Monday, November 28, 2022

Middlesex Health "13 Annual Tree Of Lights" Returns Live On Tuesday, November 29, 2022 From 6 P.M.-7 P.M. Tree Lighting At 6:15 P.M.




The Middlesex Health "13th Annual Tree Of Lights" returns this year with a live ceremony on Tuesday, November 29, 2022 at the Middlesex Hospital lobby at 28 Crescent Street in Middletown.  It will take place from 6 p.m.-7 p.m.  The tree lighting will take place at 6:15 p.m.   Masks are required.   


According to the Middlesex Health website it states, "The Middlesex Health Hospice Program invites you to donate in honor or in memory of anyone who has impacted your life. The 13-year tradition of the Tree of Lights is a heartfelt event to remember or honor loved ones with a tree lighting ceremony, and a display that stays prominent into the New Year."


The "Tree of Lights" names will also be displayed in the hospital lobby until January 2, 2023.


Beginning on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 through Sunday, December 11, 2022 the "Tree of Lights" names will be displayed outside underneath the flagpole at Middlesex Health main campus located at 28 Crescent Street in Middletown.  


From Tuesday, December 13, 2022 through Tuesday, January 2, 2023 the "Tree of Lights" will be on display at the Middlesex Health Shoreline Medical Center located at 250 Flat Rock Place in Westbrook


For more information about the 13th Annual Tree of Lights" please see the following website:

Enjoy the video.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Soccer Mommy at Harbor Park: A Review

Submitted by Kellin Atherton, a high school English teacher and millennial father of three from our city. 

Over the last couple months, the city of Middletown has sponsored concerts down at Harbor Park with the excellent local music promoter known as Manic Presents.  

When I heard we were doing this I was skeptical about a number of things: is it worth our tax dollars? Can we get artists worth seeing? How's our setup? Why are we doing this and where is it all going? Much of that skepticism was cured by the late-September announcement that we had booked Soccer Mommy, and the rest of it was taken care of by the end of the November 10th show. 

Sophia Allison, better known as Soccer Mommy, is an Indie Rock performer from Nashville. While she hasn't achieved the same level of fame as comparable artists like Olivia Rodrigo, critics have recognized the lush guitars and brilliant song-writing, and this year Soccer Mommy was nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammys. Personally, I've been listening to them since 2018, and believe they are part of a new generation of female artists that are carrying rock and roll's present and future. 

I parked on Court street at around 6:45. I was later than I had planned and by myself. Childcare challenges struck again. The three-block walk down to the pedestrian tunnel was farther than I had hoped, but because it was off Main Street and after 6pm it was free to park. 

Let me run that back for those of you who haven’t been paying attention... *clears throat​...* THE SHOW AND PARKING WERE BOTH FREE!!!

As I waited among the crowd, I couldn't help but notice the flow of traffic on Rt. 9 North. It was kind of loud - would the setup be enough to drown out the noise? I took a lap around the stage and boardwalk. I knew that DPW had been doing work on the riverfront, and it looks like good improvements have been made with more on the way. The area was well lit, public restrooms were available with no lines, and there was even an area for Merch (someone please scoop one of the lavender hoodies in a medium for me, thanks)

The band came on and played two songs before introducing themselves. I was immediately struck by the fact that the highway was drowned out from the very first guitar strum, and that Soccer Mommy is a very good live band. "Circle the Drain" into "Shotgun" was a clear high point early in the show. After a stretch of lesser knowns and songs off the new record, the band stepped offstage while Sophia played "Still Clean," a song that talks about love in the language of consumption, predator and prey, a relationship where someone feels like they are chewed up and spit back out. By the end we discover that the predator isn't getting the kind of satisfaction out of consuming people that Soccer Mommy found herself victim to. 

Every moment drew me closer. I bustled, "excuse me, sorry," my way to the front of the crowd. The slope from the 9 North guardrail down towards the crowd and waterfront filled slowly over the course of the show. That felt like a magnetic choice as well. Folks wanting to do everything they could to get a better view. And there was something poetic about a trail of taillights zipping off into the distance mirroring songs about refusing to be controlled, damaged, or used by the cliches and norms of love.

She closed with “Your Dog.” This is my favorite song and so naturally I lost my shit. Aside from an excellent guitar hook, the song is my favorite because of the line “I want a love that lets me breathe,” which summarizes much of Soccer Mommy’s songwriting thesis, and a love that I am grateful to say I’ve found in my own life - the kind of love that frees me up to go to a concert by myself on a thursday night while she gets the kids pj’d. 

