November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving ~ Thoughts on ‘Giving Thanks’

We wish all our readers a very Happy Thanksgiving and are pleased today to republish an article that Linda Ahnert first wrote for us to celebrate Thanksgiving in 2007.

Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving?

Giving thanks_bookA few years ago, a book entitled “Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving Recipes and History, from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie” was published.  The co-authors are Kathleen Curtin, food historian at the Plimoth Plantation, Mass., and Sandra L. Oliver, food historian and publisher of the newsletter “Food History News.”

The book is a fascinating look at how an autumnal feast evolved into a “quintessential American holiday.”

Most Americans, introduced to the story of the Pilgrims and Indians during childhood, assume there is a direct link between the traditional holiday menu and the first Thanksgiving.  But we learn from the book that many of those food items—such as mashed potatoes and apple pie—were simply impossible in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621.  Potatoes were not introduced to New England until much later and those first settlers did not yet have ovens to bake pies.

What we do know about the bill of fare at the first celebration in 1621 comes from a letter written by colonist Edward Winslow to a friend in England:  “Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors.”

Later 90 Indians joined the party with “their great king Massasoit whom for three days we entertained and feasted.”  Then the Indians “went out and killed five deer which they brought to the plantation.”

So venison was a principal food on the menu.  It also seems safe to assume that mussels, clams, and lobsters (all in plentiful supply) were served as well.   According to other journals of the colonists, the “fowl” that Winslow described were probably ducks and geese.  But wild turkeys were also bountiful in 1621, and so it is very likely that they were on the Pilgrims’ table.  Thank goodness for that.

Throughout the New England colonies, it became common to proclaim a day of thanksgiving sometime in the autumn.  In period diaries, there are many descriptions of food preparation—such as butchering and pie baking—followed by the notation that “today was the general thanksgiving.”

By the 19th century, Americans were taking the idea of a “thanksgiving” to a whole new level.  The religious connotations were dropping away in favor of a holiday celebrating family and food.  Roast turkey had become the centerpiece of these fall celebrations.

Turkeys, of course, were native to North America.  (Benjamin Franklin, in a letter, had even proposed the turkey as the official U.S. bird!)  And turkey was considered to be a fashionable food back in the mother country.  Just think of the significance of turkey in Charles’ Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”  When Scrooge wakes up in a joyful mood on Christmas morning, he calls to a boy in the street to deliver the prize turkey in the poulterer’s shop to the Cratchit family.  (Earlier in the story, the poor Cratchits were dining on goose.)

It is thanks to a New England woman that Thanksgiving became an American holiday.  Sarah Hale was a native of New Hampshire and the editor of “Godey’s Lady’s  Book,”  a popular women’s magazine.  She lobbied for years for a national observance of Thanksgiving.  She wrote editorials and sent letters to the president, all state governors, and members of Congress.

Finally, in 1863, she convinced Abraham Lincoln that a national Thanksgiving Day might help to unite the Civil War-stricken country.   The fourth Thursday in November was now officially on the American calendar.

Connecticut’s own Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote this description of a New England Thanksgiving in one of her novels—“But who shall . . .describe the turkey, and chickens, and chicken pies, with all that endless variety of vegetables which the American soil and climate have contributed to the table . . . After the meat came the plum-puddings, and then the endless array of pies. . .”

The autumnal feast became a national holiday, but each region of the country put its own spin on the menu.   Not to mention that immigrants have also added diversity.  The result is a true “melting pot” of America.  The second half of “Giving Thanks” contains recipes that reflect what Americans eat for Thanksgiving in the 21st century.

In the South, for instance, the turkey might be stuffed with cornbread and there would be pecan and sweet potato pies on the table.  In New Mexico, chiles and Southwestern flavors may be added to the stuffing.

There’s the “time-honored traditional bread stuffing” recipe.  There’s also one for a Chinese American rice dressing and directions for a Cuban turkey stuffed with black beans and rice.  Desserts run the gamut from an (authentic) Indian pudding to an (exotic) coconut rice pudding.  Old-fashioned pumpkin pie is included as well as the newfangled pumpkin cheesecake.

But no matter what food items grace our Thanksgiving tables, it seems that we all end up stuffing ourselves silly.  Perhaps overeating started at that very first harvest celebration in 1621.  In Edward Winslow’s letter describing the feast with the Indians, he noted that food was not always this plentiful. But he wrote his friend in England “ … yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”


Town Hall Closings for the Thanksgiving Holiday

Old Lyme Town Hall offices and the Transfer Station will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 27 and 28, for the Thanskgiving holiday.

