Saturday, September 23, 2017

Read for the Right to Read at Russell Library!

Banned Books Week is the annual celebration of the freedom to read.

For this year's celebration, we have members of the community as well as members of the Russell Library staff reading from banned books of their choice.

The dates & times of the read alouds are as follows:
Monday September 25 from 5:00 to 6:00pm, Dic Wheeler of ArtFarm will begin the read alouds with a selection from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. Dr. Helen Evrard will be reading from Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Others, including staff members, will be reading from banned books of their choice.

Tuesday September 26 from 5:00 to 6:30pm, Richard Kamins of Readers Theater, and others, will read aloud from banned books of their choice.

Wednesday September 27 from 1:00 to 2:00pm (or later) Kristin Palmer of Oddfellows Playhouse, and others, will read from banned books of their choice.

All of the community is invited to participate!

Drop by and pick out a passage from your favorite banned book. Banned Books Week emphasizes the importance of the First Amendment, which guarantees our inherent right to read.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

PAC Created to Support Building of New Middle School

A group of Middletown residents have created a political action committee to urge fellow residents to vote "yes" on a referendum item to fund the building of a new middle school.  The referendum question will appear on the ballot.  A "yes" vote favors building a new middle school.

The PAC, called MiddleSchoolYes, has created a website to disseminate information, and to collect a small amount of money to fund the printing of campaign handouts.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Saturday Jazz (Up Close + Solo)

Pianist, composer, educator, and author (he also plays guitar and sings) Noah Baerman is the curator of Jazz Up Close!, a program sponsored by the Russell Library, the Shoreline Arts Alliance, the Middletown Commission on the Arts (and others. This Saturday September 23, Mr. Baerman, alto saxophonist Kris Allen, and bassist Henry Lugo welcome Brazilian-born drummer and percussionist Rogério Boccato for the "Crossing Cultures" program to take place at 1:30 p.m. in the Hubbard Room of the Russell Library, 123 Broad Street.

Boccato, who has worked and/or and recorded dozens of contemporary musicians including bassist John Pattitucci, composer Maria Schneider's Orchestra, vocalist Michael Franks, and UCONN/Storrs Professor of Music Earl MacDonald, teaches at the Manhattan School of Music and has served on the Percussion Faculty at the Hartt School/University of Hartford.  He also has a long association with artists from his home country including Milton Nascimento, Dori Caymmi, Hermeto Pascoal, and the late Antonio Carlos Jobim.

This should be a fascinating concert, with good insights into the world of percussion and creative music.  Bring your questions!  For more information, go to

Here's Senhor Boccato playing with Hartford natives Luques & Zaccai Curtis (The Curtis Brothers) on their "Completion of Proof" album:

Pianist, composer, and educator Laszlo Gardony returns to The Buttonwood Tree, 605 Main Street in Middletown, on Saturday (9/23) at 8 p.m. for a concert of solo piano music.  Professor Gardony, who is on the faculty of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, is a frequent visitor to The Buttonwood.  He's in town to celebrate the release of his latest Sunnyside Records album, "Serious Play", a delightful collection of works including a number of originals and standards such as "Georgia on My Mind" and John Coltrane's "Naima."  The pianist pays with great fire, great emotion and has a lifetime love for melody and improvisation. I know for a fact he loves playing in the intimate performance space because of the receptive audiences and how close people sit.  

For ticket information, go to or call 860-347-4957. To find out more about the pianist, go to

Here is the title track of his splendid new album:

Monday, September 18, 2017

Board of Education Votes to Hire Dr. Michael T. Conner As New Superintendent

At a special meeting on Monday night September 18, The Board of Education voted unanimously to hire Dr. Michael T. Conner as new superintendent of schools for Middletown.  Board members Linda Szynkowicz and Cheryl McClellan were not present for the vote. Common Council members Gene Nocera, Gerry Daley, Deb Kleckowski and Bob Santangelo were among the many members of the public, teachers, principals, administrators and city leaders who were in the room for the vote.  Mayor Dan Drew was not present.

Conner will replace Pat Charles who will be retiring in November.

The public vote at the Monday's followed a unanimous vote by the selection committee.

Conner thanked the Board and the city for welcoming him, and his family to the city.

Conner has been in Norwalk since 2015, working under Superintendent Steven Adamowski.  Conner also worked for Adamowski in Windham where Adamowski was appointed as "Special Master" by the State Department of Education after Windham failed to meet state standards in test score improvement.  As a result, the State designated Windham a "turnaround" district and took control of the Board of Education.