After this show I can say that Soccer Mommy is one of my favorite bands, and they put on a great show. It was a warm night with a beautiful moon heading into a three-day weekend. The contrast between the taillights and the stage lights, the still river and the wisping dry ice, all to the soundtrack of an artist that can sound like Kurt Cobain one minute and Sheryl Crow the next was breathtaking. It was one of my favorite moments in the nearly ten years I’ve lived in Middletown. 

Look folks, my biases should be clear by now. Whoever is responsible for this idea gets my eternal gratitude. As I walked through the pedestrian tunnel back to my car, everyone was talking about the show, where they were going to eat or drink, and who we would get next year. 

My lesson from Soccer Mommy at Harbor Park is, to pull one of her lines, that “I wanna be that cool.” I want us as a city to be so cool that we are able to test-drive the kind of culturally creative economic development strategies necessary to grow and develop our riverfront. I want us to have more opportunities to be energized, connect with each other, and see or hear something beautiful for a modest cost. This show and concert series felt like the beginning of something. It felt special. It felt uniquely Middletown, and I’m really excited to see what we do next. 

Monday, November 7, 2022

ZOOM Genealogy Club - Godfrey Memorial Library

November 19, 2022

1:30 PM

Researching Your French-Canadian Ancestors  

Jolene Mullen, author of Connecticut Town Meeting Records during the American Revolution, and a forthcoming similar project for Rhode Island, will be joining us.  She also has expertise in French Canadian ancestry research, which she will be sharing with us.

Godfrey Premium members can register for free at the following email:

If you are not a Godfrey Premium member and want to attend the presentation, you can pay $10 via PayPal ( and send to Godfrey Memorial Library. Then register using the above email.

Please register by 4:00 PM Friday, November 18.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Journey to the West at Oddfellows November 10 - 19


Oddfellows Playhouse Teen Repertory Company presents Mary Zimmerman’s “Journey to the

West” at 7 pm on November 10 -12 and 18 - 19. All performances will be held at Oddfellows

Playhouse, 128 Washington Street, Middletown.

“Journey to the West” is a contemporary adaptation of the classic 16th century Chinese novel

of the same name. This epic journey combines comedy, adventure and satire in a moving

allegory of human perseverance. Little known in the United States, “Journey to the West” is

one of the greatest and most popular stories in Asian literature.

The play, which features a cast of 13 performers ages 14 - 20,  is directed by Missy Burmeister.

Costume Design by Christian Milik, Scenic Design by Tate Burmeister, Sound and Music by

Joseph Getter, Lighting Design by Joaquina Guevara, and Properties Design by Caleb Warner.

Tickets are $18 for adults and $10 for kids and students. “Big Heart” tickets are available for

$25 for anyone who really loves and values theater and its impact on the lives of young people.

Tickets are half price for members of the Chinese or Chinese-American community. 

Thursday, November 10 is a “Pay-What-You-Can” Preview, and the November 11 performance

will be followed by a Talkback with the cast and director moderated by Wesleyan University

Visiting Professor of East Asian Studies Dr. Allison Bernard. Dr. Bernard will also be delivering

a  public talk on “Journey to the West” at Russell Library  on Wednesday, November 16 at 6 pm,

supported by CT Humanities. The talk is free and open to the public.

For tickets, or more information, call (860) 347-6143, email, or go to

Journey to the West is made possible thanks to support from the Connecticut Office of the

Arts/DECD; The Fund for Greater Hartford; American Savings Foundation; State of

Connecticut Judicial Branch (Youth Violence Prevention); Middletown Youth Services Bureau;

City of Middletown; CT Humanities; Community Foundation of Middlesex County; Middlesex

United Way; Middletown Commission on the Arts; Thomas J. Atkins Foundation; CHEFA

Cultural Relief Grant; New England Foundation for the Arts/New England Arts Resilience

Fund; George & Grace Long Foundation; Liberty Bank Foundation; many generous individual

donors; and you, supporting youth arts in Connecticut by purchasing a ticket for this


Photo by Bill De Kine of the May, 2022 Oddfellows Teen Repertory Company production of

"The Greeks".

First Church Annual Candlelight Christmas Concert Sunday, December 11th, 4 p.m.

 All Are Welcome

First Church in Middletown 
UCC, Congregational
190 Court Street
Middletown, CT
Phone: 860.346.6657
Free street-side parking
in the neighborhood.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Something to Consider: Ageism? or Common Sense.

An article from today's online CT Mirror Opinion addresses an issue to consider:  The longer people serve, the more entrenched, the more complacent they become. And so do we. 

Let's think about all of these issues:
Age limits?
Term limits?
Campaign funding?

Blame medicine for so many old politicians

Blame medicine for so many old politicians