July 4, 2020

Flo Gris Museum Now Open to Members, Reopens to Public, Tuesday; New ‘Fresh Fields’ Exhibition on View

OLD LYME — The Florence Griswold Museum reopened to members July 1 and will reopen to the public July 7.  Admission will be limited and by 24-hour advance online ticketing only. Check the Museum website for admission requirements and details of how to purchase tickets.

Café Flo opens July 7, by reservation only.

Childe Hassam, Apple Trees in Bloom, Old Lyme, 1904. 25 x 30 in., Florence Griswold Museum, Gift of the Vincent Dowling Family Foundation in Honor of Director Emeritus Jeffrey Andersen.

Visitors to the Museum will be greeted with a new exhibition, Fresh Fields, which is a celebration of the Museum’s most beloved landscape paintings created by Impressionist artists who visited Old Lyme. The exhibition opens July 7 and runs through Nov. 1.

The selection highlights major recent acquisitions, such as Childe Hassam’s Apple Trees in BloomOld Lyme (1904), and emphasizes ongoing research about the local landscape that informed development of the Artists’ Trail.

Paintings, drawings, archival materials, and photographs will shed light on the history and ecology of Old Lyme, which caused it to become a gathering place for artists.

The exhibition also calls upon the knowledge and viewpoints of outside experts to build an interdisciplinary understanding. In addition to the Museum’s own curators and art history scholars, contributors will include an ecologist, members of the local Native American community, and experts on women’s history and African-American history.

Fresh Fields relies on those with expertise in these areas to help create a more complete understanding of the human history, culture, and values that shaped these Impressionist landscapes.

Editor’s Note: Remember that the Museum grounds are open and in bloom now — no need to wait for the reopening of the Museum to enjoy them!

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Saint Ann’s Nearly New Shop in Old Lyme Reopens for Sales

The Nearly New Shop of Saint Ann’s Parish.

OLD LYME — The Nearly New Shop of Saint Ann’s Parish will start accepting consignments again Monday, June 22. The Shop will be open every day next week through Friday, June 26, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The Shop will reopen for sales starting Wednesday, July 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Henceforward, it will be open every Tuesdays through Saturdays at the same time.

Clothes for consignment should be clean, wrinkle free, and on hangers. Forms should be filled out with item detail or can be provided at the time of your visit.

All customers are reminded that properly worn face masks must be worn at all times while visiting the Nearly New Shop and similarly social distancing must be practiced at all times.

The Shop is located  at 70 Shore Rd. (corner of Shore and Mile Creek Rd’s.)

The Shop management says, “We are beyond excited to be opening our doors once again. Although you won’t be able to see our smiles when you walk in the door, know we’ll be grinning ear to ear under our masks!”

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Lyme’s Traditional Fourth of July Parade Cannot be Held This Year Due to COVID-19 Crowd Size Restrictions

Lyme’s Fourth of July parade will not take place this year. File photo from a previous parade by Michele Dickey.

LYME — At their meeting Monday afternoon, the Lyme Board of Selectmen discussed whether the Fourth of July parade, which traditionally takes place on Cove Rd., should be held this year. First Selectman Steve Mattson stressed “It is not a Town of Lyme function,” but rather, “A community function … whoever shows up walks, rides or whatever.”

Mattson said, “It is my opinion that the event should not be held this year.” Selectman John Kiker agreed, saying, “I just think it’s too soon,” and Selectman Parker Lord added, “I agree it’s the thing to do.”

In addition, recognizing the revised restrictions imposed by Governor Lamont in terms of the size of public gatherings, the Town has now posted the following announcement on their website advising residents, “The traditional Cove Road July 4th Parade cannot be held this year, in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order #7TT, which prohibits public gatherings of more than 25 people during this phase of the pandemic.”

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Sound View’s Traditional July 4 Parade Cancelled, Also No Beach Summer Concerts In Old Lyme This Year

Cheerfully leading a previous year’s Independence Day parade through the streets of Sound View in Old Lyme was the ever-smiling Joann Leishing. Sadly, there will be no parade his year.

OLD LYME — Frank Pappalardo, who serves as Sound View Commission Chairman, told LymeLine in an email yesterday, “The Sound View Commission has canceled their events and activities for this summer, including the concert series.”

He added, “The Sound View Beach Association (SVBA) has cancelled the Independence Day Parade for this year, other events are pending.”

Asked about all the other summer happenings that the SVBA traditionally hosts, SVBA President Gail Fuller responded in an email, “We are still not sure what we’re doing with our other  activities yet.,” noting that she would keep LymeLine posted, “as soon as I know what we’re doing.”

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Neviaser “Very Pleased” with Governor’s Plan to Reopen All CT Schools in Fall 2020

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser

OLD LYME — Asked his reaction to Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona’s announcement yesterday that all schools statewide should plan to reopen to all students in the fall of 2020, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser told LymeLine exclusively by phone this morning that he is “very pleased with the Governor’s plan.”

The plan calls for mandatory mask-wearing by students and staff with certain exceptions, cohorting so that teams function independently as much as possible, and social distancing combined with heightened health and safety protocols.

The full press release from the Governor’s office is published in its entirety below.

Neviaser said, “I’m especially glad to see that they’re giving local flexibility … one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to schools … schools are different sizes, have different populations … or to put it another way, we’re different from Old Saybrook and East Lyme … and Hartford.”

Regarding next steps, Neviaser explained, “We have two committees already in place that have been anxiously awaiting this guidance.” He said that apart from the full return to school option, they have been looking into “remote learning” and also “a hybrid model with students coming into school on alternate days.”

Now the committees will work intensively to determine the optimum ways to implement the Governor’s plans specifically for Lyme-Old Lyme Schools. Neviaser said, “Ideally, we’ll get everyone back [to school] in a way that follows all the guidelines to keeps students and staff safe.” He added that LOL Schools will be working with the local health departments to ensure they comply with all health and safety guidelines.

Asked whether he thought the fall sports program would take place, Neviaser responded, “We intend to [have it in place] … the CIAC (Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference) does too [for all schools in the conference] — we just don’t have any details yet.”

Finally, Neviaser noted that he does not know yet whether LOL Schools will have to supply masks to students and faculty, if the state will supply them or if students and faculty will be required to supply their own. Indicating he awaits further direction on that, he said that in the meantime, “I just have no idea.”

The following is the full press release issued by Governor Ned Lamont’s office yesterday, June 25:  Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona announced details yesterday of the framework to allow all students – in all school districts statewide – the opportunity to have access to in-school, full-time instruction at the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year, as long as public health data continues to support this model.

While Connecticut has determined reopening schools for in-person instruction can be achieved based upon the state’s successful COVID-19 containment efforts, this model will be supported with more intensive mitigation strategies and specific monitoring, containment, and class cancellation plans.

“While we’ve made good strides to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in Connecticut, the virus hasn’t gone away and we need to do what we can to keep students and staff safe while also doing our best to provide our young people with access to an education that prepares them for the future,” Governor Lamont said.

He continued, “Working with public health and medical experts, and with the support of our educators, we are preparing a number of steps that protect the health and safety of everyone who makes contact with our school system.”

In assessing the approach to a required operating model, the Connecticut State Department of Education (SDE) considered input from school representatives, educators, families, students, educational stakeholders, advocacy organizations, and union representatives. The department conducted a review of nationally and globally published school reopening plans. The importance of access to in-person schooling rose as a priority related to educational opportunities, safety, wellbeing, and social-emotional learning.

“This pandemic represents more than a virus, it represents an historic disruption to our school communities and created barriers to how we best deliver academic and non-academic supports in a way that is accessible, equitable, and meaningful,” Commissioner Cardona said.

