October 16, 2019

The Movie Man: ‘Joker’ Justifies Great Rating

The Movie Man, Kevin Ganey

Last month I emerged from screening It: Chapter Two with great satisfaction and went on to write a review asserting that the IT movies were practically gospel for horror fans. A month has passed and in that time, I was able to see multiple variations of reviews for the film and watch the IMDb rating drop to a 7.0 out of 10, with a dip in the 6 range highly likely in the foreseeable future.

Just last night I emerged from seeing an early showing of the highly anticipated origin story for the clown prince of crime of Gotham City, and I left with the same feeling of satisfaction, particularly with the characters and their actors’ portrayals. I chatted freely with my friend about how Joaquin Phoenix could possibly win the Oscar for his performance, making this the second time in Oscars history that two separate actors have won awards for playing the same character (the first, and so far only pair has been Marlon Brando and Joker’s very own Robert de Niro for Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II, respectively).

Phoenix would be joining said duo with the late, great Heath Ledger, who gave one of the most phenomenal performances ever in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. We parted ways for the night, and I proceeded to look up Joker on IMDb and was impressed to see that it was already on the Top 250 list at #13, but quickly saw that it holds a 62 on Metascore.

That stopped me in my tracks and made me think: “Wait a minute …”

I then proceeded to search the Rotten Tomatoes profile and saw that it held only 69 percent approval from the critics … Certified fresh, yes, but it still kept me in my spot, puzzled. I looked over to the next column to see that it holds a 92 percent rating from audiences.

This left me thinking: “Is this one of those moments when the critics don’t get what everybody loves? Or am I missing out on something?”

I will agree that there were some moments that were predictable and cliched, but that is generally the case when one is presented with an origin story for an iconic character. In this case, it is the classical fall into villainy and madness, with several rites of passage, including the first killings, that help bring Arthur Fleck to Joker, Batman’s eventual nemesis.

But I can say with pride that the movie left me satisfied when it came to finally giving the world an origin story to the Joker, whose background, until now, has been just as mysterious as it was the day he made his debut in 1940. We have been given a gritty presentation of a vulnerable man coping with mental illness clashing against a society that has so often kicked him while he was down (literally at one point).

Robert de Niro delivers, as he always does, this time as the bully talk-show host who exploits Arthur’s desperate desires to make the world smile, but while Zazie Beetz (best known from Atlanta and Deadpool 2) gave an acceptable performance, we need to acknowledge that it is because her role could have been made bigger than what she was left presented as a brief girl-next-door love interest.

So I must admit that I am hesitant to give this film a definitive, case-closed review due to my poor judgement with IT, but I can say that I would highly recommend seeing it if you have a chance. The movie may hold up, or it may very well dwindle into a disappointment, but hey, you might as well get a look while you can.

About the Author: Though no longer a resident of Lyme, Kevin knows he can never sever his roots to the tree of his identity. When not attending to his job in the elite hospitality industry of Boston, he is committed to ensuring a better grasp of current (and past) releases of cinema to his home community as he strives to leave his own mark in the same field that has always been his guide to understanding life. If you enjoy his published reviews here on LymeLine.com, why not follow him on his new website at ‘The City of Cinema and read more of his unique insights into entertainment?


Lyme-Old Lyme, Eastern Chambers Host ‘State of the Shoreline: Old Lyme, East Lyme, Waterford,’ Oct. 18

Speakers at Friday’s ‘State of the Shoreline’ are (from left to right) ​Dan Steward, Waterford First Selectman, Bonnie Reemsnyder, Old Lyme First Selectwoman, and Mark Nickerson, East Lyme First Selectman. Also pictured at right is Tony Sheridan, Eastern CT Chamber President.

OLD LYME/EAST LYME — The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut host “State of the Shoreline: Old Lyme, East Lyme, Waterford,” Friday, Oct. 18, from 7:45 to 9:15 a.m. at Flanders Fish Market & Restaurant, 22 Chesterfield Road, East Lyme.

