November 15, 2019

Old Lyme Historical Society Launches 2019 ‘Now and Then’ Calendar with Reception Tonight; All Welcome

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Historical Society (OLHS) will be celebrating the release of the new 2020 ‘Now & Then’ Old Lyme Community Calendar at a free public reception Thursday, Nov. 14, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the OLHS building at 55 Lyme Street, Old Lyme.  The calendar, along with other publications, will be for sale at the event. All are welcome to attend: light refreshments will be served, and a raffle will be held.

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

Each calendar month is generously sponsored by a different community organization and includes the dates of their events throughout the year.  The intent is to highlight and assist in marketing activities occurring in Old Lyme in 2019 as well as remembering the past.

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

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

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Construction Begins at Old Lyme’s PGN Library; Parking Lot to be Closed for Three Weeks

Construction will begin at the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library on Monday.

OLD LYME — Construction on the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library grounds begins today, Monday, Nov. 11. The parking lot will be completely inaccessible for approximately three weeks. Library visitors should park on Lyme Street during this stage of construction.

Library staff will strive to keep the main entrance, the book drop, and handicapped parking open as much as possible. Library staff understand that this is a significant inconvenience for all Library visitors.

The good news is that the Library will have an expanded parking lot when the work is complete. Patrons are encouraged to contact the staff at 860-434-1684 if they are unable to reach the Library due to the construction to make alternative service arrangements.

Construction will begin Monday, Nov. 18 inside the library. The first phase of interior work will focus on the downstairs BookCellar, the second floor, and the room adjacent to the 1898 Reading Room.

For the most up-to-date construction or construction-related information, visit thanksphoebe.org.

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Letter to the Editor: A Post-Election Message To The People of Old Lyme, ‘We Must Go Forward Together’

To the Editor:

The election is behind us and Old Lyme still has a government. I am certain that Bonnie Reemsnyder will ensure a smooth and gracious transition to Mr. Griswold and our re-elected incumbent selectwoman, Mary Jo Nosal, and selectman, Chris Kerr.

Mr.Griswold inherits a fiscally strong Old Lyme that sits on a well-maintained infrastructure. Clearly, the RTC was able to keep the Port Authority issue in front of voters; and that probably made the difference.

So, now that we are past this contentious election, I’ll close with the words of Winston Churchill, who told Parliament and the British people: “We must go forward together”.

Sincerely,

Thomas D. Gotowka,
Old Lyme.

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Old Lyme’s Duck River Garden Club Recognized with Multiple Awards for Members’ Efforts

Duck River Garden Club members accept the club’s awards at Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut annual awards luncheon in October. From left to right: Denise Dugas; Kathy Burton, past president; Karen Geisler, vice president; Fay Wilkman, president; Suzanne Thompson, youth & scholarship coordinator; Beverly Lewis and Nan Strohla, past president & newsletter editor.

OLD LYME — The Duck River Garden Club (DRGC) of Old Lyme has received multiple awards from Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut for the club’s civic beautification, education and horticultural therapy efforts over the past year.

The Old Lyme club, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2020, was presented the awards at the statewide federation’s annual awards meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the Aqua Turf Country Club. The recognition includes three traveling trophies to be enjoyed for the coming year.

The DRGC’s monthly hands-on floral arranging programs for residents of Bride Brook Nursing Home received an Award of Excellence in Garden Therapy. The club’s weekly educational displays at Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, including “Houseplant Renaissance” and “Gardening for Birds and Butterflies” won the Civic Creativity Award.

This DRGC display outlines two of the clubs projects that were awarded traveling trophies, the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library displays and the Police Department native pollinator bed. Watch for this display in coming weeks at the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library.

The ongoing project of redesigning and replanting the flower beds in front of the Old Lyme Police Department at 294 Shore Road with low-maintenance, pollinator-supporting native plants received the Award of Excellence for Historic, Memorial and Public Gardens. This is one of several civic beautification sites that DRGC volunteers maintain each year in Old Lyme.

The club’s monthly newsletter, produced by Paula Schiavone, and annual yearbook, compiled and edited for the past decade by Karin Kline, received First Place recognitions.

Duck River Garden Club (DRGC) President Fay Wilkman receiving one of the three top honors for DRGC at the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut awards meeting.

DRCG will hold a series of programs in 2020 to celebrate the club’s 50th anniversary. This will include a traveling historic display of gardening in Old Lyme, curated by the Old Lyme Historical Society. Watch for more information on DRGC’s website, www.oldlymeduckrivergc.org or call Fay Wilkman, DRGC president, 860-391-2622.

Many congratulations to all these wonderful, green-fingered ladies and gentlemen!

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Talking Transportation: Reading Old Timetables

Jim Cameron

I love reading timetables.  Not the new ones on smartphone apps, but the old printed ones.  Reading about a train or plane’s journey on paper is almost like taking the ride itself.

