranged in bordered beds close to home. From seed catalogues and references to garden books among her correspondence, it is clear she was constantly in search of new and unusual plants.”

Noting, “She helped others establish their own gardens, and filled her home with small, informally arranged bouquets of fresh flowers,” the text adds, “Many of the Lyme Art Colony artists painted the gardens and landscape around her home. This information, along with archaeology that helped the Museum identify the physical boundaries of the garden beds and walkways, guided the garden restoration.”

The text concludes, “Varieties of hollyhocks, iris, foxglove, heliotrope, phlox, cranesbill and day lilies are among the many perennials that make up the garden.”

Davis Presents her New Book, “CT Waters’ This Afternoon at Lymes’ Senior Center

Caryn B. Davis

OLD LYME — On Wednesday, June 22, at 1 p.m., Caryn B. Davis will present her book “Connecticut Waters: A Celebration of Our Coastline & Waterways” at the Lymes’ Senior Center, 26 Town Woods Road, Old Lyme, CT.

Read a review of Connecticut Waters by LymeLine Editor Olwen Logan at this link.

Davis is a published writer and architectural, garden and travel photographer. whose images and articles have appeared in the NY Times, Lonely Planet, Travel + Leisure, Town & Country, Connecticut Magazine, among others.

Call (860)-434-4127 or email seniorcenter@oldlyme-ct.gov  and register to attend this special event virtually or in person.

Books will be available to buy, and the author will also sign copies after the presentation.

Death Announced of Donna Lee Calabria Poeta of Old Lyme, Wife of Late Bill Poeta

OLD LYME — Donna Lee Calabria Poeta, 73, of Old Lyme, beloved wife of the late William Louis Poeta Jr, passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by her family on Monday, June 13, 2022. She was born on December 27, 1949 in Sewickley, PA and was the daughter of the late John and Mary Jane Mihalik Calabria …

She recently lost her husband Bill last month after 40 years of marriage …

She is survived by her daughter Devon Poeta of Attleboro, MA; step son Ryan Poeta and his wife Kim of Shelton, CT, and their children Landon and Leighton Poeta …

Calling hours will be held on Friday June 24 from 5 to 8 PM at the Fulton Theroux Funeral Home, 13 Beckwith Ln. in Old Lyme. A graveside service will follow on Saturday, June 25 at 11 AM at the Duck River Cemetery in Old Lyme.

Visit this link to read the full obituary on Dignity Memorial.

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 www.exploreoldlyme.com/makemusic.

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

Old Lyme BOS/BOF Meet Tonight to Discuss American Rescue Plan Committee’s Funding Recommendations

OLD LYME  — A Special Joint Meeting of the Old Lyme Boards of Selectmen and Finance will be held this evening to review and discuss the American Rescue Plan Committee’s (ARPC) funding recommendations. The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Old Lyme Town Hall Meeting Room.

Rick Stout, ARPA Committee Member, will present the committee’s recommendations.

As the Board will convene in the Meeting Hall with limited public access, persons wishing to listen to the meeting may call 1-605-472-5727 Access Code 3819718 to participate in the meeting.

Visit this link to read a Letter to the Editor from the ARPC Chair related to the recommendations.

Death Announced of Michael Jon Gumkowski, Formerly of Old Lyme, Husband of Francine; He ‘Loved his Family, Friends, and the CT Shoreline’

Michael Jon Gumkowski

OLD SAYBROOK, CT — Michael Jon Gumkowski was born in East Haven Connecticut on June 11, 1954 to Walter and Jean Gumkowski. He died on June 13, 2022 at the age of 68.

Michael loved his family, his friends, and the Connecticut shoreline.

Although challenged by a series of debilitating health issues for the past 25 years, he battled every illness with relentless diligence and care, driven by the desire to see his family grow. His wife Francine and children Simon Walter (Angelica), Nina Marianne (Berk Calli) and newborn grandchild Charlotte Marie were the lights of his life and he was so proud of them all. His influence led Simon and Nina to become caring and compassionate adults. He was devoted to his mother who survives him also. She instilled in him the importance of honesty, a relationship with God and a love of the Bible.

Growing up as an only child, Michael was close to his many cousins. Upon his marriage to Francine D’Eugenio in 1983, he gained seven D’Eugenio siblings, who harassed him lovingly and formed an incredible support system for him and Francine: Marianne (deceased), Eileen, Karen, Joanna, Michael, Franklin, and Rosalind.

A proud graduate of East Haven High School, Michael continued his education at UConn where he was honored as a University Scholar and obtained a degree in Pharmacy. Although he was a practicing pharmacist for only a few years after graduation he took great pride in his Connecticut pharmacy license and never let it lapse, aceing each continuing education course right up until his recent hospitalization. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison he earned a PhD in pharmaceutics, and accumulated lifelong friends who affectionately dubbed him ‘Mikey’ as they bonded over the card game Setback. Although scattered across the US now, they continue to be referred to singularly as ‘The Setback Gang’. After completing post doctoral work at Duke University in 1987, he began a 25-year career in drug formulation research at Pfizer where he was widely respected for his integrity and expertise. In retirement, he took great joy in teaching students at Mass College of Pharmacy and Naugatuck Valley Community College.