The Transfer Station on Four Mile River Rd. will be open on Saturday.

Thursday’s trash and recycling will be picked up on Friday, Nov. 28.


Letter to the Editor: A Thanksgiving Thank You to the Town for Help Finding Lost Dog

To the Editor:

I wanted to post a thank you to all the residents in your town for their help finding my lost dog Lily.  Moreover, I want to let everyone know she has been found and is doing well.

I saw so many people, but didn’t know their name, or where they live.  There were police officers, town highway workers etc.

I want to let them know how much they touched our hearts.


Cathleen Andrew,


Artisan Fair This Saturday at Florence Griswold Museum Celebrates ‘Small Business Saturday’

Absinthine jewelry by Michaelle Pearson will be on sale in the Museum Shop on Saturday.

Absinthine jewelry by Michaelle Pearson will be on sale in the Museum Shop on Saturday.

It’s ‘Small Business Saturday’ this coming Saturday, Nov. 29, and the Florence Griswold Museum is celebrating by hosting an Artisan Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. i the Museum Shop.  All the items for sale are “Crafted in Connecticut.”  

Click here to see information on some of the vendors.


Old Lyme-Valley Warriors Complete Perfect Season

The Old Lyme-Valley football team trounced Haddam-Killingworth 49-7 to win the Principal’s Cup and complete their second sequential unbeaten season.

Congratulations, Warriors … and now on to the play-offs!

Click here to read a full report by Ned Griffen and published in The Day today or this article on by Jimmy Zanor:  Football: Valley Regional/Old Lyme caps perfect regular season or view video footage of the game by Tim Devlin.


Bye, Bye Beavers? Rodents Raise a Ruckus in Essex

Beavers are causing a bit of bother in Essex.

Beavers are causing a bit of bother in Essex.

There’s a small storm brewing in our near-neighbor Essex about – of all things – beavers!  The Essex Conservation Commission voted unanimously at a Nov. 6 meeting to pursue the possible lethal trapping  of beavers in a pond at Viney Brook Park.  The proposed trapping, which would be carried out by a state licensed trapper who had worked with the commission previously, has drawn an outcry from Essex residents.

As a result of complaints to the Essex Board of Selectmen, the conservation commission will now discuss the trapping at its next regular meeting on Dec. 4.  The meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Essex Town Hall.

Click here to read our sister online newspaper, which is packed with Letters to the Editor on the subject.


You Have Been Warned! Old Lyme PD Participating in ‘Click It or Ticket’ This Holiday Season

With the 2014 holiday travel period fast approaching, Connecticut’s law enforcement agencies intend to promote safe driving and increase the protection of all motorists.

Law enforcement officials are out on Connecticut’s roads enforcing the State Occupant Protection laws and issuing citations to those who are unbuckled.  The Old Lyme Town Police are participating in this “Click it or Ticket” campaign.


Christ the King Hosts Annual, Ecumenical, Community Thanksgiving Service

The annual Community Service of Thanksgiving, sponsored by the churches of Lyme and Old Lyme, will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 25, at Christ the King Church.
All are welcome to attend this ecumenical service of prayer and song, which will feature music by the choirs of First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, St. Ann Episcopal Church, and Christ the King Church. Clergy from the various faith communities will participate, as will lay members and community leaders.
Fr. Joseph Ashe, pastor of Christ the King Church, said that there are two reasons to hold this service: “At this time of year, as we gather with family and friends to share meals and joyous times together, we should take a moment to reflect and give thanks for all the gifts that have been bestowed on us.” But at the same time, he added, “We also need to keep in mind the many people in our world, and right here in southeastern Connecticut, who have no family, no job, no food on the table, or even a roof over their heads. It’s our reality check.”
An offering will be taken up during the service to benefit the New London Homeless Hospitality Center, and donations of nonperishable foods will be collected for the Shoreline Food Pantry, to help our neighbors in need.
The 2014 Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service takes place at Christ the King Church, 1 McCurdy Road, Old Lyme, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 25.  Everyone, regardless of religious affiliation, is welcome to attend.
For more information, visit

Last Day to Donate to Old Lyme PD Holiday Food Drive

food_drive_clipartThe Old Lyme Town Police Officers will still receive non-perishable donations to their annual Holiday Food Drive through Nov. 25 at the Old Lyme Police Department, 294 Shore Rd.  All food donated will be forwarded to the Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau, Lymes’ Senior Center and the Town of Old Lyme Social Services.



