Friday, October 14, 2011

Mid-October Deadline Reminder 11th Anniversary Issue

The deadline for all of your news, stories, photos, events and more is October 15th for our 11th Anniversary Issue Mid-October 2011 Issue.  Email your submissions to andy@peoplespressnews.com
Remember to visit www.peoplespressnews.com for even more!
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Saturday, October 8, 2011

The October A 2011 Issue of The People's Press in Image Form

Simply Click on the page to enlarge and read! Remember that you can read The People's Press in many other forms and get bonus items at http://www.peoplespressnews.com/
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The October A 2011 People's Press in Text Form

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Wallingford ANNUAL CLEAN-A-ROAD DAY

Saturday, October 15, 2011

If you need bags, gloves or vests - or - if you want to volunteer to clean a "needy" road,

stop by Wallingford Town Hall, 45 South Main Street, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

For more information about this event and local efforts to fight roadside litter, please contact

the Adopt-A-Road Program: 203-294-2060.





Wallingford Emergency Notification System - Sign Up Procedure

In the wake of Hurricane Irene we would like to remind our community that having the most up-to-date emergency information is critical to making important family safety and security decisions. The State of Connecticut has implemented a state-of-the-art emergency notification system to alert residents anywhere in the state about life-threatening emergency conditions. The Town of Wallingford is an active partner in the program. At the time of a life threatening emergency, information relevant to the conditions of the emergency can be sent to residents through a variety of communication methods, including home phone, cell phone, e-mail, text messaging and certain hearing impaired receiving devices.

Many people are now choosing not to have traditional hardwired phone service in their homes and opting for portable cellular phone service. Without having a traditional home phone it is very possible that you may miss important community and or state notifications in a time of crisis. We urge members of our community to take the time to register their cellular devices so that they will be notified.

The procedure to sign up for the alerts is a five (5) minute process that residents can easily complete online. By signing onto the State of Connecticut Emergency Alerting and Notification Systems web site, a profile can be completed in three easy steps. Once the profile is completed, the system when activated will make emergency notification in the manner in which the resident has created in their profile. Changes and updates to the profile are easily done through the same web-site.

The police department reminds residents that if an emergency message is received, listen closely to what is being reported and then take the appropriate measures to ensure your safety and well-being.

Wallingford Police Lieutenant William Wright has been designated as the program administrator for the community. Questions relevant to the creation of user profiles can be directed to him at 203-294-2836.







Wallingford Parks and Recreation Department

Wallingford 15th Annual Turkey Shoot Golf Classic 2011

The 15th Annual Turkey Shoot Golf Classic, will be held at the Tradition Golf Club on Sat., Oct 22, 2011, is a co-ed 18 hole, 4 person team, scramble tournament, featuring special skills holes and and a putting contest. Fee includes greens and cart fees, dinner and prizes. The shotgun start is at 1PM. Maximum limit is 72 players. Fee: $90 – residents, $95 for non-residents. Sign up at the Wallingford Parks and Recreation, 6 Fairfield Blvd., Wlfd. , 203 294-2120. For more info call Elaine Doherty at 203 265-7349.



Wallingford Dolphins Swim Team

The Wallingford Dolphins Swim Team will begin short axis stroke clinics this week. It is not too late to sign up! Clinics run September 20th – September 30th. 10 and under swimmers clinics run Tuesday through Friday 6:30PM – 7:30PM at the YMCA, and 11 and over swimmers clinics run Tuesday through Friday 7:30PM – 8:30PM. Contact Kait Moss for more information about our team, practice and meet schedules and to set up an evaluation to see where your swimmer belongs on our team. Regular season practices begin the week of October 3rd. Check out our website www.wallingforddolphins.org for more information!

Become Certified As A Lifeguard!

The Wallingford Family YMCA is conducting the Red Cross Lifeguard Training Program.

Class dates:

Sunday, Oct. 9: 10:00-4:00PM

Monday, Oct. 10: 9:00-4:00PM

Saturday Oct. 22: 9:00-4:00PM

Saturday Oct. 29: 9:00-4:00PM

Sunday Oct. 30: 10:00-4:00PM

Pre-registration is required. Participants are required to attend all classes. For more information, please contact Lisa Hoover at lhoover@wallingfordymca.org or (203) 269-4497 x20

Red Cross Babysitter’s Training Course

This certification course is offered to those boys and girls ages 11-15. This program provides the skills and confidence to safely and responsibly care for children. Through hands on activities, Interactive video and lively discussion, this course teaches young people how to make good decisions and create age appropriate play. They will also learn CPR and basic First Aid. This class will take place on Saturday, November 5 from 1:30-5:30PM. Pre-Registration is required. The cost for this class is $30 for YMCA Members and $60 for Community Participants. For more information, please contact Lisa Hoover at lhoover@wallingfordymca.org.

Motor Coach Trips Offered By The Wallingford Family YMCA

Registration will start soon for our Fall trips! Some of the excited locations are: Bronx Zoo, Salem Haunted Happenings, Atlantic City& The Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Many available pick up sites in Stratford, North Haven, Meriden & Newington. Pre-Registration is required. For more information on these trips and future trips, please contact Lisa Hoover at lhoover@wallingfordymca.org.

The Wallingford Family YMCA Corporate Child Care programs are currently accepting registration for the 2011-2012 year. Register for full time (5 days per week) enrollment until October 14 and receive a free 6 month family membership at the Wallingford YMCA! For details on availability please call: Jan Donahue, at the Learning Community at Choate 203-697-2150 or Karen Wu, at The Early Learning Center at Gaylord 203-284-5920.



News from South Meriden Fire Your Village Community Life Line

August 2011 was our busiest Month in our history. We responded to 108 calls of service WOW! During Hurricane Irene we covered our station for over 40 hrs straight with two fire engines, a rescue truck and our secondary medical vehicle. We responded to 35 calls of service from medicals, Motor Vehicle Accident to tree downs and wires down. Like over 50% of our residence in the City some of our members also had no power for days. During difficult times people stand up and do the correct things such as staying in and sheltering in place during the storm, staying away from downed power lines and trees. It was difficult to move around South Meriden and the rest of the city do to roads being closed off because of fallen trees and power lines down. But mostly everyone did stay away from hazardous conditions except for a select few who either did not know or just did not care that the streets where closed with yellow fire tape and thought that the caution fire tape meant it was OK for them to drive or walk through the tape. Well for the grace of God no one got hurt when these people ignored the obvious safety measures we had posted for everyone’s safety. It was heart warming to see neighbors helping neighbors and also checking in on the elderly to make sure they were also OK. We can do amazing things when we work together. We thank you for your help and understanding during the hurricane.

South Meriden Volunteer Fire Department is the village community life line and is celebrating 103 years of service. The department was established back in 1908. It is the only volunteer fire station today in the City of Meriden. It is manned completely by Volunteer professionals. We presently have 28 active members ranging from 18 years old to 65. Our firefighters are certified by the State of CT Fire Academies. Their certification levels depend on the amount of time that each member has spent schooling themselves in the Fire Service. We continue to push our members to continue their education in the fire service and EMS, the more they learn the more they can improve their chance to advance in life’s every day adventures.

Our active firefighters must achieve the level of Firefighter I which is approximately 140 hours within their first 12 months in our department. They also must achieve the level of Medical Response Technician (MRT) or Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) within their first 18 months. The certification process then continues, there is Firefighter II which is approximately 160 hours, Fire Instructor I approximately 100 hours, Fire Officer I approximately 100 hours and this list can and sometimes does continue further. Our members and their families are dedicated to serving not only South Meriden but also the whole City of Meriden when there are City wide emergencies.

We are one of the only fully volunteer fire stations in the state that has overnight duty crews. We have personnel that presently man our fire station 7 nights a week. This has been going on for 10 years now. This allows us to respond quicker to emergencies in our area. We believe in providing good customer service to our customers, you our neighbors. South Meriden Volunteer Fire Department works hand and hand with the Meriden Career Fire Department. Meriden Fire Department has 5 career stations based thought-out the City. The two main stations that also cover the South Meriden area are Station 1 which houses Engine 1 located on Chamberlain Highway and Station 2 which houses Engine 2 and Truck Company 1 (The Ladder Truck). We usually get dispatched at the same time for calls in the South Meriden area. The incident can be handled either by both of the departments or separately. When our station is manned either day or night depending on the severity of the incident we usually handle the incident ourselves, this frees the Meriden Engine company up to handle other emergency incidents that might occur. I believe that Meriden has the best career firefighters in the State. We work with them everyday and I think we all learn from each other each day.

Our call volume has been increasing each year. Our station will be doing over 800 calls this year. We are funded with approximately $71.000 a year from the City of Meriden.

We also run our own fund raiser each year to help us buy extra equipment and supplies that we can not afford to purchase with the City funds. In the past years we have been able to purchase Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) Units. AEDs, as they are known, are used during cardiac emergencies and last year we purchased our Ranger One, I six wheeled off road vehicle to answer emergencies on the linier trail. Our Chief Officers also carry AED Units along with other emergency equipment in their cars so we can also service our neighbors quicker in medical emergency incidents. We also purchased Hazardous Material Multi Gas Reading Meters for our fire apparatus with your generous donations these meters allow us to identify hazardous gas in the atmosphere while responding to Haz-Mat Incidents.

We not only recruit from within Meriden for Volunteers fire fighters but we also do recruitment for certified firefighters that live outside of Meriden as long as they can meet our bylaw requirements to do minimum one duty overnight crew a week plus meet our drill, meeting and squad duty requirements. Certified Fire Fighters can apply on Monday evenings at our fire station which is located at 31 Camp Street, South Meriden. Well that is all this month I will visit with you again hopefully next month God willing. Stay safe, Keith Gordon Chief of Operations





MAYORS CORNER-WALLINGFORD

Dear Friends:

The time for goblins, witches, dragons, princesses and super heroes is almost here. The annual Goblin Gathering and Mini-parade will happen at 6:45 p.m. on Friday, October 28th in front of the Town Hall. This year costumes will be judged for age groups 3-5 year olds, 6-8 year olds and 9-11 year olds. Awards will be given for the Best Costume and Most Original Costume in each age group. After the parade, bags of candy, donuts and juice will revive the “spirits”.

Wooden stakes, twine and hay will be available for those who want to create the Scarecrow Kingdom in front of Town Hall. Children under 5 can also join in the Halloween Haystack Egg Hunt. Bring a carved pumpkin and help to illuminate the parade grounds. As always, this should be a great spectacle and lots and lots of fun!!!

This event is sponsored by the Wallingford Public Celebrations Committee, Wallingford Parks and Recreation and Wallingford Center Inc. We ask that participants park in the Town Hall Parking Lot or at the Wallingford Municipal Credit Union - not along the street.

If you are looking for a very, very scary time, be sure to visit the Trail or Terror at PNA Park. Proceeds are donated to local charities. Let the Halloween excitement begin!

William W. Dickinson, Jr., Mayor



MAX E. MURAVNICK MERIDEN SENIOR CITIZENS’ CENTER News and Events

Flu Shots will be offered by the Meriden Health Department on Wednesday, October 5 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am in the first floor meeting room. No appointments are necessary and the cost of the Flu Shot is covered by Medicare so please remember to bring your Medicare card!

Creative Writing Classes with Susan Sandel, PhD, will be returning to the Senior Center for six weeks starting on Wednesday, October 5 from 1:00 to 2:15 pm. Learn to express yourself in writing, put your thoughts on paper and chronicle your important memories! Susan makes the classes educational and enjoyable so please sign-up in the office to participate in the next session of Creative Writing starting on October 5!

On Tuesday, October 11 at 1:00 pm we will have an organizational meeting for people interested in being part of the holiday show, “A Christmas Carol” to be performed here at the Senior Center in December. Senior Center member Liz Fast has directed plays in the past and would like to get senior volunteers to take a role in this 15 minute Charles Dickens holiday show. Please join us on October 11 at 1:00 in the first floor meeting room to start planning this touching holiday drama with Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim!

On Wednesday, October 12 at 10:30 AM Mike Savinelli from BCI Financial will speak on Reverse Mortgages. Learn how you can use the equity in your home to cover other expenses like home improvements, a new car, medical bills, traveling or other personal expenses. This no cost or obligation program will be held in the first floor meeting room and refreshments will be served.

The Meriden Hall of Fame will hold its annual Induction Ceremony on Sunday, October 16 at 2:00 pm at the Augusta Curtis Cultural Center. Inductees are Matthew C. Dominello Sr., Dr. Francis Giuffrida, Rob Hyman and Rhudean Raye. The program is open to the public free of charge, refreshments will be served and you are cordially invited to attend!

There are still openings for next AARP Driver Safety Class at the Senior Center on Wednesday, October 26 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm in the mezzanine. The cost of the class is $12 for AARP members and $14 for non-members and completion of the course entitles you to a discount on your automobile insurance premiums. Sign-ups for the October class are now being accepted in the front office or by calling 203.237.0066.

The 5th Annual Senior Fair at the Wallingford Senior Center will be held on Friday, November 4 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Sponsored by the Record-Journal, the Senior Fair features workshops, seminars, screenings and refreshments as well as displays from many companies providing services to seniors. A free mini-bus will leave here at 12:15 pm returning by 3:00 pm, to sign-up see Becky or call 203.237.3338.

John F. Hogarth - Senior Center Director





WALLINGFORD SENIOR CENTER News and Events

VISIT our website at www.wlfdseniorctr.com!

Autumn Nights Dinner Dance - Thursday, October 6, 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Don’t miss our monthly dinner dance. This month we present live music from the Frank Porto Band. Get out on the dance floor, or just enjoy the sights and sounds of the evening. Purchase your Lake View Café dinner ticket ($6.00) in advance, or just come for the dance portion of the event.

Comedy Show - Wednesday, October 19, 1:30 PM

Get your ticket to what promises to be an afternoon of hilarity as professional comedian Bob Goss takes to our stage! Bob has been described as “sheer comic energy”. His show involves stand-up comedy, hilarious story-telling, audience participation, and singing! He is a veteran of the hotel and cruise ship circuit, and he kept the audiences laughing at this summer’s lobster festival trips. In addition to the comedy show, our event will feature dessert and beverages. Tickets are $5.00 per person and are available at the front desk. Invite your friends!

Harvest Dance Party - Friday, October 21, 1:00 – 3:00 PM

This free dance party is open to you and all your friends! Join us in the Great Room for two hours of dancing and listening fun. Music will be provided by The Survivors, who will play all the old favorites. Refreshments will be served.

The Orphan Trains - Tuesday, October 25, 10:00 AM

Between 1854 and 1929, more than 150,000 homeless or orphaned children from New York City and other urban areas, were sent via trains to new homes, primarily in the Midwest. Some children were received into loving homes, others became little more than indentured servants. Come watch the PBS documentary, The Orphan Trains, which features interviews with survivors and documentation from century-old letters. This presentation will serve as an introduction to the special program described below.

The Brave Story of an Orphan Train Rider - Thursday, November 3, 7:00 PM at LHHS

Tickets are on sale at the front desk for a special event to be held at Lyman Hall High School to benefit the Wallingford Education Foundation. Ann Zemke, author of They Named Me Marjorie: The Brave Story of an Orphan Train Rider, will speak about her grandmother who was indentured by a family who took her off an orphan train in 1906.

Free Ballroom Dance Lessons - Tuesdays, 9:30 AM

Do you want to add to your enjoyment at our dance parties? Come to our free ballroom dance lessons taught by Roger Blouin, and soon you’ll be out on the floor dancing like Fred or Ginger! You do not need a partner to attend the dance lessons (or our dance parties). We would love to see more men join in the fun! Don’t be shy – give it a try!

Computer Workshops with Kevin

Thursdays, October 6, 13, 20, 27 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Kevin Ozer will be in the Computer Learning Center every Thursday evening in October to help you with your computer questions and problems. (Bring your laptop if you have one.) The fee for each Informal question and answer workshop is $5.00. Please pre-register at the front desk.

Learn To “Skype” - Monday, October 17 - 9:30 – 11:00 AM

Do you have family and friends you would like to talk to more often? Skype is a free computer program that allows you to communicate with other Skype users over the Internet for free. You can see each other as you talk. The Computer Learning Center is offering a one lesson course that teaches you the basics of getting started with Skype on your own computer. This fun class includes hands-on instruction that will have you making and receiving Skype calls in no time. The fee is $5.00. Pre-register at the front desk. (Another class will be offered November 15.)

SOCIAL SERVICES

Memory Lane - Senior Day Program

Is your parent or loved one bored at home? Do you need some time to yourself? Well summer is over, the kids are back in school, and it’s time to get back into a routine. Come visit the Wallingford Senior Center and find out more about our memory care program and the many activities it has to offer. Memory Lane is an adult day program located within the senior center; group activities designed around the abilities and interests of the participants are offered daily. Our hours of operation are 9:15 AM.-2:15 PM, Monday through Friday. We offer handicapped-accessible transportation to all Wallingford residents at no extra charge. Eligibility is based on an interview, assessment, and medical clearance. We provide an affordable, fun, and stimulating way to keep your loved one safe and independent during the day. Join us for a free trial day*. Please contact Melinda Welch, Program Coordinator, at 203.265.7753 Ext. 205 for more information. (*Trial days are based on interview, assessment, and medical clearance.)

Social Worker

♦ Appointments: In order to serve you better, please call to schedule an appointment with the Social Worker, Eileen Flynn, at 203-265-7753.

♦ Walk-In Schedule: The Social Worker takes walk-ins on a first come basis for one-half hour sessions ONLY (30 minutes) on Tuesdays. Sessions are on the half-hour from 9:00 AM to 12 Noon and 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM. No regular appointments will be scheduled on Tuesdays.

What Kind of Life Insurance Do I Have? - Wednesday, October 19 1:00 – 3:15 PM

Do you have life insurance policies and you do not know exactly what they are: Term, Whole Life or Accidental Life or are there any special clauses limiting coverage? If you have any of these questions, Laurie Shields, MetLife Financial Services, will be available for 45-minute appointments; call 203-265-7753 to schedule your 45-minute timeslot.

Want to Make a Difference? - Interfaith Volunteer Training

Tuesday, October 18 - 1:30 – 3:30 PM

Do you have some time and would like to make a difference in a person’s life? Many seniors have no family in the area and are unable to get to doctor appointments or do shopping for themselves without someone to provide transportation. Other seniors live alone, are isolated and would appreciate someone to visit and provide socialization. Still others are unable to do laundry or light housework and could use some assistance with these tasks. You could make a big difference in their lives just by offering a few hours to meet some of these needs. Training will be provided by Barbara Barlok from Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers on Tuesday, October 18, 1:30 PM. Please consider attending by registering at 203-265-7753.

Understanding Your Medicare Benefits 2012

Friday, October 7 - 10:00-11:00 AM

2012 is quickly approaching and questions about any changes in Medicare are beginning to arise. Yvonne Sourragh from Insurance Benefits Solutions, LLC will provide information and answer questions about Medicare Benefits for 2012. All are welcome to attend this program. To register to attend this informative program, please call 203-265 7753.

Important Medicare Information - Please Read Carefully

Open enrollment dates for Medicare have changed. CMS has made it clear that there will be no exceptions to the dates rule below. Dates for open enrollment are:

● Start Date: Saturday, October 15, 2011

● End Date: Wednesday, December 7, 2011

MEDICARE SAVINGS PROGRAM

New Income Guidelines - There have been changes in the eligibility income guidelines to help individuals pay for their Medicare B premiums. The allowable income has increased and anyone who has income between $1,943.12 to $2,260.92 INDIVIDUALS and between $2,623.64 to $3,052.74 COUPLES may be eligible to have their Medicare B premium ($96.40-$115.40) paid. If you were not eligible for this program before because of the income increases you may want to re-calculate your present monthly income. Income includes Social Security, pensions, annuities, 401K, IRA’s dividends, interest, rental income, etc. All incomes are gross, meaning before any deductions such as Medicare, taxes, etc. have been taken out. If you fall within these guidelines and would like to apply for this program, please call SW Eileen Flynn at 203-265-7753 to schedule an appointment.

Important: Please Read Re: Medicare Savings Programs

PLEASE REMEMBER: IF YOUR MEDICARE PART B PREMIUM ($96.40-$115.40) IS BEING PAID FOR UNDER ONE OF THE MEDICARE SAVINGS PROGRAMS (QMB, SLMB OR ALMB), YOU WILL NEED TO COMPLETE A RE-DETERMINATION in order for this premium to CONTINUE TO BE paid for you. This re-determination should be mailed to you approximately one month prior to your anniversary date by the dePT. of social services. FAILURE TO COMPLETE THIs RE-DETERMINATION WILL MEAN THAT THE PREMIUM WILL START TO BE TAKEN OUT OF YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK and you will need to re-apply.

Medicare Prescription Drug Plans - Medicare Rx Express

Thursday, October 27 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

It is that time of year again when decisions need to be made regarding next year’s Medicare Prescription Drug plan choices. The Medicare Rx Express will be at the Senior Center to assist with evaluating and signing up individuals for Medicare Prescription Drug Programs. Please bring a list of the prescription drugs you are presently taking as well as the dosage and number of times taken each day; and bring your present Medicare Rx Insurance Card or Medicare Advantage plan card. Appointments limited and required; call 203-265-7753 to register.

Social Security - Thursday, October 27 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Social Security representatives will be available to answer any questions you may have about eligibility, benefits, etc. No appointment necessary.

CT Energy Assistance Program - 2011-2012 Season

**Important Note: Although applications are being taken at this time, New Opportunities (Meriden) may not process them until notified to do so by the government. Please keep this in mind when calling to follow up on the status of your application. The Wallingford Senior Center is an intake site for Wallingford residents, age 60 and over. The program provides financial assistance to income-eligible households to pay for a portion of their heating costs. We will begin taking applications for deliverable fuel (oil, kerosene, wood) on Wednesday, September 7. First day for fuel deliveries which can be program paid is November 1. Gas and electric customers can call beginning Monday, October 31 for an appointment. Income limits are presently $30,485 for a single person and $39,865 for a couple. Asset limits apply.

Applicants MUST bring TWO (2) COPIES of the following checklist documents (failure to bring TWO (2) COPIES of original will result in re-scheduling of appointment):

● TWO (2) COPIES of most recent bank statement showing Social Security deposit amount or of a 2011 Social Security check or Social Security “Your New Benefit Amount” letter for 2011;

● Most recent checking, savings, CD, annuity, stock, bond documents TWO (2) COPIES;

● 2011 year-to-date pension or annuity dividends and/or interest income TWO (2) COPIES;

● Four most recent pay stubs, if employed TWO (2) COPIES.

● Rental Income – rent stub or copy of check deposited into bank account TWO (2) COPIES;

● Most recent heat utility bill TWO (2) COPIES;

● And, electric bill TWO (2) COPIES.

Applications are by appointment only (clearly, we need two copies of above). Call 203-265-7753 to schedule an appointment.

Benefits Screening - Am I Eligible for Any Programs?

Tuesday, October 18 - 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Do you often wonder if you might be eligible for any State or Federal Programs? Benefits QuickLINK is a free and confidential program which can quickly screen for eligibility. Supporting documents are not required, but please bring the following information with you to your appointment: 1. Monthly income (social security, pension, dividends and interest). 2. Monthly expenses (heating, fuel, gas, electricity, water, telephone, rent or mortgage payments and medical expenses not covered by health insurance). 3. Asset information (savings, estimated value of home and car, life insurance benefits). 4. A list of all current prescriptions. Registration required, call 203-265-7753 now to schedule an appointment.