Growing up in Canada, I was fascinated with the two major passenger railroads, the quasi-government owned “crown corporation” Canadian National Railroad (CNR) and the private Canadian Pacific Railroad (CPR).  Both ran transcontinental trains from Montreal and Toronto to Vancouver, a journey of 70+ hours … if they were on time.

I wondered why the CPR’s streamliner “The Canadian” left Toronto at 4:15 p.m. while its CNR competitor “The Super Continental” left at 6 p.m.  And why did the CNR’s later-leaving train arrive four hours earlier into Vancouver than the CPR’s?  Reading the 31 stop itinerary explained why: they took much different routes through the Canadian Rockies.  The CPR’s more southerly, scenic route was the highlight of the trip so they timed the journey for daylight hours.

Canada has two official languages, English and French, so it was by reading those timetables I learned that “quotidien” meant daily, “repas” meant meal and “douane” translated as customs, as in crossing an international border.

Fast forward 50 years and I’m still intrigued with old New Haven Railroad timetables, comparing that crack (private) railroad’s speeds with those of present-day Metro-North and Amtrak.  How did the New Haven make it from New Haven to Penn Station in 90 minutes while it today takes Amtrak 109 minutes?

But old timetables contain more than train times.  They also talk about the entire travel experience.

Did it really (in 1955) cost just $7.75 to go from Boston to NY in coach ($14 in a lower berth, $13 in an upper)?  The old timetables also list the trains’ “consists”… what kind of rail cars made up each run: coaches, Pullmans, Parlor-Lounge car (some equipped with two-way radio telephones) and diners.

On the aviation side, I remember when airlines published their own timetables too, often promoting their advanced aircraft: American Airline’s 707 Astrojet, United’s DC-8 Mainliner and Braniff Airlines “Conquistador” DC-6.

The illustrations were always of well-dressed travelers smiling as they boarded their planes using ground-stairs, long before airports had jetways.  The seating looked roomy and comfortable, and was tended by well-coiffed stewardesses serving elaborate meals.

But the grand-daddy of all airline timetables was the OAG, the Official Airlines Guide, a phone book-sized (look it up, kids) compendium of every flight in the country.  As a one-time road warrior, I even subscribed to the “pocket” version, which was about an inch thick.  Miss a flight?  Your OAG would show you the alternatives.

What I enjoyed most reading the OAG’s railroad-style timetable wasn’t the flight times, and later, the on-time performance percentage, but the kind of aircraft used on each flight.  I took a liking to TWA’s iconic L-1011’s and avoided American’s DC-10’s after the deadly 1979 crash at O’Hare.

And after 9/11, I always opted for any airline flying Airbus equipment.  The reason?  The 9/11 terrorists had gone to flight school to learn how to fly traditional “yolk” flight controls, but only the airlines’ own simulators could train pilots on the Airbus fly-by-wire joystick controls:  i.e., Airbus jets were not going to get hijacked.  Or so I hoped.

Today there are no paper timetables.  All the information is online and on my phone … handy, yes, but definitely not as romantic.

Posted with permission of Hearst CT Media.

About the author: Jim Cameron is founder of The Commuter Action Group, and a member of the Darien RTM.  The opinions expressed in this column are only his own. You can reach him at CommuterActionGroup@gmail.com  For a full collection of  “Talking Transportation” columns, visit www.talkingtransportation.blogspot.com

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Hooray for Halloween! Almost Against All Odds, It Did Happen on Lyme Street Last Night …

It wasn’t only the children having fun on Lyme Street last night – Julie O’Brien (left) and Martha Quaratella were fully invested in the spirit of the evening!

OLD LYME — Despite the weather, a cancelled parade, a fallen tree, and power outages galore, Halloween happened anyway in Old Lyme! 

We’re delighted to share a few photos from the notorious night when trick or treating ghosts and ghouls; witches and wizards; and swashbucklers and superheroes take over Lyme Street in search of candy … along with a reflection on Halloween by our journalist friend Linda Ahnert.

The Halloween Party at LYSB drew lions, Little Red Riding Hoods, Dorothy’s and everything in between! We’re pretty sure that’s Max Garvin inside the lion costume on the left! Photo by Missy Colburn Garvin.

Hooray for Halloween!
By Linda Ahnert

For those of us who grew up in the 1950s, Halloween was a big blast. We decked the school halls with jack-o’-lanterns and black cats. We sang holiday hymns about creepy moonlit nights, sleeping shadows, and ghostly shapes without heads. But most of all, we dreamed about what we were going “to be” for Halloween. What kid doesn’t like to play “make believe” and become a queen for a night or perhaps the bride of Dracula?

Lyme Academy of Fine Arts opened its doors to display a sea of pumpkins decorated by students from Lyme-Old Lyme Schools. Photo by Suzanne Thompson.

Then there was the trick or treating itself. After donning the nifty costumes our moms had made for us, we headed out to ring doorbells and collect candy. Furtive little groups of us would pass each other in the night as we crisscrossed our Ozzie and Harriet neighborhood. And we would pass along snippets of information—when we learned that the new family on our street was handing out candy apples, we would make a beeline there.