“Addressing the educational setbacks and the social-emotional toll caused by COVID-19 is best addressed by maximizing in-person instructional time,” noted Cardona, adding, “In developing this plan, we worked in close consultation with public health officials to prioritize the safety of our school communities and, just as intensively, engaged students, parents, and educators for their critical input. We stand with our districts, educators and families as we commit to making 2020-21 a year devoted to creativity, innovation, courage, and reimagining education together.”

In addition to the framework released today, SDE plans to release a more detailed guidance document next week that will provide more comprehensive information for school districts.

**DownloadExecutive summary of Connecticut’s 2020-21 school planning
**DownloadPresentation on Connecticut’s 2020-21 school planning

Framework for Connecticut Schools During the 2020-21 Academic Year
Guiding Principles

As Connecticut schools plan to reopen, the guidance and considerations outlined in this framework are grounded in six guiding principles:

  1. Safeguarding the health and safety of students and staff;
  2. Allowing all students the opportunity to return into the classrooms full time starting in the fall;
  3. Monitoring the school populations and, when necessary, potentially cancelling classes in the future to appropriately contain COVID-19 spread;
  4. Emphasizing equity, access, and support to the students and communities who are emerging from this historic disruption;
  5. Fostering strong two-way communication with partners such as families, educators and staff; and
  6. Factoring into decisions about reopening the challenges to the physical safety and social-emotional well-being of our students when they are not in school.

These guiding principles require all districts to develop their plans with a certain level of consistency, however they retain wide discretion in implementing approaches to reopening given unique local considerations. School districts must balance their planning with contingency plans to provide robust, blended learning or remote learning for all grades in the event that a school, district, or region has to cancel or limit in-person classes due to health precautions.

Main Operational Considerations

Cohorting

  • Districts should emphasize grouping students by the same class/group of students and teacher (into a cohort) so each team functions independently as much as possible. Consider this methodology by grade levels.
  • Placing students in cohorts is strongly encouraged for grades K-8, and encouraged where feasible for grades 9-12.

Social Distancing and Facilities

  • Review building space and reconfigure available classroom space, such as gymnasiums and auditoriums, to maximize social distancing, consistent with public health guidelines in place at that time.

Transportation

  • Districts should plan for buses to operate close to capacity with heightened health and safety protocols, including requiring all students and operators wear face coverings.
  • Plans must be developed to activate increased social distancing protocols based upon community spread.

Face Coverings

  • All staff and students will be expected to wear a protective face covering or face mask that completely covers the nose and mouth when inside the school building, except for certain exceptions including when teachers are providing instruction.

Ensuring Equity and Access

  • Equitable access to education is a top priority that supports a full-time in-school model by mitigating any barriers to education or opportunity gaps that increased during the pandemic. Efforts to support equity, close the opportunity gap, and provide a wide range of support for students in the state is best achieved with in-person schooling opportunities for all ages.
  • Districts should identify gaps and develop action plans for reopening that specifically address inclusion, equity, and access for all learners with strategies and clearly defined action steps.
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Lyme Ambulance Association Seeks IT Volunteer, Four Hours Per Month

Carl Clement (left) accompanied by George Mooney and other members of Lyme Ambulance Department march in the 2017 July 4 parade. File photo by C. Judy.

LYME — Lyme Ambulance Association is looking for a volunteer Information Technology Person to assist with a variety of tasks including simple web updates (training is available), interactions with the hosting provider and monitoring the donation widget.

The approximate time requirement is four hours each month, but could be longer if desired.

For further information, contact Ariana Eaton at 860.510.2815 or deputychief@lymeambulance.org

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Will There Be a Fireworks Display in Old Lyme This Year?

The Town of Old Lyme’s fireworks display traditionally rounds off the annual Midsummer Festival. Since the 2020 Midsummer Festival is cancelled, many are wondering whether there will still there be fireworks this year? File photo.

OLD LYME — At the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen’s June 15 meeting, Selectman Christopher Kerr asked whether the Town would be hosting the fireworks display that traditionally takes place on the Saturday evening of the Midsummer Festival, even though the Festival itself has been cancelled this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Griswold responded that he needed to reach Commissioner Lehman to discuss details of what might be permitted under the state’s reopening guidelines. Lehman is the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD.)

Griswold mused as to whether the event could be held using “the same formula as the beach” with regard to social distancing. He said there would obviously be “no buses,” but, “if we could get clearance [from the state], we could space out.”

The three selectmen agreed after a brief discussion that the average turnout for the event was around 900.

Griswold concluded the discussion saying, “We are still entertaining the idea of still having it [the firework display.]”

Following on from that meeting, LymeLine asked Griswold on Friday whether any progress had been made towards a decision. He responded by text that information from the Governor’s office, “States that, as part of Phase 3, fireworks with proper separation may be held with no cap.” Griswold indicated that he believed that in this context, “cap” meant maximum capacity.

He ended his text saying, “I will poll the Selectmen and the Fire Marshal with a recommendation that the Town proceed with preparations for a Saturday, 25 July event with a rain date of the 26th.”

As soon as we hear the final decision from Griswold, we will report it on LymeLine.com.

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Old Lyme Town Hall Reopens to Public Monday With New Protocols in Place

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold

OLD LYME — UPDATED  6/22: Speaking at the June 15 Old Lyme Board of Selectmen’s meeting, which was held virtually via Webex, First Selectman Tim Griswold said exuberantly, “Come the 22nd, we’ll be open for public access.”

He was referring to the fact that the board of selectmen has set the date for town employees to return to work at Memorial Town Hall as Monday, June 22, which is the same day that it will also open to the public — but in both cases with many new restrictions.

The most significant change is, in Griswold’s words, that, “the front door will remain closed,” with a lock-box being used for tax payments, beach passes, documents for filing with the the town clerk and so forth.

He explained that people coming to town hall will, “Use the double-doors by the Meeting Hall and must have a face mask. They will be met by a greeter.”  The greeter’s role will be to determine when sufficient space is available to maintain social distancing guidelines at the department the person wishes to visit.

Adding, “If someone wants to speak with a particular person, they will have to call for an appointment,” Griswold also noted that hand-sanitizer will be available at numerous locations throughout the building.

He concluded, “There’ll be a period of getting used to this new way of working.”

In an email to staff, Griswold had previously explained the precautions being taken and the new protocols that will be in place for intra-staff interactions as well as those between staff and members of the public.

Griswold states in the email, “Personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves will be provided to employees and I ask that staff wear masks when in hallways and other common areas.”

He then lists the measures that are being implemented to protect both the health of employees and the public.

In terms of foot traffic entering the building, the main Town Hall doors and lower level doors will remain locked.

People will enter through the double doors in the foyer next to the meeting hall (at the left of the building as one looks at it from the road) where two Parks and Recreation “Greeters” will meet them and take the temperature of each member of the public entering the building. These “Greeters” will also ensure that each person is wearing a mask and if no mask is present, one will be provided.

Parks and Recreation Director Don Bugbee will serve as the manager of the Greeters.

The Greeters will then direct the public to the office they wish to visit.

In the event more than two or three people are requesting access to a specific office at the same time, the Greeters will ask members of the public to wait in the Meeting Hall. The Greeters will use walkie-talkies to communicate with the larger volume offices.

Once the line is sufficiently reduced, the Greeter will direct the next person waiting to proceed to that office.

The public will have access to the main floor restrooms only. There will be no public access to the lower level.

Regarding general sanitizing facilities and procedures, there will be hand sanitizing stations at the main entrance and in other locations in Town Hall. Dutch doors with built-in counters will be installed in the  First Selectman’s and Assessor’s office doorways. Plexiglass barriers will be placed in the doorways above the counters.

Plexiglass barriers will also be installed in the Town Clerk’s office and in the Building and Land Use areas on the second floor.

Tape will be used to show the public where to stand so that they remain six feet apart while they are waiting for a staff member.