Michael will be fondly remembered as the very tall guy who loved to sing with gusto – anything from the UCONN fight song to Broadway tunes to Chicago blues to the Great American Songbook. He had an appreciation of rainbows, moon rises, sunsets, and the first strawberries of June. The egrets, herons, ducks, and osprey visiting his backyard provided satisfactory entertainment while he read the New Yorker cover to cover with the sun at his back. A good meal and a comfortable chair always made him smile and his chats with neighbors on his daily walks brought a smile to others. His insistence on being an adamant stickler for precision, following rules, and discarding anything that reached its expiration date was well known and not always appreciated but he still managed to endear himself to everyone.

Michael will be greatly missed for his role as the keeper of the memories. His recall of facts and events was legendary. The personalized birthday poems he consistently and painstakingly crafted for his wife and children as a synopsis of their previous year are much loved treasures and will be missed.

A memorial service will be held in late summer to honor this kind man who had such a good heart.
The family would welcome your stories and remembrances of Michael if you’d like to email them to: rememberingmikey@yahoo.com
Editor’s Note: Michael and Francine Gumkowski were Old Lyme residents from 1994-2019. Both their children were graduates of Lyme-Old Lyme High School.

Colin Heffernan Unanimously Endorsed by Democrats to Run Against Incumbent State Rep. Carney for 23rd House District, Includes Lyme & OL

Atty. Colin Heffernan has been endorsed by local Democrats to run in November’s election for the 23rd District seat currently held by State Rep. Devin Carney.

OLD SAYBROOK — Colin Heffernan, a prominent local attorney and small business owner, has been unanimously endorsed for the 23rd House District by Democratic delegates representing Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, Lyme, and Westbrook.

Heffernan’s opponent in November will be incumbent State Representative Devin Carney (R), who is seeking his fifth consecutive term in office.

“It’s an honor, and also a big responsibility,” said Heffernan. “There’s an opportunity here for our towns to finally have a seat at the table in the House. I’m in this to find sensible solutions, to protect choice, and make sure our values are represented in Hartford.”

“Colin is going to make an excellent state rep,” said Matt Pugliese, who seconded Heffernan’s nomination.

Pugliese added, “He understands the challenges families in our district face. He has been a servant in our community for years, serving on multiple commissions, he is a small business owner, and really is prepared to do the job on day one. We need his experienced, thoughtful perspective to make sure we’re finding solutions that work for every resident.

Nancy Walsh stated, “Colin’s opponent sided with ultra-conservatives by voting against reproductive rights last session, something that’s simply unacceptable in 2022 and does not represent our district, at all.”

Heffernan graduated magna cum laude from Tulane Law School, and after serving as a research clerk in the Connecticut Superior Court, joined the Heffernan Legal Group.

He grew up spending summers in Old Saybrook and moved there full time in 2008. 

Through his experience as a general practice attorney he has supported his clients during their most difficult times, a perspective he will bring to serving his constituents.

Heffernan has served on the town of Old Saybrook Zoning Commission and currently chairs the Old Saybrook Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission as well as the Old Saybrook Aquifer Protection Agency.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection to be Held Today in Old Lyme

OLD LYME — The Lower Connecticut River Council of Governments (River COG) participates in regional recycling coordination and waste management, offering multiple household hazardous waste collections from April to October each year.

River COG has closed its permanent Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection facility in Essex. Instead of using that location, River COG will now hold collections throughout the RiverCOG region at sites in Old Lyme, Clinton, East Hampton, Cromwell, Higganum, and Middletown.

The next Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection is in Old Lyme tomorrow, Saturday, June 18, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Middle School parking lot.

Drop-off is a drive-through process with occupants staying in their vehicles while workers take the materials out of  cars/trucks.

Visit this link to view the 2022 HHW brochure for details of when each site will be open and products that will be accepted.

All dates and locations are open to all residents of the 16 participating towns (Chester, Clinton, Cromwell, Deep River, Durham, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Lyme, Middlefield, Middletown, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook).

The next HHW collection will be held in Cromwell on July 16.

The next Paper Shredding event (for residents only, not businesses, with a limit of five bags) will be held June 25, at  Westbrook Town Hall.

Free ‘Juneteenth’ Celebration at Florence Griswold Museum This Afternoon Features Jazz Quartet, Poets

Poet Marilyn Nelson speaks at a 2021 Witness Stones event.

OLD LYME – The Witness Stones Poets will join the Nat Reeves Quartet in a Juneteenth celebration of jazz and poetry on the lawn of the Florence Griswold Museum on Saturday afternoon, June 18, at 2 p.m.

The acclaimed Connecticut poets – Marilyn Nelson, Kate Rushin, Rhonda Ward and Antoinette Brim-Bell – will read a verse cycle written in collaboration with the Old Lyme Witness Stones Partnership. The poems commemorate 14 African-descended persons once enslaved in Old Lyme.

The internationally-renowned bassist and bandleader Nat Reeves will offer a musical tribute to those once held in bondage in the community.

Juneteenth is a federal holiday that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. The celebration takes place outdoors from 2 to 4 p.m., rain or shine. Limited seating is offered. Lawn chairs or blankets for additional outdoor seating are recommended.

Admission is free. 

The event has received generous support from the Side Door Jazz Club and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the federal ARPA program.