Old Lyme Selected for Cutting Edge Solar Program, Kick off Workshop to be Held Dec. 4

solar_panelsThe Town of Old Lyme has been selected to participate in a cutting-edge solar program that makes going solar easy and affordable.   Solarize Old Lyme is part of the ground breaking residential solar program administered by the Connecticut Green Bank (formerly known as the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority) through a partnership with SmartPower.

In addition to a robust on-the-ground outreach campaign, Solarize Old Lyme will also incorporate a unique on-line “solar marketplace.”  Similar to various travel web sites such as Kayak or Expedia, will become a valuable tool for residents to receive bids from local pre-screened solar installers and request site visits from installers that offer the best prices for their homes.

The Solarize Old Lyme program will kick off with a workshop on Thursday, Dec. 4, in the Memorial Town Hall at 7 p.m., where residents can learn about the program and be introduced to the new online solar marketplace that makes going solar convenient and affordable.

During the kick off workshop, residents will also have a chance to learn about the many flexible financing options available, including a no-money-down option. The Town of Old Lyme will join 14 other communities in Phase 5 of Solarize ConnecticutSM with a goal to more than double the amount of solar currently in Old Lyme over the 18-week program.  Over 40 communities have already participated in Solarize campaigns, resulting in over 2,000 homeowners signing contracts for solar.

Solarize is an increasingly popular program that increases residential solar through a proven formula.  It relies on an on-the-ground outreach campaign that helps educate consumers while at the same time creating awareness and walks the consumer all the way from awareness about solar to actually purchasing it.

Old Lyme’s First Selectman, Bonnie Reemsnyder comments, “I’m very excited that Old Lyme will be participating in such a worthwhile program as Solarize Connecticut.  It’s a great opportunity for all our residents, but especially those who have always wanted to “go solar”. The online portal allows easy access to information and estimates for individual homes.  Old Lyme has a proud tradition of taking advantage of environmentally friendly programs and I look forward a great partnership with Solarize CT.”

“CT Green Bank is extremely proud of what we have been able to achieve through the Solarize program.  We continue to see our financing tools and the Solarize model bringing down the cost of solar and making it affordable for more and more homeowners throughout Connecticut,” stated Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the CT Green Bank.  “We expect to achieve similar success as we begin the next phase of this innovative program with the participation of Old Lyme’s leaders and their dedicated volunteers.”

Residents who are interested in learning more about Solarize Old Lyme are urged to attend the solar workshop on Thursday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. in Memorial Town Hall in the large Meeting Hall.  In order to participate in the benefits offered through the program, residents must sign a contract by April 10, 2015.

Old Lyme’s Solarize campaign is fortunate to have a dedicated group of volunteers led by Jean Dailey.  More information about Solarize Old Lyme can be found by visiting


Tribal Crafts Annual Holiday Sale Continues at Weekend in Old Lyme

Hide Painting by Travis Harden

Hide Painting by featured artist Travis Harden

Tribal Crafts Inc., will hold its annual holiday sale each weekend through Dec. 14.  Storefront hours are Saturdays 10 am to 6 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 86 Halls Rd. in the Old Lyme Marketplace (next to Rob Rivers Salon).

Assorted Lakota crafts and jewelry

Assorted Lakota crafts and jewelry

The non-profit organization is based out of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL) and the sale of items directly benefits Lakota artists and crafters of the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota.

The Lakota people face immense challenges on the reservation. According to 2010 census data, Ziebach County, which makes up the majority of the Cheyenne River Reservation, is America’s poorest county with unemployment estimates of above 75 percent.

Reservation life is about daily survival.  Being able to help by way of Tribal Crafts is a vital part of the organization’s mission.  Not only does Tribal Crafts affirm and celebrate the beautiful traditional crafts for which the Lakota are known, but it is also an important source of financial assistance.

The featured artist this year is Travis Harden:  among his items are paintings on hide, paper and pottery.  Harden also crafts jewelry from buffalo horn and elk bone and inlays it with turquoise, yellow sandstone and pipestone Harden says it is not always easy to sell artwork on the Reservation.  “When you know Tribal Crafts is coming, you know they’ll be buying from you and that could be your rent for the month,” notes Harden, referring to the annual trip made by representatives of Tribal Crafts and FCCOL.  The church and the people of Cheyenne River will celebrate 30 years of partnership in 2015.