The Town Hall cleaning contractor will continue daily sanitizing of common areas.

Business interactions will see a number of changes. Beach passes, tax payments, and dog licenses will only be accepted by drop-off or in the mail (except for cash payments). Beach passes will not be issued in person.

Griswold notes in his email, “We are strongly encouraging members of the public to conduct their business by phone and/or mail to reduce the number of people entering Town Hall,” adding that a front door lock box has been installed and will be utilized for people to drop off items outside of regular hours.

He also stresses that all meetings with Town Hall staff will take place by appointment only in the immediate term. and that boards, commissions, and committees will continue to meet virtually until the State changes restrictions on in-person gatherings.

Griswold concludes the email, “I appreciate your patience and flexibility as we adapt to doing business differently for the foreseeable future.”

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Wyman of Old Lyme Appointed Community Music School Executive Director, “Thrilled to Come Home”

Dr. Richard Wyman, the new Executive Director of the Community Music School based in Centerbrook.

OLD LYME — Dr. Richard Wyman of Old Lyme has been appointed the new Executive Director of the Community Music School (CMS) located in Centerbrook. He took over the reins of the organization in the mid-May after serving for several years as Musical Masterworks General Director.

Wyman has a long history of involvement in both playing and conducting music professionally along with community-based music learning. He began his music studies at the prestigious Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y., where he obtained his undergraduate degree in music education and then moved to the University of Illinois to pursue a masters degree in music.

Subsequently, he moved back East when he joined the US Coast Guard (CG) Band  as a baritone saxophonist in the late 1990s. Back then, Wyman also taught saxophone for a number of years at CMS but in 2004, he was appointed Assistant Director of the USCG band and opted to focus on his new position along with studying conducting at the University of Connecticut where he earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts.

In his role as USCG Band Assistant Director, Wyman led educational concerts for thousands of students.

After retiring from the SCG in 2018, Wyman first took the position with Musical Masterworks and now he has come full circle back to the CMS.  He is still continuing his music education, however, since he is currently studying arts administration at UConn.

Wyman says he is, “Thrilled to ‘come home’ to CMS,” and is looking forward to all the challenges and opportunities that the job offers. These latter involve continuing to run the school’s teaching program online and running the spring “Friends of Note” campaign, which is devoted to “COVID-19 Relief” for CMS through the summer. He points out that a gift to this $50K campaign will, “Provide payroll (for staff and instructors), mortgage payments, maintenance of our facilities, and … most importantly, support of the wonderful instruction and music-making,” by CMS faculty and students.

Asked to explain his passion for both music and music education, Wyman says, “Throughout my adult life, I’ve become increasingly obsessed with understanding music’s essential role in the living of a fulfilling life,” noting, “Whether it was through performing as saxophonist in amusement parks (which he did at both Disney World and Busch Gardens many years ago), conducting/hosting USCG Band educational performances, or witnessing the joy music brings to members of the CMS “New Horizons” Band.”

Wyman lives in Old Lyme with his clarinetist/pianist wife Erin and their three boys, the eldest of whom has just graduated from Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS). The younger two are respectively at LOLHS and Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School and all three, in Wyman’s words, “Study music as important parts of their educations and lives.”

Editor’s Note: Community Music School is located at 90 Main St., Building 4, Centerbrook, and also 179 Flanders Rd., Ste. 3 East Lyme. For more information on CMS, call 860-767-0026 or visit the school’s website.

If you wish to donated to the “Friends of Note’ campaign, call Wyman at 860-767-0026 to discuss giving opportunities, or donate online at cmsct.org/support.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Award Four Scholarships to LOLHS Seniors


OLD LYME — On Wednesday, June 17, the Lyme-Old Lyme Lions awarded four $1500 scholarships to deserving Lyme-Old Lyme High School Seniors in the Meeting Hall at the Old Lyme Town Hall.

Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold, right in photo above, presented the scholarships and was assisted by Michael Kolar, President of the Lyme-Old Lyme Lions, left in photo.

Also pictured in the photo above are, from left to right:

  • Kyle Myers, recipient of the Don McCue Memorial Scholarship, which is offered in memory of Donald McCue, a man dedicated to his community
  • Evan St.Louis, recipient of the Lew Krouse Memorial Scholarship, which is offered in memory of one of the greatest Lions to belong to the LOL Lions Club. In honor of his profession, the primary criteria for award eligibility is a desire to pursue an undergraduate degree in communications. Other criteria that will affect the decision include community service, academics, and athletics.
  • Julia Stout, recipient of the Harold Nickerson Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded based on a combination of scholastic and athletic achievement.
  • Elizabeth Cravinho, recipient of the Ralph Kehoe Memorial Scholarship, awarded to a graduating senior with a solid academic record, who has been accepted as a full-time student at a post-high school accredited institution and involved in some community and/or school activities.
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Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Recognize Four Students with CABE Leadership Awards

Emily Balocca (left), pictured in this screenshot from the June 6 LOL Board of Education virtual meeting was the female recipient of the 2020 CABE Student Leadership Award. Emily’s mother Katie is pictured at right in photo.

OLD LYME — Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser and the LOL Board of Education recognized Emily Balocca and Raymond Doll at the June 3 Board of Education meeting as recipients of Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) Student Leadership Awards. Both Balocca and Doll are 12th grade students at Lyme-Old Lyme High School.

Delaney Nelson and Justin Green, who are 8th grade students at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School, were also recently recognized with CABE Student Leadership Award.

Students are nominated to receive this award by their school principal and must have exhibited the following leadership skills:

  • Willingness to take on challenges
  • Capability to make difficult decisions
  • Concern for others
  • Ability to work with others
  • Willingness to commit to a project
  • Diplomacy
  • Ability to understand issues clearly
  • Ability to honor a commitment
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It’s Juneteenth — But What Does That Mean? (from ‘The Boston Globe’)

LYME / OLD LYME — To be honest, we have never mentioned Juneteenth before on LymeLine.com but, in a sign of the times, we feel we can’t let this day pass us by this year without comment.

Quiet, overwhelmingly white Lyme and Old Lyme have already displayed a remarkable awareness of the changing world in which we are living with rallies for racial justice in each town on the most recent two weekends.

Something is happening — even in our peaceful, rural backwaters — that is touching the community conscience and sparking action.

We stumbled on this powerful opinion piece by Adrian Walker titled, What we celebrate this Juneteenth, published yesterday (June 18) in The Boston Globe, which digs deeper into this ongoing phenomenon and explains the history of Juneteenth far better than we are able.

Walker says,  “And this Juneteenth finds Americans in the streets, joined again in a battle for that elusive idea of freedom. Fighting, once again, for true equity in the land where all of us were created equal. As much as anything, Juneteenth is an observance of promises still waiting to be delivered.

He concludes, “If we are lucky and brave and bold, this insane year of pandemic, uprising, and upheaval might be another beginning. Americans stand on the shoulders of idealists, but grounded in the realities of the oppressed. Juneteenth, from its beginning, has been a monument to that tension.

For once, that drama is front and center.

Read Walker’s full column at this link.

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Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation’s 15th Annual Walk Goes Virtual, Registration Now Open

LYME/OLD LYME — Registration for the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation’s 15th annual walk is open.

This year, the foundation is hosting a “Virtual Walk to Cure Breast Cancer” on Saturday, Oct. 3, but participants can walk, run or bike anywhere they choose at any time. Registration is available online at www.TBBCF.org

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness month, registration will be open through the end of October. A few virtual events are planned on or around Oct. 3, the designated Walk Day. The plan is to be able to gather together again in person, as a foundation, the first Saturday in October, 2021.

