July 16, 2020

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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‘A Farmers’ Market’ Opens Saturdays for the Season at Tiffany Farms

Bill Hurtle and Jen Tiffany are preparing to open ‘The Farmers Market at Tiffany Farms’ on June 15.

LYME — It was looking as though Lyme Farmers Market, which has for more than 15 years been a perennially popular destination for both local and regional shoppers, was going to be absent from the landscape this year.

In an exciting turn of events, Jennifer Tiffany and her husband Bill Hurtle have reincarnated the market with a new name and location, and will open for business on June 15.  Tiffany explained in an exclusive interview with LymeLine.com that Bill has fostered the idea of running a farmers market for many years. He hails from Long Island and was used to seeing the numerous farm stands at the side of the road there and longed to do something similar in Lyme.

But there was no inclination to follow through with the plan in any major sense while Lyme Farmers Market was still bustling just up the road on Ashlawn Farm in Lyme.

A view of the iconic Tiffany Farms where the new market is planned.

Their first iteration of Bill’s dream happened last summer when Tiffany started hanging buckets of flowers on the feed bunk by the ‘Ladies in Waiting’ sign at the corner of Sterling City Rd. and Hamburg Rd., where the Holstein cows known as the “Ladies of Lyme” used to congregate. But someone said they thought it was a memorial for the cows which are no longer kept at the farm.

As a result, Tiffany says, they “dragged out“ Tiffany Farm’s old silage cart and placed it on the same corner and Tiffany’s daughter, Lisa Simiola, fashioned a nameplate out of wood calling it “From the Farm.” Tiffany and Hurtle then added farm produce to the flower selection  on the stand, all of which was successfully sold on the honor system.

However, when Tiffany read online that Lyme Farmers Market would not be opening this year, she and Bill saw an opportunity.  Jen is passionate about the current plight of farmers — “they’re a dying breed,” she notes sadly — and wants people to understand that her and Bill’s overarching intent in starting the new farmers market is to help and support farmers.  

Tiffany stresses that this venture is absolutely not a money-making one on their part — they both have full-time jobs so it’s “not their bread and butter,” she explains.  Rather, she sees it a way not only to support farmers, but also to bring life and beauty back to the iconic farm and regenerate the sense of community vibrancy previously associated with Lyme Farmers Market.  Any income from the market will be plowed back into the operation to help fund the overheads.

Opening Day for ‘The Farmers Market at Tiffany Farms’ is Saturday, June 15, and the market will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Tiffany stresses, “All Department of Agriculture, Markets, Department of Health and CT Grown guidelines will apply.”  She is “envisaging the same look as [Lyme Farmers Market at] Ashlawn,” which means there will be neither entertainment nor what she describes as “flea-market-type stuff.”  The aim is a “very classy ” market in Tiffany’s words, focused on Connecticut-grown or-produced items such as dairy, beef, vegetables, herbs, jellies and syrups.

Aerial view of Tiffany farms showing where the Farmer’s Market will be located.

The field generously made available for the market by Susan B. Tiffany — the current owner of Tiffany Farms — is a “secluded area where my grandfather kept draft ponies,” notes Tiffany, adding the layout of the market will involve keeping cars and vendors separate. She and Hurtle are hoping to have a minimum of 10 vendors and says they will be “elated” if the number reaches 20.

The list of vendors who have already signed up for Opening Day includes:

  • Four Mile River Farm
  • Sankow’s Beaver Brook Farm
  • Upper Pond Farm (also representing Ashlawn Farm)
  • Sweet Pea Cheese and House of Hayes
  • T.A.L.K. Seafood
  • Fat Stone Farm
  • Dondero Orchards
  • Deep River Farm
  • Wave Hill Breads
  • Beaver Brook Bakery
  • From the Farm

Vendors are still welcome to apply for a spot at “The Farmers Market at Tiffany Farms.”  Vendor applications are available by calling Jennifer Tiffany at 860-434-6239 or 860-575-4730 or emailing jtiffany01@msn.com

Editor’s Note: The Farmer’s Market enjoyed a wonderful Opening Day June 15 with more than 500 people visiting the market. Congratulations to Jen and Bill on such a successful and well-deserved start to their new enterprise.  We heartily commend them for having the courage to take on this venture, the total belief in its mission, and the passion to make it happen.

 

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Common Good Gardeners Need Your Help! Listen For More Info on WLIS/WMRD

Old Lyme resident Linda Clough (foreground), who is Common Good Gardens President, is Suzanne Thompson’s guest on this week’s edition of CT Outdoors.

Do you have some time to spare in August to help the Common Good Gardens (CGG) volunteers harvest vegetables for Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantry (SSKP)? Join them in the garden behind Grace Episcopal Church, 336 Main Street, Old Saybrook, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings, 9 to 10:30 a.m. (or come earlier on hotter days!)

Come learn about organic, no till gardening, at Common Good Gardens, founded in 2002 by passionate gardeners who wanted to use their expertise to benefit others.

Learn more on CT Outdoors with Suzanne Thompson on WLIS 1420 AM/Old Saybrook & WMRD 1150 AM/Middletown. Listen today, Sunday, Aug. 4, 7 to 7:30 a.m. 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-73019—Common-Good-Gardens.

Planting Manager Karen Selines harvesting broccoli that will be delivered to soup kitchen pantries in Old Saybrook, Niantic and Old Lyme.