In Norwalk, where Conner was Chief Academic Officer, the district recently reported closing the achievement gap by one-third.

New Schools Superintendent

From a profile in 2015
The Eye has learned that Dr. Michael T. Conner has been selected to lead the City's public schools. Conner is Chief Academics Officer for the Norwalk schools under Steven Adamowski.  He previously worked with Adamowski in Windham.

The Board of Education will vote on Conner's hiring at their meeting tonight (7:30 PM, Council Chambers).

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Buttonwood tree goes ELECTRIC for BOB DYLAN!!

Suzanne Sheridan Band

September 15      810 pm

The music of BOB DYLAN tonight at TBT!
Some singers sing but there are others who possess powers beyond putting notes to words. When Suzanne Sheridan sings you could swear she knows you, that she is singing to you, that she understands your soul. And she is also a great entertainer.
She is uniquely a philosopher/songwriter in her own right and a performer who knows how to cover the music of other great songwriters including Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Carly Simon, and James Taylor.
You will be treated to all the above and probably some surprises as she returns to The Buttonwood Tree with her band, The Suzanne Sheridan Band – Bob Cooper on keyboards; Colin Healy on fiddle, mandolin, harmonica and backup vocals; and Paul Horton on electric lead guitar.

Ann Sweeten: Solo Piano Concert

September 16      8 - 9:30 pm

Includes a reception after the concert.

After nearly 20 years of enamoring audiences on the Concert stage and on Radio/Internet Airwaves, Ann Sweeten’s  signature style is recognized world-wide and now her new album, Where Butterflies Dance is without question her most ambitious and successful to date.  Will Ackerman, co-producer, had this to say: There is no greater compliment I can give any musician than to say they have their own artistic voice.  They are uniquely themselves and bring something utterly their own to the world.  Ann Sweeten is one of those rare musicians.  The grace one associates with Ann’s performance has been matched by what I believe are the best melodies of her career.  At a time when many artists might choose to coast on their notoriety, Ann  has raised the bar considerably and we, the listeners, are the beneficiaries of her ambition and skill.   Really brilliant.

One of the most decorated pianists of the past decade with 7 previous albums all ranking in the Top 5 NAR and ZMR Radio Reports, Sweeten is also one of the most played modern instrumentalists in North America. A truly well-rounded individual and artist, Ms. Sweeten is a staunch environmentalist, animal activist and vegetarian. In addition to her Concert and Recording career, she is also a professional actress/singer/dancer with Actor’s Equity Association.  Ann Sweeten is herself a Breast Cancer survivor twice over and is involved with the Arts in Healthcare Initiative.

The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts & Cultural Center
605 Main Street / PO Box 71, Middletown, CT 06457 / 860.347.4957 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Video Of Main Street Stroll

Last Saturday, hundreds of people enjoyed live music, arts, children's activities, and a parade on Main Street. The event was organized by Wesleyan, and many of Main Street's businesses eagerly participated.  The stores and restaurants were full.

Aldon Hynes, Community Health Center's Wondrous Wizard of Widgets, shot video of the parade.

DJI_0001 from Community Health Center, Inc. on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Meet and Greet Democratic Candidates, September 18

Action Together – Middlesex County and the Greater Middletown Young Democrats will be hosting a Meet the Candidates night for the democratic candidates running for Board of Education and Planning & Zoning in Middletown, CT.
The event will be held on Monday, September 18th in the Hubbard Room at Russell Library (123 Broad St. Middletown, CT) with a reception at 6:00PM and panel questions beginning promptly at 6:30.
This will be a great opportunity to learn about the candidates running and what their vision is for Middletown.

Please submit questions to:

Ballot Set For November 7 Election

The Democratic and Republican registrars held a lottery this morning at City Hall to determine the order of names on the ballot for this year's municipal elections.

Deputy Democratic Registrar Bill Boyd stands by the results (click photo to enlarge).

Eye disclosure: The author is one of the candidates for Planning and Zoning Commission.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Strange Doorway to Another World Closes in Middletown -- The Colonel Carries On #100

by Bishop Fortunatianus, Bible commentator, and Matt N.A. Idol, heartthrob

Epigraph: “Why pay for what you can get for free?” --Passphrase to get into Louis’s Speakhard

“Hetti” is a nickname for the English girl’s names Harriet, Hester, and Henrietta, all of which derive from “Henry,” meaning “Lord of the Manor.”