Also attending the LYSB Halloween Party were this Superhero and friend. Photo by Missy Colburn Garvin.

But not too many years after we baby boomers had retired from ringing doorbells, the holiday itself entered a twilight zone. Those were the days when you heard true horror stories of kids finding razor blades in their candy. Real life had become a lot scarier and parents would accompany children as they went from house to house. And certainly no one would dare to knock on the door of a stranger.

Student-decorated pumpkins were also on display outside Lyme Academy. Photo by Suzanne Thompson.

Which is why it’s great to see that in recent years Halloween has once again become big-time fun. People are festooning their houses with orange lights and decorating their lawns with goblins and other gruesome creatures. Pages in mail order catalogs are devoted to all the latest trends in Halloween décor and costuming. Turn on the TV at this time of year and you will see ads for “Halloween Headquarters” at Kmart or “Spooky Central” at Wal-Mart.

Millie Cameron — dressed as a jelly fish, who is the daughter of Lyme-Old Lyme High School varsity boys’ soccer coach Ally Gleason — was out on the town with Mom (right) last night. Photo by Martha Quaratella.

Today you can purchase all kinds of items to get in touch with your inner ghoul. Everything from Hitchcockian crows to cauldrons equipped with foggers to create a bubbling witch’s brew. And, if you’re hosting a “monster” Halloween party, don’t forget the ice cubes that glow bright orange. Or the CD’s of haunted house music to create an eerie ambience.

Sorry, but we just couldn’t resist publishing another photo of little Millie Cameron — the absolutely cutest jellyfish in town! Photo by Martha Quaratella.

Yes, there’s no doubt that Halloween has gone to a whole new level. So why should kids have all the fun? Nowadays, adults are also donning costumes and getting in on the act. One year I had a dental appointment on Oct. 31. I arrived at the dentist’s office to find the women employees all decked out in costumes. My favorite was the 30-something receptionist outfitted as a teenager from the 1950s complete with poodle skirt and pony tail.

Plenty of fun for the adults too at the LYSB Halloween Party! Photo by Missy Colburn Garvin.

In our neck of the woods, we don’t have to go far to get into the spirit of the season. Take a stroll through the Pumpkin Patch at Scotts Yankee Farmer in East Lyme.  Or drive to Mystic Seaport for “Nautical Nightmares” and listen to maritime ghost stories as you walk through the darkened village. Not to mention that our own village of Old Lyme is transformed into a magical place on Allhallows Eve. Children trick or treat their way along Lyme Street in costumes that range from the scary to the sublime.

It’s Halloween—just like the ones I used to know.

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Lyme Land Trust Offers Nature Walk for Families with Young Children, Nov. 17

LYME, CT — Explore Banningwood Preserve with Kim Hargrave of Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, Sunday, Nov. 17, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Banningwood Preserve, 9 Town Street, Lyme, CT.

Join members of the Lyme Land Trust for a family walk geared for young children. Along the way, explore rock outcroppings, notice changes of the season and search for creatures getting ready for winter.

Everyone is welcome for this free event.

A view of the Lyme Land Trust’s Banningwood Preserve.

Kim Hargrave is Education Director of Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center. The Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, located in Mystic CT, is a combination wildlife sanctuary, natural history museum, and educational facility highlighting the habitats of southeastern Connecticut.

Reservations appreciated at Education@lymelandtrust.com

For more information, visit http://www.lymelandtrust.org/event/family-nature-walk-with-kim-hargrave/

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Lyme Garden Club Fall Birdseed Fundraiser Continues Through Nov. 13

LYME — Lyme Garden Club is holding their Annual Fall Birdseed Fundraiser from now until Nov. 13. All seed is fresh because it is this year’s crop. All profits support the club’s Beautify Lyme projects.

Choices include:

Black Oil Sunflower Seed 50 lb. @ $36 & 25 lb. @ $23

Striped Sunflower Seed 50 lb. @ $32 & 25 lb. @ $24

Sunflower Seed Chips 50 lb. @ $66 & 25 lb. @ $36

Song Maker Mix 40 lb. @ $32 & 20 lb. @ $20

Thistle 10 lb. @ $20 & 5 lb. @ $12

Suet Cakes $1.50 or case of 12 @ $18

Suet/Seed Wreaths @ $20

Pick up is Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Lyme Fire Company parking lot (behind the firehouse) 213 Hamburg Rd. (Rte. 156) from 10 a.m. until noon.  Delivery is available for $5.

For further information, contact Judy at 860-526-9868 or jwd50@comcast.net by Nov. 13.

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Vote for Old Lyme’s Rhyleigh Russell in the ‘Celebration of Music National Competition’!

Rhyleigh Russell

OLD LYME — Rhyleigh Russell of Old Lyme is a finalist in the Celebration of Music National Competition. She is 14-years-old and a freshman at Lyme Old Lyme High School (LOLHS), where she is one of the varsity goalkeepers on the LOLHS soccer team.

Russell has four siblings and notes in her biography on the Celebration of Music website, “My whole family runs on music never going a day without it or discussing it in some manner.”