The evet will comprise a regional “state of” address by town leaders with a discussion of the successes and challenges of the past year as well as current issues that affect the business community.

The speakers are:

  • Mark Nickerson, East Lyme First Selectman
  • Bonnie Reemsnyder, Old Lyme First Selectwoman
  • ​Dan Steward, Waterford First Selectman

Entry for Chamber members is $12 and $20 for non-members. All admissions includes coffee and continental breakfast by Flanders Fish Market and Restaurant.

This event is supported by Charter Oak Federal Credit Union.


Save The Date, Submit Your Questions for ‘Meet The Candidates for D18 Board of Education,’ Oct. 29

Attorney John A. Collins III will be the Event Moderator at the ‘Meet The Candidates for Board of Education Night’ slated for Oct. 29.

LYME-OLD LYME — Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) and the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce are hosting a ‘Meet the Candidates for Board of Education’ event on Tuesday, Oct. 29, starting at 7 p.m. at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School.  The six candidates running for the Region 18 Board of Education will answer questions posed by Event Moderator, Attorney John A. Collins III of Suisman Shapiro.

The six candidates running for the three open Old Lyme seats on the board of education are:

Democrats: Sarah Bowman, Lorianne Panzara Griswold, and Jason Kemp

Republicans: Jennifer Miller, Suzanne Thompson, and Steve Wilson

Incumbent Mary Powell St. Louis (R) is running uncontested for the open Lyme seat.

Readers are invited to submit questions for possible inclusion in the debate by one of these options:

  • emailing them to Editor@LymeLine.com with the subject line, “Questions for the BOE Debate
  • mailing them (snail-mail) to: Questions for the BOE Debate, PO Box 589, Old Lyme, CT 06371.

All questions will be treated anonymously in terms of the name of the sender and also maintained confidential, i.e., they will not be shared with the candidates in advance.

The event planning committee will be solely responsible for selecting the questions asked at the event.  There will not be any questions taken from the floor.

Light refreshments will be served after the event when there will be an opportunity to mingle informally with the candidates.

LymeLine.com is proud to sponsor this event.

For further information, contact Mary Seidner at mseidner@lysb.org or 869-434-7208.


The Movie Man: No Decisions to Make: You Have To See ‘IT: Chapter Two’ AND Follow Kevin’s New Website!

Kevin Ganey


Just amazing.

That is the simplest description I can give for IT: Chapter Two. Although I had never read the whopping 1,000+ page novel, I could tell throughout the screening that this adaptation was just what Stephen King, Pennywise, and the Losers deserved.

IT: Chapter Two follows up on the events of Chapter One, set 27 years further. We come back on the group of outcast pre-teens, who have aptly labeled themselves “the Losers,” who return to their hometown of Derry, Maine upon learning that the mysterious entity that they refer to as “IT” has returned, commonly portraying itself as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, in one last attempt to defeat It for good.

The film is incredibly layered, so my review will not cover much of the events and the portrayals. But I can say that this was done incredibly well. Throughout the movie, I had a clear understanding of whom the characters were through and through.

That is one of King’s talents: he creates phenomenal characters. Every actor gave a stellar performance, and our attention will always be drawn towards Bill Hader as comic relief Richie (who has conveniently grown up to become a comedian.) But make no mistake: Hader nails it with the fear and desperation aspects. Not only that, the movie contains fantastic scares (if you are into such things) that had me saying to myself in a shaken and impressed manner: “Damn!”

I have seen the 1990 miniseries with Tim Curry as Pennywise, so I knew what to expect as the movie progressed, but I feel I would have enjoyed it even more had I read King’s novel. I worry about attempting to read It now, as I believe I will not be able to shake the actors from my mind as I delve into the original story.

This is a must see if you love a good movie of any genre. It is an even further necessity if you are a horror fan, almost as if it were canonical in a Horror Bible. Even if you shy away from scary movies, I definitely encourage you to find the bravery to sit through the entire two hours and 49 minutes.

