August 22, 2014

Lyme Garden Club Unveils Landscape Plans for Town Building Project

Landscape plan for the Lyme Center Campus designed by Sarah McCracken.

Landscape plan for the Lyme Center Campus designed by Sarah McCracken.

LGC Logo_page_1The residents of Lyme have been eagerly watching the renovation of their town hall and the building of the new library over the last year; however, during the excitement of construction, the Lyme Garden Club has been quietly working on an often overlooked finishing touch for any building project, the landscaping.  They have been coordinating with town groups, businesses, and individuals, but the landscaping plans have only recently been made public.

The landscaping project began a little over a year ago when Steve Mattson, Lyme Selectman and Building Committee member, approached the Lyme Garden Club with a request for help – the project budget only allowed for grading and seeding the site.  The club members quickly agreed to take on the project, and they formed a committee to lead the effort.

One of the first steps the committee took was to hire Lyme resident and landscape architect, Sarah McCracken.  McCracken has broad domestic and international experience.  Locally, she has worked with numerous homeowners and at St. Ann’s Church in Old Lyme and the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.  “Sarah has done an amazing job,” said committee chair, Mary Ann Kistner.  “We could never pay her enough for all the work she has put into the project.”

old shovel stuck in the groundThe final design is simple, yet elegant, and fits into the Lyme aesthetic.  It covers the landscaping of both buildings as well as the development of the new town green that will be created when the old library is demolished.  Making use of grasses that don’t have to be mowed and hardy plants, the grounds will be easy to maintain and, by necessity, deer resistant.  The front of the library will be planted in an herb garden in recognition of much loved former club member, Betty Cleghorn, and of the library herb garden that the Lyme Garden Club has maintained for years.

Planting will be done in phases to take advantage of ideal planting seasons and as needed funds are raised.  So far, people have been generous with plant donations, and two local landscape companies have volunteered manpower and machinery.  The Garden Club is currently looking for donors to sponsor the planting of a tree at the donation level of $500 per tree.  “We have ten tree donors so far,” said Kistner, “but we need six more.  And of course there are many other ways people can contribute.”   Interested donors should contact Mary Ann Kistner by email at  or at 860-526-3621.

To view the Lyme Town Campus landscape plans online, go to the project blog at  There will be a link on the right sidebar.   Copies will also be on display at the Lyme Town Hall and the Lyme Public Library.

Editor’s Note: If you would like more information about the Lyme Town Campus project, contact Janis Witkins at 860 304-3318 or at  For information about the Lyme Garden Club, contact Mary Ann Kistner at 860-526-3621 or at


Concert/Vigil for Gaza to be Held Tonight at Old Lyme Church

Michael Dabroski

Michael Dabroski

This eveningAug. 19, at 7 p.m., a concert/vigil for Gaza will be held at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme

Michael Dabroski, a concert violinist, will play an original composition in honor of the people of Gaza who have suffered so much tragic loss.  This composition and some classical selections will be interspersed with moments of silence, prayers and readings. 

There is a suggested donation at the door (optional).  Children are free.  There will a collection gathered as well. 

All proceeds will benefit ‘The Middle East Children’s Alliance,’ which is actively working in Gaza.


‘Spark a Reaction’ at the Old Lyme Library This Afternoon

The Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library will host a ‘Spark A Reaction’ science program this afternoon at 2:35 p.m.   Join Miss Alex for a new science experiment for teens every third Monday of the summer.  This week the task will be to make your own motor.

Registration is required.  Ages 12 and up.  This program is free and open to the public.

On Thursday, Aug. 21, the library will host Teen Summer Craft: Water Color Art at 2:35 pm.  Decorate your own tote bag with puffy paint, jewels and paint markers.  All supplies will be provided.  Registration is required. 

The Library is located at 2 Library Lane, off Lyme Street.  Summer hours are Monday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information, call 860-434-1684 or visit


Final Day of the Hamburg Fair Today; Ox Pull, Powder Puff at 9am


All the fun of the Fair.

The 112th Hamburg Fair, sponsored by the Lyme Grange Association, opens today at 9 a.m. with the Ox Pull and Powder Puff in the ring and the popular band “La La” will play on the stage from 12 to 3 p.m. and the Connecticut Bristol Old Tyme Fiddlers Club will conclude the festivities with a performance from 3 to 6 p.m.

Llamas are to love ...

Llamas are to love …

Sunday brings

Rides are always a major attraction at the Fair.

Rides are always a major attraction at the Fair.

It is a long-awaited event for everyone who lives locally, but many families from all over the state have also made this an annual summer tradition.   That old-fashioned feeling lost with so many of the bigger fairs has been carefully maintained in this annual Lyme event.  The fair may be small but it has a great deal to offer.  When was the last time you saw a watermelon-eating and seed-spitting contest, or a nail-driving competition?  There is a line-up of entertainment that echoes that same theme of old-fashioned, while the big top has new and old favorites alike.