In recent years, Tribal Crafts has also sold the work of Haitian artists affiliated with The Crosby Fund for Haitian Education, a program with strong ties to FCCOL. Other items on sale include hand-made silver and beaded jewelry, vibrant Haitian paintings and sculptures, dream catchers, quilts, purses and more.

Necklaces by featured artist Travis Harden, who will be in the store Nov. 22, 23.

Necklaces by featured artist Travis Harden, who will be in the store Nov. 22, 23.

To learn more, visit
Like Tribal Crafts on Facebook at
Visit Tribal Crafts’ online shop at


Commission a Poem to Support ‘Reach Out and Read CT’

Tish Rabe

Tish Rabe

Tish Rabe, the best-selling author of over 160 children’s books including the popular Dr. Seuss, Cat In the Hat Learning Library, is partnering with Reach Out and Read Connecticut in support of their mission – to prepare disadvantaged children for academic success.  Rabe is generously donating her time and her talents to create customized poems that celebrate the special moments in life including anything from the birth of a child to a retirement.

These poems are available for the public to purchase for $50 with 100% of the proceeds going to Reach Out and Read Connecticut.  The poems are called “Magical Milestones” and can be purchased at  The partners hope to raise $10,000 during the holiday season.

“I’m having fun creating original poems for families that they can enjoy for years to come.” said Ms. Rabe, a resident of Mystic, CT.  “I am a passionate supporter of early childhood literacy and know how important it is to get a free book into the hands of every low-income child in Connecticut.  I am happy to do whatever I can to make that happen.”

Focusing on low-income families, Reach Out and Read is a national organization that partners with medical providers to develop critical early reading skills in children as well as support healthy brain and social/emotional development.  Reach Out and Read is far more than a book give-a-way program.  By leveraging the unique relationship between parents and medical providers, the program is able to positively change parental behavior and increase parent involvement in their children’s lives – a critical lever linked to the educational, emotional, physical, and social health of children.

“The Reach Out and Read model provides parents with personalized, age-appropriate advice about books and reading at every well-child visit from 6 months to 5 years, along with the gift of a new developmentally and culturally appropriate books.  Books are used by the medical provider at the beginning of the visit during developmental surveillance, and as a vehicle to offer concrete guidance to parents.  Armed with this guidance, parents make reading aloud a part of their daily routines,” said Dr. Catherine Wiley, Connecticut Medical Director for Reach Out and Read Connecticut.

She continues, “Among the many anticipatory guidance items medical providers have on their checklist, Reach Out and Read has the best evidence base.  Reach Out and Read is the only anticipatory guidance activity proven to promote child development.  When you participate in Reach Out and Read, you address a critical need with a successful model.  Children served by Reach Out and Read are read to more often, have better expressive and receptive language skills and are better prepared for success in school.”  Dr. Wiley, who practices at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, brought Reach Out and Read to Connecticut in the early 90’s and continues to champion the program.

“We are thrilled to be working with Rabe on this new endeavor and to have her as part of our Connecticut Advisory Board,” said Christine Garber, Connecticut Executive Director for Reach Out and Read.  “Her “Love You, Hug You, Read to You” book is fabulous and has been well received by our medical providers and families.  We are privileged to have such a creative and enthusiastic person supporting our mission.”

There are 70 Reach Out and Read programs throughout Connecticut predominately at community health centers, clinics and hospitals.  Their team of nearly 300 medical providers distribute close to 70,000 new children’s books each year.  Nearly 40,000 children and families receive the Reach Out and Read model in Connecticut.

“Research shows that if you partner with parents and intervene in the first five years of life, you can dramatically improve the early literacy skills of a child, putting them on the track for success in school and in life,” said Garber.  “Childhood development experts tell us that the most important thing that parents can do to prepare their children to succeed in school is to read aloud to them every day. “

The Reach Out and Read model is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the program has one of the strongest records of research support of any primary care intervention.  In a significant milestone earlier this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a policy statement which, for the first time ever, formally recommends that pediatricians incorporate into every well-child visit both books and advice about reading, referencing Reach Out and Read as an effective intervention.  This is a significant step for both the organization and early literacy efforts.

