Good news for those who love the writings of Sandy Hook poet Charles Rafferty. His collection of short, short stories — some just 1,000 words long — is live at www.fomitepress.com/FOMITE/Magellans, as well as at www.amazon.com. Saturday Night at Magellan’s is a collection of stories that “explore the small disasters of desire.” Charles is also looking forward to the publication of his tenth collection of poetry, The Unleashable Dog. (I guess The Unleashable Cat would be a paradox, so I don’t expect to see that volume coming forth from Charles…)
Sandy Hook resident Liz Fay is hoping to see some familiar faces during the opening reception for “Pop Up Art Bethel,” this weekend at Fine Art & Design, 262 Greenwood Avenue in Bethel. Liz, a textile artist and sculptor, is among those who will have pieces included in this show, on view until October 13. The opening reception is Saturday, September 14, from 2 to 5 pm, and then the gallery (across the street from Bethel Cinema) will be open each Thursday through Saturday from 2 to 9 pm, and Sundays from noon to 7 pm. Private appointments are available; call Michael Seri, 203-512-9129.
Liz is being represented in a second exhibition that also opens this weekend. From September 14 until October 31, Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge, Mass., will be presenting “Celebrating the Vessel.” Liz’s work has been selected for this exhibition, which illustrates “the vision and creativity of  contemporary vessel and basketmakers.” It means a little bit further to drive, but anyone interested in this show’s opening is invited to the reception, September 21, from 1 to 3 pm. For details, contact the gallery at 617-876-2109 or visit www.mobilia-gallery.com. To see Liz’s work, visit www.LizAlpertFay.com.
Award-winning children’s author Audrey Penn, creator of The Kissing Hand book series, will be at the C.H. Booth Library this Saturday, September 14, in the Meeting Room. Two different sessions will be held; one at 11 am for ages 3 to 9, and one at 3 pm for ages 10 and up. Immediately after each session, Ms Penn will meet participants and provide presigned bookplates, as she is recovering from hand surgery. (Seems like someone is in need of a hand being kissed!) For additional information contact Alana Bennison at 203-426-3851.
Also beginning this Saturday is The Animal Center’s Cat Food Drive, at Caraluzzi’s Newtown Market, on Queen Street. The Animal Center appreciates all donations, but is in greatest need of regular and large cans of Friskies cat food. Look for donation bins in the store, near either exit.
Longtime borough resident and a descendent of one of Newtown’s historical families, Joan Crick will be honored by the Board of Burgesses at a reception this Sunday afternoon, September 15, from 2 to 5 pm, at Proud Mary’s at the Inn at Newtown. Joan has dedicated many years to the board, and members feel it is time to recognize her for her efforts. Tickets are $20. For reservations, call 203-648-6257.
I’m sorry I missed this, but I’m told that on Sunday, September 8, The Ives Festival Orchestra premiered “In Paradisium,” a piece dedicated to the victims of 12/14, by Douglas O’Grady. Vocal soloist Benedetta Cordaro performed.
I heard more beautiful music this Wednesday morning, September 11, when the Newtown High School Singers, under the direction of Jane Matson, lifted their voices in song at a 9/11 memorial service. Situated beneath the six maple trees painted as an American flag on the Route 302 property of Howard Lasher, the singers offered the national anthem, as well as America the Beautiful. Also adding her lovely voice to the 9/11 ceremony was Dolores Lussier.
One of the latest #viewfromnewtown Instagram links to be posted to The Newtown Bee’s website came from David White, firefighter with Newtown Hook & Ladder Co. 1, and it isn’t a photo like other posts. It is a video of a drill. David, aka @nhlfd1dw, wrote a description of the video that reads, “Keeping the town safe #newtownhookandladder #viewfromnewtown.” Each post through Instagram that uses #viewfromnewtown automatically appears on The Bee’s website, www.newtownbee.com. Keep posting David!
Newtown High School sophomore Mackenzie Page tells me that $5 bracelets are being sold at the Sandy Hook Diner, through Halloween. The bracelets, white and orange with the words “I Made A Difference” and pictures of pumpkins, are part of this year’s Great Pumpkin Challenge. This will mark the third year Mackenzie has challenged residents to carve a pumpkin, drop it off for display at her home on Main Street, and offer a donation. The Great Pumpkin Challenge started as a way to raise funds to support family friend Zoë McMorran, who was battling brain cancer. This year Mackenzie says all of the donations will go to The Hole In The Wall Gang Camp, Paul Newman’s nonprofit organization for seriously ill children, where Zoë and others have found comfort. Mackenzie also says her family will be at Castle Hill Farm every Sunday, starting in October, to sell hats for $20 each and the $5 bracelets. I’m already planning my pumpkin for this year. I’m thinking the Cheshire cat?
Timothy Stan, a Newtown resident and founder and president of The Sandy Hook Project, Inc, formally launched his project’s website, www.sandyhookwechooselove.org, August 30. It offers We Choose Love merchandise, the proceeds from which will be used to provide counseling services to families, first responders, and community members impacted by 12/14. The site also offers a blog written by Sandy Hook Elementary School parents, as well as information about the organization (501(c)(3) status pending with Connecticut) including its mission statement and a contact form. Tim, you probably recall, was the man behind the green and white signs that proclaimed “We Are Sandy Hook — We Choose Love” that began showing up shortly after 12/14. Tim was inspired, he told The Newtown Bee in February, by the words of the late Dr Martin Luther King Jr in creating his now-iconic signs.
It seems it should be far simpler to choose love than negativity, disrespect, or hate, but what do I know? I’m just a cat. At any rate, while you’re choosing love, I hope that next week you’ll also choose to… Read me again.