The Hamburg Fair is the only fair in Connecticut this year to offer a discounted ride bracelet each day of the fair — even on (Friday) opening night.  A bracelet allows the purchaser to take as many rides as he/she wants (or can handle!)  It’s the organizer’s way of making it a little easier on families, so they can come out to enjoy this special fair.  In addition, children 11 and younger are admitted to the fair free.  Adults are $5 - Seniors are only $3.

Gates open at 5 p.m. Friday.  Park at the Lyme Church or Reynolds Garage and you will be supporting Old Lyme Scouts and also the Lyme Church.

Click here to visit the website for the Fair and view the full program of events for all three days.


Bluegrass Band Gives Sound View Concert Tonight

bluegrass_band_instrumentsThe Town of Old Lyme and the Sound View Commission are sponsoring family-friendly concerts at Sound View Beach this summer.

The final concert  of the 2014 series is this Thursday, Aug. 14, featuring the Grass Routes Bluegrass Band. On the scene since 1980, they have been delighting audiences with repertoire ranging from traditional bluegrass standards to folk and contemporary songs, performed in their own unique bluegrass style with skillful instrumentals and tight vocal harmonies.

The free outdoor concerts will take place from 7 through 8.30 p.m., near the Flag Pole at the end of Hartford Avenue at Sound View Beach.  There is no rain location for this concert.  Should a weather cancellation be necessary it will be posted on the Town Web site “News & Announcements”

Bring a blanket or a lawn chair, and settle in for a lovely evening of sunset music.  Everyone is welcome to attend these family-friendly events.

Several local businesses will be offering discounts and special offers on concert nights. Look for “Promotion Sponsor” signs at participating area businesses to take advantage of these special deals.

Concert business promotion participants are:

The Carousel Shop Ice Cream

Buy 1 Soft-Serve Ice Cream, Get 1 Free, valid with coupon and only on day of concert

Teddy’s Old Lyme Pizza Palace

10% Discount on Total Order 5:00pm to 9:00 pm concert days

Vecchitto’s Italian Ice

Buy 5 get one small free Italian Ice during concert times

South Lyme Scoop Shop

$1 off any menu item with coupon

The Grille

Buy 2 glasses of wine and 1 appetizer for $15.00 with coupon expires September 7, 2014

Lenny’s on the Beach

20% off your entire food purchase with coupon

The Carousel at Old Lyme

Good for 1 carousel ride, valid with coupon and only on day of concert

Beach Donuts – Sound View Beach Association

Buy 1 Donut, Get 1 Free with coupon

The Carousel Shop Too

$5 off $25.00 or more purchase, valid only with coupon and on day of concert

The Pavilion

Free fries with any sandwich purchase with coupon expires August 31, 2014

Waffle Bar

Choice of 2 free toppings or bottle of water with the purchase of a waffle or 2-scoop sundae cup starting at 3pm till closing on concert days

E.Z. Minimart

1% Gallon Milk $2.99, Red Bull 8.4fl oz 2 for $4.00, 2 Liter Coca-Cola 2 for $3.59 + tax


The Curious Case of the Flags on Lyme Street

The flags are flying again on Lyme Street.

The flags are flying again on Lyme Street.

After vanishing unexpectedly in the days following the Old Lyme Midsummer Festival, the flags have returned to Lyme Street, to the apparent approval of a majority of the town’s residents.  Back up since last Friday, these Old Glories will stay until Veteran’s Day in November, just like last year.

The reappearance of the flags has been lauded by a significant number of the townspeople; likewise, the prior removal of the flags was vocally reviled.  After noticing that the Lyme Street flags had been taken down, numerous Old Lyme residents took action, turning to various news sources, social media, and the town government with their complaints.  A mere week or so after the flags’ removal, their efforts had succeeded.

As John Seckla, local owner of the Old Lyme Barber Shop, told LymeLine, “Just talk to the townspeople. They wanted them [the flags] back, so now, they’re back.”

For many, the flags are a show of respect for our nation’s soldiers and veterans, and a sign of gratitude for their service.  One Old Lyme resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, writes in an email to LymeLine, “…[the flags are] a reminder of all our men and women overseas and all of our veterans.  The flag represents freedom and reminds me of how hard our men and women have fought and are fighting to keep us free.”

The writer also considers the flags a mark of national pride and American patriotism; he adds, “There is nothing gaudy about being a American and showing it.  What the American flag represents is more than enough reason for them to be flying high and proud!”

Some townspeople share these sentiments, evidenced by Barbara Crowley, local owner of The Chocolate Shell, who writes on her business’s Facebook page, “… I am glad and proud to report that the flags are back up! … Long may they fly!!”

Formulated and installed by the Old Lyme Fire Department, the flags flew for the first time last summer, with the intention to hang them from Memorial Day through Veteran’s Day. However, after receiving several worried complaints that the flags were getting tangled up and overshadowing smaller, personal flags, among other things, First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder tells LymeLine that she made a compromise with the Fire Department last fall, so that the flags would only fly during holidays and major events for the summer of 2014.