The registration fee is $25 and is non-refundable. Participants must be 12 and older. Because this is an extraordinary year, and the potential challenges around fundraising are recognized, fundraising targets for 2020 have been reduced as follows: $150 for all walkers and $100 for cancer survivors and students, ages 12 to 22. As in past years, all fundraising should be completed by the end of the year.

The foundation acknowledges and supports the many participants, who set their own fundraising goals, and raise much more money for breast cancer research than required.

Although the format of the signature walk has changed for this year, the mission stays the same – a commitment to fight breast cancer by directing 100 percent of gross fundraising dollars directly to breast cancer research.

Since 2020 is virtual, the foundation hopes friends and family from across the country and the globe will join in this fundraising event.

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Student-led ‘Black Lives Matter’ Rally in Lyme Draws More Than 120, Including Sen. Blumenthal, State Sen. Needleman

The crowd of around 125 attending the ‘Black Lives Matter’ rally on the Lyme Town Green Sunday sat socially-distanced and wearing masks to listen attentively to the speakers.

LYME — UPDATED 06/18: Around 125 people attended a Black Lives Matter rally in Lyme on Sunday that was organized by local Lyme-Old Lyme High School students Mariame Biume, Sadie Frankel, Connie Pan and Riley Nelson.

Senator Richard Blumenthal (third from left) and State Senator Norm Needleman (D-33rd, fourth from right in) listen to student organizer Riley Nelson speak. Nelson was one of the organizers of the rally along with Connie Pan, who stands at right. The other two student organizers were Mariame Biume and Sadie Frankel.

First Congregational Church of Old Lyme Senior Minister Steve Jungkeit gave the introductory remarks at the event while Senator Richard Blumenthal (D), State Senator Norm Needleman (D- 33rd), State Representative Candidate Dave Rubino (D-23rd) were all in attendance.

At the end of the rally, all the attendees knelt in silence for eight minutes and 46 seconds — the time that a Police Officer knelt on George Floyd’s neck in Minneapolis causing him to expire.

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Old Lyme Historical Society Announces Scholarship Winners

Old Lyme Historical Society Inc. Scholarship winner Conner Wyman (center) of Old Lyme stands with his parents Erin and Rick Wyman, and his two brothers, Avery and Oliver. Photos by James Meehan.

OLD LYME — At the 15th Annual Meeting of the Old Lyme Historical Society Inc. (OLHSI), which was held virtually June 8 via Zoom, Kevin Cole, Chairman of the OLHSI Scholarship & Youth Outreach Committee, announced the recipients of the 2020 Carol Noyes Winters Scholarship Awards,  which are given annually to outstanding Lyme-Old Lyme students intending to study history in college.

The second OLHSI Scholarship winner was Audrey Berry (center) who stands with her parents Mandy Campbell Berry and Rob Berry.

Cole noted, “Once again this year, there were two exemplary recipients: Conner Wyman and Audrey Berry,” adding,C”ongratulations to both of them!”

The awards were presented in person June 10, at a ceremony held at the OLHSI building on Lyme St.

During his announcement in the Annual Meeting, Cole went on to give more details of Wyman and Berry’s credentials which caused them to be selected as the award winners.

Cole described Wyman’s, “Seriously impressive responses on his application and exemplary references,” which included many previous awards such as the Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) Social Studies Scholar Award 2019 and the VFW Voice of Democracy Certificate of Merit 2017.

Cole noted that Wyman had attended the Global Peace Conference in Cali, Columbia and was selected by LOLHS History teachers to attend the 2018 Connecticut Boys’ State Conference.

Mentioning that Wyman volunteers at a Soup Kitchen and is an accomplished musician, Cole commented that Wyman is passionate about history and has a unique vision of how it applies to his future plans and goals.

Wyman, who will attend Oberlin College in the fall, is interested in issues of social justice, is considering joining the Peace Corps, Amnesty International, or Human Rights Watch in the future.

Similarly, Cole noted that Audrey Berry gave, “exemplary responses in her application and superior references,” and had “Many noteworthy awards and accomplishments.” She is a three-year member of the LOLHS Local History Club and served as its president this year. She received the following LOLHS Awards for Excellence: Civics and Law, Roots of Democracy, Advanced Placement (AP) European History, and AP US History.

Berry was a Rotary Student of the Month in Social Studies and volunteered for a year in OLHSI archives. She also wrote an article about Emily Sophie Brown, which was published in the CT Explored magazine’s Women’s Suffrage issue titled, “One of the First Five.”

Cole noted that Berry, who will attend UConn in the fall, plans on pursuing a career in historical research and writing.

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Reading Uncertainly? ‘The File’ by Timothy Garton Ash -“A Chilling Portrait of Treachery and Compromise” (LeCarré)

Another sleeper!

A neighbor and compulsive reader — as I am too — gave me this paperback with her encouragement. As I started to read, I was somewhat dubious. After all, what is there to interest me in reading about a young Oxford grad student going to Berlin in 1978, and then on to Humboldt University in East Berlin in 1980 to continue his work.

But … it seems this student (the author) was almost immediately the focus of the East German Stasi police, which assumed that he must be an English spy. Shades of John LeCarré.

He guessed, of course, that he might be suspected, but he never realized the extent of the German suspicions and the degree of its work until after the reunion of East and West Germany, and the opening of the Stasi files to his review.

It was, as Ash describes it, “the quiet corruption of mature totalitarianism.” He then went back and first investigated the files on him, and then decided to try and interview many of those who reported on him, some of whom were good friends.

This is the story of what he learned. It is both compelling and fascinating.

He goes on to describe some of their excuses. “I did my job” is the most common, responding to the overwhelming pressure of a repressive and suspicious government.

But what is exceptional about this personal history is its extrapolation to all of us.

Do not many — if not most — of us have that compulsive certainty that we always face “enemies” to be identified, fought and then conquered? It is the classic “us” versus “them”, but, as Pogo correctly pointed out, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

At the same time as the Stasi was investigating both Germans and foreigners, MI6 in England and the CIA in the U.S. were hard at work doing the very same things.

Ash’s conclusion, “ … the paradox at the head of all spying: the key to betrayal is trust.”

But can we really rely on what we have read and what we think we remember?

Ash asks, “How can you ever really know what is fact, what fiction, and what still lies hidden?” The answer is we can’t — there is no such thing as “fact.”

Ash continues, “What we call ‘my life’ is a constantly rewritten version of our own past … Personal memory is such a slippery customer … Our memories decay or sharpen, mellow or sour, with the passage of time and the change of circumstances.”

His conclusion: “Now the galling thing is to discover how much I have forgotten of my own life.”

Me too …

Despite my reliance on many old records saved over the years, when I came to write my own “autobiography” in 2011, I had to acknowledge, candidly, that it was basically a work of fiction!

Editor’s Note:The File’ by Timothy Garton Ash was published by Vintage Books, New York in 1998.

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Joyful Car Parade After Lyme-Old Lyme HS Drive-Up Graduation May Have Started a New Tradition


Editor’s Note: We are pleased to include some photos in this essay taken by professional photographer Kim Tyler. If you would like to access her photo gallery of the ceremony, visit this link. The gallery will be available for three months after publication  for online ordering. Kim, who is an alumni of Lyme-Old Lyme High School, is now a sought-after photographer, and proud to call many Lyme and Old Lyme residents clients.

OLD LYME — It was unlike any graduation ceremony witnessed in Old Lyme previously.

Commencement ceremonies for the Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) Class of 2020 took seven full hours starting at 10 a.m. on Friday. The handful of dignitaries on the stage wore not only their traditional gowns but also face-masks adorned with a Wildcat pawprint.

Photo by Kim Tyler.

Each graduating student — wearing a face-mask — drove up to the appointed place in front of the high school with their family and closest friends — also all wearing masks — and in no more than two cars per student.

Photo by Kim Tyler.

Honor Essayist Theodore ‘Teddy’ Wayland smiles broadly after receiving his diploma.