About the Author: Though no longer a resident of Lyme, Kevin knows he can never sever his roots to the tree of his identity. When not attending to his job in the elite hospitality industry of Boston, he is committed to ensuring a better grasp of current (and past) releases of cinema to his home community as he strives to leave his own mark in the same field that has always been his guide to understanding life. If you enjoy his published reviews here on LymeLine.com, why not follow him on his new website at ‘The City of Cinema and read more of his unique insights into entertainment?


Both Wildcat Soccer Teams Continue Their Winning Ways Under Gleason Duo

In this file photo, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) High School Girls’ Varsity Soccer Coach Paul Gleason shares a smile with his daughter Allyson Gleason, who is now the coach of the LOL High School Boys’ Varsity Soccer team.

OLD LYME — The father-daughter duo of Paul and Ally Gleason are both enjoying successful seasons as coaches respectively of the girls’ and boys’ Old Lyme soccer teams.  This is a scenario with which dad, Paul, has become familiar over the previous four years, which included an equal number of state titles, but was not necessarily expected with daughter Ally in her rookie year as coach of the Wildcat boys.

Maybe it shouldn’t have been anticipated for Paul this year either since his team had benefited from an exceptional cluster of talent in the form of the seniors, including the legendary Mya Johnson, who graduated last year.

But at this almost mid-point of the season, both teams have remarkable records showing only one loss each and six victories in the case of the girls and five for the boys.

So at this time, we say simply, keep going, Wildcats!

Yesterday the girls defeated Montville 2-0 away at Montville High School.

Kaylee Armenia scored both goals unassisted. Sam Gray was in goal for the Wildcats and made three saves, while Olivia Beaupre was in goal for Montville with four saves

The girls are now 6-1-1 overall and 4-1-1 in the Shoreline Conference.

The Old Lyme boys, also playing away, defeated Westbrook 4-2.

Avery Welch had a hat-trick with two assists from Micheal Milazzo and one from Angus Tresnan. Michael Milazzo scored the additional goal for Old Lyme with an assist from Jesper Selberberg.

Noslin Antunez scored both goals for Westbrook with one assisted by Sidney Levine.

Ryan Tetreault was in goal for Old Lyme with nine saves, while Zach Boardman defended in goal for Westbrook making a total of eight saves.

The boys are now 5-1-2 overall and 3-1-2 in the Shoreline Conference.


Soccer Boys Win, Girls Draw Against Valley

OLD LYME —Ally Gleason’s Old Lyme boys pulled off a great win against Valley Regional Friday claiming a 2-1 victory at Lyme-Old Lyme High School.

Jake Burdick claimed the lone goal for Valley unassisted in the first half.

Then in the second half, Wildcat Richard Damiano tied up the game with an assist from Jesper Silberberg, followed by Avery Welch scoring the winning goal off a corner kick with an assist from Jesper Silberberg.

In goal for Old Lyme was Ryan Tetreault with six saves and Jonah Lathrop, who did not make any saves.

In net for Valley was Ian Silva with five saves.

The Old Lyme buys are now 4-1-2 overall and 2-1-1 in the Shoreline Conference.

Paul Gleason’s Old Lyme girls tied Valley Regional 2-2 Friday at Valley Regional High School.

Sam Calaman scored first for Valley with an assist from Maddie Costello. Costello went on to score the second goal for Valley with an assist from Ava Duval

Abby Manthous and Hannah Britt scored for Old Lyme with both goals assisted by Ali Kyle.

In goal for the Wildcats was Sam Gray who had six saves while Lexi Della Rocco made five saves for Valley.


Child & Family’s Lyme-Old Lyme Kitchen Tour is Today! Same-Day Tickets on Sale at OL Inn, Reynolds

This beautiful kitchen will be on the Oct. 5 Lyme/Old Lyme Kitchen Tour. All photos by Ellen Cole.

LYME-OLD LYME — For most of us, the kitchen is the heart of our home.  It’s where we prepare our meals, and often it’s where we enjoy them. From our morning coffee to a late-night cup of tea, whether breakfast on-the-go or a complete holiday meal, the kitchen is the source of sustenance for ourselves and our families, and it often reflects who we are and how we live.

The 2019 Lyme/Old Lyme Kitchen Tour offers an opportunity to view seven beautiful kitchens inside distinctive private homes in Lyme and Old Lyme, Conn. It takes place for one day only, on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

View of another kitchen on the Oct. 5 tour.

Each of the kitchens on the tour offers something special for the tour-goer; most notably, the former home of a renowned Impressionist artist whose hand-painted panels remain on the doors and cabinets of the kitchen. Several of the homes are more than two centuries old, whose kitchens have been updated for modern living; another, an early twentieth-century caretaker’s cottage, boasts an architect-designed contemporary kitchen. Two of the kitchens on the tour are in homes that sit directly on Hamburg Cove in Lyme, while another boasts marsh views of the Connecticut River.

Whether you are seeking ideas for your next kitchen remodeling project, or just have a fine appreciation for design and architectural beauty, there’s much to see on the Lyme/Old Lyme Kitchen Tour, including “tablescapes” created by local professional designers. And with the colors of autumn dotting the lower Connecticut River Valley, the Lyme/Old Lyme Kitchen Tour also offers a great reason to take a scenic drive in the country.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 on the day of the tour. Advance-sale purchasers will pick up tickets and maps on Oct. 5 at the Old Lyme Inn or Reynolds’ Subaru in Lyme, where same-day tickets will also be sold.

For more information, email cfa.lolauxiliary@gmail.com.  The Lyme/Old Lyme Kitchen Tour is a self-guided driving tour; allow at least two hours to complete the tour and  leave your pets at home.

Proceeds from the Lyme/Old Lyme Kitchen Tour will benefit the programs and capital projects of Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to nurture children and families to develop their strengths through service, partnership, and advocacy. With offices in New London, Essex, and Groton, and a professional staff of 170, Child & Family Agency is the largest nonprofit children’s service provider in southeastern Connecticut.


Old Lyme Boys Tie With Morgan in Tight Game

OLD LYME — Ally Gleason’s Old Lyme soccer boys pulled off an important 2-2 draw with Shoreline rival Morgan yesterday playing away at Indian River in Clinton.

Nevin Joshy scored the first goal for the Wildcats with an assist from Richard Damiano. Michael Milazzo put away the game tying goal with a second assist from Richard Damiano.

Zach Tuccitto scored off a PK for Morgan and Sebastian Karlof netted the team’s second goal unassisted.

Ryan Tetreault was in goal for the ‘Cats with six saves, while Nick Rubino in the Morgan goal made five saves.

Old Lyme is now 3-1-2 overall and 1-1-2 in the Shoreline Conference.


Community Connections Host Networking Luncheon in Old Lyme TODAY to ‘Meet The Funders’

LYME-OLD LYME– Lyme-Old Lyme Community Connections hosts a Networking Luncheon & Discussion titled Meet The Funders, TODAY, Wednesday, Oct. 2, from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at the Old Lyme Country Club.

A panel of local grant makers will discuss trends, interests, requirements and priorities.  Learn about the issues facing our region, how funders make strategic funding decisions and determine desired outcomes, what they really want from their non-profit partners, and how you can more successfully position your organization for funding.

The panelists are:
Nancy Bulkeley, Senior Community Affairs Representative, Dominion Nuclear Connecticut
Amanda Ljubicic, Vice President, Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT Foundation
Jennifer O’Brien,  Program Director, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut
Greg Shook, President, Essex Savings Bank

Roundtable discussions and networking to follow.

Cost:  $25.00 — walk-in’s welcome.

Join Community Connections to discuss community issues and interests, and opportunities for collaboration among organizations serving Lyme and Old Lyme.

For more information, visit www.LOLCommunityConnections.org


State Rep. Devin Carney Offers More Information on Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and How to Protect Yourself

We received an updated version of the following email from State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) at 6:53 p.m. this afternoon, and believe it is important to share it with our readers as soon as possible.

Precautions for dealing with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)

As many of you know, two people from Southeastern CT (East Lyme & Old Lyme) have recently passed away after being diagnosed with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (“EEE”) caused by a mosquito bite from an infected mosquito. Our hearts go out to the families affected.

Due to the recent EEE cases, state and local officials are urging folks to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their families. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station is also adding additional monitoring sites in Lyme/Old Lyme and East Lyme in light of the recent tragedies.

During a call with Stephen Mansfield of Ledge Light Health District, I was told that infected mosquitoes were found near Blood St/Avenue B in Lyme and Old Lyme. So be extra cautious in those areas. However, this is an issue is endemic to Southeastern CT, so it is important to take precautions everywhere.

Here are some responses to frequently asked questions from the State of CT Mosquito Management Program:

What is Eastern Equine Encephalitis?

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is a rare but serious disease caused by the EEE virus.

How is Eastern Equine Encephalitis spread?

EEE is spread through contact with adult mosquitos.  The virus is generally carried by an exclusive bird-biting mosquito that live in freshwater swamps called Culiseta melanura. The highest risk of getting EEE is from late July through September. It has been found in 9 others mosquito species in CT, 6 of which are known to bite.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms usually occur from 3 to 10 days. Most people who have been infected with the EEE virus do not become ill. Symptoms can range from mild fever and headache to coma. Other symptoms include high fever, fatigue, muscle aches, neck stiffness, tremors, or confusion. More severe cases can lead to death.

Is there a vaccine or/any treatment?

No. There is no cure for EEE, and 3 of every 10 people who get the disease die from it. Doctors provide supportive treatment, lower the fever, and ease the pressure on the brain and spinal cord. Some people who survive this disease will be permanently disabled and only about half recover completely. There isn’t currently any vaccine because the EEE virus occurs so infrequently in people.

How is EEE spread?

Mosquitoes spread the EEE virus. The virus is carried by birds that live in freshwater swamps and is generally found only in these birds and in mosquitoes that feed on birds but not people. In some years, however, many birds get infected and other types of mosquitoes pick up the virus that also bite people and horses. The risk of getting EEE is highest from late July through September. The virus is spread by adult mosquitoes, which are killed by frost in the fall. The EEE virus is not spread by people and horses with the disease.

Can any mosquito spread EEE to people?

No. In Connecticut, there are 52 different mosquito species. Since 1996, EEE virus has been isolated from mosquitoes in Connecticut every year except 1999, usually during September and early October. The virus is generally maintained by an exclusive bird-biting mosquito called Culiseta melanura, but has been found in 9 other mosquito species in Connecticut, 6 of which are known to bite people.

What can I do to protect myself or my family?

According to the CDC, you should do the following:

  • Minimize time spent outdoors around dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Use insect repellent with one of the active ingredients below
    • DEET Picaridin (known as KBR 3023 and icaridin outside the US)
    • IR3535
    • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
    • Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
    • 2-undecanone

** Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) on children under 3 years old**

**Do not apply insect repellent to a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, cuts, or irritated skin**

Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
    • Use permethrin to treat clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents) or buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
    • Permethrin is an insecticide that kills or repels mosquitoes.
    • Permethrin-treated clothing provides protection after multiple washings.
  • Take steps to control mosquitoes indoors and outdoors
        • Use screens on windows and doors. Repair holes in screens to keep mosquitoes outdoors.
        • Use air conditioning, if available.
        • Stop mosquitoes from laying eggs in or near water.
        • Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpots, or trash containers.

For additional information on EEE, visit the following link from Ledge Light Health Center District –“Mosquitoes in Lyme and Old Lyme Test Positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Editor’s Note: If you have additional questions on this topic, or would like to speak with Rep. Carney about a concern regarding state government, email him at Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov or call 800-842-1423.