Thompson’s guest this week, Linda Clough, explains how CGG volunteers grow and harvest 8,000 pounds of produce on their half-acre lot, plus collect 10,000 pounds of produce donated by local farmstands, to help SSKP provide nutritious food and fellowship for people in need along the Shoreline.

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Old Lyme Joyfully Celebrates the Magic of Midsummer Festival

Smile, please! Ryan Catucci of Old Lyme snaps a photo of his daughter Olivia, age 3, and five-year-old son Jameson, who had seized the opportunity to step inside a classic painting on the grounds of the Lyme Art Association during Saturday’s Midsummer Festival. All photos by Suzanne Thompson.

OLD LYME — Oh, what a day!  The 33rd Old Lyme Midsummer Festival was deemed a roaring success judging by the huge crowds drawn to the town yesterday to celebrate the event.

The day began with LYSB’s 5K run …

…and then moved to vintage cars photographed by the young …

…and the not so young!

The Bohemian Fair at the Florence Griswold Museum sported tents in a variety of shades …

… while the gardens drew scores of admirers.

There were tall folks …

… and smaller folks, here working on the community sculpture at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds …

… and four-legged folks!  This is Boomer, who won the Best Trick contest in the Parading Paws competition, posing for a photo!

Photo by Kim Monson.

Sales of art by alumni at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts were brisk …

Photo by Kim Monson.

… while artists took their time to draw or paint the delightfully-clothed model.

In front of the Lyme Art Association, the Old Lyme Land Trust hosted a wonderful display of native pollinator plants and …

… another of live reptiles!  The latter was presented by the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center.

Members of the Halls Road Improvement Committee were on hand to discuss the various proposals that are still in the development stage for making Halls Road an altogether better place.  Howard Margules is seen here hard at work.

Old Lyme Emergency Services Technicians were on hand to answer questions or spring into action …

… as were board members of the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce. From left to right, Jean Wilczynski, President Rich Shriver, Heather Gagnon and Dan Henderson.

Kristen Thornton (right) of the Florence Griswold Museum helped youngsters create all sorts of wonderful arts and crafts. Her ‘customers’ included Faye Casey (left), who, with her father James Casey (center), had come all the way from Brooklyn,NY, to attend the Festival.

Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club was ready to sign up new members …

… and The Moonshiners Trio was one of many bands that entertained as part of the Lymestock Music Festival down on the banks of the Lieutenant River.

Big bubbles were the order of the day at the Children’s Museum booth and Jolee Caldwell of Ivoryton clearly excelled at the task.

The range and quality of vintage cars on display at the Lyme-Old Lions Classic Car Show were nothing short of amazing —

… as were the ladies collecting the fees! Hard at work are, from left to right, Bev Pikna, Lesley Chick at the cash register, and Marianne Szreders.  All funds raised at the Car Show are used to fund scholarships awarded annually to Lyme-Old Lyme High School seniors.

A magician entertained in the Hartmann Education Center …

… and the ladies of Lyme Garden Club had all sorts of goodies for sale!

The Mystic Aquarium stand was a very popular feature and there were so many more.
Day slowly turned into night and then the whole event …

Photo by Katy Klarnet.

…ended with a bang!

So now, to conclude, all we can say is, oh, what a day … and night!

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Final Concert in ‘Summer Sounds’ Series Features ‘Ticket to Ride’ at Senior Center, Aug. 1

Beatles Tribute Band Ticket to Ride will be performing at the Lymes’ Senior Center, Thursday, Aug. 1, in the final free concert of the Summer Sounds series, starting at 7 p.m., which will be held rain or shine. All are welcome. Bring your chairs, blankets, dinner, etc. — the performances will be held out on the lawn (weather permitting) or inside if the weather is inclement.

A free ice cream social will follow the concert.

The concert series is sponsored by the following companies and organizations:

Signature Sponsors
Essex Printing (Centerbrook CT.)
Homecare Services of CT. (Niantic CT)
LymeLine.com

Gold Sponsors
All Pro Automotive (Old Lyme CT)
Audiology Concierge (Old Saybrook CT)
VNA of Southeastern CT (Waterford CT)
Reynolds Subaru and Reynolds Boats (Lyme CT)
Old Lyme Visiting Nurses Association, INC (Old Lyme CT)
Senior Health Insurance (Clinton CT)
Stone Ridge Active Retirement Living (Mystic CT)
Friends of the Lymes’ Senior Center (Old Lyme CT)

Silver Sponsors
Care Partners of CT (Wethersfield CT)

The Ice Cream Social Sponsors are:
Old Lyme Republican Town Committee (two Concerts)
Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee
Friends of the Lymes’ Senior Center

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Summertime Reminders from Old Lyme’s Recycling Committee to Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

The Old Lyme Recycling and Solid Waste Committee offers these reminders, tips and suggestions to increase the recycling rate in Old Lyme, reduce your waste and keep our environment healthy.

When planning that backyard barbecue or beach visit, avoid single use plastic and all foam products. Use reusable plates, containers and cutlery. Look for the least amount packaging used in your purchases

Just like at home, use the green recycle bin and the blue trash bin at the beach. Do not bag recycling items.

Use reusable shopping bags instead of plastic throwaways. Plastic bags can be recycled at the Old Lyme Library, Big Y, Wal-Mart and many other locations.

Start a compost pile for food items and lawn clippings. These are not recyclable. Glass and plastic containers with food waste in them are not recyclable.

Textile items and construction debris (wood, asphalt shingles) do not belong in either the blue or green bins.

Old Lyme’s recycling rate is 27 percent, about equal with the state average. The statewide goal for 2024 is 60 percent.

Trash hauler fees are going up; the more that can be recycled, the more can be saved in fees. Recycling reduces trash and saves money.

Check out RecycleCT.com and the link on the town website. Click on this link on the Town website to see What’s In / What’s Out in terms of recycling.

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Reward Offered for Finding Lost Dog From Lyme, Possibly Spotted Recently Outside Coffee’s

This beautiful dog, Dexter, is still missing.

Dexter, a 10-year-old dark brown (with white spots) German Shorthaired Pointer mix, has been missing for several weeks now. Dexter is generally friendly, but he may be frightened and disoriented at this point.

A possible sighting of Dexter in a blue SUV was made at Coffee’s Country Market on Boston Post Rd. on Friday, July 5. It could have been a different dog, but the woman who reported it said it looked very much like Dexter.

Another photo of Dexter, who is missing.

The last definite sighting of Dexter was near Hamburg Cove on May 22, when he was wearing a collar with nametags and rabies vaccination tag. He also has a microchip.

Please share this and if you have any information on Dexter’s whereabouts, call Richard Gordon at 617-549-2776 or Andrew Barker at 617-669-7195.

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Sound View Celebrates the Fourth With a Grand Parade

Sound View held its 26th annual Independence Day parade yesterday and yet again, the sun shone brightly for the occasion.

Joann Lishing led the parade proudly holding the Stars and Stripes and — as always — beaming broadly.  She was followed by the Silver Coronet Band and then local members of the VFW.

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd), pictured in the red shirt above, participated in the event as did Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal (also wearing red and walking behind State Rep. Carney in the photo above.)

The remaining participants in the huge parade were the myriad of appropriately decorated bicycles and their riders, golf carts bedecked in red, white and blue and their passengers, a girl on stilts, emergency vehicles and their personnel, and anyone else who wanted to join the parade!

Participants gathered at the north end of Hartford Ave. and then marched south towards Long Island Sound, back up Portland Ave. and across to Swan Ave. The final segment of the parade was the return trip up Hartford Ave. to the Shoreline Community Center.

Visit this link to view a video taken by Carol Mirakian of the parade.

Visit this link to view a gallery of photos of the parade taken by Dana Jensen and published on TheDay.com.

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Beach Donuts on Sale Weekends in Sound View, Proceeds Benefit Shoreline Community Center

Photo by Leon Ephraïm on Unsplash.

OLD LYME — The original, freshly made, “Beach Donuts” will be on sale Saturdays, Sundays, and Labor Day through Sept. 2, at the Shoreline Community Center on Hartford Ave., in Sound View from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.or until sold out.

All sale profits go to support the Shoreline Community Center and the staff are all volunteers.

For more information, call Shirley at 860-434-2871.

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Exhibition of Artwork by Christian Brechneff on View at Cooley Gallery

This “Bat Flower” is one of the paintings by Christian Peltenburg-Breshneff, which will be on display at The Cooley Gallery in Old Lyme.

Over the past three decades, Christian Peltenburg-Brechneff of Lyme has traveled the world to visit some of the most glorious private gardens to paint en plein air.

He has created a luscious visual record of 28 of them in a charming, gift-sized book of watercolors and gouaches. Into the Garden chronicles this long-term pilgrimage of a visionary painter, opening these exquisite private gardens to the public for the very first time.

The Cooley Gallery at 25 Lyme Street is hosting an exhibition of paintings from the book and additional works.  An Opening Reception for the exhibition will be held Saturday, July 6, from 4 to 7 p.m. and Brechneff will be on hand to sign copies of Into the Garden.

All are welcome.

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A Perfect Day for a Parade! Lyme’s Fourth of July Celebration Continues a Long Tradition

Looking across Hamburg Cove in Lyme, the Esther and William Irving Bridge.stands serene.  All photos by Michele and Mike Dickey.

Lyme was blessed yet again with perfect weather this Fourth of July and, although the traditional Independence Day parade has been held for more than 60 years, there was still a sense of eager anticipation as people gathered near the bridge on Cove Rd. for this beloved annual event founded by the late Dr. William Irving and his wife, Esther, and now commemorated with the plaque on the bridge, pictured below.

Back to the parade, and even the dogs seem eager to get started …

At 10 a.m., the firing of a single musket echoed through the cove …

… and the parade kicked off led by this valiant flag-bearer on foot …

Following immediately behind the flag-bearer was Grand Marshal Don Gerber riding in a 1948 Ford Deluxe convertible owned by Manon Zumbaum. Gerber is a local resident since childhood, who was selected for the honorary position in recognition of his long history of volunteer service to the Town.

Gerber served the Lyme Volunteer Fire Company as a member, engineer or assistant chief during the late 1970s and 1980s.. He has served as chairman of the Planning & Zoning Commission for nearly 10 years; as chairman of the Conservation Commission (acting as the Inland Wetland and Watercourse Agency) for 10 years; and as chairman of the Building Committee for the Lyme Public Safety Complex.

He was a member of the Camp Claire Board of Directors for nearly 10 years and has been a member of the Lyme Republican Town Committee for 35 years. He also played an important role in the Town’s recent acquisition of the Johnston Property.

Camp Claire was well represented not only with campers …

… but also by a float of the “Camp Claire Voyager.”

It was indeed a new day for this parade, for there was nary a bike nor trike in sight — young participants eschewed them for scooters …

… and even two hover boards joined the merry throng!

The Lyme Garden Club strutted their stuff …

… as did the Cub Scouts of Lyme Pack 32 and also ambulance and emergency service personnel ..,

… along with Bruce and Tammy Noyes on their World War II Army vehicle.

A cavalcade of old cars brought up the rear, and then the parade was over … all in less than 15 minutes!

Editor’s Note: This article has been corrected to reflect the correct dates of Don Gerber’s service in the Lyme Fire Department. Out apology for the error.

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Don’t Miss the Best 10-Minute Parade in America … or at Least Connecticut! Happening in Lyme Today

The Grand Marshal rode in this grand automobile one year — tomorrow it will be a different vehicle! (File photo.)

Editor’s Note: (i) We are delighted to publish this article which we received from Lyme Selectman John Kiker. The author, Sadie Frankel, serves as an unofficial student reporter for the Town of Lyme.
(ii) Visit this link to read our related story titled,
Town of Lyme Hosts Annual July 4 Parade, Don Gerber to Serve as Grand Marshal.

LYME — July 4th is a day of festivities all around the country and there is no exception in the small town of Lyme, Conn. These celebrations include barbeques, people of all ages sporting red, white, and blue, and the well-known 4th of July parade on Cove Road.

The parade was originally established by the late pediatrician, Dr. William Irving, a resident of Cove Road, who began the parade in 1958 as a way to demonstrate patriotism and celebrate America on the birthdate of our country. It is said that it was his son who sparked the idea, bored and wondering why Lyme didn’t already have a parade.

No one quite knows quite when this parade will kick off each year as it is not a town-sponsored event, nor is it arranged by a specific group or association. It begins whenever everyone gets there, or as Dr. Irving was often quoted as saying, “somewhere precisely between 10 and 11 a.m.”

Dr. Irving organized the parade each year and ensured all appropriate groups were contacted for their participation. He served as the parade’s grand marshal until 2008, when he stepped down after 50 years.

Marchers come complete with candy, balloons … and smiles! Photo by Katie Reid.

People marching in the parade hold balloons and buckets full of candy, ready to toss the sweets to the youngsters, who are watching the parade pass.

The parade has evolved over time into a true community experience, where Lyme residents come together and celebrate their country through cheering, candy and music. Participants change yearly, but always consist of dedicated townspeople, who wish to spend the holiday with their friends, families and neighbors.

There is no order in which people march – spots are determined by who shows up first. Among the participants is always Camp Claire, with children and staff of all ages from the summer camp just down the road dressed in red, white, and blue, marching with enthusiasm. The Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts also are a regular presence with their pack leaders in uniform waving flags.

Photo by Michele Dickey.

Next come the counselors and campers from Camp Claire, pictured above, as they proudly carry their banner and wave to spectators, while cheerfully singing, “It’s a Grand Old Flag.”

Volunteers from the town’s fire department and ambulance association, pictured below, walk to show their support. Members of the Lyme Corgi Club proudly march along with their dogs to celebrate. Various old-fashioned vehicles can be seen driving the parade route from Cove Road to the fairgrounds.

Photo by Katie Reid.

Any Lyme citizen of any age is welcome to walk, drive, scoot, bike, glide, fly, swim, hover, skip, slip-n-slide or march in the 0.4-mile parade to show their national and town spirit.

Along with the parade, Irving also created other celebratory July 4th traditions, some of which persist to this day. Second Selectman Parker Lord leads the ceremonial firing of the muskets to mark the beginning of the parade – a shot heard ‘round the town announcing the beginning of the procession.

The traditional firing of muskets signals the start of the Lyme Fourth of July Parade. Photo by Michele Dickey.

After the parade ends, the Lyme Parks and Recreation Department sponsors a barbeque at the Grange, where people from the town mingle and eat. This tradition has only begun within the past 10 years but has become a staple of the annual observance.

Dr. Irving, after each parade, would go to Cove Road Bridge and throw in tea bags in honor of the progress made since the colonists performed the historic act, which became known as the Boston Tea Party. This tradition is no longer observed; it stopped in 2015 when Dr. Irving passed away. A well-loved and much-missed member of the Lyme community, Dr. Irving’s memory lives on in the annual Cove Road parade.

About the Author: Sadie Frankel is a student at Lyme-Old Lyme High School where she is active in many school activities, including the theater, school newspaper, model UN and robotics program. She has been accepted to The School of the New York Times this summer for a journalism program.

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High Hopes Appoints New Board Chair, Trustees

Newly-appointed High Hopes Board Chair Jacqueline Kangley of Hadlyme leads a rider on the organization’s grounds. Photo credit: Michael Fanelli .

OLD LYME — High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc. has appointed Jacqueline Kangley of Hadlyme as its new chair of the board of trustees for a two-year term.

Kangley was introduced to therapeutic riding by her Essex Elementary School classmates and has been a volunteer at High Hopes since 2004. She has been a Trustee since 2015 and currently volunteers in the therapeutic riding program and serves on the Program, Marketing Advisory, Event, and Development Committees.

