News & Views
Photo of Sandwich Village by Joe Janis
Center Sandwich, NH, – Off The Dock Players are at it again—this time, on the porch! After the success of such thought-provoking plays as The Humans, by Stephen Karam and A Doll’s House, Part 2, by Lucas Hnath, the troupe is producing a Covid-careful, slightly immersive, outdoor theater experience including two one-act plays written by the inimitable Tennessee Williams. Starring in At Liberty and Something Unspoken are Ashley Bullard, Rebecca Cole, Marena Harris and Lisa Thompson. The production will be directed by Nancy Blaine.
A mother waits for her daughter who is out too late on a chilly southern night. A secretary avoids her employer’s insistence to verbalize what she does not dare. Tennessee Williams is known for exploring the depths of the human condition with dialogue so sharp and telling that we might find ourselves a little embarrassed at the truths he reveals. All with a lyrical southern sarcasm that makes you laugh out loud at the audacity with which his characters speak to one another. Audacity and truth—two characteristics of any Tennessee Williams play.
In these socially-distant pandemic times, Off the Dock is carefully managing seating (limited tickets), offering a pre-packaged southern-type picnic snack on the lawn, with an elevated porch as the perfect stage for two funny, yet deeply moving, southern tales of discontent.
The first weekend performances on 9/25 and 9/26 are at the Cole home at 161 Holderness Road in Center Sandwich. The second weekend performances on 10/3 and 10/4 will be performed at the beautiful Highland House in Tamworth. Picnic and seating begin an hour before each performance and the running time of the 2 one act plays is one hour.
“We wanted to reach out to our two nearby communities because the actors’ residences are split between Sandwich and Tamworth,” said Nancy Blaine. “Additionally, we love to collaborate with local businesses and offer an experience as much as a play. This production, due to the pandemic, has forced us to rethink staging, and what works better than Tennessee Williams on a porch?! I have always been interested in working in less traditional theater environments and Rebecca’s porch along with Dale’s barn seemed like a perfect start.”
Tickets can be purchased at offthedockplayers.com and show times/venues are as follows: Cole Residence, 161 Holderness Road, Center Sandwich, September 25th and 26th, 5:30 picnic/6:30 show. A Sunday, September 27th matinee has been added due to the demand for tickets.
The Highland House, 654 Cleveland Road, Tamworth NH, October 3rd at 5:30/6:30 and October 4th matinee at 3:00/4:00
NOTE: We are delighted at the response! Sold out shows for Friday and Saturday and an added show for Sunday at 3:00 (tickets still available). We also have some seats available for our October 3rd and 4th performances in Tamworth.
By Diane Cook Johnson
There is no mistaking that fall is coming. The sky is blue and the sun hits the earth at angle that makes the world look in exceptional focus. There is also a special sound that the crickets make that reminds me of my youth and going back to school. I can just about taste the Wonder bread with homemade butter and juicy tomato slices; it was a soggy yet delicious lunch made only in September.
My mother's other special lunchbox sandwich was Spam and jam; it really was quite tasty especially when it was made with the foam left after the homemade jam was poured into jars. Coming home from school on the bus in September, my mother was often standing at the corner of the porch chopping tomatoes, peppers, and onions to make one of her many batches of "chili" . I grew up on a farm in Massachusetts and I have very special memories of that time and place. Thankfully, my brother keeps Cook's Valley Farm going.
Photo above: Winter 1966, L-R Diane Cook (age 9) Uncle Ted Koza, sister (Grace) and brother Warren Cook on a walk in a meadow behind Cook's Valley Farm in Wrentham, MA. Uncle Ted was a middle school science teacher near Little Falls, New Jersey. Every excursion with him included a camera and a bag of apples.
Ted would come up at least once a month to see his parents, my mother and us. He always had us on the look-out for science and things to bring back to his classes. In August and September, he would give us a $1.00 for each Monarch Butterfly caterpillar we caught for him during his visit. He offered us more each month until a caterpillar was worth $100 in January. We looked; but we never found any $100 caterpillars.