The Old Lyme Witness Stones Partnership’s goal is to expand the understanding of local history and honor the humanity and the contributions of those formerly enslaved in the community.

The partnership’s founding members include the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, the Florence Griswold Museum, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, and the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

Community partners include the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center, St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau, and the Old Lyme Historical Society.

The Partnership has received generous support from a Health Improvement Collaborative of Southeastern Connecticut (HIC) Partnership Grant for Racial Equity.

Witness Stones Old Lyme partnered with The Witness Stones Project, an organization that seeks to restore the history and honor the humanity of the enslaved individuals who helped build our communities.

For further information, visit https://www.witnessstonesoldlyme.org.

Editor’s Note: The Florence Griswold Museum is at 96 Lyme St. in Old Lyme, CT.

Remembering Graham Nelson Raynolds of Hadlyme

Editor’s Note: An informal Memorial Service celebrating Graham Raynold’s life and memory will be held on Saturday, June 18, at 11 a.m. at one of his favorite spots: the picnic area on the bank of the Connecticut River just north of the Hadlyme Ferry landing.  All are welcome, please bring a folding chair if you need one.

IN MEMORIAM – Graham Nelson Raynolds

Graham Nelson Raynolds

HADLYME/LYME — Graham Nelson Raynolds was born Feb. 15th, 1931, in the depths of the Great Depression and nearly eleven years before Pearl Harbor pulled the United States into World War II. He died on New Year’s Day, 2022.

His father Randolph Raynolds had served as a medic in Europe during World War I, and while those historic times along with his father’s resulting PTSD and alcoholism (unrecognized and hidden, of course) profoundly shaped Graham and his brother Randy’s young lives and character, Graham was known by all who encountered him in his 90 years as friendly, engaging, thoughtful, intelligent and good-humored.

In 1936 the family bought one of the houses built by Samuel Brooks circa 1799 at the Hadlyme Ferry, adjacent to the 122 acre property then owned by William Gillette (now Gillette Castle State Park). Along with his older brother, Graham attended a series of boarding schools in Connecticut including the Avon School and Choate Rosemary Hall, from which he graduated in 1949.

He attended Brown University for two years from 1949 to 1951, and then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, serving a four-year stateside enlistment during which he received training in electronics, and receiving an Honorable Discharge in March of 1955.  His eyesight had surely disqualified him from receiving pilot training from the Air Force, but having been introduced to flying by his Choate classmate and lifelong friend Henry Blodgett, Graham earned his private pilot license during the later 1950s, while returning to Brown from 1958 to 1960 and earning a degree in Geology.

Graham eventually learned to fly both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft and during the ‘60s and ‘70s made his living that way, living and working for various lengths of time along the U.S. Gulf Coast flying helicopters to offshore oil rigs, in the Middle East for Saudi Arabian Helicopters, and in Alaska flying seaplanes as a bush pilot.  It was here that had his most colorful adventure, surviving for nearly a week while wearing only street clothes, after having to crash land the plane on a glacier due to low visibility, thanks to a down sleeping bag loaned to him minutes before takeoff by a concerned airport attendant and a fortuitously discovered hunting cabin stocked with a few long-expired canned goods.

His return to Hadlyme as a more-or-less permanent resident from the ‘70s on to live with his aging mother unfortunately caused him to become one of the original sufferers of Lyme Disease, which of course was not recognized and so named until fellow resident Polly Murray, whose husband and sons had become afflicted with the now-widely recognized symptoms, brought their plight (along with that of dozens of other locals) to the attention of the Connecticut Board of Health.

The slow recognition and development of effective treatment for Lyme disease by the “medical establishment” made Graham a “healthy skeptic” of conventional doctors and hospitals for the rest of his life. Anyone who knew him from the mid-90s on, however, could not escape hearing of his admiration for Dr. Linus Pauling and his enthusiasm for Pauling’s doctrine of the wide-ranging disease-fending and life-extending benefits of daily mega-dosing Vitamin C.

Although he eschewed most aspects of organized religion as an adult, Graham loved baroque music and choral singing whenever and wherever he could find it, which was ironically often in church – but even if it was just in a holiday sing-along at the family home in Hadlyme with the score of ‘The Messiah’ on his lap.  In what proved to be one of the highlights of his later life, Graham joined The Chorus of Westerly (Rhode Island) in 1994 and remained an active participant for the next 19 years, gladly traveling 45 minutes each way weekly or more often to practice the craft along with so many other dedicated and welcoming singers.

He participated in many, many performances with the Chorus over the years including the annual Twelfth Night, Summer Pops, and performances of many classic works of Brahms, Handel, Mozart, and many more. He loved to accompany the group on its summer excursions to singing camp, attending numerous annual sessions at Camp Ogontz in Lyman, New Hampshire, where he thrilled to learn from the legendary British choral conductor, organist, composer and music administrator Sir David Willcocks.

He also enjoyed traveling, participating in the Westerly Chorus’ 1995 trip to England, where the group sang all services at Westminster Abbey on Aug. 5 and 6th and their concert at St. Alban’s Cathedral was recorded live by Classic FM of Britain and later broadcast nationwide with introductory comments by John Julius Norwich. Graham had other brushes with fame (or at least famous people), working for years on website design and management and assorted odd jobs for the local renowned (and later infamous) antique firearms expert, dealer and author Larry Wilson.

