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The Top of the Mountain

Summer reading is not just for kids in this town. Adults are invited to take part in the C.H. Booth Library Adult Summer Reading program. Stop by the main circulation desk on the second floor and pick up some review forms. Read your books, and then put the forms into your chosen prize boxes on the table, near the front door. Librarians there tell me there will be a grand drawing, at the end of August, for some awesome prizes.

Bee employees weren’t waiting for a bus to take them on a field trip Tuesday afternoon, if you happened to drive by and see the crowd on the sidewalk. Shooshed outside rapidly by Sandy Hook volunteer firefighter (as well as our Bee Associate Editor) Shannon Hicks, employees (ahem, Kate…) were responding to the “wah wah wah” of the smoke alarm moments earlier. At right is a photo of one of our heroes going into The Bee.  It turned out to be “a historical spot” in the building that occasionally gives workers and firefighters a thrill, but fortunately has always been a false alarm. After Fire Marshal Bill Halstead and responders from Hook & Ladder and Sandy Hook gave the all clear, work returned to its usual hurried Tuesday pace. And I resumed my gossip gathering.

Even Ronald McDonald can’t resist the Newtown Lions Classic Mustang that the local group is raffling off. Ronald, also seen at right, jumped into the Mustang when Lions Kevin Corey and Peter McNulty were visiting the Railroad Days car show in Canaan, last Saturday.

If you think you would look at least as good as this clown behind the wheel, be sure to get your tickets at www.NewtownLions.org for the fall drawing. I’ll keep my paws crossed for you.

Did you read the plea last week from the Labor Day Parade Committee? Quite a large amount of money is still needed to pay for all of the upcoming expenses of the September 1 parade in town. You can donate at NewtownctLaborDayParade.org. By the way, if you’re like me, and cringe when re-enactors fire off their guns in the parade, you can breathe a sigh of relief. This year, as happened last year, committee members have requested that no guns be fired during the parade.

But wait! There’s more! The Labor Day Parade Committee has awarded the 2014 Legends and Pioneers Award to John Klopfenstein. “John has been an announcer at the flagpole for approximately 14 years,” Committee President Beth Caldwell explains, “and has been our unofficial photographer throughout the years.” John has retired from that post, as of this year. Taking John’s place at the flagpole on September 1 will be will be middle school teacher Susan Lang. Susan grew up in Newtown, and directs the middle school musical each year. She is also part of a local band, My Dad’s Truck. Seems like there will be quite the duo calling out the parade entries on Main Street, as The Bee’s own John Voket is a standard at that spot, too. I wouldn’t be surprised if the two of them suddenly burst into song.

The Cary Grant feature Gunga Din will be screened at 1, 4 and 7 pm, in the next installation of the Sunday Cinema Series this weekend at Edmond Town Hall. Tickets for all shows are $2. “This is the lighter side of war movies, filled with love and laughter,” says Sunday Cinema Series Coordinator Jen Rogers, who has created a full slate of movies from 1939, considered by many film enthusiasts to be the greatest year in film. If you haven’t seen it, the Gunga Din film was loosely based on the Rudyard Kipling heroic poem of that name, telling the story of a humble Indian water bearer who aspires to become a respected soldier in the British Army. Set in late 19th Century Colonial India, Victor McLaglen and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr, also star.

Main Street resident Sherry Birmingham took note of a recent “Nourishments” column in The Newtown Bee about an unusual vegetable called Broccoli Romanesco. She gave us a call this week to tell us that she has seen this fractal food sold by The Farm, at the Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market, in New Milford. “I saw it last fall for the first time,” Sherry says, and it is back again this summer. The Elephant’s Trunk is located off of Route 7, and Sherry says The Farm stand is usually right near the second entrance to the flea market. I’ve marked Sunday for an early “rise and shine” already.

Robert Morrison of Edge Lake Drive on Lake Zoar wants to give the heads up to his neighbors. Wednesday morning, around 9 am, he watched a big black bear amble its way up from the lake, crossing the road up behind his house. The owners of small pets that go outdoors in that area might want to keep a close eye on them the next few days — and make sure that trash is secured from curious bear paws.

Sandy Hook resident Shari Hanson has a pretty sweet sunflower (and I’m not kidding) growing in her garden. She was excited when she noticed this past Sunday that the sunflower was about to bloom. By Wednesday, the 6-foot sunflower pictured at right was in full color and soaking up the sun.  Shari tells me she plants a sunflower each year, following advice that was once shared with her: to always sprinkle a little sugar when planting the seeds. Sweet, right?

Andrea Chacho Brady of Titusville, Fla., gave me a call to say she has observed something interesting about her relatives in Newtown, where she grew up. A lot of them end up on the front page of The Bee. One sister has made the front page twice over the years, once for winning a fishing contest and once while at the Bridgewater Fair. Her parents, Frank and Elaine, made the front page a few years back when they sold their house and moved onto their boat full-time. Most recently, Andrea’s brother-in-law, Ken Fay, was on The Bee front page, featured in a story about his Emmy-winning documentary, Wags ‘n’ Tales. I quizzed Andrea as to when she had been on the front page, and she sadly admitted she had never been so honored. Chin up, Andrea — “Top of the Mountain” may not be front page, but I can assure you, it has its faithful followers.

It is with great hope that I go forth into the next week, counting on my faithful followers to… Read me again.

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