I know the children of Sandwich will have fond memories of their time growing up here. This morning at the Sandwich Beach, I met a man who grew up in Sandwich and after graduating from Inter-Lakes he lived in cities for many years. He was coming home to this area for a simpler life and he was fondly telling stories of his youth, family, friends, and Sandwich. This afternoon, on the town green, I saw a young boy go over to another boy of similar age (about 7, I imagine) and introduce himself. As the first boy approached the second, they both made sure their masks were on properly, looked at their moms and then quietly played with sticks and pebbles.
This fall school and childhood look quite a bit different than ever. Rest assured; good, unique, and interesting memories are being made despite the pandemic, politics, and tensions. May you look for and find the good.
You are invited to attend a poetry reading of Deep Beauty, by Rosemary Winslow and Catherine Lee (editors) on Friday, September 4, 12:00 noon on the Quimby Green in front of Sandwich Home Industries. Please feel free to bring a chair and lunch if you like. Rain date September 5, at 4 pm.
Poets from Sandwich and Tamworth are included in the new book, Deep Beauty. Rosemary Winslow, editor, will introduce the book and poets will read excerpts. Books will be on sale at the reading and inside the League of NH Craftsmen gallery (Sandwich Home Industries).
About Deep Beauty: As our global discourse continues to be dominated by border walls, white nationalism, sexual assault, and autocratic leaders, many of us find our basic human values under constant attack. Deep Beauty is one collective attempt to counteract this discourse. The essays presented herein offer curious and thoughtful inquiries into experiences of wonder and beauty through the eyes of a diverse group of beholders, at a time when such considerations are often lacking from public discourse.
These writers help create an emotional and psychological space for us to meditate on how peace, safety, compassion, and dignity are integral to a fulfilled and fulfilling life. These essays examine beauty from a number of different perspectives, including the arts, culture and counter-culture, the physical world (from our individual bodies to our embattled planet), successes and failures, remoteness, and spirituality. This collection is perfect for students of writing and philosophy--and for anybody who needs a moment of respite from the chaos exploding in the world around us.
League of NH Craftsmen Center Sandwich Fine Craft Gallery, 32 Main Street
Center Sandwich, NH 03227 www.centersandwich.nhcrafts.org Follow us on Facebook! OPEN for our 94th season . 2020 hours Thursday - Saturday 12:00 - 5:00
This Fall Patricia Ladd Carega Gallery is featuring the work of three local artists who are successfully emerging onto the NE art scene. The last exhibit of the season opens on Labor Day Weekend and continues throughout the month of September. Ashley Bullard, Liz Wilson and Valerie Vermeulen are all from the Lakes Region. Each of their paintings reflects their very personal journeys connecting them to the world around them. The exhibit is colorful, contemporary, playful and highly creative.
Ashley Bullard lives and works in Sandwich. Bullard’s abstract landscapes are painted with energy and emphasize color and texture to achieve their mark. The series at the gallery this summer is about Ice Out on Squam Lake. The subtle reflections seen in the snow and ice as it cracks and melts are rendered in delicate hews that transfer via the artist’s brush to canvas. One can feel the cracks in the jagged lines and smell the spring in the pastel palette. Bullard spent many days last spring perched above Squam Lake watching the lake melt. These painting are about new beginnings.
Liz Wilson lives and works in New Hampton. Her work is colorful, active and to a degree playful. It engages the viewer in a conversation, an invitation to look deeper and enjoy. Wilson’s words best describe her work: These paintings are impressions of my experience in the world at a specific moment. When I am able to focus inward, I see in my minds’ eye my sensory experience translated into shape and color. This experience is a part of my reality: it is the author, creator of my painting language. In the process of making the images I simplify and to a degree caricaturize my experiences. The source of the images is specific. However, what I am depicting is the sensation that I took from the moment.”