Hetti Bywater’s formal name is Harriet Jessica P Bywater (born 10 September 1994). The “P” is apparently like the “S” in Harry S Truman: no following period and it stands for nothing but itself.

I know you’re racking your brain trying to remember who Hetti Bywater is. Well, let your brain off the rack. She’s that English actress best known for playing Lucy Beale in the BBC soap opera “East Enders.” Now it comes back to you!

Free Cooking Series to Highlight Local Veggies

The Middletown Urban Agriculture Project is a community-based project to enhance agriculture in the City, funded by a grant from the National Association of Conservation Districts. Project partners include Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District, Forest City Farms, Long Lane Farm, the City of Middletown, Middletown High School Agricultural Science and Technology Program, North End Action Team, the Macdonough and Farm Hill School Family Resource Centers, and the FoodCorps program.

The Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Middletown, CT, works to conserve the natural resources of towns in the lower Connecticut River watershed and coastal areas. For more information about District technical and educational programs and services, visit us at, or

Main Street Stroll on Saturday

This Saturday, September 9, is the Main Street Stroll!

It's a downtown event that showcases the businesses and organizations that make our little town great.  There will be music, magic, arts, & activities for all ages.

It's all FREE.

More that 40 different spots downtown are part of the Stroll - you can see and sort through it all at

Some highlights:

•  A community bike ride from 9 to 10 am, starting at Pedal Power.

•  Have Tea & Scones with Brian O'Rourke from 2:30 to 3:30 pm in his side garden and talk about town's past, present & future

•  There's a Sidewalk Parade at 12:30, making a loop starting at Holy Trinity Church.  We'll be led by a brass band called The Funky Dawgz.

•  If you're young (or young at heart) you can make a harmonica or decorate a hat or parasol to carry in the parade (crafts are happening at the Parade Prep HQ that we are setting up in the empty storefront at 420 Main.)

•  Have you always been curious about the stained glass windows at Holy Trinity Church?  They are giving tours from 10 am to 2 pm.

•  Are you a musician?  Bring your instrument and join the Jazz Jam with Noah Baerman, or the bluegrass and old time music jams, or sign up to play at the open mic in front of Holy Trinity.  If you are a songwriter, join Jess Best for a workshop at The Buttonwood.

•  Do you like to listen to music?  You have SO many options.  Some at the bookstore, some on the church lawn, some inside the shops around town.

You have to go to the website to see more!  See you on Main Street.

(Thanks to the City of Middletown, the Downtown Business District and Wesleyan University for funding this event!)

-Jen Alexander

Main Street Stroll Saturday, on Main Street, Of Course

Info and complete schedule here.

And an interactive schedule here.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Friends of the Russell Library Book Sale is This Weekend!

The Friends' Sale happens in the Activity Room of the library.
Friday September 8th from 10:00am to 6:00pm and Saturday September 9th from 10:00am to 2:00pm, The Friends of the Russell Library will be having their book sale in the Activity Room of the library.

This is the first sale since last June, so there are many new books, CDs and DVDs from which to choose!
Come and take advantage of all the donations that have been received over the summer!

The Friends of the Russell Library is a non-profit organization of citizens who believe that an excellent library is essential to a community.  Since its founding in 1983, the Friends have made significant contributions to the Library. Thanks to money from donations and book sales, the Friends have contributed more than $500,000 to improve services.

Goals of the Friends:
Bring together citizens who appreciate a fine library and will devote time to it.
Encourage the community to recognize and use the Library
Raise money for programs which are needed, but funds are not in the City budget.

Ways to become involved:
  • Become a member!  Pick up a membership form the next time you visit or click on the website:
  • Donate!   The Friends of Russell Library is a 501 (c) 3 organization.  Donations are tax deductible
  • Volunteer!  Friends volunteer to work at used book sales and special events

In 2016-17, the Friends funded a wide range of educational and cultural programs: 

Museum Passes – The Friends provide the popular Museum Passes, providing free access or discounts to nearly 20 cultural, educational and recreational facilities around the state.
Adult Cultural Programs
Book discussions (on Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird )
Caroline Doctorow Concert
Classical Favorites Concert
Elizabeth Thomas: Poetry for Mothers and Daughters
Ensemble Schumann (classical music trio)
Flutists Michael Pestel and Peter Standaart
Gershwin! (violinist and pianist)
Hip Hop Cultural History
“Indra” (Jazz/R&B ensemble)
Middletown International Film Festival (8th Annual!)
Money Smart Week (financial literacy)
Readers Theater (dramatization of plays with local actors)
Russell Readers (book discussions using the Great Books method)
Tellabration (storytelling) Program
Summer Reading Program
Veterans’ Writing Group