Students were allowed to remove their masks after receiving their diplomas for family members to snap a few quick photos.

Photo by Kim Tyler.

Photo by Kim Tyler.

Photo by Kim Tyler.

Photo by Kim Tyler.

The faculty were out in force – but socially distanced — lining the high school roadway all wearing masks but not gowns, holding signs and enthusiastically cheering on the students.

 

There were no speeches nor songs and no bands nor bouquets, there was no choir nor crowd, no marching in nor marching out, and no celebratory turning of tassels nor tossing of caps … and yet this will probably go down as one of the most memorable of all commencement ceremonies.

Normally, on the evening of graduation, the graduates are whisked off to an all-night party at a secret location. That obviously could not happen this year and so instead a group of parents of the seniors organized a car parade for the graduates.

The appropriately decorated cars gathered at Town Woods Park and then the cars under the watchful eye of the Old Lyme Police and supported by the Lyme and Old Lyme Emergency Services, began their journey up Town Woods Rd., right onto Boston Post Rd., then south down Lyme St. and McCurdy Rd.

The atmosphere was charged and the roads were lined with well-wishers.

Sirens were blaring, horns were honking and signs and balloons were everywhere.

The community was thrilled to be able to celebrate the student’s success after such a challenging year. The universal message both spoken person-to-person and on social media was that this parade should become an integral part of future graduations.

How wonderful that after all the disappointment of not having a traditional graduation ceremony, something may have been born that will become a staple in Lyme-Old Lyme High School Commencements of the future!

Sincere thanks to our army of photographers: Kathryn Wayland, Lynn Fairfield-Sonn, Susan Irwin, Michele Dickey, and Michellee Spiers.

We’ll add more photos, a video, and the pre-recorded speeches Sunday morning. Come back and see us  then! Meanwhile, enjoy this wonderful video taken by Old Lyme Volunteer Fireman James Oldfield of the parade from the top of the Old Lyme Fire Department ladder.

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Students Organize ‘Black Lives Matter’ Rally for Racial Justice in Lyme

Sadie Frankel, a rising junior at LOLHS, is spearheading Sunday’s rally in Lyme for racial justice.

LYME — Sadie Frankel of Lyme is one of the students, who has helped to form a community branch of the High School Democrats in Lyme and Old Lyme — a group, which is not affiliated with Lyme-Old Lyme Schools. Lyme Selectman John Kiker serves as the group’s adviser.

Now, along with some of her fellow Lyme-Old Lyme High School students, she has organized a Black Lives Matter Lyme-Old Lyme Students Rally For Racial Justice on Sunday, June 14, at 1 p.m., on the Lyme Town Green (480 Hamburg Rd.)
People of all ages are welcome to come and support the students in their fight for change.

The students ask everyone who attends to bring a sign if possible, but definitely wear a mask, and maintain social distance.

Asked why she was motivated to pull together this rally, which follows on closely from last Sunday’s march and rally for racial justice in Old Lyme, Frankel responded during a phone call Thursday, “We went to the Old Lyme rally and it was powerful, but it was mostly adults. We wanted to do something that was student-led … that allows young people to talk about something that’s really important to them.”
The program does open with an adult speaking when the Rev. Dr. Steve Jungkeit from the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme offers opening remarks, but thereafter, only students will speak. The students assisting Frankel are Connie Pan, Riley Nelson and Mariame Kazadi — the first three are LOLHS rising juniors while Kazadi is a senior at the high school.

A protester from last Sunday’s rally for racial justice held in Old Lyme.

Frankel noted that Kazadi, who is a refugee from the Congo now living with her family in Old Lyme, will give recount her experiences, “as a person of color in Lyme-Old Lyme High School.”

After the initial scheduled speeches, an “Open Mic” session will be held at which anyone is free to speak.
 

Frankel explained that the rally will include “a reading of the of names of those who have been killed by police brutality,” and the observance of 8:46 minutes of silence in acknowledgement of, “the amount of time that a police officer in Minneapolis kneeled on George Floyd’s neck,” immediately prior to his {Floyd’s} death.

The rally will conclude with additional student speeches.
What does Frankel hope the event will achieve? She said firmly, “We want to give the message that this can’t end today. We can’t give up after this. It is necessary for these events to continue and for people to show up,” adding, “As a privileged community, we’ve got to fight for the difference and it’s the time to do that now.”
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Congratulations to the Lyme-Old Lyme HS Class of 2020! Read the Speeches, Names of Graduates

THE SPEECHES

Senior Head Advisor and Speaker – Ms. Emily Macione, who was also presented with the Mildred Sanford Outstanding Educator Award.

Good evening members of the board of education, distinguished faculty and administration, family and friends, and most especially the Class of 2020. 

It is a pleasure to be here, and to share in celebrating this group of wonderful individuals, who are so many things to so many people. To your teachers, you are creators, engineers, mathematicians, and entrepreneurs. To your coaches, you are competitors, motivators and play- makers…to your friends, you are sounding boards, comedians, confidants….to your parents, sons and daughters……but to me, you’ve always just been “my class.” 

It might surprise you all to know that I have been working on this speech for the past four years. Way back when you first walked through the doors of the high school on that warm August evening for your freshman picnic, and we were introduced for the first time…I went home that night and began to envision our future together. I may not have yet put pen to paper (or fingers to keys), but much like you, I started to imagine what the next four years might hold. And still even then, I was also envisioning a specific day, four years in the future, where instead of looking at what lay ahead, I would be reflecting on what was now behind. Your time here at Lyme-Old Lyme High School. Today. Graduation day. 

In the four-year span of time in between, I have been making mental notes, adding to my ‘outline’ of this speech with references to pep rallies, class events, spirit weeks, junior prom, senior ball and so forth. I promised myself I would make at least two good jokes about the infamous freshman Lock-In. I’m still not sure how I let the class officers convince me that would be a good idea. Going back over everything, as I’m sure some of you have in recent days, little things would pop up in memory here and there, all coming together in my mind to form the mosaic of your high school experience. The paragraphs began to take shape in my head. I would end with something about the senior banquet, our class trip, graduation rehearsal…the final moments we all shared, encapsulating your four years. 

Only, as you all know, that was not the ending we got. Without warning, this school year took a drastic and unexpected turn. We have all been forced to live in a new reality, and abide by a set of rules we had no hand in making. Like many of you I have spoken to, at one point, the idea of ‘school from home’ seemed kind of wonderful. Sleep in every day? Sure. Make my own schedule? Definitely. Take breaks when I feel like it? Love that. But, as is always the case with the “greener” grass…there have been drawbacks. 

I returned to the draft of my speech and started to consider those drawbacks. What did I miss the most about school? What did I want back? Perhaps not so surprisingly, it was not any class event or fundraiser. It wasn’t anything in particular…just you. All 127 of you. That’s what I was missing. Those little moments in my daily routine, where one of you bellowing ‘Hi Ms. Mass’ down the hall or giving me a fist bump would brighten my day. Seeing our many senior athletes on game day, pumped for their matches. Chatting with the line of seniors in the office for early dismissal. Daily interactions in my homeroom. Laughing at practice with my lacrosse players. A collection of tiny little moments. I imagine that I speak for many fellow faculty members when I say that I don’t have strong memories of my own high school dances, or class fundraisers, or even graduation. I have a sense of the time, composed of little seemingly insignificant moments with my friends and family. Moments that back then, seemed easy to forget. Yet here I am, age 39, still remembering them. In the end, it turns out that those little moments were actually the big moments. Or, at least, the moments that really mattered. 

As you prepare to leave the confines of Lyme-Old Lyme and step into the ‘real world,’ you have a unique opportunity to experience life in a way that no one before you has. You take this next step forward in the wake of a paradigm shift, where terms like quarantine and social distance are now a part of our vocabulary. Hopefully your time away from school this spring has taught you something. I’m here to tell you, whatever it may be, do not let the lesson go to waste. 