Valerie Vermeulen lives and works in Holderness. The subtle color and undefined shapes in her abstract landscapes challenge, soothe and engage. Vermeulen talks about her work: “I spend my days studying and recording the constant, subtle, changing elements of nature and life. My work provides a nostalgic sense of place and simplicity, yet is ultimately defined by the infinite. I hope to elevate the viewer, both aesthetically and spiritually. The images are reflective, surreal, and organic in nature. The work also explores the mystery and the solitude of the anonymous human experience. I am driven to capture the changing atmosphere and the endless nuances of a landscape, both physical and psychological, to reveal the truth of a limitless reality. In the image, a dream is reflected, and the esoteric quality of a moment has been remembered.
Patricia Ladd Carega Gallery is located at 69 Maple Street in Center Sandwich. Gallery hours are from 10 to 5 Monday through Saturday and 12 to 5 on Sunday. You will also find work by all our artists on line at patricialaddcaregagallery.com.
Editor's note: This letter was posted on August 7. The Town Clerk wants everyone to be aware that the State's requirements are subject to change. You can always check with her if you have any questions. Phone number below.
Holding an Election in the Midst of a Pandemic
Holding an election in the midst of a pandemic offers a series of challenges to those of us charged with overseeing these events. It is important that everyone who wants to has the opportunity to cast their ballot while also considering the health and welfare of poll workers and voters. Twice in the next few months, on September 8th for the State Primary Election and then on November 3rd for the General Election for all Federal and State offices, the Town will face the difficulty of balancing these important goals. This year’s elections will look and move a little differently than in the past and we would like to offer our vision of how it will work.
First and foremost, we encourage all voters to vote by absentee ballot. This will afford the most protection for voters and poll workers. The Secretary of State has added, temporarily, the concern of a voter for potential health risks to the allowable reasons to cast an absentee ballot. The form for requesting an absentee ballot is available on the Town Clerk’s section of the Town website. The form is also available at the back entrance to Town Hall. For more information on this you can call the Town Clerk’s office at 603-284-7113.
For the Primary Election in September you will receive a Republican or Democratic ballot depending on which party you are registered with. Undeclared voters may request either ballot but must re-declare as Undeclared or you will be registered to whichever party you requested a ballot for. The form for re-enrolling as Undeclared will be included in your absentee ballot mailing if you request to vote absentee. You must return it along with your completed ballot.
If you choose not to vote by absentee ballot be advised face masks will be REQUIRED to enter the Town Hall to vote. Face masks will be available for those who forgot to bring one. Six foot social distancing will be enforced. Due to the confined space of the elevator to the second floor it will not be used for the elections. Provisions will be made in the parking lot for an area for those physically unable to climb the stairs or for voters who feel unable to wear face masks. If you fall into either of those categories please vote by absentee ballot.
Respectfully, James Mykland, Sandwich Town Moderator
Alison Gage, Sandwich Town Clerk/Tax Collector, 603-284-7113
Town of Sandwich, 8 Maple Street PO Box 194, Sandwich, NH 03227
The experience of one Sandwich voter:
Thank you, Alison, Town Clerk. Rudy and I applied for both ballots on a single application. We mailed those applications in to you. You and Lois checked that we are Sandwich residents, registered voters, real people. Then you mailed us our September 6 ballots. We filled out the ballots. Each of us put our ballot in a special envelope that we sealed and then we signed our names on the outside. Then we inserted this envelope in a larger mailing envelope. Then we mailed it to Town Hall. Lois tells me that the ballots will be held in their sealed envelopes until election day. But every ballot is registered as it comes to Town Hall with the Secretary of State. We can even track our ballot online. No chance of losing it. A safe and careful system is guarding our most precious democratic right. No need to go to Town Hall on election day where election workers might be exposed to someone with Covid-19. We know every vote will be counted that night by our team of Town officials and volunteer registrars. Thanks for protecting democracy!