Mayor’s Corner - Meriden

The leaves are finally beginning to change as cooler fall weather approaches. Meriden has seen a flurry of outdoor events and activities including the 911 Memorial Service at the American Legion, the annual Wine Tasting and Brewfest downtown; the 2nd Annual Sgt. Jeffrey Boucher Car, Truck, and Bike Show at the Hub; the Rotary Car Show benefiting the Meriden/Wallingford United Way; and the 3rd Annual Rotary Pet Fair at Hubbard Park with proceeds benefiting the Meriden Humane Society. Many thanks to the organizers and volunteers who made these events possible.

Meriden recently received the prestigious national recognition of “Playful City USA” by Kaboom. This award named Meriden as one of the leading cities in America in promoting outdoor play for children. This award commends our commitment to children’s play resources and the many opportunities afforded for leisure time and play activity. Meriden will be eligible for grant funds from Kaboom for city parks projects.

Soon to be released – Today’s Meriden, a children’s book about Meriden’s treasures, resources, and vitality. Author, Eddie Siebert, a well known children’s book author, created this book to illuminate the many positives of Meriden through the eyes of a Meriden native growing up in our community.

Don’t forget to stop by the Farmer’s Market at the downtown Hub every Saturday morning from 8 AM to 12 Noon. Fresh, Connecticut grown produce is available through October 29.

Warm regards, Mike Rohde, Mayor of Meriden





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Wallingford Healthy Dining Guide - First Edition

The Wallingford Health Department in conjunction with the Activate Wallingford Pioneering Healthier Communities initiative is pleased to announce our First Edition, Wallingford Healthy Dining Guide.

The Wallingford Healthy Dining Guide is an effort to create a healthier community by highlighting those restaurants that provide the healthy food choices; some of these include offering whole grain alternatives, more fruit and vegetable items, and the option to order smaller portion sizes. According to consumer research from the National Restaurant Association, nearly 3 out of 4 adults are trying to eat healthier when dining out than they have in the past (January 2010). 


This exciting new effort was the work of student intern, Leah Mezick, Southern Connecticut State University, Public Health (graduated May 2011). All Wallingford restaurants were asked to voluntarily participate in a menu review and grading system. Criteria for inclusion in the Wallingford Healthy Dining Guide, was restricted to restaurants classified as 3’s and 4’s in accordance with Connecticut Public Health Code; local establishments (less than 3 locations) and had to meet at least 80% of the healthy nutritional guidelines. A survey was adapted from a dining guide designed by Darlene Flaherty, R.D., at the Carroll County Health Department in Maryland and was distributed in April 2011.

The First Edition of the Wallingford Health Dining Guide is two-year guide, 2011-2013, and will be updated using the same grading criteria. We are pleased to announce that nine (9) restaurants are included in the First Edition. Certificates of Award of Excellence will be awarded on Saturday Oct 1, 2011 as part of the Celebrate Wallingford Festivities.


The restaurants will receive a certificate to display and a window decal indicates they are a Healthy Dining establishment. In addition, the Wallingford Healthy Dining Guide will be available on the Town web site and the Activate Wallingford website.





Wallingford Public Flu Vaccine Clinics - October 18 and 22

Wednesday, October 18 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Wallingford Public Library Upper Level - Board Room

Saturday, October 22 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon Wallingford Public Library Lower Level - Collins Room

No appointment is required for these clinics.

Most major health insurance plans and Medicare Part B accepted. Cash or check accepted.

For additional information, please contact Chris More at the Department of Health. 203-294-2065.





Meriden Health Department New and Events

Healthy Workplace Bulletin Boards

Does your workplace have an empty bulletin board? If so, the Meriden Health Department has your solution! We are offering free monthly bulletin board packages with themes such as “Rethink Your Drink”, “Lunchbox Tips”, and “Walking for Health”. Each package comes with handouts for employees and all the supplies you need for your board. Transforming empty bulletin boards is a great addition to any workplace wellness program. Below is Fosdick Fulfillment Center’s board for September. If you would like items for your board please call Lea Crown, Community Health Educator, at (203) 630-4238.

SEASONAL FLU VACCINATIONS AVAILABLE AT THE MERIDEN HEALTH DEPARTMENT

The Meriden Health Department is now offering seasonal influenza (flu) vaccine to Meriden residents. This year’s vaccine includes protection from the H1N1 flu virus. Getting the flu vaccine is the best protection against getting sick from influenza.

Yearly flu vaccination is recommended for anyone over the age of 6 months. Any persons allergic to eggs or any part of the flu vaccine are not eligible for the vaccination.

The cost of the vaccine is $25.00 (cash only please). Medicare and Connecticare Medicare HMO are the only insurances accepted at this time. The vaccine will be given at the Health Department, 165 Miller Street, Monday – Friday from 8:30am – 4:30pm. No appointment is necessary. Please call the Meriden Health Department Clinic office at (203) 630-4234 with any questions.

Meriden Family Day – October 9, 2011

Meriden’s 4th annual Family Day will be held on Sunday, October 9, at the Quinnipiac River Gorge Trail (corner of Oregon Road and Route 70 in South Meriden). Join us from 1:00pm-2:30pm and enjoy a beautiful fall nature walk down the linear trail led by Wildlife Biologist Peter Picone. The Quinnipiac River Watershed Association will offer canoe rides down the river. Learn more about trail expansion and the environment at educational exhibits. Healthy snacks and bottled water will be available. The event is sponsored by Meriden Linear Trail Partners. For more information please call 203-235-6851. Rain cancels the event.

Greater Meriden Chamber of Commerce Health and Wellness Council to hold Health and Wellness EXPO

The Greater Meriden Chamber of Commerce Health and Wellness Council will hold its third annual Health and Wellness Expo at Westfield Meriden Shopping Mall on Saturday, October 29, 2011, from 10:00am – 4:00pm. Westfield is located at 470 Lewis Avenue, Meriden. This event will be held in conjunction with Westfield Meriden’s spooktacular trick-or-treat event for families.

Over 35 exhibitors will be on hand with health, wellness, and safety information. Fun and educational seminars and demonstrations will be held during the Expo in Center Court, Also featured in Center Court will be a public safety recognition award program from 12:00-1:00pm.

This event is free and open to the public. Vendors interested in exhibiting can call the Chamber at (203) 235-7901 or visit www.meridenchamber.com. This event is being brought to you in partnership by the Greater Meriden Chamber of Commerce and Westfield Meriden.

20th Annual AIDS Candlelight Vigil Scheduled for October 20, 2011

The 20thh Annual AIDS Candlelight Vigil will be held on Thursday, October 20, 2011, on the steps of Meriden City Hall. The vigil will start at 5:00pm. Mayor Michael S. Rohde will read a proclamation in honor of HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. All are welcome to attend. Following the vigil, attendees will proceed to Center Congregational Church, located at 474 Broad Street. A program including speakers, singers, and an open prayer will be held. Light refreshments will be available. The program will conclude at 7:00pm.

Since HIV was first identified in 1981, it has spread rapidly through the world. In the United States nearly 1 million people are currently living with HIV/AIDS, and up to one-third do not know they are infected. Since 1981, nearly 450,000 people in the United States have died from HIV/AIDS. 40,000 people in the United States become infected every year. Know your status, get tested! For more information on the AIDS Candlelight Vigil, please contact Abigail Torres at the Meriden Health Department, 203-630-4176.







Let’s Talk”…..About Your Health

Chris More, RN

Public Health Educator, Wallingford Health Department

Let’s talk about . . . . Childhood Obesity. “Fatty, Tubby, Blimpy”, all hurtful names that overweight children hear every day at school, camp and other activities.

They looked so cute at 1 year old with those chunky legs and adorable pot bellies. Grandma said, “It’s only baby fat it will go away,” but when that baby turns 6 or 7 and is still “chunky” it’s no longer adorable or healthy physically or emotionally.

Childhood obesity is a condition where excess body fat negatively affects a child’s health and well being. Obesity (over-weight) in children has many adverse health issues, and is now recognized as a serious public health concern. The diagnosis of obesity is based on BMI (Body Mass Index). Obesity is recognized as a BMI greater than the 95th percentile. Emotional and psychological effects of obesity in children are overwhelming, not only is there teasing from peers, but sometimes even family. If you walk through a school cafeteria, you would observe the overweight children sitting very quietly to avoid ridicule over their sometimes large lunches. Childhood obesity also leads to many life threatening conditions. Examples are diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep problems and many other disorders. Yes, parents these are not exclusively adult diseases, and if you child develops these conditions now and you don’t change their lifestyles, they will become unhealthy, overweight adults with chronic health conditions. Mortality rates sky rocket during adulthood.

Some causes of obesity are poor eating habits, meals in front of the T.V., eating out or having dinner in the car between soccer games, all these causes are linked with types of food, sugary soft drinks, pre-packaged snacks, vending machine foods and fast foods – high in fat. Last but certainly not least the lack of physical activities, being on T.V. or video game overload, certainly adds to the vicious cycle of eating and being a couch potato.

We could go on and on about over-feeding our children, what to feed them and when but the best way to help your child is for your entire family to change its life styles. Just give healthy eating a chance. The family eating together at the table, planning healthy meals with the children, snacking on popcorn, pretzels, fruits and veggies and even taking a family walk together are not so difficult. Your children will respond to your efforts and you may even establish some family bonding.

The Health Department has joined forces with Youth and Social Services, Wallingford YMCA and the BOE to “Activate Wallingford”.

Check us out on the web for more information.

There are also many websites that help with meal planning and exercise. Check with your family physician or call us at the Wallingford Health Department (203) 294-2065 to help you establish healthy safe meal plans and exercise schedules.

We’ll talk again next month in the meantime be an advocate for your child and “Get Healthy.”





Activate Wallingford Task Force Urges Healthier Habits for Kids during Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and the ACTIVATE WALLINGFORD Task Force is reminding parents about the importance of incorporating regular physical activity and healthier eating habits into their children’s lives.

Childhood obesity rates have soared over the last few decades. Nationally, one in three children is obese or overweight, while in Connecticut ages 6 to 11 are at 18.8 percent, ages 12 to 19 are at 17.4 percent and Connecticut high school students obese or overweight are at 26 percent according to the Connecticut Commission on Children. More alarming, obesity puts children at risk for chronic diseases often seen in adults, such as high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes. This health crisis sheds light on the need to provide children and their parents with the resources and the support they need, emphasizing that small steps can lead to big results to reverse the trend.

One key to fighting childhood obesity is prevention. Regular physical activity – 60 minutes a day for children – and nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains can lower children’s chances of becoming obese or overweight and developing chronic diseases. It’s important to note that 60 minutes of physical activity can be achieved through a number of activities throughout the entire day – it doesn’t have to be done all at once. As a leading nonprofit strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y believes that getting kids more active and allowing them to play is an important factor in improving their health.

The ACTIVATE WALLINGFORD Task Force is made up of local town agencies, departments, non profits and businesses offering a variety of healthy living programs and opportunities. Our many parks and trails throughout Wallingford serve as a great resource for families to engage in healthy activities.

To learn more about ACTIVATE WALLINGFORD, please contact Sean Doherty, Wallingford Family YMCA Executive Director at 203-269-4497 or visit www.activatewallingford.org for more information.





MORE THAN 1,500 NEW ENGLAND RESIDENTS TO JOIN

LUSTGARTEN FOUNDATION 6TH ANNUAL PANCREATIC CANCER RESEARCH WALK

WHAT: On Sunday, October 2, nearly 2,000 New Englanders whose lives have been impacted by pancreatic cancer join together for the 6th Annual Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk which will be held at Castle Island in south Boston.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in women and men in this country. This year, more than 44,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer with an average survival time of six to nine months. There are no early detection methods, no adequate treatments and unless detected in its earliest stages, there is no cure. Pancreatic cancer is highly aggressive and resistive to standard cancer treatments. In only the past few years, this disease took the lives of such well-known people as Patrick Swayze, Luciano Pavarotti, and Myles Brand and Randy Pausch.

WHY: Despite the grim statistics of this disease, it was not a national priority. Only ten years ago, federal funding for pancreatic cancer research stood at less than one half of one percent of the National Cancer Institute’s annual budget. The Lustgarten Foundation has provided more than $38 million to pancreatic cancer research AND 100% of every dollar raised goes to research!

WHO: The Lustgarten Foundation along with thousands of New England residents who have been affected by pancreatic cancer!

WHEN: Sunday, October 2, 2011 Check-In and Registration: 8:00 AM Event Begins: 9:30 AM

WHERE: Castle Island, South Boston

HOW: To learn more or Register online visit www.lustgarten.org or call toll free 866.789.1000

MORE: The Lustgarten Foundation is America’s largest private foundation dedicated solely to funding pancreatic cancer research. Based in Bethpage, New York, the Foundation supports research to find a cure for pancreatic cancer, facilitates dialogue within the medical and scientific community, and educates the public about the disease through awareness campaigns and fundraising events. The foundation has provided $38 million to pancreatic cancer research and has assembled the best scientific minds with the hope that one day, a cure can be found. Because Cablevision Systems underwrites all of the Lustgarten Foundation’s administrative costs, 100% of every dollar donated to the Foundation will go directly to pancreatic cancer research. For additional information, please visit www.lustgarten.org

RSVP: Media requests should be directed to: Ann Walsh / Director of Events awalsh@cablevision.com / (516) 803-2304



Let’s Talk”…..About Your Health

Chris More, RN

Public Health Educator, Wallingford Health Department

Let’s talk about …. Dehydration! You’re sweating profusely working out in the hot sun, you feel like a gallon of water has drained from your body, you have a headache, dry mouth, and you haven’t used the bathroom in several hours! ……. Should you be worried? YES! Sounds like you are starting to dehydrate. Time to act quickly and rehydrate. The body is made up of about 70 percent water you can survive for weeks without food (good weight loss … NO) but only days without water!

Dehydration means your body does not have as much water and fluids as it should. It can be caused by losing to much fluid, by not drinking enough water, fluids, or both. Signs and symptoms can range from mild to life threatening. Mild dehydration can usually be treated by drinking more fluids such as water or drinks with electrolytes in them. Children and older adults are especially at risk, because their bodies are so much more fragile during illnesses, fevers and the summer heat.

A good indicator is the color of your urine, dark colored or amber colored urine can signal dehydration. If you feel yourself becoming mildly or moderately dehydrated “stop” your activity and rest, get out of direct sunlight, lay down in a cool spot or air-conditioned area. Prop up your feet take off extra clothes (not naked!) Most of all drink, drink, drink, water, juice, some sport drinks to replace fluids and minerals. Stay away from caffeinated drinks and continue to hydrate for the next 2 to 4 hours.

Rest and take it easy for at least 24 hours and continue to drink, you will probably start feeling better in a few hours, but it will take a full day before all your lost fluids are replaced. Drinking only water without a source of electrolytes, can dilute the electrolytes in your blood, so try to drink something non-carbonated with some sodium, sugar and other minerals.

Causes of dehydration vary, a few are: diarrhea, vomiting, fever, burns, inability to drink, and excessive sweating.

Some signs and symptoms of dehydration are: dry mouth, thirst, decreased urine output, sweating may stop, muscle cramps, headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and as your dehydration worsens symptoms become more severe sometimes leading to death.

So be alert, don’t wait – hydrate. Don’t overdue enjoy the weather keep a water bottle handy. Be careful with your children out in the sun, cover them and give them plenty to drink. Don’t cook yourself, that’s just for hot dogs and hamburgs!! Stay healthy …. Talk with you next month.





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Meriden Farmers Market

The Hub-intersection of State/East Main-Behind TD Bank

Through October 29th Saturdays-8-12

The long standing farmers market is being moved to the HUB. This new site will provide more visibility for the farmers market, improve parking and provide space for additional vendors.

Using the current farmers as a base, other vendors will be added. These will include but not be limited to: artisan bakeries, “lunch on the go” booths, and guest restaurants. We will also offer unique produce i.e. different than that offered by the current farmers. This might include items like “organic” produce and heirloom tomatoes, cheese, eggs or honey.

ALL ITEMS WILL BE CT GROWN OR PRODUCED!

Every week there will also be some local craftsmen offering their wares like jewelry, cut and silk flowers, homemade crafts and some clothing. From time to time entertainment will also be offered. Community groups will also have access to booths and some of the booths will have a decidedly ethnic flavor. Each week will be different!





Help those in Need in Vermont!

The House of Hair is still collecting items for the Vermont Food Bank and monetary donations for the Vermont Farm Fund. We are asking for your help in collecting nonperishable food items and toiletries.

Suggested items are:

Canned Fruit...Tuna…Pb&J...Canned veggies...Cereal...Chef Boyardee meals...Baby food...Condiments...Macaroni & Cheese...Macaroni/Sauce...Tooth brushes/paste...Deodorant...powder...Soap...Feminine products...first aid...baby supplies

*Be creative, donate what you would use!*

Please also check the expiration dates!!

Drop off all items at:

The House of Hair

437 Broad Street,

Meriden, CT 06450



The last day to drop off items will be Saturday, October 15th from 8am - 3pm



For more information on these organizations and on different ways you can help, visit www.vtfoodbank.org and www.hardwickagriculture.org.

YouTube has various sites that have put the devastation into perspective.





Applefest Fair

St. John the Evangelist Church

360 Church St, Yalesville, CT

Date: Saturday October 30, 2011

9AM to 3 PM

Cafe serving breakfast & Lunch

Crafts * Bake Sale * Book Sale * Tag Sale



The First Baptist Church of Wallingford will host a Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair on Saturday, November 19, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Church's Fellowship Hall, corner of North Main and Church Streets in Wallingford. In addition to a variety of hand crafted items, there will be a fine choice of vendors' booths. Refreshments, coffee and lunch will be available at reasonable prices throughout the day. For further information call Liz Davis at 203-265-4187.





10th Annual Mother/Daughter ¡Soy Unica! ¡Soy Latina! Community Celebration!

Don’t miss this year’s exciting FREE event that will take place on Saturday, October 15 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at Washington Middle School, 1225 North Broad Street, Meriden.

Sponsored by Cox Communications, The Cuno Foundation, the James H. Napier Foundation and MidState Medical Center, this event is organized by the Meriden Wallingford Substance Abuse Council, Inc.

As a bilingual and public education campaign for girls ages 9-18 and their mothers and other caregivers, ¡Soy Unica! ¡Soy Latina! is designed to help girls build and enhance their own self-esteem, mental health, decision-making and assertiveness skills in order to prevent the harmful consequences of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs. The project encourages cultural pride by emphasizing strengths inherent in our various cultures!

Check out this year’s Activities!

Opening up the program this year will be Meriden Mayor Michael Rohde, Superintendent of Meriden Schools Mark Benigni and State Representative Cathy Abercrombie.

This year’s keynote speaker is Ann Hushin, Principal, Maloney High School Principal. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico and has worked at Maloney High School since 1991. She will be sharing her knowledge with the mothers and daughters about how to be successful in life and that it is never too late to educate yourself.

There is a workshop for the girls and mothers/caregivers.

For the second year mothers and daughters will be selected to play a game called “What do you know?” The game will have questions to see how well you know your daughter and how well you know your Mom.

Watch and be amazed by the performance of a YMCA Zumba instructor as she leads you in a dance fitness program using Latin music such as salsa, meringue, and reggaeton. The fun dance moves are easy and you will feel like you are partying instead of working out!

Drawings, prizes, breakfast and lunch will round out the day. You won’t want to miss it!

The Meriden and Wallingford Substance Abuse Council (MAWSAC) provides community-based education and information on the effects of substance abuse, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and other addictive behavior.

For more information and to register, please contact Christelle Aubé at MAWSAC at

203-294-3591 or email mawsac@aol.com.





CPR Classes

CPR Classes save lives! Be a responder, not a helpless bystander. CPR training is lifesaving at the workplace and in the home. For information, call the Visiting Nurse Association of Wallingford, Inc. at 203-269-1475 or email ginny@vnawallingford.org. Cardiac arrest occurs every two minutes – learn how to safely, simply and effectively respond. Beginners and healthcare professionals welcome.



Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest will be celebrated at the Turner Halle, 800 Old Colony Road, Rte, Meriden, on Saturday, October 22nd. A smoked pork chop dinner will be served at 6 PM, followed by the music of Joe Unger’s Band. Featured will be the H.S.V. Bavaria Dancers performing several German folk dances. Reservations are required by contacting Leo @ 2 03-440-0028 or by calling the Meriden Turner Clubhouse on Thursday evenings @ 203-440-9624 after 7 PM.





BARITONE/BASS SOUGHT FOR HOLIDAY CAROLING GROUP – PAID ENGAGEMENT

The Connecticut Yuletide Carolers is seeking a baritone/bass vocalist. The Carolers engage several Victorian a cappella quartets, costumed in Dickens-style costumes performing traditional holiday carols, who appear all over CT at various holiday activities, including senior residences and centers, shopping centers, private functions, and public events. Must be able to read music; choral/theatre experience preferred. Paid engagements. Major costume pieces provided by producer. Must have your own transportation, although group does carpool when possible. 6 to 7 Sunday evening rehearsals to be held in the Branford area, but we are looking for singers from any area of CT. Contact Lori Cartwright at info@ctyuletide.com or (203) 673-9485.





Reading program gets visit from Miss Connecticut USA

Who was that young woman with the sparkling sash on? What was she doing at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School?

The young woman, the newly-crowned “Miss Connecticut USA,” was Regina Turner from Old Saybrook, a 21-year-old dental hygiene student at Tunxis Community College. She took some time out of her June Miss USA pageant preparations to visit the Senior Buddy Readers program at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School on May 11. While her career ambition is to become a dentist, she also wants to educate young children and she noted the importance of early literacy and instilling a love of reading early in life.

“I love working with kids and reading is definitely important,” Turner said.

How did the Senior Buddy Reader program begin? Ten years ago, when her niece was having reading difficulty and help didn’t come soon enough to avoid the youngster repeating a grade, Cathy Lewis and fellow Meriden parent Donna Mordarski came up with an idea. While attending a meeting at a local senior center, Cathy and Donna realized there was an untapped resource in their midst – the senior citizen population. Here was a wealth of information right in front of them, with so much to offer and time to share their talents and experiences, but not engaged to do so. With that, the “Senior Buddy Reader” program was born.

“We were two single moms with no budget,” said Lewis, Senior Buddy Readers program coordinator and co-founder. “Everything was donated – books, the space, volunteers.”

The program pairs older adults, usually retirees, with first- and second-graders identified by their teachers to need reading assistance. The program currently runs in four of Meriden’s elementary schools – Benjamin Franklin, Nathan Hale, Thomas Hooker and Hanover. At Benjamin Franklin and Nathan Hale, the program is for first- and second-graders; at Hooker and Hanover, it’s just for first graders. Most students in the program are considered middle readers. The children read to their senior buddies, and the buddies give the children extra support and help foster a love of reading.

“It’s a nice thing for the middle readers,” said Dan Coffey, Benjamin Franklin Elementary School’s principal. “They go to the same reader every week – they build a solid relationship.”