Appreciate the small things. 

Don’t take time for granted. 

Have compassion for your neighbors. 

Nothing lasts forever. 

Be present. 

There is nothing quite like a global pandemic to make the world collectively pause. Nature is powerful, and we know this, but it is an easy thing to forget, the more we become insulated in the frenetic pace of life…always looking forward to the next thing, the next goal we want to accomplish, the next stage of our lives. Trust me, it happens in a flash. 

Now, no graduation speech is complete without a quote to let the audience ponder. There is no shortage of applicable content out there, but the quote I’ve chosen for you is one that I settled on many years ago, long before I took on the role of class advisor. It comes from a show called One Tree Hill, and those familiar with the series will know that it centers on the lives of teenagers, much like yourselves, and the trials and tribulations of growing up. Sadly, it is no longer on Netflix, but with nine seasons, I assure you that it is highly binge-able should you get the chance to watch it. In the final episode, the lead character, now a father himself, reflects on the course his life has taken, and remarks: “It’s the oldest story in the world. One day, you are 17 and planning for ‘someday.’ And then quietly and without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And then someday is yesterday. And this is your life.” 

I cannot emphasize enough how much this quote still resonates with me, as it has every day since I first heard it. In my opinion, it touches on a concept that’s difficult to grasp – the passage of time, and what it is to grow up. For what feels like forever, your life is one way, and then suddenly it’s not. You knew the day was coming, and then the day is here, and then it’s gone. I don’t think anything sums up being a teenager more perfectly than that. 

So be present. Live by your terms, in the moment. As much as today is a time to reflect, it is also a time to look forward, to the next chapter of your life. To all that’s ahead of you. It’s your time – what will you do with it? 

Congratulations Class of 2020 – go get ‘em!

 Valedictorian – Ryan McTique

Greetings to the families, guests, faculty, administration, Board of Education, and especially the Class of 2020, whenever and wherever you see this. I cannot make this speech without acknowledging the extraordinary circumstances in which we are currently graduating. Obviously, none of us ever imagined that our last day in school would be that dreary, uncertain, mid-March day, instead of the usual triumphant, sunny day in June. At the very least we have this celebration, but we cannot define our high school based on the last third of our senior year. I think that it is imperative to look fondly on the rest of our time, not just through this darkened lens of lockdown, but despite it. Each of us individually certainly missed at least one significant moment that we would have remembered for years, but that does not mean that we have none of these meaningful moments. I do not want to deliver an elegy for the last third of our senior year; instead, I want to take a moment to remind ourselves of what the past four years have meant to us. 

I remember Sr. Vazquez gave my Spanish class some advice that I think is important at this time. He said that there is a world inside of you, which is the core of your identity, and a world outside of you, which is how others influence who you are. This inner world can be hard to keep in touch with and remember–like trying to view an object through a small mirror–but this is what gives you guidance especially through difficult times. Without staying in touch with our inner world, we can lose sight of who we are. The principles that govern the core of our identity result from our families, our community, and the individual experiences we each have. 

We will all inevitably change in the future, but that change does not mean that we lose this inner world, and how it has been shaped by our time in high school. These years have undeniably changed each of us, so let us embrace that and remember the experiences that have come with them. 

Going forward, I will have memories that I will cherish, and honestly, many of those memories arrive in the seemingly insignificant moments. I suppose that in crew, one day that sticks out to me was when Callum made a casual comment about how one of the wheels on his seat in the boat sounded funny, followed shortly with its bearing shattering without hope of repair, ending our practice after only fifteen minutes. 

When the band went to Hawaii, a few of the guys to one side of our hotel room decided to play ‘Hot Cross Buns’ off their balcony in the middle of the afternoon, and I soon learned that Wilson was in the hotel room next to mine when he stepped out onto his balcony and yelled at them to, “go back inside or get better music!” 

In class, one of my personal favorites was during an English class when Aedan and I had to give a presentation on Horatio Nelson. Mrs. Burke had encouraged videos for this project, and one of the first videos that came up under a google search for “Horatio Nelson” was a pronunciation guide of his name. The video was an unchanging image of the words “Horatio Nelson” typed in large, Times New Roman font on a white background with a person repeatedly saying only “Horatio Nelson” at spaced out intervals. We decided that we had to include this riveting video in our presentation—immediately after our title slide. After getting up in front of the class to deliver our presentation, we played the video of a disinterested voice flatly repeating his name four or five times. We then followed the grand display of pronunciation by mispronouncing “viscount,” quite literally the next word in our presentation. 

These moments could include a memorable discussion in class. I remember a physics class about thermodynamics when someone asked what happens when a fork gets put in a toaster. The roller coaster of a discussion this sparked ended with whether microwaves cause cancer. (If you are curious about the answer, it was a definite no because they do not have enough energy to be a form of ionizing radiation.) I know that each of us has those small memories that can anchor our feelings now and remind us of who we are. 

The memories might just include a small habit, like chatting with Phil in the commons, even though you know that you really should be getting back to Bio right about then, or the various mentions of mouth pipetting in our chemistry class, followed by Mrs. Kelley giving us the obligatory “that’s not proper lab procedure” warning. Apparently, it is safer and more accurate to use the actual pipettes. 

Some of you may recognize a few of these instances, and I am sure that all of you have your own memories that stem from those seemingly insignificant moments. We should all take a little time to look back on them, and realize what they mean to each of us individually. I implore each of you to keep finding those moments–wherever they come–so that we can continue to find comfort and happiness in the little moments. Keep making these memories, big or small, blunder or genius, those will continue to define us, and keep us grounded, even in times like these. 

I will finish with a quote by a great poet, Lord Alfred Tennyson. I want to give some background for how I stumbled onto this quote because I think how I found it speaks nearly as much to what I have been trying to address as the quote speaks for the last point that I want to make. I never would have looked for quotes by Tennyson if it were not for an obscure literary reference in a James Joyce novel we read in Mrs. Burke’s class. We had a discussion about an event in the novel that brought two of the characters into a fistfight over whether Lord Byron or Tennyson was a better poet. I wanted to see if I recognized anything that Tennyson had written, but instead I found a quote that has become very meaningful to me recently, and one that I have reminded myself of when I am not having a great day. He wrote, “hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘it will be happier.’” 

As we begin to navigate this new normal, after high school and reintegrating our normal lives after all the closures and changes, there will probably be days that we need to remind ourselves that we are not defeated, and it will be happier.

Salutatorian – Emily Speckhals

Good morning, afternoon, or evening – whenever you may be watching this. Congratulations to my classmates and fellow high school graduates. And thank you to all families, friends, teachers, guests for “being here” – which I suppose now means not skipping through this part of the video. 

When I think of high school, the first thing that comes to mind is the people I’ve passed the last 4 years with. Imagine one of your favorite memories from high school. What was going on around you? How did you feel? Who was with you? Now imagine the same event, activity, whatever it may have been except now you are alone. I think most of us will find the most notable experiences we’ve had depended on who we shared them with more so than whatever was actually happening. That being said, I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the people that made my memories over the last 4 years. I think you all know who you are, but I wouldn’t be who I am today if not for my friends, teachers, and family. 

As a class, the little everyday moments we spent together are what stick out to me. Sitting in the commons with friends each morning. Teachers saying “hi” in the hallways. Team warm ups at sports practices and school dances. I’m sure we all have scraps of the last four years that will stick with us. Some of these memories we share. From EGO day to our last day of school on Friday the 13th we really have spent a significant amount of time together. I wasn’t going to talk about our current situation, but a part of me knows this speech would be incomplete without acknowledging the fact that we aren’t sitting in rows on the field today as we always expected to be. The reason I bring up the memories we share is that when we look back on high school, we will all see this period of time – to some extent – similarly. In that way we will be together even as reality holds us at a distance. 

Now I’m not going to give you all some profound advice because I don’t know any more than any of you do. I’m not going to talk about how much we’re going to miss Lyme-Old Lyme High School because, whether or not that’s even true, I don’t think anyone wants to hear about it. What I can do is share something that really had an impact on me in the last four years. 

I think a lot of you know this about me, but robotics has been basically my whole life for most of the last three years. That being said, a little-known story is that of how I got there. I remember the first robotics meeting I ever went to. I think it’s interesting that I don’t quite remember what convinced me to show up to that meeting. I remember I was late because I’d come straight from a cross country meet so I stood at the back of Mr Derry’s room listening to current team members speak to their experiences. They concluded the meeting by explaining the extent of the time commitment robotics requires. That it’s not like the clubs that meet for 15 minutes once a week and it isn’t for everybody. I remember wondering how long I’d last on the team. I doubted whether I’d be up for the commitment and the effort, but look where I ended up. I’ve poured more hours than I could count into robotics and enjoyed (almost) every single one. 

I will always be grateful for the experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve met because I went to that first robotics meeting, and a second meeting, and many more to follow. I think something we could all do to remember as we move out of the familiar bubble of Lyme-Old Lyme High School is the importance of trying new things and seeing what sticks. You could end up finding your people in a group you never even quite planned to join. So that’s my little bit of advice for us, myself included, to try to remember to put ourselves out there. 

And with that, I wish the best of luck to all my classmates in whatever the future may hold for you. Thank you.

Honor Essayist –Theodore Wayland

To start off, I’d like to thank all of my classmates, friends, teachers, parents, and family who have helped create such a wonderful high school experience for the class of 2020. I didn’t know what I was getting into four years ago, but now that it’s coming to an end, I see it all turned out just fine. 

We first started our journey into high school in the fall of 2016. I’m sure we all remember those first days, struggling to find classes, seeing what seemed like a million new faces, and not knowing which lunch waves we were in. So much has changed since these days, except maybe understanding lunch waves, and we are finally graduating. I remember hearing past seniors’ speeches about how time flies over these four years, and I’d think: that can’t be, the second semester of Junior year seemed to drag on forever. But now, when I look back at the last four years of my own life, I find myself asking: Where did the time go? 

Half of this time we were underclassmen. I know you might not want to remember that, but I recall just trying to do well in my classes and have some fun along the way, not really knowing where the rest of my life was headed. We were told to be productive in study hall, although doing nothing always seemed more enticing, at least to me. 

A common experience for many of us during these first two years was getting exciting for the next sports season, the next state tournament game, or shoreline finals match. Coming together to support our school shows the passion in our class. I think as freshmen we would all look forward to junior and senior year when we could be team captains, mvps, or maybe even recruits to a college for our favorite sport. 

Approaching junior year, we started to take harder classes, and classes that were more specific regarding a career path. Again, we are supposed to be setting ourselves up for success in the future. Whether it was shop classes, art classes, music classes, or something else, being able to have more flexibility in our schedules for the things we loved most seemed like the best thing ever. 

High school seemed to only get better every year. 

I always thought that the first three years of year school just built up to a great senior year but look at our lives now. We can’t go anywhere, do anything, or even see any of our friends. The supposed peak of our high school careers, our senior spring, is nothing like we imagined. 

We may have our post-high school plans, but we don’t know what happens after that. This thought nagged me ever since out last normal day of school, until I finally came to a conclusion. You can spend your whole life worried about what happens next, or you can enjoy what you have. 

The most important lesson I’ve learned, and what I think we’ve all learned, is to say yes. Throughout your time in high school, you may have been asked: 

Do you want to join our club? 

Will you play on our sports team? 

Are you going to see the state finals? 

Do you want to retake that test you failed? 

Are you applying there for college? 

Do you want to go on this fieldtrip? 

I feel that our class is unique because the answer to all these questions has always been yes. Even though in this moment, it might feel like we are missing out on our high school experience, I promise you, our high school experience has not been lacking in any way. We can still think back to better days, but we have to live in the moment and enjoy it, because it disappears quickly. We won’t get any substitute for all that we’ve missed our senior year, but that’s ok. Instead of torturing myself wondering when life will go back to normal after this whole covid-19 situation is over, I realized that it won’t. This is our high school experience, and it’s unlike anything else that has come before us. When I look back and wonder where the time went, I see now it went into fulfilling a high school experience unlike any other.

Class President, Trevor Wells

Teachers, administrators, families, underclassmen, and my cherished classmates, welcome to this landmark of a moment. First, I’d like to give a reminder. Speeches and ceremonies tend to feel so minute in the scheme of our lives, so forgettable in the vastness of time. During events like these, our minds and bodies always long to be elsewhere. But as we graduate today, let’s try for a while not to worry about memories or plans, and instead to be present, to be awake to the great significance of now. We’ve made it to the end of an era, and this celebration marks the beginning of an immense change in all of our lives. So, catch yourself before it’s too late; slow down, take it in, and don’t allow your consciousness to sleep or speed through this sacred metamorphosis. Be mindful, and make this moment last. 

I’m sure books are the last things you want to hear about today, but when I reflect on the past four years, I can’t help imagining them as episodes in an epic novel, the collective, autobiographical origin story of a class of fascinating characters. In the way a novel’s yet unwritten pages give the author’s mind freedom to explore and map the depths of fantasy worlds, high school has provided us with hundreds of blank, unmarked days on which to imprint our tales, develop our character traits, and shape our arcs. And I think our story is worth telling and retelling; at least I know it is one I will keep picking up for the rest of my life. What stays with us most from the books we read, and what I expect will remain in our thoughts long after this graduation ceremony, are the characters, the archetypes we have encountered along the way, around which our own personal folklore is molded. You, my classmates, are that body of heroes, jesters, sages, and outlaws to which I will forever be alluding. You will always tint the lens through which I view the world and determine the way I relate to its inhabitants. 

As I meet new people throughout life, I’m sure I will think of their qualities in comparison to yours. I don’t think I will ever meet someone whose poetic voice equals Jane’s, or whose sassy swagger matches Mason’s, but when I encounter new characters down the road, they might remind me of certain prototypical characteristics among our ranks, like the Kendallian sense of style or the Malizian sense of humor. My future colleagues and friends might possess shadows of Arianna’s sense of purpose or a hint of Faith’s sense of rhythm, though their traits will never be completely like yours. In the same way the character Mentor symbolized what he was to Odysseus so perfectly that his name became a synonym for leader, role model, and teacher, and in the same way Caesar has translated into Kaiser and czar to mean “ruler,” I expect that if we give it a century or so, we will find “McTigue” in the dictionary as “a humble genius,” and “Salkin” defined as “a catalyst for political reform.” We might also hear the word “Dushin” used in art history classes to refer to eye-catching, avant-garde photos, or some not-yet-invented culinary masterpiece termed “the D’Arena.” “Hamou” will surely catch our ear someday on the news, we will see “Craven” in bold font on a magazine cover, and “Rachael Larson, epidemiologist” will appear at the bottom of the frame during a documentary. These are my predictions, but no matter whether the world remembers your names, I know we will remember each other’s. As we meet new people through the years, we will certainly rate their kindness on a scale from zero to Audrey Berry, and we will hope their energy and spirit compare with those of a Cann or a Caulkins. It’s not what you have done that we will remember, but what you have meant. It is that unexpected conversation, that much needed smile, that interesting manner of speaking, that joke you told at the perfect time. Someday we might even pass each other’s names down to the next generation, as our children beg to hear about our childhoods, and we will be the archetypes that initiate a second race of minds into storytelling. 