Teen Programs        
Crafternoon activities (combining science and art)
Graphics illustration workshop
Writing workshop

Children’s Programs
Bending Gravity Program (with Eric Girard)
Book Voyagers Program (mother/daughter book discussion)
Summer Reading Program

Young People’s Concert

Police Looking For Eyewitnesses to Wednesday Shooting

From the Middletown Police Department, released Wednesday, September 6:

Earlier this evening in the parking lot of the Community Health Center, the Middletown Police responded to the parking lot of the Community Health Center on the report of shots fired. Officers located one victim who sustained non-life-threatening injuries.  The victim was transported to the hospital. The Middletown Police Department is currently investigating this incident and asking anyone who may have witnessed the shooting to contact the Middletown Police Department at 860-638-4000.  At this time we are not releasing the victim's identity.

"Illuminating Science" Art Show Opens Tonight

The Green Street Teaching and Learning Center (51 Green Street) will feature the artwork of Dena
Winkleman Matthews, in a show entitled "Illuminating Science". Matthews is a biologist by training, and expertly uses a wide variety of techniques to illustrate medical and scientific subject matter.

The opening reception for "Illuminating Science" is tonight (September 7) from 5 to 7.

The show will remain on view through September 27th, gallery hours are Mon.-Fri. 9am-3pm.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Environmental Grants Information Workshop September 13

The Rockfall Foundation will host an Information Session for the 2018 Competitive Grant Program on Wednesday, September 13 at 5 pm at the deKoven House Community Center.

Continuing the philanthropic tradition of its founder, Clarence S. Wadsworth, the Rockfall Foundation invites non-profit organizations, municipalities, and schools in the Lower Connecticut River Valley to apply for grants through the annual program. The Foundation seeks to support projects that preserve and enhance the environment in the Lower Connecticut River Valley and to increase public knowledge of and respect for its natural resources. Projects that demonstrate new and imaginative ways to achieve this are encouraged. New and returning applicants will learn about requirements of the application, grantee expectations, and may ask questions about the process. Read more about eligibility and the application process at Please call the Foundation with questions at 860-347-0340.

deKoven House Community Center
27 Washington Street
Middletown, CT 06457

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

June Letter Called For More Focus on Progress For Racial Equity In Superintendent Search

In mid-June, as the Board of Education began the multi-step process of searching for a new superintendent of schools, the Middletown Racial Justice Coalition sent the following suggestions to the Chair of the Board, Vincent Loffredo.

The Board of Education has decided the evaluation of candidates and the selection of the new superintendent should be done by community members who were elected to serve on the Board.  Other community members, as well as teachers, have called for more representation in the search process.  

Note:  The Middletown Racial Justice Coalition is an group of city residents formed within the past year. It describes itself as follows: 
This group was created so that Middletown can join in working toward Racial Justice for all. It is a place to share ideas, strategies, opportunities, events, and community. It is intended to be as inclusive, diverse, and multidimensional as possible.
To:               Middletown Board of Education Chair, Vincent Loffredo
From:           Middletown Racial Justice Coalition Education Committee Co-Chairs, Diana Martinez & Quentin Phipps
Date:           June 19, 2017
Subject:       Middletown Racial Justice Coalition Statement Concerning Middletown Schools Superintendent Search

The Middletown Racial Justice Coalition, composed of community members who are actively working toward racial justice in Middletown, is committed to the creation of a more equitable public school system.

The Board of Education must conduct the search for the Superintendent with an eye toward the goals of raising the achievement of all students while narrowing the gaps between the lowest and highest performing students; eliminating racial predictability and disproportionality in all aspects of education and its administration; and ensuring all students, regardless of race or class graduate from Middletown Public Schools ready to succeed in a racially and culturally diverse local, national, and global community.

