Walking past a twisting vine carved into smoked glass on the front door, Diane Thompson enters her bright, naturally lit Victorian home that has been a fixture on Newtown’s Main Street since 1899. After launching major renovations several months ago, her eventual goal is to sell the house.
Growing up around horses and receiving riding and jumping training from a teacher who couldn’t possibly care any more about her success than any other (the instructor happens to be her mom), Newtown’s Ellie Ferrigno has quickly become an advanced rider for her age. Now 12, Ferrigno is competing against horse lovers who are two, three, four, five — sometimes as many as six — years older than her. And she’s still winning.
At age 21, up-and-coming sax man Bill Evans got the opportunity to stand and play in the shadow of arguably one of the most influential jazz musicians of all time, Miles Davis. Davis so appreciated Evans’ talents that he featured the young musician on four of his albums recoded in the early to mid-1980s. These days, at 56, Evans can look back on a rich and diverse musical career bouncing around with many other artists, consuming and contributing to every musical genre that would welcome him on stage or into the studio. Over the course of those 35 years since first sitting in with Miles, Evans has made his mark with artists from Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Michael Franks, and Willie Nelson, to Mick Jagger, Les McCann, Mark Egan, Danny Gottlieb, Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson, Randy Brecker, The Allman Brothers, Medeski, Martin, and Wood, Warren Haynes and Umphrey’s McGee. Evans will be up close and personal when his band Soulgrass hits the intimate StageOne in Fairfield on September 12. He describes the Soulgrass concept as a melting pot of quintessential American music, combining elements of funk, rock, rhythm, and groove into a tasty, jam-infused mash-up that Evans says leaves fans from jazz purists to Deadheads to urban music fans satisfied.
The youngsters lined up along Main Street, Monday morning, September 1, could not settle on any one thing they were looking forward to in the 2014 Newtown Labor Day Parade that was about to step off, just a mile up the road. But Anna and Abigail Coughlin’s father settled it for them: “They’re waiting for the candy, the candy!” he said. Clustered beneath trees or beneath tents — originally pitched to ward off the showers predicted late last week — or enjoying the heat of the late summer morning, it was an excited crowd anticipating the start of the parade. Brendan Sheehan, a Queen Street resident, said that he has celebrated at least 37 Labor Day Parades. “And my sons, Logan, who is 6, and Devin, who is 13, have been to every one since they were born,” he declared. Thousands of other spectators lined the traditional parade route on Monday, a hot and humid day but one that brought of the best of Newtown, from clubs and schools to fire companies and the high school's marching band and color guard.
The Old Farmer’s 2015 Almanac is on the stands. It is the quintessential advice magazine, dispensing information between its covers on subjects as diverse as animal husbandry to romance. Founded in 1792 by Robert B. Thomas, "The Old Farmer's Almanac" has been the go-to tome for these past 200-plus years, not only for farmers young and old, but for the confounded consumer, as well. Despite its advancing years, though, this magazine has kept in step with the times.
Growing up in Minnesota in the 1960s, one of our favorite commercials shouted out, “I scream, you scream! We all scream for… ice milk!” Of course, ice milk was the only alternative to ice cream, and this commercial touted ice milk as the healthy alternative. Fast forward a number of years, and the options are mind-boggling. Not only does one select between the commercially marketed and premium brand ice creams, but every bucolic town with a cow or two has its own “homemade” ice cream for sale. Forget about ice milk and that quaint fruity sherbet of yore (although they are certainly still available.) Frozen yogurt, sorbet, and gelato have taken over the freezer section in supermarkets, and are popping up in franchise stores all across the United States, faster than prairie dogs from a hole.