November 28, 2014

A Historical Perspective on ‘Giving Thanks’

We are pleased to celebrate this Thanksgiving season by republishing an article written for by Linda Ahnert to honor Thanksgiving 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.”


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.


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


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.


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


Sunshine, Spineti Sing at ‘Nightingale’ Tonight, Benefits NL Homeless Hospitality Center

Braiden Sunshine will performing with Lauren Spineti at Nightingale Cafe on Lyme St. Friday night.

Braiden Sunshine will performing with Lauren Spineti at the Nightingale Cafe on Lyme St. on Friday night.

Last Saturday, Braiden Sunshine of Lyme was one of 16 high school students to sleep outside in cardboard boxes on the lawn of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme to try and gain an understanding of what it might be like to be homeless. He said that just one night — knowing he had a warm home and comfortable bed at home — could never give him a real understanding of homelessness.

But nevertheless, it was cold and lonely, and Braiden is now turning that experience into action to help the homeless.  As the nights turn colder, he hopes to raise money to keep the homeless of New London warmer.

Braiden and his friend Laura Spineti are performing at The Nightingale Cafe on Lyme Street this Friday, Nov. 14, from 7 to 9 p.m. to raise money for the Homeless Hospitality Center in New London.

Any donations for the Homeless Hospitality Center will be graciously accepted.

Come out and enjoy some great acoustic music with terrific harmonies and help support a worthy cause.


 Old Lyme Historical Society Hosts Launch Party for 2015 ‘Now and Then’ Calendar Tonight

Cover of 2014 'Now & Then' calendar

Cover of 2014 ‘Now & Then’ calendar

The Old Lyme Historical Society (OLHS) will be celebrating the release of the new 2015 ‘Now & Then’ Old Lyme Community Calendar at a free public reception Nov. 14, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Lyme Art Association, 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme.  The calendar  priced at $12, along with other publications, will be for sale at the event. All are welcome to attend, but a RSVP to 860-434-0684 would be appreciated.

This is the third year that the Old Lyme Historical Society has published this popular calendar that incorporates a different set of photographs from the organization’s archives, again juxtaposing the historical images with contemporary ones of the same scene.  The images included in the calendar are a small sampling of the many interesting archived photographs of Old Lyme establishments,  landscapes, and scenes dating back to the beginning of the twentieth century.

Each calendar month is generously sponsored by a different community organization and includes the dates of their events throughout the year.  The intent is to highlight and assist in marketing activities occurring in Old Lyme in 2015 as well as remembering the past.

The Sponsors of the 2015 Now & Then Community Calendar are: the Town of Old Lyme, Speirs Plumbing, PGN Library, Lyme Art Association, Carousel Shop, Black Hall Grille, First Congregational Church, Bee & Thistle Inn, Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, Florence Griswold Museum, Cooley Gallery and the Old Lyme Historical Society.

The 2015 ‘Now & Then’ Old Lyme Community Calendar was designed by James Meehan and edited by Alison Mitchell.  Michaelle Pearson was the copy-editor.

The mission of the OLHS is to “collect, preserve, and interpret the rich history” of Old Lyme.  To find out more about the OLHS and its interesting activities, explore the web site at or stop by its office in the Genealogy Room at the Old Lyme–Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library.


Oh, What a (Scary) Night!


Photo by Lynn Fairfield-Sonn.

On Friday night, Lyme Street was full of pirates and princesses, ghosts and goblins, and witches and wizards to name but a few of the myriad of costumes being worn by the hundreds of people out celebrating Halloween.  The photo above shows the view from inside the Fairfield-Sonn residence looking out to Lyme Street.  A constant stream of youngsters of all ages filed up to the doorway, said cheerfully, “Trick or Treat?”, and then — if so invited – removed some candy from the large basket, said their thank you’s, and traipsed back to the street.


Photo by Lynn Fairfield-Sonn.

Down the street a little way, the Mergy family was out in force in front of their home – the former catholic church – with an incredible display evoking angels, devils and the dead.


The display continued across both sides of their front yard.


Back up the street at the Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau, a party was held followed by a parade down Lyme Street behind a fire truck.  Inside, photos were taken including this delightful one of Katie Colburn and Max Garvin.


Here’s hoping all our readers had a Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween! LYSB Hosts Annual Party, Parade Starting at 5pm

Will this 'wicked' witch and 'terrifying' tiger be out on Lyme Street tonight?