OLFD signYet, when the flags were removed after the Midsummer Festival two weeks ago, as per the aforementioned compromise, there was a strong backlash among the Old Lyme community. After asking that all flag-related complaints be sent directly to her, Reemsnyder reports, “The response I got was overwhelmingly in favor of having the flags up.”

Reemsnyder further emphasizes that “I don’t like making decisions based on a single opinion,” and that the decision to remove the flags was not the result of a complaint by one lone individual, but rather the compromise with the Fire Department from last fall.  She would also like to remind the townspeople that the flags will be taken down before any major weather events, especially high-speed winds.

But for now, the flags are here to stay – with the obvious blessing of the Old Lyme Fire Department, who are expressing their appreciation publicly for the re-hanging of the flags.

But what do you, dear readers, think?  Are you happy that the flags will now remain up from Memorial Dy to Veteran’s Day every year?  Feel free to comment below …


‘Dinner and a Movie’ Event raises Funds for Childhood Cancer, Sept. 6

ACT flyerAn organization with a mission to raise funds for pediatric research, Achieve Change Together (ACT), is hosting a “Dinner, a Movie, Popcorn and More” event on Saturday, Sept. 6, at Clark Memorial Field in Old Saybrook.  Grass opens at 6 p.m. and the movie starts at 7:30 p.m.  The costs is $20 per car, which includes the movie and popcorn.  Guests are asked to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets.

Every dollar raised goes directly toward childhood cancer research via The Truth 365′s “Dream Team” of leading oncologists.  These talented doctors represent The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Sloan Kettering, St. Jude’s and Seattle Children’s (visit for details).

The following editorial was submitted by event organizer Kristen Michalski Alexander:

Not so long ago, I learned from a friend about Madison “Maddy” Garrett.

In 2012, Maddy had been diagnosed with Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma.  One of the rarest childhood cancers.  It had spread into limbs, snaked through her spine, and had penetrated into bone marrow; the tumor was wrapped around organs and arteries, through her intestine and into her chest. The tumor in her three-year-old belly was so large that she looked nine months pregnant.

Maddy had a 30 percent chance at survival.

Inspired by her bravery, I researched what I could.  Though average cancer survival rates have grown for the last 40 years, many childhood cancers have survival rates much lower than the average.  The facts are unsettling:

  • Less than 4 percent of the National Cancer Institute’s budget is directed to childhood cancer research (Source: St. Baldrick’s Foundation)
  • Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children and adolescents in the United States. (Source: National Cancer Institute)
  • In the last 20 years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved only two pediatric cancer drugs that were initially studied in children. (Source: American Association for Cancer Research)

During her journey to recovery, Maddy’s 5-year-old friend had been diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer.

Another child suffering.  Another family struggling.  I couldn’t sit back anymore.  I had to help win this war!

And so I decided to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer through a special event, “Dinner, A Movie, Popcorn and More.”  The event will be held Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014.

I reached out to my high school classmate Lou Rolon, a guiding force for our community through Shoreline Neighbors, for advice.  Lou possesses an inspirational compassion, dedication, and strength. He offered to help however he could.

I then reached out to Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation ( AWOCCF helped produce The Truth 365, an Emmy Award-Winning documentary film and social media campaign that gives a voice to all children fighting cancer.

I asked their co-founder Dena Sherwood if we could work together.  When she graciously agreed, it meant we could host the event with their 501(c)(3) status.

For continuing updates, “Like” the ACT – Achieve Change Together Facebook page and remember to join us on Sept. 6.

For further information, call: 860-339-6310,  via e-mail:

On Facebook:
Website coming soon

To donate: Please make a check payable to Arms Wide Open/The Truth 365 and mail it to P.O. Box 495, Ivoryton, CT 06442.  Or go online at and select “Achieve Change Together Event – CT”.


Miller’s Eagle Scout Project Restores Hamburg Fair’s Animal Ring to Former Glory

Working on the animal ring.

Working on the animal ring.

Visitors at this year’s Hamburg Fair on Aug. 15, 16 and 17, will see that the animal ring where the horse and oxen competitions are held has been refurbished.

Life Scout Matthew M. Miller of BSA Troop 26 of Lyme and Old Lyme led approximately 25 people over the weekend of June 14-15 as part of his Eagle Scout Project to repair the ring that was in desperate need of restoration.  The project benefited the Lyme Grange Fairgrounds where the annual Hamburg Fair is held every August.  The Fair draws several thousand visitors from all over the state each year.

Repairing the fence.

Matt Miller repairs the animal ring fence during Father’s Day weekend when he led a team of volunteers on the project, which will contribute to his Eagle Scout award.

Matt developed his project by meeting with the Lyme Grange and then submitting his plan for approval with BSA Mohegan District.

It Takes a Village - in this case, three young men, but there were many more on both days of the project - to fix an animal ring.

‘It Takes a Village’ – in this case, three young men, but there were many more on both days of the project – to fix an animal ring.

Everything came together over Father’s Day weekend under beautiful skies and clear weather.  His team replaced four gates, installed new gate latches, replaced the vast majority of wooden rails, replaced or repaired posts and gave the whole area two coats of barn red stain.