She has co-chaired the ‘Concert in the Barn’ and served on many Auction, Décor, and other Benefit Committees. She is a past recipient of the Sally H. Aubrey Award, and the 2018 Path Intl. Region 1 Volunteer of the Year for her outstanding contribution to High Hopes.

“High Hopes is a unique, vibrant community with an important mission. For over 15 years, I’ve watched participants, instructors, volunteers, and horses work together to improve each others’ lives in very measurable ways. I am grateful to be a part of the High Hopes team and value this opportunity to help guide the organization,” said Kangley of her appointment.

As her first order of business Kangley thanked John Catlett as well as outgoing trustees Seymour Smith and Katherine Gibson. Catlett is stepping down as Chair but will continue as a trustee at the Old Lyme non-profit. Kangley said, “Under John’s leadership, High Hopes has ushered in its 45th year with a strong respect for its past and a clear vision for the future. He has overseen the launch of the ‘Share Hope’ Endowment Campaign, the implementation of a new strategic plan, and encouraged an active, engaged board.”

Kangley concluded, “John, Seymour, and Katherine exemplify the dedication and commitment of the over 650 volunteers who help keep High Hopes running. Thank you for all they have done to support High Hopes’ mission.”

Handing over the gravel, Catlett commented: “Jackie is an outstanding choice to lead High Hopes as it begins to implement its latest Strategic Plan and transitions to the public phase of its endowment campaign. Jackie’s long involvement with the organization gives her a deep understanding of High Hopes and positions her well to take on this important role. I’m sure she will help lead the organization to an even stronger position to help impact the lives of those who depend so much on High Hopes.

Two new trustees were also welcomed to the Board, Sarah Kitchings Keenan and Margaret (Mac) Mummert. Each will serve for a three-year term.

Sarah and her husband Christopher reside in Essex with their three children, Ryan, Maggie, and Ashley. Her son, Ryan, has been an active High Hopes participant for five years; both of her daughters have attended the High Hopes Unified Summer Camp. Sarah has served as a member of the High Hopes Development Committee and is currently Treasurer of the Essex Elementary School Foundation.

Mac Mummert of Lyme.

Lyme resident Mac Mummert and her husband, Earl, are veterinarians and have owned four small animal practices. Her special interests include internal medicine and oncology. She has served in many local civic organizations including the Lyme Garden Club, the Child and Family Agency and is a Past President of the SE Connecticut Professional Women’s Network.

Mummert has also served on the vestry of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church and was District Commissioner of the Connecticut Valley Pony Club. Mac has two children, Brian and Anya. Anya has been a participant at High Hopes since she was five and now works as a volunteer twice weekly.

High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit based in Old Lyme, CT. Established in 1974, High Hopes serves over 1500 people each year with a unique range of therapeutic riding, carriage driving, and equine earning programs. Ninety-six percent of the organization’s workforce are volunteers who find their own lives enriched by our training, and the power of the horse-human interaction.

Participants include children, teens, adults, and seniors. Horses can build physical strength, emotional resilience, and cognitive development. Families in crisis learn how to trust; veterans deal with PTSD; teens at risk of substance abuse learn self-respect and children in wheelchairs feel the freedom of movement.

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Death of Christ The King Former Pastor Announced; Burial Mass Today

The death of Rev. Msgr. Thomas Bride, the former pastor of Christ the King Church in Old Lyme, has been announced. Monsignor Bride was pastor at Christ the King from 2007 to 2014.

A Vigil for the Deceased with Reception at the Church will take place today, Sunday, June 30, at 3 p.m. at Christ the King, and his body will lie in state until 7 p.m. this evening, when a Parish Mass will be celebrated for his repose.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated tomorrow, Monday, July 1, at 10 a.m., also at Christ the King Church.  Bishop Cote will preside.

Rev. Msgr. Bride’s service to the Diocese of Norwich goes back to 1967 when he was ordained. During his 52 years as a priest, he served as director of vocations for 34 years and  as vicar general of the diocese for 21 years.

Prior to coming to Christ the King Church, he was pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Quaker Hill.

Visit this link on theday.com to read a full obituary of Rev. Msgr. Bride.

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Mamma Mia! Opens at Ivoryton Playhouse, Runs Through July 28

Mamma Mia! cast members (from left to right) Cooper Grodin, Dane Agostinis, Stephanie Gomerez and Billy Clark Taylor rehearse a scene from the show now playing at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

IVORYTON – The Ivoryton Playhouse has been transformed from an historic New England theatre to a Mediterranean island, filled with the music universally loved for over 40 years!

Over 60 million people worldwide have fallen in love with the characters, the story and the music that make Mamma Mia! the ultimate feel-good show.  Set on a Greek island paradise, the story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship, creating an unforgettable show.

On the eve of her wedding, Sophie reads her mom’s diary, only to discover that the father she has never met, could be one of three men. The wedding invitation brings Sophie’s three dads to the Greek Isles in search of the life that could have been with Sophie’s mother, Donna.

The show is filled with laughter, heart and 22 hit songs including “Super Trouper”, “Lay All Your Love on Me”, “Dancing Queen”, “Knowing Me, Knowing You”, “Take a Chance on Me”, “Thank You for the Music”, “Money, Money, Money”, “The Winner Takes It All”, “Voulez-Vous”, “SOS” and the title track.