Will this ‘wicked’ witch and ‘terrifying’ tiger be out on Lyme Street tonight?

It’s Halloween tonight and the ghouls and ghosts, angels and amphibians, pirates and primadonnas will be out in force on Lyme Street – and everywhere else in Lyme and Old Lyme!

To kick things off, Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau at 59 Lyme St. will host a Halloween Party from 5 to 6 p.m., which is a free, fun, family event featuring games, crafts, storytelling, face-painting and more.  This free event is appropriate for children age 12 months through 2nd grade.

All little “goblins” must be accompanied by an adult.  Come dressed in costume.

The traditional Costume Parade will leave the firehouse at 6:15 p.m. to march down Lyme Street behind a firetruck.

The Fairfield-Sonn family on Lyme Street always generously open their doors  to the hundreds of 'Trick or Treaters' who come their way each year.  This was the view from inside their house on Halloween 2012.

The Fairfield-Sonn family on Lyme Street always generously open their doors to the hundreds of ‘Trick or Treaters’ who come their way each year. This was a view from inside their house on Halloween 2012.


Friends of Lyme Library Donate Custom-made Bench to Celebrate New Building Opening


The Friends of the Lyme Public Library presented a bench to the library in honor of the official opening of the new Lyme Library.

Local woodworker and craftswoman, Seana Bill of Lyme, custom-made the bench out of local black walnut.

Taking a minute to enjoy the new bench are, from left to right,  Adrienne Brennan, President, The Friends of the Lyme Public Library; Seana Bill, Craftswoman; Judith Lightfoot, Chairwoman, Lyme Library Director's Board.

Taking a minute to enjoy the new bench are, from left to right, Adrienne Brennan, President of the Friends of the Lyme Public Library, Seana Bill, bench craftswoman and Judith Lightfoot, Chairwoman, Lyme Library Director’s Board.


A visit to the library is recommended to see this lovely piece of artwork in the foyer!


Bonne Santé Owner Gives Free Talk Today on Breast Cancer Prevention, Nutrition

BS_wellness_logo_4cDr. Rosemary Barclay, a Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist and founder-owner of the Bonne Santé Wellness Center on Huntley Rd., is giving a free talk to the residents of Old Lyme this Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 2 p.m. This informative talk is to assist those in recovery, remission from breast cancer and those interested in preventative nutritional insights and measures to prevent against breast cancer.

The talk is free and open to all residents.  A $20 optional donation may be made to Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Space is limited, so reserve a space by contacting or 860-434-7429.


High Hopes Hosts Fashion Show in Old Lyme Tonight

fashion_showThe second annual High Hopes Fall Fashion Show will be held at the Lyme Art Association tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 23, from 6 to 8 p.m.   Once again, the latest fall looks from The Apparel Shop at Saybrook Country Barn, one of Connecticut’s premiere clothing boutiques for women and men, will be featured.   Enjoy delicious light fare from Coffee’s Country Market while you watch High Hopes participants, volunteers and staff walk the runway at the Lyme Art Association.

Sponsors are Guilford Savings BankCoffee’s Country Market, and contributors ESSENCE Center for Beauty and Wellness and Mionetto USA. Tickets are on sale at $45 per person on the High Hopes website. 

For more information, contact Trudy Burgess at or call 860-434-1974860-434-1974, ext. 123.


Conference on Israel, Palestine Kicks Off in Old Lyme Today with Concert, Bazaar

TOL14 OL Poster 09-04_750The tenth annual Tree of Life Conference on Israel and Palestine will take place on Saturday and Sunday, October 18 and 19, in Old Lyme, CT, at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL). Special emphasis this year will be on the children of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as children of warriors, and as tomorrow’s leaders and shapers.

Open to the public, the interfaith forum is organized by the Tree of Life Educational Fund (TOLEF) and supported by organizations and individuals committed to peace and justice.

In announcing the Conference, the Rev. David W. Good, Chairperson, TOLEF, and Minister Emeritus of the FCCOL, commented, “Both Palestinian and Israeli children are growing up assuming that the world is not safe, that violence is a way of life, that some lives are more valuable than others. As we are citizens of the world, they are children of the world, our children, whose safety, well-being and journeys into adulthood must concern us. This year’s Conference speakers will address those deep concerns.”

Opening concert, bazaar, exhibition and reception – Saturday, Oct. 18 – 6:30 p.m.

