Saturday, April 18, 2009

Katchen's Springtime Celebration

With three email accounts, all tended with varying degrees of responsible stewardship, I was not surprised when local environmental activist and advocate Katchen Coley called the house to ask if I had received her invitation to her annual daffodil celebration. I had not, but immediately accepted, and I'm happy to have been invited to this vernal observation which has been going on for many years.

Coley's house, tucked into a spectacular, and rare, geological bowl, is a triple-tiered modern wonder connected to the ridge which hides it, by bridges and staircases. It's design is open and architecturally grand, but comfortable and practical.

The party took place outside, on a perfect Spring evening, amidst trees in bud, and daffodils in bloom, with a gurgling brook inviting youngsters to wade.

The crowd was a great Middletown mix of Council members, academics, musicians, journalists, activists and old-schoolers, with a newcomer or two thrown in for good measure. The crudite was superb, and the conversation better, and the Dixieland band played old favorites just to make the evening perfect.

Thanks Katchen, for making us all appreciate what's so wonderful about Middletown once again.


Anonymous said...

Sounds lovely, so sorry to have missed it!

-A. Nona Mouse

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a lovely party.A lovely PRIVATE party. Welcome to the new "Society Pages" section of the Middletown Eye! Ah,maybe next year an invitation will be made to all readers of the Eye.

With thanks for gratitude for all that you do, Ed to keep Middletown informed, I'm not sure this post was thoughtfully considered.

Anonymous said...

You can't fool us, Ms. Mouse, we're slowly closing in on your secret identity.

We think you were at the party and are, by pretending to have missed it, simply trying to throw us off your scent. (And what a scent it is!!)

The Feral Cats

Anonymous said...

I hate to agree with the feeling- left-out Anonymous 10:33 but the posting of fun parties may not be polite, smacking of , "Nanny, nanny, pooh,pooh, we had a fancy schmancy, socially exciting time, and you didn't!"

I would rather have seen/heard an on the scene report about the group of environmental activist's efforts to conserve the lands of the former Connecticut Yankee Power Plant or the recent article in the magazine of The Connecticut Forest and Park Association titled Land Conservation from the Grass Roots which concerns Maromas. That would be more newsworthy than, "a good time was had by all invitees on a lovely day in a beautiful spot."

Sorry, I missed it, too!

-I. Smella Rat

Karen Swartz said...

I also thought it a bit unusual to post coverage of a private party, however I would like to point out that it may be real easy to get on the guest list by getting involved! There is so much happening in Middletown with politics and environmemtal issues and and and... If you attend a meeting or gathering or get involved with local organizations by volunteering your time or just showing up, you are bound to run into Ms. Katchen Coley and some of the others who were guests at her party, and you will land yourself an "in."

Jen Alexander said...

At least the commenters who disapproved of Ed's post did so in a civil manner. Before I speak my piece, I just want to say thank you for that.

I know that Ed is a big boy and can take care of himself, but I'll feel guilty if I don't mention that I was the one at the party who urged Ed to take out his camera and put something up on the Eye.

If you'll permit me to get up on my soapbox for a moment, i think the Middletown Eye is the perfect place to post about all kinds of things that happen in the community, things which are much less inclusive than Katchen's garden party. I'm interested in reading about whatever any of you are interested in writing about -- the more the better, since that is what will give the broadest picture of what Middletown really is. If it makes me hungry to go out and get involved in something new or a different group of people, so much the better.

Tell me what's going on at your church, your kid's school, your neighborhood party, your work place -- and if you go to any of those city meetings, write about those too. Put it all together, and you start to get the flavor of what goes into sustaining a community. Isn't that the main point of the Eye?

Certainly any real newspaper makes an effort to showcase the life of the community, including putting private events on their pages. The Hartford Courant had a long record of recording gossip and party info about various public and business figures. The Middletown Press had Ebben Flow and city briefs.

I'm going to have to get out my old "The Personal is Political" button.

-Jen Alexander (my real name)

Anonymous said...

Jen we hear you, but this is another example of the Eye covering only a sliver of Middletown's social scene, that makes this whole effort seem a bit shallow and insular.

Anonymous said...

Great comments!!

By the way any news on who is replacing Ron K for Democrat for mayor... ???
The Democrat Town Committee met last thrusday???
Seems like they have no one again, I bet the mayor will run alone again!!

fishmuscle (Stephen H. Devoto) said...

"... another example of the Eye covering only a sliver of Middletown's social scene, that makes this whole effort seem a bit shallow and insular. "

I agree with Anonymous at 9:23, in fact I would go further. The Eye's reporting on social functions is not the only thing that is shallow and insular. The Eye's reporting on municipal governance is shallow and insular. The Eye's reporting on politics is shallow and insular. The Eye's reporting on Middletown schools is shallow and insular. The Eye's reporting on Middletown crime is shallow and insular. I could go on and on. Actually, for most topics, the Eye's coverage is worse than shallow, it is non-existent. When was the last time you read a review of a Middletown eatery, or reporting of a school athletic or musical event? When was the last profile of a Middletown personality? Where are the stories about Middletown hiking trails or natural history?

As a regular reader of The Eye, I desperately want The Middletown Eye to move beyond "shallow and insular". I do what I can by writing when I can. However, a few regular writers cannot do it by themselves. I echo Jen's call for more writing about more events. If you want The Eye to cover more than it is now, or to give a different perspective on what it is now covering, PLEASE HELP BY WRITING!!!!

The Eye cannot get deeper by having less writing, it can only get deeper by having more. Shine a light on the threads you want us to see. Middletown's rich tapestry can only be shown when all the threads are highlighted.

Vijay Pinch said...

Shallow and Insular! This could be Middletown's new slogan, replacing "It's all here!"

Middletown Eye (Ed McKeon) said...

I thought it was about time for Mr. Shallow and Insular to add his two cents.

As one of a few primary Eye authors, the stories are focused on events within the reach of my lens. As Stephen Devoto noted, we'd love to have lots of lenses pointed at lots of events.

Truth is, many people love to see people enjoying lots of different events private and public, and I've been an advocate for publishing 50th wedding anniversary photos, and 100th birthday photos, and beautiful vacation photos from people in Middletown. Problem is I'm not invited to all those parties or vacations.

So, keep those emails coming, but please attach a photo, and at least a blurb.

As to the larger picture. We hope to be able to solve that in the near future. We're coming up on the year anniversary, and we'd love to have a few writers we could assign stories to, and we're hoping to make that happen.

Mr. Fixit said...

Shallow and Insular??? Perhaps your "shallow and insular" is my cup of tea.

I enjoy the "Eye" and read it daily. It covers news and happenings that never make it into the Middletown (de)Press - or if they do, it's days later.

Ed and the other writers cover that which is interesting to them - it so happens, it's of interest to me toooooo.

Anonymous said...

If a Great Blue Heron is observed or
a leaf falls to the ground or a stub of the big toe sets me to cursing the insularity and shallowness of life, is this newsworthy? Maybe providing so and so's "Thought for the Day" to share with Eye readers would reduce self absorption and encourage meaningful civil dialogue equal to the level of Twitter Speak. For example," The spirit is far more intelligent than the intellect." Or ,"A cat is an excuse for a lonely woman to talk to herself."