The three leading ladies of Mamma Mia!, from left to right, Carly Callahan, Laiona Michelle and Jessie Alagna sing a number in the show now playing at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

As of 2018, the show has productions in London’s West End, where it is the seventh longest-running show in West End history, as well as various international productions. Its Broadway incarnation closed in September 2015 after a 14-year run, making it the ninth longest-running show in Broadway history.

Get swept away by the infectious music, uplifting story, and dazzling dance numbers that have made Mamma Mia! a worldwide phenomenon.

The production stars Laiona Michelle* as Donna. Laiona was seen on Broadway as Nanna in Amazing Grace and in The First National Tour of The Book of Mormon.  Most recently she starred as the legendary jazz icon in the world premiere of Little Girl Blue – The Nina Simone Musical.  Joining her as her best buddies and the other two members of the band are Jessie Alagna* as Rosie and Carly Callahan as Tanya.

Callahan was last seen here in The Fantasticks and The Ivoryton Playhouse ChristmasHour. This is Alagna’s debut in Ivoryton.

Cooper Grodin*, Dane Agostinis* and Billy Clark Taylor* take on the roles of the dads and Stephanie Gomerez and Jack Kay play the young lovers, Sophie and Sky.

Evan Benjamin, Kelley Davies, Nico DiPrimio, Mark Gilchrist, Nicholas Gonzalez, Nigel Hall, Aliah James, Amanda Lupacchino, Melissa McLean, Ana Yi Puig, Carolina Santos Read*, Nathan Russo, Cameron Khalil Stokes, and Audrey Wilson complete this talented and energetic cast.

The production is directed and choreographed by J.R. Bruno and musical directed by David Madore with set design by Glenn Bassett, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Elizabeth Saylor.

Mamma Mia runs through July 28. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Additional matinee performances are on Saturday, July 6, and July 20, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $55 for adults; $50 for seniors; $25 for students and $20 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org 

 (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

Photographer: Jonathan Steele

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Play Bingo Wednesdays through the Summer at Sound View!

Sound View Beach Association hosts Bingo on Wednesdays in the summer through Sept. 4, at the Shoreline Community Center, 39 Hartford Avenue, Old Lyme.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the game starts at 7 p.m.

Come for a fun evening and win some money!

Admission is $12 per person.

For information, call Bob at 860-434-3745 or 860-225-9458.

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Op-Ed: What’s Happening With Halls Road? Looking Back, Looking Forward, a Personal View of the Project

The view (minus traffic!) looking up Halls Road today — how will it look in 10 year’s time?

Editor’s Note: We felt it would be helpful to our readers to provide some context to Saturday’s Open House on the future of Halls Road and the important discussions it involves about the future of Old Lyme. While we were working on an article, Mark Terwilliger submitted his own thoughts on the project. We are publishing his piece here and will now publish our own later in the week.  In the interests of full transparency, we note that Terwilliger is the partner of Halls Road Improvement Committee member Edie Twining.

What’s going on with Halls Road?

The Halls Road Improvement Committee (HRIC) is tasked with leading a town-wide discussion on the future of the Halls Road district. The ultimate goal of these discussions is the creation of a master plan that will guide future outside investments and development in that area.

How did this come about?

Some people in town were pushing for road and traffic changes to improve pedestrian / bicycle access to the shopping area on Halls Road, and asking the town to allocate money for those purposes. The town seemed amenable.

Other people said, “Wait a minute. Why should we make a non-trivial investment in this when we don’t even know what other (private or state) changes are planned, or in the offing, for this district? For that matter, we don’t even know what the town as a whole wants or needs from the future of this district.” And that began the process of looking in a more formal way at what changes we might want to see in the Halls Road district over the course of the next decade or two.

Why not just leave it alone?

Change is coming, whether we want it or not. No one can stop it. Our only choice is either to try to shape that change in the directions we want, or to let the changes happen to us without our input. The only outcome that is flatly impossible is “no change.”

The grocery stores of Old Lyme make a good example of change. In the early 20th century there were multiple grocers, meat markets, and general stores in various districts of Old Lyme. Main Street (as it was called then) had several, one of which was the A&P. The A&P was still the main grocery (and still on Lyme St.) in the 1950s. They told the town they needed to greatly expand their store and nearby parking to stay in business. Eventually the town responded by making two major adjustments.

A group of local investors raised money for a “modern” strip center along Halls Rd., and the town changed the zoning in that area to make it only suitable for such use: they zoned it for commercial use only, and required a 60 ft. set-back from the road to leave ample space for cars. When the A&P expanded further, new investors were sought and the original community investors held only a minority interest.

The A&P eventually went bankrupt, but the owners of the shopping center found a new anchor tenant in the Big Y.

Attracting and keeping businesses requires cooperation and responsiveness on the part of the town. The Big Y has a much larger store nearby in Old Saybrook and several more along the shoreline. I have no idea what the Big Y’s plans are for their smaller Old Lyme store, and anyone who is privy to that sort of information might not be at liberty to say.

Businesses make their own decisions based on their own interests, and that is as it should be. And that is the point. The environment changes, and businesses adapt or die. The town itself has a role to play in creating an environment that favors the kinds of businesses, the kinds of investments, and the kinds of development that will create and support the town as they want it to be.

What should we, as a town, hope to accomplish?