Always fascinated by advances in technology, Graham was always among the first to own a new gadget, and anything he considered especially well-engineered – whether that was one of the first Texas Instruments red LED calculators, an audiophile-quality “boom box” by JVC, a Sony Trinitron color TV, or one of the original Apple Macintosh computers (and every edition of the “Mac” after that!). 

Putting this interest in technology and electronics into practice, he started a business in the ‘80s with a local friend called “Prime Time Satellite TV” installing large satellite dishes in backyards around Lyme, East Haddam and environs for a decade or so, until cable TV overtook them. In the realm of well-engineered gadgets, Graham owned a red 1969 VW Camper bus and did some solo traveling and hiking, sometimes accompanied his brother’s family on camping trips to New Hampshire’s White Mountains. 

In the 70s he bought a small open-topped motorboat with a 50 HP Mercury outboard and enjoyed taking his nephews and niece boating and waterskiing out on the Connecticut River and in Selden Creek.

Throughout his life he was a lover of the outdoors, enjoying hiking and camping and even writing membership checks to the Appalachian Mountain Club. Right up until the end, he loved to walk the trails of the Gillette Castle grounds and he became something of an expert on the life and estate of the eccentric Gillette. 

During his long adult life in Hadlyme, Graham served on the Board of the Hadlyme Ferry Association and was an early member of the volunteer Lyme Ambulance Corps.

He was predeceased by his mother, Ellen (Nelson) Raynolds, his father Randolph Raynolds and his brother Randolph Raynolds Jr.  He is survived by his niece Alex Raynolds Skinner of Littleton, MA and his nephew Ned Raynolds of Portsmouth NH.

Summer Sculpture Showcase on View at Studio 80+ in Old Lyme

‘Open Plain Gray Wolf’ is one of the featured works in Gil Boro’s ‘Summer Sculpture Showcase’, which opens Saturday in Old Lyme.

OLD LYME — Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds on Lyme St. in Old Lyme offer a vibrant, artistic environment owned and managed by acclaimed international sculptor Gil Boro, who lives on the property.

Sculptor Gil Boro in his studio in Old Lyme.

Dedicated to arts education and appreciation, Boro vigorously pursues his mission to create a bond between art, nature and community by inspiring and promoting participation in the arts.

Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds’ 8th annual Summer Sculpture Showcase exhibition provides a unique opportunity for artists to showcase their sculptures in a stunning environment specifically designed to nurture the creative arts. This year, the Showcase features a variety of sculptures from 15 national artists, who represent a broad range of artistic communities, which, in turn, creates an exhibition of diverse sculpture.

All works on the grounds are available for sale.

Ramblin’ Dan Stevens will provide the musical entertainment at Saturday’s Opening Reception.

On Saturday, June 18, an Opening Reception is being held from 5 to 7 p.m. to celebrate the 2022 Summer Sculpture Showcase. It will feature live music by Ramblin’ Dan Stevens, light refreshments, and the opportunity to tour the ground and view the artwork at leisure. All are welcome.

Boro comments, “I’m delighted to be able to open my grounds to these exceptional sculptors whose work intrigues me. Each one offers original creative thinking resulting in a combination of contrasting conceptual designs in a variety of media. I think any visitor to the exhibition is going to be thoroughly engaged by what he or she sees – including children.”

A sculpture, which is part of the 2022 Summer Sculpture Showcase, stands in front of a work by Gil Boro in his permanent exhibition at the Sculpture Grounds in Old Lyme.

Boro is somewhat unusual as a professional sculptor in that he loves to see folk of all ages directly interacting with his sculptures, noting that he has a strong aversion to exhibitions, “… where people can’t touch my work.”

‘Armor’ by Craig Frederick is one of the featured works in the 20222 Summer Sculpture Showcase.

The Sculpture Grounds are thoroughly invested in the vibrant Old Lyme arts scene and anticipate this exhibition will attract art-loving visitors from near and far. Boro is committed to the important public mission to enrich the cultural life of the region for the education, enrichment, and enjoyment of the community. In previous years, the exhibition has drawn over 7000 viewers to the 4.5-acre sculpture garden located on the Connecticut shoreline.

A view across the Sculpture Grounds towards the Lieutenant River at 80-1 Lyme St. in Old Lyme.

Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds is located at 80-1 Lyme St., less than a minute from Exit 70 on I- 95. The Sculpture Grounds are open 365 days a year from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free. Children, field trips and group visits are all welcome.

For further information, visit the Sculpture Grounds website or call 860-434-5957.

Last Day to View ‘Art Under Siege’ at Lyme Academy is Sunday, Sales Benefit Ukrainian Charities

‘Girl with a white scarf’ is one of the featured paintings in the Ukrainian fundraising art show currently on view at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

Gallery Hours for Show are Wednesday through Sunday, June 15-19, from 12 to 4 p.m.

OLD LYME — Art Under Siege is currently on view at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in the historic Sill House on the Academy’s campus on Lyme St. The exhibition is presented by Old Lyme resident, Barbara Shriver and will continue through June 19, 2022. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, June 8-12 and June 15-19, from 12 to 4 p.m.