Congratulations, Matt – what a great project!


Pasta Dinner Saturday at Shoreline Community Center, Sound View

There will be a Pasta Dinner on Saturday, Aug. 9,  at the Shoreline Community Center, 39 Hartford Ave., Old Lyme.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the event ends at 8 p.m.  Enjoy delicious fresh  pasta, meatballs, fresh salad, bread, desserts, and coffee.  All you can eat.  Walk-ins welcome.

Admission adults $12, children under 8 years $6.

Tickets available at door or call Shirley Grande 860-434-8875.  Sponsored by the Sound View Beach Association, Inc.


Paving for Lyme Building Project Scheduled for This Week

Proposed Paving Plan for Lyme Public Library.

Proposed Paving Plan for Lyme Public Library.

The contractors will be paving the new drives and parking areas for the Lyme Town Hall and library this week.

Paving will take place in two phases.  The new entrance and library parking will be paved first, and the town hall lot will follow.

Lyme residents visiting town hall or the library over the next few days should be extra careful and are asked to watch for signs marking which entrance to use and were to park.


Tag Sale at Lyme Public Hall Today

The Lyme Public Hall Association will hold a Tag Sale and Bake Sale on Saturday, Aug. 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The sale will feature housewares, furniture, jewelry and unexpected treasures, as well as a bake sale with home-made pies and other tasty treats.

Intake for the Lyme Public Hall sale will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, July 28, through Thursday, July 31.  There will also be evening drop-off on Thursday, July 31, from 6 to 8 p.m.  The Hall will not accept large appliances, upholstered furniture, consumer electronics or large exercise equipment.  In addition, no records or books will be accepted for sale.

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

For more information on the Lyme Public Hall sale, call (860) 526-8886 or (860) 434-1929 or email


Alzheimer’s Disease Clinical Trial Seeks Volunteers, Includes Free Memory Screening

Adults under the age of 90 who have been diagnosed with mild or moderate Alzheimer’s disease, or undiagnosed individuals experiencing noticeable memory loss may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease currently being conducted at CCRStudies in New London, Conn. The study will include a free memory screening.

This clinical trial research program, led by Dr. Laurence Radin of 
Neurological Group, PC in New London, is examining an investigational medication being developed to slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Fellow researchers include Andrea Bartels APRN, and Andrea Stewart APRN.

According to Dr. Radin, “this research will ideally bring us closer to a cure for Alzheimer’s, and will help to give hope to the individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s.” The trial is being sponsored by TauxRx Therapeutics.

More than five million Americans are currently living with 
Alzheimer’s disease and there is no cure. Approximately 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 have younger onset Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the 
brain’s nerve cells, resulting in loss of memory, loss of thinking and language skills, and behavioral changes. “People suffering from memory loss and those around them will tell you how devastating this disease can be,” said Dr. Radin.

CCRStudies is seeking volunteer participants for the current clinical
trial. Those who become eligible for the trial will receive study related care and psychological testing at no cost. Reimbursement for
time and travel may be available. No insurance is needed to participate in the clinical trial.

For a preliminary phone evaluation, interested individuals can contact 
CCRStudies at 860-443-4567. Those looking for more information can also visit

For further information, contact MaryLou Gannotti, Public Relations and Communications Director for CCRStudies at 860-443-4567, or email


Magic of Midsummer Successfully Celebrated Again in Old Lyme

Photo courtesy of the Florence Griswold Museum.  Hard at work, but with a smile, at the Florence Griswold's En Plein Air Market!

Photo courtesy of the Florence Griswold Museum.   Hard at work, but with a smile, at the Florence Griswold’s En Plein Air Market!

They (well, my mother does anyway) say, “The sun shines on the righteous …”  One must therefore assume that the residents of Old Lyme are exceptionally righteous because their Midsummer Festival fell beautifully between damp weather on Friday afternoon before the art openings and concerts began, rain Saturday afternoon just towards the end of the day portion of the Festival and storms Saturday night after the spectacular fireworks.

The weather simply could not have been more cooperative — except, I suppose, if we’d had sun from start to finish!


The Lyme Garden Club’s stand is always a popular spot in front of the Lyme Art Association.

In a nutshell, the Festival embraced a triumvirate that has been celebrated for many a long year here in Old Lyme — art, music and food.  But this is no ordinary celebration — we do it with a certain style and a touch of panache!  To that point, there is even a Parading Paws dog contest at the Florence Griswold Museum hosted by the Vista organization, which is full to capacity each year.

Everyone loves a parade?

Photo courtesy of the Florence Griswold Museum.  Everyone loves a parade?

Every year it is a little bit different.  Things move around sometimes — for example, the en plein air  “fence artists” were down at Center School this year.

The music was served with a new twist in the form of an after-concert party at the Bee and Thistle on Friday night, jazz at the Old Lyme Inn and a youth band called, School House Rock at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts.

And the food  … ah, the food.  Well, that too was simply splendid!

They wee tapping their feet and swinging their hips under the Old Lyme Inn's band tent.