As we come upon the last paragraphs of the novel that has been high school, as we prepare to write our next fantasy into being, and even when our anthology of legends and tales winds to an end, you will be the classic archetypes I think back upon, the ones who first sculpted my storytelling mind. It has been a privilege to discover myself alongside you, and I couldn’t have asked for a better set of characters and parables on which to found my identity and my perspective. After today, our pages are used up, and our book is written; and I’d argue that the story we created together is among the farthest fetched tales ever told.

LYME-OLD LYME HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 2020

CLASS OFFICERS

Trevor Wells, President

Nicholas Fava, Vice President

Clair Wholean, Secretary

Jeffy Joshy, Treasurer

Chandler Munson, Class Historian

CANDIDATES FOR DIPLOMAS

Alexandra Mary Alpha πω* Ϯ

Charles Burr Ames

Britney Andrade *

Anabella Nicola Arias πω*

Callum Glyn Astley

Emily Eileen Balocca λω*

William Cooper Ekeblad Bartlett

Emma Elizabeth Bass λπω*

Audrey Campbell Berry λϰω* Ϯ

Jean-Luc Bolduc

Faith Victoria Brackley

Chloe Constance Cahill ω

Madison Jane Cann ω

Lisbet Yosery Carcamo Martinez

Jack William Carney

Ethan Gonzalo Carrion ω*

Corbin John Caulkins

Faith Laurel Caulkins ω

Rory Nelligan Cavicke λω*

Emilia Annmarie Cheesman πω*

Philip Alan Cone

Sarah Belle Conley ω*

Andrew Jordan Craven

Elizabeth Anne Cravinho λπω*

Salvatore Biaggio D’Arena

Kevin William Davidson

Ty Kenton Dean

Isabel Priscilla Dean-Frazier ω

Arianna Teresa DelMastro λπω*

Maria Ashley Denya ω

Raymond Michael Doll ω

Samuel Arthur Dushin ω*

Theodore Edward Enoch ω

Emily Grace Evers ϰω*

Araselys Rose Farrell πω*

Nicholas Bernardo Fava λπω*

Liam Kenneth Flanagan

Leah Nicole Fouquette ω

Jada Anaelsa Fuentes λω*

Katherine Mary Funaro

Brian Christopher Funk

Cameron Diana Gagnon

Lucy Marie Gilbert

Aidan Thomas Greene

Avery Beach Grethel

Tanner James Griffin ω* 

Sophia Rose Griswold λω*

Samuel Wyatt Guenther

Jonathan Sage Hamilton

Darin Hani Hamou *

Kamber Hani Hamou ω*

Grace Delphine Hanrahan ω

Quinn Michael Hickie *

Connor David Hogan *

Parker Phillip Hubbard

Lauren Elizabeth Huck ω

Nathaniel Rhys Jackson

Kaitlyn Marie Jacobson

Jeffy Mathew Joshy λω*

Benjamin Connor Kelly

Daniel Abraham Kendall ω*

Caroline Eve King ω

Renate Jane Kuhn λω

Rachael Anne Larson λπω* Ϯ

Brenna Paige Lewis λπω*

Connor Patrick Maguire

Jacqueline Rose Malizia λω*

Biuma Kazadi Mariame *

Angelina Grace Marinelli

Melissa Nicole Mauro πω

Thomas Peter McCarthy λω* Ϯ

Ryan Patrick McTigue λπω* Ϯ

Gabriel Ethan Metcalf

Natalie Grace Meyers λω

Ryan Christopher Mitchell

Jeremy Norwood Montazella

Mason Derek Morrissey

Maxwell Derek Morrissey

Dylan Thomas Mulligan

Chandler Mary Munson λω

Kyle Colman Myers ωs

Samantha Heather Olson λπω* Ϯ

Samantha Elizabeth Owen πω*

Bryce Edward Paul

Sofia Kamila Pecher-Kohout πω*

Jenny Gabriela Pelaez Cajamarca *

Carter Ellis Popkin ω Ϯ

Jenna Tracy Porter ω*

Nathan Kelly Ramella

Chase Wood Reneson

Aidan Scott Riley

Jared Scott Ritchie λω

Samuel Patrick Roth

Alec Peyton Russell

Andre Jeffrey Salkin π*

Jane Stacey Scheiber λπω*

Brady Alan Sheffield ω

Colby Patrick Sides λω

Summer Abigail Siefken ω*

Garrett Michael Smith λω

Zachary Thomas Snyder

Emily Marie Speckhals λπω*

Alec Drennan Speirs

Evan Thomas St. Louis λω*

Olivia Mae Stack ω

Haley Ryan Stevens λω*

Finn Grady Sullivan

Philip Aaron Sweeney ω

Ryan Jules Tetreault

Olivia Lucy Tetreault ω*

Taylor Ann Thompson ω

Lydia Grace Tinnerello λω*

Sydney Kathleen Trowbridge ω

Kiera McKeon Ulmer λω

Aedan Sean Using

Megan Lynn VanSteenbergen λω Ϯ

Jackson Calvert Warren ω*

Theodore Wilson Wayland λπω* Ϯ

Katelyn Julia Wells

Trevor Dennis Wells λπω* Ϯ

Nicholas James White

Clair Margaret Wholean λπλω*ω*

Anna Elliott Williams πϰω 

Maggie Vaughan Wisner λπω*

Conner David Wyman λπω* Ϯ

Katherine Ruby Zelmanow λω*

 

λ Member National Honor Society, Silver Cord
π Member Spanish Honor Society, Silver Cord
ϰ Member French Honor Society, Silver Cord
ω Academic Letter Recipient, Gold Academic Distinction Cord
* Seal of Biliteracy, Gold Academic Distinction Cord
Ϯ AP Scholar, Gold Academic Distinction Cord

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‘The Farmer’s Market’ Opens for the Season at Tiffany Farms

Bill Hurtle and Jen Tiffany will welcome customers to Opening Day of the second season of ‘The Farmers Market at Tiffany Farms’ on June 13.

UPDATED LYME — It’s Opening Day at ‘The Farmer’s Market at Tiffany Farms’ in Lyme this Saturday, June 13, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Jennifer Tiffany, who runs the market with her husband Bill Hurtle, told LymeLine by phone on Thursday, “We really struggled with whether to open at all this year, but in the end, we decided that we’re not going to let the community down, we’re not going to let the farmers down and we’re not going to let our family down.”

The pair therefore continued with their plans to open the market but putting new guidelines into place in view of the COVID-19 situation. They are asking all prospective visitors to the market to, “wear a mask” and also — in a delightful turn of phrase — “to keep one cow-length apart.” Tiffany adds that they hope people will also recognize the need, “to stay home if you are not feeling well.”

“The Heart Seen ‘Round Lyme” looks out at the community from the silo at Tiffany Farms.

And as a visual for the positive attitude they would like to convey to the community, Tiffany noted that the silo at the farm now has a huge heart — which was painted by her daughter Lisa Simiola — affixed to it thanks to the volunteer efforts of Wilcox Tree Experts. Tiffany said that Wilcox, “helped their neighbors lift the “Heart Seen ‘Round Lyme.”

Tiffany and Hurtle have gathered together a diverse collection of vendors, which include

  • Sankow’s Beaver Brook Farm
  • Bittersweet Farm
  • Biscotti & Beyond
  • Chatfield Hollow Farm
  • Dondero Orchards
  • Falls Brook Organic Farm
  • From the Farm
  • Long Table Farm
  • TALK Seafood
  • Traveling Italian Chef
  • Wave Hill Breads

Editor’s Note: We wish Jen and Bill the very best on Opening Day and throughout the season, which lasts until mid-October.

Visit this link to read an article we published last year about the inaugural season at The Farmer’s Market.

 

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