The unique collection of Ukrainian art spans the period from 1945 – 2001, featuring more than 50 pieces collected by Barbara during the time she and her husband, Dick, lived in Ukraine.

A Gallery Opening was held Sunday, June 5, at the Sill House Gallery, and raised an initial $10,000 towards the fundraising efforts to benefit Ukrainian charities.

This coming Sunday, June 12, the Yevshan Ukrainian Vocal Ensemble of CT will perform at the Sill House at 1 pm.  This chorus will sing traditional songs of Ukraine along with the country’s national anthem. All are welcome.

The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts has donated the gallery space, their share of the proceeds of the sale of the artwork along with the installation of this special exhibit.

Paintings for sale range from $300 to $5,000 and memorabilia ranges from $5 to $100. 

The Shrivers lived and worked in Ukraine from the last days of the Soviet Union and then the 10 years following Ukraine’s independence from 1990 – 2001.

A significant portion of the artwork was acquired from a portfolio of art from 1945 – 1990, with portraits and scenes from Crimea to Kyiv and the countryside in between.

Traditional Ukrainian pottery is featured in the show/fundraiser at Lyme Academy.

Unless they embraced the prescribed rules for official Soviet art, dissident artists were persecuted and harassed in various ways, including being prevented from purchasing essential materials such as paints and canvases.

Most of the artists, whose work is being exhibited, were trained at the Kyiv Art Institute.  They were not allowed to travel outside Ukraine but were very much aware of the vast art world outside of Ukraine.

Artists highlighted in the exhibition include Victor Zaretsky, a remarkable figure of Ukrainian Socialist Realism and Soviet Nonconformist Art, who was influenced by Gustav Klimt. Works of art by L’viv’s Miskevich, known as the self-styled “Andy Warhol of Ukraine,” are also featured.

‘The Mourness’ by Yuri Charnovsky is one of the featured pieces of artwork from the show.

Included in the significant collection are unique woodworking pieces, painted eggs, fabrics and handmade jewelry.

According to Barbara, “To me, much of this art reflects the impact of the form of government on how artists paint.  Those paintings made under Soviet tyranny are quite different from paintings produced in an independent Ukraine.”

The ‘Art Under Siege’ exhibition can be viewed in the Sill House Gallery, June 8 – 19, (Wednesday – Sunday) from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Two-thirds of the proceeds from sale of artwork will be contributed to Ukrainian charities including the Ukrainian Catholic University (based in L’viv, Ukraine) and its program for refugees from the war.

Another recipient charity will be the Boyarsky Orphanage of 88 small children that was forced to flee the Kyiv region earlier this year, and relocated to Utsk, Poland.

Two New Exhibitions on View at Lyme Art Association Through Aug. 4

‘Foggy Harbor’ by Carole Constant is one of the signature works in the ‘Ship to Shore’ exhibition on view at the Lyme Art Association through Aug. 4.

OLD LYME — Two new exhibitions are on view at Lyme Art Association (LAA), Ship to Shore and Renaissance in Pastel. An opening reception and award presentation for both exhibitions is being held Friday, June 17, from 5 to 7 p.m. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Celebrating all aspects of sea and shoreline life, Ship to Shore is a member’s exhibition, which features a broad range of styles and mediums including paintings, drawings and sculptures. The exhibit is juried by Anthony Tomaselli, who is a painter based in Providence, R.I. He apprenticed with Gene Tonoff and Joseph Rotundo and is represented by a variety of galleries.

Lyme Art Association Gallery Manager Paul Michael says, “Our coastal communities are a vital part of New England life. This show acts as a survey of contemporary maritime artwork, celebrating the seas that connect us.”

Concurrent with Ship to Shore, the Connecticut Pastel Society will display Renaissance in Pastel. The exhibition includes the finest pastel work from the Connecticut Pastel Society member artists. Lyme Art Association is delighted to welcome back the Connecticut Pastel Society for this always impressive show.

The exhibition’s awards are juried by Eileen Casey. Casey is a member of the International Association of Pastel Societies Master Circle and graduated from Emmanuel College in Boston.

In addition to these two exhibitions, Lyme Art Association’s youth exhibition, Water All Around Us, will be on display in the Mile Brook Gallery.

The shows run through Aug. 4, 2022.

Lyme Art Association is located in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within the national historic district at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT.

Ship to Shore is made possible by the generous support of the LAA’s premier sponsor, Essex Savings Bank.

The LAA was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. Admission is free with contributions appreciated.

Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 to 5 p.m.

For more information on exhibits, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, visit the LAA website or call (860) 434-7802.

June 14 & 15 COVID-19 Update: Three New Cases in Lyme, Three in Old Lyme take Cumulative Totals to 324, 1315 Respectively

Photo by CDC on Unsplash,

LYME/OLD LYME — The Daily Data Reports issued Tuesday, June 14, and Wednesday, June 15, by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) show a total of three new, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme and also three in Lyme compared with June 13 numbers. The link above is always to the most recent day of CT DPH reports.

These cases raise Old Lyme’s cumulative case total to 1315 from 1312 on June 13 and Lyme’s to 324 from 321 on the same date.