She also explains her passion for music in her biography, saying, “My goal with every performance is that I’m making someone proud or connecting with someone who may be uplifted in some way. My purpose is to help as many people as I can through music and performance whether its a smile on my parents face, a tear rolling down someone’s face because they don’t feel alone or to uplift a spirit. Everything I sing is with purpose and emotion.”

The contest is a talent search that showcases the best young musical talent across America. Singers, musicians, bands, and dancers between the ages of four and 25 are all encouraged to enter in their city by submitting an audition tape.

The Celebration of Music concept was inspired by Ethan Bortnick and his desire to give young musicians the same opportunities PBS afforded him. The winner will be announced Nov. 3 by Bortnick at the Bushnell in Hartford.

Voting is still open in the contest and Rhyleigh and her family would love LymeLine.com readers to vote for her.

Read Rhyleigh’s biography at this link and vote for her at the link at the foot of the page!

Good luck, Rhyleigh!

 

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Old Lyme Fire Dept. Hosts Educational, Fun Open House; Enjoy Our Photo Essay of the Event

All photos by Doris Coleman.

The Old Lyme Fire Department welcomed hundreds of children and their parents, friends or caregivers to its annual Open House held during the evening of Oct. 9. The event was held at the main firehouse located on 69 Lyme Street in Old Lyme.

Activities included

  • Fire safety and firefighting demonstrations.
  • Fire truck rides
  • Bike Rodeo and helmet giveaway
  • Life jacket information from the DEEP
  • CHIP Child ID Program information

Information pertinent to preventing fire-related incidents and home evacuation will be available for all ages.State of the art firefighting apparatus and equipment will also be demonstrated and on display.

Complimentary refreshments were served.

Fire Department and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) personnel were on hand to answer any questions the public may have to ensure a safer environment for children and adults.

Members of Old Lyme Cub Scout Troop 27 experienced first-hand what it feels like to be inside an ambulance.

Old Lyme Troop 27 Cb Scouts and their leaders posed for this wonderful photo at the OLFD Open House.  The Cub Scouts present included Brayden Boisseau, Quinn Parrot, Avi Hall, Douglas Paonessa, Thomas Calabrese, Evan Garner, Aiden Lapinski, Max Paonessa, Dylan Boisseau, Henry Kyle, Luke Wallen, Woody Goss, Gig Goss, and Paul Taliento. The back row includes, from left to right, Cub Scout leaders Craig Taliento , Jon Goss, Ken Swaney, Doug Garner, and Rob Paonessa.

Emily Griswold takes a closer look at the Old Lyme Fireboat with her son Aiden. Veteran OLFD volunteer and current Old Lyme Citizen of the Year Bob Doyen stands to her right, while Mike McCarthy stands in the fireboat with his son Mason.

One of the Old Lyme ambulances was a popular place to visit during the Open House.

A group of Old Lyme Fire department stalwarts gathered for this photo.  Bob Pierson, second from left, a former OLFD President, came all the way from his and wife Barbara’s new home in North Carolina for the event.

A firefighter-in-training!

Connecticut’s Boating Division was handing out helpful information and advice on life-jacket safety, initial boating courses, refresher courses, and other classes.

These fine ladies of the OLFD Auxiliary were on hand to help with anything and everything during the event. From left to right, Sue Campbell, Barbara Doyen, MaryEllen Jewett, and Judy McCarthy.

Briana Dow (leaning on helium tank) and Erin Pervine are all ready to talk about smoke alarm safety with balloons galore and  handouts for the asking.

The Bike Rodeo and helmet giveaway drew plenty of participants. Dawn Hamilton stands to the left while her grandson Mason Holland of Old Lyme tries on a helmet.

Always a good thing to know how to get out of a window!

Amtrak Police Department certainly presented a smiling face at the event.

Old Lyme Ambulance President Claire Haskins enjoys a well-deserved cup of apple cider.

Volunteer Kaitlin Koshoffer from the YMCA at Westbrook explained swim lesson options to mom Jamie Snurkowski of Old Lyme, who was attending the event with her son Reed.

So much to ask, so much to tell, so much to show …

The Connecticut Freemasons sponsor a child identification program called Connecticut Child Identification Program (CHIP). Standing ready to explain the program to all those interested are, from left to right, John Main, Ryan Proto and his father, Peter Proto.

Youngsters of all ages learned a great deal of useful information … Aiden Griswold and Cooper Staab, both of Old Lyme, were having a great time.

Hats off to the OLFD for putting on such a terrific event … and many thanks again to photographer Doris Coleman!

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Today, In Context of Palestine, Old Lyme Church Asks ‘Will There Really be a Morning?’ in Interfaith Program; All Welcome


OLD LYME  — The Tree of Life Educational Fund (TOLEF), in its longstanding mission to amplify voices of conscience in support of peace and justice, will open its 2019 Fall Speaker Series on Sunday, Oct. 20, at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL).

