The Top of the Mountain

Well-known gardener and author Sydney Eddison got a mention in the Thursday, September 12, Home section of The New York Times for a 1989 plant trade with home and interior designer Peter Wooster. Mr Wooster’s Roxbury gardens were the focus of the article, and in one of his gardens, apparently, are lilies from Ms Eddison’s garden. Her gardens received cuttings of Mr Wooster’s brugmansia in that long-ago exchange.

Thrown from the car in an accident near Peck’s Lane and Prospect Drive, in which his owners were taken to the hospital, Pookie, a small brown dachshund, has gone missing this week. Please call the Animal Control Officer at 203-426-6900 or the Newtown Police after hours, if you spot the little dog.

Girl Scout Troop 50628 is hosting a fundraising tag and bake sale Saturday, September 21, from 9 am to 2 pm, on the front lawn of Newtown Middle School. This troop has been together since Daisies in kindergarten at SHS. Now in the seventh grade, they hope to use the sale as a kickoff fundraiser for a trip to Europe sometime in the next two to three years. (Can I hope for croissants and Danish?)

NHS applied rechnology teacher Tom Swetts is continuing his efforts to raise money to improve the school auditorium before he retires at the end of this school year. “I’m hoping what we can raise can give us better quality, more professional equipment,” says Mr Swetts, who has set up an online donation page to raise funds. People interested in donating can do so by going to www.newtown.nhs.schooldesk.net, scrolling down and clicking on Donate below the News & Announcements section.

I heard that The Newtowner editor Georgia Monaghan was at C.H. Booth Library on Monday with issues of the special edition, hot off the press. The Special Tribute issue of Newtown’s literary magazine features contributions from nationally acclaimed authors and illustrators, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Ysef Komunhakaa, Senators Blumenthal and Murphy, and Newtown educators and students, as well as SHS parents David Wheeler and Sophfronia Scott. The issue also contains artwork that had been done by 12/14 victims Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, and Chase Kowalski.

Jessica Rekos’s name came up in the news elsewhere, too. Fairfield firefighters and volunteers completed work this past weekend on the ninth of 26 playground scheduled to be built to simultaneously honor victims of 12/14 and Hurricane Sandy. The Sandy Ground: Where Angels Play Project at Penfield Beach in Fairfield celebrates the first grader’s life, reflecting her favorite colors, and her love of horses and Orca whales. Jessica’s mom, Krista, was a graduate of Fairfield University. Other Angels’ playgrounds have been completed in Westport, Ansonia, and Stratford, as well as five locations in New Jersey. The first New York playground is scheduled to open in Rockaway, later this month.

 I received a note from Newtown Action Alliance’s president Dave Ackert that the Meditation on Mourning installation (See the August 16, 2013, story in The Newtown Bee, “Gift To Newtown Foundation Will Travel To Ohio”) has indeed headed West. The eight prone female figurines departed Newtown on Monday, September 16, to become part of the “BULLET: A Look At Gun Violence” exhibit at the University of Dayton in Ohio. That was the same day, ironically, as yet another mass shooting, this time at the Navy Yards in Washington, D.C. “Thank you to the folks at Rand Whitney for building the crates, securing a storage facility if/when needed, and for being such amazing partners,” says Dave. “Thank you to Brian LaDuca and the University of Dayton for the opportunity to help raise awareness of the impact that gun violence has on families, communities and society. And of course, a big thanks goes to [artist] Susie Woods for her inspirational, emotive talent and generosity. Thanks also,” Dave adds, “to those who played an advisory role behind the scenes.”

2010 NHS graduate Tyler Davenport and his team have entered in the Operation Resilient Long Island competition and are looking for votes. The team is made up of seniors in the architecture program at Rogers Williams University, is called Rising Above the Storm #84947 (in the Atlantic bracket), and has already won the first two rounds. They are now in the bracket championship and will go on — if they get the votes. Winners of the competition will have their designs in a publication that will be distributed to local municipalities, as well as to be used to translate designs into real zoning resolutions for those areas affected by Hurricane (Superstorm) Sandy. You can vote once a day at www.3ccompetition.org, as well as Twitter (#3CVOTE) and Facebook. Hurry! They need the votes by this weekend!

Sixty years after a young Connecticut native headed out to make his fortune in the Gold Rush of California, 85-year-old Ralph Buckingham wrote his memoirs of those days for a series printed in The Newtown Bee. The newspaper columns from the first part of the 20th Century, called Memories of a Forty-Niner, have been transcribed and edited by a descendent of Mr Buckingham’s, Charles M. Baker. The paperback book, Journey Into Gold Country, gives today’s readers a chance to follow the trials and travels of a Forty-Niner, in his own words. Look for the book at www.amazon.com.

Just in case you were planning to take in the fun activities at The EverWonder Children’s Museum Experience, located at 31 Peck’s Lane, the space will be closed this coming weekend, as most of the staff and volunteers will be taking part in the Newtown Arts Festival, up at Fairfield Hills. There are plenty of activities scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, for all ages, at the Festival, so head on up there instead. Then look for the Experience to reopen for its usual hours next week.

Melodee Colbert-Kean, mayor of Joplin, Mo., was one of the volunteers with Stars of Hope who ventured to Newtown for the Newtown High School Kindness Club’s Day of Kindness last weekend. Stars of Hope is an ongoing project that is sponsored by the New York Says Thank You Foundation, which helps to rebuild communities across the country affected by disaster as a way of saying thank you for all the love and support Americans gave to New Yorkers following 9/11, according to the Stars of Hope website. Ms Kean was one of a number of volunteers who participated in the September 14 event from other states, and she made sure to keep her followers on Twitter updated while participating in the event. “Touching lives, sharing hope, and spreading kindness [with the] east coast [community through] #starsofhope,” the mayor tweeted. “#kindness has no boundaries.”

I haven’t heard that he is looking for work outside of Russia, but I sure wouldn’t mind seeing Kuzya the tabby cat on the staff at C.H. Booth Library. Kuzya, I see on BuzzFeed, lives in Russia and is employed as an assistant librarian at the Novorossiysk Library. Best of all, Kuzya wears a snazzy bowtie to work — not unlike a certain newspaper publisher I know.

I’m not trying to polish my image, so don’t expect to see a picture of me dressed up in a bowtie when you open the paper next week to… Read me again.

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