Several conditions need to be met in order for this search to be meaningful, thoughtful, and fruitful.
First, it is critical that the search committee be transparent about its search parameters and the place of equity in its process--this includes crafting a Superintendent job description that details the importance of a candidate with experience in changing outcomes for Black and Latino children.
This job description must also be made available to the public.
We want to stress the importance of conducting a national search in a manner consistent with industry best practices for ensuring a diverse candidate pool.
It’s imperative for all children in Middletown, but particularly for Black and Latino children (roughly 70% of whom are not meeting educational standards), that this search be conducted with an equity lens from start to finish.
Community input is a vital part of this search that should not be limited to public hearings--there has to be space for youth and parent voices throughout the entire process.
In addition, we would like the committee to consider requiring finalists to prepare public presentations outlining their goals and methodology upon hiring, with opportunity for community members to provide input.

Our coalition’s steering committee, as well as the members of our education subcommittee, are prepared to offer our advice and assistance to the search committee and would value a role in selecting our next educational leader.

Opinion: Superintendent Search Process Should Be More Inclusive

Opinion piece submitted by Quentin Phipps and Diana Martinez, previously published in the Middletown Press. Phipps and Martinez have also sent a letter to the Board of Education, outlining steps they feel would make the search for a new Superintendent of Schools "meaningful, thoughtful, and fruitful." 
There is no debate that an achievement gap exists in Middletown. In Middletown, as in practically every town across our country, a child's race (even more often than their economic status) is a steady predictor for their academic success. If our community can agree that White children are not inherently smarter than Black and Brown children, then we have to question why an estimated 70% of our Black and Brown children are not meeting our educational expectations. Middletown has a moral, ethical, and economic imperative to address the systemic issues that contribute to these disparities in educational outcomes.

Many Middletown community members participated in the survey and focus groups hosted for the Board of Education’s Superintendent search. We implored our elected officials to recognize the educational crisis we are facing and to put racial equity at the forefront of their decision making process. Members of the Middletown Racial Justice Coalition’s Education Committee also sent the Board a letter detailing several conditions crucial to contracting a Superintendent capable of addressing how our system has historically failed students of color. As this search process comes to a close and the interview process begins, we are disappointed that none of our suggestions were adopted and that there is no plan to address them in the weeks to come. For instance, we were outraged that almost all mentions of race and equity in the Boards’ Leadership Profile Report were erased and replaced with “ALL”.

We cannot both tout our diverse student population as a strength and then turn around and attempt to present our town and our needs homogeneously--this is intellectually dishonest and hypocritical. ALL of our children should be excelling in ALL our schools, ALL of our children should see themselves represented in our teaching and administrative staff, ALL of our children deserve to have their educational needs met but that is not our reality. Again, roughly 70% of our Black and Latino children are below grade level in reading--this is our reality. If we truly believe ALL our children should thrive in our schools, then we need to focus our collective efforts on improving outcomes for those who historically have not. And while one person cannot be expected to fix decades of inequity, we have a unique opportunity to find a leader who will set us on the right track.    

There is no clearer indicator of the depth of our systemic issues around race then the ease with which the people entrusted to represent ALL of us can actively ignore every data point representing the struggles of some of us. Not only has our Board rejected the idea that we need to find an educational leader well-versed in racial equity, they have not even able to admit and have used language that actively erases the fact that we have a problem. Furthermore, based on their timeline, it seems one series of focus groups and a pre-search survey were the only opportunities for community engagement in the decision process. This should raise alarms. We should all be concerned with Cooperative Educational Services’ ability to secure an educational leader prepared for the unique challenges around equity for the City of Middletown.

The current lack of communication between the Board and the community indicate that this process does not include us all and thereby will not fulfill the needs of us all. As such, we insist Middletown BoE incorporate our original suggestions in their process. This includes requiring finalists to share their vision for Middletown Schools via public presentations with opportunity for community feedback. This decision is too important to be made with minimal community input and demands transparency. Our coalition has offered and continues to offer BoE leaders our support in creating an inclusive and equitable education community for our children. The first step forward is admitting we have a problem.

Quentin Phipps and Diana Martinez
Education Subcommittee Co-Chairs
Middletown Racial Justice Coalition

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Malloy Plugs $2.5B Budget Hole With 2000% Rise in Library Fines -- The Colonel Carries On #99

by Fay Knuse, Lacy Hemmings, and Tad Hott

Epigraph: “If it ain’t broke, don’t break it. Don’t break nothin’.” --Lou Paloop

“Meteorological” autumn starts on September 1, “astronomical autumn” at the equinox on Friday, September 22.