Old Lyme Boys Still Unbeaten After Tying Tough Game Against Old Saybrook

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme boys retained their unbeaten record Tuesday afternoon after battling to a 1-1 draw against defending Class S state soccer champions Old Saybrook.

Jack Colella scored an unassisted goal first for the Rams and Avery Welch equalized for the Wildcats with an assist from Michael Milazzo.

Ryan Tetreault was in goal for Old Lyme and made a total of 12 saves, while Matthew Rothman, in goal for Old Saybrook, only had to make one save.

Ally Gleason, in her first year as varsity coach, has now taken the boys to 3-0-1 overall and 1-0-1 in the Shoreline Conference.

Read Vickie Fulkerson’s article published on TheDay.com at this link for a full report with photos of the game.


Death of Old Lyme Resident with EEE Announced

OLD LYME — We received an anonymous text this afternoon at 2:54 p.m. advising that the Connecticut Health Department had announced that the second person in the state, who tested positive for  eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), has died.  This unidentified victim is a resident of Old Lyme.

TheDay.com published an article this afternoon at 3:48 p.m. confirming the death titled, Old Lyme resident is second in state to die of EEE virus.

Read this article, State Announces Old Lyme Resident Tests Positive for EEE, Confirms Death of East Lyme Resident Diagnosed with EEE, published on LymeLine.com Sept. 21, which contains more information about both the death of the first state resident with EEE from East Lyme, and the disease itself and how to take precautions against it.


Old Lyme Girls Retain Unbeaten Record Against Shoreline Rival Old Saybrook in Local Derby

OLD SAYBROOK — Playing away yesterday at Old Saybrook High School, Paul Gleason’s  Old Lyme girls defeated the home team 2-0 in a local soccer derby.

Lydia Tinnerello and Kaylee Armenia scored for the Wildcats, with both goals unassisted.

Sam Gray was in goal for the Wildcats and made four saves, while Sophia Barker was in net for Old Saybrook and notched 11 saves.

Old Lyme is now 4-0-0 overall and 3-0-0 in the Shoreline Conference.


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

Who are we?

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

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

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

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

But we are unusual.

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

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

Are we trapped in our own egos?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Felix Kloman

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


Lyme Public Hall Tag & Bake Sale Takes Place Today

Lyme Public Hall. Photo submitted.

LYME — A Tag Sale and Bake Sale will be held at the Lyme Public Hall on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The sale will feature housewares, furniture, jewelry and unexpected treasures, as well as a bake sale with home-made pies and other tasty treats.

Furniture, tools, small appliances, jewelry, housewares, linens, toys, sporting goods and gift items will all be on sale for bargain prices.  There will also be an extensive selection of produce available for purchase.

Proceeds will benefit the maintenance of the Lyme Public Hall building, the Lyme Local History Archives, and programs for the public.

The Lyme Public Hall is located at 249 Hamburg Road (Route 156) in Lyme, Connecticut.

For more information, call (860)574-4143 or email wdenow@comcast.net.


Enjoy ‘Cruise Blues & Brews’ Festival Today in Chester

Jake Kulak (center) and the Lowdown (Jason LaPierre at left and Jeremy Peck at right) will be performing at the ‘Cruise Blues & Brews’ Festival at Chester Fairgrounds, Sept. 21. The band recently won the $10,000 grand prize in Foxwood’s ‘Battle of the Bands.’

CHESTER — The blues-rock power trio, Jake Kulak and the LowDown just won the “Battle of the Bands” $10,000 grand prize, sponsored by the Foxwood Resort Casino. The band has been wowing audiences all over the state. They have also won the CT Blues Society Band Challenge, they were voted Best Blues Band in the CTNOW’s Best of Hartford Reader’s Poll and they were nominated as Best New Act of the Year at the New England Music Awards.