Cindy and Craig Corrie

Open to the public, with no admission charge, and interwoven with elements of the FCCOL Sunday worship services at 9 and 11 a.m., and its Adult Forum at 10 a.m., the interfaith program will feature reflections by American human rights activists and Palestinian peace advocates addressing the many challenges that confront Palestinians living under military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

The roster of speakers, presenters, and performers will include:

Mark Braverman, a Jewish American with deep family roots in the Holy Land, who serves as executive director of Kairos USA, a movement of U.S. Christians working to end the crisis in Israel/Palestine. He will deliver the sermon at both Sunday worship services.

Mark Braverman

Palestinian youth ambassadors, university students and recent graduates, who will share their visions of a better world, one in whic

h they will enjoy the types of civil liberties enshrined in the U.S. Bill of Rights.

Cindy and Craig Corrie, founders of the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, dedicated to the support of grass-roots efforts in pursuit of human rights and social, economic and environmental justice. The Foundation honors the memory of their daughter Rachel, who, in 2003, was run over and killed by an Israeli military-operated bulldozer as she tried to protect a Palestinian home from demolition in Rafah, Gaza. The Corries will participate in the morning worship services and speak at the Adult Forum as well, where they will be joined by the Palestinian Youth Ambassadors.

Music during the morning services will be provided by Tamer Al-Sahouri, head of the Arabic Music department at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Palestine, and his wife, singer Nadine Shomali. Their visit will be Tamar’s fifth and Nadine’s second appearance at Tree of Life programs.

N Shomali and Tal-Sahouri

At the conclusion of the morning events, program participants and attendees will be welcomed in the Fellowship Room of the FCCOL to meet and greet over refreshments, shop for Palestinian crafts and olive oil, and take in the Promised Land exhibit produced by the Jewish Museum of the Palestinian Experience.

Pausing briefly in organizing this year’s Speaker Series, the Rev. David W. Good, Minister Emeritus of the FCCOL, and Founder of the Tree of Life Educational Fund, commented, “In witnessing the harsh realities Palestinians confront every day in the occupied territories, I can’t help but recall the poignant question with which the poet Emily Dickinson opened one of her particularly haunting poems,  ‘Will there really be a morning?’ ”

He continued, “Here in the U.S., we readily assume that as soon as tomorrow, there will of course be ‘a morning.’ But that easy assumption doesn’t play for those who live under military occupation in the Holy Land, believing that no one cares.

Good concluded, “At TOLEF, we do care. In programs such as this speaker series, we strive to educate others in the sincere hope that one day, Jewish, Muslim, and Christian children will play together in the Holy Land, no longer divided, no longer afraid, and no longer wondering if there will ‘really be a morning,” adding wistfully, “How I look forward to that day!”

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LOLJWC Partners with Tractor Supply Co’s to Collect Pet Food Supplies, Benefits Old Lyme Lyme Animal Control & Other Pet Welfare Organizations

Donate pet food at any Tractor Supply Co. to ensure puppies don’t have to eat pumpkins! Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash.

LYME-OLD LYME — Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club is partnering with five Tractor Supply Companies to collect pet food and supplies to benefit Old Lyme Animal Control, Valley Shore Animal Welfare League and Barkville Dog Rescue.

The food/supply drive runs the whole month of October.

Tractor Supply Company stores receiving pet food and supplies are located in Old Saybrook, Colchester, Griswold, Guilford and Middletown stores.

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Reading Uncertainly: ‘The Meaning of Human Existence’ by Edward O. Wilson

Who are we?

Edward O. Wilson, the eminent Harvard biologist and noted student of ants, describes our strange species in a remarkable and memorable book. In 15 brief, succinct and challenging chapters, each less than 10 pages, he suggests that, at once, we are far more and far less than we imagine.

His is a daunting title but the contents live up to expectations.

First, far less: homo sapiens have existed through a modest six millennia, a mere blip in the 13-plus billion years of our universe, the 4.5 billion years of this earth and the 400 million years of other “species on earth.” And this earth is but a “mote of stardust near the edge of our galaxy (an estimated hundred billion star systems make up the Milky Way galaxy) among a hundred billion or more galaxies in the universe.”

And even among the other species here on this planet, “how bizarre we are as a species … we are chemosensory idiots” when compared to most of them. “Our species is almost unconscious of most stimuli.”

But we are unusual.

We have the “capacity to imagine possible futures, and to plan and choose among them,” the “ability to invent and inwardly rehearse competing scenarios of future interactions.”

Dr. Wilson compares the “humanities” to “science.” The humanities tell us “what,” “the particularities of human nature back and forth in endless permutations, albeit laced with genius and in exquisite detail,” while science increasingly is needed to tell us “why.”

Are we trapped in our own egos?

In Chapter 11, The Collapse of Biodiversity, we seem to be knocking off many species, only to find more.  But “ … without nature,  finally, no people!” “The human impact on biodiversity, to put the matter as briefly as possible, is an attack on ourselves!” This re-confirms the famous Pogo adage, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Wilson suggests we remember the acronym HIPPO: Habitat loss; Invasive species; Pollution: Population growth; and Overharvesting. These may be the most important challenges our species face.