“Penultimate” means “next to last,” from Latin “paene,” almost, and “ultima,” final, last or, as in English, noun, last syllable of a multisyllabic word.  “Ultima” is familiar from common English words like “ultimate” and “ultimatum,” but “paene” seems to be represented in English only in “penultimate” and “peninsula” (“almost an island”)

Or maybe not: is “paene pasta” bad Italian food?

An “antepenult” sounds as if it’s some kind of trans relative (“You forgot your antepenult’s birthday”), but it means “before the almost the last” or “third to last syllable of a word of three or more syllables.”

I’m unable to tell you the relationship between “ante” (before, as in “anteroom” and “antenuptial”) and “anti” (against, as in “antifa”). You’d think they’d have a common idea at a common root, but I can’t find it.

Tell Teddy Roosevelt his maxim has been updated: “Speak loudly and carry a small stick in your small hand. Be small in every way.”

Many English parents raise their children between Beatingham and Bashingham.

In British Railway lavatories is found the sign “Gentlemen Lift the Seat.” One observer speculated whether it was a sociological definition or an invitation to upper-class larceny.

Another purported maxim came to my attention years ago in a television period drama in which a poor man’s son eloped with a rich man’s daughter, or vice versa.

The fathers met and hatched a plan to undo the elopement (bribe the preacher to deny the marriage, etc.). In the tense negotiation between the fathers, the rich one overcame the poor one’s objections by intoning, “Gentlemen come to an agreement.”

It was rhetorically astute, essentially asking the poor man, “Are you a gentleman or not?”

Nevertheless, I have never seen the saying in print, Google knows it only as a command: “Gentlemen, come to an agreement!” Some screenwriter apparently coined it in its aphoristic sense.

As a boy, I liked reading short stories. Why do modern readers prefer novels? Supposedly the average attention span has shortened, so you’d think the opposite. What’s the most famous short story every written? The Pit and the Pendulum? The Snows of Kilimanjaro? The Night the Bed Fell?

How many restaurants are there in Middletown? Take a guess. Would it surprise you to know that one correct answer is “more than a hundred”?

A main street that thrives on numberless restaurants is vulnerable to recession. We’re in the ninth year of our current recovery, and some economists say we’re due for a downturn, so we may find out.

There’s a theory that restaurants thrive when people have to work so many hours to make ends meet that they haven’t time to cook. So they take out; it makes economic sense for them, and helps restaurants.

You know you’re old when you bend over to pick up a penny.

Nobody has ever come back from a $20 trillion debt. I’m just sayin’.

Q: How can you tell if the bear chasing you is a black bear or a grizzly bear?
A: Climb up a tree to escape the bear. If the bear follows you up the tree and kills you, it's a black bear. If the bear knocks the tree down and then kills you, it's a grizzly.

She likes cats. She’s symcatico.

A friend said: “I’ve read the play, but I’ve never seen a production of Pygma Lion.”

The patron saint of retail software is Our Lady of Perpetual Inventory.

“Don’t look directly at the eclipse of American democracy.”

That’s gloomy. Better to ponder more hopeful stuff:

“Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.” Jas 3:4.

Or, in more modern dress, “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Nothing else ever has.” (Margaret Mead)

We stayed in an attic room in an inn. It was a converted church, and the top of a lancet window peeked above the floor on the far side of the claw-foot bathtub. It was eerie to see morning sun streaming from under the bathtub.

Some titles practically write the book: “The Sheik of Araby and the Nick of Time.”

From bookstore browsing: “Unconditional: Older Dogs, Deeper Love”; “Fight Like A Girl”; “The Power of Boundless Compassion”; “1001 Ways to Slow Down” (gift from a traffic cop?).

For real, a booth at the Wadsworth Mansion Open Air Market: “Walk By Faith Doggie Bakery, LLC.” (Not as weird as Cape Cod’s “Church of Jesus Christ, Sandwich.”)

When life gives you lemons: “If life burns your toast, make diamonds from the carbon.”

Other kids made merciless fun of Charles “Chunky” Guacamole, singing “Chunky Guacamole” to the tune of “Gary, Indiana” from “The Music Man.”

Speaking of tunes, the previous administration had one ready but never got to use it: “GuantanaMO Bay/ we closed/ GuantanaMO Bay.”
“C’mon, Professor, crack a smile! Chemistry can’t be all grim!”

When the affectless professor loses his cool, he swears mildly: “Oh, fishknuckles!” he mutters, more in annoyance than true anger.

Hypograph: “When life gives you lemmings, make lemmingade.”