The Top of the Mountain

I craned my neck as best I could, trying to see through the cloud cover during Monday’s Labor Day Parade, but I did not see a single vintage airplane or B-17 flying overhead. Parade Committee President Beth Caldwell cleared up the mystery for me, saying that last minute paperwork due to increased security could not be filed in time to schedule the planes this year, after all. Fortunately, there were plenty of wonderful distractions at ground level to alleviate any brief disappointment over the unexpected cancellation.

I found myself doing some extra dodging and dashing for cover this year, with the variety of items being tossed overboard from floats. There were plenty of hard candies for the kids to scramble after, as usual, but this year I nearly got ringed by a rubber bracelet, beaned by a Beanie Baby, bonked by a teddy bear, and roped in by a beaded necklace, as well. I ducked when I saw the incoming ducks — the Ducks of Sandy Hook Elementary School, that is, distributed by Officer Keeping. I grabbed a toothbrush and a tube of the toothpaste as they hit the curb, hoping for chicken-flavored paste, but alas, my mouth will be minty fresh.

Here’s one cat that can stand up to anything tossed his way, I reckon. The Wlasuks spotted this spotted bobcat behind their Hattertown Road home on Sunday. I’m peeking out my back door twice before setting foot outside these days. Somehow, I suspect that even the feline link might not be enough to dissuade this fellow from turning me into an appetizer.

According to the National Library Association, the “most important school supply of all” is your library card. And September, lucky for you, is Library Card Sign-up Month, in case you have let yours lapse or (gasp!) have yet to get one. Stop by the C.H. Booth any time during library hours, and any one of the staff members will be happy to help you. Just be sure to bring proof of residency, and kids under 16 years of age will need a parent or guardian signature. Once you have your card in hand, though, it’s valid at any library in the entire state. No excuses now for not doing your research.

Alison Flannery has begun teaching French and Spanish at Newtown High School. While not teaching, she is an independent film producer, focusing on family-friendly films. This weekend Alison will be celebrating the premier of The Inheritance, which is based on the novel of the same name by Louisa May Alcott. The film will be screened this Friday night at The Strand Theater, 165 Main Street in Seymour. Doors open at 8 pm, and there will be two short films screened at 8:15 (Picnic Perfect and Common Ground), followed by the feature at 8:30 pm.

Here’s an event that will have you laughing, crying, and even salivating — how tempting is that? Newtown author Elissa Altman will be at the Mark Twain Library, 439 Redding Road (Route 53), in Redding, this coming Tuesday, September 10, for a reading and signing of her latest book, Poor Man’s Feast: A Love Story of Comfort, Desire, and the Art of Simple Cooking. Come one, come all. The reading starts at 7 pm. For more information, call the library at 203-938-2545.

Was Pig Pen your favorite Peanuts character? If so, here’s some news you will cherish, from a recent Science Daily post. “‘The ‘hygiene hypothesis,’ which suggests a relationship between cleaner environments and a higher risk of certain allergies and autoimmune diseases, is well-established. We believe we can now add Alzheimer’s to this list of diseases,” said Dr Molly Fox, lead author of the study and Gates Cambridge Alumna, who conducted the research at Cambridge’s Biological Anthropology division. I’m hoping to find an article expounding the virtues of eating ice cream every day now.

Ben’s Bells Newtown studio has expanded its hours. The local home of the Ben’s Bells project, at 17 Church Hill Road (entrance in the back), now welcomes crafters of all ages to stop by Wednesdays between 10 am and 3 pm, or 6 to 9 pm, as well as on Saturdays from noon to 4 pm. You can choose from crafting or glazing beads or kindness coins, for just a suggested donation of $5.

Jos Moravsky, a coach at Vasi’s International Gymnastics in Newtown, is competing to become the first American Ninja Warrior winner in the fifth season of the show on NBC. Good news — Jos advanced through the Baltimore regional and first round of the finals. He will compete in the championship round in Los Vegas, in the season finale of the show, at 8 pm on NBC, on September 16. Stay tuned for more!

I’ve noticed our highway department crew on Glen Road (and most likely elsewhere), apparently tackling the invasive vines that have placed a strangle hold on telephone poles and wires this summer, not to mention the shrubs and trees. As much as I like to hide in the shadows of heavy brush, I do not appreciate the snarl of vines that block my way as I prowl about. So, thanks, crewmembers! I hope you win the battle.

I’m sure there won’t be a strangle hold on news next week, so you’ll find the best of the best right here, if you… Read me again.

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