The co-founders worked with school principals and teachers and volunteers received training on using the strategies employed in the schools to help children improve reading skills.

“For me, it’s a treat,” said senior buddy Paul from Meriden. “They do more for us than we do for them.”

“Buddy Readers is a win-win-win situation – a win for the children; a win for the senior buddies, and a win for our schools,” said David Radcliffe, Executive Director of Meriden Children First, the program’s sponsor organization. “It’s this sort of early learning investment that helps children have successful school experiences.”

To date, more than 75 volunteers work with approximately 200 first and second grade students. For more information on the Senior Buddy Reader program, visit www.meridenchildrenfirst.org.







The Community Foundation’s Quinnipiac River Fund awards $112,000 in Grants to Protect and Research the Quinnipiac River

New Website on Horizon for All-things Quinnipiac River

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven is pleased to announce that $112,000 has been awarded from the Quinnipiac River Fund to 12 organizations for programs that reduce river pollution, support the environment and educate the public about the Quinnipiac River. The River flows from west of New Britain southward to Plainville, Southington, west of Meriden, Cheshire, through Wallingford, Yalesville, North Haven and into New Haven Harbor.

Among the grant recipients is Catalyst Collaborative who has been hired to create a comprehensive Quinnipiac River website. The site will provide a consolidated source for Quinnipiac River information, resources, research, and advocacy, specifically related to the work and impact of the Quinnipiac River Fund. The website will feature high-impact design/photography, a grant project database, an interactive map, calendar, and blog – together providing a multi-faceted resource for organizations and individuals working to better the conditions of the Quinnipiac River. The site is expected to launch by the end of 2011.

Another grant recipient, Audubon Connecticut, will use its funding to raise awareness in the community about ways to reduce sources of pollution and to improve habitat for birds and other wildlife within the Quinnipiac River Watershed.

“We are honored to receive this grant award from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven’s Quinnipiac River Fund, and look forward to strengthening our partnerships and efforts in the Quinnipiac River Watershed,” said Tom Baptist, Audubon Connecticut Executive Director. “Through legislative forums in New Haven and Wallingford, an environmental film series with local panelists at Yale Peabody Museum, and outreach about everyday actions people can take to improve wildlife habitat and water quality, we will grow the number of bird and wildlife supporters engaged in conservation and advocacy on behalf of the watershed. This program will build on the very effective outreach initiatives carried out by our partnering organizations, and add a uniquely Audubon component: Making the reciprocal connection between our personal actions, the health of the watershed, and the birds and other wildlife we all enjoy and cherish.”

The Quinnipiac River Fund was established in 1990 as a result of a court settlement between the National Resources Defense Council, Connecticut Fund for the Environment and the Upjohn Corporation concerning wastewater discharges by the Upjohn Chemical Company of North Haven CT into the Quinnipiac River. A fine of $1 million was levied on Upjohn for continually exceeding its permitted industrial releases into the Quinnipiac River and used to create the Quinnipiac River Fund, administered by The Community Foundation. The Quinnipiac River Fund distributes grants each year to improve the environmental quality of the Quinnipiac River and New Haven Harbor and the watersheds of those waterbodies, and otherwise benefit the environment of those resources.

The Quinnipiac River Fund is advised by a committee that meets once a year to make recommendations for funding to The Community Foundation. Members include: Nancy Alderman, President of Environment and Human Health, Gordon Geballe, the Assistant Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and Margaret Miner, Director of Rivers Alliance.

The Quinnipiac River Watershed Association received $16,000 - To support the Quinnipiac Urban River Stewardship project, which will install several river stewardship signs in prominent locations to promote human links to this urban river and foster stewardship of the shared resource, as recommended in the watershed management plan for a similar urban river, the North Branch of the Park River in Hartford/Bloomfield.

Since 1928, donors to The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven have built the community's endowment currently valued at over $300 million. In 2010, The Foundation’s Board of Directors distributed more than $19 million in grants from over 800 different named charitable funds supporting a wide range of programs and organizations. For more information about The Community Foundation visit www.cfgnh.org.





VASA Park Available For Rental

VASA Park is available for company outings, family reunions and private parties. The park is located at 358 Main Street South Meriden. For more information please contact Linda at gsteinmiller@cox.net



Volunteers NEEDED!

Volunteers are needed to visit elderly people, to shop with or for an elder, to drive an elder to and from their medical appointment, and to provide respite care to family members caring for a loved one who needs constant care. All that is required is a warm, loving heart and one or two hours of your time each week. A two hour training session will provide you with information and basic skills to make a difference in

someone’s life. Please call IVCG for the next training date at 203-230-8994 or email carenh@snet.net for more information and to register.



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National Grange President to visit Connecticut October 20-22

The Connecticut State Grange is pleased to announce National Grange President Ed Luttrell and his wife Celia will be the National Representatives at the 127th Annual Convention of the State Grange, October 20-22 in East Hartford. While Luttrell has visited Connecticut several times, this will be his first visit to the Connecticut State Grange Convention as National President.

Luttrell, a native of Sandy, Oregon, was elected the 22nd President of the National Grange in November, 2007. A second generation Granger, he is the immediate past Leadership/Membership Development Director for the National Grange. He is also an immediate-past Trustee on the Oregon State Grange Foundation having been the President of the board for six years.

The 127th Annual Convention of the Connecticut State Grange will be held at the Hartford Plaza Hotel, 100 East River Drive, in East Hartford. The three day convention will feature a full slate of legislative initiatives by the delegates from nearly 60 Community Granges across Connecticut, state-wide community service awards and recognitions, donations, scholarship awards, as well as music, fun and more.

Luttrell grew up on a small farm outside of Portland, OR and has worked in agriculture, automotive services, and publishing. He and Celia, his wife of 29 years, have three grown children: Ben, Jacob, and Charlotte, as well has one grandson. They are members of the Boring-Damascus Grange #260 and Clackamas Pomona Grange both in Oregon.

Luttrell has extensive Grange experience including Oregon State Grange President from 1996-2000, when he also served as a lobbyist for the Grange. His Grange accomplishments started in 1978 when he was named Oregon’s Outstanding Young Granger. He served on the Oregon State Grange Membership Committee from 1986 to 1988 and was Oregon State Gatekeeper from 1988 to 1992. He and Celia were Oregon State Grange Outstanding Young Couple in 1989. Luttrell also served as State Youth Director from 1990 to 1992 and as Editor of the Oregon Grange Bulletin from 1992 to 1996.

In the past, he has served on the boards of the Oregon Lands Coalition, Grange Mutual Insurance Company, and Timberland States Insurance Company.

Luttrell’s vision for the Grange is to strengthen the partnership between the State and National levels of the organization in order to aid the Community Granges in achieving their goals. Promoting growth through new Granges, reorganizing inactive Granges, and revitalizing existing Granges is a primary focus of his team building efforts.

About the Connecticut State Grange: The Connecticut State Grange has been an integral part of rural and non-rural communities across the state for over 125 years, with currently nearly 60 local Grange chapters in Connecticut. Local Granges are committed to bettering their communities through service projects, legislative initiatives, and family orientated activities.

For more information on the Connecticut State Grange please visit www.CTStateGrange.org.



ANNUAL FALL HARVEST FAIRE BRINGS RENAISSANCE TO CONNECTICUT

Popular festival opens Sept. 24 at Hebron Lions Fairgrounds

WHAT: King Arthur and his Knights of the Roundtable bring Camelot to Connecticut this autumn with the return of The Connecticut Renaissance Faire’s King Arthur’s Fall Harvest Faire.

WHO: Over 40 entertainers, competitions and craft demonstrations. Nearly 80 merchants and artisans.

The Faire attracts over 30,000 visitors annually. If requested, the Faire will arrange interviews with performers, merchants and artisans.

WHEN: Every weekend beginning Sept. 24 through Oct. 16 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Columbus Day – Oct. 10 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Halloween Knights – Saturday, Oct. 8 & Saturday, Oct. 15 6 to 8 p.m.

WHERE: Connecticut Renaissance Faire King Arthur’s Fall Harvest Lions Fairgrounds 347 Gilead St.

Hebron, CT

WHY: Since first opening the gates in 1999, the Faire regularly expands in both festivities and attendance, attracting tens of thousands of visitors annually to the days of Olde England with its blend of entertainment, craft demonstration, and marketplace. This year promises to bring more adventures, revelry and merriment. “We always want to give our visitors more, and the 2011 Fall Harvest is no exception,” says Eric Tetreault, marketing director of The Connecticut Renaissance Faire. “It will be a thrill for all of King Arthur’s guests.”

Fairegoers can join the Crusade Against Hunger by donating Big Y canned goods to benefit the Connecticut Food Bank and to receive a reduced admission price. Celebrate the Harvest Moon during opening weekend, Sept. 24 and 25, by being a guest of honor at the Queen’s Breakfast and get an up-close-and-personal look at the crowning of Renaissance royals—the Duke and Duchess of Caerleon. Experience the realms of chivalry and romance during Oct. 1 and 2 as you walk among nobility, cheer for a fair maiden during a Renaissance beauty pageant, and witness vow renewals and a real-life wedding. In search of vikings, pirates and barbarians, visit the Faire during Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 8, 9 and 10, and watch the strong men compete in the Faire’s annual Men in Kilts Competition. The Faire closes with special events for children and pets during the first Children’s Fantasy and Masquerade and Pet Weekend. In addition to the Fall Harvest weekend celebrations, the Faire invites guests to get in the Halloween spirit during the annual Halloween Knights on Oct. 8 and 15 from 6 to 8 p.m.

An agricultural fair, King Arthur’s Fall Harvest Faire offers comedic adventures, armored combat, breathtaking performances, craft demonstrations, and a bustling marketplace, among other entertainment. Reminiscent of an old world, village fair, the Faire was created in 1999 by those who wanted to bring the magic of an era nearly lost to time into the present. For more information about King Arthur’s Fall Harvest Faire and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.ctfaire.com.





Holiday Fair Venders Wanted

LOOKING FOR VENDORS FOR A HOLIDAY FAIR TO BENEFIT ANIMAL HAVEN, INC.

ON NOVEMBER 26, 2011 AT THE NORTH HAVEN CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH

COST: $30.00 TO RENT A SPACE (BRING YOUR OWN TABLE)

* WE ARE ALSO LOOKING FOR DONATIONS OF CRAFT, HANDMADE OR NEW

GIFTABLE ITEMS FOR US TO SELL.

ANIMAL HAVEN IS A PRIVATE, NON-PROFIT SHELTER IN NORTH HAVEN FOR

HOMELESS CATS AND DOGS.

FOR INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL: CHRIS GAGNE 484-9648 EMAIL: chriskat32@aol.com





PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

The monthly meeting of the Housatonic Fly Fishermen’s Association will be held on Thursday, October 6, 7:00PM at the St Paul’s Episcopal Church, 65 North Main Street, Wallingford, CT. The HFFA is dedicated to preserving and protecting the Housatonic River as well as furthering the sport of fly fishing. Monthly meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month from September through June. Meetings include featured speakers on various fly fishing subjects, fresh- and saltwater fly tying demonstrations, as well as door prizes. The speaker for October will be Meghan Ruta, Water Protection Manager, Housatonic Valley Association. On-going and future conservation projects pertaining to the Housatonic River’s trout fishery will be discussed. Free refreshments are served and the public is invited. Submitted on behalf off the HFFA by: Sam D’Ambruoso, Middlebury, CT Tel: 203-758-9660. For Immediate Release: September 2011. Volunteers are needed to visit elderly people, to shop with or for an elder, to drive an elder to and from their medical appointment, and to provide respite care to family members caring for a loved one who needs constant care. All that is required is a warm, loving heart and one or two hours of your time each week. A two hour training session will provide you with information and basic skills to make a difference in someone’s life. The next training date sponsored by Interfaith Volunteer Care Givers of Greater New Haven is Thursday September 29, 1:00-3:00pm Orange Community Center, 525 Orange Center Rd, Orange Ct; Please call IVCG at 203-230-8994 or email carenh@snet.net for more information and to register.

Thanks, Jeff Jordan/IVCG Coordinator





The Southington Genealogical Society will be represented once again this year at the Southington Apple Harvest Festival during the annual Arts & Crafts weekend. They will be hosting a table in the American Legion Hall on Saturday, October 8th from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and again on Sunday, October 9th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. This is their second year at the festival and their second time in the American Legion Hall. Members will have some of their family history projects on display and be available to answer your questions. If you are a fellow genealogy enthusiast or member of any genealogy organization, please feel welcome to stop in and say hello. If you are researching your family history, but aren’t sure where to go next, perhaps we can help steer you in the right direction. If you haven’t a clue why any sane person would want to spend countless hours researching birth, death, and marriage records, or traipsing through cemeteries, this is your opportunity to find out! Our volunteers are looking forward to meeting you.

The Southington Genealogical Society is a non-profit organization located in central Connecticut that promotes the accurate recording, research and preservation of family history. The society regularly meets at 7:30 pm on the fourth Tuesday of every month, except December, at Southington Police Headquarters, 69 Lazy Lane, Southington, Connecticut. . You can contact them by writing to Southington Genealogical Society, Inc., P.O. Box 698, Plantsville, CT 06479-0698. You can also reach them by e-mail at southingtongenealogicalsociety@gmail.com.



SUNDAYS IN OCTOBER AT THE ANDREWS HOMESTEAD

The Meriden Historical Society is holding an exhibit at the Andrews Homestead located at 424 West Main St. every Sunday in October from 11am to 3pm. Unlike past exhibits featuring the well known Meriden manufacturing companies, this one will pay homage to the Meriden merchants of yesteryear, their giveaways and gimmicks from yardsticks to shoehorns, thermometers and calendars. The items on display will certainly evoke memories from those who attend. We invite you and your friends to come to the Andrews Homestead and join in the conversation, the surprises and the good old hometown feeling of Meriden. Everyone will receive their choice of a vintage postcard of downtown Meriden as a souvenir. Admission is free, donations are always appreciated. The Meriden Historical Society is a not for profit organization staffed by volunteer researchers. Your financial support will be greatly appreciated. You may do so directly through our website: http://www.meridenhistoricalsociety.org/ or by mail: MHS, PO Box 3005, Meriden, CT 06450.



Thank you, The Meriden Historical Society Preserving Meriden's Past for Future Generations since 1892





Tips for Get Your Motor Running Fall, 2011 - If your car has been feeling a little sluggish lately, there are some things you can do to get your motor running right again. First change your oil and filter. Make sure to use the grade of oil that is recommended by the car. Using the wrong grade of oil can reduce the performance of your car and its gas mileage. And, do not rely on the oil light in your car. By the time that light goes on, some damage to your engine may already have been done. So, check your oil often. When you do, also check the brake fluid and transmission fluid levels. You should flush the brake fluid, transmission fluid and coolant system every 2 years or 30,000 miles. Keeping fresh, clean fluids in your car will keep your motor running smoothly. Two other things that will are replacing your air filter and fuel filter frequently. Clean filters will help keep dirt out of your fuel injectors, fuel pump and engine. If too much dirt accumulates, it will lead to expensive repairs.

You should also change your spark plugs every other year. Worn plugs will cause your engine to misfire and waste a lot of gas. Also, check all the belts and hoses in your car for signs of wear, especially the timing belt or timing chain. If that breaks, it can destroy your engine. When you do replace it, replace the water pump too since the procedure for each is the same.

You can do many of these things yourself. You do not have to be an ace mechanic or have a lot of experience. You just need the desire, a how to manual and a few tools. Then, when you get your motor running right, you can head on down the highway looking for adventure and be able to handle whatever comes your way.

If your car will no longer run on down the highway, please consider donating your car to charity. If you do, it will be picked up fast and free and you will get a tax deduction of at least $500 if you itemize on your federal tax return. The process is easy and there are many charities that can benefit from your car donation. For complete details on how to donate car, just go to http://www.cars4charities.org/.

Media contact: Karen Campese karenc@cars4charities.org Phone: 1-866-448-3487



The First Baptist Church of Wallingford needs Crafters and Vendors for Holiday Fair.

Crafters and vendors are needed for a Holiday Fair to be held at The First Baptist Church of Wallingford on Saturday, November 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The event will feature the crafters and vendors and also baked goods and a luncheon. Those interested in having a booth should contact Liz Davis at 203-265-4187.



Fatima Women’s Club Seeks Crafters

WALLINGFORD - Our Lady of Fatima Women’s Club will sponsor a craft fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday November 12 in the parish hall on Hope Hill Road in Yalesville. The parish hall is handicapped accessible and the table cost is $30. For additional information or an application, call Sandy at (203) 269-6498.



UNCONN 2012 MASTER GARDENER PROGRAM IS NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS.

The University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System is now accepting applications for the Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program for 2012. The objective of the program is to provide horticultural training to individuals who want to share knowledge with the public through community volunteerism, and wish to expand their gardening interests.

The program is broad-based, intensive and consists of 16 class sessions (one full day per week) beginning in early January 2012. The Master Gardener program includes 60 hours of volunteer service, with a minimum of 30 hours spent in Cooperative Extension Centers during business hours. Individuals successfully completing the program will receive a University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension Master Gardener certificate. The charge for the program is $415.00, which includes a training manual. Scholarships may be available, based on demonstrated financial need.

Classes will be held in North Haven, Norwich, Stamford, Torrington, and Vernon. For more information or an application, call your local Cooperative Extension Center or visit the Home and Garden Education Center website at www.ladybug.uconn.edu/mastergardener/ The postmarked deadline for applications is Friday, October 28, 2011. The University of Connecticut is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Program Provider.

Contact: Leslie Alexander, State Coordinator Master Gardener Program, Home and Garden Education Center. University of Connecticut, 1380 Storrs Road, U-4115, Storrs, CT 06269-4115

Phone 860-486-6343 Fax 860-486-6338 or email leslie.alexander@uconn.edu.





New Haven County Retired Teachers’ Association

1125 West Woods Rd #13, Hamden, CT 06518

Sam Guy, Jr. TL: 203-213-8486; e-mail: sam.guy@snet.net

NHCRTA MEETING; SCHOLARSHIP ANNOUNCED

The New Haven County Retired Teachers Association Fall Luncheon Meeting will be at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, October 5 at Country House Restaurant, 990 Foxon Road, Route 80, East Haven. All retired public school teachers living in or having taught in New Haven County are welcome. Reservations are required by September 28 with a check for $27 per person , payable and mailed to NHCRTA, 1125 West Woods Road, #13, Hamden, CT 06518. For information, contact Carol Noble at 203-288-6986.

Coffee will be available at 11 AM, business meeting at 11:30, guest speaker at 12 noon and lunch at 12:45 PM. The meeting menu will feature a salad station with chicken, beef and fish entrees, penne

a la vodka, cavatelli with broccoli rabe and sausage, seafood risotto, cocktail meat balls, fried vegetables, assorted pizzas, Italian desert pastries and coffee, tea and iced tea.

The Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision (GPO/WEP) will be discussed by Sandra Bove and Cathy D’Agostino , co-chairmen of the ARTC Legislative Committee. All retired and active teachers and their families and friends are encouraged to actively support repeal of these provisions by going to the NEA web site http://capwiz.com/nea/issues/bills/?bill=39298516&size=full and sending a message to Congress.

The group will announce its 2011 annual scholarship of $1,000 to Hillary Brown, a graduate of Wolcott High School. She will enter Southern Connecticut State University and pursue a career in education.



FinnFunn 2011

It's time to register for the 19th annual FinnFunn. FinnFunn is a cultural event celebrating Finnish heritage, though you don't need to be Finnish to attend. All are welcome. FinnFunn began as a way to connect greater Northeast Finns and the Finn-interested and started with about 75 folks gathered one weekend in No. Conway, NH. Each year FinnFunn is held at a different location with a different group hosting the event. FinnFunn has grown to become a full weekend affair at fine inns and hotels throughout the Northeast, often including area tours and attractions. Last year's event was held at the Inn at East Hill Farm in Troy, NH. This year's event is hosted by the Finnish Center at Saima Park, Fitchburg, MA and will be held at The Williams Inn, Williamstown, MA, October 21-23. Visit the Saima Park web site: www.saima-park.org and click on FinnFunn 2011. You will find registration and information for both event registration and hotel accommodations. Hotel accommodations must be booked separately. The Williams Inn has kindly made this process available and easy through the Saima Park web site. Want to register but don’t have internet access? Please call Mauri Auvinen, 978-827-4387 or Maija Mard, 978-582-7717 to receive registration materials by mail.

Program planning is shaping up to include a kantele performance by featured guest Wilho Saari, Finlandia Foundation National 2011 Performer of the Year, a talk by Finnish American Reporter editor and Finlandia University Finnish American Heritage Center director, Jim Kurtti, a Cape Cod Finns cranberry presentation by Beth Muldoon and Mariann Ahola, talks by accomplished architect Arnold Aho and UMass Amherst professor Donal Carbaugh. Food demonstrations will be offered by Finnish “foodies” Anneli Johnson and Debbie Kurtti.

Visit the Berkshires, shop the tori (Scandinavian marketplace), enter the raffle, take in a Finnish film, enjoy talks and presentations, music, kahvia ja pulla (coffee and Finnish coffee bread), Finnish conversation, meet new friends, enjoy fine meals and dance to the music of Bert Stromholm. Now is the time to sign up for FinnFunn, October 21-23, The Williams Inn, Williamstown, MA. Join us for a Funn time!

Thank you for your consideration of this piece for publication.

Sincerely,

Elaine Moe

413-522-0538



Support a good cause and save a life!

Sunday October 7, 2011 marks Halfway Home Rescue’s 6th annual Furr Ball, a dinner, dance, silent auction, and raffle, hosted at Fantasia banquet facility in North Haven. Halfway Home is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to saving the lives of abused, abandoned, and homeless animals and providing a safe haven for these animals until a permanent home can be found. Halfway Home is a no-kill shelter staffed by volunteers that relies 100% on private donations. This year alone over 400 animals have passed through Halfway Home Rescue’s doors. The Furr Ball takes place on October 7th at Fantasia, 404 Washington Ave. North Haven Ct from 7:00-11:00pm. Tickets cost $35 pp which includes dinner, soda, coffee, and dessert. There will be a cash bar. To Purchase tickets or make a donation to our raffle: Call (203) 239-9697 or (203) 985-8338, or E-mail us at Halfwayhomeonline@Yahoo.com.















Family Style Roast Pork Supper

Meriden Grange to host Family Style Roast Pork Supper October 8th

Family Style Roast Pork Supper on Saturday, October 8, 2011 from 5:00 to 6:30 PM at the Meriden Grange

29 of 540 Broad Street, Meriden. This is open to the public with the admission price of $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children. Takeouts will be available. The Grange will be serving string beans, mashed potatoes, roast pork with apple sauce, Cindy's famous coleslaw, and dessert.

For more than 125 years, Meriden Grange has been active in the local community, holding numerous programs and dinners and raising money for local organizations like the Meriden Humane Society, as well as hosting their popular annual fair each September.

For more information, please contact Meriden Grange President Robert Charbonneau at (203) 237-4617, via e-mail at info@meridengrange.org, or visit http://www.MeridenGrange.org.