Nationally, Reach Out and Read doctors and nurses distribute over 6.5 million books to more than 4 million children and their families annually at 5,000 pediatric practices, hospitals, clinics and health centers in all 50 states.  More than 20,000 medical providers nationwide currently participate in Reach Out and Read.

For more information, visit and


Two Exhibitions ~ Deck the Walls, Celebrating Lyme’s Beauty ~ on View at Lyme Art Association

The signature painting (above) for 'Deck the Walls' this year is ' Symphony of Light in Mountain and Trees' in oil by Faripour Forouhar.

The signature painting (above) for ‘Deck the Walls’ this year is ‘ Symphony of Light in Mountain and Trees’ in oil by Faripour Forouhar.

An opening reception for the Lyme Art Association’s annual Deck the Walls holiday show was held Friday evening.  Over 100 original works of art by member artists are on display and priced to sell as holiday gifts.  Also on view is Celebrating Lyme’s Beauty, a special exhibition of paintings showcasing the natural splendor of the Lyme-Old Lyme landscape.  Both exhibitions are on view through Jan. 3, 2015.

Joseph Newman, Executive Director of the Lyme Art Association, notes, “The Deck the Walls exhibition offers patrons and art lovers from throughout Connecticut and New England an opportunity to view and buy exceptional representational art at prices which make meaningful gift-giving easy.” He continues, “And this year, we’re thrilled to add Celebrating Lyme’s Beauty, an exceptional showcase of the local landscape created during a two-day ‘paint-out’ hosted by the Lyme Land Conservation Trust earlier this autumn.”

Lyme Art Association Member Artists of all levels (Individual, Associate and Elected) are invited to enter the Deck the Walls juried exhibition.

The Lyme Art Association is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. and is located at 90 Lyme Street in Old Lyme, at the corner of Halls Road.

The Lyme Art Association was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Lyme Art Association is located in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within Old Lyme’s Historic District.

Admission is free with contributions appreciated. For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802 or visit


Courtney Comments on Obama Speech

Tonight, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2) released the following statement after President Obama’s speech outlining the planned implementation of the Immigration Accountability Executive Actions.

“It has been 511 days since the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill which would stabilize the broken immigration system, reduce the federal budget deficit, and—according to the Congressional Budget Office—grow the U.S. economy.”

“Despite calls by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Farm Bureau, and faith-based groups of all stripes, Speaker Boehner has refused for more than a year to allow even a debate on this measure, of which I am a cosponsor. The President’s temporary executive order adheres to past precedent regarding immigration, and should act as a spur to Congressional action – not further obstruction.”


Cooley Gallery Kicks Off Season with Annual Holiday Exhibition

Let the holiday season begin!

The Cooley Gallery has announcd the opening of their annual holiday exhibition All Paintings Great and Small featuring historic and contemporary works of art 12″ in size or smaller.  For many in the area this annual exhibition, in its 27th year, has become an undisputed kick-off to the holiday season with a celebratory opening the Thursday before Thanksgiving.

More than 60 artists from around New England, with a concentration of works by artists in Connecticut, participate in this annual show.  Many well-known artists return to The Cooley Gallery in addition to several newly discovered talents showing for the first time.

As in years past, All Paintings Great and Small offers a wide range of subjects and media carefully chosen by the staff at the gallery.  Jeff Cooley notes, “Everyone gets involved in everything around here but especially with this exhibition: suggesting artists and choosing their favorites.  Lorre Broom, our gallery manager, orchestrates the logistics and Nancy Pinney, our website guru, makes sure the images are perfect and gets it all posted in time for people to get a start on their holiday shopping.”

Among the historic and contemporary paintings there will also be unique items in other media like fine jewelry by Linda Kindler Priest and Katharine Walker, sculptures by Michael McLaughlin and Dan Potter, and glasswork by Ludwig F. Ostfeld and Mundy Hepburn.

Three of the four galleries at 25 Lyme Street are hung “salon-style” with multiples from floor to ceiling, and a wealth of varied artwork.  Prices range from the low hundreds on up giving collectors at all levels a chance to acquire some truly wonderful original works of art.

The other exhibition in the back gallery features recent acquisitions, paintings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The show begins on Nov. 21 at The Cooley Gallery, 25 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT with an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m.  All Paintings Great and Small runs through January 11, 2014.

Located in downtown Old Lyme, The Cooley Gallery makes it an ideal spot to enjoy among the best of American art while celebrating the season with a great New England tradition.

Founded in 1981 and located in the heart of historic Old Lyme, the Cooley Gallery specializes in fine American paintings from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, including the Hudson River School, American Impressionism, and select contemporary artists.

Regular gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Call (860) 434-8807 or visit for additional information.


Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center Hosts Holiday House Tour, Dec. 6

Boxwood Manor.  This photo by James Meehan is featured in the Old Lyme Historical Society's 2014 Now & Then' calendar.

A photo of Boxwood Manor by James Meehan.  This expansive property on Lyme Street is featured not only on the ‘Homes for the Holiday’s’ tour, but also in the Old Lyme Historical Society’s 2014 Now & Then’ calendar.

The Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center (OLCLC) presents “Homes for the Holidays” House Tour of Old Lyme on Saturday, Dec. 6.  The tour begins at Old Lyme Town Hall, located at 52 Lyme Street, and will feature a Holiday Boutique from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The self-guided House Tour will run from 12 to 4 p.m. and will spotlight six beautifully decorated Old Lyme village homes, including historic Boxwood, featuring a holiday performance by the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Select Singers.

Advance tickets are available for $25 by mail by visiting or in person at OLCLC (57 Lyme Street, Old Lyme); Nightingale’s Café (68 Lyme Street); The Chocolate Shell (18 Lyme Street); Salon Pure (11 Halls Road, Old Lyme); and Homeworks (711 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook). Tickets the day of the event are $30.

The tour will be held rain, snow or shine.

Proceeds will benefit OLCLC enrichment programs.

Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center is a non-profit accredited early childhood school and child care center.

For more information, visit or call (860) 434-1728 ext. 1.


Nature Conservancy Holds Deer Hunt at Lyme’s Selden Creek Preserve to Support Deer Management Program

deer-290x300The Nature Conservancy is coordinating a deer hunt at the Conservancy’s Selden Creek Preserve in Lyme starting Wednesday, Nov. 19 and continuing  through Wednesday, Dec. 31; however, the preserve will not be closed because the hunting area is safely separated from the part of the preserve with public trails.

The Conservancy is also coordinating a hunt at the Burnham Brook Preserve in East Haddam during the same timeframe.  The Preserve will be closed to public access during that period.

The goal of the hunts is to reduce the negative impacts of forest overbrowse in these important habitats, restore balance and foster regeneration.

Safety for the hunters and neighbors of the preserves is a top priority for the Conservancy. Signs will be posted at Burnham Brook Preserve informing visitors the preserve is closed during the hunting season, and neighbors have been notified that hunting will take place. At both preserves, the hunters involved have been hunting together for many years and have hunted on the land before.

Deer overbrowsing impacts forest regeneration, wildflowers and the shrub layer.  This not only affects the health of the forest but also the animals that depend on it.  Birds that nest and feed on or near the ground have lost the groundcover necessary for protection from predators as well as sources of food.

Managed hunting is believed to be an effective tool that can reduce deer populations and curb the damage deer cause, allowing native natural communities, plants and trees to recover their full vigor and diversity.


Town of Old Lyme Seeks Volunteers to Serve on Boards, Commissions

A number of vacancies for volunteers exist on the Town of Old Lyme’s Boards and Commissions.

If you are interested in serving, complete a Request for Appointment form and return it to the Selectman’s Office ( by the end of this month.

The Town’s Boards and Commissions are established and regulated by State Statute and/or Town Ordinance.  In most cases, members must be electors in the Town of Old Lyme.  Balanced representation from major political parties on each board is also required.

Boards with current vacancies include:

Conservation Commission

Economic Development Commission

Flood & Erosion Control Board

Inland Wetlands Commission

Inland Wetlands Hearing Panel

Open Space Commission

Pension Committee

Planning Commission

Tree Commission


Zoning Commission


High Hopes Hosts Annual Holiday Market Today

Last year's Holiday Market at High Hopes drew huge crowds.

Last year’s Holiday Market at High Hopes drew huge crowds.

High Hopes hosts its annual Holiday Market this Sunday, Nov. 16, from 12 to 4 p.m. at their location at 36 Town Woods Road in Old Lyme.  For one afternoon, the High Hopes arena in Old Lyme will be transformed into a marketplace with something for everyone.  Start your holiday shopping at more than 50 vendors selling crafts, jewelry, gourmet foods and more, perfect for starting off your holiday shopping.