The cases by town were as follows:

6/14: 1
6/15: 2

Old Lyme
6/14: 2
6/15: 1

Therefore June 9 still stands as the first day since April 5, 2022 on which no new cases were reported in either town.

Prior to April 5, the previous day on which no new cases were reported in either Lyme or Old Lyme was March 24. There were also no new cases on March 9 and 4, and Feb. 24. The previous date prior to Feb. 24 when no new cases were reported in either town was Dec. 12, 2021.

Prior to March 25, the Town of Lyme had gone for 23 consecutive days with no new cases being reported. Two new cases were reported in Lyme on March 25

Statewide Situation – Weekly Update

This map, updated June 9, 2022 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme remain in the Red (highest) Zone. One hundred and forty nine towns (representing a total of 88.2% of the state) remain in the Red Zone. Only cases among persons living in community settings are included in this map; the map does not include cases among people who reside in nursing home, assisted living, or correctional facilities. Map: Ver 12.1.2020 Source: CT Department of Public Health Get the data Created with Datawrapper.

On Thursday, June 9, the CT DPH also released its latest weekly COVID-19 Alert Map (pictured above), which indicates that 149 municipalities remain in the Red (highest of four) Zone for case rates. These towns in the Red Zone include both Lyme and Old Lyme.

Eleven towns are in the Orange Zone, one in the Yellow Zone and eight in the Gray Zone.

This number for the Red Zone is 10 less than for the previous week meaning the number of towns in the Red Zone  represents 88.2% of the state.

As a reminder, the number of towns in the Red Zone on Jan. 27, 2022 was 168 out of 169 towns.

As of June 9, 2022, all nine towns in the Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) remain in the Red Zone. The LLHD is no longer issuing reports with updated Case Rates and other metrics.

The CT DPH will issue an updated map of the zones Thursday, June 16 — the map is updated weekly on Thursdays.

The color-coded zones on the map above are:

Red: Indicates case rates over the last two weeks of greater than 15 per 100,000 population
Orange: Indicates case rates between 10 to 14 cases per 100,000 population
Yellow: Indicates case rates between 5 and 9 per 100,000 population
Gray: Indicates case rates lower than five per 100,000 population

CDC Maintains ‘Community Level’ at Low for New London County, Fairfield County Also Low; All Other CT Counties are ‘Medium’

June 9 Community Transmission levels. Map courtesy of CDC.

The map above shows that on June 9, both New London and Fairfield Counties are now categorized as ‘Low’ for Community Level, while all other Towns are ‘Medium.’ These levels are updated weekly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursdays.

The most recent email sent out by Ledge Light Health District regarding COVID data, which was sent out Friday, May 27, said, “Community members are advised to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, get tested if they have symptoms, and wear a mask when they are around others if they have symptoms, are positive or have had an exposure.”

It added, “People with symptoms should be tested and people with a positive test should isolate per guidelines. Masking remains an effective method for reducing the spread of COVID-19 and people may choose to mask even though our region is not designated as “High.””

The email concluded, “You can find the latest CDC Community Level, schedules of vaccination clinics and community testing events, and isolation/quarantine guidance on our website and, as always, we are here to answer any questions or provide support for community members.

Community Levels can be low, medium, or high and are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID cases in a specific geographical area. CDC recommends taking precautions to protect yourself and others from COVID based on Community Levels in your area.

You can view the new tool by following this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html

LLHD continues to focus its vaccination efforts on homebound populations and providing initial vaccinations and boosters to individuals who were vaccinated previously. Information about vaccination opportunities can be found at https://llhd.org/coronavirus-covid-19-situation/covid-19-vaccine/.

COVID testing opportunities can be found at COVID-19 Testing | Ledge Light Health District (llhd.org)

The following link provides centralized access to Connecticut COVID data: https://data.ct.gov/stories/s/COVID-19-data/wa3g-tfvc/.

An explanation of the CDC Community Levels tool by Thomas Gotowka can be found at this link.

Statewide Situation – Daily Update

The state’s COVID-19 Daily Positivity Rate broke the 10% watershed on May 4 at 10.32%. It went through the 14% mark with the May 20 Rate of 14.19%, but the June 15 Positivity Rate has fallen to 7.98%. 

On June 15, the number of COVID-related hospitalizations fell to 272 from the 282 recorded June 14.

In contrast, on Jan. 12, 2022, the number of COVID-related hospitalizations was 1,939.

Of those hospitalized on June 15, the number not fully vaccinated was 91 (representing 33.46%).

The total number of COVID-related deaths in Connecticut rose to 11,015 on June 15, according to The New York Times.

The next Daily Data Report will be issued by CT DPH Thursday, June 16, around 4 p.m.

Increase in Cases in Lyme & Old Lyme Since August 2021

The cumulative total of confirmed cases for Old Lyme has now increased by 872 since Wednesday, Nov. 10, when the total stood at 443 — that number had stood unchanged for a week since the previous Thursday, Nov. 4.

On Aug. 26 — which was the day Lyme-Old Lyme Schools started the new academic year — Old Lyme’s cumulative case total stood at 372, meaning there have now been 943 new cases there since that date.

Meanwhile, Lyme’s cumulative total on Aug. 26 was 114 indicating 210 new cases have also been confirmed there during the same period.

Fatalities Due to COVID-19 in Lyme, Old Lyme

There has been one COVID-related fatality of a Lyme resident: a 57-year-old male passed away Nov. 16, 2021. On Nov. 30, the state finally included this fatality in its data

Four COVID-related fatalities have now been reported in Old Lyme. The first two fatalities from Old Lyme, which were reported in 2020, were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male.

Details of the third and fourth fatalities, which were reported respectively in 2021 and on Feb. 4, 2022, have not been made available.

COVID-19 Situation in LOL Schools

Under new state protocols for schools, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools are no longer required to carry out contact tracing.

LOL Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser explained the latest developments in LOL Schools COVID protocols in an email dated April 1 to the school community, saying, “As noted in my email of February 17, 2022, beginning April 1, 2022 we will no longer report daily COVID-19 cases in the schools.”

He then stated, “For the remainder of this school year, that information will be complied on a weekly basis and will be available on our website at the following link: https://www.region18.org/parents/covid-data.”

Details published to date show the following number of positive cases in LOL Schools by week.
April 3-9: 0
April 10-16: 0
April 17-23: Spring Break
April 24-30: 7
May 2-7: 27
May 8-14: 41
May 15-21: 30
May 22-28: 23
May 29-June 4: 55
June 5-June 11: 19

The total number of cases recorded by the CT DPH in Lyme and Old Lyme for the week June 5-June 11 was 18, indicating almost all reported cases are potentially associated with LOL Schools.

For a summary of cases in LOL Schools between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2022, visit this link.

View a full listing of cases in LOL Schools between 8/26/21 – 12/23/21 at this link.

Old Lyme’s DeBernardo Brings Home Three Golds, One Bronze From USA 2022 Special Olympics Games

Old Lyme resident Andrea DeBarnardo won three Gold medals and one Bronze at the 2022 Special Olympics USA held in June in Florida.

OLD LYME — In a remarkable feat, Old Lyme resident and Lyme-Old Lyme High School student Andrea DeBernardo won three gold medals, a bronze and a 5th place ribbon in the Special Olympics USA Games held in ESPN Worldwide Sports Complex at Orlando, Fla. from June 4 to 12.

She competed in Artistic Gymnastics along with over 50 individuals from other states in the country.  These individuals competed in Levels 1 to Levels 4.

DeBernardo moved to Level 3 this past year after sharpening her skills while participating in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Gymnastics program.  During this program, she was able to develop her own floor routine, which is a component of the Level 3 Special Olympics program. Level 3 gymnasts are required to be independent and require minimal assistance from the coach during performance (i.e. balance beam).

Her head coach, Christine Corah, and Andrea’s sister Elise worked on choreographing DeBernardo’s routine during the winter season. DeBernardo has been working hard these last few months practicing three days a week to prepare for the Olympics event.

DeBernardo has been participating in the Special Olympics since she was in middle school. She competed in the following events and placed as shown:

Level 3 All Around                         Gold Medal
Level 3 Uneven Bars                      Gold Medal
Level 3 Floor Exercise                   Gold Medal
Level 3 Balance Beam                   Bronze Medal
Level 3 Vaulting                              5th place ribbon

Connecticut Special Olympics sent a total of 33 delegates to the USA 2022 Special Olympic Games with three of them competing in the gymnastics section. DeBernardo was chosen to be one of the three gymnasts to participate in this event in October 2021 and starting group training in January of 2022 with her two fellow team members.

DeBernardo’s mother, Irene, said by email to coach Corah, “Andrea appreciated all the support of her friends and family back at home during her competition that she received through the special messaging system the Special Olympics application created.”

She added, “Andrea has always felt part of the inclusive atmosphere that has been created at the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools.”

Editor’s Note: Congratulations, Andrea, on this amazing achievement!

Celebrating Flag Day, Old Lyme Historical Society Presents ‘History of Stars & Stripes’ Talk, Tonight; All Welcome

Original 13-star, 13-stripe flag, circa 1777. Private collection. Photo courtesy of James Meehan.

OLD LYME — Today is Flag Day and appropriately, this evening at 7 p.m., the Old Lyme Historical Society Inc. (OLHSI) presents another talk in its 2022 Series of Events. This one will be given by James Meehan and will cover the History of the Stars & Stripes.

The event will take place at the Society’s building at 55 Lyme St. in Old Lyme. All are welcome and admission is free.

This is the second in a series of speaker events sponsored by the OLHSI.

Donations are welcome for the Carol Noyes Winters Scholarship Fund.

Death Announced of Susan K. Barnes, 65, Sister of Mark Barnes of Old Lyme

Susan K. Barnes, 65, aka Susie Q” of Bristol, Misquamicut, RI, and Wellington, FL, passed away on Sunday, June 5, 2022 …

Susan is survived by her siblings Mark Barnes (Jean) of Old Lyme, Jimmy Barnes (Pam) of Bristol, Holly LeDuc (Kevin) of Plainville, Lisa Barnes of Bristol, …

Visit this link to read the full obituary published June 8, 2022 by The Bristol Press.

Old Lyme DTC Issues Statement Concerning Guns, Public Health

Editor’s Note: The Old Lyme DTC sent us this statement, which is also published on their website at this link.