The Conference opens on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 6:30 p.m., with a bazaar featuring Palestinian crafts and olive oil, along with books and publications dealing with issues that will be addressed in the Sunday speaker program. A concert featuring Palestinian musicians Tamer Al-Sahouri on the oud, singer Nadine Shomali, and percussionist Alber Basil – along with members of the Lyme-based Silver Hammer Band – will be the evening’s main event. Following the concert, attendees will be welcomed at a reception featuring an exhibition of Palestinian children’s drawings from Gaza, and photographs by Robert Shook taken on his recent travels in the West Bank.

Speaker program – Sunday, Oct. 19, 1 p.m.

The pressing question, “What will become of our children?” will be addressed on Sunday, Oct. 19, by speakers whose tireless efforts reflect their championship of a world free of prejudice and hatred.

Uri Gopher, an Israeli working to promote Arab-Palestinian-Jewish relations, will describe his work as executive director of Hagar, a non-profit organization in Be’er Sheva that runs a bi-lingual Arab-Jewish school there – recognizing that education is a springboard for social change and peaceful coexistence.

Ivan Karakashian, Advocacy Unit Coordinator at Defense for Children International-Palestine, will detail his efforts to defend and promote the rights of children living under Israeli military occupation.

Barbara Lubin, lifelong peace activist and Founder and Executive Director of the Middle East Children’s Alliance, will talk about the impact of Middle East politics on children in the region, with special emphasis on the plight of children in war-torn Gaza.

Sahar Vardi, coordinator of the Israel program for the American Friends Service Committee, and peace advocate since childhood, will describe her opposition to the militarization of Israeli society, her refusal to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces and resultant imprisonment.

Danielle Yaor, an active member of Shministim, an organization of young Israelis who refuse compulsory service in the Israeli military, will present the open letter the group sent to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this year.

Following the speaker program, a Middle Eastern dinner sponsored by the Islamic Center of New London and the Connecticut Council on American-Islamic Relations will be served.

The art/photography exhibit and the bazaar featuring Palestinian crafts and olive oil, books and information that opened on Saturday evening will be open on Sunday as well, and musical interludes on Sunday will be provided by the Palestinian performers featured in the Saturday program.

Admission, reservations, information

Both Saturday and Sunday programs are open to the public. Admission:  $10 per person on Saturday; $35 per person on Sunday. Students and attendees under age 21 admitted free to the Sunday program.  Advance registration and sponsorship commitments may be made online at, or through the FCCOL office at 860-434-8686. The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme is located at the intersection of Ferry Road and Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT.

Editor’s Note: The Tree of Life Educational Fund (TOLEF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that strives to provide cross-cultural and transnational travel experiences, interfaith conferences and educational opportunities, helping participants to become more enlightened and engaged in make this a more just and peaceful world. Established by the FCCOL in 2002, TOLEF today operates independently.  TOLEF is joined in partnership with Friends of Sabeel-North America ( and Kairos USA ( in support of the Conference.  This year’s Conference speakers and musicians will also be appearing in TOLEF programs at several other locations in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New York.


New London’s Main Street Stroll is Tonight, Enjoy Food, Fun Downtown

fallfoodstroll2014New London Main Street continues its most popular tradition of celebrating New London’s Historic Waterfront District at its Annual Fall Food Stroll on Wednesday, Oct. 15,  from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.  Participants experience a vibrant and safe downtown New London filled with people, good cheer and welcoming businesses.  The Stroll is supported by Presenting Sponsor Citizen’s Bank and the City of New London, The Day, Dime Bank and Garde Arts Center.  Premier local talent will perform along the stroll route.

Stroll through over 40 different restaurants, shops and arts and cultural institutions in downtown New London, tasting bite-size samples of dishes or drinks that range from seafood to sweets, organic to ethnic and everything in between.