Hungry?  Stroll outside and visit the “hottest” area food trucks including the Whey StationRolling TomatoTaco PacificoFour Mile River FarmMunchies Food TruckFlanders Fish MarketFryborg,and Meriano’s Bakery and Cannoli Truck.   Meanwhile, keep the family entertained with games, arts and crafts and face painting.

To observe Veteran’s Day, High Hopes will be offering showings of a new short documentary Riding My Way Back, the heartwarming story of a veteran and the relationship with a horse that changed his life.  This half hour documentary chronicles the powerful healing of therapeutic riding for one soldier after he returns from multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  High Hopes is one of 110 screenings that will be held around the country during Veteran’s Week.

Activities for the kids, hay rides by Fox Glove Farm for all ages to enjoy and live music by The Brazen Youth (Nick Lussier and Charles Dahlke) round out this afternoon of fun.  Prior albums by The Brazen Youth (under their former name The Company) titled Elysiumand Something About Broken Records  have ranked in the top 200 Singer/Songwrtier albums on iTunes and have placed the group in the top 100 Rock Artists on Reverbnation.  Their new album, New Life, is due out this Winter.

Admission is free with a non-perishable food donation to the Shoreline Soup Kitchens. At last year’s Holiday Market, over 2,300 pounds of food were collected just in time for Thanksgiving.

And don’t forget to try your luck with great raffle and door prizes including a durable John Deere Gator, a Samsung 60′ HDTV with wifi, two tickets to the hit Broadway play, Kinky Boots with an overnight stay at NYC’s Penn Club, and a pair of Justin cowboy books from Southern Exposure.

For more information and a full listing of vendors, call (860) 434-1974 or visit


‘Say Goodnight, Gracie’ at Ivoryton Playhouse Features George Burns’ Life, Laughter, Love

Bruce Connelly plays the indomitable George Burns. (Photographer: Rose Picarelli)

Bruce Connelly plays the indomitable George Burns in ‘Say Goodnight, Gracie.’  (Photographer: Rose Picarelli)

Ivoryton favorite Bruce Connelly is currently performing at the Playhouse in the hit Broadway show, Say Goodnight, Gracie.  This tour de force invites you to spend an hilarious, heart-warming evening in the uplifting company of the world’s favorite and funniest centenarian, George Burns, who spanned 100 years of American entertainment history.

Say Goodnight, Gracie was Broadway’s third longest running solo performance show and nominated for a 2003 Tony Award for Best Play and won the 2003-04 National Broadway Theatre Award also for Best Play.

In Say Goodnight, Gracie, George Burns looks back upon his impoverished, plucky youth on the lower East Side of New York … his disastrous but tenacious career in Vaudeville … the momentous day when he met a talented, young Irish girl named Grace Ethel Cecile Rosalie Allen … their instant chemistry, with his flawless timing a perfect mate to her dizzy delivery … his wooing of her, their marriage and their rise to the pinnacles of Vaudeville, movies, radio and television.

Gracie’s demise forced George to start from square one in life and in his career, in which he eventually achieved an equal level of success as a solo raconteur and Academy Award-winning actor.

Say Goodnight, Gracie was written by multiple Tony Award-winning playwright Rupert Holmes, whose Broadway credits include the Tony Award-winning musical The Mystery Of Edwin Drood and who is also creator and writer of the nostalgic Emmy Award-winning comedy series Remember WENN.

Connelly* appeared most recently at the Ivoryton Playhouse as Jim in the summer production All Shook Up.  Notable roles include Barney Cashman in Last Of The Red Hot Lovers, Max Bialystock in The Producers, Felix Unger in The Odd Couple, Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and Finian in Finian’s Rainbow.

Since 1993, Connelly has played Barkley, Jim Henson’s Muppet dog on Sesame Street for which he has been honored 15 times by the National Academy of Television and Radio at the Daytime Emmy Awards.

Say Goodnight, Gracie is a tender, funny, life-affirming love story … a personal guided tour through an American century in the company of George Burns, a man who laughingly lived and loved each day for all it had to offer, until he finally went “gently into that good night” to forever reunite with his beloved Gracie.

Say Goodnight, Gracie runs through Sunday, Nov. 16.  Directed by Michael McDermott, the set design is by Dan Nischan, lighting by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Kari Crowther.

Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.  Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity
Sponsored by Clark Corporation and Essex Meadows