Feet were tapping and hips were swinging under the Old Lyme Inn’s band tent, while a delicious spread of food was prepared on outdoor grills

The Florence Griwold’s Market en Plein Air aroused the senses — especially the taste buds — as always,  but where to next?  Lobster rolls at Lyme Academy College or grilled food at the Old Lyme Inn or what about a Maui-Wowi smoothie?

Maui-Wowi drew a continuous crowd.

Maui-Wowi drew a continuous crowd.

There were crafts to do, games to play, books to buy, flowers to admire and art of every description to view — and even, sometimes, buy!  Old Lyme more than lived up to its reputation as the place “Where Art Lives,” and the thousands of visitors who came by on Saturday would likely agree.


Run (or Walk) for Caroline’s Miracle Foundation This Morning

LymelineAd2013c-01The Lyme-Old Lyme community is coming together Saturday, July 26, to honor the memory of Caroline O’Brien of Old Lyme when the Fifth Annual Caroline’s Miracle Foundation 5K Run, 5K Walk and Kids K are held.  This race attracted more than 500 runners last year, and continues to build in numbers every year.

Caroline was an 11-year-old girl, who passed away July 19, 2010, from Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) – a rare and inoperable form of brain cancer.

This event is being held to once again honor Caroline’s courage and bravery and also raise funds to support the charity she founded called Caroline’s Miracle Foundation. The mission of CMF is to bring smiles to the faces of children battling brain tumors and other serious illnesses, as well as supporting safety initiatives in Old Lyme.  To see some of the ways the foundation has “brought smiles to the faces” of children visit

A committee of volunteers of all ages has planned the race, which will be timed and is both flat and fast.  The race will start in front of Lyme/Old Lyme Middle School, head down historic Lyme Street and weave its way through the historic village of Old Lyme.

This year’s race has a Beach Bum theme.  Young friends of Caroline have made posters and decorations to line the race route, including the now familiar ‘smiley face’ logo, which adorns the shirts for the first 200 registered runners.

Prizes will be awarded to the top male and female finisher plus the top three male and female finishers of the 5K in each age group.

Registration opens at 6:45 a.m. at the Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) at 59 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT.  There are three separate events; the 5K walk starts at 8:00 am, the 5K run starts at 8:15 am and the Kids’ K starts at 9:00 am.

Following the run, a party with music, food, free massages, and more will be held at LYSB.  After that, runners and their families are invited to stop by the Old Lyme Midsummer Festival, taking place all day on Lyme Street.

Participants are strongly encouraged to pre-register online at On-line registration closesThursday, July 24, 2014 at 11:59pm.  On-site registration at LYSB starts at 6:45 am on the day of the race.

For further information, contact Jennifer O’Brien at 860-434-2246 or e-mail


Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival Begins Tonight with Art Openings, Concerts


Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival is a town-wide celebration of the arts, which this year will be held Friday and Saturday, July 25 and 26. Since the early 20th century Old Lyme has been known to artists and art lovers alike as a haven for the arts.

The Festival takes place in the heart of Old Lyme’s historic district, with activities spanning locations along Lyme Street.  Festival sites include the Florence Griswold Museum, Lyme Art Association, Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, the Old Lyme Inn, the Bee & Thistle Inn, Studio 80 + Sculpture Park, Center School, the Old Lyme – Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, and a variety of Lyme Street merchants.

Visitors to the Festival enjoy art, food, performances, hands-on activities for children, a dog show, a French-styled market, artisan vendors, book signings, and so much more!  For more information visit

A Great Egret photographer by Diana Atwood Johnson in Orlando, Fla.

This photograph of a Great Egret by Diana Atwood Johnson taken in Orlando, Fla., is the signature work of the ‘Bird’s Eye View’ exhibition on view during the Festival at Lyme Academy College.

On Friday, July 25, the evening begins with three receptions from 5 to 7 p.m., all with free admission.  At the Lyme Art Association, enjoy a great selection of affordable art by Association members.  At Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, visitors can view the exhibition Bird’s Eye View, Photographs of the Natural World by Diana Atwood Johnson in the Sill House Gallery.  A selection of student work is on view in the Chauncey Stillman Gallery. Most works in both exhibitions is for sale with funds benefiting the College and the students.  Atwood Johnson is generously donating all proceeds from the sale of her photographs to the College.  New York Times best-selling author Luanne Rice will also be visiting the exhibitions during the evening.  Refreshments will be available at both galleries.

At the Florence Griswold Museum, visitors can view the special exhibitions Art of the Everyman: American Folk Art from the Fenimore Art Museum and Thistles and Crowns: The Painted Chests of the Connecticut Shore.


The annual free concert from 7 to 9 pm at the Florence Griswold Museum is always a favorite and makes for a perfect summer evening.  This year’s band is The Mighty Soul Drivers.  Find your spot along the Lieutenant River and enjoy classic Southern Soul (think Percy Sledge, Otis Redding).  Folksinger Al Denty performs from 6-8pm. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner or let Gourmet Galley prepare a delicious meal.  Reservations can be made at

Walk from one free concert to another.  From 9 to 11pm, the Bee & Thistle Inn hosts ***New to the Festival Down by the River Rhythm N’ Blues DJ Dance Party.  Dance under the stars on the banks of the Lieutenant River.  Specialty cocktails and late night nosh are available for purchase.