Has the human creation of religions helped? Wilson is dubious.

Religion’s “history is as old or nearly so as that of humanity itself. The attempted resolution of its mysteries lies at the heart of philosophy.” But “the great religions are also, and tragically, sources of ceaseless and unnecessary suffering.”

He adds: “the true cause of hatred and violence is faith versus faith, an outward expression of the ancient instinct of tribalism. Faith is the one thing that makes otherwise good people do bad things.” Many will find this offensive but it is a considered opinion, backed up with solid examples. Wilson summarizes thus, “the best way to live in this real world is to free ourselves of demons and tribal gods!”

He returns to the balance of science and the humanities; the latter describe “the human condition,” while science “encompasses the meaning of human existence.”  We are “an accident of evolution,” from herbivore to carnivore, from wanderer to static, from small families to multiple “tribes.” And “when an individual is cooperative and altruistic, this reduces his advantage in competition to a comparable degree with other members, but increases the survival and reproduction rate of the group as a whole.” No wonder we have conflicting views of how to respond …

Dr. Wilson’s conclusion: “Are human beings intrinsically good but corrupted by the forces of evil, or the reverse, innately sinful yet redeemable by the forces of good? Are we built to pledge our lives to a group, even to the risk of death, or the opposite, built to place ourselves and our families above all else? Scientific evidence, a good part of it accumulated during the past twenty years, suggests that we are both of these things simultaneously. Each of us in inherently conflicted.”

“If the heuristic and analytical power of science can be joined with the introspective creativity of the humanities, human instinct will rise to an infinitely more productive and interesting meaning.”

After each chapter, I had to stop and reflect on Wilson’s ideas, taking many notes.

And I plan to re-read it in its entirety next year.

Editor’s Note: ‘The Meaning of Human Existence’ by  Edward O. Wilson, was published by W. W. Norton  & Co., New York, 2014.

Felix Kloman

About the Author: Felix Kloman is a sailor, rower, husband, father, grandfather, retired management consultant and, above all, a curious reader and writer. He’s explored how we as human beings and organizations respond to ever-present uncertainty in two books, ‘Mumpsimus Revisited’ (2005) and ‘The Fantods of Risk’ (2008). A 20-year resident of Lyme, he now writes book reviews, mostly of non-fiction, which explores our minds, our behavior, our politics and our history. But he does throw in a novel here and there. For more than 50 years, he’s put together the 17 syllables that comprise haiku, the traditional Japanese poetry, and now serves as the self-appointed “poet laureate” of Ashlawn Farm Coffee, where he may be seen on Friday mornings. His late wife, Ann, was also a writer, but of mystery novels, all of which begin in a village in midcoast Maine, strangely reminiscent of the town she and her husband visited every summer.

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Listen Anytime on the Web to ‘CT Outdoors’ Radio Show About the I-Park Foundation

Suzanne Thompson (center) stands with her guests from I-Park Joann Paradis and Claudia Dinep.

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to experience an unveiling of outdoor site-inspired artist creations, come to I-Park Foundation in East Haddam this Sunday for one of its free seasonal open houses. Learn about this fascinating preserve and visiting artists’ enclave on this week’s CT Outdoors with Old Lyme’s Suzanne Thompson.

Guests Joanne Paradis, I-Park Foundation executive director and Claudia Dinep, landscape architect and ecological design specialist also talk about plans underway for an accessible nature trail that winds through parts of the 400+ acre nature preserve.

You can listen to a recording of the show anytime on your PC or Mac anytime from the website, click the On Demand icon, look for pop-up screen from https://radio.securenetsystems.net and scroll to CT-Outdoors-91719—I-Park-Open-House.
For more information, visit i-park.org
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Old Lyme Historical Society Presents its 2019 Board of Trustees

Board members of the Old Lyme Historical Society for the coming year gathered for a photo recently in the OLHS building on Lyme Street. Photo by James Meehan.

The Old Lyme Historical Society (OLHS) has announced its 2019-20 board of trustees. They are pictured in the photo above:

Back Row: John Pote, Nicholas Westbrook, Ross W. Higgins, Mark Lander, Jill Pilgrim, Mark Terwilliger, Mary Ellen Jewett, Cynthia Taylor, Michaelle Pearson, Robert DiNapoli and James Meehan.

Middle Row: Skip Beebe, Kevin Cole, Alison Mitchell, Sandra Joncus and Ted Freeman.

Front Row: Dawn McCarthy, Edith Twining, Ann Marie Jewett, Katie Balocca and Elaine Stiles.

Missing from photo: Tim Griswold, Matthew LaConti, Todd Machnik and Andi Williams.