Courtenay Delaney writes: Hello all, we hope that you are enjoying your summer! Our July 20th Selectmen’s Meeting and work session covered a lot of ground, including a ‘Meet and Greet’ with our Town Counsel Walter Mitchell and Laura Spector-Morgan.
Police Chief Shawn Varney provided us with COVID-19 updates, noting that there are no known active cases in town and that we have a sufficient supply of PPE. Chief Varney also provided a summary of how parking enforcement is going at our Town beaches. All agreed to ‘deputize’ Ole Anderson so he can also issue parking tickets to those without a valid pass/sticker. Ole visits all three beaches on a regular basis and can be that extra set of eyes for enforcement on busy days.
The Sandwich Climate Action Coalition (SCAC) met with the Selectmen and Planning Board Chair, Mike Babcock, to learn how they can help with the Energy Chapter of the Town’s Master Plan when it is next updated with fresh census data. Discussion followed on how best the Selectmen can implement the initiatives within Article 21 from the 2020 Town Warrant.
Alison Gage, our Town Clerk/Tax Collector went through the official liening process which was executed earlier in the day. Documents were signed and notarized and the Selectmen were briefed on the potential deeding of a few properties and those taxes which are delinquent. Despite COVID-19, we are happy to report that the number of properties with delinquent taxes is on par with years past.
The Selectmen have also been evaluating opportunities to improve organizational culture, increase cross-training of staff, and Selectmen Horn has been working on improvements to our employee performance review process. Earlier this summer, the Selectmen agreed to prioritize the goal of empowering the workforce, increasing efficiency where possible and engaging employees in a shared vision for the Town; the Selectmen will continue to evaluate organizational structure, culture, and processes for town business to work toward that end.
Lastly, we had a very good discussion on Town fireworks and postponing them further into the winter based on recommendations by both Chief Varney and Fire Chief Call. After thoughtful consideration, the Selectmen supported the Chiefs’ recommendations and agreed that safety of the town and frontline workers is of the utmost concern during these difficult times. We are hoping Atlas Fireworks agrees to do our fireworks display on New Year’s Eve so we can give a very loud and celebratory goodbye to 2020. Stay tuned!
As always, we are pleased by the efforts of everyone to pitch in, work together, and observe safe protocols. Respectfully, Joanne Haight, Leo Dwyer, Todd Horn, Sandwich Board of Selectmen
Diane Johnson writes: In April, before the Sandwich Fair was cancelled for this year, a new pole building was built on the Fairgrounds near the Cattle Sheds and the Craft Barn. The intent was to eliminate the need to rent a tent every year to cover the Cattle Show Area. While there will be no cattle show this fall, the new open structure is getting a lot of use in this time of Covid-19.
Moultonborough Academy used it (a couple of tents, and the nearby grounds) for graduation, a week later Moultonborough held their School District Meeting there. Their town meeting was scheduled for the same day but it was just too hot and humid that Saturday. Last Saturday, the Outreach Committee of the Community Church of Sandwich, held a Dessert Auction in the Pole Building; they raised $1914 for Inter-Lakes Caregivers.
The Fairgrounds in general has had a lot of use this year. Sunday evening, a group held a concert and movie night to benefit members of the military. On any day, you will find people exercising, dog walkers, families riding bikes, and people just enjoying the space. The Sandwich Fair Association welcomes responsible use of the grounds. In this Covid time, safe social distancing is expected.
The Fair Association always expects users to be thoughtful and safe; this includes cleaning up after animals and never leaving a mess behind. Any organized activity also requires the written permission of the Sandwich Fair Association, Inc. The Fairgrounds are not town lands but are privately owned and operated by the by the Sandwich Fair Association, Inc., a 501c3 organization run by volunteers. For more information, please visit www.thesandwichfair.com
News & Views
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