The festival continues on Saturday, July 26, with activities at many locations along Lyme Street. Festivalgoers may park at Old Lyme Marketplace, Florence Griswold Museum, Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, Lyme-Old Lyme High School, Lyme-Old Lyme Center and Middle Schools, and Old Lyme Library. A shuttle bus runs between these locations from 9am to 3pm.

At the Florence Griswold Museum, the day begins with breakfast at 8:30am.  Gourmet Galley serves breakfast in the morning and lunch in the afternoon until 3pm.  One of the highlights of the day is Market En Plein Air.  This outdoor market features Connecticut-grown flowers, fruits, vegetables, breads, fine cheeses, herbs and specialty foods in a setting modeled after outdoor markets in French villages.  Crafted-by-Hand: An Artisan Fair features noted jewelry designers and other craftsmen.  These events open at 9am and close at 3pm.

At 10am, local cultural organizations provide creative projects for children of all ages at the Hands-On, Minds-On area. Included are activities by the Old Lyme -PGN Library, Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau, and High Hopes Therapeutic Riding. This event closes at 3pm.


Four-legged friends can participate in the Parading Paws Dog Show hosted by Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center of Westbrook. Does your dog have the best smile, longest tail, biggest paws?  Registration is from 9- 10am.  Judging begins at 10:30am.  Special categories include Best Trick and Best Costume. The event is sponsored by Vista Vittles ~ 100% Natural Treats for Dogs.

Visitors enjoy a reduced admission of $5 to the Museum from 10am to 5pm, including the historic Florence Griswold House and the special exhibitions Art of the Everyman: American Folk Art from the Fenimore Art Museum and Thistles and Crowns: The Painted Chests of the Connecticut Shore.

At 11am and 1pm enjoy an interactive, energetic concert by Dave Fry, guaranteed to make all ages smile.

Next door to the Museum, at the Lyme Art Association, activities begin at 8am with the Lyme Garden Club’s exhibition of flowers and design.  Many items are for sale.  This event closes at 4pm.  From 9am to 5pm visitors can enjoy a great selection of affordable art by Association members.


Once again this year, the Lyme Art Association presents a festival favorite, the Oxen of Cranberry Meadow Farm, from 10am to 2pm. Learn more about these gentle giants, whose ancestors appeared in many original Lyme Art Colony paintings! ***New to the Festival, Tea at the Gallery from 10am to 4pm. Enjoy a respite from the heat of midsummer with tea or lemonade and light fare in our air-conditioned galleries.

At Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, visitors can enjoy two gallery exhibitions, the best current work by students in all the College’s major programs and Bird’s Eye View, Photographs of the Natural World by Diana Atwood Johnson.  For lunch, there is LobsterCraft’s fresh, hot-buttered lobster rolls, lobster kielbasa, macaroni and cheese, and lobster bisque and the College Café will provide a variety of delicious summer salads, along with orange iced tea, ginger lemonade and coffee. Specialty vendors entice visitors with jewelry, art, linens, and more. These events take place from 10am to 3pm.

NYT best-selling author Luanne Rice will discuss her 31st novel, "The Lemon Orchard," and sign copies at Lyme Academy College starting at 11 am.

NYT best-selling author Luanne Rice will discuss her 31st novel, “The Lemon Orchard,” and then sign copies at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts starting at 11 am.

At 11am, New York Times bestselling author of 31 novels, Luanne Rice shares her latest book The Lemon Orchard, an unexpected love story of two people from different worlds.  People Magazine calls the book “Entrancing” while Kirkus Reviews calls it “Lovely and compelling, with quiet yet brave social commentary.”  Books will be sold by R.J. Julia Booksellers and Rice will be signing copies.

From 11am to 3pm, the Midsummer Festival Music Stage offers continuous music on the lawn.  Don’t miss the music stage with a variety of bands provided by Bring Our Music Back, Inc.  At 11am, A Moment of Fearless (Soulful Blues duo), at noon, St. Albans (Youth Folk/Rock), and from 1 to 3pm, School of Rock (Youth All-Star House Band, all genres).


***New this year, live music by Musicnow Foundation, Inc. from 11am to 3pm at Nightingale’s Cafe and the Bee & Thistle Inn.

Located next to Lyme Academy College, visitors can explore Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds from 9am to 5pm.  Stop in to meet the sculptors and learn about their work.  The outdoor sculpture collection is exhibited on beautifully landscaped grounds adjacent to the Lieutenant River.  Enjoy lectures, music, dance, and refreshments.

From 11am to dark, visit the Old Lyme Inn for Light Bites and Live Music.  Cool your heels and tap your toes to the sounds of funk band, Mass-Conn-Fusion under the big tent on the Old Lyme Inn front lawn.  Light bites and refreshing drinks available for purchase.