The OLHS officers for the coming year are:

Co-Chairs
Michaelle Pearson and John Pote
Treasurer
Ann Marie Jewett
Recording Secretary
Katie Balocca
Corresponding Secretary
Cynthia Taylor
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Old Lyme’s Suzanne Thompson Discusses Shared Solar on her WLIS/WMRD Radio Show, Listen Anytime

Suzanne Thompson’s guest this week on her CT Outdoors radio show is David Desiderato, Connecticut Fund for the Environment’s Shared Solar Coordinator.

OLD LYME — What is Shared Solar and did you know that it is coming to Connecticut? It’s a way for people who don’t have the right roof or location for solar panels to reduce their electricity costs by participating in a shared solar project.
Find out how you and your community can participate in this new program on CT Outdoors with Suzanne Thompson of Old Lyme.  Thompson’s guest this week is David Desiderato, Connecticut Fund for the Environment’s Shared Solar Coordinator.
Listen Saturday, Aug. 17, 1-1:30 p.m. or Sunday, Aug. 18, 7-7:30 a.m., on WLIS 1420 AM/Old Saybrook and WMRD 1150 AM/Middletown, streaming at http://www.wliswmrd.net.  Or play back on your PC or Mac anytime from http://www.wliswmrd.net, click the On Demand icon, look for pop-up screen from radiosecurenetsystems.net, and scroll to CT-Outdoors-81319—Shared-Solar-Toolkit. 
You also can learn more on CFE’s website, http://www.ctenvironment.org, and download your Shared-Solar-Toolkit at Shared Solar Toolkit – CFE/Save the Sound
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Death of Milton Allen Announced; Memorial Service to be Held in Old Lyme, Aug. 24

Milton Nicholas Allen  1927- 2019

Milton Nicholas Allen, born in New York City on April 15, 1927, died in Essex, Connecticut on May 29, 2019. He and his wife, to whom he was married for 35 years, had moved to Essex in 2016. They had previously lived in Old Lyme, Connecticut from 1988.

Milton attended Princeton University at the age of 17 where he was elected President of the Class of ‘48. He took a wartime leave of absence from Princeton the next year when he became old enough to attend the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1949 with Distinction. Upon graduation he was selected to represent the United States Navy and became a Rhodes Scholar Finalist. Milton then served in active duty for the Navy as a Lieutenant and Submarine Commander until 1954 when he retired to pursue a career in business.

His civilian life began as Assistant to the President of Connecticut General Life Insurance Company in Hartford, prior to the same role for The Sherwin-Williams Company in Cleveland. He was also a Partner at Robert Heller & Associates (Management Consultants). In 1969 he started his own computer service, software and consulting business, which he led as CEO and Chairman until its sale in 1990. Manufacturing Decision Support Systems (MDSS Inc.) was the first online management information systems and services company. It served manufacturing, distribution, insurance and transportation companies across the US.

Milton was a Director of Progressive Corporation for over 20 years, as well as a Director of Day- Glo Color Corp., DeSantis Coatings Inc., Premier Electric Company, Lighting International Corp., AGA Burdox Gas Inc., Daro Industries, Actron Corp., Mueller Electric Company, and the Women’s Federal Savings Bank.

Contributing to the communities in which he lived was very important to him. In addition to his quiet philanthropy and mentoring of leaders, in Cleveland he was a Director of Laurel School, The Cleveland Playhouse, The Cleveland Institute of Music, the Center for Venture Development and Case Western Reserve University School of Management. He was also Chairman of the Goodrich-Gannett Neighborhood Center, Chairman of the Cleveland Council for Independent Schools and Chairman of the Switzer Foundation.

After moving back east, Milton was a Director and then Chairman of The Ivoryton Playhouse in Connecticut, The Putney School and Yellow Barn music school in Vermont, and Chairman of Hubbard Brook Environmental Research. He also served as a Director of the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library in Old Lyme.

In addition to his business, and various commercial and not for profit roles, for which he was known for his integrity, insight and calm leadership, Milton was committed to his family, his friends and his lifetime love of music and the water.

Milton is predeceased by his wife, Liesa Bing Allen, his older brother, Homer Nicholas Allen and his twin brother, Winston Nicholas Allen. He is survived by his younger brother Gordon Nicholas Allen of Madison, Florida, his three children from a previous marriage, Peter Milton Allen of Palo Alto, California, Thomas Hughes Allen of New York City and Jane Scarlett Allen of Sydney, Australia, as well as five grandchildren, Alexandra Elizabeth Scarlett Allen, Jonathan Thomas Allen, Olivia Sophie Allen, George Dexter Allen and Eloise Scarlett Allen-Bowton.

A Memorial Service to honor his life will be held August 24, 2019 at 2pm at The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, 2 Ferry Road, Old Lyme, CT. All are welcome.

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Opinion: Vote Tuesday in Old Lyme’s Referendum on Sewers, Then Respect the Result

OLD LYME — Tomorrow Old Lyme voters will go the polls to decide whether the Town of Old Lyme should bond $9.44 million to fund the installation of sewers on three streets in Sound View. The facts of the proposal have been widely reported, for example, Mary Biekert of The Day authored a comprehensive article on the subject published Saturday on TheDay.com at this link.

As a community newspaper that cares passionately about the community we serve, we never endorse politicians and rarely choose sides in town referenda. Therefore, we will not be making any recommendation on how you should vote tomorrow, but we will, however, take the opportunity to make a few comments.

This sewer issue has polarized the town with the residents of Sound View understandably not wishing to pay the whole installation cost of sewers saying that is unfair and the cost should be divided between all town residents.  Meanwhile, most townspeople, excluding the Sound View residents, do not see why they should pay for someone else’s sewers when no one would pay to fix their septic system if it failed.

It is important to remember that the Town is under a state mandate to install the sewers and so doing nothing is not an option. The volunteers on the Old Lyme Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA)  have dedicated an incredible number of hours to this project and our impression is that they have no political agenda. Rather, they are simply hard-working individuals trying to solve an extremely challenging problem and we salute their efforts. If the referendum fails tomorrow, there seems to be a fairly general consensus that the costs will rise in any subsequent plan.

Some have argued that the Town, that is, all Old Lyme residents, should be paying for the work in the streets since they are town-owned and the Sound View residents should only be paying for the hook-ups to their houses. This sounds logical but does not seem to follow the precedent set elsewhere in the state, nor significantly in the four other beach associations in Old Lyme that have already signed on for sewers to be installed at their own expense.

We have enormous sympathies for the residents of Sound View, who — if the referendum passes — will have to pay a median cost of over $31,000 to pay off the loan that the Town is taking out on their behalf. This can be paid in full right away or financed over 20 years at 2 percent interest. The key question is what is a home worth after sewers have been installed?  The assumption is that the sewers will increase the value of any house by more than the homeowner has paid. No one other than the owner benefits from that increase in value, but we also recognize many of the houses in Sound View are never sold but passed down from one generation to the next.

Finally, we are intensely distressed by the deep rift opening up once again in our community over the sewer issue. We recall the green ribbons of yesteryear when residents publicly displayed their support of the first school building project brought to referendum by Region 18 to the anger of those who were not in favor of the proposal. Those were difficult days with palpable mistrust and resentfulness on both sides. 

But back then, there was no social media to fuel the argument and too much has been said on the sewer issue on this virtual town square, some of it inaccurate and/or laced with political venom. This mounting tension spilled over into last Monday’s Special Town Meeting at which  procedural confusion sparked some most unfortunate behavior.

There is no place for this in our beloved town so, regardless of how you are going to vote tomorrow, let us quietly and respectfully take our differing opinions to the ballot box … and then treat the result in the same manner.

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Death of Suzanne Brown Announced; Memorial Service to be Held in Old Lyme, Aug. 25

Suzanne Brown

ESSEX — Suzanne “Suzie” Brown, our mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend, passed away Aug. 5, 2019, from complications after a fall in her home. She joins her beloved husband, Templeton “Temp” Brown of 58 years. We will celebrate them both by living their example of truth, love, and commitment.

Suzie celebrated beauty in life by picnicking in the countryside, arranging flowers from her garden, traveling the world, and savoring languages, cuisine, literature, colors, and the natural world. She cherished her family. We all have cultivated deep artistic roots because she showed us how to appreciate beauty in everything around us, every day of her life.

Suzie lived in Winnetka, Ill. for over three decades, and then returned to her childhood state of Connecticut to begin a new adventure with our dad, Temp, in Lyme. She had a wonderful group of friends, old and new, first from her many years in Illinois, and then more recently centered in Lyme and at the Essex Meadows Senior Retirement Community, in Essex. Suzie loved and appreciated the connections she made in Essex Meadows with her neighbors, staff, care-team, and her dear friend, Len Lonnegren.

Suzie will be remembered forever by her family, daughter Lisa Brown and her husband Mark Lellman; grandson Matt Lellman; and granddaughters, Leah Lellman (husband Josh Hisley) and Heidi Lellman (husband Jake Bonnerup); and great-grandson, Theo Bonnerup; daughter Suzanne Butz and her husband Ted Butz; grandsons Teddy Butz and Robert Butz (wife Jen Butz); and great-granddaughter, Hayden Butz; and daughter Maren Brown and her wife Patricia Morrison.

A Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to the Lyme Land Trust, which was dear to both mom and dad’s deep appreciation of preserving nature for future generations to enjoy.

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Kidz Connection Presents its ‘Outdoor Summer Theater on the Lawn Season Finale’ in Clinton, Aug. 23-25

Join a cast of 43 aspiring advanced musical theater actors as they get groovy with the beloved tracks of ABBA in this fun full length musical production on the lawn at Kidz Konnection Shoreline Theater Academy, Clinton.

Don’t miss this entirely free event to be held Friday, Aug. 23, at 6 p.m., Aug. 24, at noon and 6 p.m. and Aug. 25, at 4 p.m.  Bring your picnics, lawn chairs/blankets and get ready for some summer close-out fun!

For more information, contact kidzkonnectionct@gmail.com/860-227-2363 or go to kidzkonnectionct.org.

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