There is more to the town’s role than simply reacting to some proposed change or hustling to stave off a bad outcome. The whole object of the current process is to point to the most positive future for the Halls Road area and devise a sound set of measures to help create it.

If we (with the help of the HRIC and others) can put together a solid picture of the economic advantages of locating certain kinds of businesses in Old Lyme, and if we can demonstrate that we are in broad agreement as to what kinds of development we would like in the Halls Road area, and show that we are prepared to make the changes necessary to permit and promote that kind of development, then we have a much greater chance of attracting developers who will make the significant investments of money and time required to make our plans a reality.

All of these “ifs” will take time, effort, and involvement from many different groups and individuals. The Halls Road Improvement Committee is looking for broad-based participation, particularly in the processes leading to the creation of a master plan that can guide future developments along Halls Road.

A master plan does not create anything by fiat. The objective, rather, is to create a plan that has broad support, has a firm basis in economic realities, and offers attractive opportunities for reputable developers and current owners alike.

If we do not make this effort, if we simply leave the future shape of Halls Road to the uncoordinated, one-point decisions of each current and future property owner with no guidance from the town, we will have no room to complain when things do not go as we wish. That could happen in a big way if we do not plan ahead. Changes well beyond the control of the town or any particular business are already under way.

How have things changed?

Retail stores, particularly in strip malls and big box malls, are under severe pressure from online shopping. More than half of U.S. households are Amazon Prime members. I would guess the percentage is even higher in Old Lyme. The online-centered lifestyle has nearly killed the bookstores and wrecked retail giants.

Curiously, it has also created a new demand for what Old Lyme once had: a centralized meeting place with a mix of stores and homes, public buildings and public parks — a place where one could park the car and walk to do errands, meet friends, hear the latest, or just watch the world go by. It’s the meeting places and public life that are missing in the online-focused world.

Retailers and developers have taken notice and altered their plans accordingly. “Mixed use” is the one environment in which bricks-and-mortar retail still seems to flourish. It is a mix of residential, shopping, dining, entertainment, supermarkets, offices, and walkable public spaces that provide a place to linger and meet with friends.

When cars were the center of life, shopping required a huge parking lot. Now it takes a cell phone. More and more parking lots are half-empty or dead. It turns out you can’t have a neighborhood without actual neighbors, no matter how clever the marketing. When an area includes real, full-time residents, it feels different and alive. It isn’t just a place to run errands, but a place with a full life of its own.

People want the amenities of shops and so forth, but they also want the experience of other people around them. This is the one thing they cannot get when they are online — as they increasingly are whether at work or at leisure. Mixing residential and commercial, public and private spaces creates a more attractive environment for both businesses and residents.

Unmet needs and Halls Road

Older people who have lived in Old Lyme for decades find they must move to another town if they want to downsize. Mixed use housing in the Halls Road area could be an attractive alternative for many in this situation. It would also be attractive for younger people just starting out in life. Adding new uses to the land near Halls Road will also create new sources of tax revenue, providing some relief for existing tax payers.

What next?

The zoning we created to serve the 1950s’ car culture mandates nothing but strip malls — and that may now be an economic dead end. If we want anything new or different, we will have to make the changes to support it.

We as a town are a long way from having a shared vision of what is best for Halls Road. That process will take time and active participation. The HRIC works to lead the process, to make it transparent, and to keep people informed and involved. As a part of that effort, they are hosting an Open House at Memorial Town Hall this Saturday, June 15, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

I urge you to stop by for a few minutes and take a look at some of the ideas that are in discussion. The future shape of Halls Road is not a simple yes or no question. Most of us depend on the services available there, and many of us have ideas about how it could be better.

The HRIC Open House on Saturday is the latest opportunity to get involved in the discussion.

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Talking Transportation: Why the Scorn for Bus Riders?

Jim Cameron

Why do many people have such scorn for those who take the bus?

Forty-one million trips are taken on 12,000 public buses each year in Connecticut in communities across the state (not counting school buses.)  Yet, those riders are regarded as losers, not by the transit operators, but by those who drive by car.

When Southington was recently considering restoring bus service for the first time since 1969, a local resident wrote a letter to the local paper declaring “Towns that have bus service are towns that frankly have a lesser quality of people.”

Really?  “Lesser quality,” how?  Because they can’t afford to own a car?  Or because they are minorities?  That comment is either racist or classist or both.

As I wrote recently, the Greater Bridgeport Transit bus system carries 18,000 passengers every day (5.2 million a year), 90 percent of them either going to school or work.  Something like 26 percent of all Bridgeport train riders got to or from the station by bus.

Sure, some are non-white or non-English speaking.  But why begrudge them transportation?  You’d rather they not have a job or an education?

And yes, their fares are kept low with state subsidies.  But their incomes are also low and for them, even a $1.75 bus fare is expensive.  Remember … Metro-North trips (26.5 million per year), though also expensive (the highest in the US), are also subsidized.

But the biggest target of transit scorn is CTfastrak, the four-year-old, 9.4-mile-long dedicated BRT (bus rapid transit) system running between Hartford and New Britain.  Transit planners from across the country come to study CTfastrak. The Feds are looking to spend $665 million on similar systems across the US.

Yet Connecticut Republicans were trying to close it before it even began.