From 9am to 4pm on the Center School lawn, meet the Plein Air Fence Show Artists.  Thirty-six of some of the area’s most accomplished local artists display their works for sale.  All mediums, styles, and prices are available.

From 10am to 5pm, the Lyme Street Merchants feature a sidewalk sale.  Follow the yellow balloons down Lyme Street to discover unique shops and galleries.  A musical cafe, designer linens on sale, homemade ice cream, exotic gems and designer jewelry, eclectic mix of galleries and an art studio, topped off with decadent chocolates and confections.

***New this year, offerings at the Old Lyme – Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library.  From 10am to 2pm, half price children’s and adult’s books in the Bookceller.  From 10am to 3pm, all ages are welcome to make a paper bag puppet!  Materials provided.  From 11:30 to 2pm, indulge in some delectable mini-cupcakes by Cupcakes and Flying Hearts.

From 1 to 2pm, meet Tony Award winner, trainer, actor and author, Bill Berloni.  Bill will sign his book Broadway Tails and share heartfelt stories of rescue dogs that became showbiz superstars.  Bill was a 20-year-old apprentice at the Goodspeed Opera House when a producer offered him his big break: a chance to act professionally and gain his Equity Card. In return, all Bill had to do was find and train a dog to play Sandy in the original production of Annie.


The Old Lyme Town Band will strike up at 7:30 pm on the Middle School lawn and then to round off the evening, there will be the usual fabulous fireworks display visible from the same lawn.


Enjoy ‘An Evening of Fine Wines’ Tonight

This evening the Sound View Beach Association, Inc. in association with Seaside Wines, hosts ‘An Evening of Fine Wines’ at the Shoreline Community Center, 39 Hartford Ave., Old Lyme from 4 to 9 p.m.

During the wine tasting, there will be a silent auction that includes a bottle of 15-year-old Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon, which is nearly impossible to find, and a gently used wine refrigerator.

Admission is $15 for the tasting or $25, which includes a 2014 commemorative Sound View wine glass.

For information, call Dan 860-434-3266.


Attend a Free Lecture Tonight on ‘Health, Vitality with Essential Oils’ at Old Lyme Inn

lymeline150x150EOvitalityDawn Krause Swope CHHC, AADP Holistic Health Coach at Vitality Spa and Lisa Wilson, CHHC and Board Certified Natural Health Practitioner and founder of the Raw Food Institute will be hosting a lecture on, “Health & Vitality with Essential Oils,” at the Old Lyme Inn at 6:30 p.m.  Come and find out more about essential oils and how to use them in your home, your life and to create your own natural medicine cabinet.

The event will take place this evening, Wednesday, July 16, at the Old Lyme Inn, Lyme Street, Old Lyme.

The Inn will be open for cocktails from 5 p.m. prior to the lecture.  Entrance is free and the event is sponsored by Vitality Spa, The Old Lyme Inn, IFoundFitness and the Raw Food Institute.  If you cannot arrive early, grab some friends and stay for dinner afterwards.

The evening is free, but it would help to get a feel for numbers so readers are requested to express their interest by emailing the spa or sending an RSVP through the Facebook event.

Driven to restore her health and wellness following chemotherapy and radiation treatments for breast cancer, Swope began exploring various food philosophies and diets.  What she learned from her doctors at Yale University Hospital and from her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition is that good nutrition is not enough to keep us healthy.  One must strive to be healthy in all areas of life and to be healthy one must find balance.

Lisa Wilson is a Certified Health Coach, Board Certified Natural Health Practitioner and Cancer Researcher and is certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.  She is part of the Nutrition Team at National Integrative Health Associates,, Washington, DC’s premier integrative medical center, founded by Holistic MD’s.  As founder of the prestigious Raw Food Institute, Wilson received the award for best, “Raw Vegan Center”, as well as the winner of, “The Medical Awareness for Raw Food.”  As a national speaker, writer and consultant, Wilson’s areas of focus include family health, obesity, ADHD, Lyme and Cancer Nutritional Support, Low Energy and Weight Loss.


LYSB Beach Dance Cancelled Tonight

Tonight’s Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) Beach Dance for middle schoolers has been cancelled due to anticipated inclement weather.

Upcoming LYSB events include Family Beach Blanket Bingo at White Sand Beach on Thursday, July 17, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The price is $5 per person or $20 per family with pizza dinner included.  Prizes will be awarded to winners.

Make sure to bring beach blankets and bug spray.

This event will also be postponed in the case of inclement weather.  Check the LYSB website at prior to event for possible weather cancellation.





Camp Claire Receives Donation Of Automated External Defibrillator Machine

Surrounded by Camp Claire campers, Russell Sage, center, Michael Sage's father and Director of the MVSDF, stands with James P. Berryman (left in photo in blue shirt), a Director at Suisman Shapiro, which is a major sponsor of MVSDF, after the presentation of an AED to Camp Claire's Director, Beth Owen-Mishou.