Jake Kulak and the LowDown will be one of the seven top CT Blues Bands performing at the 5th Annual Cruise Blues & Brews Festival, Sept. 21, at the Chester Fairgrounds. Other bands that will be appearing include: Ninety Nine Degrees, Clayton Allen Blues Band, Ramblin’ Dan and the Other Cats, Cobalt Rhythm Kings, Blues on the Rocks, and Vitamin B-3.

Ramblin’ Dan Stevens is another of the featured blues musicians at the ‘Cruise, Blues & Brews ‘Festival on Saturday, Sept. 21, at Chester Fairgrounds.

The Cruise Blues & Brews Festival will also feature hundreds of antique and unique cars on display, a food court with a variety of food trucks, locally brewed craft beer on tap, a marketplace of vendors, a kid’s play area full of activities, trophies, games and prizes.

All proceeds from Cruise Blues & Brews Festival support the At-Risk Boys Fund at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County. Established in 2013, The At-Risk Boys fund has awarded over $80,000 in grants to organizations throughout Middlesex County. These grants have helped hundreds of boys and young men achieve success and a better life.

The 5th Annual Cruise Blues & Brews Festival will be held Saturday, Sept. 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (rain or shine), at the Chester Fair Grounds.  Admission is a $10 suggested donation, and kids are free. Tickets can be purchased at the gate during the Festival.

To learn more about this fun-filled festival, visit www.cruisebluesandbrews.com


I-Park Hosts Site-Responsive Art Biennale + Illuminations Gala This Weekend

Site-responsive Art Piece by Cornelia Konrads. Photo Steve Blazo.

Artists from Five Countries and Three Continents Premiere New Works at I-Park

During a three-week onsite residency, nine artists will creatively engage I-Park’s natural and built environments, culminating in a multi-disciplinary, multi-sensory outdoor weekend exhibition. This year’s artists are Jeremiah Barber (California), Sally Kidall (Australia), Chelsea Leventhal (Germany), Anthony Heinz May (New York/Oregon), John Melvin (Washington/France), John R. Neeson (Australia), Sasha Petrenko (Washington), Elena Redaelli (Norway/Italy) and Moira Williams (New York).

Saturday, Sept. 21 | 6 to 10 p.m.  I-Park’s annual Illuminations Gala, will feature a VIP preview walk unveiling the nine new artworks in the company of the participating artists – as well a sit down dinner by Gourmet Galley, dessert by Creative Cakes by Donna, live music by Goza Latin Band and silent and live auctions. Bid on artwork, vintage wines and cultural and culinary experiences.  All proceeds will help provide 60 fully-funded artists’ residencies in 2020.  Tickets are $100 and can be purchased on-line at i-park.org or by calling 860-873-2468.

Sunday, Sept. 22 | 1 to 6 p.m.  The 2019 Site-Responsive Art Biennale – a free community event. Guests will receive a map so they can create their own self-guided tour of the new installations, all set along I-Park’s system of scenic art/nature trails.  Tickets can be reserved on-line at i-park.org

I-Park, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, has, since its inception in 2001, provided almost 1,000 fully-funded residencies to artists from around the world.   To learn more about artists’ residencies and other opportunities, public programming and ways to support I-Park, visit i-park.org. I-Park is deeply appreciative of the support provided by the Community Foundation of Middlesex County/Mary Janvrin and Natalie Janvrin Wiggins Fund for Birds, Other Animals and Nature.



Wildcat Girls on Home Field Defeat T-Birds 2-1

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme girl’s soccer team, coached by Paul Gleason, defeated North Branford 2-1 Friday at home.

Mackenzie Machnik and Maddie McCulloch both scored in the first half for the Wildcats to take the lead by two unanswered goals. Both goals were unassisted.

Alexie Rosado scored late in the second half for the Thunderbirds to bring the respective scores closer at 2-1.  North Branford could not however  find the net again and make the sought-after equalizer.

Sam Gray was in goal for Old Lyme but did not have to make any saves while the Thunderbirds goalie had a total of seven saves.


Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club Hosts New Member’s Social Tonight at Kokomo’s; All Ages 18+ Welcome

OLD LYME — The Lyme Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club (LOLJWC) is hosting their annual New Member’s Social at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20, at Kokomo’s in Old Lyme. The Club will be providing appetizers at the event.

The LOLJWC welcomes all women over the age of 18 (no upper age limit) from Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Essex, and Deep River, or anyone who feels connected to those communities to join the club. This event is an opportunity to meet veteran club members and the club board and to socialize with other new members.

The Club is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to serving their community through volunteerism and philanthropic giving to a variety of organizations and causes. Recent service projects have included the installation of the new Cross Lane Playground, BINGO Night Fundraiser for the Lyme Ambulance Association, Annual Scholarships for local high school seniors, Birthday Bags for the Soup Kitchen, and hosting a blood drive, among others.

The LOLJWC’s primary mission is to provide local women with a supportive network of like-minded women dedicated to engaging with their community through service. Annual dues are $45 per member. 

For more information, contact the LOLJWC board at loljrwomensclub@gmail.com


SECWAC Presents “A Refugee Story” by Old Lyme Resident Mohammed Hamou, Sept. 26

AREAWIDE – In an effort to expand program offerings, the Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) has announced a new Community Partnership Program with Essex Meadows.

Essex Meadows is a retirement community committed to helping residents embrace lifelong learning, and often hosts educational programs that meet SECWAC’s mission to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs, including the Foreign Policy Association’s “Great Decisions” Program.

To launch the 2019-2020 season, SECWAC’s September 2019 programs will include:

  • Sydney Williams, local author, presented his new book, ‘Dear Mary: Letters Home from the 10th Mountain Division, 1944-1945’ on Thursday, Sept. 12, in Hamilton Hall at Essex Meadows, 30 Bokum Rd, Essex, CT 06426.
    More information available at http://secwac.org/press-release-sydney-williams/
  • Gordon Chang, Journalist and Author, returns to SECWAC to present, ‘America’s Grandest Wager: China’ at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17, in the 1941 Room, Crozier Student Center, Connecticut College, 270 Mohegan Avenue, New London, CT 06320.
    More information available at http://secwac.org/press-release-gordon-chang-china/
  • Will Kneerim (IRIS, New Haven) and Mohammed Hamou (Old Lyme Resident and Syrian Refugee) will present, ‘Coming to America: A Refugee Story’ at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26, in Hamilton Hall at Essex Meadows.
    More information available at http://secwac.org/press-release-great-decisions-coming-to-america-a-refugees-story/

All meetings are free for SECWAC members and their guests; events taking place at Essex Meadows are free for residents, as well. Membership for SECWAC’s 2019-2020 season (September 2019 through June 2020) is $85 per person; $25 for young professionals under 35; free for local students and educators; a corporate rate of $1,000 is also available, with unlimited access for employees of the member organization. Membership information and online registration available at http://secwac.org/membership/.

Editor’s Notes: i) Founded in 1988, Essex Meadows is a lifecare retirement community committed to helping residents continue to enjoy an active lifestyle and embrace lifelong learning. Through Great Decisions and other ongoing programming such as their popular Arts & Exploration Lecture Series, Essex Meadows provides residents, and often the broader community, opportunities to engage in probing, thought-provoking discussions about issues of local and global importance. Learn more at https://www.essexmeadows.com.

ii) SECWAC is a regional, nonprofit, membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). The organization dates back to 1999, and has continued to arrange 8-10 Speaker Series meetings annually, between September and June. The meetings range in foreign affairs topics, and are hosted at venues along the I-95 corridor, welcoming members and guests from Stonington to Old Saybrook, and beyond. SECWAC’s mission is “to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate, and educational programming.” It provides a forum for nonpartisan, non-advocacy dialogue between members and speakers, who can be U.S. policy makers, educators, authors, and other experts on foreign relations. Learn more at secwac.org.