When it first opened in 2014, the CDOT projected 16,000 daily riders.  To date, the ridership is closer to 11,400.  Fares are cheap ($1.75 round-trip) and service is frequent with buses departing every few minutes.  From New Britain to downtown Hartford, it’s only 20 minutes, even at rush hour.  That’s about half the time you’d spend on I-84 stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

From the dedicated bus-only right-of-way, buses can also transfer to local roads into downtown Hartford and communities ranging from New Britain and Bristol to Cheshire and Waterbury.  The stations are clean and modern and the buses even offer free Wi-Fi … something we still don’t (and probably never will) have on Metro-North.

Critics complain about “empty buses” riding up and down the system.  Sure, the buses may not be jammed like Metro-North on a summertime Friday, but they do carry thousands every day.  Imagine if those bus riders were in cars.  How’d you like the traffic then?

Why the scorn for bus riders?  Beyond racism and class-warfare, I think there’s actually some jealousy.  Why do they get a fast, clean, cheap ride when I’m stuck in traffic?  Well, for some it’s a matter of necessity: they don’t own or have access to a car.  For others, as with train riders, it’s a matter of choice: they prefer the bus for speed and convenience.

So can we please stop shaming bus riders?

Like all of us, they have places to go, so let’s just allow them to ride in peace and harmony.

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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Two Lyme-Old Lyme Organizations Combine Their Talents to Build a Beautiful Butterfly Garden

Duck River Garden Club member Fay Wilkman digs deep during Saturday’s event with the Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club to plant a butterfly garden at the Cross Lane Playground. Meanwhile, Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal (standing to rear of photo) takes a break from her digging. Photo by Kimberly Russell Thompson.

A wonderful example of community cooperation took place in Old Lyme last Saturday, which generated not only a great deal of fun and camaraderie at the time, but also a beautiful garden for the future.

It all began with the Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club (LOLJWC)’s multi-year campaign to raise funds for new playground equipment at Cross Lane Park, which came to fruition with the official opening of the playground in April 2018.  During the campaign, the Club received a generous sum, to which the donor attached two requests.  The first was that it should remain anonymous and the second that it be used to create a butterfly garden at the renovated playground as a memorial.

Due to the timing of the playground’s installation, it was not possible to plant the butterfly garden last year but this year everything came together.

Sarah Michaelson plants more perennial pollinator bushes.  Photo by Suzanne Thompson.

Petie Reed, owner of Perennial Harmony Garden and Landscape in East Lyme, who is a member of both the LOLJWC and the Duck River Garden Club (DRGC), proposed that the LOLJWC should share development of the project with the DRGC and the DRGC enthusiastically embraced the idea.  Reed was assisted throughout the project by her partner, Rich Oliver.
Reed worked with numerous members of both organizations including Suzanne Thompson of the DRGC and Anna Reiter, outgoing LOLJWC President. The group designed it to be a wildlife garden of native plants well-suited for the shaded, boggy terrain.  The selection of native shrubs and perennials includes aromatic sumacs, viburnum, huchera, black-eyed susans and baptisia will support many pollinator insects and birds.

Reiter explained that during design discussions, Reed, “suggested we allow for a more community feel to the garden, by allowing families to “adopt” a garden plot.” Reiter continued, “For a nominal fee, we supplied some specific native plants that will encourage local wildlife and pollinators for each of the community garden plots, and families were encouraged to bring their own non-invasive plants for their plot.”

From left to right, Kay Reiter stands with long-time DRGC member Mim Beardsley, incoming LOLJWC President Kim Russell Thompson, and Izzy Thompson.  Photo by Suzanne Thompson.

The finishing touch was that the LOLJWC also supplied a ceramic garden stake, which families can take to Ocean Art Studio in Old Saybrook to customize and then place in their garden.

Reiter noted there are still some plots available for purchase, emphasizing that the owner families and LOLJWC members will be watering the gardens throughout the summer to get them established.  Once settled in, these native plants will need minimal watering and will continue to spread and naturalize the area around the playground.
A large group of DRGC and LOLJWC members of all ages along with spouses, children, relatives and friends turned out Saturday to spend the morning cheerfully planting and watering. Fay Wilkman and Mim Beardsley, both members of the DRGC, also assisted with the installation, and incoming LOLJWC President Kimberly Russell Thompson summed up the universal feeling at the end of the successful event when she said simply, “It was a very fun day!”

Fun and flowers … and smiles! An LOLJWC member and her daughter (in foreground) and incoming LOLJWC Vice President Angela Mock and her daughter Ally all take a well-earned break from their labors.  Photo by Suzanne Thompson.

Looking to the future, Reiter commented, “Petie and I hope these beds also will provide inspiration and ideas to families who want to plant more native flowers and shrubs in their own yards,” while Thompson added,  “Next steps are to seek grant funding so we can put up educational signs in the beds, to identify the plants and their benefits to wildlife.”
After expressing sincere thanks to the anonymous donor and all those who had made creation of the butterfly garden a reality, Reiter concluded positively, “We are hoping the community will walk through the gardens and enjoy the beauty of the park and the wildlife — this was a very special gift!”

Editor’s Note: Garden plots are still available for purchase at $30 each.  The purchaser must agree to tend and water their garden throughout this season.  A rain barrel and water cans are available to make watering fun and easy.  If you wish to purchase a plot, visit the LOLJWC website at www.loljwc.com or email Anna Reiter at loljrwomencub@gmail.com. There is a link to purchase a plot on the website. 

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