Participating  venues are expected to include: 2 Wives Brick Oven Pizza, Bankok City, Bean & Leaf, Blissworks Yoga, Bravado Barbershop, Bulkeley House Saloon, Chaplin’s, Copperwood Grill, Daddy Jack’s (*NEW!), Dev’s on Bank, The Drunken Palette, Edible Arrangements, Ernie’s Café, Fiddleheads Food Co-op, Flavours of Life – The Fair Trade Store, The Firehouse Gallery, Franks Place, Garde Arts Center, Hanafin’s Public House, Hive Skate Shop, Hot Rod’s Cafe, In ‘N’ Out Caribbean Cuisine, Jasmine Thai, Lazy Leopard Thai Café (*NEW!), Mambo Bar & Restaurant, Muddy Waters Café, Nathan Hale School House, New London Fire Department, New London Maritime Society’s Custom House Museum, Northern Indian Restaurant, Northern Light Gems, The Oasis Pub,  The Old Roadhouse (*NEW!), Provinance Center, Sarge’s Comics, Seehund German Restaurant and Bar, Shaw Mansion, Spoiled Salon, Studio 33 Art & Frame Gallery, Thames Club, The New Roadhouse, State Street Saloon, The Steaming Kettle, Subway, Tony D’s, Washington Street Coffee House, Wings ‘N Pies, and more.

Food served will be judged in a competition, and judges include Jack Chiara of the Johnson & Wales College of Culinary Arts; Thomas Johnson, Executive Chef for New London Public Schools and the Interactive Cooking School, Culinary Secrets with Chef Tomm, Citizens Bank AVP Stacey Taylor, and more to be announced.

Entertainers performing during the Stroll include Paul Brockett Roadshow, Frankenphil at the Seehund, Writer’s Block Street Team, Jeff Marttson, Tom Burgess, Teddy Gudias, Roxy 100.9, Q105, WCNI, and many more.

On the day of the event, the Stroll’s headquarters are at Harris Place, 165 State Street, New London from 10:00am.  A map containing stroll and entertainment locations will be available there and at

Tickets are $30 in advance ($25 for military, students and groups) in advance and $35 on the day or (if available) and are on sale at the following locations:

  •, all day every day.
  • The Garde Arts Center box office, 325 State Street, M-F 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • New London Main Street, 147 State Street, Suite B, M-F 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

**Tickets purchased online can be picked up on the day of the stroll from 10 a.m. on at Harris Place, 165 State Street, New London.

Tickets are available on the day of beginning at 10 a.m. until they sell out at Harris Place, 165 State Street or at the Garde Arts Center, 325 State Street.

Winners of the food judging contest will be announced at 9:15 p.m. at Harris Place, 165 State Street, and judges will travel to each winning venue to announce their award immediately following the announcement.

Contest winners will be announced at 9:15 p.m.

The Food Stroll celebrates one of New London’s best features – abundant and delicious eateries – and attracts visitors from around the region to explore the downtown and experience its vibrancy, beauty and safety.

New London Main Street is committed to revitalizing New London’s historic downtown. The goal of Main Street is to build community through activities and programs that enrich the cultural fabric, preserve and enhance historic streetscapes and support and expand the economic base of the city center.

For more information about the Stroll, visit


Old Lyme Visiting Nurse Association Welcomes Karen Veselka, RN, as New Town Nurse

Karen Veselka

Karen Veselka

The Board of Directors of the Old Lyme Visiting Nurse Association recently appointed Karen Veselka as the new Town Nurse. She graduated from Hartford Hospital School of Nursing in 1973.

Veselka’s work experience includes emergency room, Medical / surgical, pediatrics, post-partum, Oncology, respiratory and long term care.

Prior to accepting the positon as the town nurse for the Old Lyme VNA, Veselka spent the past 10 years working in long term care at Bridebrook Health and Rehabilitation.  She joined the staff of Interim HealthCare of Eastern CT, Inc. in August 2014.

She is a resident of Old Lyme.


Old Lyme’s Health Director Issues Ebola, EVD68 Information for Residents

The Town of Old Lyme’s Health Director Dr. Vijay Sikand has issued some informational directives for residents regarding the current outbreaks of Ebola and Enterovirus D68 as follows:

Ebola virus

Ebola virus

Ebola is a rare but potentially deadly disease caused by a virus that is spread by direct contact with a sick person’s blood or body fluids.  There is presently a widespread outbreak in West Africa and one person who traveled to the USA from Liberia has died of Ebola after contact with a patient before traveling to Dallas.  Public health authorities and hospitals are implementing procedures to identify and prevent Ebola from spreading to the USA.

For more information, click on the following link:

There is presently a nationwide outbreak of infection with the Enterovirus D68 (EVD68) that may cause severe respiratory illness in children, especially those with asthma or other underlying chronic disease.  It is most common in the summer and fall, so we are currently within the latter part of the transmission season.  EVD68 is spread from person to person from coughs, sneezes or contact with a surface recently touched by others.

For further information about how to protect yourself and recognize the symptoms, click on the following link: