Master teaching artist Bob Bloom, who leads interactive programs with an array of drums and world percussion instruments, was the musical guest for the July 24 Summer Jam Concert at Dickinson Park. Shows are suitable for all ages, and Mr Bloom continued the new program’s custom of audience participation. The next concert in the series will be Wednesday, July 31, featuring Robert The Guitar Guy. The season finalé will be August 7, with Zak Morgan. Concerts begin at 12:30 at Dickinson Park, 50 Elm Drive, and are free of charge. Picnics are welcome, and attendees should bring blankets or low chairs for seating.
My vegetable garden is struggling this year. Peas and lettuce were late and now are bolting in the heat. The beans leapt out of the soil and have continued and wrapping tendrils around the nearby tomatoes, instead of the poles provided. The tomatoes are unhappy with the cold and rainy start to the season, and the wet conditions that have followed. Zucchinis… well, there are blossoms. However, nature has provided me with a bountiful harvest of blackberries this year. Where grass segues into brush and then into woods, blackberry bushes trim our backyard. Randomly admiring the view one day last week, I was stunned to realize that the bushes were heavy with ripe fruit. In just minutes, a pint container was brimming over, my finger tips were purple, and only one bramble was embedded in my thumb.
A paint-spattered drop cloth clung to furniture and covered part of the floor in Southbury artist David Merrill’s living room. Stepping indoors from a sticky heat, he and Newtown resident Laurie McCollum looked at four-foot-high wooden panels, several of which will complete a 12- by 12-foot veterans mural for Newtown. He hopes to assemble and hang the finished work in October or November in the main hallway of Newtown Municipal Center. The work, which Mr Merrill began in April 2012, will contain the names of Newtown’s men and women who have served in the Armed Forces since 1971 when it is completed. Iconic military and patriotic images cover spaces between the intricate sea of names. Creating a theme for the mural, other wording includes “honor,” “courage,” “commitment.”
“A Glimpse Of The Garden” is a seasonal miniseries focusing on the heart of a gardener’s work — a special spot, an extraordinary plant, a place of respite, or a place that evokes a heartfelt memory. Chris Lincoln, who set out to create a little piece of tranquility three summers ago, feels some bit of pride in knowing that her gardens are the works of her own hands.
Efforts to share stories about inspiring teachers in the early stages of planning Saturday’s Great Newtown Reunion reunited one former Newtown student with a teacher who had deeply impacted her life. In the wake of 12/14, Kandice (Cohen) Castellino, a Head O’ Meadow, Newtown Middle School and Newtown High School alumnus, realized how vital it was to acknowledge the amazing educators she learned from throughout her time in the Newtown school system. One teacher in particular stuck out in her memory. “Mrs Koonce was exuberant,” Ms Castellino said of her seventh grade general science teacher at NMS. She remembers the 1995-96 school year with Nancy Koonce fondly, recalling enlightening discussions instead of cookie cutter lectures, her teacher’s vast knowledge of all sciences, from geology and biology to physics, and their class’s awe at National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) initial hope to colonize the moon by 2007.
On a blazingly hot and humid July 19, midway through the first session of the non-profit Jessica’s Camp horse training scholarship program, a half-dozen 6- and 7-year-old girls who are learning about things equine gathered near a corral at Kings Bridge Farm. Members of the New Jersey Pinto Horse Association opened a large horse trailer there and began giving the young girls a variety of horse-related items intended to equip them as they work toward becoming equestrians. The girls were the first participants in the Jessica’s Camp scholarship program, which provides equine training for children in need. The program is an outgrowth of The Jessica Rekos Memorial Fund.
The Town & Country Garden Club supports three of the floral islands that beautify intersections in the Borough: one at the intersection of Queen Street and Church Hill Road; one at the intersection of Glover Avenue and Route 25; and one where Queen Street and Glover Avenue meet. An ongoing difficulty has become a crisis in the recent spells of hot weather, that of adequately watering the island gardens. Established shrubs and native plants can withstand a dry spell, but rose bushes, potted plants, and annuals suffer. Members are hoping that stronger individuals or members of Scout groups or other clubs might be able to take on the task of keeping the gardens watered this summer and into the fall.