HAS PHOTO

WAR & CAFFINE: Holy Joe's Café supports the Troops

First Congregational Church - Wallingford

Going for coffee these days seems as American as mom, baseball and apple pie. While it might actually involve grabbing a cup of whatever it is that gets us going, its primary purpose may be to strengthen social ties or show support for a friend in need. Nowhere is this more evident — or more appreciated — than among U.S. military personnel taking part in the initiative known as Holy Joe's Café. Thanks to the First Congregational Church troops don't have to go for coffee; it's coming to them with over 550 chaplains receiving coffee in locations in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan since beginning in 2006. Holy Joe's provides soldiers a quiet place to talk with friends, converse with chaplains or write a letter home. "Our community coffee bar has become the lifeblood of the camp," writes Air-Force Chaplain Michael J. Lovett. "Your donations have had a direct impact on our operations. Your act of kindness not only meets a physical need but also strengthens our troops emotionally." Holy Joe’s Café is a place where chaplains in the small Forward Operating Bases, hangar bays, hospitals, aid stations, and their makeshift cafes are able to bring a taste of home. They all can get gourmet coffee, a reminder that the world they willingly left behind still cares according to Navy Chaplain Andrew Sholtes located at the Role 3 NATO Hospital in Kandahar. Donations of ground coffee or monetary donations can be dropped off at the church office at 23 South Main St, Wallingford, CT 06492.

For more information, please call [203] 859-0031 or holyjoescafe@att.net,

Please visit our blog www.holyjoescafe.blogspot.com and also our Facebook Fan Page: Holy Joe’s Café.





VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! Make a difference and have fun!

Senior Buddy Readers, an award-winning intergenerational literacy/ mentoring program for 1st and 2nd graders in the Meriden’s elementary schools is seeking volunteers for one-two hours a week during the 2011-2012 school year at Nathan Hale, Thomas Hooker, Hanover and Ben Franklin schools For more information call Cathy at 203-599-8085 or 203-808-1672

Senior Buddy Readers is sponsored by Meriden Children First Initiative www.meridenchildrenfirst.org





Wallingford Gardeners Market Thanks

Wallingford Center Inc presented Wallingford Gardener’s Market Saturday mornings during the summer at the Railroad Station Green.

We wish to thank all those who participated: vendors, businesses with demos, volunteers from WCI as well as the many customers who patronized our vendors and came by to visit.

Special thanks to those who provided food for everyone: namely Richard of Dry Dock Café, local farmers: Joe De Francesco of Farmer Joes, the Caturano boys of JC Caturano of Durham, Little Acres of Glastonbury. Flowers by Wade Elmer and Shirley Lagerstrom. Bakery items by Eliz Bakery, Goldilocks Deli, Brasczewski’s and Mary Ann Simmons and special gardening items by George Wooster and Deneen Thompson.Thanks to Lindsey Clark who entertained us.

Special thanks to Liz Landow of WCI and Cathy Knight for organizing the events and Caryl Ryan for updating information on the Gardeners Market Website at www.wallingfordgardenersmarket.com



Holiday Fair at the Wallingford Senior Center

The Wallingford Senior Center will be hosting its annual Holiday Fair on Saturday, November 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at 238 Washington Street. Open to the public, this fair will have many items for sale including Arts & Crafts, Handmade Items, Baked Goods, Jewelry, Holiday Decorations and booths with vendors selling a wide variety of items, too! Start your holiday shopping early! Lake View Café will be open, offering breakfast and lunch. Any vendors interested in reserving a table, please contact Nancy Frede at 860-529-5579



Annual Craft Fair at Highland Elementary School

The Highland/Yalesville Elementary School PTO will sponsor its annual Craft Fair on Saturday, December 3, 2011 from 9 AM to 3 PM at Highland School on 200 Highland Avenue, Wallingford. The fair will feature over 70 crafters selling florals, jewelry, quilted and sewed items, original paintings, holiday ornaments, homemade candy, doll clothes, wood paintings and carvings, ceramics, homemade jellies, jams,.gourmet mixes, items for animals, etc. For information on the fair please contact Carole Eager at careager@aol.com or (203) 235-0195.



Wallingford Historical Society Annual Meeting & Dinner

to be held on Wed. Oct.19 at the First Baptist Church in Wallingford. Come to hear The Chanteens, a group of students from The Sound School of New Haven, perform a concert of maritime music with accompaniment from concertina, bones and flutes. They will share their high energy, talent and enthusiasm along with the nautical history that they have learned as part of their education. Dinner is at 6:30 pm. Cost is $10.00pp. RSVP Ray or Pat Chappell 203-265-0313. Entertainment at 8pm. (free to all)



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To read The People’s Press in Image Form, Downloadable PDF and interact visit www.peoplespressnews.com





NEWS AND EVENTS FROM WALLINGFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY

All Programs, Movies, and Events at the Wallingford Public Library are free and open to the public!

The Library is located at 200 N. Main Street, Wallingford, CT 06492 and is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, please call the Library at 203-265-6754.

CURTAIN CALL! Open Audition for the staged reading of select scenes from The Good Doctor* by Neil Simon. Wednesday, October 12, Thursday, October 13 6:00 p.m. Collins Room

Let your inner actor out; participate in this staged reading production! Selected scenes from The Good Doctor will be directed by Dr. Brooks Appelbaum and performed at the Library November 3 and 5. Rehearsals begin October 18. All interested adults and older teens are encouraged to audition, no experience necessary. Scripts will be available. *The Good Doctor is adapted from and suggested by the stories of Anton Chekov.

Wallingford Public Library Association’s 131st Annual Meeting

Monday, October 24 7:00 p.m. Community Room

All are welcome to attend the Wallingford Public Library Association’s 131st annual meeting. This brief business meeting will include an election of Library Board members. Immediately following the meeting, professional actor George Baker will present The Humorous John Adams, a portrayal of America’s 2nd President’s quirky side. Refreshments will be served. Come celebrate your Library!

Northeast Paranormal Investigations Society: Breaking the Barriers to the Unknown

Northeast Paranormal Investigations Society (NPIS) was founded in 2010 and is a Connecticut-based, non-profit, seasoned paranormal investigations team. They conduct research and scientific examinations of historic locations throughout the Northeast region of the United States and have successfully documented evidence of paranormal activity in many places. The team believes that with the right knowledge and informed use of technology in the field, it is possible to document paranormal data efficiently and effectively as a means to communicate with spirits at a higher percentage rate than what currently exists.

Join us for an informative and entertaining program featuring fascinating stories, first-hand experiences and examples of documented paranormal evidence in the forms of photographs, audio and video clips: Thursday, October 27, 6: 30 p.m. Community Room

COMPUTER CLASSES* Join one of our informal, individually tailored weekly classes in computer basics. Each session has a theme and you may register for as many sessions as interest you.

Intermediate Word 2007 Wednesday, October 26 7:00 p.m. Board Room - Take your word processing skills to the next level! You will learn how to insert images and tables as well as work with headers and footers. Seating is limited to 6, so please sign up early.

One-on-One Computer Tutoring Sessions Tuesday and Thursday Afternoons 3:30 p.m. and 4: 30 p.m.

Wednesday and Thursday Evenings 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Computer novices are encouraged to sign up to learn keyboard or mouse skills, word processing, Internet searching, online job applications, or e-mail. Please call the Library at (203)265-6754, or stop by the Information Desk for more details or to register for a session.

*Seating is limited for all computer classes, so please sign up early. You may register in person, online, or by phone at (203)265-6754. All classes will be held in the Board Room of the Main Library.

HEALTHY LIVING

Dessert with a Doc: Female Urinary Incontinence Thursday, October 6 6:30 p.m. Community Room

Why are you leaking and what are the solutions? Urinary incontinence is a common problem among many women, and there’s no need to be embarrassed. Urologist Jean Wong, MD will discuss the common causes of female urinary incontinence, as well as the medical and surgical options for treatment. The role of physical therapy will also be discussed. Advance registration is appreciated

Do This Not That: A Guide to Caring for your Aging Parent or an Older Adult

Thursday, October 13th 6:30 p.m. Community Room

We’ve all heard about crisis calls and rushed decisions of unplanned eldercare. Learn how to navigate the complex and emotional issues involved with eldercare at this program presented in cooperation with VNA Community Healthcare. Understanding the costs of care, finding the right resources and dealing with resistance will all be covered. Advance registration is appreciated.

BOOK DISCUSSIONS

Thursday Night Book Club: The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story by Diane Ackerman

Thursday, October 20 7:00 p.m. Collins Room

Winner of the 2008 Orilon Book Award, Diane Ackerman’s The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story (W. W. Norton) “is a groundbreaking work of nonfiction, in which the human relationship to nature is explored in an absolutely original way through looking at the Holocaust.” (Kathleen Dean Moore, Orion Book Award chairperson)

This true story will be discussed in an open and informal setting; all are welcome. Copies of the book are available from the Library’s catalog and may be requested online or from the Library’s Information Desk.

NEW! Mystery Book Club

We have a new book club for all you mystery lovers out there. We kicked things off with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie in September. This series of classic mysteries continues through December according to the following schedule. Each of the discussions will take place at 3:00 p.m. in the Charlotte Collins Meeting Room; Dr. Carole Shmurak facilitating.

November 1 A Shilling for Candies by Josephine Tey

December 6 Dancers in Mourning by Margery Allingham

Saturday Mornings with Poetry and Wallingford Writers Community

Here are two great ways to nurture your creative spirit and express yourself through words. Each group meets independently of each other and both are open to adults and teenagers.

Saturday Mornings with Poetry is moderated by Al Mueller, and meets on Saturdays from 9:45 a.m. to Noon in the Board Room. Fall schedule is as follows: October 15, 29, November 19, and December 3.

Wallingford Writers Community is moderated by Bob Hubbard, and meets monthly in the Collins Room from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., usually on the last Saturday of the month. This month’s meeting is October 29th. Writers of poetry and prose are encouraged to participate in either or both groups and share their writing experiences.

TEEN EVENTS

Teen Advisory Board Wednesday, October 5 3:30-4:30 p.m. Board Room

The Teen Advisory Board (TAB) is made up of kids in grades 6 - 12. TAB helps to plan events and choose books, music, and movies for the Library to buy. Membership looks great on resumes and job or college applications. You may register online, in person, by phone, or just show up at our next meeting!

Star2 Club: Focus on DNA Saturday, October 8 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Community Room

Science, Space, Technology, Telescopes, Astronomy, Aviation, Robotics, Rocketry! Feed your passion for learning and exploration. Sponsored by the Library and the Wallingford Department of Youth and Social Services, this free club is open to all Wallingford residents in grades K-12. Please register in advance to ensure that we have enough materials. Next meeting is November 5 and Crime Scene Investigation is the topic.

Mother Daughter Book Club: Author Event - Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl

Wednesday, October 5 7:30 p.m. Board Room

Meet the author! Michaela MacColl’s first book is a novel of intrigue and romance that explores the sheltered and restricted life of Princess Victoria the year before she becomes queen. Ms. MacColl will join the group for a discussion of the book including a question/ answer session. Copies of Prisoners in the Palace are available from the Library’s Information Desk. Next meeting is Friday, November 4. Author Bianca Turetskey will join us to discuss her book The Time Traveling Fashionista.

Wii Tournament - Super Smash Brothers Brawl Wednesday, October 12 3:15-4:30 p.m. Collins Room

Duke it out with your favorite Nintendo characters!Tournament open to all teens in grades 6-12. Please register online, in person, or by phone.

Be Afraid…Be Very Afraid

Everyone loves reading spooky stories, especially around Halloween. Visit the display in the Teen Area for some good scary reading…if you dare!

Teen Read Week October 16-October 22

Teen Read Week is a week-long celebration of teens and reading. This year’s theme is Picture It @ your library®, which encourages teens to read graphic novels and other illustrated materials, seek out creative books, or imagine the world through literature, just for the fun of it. Look for the special display in the Teen Area. Graphic novels may be a genre you have never tried before; pick one up today!

Your Name in a Novel! - The Montooth Library Challenge

The Montooth Library Challenge is a contest where the winner’s name will appear in a book. Just read the novels Montooth and the Canfield Witch and Montooth 2: Race for Ryland Ruby by Robert Jay (both available at the Information Desk), and suggest a plot or character development concept for the 3rd book in the series. If your entry is selected, your winning idea will be included in the books and one of the characters will have your name! Ask for more details at the Information Desk. Open to all Library patrons. Deadline is December 31, 2011.

FREE MOVIE SCREENINGS - All movies are shown in the Community Room

Friday Night Flicks

Green Lantern Rated PG-13 Friday, October 14 6:30 p.m. Run time: 114 minutes

Fast Five Rated PG-13 Friday, October 28 6:30 p.m. Run time: 130 minutes

Cinema Club

Incendies Rated R - Monday, October 17 6:30 p.m. Run time: 130 minutes Discussion to follow film, refreshments will be served.

Documentary Presentation

The Orphan Trains Wednesday, October 12 7:00 p.m. - From 1853 to 1929, more than 150,000 neglected children were sent by train to 47 states. Watch and hear their remarkable stories.

Book Seller Used Bookshop - Located in the Library’s rear parking lot next to the garage.

Fall Hours Monday: 10: a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Wednesday: 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

• October Special: Overstocked Author Sale, all Dean Koontz, James Patterson, JD Robb, Nora Roberts hardcover books are on sale for .50¢

• **We are always in need of good quality donations**

Get Your Flu Shot at the Library! Sponsored by Wallingford Health Department

Tuesday, October 18: 4:00 p.m. Board Room Saturday, October 22: 11:00 a.m. Collins Room

Medicare Part B and most major insurances accepted. (No Cigna or United Healthcare) Cash or Check also accepted.

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Wallingford Public Library Children’s Fun

Story Times Begin at the Wallingford Public Library

A complete range of story times for children ages birth to five will be offered at the Wallingford Public Library beginning the week of September 12. A listing of all programs is available in the Library and also on the Library’s website www.wallingford.lioninc.org

Fetch Some Fun On Fridays

Kids ages 6-10 and their grown-up guest can sign up for this special hands-on science program at the Wallingford Public Library which is based on the PBS program Fetch. Our first program will be held on Friday, October 7 at 7:00 p.m. and will feature building a catapult! For more information, and to register for this program call the Children’s Library at 203-284-6436.

Free Homework Help

Ms. Gina Cabrera, a bilingual teacher, will be available in the Children’s Library of the Wallingford Public Library to help Wallingford students, grades K -8, get started on their homework and to help parents understand their child’s assignment. Help is available for English and Spanish-speaking children on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the Library when school is in session. This program is made possible thanks to the Wallingford Board of Education. In accordance with Ct. State law, children under the age of 12 should have a responsible family member in the building while the child is using the Library.

Wallingford Public Library’s Children’s Library Summer Reading Wrap-up

Over 1200 kids participated in this summer’s Ancient Egypt reading program in the Children’s Library of the Wallingford Public Library. The program was managed with the help of 60 wonderful student volunteers. Books flew off the shelves and everyone logged their reading online adding comments and recommendations for others. Thanks to local sponsors many reading incentives were handed out which kept enthusiasm high.

These included:

Brunswick Colony Lanes

Mr. D’s

Wallingford’s Dairy Queen

Louie’s Pizza

Walmart

Uncle B’s Bait and Tackle

Rick’s on Five

Family Pizza

Neil’s Donuts

Elite Creations

Pralines’

Dairy Queen

The Emblem Club

We are grateful to the many participants who took the time to fill out our online survey. The results of the survey will surely help us to plan for next year’s offering!

Raising Readers Clubs are designed for parents, grandparents and caregivers. The clubs meet to learn ways to support children’s literacy through a love of stories, books and activities. Adults who attend will learn fun ways to make reading with any child both enjoyable and beneficial while providing literacy development for the child. Several clubs will begin this fall and are open to Wallingford parents, grandparents and caregivers of children ages 2-8.

For more info: contact WECARE Family Resource Center at 203-284-4019 or Veronica Casey at 203-294-4996.

Storytimes at the Wallingford Public Library

All storytimes include caregivers and are available on a drop-in basis; Wallingford residents are given priority. Please always bring your library card or proof of residency with you in the event that it is needed. Non-residents are always welcome when there is room. Nametags are available just prior to each program.

Preschool Storytimes for Kids ages 3-5

These programs, for children ages 3-5 who are not yet enrolled in kindergarten, include books, flannelboard stories, fingerplays, songs and lots more. Preschool story time is a great way to be sure your preschooler is experiencing activities that support school readiness!

The programs take place in the Children’s Program Room

Mondays @ 10:00 a.m.- October 3,17,24,31; November 7

Wednesdays @ 1:30 p.m.- October 5, 12, 19, 26; November 2, 9

Thursdays @ 6:30p.m.- October 6, 13, 20, 27; November 3, 10

Musical Mother Goose for Ages 1 and 2

Join us in the Community Room for a lively, interactive drop-in program filled with music and movement for 1’s and 2’s and their caregiver!

Tuesdays @6:30 p.m- October 4, 11, 18, 25; November 1, 8

Wednesdays @ 10:00 a.m.-Waddling Ones for Ages 12-24 months

Songs, rhymes, movement and a whole lot of fun! This special drop-in program is for Itty Bitty Baby graduates and their grown-ups and siblings.

Thursdays@ 10:00 a.m. in the Collins Room- October 6, 13, 20, 27; November 3, 10

Itty Bitty Babies for ages 12 months and under

This drop-in program introduces babies and their grown-ups to the Library and each other in a program filled with songs, rhymes and books!

Thursdays @ 1:30 in the Collins Room- October 6, 13, 20, 27; November 3, 10

Something New for Kids ages 6-10 at the Wallingford Public Library FETCH Some Fun on Friday!

Join us for a this special monthly program, just for kids ages 6 to 10 and their grown-up guest, which will start in October. We’ll have everyone thinking like scientists and having a great time in the process.

Each month will tackle a different topic and include hands-on activities like building catapults!

We hope to feature different areas of the Library’s non-fiction collection and whet your curiosity to explore the library and the world around you even more!

This program, inspired by the PBS program FETCH, will be limited to 15 elementary school-aged students and their grown-ups and requires pre-registration*

The first program will take place on Friday, October 7 at 7:00 p.m. in the Children’s Program Room and the topic will be Target Practice: Building a Catapult. Registration for this program begins on Friday, September 12.

*Wallingford residents will be given priority; non-residents may sign up for any openings the day before the program.

A Very Special Spooky Program with Andre Keitt... for Brave 3rd-5th Graders!

Friday, October 21 at 7:00 p.m. in the Wallingford Public Library Community Room

Contact: Ruth Gaffey, Head of Children’s Services at 203-284-6436

Andre Keitt, storyteller extraordinaire, will be at the Wallingford Public Library on Friday, October 21, at 7:00 p.m. to tell tales that will might make your hair stand on end! Well, maybe not that scary... but very cool!

This special program is just for kids in grades 3, 4, and 5 who can listen to scary stories told in a darkened room with ghastly costumes, songs and games!

Sign up for this free program in the Children’s Library or by calling 203-284-6436.

Ruth Gaffey/Head of Children's Services, Wallingford Public Library 200 North Main St, Wallingford, CT 06492

203-284-6436







MERIDEN PUBLIC LIBRARY OCTOBER PROGRAMS

MERIDEN PUBLIC LIBRARY ANNOUNCES COLUMBUS DAY CLOSING

Meriden Public Library will be closed Monday, October 10 to celebrate Columbus Day. The library will reopen for business on Tuesday, October 11 at 9:30 a.m.

The library’s hours are: Monday through Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and closed Sunday.

BOB STEELE’S CENTURY October 1

Radio Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Steele was well known to millions in Southern New England as the morning voice of WTIC for half a century. Join Bob’s son, Phil Steele, on Saturday, October 1 at 2:00 p.m. in the Griffin Room at Meriden Public Library, as he uses slides and commentary to present highlights from his father’s archives.

Phil Steele has recently published the library edition of Bob Steele’s Century: 1911 – 2010, a collection of Bob’s own archive, a kind of autobiography from his own files of photos, articles about him, scripts he authored for his radio programs, jokes he wrote and jokes he stole, hundreds of letters from listeners that he held onto (and, when not flattering to him, shared with his radio audience), the wonderful cartoons he loved to draw, his diaries recording details of his personal life and the epic century into which he broadcast his unique sense of humor and disarming personality.

This program is free and all are welcome. Contact the Community Services Department at (203) 630-6349, email comsvc@hotmail.com, or visit the library’s website at www.meridenlibrary.org and reserve a seat through the library calendar.

COMPUTER CLASSES AT MERIDEN LIBRARY

Sign up for one of the free computer classes at Meriden Public Library. The class schedule is as follows:

Resumes on Word –Monday, October 24 at 6:30 p.m. Please bring job history and education information to complete resume.

Basic Computers –Saturday, October 22 at 9:30 a.m.

Job Searching on the Internet – Saturday, October 15 at 9:30 a.m. and Saturday, October 29 at 9:30 a.m.

Email – Monday, October 17 at 6:30 p.m.

Computer classes in Spanish are held on Tuesday, October 11, 18, and 25 at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Classes are also held on Saturday, October 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 at 10:00 and 11:00 a.m.

Class size is limited. Contact the Community Services Department at (203) 630-6349 or the Information Desk at (203) 238-2346 to reserve a seat.

WRITER’S NETWORK October 5 and October 18

The Writer’s Network will meet on Wednesday, October 5 and Tuesday, October 18 at 7:00 p.m. in Griffin Room A at the Meriden Public Library. Anyone who is serious about writing fiction or nonfiction, wants to learn the process of getting published, or needs support for writing a book proposal or query letter is welcome to attend. If you are interested in joining the Writer’s Network, contact the Community Services Department at (203) 630-6349 or email us comsvc@hotmail.com.

GET YOUR GAME ON October 6

Get your game on at the Meriden Public Library on Thursday, October 6 from 3:00 to 4:30 in the Griffin Room. The Wii will be set up with Wii Sports and Mario Kart for friends and family to challenge each other. Board games such as Scrabble, Candyland, Apples to Apples and many others will also be available for use. All ages are welcome to attend including parents and guardians. Registration is not required. If you have any questions please contact Melissa at mmurphy@ci.meriden.ct.us or call (203) 630-6347.

SCRABBLE SESSIONS October 11 and October 24

Meriden Public Library hosts sessions for people who enjoy playing Scrabble. The sessions will be on Tuesday, October 11 and Monday, October 24 at 2:00 pm in Griffin Room A. All skill levels are welcome. Scrabble boards will be provided, but people are welcome to bring their own boards. Contact the Community Services Department at (203) 630-6349 if you have any questions about the library programs.

PRESERVING YOUR FAMILY PAPERS AND TREASURES October 11

Christine McCarthy, Chief Conservator at the Yale University Library, will be presenting the program Preserving Your Family Papers and Treasures on Tuesday, October 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the Meriden Public Library Griffin Room. This program is cosponsored by the Meriden Historical Society.

Ms. McCarthy will discuss the basics of good preservation for personal collections of papers, books, photographs and other objects of sentimental value. We will look at the best places to store important artifacts in one’s home, how to find and work with a conservator, and the best practices for individuals looking to organize, display, and protect their collections. There will be examples of file boxes, folders and plastic sleeves as well as handouts to take home for future reference and finding more information.

This program is free and all are welcome. Contact the Community Services Department at (203) 630-6349, email comsvc@hotmail.com, or visit the library’s website at www.meridenlibrary.org and reserve a seat through the library calendar.

MERIDEN PAGE TURNERS October 13

The Meriden Page Turners will be meeting this month on Thursday, October 13 at 11:00 a.m. in the Seminar Room at Meriden Public Library. October’s selection is The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry. November’s selection is Mudbound by Hillary Jordan. Contact Laura at the Information Desk (203) 238-2346 for more information.

ANIME CLUB October 14

The Teen Anime Club at the Meriden Public Library will meet on Friday, October 14 at 2:30 pm in the Griffin Room. Join us for our Halloween cosplay party. Come dressed up as your favorite anime or video game character Afterwards we will be watching an anime about sixth grader Hiraku Shindo. One day, he finds an old bloodstained Go board in his grandfather's attic. Trapped inside the Go board is Fujiwara-no-Sai, the ghost of an ancient Go master who taught the strategically complex board game to the Emperor of Japan many centuries ago. Snacks and drinks will be provided. This program is for teens age 13-18. Sign up is not required. If you would like more information contact Melissa at mmurphy@ci.meriden.ct.us or call (203) 238-2347.

ST. ALBANS RAID October 15

Where was the most northerly military engagement during the Civil War? Most people would likely respond with Gettysburg. No, it was on October 19, 1864, in St. Albans, VT., located in the far northwestern corner of that state. Reverend Ralph Lord Roy will be at Meriden Public Library’s Griffin Room on Saturday, October 15 at 2:00 p.m. to speak on the St. Albans Raid.

Twenty-two Confederate soldiers, who had escaped from a prisoner-of-war camp into Canada, coalesced in Montreal, furtively infiltrated the small Vermont city, then robbed its banks and tried to burn it down. This surprise attack had several goals and consequences, including a controversy with the British authorities in Canada over the return of the raiders for trial in the United States.

The speaker, Reverend Ralph Lord Roy of Southington, is a native of St. Albans and a retired United Methodist minister, who served as pastor in several Connecticut communities, including Meriden (1979-1994) where he was also the police chaplain for ten years. The Rev. Roy is the author of three books, writes a regular column in the Record-Journal, and gives “minute messages” on WJMJ, the radio station of the Archdiocese of Hartford. He was jailed twice during the civil rights initiative of the 1960s and attributes his interest in that issue in part to the involvement of maternal ancestors in the Union Army.

This program is free and all are welcome. Contact the Community Services Department at (203) 630-6349, email comsvc@hotmail.com, or visit the library’s website at www.meridenlibrary.org and reserve a seat through the library calendar.

WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT ‘CITIZEN KANE?’ October 17

Film critic Richard Alleva will be presenting the second of three lectures at Meriden Public Library on Monday, October 17 at 1:30 p.m. in the Griffin Room. His program, What’s so great about ‘Citizen Kane?’ is cosponsored by the Castle Craig Adult Learning Center.

More than any other American movie, Citizen Kane keeps showing up in polls and critics' lists as one of the ten greatest films of all time, and often it's at the top of the list. Why? What is it that's so special about its look, story and acting that sets it apart from other good movies? We'll look at some of its most important scenes and discuss the peculiar genius of Welles and his collaborators.

Richard Alleva has been the film critic for Commonweal magazine over the last 20 years. He has lectured widely, and his articles have been anthologized, notably by Peter Bogdanovich in The Best American Movie Writing, 1999. This program is free and all are welcome. Seating is limited. Contact the Community Services Department at (203) 630-6349, email comsvc@hotmail.com, or visit the library’s website at www.meridenlibrary.org and reserve a seat through the library calendar.

LEGO CLUB October 20

Meriden Public Library will have its next Lego Club event on Thursday, October 20 from 3:00 to 4:30 in the Griffin Room. Children ages 6 through 12 are invited to bring their imagination and build on this month’s theme – “Spooky Creations”. Completed projects will be put on display in the library. The library will provide Legos for all children who attend. Sign up is not required for this program and late arrivals are always welcome. If you have any questions or would like to be put on the Lego Club mailing list please contact Melissa at (203) 630-6347 or mmurphy@ci.meriden.ct.us.

GUITARIST AND COMPOSER PETER BIEDERMANN October 22

Guitarist and composer Peter Biedermann will be performing at Meriden Public Library on Saturday, October 22 at 2:00 p.m. in the Griffin Room. Peter Biedermann, based in Morris County New Jersey, has been performing in a variety of musical formats for over 35 years. The music you will hear on that afternoon will consist of entirely original acoustic instrumental music performed on various 6, 8 (Baritone) and 12 string guitars in unique tunings accompanied by the subtle use of ambient electronics. While acoustic guitar pioneers such as Michael Hedges, Bert Jansch, Leo Kottke and Ralph Towner are considered to be major influences on his music, many other lesser known visionaries of finger style acoustic guitar are acknowledged and referenced during his live performances. Interactive dialogue with the audience is encouraged as Peter will try his best to demystify the mystery of his unique music.

CD's will be available for sale after the performance. This program is free and all are welcome. Contact the Community Services Department at (203) 630-6349, email comsvc@hotmail.com, or visit the library’s website at www.meridenlibrary.org and reserve a seat through the library calendar.



MOVIES AT THE LIBRARY

The Meriden Public Library will be showing the following movies in October: Saturday, October 22 at 10:30 a.m., we will be showing the latest Judy Moody movie. On Tuesday, October 25, come enjoy the movie about a pilot who is granted powers through a green ring. These programs are free and all are welcome. Contact the Community Services Department at (203) 630-6349 if you have questions about the library programs.

BOOKMOBILE

The Meriden Public Library Bookmobile will be visiting the following sites in October:

Wednesday, October 5 – Easter Seals 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.; Bradley Home 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Thursday, October 6 – Kindercare 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; The Right Place 10:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.; Connecticut Baptist Home 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, October 11 – Lil Rascals 9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.; Sunshine Day Care 10:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Wednesday, October 12 – St. John’s Nursery School 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Thursday, October 13 – First Congregational Nursery School 9:15 a.m to 9:45 a.m.; St. John’ Nursery School 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Friday, October 14 – Meriden Center 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Tuesday, October 18 – Meriden Y Child Care Center (Crown St.) 9:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 19 – First Congregational Nursery School 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 20 – First Congregational Nursery School 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; Carriage House Day Care Center 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Monday, October 24 – Midstate Christian Academy 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Wednesday, October 26 – Headstart (Liberty St.) 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.







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To read The People’s Press in Image Form, Downloadable PDF form and interact go to www.peoplespressnews.com



Barbara's Bountiful Bouquet

How was your summer and your garden? I've spoken to a lot of people over the summer at The Wallingford Community Garden and elsewhere, and this summer was apparently a tough one for gardening. The only thing that was bountiful in my garden this year were the tomatoes. I had hundreds of them.

Every year at the Community Garden, located at the Vietnam Veterans Park on East Center Street, we experience something called "volunteer" plants, things we never planted, so this is nothing new. I had quite a number of huge sunflowers I did not plant, and also five cleomes. The sunflowers are all gone, but the cleomes are still vibrant, as are the marigolds I planted.

What was very strange this year is how many volunteer tomatoes sprang up all over the place, and two different varieties, very tiny red cherry tomatoes and then a large variety of tomato I've never planted in my life. They were shaped kind of like gourds, squished looking with big ridges in them. They totally took over my cucumbers plants, some of which I started at home and some of which I bought, and I did not get one cucumber. My peppers, something happened to them too. Only a couple of plants ever had any peppers on them, they didn't grow very big, and when I cut one open, it was basically all water inside. I think there was just too much rain. My basil did well, and I did make a lot of pesto.

It was an odd season anyway, either quite cold or terribly hot, no rain, too much rain, and I actually pretty much put the garden to bed in the middle of September, and that's something I normally do in the middle of October. I picked about 30 green tomatoes from the few Jet Star plants and volunteers that were left on September 15th, when we thought we might get a frost, and put them in the "sun room" to ripen. I've been eating them ever since and still have a few small ones left on October 1st.

I always write on my calendar how many tomatoes I pick, and if my math is correct, I harvested 168 of the large tomatoes. Of course I did not eat all of those myself. I gave lots of tomatoes away to friends. I had planted five yellow cherry tomato plants at the end of May, and I stopped counting how many I picked when I reached 350, and just put "tons of cherries" on my calendar.

My experiment with the weed block material last year failed, so the first week in July I decided to buy three bags of mulch and see if that would do any good. It hardly covered any of the garden at all, and it didn't do any good. The weeds were relentless all summer. Tropical Storm Irene did very minimal damage to my garden - only uprooted one sunflower. But other gardens did not fare as well, and everyone who planted corn, well, that didn't make it, almost every sunflower was uprooted, and some fences were blown down.

As the summer progressed, I made a decision: This is my last year at the Community Garden. I know I will miss some aspects of it, but it has just become too much work for me. I suppose it is possible to have a change of heart, but for the moment, I say no. As diligent as I was with constant weeding, my garden is basically all weeds and grass right now. Not tall weeds like you can see in 90% of the gardens there, but weeds nonetheless.

I enjoyed many wonderful tomato sandwiches, my first one on August 2nd, but I feel it is time to say goodbye to the garden. I do hope all of you gardeners out there will continue to have great gardens in the future, and I wish you well. Thank you for reading my column over the last several years. It's been fun! God bless.

Barbara Sherburne - barndt49@yahoo.com





Life along the Q River…

An Update from the Quinnipiac River Watershed Association

By Wendy Ronitz-Baker, Meriden Arts Council president

Naugatuck Savings Bank Nature Art Show

The Meriden Arts Council (MAC) in conjunction with the Quinnipiac River Watershed Association (QRWA) has been awarded a joint grant by the Naugatuck Savings Bank Foundation for a Nature Art Show to be exhibited in May 2012.

The two non-profits will be working with Lincoln Middle School, a HOT school or Higher Order Thinking school, to foster a shared understanding of the importance of nature as the inspiration for art and as art as a means of learning. This will be accomplished by choosing a current environmental issue as the theme for the project. The two groups will then provide educational and creative opportunities to explore this issue on a deeper level and to express what’s learned through art.

The grant will provide funding for this two-part project. Once the theme of the art show is established, the QRWA will present to the Lincoln Middle School students an educational event with subject matter experts to support the students in their understanding of the topic. This will build on the nature sciences curriculum already established at the school. Concurrently, MAC will develop the artistic guidelines and set the deadlines for submission of artwork to the juried Nature Art Show. Both agencies will then collect the artwork, organize and promote the art show, select judges for the event, and host the art show in a local venue. The artwork from the event will then be on special exhibit at a local Naugatuck Savings Bank branch after the initial show.

This Naugatuck Savings Bank Foundation Nature Art Show, as a collaborative effort between Lincoln Middle School, the Meriden Arts Council and the Quinnipiac River Watershed Association, effectively portrays the characteristics of a HOT school: creativity, adaptability, and teamwork. The overall intent is to demonstrate a community-focused example of the mission of Lincoln Middle School.

The mission of Lincoln Middle School is to learn in and through the arts, making it a natural partnering school for this grant funded opportunity. Lincoln consists of 700 plus students, grades six through eight, ages 11 through 13.

For more information contact Wendy Ronitz-Baker, president of the Meriden Arts Council, at 860-621-3242 or go to www.meridenartscouncil.org.

Upcoming QRWA Events:

Wednesday, October 5th, 7:00 to 9:00 pm, 3M RBV Training. QRWA headquarters, 540 Oregon Road.

Friday, October 7th, 5:30 to 9:00, Annual Membership Meeting. Hors d'oeuves, business meeting and DEEP Wildlife Biologist Paul Rego, who will speak on the "History, Status and Research of Black Bears in Connecticut".

Sunday, October 9th, 1 to 2:30 pm, Meriden Family Day. Please check Meriden Linear Trail web site, www.meridenlineartrail.org, for details.

Saturday, October 15th, 10:00 to 2:00 pm, 3M RBV Field Training. QRWA headquarters, 540 Oregon Road.

Wednesday, October 19th, 7:00 to 9:00 pm, RBV Training. New Haven County Extension Center, 305 Skiff Street, North Haven.

To learn more about the QRWA and to confirm information, dates and times for upcoming events, please visit our website at: www.qrwa.org.

QRWA provides water activities, events in education, outreach, advocacy, scientific monitoring, conservation, restoration, recreation and public access to the watershed area. The Quinnipiac River Watershed Association (QRWA) is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization whose mission is to restore the Quinnipiac for the health and enjoyment of all citizens and communities along its reach and to educate all students, families, individuals, businesses and governments to be informed stewards of the river. Thank you for your support and remember your donations are tax deductable.





Has Photo

Prague’s Astronomical Clock

By Dorothy Gonick

Treading carefully on the close-packed cobblestones, our family walked a few blocks from the apartment to the large Old Town Square. While admiring the Jan Hus monument we noticed the large group of people looking expectantly toward the Old Town City Hall. Curiosity drew us toward them as we heard the hour being struck. A cock crowed, followed by a festive trumpeter stationed high in the tower proclaiming the new hour.

We learned about the history of the astronomical dial, which had been installed in 1410. Later around 1490, moving statues were affixed beside it, and a calendar dial was added. We were eager to be there when it struck the next hour. With close observation, we saw Vanity’s mirror rise, Avarice’s money bags shaken, Death turning an hourglass, and a Turk with a lute, denoting wantonness. (That was before Columbus discovered America!) Along the sides of the calendar dial are four stationary statues. An Angel, a philosopher, an astronomer and a chronicler; the last three denote qualities needed in a town councilor. Above the clock, the twelve apostles circled behind two windows. The golden cock we’d heard crow, was positioned above all.

The Astronomical Calendar is a movable map of the heavens which shows current positions of the Sun, Moon, and signs of the zodiac. The intricacies and perfection of this clock boggled my mind. The lower Calendar dial rotates once a day as it progresses through the year. Paintings for each month circle the dial. An inner circle of paintings depict the constellations. Throughout the centuries these clocks have been cared for and repaired when necessary and the hand-wound mechanisms have been replaced by electrical ones.

We were intrigued with the Town Hall Tower and rode the elevator to the top to view the wide-spreading historic city. A tapestry of tiled roofs interspersed with the green of trees and lofty church spires met our wondering eyes. This beautiful, busy city evoked thoughts of its centuries of history since first settled. The stunning architecture of homes, churches and castles, the statuary, abundant artwork and treasured artifacts in museums, all were evidence of centuries of flourishing culture.

While in the tower we watched a young couple being photographed in elegant historical costumes provided by the photographer. Granddaughter Ginger and I succumbed to the invitation to do likewise. With the convenience of Velcro and fabric ties, we were quickly dressed in bouffant skirts, bodices embroidered with elegant trims enhanced with sparkling jewels. Pretty hats adorned our heads and then a photo was made. For that brief moment we felt transported into Prague history.

Often, during our visit to Prague, we passed through the Old Town Square and enjoyed greeting the Old Town Tower as our newfound friend.







One year later –

a musing by Ernie Larsen



A couple of days ago a friend invited me to a retirement party for a former colleague who is retiring on June 30th; (congratulations P.B). That brought to mind that I will have been retired for a year this coming Saturday, July 2nd which is also my birthday, I just mentioned to some family members how much I am looking forward to the long 4th of July weekend, of course this was tongue in cheek and finally someone mentioned that isn’t every day of retirement like a long weekend? Well, yes it is, at first I was having a difficult time remembering what day of the week it was. But it’s not all lollipops and rose…ah, what the heck, yes it is! Not having a set schedule is great; get up and go wherever you want any time you wish without having to fill out a request form, priceless. So for the first couple of months this is how it was – then my wife started her ‘retirement’ job, day care for our new granddaughter. But I was still on my own – and then it was time to start planning for the Daffodil Festival of which I am a volunteer. I took on the task of publicity and was doing fine, liaising with the local newspaper and making sure all the I’s were dotted and t’s crossed. And then I answered a request from Literacy Volunteers to become a tutor.

Everything was going along smoothly, the DF was developing nicely and I was scheduled for some training sessions with Literacy Volunteers.

Then in March, we planned a long weekend at a lodge in Meredith, NH – this was one of our retirement gifts and the weather was lovely – we spent two days sightseeing, dining and just relaxing at the lodge. When we arrived home the path turned downhill – I woke up a day later and had limited vision from my right eye. It was off to the optometrist who quickly determined I had suffered a detached retina, which in the ‘eye business’ is considered something that requires immediate attention by an ophthalmologist.

This started my saga with an retina specialist group based in Hamden who specializes in this type of injury. So, after a week of evaluations, I was scheduled for surgery at Yale-New Haven. Everything seemed to go well and then there was the unusual recovery period. To make sure that pressure was kept on the retina, a liquid bubble was injected into the eyeball and to keep it in contact it was required that you lie horizontally facing the floor for as many hours of the day you were awake and then sleep on your stomach – the initial period was two weeks and if you could not lie down - while sitting you were required to bend at the waist and look at your heels. Well, let me tell you – sounds easier that it is – and their was no driving, cooking, anything that deviated from the horizontal.

Long story short, the first surgery did not take and 3 or so weeks later I was once again under the knife at Yale-NH. That was about 6 weeks ago and everything seems to be going OK – I was going to the doc every week and on my last visit he gave me a 5-week reprieve and after testing my right eye, determined legally it was OK for me to drive.

First time I had driven in almost 3 months; a thrill but somewhat of a challenge, I think I mastered it but I still have the bubble in the eyeball and the vision is limited, however I do have my depth perception back and keep the driving to daylight hours and off the highway, more or less.

So here I am, I’ll have to go back to Y-NH to have the bubble removed and hopefully within a couple of months or possibly a bit longer. Whatever it is – I’ll take it – your vision is precious – this was a real learning experience.

So, as my wife decreed, I’m on light duty, did some work, more of in a consultant nature with my Daffodil Festival colleagues at a couple concerts in Hubbard Park and am attending some social engagements. Still not ready for the any other volunteer activities; I still don’t have enough vision for prolonged reading and certain other academic activities. So, as soon as I get the word I’ll be able to pick up with LV’s training program.

That in a nutshell is a synopsis of my first year of retirement. Hope others have better luck.

To paraphrase the immortal Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine in Casablanca “here’s looking at you kid(s)”.

I mean that literally!



Check back soon for the updates…………….



FRIGID FUTILITY

By Alfred Mueller



Their freezing to death is as quiet as breathing,

as slow as embers becoming ash in the fireplace.

They stand spiritless on frozen ground,

numbed by sub-zero temperatures for days on end

while heavy snow laminates them

from huge head to high haunches

with a ghostly white coat,

and a cutting wind whips snow

into their frosty faces.

I wonder if they shiver like I would

if standing in a frigid, unforgiving Wyoming field.

I wonder if they would like to have wings

carrying them on the wind to

a warm sanctuary beyond the high, jagged peaks.

Bison are speechless, cannot call for help.

Northern Lights and the wind's wild music

do not brighten their lives,

and neither do I when dozing

while listening to Chopin

in front of the glowing fire.







Connecticut Outdoors

By Paul Narducci

The Kids of Connecticut Outdoors

As we head into the summer time it is a great opportunity to take your kids fishing. This is a sport that is inexpensive and allows a family a chance to spend time together. I have found out more about the kids in my family as well the students in my school by taking them fishing. This is a sport the helps build character, patience, respect for the outdoors, loyalty and most importantly the chance to spend time with the people you love.

For those of you who watch our show you know how important it is to me to take Jonathan fishing. Jonny has a major role in Connecticut Outdoors. He has been President of our show for the past four years and has made some major changes in the direction of our show. As with most companies we have been forced to down size and cut pay roll by half.

Unfortunately, it has been my half that has been cut. Jonathan has decided that as President we need to focus a lot more on him and the other kids. I, Tony and Frank have been in touch with our lawyers trying to stop this madness, only time will tell? Clearly you can tell that the kids are trying to take over and have convinced Jonny to do so. The President has assured me that what ever changes he makes it is in the best interest of the show.

When I asked Jonny about being President he stated” I love being the boss and the perks are wonderful. I get some wonderful hats and shirts from our sponsors”. A little info about Jonathan is that the best part of having my own show is I get to fish with my Dad. Although Johnny doesn’t eat fish he does enjoy ice cream sundaes. He thinks we have a great message and that will continue. When I asked him who was the better fisherman he first smiled and said that’s easy. Dad you are a better fisherman on the river but on my iPad 2, I win every time. Jonathan’s main message to all parents is to take your kids fishing and enjoy what Connecticut has to offer.

The next member of his crew is Joe Dias. Joey has been a big part of the show and is becoming a wonderful fisherman. Joe’s biggest fish was a big nasty northern pike which was caught on the Ct River. A little info about Joey is he to doesn’t eat fish but loves catching them. His favorite lure is by Cabin Creek Bait Co a spider grub and a Yum dinger. His favorite fisherman besides his Dad is Charlie Moore. Joe has stated that the message of our show is what makes it the number one show on public TV. Joe will be fishing his first professional tournament this year and hopes to place in the money.

The next member of Jonny’s fishing team is Jenna Paul. Like the other kids Jenna does not eat fish. Her biggest fish was a beautiful largemouth bass caught on the river. Jenna stated” the best thing about Connecticut Outdoors is it is fun. We have a great message and we make it about the kids. She likes how we enjoy fishing, boating and enjoying time with family. When I asked her if one day she would take her own children fishing she stated YES!! How cool is that. You don’t see a lot of females fishing and I think its wonderful that she truly enjoys it.

The final member of Jonny’s fishing team is Ryan Paul. It has been rumored that Jonny and Ryan have been having secret meetings and there is talk that they may start their take over with in the next few years. Ryan like the others does not eat fish either. His biggest fish was a northern pike caught on a Stanley spinner bait. When I asked Ryan who was the better fisherman him or Jenna he stated that he was. It was then that I realized we needed to have our own special tournament. Ryan’s favorite lure to use is worms. Ryan also felt that our message and how we show how to take kids fishing is what makes this show fun. Ryan as well as Jenna both enjoy driving the boat as much as catching fish. Back to the idea of having a tournament.

This article has created a bit of a controversy between the crew and I am honestly enjoying it. JOB SECURITY?? So with this in mind we have decided to have our first tournament pairing Joe and Jenna against Jonathan, myself and Ryan. After talking to the odd makers in Las Vegas they have decided that Joe and Jenna are predicted to win with a total of 28 fish to 14. Stay tuned this is going to be a good one. We will also air this so look forward to this.

As always the crew of Connecticut Outdoors wishes everyone the best of luck and good fishing!!!!





Fatherhood is for the young at heart…

by Maura K. Ammenheuser

My dad’s getting younger.

Born in 1942, technically he predates the Baby Boomers, but at heart Dad is about 10.

He and Mom are so different from their own parents at the same age. When Mom’s parents were pushing 60, they wore frumpy clothes, rarely exercised and suffered gray hair and thick middles. Dad’s mother always seemed old, dainty and formal, regardless of the decade. And his father died at 67.

So my dad is way ahead of the game. He “power-walks” the steep hills of his neighborhood; he’s within 10 pounds of his college weight. He’s a better skier now than when he was in his 30s. Dad’s hair is barely graying; at his 25-year college reunion, his buddies accused him of dyeing it.

I’m not suggesting Pops looks good because he’s a health nut. Far from it. He’ll fight you for the last ice cream in the freezer, squirt whipped cream into his mouth directly from the can, and insist he’s hungry for cookies 10 minutes after leaving the driveway on a road trip, regardless of its length or the size of his most recent meal. Dad falls asleep in front of the TV, but even that doesn’t strike me as a sign of old age. It’s more like he’s so engrossed in the show that, like a toddler, he can’t tear himself away to go to bed.

Words can’t describe the effect an actual child has on my father. My 2-year-old, Ryan, has more restraint. When we visit my parents, Dad encourages Ryan to tackle him in bed each morning, something my brothers and I did as children every weekend at the crack of dawn. Maybe that’s not remarkable. But Kevin, my 30-year-old, 180-lb. brother, still pounces on him, too. You’d think it would kill our old man. But Dad loves it. He laughs like a maniac and they tumble around like bear cubs.

My father never outgrew our baby vocabularies; in his house, “woollies” are cereal and “ollybolly” is everybody. At the beach, he built sand castles taller than anyone else’s. He answered the door on Halloween in a scary mask, until the year one kid burst into tears. Dad gave him extra candy to make up for it.

We got a sailboat when I was 15, because Dad’s got a thing for the sea. He sold it a few years later, when Mom convinced him their financial survival depended on this transaction. She was right, but the family stories of maritime mishaps — running aground on a weekly basis, narrowly avoiding the ferries crossing Long Island’s Great South Bay — are priceless. A teenager in a borrowed Lexus gets into less trouble.

Dad adores “Sesame Street’s” Grover. He mimics him perfectly and discovered, when the “Star Wars” movies debuted, that Grover sounds just like Yoda. My friends gleefully begged for Yoda imitations. This went on for years.

Dad loved our friends, considered himself part of the gang. I half expected my brother’s fraternity members to invite him to live at the frat house. They called him “Captain Jim” (they’d shared our terror on the high seas) and told him dirty jokes.

My father lives for parties. Hours before my wedding, a rotten cold, laryngitis and general exhaustion left me punchy. Dad, high on the otherwise giddy atmosphere, swept me into his arms for a practice waltz, beaming, eyes twinkling. He would have danced directly to the church, four hours early, if Mom wasn’t out with the car, getting a manicure. I’m not sure how my father retained the sunny, goofy, just-happy-to-be-here disposition most of us lose by adulthood. He probably inherited it from his father, who I don’t remember because I was 2 when he died. If prompted, Dad tells loving stories about his father, but otherwise stays uncharacteristically quiet on the subject. I suspect that’s because it hurt badly to lose him so young. Dad was 26 when Grandpa died of a stroke.

Dad mentioned his father this winter, remarking on Jan. 20 that it was the old guy’s birthday.

“I miss my dear ole’ Dad,” my father e-mailed me and my brothers. “We had a lot of fun together. If he were still alive, he would be 99 years old today. God bless him.”

“I love you,” my father signed off. “Thanks for being such wonderful children.”

Thank you, Dad, for being a wonderful child yourself.





David Taylor Roger – A True Story

By Priscilla Roger Reynolds

The sweet smell of fresh cut hay and grass hung on the warm breeze. Mixed in with the sweetness was the pungent odor of rotting manure. The soft sounds of lowing cows broke the stillness of the dusk. Purple shades of evening colored the farmhouse in the yard. The smell of flowers on the outside and fresh baked bread on the inside; the cool feel of the dew on his bare feet as he ran home to supper; these thoughts returned to David after a full day.



These were the memories that helped Dave through the busy days as service manager at Cadillac and Oldsmobile, in Waterbury. Always in the back of his mind was the knowledge that there was a simpler, more earthy way of life. He realized how fortunate he was to have spent his teenage years on the Allan farm in Goshen, CT. He also was caught up in the excitement of the developing automobile and chose to leave the farm to become an auto mechanic.



It was supper time at the Roger home, March 20, 1945. All four children were still living at home but the youngest child had not arrived as yet. Marion, Dave’s wife, enforced an exact supper hour and voiced her concern about Sil’s negligence. “It was such a beautiful spring day today. I can understand how Sil could forget the time,” Dave thought aloud. Dave had a talent for voicing the positive. Very seldom did he burden his family with trivial problems. He also was blessed with a wife who was a good listener, so he spent an hour with her discussing all the events of the day—usually over supper.



Sil joined the family as they were ready for dessert. Her mother spoke in her authoritarian voice, “I don’t want this to happen again. We eat at 6 P.M. every night. Where were you?”



Dave was touched by his youngest daughter’s enthusiasm. She usually sat very quietly and had difficulty expressing herself. Her cheeks were rosey, her clothes soiled, “Oh Ma, we rode our bicycles all over Watertown and Oakville. We had a marvelous time.” Dave’s blue eyes sparkled; he wanted his daughter to overcome her shyness so he stopped the family from criticizing her. For some reason his youngest girl was often teased by her siblings and didn’t fight back.



“I think we can overlook your tardiness this one time,” said Dave. “You’ll have to plan your time better in the future. Tell us more about your ride.”



Sil spoke about the warm breezes, the budding forsythia, the horses in the farmyards, the smell of new grass, the excitement of riding up and down the hills. Dave was pleased.



“You were lucky to bike ride on such a beautiful day,” said Dave. “It brings back good memories to me about my stay on the Allan farm. “



“You know, Dad, “ said Lefty, his only son, “You often tell us about your years at the farm, but we want to know about the years before that.” Dave not only accentuated the positive; he denied the negative. He realized it was time to tell his children about his early years.



“I have told you about your grandparents. Their decision to come to the United States was like a fairy tale. My mother worked as a nurse in a hospital in Perth, Scotland, when she met my father. She told me that she even worked for the queen of Edinburg at one time. People in the U.S.A. would say that my Dad robbed the cradle, as he was 20 years older than my mother when he married her in Scotland. He persuaded her to journey by boat to the United States with him as he felt he would have no difficulty finding work as a carpenter. I believe my mother and father were happy for a few years; my brother, sister, and I were born in this country. Dad became ill with some kind of lung disease, and after his death Mom was devastated. She couldn’t work as a nurse in this country so she picked up small amounts of money as a maid or in housecleaning. She applied for Welfare and the social workers in New York told her she would have to give up the children.” Dave thought for a few seconds: “This is all vague to me. Despite the fact that I was the oldest child, I remember very little. She was allowed to keep her baby, Nelson, with her, and I remember some time later, she married a second time, perhaps out of convenience. Anne, my sister, and I were placed in the New York Catholic Home. We were lucky to have some wonderful nuns take care of us.” Dave paused,” However,. My sister accidentally fell off some cement steps and the blow to her head killed her.”



Marion realized how hard it was for Dave to tell about the sadness. Her life seemed so stable in comparison. She attempted to interrupt, but Ginny, their oldest daughter, broke in, “Dad, please tell us as much as you can remember. We want to know.” She ignored her younger sisters’ eyes as they had filled with tears.



Nancy questioned her father, “What happened then? Weren’t you lost without your sister? Did your mother take you home.”



“I went through a period when I had a lot of anxiety. I remember hiding under the bed when there were thunder and lightning storms. One nun spent a lot of time with me and helped me get over the fear. I didn’t see my mother very often, and when I did, I grew upset with her new husband. He drank too much; I stayed at the orphanage. I learned to work at an early age and when I started to earn money on a paper route my new father tried to coax me to give him some. That really made me angry, so I turned away from both my mother and her husband.”



Dave sat quietly, trying to remember how things came together. He had spent many hours when he was twelve and thirteen, being angry. That was when the Allan family had asked the orphanage for farm help. No wonder he recollected those years on the farm with such warm nostalgia. He turned to the five wide-eyed listeners: “The Allan family in Goshen asked the orphanage for a young man who was willing to work. They would give me room and board in return for my labor. Mr. and Mrs. Allan were very kind to me. Their hours of working seemed unending to me, but they gave me time off. They showed their pleasure over having me with them; after a year they started to pay me. The Allans taught me how to love! And from then on I was O.K. I mean by that, I could make decisions without being anxious or angry.”



Dave had no more to say that evening. His monologue had clarified in his own mind many of his questions over the years. And his children were grateful to him and for him.







Sleeping on the other side of the bed.

By Jake Kilroy

This is dedicated to the Dreamcatcher

Someone I once knew told me that you could never sleep on the opposite side of the bed, without eventually returning to your original side. He had a psychology degree (that he thought no one knew about), and was convinced of his theory. I believed him for some time, which was a rare event. This person was firm in his convictions and stuck to first-time impressions and ideas. I have learned over the past two years that sleeping on the other side of the bed is not only possible, but it’s imperative to your future and your way of life.

Change was what the discussion was all about. You can change your habits, but inevitably you would go back to who you were. It is change that is needed to improve our outlooks and our futures. Old ideas and ways of life don’t work anymore, because the world is now sleeping on the other side of the bed and is not going back. If the world can do it, so can we.

My habits were of the following nature: Drinking, Smoking, Negative Thinking, Not trusting others or not trusting others to do their jobs, Not understanding fun anymore, and most negative of all was the feeling that I could never make a difference in this world or my hometown. The last habit or way of thinking paralyzed me for almost all of my life. I had to prove the thought wrong and worked my hardest to do so. I would work 90 hours a week to prove my worth, not to anyone else, but to me. Of course, I was never satisfied, and always felt that I could have done better.

Then for the first time in my life I made an unpredictable, unplanned move. I left that past behind and tried the other side of the bed. I enjoyed it at first but as “Darth Vader” (that’s who I’ll call him from now on), once said to me, I soon longed for the comforts of my old habits. It was a battle that never ended in my mind, but I shrugged the pillows on my new side of the bed and made it my side. I formed new habits and behaviors and left the others behind. Well, not all of them, I still smoke unfortunately, but I plan on buying a new bed for my mind and I’m going to switch sides again as soon as possible.

Never let anyone tell you that you can’t change or make a difference. YOU CAN! It is within your power to do anything you want. I have switched from Darth’s view to my father’s view. Norman Vincent Peale once said, “As you think, so shall you become.” My father repeated that saying every day along with, “Walk with the King, and be a blessing!” A negative thought or habit is there because our minds dwell on them and they are only reinforced by our own doing and not anyone else. If you squeeze a positive thought or habit into your mind and every time that negative thought comes through, replace it with the positive thought, well, you will be amazed how quickly your outlook will change. It’s not easy but if you have faith and constantly repeat the positive thought or habit, the other side of the bed will be yours.

At times I still slip into Darth’s side of the bed, but then I force myself again to use the good side of the bed to reinforce my ever-changing attitude and belief system. I no longer will accept the seeds of bad news in my mind for long. I take the good seeds and nourish them. The Bible says if your faith is as small as a mustard seed, you can move mountains. I wish to further that parable and say if Good News is like a mustard seed, then it will soon become a bush that chokes out the weeds of bad news around us. Imagine if we all had one mustard seed. The things we could do would be amazing.

I no longer have to prove myself to myself. The freedom of that one change of paradigm has freed me to dream again. I dream of a better world and then act on that dream to make it a reality. My way will not always work for you, just as Darth’s did not work for me. You may have to find your own way of getting to the other side of the bed, but no matter how you try, once you get there……you will be amazed at how firm the pillow is in your new way of life.

So, Darth wants you to go to the dark side of the bed and I want you to try the good side. It’s a much harder path, but in the end you will have the force of good news and good habits to bring your life joy and fulfillment. I wish you well on your mission and may the force be with you. The other side of the bed is just a thought away from being yours.





The Door

By People’s Press Columnist Sara E. Booker

One day we discovered a door that we never knew existed. My friends Chris, Dawn, Jack and I gathered around, curious about what a twist of the knob would reveal. Jack nudged Chris out of the way and gave the knob a turn.

“You’ve got absolutely no manners. No class,” Chris snapped at Jack, catching the door knob before the door pushed open. “It’s me and my Ma’s house. The least you could do is let me be in charge of the big reveal.”

Jack shrugged his shoulders. “Excuse me. It’s a room full of junk in your house. You’re hyping it up like it’s Al Capone’s vault or something. And we all know what happened there.”

“I’m not hyping it. How would you feel if you lived in a house your whole life and just found out that there’s a room that hasn’t been opened since before you were born?”Chris asked. He pushed the door open and we let out a collective gasp. It was his mother’s old bedroom. Inside was furniture that appeared to be from the 1960s and 1970s, dust, and cobwebs. There were hundreds of vinyl albums. Jack and Dawn made a beeline for the record collection.

“Check this out,” said Jack blowing dust off a record album and passing Cream’s Disraeli Gears to Dawn. “This is from back when people bought record albums…just as much for the artwork on the cover as for the music inside.”

“I love it,” said Dawn staring at the colorful imagery. “My father had that album.” She then pulled the record out of its jacket and put on We’re Going Wrong. “This song’s my favorite on this album.”

“Hot track,” said Jack imitating Ginger Baker’s intricate percussion work with air drumsticks.

Chris pulled the door knob and slammed the door shut abruptly. “What’s wrong?” I asked him.

“This makes me sad,” he answered. “This is my Ma’s stuff from when she was still alive. Do you know what I mean Renee?”

I knew exactly what he meant. Chris’s mother was still alive but she hadn’t truly lived in many, many years. “Yeah, I understand,” I said, looking down at the floor.

Apparently the woman who now spent her days sitting on a recliner flipping through the channels with lack luster enthusiasm had once lived in the tangible world. Now the only world she seemed to care about was pixilated. “I can’t believe it!” Chris exclaimed. “Ma once had a life!”

The door to this room had been hidden behind a gigantic book case which contained books that only Chris ever read. Chris’s mother was paying us to clean out this old room. “My Ma’s too depressed to clean it herself,” Chris explained to Dawn, Jack and I. “The room brings back bad memories.”

I fixated on a picture of Chris’s mother which appeared to have been taken when she was either in her teens or twenties. She was stunning, and smiling with as much vitality as a girl from a magazine ad but without the contrivance. Inspired by her youthful vintage zest, I took the picture to the mirror and tried to make my hairstyle look a little more retro, like hers. These friends and I were so close that we could be idiosyncratic and indulge our artistic whims without having to feel self conscious or silly.

“French Vogue, early seventies,” said Dawn, nodding at my impromptu hairstyle.

“I wish”, I said. “Look at Chris’s mom back in the day,” I said holding up the picture.

“Wow!” said Jack. “Chris, your Ma was a heartbreaker.”

“I wish I looked like that,” said Dawn.

“Well now she’s heartbroken,” said Chris, in a broken voice. “So what difference did it make?”

I opened up the door a crack and peered at the present day version of my fashion inspiration in disbelief. This could not be the same person. It was spooky. Sure people age physically, but some remain young at heart, joyful and full of life. Chris’s mother appeared to have aged emotionally more than any other way. She had as much joie de vie as a throw pillow.

At this very moment, like almost every other moment I ever saw her, she was watching the television. The Showcase Showdown on the Price is Right to be exact. If a contestant could win a vacation or a car by bidding correctly on their showcase she could get a vicarious thrill. The old picture of her told us that there was a time when she still dreamed that things could be possible for herself, not just for her fictional television friends or for game show contestants. The expression she wore in the old photo made her appear like she was heading straight into the horizon, not straight into a commercial break.

The newly discovered room also contained games like Connect Four and Operation, a sewing machine, a closet full of decades old clothes like bell bottoms and paisley printed sundresses, clogs and sandals and a big white canopy bed.

“Why did your Mom lock all this stuff up?” I asked. “Why and when did she become so depressed? She looks like she could have had the world on a silver platter back in the day.”

“Renee, you know my Ma never talks about the past. How would I know why she’s depressed? Remember that time when I tried to get her to talk about her good old days? She just said, ‘The good old days weren’t always so good’ and walked away.”

“Well, doesn’t she ever need to vent about the things that bother her?” Dawn asked.

“Apparently she did at one time,” said Jack, picking up a diary from off of a desk.

“Give me that,” said Chris.

“You can’t read her diary,” I insisted.

“Renee…do you think it’s better that I never understand my own mother?” Chris asked. “I’m eighteen years old and I’ve been asking her about why she’s so sad my whole life and she won’t answer me. It’s time I take matters into my own hands.” He grabbed the diary from Jack. He flipped to the beginning of the book. “I want to know what happened in my mother’s life that sucked the life out of her.”

The diary was as thick as a tome. Chris sat at the desk chair and read. Dawn was sitting by the record player listening to a song from the fifties, Little Star by The Elegants, while Jack and I were lying on our stomachs on the floor like kids playing a game of Connect Four.

Jack and I talked in hushed voices so Chris could concentrate on his reading. We talked about how we definitely were not the most efficient workers in the world. We hadn’t lifted a finger since we got in the room. Partly because we were lazy and partly because we didn’t even know where to begin. This job seemed overwhelming. The objective was to find things in this room to sell. To pawn shops and consignment shops. The electricity would be shut off if we failed to sell anything. If that happened there would be no pixilated televised world to distract Chris’s mother from her misery. We couldn’t let her distraction, her only comfort be taken from her, could we? But everything was covered in dust. And how were Dawn, Jack and I supposed to know what from this era was of value? Dawn and I were both eighteen and Jack was nineteen. And of course if we didn’t sell anything we would not get paid for this job.

“We’re going to need your Ma to come in here,” said Jack to Chris as his black Connect Four checker slid down to block my column of red ones. “She’s gonna have to play foreman. We have no idea how to do this job. How are we supposed to know which of these things is worth any money? This stuff is like twice as old as we are.”

“I told you she doesn’t want anything to do with this room. Brings back bad memories,” said Chris.

“Well, I don’t mean to be Mr. Insensitive but there comes a time when people need to stop running from things and face their fears,” Jack said sternly.

“You are insensitive,” said Chris. “She’s my mother. Leave her alone.”

“Well, at least I’m not the one reading her diary without her permission,” said Jack. “You’ve got to talk to her. You’ve got to force her to face this. You’re enabling her self destruction if you don’t. I think you agree with me that a few decades is enough time for one to be living in gloom. If you really care about your Ma you’ll give her some tough love.”

“I agree,” I said. “Maybe your Ma needs an intervention. For her own good. Has she ever even been to see a counselor?”

“Stop it!” Chris yelled. “I’ve been trying to get her to snap out of this since the day I was born. She’s been depressed so long that it’s a way of life. I don’t know how to make her happy. You guys just don’t understand!” He walked across the narrow path of the room, running his hands through his hair, exasperated. He then began pacing back and forth. “And I guess I don’t understand either.” He sat back down by the diary and picked it up again. “She’s not willing to talk. But I’m determined to understand. I’m gonna read this diary, right or wrong.”

This time he flipped to the back of the diary. He told us that the last part of the diary revealed that his mother had tried to publish the very diary Chris was now reading as a memoir . It was rejected many times until she finally just gave up. “It’s my life they’re rejecting”, she wrote. “They’re saying that my life is not worthy of being published. Or maybe it’s just unprintable.”

According to the last few entries of the diary she started to feel guilty, inadequate, uninteresting and ashamed of herself. She took it as a rejection of not only her life but of her soul. And so she had decided to lock up everything from that past life away, because it was not worthy of public consumption, she thought. The furniture, the albums, the books, the curtains. Even the photographs of the “old her”. It was all seen as “the life that wasn’t worth reading about”. She had associated her entire past with the pain of rejection.

“I’m not going to read any further,” said Chris. “Not without her permission.” He put the diary down. “I’m not sure if she could handle that I read about ‘the life that wasn’t worth reading about’”.

“Well then tell us what of this junk we should sell,” said Jack. Jack was never the king of tact.

“It’s not junk,” I said.

“How am I supposed to know?” asked Chris. “I’m not an appraiser or an auctioneer guy or whatever you call it.”

“Well what are we supposed to do…guess? Or just stare at each other’s shoes all day? I’m not about to waste energy carrying junk to the pawn shop only to have it rejected. Go ask your Ma or I quit.”

“I told you she doesn’t want to come in here. Hence, the reason we four clowns are doing the job.”

“This is ridiculous. If you don’t talk to her I will,” said Jack.

“Alright fine,” Chris blurted. “I’ll go talk to her. Man, you guys are a pain. Especially you Jack.”

“We just want to do the job right,” said Jack. “No offense Chris but you don’t exactly make a great foreman. Your workers were totally slacking, sitting here playing Connect Four and you didn’t even notice. If the electricity gets turned off in this house your Ma will have no TV, we’ll have no music to listen to when we hang out, you’ll have to do your homework by candlelight and the four of us won’t be able to play with your Playstation. For who knows how long.”

“Whatever, I wasn’t even trying to be a foreman,” Chris said, rolling his eyes. “Why don’t you guys try a little initiative?”

“We just want to help your mother,” Dawn said. “Maybe a visit to the past will do her good. If you don’t face your fears they grow and grow in your imagination. And your Ma probably has a great imagination judging by the contents of this room.” She nodded at the art work in the corner Chris’s mother had done which reminded me of the impressionist painters of the nineteenth century.

“I’m sure her fears have taken on a nightmarish life of their own,” I said. “It’s time for a guided tour of reality, which is not as scary as the one she’s probably created in her mind.”

“Ugg!” Chris exclaimed. “You guys drive me mad! What- do you guys think you are unlicensed psychologists or something? You are three of the nuttiest people I know. Like you guys have any right to talk about my Ma. If I wasn’t so lazy I’d send you guys home and do this project myself!” He threw his hands up in defeat and stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind him.

“It’s because we care,” I yelled behind him.

We played a game of Operation while we waited. I was trying to drown out the sound of Chris and his mother’s muffled argument by being a clumsy doctor on my cartoon patient and purposely causing the game to buzz with my graceless surgery.

“Stop losing on purpose,” said Jack. “I can’t derive any self esteem from winning if you are throwing the game.”

“I don’t want to hear Chris and his mother quarrel,” I said. “It’s none of our business. Dawn, crank up the tunes.” Dawn nodded and turned the volume up on Runaway by Del Shannon.

“Only a proud slacker like you would be able to derive self esteem from winning a game of Operation, Jack,” said Dawn. “Wasn’t the game designed for six year olds?” She and I laughed.

“Hey, I keep my standards for success and satisfaction low,” said Jack. “That way I’ll never end up like Chris’s mother.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Sounds like she dreamed too big. She believed in the impossible…that she could get a book published, and then sunk into a depression when her ship didn’t come in. I’m not expecting a ship to come in. I’ll settle for a dingy.”

“You’re the most cynical guy I know,” I said. “So what are you saying, you’re never going to try to chase a dream?”

“I’m not cynical, I’m a realist. Of course I’ll chase a dream. My dream is to chill on a hammock in the sun while drinking a brew.”

“Oh please,” said Dawn.

“Hey, why do you think so many people have midlife crises? Because our culture makes us believe that we’re all gonna grow up to be stars. That’s the exception, not the rule. This ain’t the ‘Land of Opportunity’. It’s the ‘Land of Who You Know’. You gotta have connections or money to make it big. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth and I don’t hobnob at country clubs. Like John Fogerty sang, I ain’t no fortunate son. But that’s okay. I’ll use my looks, charm and talent to thrill the locals.” Dawn burst out laughing.

“Gosh, Jack I think you are already a star in your own mind,” I said, rolling my eyes.

“I for one don’t need to be famous,” Jack continued. “I bet famous people can’t even go to an amusement park without being stalked for autographs. And you can’t wear your shades and go incognito because they’ll fly off your face on the roller coaster when you’re dropping down the hill. And then people will recognize you and charge for you as soon as the ride dumps you off and they’ll be screaming louder than they were screaming on the roller coaster. And then you’ll have a big old head ache. And you’ll have to run away from the crowd. And then your feet will hurt. And I certainly don’t need paparazzi hanging from the trees in my front yard.”

Dawn and I laughed. “You sound like you put a lot of thought into this.” said Dawn.

“Yeah, right after the record company rejected my demo tape,” said Jack.

“Ahh…another wounded artistic ego,” I said. “How many times did you send your demo tape out?”

“Once. And then I came to my senses. A true artist is never appreciated in his own time, so why should I bother trying to be successful- in the traditional sense of the word- anymore? I’ll just keep the faith that future generations will find and enjoy my work. That’s good enough for me. Success to me is sanity. I’m not taking chances with mine by setting myself up for anymore failure. If just one person listens to my music and enjoys it then it was all worthwhile.”

“Well, what about money? You don’t want money? You want to work in that factory for the rest of your life? Don’t you hate your boss?”

“Who doesn’t hate their boss? I don’t need any more money than what I get at my job. I don’t need to be rich. Money will buy you stuff that you’ll be bored with in about twenty four hours. As soon as that new car smell is gone, you take your luxury wheels for granted. Do you ever get excited about owning a new shirt the third time you put it on? And if I had money I’d constantly have relatives and friends nagging me for loans, or big breaks or whatever they think they can get from me. Who needs that? Not me. That’s why I brag about how cheap I am. Because I’m proud that I’m not playing the game.”

“I wonder if when you are twenty years older you’ll still agree with this sentiment,” I said. “If you can get bored with a new shirt in three days then imagine how bored you’ll be at your factory in twenty years?”

“I’m not saying that I’ll never try to do anything else. I’m just setting the bar really low for myself in life…as a lovable, hapless loafer. Therefore if I ever accomplish anything good in my life it will be savored as truly good and not just something that was expected. Wanting to be successful is so cliché.” Jack was great at sucking all hope for the future out of the room while making you feel better about your present at the same time.

“Well maybe Chris’s mother didn’t care about fame or money but just wanted to create art.”

“It’s already created. It’s sitting right here in this book,” said Jack. “So there goes that theory. Who says writing has to be published to be art?”

A half an hour later Chris’s mother entered the room. She looked around and became animated for the first time since I had met her. She gave us a guided tour of her relics and thumbed through the record albums. She played the song I’m in You by Peter Frampton. “I haven’t heard this song in years! Takes me back. I think I have another stack of albums in my closet. I’ll be right back.”

She was more beautiful now than she was in the old photo. All lit up with a natural glow. “What happened?” I asked Chris. “I thought you said that this stuff would bring back bad memories?”

“I told her I wanted to read her diary, as payment for the job. She couldn’t believe that somebody actually wanted to read it. She never looked so happy. And you’ll never guess this… I hope you guys don’t mind, but Ma no longer wants to sell this stuff.”

“Thank God!” Jack exclaimed. “I was so not in the mood to do this job! Now excuse me but I’m gonna go make a dream come true and chill in my hammock. See you guys later.” He walked outside the door frame, paused and then turned around. “By the way Chris, that was some genius psychotherapy you did on your unwitting patient today.” Chris laughed.

“Jack, next time I see you, you better come with your demo tape in hand. I want to hear your music,” said Dawn.

“If I can find it,” he said trying to fight a grin.

“I got to warn you though. I might end up screaming and chasing you down the street,” Dawn laughed.

“That may prove to be interesting. I can handle one fan.” He smiled at her and left.

“I wasn’t trying to do psychotherapy on my Ma,” said Chris. “I genuinely want to read the diary.”

“Well this is an awesome turn of events. But what about the electricity?” I asked.

“Ma and I talked about that too. We’re just going to have to wait until the next check comes in. Until then we’ll just have to live like it’s the 1700s. We got a gas stove and heat. Ma doesn’t care about the television at all right now anyway.”

Chris spent the rest of the afternoon and evening reading his mother’s diary. Dawn and I stayed to play records and play Connect Four. Around ten o’clock that evening the electricity went out.

Chris brought us in a flashlight and went back out. Dawn and I picked up the record albums and put them back in the album covers. We gathered the red and black checkers and put them back in the Connect Four box. We exited the room. Chris and his mother were sitting side by side at the kitchen table by candlelight. Chris was doing his homework and his mother was writing.









A Chip off the Old Block...

My father constantly tells me that I do too much, spread myself too thin, and donate too much. This is so very amusing to me. My father, at 78 years young, has dedicated and given of himself more than anyone I know. Since retiring from SNET many moons ago, he has been so involved with giving back to many causes, projects, church activities and of course to his family.

Just through observation, I have learned so much from him. After what has seemed my lifetime, he has changed churches because he no longer was willing to go along with the teachings. I have learned that it is never too late or I will never be too old to make a change in my life. I will not blindly accept things thrown my way.

My father is an inspiration to me every day of my life. He has taught me the true meaning of dedication and integrity. My parents, for as long as I can remember, have had a rocky relationship. My mom is a recovering alcoholic and her body has paying the price of that abuse. She has been crippled with Osteoporosis, heart disease and numerous other ailments for many years. My sisters and brother told my father 20 plus years ago to move on and find someone he could be happy with. He gave his word to my mom over 45 years ago and will not be out of integrity with his word.

When you give your word to someone it does not carry a “but if” attached to it. I have, over the past 38 years been blessed with the best father in my world. My daughter is just 4 1/2 now and will benefit from my father’s teachings. I am proud when I hear his words come out of my mouth, while interacting with my daughter. I have to sit back and smile and know that he will be with me for ever.

I love you dad and am so proud to be your daughter.

Submitted by Cathy (Corves) Chagnon







MY THREE DADS

By LaReine Foote

I have three Dads. My natural father was named Arthur. He was an electrician, first at International Silver, then in the 40’s, at the New London Sub Base. He laid the cable and wired the lower part of the base.

“Daddy” had a 38-foot cabin cruiser (ex. Captain’s Gig) he bought for $50 at the base. We docked at Stony Creek and had fun each summer. We named it “JoElla” for Joan my sister, Elsie (Mom) and “La” for me. Dad taught “Bunky” my brother to “man the helm” and he taught us girls to handle the anchor. Most of the time we four were the only ones aboard. Mom was happy to be aboard in name only. Dad sold JoElla after 5 years and spent the money on us three kids. He was a cool Dad in my eyes. That “JoElla” helped him to provide us with much fun!

My second Dad was my stepfather “Reggie”. Mom and Daddy Art divorced and Mom married Reg. He was personality-wise different than Arthur, being a laid back, sit and read Dad, but with understanding, always there for us. “Poppy” was as intelligent as “Daddy” (not as much fun) but we loved him also.

Daddy, Poppy and Nana are all gone for now, but all three live on in beautiful memories!

Now I come to the most loving Father of all – my “Spiritual Daddy” – our Heavenly Father God. He is the greatest! He gave me my Savior Jesus and Comforter, the Holy Spirit.

So you can see what a rich person I am – three loving fathers but each with different personalities. I thank my Heavenly Father for Daddy, Poppy and most of all for being the BEST Dad of all – my Spiritual Father.







My Husband Lew

Jesus said: “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; For it is to such as these the Kingdom of God belongs.” From Luke18; verse16; The Holy Bible.

My Husband, Lewis (Lew) lived by the Bible. Highly intelligent, he knew many Bible versus by heart from the time he was a young boy. Lew enlisted in the US Navy at 17 and served in World War II and the Korean conflict. He came back to civilian life much more anxiety-ridden than he was when he left. He required hospitalization and suffered from severe phobias and anxiety much of his life thereafter. He never stopped believing in God and, despite that, he stayed away from any organized religion. But he followed The Bible.

Lew and I married when he was 27 and considered the birth of each of his 6 children – 5 sons and 1 daughter – a blessing each time. But babies come with added responsibility and increase anxiety in any parent. Lew needed support from the V.A. hospital in Newington and in West Haven. After the third child, he was hospitalized at Northhampton, Mass. When he came home, he could not force himself to leave the house. He gave his time and energy to his 3 children during his leave of absence from the Post Office. One morning, Dave, our oldest child and 4 years old at the time, took him by the hand, begging him to walk to Tony’s Market about a quarter mile away. He did. After that, he took daily walks and became a spreader of good news wherever he went.

He then went back to driving, back to working, but living on soup and milkshakes and the Bible. Lew coped. He conversed with many friends and acquaintances about sports, current events, and he always spoke positively about his family. He conquered his fear of elevators, mountain climbs and occasionally sat in a crowd. Something even more wonderful happened to him: he offered help to others and often advised the lonely, the widowed, and especially children.

Lew loved his family and always stood by them. He died 6 years ago this August from Melanoma. This short story covers so little. Perhaps, the next line sums it up.



Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” From Luke 18; verse 17 in the Revised Standard Edition of The Holy Bible.

By Priscilla Reynolds







"I'M THE BABY!"

By Audrey Linke

The new mothers in the maternity ward passed around an innocent looking sewing box. When the nurses were out of the room each mother would locate the hidden make-up in the box and quickly transform their pale lips and cheeks to a healthy-looking pink. It was against hospital rules to wear make-up, but husbands and other family members would soon arrive and each mother wanted to look her best.

Gram had come up from New York to take care of Bob, Jeannette, and Alice and they all came to the hospital with Papa to visit me and Mama. Bob had planned to ask Mama to send me back and get a boy, but when he saw me he changed his mind. "Let's keep her," he said, and from then on he was my willing slave. Bob was ten years old when I arrived, a devoted big brother. Jeannette, at eight, was my second mother, loving and attentive, always. She and Bob fought over who would carry me upstairs and they fought over who would carry me upstairs and they fought over who would carry me downstairs. Alice had mixed emotions-she was five and a half and used to having things pretty much her own way. She pro-claimed that she "wasn't going to be any 'servant' to that darned little baby!" Later, when she was finally allowed to start school she conceded that it was a "good thing that Mama had the baby or she would never let me go to school." It was probably true-Mama didn't like to be left home without a child to keep her company.

Bob, Jeannette, and Alice had been born at home, but Doctor Harvey sent Mama to Griffin Hospital in Derby to await the arrival of her fourth child-me, Audrey Lucille Cable, and arrive I did, on May 20, 1923.Mama spent a whole week in the hospital waiting for me, and although she kept busy rolling bandages and helping in other ways, for her it was like a wonderful vacation, the rest Dr. Harvey knew she needed. On May 29th, Mama's 30th birthday, Dr. Harvey drove us home to the farm behind the Episcopal Church in Oxford Center. He said he wished he was taking home a baby just like me. Who could blame him?





Father's Day

By George Arndt

The woman often credited with starting Father's Day is Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Wash. In 1909, she sought a special day to honor her father, who became a single parent when his wife died giving birth to their sixth child. I came across that paragraph in my search for my family roots. My great grandmother, Mary had written it in her family Bible. Her father, Levi Hicks (my great great grandfather) came to Pennsylvania, with his wife Sarah. This adventurous couple came from Württemberg, Germany in 1876, and settled in the lumber-rich county of Cameron. He and his wife must have been a rough-hewn team.

I guess when Levi wasn't felling trees; he and Sarah would spend some special times together. Over the years they were blessed with twelve children. Mary was thirteen years old when the sad news of the death of her father came knocking at their door. Mary's three older brothers had left the family, and had gone out into the world seeking gainful employment. Sarah relied heavily on Mary's help to keep the rest of the family together. Mary loved her father deeply, and missed him terribly.

I found this short poem she had written, and had placed it between the pages of her Bible. Daddy, I loved you so;

Why did you have to go?

The fun times we shared together,

I’ll cling to so dearly, forever.

In Germany there is no such thing as Father's Day as celebrated throughout the western world. There are two terms and/or events of an older origin that while similar in name, have entirely different meanings. Manner tag, is always celebrated on Ascension Day (the Thursday forty days after Easter), which is a federal holiday. Regionally, it is also called men’s day, Manner tag, or gentlemen's day, Herrentag. It is tradition to do a males-only hiking tour with one or more smaller wagons, Bollerwagen, pulled by manpower. In the wagons are wine or beer (according to region) and tradition-al regional food, Hausmannskost, which could be Saumagen, Liverwurst, Blutwurst (Blood Sausage), vegetables, eggs, etc.



The Porcupine Story

By Dorothy Gonick

Recently a 2nd grade friend, Jacob, gave me his drawing of a porcupine, for which I have written this story.



The full moon was rising when Jake and Porky awoke hungry for food. Mama porcupine was brushing her quills after a day's sleep. She gazed fondly at her young ones who were growing bigger and had been begging to spend the night with her as she wandered in the forest. They were so excited when mother said, 'Tonight is the night!"

After tumbling from the hollow tree trunk that was their home, Jake and Porky followed closely behind mama. Mama cautioned them, saying "Remember what our home smells like, and you'll find it easily when we come back." As they waddled along, mama led them to patches of clover and skunk cabbage for delicious food. They tried other leaves and then Mama began gnawing on a twig, reminding them that they had sharp teeth and could gnaw small tasty twigs. She said that as they grew older, they would find that tree limbs and bark would make a good meal, especially when winter snows covered most shrubs and plants. There were many strange sounds in the night which scared them and caused their quills to rise, so they looked like walking pincushions. They kept close to Mama who explained that animals seldom bothered porcupines because they feared their spiny quills, and the noises were part of the night world.

On another outing Mama called them to follow her as she chose a nearby pine tree and began climbing. Jake and Porky looked at each other in surprise. 'Oh, come on my porcupettes, you've got sharp claws that will bring you up this tree. Jake began climbing and said, "Wow! This is great, come on Porky-we can do it." And Porky did. Mama was sitting in the crotch of the tree waiting for them to clamber onto it. She told them that this was one of her favorite perches for sleeping during the daytime, away from any danger on the ground. It was safer to search for food during the nighttime, when dogs and big creatures were usually asleep. After resting and nibbling on the spicy pine needles, Mama led the way down the tree and they slowly waddled along the path to their home, where they sleepily curled into prickly balls and slept their tiredness away.

After several excursions with Mama, Jake and Porky felt bold enough to wander outside all by themselves. Mama smiled as she watched them go. Finding tasty food to nibble was easy. Nighttime noises sounded eerier without Mama along. They came to a young tree whose bark showed it had been gnawed. Jake said, "this must be a tree that Mama’s chewed on, let's climb up and have a meal in safety." They climbed that young tree; found a sturdy branch to sit on and began to nibble its bark. From their high perch they looked below and saw an animal emerge from nearby Beaver Pond and stop below them. It was big and looked like Papa, but had no quills. To their surprise, it began gnawing on the base of their tree. Jake and Porky sat as if frozen to their branch quivering with fear. Suddenly the tree began swaying and landed into the water with a big splash! The little porcupines were thrown from their perch and dunked into the pond. Because their quills were hollow and filled with air, Jake and Porky popped to the surface like balloons, and quickly began paddling like crazy to reach the shore and clamber up the muddy bank. Shaking off the water, they hurried home to tell Mama of the frighteningly huge animal that dumped them into the pond and of how they escaped by paddling across to safety. What a tale they had to tell their mother!







LIONS and TIGERS and TEENS

No More Lazy Days of Summer

Picture this: Your teen is sprawled out on the couch with a bag of Doritos in hand and the TV channel set to MTV. What’s wrong with this picture? Do you envision yourself being frustrated by your teen’s laziness all summer long? Relaxation after a stressful and frenzied school year is probably much needed; but, after a few days of rest, your teen should start thinking about taking advantage of his free time and expanding his horizons.

Jobs are scarce these days, and many internship opportunities are filled in late winter. However, it’s not too late for your teen to plan a constructive summer.

Do “Something”

When teenagers use their free time to expand their knowledge base by volunteering, working or taking classes, college admissions officers and future employers take notice.

Carole Jabbawy, Ed.D., founder and director of Internship Connection in Newton, MA, says, “An internship or volunteer experience is the first step to building a resume. Teens gain career exposure which will be very helpful in sorting out a college major.” Teens that plan to seek employment right after high school will also reap benefits from field experience including:

Resume building

Exploration of interests

Making “connections” in a specific industry

Setting oneself apart from the crowd

Last Minute Opportunities

Teens should seek assistance from their school’s guidance office. Small businesses, hospitals, churches, and nursing homes are always looking for extra help and usually welcome teen applicants. For last minute opportunities, it’s best to canvas your neighborhood and ask about positions in person.

Jabbawy says, “While June may be too late for some internships, non-profits are still quite busy in June and July. Late spring is a busy time for fundraising events and extra hands are always welcome.”

Finding a paying job for the summer at this late date might be difficult; however, motivated teens can still find openings. Full-time employees often have summer vacation plans, so part-time positions become available. “Business owners tell me that they don’t have enough time in the day to keep up with social networking,” Jabbawy explains. “They would love a teen to work on a project promoting their business through Facebook, blogging or Twitter.”

Summer classes are great for teens who want to improve their academic resume. Jim Sirianni, Ph.D., assistant dean and director of Summer College at Stanford University, explains, “Very often universities will allow prospective students to enroll in summer courses right up until the first day of class. Students should check with multiple institutions in their area to see when summer classes begin, as some start weeks later than others. Large institutions tend to have a summer session office that oversees summer course offerings while the registrar’s office is a good starting point for inquiries at smaller colleges.”

Many colleges offer competitive scholars programs, academic camps or traditional classes that high school students can take in the summer. It’s imperative that students check to see if there is an age minimum, a required placement test, or documents their high school needs to submit before applying.

Volunteer!

Volunteers are rarely turned away especially in a down economy. Plus, teens can feel good about making a difference. Carole Jabbawy agrees. “It’s wonderfully satisfying to volunteer for an organization that you care about.”

Teens should search for positions that will help guide them toward their long-term goals. For example, aspiring veterinarians should find a position at an animal shelter rather than a restaurant. Jabbawy advises, “An internship or volunteer experience begins the process of creating a professional network and can lead to a paid position in the future.”

Encourage your teen to ask questions and learn as much as they can while volunteering. Be sure your teen understands that showing up on time and being dependable is important even though she is not getting paid.

Places to look for volunteer opportunities:

Hospitals and medical clinics

Homeless shelters

Libraries

Animal shelters

Youth centers/camps

Entrepreneurship

It’s never too late to start your own business! Possible entrepreneurial ventures include lawn mowing, house painting, caring for pets while people are on vacation, fixing neighbors’ computers, or cooking for the elderly. Teens can distribute fliers around their neighborhoods to get the word out.

Still stumped for ideas? Try these websites:

www.dosomething.org

www.volunteermatch.org

TIPS AND TALES

"Animal shelters need loving hands and warm laps." Melbra King

“Most churches run summer programs for kids. Our church has a vacation bible school and we’re always looking for teen members to help, even if it’s last minute.” Beth Ackerman

Want to share your ideas? Coming in September:

Your teen didn’t make varsity – alternatives to keep him playing? Please send your full name, address, and brief comments to: myrnahaskell@gmail.com Or visit: www.myrnahaskell.com

Author Bio: Myrna Beth Haskell is a feature writer and columnist specializing in parenting issues and child and adolescent development. She is the mother of two teenagers.







David Taylor Roger – A True Story

By Priscilla Roger Reynolds

The sweet smell of fresh cut hay and grass hung on the warm breeze. Mixed in with the sweetness was the pungent odor of rotting manure. The soft sounds of lowing cows broke the stillness of the dusk. Purple shades of evening colored the farmhouse in the yard. The smell of flowers on the outside and fresh baked bread on the inside; the cool feel of the dew on his bare feet as he ran home to supper; these thoughts returned to David after a full day.



These were the memories that helped Dave through the busy days as service manager at Cadillac and Oldsmobile, in Waterbury. Always in the back of his mind was the knowledge that there was a simpler, more earthy way of life. He realized how fortunate he was to have spent his teenage years on the Allan farm in Goshen, CT. He also was caught up in the excitement of the developing automobile and chose to leave the farm to become an auto mechanic.



It was supper time at the Roger home, March 20, 1945. All four children were still living at home but the youngest child had not arrived as yet. Marion, Dave’s wife, enforced an exact supper hour and voiced her concern about Sil’s negligence. “It was such a beautiful spring day today. I can understand how Sil could forget the time,” Dave thought aloud. Dave had a talent for voicing the positive. Very seldom did he burden his family with trivial problems. He also was blessed with a wife who was a good listener, so he spent an hour with her discussing all the events of the day—usually over supper.



Sil joined the family as they were ready for dessert. Her mother spoke in her authoritarian voice, “I don’t want this to happen again. We eat at 6 P.M. every night. Where were you?”



Dave was touched by his youngest daughter’s enthusiasm. She usually sat very quietly and had difficulty expressing herself. Her cheeks were rosey, her clothes soiled, “Oh Ma, we rode our bicycles all over Watertown and Oakville. We had a marvelous time.” Dave’s blue eyes sparkled; he wanted his daughter to overcome her shyness so he stopped the family from criticizing her. For some reason his youngest girl was often teased by her siblings and didn’t fight back.



“I think we can overlook your tardiness this one time,” said Dave. “You’ll have to plan your time better in the future. Tell us more about your ride.”



Sil spoke about the warm breezes, the budding forsythia, the horses in the farmyards, the smell of new grass, the excitement of riding up and down the hills. Dave was pleased.



“You were lucky to bike ride on such a beautiful day,” said Dave. “It brings back good memories to me about my stay on the Allan farm. “



“You know, Dad, “ said Lefty, his only son, “You often tell us about your years at the farm, but we want to know about the years before that.” Dave not only accentuated the positive; he denied the negative. He realized it was time to tell his children about his early years.



“I have told you about your grandparents. Their decision to come to the United States was like a fairy tale. My mother worked as a nurse in a hospital in Perth, Scotland, when she met my father. She told me that she even worked for the queen of Edinburg at one time. People in the U.S.A. would say that my Dad robbed the cradle, as he was 20 years older than my mother when he married her in Scotland. He persuaded her to journey by boat to the United States with him as he felt he would have no difficulty finding work as a carpenter. I believe my mother and father were happy for a few years; my brother, sister, and I were born in this country. Dad became ill with some kind of lung disease, and after his death Mom was devastated. She couldn’t work as a nurse in this country so she picked up small amounts of money as a maid or in housecleaning. She applied for Welfare and the social workers in New York told her she would have to give up the children.” Dave thought for a few seconds: “This is all vague to me. Despite the fact that I was the oldest child, I remember very little. She was allowed to keep her baby, Nelson, with her, and I remember some time later, she married a second time, perhaps out of convenience. Anne, my sister, and I were placed in the New York Catholic Home. We were lucky to have some wonderful nuns take care of us.” Dave paused,” However,. My sister accidentally fell off some cement steps and the blow to her head killed her.”



Marion realized how hard it was for Dave to tell about the sadness. Her life seemed so stable in comparison. She attempted to interrupt, but Ginny, their oldest daughter, broke in, “Dad, please tell us as much as you can remember. We want to know.” She ignored her younger sisters’ eyes as they had filled with tears.



Nancy questioned her father, “What happened then? Weren’t you lost without your sister? Did your mother take you home.”



“I went through a period when I had a lot of anxiety. I remember hiding under the bed when there were thunder and lightning storms. One nun spent a lot of time with me and helped me get over the fear. I didn’t see my mother very often, and when I did, I grew upset with her new husband. He drank too much; I stayed at the orphanage. I learned to work at an early age and when I started to earn money on a paper route my new father tried to coax me to give him some. That really made me angry, so I turned away from both my mother and her husband.”



Dave sat quietly, trying to remember how things came together. He had spent many hours when he was twelve and thirteen, being angry. That was when the Allan family had asked the orphanage for farm help. No wonder he recollected those years on the farm with such warm nostalgia. He turned to the five wide-eyed listeners: “The Allan family in Goshen asked the orphanage for a young man who was willing to work. They would give me room and board in return for my labor. Mr. and Mrs. Allan were very kind to me. Their hours of working seemed unending to me, but they gave me time off. They showed their pleasure over having me with them; after a year they started to pay me. The Allans taught me how to love! And from then on I was O.K. I mean by that, I could make decisions without being anxious or angry.”



Dave had no more to say that evening. His monologue had clarified in his own mind many of his questions over the years. And his children were grateful to him and for him.







In the Shade of the Old Oak Tree

Sweat, and lots of it was oozing from my pores. It was hot enough to fry an egg in the palm of my hand. There seems to always be things needing attention and on this day I was replacing a few rotted posts for an elderly neighbor. I had been at it for a couple of hours under the hot sun maybe pushing myself a bit too much. It was definitely time for a break. At the back of the house I found a plastic cup and headed for the water spigot. My cup now full to the rim it was time to find a shady spot to cool off for a spell. I reckon it was a hundred yards or so away that I noticed a solitary oak tree just out on the edge of the corn fields. That, I decided, would be my spot to find comfort. By the time I reached the tree I was feeling just a might woozy and glad to finally plant my butt in amongst some roots at its base. Slowly I eased my head back into the firm bark of the tree and closed my eyes.

Moments later my eyes opened, staring up into the many branches and leaves. A slight glimpse of sunlight glittering through was now welcomed as I was enjoying the magnificence of a tree that had obviously been around for many generations. It was strong but even this fine oak was showing signs of the ages. My eyes slowly drifted back down to earth as I reached for a cool sip of my water. Then I began to twittle. Twittle, a strange word I reckon that means you get just a tad busy doing nothing at all and in this case my I found my fingers rummaging through a pile of leaves. Even my mouth twittles on occasion and this held true as I placed a stick of straw into my teeth and held it there. As my hands continued I noticed a slightly larger pile of leaves and ran my fingers underneath feeling a slightly cooler temperature. My fingers then found what I thought was just a small stick but upon further twittling realized that it was a small oak, only protruding a few inches from the soil. It had been bent over and had been starving for fresh air and sunshine. Gently I pulled the leaves back and restored this little one to its natural position. The soil was dry and it had been quite some time since we had received any much needed rain. I crawled just a few feet away and grasped my cup of water. I knew this little oak could use it as much as I had only moments earlier. The soil actually made faint crackling sounds as the moisture was absorbed. As I poured what I knew would be the gift of life a warm feeling came over me. Then once again I drifted myself back into my own comfort leaning against the strength of the large oak. I would close my eyes for a moment or so.

Then, like a strong jolt of an earthquake I was startled. I had only fallen a mere two inches from a root but darned if it didn't smart a bit on my rear end. I had been jolted by the voice of a stranger. Never had I felt this much from a kind greeting such as "Howdy". He gave a slight chuckle as I tried now to wriggle my way into a sitting position amongst the roots of the tree. Upon finally gaining my composure I gave him a reply of "Howdy, back atcha". This response in these parts is kinda customary just meaning that we both recognize each other's presence in a kindly fashion.

My eyes were still getting focused from my snooze as I looked up at him. He was tall in stature and maybe just a bit on the thin side. The clothes he wore were a bit raggedy to look at but not too bad for someone who might have limited means. Besides, ain't nothing wrong with a hard working gent having a few holes ifn's they are all in appropriate places. I could tell he had some age behind him even through the thick beard of grey that he wore. What I saw next was his shoes which seemed a bit odd. The shoes were in good enough shape but they were mismatched. One shoe was showing its natural light grey coloring while the other was a solid pitch black and riding much higher up his leg. In a much softer voice now than the one that had awakened me he asked politely "Have you got a cool drink for a stranger?" Instinctively I reached for my cup of water but before I could turn completely I remembered that I had drank about half and poured the rest on the little oak tree. My hand continued towards the cup and my eyes finally caught up. To my astonishment this same cup, that I'm sure was empty moments before, was now slightly more than half full. I only paused for a second or two, figuring that the heat of the day had somehow played a trick on me, and handed the gentleman my cup of water. In a few short gulps his thirst was quenched and a response of being much obliged was given. He then asked if he could have a seat at the tree to rest his tired old feet. I let him know quickly that he was more than welcome to join me. As he sat down I looked towards the gate at the front of the yard that I was still planning on tending to. I thought to myself that I would get to it soon enough. It was still time to sit for a short spell. As I eased my way to my comfy root to sit something caught my attention. Dang if I didn't almost sit down on a beautiful green grasshopper. With cupped hands I reached out and gently gathered it into my hands. The words came out of my mouth to the little grasshopper in my own apologies of disturbing him as I placed it on a lower branch of the tree. Such a wonderful little creature and they always make me take the special time to watch and appreciate.

A moment later I turned back towards the stranger and sat down. There was a strange look on his face now as he looked me in the eyes. I had seen that look before and half expected the question that was coming. He glanced towards the little oak and then nodded with a slight rising of his brow in the direction of the grasshopper and the question came. "Are you one of them animal nature nuts?" My normal response to such a thing would be very short but something startling happened before I could begin my reply. The last ten years of my life flashed before me freezing my mouth even from twittling. I was remembering every creature, from the largest to the smallest that had entered into my life. Vivid images came to me of when I had nourished plants and relived my anger of watching some of our breathtaking surroundings destroyed for development. So many little ones have entered my life. The flashback that I was encountering was intense and very difficult to handle. It only lasted for a brief moment but left me drained.

My head once again found the comfort of the proud tree that was supporting me. In a soft voice I gave the gentleman my reply. "Yes Sir, some might would classify me as one of those animal nature nuts that you hear about." Still drained from my flashback I reached for my cup of water to cleanse a dry throat and drank. After only a sip, water embarrassingly came spitting from my mouth. I apologized to the stranger for my behavior but I knew, I just knew that this cup had been emptied moments earlier. Gotta be the heat and that weird flashback thing that just happened was all that I could figure. My eyes once again turned to the stranger and I saw those same questioning eyes. "What makes you into such a person, this animal and nature lover that you have become" he asked. My reply to this would not come easy. It's that same question that I have asked my own self for years. Some answers are so difficult to put into words and this has always been most difficult. I'm not sure why but I felt a comfort sitting with this stranger. He reminded me of my father who passed on only a few years back. It was something in his eyes that made me decide to come up with an answer to his question. I stated to him that it might take a while with my explanation of why my feelings are so strong. I asked if he had time to listen. Seemingly in the voice of a father to a son he said "Son, I have all the time in the world to spend with you". His eyes changed now and the look told me that he was ready to listen and intent on hearing the answer. With a deep exhale I searched for the words.

It was ten years ago that my own story began. Although I had a fondness for some animals by no sense of the word could I have been called an animal or nature lover. Sure, I had pets in my life at times but they were easy to care for. We bonded just as any other people who would own pets would do. I gave to them at my convenience and enjoyed having them. I also grieved with any loss of a pet that I "owned". Any animal other than a pet had little purpose for me to care deeply about. I was busy, wrapped up in my own world. I enjoyed many pleasures in life, most being selfish and materialistic but I was content, or so I fooled myself into believing. I had no idea that there was another side of life or the deep emotions that could come with it. I do feel that I was a giving person but sometimes I wonder if even in those times that it was done at my own convenience. I enjoyed attention such as when showing off a new car or a new boat or anything that would draw special attention. In a way, that's what may have brought me into the wonderful world that I now live in. A new pet, something exotic, something unique would be really exciting and different. A little skunk entered my life.

This is when my eyes looked up at the stranger. The mention of having a skunk as a pet usually catches folks off guard which is continued by a crazed look on their faces. What I had said to him had no effect, only a slight lean forward to listen further so I continued. My first thoughts were how cool it was to have such a different type of animal for a pet. But, nobody told me beforehand just how different it could be. The little skunk was downright cute! His antics were totally different than anything I could have ever imagined. I showed him off every chance I got to everyone, so proud to have something so different. But through all of this I was learning about a different type of care that I must give. The little skunk was not as easy to care for as a dog or a cat. It required special diets. Preparing its meal wasn't as easy as sitting down a bowl of cat food or dog food. I quickly learned too about the attention my little skunk required. This was no animal that liked to be left alone and it would require much time to mold its personality. I too, was realizing that this was a different type of animal that what I had been accustomed to and plenty of patience was required. This would require sacrifices like I had never before given to anyone or anything else in my life. These things I gave and I noticed with each little bit I could sense a closeness forming between us. There was a training happening and not only was the skunk being trained but I was being trained as well. I look back on this now and know how love is formed. Each day I learned more about giving and learned that by doing so another can give back freely in return. We all long for that feeling of loving warmth and acceptance. It's an unconditional love that can more easily be found in animals. Animals live their lives striving for warmth and security and we as humans are the same way.

The truest feelings of love had crept up on me and this was realized a short time later. At this point a tear came to my eyes in remembering my little skunk. There was a time in my life that my tears were hidden but I had grown to be proud of them, never again feeling a need to hold them back. I was reliving the most difficult day of my life. A hand from the stranger found my shoulder which brought me great comfort. Somehow he knew the tremendous amount of sorrow that I felt and live with each day. With his hand still resting upon my shoulder I continued. My life had been changed by, of all things, a little skunk. Through this little one I had learned the value of life and how precious each breath we take can be. Love is a teaching experience that I feel every day. Through many years now, I’ve learned it from other animals, large and small, each being unique in its own special ways. I've nurtured through injury and sickness and I've felt unsurpassable joy in releasing many others back to where God intended. Each of these little ones have left an impression in my life, a warmth that is indescribable.

My head now once again leaned back and found the strength of the great oak tree that held me secure and my eyes closed only for a brief second. I had found in myself the meaning of love. The words that I speak could never describe the emotions in my heart. I opened my eyes and glanced over to the young sapling of the oak tree and thought of the wee little grasshopper. All aspects of nature have given meaning to my life. My eyes then turned towards the stranger, the one who had been so intent on listening. In complete silence he had left me. My eyes searched the yard and even out into the corn fields but he was not to be seen. I had enjoyed my chat with him, although I was the one who seemed to have done most of the talking. He had left me without so much as a simple goodbye. One last swallow of water I thought and I would head back to my task at the gate. I reached down amongst the roots to retrieve the cup and was flabbergasted. Sitting with a balance that only a little one such as this could muster, a chittery little fella rested on the brim of the cup. It was a grey squirrel taking one drink after another.

By now seeing this cup each time filled slightly over halfway with water, I was not surprised. I would think heavily about it later for sure. After a moment or so the little squirrel seemed to have his fill, turned his back to me, and after a few twitches of the tail he scurried up the oak tree. I would remember this little one throughout my entire life for he had a distinct feature about him. His front paw held a marking that brought those tiny little bumps to my skin, something unique that will always have a special place in my memories. One little black paw riding high on a leg. I lost sight of the little fella high up in the leaves but it wasn't due to a lack of trying to keep up with him.

Howdy! I danged near jumped from my skin as I heard the voice behind me. It was my neighbor and although pleased to hear his voice it was getting a bit late in the day and I knew his gate still needed attention. "Thank you, thank you, thank you" rang out in his voice. He hurriedly pulled me by the arm and we headed towards his gate. Just before I could spit out my apologies for being so lax I saw it. To my knees I went staring in disbelief. My neighbor swung the gate open and closed it back and forth, over and over again. A fresh coat of grey paint covered its exterior along with, you guessed it, one lone picket on the end painted black. "How can I ever repay you for such kindness" he asked me. Under normal circumstances my reply would have been nothing, nothing at all, but I gave thought for a quick second or two. I did have one thing that I desired.

On the mantle above my fireplace rests something of a reminder of a day that I'll never forget. To some it may look out of place, just a dirty old cup, but to me it's a symbol of all of the wonderful things in our world to appreciate. There's a love surrounding that cup, one that I can never quite find the right words in describing.

To this day, my cup is always slightly more than half full. It's been I reckon about twenty years since that day under the oak and I still stroll past from time to time especially in those hot days of summer. The mighty oak tree is still lending its shade to those who would venture underneath. A somewhat younger tree rests too, seemingly cradled in its branches, and there's an old tire hanging from a rope beneath it. I kinda reckon we've got some new neighbors with kids. And danged if I don't see an old gate needing just a wee bit of attention.

Unkie Milt





SOME TRICKS CAN BE HORRIFYING TO YOUR RECORD

By Paul Gilfillan, Social Security Manager, Meriden Ct

You’ll probably be passing out treats to costumed hobgoblins and ghosts in your neighborhood this Halloween night. But be cautious that you’re not tricked by a different kind of trickster looking for a handout, such as your personal information.

You should always safeguard your personal information such as date of birth, mother’s maiden name, and your Social Security number. Why? Because it’s that type of information identity thieves are after.

You may think you’re safe simply by not carrying your Social Security card with you and not providing your personal information over the Internet or by e-mail. But scam artists have become tricky. Never reply to an e-mail claiming to be from Social Security and asking for your Social Security number or personal information.

Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in America. If you think you’ve been the victim of an identity thief, you should contact the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft. Or you can call 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY 1-866-653-4261.

Another trick: Some people who receive Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are victimized by misleading advertisers. Often, these companies offer Social Security services for a fee, even though the same services are available directly from Social Security free of charge. These services include getting a: Corrected Social Security card showing a bride’s married name; Social Security card to replace a lost card; and Social Security number for a child.

If you receive or see what you believe is misleading advertising for Social Security services, send the complete mailing, including the envelope, to: Office of the Inspector General, Fraud Hotline, Social Security Administration, P.O. Box 17768, Baltimore, MD 21235. If you see misleading advertising online, you can report this information online at www.socialsecurity.gov/oig/guidelin.htm. Also, advise your State’s attorney general or consumer affairs office and the Better Business Bureau.

Learn more about identity theft at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10064.html. Read about misleading advertising at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10005.html.

Enjoy the treats of the season, but be cautious of tricksters trying to steal more than a sack of candy. The results of becoming the victim of identity theft can be horrifying. Protect your identifying information.





Why Use Coupons

With our crummy economy and the prices of food rising at an astonishing rate, the money most of us used to spend on food just doesn't cut it anymore. More of our weekly budget is being spent on food and toiletries as prices for these items rise. Using coupons is one of the easiest ways I've found to greatly reduce my food and toiletry budget, so I don't have to sacrifice or cut out items my family enjoys.

If you've never used them before, it may seem a daunting task to use coupons. Many people think couponing takes lots of time and energy. For busy people with jobs, kids, families, extra curricular activities and friends, this is time and energy they don't have. However, using coupons doesn't really have to take a lot of time or energy. By spending about one hour each week, you can save 50% or more on your food bill and never pay for toiletries again.

Using coupons has a lot of advantages. The most obvious advantage is paying less for your groceries. However, coupons can also be used to get many free items at the drug stores like toothpaste, deodorant, and over the counter medicines. Now that I use coupons, I rarely pay for health and beauty items. Because I'm spending less for my personal needs, I have more money to put toward other expenses or fun things for my family.

Another advantage of using coupons is how much you will be able to donate to your local food bank, soup kitchen, or homeless shelter. Before couponing, I would maybe toss a few non perishable items into a donation box a few times a year. Now that I get so many items for free or almost free, I make regular donations to a food bank twice a month. In 2010, I donated close to $3,000 in merchandise, and I'm hoping to beat that amount this year.

By using coupons I have been able to feed my family of five, keep my seven cats and one large dog in kibble, and provide all the health and beauty items my family needs for only $50 a week. What's more, my family eats well and we never sacrifice quality or quantity. We eat fillet mignon, lobster, and use brand name products. The trick is to know when these things are on sale and to use coupons whenever possible. In fact, I have found I can buy brand name products much cheaper than I can generics when I use coupons.

The most difficult part of using coupons is getting started. However, once you do, I can guarantee you'll never want to go back to not using coupons. The art of deal seeking, couponing, and seeing how little you can spend at the grocery and drug stores becomes a game most people enjoy playing again and again.





IN LOVING MEMORY OF WILLIAM T. BLAKESLEE (Bill)



WALLINGFORD - William T. Blakeslee (Bill), 52, of Wallingford, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011 at Yale New Haven Hospital.

He was born in Meriden, CT, on September 10, 1958, the son of Ronald Blakeslee, Sr., of Wallingford and the late Elaine Nitkowski and was predeceased by his grandmother, Irene Dittberner and his great uncle and aunt, Frank and Alma Hubert of Wallingford, who meant the world to him. He also leaves his stepmother, Rollande Blakeslee, and brother, Ken Blakeslee of Meriden; a brother, Ronald Blakeslee, Jr., of Wallingford; a sister, Linda (Blakeslee) Wilkinson and her husband, Neil; his two nephews, Evan and Garrett Wilkinson of Wallingford; and his dear companion, Fran Borden of East Haven.

Bill loved people and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with people from many backgrounds and cultures. For many years, he was a truck driver, a bartender, and enjoyed playing travel pool. During his teen age years, he spent a great deal of time playing in statewide chess tournaments for the Wallingford Boy’s Club and was a member of the swim team as well. He loved to do card tricks and to do hand stands throughout the neighborhood, he was quite the entertainer. Bill loved the beach, and he loved going to the gym to both train and to socialize. Bill was also an avid Red Sox fan and was able to make it up to Fenway Park recently to see a game. He also loved football and was an avid Green Bay Packer’s fan. Bill was politically active and enjoyed attending political events. Bill was able to share his love of sports with his nephew, Evan, by teaching him how to play chess and by playing baseball and football with him whenever he could. Bill’s enthusiasm, his love of sports, his love of people, and his sense of humor will be truly missed and those memories will be forever cherished.







I'm coming God,,,by a little skunk

My tummy is hurting and I don't know what I did to make it feel this way. As I lay here in my carrier bed I think back over the life that I've had. I can barely remember my Mommy and my baby sister. I was only with them for a few short weeks but their memories have been in my little heart for all this time. I still wonder what ever happened to them. I hope they are ok. One night I was taken away from them and put in a box and I have never seen them again. I miss them so much. I fell asleep and when I woke up, I was in a place with other animals but none of them were like me. I remember being so scared when humans came close to me and I hated to be touched. I was in a cage, alone, and I can remember being so hungry and thirsty all of the time. It sure felt like I was there for a long time. Every day, humans came to my cage and looked at me so I hid in the back corner as best I could.

Then one day, a lady human picked up my cage and took me out of that place. Next, I can remember being in a big room and my cage door opening. Two big humans and a little human were staring at me. I knew I wasn't coming out of that cage but when they put some pieces of doggie food close to my nose, I just had to get me some. I didn't mean to bite the human lady but I was so hungry. She yelled at me so I ran an hid under a big long chair. They grabbed at me and kept chasing me until they had me. I was so scared and bit the other big human on his arm. They put me back in my cage and that's where I stayed for a long, long time. The little human seemed nice to me sometimes and he seemed to always keep my doggie food bowl full for me and I always had fresh water to drink. Then, one day I managed to get out of my cage. The little human finally found me under his bed and tried to grab me so I bit him hard. Then I heard lots of yelling and I remember running so fast but eventually I was thrown back into my cage. It hurt to be thrown like that. My back leg has always hurt a little when I have tried to run. Those humans never let me out of that cage again. I kinda got used to it being that way though. I began getting very fat and I couldn't walk so good anymore. It didn't matter though. It's not like I had some place to go.

Then, one day another human picked up my cage and took me out of that place. Once again, I found myself in a big room. Two humans were staring at me again. My door opened but I knew better than to leave the security of my cage. After a few minutes, I smelled food but it wasn't like any food I had ever smelled. The humans were far away from me on the other side of the room so I checked it out just outside of my cage door. The food didn't taste as good as my dog food but it was ok because I was just so hungry. While I was eating, the humans moved closer to me but moved slowly and for some peculiar reason, I wasn't as scared of them as with the other humans. I finished my food and ran back into my cage. I remember that after a while, I came back out and the humans were sitting so far away that I ran under a big shelf thingie. The humans didn't move. I then decided to explore this big room but not to get too close to the humans. Then, all of a sudden, I was grabbed up and in some big arms. I was so scared and it brought back so many bad memories. I knew this human had a good grip on me so I just tried to hide in his arms. I know I must have been shaking but after a few minutes, my body just kinda relaxed. It actually felt good to be held like this. After a little while, I fell asleep.

The next thing I knew, I was being put gently back on the floor. I ran as fast as I could back to my bed but I didn't feel so scared like I was before. My cage door was left open and I can't remember it ever being closed again, ever. Every day after that, things seemed to get better for me. Both humans would sneak up on me and hold me in their arms a whole bunch. I really liked it a lot! Soon, I began thinking of them as my Mommy and My Daddy. I still missed my own mommy but something happened that just made me want to be with these two humans all of the time. They played with me on the floor, gave me food and I even got some yummy treats too. Sometimes, I would even get to go outside in a big yard to dig holes and stomp at everything. I even caught my own crickets! Mommy and Daddy made a ramp for me so I could get up into the big bed with them too. Every night, for a long time now, I have slept in both of their arms. I have tried to let them take turns. I could easily tell that they loved me and I could feel it all of the time. Instead of running from them now, I was always begging to be picked up and held. I really liked it! After a while, I finally lost a whole bunch of my weight and my body began to feel lots better. I was just so happy!!! Every day was just so much fun and I love my Mommy and Daddy!!!

Then, just a short time back, my body started to hurt. The food they were giving me just didn't look so good or smell good either. I didn't want to eat because it made me hurt even worse. My back leg hurts too now and it hurts when I walk. My Mommy and Daddy took me to a nice man to do strange things to me but I still don't feel good. Sometimes when they hold me now, I get wet because of tears falling out of their eyes. I am scared. I can feel my body slipping away from me. I know that one day soon, I won't be here with Mommy and Daddy no more. I just hope they know how much I love them both. They have given me all that I could have ever asked for in this life. I have felt love beyond my wildest dreams. I have been cared for and fed all of the best things for me to eat. My days with them have been filled with happiness. I hope they know this and will stop getting me all wet. I feel in my little heart that I will be going to a place to one day see my real Mommy and my sister again. It's time for me to be brave. I am going to put my tail up one last time as Mommy is holding me in her arms. I'm coming God. Thank you for giving me such a good Mommy and Daddy and making my life so happy. Please open the doors for me.













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