OLD LYME — The Town of Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee (DTC) supports the statement below from Attorney Colin Heffernan, Democratic-endorsed candidate for the 23rd House District. We urge the public to take these issues most seriously and to vote for legislators who will adopt sensible gun legislation and increased access to behavioral healthcare. 

The DTC’s support for reasonable gun regulation does not mean we fail to support citizens’ rights under the Second Amendment. Like the vast majority of Americans, we support both. But we challenge this majority to hold our elected officials accountable for implementing measures to  reduce these intolerable daily mass-casualty events.

As noted by Colin [Heffernan], inconsistent and ineffective gun restrictions have led to easy access to military-style weapons. Uvalde demonstrated that even trained law enforcement officers may be hesitant or unwilling to confront assailants so armed, even if the lives of 4th graders are at stake. The data show that in places that have implemented  sensible gun restrictions, such as minimum age limits and red flag laws, lives are saved.  

The DTC seeks your support for legislators and candidates who, like Colin [Heffernan], will promulgate reasonable gun safety measures and public health measures, including mental health.

We have gotten to “enough.”

Statement from Colin Heffernan:

As the news of yet another shooting came out of Uvalde, on the heels of the shooting in Buffalo, I’m reminded of how little progress we’ve made since Sandy Hook. 

We still have craven politicians blaming everything but guns for the massacres that steal our children and threaten our lives in every corner of public space. 

We still have talking heads fantasizing that a “good guy with a gun” can stop monsters, even when we just saw that they can’t. 

I’d like to say “enough” but that won’t do. It will never be “enough” until we demand that lawmakers denounce the culture of death that values an AR15 over a child. It’s far too easy to get a weapon of mass carnage in this country, and no amount of bad faith whataboutism will change that fact. 

Oh, and here’s the thing: I’m a gun owner. I bought a shotgun while I was living in post-Katrina New Orleans where there were precious few police and the National Guard was patrolling the street under a state of emergency. It was a scary time and I know first-hand that there are legitimate reasons to purchase and keep a gun. 

But what we have now is madness. When a kid can go and buy two assault rifles for his eighteenth birthday and then murder 19 children a week later, the issue could not be starker. It is far too easy to obtain assault weapons and the results are horrific. We passed good  laws in Connecticut after Sandy Hook, but rifles and madmen don’t respect state lines and the easy access to assault weapons in the USA threatens all of us and all of our children. 

Let’s get to “enough” and demand that every one of our lawmakers commit to using every tool  at their disposal to enact nationwide comprehensive gun reform. If they refuse to do that, they  shouldn’t represent us … because they never will. 

Colin Heffernan
Democratic-endorsed candidate for House District 23

Old Lyme Sister Mural Dedicated in Old Lyme

On Sunday, June 12, the newly-created ‘Welcome’ mural at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School (LOLMS) will be dedicated at a ceremony starting at 2:30 p.m. and running through 3:30 p.m.

The dedication will be preceded by a Community Talk and celebration of the mural from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Those attending will discuss what has been learned in the last two years of PARJE action and what can be done better in the future.

The talk will be held in the LOLMS Auditorium or if the weather is pleasant, then the group will meet in the adjacent courtyard.

All are welcome to attend at either or both events.

The mural is part of the Sister Murals Project sponsored by Public Art for Racial Justice Education (PARJE), which was officially launched March 1, 2021.

The primary mission of PARJE is to utilize the broad appeal of art and education to confront racial injustice.

The ‘Welcome’ mural at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School, which will be dedicated today.

One mural has already been unveiled in Norwich and murals have now been completed in Old Lyme and New London.

The lead artists for the Old Lyme mural is Jasmine Oyola-Blumenthal, who is an alumna of Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts

The Old Lyme Sister Mural has been installed inside Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School, adjacent to the gymnasium.

In addition to her role as lead artist, Oyola-Blumenthal worked with school faculty to develop student workshops, which coordinated with the project.

Oyola-Blumenthal and her counterpart for the New London mural, Marvin Espy, were selected from a field of nearly 20 applicants.

In her application, Oyola-Blumenthal referred to the ability of art to inspire people to talk to one another, commenting, “Art is a neutral vessel that can bring forth conversations that can be uncomfortable and promote opportunities to open dialogue on racial justice and education.”

Memorial Service for Elizabeth “Lee” Howard to be Held in Old Lyme, June 16

Elizabeth “Lee” Howard died on December 14, 2021 in Chester, CT. She was 90 years old.

Born on June 16, 1931 to Archibald Murray Howe and Margaret Allen Howe in North Andover, MA, Lee and her siblings Archie and Peggy grew up on Osgood Street, the former home of the first postmaster general of the US …

Lee graduated from Vassar College in 1952.

Working with local, state and national arts councils, Lee was a life-long leader in making access to the arts available to all …

She later worked with … Lyme (CT) Academy of Fine Arts.

In recognition of her 50 years promoting the arts from Chester to China, Lee was granted an award for “Lifetime Achievement in Arts Leadership.”

She was an active parishioner of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in Old Lyme, serving on the Vestry (was Warden) …

A memorial service will be held at St. Ann’s Church in Old Lyme on Thursday, June 16th at 2pm. In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Ann’s Church can be made in Lee’s name.

Visit this link to read the full obituary published June 3, 2022 in the Hartford Courant.