Surrounded by Camp Claire campers, Russell Sage, center, Michael Sage’s father and Director of the Michael Vincent Sage Dragonheart Foundation, Inc. (MVSDF), stands with James P. Berryman (left in blue shirt) — a Director at Suisman Shapiro, which is a major sponsor of MVSDF — after the presentation of an AED to Camp Claire’s Director, Beth Owen-Mishou.

Representatives of the Michael Vincent Sage Dragonheart Foundation, Inc. (MVSDF) donated a new automated external defibrillator (AED) machine to Camp Claire last Thursday, July 10, at a group meeting for staff and campers.

An AED is a lightweight, portable device that delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart. The shock can stop an irregular rhythm and allow a normal rhythm to resume in a heart that is experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of cardiac related death in the United States; it strikes without warning, and if not treated within minutes, quickly leads to death.

There are 1,900 to 14,200 cases of out-of-hospital SCA in children each year. Early defibrillation with an AED and CPR can more than double chances of survival. The American Heart Association estimates that 20,000 to 100,000 Sudden Cardiac Arrest deaths could be prevented if defibrillation was readily available.

The MVSDF was established in memory of Michael Vincent Sage, who died on February 5, 2010 at the age of 29 from a sudden cardiac arrhythmia (SCA). He was active in sports for most of his life and never exhibited any of the warning signs associated with SCA, such as episodes of dizziness, fainting, or seizures. He arrived at work at the New London offices of Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law on a beautiful February morning, had a cup of coffee with his colleagues, then collapsed and died.

People on the scene attempted to revive Michael using CPR, but there was no AED available, and by the time the paramedics arrived, Michael could not be saved. In a matter of moments, Michael was gone.

The mission of the MVSDF is to raise awareness and support research into the early diagnosis and prevention of sudden cardiac arrest, including bystander awareness education, CPR training, and availability of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in schools, athletic facilities, and other public forums.

Michael Sage's father, Russell Sage, addresses campers and staff at Camp Claire.

Michael Sage’s father, Russell Sage, addresses campers and staff at Camp Claire during the presentation of an AED.

Camp Claire, a summer camp for children aged 7-14 located in Lyme, Conn., applied to the MVSDF for the donation of an AED defibrillator machine and was selected by the Board of Directors to receive the gift. Organizations must meet various criteria including the required number of CPR-trained employees; the number of persons served and their age groups; current AED status; and overall worthiness/need of the organization.

The cost of an AED defibrillator machine ranges from $1,000 to $2,500. The MVSDF has donated more than 30 machines to organizations in Connecticut over the last two years.

The mission of Camp Claire is to provide a natural community environment that encourages curiosity and creativity, and increases self-esteem, while providing a lifetime of memories that prepares children for an active place in a multicultural society. The camp began as a conference retreat for members of the First Congregational Church of Meriden in 1916. It incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1954, and relies on the support of alumni and friends to continue its mission of providing children with an enriching and memorable camping experience.

Major sponsors of the Michael Vincent Sage Dragonheart Foundation include Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law (New London), Defibtech, Inc. (Guilford, CT), The Survival Group (North Haven, CT), and The Ralph L. Rossi Foundation (Hamden, CT).

For more information about the MVSDF, visit the Foundation’s website at

To learn more about Camp Claire, visit .



White Elephant Sale Opens at 8am Today, Final Day of Deep Discounts

And they're off!  When the church bell rings at 9 a.m. on July 12, this will again be the scene.

And they’re off! When the church bell rings at 9 a.m. today, this will again be the scene.

The final day of the annual White Elephant Sale (WES) hosted by the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme is today from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and most prices are discounted by 50 per cent.

The sale opened yesterday at 9 a.m. precisely — but you can be sure that wasn’t be the same time that the first customers arrive!  People were standing in pole positions around the roped-off lawn outside the church much earlier vying for positions to snap up potential bargains spotted from a distance.

This is the 78th successive year that the sale has been held and it is firmly established as one of the main events on both the town and church calendars.

Garage and rummage sales are regular events, but few can match the size and color of this one.  The sale items are organized into some 20 departments that fill the church buildings and every available space on the lawn.

The sale is sponsored by the Ladies Benevolent Society (LBS) of the church and raises money for missions and good works both locally and through out the world.  Beneficiaries run the gamut from food pantries, health organizations, family support centers, children’s programs, world relief, housing and many many more.

Now so large, the sale has not only become a community event but also one that many visitors plan their vacations around so as to attend or work the WES.  In fact, many donations and a number of workers are from non-church members.  All 200 or so volunteers pitch in for two weeks collecting, sorting, pricing and organizing items awaiting the big day — Friday morning when the crowds anxiously gather outside the ropes surrounding the church.

When the clock in the bell tower strikes nine, the ropes come down and the shoppers run for their favorite departments looking for those hidden treasures.  There is lunch and soda to refresh the shoppers so they can repeat the same process again on Saturday morning, but then the sale starts at 8 a.m. and runs through noon, and most prices are discounted 50 percent.

Click to view a video of a recent sale on Youtube:

For further information, call the church office at 860-434-8686, option 5.